photos by Jared Smith
I feel like all of the best hosts I know have a few recipes on hand that everyone always loves and looks forward to. My Grandma has about a million (not exaggerating, though I am her number one fan) token recipes that she knows by heart, but since I’m not quite as skilled in the kitchen as she is, my signature dishes usually consist of far simpler recipes, like a good sugar cookie fruit pizza. Yes, I know, just consider me on the ‘B’ team..
I started making these a few years ago (and even posted this terrible video version!) with cinnamon cream cheese, but have played around with a bunch of different variations before finding the one, and trust me, you can really never go wrong with this recipe, and it just as simple as flavored cream cheese, but so much better! I also feel entitled to say that with declaration on account of the fact that I burn/kill/ruin a lot of dishes that are supposed to be hits, but this one is a 10 every time, so that’s really saying something!
photos by Jared Smith
Living in Houston has posed multiple challenges for me with life as I used to know it. For instance, learning to live with extreme humidity basically year round (I thought I was bad at styling my hair before, ha!), navigating a thousand different highways to get just about anywhere, and having to miss out on a lot of holidays with the my Mom and Dad back home. The latter of the three breaks my heart all too often, so I’ve gotten super accustomed to finding ways to of sending my love back home, like ProFlowers for Mother’s Day (though my Mom absolutely requires chocolate at every occasion, so I have to add that on too, ha!) and my token Polo hat in the same color every year for my Dad for Father’s Day. Except the time I bought him a microwave, but that’s a story for another time….
My parents separated when I was really young, so I know all about how hard it can be on holidays, especially Mother and Father’s Day, when there isn’t a second parent around to make sure the day is made special when kids are young or to be able to take a break even if just for the day. Knowing all of that, I have a very special place in my heart for single parents, so I decided to give a little extra attention to two single, hard working, and dedicated Moms here in Houston that we know and love by doting on them and their little families with sweets, a photo shoot, and a bouquet that we thought reflected their awesome personalities in honor of Mother’s Day…
photos by Jared Smith
I’m all about holidays, but to be totally honest, I don’t actually decorate too much for any of them just because it can be a large undertaking for such a short amount of time. Instead, I really love the idea of creating small elements with a holiday flair that you can use time and time again, but still make the space yours. To give you an idea of how to create a modern, gender neutral atmosphere for some upcoming get togethers, Brittni and I teamed up with Fossil to share our take on a simple Easter gathering & DIY leather chargers (as just one of the many handmade elements!) alongside some of our Houston friends.
In lieu of traditional Easter items, we opted to add in little nods here and there with ombre egg macarons, unexpected dip dyed egg colors as table accents, simple DIY bunny tail drink stirrers, and gummy fried eggs as party favors. In case Easter isn’t your thing, we have plenty of other ideas for your too, with spiked grapefruit lemonade cocktails, DIY leather chargers, DIY grid print runner, and LOTS of other goodies, cause you know, we always have to have more than one DIY around here!
I like to think I’m pretty good at picking out guy’s gifts, but rather than have you guessing along with me, I’ve had Jared (aka the man himself) put together a list of 12 last minute guys gift ideas for Valentine’s Day just in case you’re still looking for a special something!
“From classic watches, to cool and modern sunglasses, I’ve picked out a few of my favorites that will help ease the stress of guessing on a gift. Plus there are a few everyday staples I always use like a leather camera strap for shooting projects at the studio, or the Jack Black clean and cool set as a nightly routine.” – Jared.
classic watch // dipped leather brief // polk audio desktop speakers // burgundy paseos Toms // grey chambray Toms // bison leather wallet // stanley to-go bottle // levi’s raw denim jacket // leather camera strap // barkley sunglasses // jack spade dipped cellphone case // jack black clean and cool set