My Favorite Summer Wines

Happy Saturday!

A glass of wine in the late afternoon light is what summer dreams are made of. My father’s side of the family is Italian, and I grew up spending summers in the town my grandmother grew up in. This little town called Filetto is southeast of Rome up in the mountains near the coast. What you can find in this quaint little town is old world charm, a culture of community and a strict adherence to the afternoon siesta schedule. You’ll also find acres and acres of grape vines.

I grew up with a love and appreciation of wine, how it’s made, and how it’s best enjoyed. My grandfather has been growing his own grapes and making his own wine his whole life. Even after moving to the states, he has kept the tradition alive. While wine is something my family believes can be consumed year round, I am especially found of the light summer whites and rosés that cool you down on a hot day.

Now, growing up surrounded by some of the best wines, I can be a bit particular in my choices; however, I’m firm in my belief that good wine can be found in any region and at any price point. I’m also a gal on a budget, so the wines I’ll be sharing today are all budget friendly, and of course, delicious!

Ruby Red Blood Orange Rosé

I found this slightly sweet rosé at my local liquor store, but you can check it out here. I like that its light, fruity, and refreshing. I’ve also tried the grapefruit version as well, which I also love. The flavor of both is unique and I almost feel like would go great in a sangria or homemade cocktail concoction!

Voga Italia Pinot Grigio

I love a good pinot (Grigio and noir) and as soon as summer rolls around it quickly becomes my drink of choice. This one is another local liquor store find that has quickly become a staple. I love how light it is, it’s really no wonder it’s award winning!

Strawberry & Raspberry Rossini

This wine tastes like a Bellini in a bottle. It’s prefect all day long, from brunch to dinner, just pick up a bottle at your local Trader Joe’s. It is very sweet, so if that’s not your thing then maybe stick to the plain Prosecco. I, however, have a wicked sweet tooth and can’t get enough of this fruity drink.

The Delicious Monster

Another great Trader Joe’s find, this wine is from South Africa. I’m not going to lie, I base most of my wine trying decisions based off the label. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but before you taste that first sip, I find it’s pretty hard to go by much else. I love the palm print of this wine, but honestly I love the wine itself even more! Even better, it’s under $10, it’s a wine-win-win!

LucaChloe-12

Anything from Chloe Wines

Unfortunately, I was fresh out of my favorite wine brand for this shoot – I literally cannot seem to keep a bottle in my house for a week without it disappearing – but here’s a fun throwback from last summer when Luca was a bitty baby pup. Some of my favorites are the Pinot Grigio, Rosé, and Prosecco. They’re all amazing and can be found at your local liquor store for under $15!

If you guys try any of these let me know what you think! I’m also always looking for new ones to try, so comment your favorites below!

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 4.50.20 PM

Decorating My New Apartment

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

IMG_3645

IMG_3650

IMG_3647

IMG_3648

IMG_3646

It sometimes feels like I’m in a constant state of packing and unpacking, moving and settling in. I’ve been moving in and out of student housing since I was fifteen, and after finally moving back home for a year, it’s time to move once again. As most of you know, I will be moving to North Carolina in August to start law school at Duke! As many times as I’ve moved, this time feels unique in a couple of ways. First, it’s a much bigger move. Before, I had roommates who would bring things, so I usually only had to furnish my own bedroom. Now I’m going in with a clean slate and will have to furnish an entire apartment. Second, the distance is a lot further this time. I was always under 2 hours away, so moving was just a matter of taking a few car trips. Now I have a twelve hour drive, which feels a bit more daunting. There a few other difference as well, like the fact that my brother is my roommate instead of a group of girls, or that i now have to also think of my pup, Luca, and how he fits into the mix. I’m getting a little dizzy just thinking of all this now, but mostly I’m just really excited to begin this new adventure!

The thing about moving so far is that the cost of getting my furniture all packed up and moved is about as much as it costs to buy new stuff (at least that seems to be the case for me and my Salvation Army bed frame). I’m not too upset though, because I get to decorate all over again! Since before I even signed the lease, I’ve been on the hunt for cute pieces to make my new home feel, well like a home. I’ve found some amazing pieces to fill my space (without breaking my budget), so today I wanted to share them with you!

