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Monday, May 30, 2016

Brunch and Booze Book Club: June 2016

It’s almost June! Which means it’s time for another Brunch & Booze Book Club post! But first, if you read May’s B&B Book Club book, Caramello, how did you like it? I love the focus on Hispanic culture and family life and the vibrant imagery that Sandra Cisneros created throughout the book. It’s such a good read! And how did you like the recommended brunch and booze pairings? I mean, I’m down with huevos rancheros and morning-time margaritas any time, but I thought they worked especially well with lazy Sunday mornings spent reading Caramello.


Without further ado, June’s Brunch and Booze Book Club selection is…


The Vacationers by Emma Straub! This book came out last summer and I’ve been meaning to check it out ever since. I thought it would be appropriate to read during the summer vacation months, especially when I’m craving a “beach read” with a little more substance. Here is an excerpt from a book review by Laura M. Browning for The A.V. Club:


“The Vacationers centers on two generations of the Post family: Parents Frannie and Jim are dealing with infidelity as they ostensibly celebrate 35 years of marriage; their son Bobby is secretly in debt, and his Miamian gym-rat girlfriend, Carmen, has never really fit in with his literary New York family; the Posts’ daughter, Sylvia, is about to go off to college and desperately wants to lose her virginity first. They travel to Mallorca for a two-week vacation with longtime friends Charles and Lawrence, who are trying to adopt a baby. In the hands of a lesser author, this setup might fall squarely into the oft-maligned genre of “beach reading,” something mildly distracting for a perfect summer day, but with no real substance. It might either suffer for being mundane, or it might end up an overwrought disaster. But Straub has a knack, reminiscent of Lorrie Moore, for writing beautiful prose about ordinary situations. And so these families are more than thinly drawn, upper-middle-class, well-educated, white vacationers. They are people who have cheated on their partners; people who try desperately to be something they’re not; people still trying to grow up, no matter what their ages.”


I thought The Vacationers would be fun to read while lounging around the pool mid-morning, before the water has warmed up enough for you to jump in. In the book, the Post family is vacationing in Mallorca, Spain, so we thought it would be nice to try this traditional Mallorcan breakfast pastry, ensaimada:

Brunch and Booze Book Club: June 2016 from Honey and Smoke Studio // Ensaimada de Mallorca from Bake to the Roots

I bet it would pair well with this mimosa-like Agua de Valencia drink:

Brunch and Booze Book Club: June 2016 from Honey and Smoke Studio // Agua de Valencia from Oh The Things We'll Make

Yum. Hope you guys enjoy the book! I'm excited to get started on it myself!

XOXO

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Bottoms for Work


We're down to our 5th (and 2nd to last) installment of the Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe. Today I have suggestions for Five Bottoms for Work. I tried to offer versatile, office-appropriate bottoms that could be worn in different combinations with the Five Tops for Work and I made sure to include a pair of jeans for Casual Fridays. If you missed the other 4 installments of our Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe, you can find them here: Five Dresses for Work, Five Dresses for Play, Five Tops for Work, Five Tops for Play. See details for each of the bottoms below.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Bottoms for Work from Honey and Smoke Studio // Slacks from H&M

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Bottoms for Work from Honey and Smoke Studio // Pencil Skirt from H&M


Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Bottoms for Work from Honey and Smoke Studio // Body Curve Jeggings from Zara

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Bottoms for Work from Honey and Smoke Studio // Full Midi Skirt in Linen from ASOS

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Bottoms for Work from Honey and Smoke Studio // Mid-Rise Trousers with Belt from Zara

Cute, huh? I have one more installment of the Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe coming up [Five Bottoms for Play] and then I'll do a compilation of the work capsule wardrobe and the play capsule wardrobe so you can see how they work together. Stay tuned!

XOXO

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Breckenridge and Denver, CO Mini-Vacay Recap


Hello, hello! How’s your week going so far? Today is rainy and gray here in Athens, GA, but it’s creating a spooky feel to the day that I love. Summer rain and thunderstorms always make me want to either curl up on the couch and watch horror movies or sit on the porch with a good book and watch the storm roll in. Unfortunately, I’m stuck at the office today, but you better believe there will be some porch-sitting and horror-movie-watching later this evening.


Anyhow, today I’m giving a recap of my (too short) trip to Breckenridge and Denver, CO at the beginning of April. My good friend/old roomie Lonna, who now lives in Louisiana,  convinced me to meet her in Denver to catch up with some of our good Athens ex-pat friends. We ended up having a super fun and relaxing time and it was refreshing to be around old friends again. I’m already dreaming of going back in the fall next year to explore a little more.


Check out my overly detailed three-day trip recap below:


DAY 1: BRECKENRIDGE [or Breck...as the cool people say]


We didn’t get any decent amount of snow this past winter in Georgia so it was nice to see the huge snowdrifts and snow-covered mountains. We took a beautiful walk around the neighborhood with Charles & Olivia’s new pup, Bubs. Then we went into town for lunch. The little town of Breckenridge is a typical ski town with little colorful chalet-style businesses and beautiful mountain views at every turn. We ended up eating at Rita’s, a super chill, basement margarita and taco bar, which is a little less touristy than most of the restaurants downtown. We tried out three different salsas and they were all delicious: mango, salsa verde, and habanero corn. The habanero corn was the hands-down favorite with the mango a close second, but they were all good. I ordered the fish burrito, medianna style (it comes with refried beans, spanish rice, green chilis, corn salsa & cheese) which was also yummy and a tequila sunrise (the drink special that day).






