Currently Crushing On: Draper James

Have you guys seen Draper James yet? I've been obsessing over it since Reese Witherspoon first announced her new brand a few months back. Her instagram and @draperjamesgirl are a little of my daily inspiration.

I'm filing this outfit under to buy when I'm skinny & rich.

Seriously, everything about this brand has me in business-student-fan-girl mode. No detail too small, and the whole brand feels so sincere and genuine, even if it is crazy expensive a bit over my budget. Her genuine nature and southern grace & charm are why she's my absolute favorite celebrity/actress and also why Reese (along with Nell) is at the top of my baby-name list. 

These are just a few snapshots from their website, but I want everything!!

Along with the stationary, these are some of my favorites from the line:

As you can tell, I'm a little obsessed with the magnolias (having flashbacks to climbing the magnolia trees in my grandpa's front yard)

And if I couldn't love Reese any more, the Draper James blog has a little blurb about her favorite spots in New Orleans! And guess what! Her favorite spots are my favorites, too! Soul sisters...

I'd be so happy if I could be Reese Witherspoon when I grow up. 

Here's to hoping that Draper James creates a sale section ASAP. 

Sucker for Seersucker

For those of you who aren't lucky enough to live in the South, let me let you in on a little piece of news: It's insanely hot these days. I'm talking 100+ degree heat indexes, the special kind of heat & humidity that probably rivals hell itself.

It's so hot, that I kind of hate going outside. I'm pretty content to stay in my pj's and hang out with a book or something in the air conditioning all day. I'm really loving these scalloped seersucker shorts!

The website might say sold out, but keep an eye on her instagram (@crystalfaye_) because I bought mine on flash sale! 

In the mean time, here are some more seersucker pieces (and adorable Lauren James t-shirts) to wear and keep cool while waiting for summer to burn out. (Beware of Lauren James dresses, though, they're lined with a not-so-cool polyester material). 

Is anyone else beyond ready for fall yet? Bring on the cooler temperatures! 

Book Review: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

When we get to this point of the summer, life starts to simmer down. The trips are all over, the Fourth of July has come and gone and all the sparklers have burned out. 

So that means one thing for me: more time to read! I've spent every summer for as long as I can remember at my local library reading as many books as I could (the check-out limit for children's books was 5, a fact that will probably be ingrained in my brain forever). 

I had been looking forward to recreational reading for months...  Remember this post?  I'm trying to squeeze in a few more classics this summer to get my brain sharp for the LSAT (ick, I'll be taking practice tests before you know it). 

Currently reading To Kill A Mockingbird and can't wait to read Go Set a Watchman (and let y'all know how it is!), but until then, here are a few reasons why you need to read The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, the first book I read at the beginning of this summer:

It was a page-turner. There was that air of mystery that didn't let me put it down. 

So much mystery! 
Why did her parents send her to camp? What happened back home? Who's not being honest? Will we ever know the truth? 

 So many questions are answered slowly throughout the whole book. I loved how it went back and forth between the past and the present. 

It's also set in the Great Depression era so there's that hint of historical content, too. I'm a major history nerd, so this really made it a fun read for me (as in I read it over the course of one day). 

Bottom line, I recommend this one, 10/10: You really should read it! Run, don't walk to your local library and check it out! I'm sure you won't regret it. 

Any other recommendations? 

Georgia on My Mind: Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler Recipe

While I was on vacation in Melbourne, I came across one of my aunt's Southern Living magazines. I was instantly in love. Even though my love of the Northeast is no secret, being from Louisiana means I'm basically a southern belle, right? Despite the heat and humidity, there's so much to love about the South! Magnolia trees, sugar cane, sweet tea, Cajun food, and oak trees covered with Spanish moss are my Louisiana favorites, but after trying this recipe, I might have a bit of a crush on the Peach State. 

Anything that starts out with two sticks of butter is bound to be a tasty recipe, right? 

This is what the picture looked like. I may have attempted this semi-challenging dish solely because the picture in the magazine was gorgeous. You can see the full recipe at the bottom of this post with my notes, or you can follow this link to the website.

