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MAKE YOUR OWN MARGARITA TABLE always be fiesta ready with this easy DIY

IMG_4512Maybe it’s because we live in Austin & Arizona, but I have found that our house is always fiesta-ready. If we ever find ourselves needing to make margaritas for 20 friends who just happen to drop by unannounced, we are prepared! Think what you will, but as an entertaining blogger, I feel like that is a mark of success 😉

Margaritas are kind of like a cup of coffee, in the sense that everyone likes theirs a little different. Salt, no salt, extra lime, with a spicy kick, the list goes on – it’s all based on preference. That is why we are showing you how to set-up the perfect “make your own” margarita table . This is fantastic for summer get-togethers and is insanely easy to reproduce. Whether your festivities are inside or out on the porch, this little entertaining trick will get you out of the kitchen and keep you mingling like that entertaining maven that you are.
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STEP ONE: the set-up

No matter the occasion, it’s important for the bar to be easily accessible but not the center of attention. Depending on where you want your guests to spend their time (outside in the yard, on a shaded porch off the kitchen, etc.) find a little spot that will allow your guests to mix up their perfect marg with ease.

A dining table works perfectly as a DIY margarita table or if you are tight on space, an entryway table or even pushing a few end tables together to create a designated margarita area will do the trick perfectly.

diy marg oneSTEP TWO: the mixings

Margaritas are having a serious moment on the cocktail stage & we couldn’t be more excited. While we aren’t knocking the classic margarita mix angle (hey, Trader Joe’s has a great one!) we are encouraging you to let your hair down and go wild with your mixings!

Grab some fresh grapefruit juice, squeeze up some blood orange juice, or even go super nuts and try out watermelon juice! Need some inspiration? We’ve got ten (10!) of the best margarita recipes that are serious crowd-pleasers, plus (per usual) they are easy to whip up!

IMG_4543STEP THREE: the fixings

Now it’s time for the decoration! Make sure to cut up little lime wedges & have a few salt dishes out, for your pro-salt rim friends. I love adding wedges of grapefruit, jars of honey or agave, and sparkling mineral water to top things off. Maybe throw some hot sauce on the table to really spice things up! Just have fun with it. Found some stir sticks you think are fantastic – add those too!

The best part is decorating a table so your guests feel encouraged to try something new & have fun!

Writing a recipe on a card and having it sit up on the table is another fun tip. Or, for your guests who don’t like to get their hands dirty, I always have a pitcher of pre-made margarita to help ease people into the make your own concept. Above all else, have fun!

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lauren and sylvia

HOW TO MAKE EVERY DAY A GOOD HAIR DAY

IMG_9937There’s something magical about a good hair day, am I right? Sometimes you just wake up & your hair is magically fabulous & it’s like you’ve won the hair lottery. We are big fans of keeping a daily primping routine under 20 minutes (you are a busy gal with important things to do & fussing over your hair shouldn’t be one of them), so we are sharing our fool-proof guide to making every day a great hair day here.

Stop on by & tell us what you think! Have any favorite fool-proof tips – tell us! We would love to know.


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DOUBLE DUTCH BRAIDS from gym to the office

IMG_2742The argument for waking up a bit earlier to style and “do” my hair in the morning just has never been that compelling. Maybe because I prefer a bit for of a tousled look, or maybe just because I’ve never really known how to style my hair well, either way, I am always on the lookout for quick & easy hairstyles that will get me out the door on time and one that I don’t have to keep fixing all day.

We just started playing around with the Double Dutch Braids and I am obsessed. Remember that braided crown we did a while ago? Well, it’s the same braiding technique, but this time we are braiding straight down the back of your head instead of around. Basically, it’s half the work & you can do this on the train to work in the morning – yes, it really is that simple!

Perfect for the gym & adorable for work, we have a feeling this is going to be your favorite no muss, no fuss hairstyle this season. Still unsure about how to master the Double Dutch braids? We’ve called in one of our favorite stylists from StylistedChristina Gauthier – to show us how!

