Friday's Favorite Five

FFF (Friday’s Favorite Five): Romance Books

There is nothing better than getting under a fluffy blanket, having some hot chocolate or tea in hand, and reading a good romance book. I have read countless and countless of romance books, but it isn’t too difficult to pick my favorite five. These are the kind of books I wish you could go back and read for the first time, but that doesn’t stop me from re-reading them over (and over) again. Without further ado, here are my favorite five.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

jane-eyreI’m usually not the kind of person that liked the books we had to read in school. However, Jane Eyre was a completely different story. I could not put the book down. I finished it weeks before we were supposed to have finished. The chemistry between Mr. Rochester and Jane immediately pulls you in. There is nothing better in a book than to have complicated characters and Jane and Mr. Rochester certainly fit the bill. An old-fashioned version of the boy meets girl, they break up, and get back together storyline, but yet it departs the cliche in so many ways. You follow Jane through her thoughts and doubts and where her heart pulls her. The ending is a heart melting, tear-jerking moment that I wish I could read for the first time again. If you haven’t read this, you better stop reading this blog post and go get it now! If you have, read it again because there is always something you missed the first (or hundredth) time.

2. The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass

This book is a big jump in time from Jane Eyre, but you will not be able to sleep without finishing these three books. the-selectionI read all three in one week. This book is a mash-up of the Hunger Games and the Bachelor (I know, it is as good as it sounds!). However, this dystopian novel is not shallow in any sense of the word. This book will have you screaming into the book, crying, laughing, and every emotion in between. The relationship between Maxon and America is a roller coaster like you have never experienced, but one you will find to be so real amidst this made-up world. If you want a book that makes your heart leap, stomach drop, and teeth clinch, then this is the one for you. It is one of those books that you create an emotional connection to and never want to let go.

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

prideSome might be wondering why this book didn’t take the first spot on the list. Although the third spot is nothing to frown at, it is there because of its movie counterpart. I know you cannot judge a book by its movie, but it is hard not to. The movie Pride and Prejudice is by far and away my favorite movie (but that is for another Friday). However, the book doesn’t quite measure up to the chemistry that Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen have in the breath-taking movie. However, the book does contain the same enthralling love story and plot between the wonderful Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. The book will have you falling in love with the Bennets even in all their quirks and faults. However, nothing will compare to the love you will feel with Mr. Dracy and his tumbling emotions with Lizzy Bennet.

4. Breathe by Abbi Glines

Breathe could be considered a cliche, but it is the combination of all the best cheesy breatheromantic movies, cliche books, and high school love plot lines put together. It is THE romantic easy-read novel. It has the movie star, the girl that isn’t overwhelmed by his fame, the best friend, the nosey media, and then add a pregnant, troubled mom and a couple of hospital visits, and you have Breathe. I still do not understand why this has not been made into a movie yet, but alas it will have you swooning over Jax and rooting for him and Sadie to make it. The beginning is sweet and then in the middle, the book picks up where you do not know what you’ve been doing and the book is over and its morning.

5. The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

vincent-boysObviously, Abbi Glines does not disappoint by having two in the top five. This was the first book of hers that I read that got me hooked on romance novels, so maybe it holds a soft spot in my heart. Nonetheless,you can read this book like candy. The love triangle between Ashton, Beau, and Sawyer will have you wishing and hoping for so many different things. Beau is the town bad boy while Sawyer is the town good boy, and the drama just between them is heated. The two boys fight, couples falls in love, and then there is the back of Beau’s truck. Enough said ;). Read this book, and then go read everything else Glines has written because they are all the perfect “candy” romances. The perfect books to escape reality and not have too strain your brain.


Pride and Prejudice – PinterestThe Vincent Boys and Breathe – Good ReadsJane Eyre – The Heroine’s BookshelfThe Selection – Kiera Cass
Travel Spot

Aspen, CO

Aspen, Colorado needs to be first on your bucket lIMG_6123ist if it isn’t already.Take my word for it. Everywhere you turn there is a jaw-dropping view. Whether you are zipping down mountains in a motorcycle, walking through town, hiking to the top of a mountain, or eating from one of the top restaurants, every moment will feel like a dream. There are few places where the beauty is so overwhelming as it is in Aspen. Although it gets a lot of praise for its ski season, I am here to argue that the summer in Aspen is even better. Although the trip will not be cheap it is 100% worth it. Aspen does not fall short on anything… shopping, food, activities, you name it! So, put some extra pennies in your piggy and plan your perfect next adventure here.

