Monthly Archives: January 2014

how-to: start a wine club

It’s no secret that I love wine; red, white or sparkling. I’m your girl. While this might be true for most women, what do my close friends and I do so we have an excuse to drink more of it more often? Start a wine club, naturally.

I posted from time to time on instagram about our tasting journeys throughout 2013 but nothing too in depth. It’s for fun – sure, I love learning about fine wine especially after my Napa trip (can I go back now please?), but wine club is another excuse to have scheduled gossip sessions over delicious flights and cheese + charcuterie boards.

Now, who can argue with that?

Guide to Starting Your Own Club

1. Think of a fun name. 

We like to call ourselves “District Vines” (or #DV) because well, we all live in the District aka your nation’s capital. We call our meetings; “tastings”.

2. Keep it small. 

We have 4 “founders” and each month, we each invite one new guest to join us so there are always 8 ladies tasting. Plus, it’s hard to make a reservation for groups larger than this (and hard to coordinate schedules..more on that later). We also make it a point to invite new friends, coworkers and people that may not know one another otherwise. At least we’ll have one thing in common; love of wine, right?

3. Take turns playing “hostesses”.

Every month, one of the founders is in charge of “hosting” wine club. This simply means picking the wine bar or restaurant (no repeats), arranging for reservations or special accommodations. Some spots love the idea of our wine club and will go out of their way to make the evening extra special. While we try to stick to places that offer “flights” of wine; it’s not always necessary and some venues are happy to whip some up on the spot! This could also mean “hosting” at your own home with a specific theme in mind. For example, I could chose “Spanish Wines” and everyone shows up with a bottle to taste and sip on throughout the night.

4. Plan trips.

What is exciting about our club is that new guests are included each month and now that it’s over a year old, we’ve acquired quite a alumni list. So, with this in mind, we have decided to plan 2 yearly vineyard trips to nearby wineries and invite all previous guests to join. These will take place in the summer and fall and allow us to switch it up a bit on an excursion.

5. Schedule tastings in advance.

As you can imagine, when you have founding members that have anything-but-9-to-5 jobs, super type A personalities, beaus to attend to and 50 other organizations they’re involved with; finding time to get together even ONCE a month is a challenge. So for 2014 – we all got together and picked out dates for the rest of the year (all on Mondays). No excuses. No dream guy or mani-pedi date is allowed to trump wine club this year. We’ll see how this goes…

6. Have fun.

Sure, you might learn a thing or two but what’s truly important is the company. Oh and if you do have a date afterward; you might want to bring along a mini toothbrush (#wineteeth).


tablescape tuesday: 2014 inspiration

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Tablescape Tuesday and since this upcoming year is sure to be packed full of hosting, I think it’ time! I have a few exciting events and collaborations on the horizon from engagement parties, baby showers and brunches to dinner parties, candy bars and blogger events (details coming soon!). With that being said, I am constantly brainstorming, sourcing and looking for new ideas based on specific themes and seasons. Of course, I use online sources like Pinterest, but long before the days of “pinning” I relied on magazines, books and my favorite;  in-store shopping –  which still remains my favorite way to create a table.

I find that this normally sparks the creativity behind each event I do – sometimes it comes from one piece I buy or one idea and I build everything else around that. Other times, like with Christmas, the overall look is easier to come up with.  I can be super picky so there is always a lot of “editing” involved and pulling from different ideas but adding my own spin to it is equally as important.

Nonetheless, here a few ideas I’ve found recently that I hope to draw inspiration from this upcoming year.

Images: 1 // 2 //3 //4 // 5 // 6//7//8

Which one do you like best?

Guest Post – Barre Fashion: Splurge vs. Save

Happy Friday! I am headed up to NYC for the weekend so I’ve let my little sister, Megan Elizabeth take over H&T with her first guest post. She’s my best friend, role model and is currently in grad school back home in Florida. Enjoy!

I love attending fitness classes like barre, Les Mills Bodyflow and yoga. Although they all have similar style clothing, (making it easy and fun for shopping!), I’ll be talking about cute outfit options for barre classes. Being comfortable while working out is a must for me. And who doesn’t want to look cute too? Putting on workout clothes that you love and look forward to wearing provide a great boost to make it to your barre class that day!