IMG_2639THE STEP BY STEP

1. Start with a clean part that extends all the way down your head. Cleanly separate the two sections and pigtail the left section on the side of your head.

2. On the right section, separate the top of your hair into three sections. Dutch braids are basically the inverse of a French braid, so instead of pulling the pieces of hair under one another, push them on top. Or, if it’s easier to think of it this way, start French braiding and then do the opposite. The right piece goes under the middle and then the left under the middle, while adding more hair from the root.

3. Work that pattern until you’ve reached the end of your hair & secure with an elastic tie. Un-pigtail the left section and repeat.

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Stylist: Christina Gauthier from Stylistedlauren and sylvia

PALOMA my favorite summer cocktail

IMG_2918Well, happy Friday, friends! I don’t know about you but I am ready for summer to make her grand entrance because these little beauties have been calling my name. Festive, delicious, and wildly easy to make, the Paloma has become a warm-weather staple in our house. I discovered this little babes when living in Austin and have happily brought them with me wherever we’ve moved.

For all my grapefruit lovers, this is for you. Love margs but hate the sugar? This is for you! Searching for the perfect “go-to” cocktail this summer – oh, yeah, this is absolutely for you! Give her a try & tell us what you think!

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INGREDIENTS:

– 1/2 cup Tequila
– 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods has some great ones!)
– 1/2 cup Topo Chico (if you can’t find that, use Club Soda)
– 1 tablespoon lime juice
– OPTIONAL: Salt or sugar for rim
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INGREDIENTS:

1. If you like a salted rim, go ahead and fill a shallow plate with salt, run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, & rim it with salt. I like my Paloma’s without salt, but it’s totally up to you!

2. Fill two glasses with a few ice cubes & add in your ingredients. Stir gently & serve, sip, repeat!

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lauren and sylvia

READY, SET, PICNIC! how to get ready for picnic season

IMG_5005Howdy, friends! It’s almost picnic season & we couldn’t be more excited! Gather up some friends, pack up some snacks, and head outside for a full day of picnicking. Worried you might forget something? Don’t be! We are arming you with a fool-proof list on what to pack, a few favorite sangria recipes, & the perfect games for a long day of outdoor fun. There will be no more Mcgyvering bottle openers or crappy snacks on any picnic of yours – we’ve got you covered! IMG_4923

PACKING THE PERFECT SUPPLIES

No matter if you are picnicking in a park downtown or alongside a lake in the country, packing the perfect supplies is essential. No one wants to Mcgyver a bottle opener or be stuck without a blanket, so running through a quick checklist before you set out is essential. Take it from someone who has forgotten many essential things (many times) on a picnic, this is a mistake you don’t want to make.

Here is our check list:

  • Food with easy clean-up: fruit, cheese, pre-made (or bought) sandwiches, grapes, nuts, olives, bread and jams, you get the idea. The easier it is to eat, the better. That way you can pack more yummy snacks instead of filling your bag with accouterment.
  • A sturdy basket & a few blankets: I can think of about a million things that are better than lugging around a heavy bag up a mountain or from your car to the park, so do yourself a favor and invest in a sturdy basket on wheels. It will save everyone a lot of stress and frustration. Pro tip: pack a few extra blankets. You never know when they will come in handy & they are perfect for shawls, make-shift pillows, towels, tents – the list goes on!
  • Pack a cutting board: If I have one piece of picnic wisdom to instill upon you, it’s to pack a cutting board. It can be small, round, plastic, whatever – just make sure you have one. Perfect to layout the food spread, cutting apples, or as a surface to rest drinks on, you really can’t go wrong to pack one.
  • The accessories: This is key! Make sure you’ve got a wine opener that doubles as a bottle opener (we always keep one in the zipper pocket of our basket), a knife with a sleeve cover, plastic cups, napkins, and plastic/disposable plates. We also like to slip a packet of wet wipes or paper towels in our bag…just in case. 

