Village Baking Co. Boulangerie


Mom & Dad came to visit a few weekends ago, and on Saturday morning Mom & I snuck away to Village Baking Co. Boulangerie to reward ourselves for completing a super-sweaty Bikram yoga class. We had discovered the original outpost a few years earlier, but since then the company expanded and built a boulangerie on the other side of town. We determined that this new-to-us expansion was reason enough to justify a visit, so we made our way over to lower Greenville Avenue, where there's been a revival of restaurants over the last couple of years. Situated in between several new eateries is Village Baking Co. Boulangerie, inviting with its darling patio and the wafting aromas of baked goods and coffee. The interior decor is just as you'd imagine a classic French bakery to be, with white-washed walls and gorgeous pastries glistening behind glass cases.

After debating between several scrumptious-looking options, Mom and I ordered a pretzel croissant, a lemon tart, and a pistachio éclair, all of which were just heavenly. We drank almond milk lattes and savored our treats, our environment, and our time with each other. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.

Peach Season


While we were at the ranch a few weekends ago, my sister-in-law, Christy, and I went peach-picking. The idea came from my mother-in-law, Denise, who had peaches covering every available surface in her kitchen when we arrived, spurring on a conversation about her recent outing to pick fruit at a local farm. I'm not much of a peach girl, honestly, or at least I thought I wasn't - I don't like the way peach-flavoring has become associated with an overly-sweet sugary taste - but when I tasted the fresh ripe peaches, I was smitten. These perfect pieces of fruit were more like a combination of a juicy peach and a tart, flavorful nectarine (one of my favorite fruits). Instantly, I was hooked.

Christy and I wound our way through a dusty back road to Childress Farm, a family owned farm and ranch where peaches, blackberries, pecans, and other treats grow in abundance. We met one of the brothers who owned the farm, and he was so funny and kind, indulging us in conversation about his property and produce. He instructed us to fill a half bushel to our heart's content, eating as many free peaches as we'd like during our adventure (for the record, we each had at least three). The sun was beating down on us and though many people had already come through to pick peaches, there were still many thriving trees full of ripe fruit. We had the place to ourselves so we chatted while we sorted through the peaches, picking those that were ripe or on their way to becoming ready. Peach juice dribbled down my chin as I snacked on one piece of fruit after the next, and the sky was perfectly blue. In that heavenly moment where all truly seemed right in the world, I realized I was officially a peach convert.

Now I'm counting down the days until next year's harvest! In the meantime, we'll use up the 80+ (yes, you read that right - 80+) peaches that are stored in the freezer in pies and cakes and muffins and breads...

Bluebonnets

IMG_5080Each year I get so excited for April for a myriad of reasons - because it stays lighter longer, because it's porch season in Dallas, and (now!) because it's the month of our wedding anniversary. But maybe my favorite reason of all is because it's bluebonnet season in Texas. These gorgeous blooms sprout up for one month each year and they cover miles and miles of territory in the Lone Star State, making them a natural choice for our state flower. Two years ago Kyla and I spent an afternoon traversing the Bluebonnet Trail in Ennis, a small town about 45 minutes outside of Dallas. We were itching to go again this year so we made a plan to head out there this afternoon, this time with a picnic and our puppies in tow! Zillions of photos to follow, I promise, but for now, enjoy some pictures from last time's adventure (silly faux senior portraits included). P.S. Remember this video that Laura made of us frolicking in a field of bluebonnets on our way home from Austin?

