spotlight on: max’s first birthday party

April 13th, 2015

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We’ve been spending the last few weeks getting ready for Bear’s first birthday (can you believe it’s been a year already?) and I found myself going through some photos of my friend Ellie’s birthday party for her son, Max. 

Ellie did such a beautiful job with everything for this party, from the decorations to the food to the amazing smash cake for her little birthday boy.  Obviously, I loved the Bear theme she chose! 

So as I was looking back through these photos, I wanted to share a few shots I took at the party with you guys. 

Aren’t they just darling?  I love all the beautiful little details she thought of, from little chalkboards displaying every detail to the teddy bear cake!  It was such a perfect afternoon, and I hope that our party in a few weeks is half as pretty as hers was.

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→ CommentsTags: baby · parties




workweek chic: my confidence-boosting red dress

April 6th, 2015

Red Suit 9.Final

For the first few years of my career, I worked at a huge law firm in New York, and it was a pretty incredible experience.  I’d never had a full time job before (I went straight from college to law school), and for the first few weeks, I was so nervous and excited that I pretty much held my breath all day long.  I was constantly working at a breakneck pace — it was ordinary for me to eat dinner at my desk almost every night, and pretty common for me to collapse into a car home at 2 or 3 a.m., only to get a few hours of sleep and head back to the office. 

If that sounds awful… well, it sort of was, and it also sort of wasn’t.  I was twenty five and didn’t have much in my life besides work, and Chad’s a lawyer too, so we were pretty much on the same insane schedule.  I was excited about the work I was doing (many of those late nights were spent on an incredibly rewarding case, which I wrote about in January) and I really liked the people I worked with.  The hours were tough, but those early pedal-to-the-metal years were also kind of fun.  Everyone was as intense about their careers as I was, and we all committed to the work that had to get done. 

And I also learned a lot

A lot of what I learned is specific to being a lawyer: how to write a brief and pick a jury, how to prepare a client to be deposed and how to be courteous and professional even when the other side is being completely outrageous.  They’re lessons I remember to this day. 

But I also learned something else: how to appear confident and professional, even when I was twenty-five and completely terrified that I had no idea what I was doing.

As much as I learned from the work itself, I learned more from the people I worked with.  And although I worked with a lot of wonderful male lawyers, truthfully, I paid more attention to the professionalism of the senior-level women I worked with.  Law has traditionally been a very male-dominated field, but that’s changed dramatically in the past decade or so (like many industries, of course, it still has a long way to go).  One of the tremendous upsides to this shift is that my law firm had a number of female lawyers who were five, ten, and twenty years ahead of me on their own career tracks, and often, they made a special effort to look out for female junior associates. 

So I’m going to share one of the tips I got with you guys, one that isn’t specific to law at all.  When I was a first year associate, I was sitting in the office of a junior partner, and she was talking about what it’s like to argue in a courtroom filled with men, when sometimes (if not often), you’re the only woman there.

And she filled us in on a little secret.  “When I want a boost of confidence,” she told us.  “I wear a red suit.  I don’t know why, but there’s something about wearing red that always makes me feel strong.”

Wearing red is a small thing, but the small things really matter.  When that partner told me about putting on her red suit, she wasn’t saying, “sometimes it’s intimidating to be the only woman in the room.”  She was saying: Here’s what I do when I want to feel as good as I can.  Here’s a small thing that, for me, makes a difference. 

And, you know what?  It’s good advice.  When I’m getting ready for anything from a big meeting to an oral argument, I make an extra effort to dress in a way that boosts my confidence.  So in honor of that piece of advice I got years ago, I’m sharing this Workweek Chic outfit today.

My own confidence-boosting red dress.

And, hey, if you’re on the fence about red in your industry, I have an easy workaround.  There’s a reason Louboutins have a red sole!

