Adore: Veranda, Claim to Fame

Veranda magazine is one of the world’s most exquisitely and impeccably produced interior design magazines showcasing only the most prestigious interior designers and houses. Only published six times per year, a room my grandmother, Beverly Field, decorated graces the covers of the January-February 2014 edition with the other rooms of the estate throughout the magazine.

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The house my grandmother decorated for Nancy Dedman was photographed for Veranda after three years in the making. After countess trips overseas to Europe, antique markets, and to design centers, the final product is breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking.

Bevy, as my brother and I call her, is the “best of the best.”. Designing for influential people in Highland Park (Dallas), she knows her stuff. Mixing antiques with crazy pops of color and modern pieces, my grandmothers taste is stunning and spectacular. And I’m not just saying this because she’s my grandmother…the pictures prove it.

Veranda Dining Room

Dining Room

Veranda Family Room

Family Room

(Bevy and I call the hot pink chair on the right side the ice cream cone chair because it looks just like a hot pink ice cream cone!)

Veranda Guest Bedroom 

Guest Room (View 1)

(The cheetah carpet, I die. I love. Go Bevy, my cheetahlicious and divalicious grandma.)

Veranda Guest Room 2

Guest Room (View 2)

Veranda Hallway 

Hallway 

(We call this the Hall of Mirrors because it reminds Bevy and I of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.)

Veranda living room

Living Room, as shown on cover 

Veranda Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Veranda Red Room Library

Red Room/Library

Veranda Stairway

Stairway

Veranda Driveway

Driveway

It’s a tie between the master bedroom and the red room/library for my favorite rooms in the house. The master bedroom is so light and airy and fit for a princess. While you can see a little bit of it at the top of the photo, there is a magnificent and colorful blown glass chandelier hanging in the master that Bevy got in Paris. But the red room is just as fabulous. My grandmother (and I) both love a bit of cheetah print and those big cheetah chairs in contrast to the red walls make for an inviting and comfortable atmosphere. Overall, this is one of my favorite houses Bevy has decorated. She is so talented!

Xx,

Brinkley

[All photos courtesy of Veranda.com]
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Craving: Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

It’s only been 3 day since my last baking post but hey, we had a snow day yesterday at The University of Texas and all classes we’re cancelled. So what do you think I was going to do on our day off…study? Nope. Bake, absolutely. Hehe. Well, and I’m going to a dinner party with my YoungLife team tonight and I’m in charge of the desserts…so….

But peanut butter and chocolate are back again! This time in peanut butter bar form. Nom nom. Sarah, one of my roommates, doesn’t even like peanut butter but she likes these bars…so, that tells you how yummy they are. Life changing, really.

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the peanut butter until light and fluffy (for about a minute). Add the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix to fully incorporate and then add the flour until combined. Fold in 1 cup of the chocolate chips and all of the oatmeal into the batter then spread the batter in the baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

For the glaze, melt 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the microwave (approximately 30 seconds). Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and melted peanut butter until smooth. If you want a thicker consistency, add more confectioners sugar. For a thinner consistency, add more milk. Spread the glaze evenly over the warm bars once they’re done cooking. Allow to cool completely (or don’t wait at all……) before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

These bars are quite rich but taste like a decadent upscale Reese’s peanut butter cup. Yum yum!

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P.S.

Tired of the normal semi-sweet chocolate chips? Switch it up! You could easily use dark chocolate chips or butterscotch chips! I think I’m going to try the butterscotch next!

On Trend: Pink Winter Coats

During the winter, I find myself dressing in plenty of black and navy anything. Throw in my olive green J.Crew field jacket and crisp white Ralph Lauren button down and you’ve got my winter wardrobe. Classic colors that never go out of style.

I particularly love an all black look. So chic and sophisticated. And my red hair instantly becomes my best accessory.

But who says you always have to stick to these neutral colors all winter? Why do we have to wait until spring to break out the pastels? The answer is no: you don’t have to wear neutrals everyday and no we don’t have to wait until the dawn of spring to break out the wonderful spring hues.

