Sense Appeal XL

10.16.2017

for the eyes:

Big fan of this artist who designs the dates of the year.

for the mind:
I laughed out loud when I read this satire of a bride's email blast to her bridal party. With a "super-posi" attitude, she suggests all taking part in her "big day" gear up for gold-plating craft parties and scripted speech memorization, among other ridiculous requests.

for the ears: Mainstream as it may be, I love Maroon Five's music and am particularly fond of this remix of their newest hit, "What Lovers Do."

fashion for feel: 
Moda Operandi's Instagrams keep teasing me with all these lovers from Temperley London. Their decadent but also delicate, frilly yet funky dresses like the Maze have French Riveria feels.

for taste: I love me a Marcona almond, so when our work snack stash stocked up on this Trader Joe's truffle variety, I was intrigued. Some batches are saltier/oilier/trufflier than others, but get your hands on a good batch, and I bet that bag will be empty in no time.

Happy week!


Feel Good Friday

10.13.2017

The last days of summer were taxing to say the least. The despair within the cities affected by tragic events was contagious to those feeling pain from afar. I pray we are looking toward better days to come this fall. Below are five happy and inspiring links to brighten your spirits.

Why we need to touch base with ourselves more often.
A podcast I'd listen to on repeat.
I have five years to find these kinds of friends.
Three surefire ingredients for a great day.
Things people have learned: the silly and the serious.


Engagement Update: 8 Months Out!

10.10.2017

Yesterday marked eight months until the wedding. Big parts of the plan (date, church, reception venue, dress, band, and photographer) are set, so I figured it's the proper time for an update. While I will keep most of the details under wraps until we say 'I do', I want to share some of the highlights of our engagement, two months in.

your fiancé's thoughtfulness:

I knew our engagement was imminent, but as time passed, and I knew William was planning the proposal, I struggled being in the dark. When the day was finally here, however, there was nothing sweeter than hearing him tell me all the thought, time and effort he made into making my perfect proposal moment happen.

revisiting all your reconnaissance: 

I've accumulated quite a few photos from the weddings we've attended over the past couple of years. Flipping through them now is so much fun now that my day is realer than ever. My Pinterest boards have also provided inspiration....as well as laughs from the ones from way back when.

people's interest in your story: 

Friends, family and even strangers have taken such an interest in our story: where it all began and where it will continue after the big day. Our individual lives have now combined, and I'm so flattered people are curious about what's to come for us as a married couple.

reflecting on other significant relationships: 

While so much attention is toward the bride and groom, I have taken this time to reflect on all the people who have gotten me to this point. We celebrated with our closest family and friends, and since then, I have had time to handpick my bridal party. Each one of these people have made me into the person William fell for, and I am so excited to honor those relationships in the months to come. And most of you don't know who you are yet! :)

More soon!


Friday Five | Hello Fall!

9.22.2017

enjoying the last tastes of summer


The weekend! So glad you're here. My plan consists of Thai take-out tonight (trying a new spot), a cocktail tasting tomorrow and a massage Sunday morning. I've been holding onto a couple gift certificates to Milk + Honey, and I'm very ready to cash in on some relaxation. Enjoy these reads!

This helped me figure out what to wear to my first fall wedding of the season next weekend in Wyoming.

What do your alarm habits say about you?

I'm on a Friends binge, so I was intrigued to read the one haircut 'Rachel' would never repeat.

As you guys know, Gossip Girl was a huge part of my high school self, so I enjoyed reminiscing as the show celebrates 10 years.

A salty twist on the classic crudité.

Take-Out Dates

9.20.2017

my sister and I enjoying champagne and lobster rolls at Boston's famed Neptune Oyster
I'll make any excuse to try a restaurant for the experience it offers.

read more about my favorite restaurant experience to date at Rose's Luxury in Washington D.C.
I enjoy the dressing up, dining amongst the crowd, seeing how the menu is designed and each dish is plated.

take-out for two!


That being said, William and I have no shame in our take-out game, so I'm sharing three favorites some fellow Houstonians may have yet to find.

  • Songkran - To me, Thai food is the quintessential take-out cuisine, and this spot never disappoints. We both start with the Tom Kha Gai soup, and William follows with traditional Pad Thai while I get either the yellow or green chicken curry. 
  • Solario - My brother and his wife introduced us to this highly underrated pizza joint inside the loop. We've yet to not like one of their pies, but The Calabrian, Fennel Sausage, and Spinaci are near perfect. The house and rocket salads are also great starters. 
  • Peli Peli Kitchen - This casual kitchen off the Katy freeway is such a good find with its unusual South African fare. The curried chicken is unbelievable, and all the sides are worth trying (especially the collard greens). The shrimp and oxtail also come highly recommended.

our Austin favorite, Fresa's, we'd warmly welcome in Houston

Pizza and Asian cuisines always top the take-out charts, but these three are a notch above their restaurant rivals.

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A Perfect Proposal

9.17.2017


I knew I would marry William when we celebrated our one-year anniversary in Lakeway. It was wild to have my childhood wedding fantasy turn into something I could actually picture with him as my groom.


Still, the moment he got down on one knee was surreal. I call it perfect in the same sense I find him to be perfect: perfect for me. The entire evening struck such a beautiful balance between simple and special as we found ourselves back where it all began.



He asked me to be his girlfriend in this exact spot not long before he left for a summer in London. Needless to say, the lake already held a special place in our hearts, and now, we will always cherish this home and its stunning setting as the sentimental spot where we decided to be husband and wife.



Knowing my affection for a good photo, William hired a local film photographer to capture the moment, for which I am forever grateful. The images turned out stunning, so much so that a wedding blog, The White Wren, picked them up for a feature of our proposal and story.


