2.28.2011

fabric inspiration.

Hope you had a great weekend! I didn't dive into spring cleaning like I hoped I would, but I'm promising myself to get organized in our space before I get too carried away with the nursette/office combo room decor. I feel time running away with my growing belly, which is round. 21 weeks round.

As I'm getting inspired here and there, I'm shopping around for a graphic print for which to build the room around...

Thank goodness for Pinterest. Good ideas from good people = inspiration at every click. I'm finding others who are crib-hunting and baby prepping, and it feels good to share the experience with others - and especially, you.

PS: Happy last day of February!

2.25.2011

happy fri.

{via Coastal Living}
Ah, Friday. So glad you are here. Dream Friday would be to enjoy the day here.

In the meantime, I'll settle for some pretty blog posts. Here we go...

+ Aloha. Love this love-and-surf-inspired faux wedding from Snippet & Ink. It all started with board 492.

+ Cute nursery alert: thanks to House of Turquoise. Saving the wall art / collage for inspiration.

+ A fabulous, colorful fete from Camille Styles.

+ The sweetest love note, in flowers. From {frolic!}. PS: did you hear she's doing weddings?

+ My fav post of the week, thanks to Lovely Morning.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

2.24.2011

it's prob a bit premature.

But, as soon as we found out we are expecting a girl (just last week!), my mind turned to a very important topic. No, not her name. Or cleaning out three closets to prepare for her arrival. Or scheduling those pre-natal-prep-type classes. Or even reading the stacks of baby books on my nightstand.

My mind came to stationery. Birth announcements, to be exact. At least my priorities are in order, right?

Here's what I'm loving from Minted:
{banner baby by two pooch paperie; float + welcome by float paperie}
{petal pattern by kelli hall; pop of color by kelli hall}
From Tiny Prints:
{colorful dots by DwellStudio for Tiny Prints; family photos by Magnolia Press for Tiny Prints}
{handwritten hello by simplyput by Ashley Woodman for Tiny Prints; perfect postage by DwellStudio for Tiny Prints}
Oh, and I also love this Oh So Beautiful Paper post and design by Tenn Hens Design.

Thanks for getting carried away with me today. I'm a little excited. And distracted. Clearly.

2.22.2011

quick dip.

I recognize it's not nearly strawberry season, but our local Vons has had some good batches of the berry lately. And, as far back as I can remember, this was one of my favorite party treats when I was a little girl. It's so easy, and works as an app and a dessert and is easy to bring, say, to an engagement party of some good friends over the weekend.
Strawberries and Sweet Cream Cheese
From somewhere in Irvine, Calif.

4 pints of fresh strawberries, washed and dried with stems on
8 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature
7 oz. jarred marshmallow cream*

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or by hand), mix the cream cheese until smooth. Add the marshmallow cream and mix to blend completely. Refrigerate for at least 30 min. prior to serving with a giant platter of fresh strawberries.

*If you've never used it, you might imagine that marshmallow cream is sticky and gooey (and good) - and you're right. Scooping it out of the jar is made easier by spraying a spatula or spoon with non-stick baking spray. Repeat as needed.

2.18.2011

spring is in the air.

Happy Friday! I hope you have an extended holiday weekend ahead of you like I do. Exhale.

I caved and went maternity clothing shopping last night. It is nice to have pants that fit, I must say. Afterwards, I brightened up the night with a quick stroll through my local Pottery Barn and it made me so happy. Have you checked it out lately? It's full of spring inspiration.

Which reminds me: this really is my favorite time of year.
{reclaimed wood barrel planters; easter nest with eggs}
{bird nest charger; mitchell cubby organizers}
{park hill window pane lanterns; oversized rattan tray}
Natural textures, cheery colors, fresh blooms, pops of greenery and lots of white is what this season means to me (all that, plus our wedding anniversary!). Happy weekend, all!

PS: If you are in the same minimalist maternity clothing universe that I'm in, you must check out Making It Lovely's fashion guide before you shop (I'm also thanking her in advance for her nursing style guide). She has good timing - all this, and she also just had a baby boy. Super woman. Felicidades!

2.16.2011

a cheerful morning.

Freshly grated ginger + lemon zest = a very cheerful Saturday morning. Remember Molly's post on Marion Cunningham's fresh ginger muffins? I attempted on Saturday morning ... and after a walk to the market, I opted to make a 'side' of lemon-y cream cheese frosting for spreading. For Saturday night dessert with the fam.
I followed Molly's recipe step-by-step, and instead made mini muffins, because well, I'm a mini-bake-type, and the little cakes of heaven were delicious. Another keeper from Molly and Marion.

Note: Molly's recipe yielded 36 mini's, and I shaved the baking time by a couple of minutes. Mini bonus. The little muffins are best when eaten warm, and would make lovely hostess/housewarming gifts or as a side bread at a brunch or shower.

For the frosting, I used a Paula Deen butter-less (yes; you read that right) and tart grapefruit cream cheese frosting recipe as a guide. I didn't frost each muffin individually, so I'm not sure how far this will get you. It's enough for a medium-sized bowl of yum.
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (more to taste)

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest and beat to mix. Gradually blend in sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost, dip or smear on muffins.

