high five for friday

This past weekend was such a blast, the rest of the week is sort of a blur.

1. I spent the weekend with some of my best friends!  It was so great to have a day off of work and to spend a good chunk of time with the girls.  I was honored to be a part of my friend’s wedding as a member of the house party.  At the bridesmaid’s luncheon we chatted and drank endless glasses of passionfruit lemonade.  All I can say is YUM!  Didn’t get a good shot with the bride, I bet (hope) she has one on her camera.

Sutton at Allison's Shower

2. That evening we headed over to the rehearsal dinner.  We sat outside at tables complete with ghost chairs, milk glass chargers, and mixed china with gold accents.  The tablescapes were beautiful, but I neglected to snap a photo.  So sad!  The great outdoors was beyond warm but we felt like southern belles with the hand fans that were provided to the guests.

rehearsal Dinner

3.  The wedding was an elegant and classic.  After such a long time together it was great to see the bride and groom finally tie the knot.  Many happy tears were shed by the happy couple and those in attendance.  The reception that followed featured a really fun wedding band.  We all danced the night away and celebrated the new Mr. and Mrs. Fowler.

reception reception with allison

4. Father’s Day was Sunday and my dad and I were pretty boring, I have to say.  We did run around town for a while and spent time with little Tweed.

5.  The rest of the week went by like a flash.  Nothing too exciting to report back, just the usual chores and errands.  Looking forward to a relaxing weekend preparing for the next summer wedding!

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren over at The Lauren Elizabeth.

high five for friday

Not gonna lie, this has been a long week, but here are some of the highlights!

1. Spent some quality time with my friends at the pool this weekend.  Don’t worry, I wore my SPF 55!  It was great to have my feet in the pool and soak up some vitamin D.

2. Summer has hit the Big D!  So, naturally, that meant a trip to the Rangers game.  Please notice the sun glaring in our eyes.  Definitely won’t be my last game this season! Go Rangers!

rangers

3. In preparation for a wedding this weekend I painted my nails the OPI color, Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs.  You know me, I love a theme! I am so excited for all of the wedding festivities to come this weekend.  The bride and groom have been together for as long as I can remember and it is definitely time for them to tie the knot!

4.  It’s my mama’s birthday today! Happy Birthday Mama!!  Tweed and I have a few fun presents for her that I will have to share with you later!

5. Father’s Day is this weekend and I am not sure what hijinks my dad will have in mind for Sunday.  Tweed and I have a fun present for him as well!

With so much going on this weekend, most of my week was spent preparing! Lots to share next week, I’m sure!

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren from TheLaurenElizabeth for #h54f

broadway’s biggest night, the tony’s: A fashion review

Broadway’s biggest night did not fail to impress.  First, can we talk about Neil Patrick Harris (NPH)?!

neil-patrick-harris-tony-awards-2013-red-carpet-david-burtka

 

image

No only did he look great, but he was a phenomenal host.  NPH brought the opening number to a new level.  It featured all of the nominated numbers and several award winners that are still running today.  I also loved a bit he did where he combined the names of musicals and plays in order to create “playcicals.”  It was hysterical. google it.

I have to say that I have a special place in my heart for Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  Seeing the number from the revival with a sea of rainbow dresses dancing the night away at the ball warmed my heart.  But on to the fashion…

There were very few looks that I didn’t enjoy.  Only two stood out to me as not the best choice.

1. Judith Light wore a Zac Posen gown that would have been lovely except for the incomplete sleeves on the bodice.  They had a robot/armor look to them  with wide shoulders and were open in for lack of a better term, the arm pit…not my favorite.

judith-light-2013-tony-awards-zac-posen-h724

Image

2. Scarlett Johansson looks like she is ready for a nice dinner or a night on the town, not the Tony’s.  This is a formal event and she should have had on a ball gown.  I felt like it was almost disrespectful to importance of the event.

