Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Austin in Instagrams

This past weekend I visited one of my college besties, Kassie, in Austin, TX and it was a total blast. Every time I go to Austin I kind of think I want to move there. The city has a ton of outdoor space and the people are delightfully weird. Central Texas, aka the hill country, is definitely one of the most beautiful areas of the state and has a lot to offer. Here are some snapshots of the weekend through my phone's camera lens.

Friday night we took it easy and just went to Home Slice Pizza for dinner and some beers. I've been to Home Slice once before, and while I'm not an expert on pizza places in Austin, this one is my personal favorite! We both opted for Pearl Snap beer to drink, which is locally brewed in Austin and was quite delicious, I thought.

Saturday morning Kassie made an amaaaazing brunch that included baked french toast and a baked egg over tomato puree with goat cheese (or something along those lines) and I got some cuddle time in with my former cat child, Maeby. I got her as a Christmas gift from a friend in college but when I moved home she wasn't allowed with me :( Kassie and Jason agreed to take her and she has been living with them happily for the past two years.




After brunch we ventured out to Spicewood, TX for my first visit to Krause Springs. It was so beautiful with lots of shaded areas and cold water to take a dip in. Also, it was a prime location for people watching, which is everyone's favorite activity, right? By the way, how adorable is Kassie in her swimsuit coverup? I was a little obsessed!


Saturday night Kassie and I went out on the town at Rainey Street, my personal favorite bar scene in Austin. Rainey is becoming way more popular and had at least five or six new bars since the last time I went almost a year ago but I still enjoyed it! My friend from college, Mark, met up with us and I was so glad I got to spend some time with him. I think it had been at least a year since I'd seen him but senior year of college he, Sarah and I were nearly inseparable.







Kassie and I got a late start on Sunday but we were still able to enjoy lunch at Gourdough's, a donut themed restaurant that originated as a donut food truck. It was delicious and the donuts are insane. Certainly worth a visit if you're in Austin! We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the boutiques and shops on South Congress. And yes, that second picture is a man riding a horse down SoCo. Kassie and I couldn't resist a picture in front of the infamous I love you wall on the side of Jo's Coffee (not pictured: our delicious Italian cream sodas, yum!). We both found some goodies at Big Top Candy Shop and I was SO excited for their Cadbury selection, as well as the Kinder Buenos. I've had one Kinder Bueno bar since buying them and I can confidently say I have a new favorite candy bar!

I'm already looking forward to another trip to Austin the first weekend of August, especially since I'll be there for the Texas Style Council blogger conference! I easily talked Kassie and Sarah into going with me as well so it should be an excellent weekend.

Thanks for reading this far if you made it! Have you been on any fun weekend trips this summer? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dressy in Chevron







How gorgeous is the backdrop for these photos? Sarah and I have decided to start exploring Houston more and figured our (now) weekly photo shoots would be the perfect excuse to do so! For last week's shoot we were blessed with some gorgeous end of the day light at Eleanor Tinsley Park, located right by downtown. Eleanor Tinsley is home to Houston's annual music festival, Free Press Summer Fest, as well as some great running trails and views of the Houston skyline. I'm a wanderer at heart but that view reminded me how pretty this city can be!

Now that summer is upon us and the temperatures are in the 90s everyday, I'm trying to make an effort to grow my dress collection. Technically, I can wear shorts to work but I prefer dresses since they're breezier, cuter and easier to buy at a more modest length. I got this dress and the shoes at Target a few months ago and both have proven to be perfect summer pieces! Full disclosure: while at work I wore sandals to spare my feet, the wedges were slipped on for happy hour at Ra. I know beauty is pain but sometimes I prefer comfort ;)

What is your summer staple? Do you prefer to keep it casual in shorts or get a little fancier in a dress?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summer Bucket List

A little throwback to summer of 2009 at Clearwater Beach with Kassie!

