A Few of My Favorite Things (56)

[unexpected January patio happy hour]unnamed (2)

[Stella & Dot look of the week:: Tansy Fringe Bib // Cleopatra Studs]
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[friday night fun at eleanor’s]
[birthday celebrations for brother]
[pizza and fun time bowling]
[new desk chair!]

It was so nice to have last Monday off… somehow, just one less day at work makes the whole week go so much more quickly. Lucky for us in GA, the weather on MLK Day was absolutely gorgeous, so we took advantage and had ourselves a little happy hour at a neighborhood restaurant with a good open-air patio. It was glorious. And then the weather returned to its freezing cold, extremely windy, wintery ways.

Despite the brrr freezing temps, we had a great weekend with friends and a birthday celebration for my brother. They hosted a pizza party at their house for 20+ friends, and then we all headed to Fun Time Bowl on Buford Hwy. Who knew that LOTS of people our age like to go “cosmic bowling” on a Saturday night?? The wait was over an hour for a lane, so we sadly had to drive home before they got to bowl. I’ll be back soon – it was such a randomly fun place. He turns 28 today, so happy birthday to my most favorite little brother!

stella & dot’s new 2014 collection is here!

Stella & Dot has done it again. I say this every.single.season…. but they really have outdone themselves with this collection. There are neon and soft colors, pearls, rocker and boho pieces, totes, travel accessories, and gorgeous scarves. Our team of designers, led by the lovely Blythe Harris, are so incredibly talented at what they do. They travel the world looking for inspiration, then they bring those ideas back to our SoHo design studio and create beautiful works of art in so many of our pieces. They make our jobs as Stylists so easy because the product practically sells itself — and more so, I genuinely do love almost every piece in the line, every season. So I feel good about selling these pieces and helping women be a little more stylish in their everyday lives. It’s hard to pick a #1 — so here are my top favorites.


Norah Pendant – $98: This citrine is the perfect bright dose of color we need going into spring, but it’s really wearable now, too! I LOVE it over a cobalt blue sweater, and it looks fantastic over white, black, grey, navy, and patterns, too.  
Linden Necklace – $138: 
This photo doesn’t even do the necklace justice on how gorgeous the colors are. In person, they literally look like they’re glowing. Green is my favorite color, so I really love this new piece for spring and summer. I think it will stunning over white, but will also be fun over pink, navy, black, and grey, to name a few.

Milana Necklace – $79: I am a sucker for a good tassel necklace (hence my undying love for the Rebel Pendant). What makes this one so great is the mixed metals and the fact that you can remove the tassel for a different look!


Elodie Necklace – $89: So many pretty colors — they sort of look like candy! This piece also looks extra statement-y when layered with the Somervell Necklace. Cobalt blue is a surprising complement to these colors — it really brings out the boldness of the stones. 

Sutton Necklace – Stone – $178: 
Five necklaces in one. I have the mixed metal version that came out last year, and it’s the epitome of a versatile piece of jewelry. You can wear it short with all strands, long with all strands, take just the green stone strand off and wear it on its own… I could go on and on. I love the rocker look, but that it’s also preppy and fun with lots of great color.


Sardinia Chandeliers – $59: I mean, seriously… one earring that you can wear THREE different ways? Sign me up! Go from a glam statement earring, to a medium-sized chandelier, to a cute little stud in the snap of a finger.

sardinia earrings

Norah Chandeliers – $49: Continue the bright citron trend with these fun chandeliers. They’re sure to brighten up any face and any outfit. I think they’ll look especially stunning on ladies with dark hair.


Cleopatra Studs – $24: These are such great everyday studs. They go with almost every one of our gold/bronze necklaces in the collection, and they’re so easy to pop on and run out the door. And you can’t beat $24. A definite must have for any woman!

Janice Studs – $24: Here we go again with my favorite color. These are a substantial stud, and they’ll add a great little pop of color to any outfit.


Macey Bangle – $39: Aside from the pretty colors, this bangle is cool because it expands when putting it over your wrist! It’s super lightweight, and it looks great on its own or stacked with other gold bangles. 

Milana Bracelet – $49:  Three separate bracelets that can be worn together for a stacked look or worn on their own for something more simple and understated. The tassel is also removable!



Florence Stackable Rings – $49: Three beautiful stone rings of varying sizes (the stone, not the ring size) — like so many of our other pieces, these look great stacked together and are also cute on their own. I just love the colors this season! Rings come in sizes 5-9.

Cross Ring – $39: Our Interlock Cross necklaces have been runaway hits, so it only makes sense to have a ring as well. It’s such a pretty little statement – with just the right amount of sparkle. And it’s a steal at just $39.


How Does She Do It Bag in red/navy pattern – $98: 
The HDSDI bag is something that every woman can make good use of, whether they’re a mom of 3 kids or a businesswoman on the go. It’s perfect for stowing a laptop and paperwork, traveling to the beach, or using as a diaper bag. I just love this new pattern, and the inside pattern is pretty, too! Tons of pockets, and the material is water-resistant. 
The Shift – $198: 
This is another multi-function bag that I am swooning over. Leather, hand-stamped cut-out pattern, and the front clutch zips right off to take this bag from day to night. Everyone needs a black bag, so why not make it one that you can get even more use out of? 