 

scarlett-johansson-tony-awards-2013-red-carpet

image

And then there were the looks that I couldn’t get enough of…

Audra McDonald looked stunning in her black and white David Meister gown – her side-swept hair was the perfect accent to this dress.

audra-mcdonald-2013-tony-awards-h724

image

Jane Krakowski wore a sequin filled metallic Escada gown.  I loved the mixed metals and the solid belt.  Her dramatic eye makeup was such a contrast to the light silver gown, but it really completed the look and prevented her from looking washed out.

jane-krakowski-2013-tony-awards-escada-h724

image

I have to take a moment to mourn the cancellation of SMASH.  The cast was so talented and the music was incredible and I, for one, will desperately miss this show.  Bringing broadway to evening TV was so much fun and I am sad to see it gone after only 2 seasons.  Speaking of Smash, they did a great number at the Tony’s about broadway actors who were a part of TV shows that were cancelled.  It was so funny and a slightly inappropriate at times.  Megan Hilty, one of the stars of Smash, looked great in her cream/nude gown (I have to admit it was a risk to wear a sheer skirt) and her hair looked so pretty pulled up and away from her face so that the audience could focus on her voice.

laura_benanti_andrew_rannells_megan_hilty_neil_patrick_harris

image

However, all of that being said, my best dressed for the night was Anna Kendrick.

anna-kendrick-2013-tony-awards-donna-karan-h724

image

She killed it in a Donna Karan Atelier navy and black gown.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.  Navy blue and black is one of my ALL TIME favorite color combinations.  This dress was young and fun and totally elegant all at the same time.

With that, awards season draws to a close until the Emmy Awards in fall, such a shame.

high five for friday

So a large part of my week revolved around food, which I’m sure doesn’t surprise anyone about me.  Consider yourselves warned.

1. Met some of our oldest friends at  Saint Ann for a drink.  Miss Martha and my Mama have been friends for pretty much my entire life.  Naturally, Miss Martha’s daughter, Lauren, and I are friends too!  However, we (Lauren & I) had not seen each other in pretty much 10+ years.  It was great to catch up even though it was just for a short time!  Lauren was in town on business and had to jet off to a company dinner.

Davis & SteiblePlease notice the black and white accidental twins…why and I not surprised?! 

2.  My sweet friend Erika of Erika’s Tea Cup came into town and we got a group together for a girls night.  She lives in North Carolina, so naturally, we had a Tex Mex dinner at Meso Maya.  We took up residence on the patio for 2+ hours and had a great time catching up, laughing A LOT and trying not to melt in the stifling heat & humidity.

3. The Bachelorette was the source of lots of laugher and heckling Monday night.  My friend Stephanie and I spent half the time trying to tell all of the men apart from each other (there are a lot of look a likes this season), but all in all she had a couple of cute one on one dates and one rap group date, that let’s face it, should probably have never happened.  A group of us tend to gather for watching parties and I hope that this starts back up for the remainder of Desire’s season!

4.  Went to dinner tonight with my college roommate, Kacie, and we branched out and went to Pop Diner.  While the food left some to be desired, we had fun with our whimsical drinks.  I had a Pop Rocks Martini and Kacie had a Blow Pop Martini.  Mine was actually popping as it arrived at our table.

popdiner

5.  The  Tony Awards happen this Sunday night, and I can’t wait!  Neil Patrick Harris hosting, show tunes, AND dancing…what could be better?!?

With a trip to Ikea and a little pool time are in my sites for this weekend, all I can say is TGIF!

Linking up with Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth for #h54f

 

something i have been working on…

My fingers have been busily working away on a sewing project for the past couple of weeks.  You see, I made a trade with a friend.  She painted my room and I made her couch pillow shams.  11 couch pillow shams to be exact.  Sewing is really more of my realm of expertise than painting, or so I think.  I can’t say I have actually painted a wall before, but I am definitely comfortable sewing.  It was a great trade!  Yes, I did say 11 pillow shams (it’s a big couch).  I love the end result and so I had to share it.

Ashley Couch

The pattern combination that my friend chose was fun to sew and relatively easy to match up for the different pieces.  I must say 11 is a lot of pillows.

This is my second sewing project of 2013.  Back in January, I created a twin duvet cover for another friend.  She put it in her son’s room.  The funny cats make a great slightly punk rock room for her 4-year-old boy, which is exactly their style.

Owen's Duvet

Getting back into sewing has really renewed my interest in and love of sewing.  So, attention friends:  I would like to offer my services (for a reasonable fee) to sew any fun household decor.  Let me know what your ideas are in an email (theleighshops@gmail.com) and we can go from there.

