Last weekend, my boyfriend Andrew and I traveled to Beaver Creek, Colorado to catch at little R&R, hang out with his family, and escape the outrageous Texas heat. Though we were only there for a long weekend, we crammed in all sorts of fun activities! We enjoyed several scenic mountain hikes, took in a concert at Vail’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, ate a few fabulous meals and enjoyed a picture perfect lakeside picnic.

With the sun shining and temps in the mid 70s, an afternoon picnic with Andrew’s parents was a perfect excuse to get outside and experience the great outdoors. It was also a great reason to enjoy an afternoon snack! As opposed to a traditional picnic lunch, we opted to go with an antipasto and cheese spread. Here’s what we used to create our perfect picnic:

  • Cured Meats – We chose two of my favorite cured meats – sopressata and pancetta — to snack on. We bought the Boar’s Head pre-sliced variety which was very picnic friendly.
  • Cheese – To me, cheese is the most important part of a great antipasto platter. Tillamook’s Medium Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses complemented our spread perfectly.
  • Fruit – Grapes, cherries and a red apple were great for snacking and deliciously in season.
  • Bread & Crackers – A fresh baguette from the bakery was just the right vessel for a well stacked meat and cheese bite. We also had a box of wheat thins on hand and some sweet scones to nibble on.
  • Beverages – A refreshing red wine and cold Sawtooth Ale from Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Co. were the beverages of choice.

After putting together a savory picnic basket of treats, we had to find a good spot to set up. On the recommendation of Andrew’s sister, we chose Nottingham Lake in Avon, CO. We found a nice grassy spot in the shade of a lovely tree where we set up shop.

Before we started snacking, we set up our spread to try and capture the perfect snapshot for Tillamook’s #picnicpic contest. We started out perfectly posed…

But the more wine we drank…

the sillier we got!

At one point, I started laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes.

Andrew’s dad was all laid out on his stomach in the grass trying to capture the perfect photo. I wish I had gotten a pic of that! Once we got too silly, I took over camera duties and got some super sweet shots of Dr. and Mrs. Bode.

After all those photos, we worked up quite an appetite! We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying our picnic, chatting, eating, drinking and taking in the beautiful scenery!

It was really a terrific trip and

Filed in: Life, Travel | 4 Comments »

Handmade Love - Free People DIY Weekend

I just adore Free People. Their girlie hippie fashions have a retro vibe, yet are entirely fashion forward. The sister brand of Urban Outfitters, which at one time could only be found in department stores, now has over 40 stores across the country.

This Saturday, February 11, in what I find to be a super savvy marketing move, the boho boutique is inviting customers to join them for an afternoon shopping and crafting. From noon to 3pm guests will be able to make something special for their Valentine, and pick up the perfect outfit for their date at the same time. That’s quite an attractive offer for craft-loving gals like me!

Each store will be hosting one of four different DIY events. In addition some stores will be featuring live music, refreshments, food, or special raffles. You can see what will be going on at your closest Free People boutique at www.freepeople.com/valentines-day-handmade-love.

I was happy to learn that the Free People at NorthPark in Dallas will be making these adorable embroidered cards. They’ll also be offering food and beverages for thirsty shoppers.

If you stop by, don’t forget to tweet pics using the hash tag #FPHandMadeLove. I can’t wait to see the creativity that comes out of this event!

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Last night I laughed myself to tears watching Fox’s New Girl. Though the show got sort of a slow start, I stuck with it and boy am I glad I did! Something about the episode really struck a chord with me and I felt compelled to share my thoughts on it with my fellow entertaining enthusiasts.

Last night’s episode, “Jess and Julia,” focused on the conflict between the show’s heroine, an adorkable, ribbon-loving, polka dot rocking Jess (Zoey Deschanel) and her roommate Nick’s new girlfriend Julia, a smart, pant suit wearing lawyer. Jess’s sugar sweet demeanor irritates Julia who is not very girly and doesn’t like dessert.

Things come to a head when Jess finally snaps back at Julia’s passive agressive comments:

“I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. It freaks me out.  I’m sorry that I don’t talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pants suit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something just to make it slightly cuter but that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.”

