What are you making for dinner tonight?

GDI - epicurious Tikka Masala

Last week I got really into cooking - just like exercise I tend to hit peaks and valleys - Monday was tacos, Tuesday black bean burgers, Wednesday broccoli cheese soup (great recipe, but don't you dare use fat-free-half-and-half. I used heavy cream + whole milk), Thursday was our mediterranean feast & Friday Bud ordered Jimmy John's for movie night (I went out with some girlfriends :)

Since the kids are both in full-day school, it's been so much fun to plan slightly more elaborate - but still simple, is that possible? - meals. Tonight I'm hoping to do a pared down chicken Tikka Masala. I'm hopeful, but realistically the kids will probably eat bread + scraped off chicken for dinner.

Bud and I still laugh over our first Indian dinner together (I'd had it before, but he had not). On a whim, he decided to go out on a limb and ordered the goat. Goat. Yes. And hated it. Not quite the soft foray into exotic foods I had hoped for him. HAAAAA.

What are you making tonight? Any great ideas? I'd love to swap recipes on here, if you'd like. xo

(Image credit epicurious)

Friday tidbits

GDI - gin & tonic

What are you up to this beautiful weekend? I told the kids if they had a good week at school, I'd take them to Costco (yes, their new favorite place). Then we might sneak in a last pool-Sunday at my parents :) 

Hope you have a great weekend, & here are some links for your reading and browsing pleasure. xo

I made an easy version of this meal last night (i.e. anything in the kitchen that resembled this food). We had hummus, tzatziki, kebobs, feta & veggies. The kids actually loved the kebabs! I daydream of leisurely meals around our table, and this fits the bill. 

Speaking of, this is an inspiring short video about eating in France v. eating in America (though a street hotdog is never a bad idea).

Did you LOVE this photo from this post? Me too. This is the venue. When I'm wealthy...

Gagging on my coffee over this gorgeous home tour. And here's the company the owners run - the products are overpriced, but thoughtful and inspiring.

From swissmiss, Things I Didn't Buy. My version is, if I love something, I save it to my Covet list. Then, once every few weeks, I revisit my covet list and remove things I no longer want in order to whittle it down and down and down to the things I absolutely adore. It's pleasurable in the same way shopping is, saves me from a ton of impulse buys, & allows me to purchase only the things I'd really love and really want. But anyway, I love this list, too.

I like the idea of a soft-start for school.

Six tips for making it small. My heart swelled when I read this article. (thanks to hitherandthither for posting it).

Right, well, now I'm moving to Zambia.

OMG Strandbeest(s). GO WATCH NOW.

Totally, actually, lol-ed at this.

That's it! Have a great one!

What to wear to a fall wedding

GDI - baroque print dress MAJE

Next weekend Bud & I are dropping the kids with Summer for the weekend, & heading up to Virginia for a wedding. It's actually the wedding of my old roommate, the same person who introduced me to Bud :)

I'm on the fence as to whether or not to buy a new dress - I might wear this one that I already have - but it's fun to window shop, either way.

Here are my picks for an early fall wedding (I'm assuming the daytime will be warm and night will get a little cool).

I love, love, LOVE that baroque print dress above. Look at those sleeves. 

This petal-pink tiered dress from H&M is so pretty & delicate. If I chose sleeveless, I'd be sure to throw a little jacket over my shoulders.

GDI - pink maxi dress H&M

A navy blue, one shoulder hits that wonderful line between sophisticated & fun. 

GDI - Lulu dress

Georgia always swears by DVF wrap dresses as the ultimate in body flattering, and I tend to agree. This wool & silk top-wrap dress is beautiful.

GDI - DVF wrap dress SO5th

Lastly, a slip-dress - soft & sweet & feminine. 