I'm fully aware that it's almsot the end of June but it's never too late for a summer bucket list! Especially since I live in Texas, summer can last until October here so I'd say I should have plenty of time to get through this list. Without further ado, here it is:

1. Explore Houston
2. Go out more
3. Use my DSLR more
4. Get a new lens for said DSLR
5. Date
6. Float the river
7. Spend some time poolside
8. Make new friends
9. Try something new (anything: food, experience, etc.)
10. Make items for an Etsy shop to be opened in the fall
11. Workout regularly
12. Go to the beach
13. Take a photography class
14. Eat healthier
15. Visit a flea market
16. Go to the zoo
17. Go somewhere new
18. Be more spontaneous
19. Go fishing with my brothers
20. Go thrifting
21. Visit more wineries
22. Visit friends in other cities
23. Go to the museum
24. Find a place to live
25. Go to a concert

This list was inspired by my happy hour with Sarah on Tuesday. Instead of sticking around in The Woodlands like we normally would, we ventured down to Ra sushi in River Oaks and made a pit stop at Eleanor Tinsley Park. Between traffic and the distance it can be a pain to go downtown but Sarah and I agreed that we need to make it a point to explore Houston more since there are so many cool places to go. I know I'm missing out on the night life down there too so I need to suck it up and just get out more! Summer in Texas can be miserable thanks to the heat but I'm hoping that having a purpose to this summer will make it more enjoyable and encourage me to get out there and try new things. I wouldn't call myself lazy but I have the tendency to go through homebody phases and it's time to beat that bad habit once and for all and enjoy myself.

Sarah took this the other night, a view of downtown from Eleanor Tinsley.

This weekend I'll be visiting Kassie in Austin and I'm really looking forward to it! Kass is one of my best friends/roommate from college and I haven't seen her in six months so this trip is long overdue. Hopefully we will be floating the river but we have yet to decide on that. Whatever we do, our Saturday will be spent cooling off in some body of water or another!

How are you planning to enjoy your summer? Give me some ideas in case I left anything off my list ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Wish List

Just a little list of wishes.

Style / / I'm dying for this super adorable Topshop dress! It's a little out of my price range but every time I see it I'm a little more tempted to treat myself to an early birthday gift ;)

Jewelry / / I'm a little bit obsessed with this Daniel Wellington watch! It has such a timeless look and is just so pretty. My birthday is in a little over a month so I'm thinking this would make a nice gift from my mom and dad (cough, cough). 

Art / / Isn't this print by Jessica Durrant gorgeous? I discovered her work about six months ago and have been in love ever since. I received a print for Valentine's Day and now I think I need a few more!


Beauty / / An Emily wish list wouldn't be complete without some sort of beauty item! After hearing so many good things about this mascara I've decided to splurge a little and buy Benefit's They're Real! mascara after my current tube runs out. Hopefully it lives up to the hype!

Wouldn't it be lovely if I could snap my fingers and all of my wishes appear in front of me? That won't happen so I supposed I'll just have to keep dreaming of pretty things :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pretty in Peplum

Last week Sarah helped me out with a little photo shoot for my first outfit post after happy hour. I read plenty of blogs that include outfit posts and I wasn't prepared for how awkward it would be to play model! It didn't help that we chose to eat outside and I didn't get a chance to touch up my already fading makeup, it was probably 90 degrees out so it's safe to say I'm nice and sweaty in these pictures. The joy of a Texas summer!






Yikes! Not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous to put this out there but I suppose that's what this whole blog adventure is about. Now for the outfit details, my pants are from Gap and the top is from Express, the watch is Michael Kors. I never thought I could pull off a peplum top since I'm short-waisted and have big hips but I've actually found them to be surprisingly flattering. I especially love the pop of neon the exposed zipper gives on this top :)

Exciting news: I decided to buy a new computer this weekend so this post is coming from my new MacBook Pro! You know what they say, once you go Mac you never go back, and I'd have to agree.

Okay now I'm going to hide under the covers and squeeze my eyes tight and try not to be too nervous about people actually reading this! What do you think about my first outfit post? Should I keep them up?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Instagram Catchup

Just a little view of my life over the past couple of weeks through Instagram photos. If you enjoy my blog, feel free to follow me along on Insta too @emmersg :)

Last week I baked a couple of loaves of Lemon Drizzle Cake that I found on my favorite blog, The Londoner. I love baking and this cake was so easy and super delicious. Everyone loved it and it was great for breakfast or as a midday treat. Next time I just need to make more of the yummy glaze :)

This summer has certainly not been dry so far. As I was leaving the office one day last week I walked out to see almost black clouds to my left and some blue sky still showing to my right. Just one of those random Texas summer rainstorms.

