Spring Drink | Champagne Lemonade

FIRSTChampagne Lemonade-733It is finally the season of brunching on patios and spending the afternoons in sunrooms. Light drinks, like wines, sangrias, and spritzers, are typically what I lean towards on those kinds of days, and last summer my friend Lauren showed me a great recipe that is a winning combo of all of those things: Champagne Lemonade.

This recipe is super affordable, easy to throw together, and results in super refreshing and slightly carbonated sips all around.

You will need:
• Fruit of your choosing (We used lemons, strawberries, black, berries, and lime)
• Herbs of your choosing (Rosemary adds a great herbal flavor, but I’m also excited to try mint, basil, lavender, and ginger with this recipe)
• Lemonade (Newman’s Own Organic Virgin Lemonade is a great choice, there are no unexpected ingredients or processed sugars)
• Champagne (You can’t really go wrong on this part)

Champagne Lemonade-662
Step One: 
Prepare your fruit: wash, slice, remove the seeds, etc. Combine and put aside.

TOAST

Step Two: 
Pop your Champagne! Now you feel like you’re celebrating.

Remember: Popping a bottle does not have to be a near death experience. First, carefully remove the cage from the cork (Note: The cork is not going to shoot out of the top without a little bit of effort on your part). Breathe, you’re halfway there. Grab a dishtowel and place on top of the cork, stand near the sink, tilt the bottle at a 45 degree angle, breathe once again and slowly remove the cork from the bottle. The cork will POP and it may startle you, but you probably won’t experience death by carbonation.

Just remember to go slow and to store your Champagne in a stationary place. The less you move it the less pressure that will build.

 

Step 3
Decide how much you want to make. Once you decide, you will need the final result to amount to around 2/3 Champagne and 1/3 Lemonade. If you want to make 6 cups worth, which is a good amount for a get together, then you will need to measure out 4 cups of champagne and 2 cups of lemonade. These numbers aren’t concrete–just mix and taste until it tastes delicious to you! (a little more champagne never hurts, right?)

 

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Step 4
Add the fruit you prepared to the mix, as well as your herbs, then, put it in the fridge and let it chill for an hour so; all of the flavors will begin to extract and mingle together. Right before your friends arrive get it out; this is so you look really prepared. T3Champagne Lemonade-730

Serve your drinks with an herb garnish, and maybe try to get some actual fruit in the glass as well. I can tell you already: your drink is going to be a hit.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

 

Speak to you soon!

 

 

x

 

 

 

*photos and graphics by Lauren Cunningham*

Simple Summer | May Playlist

Simple Summer

 

Simplicity: a summer filled with fresh drinks accented by notes of citrus and mint, an easy sandal that goes with everything, effortless outfits that keep us feeling cool (in every sense of the phrase), evenings on porches with friends, sunglasses being the only eye makeup you need. That’s what I want this year to look like. I want it to be easy and focused on moments and people, rather than overly complicated with summer bucket lists that seem to replace spontaneity.  I want to choose moments over planning. I want to make memories. I want simplicity.
I can hardly believe that May is about to make it’s grand entrance into 2014. It seems like yesterday we were just toasting to the new year and now it’s nearly summer. Crazy. But with a new month (and a new week) comes a new playlist! Discovered some really great new artists this week that I am excited to share with you guys. Enjoy!

 

 

Leaving for Spain 3 weeks from today. Words cannot express my excitement.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

Saturday Morning Notes

LMBuns0

via local milk

Saturdays for me smell sweet and taste sweeter. They feel like sun and they sound like my favorite song. They look like brunch on a patio, an afternoon at the park, a moment to remember that I worked hard up during the week and now it’s okay to just be.

 

Have a great Saturday!

 

 

x

TBT | Italy Travels (+ITALY GUIDE)

italypromo IMG_1975 IMG_4896 IMG_1972IMG_4653IMG_2202 IMG_4687 IMG_5231IMG_2074 IMG_2421IMG_2462 IMG_5269 IMG_4886 IMG_5424 IMG_2582  IMG_2402 IMG_2429 IMG_2444IMG_3280 IMG_5411The first time I traveled outside of the U.S. was when I was 20. The college I attended offered a class where you would jet abroad and then learn about the art, architecture and culture of a place across the globe. The destination of my trip was Italy.

We landed and immediately where chauffeured in a coach bus through the stylish city of Milan. Just from watching the aged buildings whiz by I was almost immediately entranced by the beauty and antiquity of it all. That trip took us all over the Northern half of the country: Milan, Vicenza, Verona, Venice, Tuscany, Florence, Siena, and Rome. By the end of our 14 day journey I was sure of a couple of things; one of those was that I suddenly understood the term “wanderlust,” and I had it bad; the second was that I would be returning to Italy. My heart had started to beat for the patina on the walls and the piazzas; for the silent, spiritual moments spent in ornate churches in small cities; for the way the Italian people spoke in a sing-song language I couldn’t understand but wanted desperately to. I wanted to go back, so I did.