Bedroom

My decor style is pretty simple, I like light white pieces and gold accents. My style for my bedroom would best be described as feminine, modern, and glam. I like clean lines. Lots of white and gold accents. Here are some of what I’ve bought for my bedroom so far:

 

White Queen Sleigh Bed

Bed: I love this sleigh bed. I was debating getting an upholstered bed, but i really likes the simple, feminine style of this one. I also like that its wood, so I can always repaint or strip it down and stain it if I need to.

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-08 at 12.13.02 PM

Nightstands: Something that I was so insistent on was having two nightstands. I’ve always only had one, but I love the symmetry of having two. I absolutely feel in love with these when I say them and couldn’t be happier with my choice. The drawers are a pretty decent size as well, so I plan to use them for extra storage.

 

Gold Etagere Bookshelf

Bookshelf: As much as I love white furniture, I wanted to make sure that I had a little more golden glam in the mix. I really like the way I’ve seen gold etagere bookshelves styled, so I got this one to put my favorite pictures and little treasures on display.

 

Gold Makeup Organizer

Golden Makeup Organizer: I got these organizers to use in my room and my bathroom. I love how they fit so perfectly with the theme. They’ll perfect for my makeup and jewelry too! I ordered mine from Wayfair, but they don’t appear to be available anymore. The ones linked are identical ones from Amazon.

Blue Ginger Jar Lamps

Blue

Pink Lamps

Pink

Lamps: I’ve been seeing ginger jars all over some of my favorite decor spaces. I wanted to add some more color into the space and these lamps are perfect. I still haven’t decided which to get but these are my top choices:

Area Rug

Rug: My apartment is all hard flooring, so an area rug was a must for my room. I debated getting something with more color, but I like that this one is so versatile and will be able to work in any space.

 

Living Room

If it was just me, my living room would be filled with a lot more white and gold; however, my brother doesn’t share my same love of gold bar carts and pops of pink. Instead, I went with a coastal farmhouse vibe for our shared space, and I actually love how well everything seems to be coming together so far.

Couch

Couch: I was dead set on getting a white couch, but the maintenance to keep it freshly white would be a nightmare. I decided to save the couch of my dreams for when I’m fully on my own and instead got this lovely light sand colored one. It’s a little more gray than beige but the color matches perfectly with all of the other upholstery we got.

Blue Area Rug

Ranck Sky Blue/Light Gray Area Rug

Blue Beige Area Rug

Kalil Blue/Beige Area Rug

Rug: I’m actually using the rug I bought two years ago in the living room. I got it at Homegoods, but will link some similar ones I also love.

IMG_3648

Ottoman: I also bought this at Homegoods, I love the weather wood look and it matches the couch perfectly.

TV Stand

TV Stand: I like how this tv console warms up the space with a wooden tone. The sliding doors are perfect for storage and really add to the farmhouse feel.

 

Kitchen

Table: I looked all over for a table and ultimately just bought one for $20 at salvation army. I was originally hoping for a more beachwood look, but the one we got is a darker color. I actually think it will help add some contrast to the space, so I’ll keep you guys posted on that.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 3.11.16 PM.png

Chairs: We went with these classic looking chairs for the space I think they’ll look really cool never to the darker table

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 3.14.08 PM.png

Settee: A challenge with furnishing a lived in space is finding the balance between aesthetic and function. I want our living space to be somewhere we can hangout and entertain, but there really want room for more than just a couch in the space so we had to get creative. I chose this settee for the dining area because it will double as additional seating in the living room if we need. The two spaces are open and connected, so it works out really well.

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 3.15.34 PM.png

Bar stools: I saw these stools and though they were the perfect way to tie everything together, The bluish gray stripes on the upholstery tie in nicely with the pillows we picked out for the living room. I also love the light wood.

 

I still have a few things here and there that I need to get, but this is the bulk of it. I’m so excited to see how it all comes together when we finally get to move in!

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 4.50.20 PM

I Got it from My Mama

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mamas out there!