Double Clutch in citrine – $89: This color is so bright and cheery, and it also comes in cerise, which is a reddish-coral color. Great for spring/summer nights out, and it could even be used to brighten up a winter outfit. The double clutch has 2 zipper sections, as well as a mirror for those quick hair/makeup checks.


Palm Springs scarf in citrine floral – $59: More bright color, but in a really airy way. This scarf is huge, and it can be worn tons of ways as a traditional scarf, but it can also be worn this spring/summer as a pool sarong, and it makes a very stylish blanket on cold airplanes. This would make a fantastic gift!
See something you love? Hop on over to Melissa Hayes, Stella & Dot Stylist to shop today!

A Few of My Favorite Things (55)

[Zoës Kitchen’s chicken orzo soup twice in one week]

[Miss Piggy made her debut at work!!!]
[homemade chicken pesto panini and orzo salad]
[ready for spring]

[double date to Wrecking Bar Brewpub & a show at Dad’s Garage]
Three day weekend!! I do love any excuse to get out of town on a long weekend, but sometimes you just can’t beat 3 solid days at home (or at least in town). We’ve been so productive with our little master bath upgrade, we had 2 fun nights out, and we even managed to make it to the gym. On another note, the weather has finally cooperated enough for the painters to come back and work on finishing up the house. Maybe it’ll be done before February…

I feel so rested and refreshed — and happy to only have a 4-day work week ahead! I’m already looking forward to this weekend, which will be filled with friends and celebrating my brother’s bday. Happy Monday!

restaurant review:: Coast


If you’re looking for great seafood in Atlanta, you need to check out Coast. I’m not the biggest seafood fan, but I do love a good crabcake (and white fish). We visited over the Christmas holiday with my parents and brother — it was their 2nd time dining there in one month if that tells you anything. Coast is part of the Here To Serve restaurant group, and it’s located in a charming little house on West Paces Ferry in Buckhead.

I have a love for carbs… so of course, my favorite things on the menu were the Sweetcorn & Jalapeno Hushpuppies and the Cheese Grits. The grits were to.die.for. I could have eaten a whole bowl of them.  I hear the fried shrimp is exceptional, as well as the She Crab Soup. The menu has a great selection, so I look forward to coming back and trying other dishes.

Also, they know how to do dessert. The S’mores Brownie was ah-mazing — look at that giant marshmallow!


A Few of My Favorite Things (54)

[new workspace]
[vegetarian bday lunch at Cafe Sunflower]6
[slightly obsessed with the new Norah Pendant]

[succulents galore]
[happy 30th to Shanni!]
[Stella & Dot’s new collection launches today!]
What a busy, productive, fun weekend we had! We started off with a date to Noche, enjoyed the beeeeautiful Saturday afternoon weather (did we accidentally skip to March that day?), and celebrated our friend Shannon’s 30th birthday with a delicious dinner at Kaleidoscope. Sunday, we worked our little tails off — finishing painting one of the guest rooms, breaking down 2 beds, and switching all the furniture in both guest rooms. Sometimes a change is so refreshing! Tonight, I’m off to check out Stella & Dot’s newest collection with my fellow Atlanta stylists. I can’t wait to see the goodies in person!

restaurant review:: Seed Kitchen & Bar


It’s a bit of a drive (30 minutes) to get to Seed Kitchen & Bar from our house, but I have heard nothing but great things about this (new to me) restaurant in East Cobb.

We visited on a Saturday night over the Christmas holiday, and it was PACKED. I assume it’s one of the better dining options in the area, based on the clientele and the full tables and bar. We started off with the skillet cornbread, Pimiento Crostinis (stacked with pimiento cheese, country ham, arugula, and apples), and the White Corn Grit Fritters (my favorite). Per the usual with restaurant photos, please excuse the dark, poor quality… I don’t make a  habit of carrying my DSLR around with me to dinner.

For entrees, our favorites were the Merchant Burger (with cheddar, carmalized onions, and merch. sauce), Scallops and Crispy Pork Belly, and the Butternut Squash Risotto. My mom got the risotto, which is just a side dish, but it was so rich, flavorful, and delicious that I wish I’d gotten it as my dinner.  Craig liked the pork belly (more thick bacon consistency than fatty pork), but the scallops were a bit underwhelming in comparison.

The all-star dessert was the Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie with ice cream. Restaurants never tend to bring enough ice cream to accompany a dessert like this, so we had to get more. The cookie was a bit under-cooked, but it was deliciously gooey and chocolatey.
The food was fantastic, but the service was pretty slow, even taking the busy night into consideration… it took over 30 minutes just to get our appetizers.  I don’t know that I’ll rush to go back soon, given the distance from our house and the slow service (although our waiter was super friendly and helpful). But I’d definitely recommend trying it out if you live in Marietta or don’t mind a trip outside the perimeter!