IMG_5077 IMG_5097 IMG_5104 IMG_5096 IMG_5084 IMG_5126 IMG_5131

Bolsa Mercado

7c8474060d53ede52bac0ad967e95533Kyla, Laura, and I met at Bolsa Mercado for dinner a few weeks ago. It was a Monday night and it felt right to kick off the week with a cozy BFFs dinner. I had grabbed lunch at Bolsa Mercado a few years ago but hadn't been back to check out their new menu. The Mercado is owned by Bolsa, the delicious new American restaurant located down the block. The market is the more casual version of the romantic, dimly-lit restaurant, a place where patrons can come for a delicious bite to eat, something lovely to drink (ranging from Topo Chico and fresh squeezed juices to wine and beer), and lots of goodies and treats to peruse through while relaxing on vintage furniture. Laura frequents Bolsa Mercado often, as it's located a stone's throw from her office, so she recommended that I try the pulled pork sandwich. It seemed like an interesting choice, considering that the menu focuses more on deli-style bites and delicious salads. But I'm so glad I trusted her selection because it was absolutely fantastic - my mouth watered just now as I'm thinking about it! I chose a green salad as my side dish, which was a nice complement to the flavorful barbecued treat. Based on some reading I'd done on the blogosphere prior to our besties date, I knew that I wanted to have a booze-infused juice to go along with my dinner. I had such a good cocktail - kale, pineapple, orange, lime, jalapeño + tequila. It was like nature's margarita - so good!

The three of us lingered at the table long after our meals were over, laughing and chatting all the while. This is such a sweet place to post up with cherished friends - it's comfy, cozy, and there are delectable treats galore. What's not to love?

P.S. There were no good photos online of Bolsa Mercado and I forgot to snap one while we were there, so this gorgeous image from pharmacie_la's Instagram account will have to suffice!

Our Wedding on Style Me Pretty

rj15I am so excited to share that our wedding is being featured on Style Me Pretty today! Style Me Pretty is a major blog that showcases weddings from all over the world, helping brides gather inspiration and find vendors while also highlighting amazing work done by photographers, videographers, and planners worldwide. So it's such an honor to have our special day featured on this fabulous site! Plus, it's super fun to revisit all of our beautiful images and relive all of the gloriousness from our wedding day. rachelandjamesWED113As you know, we love Heather more than we can say, so we're thrilled that her gorgeous images are splashed all over Style Me Pretty's site today. She posted some extra pictures on her blog, too. And we love that Patrick's video was posted there for the world to see! Hop on over to take a peek at the feature - we couldn't be more excited about how it turned out!

rj6-copy11008rj8 rj171 110461105811047 rj251 rj27 rachelandjamesWED2201 rachelandjamesWED225 rachelandjamesWED226P.S. I got to share my thoughts about our wedding process - you can check them out on the Style Me Pretty post, and you can take a sneak peek at some of my sentiments here!

James & I knew that we wanted a wedding that reflected our love for each other, our families, and our friends. We wanted our day to showcase our passions for our faith, our community, our relationship, our style, and our loves for great food, delicious drinks, awesome music, and gorgeous florals. We knew that we wanted to host a celebration not only of ourselves and of our marriage but also of the people who supported us along the way, both individually and as a couple.

We decided that we wanted to get married and have our reception outdoors and options in Dallas, where we live, felt limited. We ventured to Austin on the recommendation of our close friend & super talented photographer, Heather Hawkins, who was booked to shoot a wedding at Le San Michele, a venue located in Buda. We fell in love with the way Le San Michele combined a sense of sprawling European-style gardens with Texas foliage, where beautiful plants like succulents and bluebonnets and cacti were growing freely around the property. We loved that the venue owners had outfitted the space with plenty of amazing lighting and beautiful decor, and we appreciated that we could bring in any vendors of our choosing to help us on our special day.

Through yet another connection, we were introduced to The Nouveau Romantics. We cannot say enough good things about working with Liz and Hannah – they made our dreams become a reality. They helped us craft the ceremony and reception that we wanted, and we loved that they are a one-stop shop, a place where we could work together on everything paper, floral, and event-related, creating a really streamlined effect for our wedding as a whole. From succulent-filled bouquets and margaritas during cocktail hour to farm-style tables and family-style food service, Liz and Hannah helped us make selections that felt innately us, choices that reflected our relationship and the party we wanted to host for the people we love most in the world.

Head on over to Style Me Pretty for more!

Images via Heather Hawkins