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→ CommentsTags: style · work




for some dreamy summer night…

April 3rd, 2015

Pastel 18.Final

A few weeks ago, I had some girlfriends over to our house, and of course, I had to give a full tour to one of them who hadn’t been over before.  The tour ended in my closet (obviously!) and one of them zeroed in on a dress that was hanging there

“What’s that for?”  She asked me, obviously anticipating some super-glam event coming up on my calendar.

But… nope!  Aside from a quick vacation coming up in a few weeks, Chad and I have exactly nothing big planned for the next few months.  Chances are, we’ll be spending a lot of Saturday nights ordering takeout and watching the baby monitor. 

On the other hand, I’m almost tempted to plan something extra-special just to wear this dress.  I have some daytime events on the horizon but can’t quite bring myself to break out a ballgown in the middle of the day.  But I keep finding myself scoping out possibilities for a really over-the-top night out, just an excuse to break this dress out of the closet!

I love to buy new dresses for special occasions, but I hate the pressure that comes with needing something right now, which inevitably means that I’ll spend a whole day shopping and not find anything I like.  So now I make an effort to find dresses I love before I need them, so that I have something on hand in a pinch!

What about you guys?  Any swanky black tie galas or chic wedding parties coming up this summer? 

Gifted eDressMe dress, Carolee necklace, BHLDN Luna bracelet.

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→ CommentsTags: uncategorized




shrimp and corn chowder

March 30th, 2015

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Spring hit Texas last week, although I know it’s been slow to arrive on other parts of the country!  But this dish is a pretty good compromise — it has the lightness of a summer chowder, but it’s warm and substantial for those last few chilly days.

These last few weeks have been insanely busy, but in a really good way!  Starting my law practice means that when I’m swamped with work, I’m actually happy about it — which is a pretty cool feeling.  However, it means that I have to be extra organized and motivated to make sure I can accomplish what I need to every day.  (Especially with a baby involved, that’s no small feat!) It’s been a huge challenge, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But, onto this recipe: I wouldn’t say it’s exactly as “easy” as my usual slow cooker staples, although the effort is definitely worth it.  This is the kind of dish that’s great to make on Friday night, so you can have leftovers all weekend.  Chad really liked it, and it’ll be back in our rotation again soon! 

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Shrimp and Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS
1 16-ounce package of frozen corn
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
8 scallions, thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large stock pot, saute the turkey bacon until fully cooked, and set aside.  Combine 1 tbsp milk with the flour and heat together to create a roux, then add the rest of the milk, potatoes, scallions, seasoning, shrimp, and corn.  Simmer for about 2 hours.

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→ CommentsTags: food · main dishes




happy weekend!

March 27th, 2015

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You guys!  This week got away from me.  It was an amazing one, but one that left me with exactly zero time for blogging.  Boo!  Next week, I’ll be back on track.

What do y’all have planned this weekend?  I am super excited about ours — Chad’s brother, his wife, and their two-year-old son are coming to Houston for a visit!  Bear met his cousin Evan at Christmas, but he’s so much bigger and more aware of everything now, and I’m super excited for them to actually get to play together!  We got them on FaceTime a few weeks ago and Evan kept saying “Hi Baby Bear!”  It was SO cute!

Every time I see older kids now, I get so excited to watch Bear grow up and to see all the new things he’ll learn.  I can’t wait until he’s old enough to talk!  Right now, he says Mama and Dada and not much else, but I know they start advancing in leaps and bounds the second year.  I can’t wait!

Also, this weekend, I’m going to get on the ball about planning Bear’s first birthday party!  It’s only a few weeks away (eek!) and I’ve done exactly nothing so far.  (Double eek!) That’s not totally true — we ordered our invitations and thought a lot about the theme, but there are a lot of details that need to come together in the next few weeks, and I have to get on the ball!  It’s going to be a ton of fun. 

And thank you all so much for the vacation ideas!  I want to go everywhere.  One of my favorite things about living in Houston is how many easy beach destinations are just a few hours away — I can’t wait to explore more of them!

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