Something about Jess’s mini monologue really hit home for me. Lots of times people think that just because I am a girly girl that I am not tough and strong and smart. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!

I love to bake, ribbons make me happy and I rocked a polka dot shirt just yesterday. At the same time, I am gainfully employed, own my own business and serve in leadership roles in a variety of professional and community organizations. I speak a second language and have a college degree.

Sometimes girly girls can be underestimated but, just like Jess proves, when we want, we can be a force to be reckoned with!

There’s nothing wrong with pant suit wearing, Murphy Brown talking girls. The world needs us both! But I agree with Jess, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like dessert. It really freaks me out.

Filed in: Life | 4 Comments »

Today Kate and I are being our Italian adventure, traveling from Dallas to Amsterdam and finally Rome. While abroad we’ll visit three of Italy’s most exciting cities: Rome, Florence and Venice. To keep all of of our important hotel and flight information in one place I made up a easy to fill multi-city travel itinerary.

Multi-City Travel Itinerary

Of course it only makes good sense to share this helpful template with my amazing readers. I hope it helps you in planning your next exciting excursion!

Download the Multi-City Travel Itinerary

{Photo via Pinterest}

Filed in: Freebies, Life, Travel | Leave a Comment »

My bags are packed!

I am a list person. I make to-do lists, idea lists, life lists, and, of course, pack lists! A few years ago I stumbled across this handy little travel checklist over at The Project Girl. Every time I’m going on a trip be it for a fourteen-day European excursion or a weekend jaunt home, I print this baby and get going!

After years of hand writing in a few necessities I felt missing from the list, I recently broke down and decided to recreate the list to specifically meet my needs. My changes are minimal…mainly I added a few items I often found myself forgetting, like my glasses and extra contact lenses. Shampoo and conditioner, jewelry, and a travel journal are other adds. Also, I changed diarrhea medicine and laxative to simply antacids. The idea of thinking of diarrhea before a trip just kinda took some of the excitement out of packing!

The design I left the same. I changed to color to match my luggage, but that’s about it. I didn’t want to rip off Project Girl, but if it’s not broke…

The Ultimate Travel Packlist

Do you use a pack list to get ready for a trip? Is there anything I’m missing? I’d be happy to make some adds if someone thinks of something that might be helpful for everyone! I’ve also licensed mine under the creative commons so feel free to add, remix, restyle as you please!

Enjoy this free printable and happy travels!

Download The Ultimate Travel Pack List

Filed in: Freebies, Life, Travel | 4 Comments »

Dear self, Today you will shine!

Earlier this year, while attending a provisional meeting for the Junior League of Dallas, I had the opportunity to hear Colleen Walker, CEO of Girl Scouts of North Texas, speak. She ended her speech with a poem that she said inspires her and promotes the message of leadership that the Girls Scouts promulgate.

Something about these words really resonated with me. Especially the line about playing small. Being the best version of yourself isn’t just good for you; it’s good for others.

The inspiration this poem provides is applicable for so many pieces of my life: career, relationships, family and more. Read it for yourself. Then tell me what these words mean to you in the comments!

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually who are we not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine as children do.
We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And when we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

{Photo via Pinterest}

Filed in: Life | 2 Comments »

A Snow Day of Blogging

A giant cup of coffee, my most comfortable sweatshirt and a day of just me and my best friend, WordPress. I couldn’t ask for a better snow day!

What are you doing on your snowy day at home?

Filed in: Life | 2 Comments »

A Friday Evening at the Shiffler Loft

Being single occasionally has its perks. There always hot water in the shower, no one ever cancels your scheduled DVR shows, and you don’t get an exaggerated eyeball roll when you try to open a bottle of white. (Seriously, who propagated the lie that it’s not macho for guys to drink white wine?!) Lazy Friday nights are one such perk. You can wear jammies, drink wine and watch all the rom-coms you want without catching any grief!

Tonight I went over to Blockbuster, my favorite place to buy previously viewed DVDs. Enticed by the 2 for $20 action they had going on, I splurged and picked up four chick flicks I have been dying to own. $40 for DVD, I admit may not be the best allocation of my budget. But since three of them (Letters to Juliet, It’s Complicated and She’s Out of My League) I’ve already seen/rented at least 3+ times, I figure it would be a cost savings in the long run.

