Staying Stylish in Suburbia

New Years Eve Split Personality

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's funny. New Years Eve use to be such a big deal to me. In years past I've gone to great lengths to find the right outfit and the right venue or party. Sometimes it worked out just the way imagined it would, with the right people and just the right amount of dancing and debauchery. Other times it fell flat, with a whole lot of build-up leading to a stressful or so-so evening.



In contrast, this year I couldn't be more excited to split a bottle of wine with my honey by the fire and talk about the year we've just had together. It's been a big one for us. Maybe my change in attitude reflects my age, but I'm more inclined to think it's about this stage in my life. We have two small children and going out sounds like more trouble than it's worth. It's nice to feel content with that decision though. I don't need to prove anything to myself or anyone else. If that's the kind of peace of mind and perspective that comes with getting older then I'll take it. I know that we will be back out dancing again in another New Years down the road. For now though, I feel the need to relax and reflect more than anything else.



Having said all that...In my other life, the one in my head where I'm not the nursing mother of a newborn and toddler. Yea. In that life, I'm totally picking out what to where for a crazy-fun night out on the town. I say go big or go home when it comes to dressing for the New Year. When else can you where a sequin dress, faux fur crop vest and gold heeled booties? Just saying!


New Years Eve Pretty


Have fun and stay safe out there no matter what you're doing this New Years Eve! xoxo



S Y L K brown dress
$160 - asos.com


Costa Blanca brown vest
boutiquetoyou.com


Black tight
$4.12 - newlook.com


Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In the spirit of Christmas, we took a little carriage ride through downtown recently. Everything is more exciting and magical when seen through the eyes of a three year old. This was definitely another tradition for the keeping. Jingle bells all the way!


Waiting for the carriage to pick us up.


Not quite reindeer but we still heard the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. 

Our quaint little town made for some sweet sightseeing as we rode along.

The ride made me think about how it must have been to get around by carriage back in the day. Clearly it was a lot slower back then but there were also less reasons to rush. In the midst of the holiday madness, it was a good reminder to slow down and take it all in. The delighted smile on Esmae's face, my husband holding our six month old against his chest. This little family of mine and all our blessings. 




xoxo The Briggs Family

Winter Wonderland Walk in honor of Solstice

Monday, December 23, 2013

It has been unseasonably warm around here the past few days. It almost feels like Southern California all over again. Not long ago we had our first decent snow though, which was very different than anything we ever got back in San Diego. It was exciting to wake up to blanket of white. We decided to take a walk through the winter wonderland. Everything was frozen and still. The snow crunched under our boots and the icicles sparkled on the branches. As on most days like that it felt a little bit magic, especially experiencing it with Esmae who was dazzled by the whole transformation. Mazzy, on the other hand, was content to stay tucked away in her daddy's jacket. 

George Santayana wrote, "the earth has music for those that listen." I heard the song that day. It was quiet and cold but beautiful with frosty breath and frozen footsteps. In honor of winter solstice, which was this past Saturday, here are a few photos from that wintery walk. 











Happy Winter Solstice Everyone! xoxo

Christmas Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Friday, December 20, 2013

I decided to try my hand at making chocolate covered pretzels this year. I'm not a huge sweets person but they are definitely one of my favorites. I mean who can resist that salty-sweet combo!? I also thought they would make great little x-mas gifts for our neighbors and friends. 

Ingredients 

Here's what I used to make them:
  • White melting chocolate
  • Mini pretzels
  • Sprinkles in assorted colors




Directions

1- Set up wax paper to place pretzels for cooling

2- Place white chocolate in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on half power or using defrost mode. Watch carefully and stir often to keep chocolate from burning. Once chocolate is completely smooth it is ready to use.

3- Dip top half on pretzel into melted chocolate. Careful not to burn your fingers. You can also use a spoon to assist with this process.

4- Lay chocolate covered pretzel on wax paper

5- Cover with sprinkles (I dipped one full row before applying sprinkles but you don't want to wait to long or they will cool and sprinkles won't stick. Also, you may find that you have to re-heat chocolate from time to time.


Finished Product

 They turned out so festive and fun. Not to mention how super YUMMY they were!!!


Bag it up

I used a Ziploc bag to keep them from getting stale and simple tissue paper with a sprig of rosemary to wrap it up nicely. I also used little gift bags for some of them. 




Side Note

This was a fun project but ultimately way more labor intensive than I had anticipated. I don't suggest making these if you have to have a large quantity. 



Holiday Shadow Play in Floral Tapestry

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Loving this floral tapestry trend for winter. This granny chic look works great for the holidays, don't you think? It's easy to dress up or down depending on the piece, and there is something distinctly festive about such a classic pattern. They say every look cycles back around and this is a perfect example of the old feeling fresh all over again.






Try the Floral Tapestry Trend for yourself

Floral Tapestry Trend




Black dress
$59 - oliverbonas.com


Jacket
asos.com

Forever 21 skirt
forever21.com

Green bag
asos.com

product
littleskyechildrensboutique.com

Thanks for stopping by

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Esmae's Cafe Birthday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Today is Esmae's 3rd birthday. I am in awe of this delightful little creature. From the teeny-tiny 4lb preemie sent home from the NICU with a heart monitor,  to our healthy, smart, funny, sweet, beautiful wild child. My love for her is as fierce as it is forever. 




The Party 

This year we decided to have her party at our favorite local coffee shop. They already host a weekly story time there and have plenty of toys, books and even bubbles to play with. The owner is a musician as are most of the baristas. Their delicious coffee aside I love this place for so many reasons and it ended up being the perfect spot for the party.

You know how kid's parties can feel like a total chore to host or even to attend? This wasn't like that. It was fun and entertaining but also pretty darn relaxing. While the grown ups sat around sipping lattes and chatting in our comfy chairs the kids were happy playing alongside us. That was just the beginning though. We also got a special three man jam session/mini concert (two guitars and a harmonica) that the kids had a blast dancing to. Not to mention the amazing made from scratch chocolate birthday cake they whipped up for us. Hands down the best cake I've had in a very long time. The frosting wasn't too sweet and it was oh so moist. And last but not least Esmae got to open a few gifts from her besties. There were no meltdowns (which is kind of remarkable for this age group) and all went off without a hitch. Best of all our little girl had such a fun time!

Here is how the day went down



 Play






Dancing






Birthday Cake









Presents




A Very Happy Birthday Indeed



Happy Birthday darling girl! Daddy, Mazzy and I all love you to the moon and back!!!!