Saturday, August 16, 2014


Holy wow. Paul and I had the most incredible lunch today at our friends' Jesse and Rachel's new place in Fondren called Saltine Oysters and Brew. It doesn't officially open until Tuesday, but we were lucky enough to have them invite us for a soft opening meal.

The interior (on the west side of the old Duling School) is fresh and bright. They've really kept true to the "old school" vibe of the building.

First, we started with some drinks. This is the "Pieces of Eight," which includes Cathead Vodka, passion fruit, St. Germain, and soda. Light and sweet.

These oxtail gravy fries were EVERYTHING. Oof. I couldn't eat these every day (or every week, for that matter!), but these were perfect in a way I've never appreciated sloppy fries before.

Neither of us are big oyster fans, so when it came to entrees, we both chose from either side of the aisle - one from the land and one from the sea. We ended up with redfish on the half shell (wood fired skin-on filet) and the butcher's cut (hanger steak with onion jam and fries). Both were incredible, but the onion jam, to me, took first prize. I could eat it on everything.

Not to be outdone, Jesse brought out a dessert for us to try - key lime tart made with a saltine cracker crust and coconut and kefir lime sorbet. To die for.

Saltine opens this coming Tuesday and I know a lot of people are excited to see it open. If you like oysters, you can get them just about any way you like them - from raw to wood fired and even oyster stew!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Craigslist: August Edition

Don't let anyone tell you there aren't good deals on Craigslist. Sure, sometimes the site gets a bad wrap (and rightfully so), but there are really some good things to be had.

Here's just a few I've found in the last few days:

This sideboard/buffet makes my heart go pitter patter. While I'm digging the campaign-style hardware and chalk paint job, I could even see this painted red for even more of an Asian styling.

With a little elbow grease and loving, this lamp could really sing. Add a drum lamp shade and, if you're adventurous, some paint to the base could really punch up this lamp.

More on the traditional side, this could be a great entry table or sofa table.

I've seen more and more of these tables coming back in style. Everyone is loving bamboo! Don't like the color of the wood? Paint it!

This is another one of those items that could really transform with a little elbow grease and paint. While there's nothing wrong with the natural stain on the bamboo, a little touch of white or gold paint could easily make this a fun side table.

Happy shopping, guys!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


A few weeks ago, Paul and I started seriously thinking about a new coffee machine. Even though I'm a big coffee drinker, I don't like the process of making a big cup of coffee in the morning. Most days, I probably don't have time to make it and wait for it to brew either.

After doing some research about Keurigs and other machines, I landed on Nespresso. Yes, it's an espresso machine, but in my mind it was the best of both worlds. If I had to choose, I'd rather have an espresso based drink. For someone like Paul who'd rather have something similar to drip brew, you can easily make an Americano (espresso + hot water).

Paul called William-Sonoma and had a great phone conversation with Sam, who invited us to come demo one in the store. That night, we were on our way. We had such a great experience and to boot, the U machine we purchased was on sale as a bundle with the milk frother (a separate accessory) for $149. I had a William-Sonoma email for 10% off online, which they also honored in the store. (You know I'm never leaving a store without the ultimate deal) Score!

We immediately came home and broke it out.

It's a simple system - place the pod in, and, if you've been using it a while, it'll even remember the shot size you use. This machine makes a former barista's heart skit a beat!

I didn't expect to get the milk frother, but it's one of my favorite accessories. You can choose between a steamer "clip" or a frothing "clip." If you like a stiff milk cappuccino, the frothing clip will work for you. I'm happy with the steamer setting, which gives it just the right amount of heat and foam.

With the machine you get to try all 16 flavors of espresso pods Nespresso has to offer, which was a lot of fun. It was almost like having a box of chocolate and looking at the map to see what flavor you wanted to try next!

After doing some research, though, we found a pod that's cheaper, but full of flavor - HiLine Coffee. I highly recommend them. There's about a 10-20 cent difference per pod (.45-.54 per pod vs. .67 per pod) over buying from Nespresso.

I can even say personally that their customer service is great because I accidentally bought two boxes that weren't compatible with our machine and they've already shipped me two boxes to replace them and told me to keep the other two to share with friends.

All in all, our coffee machine journey has been so enjoyable. The past couple of weeks I've wondered if this excitement would fade, but it's really been one of the most exciting gadgets we've purchased in a while, in my eyes. I've even wondered about purchasing one for my office!


[No one paid me to write this post, I just love our little machine, and coffee, so much.]

Friday, August 8, 2014

At West End

Remember the mango wood console I was telling you about last week? After shooting for At West End at our house for some blogs posts, I had to have it. The first post of the blog is now up - check it out here!

I thought it'd be fun to show you some of the photos that didn't make the cut, just so you can see some of the details.

[Set: Frosted glass balls]
There were metal storage chests that we pushed together to make a coffee table. These would be great as nightstands and had pretty incredible storage inside.

I especially liked bringing in some pieces from my own collection, like my vintage ink bottle and glass insulator.

[Set: Stemless Wine Glasses]
And, of course, there's never anything wrong with a little wine and a good magazine (even though I'm biased)!

This was definitely my favorite by far. I think this is the perfect example of reuse and recycle. The green glass bottle is nothing more than an old Franzia bottle that I scrubbed the label off of and the trophy vase has eucalyptus that my mom and I have repurposed throughout both of our houses.

Here's to more projects!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rummage Sale Finds

There's a church a block from us that always has a great rummage sale every year to benefit a local non-profit. While we usually go on the day of the event, this year we found out about a preview sale. I wasn't about to give anyone a leg up on finding some great stuff! While I didn't look too hard (I really could have combed through a lot more, but we went so Paul could capture some photos for promotion), I did score two great finds all for $3.

I find came upon these great vintage leather shoes that looks just like something my sister would wear. A quick text message conversation later, I told them they were her's!

 I also found this map for a whole buck. I was inspired a few weeks ago when my mom, sister and I were flea market shopping and I stumbled upon a phenomenal vintage map. I'd been scouring eBay for maps and was almost ready to pull the trigger on one that was over $100. (Sigh) Is this my lesson in the rewards of patience?

 This mango wood media cabinet/side board is new as of Friday and it's my new favorite thing. I won't reveal too much because it's part of a freelance blog project I'm working on with my mom, but when they came to take the furniture out of my house that I'd been photographing, we told them they couldn't take this away. We're such suckers!

After our usual breakfast with friends yesterday, I was itching to put up the map and make the space mine. Paul usually takes this time to decompress (watch TV), so he looked at me funny for a second, hung the map, then let me do my thing. Rearranging the house is my zen place.

Now, we still have a 450 square foot front living room to work on, but it's a start. Who needs to rush these things? Isn't it searching and styling that's the fun part anyways?

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Hey guys! Since this blog has transitioned over the years, I've wanted to change my blog name. I started this blog in college as a way to keep up with family members and definitely want to keep it that way. I named this blog "The Hourly Reporter," because at the time, I was! That being said, you'll noticed my header has changed. I'll be transitioning my blog in the next few days to be:

The Hawthorne Life! Never fear, if you type in my old blog link, you'll see content at

I can wait to see where this takes me!


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