Next project a tunic and dress just for yours truly with 2 great fabrics from City Craft (I sang this store’s praises here).  More on that later! I am sure it will be a process, after all there are set in sleeves.

high five for friday

 

This week came and went all too quickly.  Did you have that kind of week too?

 

1.  Before my aunt left town we made a trip to City Craft.  My aunt is planning to redecorate her kitchen and play up its retro feel.  We needed a fabric that looked like a step back in time and full of whimsy.  City Craft is by far the my favorite place  to snag great quality fabric this is beautiful and interesting to boot.  It was tough to leave behind the turquoise and pink print with 1950s telephones on it, but we did find a great geometric print that will compliment her red countertops and is less girly.

2.. Sunday night, my Mama and I got to enjoy her Christmas present….tickets to Wicked! It was wonderful, as usual.  This was my fourth and her third time seeing the show.  Yes, I’m a musical theater girl, what can I say, it’s in my blood.  It’s always fun to have a mother/daughter date and this was no exception.  Nothing like a night at a musical to make me miss dancing.

3. Being at City Craft put the sewing bug back in me!  I can’t wait to show you the results!  Bear with me, I am out of practice so it’s a little slow going. But the machine is out and the sewing has begun.

 

4. I took a little time for myself this week.  With all of the hustle and bustle around me it was great to just have some time to sit, relax, and catch up on my shows.  2 episodes of Smash and 3 of Nashville later, I am almost caught up!  Don’t worry, it wasn’t all sitting, there was some sewing time mixed!

 

5. This is a little bit different for me to share, but I can’t resist.  Lauren really spoke to me with her post on Wednesday.  Take a moment to read it, you won’t be sorry! Although I am not a cat lady, the message rings true and takes a weight off my shoulders.  Isn’t it funny how God can put things in your life at just the right time?

 

 

How was your week?

 

Linking up with Lauren over at The Lauren Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

high five for friday

 

Friday is here again! I am one lucky girl this week.  Let me tell you about it…

 

 

 

1. My dad gave me an exactly 2 months early birthday present.  He pre-ordered Bobby Flay’s new book Barbecue Addiction from William Sonoma, which allowed us to meet Bobby  & get his autograph on Sunday.  The two of us waited in line for about 2.5 hours.  Luckily, the Dallas weather was wonderful and they gave us a little treat of guacamole while we waited.  Bobby was so adorable in his dark straight legged denim, mushroom suede driving moccasins, and plaid button down.  I have a bit of a crush on him, I have to admit.  Thanks to my Dad for being a trooper in the line and taking this great picture.  It was a GREAT present! I have lots of cooking to do!

Bobby  Me (2)

 

 

2. The sweet grandpa in front of us in line made a joke with a William Sonoma staffer about  how he needed a beer to go with his guacamole. About 20 minutes later, the staffer returned with a bottle of IBC root beer.  He then turned to me and offered it to me because he doesn’t drink soda.  How sweet was that?  The grandpa was there to get the autograph for his grandson! He waited all 2.5 hours for this autograph – what a trooper!!

 

 

3. My aunt is in town this week. I haven’t seen her in about 4 years, so it is great to have some time to catch up!  We are headed to Canton, TX Trade Days today with my mom.  There is a lot of kettle corn, walking, and fun ahead of us! I will let you know what great finds we encounter!

 

 

4. Captured a great shot of Tweed!  He was super cooperative at the Vet when a treat was dangled in front of him! Sweet baby!

Tweed at Vet

 

 

5. I did a small amount of cooking this week! I made Broccoli Slaw.  So it was more stirring than cooking, but it still counts.  This is definitely my favorite way to eat ramen – crushed up as a topping. Delish!

 

 

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

high five for friday

This week has absolutely flown by!  I haven’t had a second to spare.

1. I spent Easter with the majority of my extended family.  It was great! My 4-year-old cousin Emmylou, a virtual mini me, showed Mary-Todd (only other girl out of the 9 cousins) and me how she has learned to write her name.  She is the youngest of the 9 so it is fun see what she will say next!  The three of us girls are only together a few times a year so we soak up every minute.

2. Also, at our Easter celebration, we got to have my Aunt Kelley’s Sheet Cake for dessert! It is the ABSOLUTE best!! (it’s so good it deserves its own piece of the 5.)

