Who needs store-bought bottled BBQ sauce when this is SO TASTY and super easy. My hubby prefers the grated onion in the sauce but I prefer it without or just a little. Enjoy!

french martini aedriel.com

When you’re celebrating your dog’s 21st birthday (they’re 3, so 21 in dog years…dog math is the best), you celebrate with a cocktail. Well maybe you don’t, but my best friend/sister/dog’s sister’s mom thought it was a great idea and found the perfect drink. It’s the French Martini and it’s the most gorgeous peachy blush. Even better, it ombres my Homegoods decanter and Anthro shaker. It’s the little things. ;)

But first, let’s take a look at these goofballs.

They’re litter mates, if you can believe it. They might have different dads, which I had no idea was such a well-known secret whispered in the dog world. I learned this shocking truth in the middle of Petsmart.  All my innocence was ripped away with a ‘your-dogs-aren’t-as-cute-as-you-think-they-are’ tone. An employee, old enough to be my kid, took a glance at these two and in one annoying breath uttered the words  “oh yeah, they totally don’t have the same dad.”  Well, we love them anyway and we don’t have proof of this, so I’m treating her statement as an observation, not a fact.


The photo above personifies their teen years. They’re not interested in anything we have to say and know everything we don’t. They like to leave several glasses in their room they only take a few sips from and grunt when you ask things like “please take out the trash”. They come out of their rooms for food and when they need a ride somewhere.
(the last part isn’t true but those with teens understand)

jack lucy vday one

With these cuties being mutts we like to play the fun game of “what breed?”.  They came from Carlsbad, New Mexico so I call our Jack Jack (on the right) a Carlsbad Terrier. They’re not quite puppies in this photo and not quite teens. House trained and still puppy soft so basically the perfect stage.

lucy jack vday


They’re smiling because they feel super awkward right now. They don’t know what any of this has to do with a French Martini.  It doesn’t and that’s okay.


French Martini 


1/2 oz Chambord Liqueur
1 1/2 oz Vodka (I prefer Tito’s)
2 oz pineapple Juice
lemon twist or raspberry to garnish (or not)
some ice

Add ice, Chamboard, vodka and pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker. Always add the liquor first and the juice/soda water/tonic after. Did you know that? I never knew that until someone pointed it out recently. And I’m not sure why this is how you’re supposed to do it. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty and cold.







Pinterest. Instagram. Google Images. Blogs. Oh the places we will go for fresh design content. But with all this inspiration,  trends are changing at warp speed. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, we had the same dishes, the same sofa, same dining room table and chairs….same same everything stayed the same. And while I love change, I thrive with it, sometimes it’s exhausting to have a reoccuring case of design ADD. Do you have it too? I seriously love elements of (most) every design style. But there’s this hamster wheel out there spinning faster and faster just to create fresh content? I am absolutely guilty of getting caught up in this. But lately I’ve thought, will we ever get to the finish line? Will we forever buy new stuff and rearrange what we already have in a constant juggle to make our homes look different because of the nagging feeling that it’s not good enough?

The way we decorate is very much a form of self-expression, an art really, and should be celebrated! But how do we decide what is our design style with so much noise and images flooding in? My answer? Location, location, location. Your closet matters too- we’ll get to that in a bit.

(Our home- isn’t our Jack Jack adorable? I’m a little biased.)

When I first moved back to my home state, New Mexico, I was a little put out about the architecture and southwest vibe. But after being back for ten years, I’ve embraced the classics because it speaks to the heart of this part of the country. The kiva fireplace, wood beams, Saltillo tile, wrought iron- these are all elements that haven’t changed for generations. Leather furniture,  kilim textiles, and navajo influenced decor have always been staples here in the Land of Enchantment. When you defer to the story your home tells, based on it’s exterior style and architecture, location, the timeframe when it was built, you honor the style that was meant to be.