Today I want to dedicate this post to the most incredible woman I know, my mom. My mom is the kind of person who makes everyone feel special and loved, even on their worst day. When we were younger, she was always the mom my friends wanted to come over and see after school. I owe so muchto her because she simply never believed that there was anything in this world that I couldn’t do. No matter how much I doubted myself, she was always there to tell me that I could and would succeed. She struggles to talk about herself and her accomplishments, but I’m endlessly fascinated by what she’s done with her life. 

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

The ninth of eleven children from South Dakota, my mom moved to Boston on her own shortly after graduating high school. She started working and eventually fell into modeling. While out here she met my dad and they fell for each other. Being the boss lady that she is he moved inwith her and she managed to continue paying the rent on her own. Eventually, they built a house together and had me! My mom was so much on her own before she met my dad and had me and my siblings but it was once she became a mom that I really feel like she grew into a role she was truly destined for.

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

Anyone can tell you that being a mom is hard work, but with my mom you’d really never know. She was there for everything. Every game, recital, school fair, field trip, and that’s all continued through until now, even as all her kids are grown up. When I told her I wanted to start this blog, she never questioned it, she just jumped right into the role of photographer – despite having no prior experience or interest for that matter. Almost every picture on this site is her doing. She’s such an integral part of this process and has never gotten the full credit or thanks she deserves. 

Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

As I stand on the cusp of where I am now and where I’m going, I am so thankful to know that no matter what she’ll always be there. Getting to move back home and live with her this past year has brought us closer than ever, and I’ll be forever thankful for all the time we’ve spent together so far. 

IMG_9563

Despite being my favorite person, my mom and I have very different personalities. I am always on the go, hyper-focused, type-A, and have a tendency to think of myself before others. My mom on the other hand likes to take her time and is always putting others’ needs before her own. She’s taught me to look at situations from the other perspective and to ask what I can do for others instead of the reverse. I know in my heart that most of my very best qualities are what I have learned from her. I can only hope that someday when I become a mom myself that I can take on that nearly impossible role with half as much grace and patience as she has these past twenty-three years. I love you, Mom. Thank you for giving me everything in this world, and for molding me into the woman I have become. I’ll never be able to make it up to you, and I simply don’t know what I would do without you. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 4.50.20 PM

Cozy Fall Home Decor

Fall Decor-1

Fall Decor-9

Fall Decor-11

Fall Decor-13

Happy Fall Y’all!

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, then you know how much I love all things fall! This season I really worked to clean up my space a little better in my living room. I reorganized how and where I store things and it just feels so much less cluttered now. Hopefully next season I’ll get to my closet (ha!).

Today’s post is all about how I decorated for fall this year. Cooler weather outside calls for making it feel as cozy and warm inside as possible. I always love making spaces my own. For me, nothing compares to the feeling of coming home after a long day and I really strive to create a space that feels welcoming and homey. I never grow tired of the familiar smells as I walk through the door or the sight of a cozy couch asking to be curled up on while I unwind. The biggest decor lesson I have learned is to make whatever space you’re working with feel like it’s yours. Sometimes I find myself scrolling through Pinterest for hours loving images of beautiful spaces, but when I try and recreate the look I realize it doesn’t really fit with my space or my style.

Fall decor is a perfect example of this. My decor style is all about light spaces, lots of whites, and cooler tones. Traditional fall decor focused more on deeper, warmer hues. While I love the look of a cozy autumn cottage in the mountains, or a warm rustic farm house, those looks would just look out of place in my space. The challenge for myself this season was to find a way to incorporate all the things I love about fall in my space, while balancing them with my style. Follow along to see how I tackled fall seasonal decor.

Fall Decor-21

Fall Decor-20

Fall Decor-28

Fall Decor-27

Fall Decor-30

Fall Decor-31

When I think of traditional fall colors I think of warmer hues and a lot of orange. I was nervous that too much of this would feel out of place in my living room, especially since my rug is white and blue. Searching through Pinterest, I found a lot of inspiration for shaking up traditional fall decor by mixing up the traditional color scheme. I focused on working with my cooler tones but still incorporating warm colors as well. The blankets I used on my couch and chair are actually scarves but they were perfect as decorative accents so I just ran with it.