A Few of My Favorite Things (53)

[our 1st painting by Craig Griffin]
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[best door mat]
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[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Green Skinnies (Old Navy) // Navy Sweater (Old Navy) // Bianca Tassel Necklace // Leopard Scarf (retired) // Renegade Bracelet // Avalon Hoops]
unnamed (3)[NYE celebrations]
unnamed (5)
[new year, new paint]
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[starting off with tradition]
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Aaah…. the holidays have come and gone, and I’m pretty excited for a quiet January. Along with NYE last week, we have had some fun and exciting things going on around here. Our house is being painted (we went with the darkest sample color, if you’re wondering), but they can’t complete it because the temps have dropped too low and it’s been raining. So we have a half-painted house for now. It’s a good look. I also had my first photo session of 2014, and it was my first newborn session, too! I’ll have a sneak peek up on my MHP website this week, so please have to check it out! To top off the week, Craig’s been out in Pasadena, CA to cheer on Auburn in the National Championship game, which is tonight. I hope they come back with a win!

Here’s to staying warm this week, wherever you are! Unless you’re at the beach — then I don’t want to hear about it. Happy Monday!

restaurant review:: Pallookaville Fine Foods


Pallookaville Fine Foods

Old School Carnival. Fried. Delicious.
Those are the words I’d use to describe Pallookaville’s menu. I’ve been patiently waiting to make the drive across the city to Avondale Estates for months — ever since I heard the first word about the famous corn dog man opening a brick and mortar.


While my parents were in town for Christmas, we made the 30-minute trek in the pouring rain for said famous corn dogs. And they did not disappoint. We may have over-ordered… as we usually do.


We tried the BOILT Nuts (yes, boilt) as a starter, and I’m not the biggest boiled peanut eater, but they were pretty addicting. Each of us got some variation of the corn dog. The boys apparently had very big appetites — they each chose the “Fryinstein Monster,” which is THREE different sausages/hot dogs on a stick! The Fryinstein is the biggest corn dog I’ve ever seen. We also got fries, tots covered in cheese, and milkshakes all around. It was a very filling, but fun way to spend our rainy day lunch.



They also offer sandwiches, baked potatoes with toppings, pork burgers, and salads if you’re not in the mood for a fried dog.

I just wish it weren’t a solid 30-minute drive from the Vinings, or I’d be back more often. But my arteries are probably glad we don’t live any closer.

Hello, 2014!

Welcome to the new year! I hope you all had a fun, safe NYE. We spent our evening at dinner with some of our friends and then went out on the town to watch the ball drop and ring in the new year together.  It was a fun ending to a really wonderful year.

I’m not usually one for big resolutions, as I tend to set more short-term goals for myself throughout the year. But the more I thought about it, the more things I came up with that I’d like to do in the coming year… so here are some of my resolutions for 2014::

1. Travel somewhere new together. We love, love, love to travel, and somehow, we have no big plans for going anywhere this year. I’d like to change that. We’ve never been to Arizona, so we’re considering a trip out to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Scottsdale for our 5th anniversary. Any recommendations are welcome!
2. Explore more of our home city. I’d like to do this by trying new restaurants, checking out new parks, hiking Stone Mountain, wandering neighborhoods, and visiting various attractions. Atlanta has so much to offer, and we often end up in the same places doing the same things, so I’d like to change things up a bit.
3. Be more intentional about eating better and exercising more. I know this is a resolution for almost everyone on the planet, but it’s something that I think both of us would really like to be more intentional about in our day-to-day lives. Meaning buying or making healthier snacks, researching healthier lunch options, not buying/making sweets other than for special occasions, and making time to walk/jog/go to the gym/do basement workouts 3-4 times a week. Hopefully we can stick to that!
4. Grow my photography business.  This is sort of vague, but considering that I just started my business last fall, I have so much room to grow! This new venture is a long time coming and something I’ve dreamed about for years. I want to build a substantial business in the Atlanta area (and beyond — I am always willing to travel!) that will enable me to help families and couples preserve their memories in a beautiful way.
5. Spend less. For the past year or so, I’ve kept a monthly budget and a record of every single purchase I make. I set amounts for each category (like eating out and shopping), and then I use my credit card for things like gas and gift purchases. After monitoring my spending each month, it’s pretty clear what I like to do… eat out and shop. Shocking, I know. So in 2014, I’d like to focus on cutting down on the impulse buys and unnecessary purchases, as well as eating out less each month (which will also help out with resolution #3). It’s amazing how quickly eating out on the weekends can add up!
6. Spread joy. I’d like to focus more on doing good for others. We’ve been so blessed in our personal and professional lives, and it’s really easy to take that for granted. I hope to spend this year (and those going forward) doing more volunteering, donating to worthy causes, and doing random acts of kindness each month for those who just need a little pick-me-up or a thank you for being awesome.