The next summer I was moved into an apartment in Florence with my best friend. I had acquired a summer internship with a small men’s fashion label (Borgo28) and she was to teach English to children. Our landlord, Vincent, placed us in a second floor unit overlooking Via De Neri, the street right behind the world-renowned Uffizi Gallery. Our evenings were spent strolling across the Arno river to our favorite place for Apertivo, purchasing a 2 euro bottle of wine from the market across the street and people watching from our window, and dreaming of a life where we never had to leave. We spent the weekends adventuring with our newfound Italian friends (or just having dinner parties), or taking the train somewhere we hadn’t been before. It was the most exciting 3 months of my life, and the gateway to the person and dreams that I have now.

italy guide

YOU SHOULD GO:

•Make your way to Cinque Terre, It’s my favorite place in Italy so far. Find a bed and breakfast (they’re a little cheaper outside of the town centers and often offer a shuttle service), and make sure to spend some time in each city because they are all super special (there is a train that links them all). Start in la Spezia and adventure your way across to Monterosso al Mare. Hike the trail,  if it’s a nice day, to Riomaggiore where you’ll get your first glimpse of the Mediterranean color scheme that paints the cities of the region;   fall in love with the charming, colorful hillside buildings of Manarola (my favorite); stroll the Via dell’Amore near Vernazza; find a restaurant overlooking the sea and order some risotto con funghi in Corniglia, and don’t forget to block out some time to spend on the beautiful, hill secluded beach in Monterosso.

•Visit a winery in Chianti. Go on a tour of the grounds, and treat yourself to a tasting. If they produce olive oil, make sure you try some because it there is nothing quite like fresh, authentic Italian Olive oil. Not only will you learn a lot, but the views of the Tuscan country side from the hilltops are unreal.

•Siena is the most quintessentially Italian town I’ve ever gone to. The Siena Cathedral is one of the most beautiful that I’ve seen during my travels there (Also on that list are the Milan Cathedral and the Duomo in Florence).

•If you have to choose between Rome and Florence, I’d choose Florence. Though it is tourist heavy, there is more of a small town feel than the over-saturated tourist hub of Rome (but also go to Rome because it has some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen).

•Renaissance monuments. Examples: The David, the masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery (they have SO MANY Botticelli paintings. And I love Botticelli), the Duomo (and all of Brunelleschi’s other works in Florence), the Palace of the Medici’s (and the Boboli Gardens), etc. Also, if in Rome the Vatican is breath taking and the Colosseum and the Forum ARE worth seeing. Strolling the streets in most of the towns will give you a glimpse of the renaissance architecture; it is what makes up the building blocks of the country.

YOU SHOULD EAT:

•Spaghetti alla Scoglio – Spaghetti with clams is my all time favorite Italian Dish.
•Apertivo – An Italian pre-dinner ritual that is similar to Spanish tapas. You order a minimum of one drink (traditionally you order a Spritz) and are given a small plate to fill with the smorgasbord of food on display in the restaurant. Apertivo outings were one of my favorite parts of living in Italy. (If you’re in Florence there is an apertivo restaurant called Moyo and it is GOOD.)
•Gelato (I hope this is a given).
•Also try: Prosciutto con Melone, Authentic pizza/calzones, A panini with melanzane (GO TO PINO’S), and crostini. All of the crostini.

YOU SHOULD DRINK:
•Limoncello – Lemon flavored liquor that is often served as a dessert.
• Grappa – a brandy-esque Italian grape based beverage. Another after dinner drink that I would highly reccommend. Prepare your palette, because it’s different than anything I’ve ever tasted.
• A bottle of Chianti. In Chianti.

& I’VE YET TO SEE (BUT WANT TO ):
• Lake Como
•The Amalfi Coast (Capri, Positano, Sorrento, etc)
•Sardinia
•Milan (I did vist, but only for an afternoon)
•More of the country side, because what better way to see the true beauty of a country than that.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

 

x

Recently | IG Catchup

via lacunningham on instagramApril was good to me. April took me on adventures to new places. April allowed me to try new things. April gave me clarity.

I think my favorite thing that I did this month was during my trip home to Little Rock, Arkansas. Saturday morning my mom and I rose with the sun to seek out the best of the city’s Farmer’s Markets. We spent the whole day strolling through aisles of freshly cut flowers and herbs, enveloped in the smells of homemade breads and baked goods. The city was buzzing with people happy to be in the sun; feeling the consoling rays of the morning on my bare shoulders made me forget the harsh winter that has now faded away.

There was also a boisterous, cheerful, older man who convinced me to cradle one of his pet chickens in my arms, but that’s another story for another time.

