lifestyle

quarantine pastime: mixology

some people picked up baking or sewing, and i decided to figure out how to finally make a few mixed drinks–ha! by no means am i any where close to knowing what i’m doing, but it’s been fun trying to figure it out. i’ve definitely had the help of some friends, and google along the way. side note: all of the drinks i’ve made use rum, but feel free to swap rum out for your spirit of choice! if you make any of these, let me know! xoxo

recipes
(makes one drink)

mango-colada

4oz mango juice (i love trader joe’s brand)
2oz cream of coconut (i use coco real brand)
a shot of silver rum (fav is largo bay)
a splash of lime (barsmith lime is good)
1 cup of ice, blend well
top with coconut chips and a cherry

pineapple & jalapeno rum margarita

6oz pineapple & jalapeno mixer (i recommend carter’s if you’re in TX)
a splash of lime juice (barsmith’s)
a shot of silver rum (largo bay)
1 cup of ice, blend well
garnish with a lemon wedge

lemon elderflower rum cocktail

6oz lemon elderflower soda (i buy mine from trader joe’s)
a shot of silver rum (largo bay)
best in a copper mug, pour over ice
top with mint, lemon slice and a cherry

classic mojito

muddle 10 mint leaves + a slice of lime in a copper mug
1 shot of simple syrup (i prefer barsmith’s) or 2tbs of sugar
squeeze another lime in there and mix together
1 shot of silver rum (largo bay)
4oz of club soda, shake or stir
add ice
top with fresh mint and/or a lime wedge (optional)

traditional pina colada

4oz pineapple juice (i love trader joe’s or doles)
3oz coconut cream (coco real brand)
a splash of lime juice
1 shot of silver rum (largo bay)
1 cup of ice, blend well
garnish with coconut chips & a cherry

skinny pina

4oz pineapple juice
a few chunks of frozen pineapples
3oz coconut milk (so delicious brand is good)
a splash of lime
1 cup of ice, blend well or shake well

strawberry rhubard rum soda

1 full can of strawberry & rhubarb soda (i get these from trader joe’s)
1 shot of silver rum (largo bay)
2oz club soda
stir well, add ice, garnish with strawberries

lifestyle

target run, and done

click the photo to shop the direct links

i’m starting off this post in traditional target fashion….i went in for milk and eggs, and came out with everything i never knew i needed. oh, you too? gosh, we’ve got lots in common! no wonder they call it “target run, and done” because now i’ve got no more money to spend–ha! beans and rice, rice and beans.
(a little dave ramsey for ya)

upon entering my glorious target store–adorned with friendly team members, bullseye dog at the dollar spot, and bright beautiful lights that shine on things you don’t want but end up buying anyways–i stumbled upon the cutest summery items in the dollar section! think kitchen decor, outdoor items, vases, organization items, and so much more. best $3-$10 ever spent. promise.

i then moseyed over to the back to school area, even though i had no business being over there. no kids, not a teacher, but the urge was calling me, so i listened and found way too many cute things. if you’re into magnetized lamps, frames, hanging succulent decor, pretty pens and pencils, you’ve gotta check out this part of the store. i mean…i love knick-knacks and trinkets, so this was heaven.

next, as i was perusing by the bath section on my way to checkout, i stumbled upon these hair wraps, and thought that they’d be nice to have! i’ve just wrapped my hair in a towel and let that be that. but now i’m air drying my hair more, these wraps seemed super convenient. they will absorb most of the water while i’m letting my hair dry prior to using my revlon one step styler brush thing (i can never remember the name)–side note: this tool is one every human being with hair should own. it’s legit.

on my way out of the store, even though i spent way too much money, i smiled because it’s like chrismas every time you shop at target. you buy in the store, you get home and unpack it, and then you get to enjoy your awesome finds! and if you’re a target-aholic like me, let’s be friends. famous last words, “but i only needed one thing…”

dollar spot items
$7 round support pillow (came in 3 colors)-i’ll be using this to sit on outside, or sometimes i like to sit on the ground in my living room for a change of pace!

$5 faux marble organization tray (2 pack)-this says you can use it to organize your desk, but i also think this would be super cute to lay out jewelry on, or even nail polish! very versatile and super cute.

back to school items
$6.99 u-brands locker style magnetic hanging photo grid-this is going to be in my office at work so i can hang pictures and thank-you notes! it comes with clips to secure your photos, too!

$4.99 u-brands gel ink pens pastel speckle-i’m a sucker for good pens. i love the creamy gel type with a fine tip. i’m good with any color, as long as it writes super smooth! anyone else have a pen obsession? i’m super particular as just any pen won’t do.

$3.99 u-brands mechanical pencil speckled-truth be told, i don’t own a pencil and thought it might be a good idea to have at least one in the office and one around the house to use when calendar planning. i’m V guilty of using the “scratch out” method of planning, and let’s face it, that feel super unorganized!

$3.99 u-brands hex magnets (7pack)-anything with a succulent on it is a great buy in my book. i have most of my apartment accented with some sort of blush color too, as i love how greens and blush pair well together. these will be the newest addition to my fridge before we know it!

bath item
$10 room essentials bath hair wrap peach (2 pack)-too cute not to pick up. excited to use these wraps to soak up some of the water from my hair while it air dries!

lifestyle

affordable sunnies

anyone else lose sunglasses like it’s your job? ever said “i wish i had a dollar for every pair of glasses i’ve lost?” yes, me too. hence my affinity for buying affordable pairs only! since most of my summer is going to be spent at home (or the pool), i wanted to test drive a few different pairs of sunglasses from amazon, so i really hope you find this helpful. i’ll share the direct link, cost, fit, and my recommendation for purchasing.