These pink winter coats perfectly illustrate my point.

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Especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, these coats are perfect. From a soft pale to bubblegum pink, the coats add the perfect pop of color. And they just scream loooooove.

xoxo,

Brinkley

P.S.

Stay warm, everyone. Classes were cancelled today because of ice and I’m blogging from the comfort of my warm bed with a big mug of hot tea to my side. It’s below freezing and Texans are going crazy…we don’t understand the cold. Don’t necessarily know what to do with ourselves.

[All photos from Pinterest.com]

Craving: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

The dynamic duo strikes again: peanut butter and chocolate. My taste buds are tingling. These cookies are unbelievably simple to make and even easier to eat (trust me…). And these “kiss” cookies are appropriate for Valentine’s Day which is coming up sooner than we think! Instead of multi-color sprinkles you could buy pink, red, and white jimmies and go to town. Hugs and kisses from my cookies to yours!

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 48 Hershey Kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar
  • Sprinkles

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap all the Hershey Kisses.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in a blender until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and once again beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt…all while trying not to make a huge mess.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar or sprinkles and place on cookie sheet an 1 to 2 inches apart. (Note: The sprinkles don’t necessarily add any flavor but it does add a nice little crunchy texture to the cookie.)

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each when taken out of the oven. (Note: The cookies will lightly crack on the top…which only adds to their cuteness.)

Makes about 48 delicious cookies…if you don’t snack on the dough while baking.

Xoxo,

Brinkles Sprinkles

On Trend: Team USA

So much to look forward to these days. The Grammys (Sunday at 8/7c on CBS), the Bachelor (Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC), New York Fashion Week (F/W 2014, NYC, February 6-13), but most importantly, the 2014 Winter Olympics (Sochi, February 7-23).

The opening ceremonies may be on February 7th, but in order to wet our appetites until then, Team USA’s opening ceremony uniforms were debuted yesterday morning on the Today show.

The uniforms were created by Ralph Lauren and I can’t seem to think of a better pairing. This is the fourth year in a row that Ralph Lauren, king of prep, has had the job of designing the  uniform and once again, he has proved successful.

Team USA Opening CeremonyTeam USA Ralph Lauren Sochi MensTeam USA Ralph Lauren WomensBack of Sochi Cardingan

Front of Sochi Cardigan

One look at these uniforms with all their stars and stripes and you can’t help but feel patriotic. If you’re feeling extra American, you can even buy the uniform from RalphLauren.com (the printed cardigan goes for a cool $598).

The first thing that strikes me about this uniform: it looks so warm. Which is quite important considering the temperature in Sochi is currently in the 30’s and 40’s with lots of wind and rain.

Only 13 days until the opening ceremonies! Go Team USA! Can’t wait to watch all the competition.

Brinkley

P.S. But really my absolute favorite thing about the uniform…the hat. I am a sucker for fun hats.

[All photos courtesy of RalphLauren.com]

On Trend: Mad for Midi Skirts

I absolutely believe this is the “it” skirt right now. All of these Tibi Midi Skirts are to die for.

Blair Eadie, of Atlantic Pacific, has the skirt in at least 5 colors and so elegantly crafts ensembles around it. I love this skirt because of the instant elegance and class one gets when wearing it. No more of those uber short skirts, it’s all about the midi. Be it a solid color or a fun print, I’m hooked.

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All photos courtesy of Atlantic PacificWhoWhatWear, and Pink Peonies

Adore: Doggies

Well, Christmas break is officially over and I am trying to get back into the swing of things at school. The hardest part? Adjusting my sleeping schedule. Instead of going to bed at midnight and sleeping in until 11….it’s more like going to bed at midnight but waking up at 7 in the morning. Ugh. I need my beauty sleep to stay fabulous. Ha.

And speaking of sleep, I miss my cuddle buddies that slept with me every night over break: my two golden retrievers, Tex and Rosie.

