Defining Your Home Team


I've written about the concept of the home team a lot on my blog, either in entire pieces or in small references, so I was excited when I got the chance to expound upon this topic for Darling Magazine. In my most recent post for Darling's blog, I wrote about the importance of defining the members of your squad. Shauna Niequist, the author who introduced me to this concept in the first place, makes great points about the importance of not only knowing who is in your home team but also being aware of who is not. Here's a little peek at the piece:

"[Niequist's words] got me to thinking about continually seeking intentionality in relationships. Especially in this day and age of instant connectivity and constant communication, it’s easy to feel connected and close to a myriad of people from all different walks of life. And while that may be perfect for some people, it’s not the right fit for me. I know that I crave quality time with the people I love, and because there’s only so many hours in the day, I have to be realistic about who I’m giving my time and love and trust to — and when, and why."

Head over to Darling's blog to read the post and let me know what you think about the idea of having a home team! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Above: a favorite photo of Laura & Kyla at the best taco shop in town

Week & End

IMG_8696Happy weekend! What are you up to over the next couple of days? Becca and Mark get in from Nashville late tonight, so James and I are going to eat the yummy pot roast we put into the crock pot this morning and snuggle with Callie until they arrive - I can't wait to see them! Becca and I are taking a City Surf class in the morning, then the boys will join us as we meet some friends from college for lunch at Good 2 Go Taco. In the afternoon, when Becca and Mark head to a wedding, Laura and I are going to meet up to attend the Camille Styles Entertaining book party! I'm so excited - all of Camille's other parties have looked so beautiful, and I'm sure the Dallas event will be no exception. On Sunday, we're going to eat more tacos and Tex-Mex, and in the evening, Laura and Kyla will come over for our annual besties Christmas dinner. We're going to whip up some of this festive punch to drink alongside a harvest salad, tortilla soup, and pie. There's so much goodness to look forward to! Have a great weekend and enjoy some links from around the interwebs!

I saw this carry on cocktail kit on Instagram the other day and thought that the idea was brilliant. The packaging is so dang cute, too.

It might be time to face the facts: I am addicted to Serial. Like, want-to-cancel-all-of-my-plans-so-I-can-listen-to-more-podcasts addicted. Becca sent me this great link that helps listeners associate photos with the characters in the real life story, and while I love the way the podcasts force you to really hone in and listen actively, it's nice to have a visual of the people mentioned throughout the episodes. I also love that friends and even local businesses have been hosting listening parties - it conjures up images of fireside chats and evenings spent listening to programs on the radio. So good.

My friends Natalie & Andrea posted a gift guide on their blog and I love everything they selected! I especially adore the shout-out they gave to me and the Clare Vivier coin purses that I gifted to our bridesmaids at our wedding. Their sweet words about our special day were so touching - thanks, gals!

Per our birthday tradition, Erin sent me our favorite Momofuku Milk Bar B-Day Truffles and they are unbelievably delicious. I actually can't believe that I still have a few left - it would be so easy to devour them in minutes - but I'm glad that I saved some so that I can enjoy one (or two) for dessert after tonight's pot roast.

As is typical this time of year, there are so many amazing movies coming out. I want to see The Imitation Game, Exodus: God and Kings, Wild (I read the book last year), and Unbroken (I'm reading the book now), to name a few. P.S. We saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay before Thanksgiving and loved it - definitely a must-see!

Photo by Briana Wollman for James's 30th birthday party 

Around Here

Party DecorWow, time sure does fly - December 10th already?! I apologize for my absence on the blog lately - but then again, I don't because so much goodness has been happening around here and I've stepped away from my online presence to soak it all in. The holidays are such a magical time of year, aren't they? We had an amazing time in Chicago for Thanksgiving, and last week was spent celebrating James and my birthdays, which are just four days apart (so fun!). My 29th birthday was on Wednesday, the 3rd, and Touch A Life has a policy that gives employees the day off on their special day, which is such a treat. I got my stretch on at yoga and my sweat on at City Surf, treated myself to my favorite juice and smoothie at The Gem, picked up some birthday goodies at J. Crew, and got a foot massage at my favorite place. James and I noshed on filet mignon, barbecue ribs, creamy spinach dip, and French fries at Houston's for dinner, toasting with martinis (for me) and whiskey (for him). It was the perfect day.

James's 30th birthday was on Sunday and I threw him a surprise party! It was the best. Nearly 35 of our closest friends came to celebrate James and he was so totally shocked when he walked into our house - we nailed the surprise! My super talented friend Bri took photos of the day, which I'll share here soon. I had so much fun planning the decor (a few party remnants are pictured above), snacks, and drinks, and all of our friends pitched in with setting up, throwing James off, and keeping the secret about the party. It is the best party I've ever hosted, filled with so much fun, love, and good food. James had a fantastic time, which made me so happy.

Holiday events are in full swing, which I love! Tonight is a Christmas-themed girls night in at Korena's, and tomorrow the Black Frames are playing at a charity wrap party hosted by Fullosophie. My dear bestie Becca and her boyfriend Mark are coming in from Nashville to attend a wedding this weekend, and I can't wait to see them (and eat tacos at the best spot in town). Sunday night marks Laura, Kyla, and my fifth annual Christmas besties dinner, and the following day is my favorite event of the season (tied with the besties dinner, of course) - the Cone Christmas dinner at Patrick and Lauren's, where Patrick cooks an entire holiday meal filled with delicious seasonal favorites. James and I are going to check out the Highland Park lights with Callie and hot chocolate in tow, and we're scooting down to Austin the weekend before Christmas as a special treat to one another (also with Callie in tow, as we'll be staying at my favorite hotel).

I've been cooking some of Shauna Niequist's recipes, as I planned, so I'll be sharing a recipe tomorrow, as well as some fun posts the rest of the month! But if I go MIA again, have no fear - I'm just enjoying all that the holiday season has to offer, namely the fact that we get to spend this month thinking of the amazing Christmas story and Jesus's birth. What a beautiful season - I hope you are loving it as much as I am!

Week & End

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset It's Friday, yay! Do you have big plans to celebrate the first weekend of fall? Of course, I'm always a bit sad when summertime draws to a close but it's a good thing that it gives way to autumn, my second favorite season. James's best friend, Joe, and his wife, Katie, are visiting for a few days, so we have plans to take them to some of our favorite Dallas spots, like Good 2 Go Taco and Meddlesome Moth, and we may even brave the crowds to check out the opening weekend of the Texas State Fair.

Have a good one, and enjoy some fun links from around the web!

I snapped the photo above while strolling down Abbot Kinney Boulevard during our visit to Los Angeles last week. We went to several spots that I love - Urbanic, Firefly, Lemonade - and found a few new treasures, too. More on that to come!

Each fall there's a contest at the State Fair to determine the best new fried foods of the year. Take a look at this year's finalists - which treats would you try? I'd like a bite of the Sriracha balls and the fried sweet Texas.

This Fort Worth-based home tour is so inspiring to me - it captures so many elements that I would like to incorporate in our house someday. It has such a pleasing mix of neutrals, plants, pops of color, and remnants from travel adventures. I love!

Speaking of Fort Worth, there are two reasons that I need to trek out there for a day trip soon: the Faces of Impressionism exhibit (featuring pieces from my favorite museum in the world, the Musée d'Orsay) is starting next month at the Kimball Art Museum and this cute ice cream shop is calling my name.

Aren't these white ceramic cups lovely? I love how neutral they are, and I think they'd be equally great as drinking glasses or as succulent planters.