a fashion & lifestyle blog

Fall Cocktails…

This morning I woke up to a bit of a “cold front” (it’s currently 8am and 70 degrees) and it’s gotten me in the mood for fall.  Think sweaters, cashmere knit over the knee socks and, of course, cocktails.  All of my favorite fall things…

When we moved from Texas to Louisiana I had thought (hoped) the 9 or 10 bottles of Maker’s we have acquired over the years might stay behind.  They did not.  Our bar cabinets look like a distillery.

 apple bourbon bellini

{apple bourbon bellini}

So this time last year, to deplete our bourbon stash, I found recipes for homemade cider.  This year it’s a take on a bellini, which is  personal fave of mine.

Last week The Boyfriend and I went to breakfast at Fleur-di-lis Cafe on Chartres and had early morning peach bellinis.  I’ve been googling bellini recipes and came across this recipe on pinterest (obviously).

Cocktail night!

  • puree apple and squeeze of lemon
  • add a drop into a champagne flute, add apple bourbon (I’m using some Maker’s, I have got to get rid of this stuff)
  • top with prosecco

   Voila.  Fall cocktails.

remodel…stairs from the 70’s

Our house was built in the 70s.  It looks like it was built by Richard Simmons.

The interior is painted and carpeted ‘pink champagne’. I had thought the carpet was white-ish but realized when they moved all the decades-old furniture out, it was pink. The white had been bleached over time by the sun. But the walls, no those remained perfectly pinky-peachy intact. Not even the sun could dim those.


For some reason the bannister was where I wanted to start my foray into the  DIY world.  It was a pale oak, kind of dated in my opinion, and the white slats had seen better days (and those days were probably in ’76).

We’re going with a more traditional dark hardwood floor and off white/cream walls look so I had initially thought staining would be easier than starting over.

Cheaper anyway.  Although I’m quickly picking up the fact that nothing is cheap when it comes to remodeling.


My general contractor told me a painter was going to charge me $1,000 to stain our bannister the gorgeous rich mahogany color I wanted.   I thought, that’s crazy I’ll just do it myself.

I work in fashion, not construction.  In my workout class I use 2-lbs weights.  So I’m not quite sure where this ‘I’ll just do this myself’ attitude towards remodeling came from because doing things myself has never really been in my nature.  I’ve always been more of a bat my lashes and hope for the best type of girl.

So here were my tools:


Yes, that is a mirrored wall.  It’s two stories tall.  Like I mentioned, 70s.

When I began this trip into DIY enlightenment, I thought all I needed was some coffee, a couple paint brushes and stain.  I could not have been more incorrect.

stain hand

First off, in all the staining videos on Youtube I watched, they failed to mention you need gloves.  Or a face mask.  I probably should have picked up the fact that everyone was wearing gloves on Youtube but I’m not a visual person.  I need to be told things.


So I went and bought some gloves.  Little did I know, the stain that was already on my hands would last for eternity.  My hands look like they were made out of Oreo cookies.

me and stain

 Then after my glove trip to Lowes, I saw in my retro mirror wall that my face was also covered in stain.  But I just moved here and its not as if I know anyone.  Let alone anyone at Lowes on a Tuesday at 11am.

So I soldiered on with my new gloves, chemical deglosser, sandpaper, residue cloths, sandpaper, tacky cloth and polyurethane.

half and half

Upon completion of my bannister project two weeks later (I had initially projected three days), I now was thinking his $1,000 quote sounded pretty reasonable.  The Home Depot commercials make everything sound so easy.  Well, it’s not.

So next weekend I signed up for another one of their DIY classes.  We’ll see how that goes.  It’s next Saturday at 9 a.m. so let’s see if it even goes at all.

{Final pics to come.  They’re hanging chandeliers}

beach bunny…


{lolli swim, www.ishine365.com}

Time has kind of flown by, I finally looked up at September is almost over.  Which gives me about a month til we are headed off for a week of Hawaiian sun.

So I’ve been scouring the internets looking for cute swimsuits and found the most adorable one-piece with a mini-tummy cut out by Lolli Swim.


I love bright colors with black & white stripes.  Love the contrast.

Red with b&w always makes me feel like I’m trying to look french, so I opted for royal purple and neon pink.

Because neon pink goes with everything.

remodel…blondie vs the azaleas

The face of gardening, I am not.