3. I attended a luncheon this week to celebrate my Tri Delta Alumnae chapter raising $20,000 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital this past Christmas season at our annual Cookies & Castles gingerbread decorating party.  We had such a wonderful time with this event and all of the candy filled children in attendance – it was a giant room full of sugar highs.  TSRH is an amazing place that does so much for children and really doesn’t feel like a hospital at all.  It is an honor to work with this hospital and these great women.

4. Dallas has been rather gloomy, chilly & very un spring like this week.  So, to combat this problem, I went for the yellow pants.  It completely changed my attitude for the better.

 

yellow pants

 

5.  Friday is cleaning day  (boo….) and I have the urge to cook this weekend.  So, as usual, I will be perusing The Pioneer Woman‘s blog for recipes.  If I have any luck with this, there will be more to follow.

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog.

 

all things BlissDom

Here it is a little more than a week after BlissDom, and I am just now sitting down to talk about my experiences.  It has taken me a little time to really process through ALL of the information I learned at BlissDom.  It was so inspiring and encouraging.  As you know, I am definitely new to the blog world.  I have read blogs for years, but I have only been on the other side for a short time.  I came away with many things to investigate further, ideas to put into action, friends, and much more!

*I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  There are so many great things I want to fit in.  Bear with me here!

photo-14

My mom and I attended this conference together.  We love spending time together and this time it meant the two of us would need to break out of our shells and learn about this new blog world.  We had a GREAT time!

And so it Begins:

One of the first stops we made was to the handmade market.  Here vendors displayed their goods.  Each booth was even better than the previous one.  It was so inspiring to see these women display items that they are passionate about making.  I was ready to run home and pull out my sewing machine.  (Hasn’t happened yet, but it will! –  I have big plans for that sewing machine.)  While we were making our way through the room, I met one of my favorite bloggers, Kate from The Small Things Blog.

photo-15

She was very friendly and encouraging to this new blogger (me).  She said it’s part of the process to have some time exploring different topics in my blog before finding a place I am most comfortable.  I read The Small Things Blog daily, so it was great to meet her in person.  Yes, her hair really is that amazing! I even shared with her how grateful I am to her for introducing me to Aquage Uplifting Foam.   It has really changed how I style my hair each day (it’s all about the volume!).

Then we went to the newcomers meet up.  Here we had a speed dating type time to get us up and talking to the other attendees.  We only had a few minutes but we got to hear from each other about the type of blogs we were writing and a little bit about ourselves.  I met some great people here and continued to talk to them through out the conference.

Later that night after the opening reception, we were urged to head back into the main ballroom.  Upon entering the room we made friends with Angela of Jumping with my Fingers Crossed.  As champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and cupcakes were passed  around we instantly bonded over our love of all things TV & pop culture.  She is so much fun and we were fast friends!  Come to find out we were about to hear from three of the stars of the upcoming reincarnation of All My Children.  I am not an AMC fan myself (nothing against it, I just haven’t ever really watched it.) but hearing from these actors who have put a lot of their lives into these roles was really interesting.  We sat in the front row & Angela filled us in on the characters played by the actors in attendance.

This kept us up way past our bedtime, but it was so much fun.  This was night one and the meat of the conference was yet to come.

The Sessions:

We began our first morning with an AMAZING keynote speaker, Scott Stratten.  He spoke in an irreverent but completely real way. AND, he was so beyond hysterical! There was the whole thing about QR codes and I was practically falling out of my seat  laughing.  He speaks the truth.  I learned SO much from him.  It’s hard to break it down to bullet points, I will try, but check him out, it’s totally worth it.

Here are a few gems from him:

~Social media never sleeps.  Quick response is critical for your brand reputation and customer service in general.

~Remember your brand is SO much more than your logo –  so spend more time on your people/products/services and less on the looks of your logo.  If what your brand represents is positive & engaging, your logo will represent that.  Of course your logo should be visually appealing, but you need to back it up with a great brand reputation.

~  Do not use social media outlets just because they are available to you but because they make sense for you and your brand.  Just because it’s the new thing, doesn’t mean it’s really right for you.  Think about your choices.

~Social media is to be just that, social.  It’s about connecting with others, not just about announcing things – focus your energy on responding.  It gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand.