Mine actually turned out a lot like the picture (food photography is really hard to do well with an iPhone). I was so proud because it tasted amazing, too! 

Here are some super cute kitchen accessories (I love my pink KitchenAid mixer and I'm a sucker for a cute apron). That peach gadget from Williams-Sonoma would have made this endeavor much easier! 

Ginger-Peach Shortbread Cobbler
via Southern Living Magazine

1 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup loosely packed light brown sugar 
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 1/4 cups plus 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided 
(1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled (The fresh ginger makes it AH-MAZING, trust me, don't skimp)
3/4 cup turbinado sugar, divided (aka Sugar in the Raw. I used more light brown sugar)
to 9 medium-size peaches, halved (and peeled, it makes serving much easier)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
large egg white, lightly beaten 
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Beat first 3 ingredients and 2 1/4 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer just until combined.(My dough was very crumbly. I rolled with it and squished it together as I went. It worked out fine).  Place dough on a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness (full water bottles work well if you can't find your rolling pin). Cut about 14 rounds with a 2 1/2-inch fluted round cutter (I used a plastic cup because we don't have cookie cutters). Place rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet; cover and chill (Emphasis on chill, so they keep their shape) until ready to use.

2. Pulse ginger and 1/4 cup turbinado (brown) sugar in a food processor 5 to 6 times or until well combined. Stir together ginger mixture and remaining 1/2 cup turbinado sugar in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, peaches, and remaining 3 Tbsp. flour; toss to coat. Place peach halves, slightly overlapping, in a greased (with butter) 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or casserole dish), and pour any remaining juice over peaches.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and nestle shortbread dough rounds among peaches. Brush rounds with egg white, and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

If you try this recipe out, be sure to tag me @sydneylandry on Instagram or Twitter and let me know how it goes! 

Fourth of July + Florida Picture Party

I've been on the go for what seems like all of summer, so I've decided to wait to post recaps of my different trips. I'm planning on going in reverse order starting with this most recent trip: Florida. 

My aunt and uncle live in Melbourne Beach, aka one of the cutest Florida beach towns ever. We go every few years because it's a solid thirteen hour drive from home. (For reference, their house is about an hour or so southeast from Disney World). 

Because this was a family trip, it was pretty chill. We mostly just visited with our family and didn't go on many "adventures" besides to the beach or on the boat. 

We went to the beach almost every day. It's a little different from the beaches here (I don't know if Grand Isle, LA is really the grandest of beaches). 

Currently reading The Cuckoo's Calling. It's a little slow-moving for my taste, but it's okay. 

Under normal circumstances, I would have just stopped reading and switched to another book by now, but anything by J.K. Rowling deserves to be finished. 

(Side note, is anyone else really excited for Harper Lee's new book?)

On the Fourth of July we went out on the boat and set up next to a little island in the river. 

My festive headband is from @OhHeyItsSarahJean on Instagram! She has an Etsy shop! 

Paddle boarding isn't really as hard as I thought it would be, but boy did I feel it in my legs after! They were like jello! I guess it's time to get back to the gym. 

Even mom did a great job on the paddle boards! 

We only stayed out on the boat for a few hours before the rain came. Once we were back on land, mom and I ventured to an adorable little shop called Mica and Molly's. 

It was full of Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, Jack Rogers, KJP, Lauren James, and pretty much every other preppy brand you could imagine! Basically my favorite store ever. 

My souvenirs from this trip included one of these pearl bracelets along with some Lilly wine glasses (because birthday number twenty-one will be here oh so soon). 

I wanted to buy all the Lilly shorts, but settled on trying them on to get my size for the After Party Sale that's coming up! 

Still wishing I could wrap my own Jeep in Lilly prints! (Flashback to the Nantucket Lilly Jeep!

Maybe not the most flattering picture, but this was such a great day so I don't really care ;)

This was probably the most relaxing trip I've taken all summer. Lots of sand, sun, and salty sea air! And, perhaps the best part: I finally have a tan! (And I didn't even get a little bit burnt! Winning!)

Here are some of my favorite pieces that my credit card wouldn't let me get at Mica and Molly's