For the first taste of the Cara + Alex wedding brand, our save-the-date mailings needed a detailed differentiator. Traditionally received as a basic reminder--wedding couple, date and location--our version begged for creativity and clean, sophisticated production to set the stage for our March affair. I'm lucky to spend my days alongside a team of brilliant creatives at DCA, a Memphis-based creative communications consulting firm. They've treated my and Alex's wedding as a formal client Read more...

Hang up the bunting banner, stock up the bar cart, and send out your invitations. It's party time. My fiancé and my childhood best friend were both celebrating birthdays just days apart, so I took charge to host our friends for bourbon drinks and sophisticated (and very simple) snacks. I began with a quick farmers market grab of sunflowers and a trip to Miss Cordelia's for cheese, charcuterie and other appetizer ingredients. Though the presentation might have made this look like an Read more...

I know I'm not alone when I vent about this humid heat wave. High temps are admittedly preventing me from enjoying the outdoors and prompting me to eat more ice cream than a Ben & Jerry's breakup. However, I've chosen to satisfy my frozen fix with local scoops and sips. Try these and out let me know who to add. photo by City & State 1. CITY & STATE The hot coffees and lattes declare perfection at my Broad Avenue morning retreat. However, the baristas' creative coffee program Read more...

Feeling peachy this week? If so, you're in luck. For an even sweeter end to summer, turn a farmers market bounty into a show-stopping dessert. Ripe peaches caramelize in the oven with a coarse crumble of healthy-ish ingredients, including King Arthur whole wheat flour. As Jeannine of Love & Lemons suggests (who inspired this recipe), serving piping hot with scoops of vanilla bean ice cream. Makes 8 servings 2/3 cup rolled oats 2/3 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 2/3 cup Read more...

To select the wedding gown is one feat in itself; but to experience a genuine, no-stress, serene shopping trip is a miracle. How lucky Memphis is to have a gem like Maggie Louise Bridal, where every gown and gesture is curated for the best bridal appointment I could have ever dreamed. The photos below display Maggie Louise's exceptional collection with a thoughtful trendy-traditional mix. Prior to our appointment, I had a phone consultation with owner Molly Farrell where she learned about Read more...

I've selfishly taken a restaurant review hiatus -- partially due to my real-time raves on Instagram and otherwise due to my excessive eating-out habits that drive me off-track. Thanks to my iPhone camera roll, I am rewinding to review the highlights of Spring and Summer. Nonetheless, these spots are timeless. In early April, my friend Madeline and I took a girls' weekend getaway to St. Louis, where we lofted at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel and ventured in every neighborhood in between. Read more...

Summer is made for dinners al fresco with nearby neighbors and new acquaintances. You might not have realized that your July barbecues and patio hangouts were, however, in celebration of an under-appreciated and effortlessly natural holiday--National Grilling Month. To celebrate, I'm sharing some secrets with my Midtown specialty grocer The Fresh Market for cooking juicy, flavor-packed grilled sides at your next outdoor spread. All you need is begin a well-oiled or "au natural" charcoal Read more...

Summer screams for simplicity, especially when local produce is at its peak of brightness and flavor. Though I frequent the farmers markets, I'm especially impressed with Whole Foods' local produce selection, which features stunning vegetables, fruits and starches. I plucked a few ears of red corn and a pint of tri-colored sweet cherry tomatoes; and, alas, another 15-minute meal for two was born. Whip this up after work or on a Sunday evening, and don't forget to pair it with a bottle of crisp Read more...

As you begin your second cup of coffee on this summery morning, I invite you to join a conversation with Memphis' own Dr. Albert Bean, founder of Dr. Bean's Coffee & Tea. Dr. Bean's is a member of the local MadeBy project, which seeks to connect Memphis makers and "craft a community" of creative movement. (Photos courtesy of 387 Pantry) How did you get started in the coffee roasting business? My first real encounter with the coffee industry was a little backward  for those of us Read more...

Say hello to pork belly pizza; and it'll be difficult to ever say goodbye. I've had my fair share of restaurant-style pork belly, whether on steam buns at Momofuku DC or in a piping hot bowl of ramen. Whole Foods' local meat offerings prompted a riskier Saturday routine: slow roasting pork belly until perfectly tender with a crackled caramelized crust. Though the finished product could stand alone or spotlight Asian-inspired dishes, I opted for an appetizer-style pork belly pizza. The Read more...