This weekend I bought my first pair of Minnetonka mocassins and I absolutely love them! I slipped them on and instantly knew I had to have them :) Technically my mom and I are sharing this pair but I'll just have to buy her some when I move out because no way can I part with them now!

My beauty purchases mentioned here.

Just a little selfie Tuesday!

See those shorts? Those are the shorts I won from James Jeans! I was nervous about how they would fit but they're perfect! They look great and fit me like a glove. The outfit above was meant to be for the Mumford & Sons concert, which, unfortunately, was postponed due to a medical emergency with the bassist :( He had to have brain surgery and I hope he is recovering well.


Since we didn't have a concert to go to anymore, Sarah and I decided our Wednesday evening shouldn't completely go to waste and got together for happy hour. We tried out Yucatan Taco Stand and decided it's good for happy hour but I wasn't crazy about the food. They did mess up my order twice so that didn't help.

I actually got Sarah this same shade of essie nail polish (fifth avenue) for her bday and loved it so much I went back and bought some for myself! I couldn't help it, it's the perfect shade of red :)

I don't like cooking as much as I like baking but after seeing this clam recipe on The Londoner I decided to give it a go. Turned out to be quick, easy and incredibly tasty! 

Phew! Believe it or not, this post took me an hour to put together! My poor little six year old MacBook had to be restarted five times (although one time was all on its own) during the process of uploading the photos. Not sure why but that has proven to be a problem lately. At least I know I've gotten my money's worth out of this expensive little computer!

P.S. Please share your Instagram username in the comments if you'd like me to follow along with you as well!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Weekend Beauty Buys

Most of my friends know that I'm kind of a beauty addict. If I'm having a particularly bad day I go hang out at Sephora for a bit and leave with a new lipstick or mascara and lifted spirits. Some may call it shallow, I call it my happy place!

For the sake of time, I usually stick to a pretty simple beauty routine. My makeup is generally the same from day to day but I like to mix it up every so often. For the past few years I've been using Mac or Stila blush, both very similar in color, but I've been panting over a few Nars shades for a while now. I finally decided to splurge and buy a Nars blush and bronzer combo this week and after just one use I can say that my other blushes have been replaced!

I chose to go for the Deep Throat/Laguna combination. With my other blushes I had to apply them before my powder to get a natural look because they were so strongly pigmented but that isn't the case with Nars at all. Both the blush and bronzer go on so smooth and look so natural. Thanks to my Greek genes, I'm not fair skinned in the slightest and have no natural blush of my own but Nars gives a perfect glow that looks pretty instead of over the top. I hadn't purchased Nars until now because of the price but honestly, it was totally worth the splurge!

I also picked up Nails Inc.'s new Feather Effect nail polish and it was so easy and gives a really pretty effect.

Since polishes like this sometimes come out a little sparse I chose to use the Nails Inc. color Elizabeth Street as a base. After applying the Feather Effect polish (color: Edinburgh) I decided the base coat probably wasn't necessary as the "feathers" spread really well, but it didn't hurt either. The nail polish specifically notes to seal with a top coat so I used the trusty caviar top coat and I love the look! I'm really bad at painting my nails so most "nail art" is out of the question for me but messy options like this work just fine.

I was really excited about the two new items I purchased but couldn't forget my old faithfuls either.


My everyday look includes a cat eye that I couldn't achieve without Eyeko Skinny liquid eye liner. The pen is so easy to use and gives a crisp, clean line every time. My routine also wouldn't be complete without Mac Studio Fix powder. I love this powder because it acts like a foundation and gives such good coverage that lasts all day.

I've wanted to do a beauty post for a while and I hope to make them a regular thing. I don't think I'm an expert by any means but I enjoy sharing my favorite products with my friends and talking about what works for me. Do you have one specific must have product that you use every day? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Currently

Reading: I just finished reading Gone Girl and loved it! I felt like the book kept one-upping itself in the crazy department and I loved to hate both of the main characters. If you've been thinking about picking this up but haven't been sure, I definitely recommend. Let me know what you think if you read it!

