Wonders of His Love

12.30.2014

I had the merriest Christmas ever. Here's a few reasons why:

-getting to relive my summer in the South of France through the pages of Provence, 1970
-packing my warmest woolies from my wardrobe for Aspen with William
-navigating Kuhl-Linscomb with my two sisters who have slowly but surely wet my appetite for home goods
-truly reliving my South of France summer when my mom showed her mom the photo book I made her of our trip
-visiting family in Dallas with the best mom and dad to this "baby" of the family
-testing the Poachpods I gave my mom for a perfectly poached egg
-old cookbooks in my grandma's kitchen; the recipes inside attest to her mantra, "butter makes it better"
-a lunch at Eatsie Boys with my favorite boy to eat with, William
-feeling cool this Christmas as the McConns caught onto the trend of selfie stick givin'
-effortlessly entertaining with an endive appetizer from Camille Styles for an inspired gathering on the Eve

Thing is, no photos were captured of the merriest moments of them all. Like,

-the candle lighting at midnight mass
-waking up to Santa with an Instagram video of Evan driving his new toy car he brought him
-hearing Quinn pronounce all the Parisian landmarks popping out of her anniversary edition Madeline book
-fireside movie night with my parents watching my favorite, The Holiday
-exchanging gifts with my oldest nieces, Ceci & Ana -- coffee mugs for Aunt Molly, ivivva for them!

these two angels, Ana & Ceci, will soon be the oldest of eleven cousins on our side of the fam
& finally the announcement of not 1, not 2 but 3 wonders of His love with new additions arriving in our family in 2015. OH WHAT FUN!

And the merriment goes on into the New Year. Happy, happy to you & all of yours!

Sense Appeal XXVII: Christmas Edition

12.24.2014

sight of gifts surrounding the tree // sound of trucks on the iPad for a cozy Evan // taste & smell of Christmas Candy Crackers

It really was beginning to look a lot like Christmas when I took my nieces, Ceci and Ana, to see neighborhood lights.


The Christmas Candy Wonderland we visited was a spectacle that lifted all of our Christmas spirits; but, it's the most wonderful time of year for all the senses. The sound of a sibling prying open a tin box is as delightful as the taste of the peppermint bark lined inside; the sound of the UPS man ringing the doorbell for a last minute delivery nearly matches the excitement of feeling the warmth of the fleece you'll soon be wearing on the slopes.

So, BOD's gift to its followers this Christmas season is a Sense Appeal post of the sights, smells, tastes and sounds that make this time of year the most wonderful.

for the eyes:

We've decked our door with a trimmed wreath & a wagon of poinsettias for holiday home décor.

for the ears:



I often resort to surfing the radio when driving, so I'm always thrilled the weekend after Thanksgiving when Christmas carols start surfacing on select stations. William and I agreed we're extremely partial to the classics. While others may attempt their own renditions, nobody rocks around the Christmas tree quite like Brenda Lee or roasts chestnuts on an open fire like Nat King Cole.

We'll be playing this Spotify playlist at our Christmas Eve and Day gatherings; feel free to use it for your own!

fashion for feel:


One cannot visit Paris without developing an affection for scarves. Thing is, I came with one and left with an obsession. Winter weather gives me an excuse to rotate through my collection day in and day out which I've taken full advantage of like at the annual Austin Trail of Lights.

for taste:


One thing I know about cooking (I've got an awful lot to learn) is you almost can't go wrong when combining quality ingredients that you love. That's what I did for a snack yesterday.



I dressed a warm English muffin with smashed avocado, tabuleh (from the best Austin mediterranean chefs) and pomegranate. Not only did the seeds make it taste like Christmas, but their rich red color resting on a green bed of avocado smear and tabuleh made it look like it too.

May your day and night be merry & bright!


...One Day.

12.19.2014

Annie, a sneak peek at your delivery full of foodie goodies

Blogging is a lot like exchanging gifts. You give a little; you get a little.