GDI - asos slip dress

(Image credits + links: navy one-shoulder at Lulus, white slip dress at ASOS, wool & silk wrap dress from Saksoff5th, tiered maxi dress from H&M, & MAJE baroque print dress)

Five cheerful things

GDI - balloons wedding

We had a lovely long weekend spent by the pool, cooking tacos, & hanging out with friends in the backyard. It was sort of hard to get back into the swing of things this morning- Bud & Truett both asked if they had to go to work/school ;) - so I thought I'd look up five reasons to enjoy today. Here they are in no particular order, and hope you are easing back into your weekly routine.

GDI - 5 sweet things birthstone bangle

A birthstone bangle. These are so inexpensive and pretty. You could buy one for your own birthday month or the months of your kids/husband.

GDI - AT pitch a beach tent

As the weather gets cooler, so the prices of staying at the beach get cheaper. Last year we took a winter trip to Folly & it was so fun. I can't believe we've not done this before, but here is how to pitch a beach tent with big sticks & some fabric. Head slap! 

GDI - La Croix

Watermelon kiwi La Croix. That's all.

GDI - AT cinnamon sticks

How to make your house smell like fall.

Sorryimlatesweater_1024x1024

And lastly, a funny sweatshirt for you/us introverts.

(birthstone bangle from SweetAuburnStudio on etsy, beach tent via Apartment Therapy, watermelon kiwi La Croix, cinnamon sticks via Apartment Therapysweatshirt image here, balloons via junebugweddings)

Friday tidbits

GDI - butterfly bush Friday tidbits

What are you up to this Friday? The kids had a short school day because of storm Hermine, so Bud & I decided to keep them out for the whole day rather than drive in this rain. Right now they're screeching over Legos, but eh, it's cozy & fun being at home all day. 

Let's do some links & hope you have a cozy weekend, too.

I liked these back-to-school rituals over at Cup of Jo. Baking a cake the night before? Brilliant. Also - have you tried Boxed? I haven't but would love to hear how people like it.

Georgia brought me back a bottle of Jo Malone Lime & Basil lotion from London, and I really like the scent. I put the perfume on my covet list (I'm always on the hunt for a lovely new perfume).

Preventing cancer from a whole-body approach.

MM.LaFleur sounds like the coolest brand for simple, beautiful women's clothes. I'd love to see a casual line.

A good quote for a tough day.

A Harry Potter festival in October

This white beans with spinach & sausage recipe looks good for a cozy fall evening.

Why you should put a table in your front yard. I love this idea. Here's a pretty one.

Balance, haha.

Beautiful pictures of Scotland. Sigh.

(the photo above is from my instagram account, which you can follow if you'd like)

A book series recommendation

GDI - Greek revival homes WSJ

The other day I was chatting with my therapist and I told her that, during some of my most difficult days, reading was as much therapy for me as anything else (exercise, talking with my sisters). In fact, in some ways, reading pulls me through in a way nothing else will.

She agreed that that is the case for a lot of  people and, on that note, recommended a novelist named Elizabeth Peters. I went onto our library's website and immediately put one of her books on hold - The Golden One.

I'm just now reading on Wikipedia and it turns out the author's real name is Barbara Mertz. It turns out Mertz got her PhD in Egyptology and went on to write fiction and non-fiction about ancient Egypt.

Anyway - I'm enjoying this book immensely - it's fun and interesting and has an old-fashioned flair both a bit campy & nostalgic (this book takes place in 1917, the year my mother's father was born :) Once I'm done with this book, I'm going back to the first one and start the series fresh, so if you're interested I'd recommend beginning with the first book, Crocodile on the Sandbank. There's something oddly comforting about her writing style.

Just thought I'd pass along some good intel :)

(image via WSJ, also that article is awesome, worth a read and a look at the gorgeous pictures)

The best bean & corn salad

GDI - bean dip

My girlfriend Noreen and her husband always bring this killer black bean & corn salad to neighborhood get togethers. It's best when eaten with these salt & lime tortilla chips, but if you're trying to be a bit healthier it's amazing all by itself. I'm sure you could find a more exact recipe somewhere online, but this is the gist that I use:

1 can black beans, drained

1 can sweet corn

1 chopped green, red or yellow pepper

2 - 3 Tablespoons chopped onion (again, you can use more or less of all of these depending on your tastebuds & available ingredients)

1 teaspoon cumin

salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil 

salsa to taste 

fresh lemon/lime juice to taste

I've honestly omitted the olive oil & salsa before, and it's still super yummy. It also fits in with almost everyone's diet, so it's great for big gatherings. 