Watching: I started House of Cards this week on Netflix and was hooked after the first episode. The show is about Francis, the Majority Whip who is manipulating Congress to his liking with the hope of becoming President. I never would have guessed that Netflix could create such an excellent show but they hit the nail on the head with this one, check it out if you haven't already!

Listening to: Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. Every so often there's a song that makes me want to dance each time I hear it, currently this is that song for me. I dare you to listen to it and try to disagree!

Feeling thankful: Lately I've been thankful for everything. I don't always focus on the good things in my life but recently I've tried to change that. I have a great job, wonderful friends and an amazing family. Things aren't always perfect and most things could probably be a little better, sure, but right now I'm content with where I'm at and happy with the people that surround me. I hope this moment of clarity sticks around for more than just a moment.

Thinking about: Traveling. Always. I mentioned in a previous post that I was planning to go to London and Paris with a friend this fall but that plan changed about a month ago. One of my girlfriends from college is moving to Costa Rica to run a b&b on the beach (I know, jealous much?) so a group of us jumped at the chance for a week on the beach! Now the plan is to go to Costa Rica in early September and I'm so excited that I'm not even sad about putting the Europe trip on hold. Of course I'm always planning vacations in my head so I've already got a list of places to go next year but we'll just see what works out when the time comes :) 

Bummed out on: Texas heat. I don't think I've ever been this sick of the heat quite so early in the summer but, YEP, I'm over it. I'm blaming it on that trip to Seattle I just took, I mean the highs were in the upper 60's, it was glorious. Oh well, looks like I've got a long, hot summer ahead of me!

Loving: My new blog design! Full disclosure: I didn't do this myself. Back in February when I started this blog I had dreams of reading up on HTML and figuring out how to create a pretty little design like this myself but that never happened. I think it would have taken more time than I've got so for now this works just fine for me. I couldn't resist choosing a design in one of my favorite colors! I think this design suits me much better than how it looked before ;)

This was just a little catchup on what I've been up to lately! Thanks for the inspiration, Kassie.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wine: An Obsession

Thanks to my vacation last week, I have a newfound appreciation for wine. I think this may partially stem from the fact that Heather and I were told multiple times that we needed to a) drink more wine and b) step up our game (you mean moscato doesn't count?!). Also, visiting the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery and a few tasting rooms spurred my interest a little more. I've even started reading Wine For Dummies which has taught me that I was spoiled with my first winery experience because, apparently, Washington has a very well-recognized wine region. Not a bad way to kick off my new obsession!

Now, I'm not quite drinking Shiraz yet, but I can stomach most whites, which is actually an improvement! In an effort to continue to widen our wine horizons, Heather and I (along with her mom and sister) took a trip out to Bernhardt Winery in Plantersville, TX this past weekend. Considering we stuck to whites for the tasting, I wouldn't say we broadened too much yet but we all decided to take home a bottle of Aggie Blush, which was at least a mixed option.

Their vineyard.
The winery itself, where all the winemaking magic happens!
A pretty little view of some rolling Texas hills.
Wishing I could have been stomping some grapes!

Bernhardt was a cute little winery and a nice way to spend part of the day. I was sad to discover that I'd missed a strawberry, chocolate and wine festival held at the winery just a couple of weeks earlier that my friend Sarah had attended. They have a lot of fun stuff going on throughout the summer though so I'm sure I'll be back soon for more wine and fun!

All that said, I think one of my future vacations should be to Napa Valley for some serious winery visits. Or maybe go all out and head straight over to Italy, who's with me? ;)

In other news, I found out yesterday that I won a pair of shorts from one of my favorite jeans brands, James Jeans! I participated in one of their Instagram contests and whaddya know, I was the lucky winner :) I'm truly that person who never wins anything so I was more than thrilled when I got the news. My new shorts are now on their way to me and I can't wait to get them! I'll have to style 'em up cute and maybe dedicate a blog post to the look...I'm horribly camera shy though so we'll see if I can follow through with it.

Any good wine suggestions? Remember, I'm still not quite into reds but I'm open to any whites!

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