When Annie from Take a Bite sent me brownies, this transaction was very tangible; but, swapping comments, stories and inspired thoughts online can be just as satisfying.

That satisfaction was still elevated when I was able to thumb through the text and feel the photographs in Camille Styles Entertaining: Inspired Gatherings & Effortless Style. 


I told you I read it in full on the way back to Austin from the Dallas signing. What I didn't tell you is that I gave a lot of thought as to what prompted me to take this last minute trip. It must be more than a signature or a savory cup of sweet potato soup at Number One. Though these were both draws!

While reading Chapter One, entitled 'Finding Beauty In The Details,' I got my answer:
"For as long as I can remember, I've sought out--and delighted in--beauty in the details. As a little girl, I collected stacks of binders full of images that inspired me"

"Me too!" I thought to myself, recalling ripping up NYLON magazine and tearing pages from Teen Vogue. I'd curate boards and keep the cut-outs in a chest at the foot of my bed, a treasure trove of paper beauty.



Those tangible tears led me here: to Bridget's Own Diary dot blogspot dot com. It's grown and matured in a lot of the same ways I have. Simply scroll to watch this evolution unfold or read Camille's discovery I have also found:

"As I got older, I discovered that beauty could...best of all [be found] in the moments shared with my family and friends that left me feeling cherished and cared for."

At the MADISON Dallas signing with Camille & former Camille Styles intern, Mary Kate
As long as I have beautiful moments sharing life with loved ones, I'll keep writing entries in this Diary. What I'd love is to thumb through its pages and write a book of my own one day. But, today kickstarts the weekend before Christmas, so we celebrate that with who else but those we love and cherish.


Good Golly Miss Grad

12.17.2014

This morning, I post the final installment of "a week of words" circa Thanksgiving. I saved the best for last: a note from my parents for my impending college graduation. It's a sing-a-long to the tune of a namesake I learned to respond to from a young age...

Good Golly Miss Molly!!!!!!

Where has the time gone?
And what fun it has been.
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My little girl who loved to wear hats.
And pretend you were The Little Princess over and over...
You would sing songs but I got frowns if I listened.
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Always had to sleep with one of your sisters. Good thing there were three to choose from.

Then Hunters Creek Elementary and spelling bees.
Spring Branch Middle School and gymnastics...and stressful gymnastics meets.
 photo 2_zps07c43a7b.jpgAnd then the big Memorial High School: studying too much, 3 years of cheerleading.
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Choosing costumes for pep rallies (right up our alley!), cheer camp (never again!)

Bridget's Own Diary debuts. And is still playing.
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Then senior year and prom and more parties. Lots of fancy dresses worn once.
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And finally, awards night and speeches. In the girliest dress.
You did it all with grace and determination (and maybe a teeny bit of stress).

Amidst it all, lots of college choices at first. Decisions, decisions. But UT won!
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Mom is happy :) So is a certain Duncan.
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And Kappa Kappa Gamma won your heart. We are grateful for that. 

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So many wonderful friends these past 3 1/2 years. 
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And such fun to watch you thrive while coordinating rush: a huge accomplishment. 

Traveling in Spain and France this summer with you was an awesome treat. 
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France is our favey. 

You're a senior now and a beautiful 21-year-old lady. 
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Ready to make your mark in the world...or maybe just in Texas. Which is fine with us. 

We are rich with just you. No accolades necessary. 

Seven is a very lucky number. 
Xoxoxo. 
Mom & Dad

Oh what fun it is to be this very lucky, very loved girl.



One Day...

12.15.2014

I've found (this semester especially) you can do a lot in just one day. This was certainly the case on Saturday when I went to and from Dallas returning to Austin in time for dinner and drinks with friends.

Mary Kate (back from Europe!) shows me how to dine in Dallas at NUMBER ONE
The trip was well worth it as I finally made one of Camille Styles's book signings. I read the book cover to cover during my trip home. I like to think that loading my days with some work and some play, some rigor and some relaxation help me practice what she preaches throughout: to "celebrate the everyday."

