Sunday, December 6, 2015
Friday, November 27, 2015

And the winning team is...

...Adam, Sam and Blake with the Birthday S'more Sunday!  Great job, Team Blakester.  Were shenanigans potentially involved?  Perhaps.  But you get the W regardless.

The remaining teams were:
Sandi and Nikki with the Peanut Butter and Jelly S'more
Natalie and Denise with the 10 Layer-Better-Than-Sex-Sweet-And-Salty-S'more
Danielle and Davey with Nashville Delight: The Southern Savory and Sweet
Mark and Joey with Trait Du Jour
Papa Joe and Eric with the Philly Cheesesteak S'more
Nadine and Gabby with the Mediterranean S'more
and Lillian and Nick with the Savory Spanish S'more

If you're ever in need of a delicious and unique S'more and Popcorn idea, I hope you'll refer back here.  Honestly, every single one was delicious!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Great Family Challenge: Creative S'more & Popcorn Recipes

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in last month's Great Family Challenge!  We had such an awesome time putting together our pumpkin decorating entries and were thrilled to get such wonderful feedback.  

This month's challenge was a little more outside the box but I'm so pumped to walk you through it.  I wanted to play around with the idea of re-inventing a classic fall snack...adding to or replacing ingredients, toying with savory/sweet and so on.  After some brainstorming we landed on s'mores and popcorn and decided to make this month a creative s'more and popcorn recipe challenge. 

To make things interesting, I cast a really wide net in regards to what we'd consider a "s'more"...the only criteria being 1) you must be able to make them over a bonfire and 2) there must be an element of sandwiching.  As you can imagine, my family took this and really ran with it.  There were no limits whatsoever in regards to the popcorn, except that it should theoretically pair well with the s'more.  

I've gotta say, I was extremely impressed with what everyone came up with!  I tried a little bit of each entry and there wasn't a single dud in the bunch.  I know it's tricky since you can't actually taste the contenders, but I'd recommend voting based on creativity of flavor combinations, plated presentation and the overall deliciousness factor.  Better yet- just vote for what you wish you could try most.  

Just a reminder, you can vote once per day from now until 11:59 next Thursday (11/26...Thanksgiving!) and we'll announce the winner on Friday.  Happy voting!  And the candidates are...

Birthday S'More Sundae
Traditional s'more topped with chocolate ice-cream and rainbow sprinkles 
-paired with-
Popcorn Rice Krispy Treats made of marshmallow, chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles.

Peanut Butter & Jelly S'more
Whipped cream cheese, fire roasted marshmallow and fresh strawberries sandwiched between two grilled Belgian waffles.  Topped with confectionary sugar and drizzled with strawberry jam.
-paired with-
A sweet and salty popcorn treat made with popcorn, peanut butter pretzels cover with dark chocolate and melted peanut butter.

10 Layer-Better Than Sex-Sweet & Salty S'more
Toffee graham cracker sandwiched with layers of roasted marshmallows, french fries, and homemade gooey brownie.  Topped with salty kettle chips and hot fudge, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
-paired with-
Popcorn with brownie balls and fudge
-served with-
Ice cold milk rimmed with fudge and brown sugar

Nashville Delight
The Southern Savory & Sweet
Hattie B's hot chicken, roasted marshmallow on a glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut
-paired with-
A duo of popcorns...Ranch flavored with melted butter and Ranch dressing and Dill flavored with fresh dill, garlic powder and melted butter

Trait Du Jour
Bacon, Maple Bacon frosting and roasted marshmallow sandwiched between S'more Poptarts
-paired with-
Deconstructed popcorn...a choose your own adventure popcorn bar that included artisanal salts, chili powder, cinnamon, black pepper, moonshine, whiskey and Meyer lemon juice

Philly Cheesesteak S'more
Steak, onions, Shishito peppers, roasted tomatoes and melted provolone cheese on a ciabatta roll.
-paired with-
Tiramisu Popcorn with Godiva chocolate liquor, espresso and Mascarpone cheese sauce.

Mediterranean S'more
Homemade baklava spread, date honey, roasted marshmallow, and white chocolate sandwiched between white chocolate drizzled graham crackers topped with crushed pistachios.
-paired with-
Popcorn tossed with lemon oil, crispy pancetta, Mediterranean spiced roasted chickpeas and cilantro.

