A Few of My Favorite Things (16)

[JT’s new album – I’ve been waiting for this for 6 years.]

[Coco does not enjoy our jokes.]

[In love with the custom wedding maps by my friend Natalie. And so so excited for Lauren + Andrew’s upcoming wedding!]

[Yum. Nothing like warm biscuits and honey (from my friend’s Farm House in FL.]

[Summer collection debuts 4/8! Talk about the perfect time to start a new adventure as a Stella & Dot Stylist]

The work week seemed to fly by last week, and thankfully, the weekend went by very slowly for us! We have a busy week coming up with travel, so a low-key weekend in town was much-appreciated. We started a quick little DIY project in our bathroom, dined at the fine establishment of Cracker Barrel with a gift card we got for Christmas (their chicken ‘n dumplins are the bomb), had dinner with some friends at Goldfish (Craig was very excited to actually have people to eat sushi with him), and we acted as getaway car chauffeurs for my friend’s sister Kat and her new hubby after their wedding. I guess that doesn’t make our weekend sound so quiet after all, but that’s just how we roll. :/ I’m so looking forward to this weekend — I’ll be heading to Vegas for my soon-to-be sister in law’s bachelorette trip!

A Few of My Favorite Things (15)

[Hilton Los Cabos — awaiting our arrival this August]

[pumpkin bread made by a friend – such a tasty treat]

[first glimpse of spring in the neighborhood]

[St. Patty’s wknd lunch with friends at McCray’s in Vinings]

[fun light fixtures in the unisex bathroom at Cantina in Buckhead]

[perfect Sunday afternoon at the park]

The first signs of spring are here! I’m loving it, except for the seasonal allergies that seem to have attacked me. We started the week with booking a trip to Cabo San Lucas for my upcoming 30th birthday in August…which makes me even more antsy for warm pool weather to get here! This was a rather quiet week spent cooking dinner in and taking Coco on a lot more evening walks now that it’s staying light longer. We celebrated our good friend Renee’s birthday with lunch on the patio at McCray’s and a fun birthday dinner at Cantina on Saturday, and then we took advantage of the gorgeous weather on Sunday and spent a couple hours at a nearby park with friends. Homemade mini meatloaves for dinner and Bailey’s brownies brought over by our neighbors were a perfect (and filling) end to a great weekend.

A Few of My Favorite Things (14)

[favorite new decor addition – love this shiny gold garden stool from World Market]

[my girl]

[neon is where it’s at for spring]

[finally got to meet baby james this week – so snuggly]

[new fondness for cuties]

This week flew by – how is it already mid-March? I so look forward to the weekend, and we enjoyed such a nice one in town. We had Mexican on Friday with some friends, and I/we spent most of Saturday at two different wedding showers for friends in Decatur and Little 5 Points. I love this time of year when wedding season starts to ramp up. It’s tiring and busy, but it’s so much fun getting to celebrate those we love. Sunday was filled with brunch on the patio at Kaleidoscope with friends,  jeans shopping for Craig (HE wanted to go shopping? yay for me!), being lazy on the couch, and making this Mississippi roast for dinner. It was the perfect way to end the week… I sure hope this warm, sunny weather is here to stay for a while!

restaurant (on wheels) review:: s & j’s wood fired pizza

I’ve said it a million times. I am a huge fan of S & J’s Wood Fired Pizza. Granted I may be a bit biased, as the owners are friends of ours, but their pizza is delicious and fresh and just so so good. Sarah and Jonathan had a dream a few years ago, they learned how to throw pizza dough, and they now run their own mobile wood fired pizza business. Their dough and sauce are handmade, and they use mostly all fresh, local ingredients — many times from the same vendors that are at the farmer’s markets around Atlanta.

We hosted a wedding shower for 40 people, and S &J’s set up in our driveway. The menu included garlic cheese bread, caesar salad, and a large variety of wood fired pizzas available by the slice. Everyone raved about how fun it was to have a pizza oven at the party, and I think they loved every bite. Taken from S&J’s website, these are some of their current offerings, all of which they served at our shower, and they were gobbled up almost faster then they could make them.

  • Chef Special –  gotta be at the market to find out!
  • Apple – olive oil base with mozzarella, apples, bacon, goat feta, and pesto swirl
  • Sausage and Peppers – tomato sauce with mozzarella, italian sausag,e and mixed heirloom peppers…try it spicy with jalapeños
  • Margherita – handmade mozzarella, San-Marzano tomato sauce, basil
  • White – olive oil base with garlic, mozzarella cheese, and fresh rosemary


It was unfortunately one of the coldest nights we’ve had all winter, but they were such good sports. Trying to prep and cook a meal for 40 people in 30 degree weather = major props to these guys.