IMG_5298We love posting up all day in a park on a Saturday in the summer. Your friends can come & go as they please, the little ones (pups too!) can run around, everyone brings something to eat or drink, it’s the perfect day! We always make sure to bring a few games in our basket because it keeps the party going & is an easy way for friends (new & old) to connect.

  • Football or Soccer ball: Perfect for the guys to run around with or to amuse kids for hours. You can’t go wrong with a good ball. Who knows, you get enough friends and you could have your own pick-up game in the park.
  • Bags/Cornhole: This is my personal favorite. So easy to play & always fun – even if you have terrible aim. I think I like it because you can have a beverage in one hand & chat the whole time, which is absolutely my kind of sport 😉
  • Card games: Your regular old deck of cards, Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples, you name it – they are all awesome & card games are always a good idea.
  • Bocce Ball: If you aren’t a bocce fan, now is the time to start! This is a family favorite in our house & is perfect for a park. Grab a cheap set, try it out, & prepare to fall in love.

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Okay, let’s be real, it wouldn’t be a true LK approved picnic without some fun cocktails! I am a big fan of making a big batch of sangria & throwing it in the cooler. No muss, no fuss, just delicious punch that everyone can enjoy. Here are our favorite go-to summer sangria recipes & I promise, they will make an appearance more than once throughout the summer!

Stone Fruit Sangria, Mango & Blackberry Sangria, & of course, the Classic Red Sangria.

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lauren and sylvia

MAKING YOU BLUSH the best finds for any skin tone

IMG_2883I have never really been a makeup kind of gal. Truthfully, I don’t really know what I am doing. Between some moisturizer, a little mascara, & a good shade of lipstick, I feel pretty well rounded and it takes me less than 30 seconds, so you can’t really beat that. Recently, between Breann’s beauty column, our guest contributors, and the experts sharing their secrets from Stylisted, I have started to expand my daily beauty routine a bit & have found my secret weapon – blush

I know, I know this might be old news to you, but what I mean is that I actually started caring about it. By that I mean, using blush that compliments my skin tone & started applying it with an actual brush & not my fingers. So, we got our blush-guru, Christina Gauthier from Stylisted, to show us how to up our beauty game.

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Depending on your skin tone, these shades of blush will compliment your already radiant skin:

Gold/Olive undertones: Go for something with orange tones or slightly reddish pinks. They will help highlight your brightness.

Pink undertones: For a natural look, stick with light pink but for something a bit more dramatic try peach. It compliments your coloring and gives you a healthy glow.

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So, for those of you (like me) who had no idea how to apply blush (think those pink circles dolls have on their cheeks), Christine says to sweep it along your cheekbones (if you don’t know where they are, suck in your cheeks & see what stands out) and extend the color up to your temples. 

Put on a little more than you think to give you a natural glow that goes more chic than “just came in from the gym.” So, what do you think? We are tucking away our bronzer for another season & getting back to our blushing basics!

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lauren and sylvia

THE WHISKEY ROSE could anything be prettier?

IMG_3022It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Remember that song? Sorry for getting it stuck in your head but to make up for it how about a little inspiration to get through your last work day of the week?! Meet the cocktail that will make you love whiskey (if you don’t already). It’s the Whiskey Rose and we are in love. There is nothing rose flavored about the cocktail, it gets that name because of it’s color (it’s much more pink in person because of the grapefruit juice) and it’s just such a darling cocktail, we can’t help but feel ‘rose’ describes it’s adorable personality.

Made with our favorite whiskey, Michter’s, this lovely lady is smooth, refreshing, and perfect to celebrate the weekend! So make a quick stop to the store, round up some friends, and host a little post-work/pre-weekend happy hour – you won’t be disappointed! IMG_3048

INGREDIENTS:

– Michter’s Rye Whiskey
– 1 Grapefruit
– Spoonful of Honey
– San Pelligrino (or favorite sparkling water)

IMG_3050INSTURCTIONS:

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle half of your grapefruit & add a spoonful of honey.