The Savory Spanish S'more
Puff pastry with five cheese, mushroom and onion filling.
-paired with-
Salted caramel spice popcorn seasoned with chili powder, orange zest and tossed with pecans, walnuts, and cranberries in a salt rimmed chocolate bowl.  Drizzled with salted caramel.

My favorite S'more and Popcorn recipe is:

Birthday S'More Sundae
Peanut Butter and Jelly S'more
10 Layer-Better Than Sex-Sweet and Salty S'more
Nashville Delight: The Southern Savory and Sweet
Trait Du Jour
Philly Cheesesteak S'more
Mediterranean S'more
The Savory Spanish S'more
Poll Maker
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wanted: Week 21

1. Shoulder Bag, H&M $34.99  2. Occult Collar, Olivia Palermo for Bauble Bar $68
3. Shimmering Skin Perfector, Sephora $34.00  4. Extra Soft Scarf, Zara $22.90  
5.  Sandcastle Kings, Amazon $12.68   6. Kensington Leather Watch, Revolve $125.00
7. Streaming Bow Leather Gloves, Anthropologie $375  8. Decorative Globe, Target $29.99  
9.  Choceur Dark Hazelnut Crisp, Aldi $1.99  10. Diane von Furstenberg Luggage, Macy's $179.99
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10 Movies to Watch Before Halloween

We're ten short days away from halloween and I am in the zone!  For me, "the zone" means obsessing over a halloween costume (I think I played the Hermione and Ron card too soon into my marriage and now I'm having trouble coming up with a couples costume that tops it #FirstWorldProblems).  For others- most notably my husband- "the zone" means conjuring up as many scary experiences as possible.  Davey and I have a lot of things in common but this is not one of them.  However!  Since I'm expanding the horizons of the blog a bit I wanted to share a killer list (pun intended) that he, Stevie and Jordan came up with (more on Stevie and Jordan later).  It was stressed to me- and I will in turn stress it to you- that this is not a top 10 list.  These aren't the 10 best scary movies out there but they are 10 very good movies you can watch on Netflix right this moment.  Since a great movie you can watch right now is better than a theoretically better movie you can't, I stand by their strategy. If you're in the market for a scary movie (or better yet, a scary movie marathon), read on!

Sunday, October 18, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015

Come See Us at Gaslamp Too Antiques!

Fun fact: you can now shop with us at Gaslamp Too Antiques in lovely Nashville, Tennessee!  By that I of course mean we have some items for sale there...but hey- we're always up for a shopping trip if you are.  We're so thrilled to partner with Gaslamp because, quite frankly, they're the best of the best (just ask the Nashville Scene Reader's poll in 2015...and 2014...and 2013 for that matter).  There are so many surprisingly affordable, incredibly beautiful pieces available there- literally thousands!  No amount of explanation can do it justice, so in lieu of droning on and on I'll leave it at this: you should go there.  In the meantime, here's just few highlights of our little booth...

I was trying to decide on a favorite piece to highlight but I had a hard time landing on just one.  The table and chairs are custom pieces we whipped up that really turned out to be showstoppers.  The giant Audrey picture is- for obvious reasons- a personal fave of mine.  But if you forced me to pick only one item from our booth to put in my own home it would have to be this CR Laine chair.

The sole reason this chair isn't currently in my home is space constraints (and boy oh boy, did I try).  It's hard to really get a sense of scale in this picture but this is a big chair...I don't care who you are, this chair will dwarf you.  Last one and I'm done- I also really love this Polar Bear print on canvas & gauze by Elizabeth Lucas.  It's such a unique piece and believe you me, the price is right.  All that being said, come visit us!  Gaslamp Too is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am - 6:00pm and Sunday from Noon to 6:00pm and the address is 128 Powell Place, Nashville TN 37204 (cue "The More You Know" comet trail).  Hope you check it out!      

And the winning team is....

...Sandi and Nick with the Ham-boo-gler!  Congrats!!  You officially get bragging rights until November's contest.  