We popped champagne while William's nerves settled; I had so many thoughts, but I mostly just couldn't stop smiling.



The surprises continued once the sun set. We snuck back into Austin to celebrate at our first date spot, Vespaio, on South Congress and FaceTimed close friends and family on the way.


We made an Instagram announcement the next day and enjoyed the road trip home as texts and calls flooded our phones. Some were more surprised than others, but everyone was equally as excited about our news.


Details for the big day have been made, and I can't wait for everyone to follow along, but for now, I'm still basking in how beautiful and memorable this moment was thanks to you, William. I love and can't wait to marry you!




soon-to-be MD!

I'm Getting Married!

8.11.2017

The proposal felt perfectly full circle when William got down on one knee where we began in Austin.

before: 

during: 


after: 


Keeping it short and sweet as we wait for a batch of professional film photos. We're beyond excited, and I can't wait to be WD's wife!

My Hot Weather Wardrobe

8.03.2017

Admittedly, after my Lenten shopping fast, I've made up for lost time since the spring and summer sales rolled out. The hottest time of year is still upon us as August hits Houston, so I'm sharing some of my favorite purchases.



formal dress: The only floor-length dresses I owned when I graduated college were from high school homecoming or Cotillion, so when black tie weddings were frequenting my calendar, I went searching.


Houston designer Hunterbell won my heart (and wallet) when she released this dress. I wore it to a ranch wedding in June and will re-wear it well into fall as the color scheme isn't too strong in either season's direction. 

everyday bag: The white bag has been, by far, my most used buy of the season. Rebecca Minkoff had her annual online sample sale, so I scored her for half the price, but she's worth every penny even at full.

midi skirt: I added the accordion pleat stripe skirt to my cart to score free shipping on the gingham dress I posted here. My sister convinced me to keep it, and I'm so glad I did. The length is perfect, and the pattern is timeless.

sandal: When slides started showing up everywhere, I was happy to find these from Topshop with a great price tag and an ever greater olive green color.

heelThe mules! I was pleased to find positive reviews on this Perpetua style by Jeffrey Campbell, so when I saw the pink stripe version was on sale, I sprung for them. For fall, I'm a huge fan of this olive version.

everyday shirt: I went to Madewell for this white oxford with mini cacti. I tried on the plain white for size, but it was a blessing in disguise when I found out the pattern was backordered. The plain white is far more practical and is now my go-to at least once a week for work and always for the airport.

Happy shopping and weekend!

Happy to be Home

7.21.2017

Hi and a very happy Friday! I'm thrilled to be staying put in Houston this weekend. I plan to find a proper place for everything in my new house, get a car wash and celebrate a good friend's birthday here in town. What's up with you? Enjoy these five finds from about the web this week!

iced lattés and a morning glory muffin from Aspen's Paradise Bakery were the perfect post morning hike pick-me-up. 

For all my fellow coffee lovers out there, care to make your own batch of cold brew?

photo c/o becauseimaddicted - Perhaps I'll do a post once I've established my own personal commandments. 
Lots of people advocate for living by a personal mantra, but I prefer this idea of making several personal commandments to live by.


This red raincoat (with such a cute striped lining) is on sale and sort of necessary for the perpetual afternoon showers hitting Houston.

'Instagreen' was too perfect for my new hunter green room with pops of pink

My sis does abstract art! Shop her site or work with her on a custom commission.

photo c/o e! online
For all those still mourning the end of Sex and the City, The Bold Type may cure your blues.

Have a wonderful weekend!




This post was originally published on L. Avenue as a contribution for the Friday Five series. 

Colo to Cali & Back

7.20.2017


Since posting about LA, I've been back to California and made two round-trips to Colorado. What I expected to be a fairly low-key summer without a family vacation turned out to be one of my busiest in the best way. Here are some of the food, drink and scenery highlights from my recent whereabouts!

L.A.

 pink and green everything at The Polo Lounge. pass the truffle fries, please.

 my favorite flautas filled with sweet potatoes from WeHo vegan restaurant Gracias Madre



breakfast by the pool with my resident LA bestie Mimi on my last day. can't wait to get back for her BIG day!

San Antonio

the cooler than cool Hotel Havana complete with Smegs stocked with Topo Chico and rainbow serape robes

 the most stunning reception tent as an escape to the most scorching day outside of San Antonio


cacti literally dripped onto the floor 

while cake climbed to the ceiling 

Aspen

a dimly lit dinner with WD's family for Fourth of July eve at Jimmy's

the wildflowers in Aspen were abundant and beautiful
a fireside Fourth with friends--s'mores and hot tub soaking included.








my very first fish catch. this rainbow trout was my first of seven on our hatch trip in the Roaring Fork River.

Dallas




 Erin's snob sandwich order at Grange Hall in Dallas for the first annual ladies' weekend


 a shadowy showing of six out of seven of the McConn ladies. Missing Lin and Coco in Boston.

a morning walk in the mountains by myself

Estes Park

but only a week later I was joined by Merly in Estes Park

 the heavenly (and haunted!) Stanley Hotel that set the most stunning stage for my college friend Caroline's wedding



 a cleansing brunch in Boulder at Zeal Café. taking center stage is that carrot-zucchini bread with coconut whip cream.





Denver's Union Station was an ideal place to spend my Sunday while waiting for my evening flight home. I bought this book, admired these flowers and celebrated #NationalIceCreamDay.

in awe of the beauty in Aspen and all of Colorado during the summer months
I'll be home for awhile, so I hope that means more content on the site. I've got a new room to show off, some more food finds up my sleeve and other things to share, so stay tuned!