life lately

st. augustine / boating on lake glenville / with reagan at my swearing in ceremony
6 yr. anniversary dessert / learning croquet in north carolina / reunion with friends in the mountains
celebrating passing the bar in st. augustine / swearing in ceremony with dad / big fires on a cold mountain weekend
sip & see for baby lep / mac loves fall in the mountains / cheering on the gators in the swamp
Happy Halloween!  Are you ready for trick-or-treaters tonight?  I may or may not have consumed 4 bite size snicker bars during the creation of this post...details, details.  

During my blogging hiatus this summer, I realized how much I miss having the highlights of each month documented.  I did a quick recap of the excitement in August, and today I thought I would share the highlights from September AND October.  It's hard to believe that November is upon us (cue the Christmas music!), but it's even harder to believe all of the fun that the past few months have delivered. 

Enjoy your Halloween, and know that I won't judge you for playing your favorite Christmas carols starting tomorrow.  I can already hear "O Holy Night" now...

DISCLAIMER: I do love Thanksgiving.  I don't want anyone to accuse me of jumping ahead in my holidays, I just happen to really, really love Christmas music.

favorite things: cozy and chic

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 //

Our weekend trip to the mountains has me loving all things warm and cozy.  I think my new favorite thing might be having a "personal blanket" to cuddle up in when I hop into bed.  This gray and white beauty would do the trick and still be chic enough to throw over a couch or chair.  Nothing like being wrapped in coziness before snuggling under an oversized duvet.  I've also decided a fur vest is a new must in my fall and winter wardrobe, and I'm loving this one from C. Wonder.  

Also, I'm excited to be linking up today with an old friend from college, Annie.  (Fun Fact: we share a  maiden name, Annie Adams.  We caused our mutual friends more than a little confusion at first!)  Annie started this link-up with another friend from college, Morgan.  Annie and Morgan both have adorable blogs where they share little tidbits of their lives and pictures of their adorable baby boys.  Head on over to both blogs and link up for the first ever Wednesday Wishlist.  



chocolate cake + cream cheese icing

This weekend, we had a little mountain get away.  In addition to chasing down some cooler temperatures (yay for boots and sweaters!), we also celebrated my momma's birthday.  Leaves were changing, the air was crisp, fires were abundant, and this cake was DELICIOUS.  Next time you need a simple, homemade cake give this one a try.  The cake itself was moist and light, and the cream cheese icing was the perfect compliment to the chocolate.  Decadent but worth every bite if I do say so myself.  AND, as an added bonus, the entire cake can be made in one bowl.  

Chocolate Cake + Cream Cheese Icing
Original cake recipe from all recipes

  • 2 C. white sugar
  • 1 3/4 C. flour
  • 3/4 C. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. milk
  • 1/2 C. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. boiling water
  • (1) 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbs. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease (2) 9 inch round pans.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in boiling water.  (The batter will be very thin)
  4. Bake cakes for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Cool 10 minutes in the pan; cool completely on wire racks.
  6. Ice with cream cheese icing and serve.
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended.  Add vanilla.


thought for the week: slow down

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How ironic that this lesson is usually only learned retrospect?  How often have I rushed through some part of my day, week, or life (often because I wanted to be on the same time table as someone else) only to find myself reaching for the next thing once I got there?  High school, college, wedding planning, traveling, living in a new city, starting my first job, going to law school, and even my summer of studying all feel like a blur.

Though I wouldn't change my path thus far, I do wish I had taken some time to really enjoy the little things in each stage: mandated lunch breaks with friends around the tree in high school, 
hunkering down under a blanket by the fire the first winter I spent in a state that actually gets snow, having three day weekends for two years running as a law student.  

Now that we have "moved back home," I find myself wanting to rush to the next stage of my journey again.  Remodeling the house, finding the perfect job, having kids, all seem like things that need to be checked off the list...and quickly.  At times it can feel like I am falling behind as I see our friends getting promotions, having babies, or just living their "adult lives."  The reality is that life takes time. Friendships aren't born overnight, houses aren't built in a month, and the perfect job isn't necessarily going to fall into my lap.  As for kids, we all know that is a major life change and decision that shouldn't be made on anyone else's timetable.  

This is a precious stage of life.  Josh and I are surrounded by family and friends, we get to enjoy taking our time as we make our house a home, and we are blessed each day in ways we can't even comprehend.  I don't want to rush through this stage just to get to the next. Time is slipping by, but each day offers a chance to "slow down, hold on, and breath in."  Though not always glamorous or catalytic towards that next stage, I firmly believe that each day deserves to be cherished and enjoyed for all the little blessings it contains.  

How do you ensure you "slow down" enough to enjoy each stage of life? 



happy friday

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Here's to a weekend full of crisp fall weather, relaxing, indulging, and coffee.  
It's been great "re-entering" the blogging world, and I'm thankful for all of the comments and support.        (Thank you especially for the help with paint selection...more to come soon!)
Happy Friday, and I hope the weekend is wonderful!



road bump in decorating...paint colors

We have hit a bit of a road bump in house land lately, and it is completely my fault!  After spending the summer studying in what will be our dining room, I decided the wallpaper and drapes had to come down.  So, without a true plan in mind, we began scraping.  I won't lie, scraping wallpaper was a little therapeutic.  At times, we wondered why we decided to do it, but in the end, it was only one room and wasn't so bad.  We were lucky in the sense that there was only one layer...my parent's house had almost 100 years of terrible wallpaper when they moved into the house where I grew up.  