classic polarized aviators

click photo to shop the direct link

shop: amazon
price: $8.08 (prime)
fit: ideal for narrow faces, lightweight
recommend: 4.5/5
critique: limited color selection

vintage pearl frames

click photo to shop the direct link

shop: amazon
price: $13.99 (prime)
fit: over sized, these are *not* for small faces
recommend: 2/5 (pearl detail is CUTE)
critique: just way too big for me
(it took me several tries and the right head tilt just to get this pic ha!)

round gem sunglasses

click photo to shop the direct link

shop: amazon
price: $16.99 (some colors are prime)
fit: slightly over sized, bridge is a little wide, medium weight
recommend: 3.5/5
critique: these can feel heavy after a short time of
wearing them and slide down my narrow nose

final thoughts

the aviator glasses are just my cup of tea. it’s super hard for me to find glasses that fit my narrow face, and i often have to buy kid’s styles, so it’s refreshing to shop adult sunglasses and have them fit! i absolutely love the look of the pearl framed glasses with the gradual light blue to pink tint–they’re FABULOUS if the fit is right for you. totally light weight and just real cool. lastly, the round gem sunnies are by far the most vintage pair and are super eye catching. i just wish they were a little less heavy. i can picture myself laying out in these and them being fine….until i sit up to jump in the pool, ha!

lifestyle

target try-on, dress edition

click pic to shop direct links to these outfits

let’s face it, target is our one stop shop for fashion, beauty, groceries and tampons. yep, target has it all. not to mention saving 5% with the red card and the occasional circle coupon….(oh, and if you’re a TM, our discount is pretty groovy too!).

rust tiered tank dress, universal thread, $24.99

100% cotton, and this dress has a nice weight to it. it’s a little heavier than your typical summer sun dress, but i’m alright with that because that means the material isn’t sheer, and that it will wash well. in terms of fit, i bought a size medium and it’s flowy and forgiving. slightly gappy under the armpits, but i’ll just wear a bra that plunges lower or is lacy, in case it’s seen. (kind of wondering if after one wash and tumble dry if this slight fit issue will be fixed). to dress this up, grab a brown leather belt and throw it on. totally think layered necklaces with this higher neck line is feminine and pretty, too. if i had to size down, i would be able to wear a small, but i’m not a huge fan of form fitting clothes! RATING: 4/5 stars.

sleeveless nit dress, a new day, $22.99

62% modal, 35% recycled polyester, 3% spandex. i’m totally smitten over this dress. you can wear it around the house to lounge in, or for a date night out (if we ever get out of quarantine–ha!) i love the midi length and the shape of this LBD–it’s so comfortable, flattering, and versatile. i purchased a medium and the fit is on point. to dress this one up, pair it with layered necklaces and a nude strappy 1 inch heel. or, make it target run friendly and throw on a ball cap and sandals! you can’t go wrong. on a side note–i do think you could layer an oversized graphic tee on top of this dress, knot it, and be out the door. you need this. RATING: 5/5 stars.

for sizing reference

size 8-10 pants, medium tops, 5’8″ tall

xoxo, em

lifestyle

my happy place

click the picture to shop my patio furniture and decor

when you, your husband, your cat, and your 65+ plants live in 905 square feet day in and day out, an outdoor oasis is the perfect escape. here’s a little back story–i moved to this apartment in 2018 and lived here for about 8 months alone, since i relo’d to houston for my job. wes was still in fort worth, and we were paying double for everything. naturally, i picked the apartment where i could get the most (minus square footage and closet space) for the least cost. lord knows that we had no clue we’d both be working from home 1.5 short years later due to a global pandemic! our kitchen table has turned into an office for both of us, zoom calls are the norm (we rotate where we take them as to not disturb one another), and some days our close quarters seem even closer, ha ha. (as i type this, guilt pangs because i am blessed to have a roof over my head, and a safe place to sleep at night, so don’t take my venting as me not acknowledging my privilege.)

so what’s all of this got to do with my patio? e v e r y t h i n g. back in march, this ol’ slab of concrete housed our extra trash can, charlie’s pet carrier, and about an inch of dust. when covid shifted our world, i knew i needed to find a healthy place to decompress, detach, de-stress and that was not going to be possible IN-side my apartment. i remember shifting around some furniture to bring out here, and making a list of must-have’s from home depot. before i knew it, my happy place was built, from the ground up. i have to tell you–in this moment, the warm texas breeze is brushing against my shoulders, the sound of the fountain down below trickling calms me, and my patio lights make this feel like a dreamy vacation.

for the first time in a while i had a spot to relax in, to drink a glass of wine in, and to literally lay under the starts in. (i want to let you in on a little secret, and that’s this chaise lounger pillow that literally longer than i am tall. you need it–i’m sitting on it now, and i’ve even laid in the sun with it catching some rays. click pic to shop.) little did i know that i’d be happy trading our evening outings exploring our local food and drink scene for a home cooked meal, and a beverage on my patio!

click on the picture to shop the lounger pillow

and if you’re like me, you are on the go most waking hours of the day, and slowing down is almost painful. more often than not, you come to a halting stop because of your own hard hardheadedness. i’m learning and trying to teach myself that it’s OK to just be. giving myself permission to rest, to be present with loved ones, and to feel my feelings is something i’m working on….and i’ve practiced these things out here often over the past 4 months. still a work in progress, but i’m slowly laying my armor down…

“crazy-busy” is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. what a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.” –brene brown

i owe a lot of thanks to target, trader joe’s, and home depot for bringing my outdoor oasis dream to reality. even during this wild time, i felt safe shopping there and now i feel safe, secure and at ease in my happy place. 🙂 what started as a “get-away” during quarantine, has evolved into a reflection of everything i love–wes, charlie, plants, houston, outdoors, wine, pretty patio lights.

xoxo, em