We also had several breakout sessions.  Each that I attended was very informative and thought-provoking.  I left with a greater understanding of the blog world and so many things to research further.

One stands out to me because I got to hear from an author that I truly admire, Annie Downs.  She speaks so openly and honestly while maintaining a positive attitude and sense of humor.   She is WONDERFUL.  She made a specific point to talk about the different types of stories to share and where to share them.  It is important to know the difference between a journal story and a blog story. She said to use wisdom and carefully share success and failures.  After the session, I got to chat with her for a bit and take a picture with her.   Speaking with her, I knew that she genuinely cared to talk to me and encourage me.  That just doesn’t happen everyday.  She has two books coming out soon – keep your eyes peeled, its worth it!

photo-13

The other keynote that really stood out to me was the closing keynote by Jon Acuff.  He speaks with humility and humor.  He has a lot of energy and says things that you wish you had thought of because they are so on point, to the moment, and add so much to the story while being fun and funny.  He gave each and every one of us a special gift, a special printing of his new book before it even hits shelves.  SO COOL!!  I am so ready to read it.  Since BlissDom, I have been following Jon on Twitter & Instagram.  He is just great!

Here are a few of the gems he shared with us:

~Ready is a Myth.  Just start now, whether you are ready or not.  We may never be “ready” but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a go.

~Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

~You have permission to be horrible.

~Fear is a liar.  It only gets loud when you do things that matter.

~Don’t be a jerk.  There are enough jerk’s out there.

~When you get unstuck you are unstoppable.

A Little Something Extra:

Did I mention that we had a private concert from Chris Mann and Amber Riley?!?  I didn’t know Chris Mann but my mom was SO excited to see him because she watched/rooted for him on the TV show, The Voice.  I have to say, I am impressed with him.  If I had to describe him using current vocalists I would say that he is like Michael Buble with some Adam Levine thrown in to give his voice just a little bit of grit.  Amber Riley from Glee sure can belt it out!  She sang several hits she sang on Glee.  After the show, we took a pic with the two of them.  It is by far the worst picture that my mom and I have EVER taken.  Needless to say, it didn’t make the cut.  But check out the singers in action.

Amber Riley, etc.

Suffice it to say, I left BlissDom inspired, motivated, and yes exhausted.  I learned so much in the sessions and possibly even more just talking to different women in between sessions.  If you are ever looking for a little motivation or encouragement, look to any of the people I mentioned above.  I will have to put BlissDom on my list of things to do in 2014.

high five for friday

Oops, I missed last week!  Sorry! Time got away from me while I was prepping for and attending BlissDom.  But, I am back and can’t wait to share my week with you.

1. BlissDom was SO MUCH fun! I learned a lot and met some really great people.  One teaser of a highlight that I will share is that I got this AMAZING little makeup bag from The Pleated Poppy.  It combines several of my favorite things – polka dots, metallics, and pinky – coral.  (more on BlissDom to come)

pleated poppy

2.After a GREAT (& exhausting) weekend, I was happy to be back home.  I was so happy that I even made a homemade supper!  Hamburger, bacon, onion, mushroom, & tomato sauce on garlic and chives pasta with a little goat cheese tossed in.  YUM! ps. I am currently loving this giant cappuccino mug for just about anything but its intended purpose.  It is so perfect for eating on my couch!

homemade dinner

3.  Had a great glass of bubbly on Tuesday night when I met up with a friend for a little happy hour.  There is just something about a little bubbly that puts you in a great mood.  Notice the lipstick on the glass – I was rocking my new Make lipstick from my Birchbox. (more about that here.) Its a super fun bright red so it definitely marked the glass on the first sip.

popfizzclink

4. I have to report this because it’s a really big deal, for now.  I worked out!  I went to a cardio dance class with two of my friends and it was so much fun! It was definitely a workout! Now that there are three of us going to the class it will be good to have accountability  buddies to get ourselves to class.

5.Easter is this weekend! I have the day off of work tomorrow to spend pulling my house together.  Just call me organization station! Then it will be on to lots of time with family.  I am looking forward to attending church on Sunday and being able to rejoice in the wonderful sacrifice Christ made for us.

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren for H54F over at From My Grey Desk!