(PS - I've found if I keep things like hummus, chopped vegetables, olive tapenade & cold salads in the fridge it's so much easier to eat vegetables all day)

Friday tidbits

GDI - egg playground Sweden

A hilarious Adele parody.

I swear Facebook is dying for me to buy Thinx period panties, so I finally clicked on the article & now I'm intrigued to try them.

Mmm, a blueberry braid looks perfect for Sunday morning breakfast in bed.

I don't understand a word of this post, but I'm loving the shampoo & conditioner bottles. Such a simple way to make your shower feel luxurious.

Have you read about the way Utah approached homelessness & their success rate? Pretty inspiring.

Georgia recently uncovered some really cheap flights to Stockholm, Sweden. Here's what I would do if I were going. A bike tour, a beautiful airbnb (check out the pretty buildings from the balcony), 10 reasonably priced restaurants & the COOLEST playgrounds for kids.

All of my favorite pictures are on instagram. I'd love to make some books at chatbooks, have you ever?

Seal jumps in boat to escape Orcas. Haha, you damn right.

On losing the romance of sleep. "Every human being streams at night into the loving nowhere," Just lovely. I think we should all fall back in love with sleep.

And lastly, my perma-girl crush Faith.

GDI - Faith Hill Friday links

(images via daddy types & hairdiy)

The beauty of an indoor jungle

GDI - mason jar planter

A few weeks ago I began following this guy on instagram. I love his photos in general, but the indoor-jungle vibe is what I'm really digging right now. 

When the weather around here finally cools (oh from about December - early February :), we'll bring in my aloes and succulents and other assorted semi-indoor plants. What I'd love to do is fill all kinds of planters around the house for a pretty & boho-y feeling. I really think houses filled with plants have a fresh smell about them too, don't you?

Sidenote: that little beauty above is nearly cost-free. I found one of those succulents on a vacation nine years ago, and have kept it alive from house to house (it roots super easily). I put a few rocks in the bottom of an old mason jar, added dirt, plopped in the succulent(s) and that's it. It's thriving in our front room window.

Here are some ideas that I'd love to incorporate into our house as the weather gets cooler.

GDI - hanging planter etsy

This small hanging planter is only $11 on etsy.

GDI - anthro wall planters

These beautiful (overpriced) wall hangers from anthropologie are a good jumping off point for DIY inspiration. 

GDI - head planters etsy

OMG, these little face planters are so cute.

GDI - UO magical moon planter

A little magic moon from Urban Outfitters. <3

GDI - tribal print ceramic planter

Ceramic hanging planter, from the etsy shop mbundy.

GDI - Ikea planters

And, a simple, pretty, inexpensive white plant pot from Ikea.

That's it! If you follow me on instagram, and would like to tag me in an indoor plant picture (@grapedidit), I would LOVE that!

June's first day 4K

GDI - June's first day 4K

June ran around the house last night saying, "tomorrow's my big day! tomorrow's my big day!" She could not be more different than Truett, who would love nothing more than to stay home and climb trees all day, every day.

GDI - June's first day Truett stick

She is excited about school and even more excited that she now gets to stay all day which includes eating lunch, rest time, music & art.

I, on the other hand, think even kindergartners should have the option of coming home at lunchtime. Ah well, you can't win them all.

This morning June got herself dressed in record time, ate her bowl of cereal, and put on her tennis shoes (in case today is PE day!).

I've told her several times how much I'll miss her now that she's in full-day, but that I am very excited at the same time, and know she'll love it (while secretly dying inside just a tiny bit).

So. Now I'm here. All alone. And I have plans for this new season in my life. But still.

Hope you're hanging in there too. xoxoxo

GDI - June first day Truett second week

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About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.

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