Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Coconut Rice

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of celebrating a bride-to-be/my new sister-in-law in Nashville. Our dinner reservations were at Virago as sushi was the bride's request. Let me tell you....This was my second visit to Virago and it was even better than the first. Our reservations were for their second floor, outdoor seating area; the food, drinks and view were top notch. I felt like such an old woman as I pointed out the Union Station Hotel in the skyline and reminisced about the night my man and I spent there (almost 4 years ago!) and Laurie's wedding (almost 2 years ago!)....Old woman.

Anyway, Virago was amazing. And so is their coconut rice!! You must get it if you are ever there. Like, whoa. I had to figure out if I could recreate this side dish so when crock-pot curry was on the McQuain dinner menu the other night I found this little gem. I will say it doesn't have the wow factor that Virago's has but quite good I will say. I increased the amount of coconut cream as the original recipe left my rice a little dry. And when I say coconut cream I used coconut milk as I couldn't find cream at the one store I stopped at. If you get original coconut milk there is enough cream on the top to use in this recipe (don't shake the can before opening). You might also want to save the remaining milk to add to any extra rice that you reheat at a later date. It will dry out a bit in the refrigerator overnight.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Musical Monday: Puss N Boots

So, Norah Jones has a special place in my heart. She is the perfect amount of class mixed with dark, edginess that can't be beat. I just love her last album and if you never heard it you should educate yourself

With a little help from Jimmy Fallon (link to their performance), who has the most interesting musical guests ever, I recently learned that Norah is a member of a new project called Puss N Boots. They have a new album out and it is quite good. And quite country. But Norah's smooth, signature sound is not lost. Her piano is though. She has learned how to strum a guitar. 

Sidenote: Has anyone else noticed that Southern culture is the hott new "thing?"

Norah has started playing with a couple of musician friends, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper in 2008 that later birthed this record. Sasha and Catherine are both musicians worthy of praise too. I loved watching this video and hearing about these amazingly creative women trying something new - a little out of their comfort zone - to create something the rest of us can enjoy. It is a good reminder that people you see on stage and in the spotlight are just like the rest of us. We are all human. We should all be exploring our creative interests. You never know where it might take you. 

Happy Monday!


Friday, July 25, 2014

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found...Pineapples

The sweet goodness of bright yellow pineapple slices scream summer. I have been craving a wonderful juicy pineapple lately, but not just to eat. Pineapples are popular again, from bathing suits to manis to home decor. We searched for our favorite pineapple Pinterest pins (say that five times fast!) just for you-TGIF posts are always a curation of things we love from Pinterest. See our page on the Pinterest link to the right and have a happy, sunny weekend.

I created this fun little guy above because, well, he's a happy pineapple with sunglasses. What more do you need on a summer Friday?

-Laurie & Alison


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Revamping the Office

Hemnes shelving from Ikea | Moroccan Style Shag Rug from World Market | Wall Frames from World Market | Wingback Desk Chair from PBTeen | Non Bookcase Lighting | Nate Berkus Magazine Boxes

You may remember photos from my home office when I first moved into my house a few years ago. The color pallet throughout my house downstairs is a lot of greige, linen and teal. My living room walls are dark and everything else is a linen color. The only room that didn’t get painted (with the exception of the hallway, which really needs it!) when I moved in was the office space. While I do like the room’s mix of modern and antiques, I don’t really love it anymore. I used to use it for my business more often than I do now. I would love to have a more polished space where I can meet with brides rather than meeting in my dining room simply because it is more elegant. After a recent trip to Ikea in Atlanta, I fell in love with their wall units and knew I wanted to create my space around that. I think this will be a slow work in progress, but I wanted to start here with a mood board. I still like my curtains from World Market that have beautiful colors and the perfect pop of teal that I have throughout the house. My husband wants a desk in his man cave rather that in the office, so we will most likely only have one desk in that room, which is an antique table from Mississippi that is large and in charge. I currently have an oversized comfy yellow chair in that room as well from my college days. It’s the best reading chair but I’m thinking she may have to get some new upholstery…our little Oliver kitty has been sleeping on that chair a lot lately so I will have some white cat fur to contend with!