2. Pour in two jiggers of Michter’s Rye Whiskey, a handful of ice & slowly shake back & forth a few times.

3. Pour into two glasses, top off with ice, & garnish with rose petal.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

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lauren and sylviaThis post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

ROSE & CUCUMBER COCKTAIL spring has sprung

IMG_9564You might have noticed that we have a thing for gin and tonics around here. First it was the Peach & Basil Gin & Tonic, then came the Grapefruit & Thyme Gin & Tonic, and now we’ve got the most delicious of them all (well, so far) the Rose & Cucumber Gin & Tonic.

Perfect for spring, the pairing of the rose and cucumber is out of control. Mix it with the earthy flavors of Farmer’s Gin & you’ve got yourself one heck of a cocktail. I love this gin because, not only is it organic, it’s got a really delicious earthy taste to it – perfect for pairing with herbs and fruits. Okay, okay, enough about the pairing, it’s time to kick back, relax, and celebrate the weekend with your new favorite spring cocktail!

IMG_9528INGREDIENTS:

– Rose lemonade

– Farmer’s Gin

– Sliced cucumber

– Tonic water

*Makes 2

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a cocktail shaker, throw a handful of ice, two jiggers full of Farmer’s Gin, three jiggers of rose lemonade and gently stir

2. Pour mixture into two glasses & top off with tonic water. Garnish with a few slices of cucumber.

3. Sip, serve, repeat!

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lauren and sylvia

This post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!

WHAT ARE FACE OILS? and why should you care?

IMG_6056Have y’all heard of the latest skincare trend – face oils? I just learned about them and am freaking obsessed. I (typically) have absolutely terrible skin & am a bit of a brat when it comes to ingredients in beauty products. Hey, as much fun as a breakout is at 26, it pays to know what you are putting on your face. Since living in the desert, I have become obsessed with all things moisturizing, so when I discovered Trilogy, my life was made. Full of amazing ingredients & moisturizing, hellllo go-to beauty product.

Okay, so here is the skinny on face oils & Trilogy’s latest Age-Proof line. Face oils are a great way to get moisture back into your skin without the greasy residue of cream moisturizers. Plus, many (like Trilogy) are plant-based, so it’s less harsh than many moisturizers.

In the morning, add a few drops of face oil (I am obsessed with their Booster Oil) onto clean skin, wait a few minutes to let dry, and then apply moisturizer or sunblock. Their products (like the new Age-Proof line) is full of natural antioxidants, so they cut down on inflammation (goodbye puffy eyes) and help smooth out uneven spots (and are a great wrinkle preventative).

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lauren and sylvia

BLOOD ORANGE BOURBON SMASH

IMG_7103A few weeks ago we threw a whisky tasting party with some friends & we’ve been on an American whisky (or bourbon) kick ever since. From what I have learned, the main difference between scotch and whisky is geographic and ingredients. Scotch is whisky made in Scotland & bourbon is whiskey made in the states.

We got our hands on Michter’s small batch bourbon and we’ve been mixing up cocktails ever since. Today we are sharing our latest obsession – the Blood Orange Bourbon Smash. Yes, it actually is as good as it sounds & it’s perfect for a fun get-together with friends, a little March Madness party, or heck, to celebrate the end of a long work week. Check it out & let us know what you think!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp blood orange juice

1 Tbsp ginger syrup

4 Tbsp Michter’s small batch bourbon

2 Tbsp sparkling water

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced into disks

IMG_7096INSTRUCTIONS:

1. To make your ginger syrup, combine water, sugar, and ginger in a small sauce pot & bring to boil. Remove from heat, allowing it to cool & strain out ginger. Store your delicious syrup in an airtight container until ready to use.

2. Add a handful of ice to your cocktail shaker & add in lime juice, blood orange juice, ginger syrup, and Michter’s bourbon.

3. Gently stir to combine & strain into a glass. Top off with sparkling soda & garnish with a fun blood orange peel twist.

4. Sip, serve, repeat!

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lauren and sylviaThis post was sponsored by Chatham Imports. We are obsessed with their products & they are a must-have for our bar carts. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make new content possible!