Fall Decor-33

Fall Decor-41

Fall Decor-43

Fall Decor-44

Fall Decor-37

 

I love pumpkins, especially small little ones (though I think they’re technically gourds). I used them to add little touches of fall to the space. I found the gold ‘thankful’ embroidered pillow at HomeGoods and loved how it fit. For other decorative accents, I found some festive little wooden signs in the Target dollar section which went nicely with the mantle. I also found these fabric pumpkins at target. They were a great way to stay true to the fall theme while still tying the space together.

I really love how my space turned out, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t switched a few things around. I’m always changing things up because this is all so new to me. I have learned a lot so far and feel even more prepared to tackle holiday decorations in a month or so! For now though, I think I’ll just sit back with my pups and relaxin my cozy fall home.

How do you decorate your home for fall? Comment below!

Love Ashley

October’s Mix: Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mules

October Mix-6

October Mix-14

October Mix-8

October Mix-5

October Mix-2

October Mix-9

October Mix-10

October Mix-12

October Mix-13

October Mix-14

Hi guys,

It’s time to share October’s mix with you. This month’s drink is similar to September in that it’s a fun twist on a popular cocktail. When I think October I immediately think of colorful leaves, fall spices, and pumpkin of course. These very best parts of fall inspired October’s drink: a Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule. After adding pumpkin flavor to almost every aspect of my diet and lifestyle, a cocktail felt like the natural next step in the progression of my pumpkin addiction.

When walking through the kitchen section of Homegoods, I saw a variety of pumpkin flavor syrups. These are meant to add a little flavor to coffees but I wondered what else they could do. Trying to imagine what this would pair well with, I decided vodka was probably one of my best bets. I also love classic Moscow Mules and figured the ginger beer would be a nice paring with the pumpkin spice.

I was a little weary at first because one of my favorite flavors in drinks is lime, so I was nervous that eliminating that from the recipe would ruin it – but I was fairly certain pumpkin and lime wouldn’t be the best combination of flavors. Eliminating this, I sought to add something else to the mix to bring out the spice and help to cut down the sweetness. Cinnamon did just the trick, but I think nutmeg could be a yummy spice to throw into the mix as well!

This recipe did take a little trial and error, and I even had it reviewed my BSB’s very own cocktail expert, aka my mom. I underestimated how strong the pumpkin spice flavoring was. I initially used 2 oz, but it was so overpowering it was hard to notice any of the other flavors at all. Eventually we settled on an ideal mix which you can find below!

engaged!-3.png

What are some of your favorite fall drinks? Comment below!

Love Ashley

The Monthly Mix: Prosecco Paloma

Prosecco Paloma Light-2

Prosecco Paloma Light-8

Prosecco Paloma Light-14

Prosecco Paloma Light-12

Prosecco Paloma-19Prosecco Paloma-22

Prosecco Paloma-21

Prosecco Paloma-14

Hi everyone!

I am so excited to share my new little project with you guys: the Monthly Mix! Each month I will be sharing a new drink recipe on the blog. I honestly can’t wait to find new drink recipes myself because I’m getting a little tired of the same old cocktails and am definitely ready to shake things up a little (see what I did there..).

September is a tricky month because everyone starts gearing up for fall but the weather is still warm most of the way through. This seems especially true this year in Boston because most days have been in the mid-70s and above! Because of this, I decided to choose a fun new twist on a classic refreshing drink, the Prosecco Paloma.

This new concoction came to me recently after discovery two great things in this world: 1. The Paloma and 2. Trader Joe’s Grapefruit Prosecco. The only thing I don’t like about this drink is how long it took me to find out about it. I have lived 22 whole years of my life never having heard the word ‘Paloma.’ Granted, up until a year and half ago it didn’t pertain to me much, but now that I’m feeling 22 and living out my life as a post-grad, I knew it was time to find something to order out at a bar or restaurant.

Before I get into this drink, I’ll give you some background on the classic Paloma.  Let my preface this by saying that I am an avid tequila lover. To some this is a deal breaker, so if this is you, don’t be alarmed, I’ve found this recipe works great with vodka too! If you are like me and a big tequila fan, or even a moderate tequila fan and don’t know what a Paloma is, then you’re in luck because I’m about to blow your mind. Conversely, if you are far more sophisticated than me and have known about this drink forever,  then sorry, but stay with me because this isn’t your typical Paloma here.

