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Friday, December 23, 2011

Maxwell-Concklin Christmas II

John and I decided to make our Dec. 21 Christmas celebration an annual event. We get to make a fancy dinner and exchange gifts four days early! It also allows us to create our own family traditions but reserve the big day for our parents. 

This year, we had a wonderful time with our favorite bubbly and a Stuffed Pork Loin, Roasted Root Vegetables, Green Beans in Shallot Vinaigrette, and Butternut Squash Bread Pudding. Bread Pudding is so fun to make, and this one in particular combines sweet and savory in a really good way. It was a total hit.  

Herbie got a new bouncy ball, a bone, and Blueberry treats. :)

We hope you all have a beautiful holiday weekend with the people you love most. 


 p.s. My two handsome men -

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Inspiration comes in so many forms. For me, it's clearly been in music (though not as much these days) - and often in words, color, and design. For a while, it was our wedding. Designing a day to represent both of us individually and what we've become as a unit kept me entranced for hours on end. Most recently, it's become our home. We finally have a place of our own combined with the feeling that we're going to stay a little while. What inspires me now is having a space to create something for us - a place to live, work, and play - a blank canvas that will serve as the backdrop for our next few chapters.

We both have a penchant for bright colors, so I'm thinking a neutral background that will allow for lots of warm, energizing pops of color. I've been having a lot of fun searching Design Sponge, Design Love Fest, Oh Happy Day!, and others to see what excites me and find offbeat ideas on where to shop.

Scouring Craigslist for thrifty furniture finds becomes so addictive!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This steals my heart.

I'm so in love with these portraits from illustrator Itsuko Suzuki. They make me want to go rescue all the dogs I can get my hands on and make sure they have lots of hugs.

xo, LM.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breaking Bad in my kitchen.

John and I love Holiday Projects.This year, it's homemade Pomegranate Jelly inspired by Aarean at The Color Issue. While I was figuring out Pectin and Calcium, I felt like my Dad the Chemist would be proud...along with Walter White.

As it turns out, making jelly is way more fun and less intimidating than you might think - and a nice little hostess gift to have on hand for holiday parties. The festive color doesn't hurt. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just a Delight

Forget red and green; yellow is my favorite. This is so happy. 

From the lovely Sarah at Note to Self

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Things

I visited The Grove Park Inn with my lovely aunt this weekend. We had delicious food and looked at the National Gingerbread House display. These houses were incredible - intricate detail and entirely edible! My inner baker was amazed.

The Grove Park Inn has the biggest stone fireplace I've ever seen. It's so cozy.

But Aunt Lyn shared more than just Creme Brulee with me this weekend - old family photos, some gorgeous vintage clothing she wore in college that happens to fit me perfectly, and my grandparents' sweetheart charms. I have "Trudy and Leonard" pendants in time to include them in my wedding. They're very special.

And John's incredibly sweet.



Friday, December 9, 2011


I'm in love with the Trader Joe's Christmas bags this year - DIY Kraft paper gift tags with pretty white text. Here you'll also see a lovely 5 pm moon and Herbie, who never ceases to amaze me with his sweet little humanlike habits. 

John and I tried this restaurant recently and loved it. They had me at "pistachio encrusted goat cheese drizzled with honey." We shared the Branzini (Moroccan Sea Bass) pictured below. 

Time well wasted, indeed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2011's Food Trends

According to The Huffington Post, these are the top 11 food trends of 2011. From macarons to bitters to a general homage to the South, I feel like they took this list right off the tip of my tongue. 

And just to be clear, I would totally go to a fancy donut shop for dinner. You should come along. 


Friday, December 2, 2011

Right Now

What I need to drink right now;
How I need to pour right now;
What I need to taste right now.

Amazing packaging.

I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to open them - a favor I usually reserve for fancy soaps.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Currently: Charlie Brown Christmas

John and I have been lamenting the face that our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree somehow got left behind in Atlanta. Today after work, he surprised me with a tall, thin tree with sparkly lights to make up for it. It's so pretty! We're ready for December. :-)

I love gift-giving. 

I want to make popcorn garlands for our tree. 

Mulled wine would be really nice right now.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Almost December

Thanksgiving weekend was so relaxing. It was, however, very exciting to come home; this time, it's really ours, and we're here to stay. John and I did more cake tasting and in the midst of wedding planning, squeezed in a mid-afternoon date. We realized it's been a while since we've actually been on one of those, so that was nice, too. Coffee with homemade whipped creme and a generous shot of Whiskey never hurt anybody! And as you'll see below, Herbie is serious about hugs and serious about sleep. Just like Mom.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Very Sunny Thanksgiving

I know I grew up in South Carolina, but no one ever told me how gorgeous it was! Leaving for a few years made me so grateful for this bright blue sky and gratuitous sunshine. Or maybe it was Cleveland's Lake Effect Clouds. Either way, I was in awe of today's beautiful weather - spent celebrating life with my wonderful parents, brothers, fiance, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandfather.

I was always the tall big sister, but look at how tiny I look next to my baby brothers!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. If you're reading this, chances are I'm pretty grateful for you, too.


This Week

Dropped on my desk by a brave high school boy.

First cake tasting!

Don't wake me up faces from Herbie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Everyone's saying it

via oh joy!

But it's true: I'm so very, very thankful.

John and I are homeowners! We can hardly believe it. We continually marvel at the space we have, and those of you who saw the Cleveland apartment will understand why. Herbie likes having stairs inside! He's also been making beds in the weirdest places, i.e. any box with soft things in it that hasn't been unpacked. It's adorable.

This is the time of year when I think of the Butterball Hotline and the Ping-Pong Table. You should, too.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Lucky Girl

R to the i c e

I love brown rice. It's so nutty and delicious. It's also healthy. Win.

I was happy to see this article in The Times over the weekend - a good little project to try in our new condo. Speaking of which, we close tomorrow!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Borecole! (Dutch for Farmer's Cabbage)

Remember when you were a kid and everyone asked what your favorite food was?

These ten ideas have me drooling over this delightful cabbage. I've already tried some of them, and you should, too. Real Simple's recipes are always elegant and healthy and easy to squeeze into a busy day. Kale is John's favorite as well, so this works out. We talk about Kale Chips like they're illegal.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Engagement Photos!

I get to marry John in 150 days. I think I've made this clear, but we are so excited. Not a day goes by that I don't marvel at our relationship. He is such a gift.

Initially John and I wanted a wedding photographer with a journalistic, natural style that would remain sophisticated. We wanted hip without overly trendy editing. Graham from Once Like a Spark Photography did a gorgeous job of capturing the way we feel about each other in these photos. OLAS has been wonderful to work with, and we are really looking forward to having them at our wedding. Graham was like our really fun third wheel who took us to all the cool places. Just perfect.

This day was special to us, because it was the first chance had to celebrate our relationship after a really hard summer. What a beautiful reminder of the things to come.

Update: You can also see our engagement photos here on Style Me Pretty.

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