This past week gave rise to several causes for celebration. They include


booking my flight to Aspen over the break, where I'll ring in the new year with friends and don this Noah Marion olive beanie on the Snowmass slopes














































finding FedEx delivered joy to Jo's downtown with over two dozen darling dogs


bidding adieu to time well spent as part of the Internal Brewery at Social Distillery



finding boxed blog love delivered to my door step with immaeatthat's brownie mix from Take A Bite's Annie












fueling my brain and belly at Texas French Bread before putting the finishing touches on the first half of my thesis

It's easy to slip into a habit of celebrating every day come this time of year. Maintain that mindset throughout 2015 and it very well could be that "best year ever."




Nothin' Better

11.28.2014

My blogging kindred spirit, Annie from Take a Bite, reminded me why I love blogging with this post -- Where I Want to Be. It transports. It encourages wild imagination.

She pulled four separate photos that let her imagination run wild with Thanksgiving festivity fantasies. I pulled one part from each description she attached to the photos to make my own little fairy tale:
"Warmed under a blanket, eating scones & drinking hot coffee, gabbing about how great life is with the people I love, thinking nothing could be better."
And it nearly came true yesterday as we gathered around a Monopoly board after our delicious lunch, laughing at the hilarious banter brought about from Sam negotiating with his personal financial adviser, otherwise known as his Pops.

With people I love all around, I sat there and thought to myself, nothing could be better.




Weezy Gets Wordy

11.26.2014

Willa dedicated this short story to her mom for her birthday. She kindly shared it with her Facebook friends and 228 of those friends Liked it. I loved it.

"I used to want to be a writer.
Every night, I would sit on the kitchen floor while my mom cooked dinner.
I did not know how to spell, but I knew the alphabet.
I wrote the same first sentence of the same story every single night.
'Once upon a time there were a prince and a princess.'
It took me 45 minutes. Every single night.
And every night my mom would spell every word for me in between chopping onions, stirring soups, adding dashes of garlic powder, or steaming broccoli.
She never reminded me that we had started the same story the previous night. That she was tired of that story and wanted me to tell a new one. That she was tired of saying 'princess is just prince with two s's on the end.'
I thought my stories were brilliant and innovative--that one day they would be published. In some small way they were, for my mother published them prominently on her refrigerator door, laundry room wall, and bedside table. I picked up a lot from this nightly ritual.
I still know the alphabet.
I still do my work on the floor.
I still repeat things.
I still do not know what happened to that prince and princess.
I still love to ask my mother questions while she cooks.
And I am still--and always will be--in awe of my mom and the patience and pride she had to spell out the same eleven words for me night after night.
That is motherhood to me. It's spelling it out until your kids learn to spell it out themselves." -Willa Jolink

I got to watch my mom grill veggies, stir mac'n'cheese and pan sear red snapper last night. I'm home for the holidays! And very happy about it. Like Weez, I used to ask my mom questions while she cooked--from the constant "what's for dinner?" to "what's a natural log?" But last night, my mom and dad asked me questions--from "would you like a glass of wine?" to "how's your job?" I guess this means I've learned to spell things out myself.

Willa, her mom & sister Tatum

Weez, your mind is as beautiful as you are! Thanks for sharing.



Word!

11.24.2014

If I had to declare my Love Language it'd be words with time coming in a close second. The two-for-one deal, spending time with someone sharing words, is of course my favorite way to express and receive love. And I cannot wait to do just that with my family over the Thanksgiving holiday. So, this week to give you my love and my thanks, I offer a few words every day.

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Today's come from overseas, where one of my best friends, Mary Kate has been all fall. The architecture program took her city-hopping the first half of the trip. The last half, she called Paris home.

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I was delighted to find a postcard addressed to 'Molly Bridget' last week with a photo of Café de Flore, where William and I grabbed our last lunch during his visit.

Since she'll be returning stateside late next week (ouuuui!), I'm sending you some cyber love, MK.

