Explore: Emily Bordner Handbags

emily-bordner-handbags

Have you seen Emily Bordner’s handbags? They’re really, really good. She’s local and super talented. I picked up this adorable, fringed clutch at Feng and am obsessed with her wrap version and another little gold option. You can also find her line at West Elm on the Plaza. Something tells me I’ll be adding several to my purse collection.

The weekends should be for exploring. Every Friday this month, I’m sharing something fun to try.

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Cinco de Mayo Brunch

flower-arrangements

In my books, Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to eat Mexican food, which truthfully, I never need. While we probably won’t be hitting a local bar to celebrate this year, hosting a brunch is right up our alley.

This “build your own breakfast tacos” menu comes together in around an hour and has a little something for everyone (even two toddlers).

cinco-de-mayo-table

To set a festive mood, I chose blue Ball jars and added purple freesia and orange and yellow tulips. I chose woven placements and napkins in a variety of vibrant shades. With dishes in white, the effect is crisp and cheerful.

crema-cotija-cheese

Cinco de Mayo Brunch Menu for 4 Adults and 2 Toddlers

  • Cotija, crumbled
  • Shredded Monterey Jack
  • Lime spiked sour cream (In a bowl, stir together 1/4 c. sour cream and the juice from half a lime.)
  • Chorizo (I crisped up one tube over medium heat, but could have done two. It cooks down quite a bit. I was left with a garnish.)
  • Scrambled eggs (12 eggs whisked with milk, salt and pepper. Then, cooked over medium low heat until just set.)
  • Flour tortillas
  • Southwestern potatoes (I dialed the jalapeno back, using just half and removed the ribs and seeds. Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe.)
  • Black bean mango salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa (store-bought)
  • Margaritas

salsa-chorizo-black-beans

Game Plan
If your guests are coming at 10:00 AM…..

The day before – Make the black bean mango salsa
9:00 AM – Start on the home fries.
9:10 AM – Wrap the tortillas in foil and turn your oven on to its lowest temperature.
9:30 AM – Mix up the sour cream spiked with lime.
9:35 AM – Begin crisping the chorizo. This will take a while.
9:40 AM – Put together the scrambled eggs and get them on the stove.
10:00 AM – As your guests arrive, take their drink orders and make the margs if needed.

flowers

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mothers-Day-Gift-Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and it is one of the few times I have very little trouble coming up with gift ideas. (It may have to do with the fact that my mom, like me, always has a list of things she’d like.)

If your mother is not so forthcoming, I’ve compiled a Mother’s Day Gift Guide full of lovely ideas. Use this as a jumping off point to come up with something perfect for her.

1. Pretty stationery she might not buy for herself

2. A beautiful coffee table book to satisfy her wanderlust

3. Add a geranium to this handmade planter and you’re good to go

4. Something for your favorite baker

5. Simple and chic little bracelet

6. Notice me earrings

7. A lovely set of lipglosses

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Mexican Brownies

brownies

Brownies are kind of the perfect dessert, and lately, an idea for Mexican spiced brownies has been rattling around in my head. The classic combination of chocolate, cinnamon and chiles is always one of my favorites.

mexican-brownies

To make these, I started with the Holy Grail of brownie recipes from Alice Medrich. Seriously, people can’t get enough of these, so it seemed like a great place to start. The addition of ancho chile pepper and cinnamon complemented the deep cocoa flavor, perfect for Cinco de Mayo or Tuesday. I’ll let you be the judge.

After eating the last of these, Ellie requested I make more. And, she meant immediately. I’ve raised a smart kid.