Prosecco Paloma-1

Prosecco Paloma-4

So I’ve ordered just a regular Paloma a few times now, – you know, making sure I did my thorough research and all – and I’ve discovered a few things. First, there are a couple different ways to mix up this classic. Some make it with grapefruit soda, while others opt for grapefruit juice and soda water. Personally, I like it best with fresh grapefruit and lime juice and seltzer, I think the soda is too sweet. Second, the tequila used plays a major role in this drink. I feel like this is may be and obvious observation and true with all drinks, but especially in this case, get the good stuff. I am certainly not an tequila expert, but I pretty much exclusively drink Patron because its clean and doesn’t make me want to curl up in a ball once the sun rises the next day. So as far as your typical Paloma goes, here are the main takeaways: stick to the good stuff- fresh juices, clean clear tequila, and seltzer are all you need, may be a little simple syrup if you like things on the sweeter side.

A Paloma is also a great lower calorie alternative to other drinks like margaritas and fruity cocktails. It really just depends on what you put in and without the added sugar of soda there isn’t much “bad” in it. You can find my favorite classic recipe here. Now onto my own twist…

Prosecco Paloma-9

Prosecco Paloma-7

Prosecco Paloma-8

I am a big grapefruit fan, again something that people seem to either love or hate. I am also a big Prosecco fan. Putting this all together, I was beyond ecstatic when my darling mother came home with a bottle of grapefruit Prosecco from Trader Joe’s. I instantly dreamed up a way to combine it with my newfound favorite: the Paloma. I think the Prosecco strikes the perfect balance between the bubbles of the seltzer, while adding a little more sweetness without being too much like the soda. Given all the ingredients, I guess you could argue this is more of a summer drink, but I personally love it and think it can be consumer year round…where there’s a will there’s a way!

This drink is perfect for parties and I am just in love with the color of it. If I’m being completely honest, the color alone would have probably been enough to entice me and was one of the things that made me fall in love with Palomas before I even tasted one. I added some cute straws from Target to complete the look (they were $1 for the pack, so I couldn’t resist). I had a blast sipping this drink. I hope you guys like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think below in the comments section! I would also love to hear if you have any suggestions for upcoming monthly mixes, so if there is anything I should true, comment below!

 

engaged!.png

engaged-2.png

Best Dressed for the Holidays

Hi guys!

I am finally settled in at home for break and loving it! I feel like once I come home I finally get take in the all of the magic of the holiday season. There’s always so much to do in December: shopping, decorating, baking, and lots of parties to attend! Holiday parties are so much fun. This probably comes as no surprise, but I love an opportunity to get dressed up! So today, I am sharing some of my favorite festive looks for all the parties this season!

Casual Gift Swap:

Sweater-2

Sweater-4

Sweater-3

Sweater-1

This Look | Sweater: Marshall’s (similar cute ones here: H&M, Target,) | Pants: Banana Republic | Flats: Tory Burch|

My mom surprised me with this sweater when I got home and I love it! It’s from Marshall’s and I can’t find it online, but I’ve linked some similar ones for you. I think it would be perfect for a holiday brunch or casual party with friends or family. Plus, it’s so cozy so it’s an all around winning look. I styled it here with black pants and flats, but you could swap the look out for jeans and booties too!

Dinner with Friends:

Red Shirt-1

Red Shirt-3

Red Shirt-7

Red Shirt-8

This Look | Top: T.J. Max (similar here) | Pants: Banana Republic | Boots: Nordstrom (last year) but these are so cute!|Bracelets: Kate Spade |

I actually got this shirt this summer but I love how festive it looks now. This look is great for a gathering with friends that calls for attire that is a little dressier than just a sweater and flats.

Christmas Cocktails:

Red Dress-4

Red Dress-1

Red Dress-7

Red Dress-3

This Look | Dress: Urban Outfitters (on sale!)| Shoes: Marshall’s (similar here) | Bracelets: Kate Spade |

I am in love with this dress. It makes me feel like Cher, from Clueless. I also loved that it was on sale for $40! I haven’t decided if I want to wear it for Christmas or New Years yer, but I love that it is perfect for both!