But I learned to tile.  I learned to paint.  I can throw some plants in the ground.

me and azaleas

{gardening selfie & a stack of ripped up azaleas}

As I was standing outside in the humid 90-something degree heat, ‘glowing’ profusely, one of the painters out smoking a cigarette (using the dog’s water bowl as an ashtray I noticed…) said, “it’s Louisiana.  If you aren’t sweating, you’re dead.”

So, I have that going for me.  Because it sure isn’t my ability to pull azalea bushes from the ground, but I am alive.

And if I one more person walks by and says, “what did that azalea ever do to you?” I might lose it.

no azaleas

The tile guy informed me I should try a chainsaw.  I’m not too sure what he sees when he looks at me, but I truly never imagined my name and “chain saw” would be in the same sentence.

Going on hour three of ‘operation azaleas’,  I sat in my pile of branches and started thinking that maybe it wasn’t too late to replant them.  I could go inside and subject myself to the drills, jackhammer, saws and soft rock coming from a transistor radio.  It’s loud, but at least it’s air conditioned.

So maybe I do unnecessarily dislike azaleas because, in the end, I decided not to stop til these bushes are gone.  Then I’m going to open a bottle of rosé and sit outside.

Because I’ll be too stinky to sit inside.  And we have no floors or chairs.

Remodeling is so fun.

remodeling…blondie learned to paint

What I first learned in Painting 101 is it’s easier to hire someone else to do it.  Secondly, I learned I needed to make an appointment to have my roots done.

me painting2

After getting a quick lesson at the paint department in Home Depot, from the person who has since become my new best friend, I headed home to put my new skills to work.  Because after painting an entire wall with a two inch brush, I realized I needed a paint roller.  Life altering decision.  I would still be painting that room.

But regardless of my new paint roller owning status, painting is a tedious job.

paint utensils

Tape. Paint.  Wait.  Paint.  Untape.  Retape.  Paint.  Wait.  Paint.  Cocktails.

Cocktails to celebrate you finally finished a room.  And then a cocktail in misery when you realize you have to paint the next room.

a morning boost…

morning boost 2

I’m over juicing.

It’s labor intensive and takes me an eternity to make one drink.  And in the end, the drink ends up costing me $26 in produce, not to mention ginger and bizarre additions like turmeric or parsley.

morning boost ingredients

Where does one go post-juicing fade?  I’m not quite sure, but I own a costly blender and decided to put it to use.

So this is what I’ve been calling my ‘morning boost’.  I need one.  I’m laaazy.

I use a handful of each ~blueberries, raspberries and kale~ add cocowater and lemon.  Sprinkle with chia seeds and voila.

morning boost

And since moving my Saturdays have become less my own, I’m off to Home Depot to take a class on “How to Tile.”  Hopefully this will help me pay attention because tiles don’t seem to hold my attention quite like an issue of Vogue does…

beautifying the mail…

mail box

In a neighborhood of highly manicured yards, apparently my yard leaves a little to be desired.  I have that house.

When we moved in, our neighbor from across the street came over to introduce himself while I was pulling up weeds (which in a past life I never thought I would ever say) and he made the comment he couldn’t wait to see what I had in store for the yard.

I guess that’s what one calls a subtle hint.

mailbox 2

Which led me to question, what did I have in store?  My original answer was grass.  Which it conveniently already had.

But since, I’ve realized the error in my ways and have tried to get a little more landscape savvy.  Honestly, it’s a lot of work, kind of like being more ‘install your own tile savvy’ is.

mailbox 3

 So I started small.

I have a one foot circumference around the mailbox that was filled in with dirt (I guess I really did have a little work to do…) which is now a beautiful utopia of Lowes’ brightest flower assortment.

We live on a double lot, so in the grand scheme of things a one foot circumference maybe didn’t make quite the impact I’m looking for.

But, like I said it’s a start. Baby flower steps.

flowers & crowns…

flower girl

In between staining cabinets, painting bedrooms and the daily battles that have become my personal war with our contractor, I’ve been working.


flowergirl crown-white


A bride in New Orleans contacted me to make flower crowns to outfit all her little flower girls for her upcoming wedding at the Marigny Opera House.



Off white flowers on adjustable crowns with white gauze ribbons.

So of course, I made one for me too.  But mine was larger.  And pink…