Where to stay:

St. Regis IMG_6453.JPG

Right in the middle of town with wonderful amenities, food, and staff. Equipped with an oxygen bar, spa, Food & Wine restaurant, pool, and great outside eating area perfect for having a drink.


Breakfast – Peach’s

Yummy, fresh breakfast. Could go every day and not get tired of it. Recommend: French Toast Waffle

Lunch – The White House or Meat and Cheese

meat and cheeseThe White House has a limited menu, but every single item is made to perfection. Recommend: The French Dip
Meat and Cheese is an adorable market and restaurant that specializes in different kinds of boards. Steak board, meat board, cheese board, and even a cookie board. You can’t go wrong. Recommend: sharing multiple boards family style

Dinner – Food and Wine or Matsuhisa

Food and Wine has a restaurant inside the St. Regis Hotel. They feature new chef’s throughout the year that bring new dishes with them. A very unique, special place. Great bar as well.

Matsuhisa is not easy on the wallet because it is hard to stop ordering, but so worth it. As a Nobu restaurant, the sushi never disappoints. Recommend: sitting at the bar, and getting what they recommend

Late Night Snack IMG_6448– Donut Truck

In the middle of town there is an adorable donut truck that stays open late and delivers the most mouthwatering mini-donuts in any flavor you can imagine. Recommend: cinnamon-sugar or Nutella (but really, there s no bad choice)




It is a hiker’s paradise. So many trails to choose from each with their own incredible views.
Although tough, you can’t go to Aspen without doing the Ute trail. Trust me the view is worth it.


The winding roads and mountains are perfect for biking whether you are Lance Armstrong or just biking with friends. There are numerous places to rent bikes for a fun adventure.


A MUST DO. There is no better way to truly experience the views of Aspen. Although the running off the mountain might seem daunting, the 15 minute ride is actually very serene. It is a once in a lifetime experience.





it's all in the details

French Wedding Inpiration

If you can’t have a destination wedding to France, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a French wedding. The French have always known style, and weddings are no exceptions. If you want to add some of the romance and character of France to your wedding, there are endless ideas to put on your inspiration board. Here are some of our favorites.



With accents of lavender, your special day will smell like the fields in Provence. Lavender can be used as a bouquet, decor, or even to throw as the couple leaves.


Wedding Cake

Skip the traditional wedding cake, and go for a French-inspired alternative. You can have a delicate crepe cake, a traditional French croquembouche, or even an elegant macaroon cake.

French Blue Toile

Bring a sense of elegance and a pop of color with this traditional french pattern. It can be incorporated on your cake, stationery, and plates. The color pairs perfectly with a blush pink or a blood orange.



These favors are guaranteed to make your guests happy while also bringing character to your wedding. Rustic baguettes or fruit just as you would see on a street market in France or a delicious pastry in an old French-inspired tin are perfect for an added French detail.



Incorporate the luxury of Paris in your event by using accents of gold. Gold can be integrated anywhere in your event including using big gold candlesticks and intricate gold frames.


French Signage

French is called the language of love, so it is only fitting to have it on your wedding day. Incorporate the beautiful French language in signs on the back of the bride’s and groom’s chairs, on your favors, on props in your pictures, or anywhere you can make it fit.


pictures: lavender pouches – 100 Layer Cakelavender bouquet – Deer Pearl Flowerslavender drinks – Revelcrepe cake – Fab MoodCroquembouche – Lakelandmacaroon cake – Elizabeth Anne Designstoile cake – Martha Stewart Weddingstoile plates – Magnolia Rougetoile stationary – Etsybaguettes – Visual Archivesfruit favors – WeddingomaniaFrench tin favor – Belle the magazinegold candlesticks – Deer Pearl Flowersgold Paris ballroom – Style Me Prettygold frame – Wedding ChicksFrench chair signs – Style Me PrettyJe T’aime sign – Favor CoutureMerck sign – Dust Jacket
food for thought, hostess with the mostess

Reimagined: The Dessert Bar

We’ve all seen the dessert bars with the different jars filled with candy and mix matched mini desserts.  To take your next event up a notch, add a dessert bar.  But not just one of those child’s play ones. Take it up to the next level with these unique, chic dessert bars. They will add character and a little sugar to your event. Trust me, your guests will be raving about it for months.


A Churro bar.

Yes, that’s right. An endless table of fluffy, sugary churros. (I know my mouth is already watering too.) These will surely make your churrosevent stand out. You have a couple options for your churro bar. First, you can have standard long churros or churro bites that guests can grab a handful for their plate. Next, there are the dipping sauces which guests either dip their classic churros in or pour and drown their cure bites. These sauces can range from the classic rich chocolate sauces to fruity to cinnamon-y. Finally, there are the toppings. Choose you favorites because you can’t go wrong. Suggested toppings include crushed Oreos, crushed toffee, crushed pistachios, your favorite cereals, crushed caramelized popcorn, and classic chocolate sprinkles.