Sit-Down Dinner:

Tartan Skirt-6

Tartan Skirt-8

Tartan Skirt-1

Tartan Skirt-5

This Look | Shirt: Forever XXI | Skirt: Vineyard Vines | Shoes: Marshall’s (similar here) |

I have been looking for the perfect tartan skirt for ages and I was so excited when I saw this one at Vineyard Vines. I paired it here with a simple white shirt, but it could be dressed up even more with a nice sweater or blouse.

Cozy Christmas Morning Essentials

Pajamas-5

Pajamas-6

Pajamas-10

Pajamas-11

Pajamas-12

Mug: Pottery Barn | Antlers: Amazon | Pajama Top: Nordstrom |Pajama Bottoms: Victoria’s Secret (Similar here)|Bedding: Homegoods (Similar here) | Headboard: Target | Lamp: Ralph Lauren | Curtains: Nicole Miller |

Christmas morning is the one day where I have no trouble waking up early. In my family celebrations begin the night before with the feast of the seven fishes at my relatives house. It’s a Christmas Eve tradition for us where we get dressed in our Christmas best. Once we get home we get to open one gift specially designated for Christmas Eve. It’s always a new pair of pajamas that we wear to bed and on Christmas morning. This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas because who doesn’t love to be cozy!

On chilly mornings, I love to warm up with a cup of tea or coffee, so naturally I am pretty big on Christmas mugs. The one above is from Pottery Barn and I think it’s so cute. This year, I decided to share this post with all my cozy Christmas essentials. Everything is a little better with some holiday cheer added! What are some of your favorite parts of Christmas?

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 5.00.35 PM

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.07.34 PM

Pajamas: | White Reindeer: Nordstrom | White Tartan: Victoria’s Secret | Red Reindeer: Nordstrom| Gingerbread: Nordstrom| White Trees: Victoria’s Secret|Red Tartan: Ralph Lauren |

Mugs: | Reindeer: Pottery Barn | Red: Hallmark | Tartan A: Pottery Barn | Joy: Hallmark | Joyeux Noel: Wayfair | Let’s Build a Snowman: Wayfair | Snowman: Pottery Barn |

 

So Many Reasons to be Thankful

Thanksgiving-9

Thanksgiving-14

Thanksgiving-1-3

Thanksgiving-2

Thanksgiving-3

Thanksgiving-4

Thanksgiving-5

Thanksgiving-6

Thanksgiving-8

 

My sweater: TJ Maxx (similar here) | my vest: TJ Maxx (similar here)| my boots: Nordstrom (similar here) | scarf: Target | Amanda’s sweater: Francesca’s (similar here) | Amanda’s tights: Target | Amanda’s Boots: Marshall’s (similar here) |

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am writing this right before I have to run to sit down for Thanksgiving. My cousins are staying with us this year so we have twelve people in my house which means lots of stories and lots of laughs. My family is big on both sides, but most of my mom’s side is from the Midwest, so I don’t get to see them as often. This makes the holiday season even more special because we get to all be together again.

I got home Tuesday afternoon and my mom was already in cleaning mode. After scrubbing every inch of the house and rearranging the furniture to accommodate a larger than normal group of people, it was time to start decorating and preparing the food. The house is filled with rich smells of all the yummy food. My favorite part of thanksgiving is dessert, so its no surprise that I get even more excited with I get a whiff of of all the sweets being baked.

This year I have so much to be thankful for, but my amazing friends and family are definitely at the top of the list. I am so lucky to have so many people by my side. Knowing my mom is just a phonemail away and always willing to talk is the best feeling. She’s borderline superhuman and is always doing something for someone. She put together our whole Thanksgiving meal too, she’s really the best.

Every year we take Thanksgiving pictures (usually for our Christmas card). Unfortunately, my younger brother, Andrew, was not having it this year, so Amanda and I decided to just do them on our own (why let a silly boy spoil our fun?). Anyway, I figured I share them with you guys! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions. So feel free to comment them below!

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Love Ashley