Of course it’s fun to throw in your own flair for fun but a midcentury home in Palm Springs would just feel silly with cherubs painted on the wall of a dining room outfitted with Victorian antiques and heavy drapery.


palm-springs aedriel.com


This home is begging for clean lines and mid-century furniture. And I bet the I could tell you a little about the couple who owns this home without even walking in the door and meeting them! I bet anyone who would paint their front doors this yummy shade of pink has all sorts of edgy confidence. Now I LOVE this look, so in my home I would add an acrylic bar cart and mid-century plant stands as a little nod to this love. See where I’m going with this?


(Park & Oak Design)

Contrasting elements can be striking in a home. Crisp white shiplap brings a touch of farmhouse to this beautiful entry. So if you LOVE shiplap but don’t live somewhere where shiplap was traditionally used, balance it out with other elements that speak to the truth of your home’s location.

Still not quite sure how to narrow your interior design focus or need a nudge to stay on track? Take a look at your closet.  What’s your go-to outfit? You know that outfit when you have “nothing to wear” and you throw it on because it’s your favorite. I bet that’s also the vibe you gravitate to for your home. I’m a jeans, tee and booties or flip flops kind of gal but also like to throw on the polished date night outfit every once in a while. Adding too much jewelry to an outfit, for instance, makes me feel cluttered. Annd…the same thing applies to our home. But if you love lots of bling, I bet you love lots of interior sparkle too!



Make peace with the way your home looks right this very second, not the fairytale home pieced together of what it could be someday. And don’t get discouraged when you see all the pretty squares on Instagram. I’m pretty sure everyone has beautiful corners AND hot messes. ;)

As you’re adding and subtracting the big ticket items from your home, keep your location in mind. Trends are fun but location is forever and being content with what you have is priceless. :)

Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays because it centers around something we should do every single day- be grateful and thankful. I am so thankful for YOU for finding your way here and supporting this site. I hope your day is full of love and food! Sometimes the holidays stir up family drama and tension and all those yucky things that can ruin such a special day. As Lysa TerKeurst said in a recent Instagram post “It’s so easy to be distracted by one wrong thing that we can often miss out on many right things.” AMEN!! She followed this quote with this nugget of truth “If I prepare myself in advance to give grace, I can more easily overlook those moments where others bump into my happy. There are so many right things to celebrate this year and I don’t want to miss a single one!” Yes!!


Click HERE to print (scaled for a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper- adjust scale when printing for other sizes)

So often we chow down and without taking the time to acknowledge the whole purpose of Thanksgiving- to celebrate all the blessings in our lives. I created this lettered printable with plenty of room for the little ones to draw a picture and plenty of room for the big people to list a handful of things to be thankful for this holiday season. Add these to your table with a mug of pens and crayons and let the fun begin! I’d love to share your images (with credit given, of course!). Please email images to hello@aedriel.com or use the #thankfulprintable on social media.

Free Thanksgiving craft at Aedriel.com

Download the printable HERE (scaled for a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper)



Gallery walls instantly tell the story of your home, whether it’s through favorite snapshots or artwork that reflects who you are, or a combination of the two.  I recently had the opportunity to speak at our local Pottery Barn about gallery walls. It was a fun night themed “layering for fall”.  We have a gallery wall in our living room and it’s hands-down one of the favorite corners in our home.With super high ceilings, I was stumped with what to do with this space when we gutted our home nine years ago. But, I wanted this to be a space just for family as a sweet reminder of all the people we treasure . We picked the Pottery Barn Gallery frames because I didn’t want to risk not finding the same frame years later. Thankfully, the frames we started with years ago haven’t changed! We have our five kids in the center of the arrangement and added family around the kids. Honestly, other than those five center frames, I don’t put much thought into how the frames around it look but I did consider a couple guidelines to make it look cohesive.

There are several different ways to design a gallery wall. Pottery barn has great recommendations here but in case you’re wanting to use different types of frames or use items other than frames, there are a few things to keep in mind making this a beautiful option to add tons of personality to your space.

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