So, after scraping and sanding, we had walls that were ready for primer and paint.  I had decided that I wanted green walls in the new dining room.  Sort of an olive, sort of lighter toned, but not too blue and not too much like an ice cream parlor.  (The guy at the paint store loves me and my descriptions.)  With multiple trips to the paint store under my belt, we finally picked our color: 
Benjamin Moore's Georgian Green.  

Then the fun began.  
After deciding on green, I ran across this picture on Sam's blog that made me stop in my tracks.  

I loved the light tone on the wall with the contrast of the darker wood.  Living in Florida, light and airy rooms have a year-round appeal, and the few contrasting pieces really ground a room.  While color and texture are beautiful, sometimes in Florida it can just feel heavy.  So, I made two mock-ups with polyvore's new home design templates and tentatively showed Josh.  

Luckily for me, he preferred the more neutral room too!  Thus, the search for the perfect creamy/white paint has begun.  We are taking any and all suggestions, but here are a few at the top of my list.

These all look much more saturated and gray than in real life!

Any help out there?  Would love to hear about your "go to" neutral paint colors!



favorite things: "b" edition

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (on sale!) / 5 (on sale!) 

There is something so classic and rich about black and brown.  Worn separately each color is great, but I think pairing black and brown together makes the most impact.  One of my favorite fall outfits is black skinny pants, a black tunic, and brown accessories.  The trick is finding a warm, cognac brown (like the colors featured above) to brighten up all black.  

For all you Floridians, adding a shot of black or brown can make "dressing for the season" a little easier during these transitional months as well! 

Do you like pairing black and brown together?



chocolate ricotta mousse

I know, I know... the name of the recipe leaves something to be desired.  It came about when Josh and I had friends over for dinner last weekend.  Our meal was fairly simple, and I was planning to make a fun dessert, when Josh reminded me that one of our guests was gluten intolerant.  After about a minute of google searching, I realized that all of my dessert repertoire includes recipes that contain gluten. So...I changed my google search and found this delicious gluten free dessert from Real Simple.   The mousse was light and delicious but also super satisfying.  We added gluten free chocolate wafers (found at the grocery store), and had a yummy treat.  I will definitely be making this again; whether or not I am entertaining with someone with a gluten intolerance.  Let me know what you think!

Chocolate Ricotta Mousse
Original Recipe from Real Simple
Serves: 4


  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese (I used skim ricotta)
  • 2 Tbs. confectioner's sugar
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted, plus more for shaving on top
  • Gluten free chocolate wafers (I used Glutino, gluten free milk chocolate wafers)
  1. In a food processor, blend ricotta, melted chocolate, and sugar until smooth.  (I used an immersion blender after a failed attempt in a blender.  Work quickly, the melted chocolate cools and it becomes difficult to mix into a smooth mousse.)
  2. Divide into bowls and top with shaved chocolate and wafers.
*The mousse can be made up to two days in advance.  Be sure to bring the mousse back to room temperature (or a little cooler) before serving.  



thought for the week: go do


I have had some free time on my hands lately.  While this has been a wonderful change of pace, I've also had plenty of time to reflect on some of those things I have "always wanted to do."  Some of these things are still a little fuzzy, but I know that I have lots left ahead of me to explore and learn.
Here's a quick sampling:

Take a photography class
Overcome my anxiety about flying
Master French
Relearn my favorite Christmas carols on the piano
Commit to a more consistent blogging schedule
Run a personal best during the River Run
Explore decorating as a way to tap into my creative side
Develop my writing skills and begin making notes for a book

What are some things you have always wanted to do?  Will you try them?
Whether or not you have a list of things you would like to do, I leave you with this:

Every experience is a good experience.  
"Do everything, try everything."
[William H. Macy]



favorite things: animal details

clutch // ring // iphone case (on sale!) // bracelet // shoes // notecards

Lately, I have been all about animal inspired details.  A hint of leopard, a touch of snakeskin, or these adorable animal notecards inject the perfect amount of (timeless!) fun into any occasion.  A word to the wise, limit yourself to just one animal detail at a time...
while too much of a good thing is a great thing, too much leopard is just terrible.  



thought for the week: reminders for life

These simple reminders are just what I need to start the week.  Too often I find myself apprehensive to go, ask or step forward.  How many opportunities have we all passed up because of nerves, not being willing to put ourselves out there, or just simply because to try would be too hard?  

In reality, I do tend to "go for it" eventually, but I could save myself plenty of internal debates and butterflies if I just remembered these simple truths.

I hope you all have a wonderful start to the week. 


happy weekend

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Happy Weekend!  I am sorry for the radio silence on my end lately.  I can't say I have been doing anything profound with my time, but I have been savoring the start of fall, days to explore my new city, and time with friends.  We even had a touch of "fall weather" here in Florida this week.  
(Read: 60s in the mornings with daytime highs below 90!)

This weekend we are planning meals with new friends and old, a possible corn maze/pumpkin patch visit, cheering on the Gators, and some time to just kick back and relax.  It's funny how much I want it to "feel like fall" here, but in reality it is still late summer.  Most Floridians have come to savor the fact that while the rest of the country is dusting off coats and scarves, we are still boating and swimming almost daily.  Unfortunately, I can't claim to have that mindset...so pumpkin patch here I come...maybe even in a pair of long pants.
(Can't win em' all.)  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!