Wedding | Gilded Cakes

Gold is one of my very favorite accent colors in weddings, and it’s so fun, classic, stylish, and elegant. It definitely packs a punch! Here are some of my favorite gilded wedding cakes, ranging from an all-gold Indian sari-inspired cake to a soft gold sheened cake adorned with fresh flowers to oh-so-sweet gold polka dots. In any style, gilded cakes are here to stay, and I love the unique ways each one of these cakes pulls in gold to make it such a “wow” wedding cake!wedding photo by When He Found Her - Reid Lambshead, Toronto, Canada wedding photographer | via junebugweddings.com

 via June Bug Weddings

via Style Me Pretty

via Brides

via Southern Weddings

Wedding Blog All That Glitters is Gold

via Grey Likes Weddings

via Style Me Pretty

via Brides

via Style Me Pretty

I’d love to know – which is your favorite? It’s hard to play favorites here, but I think the very first cake (topped off with the soft coral flower) just might take the cake (ha!) as my ultimate choice!

Recipe | Peach Blueberry Blackberry Cobbler

Peach Blueberry Blackberry Cobbler

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

2 cups blueberries

1 cup blackberries
4 sliced & chopped peaches
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cobbler topping:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, blackberries, chopped peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, sugar, and flour. Gently toss until fruit is well coated. Let the fruit mixture sit while you prepare the cobbler topping.

3. For the cobbler topping: in a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir together, and then mix in the butter with your fingers until the mixture comes together and you have big crumbles.

4. Place the fruit mixture in pie dish or cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the cobbler mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm (and with ice cream, if you want!), and enjoy!

This is perfect summertime dessert! I had some fresh-from-the-farm local peaches to use, as well as some blueberries and blackberries… so I decided to whip them all together into a sweet, delicious summer fruit cobbler. The three fruits pair together so well, and I loved testing out my new cast iron skillet. So fun, so easy, and so delicious!

 

Keeping in Touch with Friends

keep in touch
1. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it.
It really, really is! It’s not easy to balance your life and all of its demands, as well as keeping up with your long-distance friends. Sometimes you don’t even have enough time to cook dinner or run to the gym. But if they are a priority in your life, it’s not that hard. It just shouldn’t be! You might play phone-tag for a few days (or weeks..), or you might have to schedule a phone date with a friend, but ensuring that your friend knows you care about his or her life (the big things as well as daily life!) is critical. It shows you care, and it shows how much you value that friendship. You’re not always going to keep in touch with everyone you’ve ever been friends with, but it’s so worth it to keep in touch with the friends that you do.
2. The phone is your friend.
I’m not the biggest fan of phone calls, but I’ve learned to enjoy lengthy phone calls with friends more and more of the years – necessity demands it! Seeing your long distance friends in person is, of course, ideal, but that can’t always happen. Calling your friends is an excellent way to stay engaged with one another & all that’s going on. It’s so much more convenient, satisfying, and genuine than simply relying on a text or social media (nothing wrong with those, but phone calls are so important, too!). Try Skype or Facetime, if you want. I try to talk to all of my closest friends about once every two weeks, on average. Sometimes it’s a bit longer than that, and sometimes it’s shorter. Figure out what works for you all, and stick to it! Now I so look forward to my phone chats with my dear friends – there’s a reason why I put an effort into maintaining friendships with these people, afterall.

3. Social media doesn’t (really) count.

Social media has lots of perks, but there are also some disadvantages to social media sites when it comes to maintaining genuine friendships. I’m a pretty firm believer in the fact that social media (seeing news via FaceBook, liking a picture on Instagram, etc) doesn’t really count when it comes to maintaining and growing deep relationships. I think it can help, or it can spark a friendship, and it is beneficial to keep up with friends via social media, but it’s not the end all, be all. I would be rather upset if I found out big news from social media first, if it was news from a dear friend. In my opinion, you cannot rely solely on social media avenues to “keep in touch” with friends if you expect them to be lifelong, close friends.
4. Snail mail! Pen pals!
As a Southern girl, I clearly adore the art of sending a handwritten letter. Remembering to send handwritten birthday cards (remembering birthdays is huge!), congratulations cards (new job, new pet, new house, new anything!), engagement/anniversary cards, thinking of you notes, and everything else… it’s so fun, quite simple, and so rewarding. I love the surprise of receiving snail mail, and I imagine others like it just as much as I do. It’s an easy yet special way to show your friends that you’re thinking of them.
5. Plan a reunion.
As much as all of these tips can help you maintain and grow meaningful, genuine friendships, there’s nothing quite like seeing your best friend(s) in person for quality time together – in person. Planning reunions with your closest friends has a plethora of benefits: not only do you have something to plan for & look forward to, but it’s also one of the best feelings in the world when you’re surrounded by the people who just get you. Weddings and babies are marvelous opportunities to reunite with friends, and I love these events so much for this reason! And sometimes you have to set aside a weekend or week-long reunion time with your best friends where you can just be – where you can see each other in person and talk nonstop for hours/days. Reuniting with my best friends is one of the deepest joys in my life, and there’s not much quite like it.