I hope April was as good to you as it was to me.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

Pretty boy // Your Monday Playlist

Pretty boy

  

Getting back into the swing of things can be hard after a weekend of warm family moments and an abundance pillowy dinner rolls. Here are a few words to inspire your next few moves:

•Today is going to be great. It is a new week. It is a new day. It is a new beginning. There is no reason not to be delighted in that.

YOU are great. You are talented and your dreams are worth chasing. They are worth it. You are worth it.

•Know that you are loved. It’s Monday and sometimes it feels like everything is spiraling in a bad direction. It’s not. Breathe and know you are going to make it through.

 

•You can make the decision to be happy today. Don’t forget that.

 

•You can also make the decision to choose pizza for lunch, and there is no better cure for a bad day than that.
  
This weeks playlist was inspired by my (often discussed) masculine-feminine style obsession for spring 2014; I’m continuing to love the shapes and pieces involved in a more boyish look and twisting them with girlish textures and details . My two favorite items are the oversized black watch (MARC by Marc Jacobs) and the boyfriend shorts (rag & bone featured here, but we all know about the love affair I have with the Madewell suitor.)

 

The playlist is a bunch of fabulous ladies who sing like angels. So, without further adieu, your Monday mixtape:

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

Spring Dreams | Jamie & the Jones SS14

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Collection: Spring/Summer 2014 Jamie & The Jones • Photography: Brett Warren • Video: Tyler Evans

 

I cannot get over the hues and simple, beautiful shapes of, Nashville based fashion label, Jamie & The Jones for Spring/Summer 2014. Each piece is so organic and the combination of dye colors/techniques only furthers the uniqueness of it all. Not only are the pieces pretty, but they are hand marbled and handmade in Nashville. The collection was done in collaboration with Shutters and Shuttles.

The ambiance of the shoot could not have been better for the collection. The dewey skin, softness of the hair and speckled nails are the cherries on top. My vision of spring has been officially been epitomized.

To see more of Jamie & The Jones work, click here

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

High Garden Tea | Nashville

HGpromoHG27 HG18 HG45 HG31HG40 HG33 HG34 HG23HG10HG2 HG25 HG8-B HG HG29HG9 HG37HG30HG26 HG46 HG44 HG32HG51 HG35The first time I had a taste of High Garden’s tea was sometime during the cold and flu season of 2013. I was working at a café, who carried their products, and urged by my co-workers to try a blend called “Sing,” when I started losing a battle to a sore throat. Sing is an herbal tea blend that contains: Plantain, Mullein, Sage, Marshmallow Root, Hyssop, Peppermint, Thyme, Licorice Root,  Wild Cherry Bark. After the immediate soothing and relentless enjoyment brought to me by my first cup I was hooked.

High Garden is a small local business run by the most charming dynamic duo: Tea aficionado, Joel, and Herbologist, Leah. They thrive on sharing their knowledge of living a natural, healthy life via the route of herbal wellness. I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon there last week and from the moment I walked in I felt so comfortable and welcome.

Shelves lined with colorful jars filled with tea from regions all over the world, and colorful herbs sourced from various places, including local suppliers, greet you as you walk in the front door. Not only are there teas and herbs, but also natural beauty products, tea brewing supplies, herbal supplements, a wealth of knowledge, and so on. If you don’t know much about teas or herbs, don’t be afraid to ask; your question will be given an enthusiastic and easy to understand explanation by one of my two new favorite people on this earth. You are invited to purchase product to take with you, and/or to enjoy some in the store. (I highly suggest both).

Within the afternoon that I spent at High Garden I feel like I began to understand and appreciate the things they were so passionate about. Since going, I’ve started doing some research about living more naturally, herbal remedies and regions where tea is grown. I hope to be visiting again soon for another insightful chat and a new bag full of a blend that can replace the quickly disappearing packets of Calm tea that I purchased just a few days ago.

For more information check out High Garden’s website here.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

Bluesday

Bluesday

 

With spring comes rain and with rain comes tranquility, or that’s how it is for me at least. Despite the misfortune of my always forgetting an umbrella and my lack of anything waterproof in my wardrobe, April showers make for some of my favorite days.

 

The steady pitter-patter of the tiny drops against my windows and roof become a metronome for my productivity. Conversely, it significantly heightens the likelihood that I am going to give in to the beckoning of my blankets and fall into a cuddle pile at some point; I like to think that that’s just part of fully enjoying the moment, though.

 

Above you’ll have seen my current rainy day essentials. Powder blues are inspiring me like crazy, so everything circulated around that–that, and my unfailing love for a hot cup of tea and a vase full of fresh hydrangeas. (Those New Balance sneakers are something that I’ve been loving, too). Naturally, I’ve put together a few of my recent favorite rainy day tracks to create this week’s playlist. I hope it helps you enjoy your rainy days as much as I enjoy mine:

 

 

Speak to you soon,

 

 

x