A Milk & Cookies bar


This is a bar that will make your guests feel right at home. You can go super simple with just white milk and a couple kinds of cookies, or you can go full out with chocolate, strawberry, white, and almond milk along with jars of different kinds of your favorite cookies. You can make it with more gourmet cookies if your event is a little nicer. Milk glasses, cookie jars, and milk dispensers will give your bar the right aesthetic, so be carful when picking them out.


An Ice Cream Sandwich Bar

This isn’t your usual chocolate wafer and vanilla ice cream sandwich, no m’am. This bar includes different options for the “bread” including glazed donuts, graham crackers, and cookies. Then the ice cream flavors are yours to choose. Pick your classic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry; or change it up with lavender, milk and honey, cornbread, or other unique flavors. You can also trade in gelato instead of your classic ice cream. Next, it includes hot chocolate sauce and other sauces to dip your sandwich in or to put inside. To top it all off, there are toppings to roll the sides of your sandwich in. My favorites include andes mints, snow caps, or mini marshmallows.


A classic float bar


This is a cute bar that is easy to make and enjoy. Pick you flavors of ice cream and scoop them into mason jars (with handles) and keep them in a an iced filled tin. Then have lots of old fashioned bottle sodas including classics like coke and root beer for people to pour in their jars. Then make sure to have whip cream, chocolate syrup, and cherries to top it off. Don’t forget paper cute straws to bring it all together. To make it for a more upscaled event, use unique flavors of ice cream and champagne flutes and have fruit to top it off.


A Waffle bar.

The bar is perfect for a girls brunch, unique bridal shower, or a fun dessertScreen Shot 2016-02-04 at 8.20.57 PM
social. Waffles are just for breakfast anymore. First, you have Belgian waffles which you can do whole, quartered, or even on a stick. Go original, or make it unique with red velvet waffles. Then you can have different fun syrups you can pour on. In addition, have Nutella and peanut butter that guests can spread on.  Finally, you can  have various toppings like fresh fruit, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, nuts, and whip cream.


A popcorn bar.


This bar is perfect for guests that will be moving around. They can come grab their bag, make their own sweet popcorn, and then continue to mix and mingle. You start with basic popcorn (I recommend also having caramel), then you have different candies and goodies to put in your bag with the popcorn such as mini reeces, health bar, coconut,  peanuts, m&m’s, cinnamon, and more. Then you top it off with the drizzle of your choice. Can have white, milk, or dark chocolate, but also caramel or other delicious drizzles. The key to this bar is having cute bags to put your popcorn in. Use seasonal toppings to make it perfect for a holiday party.


A frozen banana bar.


The perfect bar for summer parties. You start with frozen bananas on sticks kept in a cooled tin or cooler. Then you have different chocolates in which a guest can dip their banana. Lastly, toppings for guests to roll their chocolate covered treat in. My favorite is crushed peanuts, but can also have crushed pretzels, toffee, reeces pieces, crushed graham cracker, you name it. What doesn’t taste good on a sweet frozen banana?



A biscuit bar.

biscuit.jpgBring some southern twang to your event while keeping it classy. Have full sized or mini biscuits just classic or different flavors if you want to get fancy. Then have an assortment of jams, jellies, honey, fruit butters, fruit, etc. to put on your biscuits. You can even make strawberry shortcake. To make it even sweeter, add ice cream or whip cream to the bar.



Whether it is a bridal shower, a backyard party, a wedding reception, a brunch with your girl friends, or a nice cocktail party, add a dessert bar. What’s the worst that could happen? You have left over desserts. Trust me on this, you won’t. People may try to fool you, but everyone has a sweet tooth. And these bars will be sure to catch their attention and make your next event stand out.


pictures: churros – Better Homes and Gardens,  milk and cookies – the Twinery, donut sandwiches – gastrogirl, cookie sandwiches – dream recipes, mason jar floats – veggie zest, float tray – Kate Aspen, champagne flute floats – The Cookie Rookie, waffles – William Sonoma: Taste, Prada popcorn – TrendLand, Scattered popcorn – Broma Bakery, striped popcorn – Style Me Pretty, frozen bananas – Food Network – Gale Gand, biscuit bar – Southern Weddings

don't worry. be happy.