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May Day Baskets

may-day-baskets

When I was a little girl, my mother and I made May Day baskets every year. I thought this was something everyone did, but I later found out it might not be that common, so here’s a quick run down. Basically, you roll paper into cones and fashion a little paper handle to create a basket. Then, you fill it with flowers and candy. The filled baskets are delivered in secret to your neighbors’ houses on May 1st. Growing up, we would sneak up each set of steps, ring the door bell and then, run as fast as we could to a hiding spot to watch them open it.

carnations-basket

Last year, I made May Day baskets with Ellie, because it has always been one of my favorite traditions. She enjoyed it, but didn’t really understand the concept of running and hiding. This year, I think she will love every minute of it. She plays a pretty mean game of hide and seek.

However, we still have some work to do on making the baskets. Crafting with a toddler is never what you might expect. After we rolled the cones, Ellie announced “We need to hunt dinosaurs,” and then, proceeded to yell “Snore! Snore!” into her new megaphone. While she ran around the house in search of T-Rexes, I finished these up on my own.

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Explore: Milly for Kohl’s

Anyone else like me still suffering from missing out on Lilly Pulitzer at Target? Well, I have something that might cheer you up. Milly is launching a collection at Kohl’s, and it looks so cheerful and pretty. See?

Millys

Cute, right? I plan to check it out this weekend. What will you be exploring?

The weekends should be for exploring. Every Friday this month, I’m sharing something fun to try.

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Lately

egg-hunt

On Easter, Ellie hunted eggs in our backyard. Because I had my camera, she got hers out too. You’ll see hers also doubles as a thermometer.

farm

A few weeks ago, we spent a lazy weekend at the farm visiting Keegan’s family. One evening, the light was the prettiest thing on the planet. This photo captures how these two always look. She’s mid-sentence, and he’s in love.

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Date Night

black-shirt-red-sunglasses

This is exactly the sort of thing I would wear for drinks with friends or a night out with the husband. An easy black shirt, a reliable pair of skinny jeans and a pair of wedges have me out the door pretty quickly.

In fact, I’ve been working this combination since college. On nights when I don’t know what to wear, a black shirt and pair of jeans have never failed me. While I choose different kinds of tops now (no backless options for me any more), I still rely on this as my go-to.

purse-sunnies

Adding a patterned or colorful clutch is my final trick. And now, you know all my secrets for getting dressed.

black-shirt

Shirt, Nordstrom; Jeans, J Brand, Shoes, old, similar here; and clutch, H&M, old, similar here

black-shirt-skinny-jeans

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Strawberry Almond Muffins

strawberry-almond-muffin

Strawberry Almond Muffins taste like the best parts of spring. Slightly nutty and studded with bright berries, these little beauties took me three tries to get right. When making the first batch, I accidentally turned off the oven. The second didn’t have enough flour. Despite the mistakes, every round still tasted pretty good, but in my opinion, needed some work. Surprisingly, no one in my house complained. In fact, I think they may have preferred it. Keegan is gunning for a redo. He might be up to something.

muffin-rug

Luckily, I had a great sous-chef to help me work out any kinks. I’m not sure she’s figured out sabotage equals more muffins. Once she does, I’m hosed.

ellie-stirring

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AFI Top 100 Films: The Godfather II

the-godfather-ii

This time, we only watched one movie off the AFI top 100 films list. You can find each of our his and hers reviews here, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with the project, Keegan and I are working our way through the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time list. Sometimes, we agree. Others, we couldn’t be further apart.

Lane: We watched what I like to refer to as “The Godfather One” several years ago, so when it came up on the AFI list, we skipped it. I wish we had viewed it a second time before digging in to this one. I had forgotten a lot. I enjoyed the story line with DeNiro, but I will say I did not love this movie. I appreciated it, but found it really long. I can see why it’s on the list, but will probably skip The Godfather III. Please mention this to no one. Ever. I don’t want to end up with a horse head in my bed.

Keegan: I liked the content of this movie and the backstory of how Vito came to be, played by DeNiro, but it all seemed disjointed. The movie was really long and didn’t keep me engaged like the first. It’s a good movie and worth seeing, so you understand the full back story of the Godfather, but I won’t seek this out to watch again.

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