Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Photo Project: Relax

Can you believe July is already over? This month's theme served as a reminder to me to enjoy the rest of summer and this phase of life I'm in, despite all the chaos. This week, I treated myself to a massage and afternoon tea. Of course, it's got to be iced tea since it's July in Texas. Both were lovely and just the sort of treat I needed. Here's what you shared:

My friend Annie shared this photo of a sleepy monk seal on the beach from her vacation in Hawaii.

This purple sky that Allison captured is so dreamy.

My friend Nora took this picture of her pup Winston enjoying the dog days of summer.

Sally snapped this photo at one of her favorite parks in Paris.

And my mom took this one of kids enjoying bubbles at a birthday party.

If you want to share one of your relaxing photos, just leave a link below!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mama-to-Be Smoothie

I've been drinking lots of smoothies lately to beat the heat and squeeze more servings of fruits and vegetables into my day. This one is my latest favorite, full of protein and potassium and beneficial foods for baby and mama. Of course, you don't have to be pregnant to enjoy it.

Banana, Almond and Spinach Smoothie

1 frozen banana
3 pitted dates
1 cup of milk or almond milk
1 tablespoon of almond butter
1 cup of spinach

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Paint Wall

While we were in Houston, we made a point to visit the very instagrammable paint wall at Biscuit Home. I'm declaring it the happiest wall on earth.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thoughts of the Week

Fruit-inspired macarons: I can't take the cuteness.

Dreaming of a beach vacation and a breezy dress.

I'm eyeing this sweet print for baby boy's room.

Chocolate-covered cherries reinvented.

This motherhood around the world series is so interesting.

I'd like a glass of the loveliest-looking lemonade.

And please send me your relaxed photos!

Happy Friday! Any big weekend plans? I have to work, but at least I'll have a sleeping puppy at my feet and a bowl of watermelon on my desk. I can't get enough of either.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Coffee Toffee Brownies

I've been craving brownies for weeks now or as I like to say/blame, "The baby was craving brownies." I'm always looking for a new spin on my favorite sweet so when I found this dense, fudgy recipe that combined caramelly toffee bits and a touch of coffee I knew it'd be a winner.

Fudgy Mocha-Toffee Brownies
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/4 cup toffee chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Combine coffee granules and 1/4 cup hot water, stirring until the coffee granules dissolve. Combine butter and semisweet chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 25-second increments until butter melts; stir until chocolate is smooth. Combine flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine coffee mixture, butter mixture, vanilla extract and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add coffee mixture to flour mixture; stir until just combined. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Batter will be thick. Sprinkle evenly with toffee chips. Bake at 350° for about 22 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baby Blankets

There are a whole lot more practical infant items I need, but I keep eyeing baby blankets with their sweet patterns and bright colors. Add that to the quilts made by his nana and great grandma and baby Broulette will be bundled up for life.

[found here: anchors; arrows; skyline; deer; robots; crosses]

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weekend in Photos

We went to Houston for the weekend to spend time with our friends Nick and Nora. They gave us a tour of the city's neighborhoods, parks, public art and tasty food (biscuits!), and our dogs, Zuzu and Winston, got to spend some quality time together.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Coolest

Have you seen this cooler on Kickstarter yet? It's already far surpassed its fundraising goal, probably because it's so awesome. It features a rechargeable blender, bluetooth speaker, USB charger, lid light, cutting board, bottle opener and more, and I love the retro design. It's just the sort of thing that would make camping a more acceptable experience for me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dish It Out

I'm a fan of these screen printed flour sack towels from Nourishing Notes. Nothing like a little friendly advice while you're drying the dishes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summertime Chai

Last week, I finally busted out the ice cream maker for a batch of this coconut milk chai ice cream I found on Cookie + Kate. It was yummy and just the right blend of spices, but I undid all the lactose-free fun by turning it into a milkshake, which I'd also recommend. Just blend together a cup and half of chai ice cream, about 3/4 a cup of milk and a splash of vanilla extract and top with cinnamon. It's a delicious, summery spin on the usually cozy drink.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekend in Photos

We squeezed in donuts, Planet of the Apes, Chinese food and house-hunting this weekend, but all in about four-hour increments so we could check in on Zuzu. We've become puppy parents. We found a field for her to run in and none of us lasted long in the Texas heat, but it was great to give her plenty of space to play. It's amazing how a puppy has changed our routine. I can only imagine what a baby will do.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Austin Eats: Elizabeth Street Café

Elizabeth Street Café is just my sort of place, cute and charming with a case of readily available pastries. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu is Vietnamese and French, featuring everything from pork buns and noodles to baguettes and macarons. I would happily sit in their friendly space all day with a pot of green mint tea.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monthly Photo Project: July

For this month's photo theme, I chose "relax." I thought it would be appropriate for photos of summer vacation, days spent by the pool and other hot weather fun. I'll share the results on Thursday, July 31st. Just email me your photo and information in advance, so I can highlight images from some of you. Send it to: southernhostess[at]

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Weekend in Photos

We enjoyed a nice long Fourth of July weekend with Jonah's parents who came from Seattle for their first visit to Austin. With back-to-back parent visits, we've been busy eating good food, being spoiled and entertaining puppy, which sometimes proves to be a job for four adults. We watched fireworks in the distance from the roof, ate loads of ice cream, did some shopping for baby boy and gave the Broulettes a taste of Texas.


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