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I, too, wish I could be "exploring every cute café,

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attempting the fashions of a true Parisian, and scouring the vintage flea" with you

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and am so thankful for "a bff who loves all the same things as me."

a bientot!



Gee, thanks!

11.01.2014

Gratitude. It's a good attitude to embrace. I, for one, am thankful for today, one of my favorite days of the year: the day after Halloween. I'm all for a cause for celebration, but Halloween has never ranked high on my list of holidays.

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This forced smile plastered across my face makes it evident this has held true for as long as I can remember. Dorothy was in no mood to go door to door in search of Twizzlers, Bottle Caps and the occasional pack of Skittles.

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{interior of fork + taco}
But, now the holiday season is here! And like I said, I'm all for celebrating. With the next holiday on the horizon being Thanksgiving, I want to make this entire month leading up to November 27th a time for appreciation. Too soon after the turkey and dressing feast, we turn our attention to our Christmas trees and wreaths.

In Europe, my friends and I got in the habit of taking note of things we were thankful for. I hate that I've broken this habit since coming home, so I'll make the Thanksgiving season my excuse to bring it back.

Lately, I'm thankful for

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Being able to leave a mark on my brown sugar cappuccino cup at Sa-Ten Coffee nestled in the Canopy creative community. That and my Sriracha Mayo Smoked Salmon toast gave me just the right amount of fuel to charge through some thesis work and my last post.

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Sharing a wall with this tasteful gallery wall my roommate Olivia curated last weekend. I like to say she hung the stars with the subtle star theme built in.

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Spending time with my sisters who teach me things like how to be resourceful with baby clothes, what a pagoda is and what not to wear on a brisk fall day in Boston.

Which brings me to my next point. I'm thankful that my roommates get me inside and out: Nicole posted this to my Facebook wall; safe to say it hit home with my cold-blooded self.

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Seeing my mom's style throughout their couples trip in San Fran and Napa with her sister via social media. Her prints were on point with plaid one day and camo the next.

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Tasting a traditional breakfast reconstructed. Caroline, my amiga in Spain, and I locked eyes with Apothecary's breakfast stack last Sunday and it was love at first bite!

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Mrs. Lilien's comment above re La Croix, the sparkling water she's currently coveting it like most girls I know. Gents may too, but like someone recently pointed out, girls love to sip & snack. They just do. Add a French twist to a canned beverage and the female population is sold. Literally.

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Speakin' of, I give thanks to bubbles for brunch! In Boston no less.

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But we really came for that lobster roll. Thankful to have sisters willing to endure a line for a chop lickin' lunch.

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An artistic inspiration for a friend like Mimi slash Meems (not to be confused with my mom!) who designed Gibroni's -- a Texicalitan food truck. She got to be at the soft opening last week, and I'll make sure to swing by just for the Speziato Sawse.

Friends streamin' on Netflix come the new year. Seinfeld, you best be next.

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Three's company at Myer's & Chang for a Sway-esque Sunday supper with my sisters.

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The glow beneath the dressing room curtain at SUNROOM, conveniently next door to headdress on SoLa--hey, if SoCo can pull it off so can South Lamar!

 photo photo3_zps715ae8aa.jpg That Social Distillery's new home won't be too far from our Hot Mama's lunch hub 'cause I heart the lemon pepper hummus.

A viewing of Groundhog Day per the recommendation of Charles Murray in the final pages of The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead. He says you can glean essentially the same important ideas from this film as you would from reading Aristotle. All in favor of the film option, say I! I.

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#williamshand trending on my @BOD Insta feed like on today's post from our late lunch at fork + taco.
foodie fyi: beets beet the asian pear chicken.

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and finally, the sight of a Quinnie Minnie! All smiles unlike her Aunt Molly :)

I hope you--whether you consider yourself a Halloween hater or lover or somewhere in between--enjoyed your weekend from start to finish and find lots to be thankful for in the coming week.