After lunch, we decided to go on a distillery tour. We went to the Breckenridge Distillery (the world’s highest distillery), which offers a free tour. We were expecting a taste or two of some high-quality spirits but NO. They gave us at least 5 or 6 substantial samples of different varieties of bourbon, spiced rum, vodka and bitters. I would DEFINITELY recommend sharing tastes, as we did. The tour was really interesting. I especially liked the barrel room because it smelled like a hardware store. My favorite of the spirits that we tasted was their Chili Chile Vodka. YUM. It would be perfection in a bloody mary.


We took a little walk around downtown to sober up a bit clear our heads and get some coffee. Charles and Olivia took us to one of their favorite in town coffee spots, the Cabin Coffee Co. They have white coffee there, which I had never seen or heard of, but it was SO good, with a slightly nutty flavor. It supposedly has extra high caffeine content, too, but I couldn’t tell. I ordered a drink called the Tumbleweed, which is made with the white coffee plus salted caramel and whipped cream and other indulgent, unhealthy things that made it extra delicious. No joke, I still dream about and crave that coffee drink ALL THE TIME.


After coffee, we went on a free gondola ride on the BreckConnect Gondola. We just rode it for the views (no skiing on this trip) and it was about 15-20 minutes, round-trip. I got a little motion sick, as I am wont to do, but other than that it was gorgeous and another really fun FREE activity. After the gondola ride, we were tired and the high altitude was getting to me and Lonna so we went back to the cabin for snack night and a screening of Clueless (classic).


MORE after the jump...

Friday, May 6, 2016

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Tops for Play


Hey, hey, everybody! It's time for the fourth installment of the Honey and Smoke Studio Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe. Today I've picked out Five Tops for Play. These can be worn while exploring art museums on the weekends, lounging at the lake with the fam, or while sipping margs at the pool with your pals (or really anywhere fun). If you missed the first three installments of the Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe, you can find them here: Five Dresses for Work, Five Dresses for Play, and Five Tops for Work. See details on each of the tops below.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Tops for Play from Honey and Smoke Studio // Embroidered Top in off-white from Zara

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Tops for Play from Honey and Smoke Studio // Off-the-Shoulder Top in dark green from H&M

 Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Tops for Play from Honey and Smoke Studio // Top with Pleated Hem in yellow from Zara

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Tops for Play from Honey and Smoke Studio // Printed Shirt in ecru from Zara

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe: Five Tops for Play from Honey and Smoke Studio // Asymmetric Pleated Top in coral from Zara

What do you think? Aren't these tops fun? I like all the bright colors and the comic book/Lichtenstein look of the printed button-up top from Zara. Cute!

Stay tuned for the last two installments of the Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe, coming in the next few weeks!

XOXO

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Brunch and Booze Book Club: May 2016

Today we're starting a new monthly series called Brunch and Booze Book Club. At the start of each month, we'll give you a book suggestion along with a yummy brunch recipe and a boozy drink recipe that we feel pair well with the suggested book. Spend the month reading the book, then get together with some pals to discuss the book over brunch and booze (as all good book clubs do). If you're interested, follow along each month and share your experience on social media with #brunchandboozebookclub.

May's Brunch and Booze Book Club book suggestion is...

Brunch and Booze Book Club: April 2016 from Honey and Smoke Studio - Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

...Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros!

Here's an excerpt from a New York Times review by Valerie Sayers:

"SANDRA CISNEROS has written a joyful, fizzy American novel, a deliciously subversive reminder that ''American'' applies to plenty of territory beyond the borders of the United States. Celaya Reyes, Cisneros's narrator and heroine, born in Chicago and on pilgrimage to Mexico City every summer of her young life, extracts what's useful from both her worlds. Lala, as she's known, affirms those values (faith, loyalty, love, work) that both cultures claim to hold dear, all the while bearing wry witness to the oppressions practiced in their names. ''Like all emigrants caught between here and there,'' Lala has two tales to tell, a personal story of family and a political story of culture and power. The title of the novel also has a dual nature, referring to both a candy and a color, suggesting the sweet trials of a loud, emotional brown-skinned clan."

We find that this book pairs especially well with Huevos Rancheros & Good Morning Margaritas.

Brunch and Booze Book Club: April 2016 from Honey and Smoke Studio - Huevos Rancheros from Heather Christo

Brunch and Booze Book Club: April 2016 from Honey and Smoke Studio - Good Morning Margaritas from The Candid Appetite
Good Morning Margaritas from The Candid Appetite

Hope you enjoy this month's inaugural book selection! It's one of my personal favorites and I'm excited to reread it. Speaking of which, that'll knock off #8 on the Honey and Smoke Spring To Do List! #honeyandsmokespringtodolist

XOXO