It's Preakness weekend, guys. I grew up in Baltimore, and spent many a Preakness shivering in a rainy, muddy infield or sweltering in 100° weather with one zillion of my closest friends. It was so fun. Crazy, but fun. I will not be sharing any stories of my misspent youth with you today, but I will share a Preakness cocktail.
Don't worry, I'm not about to become a style blogger. That would be a disaster. ("Invest in capes and uncomfortable shoes!", "Wear only the most ragged boyfriend jeans or the most colorful party dresses and don't worry about basics", "An ode to velvet smoking slippers.") We're just taking a quick detour. I don't have any house projects in the works right now because work and other obligations have left me with little free time. Our yard and patio projects were coming along until a rain cloud settled permanently over the mid-Atlantic. Also, I just did a closet cleanse with the amazing Syndey of Chic Stripes (read parts one and two of her post to catch up), so my closet is begging for a refill.
I'll be honest, I was nervous for that closet cleanse. Organization is, to put it mildly, not my strong suit. The thought of opening my sartorial quirks and hoarding tendencies to someone else's scrutiny just about gave me hives. Happily, my fears were unwarranted. Sydney was great to work with, and I realized that once I actually had to voice my reasons for keeping certain items, some of my justifications sounded pretty flimsy. "I bought this size zero tropical cocktail-printed dress for a sorority mixer and even though I haven't worn it in ten years, I thought one day I might lose some weight and throw a luau? In which case this dress would be perfect. Also I blog about cocktails? So." It wasn't all sad goodbyes, though. Sydney let me keep certain sequined items, a romper, and various printed trousers and party dresses.
All of this is to say, I've got some holes in my closet, I'm aching for sunshine, and Memorial Day is around the corner. It's a perfect storm for summer shopping.
You know I love some good color, so I was thrilled when Jess of Domicile 37 invited me to take part in her Inspired by DIY challenge focusing on Eddie Ross. Eddie Ross is an absolute genius when it comes to elevating secondhand finds and injecting color and life into a space. I mean, he literally wrote the book on it.
Back when I lived in Charleston, I would occasionally treat myself to a drink at the Cypress bar. Specifically, a lavender martini. I'm not sure what initially drew me to the cocktail. I don't tend to go in for specialty martinis, but this gorgeous drink brings me back every time. It's refreshing and invigorating, a tad sweet without getting anywhere near cloying. It's a spa day in a glass. Just thinking about this cocktail has me planning my next trip to Charleston, but in the meantime, why don't we fix one up ourselves?
My penchant for thrifting started as pure necessity. Before we bought our house I enjoyed the occasional rainy day thrift excursion, but once we moved from a one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house I had no choice. We simply couldn't afford to furnish our house in the way we wanted with brand new pieces. Enter Craigslist and a variety of local thrift stores. I've gone from being a thrift store dabbler to that annoying person who launches into some lengthy thrift-related humblebrag every time you ask about a chair or table (see also: 80% of this blog).
As much as I love to cook, I'm not keen on following recipes. Cooking is how I decompress after a long day, so directions aren't really welcome (this is where Edward laughs heartily at the notion that I ever welcome directions). Instead, I turn on some music, pour a glass of wine, and start throwing ingredients together. I came up with this simple vegetarian mushroom and spinach pasta dish last week. You may have seen me experimenting with it on snapchat (where I love to share recipes). It's a tasty and hearty dish, is easily adjustable for the ingredients you have on hand, and is ready in the time it takes to boil water for the pasta. In other words, it meets all my requirements for weeknight cooking.
I am thrilled to share another edition of In The Studio with you today. I'm chatting with Mara Sprafkin, an artist based in Charlottesville, VA, a new mom, and a good friend. I love Mara's bright and cheeky post card collages (we have one in our living room!), and her lovely gouache, pencil, and ink drawings from her latest series, Naps and Late Nights.
Come check out Mara's work, and see what she has to say about finding inspiration, moving from NYC to VA, and balancing art and motherhood.
My mom is the best. (I know your mom is the best too, but this is my blog. So.) She's intelligent and thoughtful and warm and a great cook and knows that serving too much food is the right amount and stylish and funny and also really just the best. She lives just a few hours' drive away, but I still don't see her as often as I'd like. Edward and I will drive up this weekend to spend Mother's Day with her, and I'm so excited I can't stand it. I can't wait to spend some time with her and celebrate her a bit. She more than deserves it.
(And mom, if you're reading this post, thank you. You're the best. But maybe skip this for now.)
Welcome! I'm Arielle, and this is Scotch & Nonsense. Whether you've come for the home projects, the recipes, or the cocktails, I'm thrilled you're here and I hope you'll stay a bit.