The Fourteenth of February

There are eleven days left till the clock strikes the fourteenth. Cue the giant teddy bears, heart shaped chocolates, and most of all, people complaining about Valentine’s day.  It is the time of year that people feel the need to talk about their lack of a boyfriend or lack of Valentine’s plans. To that, I say stop the hate. Valentine’s day is a day for love not about boyfriends. Let’s take a note from the Frozen handbook and not let the love of a boy be the only love that is important. Valentine’s day is a day to appreciate the love that you have in your life, including yourself. I am as single as one can be, but I love Valentine’s day. Here are five ways to turn your Valentine’s day into something you look forward to.

Number one. Surprise Someone.

Who doesn’t like surprises? Surprise someone you love on Valentine’s day with something special to show them what they mean to you. Knock on your best friend’s  apartment door and have a giant teddy bear (because let’s face it who hasn’t always wanted one of those?). Or show up to your sister’s house with some Ben & Jerry’s and Pride and Prejudice.

Number two. Send snail mail.

Old fashioned or not, there is nothing better than finding an envelope in your mailbox addressed to you (that isn’t a bill). Send a handwritten letter to someone or some people who mean something to you. Take the time to write how thankful you are for them on this Valentine’s day. Don’t forget to seal it with a kiss.

Number three. Host a Galentine’s party.

Okay, yes, technically Galentine’s day is on the 13th, but I’m not so into technicalities. Host a fun get together for all your friends single or not. Have a brunch with pink mimosas and heart shaped waffles covered in strawberries. Do whatever you please to catch up with your gals and feel surrounded by love on Valentine’s day. And remember hoes always come before bros.

Number four. Give back.

Spread the love. Make some heart shaped cookies, red velvet cupcakes, or even old fashioned valentines. Hand them out to the homeless man on the corner you always pass by and by the fire station and police stations. Because everyone should feel love on Valentine’s day.

Number five. Treat yourself.

Feeling the love includes the love from yourself. So, go and buy a giant heart shaped box of chocolate and try every single one. Wake up early and go to your favorite cafe and sit down and drink your cafe au lait. Or sleep in late and enjoy coffee in bed. Or make yourself some chocolate-dipped strawberries and pop the champagne. You are worth celebrating.


So, this Valentine’s day don’t fall into the usual moans about another Valentine’s day, but rather surround yourself with love and be sure to make the people you care about feel loved. This holiday has gotten sucked into society’s machine and spit out the other side as crowded dinner dates and singles pity parties.

Feel the love. Send the love. Spread the love.

Because it only comes once a year.  


just a thought

Second time’s the charm

Everyone always talks about the importance of a first impression. Although there is value of a good first impression, I think the second impression is the most important.

When you see someone the second time whether you are crossing on the street, in front of the produce in the grocery store, or in the middle of a club, the rest of your relationship or lack there of can be determined by the second meeting. Here are some of the options that can happen in a second chance meeting.

no acknowledgement – It is almost as if you didn’t meet the first time. They will assume you do not remember them, and therefore your relationship has reached a immediate end.

smile or nod – You acknowledge that you remember them and show that you are friendly, but nothing more than that. Forget about friend zone. You’ve entered the friendly acquaintance zone.

“Hey! Good to see you again. ” – A definite step up from the smile, but you are still impersonal. You definitely remember them, but the greeting is dead end and will not lead to any more than a reciprocated short greeting…  leaving you in the just Facebook friend zone.

Hey _____ ! How are you?” – Remembering their name instantly propels you into a higher level. By asking a question, you are engaging them. However, it will likely lead into a short generic conversation. Yet, you still have hope. You have made yourself a new friend. Although you two might not be too close, there is potential for more. Nothing wrong with taking it slow.

Hey _____! How was your trip to _____?” – Remembering their name and asking about something personal is showing that you want to continue getting to know them.This can lead to a more in depth conversation and maybe even a meeting for coffee or lunch date. Make sure to get there number because you have made yourself a good friend.


So, next time instead of stressing over meeting new people, worry more about re-meeting people. Pay attention to how you treat someone when you meet again. Without thinking about it, you might look up from your phone to give a short smile without knowing what you have automatically destined your friendship or lack there of to be. No matter what you decide to do, be friendly. It’s up to you just how friendly.



just a thought

One in 7.125 Billion

There are seven billion one-hundred twenty-five million people in the world.

Roughly 7 billion minds that creating endless thoughts, roughly 7 billion hearts breaking and falling in love, roughly 14 billion hands writing symphonies and novels, roughly 14 billion eyes taking in the world, roughly 14 billion feet traveling across 7 continents, and roughly 7 billion souls believing in something.

I am just one mind, one heart, and one soul. Out of 7,125,000,000 people, there is only one me.

Some might call those odds impossible.

I call it fate.