Tex and Rosie are brother and sister and they are the best pups around. They turned 8 years old this past August and let me tell you, they run the household. In the best way possible.  I have a queen bed and Rosie sleeps on the pillow next to me…she’s a princess and I love it. Tex, on the other hand, rotates between my bed, my brother’s bed, and my parent’s bed. Depends on what he’s feeling that night. Both Tex and Rosie have such distinctive personalities that make them such fun and lovable dogs (basically humans).

Rosie could sleep all day. And I mean, all day. She has the fluffiest and softest fur and when she get’s excited she jumps up and down like a rabbit. It’s so funny because Rosie is quite curvacious and it’s quite a struggle sometimes…if ya know what I mean. Rosie is truly a diva princess.

ImageExample A: My bed is completely made yet Rosie doesn’t mind. It’s a prime sleep spot. 

Image“Brinkley, stop taking pictures of me. I love you but I just want to sleep.” -Rosie Belle

ImageShe could stay like that all day. Rosie loves her lovin’…especially from Mom. 

ImageThis picture only happened because I had a cookie in the air that she wouldn’t take her eyes off…I then had to give her the cookie because, I mean, look at her. How can you resist?  

And then there’s Tex. Texas is quite the dog. He just loves being a dog, really. He always has a toy in his mouth and is always just around. If you’re in the room, he’ll be there too…while Rosie will be in her spots around the house sleeping. He loves going on car rides and sticking his head all the way out of the window and he LOVES going on walks. He recognizes the word when we say it and goes crazy. Tex loves adventure and he loves my dad so so much. They are the bestest of buddies.

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“Ready for my closeup Bwinkalee!” -Tex

ImageImage “Hey look at my toy. Look at me. Tell me how great I am.” -TexImage Best Buds.

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All Tucked in and Ready for Bed

Tex and Rosie are the best pups ever and one of the hard things about coming back to Austin is leaving them! I miss you guys! But the best part is, Tex and Rosie are two peas and a pod and they always love to hang out with each other. Xx.

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Blankets oh blankets..and pillowsIMG_8161

Sleeping Selfies

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They’re quite protective around their bones…

I love both of them so so much.

Craving: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my “healthy” take on the regular chocolate chip cookie…because the oats make the cookies healthy, right? Ha. Yeah right.

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ImageThese cookies have essentially the same recipe as my chocolate chip cookies except there’s a little less flour and you just add some oats!

So, here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup Butter Flavored Crisco Shortening
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup White Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 1/2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees.

Combine the crisco and sugar and beat on high in an electric blender for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. When you think you have mixed enough, mix some more!

Next, crack two eggs in the bowl and add the teaspoon of vanilla and mix until combined with the other wet ingredients. Then, add all of the dry ingredients slowly until fully combined with the wet ingredients.

Finally, mix in the oats and chocolate chips. Then you’re good to go!

Scoop the cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop (about a tablespoon per scoop) onto cookie trays and bake for 11 minutes at 375 degrees. These cookies are delicious!

Enjoy! Xx.

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P.S. My sweet Rosie Belle loves these cookies as well…

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Walking in Style

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So, a wonderful thing happened yesterday. I purchased my first pair of Kate Spade Keds. While this collaboration between Keds and kate spade new york has been going on for a while, I finally found the perfect pattern and the perfect place to wear them. I purchased these little beauties:

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You in love with them like me? Cream with gold polka dots and a touch of pink. Kate Spade knows the way to my heart.

This summer I’m going to Europe for a couple of weeks in May and these sneakers will be my main go-to shoe when wandering the streets of Italy…and Austria…and Germany…and England (Woohoo!). And they’re so comfortable! And did I mention they’re so cute and that they’ll basically go with everything in my closet? Yeah, okay, you get the point.

Just check out all these adorable prints! I’m so in love with the multi- and gold-glittered ones with ribbon shoe laces!

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Can’t wait to wear them! And don’t forget, you can get 15% off when you present your student ID at kate spade new york if you’re a college student!

Stepping into the New Year with style…

Brinkley

P.S. I also got these stylish little pumps as well…talk about sparkly. I am in glitter heaven! And the picture doesn’t encompass all of their amazing-ness.

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