If you’re in the Atlanta area, look out for them at festivals all over the city in the spring, summer, and fall. Or better yet, follow them on facebook to find out where they are each week. They also do catering, so maybe you should consider having pizza for your next shindig! Check them out — I promise you won’t be sorry.

showering the soon-to-be bride + groom!

Last weekend, Craig and I hosted a Stock the Bar Shower for my brother and his fiance in honor of their upcoming wedding. We love entertaining at our house, and I love planning things, so we had a lot of fun preparing for our shindig. With tons of ideas pinned on a secret board on Pinterest, I got to work on designing the invitation (with some input from my co-host, of course). The orange bars are just covering our address and contact info for use here.

shower invite - edited

Cheers to the couple of honor! Only 2.5 months till the big day!

Photo banner filled with photos of Lauren and Andrew as kids made for great guest entertainment::

Wine bottle guest book::

Red Velvet and Coca-Cola cupcakes from West Egg (some of Andrew’s favorites) with toppers that I made::

Our shower gift – a basket full of wine bottles with individual tags for some of their first big events as a married couple::

Wine bottle centerpieces that we made in keeping with the Stock the Bar theme (tutorial was posted on Sun, 3/3)::

We hired our friends Jonathan and Sarah of S & J’s Wood Fired Pizza to cater the shower,
complete with a wood burning oven in the driveway! They served cheese garlic bread, caesar salads, and almost any kind of pizza you could imagine. Some of the favorites were the meatza and the apple/bacon/feta pizza. Yum!

Long-time friends from Franklin, TN::

Photo area (made with colored streamers strung on fishing line to create a backdrop) with props and mini chalkboards::



Showered with gifts::

Redneck wine glasses, of course::

Happy Shower to two of our most favorite people! We can’t wait to officially welcome you to the family, Lauren!


how to:: wine bottle centerpieces

My mom recently sent me a photo of some wine bottles-turned-candle-holding-centerpieces and suggested that we should try making some of our own. The cost to buy them was a little much, so we decided to give it a try for the upcoming couples shower we would be hosting for my brother and his fiance. Here’s an inspiration photo I found on Pinterest:


First order of business: collecting wine bottles, which was obviously the hardest and most unpleasant part of the project. We collected a variety of colors and sizes so as to have a nice variety for the centerpieces. We planned to make 3 sets of displays, so we knew we needed 14-15 bottles. Here’s how we created our centerpieces.

wine bottles
glass scoring tool
bucket of ice water

Step 1: Soak bottles in water. We kept ours in a cooler full of water in the garage for several days and then pulled off as much of the labels as we were able to. Most of the labels came off easily, but we used goo-gone pens for the stubborn pieces.


I googled around online to find some tutorials on how to cut glass without a fancy, expensive tool. I found two different methods — one involved a $6 glass cutting tool, and the other involved nail polish remover and yarn. We tried each of them to no avail. So we combined the methods and finally had some success.

Step 2: Tape off the bottles toward the bottom with painter’s tape to create a straight line. Then, score the bottle with the glass cutting tool. Pretty firm pressure is needed in order to get a nice, solid score all the way around. Remove tape.


Next up, yarn! Why do they sell yarn in such humongous sizes? We used about 1/1000 of it for this project.


Step 3: Cut a piece and tie around each bottle, then slip it back off and dunk in a cup of nail polish remover (acetone).


Step 4: Next, time to light them on fire! The yarn should stay lit for about 30 seconds. When the fire goes out, dunk in a bucket (or sink) full of ice water. This is where we had some difficulty with about 1/2 of the bottles. Several of them just popped off immediately upon being submerged in the cold water, and other took some banging against the side of the bucket to pop off. A couple were incredibly stubborn, so Craig re-scored them and we did the process all over again.


Voila! Poppin’ bottles!


This is one of the best, most smooth cuts that we got. Some were a bit more jagged, but we had a plan to cover those up in the displays.

I first tried black stones as a base to set the candles and bottles on and to cover up the jagged edges on some of the bottles, but the rocks were way too slippery. They sure do look pretty, though, don’t they?

The second option was sand, and it was a winner. It held both the candles and bottles in place and it covered all the imperfections. I found that this worked best when the candles were thin enough to leave some breathing room inside each bottle… otherwise, the flames quickly went out. I hope you find this little “how to” helpful!