I want the revamped space to be comfortable, sleek and organized with a neutral color pallet for the most part. I think this is a good start for some items that will fit well in the space I have envisioned. What do you think? 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Dragon Fruit & Papaya Sea Scallops

Summer fruits are one of my favorite things about this time of year. I ran into Publix the other day (I’m usually shopping for groceries at Kroger), grabbed a peach for a snack  and noticed a hot pink spiky fruit just hanging out amongst the apples. Naturally, I was drawn to it because of its color. Also, why was it with the apples? The little sign read “Dragon Fruit” which I had seen before and knew of but hadn’t really paid much attention to it. Perhaps that was because I have always seen it already cut, with its white meat and tiny black seeds. If you have never tried it before, it tastes similar to a kiwi with a lighter taste. So I googled it to see what the heck people do with these weird things and saw a recipe for a salsa on a fish topping. I didn’t even look at the recipe, resolving to be adventurous and make up my own. My husband sometimes gets a worried look on his face when I tell him I’m doing that…things have gone badly in the past so I guess he has good reason for it. This time, thankfully, it turned out well. I had also picked up a mysterious “strawberry papaya” that oddly looked like a gourd. Apparently my grocery runs have made me adventurous and wanting to try weird fruits. I don’t typically like papaya by itself, but it was a nice addition to the topping. Overall this was a pretty simple recipe and didn’t take long at all to make, perfect for a hot summer evening.

1/2 Dragon fruit, diced
1/4 Papaya, diced
Zest of 1/4 Lemon
1/2 Tbs Whole Grain Mustard
Lemon poppyseed dressing
2 Tbs Onion Flakes, or more if desired
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
1/2 Lb. Sea Scallops

Season sea scallops generously with garlic powder and pepper and set aside. Drain off any excess liquid that is in the scallops. 

Combine all other ingredients and mix together, mashing the fruits down with a spoon to release juices and to create a salsa consistency. 

Sear sea scallops until they are opaque, about 2-5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and spoon topping on to the scallops.

Serve with a side salad with spinach, chopped bacon, dried cranberries, almonds, parmesan cheese, asparagus and fingerling potatoes and vinaigrette.  


Monday, July 21, 2014

Travel Well

When it comes to traveling, I like to be as organized as possible. It just makes the trip that much more relaxed when I’m at my destination and I know where everything is. Smaller items or ones that multitask to cut down on suitcase space are perfect to keep in your travel arsenal. The Wash & Wear Lingerie Bag from Kate Spade keeps your undergarments protected from getting squished and also keeps your pretty things tidy. I like to cut down on my daily hair products and use uniqONE Hair Treatment because it detangles, protects, smooths and all that good stuff that you have to achieve with multiple gels and sprays. There is also a shampoo version if you want to take just two hair products with you-trust me, it’s worth it. Flying always makes me feel groggy and run-down but on my last two flights I took a capsule of doTerra OnGuard and felt great when I landed and went about my day. To keep yourself entertained and plugged into the life you left behind (even if momentarily), an iPad mini is the best size to put in your carry-on. On our cruise earlier this month, we came across  Benetton Underscore Luggage that amazed me. The colors and designs were so fun, but the best part is that it was so lightweight. Clip a cute little Off We Go Luggage Tag from Kate Spade onto it and start jet setting!


Friday, July 18, 2014


We apologize for the lack of posts this week. Life just got us! Alison has been busy preparing for a family wedding and I have been busy preparing to make a book of samples for invitations to showcase to brides because I'm running out of table space! This is definitely a good thing, but a time consuming project to gather everything and have them all printed up again. We will be back in full swing next week with new posts and hope you will enjoy your weekend. Check out our Pinterest account just for fun!


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