A little Washington White (gotta love Colombia Crest Chardonnay!) and a 100-calorie pack of Orville Redenbacher (mixed with M&Ms, of course.) and I’m on my way to a fantastic lazy, single Friday night! Now if I just had a bath tub…

What do you do to unwind after a long week of work?

Filed in: Life | 6 Comments »

JJ Barea and Dirk Nowinski

In a few short hours I’ll be headed to take part in one of my favorite Dallas activities, attending a Dallas Mavericks game! Tonight the Mavs take on the Washington Wizards in their first pre-season face-off. Beyond being super excited that basketball is back in season, I’m also psyched to re-start my basketball season crush on J.J. Barea (left). Sigh.

Basketball season crush? Yes. A high school friend (you know who you are) once taught me that it was not only acceptable, but preferable to schedule your crushes to coincide with the different sports seasons. “It’s just more fun that way” she’d say. And I agree.

So how, out of all those crush-worthy Mavs did I choose J.J. Barea? First, he’s short by basketball standards. Coming in at exactly six feet, he is one of the few basketball players I could date and not look ridiculous standing next to. (I’m only 5′ 2″)

Second, he speak Spanish. I love the Spanish language and think it’s hot when guys can speak it. I also really have any easy time getting on board with any guy who has an accent.

Lastly, he’s sweet. Okay, so I don’t actually know him, (I did meet him once at an All-Star party this February and the proceeded to blush and giggle for the next 20 minutes.) but my friend who used to work for the Mavs does and she seems to think he’s a good guy. Given the amount of a-holes in the NBA she’s told me about, a good recommendation from her is a pretty good sign.

Now, do I totally realize by blogging this I further decrease my chances of JJ finding me adorable or even date-able? I mean, hard to get is totally out the window. I guess I should, but if JJ really is a guy worth dating I’m sure it will work out despite this post. Or so this blogger hopes!

That said, I leave you this: GO MAVS!

PS Loud shout out to Miss Brett S. for letting us park at your place tonight! Let’s catch up over drinks soon!

Filed in: Life | Leave a Comment »

Clearly Kendall’s Entertaining Life hasn’t been so entertaining lately, but, actually, my real life has been crazy busy and highly entertaining over the past few months. I just haven’t had time to blog about it here!

The biggest highlight? A new job! I am now a full-time “Social Networking and Marketing Associate,” or in other words, a professional blogger! That’s right, this little ole blog helped me land a new job in a brand new industry! I still can’t believe that I’m getting paid to do what I love!

So that’s where I’ve been. I’ve spent the last five months working to launch my work blog, LowerOakLawn.com. I get to blog about the Dallas Design District including our new apartments, restaurants and all the cool interior design showrooms in the area. Yep, my job pretty much rocks.

Oh, and the new job also explains the two non-entertaining related posts: Doors of the Design District and Day in the Life of a Socialmediaite. Part of the interview process for my new job was to write blog post. Thanks to you faithful readers who commented on them and supported me through the interview process!

In other exciting news, I’m moving next week! Don’t worry, I’ll still be in Dallas! Just a little closer to work. I picked out an awesome apartment that is HUGE and has a perfect layout for entertaining. I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for how to arrange the living/dining room. The X marks where the cable connector is which makes the furniture arrangement a little less straight forward. Help! I could use it :)

Besides the great layout the biggest upgrade is the added cabinet space. There is TONS of room for all my plates, serving trays, glasses, etc. I’m sure my fellow entertaining enthusiasts can relate — keeping a fully stocked set of glassware and serving platters can sure take up a lot of space!

So that’s my update. Thanks to those of you who have kept my blog in your feed reader and I promise some great new parties this year! I’ll try to blog over here at least once a week. There you go — a new years resolution!

I’ll leave you with a little treat — some napkins I saw at Z Gallerie the other day. How true is this statement?

Now how great are those?! Totally worth $5.95.

Filed in: Life | 4 Comments »

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