2.14.2011

oh, sweet day.

Happy Heart Day!
My last-minute valentine's cards, simplified by Paper Source (pre-cut heart cards + envelopes + stamp + ink + gel pen + mailing labels).
If I hadn't drifted off to Kauai last week, I would have done a little something with doilies, a la creative and inspiring Ashley. Don't you just love doilies (and her garland)?

I wish you lots of hugs and conversation hearts. Have a lovely day! xo

2.10.2011

kaua'i: nourishment.

Ok, so, our picture perfect week was full of activity ... beach-front yoga, hikes to secluded beaches, whale watching, chicken chasing ... and so on.
{virgin lava flow :: Kiahuna Beach :: Poipu :: South Shore}
It was also full of food and drink. We ate a lot and we ate good. Here are our absolute favorites, in photos. (Note: restaurants named below are all reviewed in detail in this guide book, including location, pricing, type of food, etc.)
{poolside h20 mocktail + refreshment}
{beachside sack lunch :: egg salad sandwich}
{dinner in :: taco night + grill night}
{sharing a slice at Pacific Pizza & Deli :: Wimea :: West Shore}
{fancy bubbly at Nanea :: Princeville :: North Shore}
{4 sauces + a view (personal fav: Plum Sauce) + brisket sandwich with coleslaw :: Scotty's :: Kapa'a :: East Shore}
{our favorite bar :: 48-yr. old Tahiti Nui :: Hanalei Bay :: North Shore}
{lychee cream ice cream :: Kilauea Ice Cream & Video :: North Shore}
{bubba burger + frings, of course :: Bubba's Burgers :: Kapa'a :: East Shore}
PS: We visited several other establishments that went photo-less, unfortunately, and if you're traveling to Kaua'i and would like some recommendations, from dives to the divine, from the South to the North Shore, e-mail me. Or, just do what we do: follow the guide of all guides, and your tummy will say, 'Mahalo.'

2.09.2011

kaua'i: nanea...

... a new word I learned in Kaua'i, meaning pleasure, tranquility, to be absorbed in, inspired.
{Kilauea Lighthouse :: North Shore}
In short, that's what our week was like on Hawai'i's garden island - our second time there together, and first time in four years. As is the case with all the Hawaiian Islands, Kaua'i is unique - some say it's the most beautiful of them all - and it's meant to be explored and enjoyed, and that's just what we did.

At 4.5 months, we spent plenty of time in the sun, with fruity [virgin] cocktails in hand, but the memories I will hold onto forever are the adventures we shared in one of the most beautiful places on this here Earth... (including whale watching, almost everyday, once we reached the North Shore - simply breath taking.)

Here are some of my favorite moments, photographed.
{The end of the road (from the West Shore) :: Wai'ale'ale, Pu'u o Kila Lookout, Waimea Canyon}
{Kiahuna Beach, Poipu :: South Shore}
{Wailua Falls :: East Shore}
{The other end of the road (from the North Shore) :: Hanakapi'ai Falls, Kalaulau Trail, Na Pali,
aka Eddie's Morning Workout}
{Tunnels Beach, Ha'Ena :: North Shore}
{Hike to and arrival at 'Anini Beach, Princeville :: North Shore}
We ate and drank as much as we lounged and played, and I'm working on a photo collage of our gluttonous week to share with you. In the meantime, if you're considering a trip to Kaua'i, may I adamantly recommend you do two things: (1) buy this book. You don't even have to open it up until you feel the tropical breeze hit your face upon landing in Lihue. Promise. (2) e-mail me! I took lots of notes based on that fabulous guide book that I'd love to pass on, including a word about chickens. There are loads of 'em on Kaua'i.

Aloha.

2.07.2011

love is sweet.

Happy Monday. We had a relaxing and refreshing time in paradise, and later this week, I will have a few bits to share. But for now, I have something sweet for you.
As promised, here's a photo recap of our dessert buffet, which included all of our favorite sweets: Diddy Riese Cookies, mini cupcakes from Becker's and assorted candy. It was so fun, and the best treat: our most perfect wedding planner, Rebecca Stone, made us our own personal to go snack pack of desserts, which we devoured late night after the wedding (after a slice, of course). Yum.
To go bags were a DIY project, with help from my mom and aunt. Labels and stamp from Paper Source; french fry-type bags from Smart & Final.

Cake plates were from my personal collection; two were wedding gifts from Williams-Sonoma and one was a Target find years ago. Apothecary and over sized bell jars were treasure hunt items found during our engagement.

Miss Bianca did all the calligraphy, of course, on these labels.

All photos by Amy & Stuart.

2.02.2011

quote for the day.

Over the weekend, while lounging poolside, I flipped through Whole Living, one of the many Martha publications, which came as no surprise as I was enjoying the familiar, pleasing and pretty magazine.
At no. 9 on "10 Thoughts on Whole Living," I flagged: The coziest homes aren't merely filled with stuff; they're designed to bring people closer (p. 91).

This is coming home with me. The magazine, too.

PS: Attention, yoginis: a new book/memoir about finding balance as a mother - in life, via the mat - reviewed by the mag: Poser, by Claire Dederer.