To the rest of the family- it was a hard fought battle and I commend you.  Everyone seriously did a great job.  The remaining teams and pumpkins were as follows:

Wine Barrel: Papa Joe and Davey
Donald Trumpkin: Joey and Natalie
Haunted Hessey Pass: Danielle and Eli
Cinderella's Carriage: Me and my Mom!
Toilet Pumpkin: Mark and Denise
Glow in the Dark Haunted House: Nadine and Eric
Fairyscape Cottage: Nikki and Sam

See you back in the ring this November!
Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wanted: Week 20

1. Gemstone Necklace, Etsy $12  2. The Old Fashioned, Carry On Cocktail Kit $24  3. Golden Mug, Zara Home $14.90  4. Escape Canvas Utility Bag, Forestbound $99  5. Dinner Diaries: Reviving the Art of the Hostess Book, Amazon $34.66  6. Lettermate, The Grommet $9.95  7. Velvet Cushion Cover, H&M $17.99
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Friday, October 9, 2015

The Great Family Challenge: Pumpkin Decorating

When God made my family he gave us a double portion of competitiveness.  We're rooting for each other in the big things, but in the little things ("Who made the best flower arrangement for your baby shower, Nadine?  You have to pick!" -an actual quote from last weekend)...we like to win.  

Needless to say planning an official monthly family competition was- if anything- overdue.  So welcome to month numero uno of The Great Family Challenge!  Here's a few things you'll want to note re: this challenge and the challenges to come...

1) Each team is made up of two randomly selected family members (chosen via drawing names from a hat).  
2) YOU get to vote on the winner!  The power is all in your, right?  Voting is allowed once per day for the one week duration of the contest.  Voting is anonymous so even if you happen to know our family, you shouldn't know who's entry is whose. (That being said, if someone sent you here specifically to vote for them, they broke the rules!)   

3) Each month will have a different seasonally appropriate theme.  The overall goal of this series is to showcase fun, creative and original ideas.  Social media is a wonderful thing but sometimes the same concepts just get regurgitated over and over (and over).  We're hoping to come up with a few things you haven't already seen a million times.  

This month's theme was pumpkin decorating...some are hilarious, some are lovely, some are are more...refined than others (you'll see what I mean as you keep scrolling), but they're all quite creative and that was the goal.  

So go ahead and cast your vote!  You can vote once per day from now until 11:59pm next Thursday (10/15/15) and we'll announce the winner on Friday.  May the best pumpkin win!

Wine Barrel

Donald Trumpkin

Haunted Hessey Pass

Cinderella's Carriage


Toilet Pumpkin

Glow in the Dark Haunted House

Fairyscape Cottage

My favorite pumpkin is:

Wine Barrel
Donald Trumpkin
Haunted Hessey Pass
Cinderella's Carriage
Glow in the Dark Haunted House
Fairyscape Cottage
Thursday, October 8, 2015

Let's give this another go, shall we?

I’ve started, erased and re-started this sentence many times over the course of many months…each time with the same image in my head.  In said image I’m standing on top of a mountain yelling “hello! (*echo*echo*echo*)….is anyone out there?! (*echo*echo*echo*).  And then I laugh- both the me in my head and the me doing the imagining- because of course no one is out there!  It’s been well over a year since my last post!  

Truth be told, I didn’t so much decide to take a break from blogging as it just sort of…happened.  A week turned into a month, “after the wedding” turned into “after the holidays” and then- at some point- it just wasn’t even on my radar anymore (there’s a sermon in that, ladies and gents).  

Cut to today…I’m out of practice and starting from scratch.  But I’m going for it anyway!  And it’s gonna be a little bit tricky- sure- but I’m so genuinely excited to be back in the game.  Here’s a few things you can expect to see unfold over the next few weeks (and months and years, provided this pans out according to plan)…

-New topics: We’re covering a bit more ground on the lifestyle front and dabbling in mens fashion, music, and a few other uncharted territories.  It’s gonna be a lot of fun and I’m excited for you to check it out.

-New ideas: Our goal is fresh and truly original content which, truth be told, is really hard to come up with!  We’re focusing on quality over quantity these days so instead of posting every day (or multiple times a day like I used to at the peak of my insanity), we’ll post about 3 times a week.  My hope is that this approach allows time to improve the posts themselves and gives me some room in my schedule to engage in social media.  

-New faces: I’ve recruited some help from my family and it’s- hands down- the best call I’ve made in awhile.  They’re so creative and brilliant in ways I could never hope to be.  My husband, parents, brothers (by blood and by marriage), and a handful of my cousins will pop up every so often and I can’t wait to share their wit and wisdom with you.  

So there it is, folks- I’m back!  I hope you’ll check back in every so often cause we’re filling this space with all the inspiration, resources and merrymaking we can create.  Have the most fabulous day!