Since I’m a graduate student on budget, I’m usually a big fan of inexpensive workout clothes that look like the pricier pieces (the pricier ones tend to make it on my “wish list”). In this post I’d love to give you some great options no matter what budget you’re on. I’ll show you my favorite, splurge worthy pieces, and their affordable counterparts.


Free To Be Bra by lululemon – $42

This bra has it a all. A cute style, different color and pattern options, double cross back, removable padding, and comfortable fabric. I’ll take one in each color please.

Lattice Back Cami by Beyond Yoga – $75

Although I usually prefer loose fitting tops for barre, I am in love with this crossed back fitted cami. It’s super stylish and would be just as comfortable as a flowing top, with adjustable straps and plenty of colors to choose from (black is my fave)!

Tendu Grip Performance Stirrup Tight by Splits 59 – $106

These pants are PERFECT for barre! It’s a footed tight which means no need for socks for this gal in class.


C9 Double Strap Yoga Bra by Champion at Target – $10

This bra is super cute and super affordable, with a similar crossed back to our splurge. I especially love the coral print option!

GoDRY Graphic Tank by Old Navy – $12

Like I said earlier, flowing tanks are my favorite for barre. I’ve recently started wearing loose tops with little motivational sayings on them, and this tank by Old Navy would be a great wear while burning those muscles in barre! LIVE. LEARN. BURN.

Colorblocked Active Yoga Legging by Forever 21 – $21.80

Another great site for saving on cute workout gear – Forever 21. I’ve found countless sports bras, tops and leggings here, for the most affordable prices. My save for today are these color blocked leggings, which rival many splurges in style and comfort. I especially love the dark grey/peony pair!

 Now get to shopping and get to tucking in style in your next barre class!

MEC also writes on health, fitness & lifestyle topics for Sweet Lemon so if you enjoyed this  – check out her posts HERE.

Everytime I remember you.

Today I decided to take a break from regular blogging to remember and celebrate the lives of my Godparents, aunt and uncle and role models; who were given their guardian angel wings 2 years ago today on January 9th, 2012.

My aunt helped raised me and was like a mother to me my entire life. She inspired me to finally start H&T and I like to think that she is somehow, some way, following along too.

Thank you for reading.

“I thank my God everytime I remember you.”
-Philippians 1:3

{Image via}

What I Wear: Makeup Faves

Now that the holidays are behind us, I thought I would take a little break (literally and blog-wise) from entertaining or “hosting”. I don’t think this will last long, (knowing me) as there is always something to plan or put together!

However, I wanted to share some of my favorite beauty products (aka makeup). Full Disclosure: I went to an ALL GIRLS high school – meaning that for those 4 years wearing makeup to school was basically taboo, but looking back it probably saved my skin. Oh yes and our teachers did not recognize us when we did dress up (i.e. graduation and prom).

Ironically, it was also in high school that I owned the most makeup in my life. My friends and I would jump at every opportunity to “get our makeup done” – prom, formals, concerts, just a night out – you name it, we were the first in line at Neiman’s or Saks counters to get the latest and greatest eye shadows (oy vey).

Being as girly as I am, it might be surprising that I still don’t wear a lot of makeup (nor do I wear it every day). I rarely wear foundation and would rather have my hair done (hello Drybar).  I’m also perfectly happy leaving the house without it (perhaps this odd confidence comes from the all-girls days?). And I actually have learned to embrace my freckles.

With that being said,  I do still have my favorite products when it is time to get dolled up…

1. Garnier BB Cream // 2. MAC Concealer //3. Sephora Eye Liner (Brown Black)

4. MAC, Bobbi Brown or Chanel Powder // 5. Chanel Bronzer

6. Chanel Blush (Incognito, similar here ) and NARS Blush (Orgasm)

7. Chanel Eyeshadow Quad (Spices) and/or Stila Trio (Warm)

8. Christian Dior Mascara (Diorshow Black) // 9. Eucerin Healing Ointment (on lips)

10. Chanel Lipstick (Pirate) or Bobbi Brown Lipgloss (Pretty in Pink)

I also adore Paula Dorf’s Brush-Out Bath for cleaning makeup brushes and Almay’s Soothing & Depuffing Eye Makeup Remover Pads at the end of a long day or night. Another tip is to invest in good brushes – they might be expensive but will last a long time if you take care of them and are completely worth it.

What about you? What’s your makeup routine?