Wedding Invitations | Wedding Paper Divas

Wedding Paper Divas is an incredibly popular, well-known, and expansive wedding invitation website, well-known throughout the wedding industry. Recently, Wedding Paper Divas has expanded their wedding invitation line, stayed ahead of the wedding stationery trend, and has partnered with some incredible brands (like my beloved Southern LivingBHLDNClaire Pettibone, and Pottery Barn) to create exclusive, custom wedding stationery collections. Browsing through all of these collections, I was blown away by the uniqueness, beauty, and feel of each of the invitation suites and how accurately they represented the collection’s brand, style, and mission.

I created a wedding inspiration board that is inspired by the new Southern Living Collection for Wedding Paper Divas, since this curated collection was ultimately my favorite. I have read every issue of Southern Living for roughly fifteen years, and I have a deep-rooted love of the South. The Southern Living Collection epitomizes so much of what I adore about the South, especially weddings in the South – as Southern Living says, the Southern bride is “rooted in tradition, but modern in spirit!”

wedding paper divas

Southern Living “Encircled Love” for Wedding Paper Divas | Jose Villa | Adam Barnes Photo for Southern Weddings

Style Me Pretty | Southern Weddings | 100 Layer Cake | Ruffled Blog

I love the blush pink invitation (such a Southern classic!), and such stunning calligraphy was the icing on the cake when selecting a favorite invitation of mine to feature. You know how much I adore calligraphy! I wanted to create a wedding inspiration board for a fabulous Southern bride centered on this gorgeous, classic invitation suite. The inspiration draws on the unique setting of the South, with a wedding set amongst the massive oak trees and Spanish moss. Pulling in soft blush accents, lush florals, and Southern fruit, like peaches, this wedding cohesively celebrates the South and sets the mood for a romantic, joyful celebration.

Wedding Paper Divas is one of the first places I look when helping brides select their wedding invitation suite, as there are endless beautiful, diverse options for any type of bride. I am continually impressed by the new designers they bring on board and the plethora of design styles. And I just love that Wedding Paper Divas has partnered with so many brands that I am already fond of to create such unique collections for any type of bride!

Musical | 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Are you a fan of theater? I know some people aren’t big on live performances or musicals of any sort, but I’m so grateful to have friends who love to go to concerts, the theater, performances, and shows just as much as I do! There is something special to be said about live acting or singing or dancing, for sure. Earlier this summer, some friends and I snagged tickets to The 21st Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical put on at Ford’s Theater. And we loved it!

I wasn’t expecting the show to be quite so hilarious, but it certainly was – I think we laughed our way through the whole musical. The singing, dancing, and acting was great, and I loved the audience participation. And I think most of us are slight spelling bee nerds, so it was especially entertaining to see a spelling bee so theatrically entertaining.

Plus, it was a little surreal to be seated just feet from where Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater. Mr grandma is a huge Abe Lincoln fan, so it was really poignant to see his box and the flags and drapery so close to us. They have beautifully renovated and updated Ford’s Theater, and it’s a quaint but gorgeous theater with lush velvet and close seating to the action. If you’re nearby, you should definitely check it out!

Sweet Summer Nights

There are so many things I love about living in Washington, DC, and that includes the plethora of things to do in the summertime. In fact, there are too many fun events and activities around the city to possibly do them all, but I think that’s a good problem to have. I love having something fun, new, and social to look forward to after work, especially when the days are long and sun is out for so many more hours.

Some of my favorite summer evening activities around the city are…

1. Jazz in the Sculpture Garden

Every Friday (between Memorial Day & Labor Day) in the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden – it seems like every twenty-something in the city flocks here Friday afternoon once work is over. I love the busyness, the live jazz music, the views (Capitol, fountain, National Archives, etc), picnics with friends, and the sangria, of course!

2. Movies in the park

Every night of the week, all around the city, different neighborhoods play great movies. Check out your local movie night (or try a new neighborhood around the city!) for a screen on the green… and try out the food trucks nearby, too!

3.  A couple weeks ago, we had a picnic (of course!) and saw a free performance of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at a park in Georgetown. It was a great show – vivacious acting, a beautiful setting, sparkly costumes, and a delicious picnic with dear friends. You never know what you can stumble across every evening of the summer!

4. Sunsets from a rooftop.

I love finding a good sunset! There are tons of rooftop events, bars, and activities around the city, and the views are mesmerizing. Definitely take the time to marvel at a summertime sunset!

5. The Kennedy Center

There are free performances every single evening at 6pm, and everyone in DC should take advantage of this! We (attempted) to see a free performance of John Legend (!!) at the Kennedy Center a couple weeks ago… we waited in line for several hours before realizing we’d never make it inside for his show. But there are always great rooftop terrace views nearby + delicious restaurants!

6. Shows/concerts

The Birchmere, in Alexandria, VA, had an amazing show that I loved! Brendan James is pretty much my all-time favorite singer, and he was on tour with Andy Grammer. Tickets were pretty inexpensive, the venue was great, and the music was incredible!! I loved being able to see Brendan again in concert, and I was finally able to meet him! You never know what can come of a good summer show.

And, of course, I love a good night of watching The Bachelor, playing tennis, or enjoying a casual dinner party, too!

What are your favorite summertime evening activities in your city?