3.29.2011

spring finds.

Each day, living with bump, brings a new discovery. As quickly as time seems to be flying by, I get to stop, at least once a month - and, sometimes, twice - in the comfort of my doctor's waiting room and read. I know waiting for appointments is generally a big time suck, but in the last month, I've tried to enjoy it when I can. Because, at night, when I finally have time to relax and read, I'm well on my way to dream land.

Last week, while waiting, I had the pleasure of flipping through Elle Decor's April issue, and clipped some pretty Spring finds I think you'll find pretty, too.

Essie's new spring collection. The fresh colors take me back to long walks on pink sand beaches in the Bahamas two years ago, this Spring.
{French Affair; Sand Tropez; Coat Azure; Nice is Nice; Topless & Barefoot}
Anything, anytime of year from Alice Supply Co. is a-okay in my book. These stripe-y tools make Spring-time gardening even brighter.
{mat; garden tools; spade; hose}
Smith & Hawken's first, just-for-Target line.
{Stafford Pot Collection; Danford Round Planter; Metal Modular Window Collection; Eden Park Copper Hanging Planter}
I have gardening on the brain, I think? Another project to add to the list.

PS: One last find I flagged from Elle Decor ... the Sabina lantern from The Urban Electric Co. Check out the entire collection, including the Baxter wall sconce. Pricey, but, pretty.

3.25.2011

welcome, weekend.

It's been a pretty gray week in Southern California, so I cheered myself up with my first bunch of ranunculus for the season.
They just make me so happy, and I can never decide what my favorite color is, which is probably how we ended up with multi-colored-filled mason jars at our wedding.

Which reminds me: I'm so looking forward to April and all its springtime goodness. It's quickly become my favorite month, and when the skies are clear, I can literally take myself back to this time, three years ago, when we got engaged and felt such excitement, happiness and general sunshine. To have been married in our now-home town, where I can take a walk and literally, taste a piece of our wedding day is really special. We are so lucky.

As this will be our last anniversary before babe, we're hoping to do something fun to celebrate year no. 2 next month. Planning is underway and I'm counting down.

I'm also counting down to 5 p.m. today, which is the norm for most Fridays, for most everyone, yes? If you need some pretty reads to help get you there, check these out:

+ Beautiful Houston wedding at SMP. Loving the burlap garland.
+ Wet 'n wild themed-birthday party, this time for kids only. Good inspiration for us adults.
+ Longing for Portland, now more than ever: {frolic!} is offering a spring flower class!
+ Two beauties from House of Turquoise: dream house and dream nursery, at separate addresses.
+ Totally inspiring laundry room. Love the rug, love the sunlight, love the colors. Love everything.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

3.23.2011

loving...

Blackberries!
I routinely rotate them into my berry purchases, but I've always been a raspberry girl. Lately, though, the blackberries have been tasting so great. They also stand up to being water-rinsed so much better than the delicate raspberry.
{via Oregon Berries}
I'm not giving up on you, little raspberries, but as long as I'm buying a pint of you, I'm also picking up a pint - or two, in yesterday's case - of blackberries.

Did you know how much punch they pack? In a pregnancy mag, I recently read that they are a good source of Omega-3s, which was news to me. After some more reading, I find, like lots of dark fruits and veggies, they are high in antioxidants and contain soluble fiber. They also contain twice the amount of protein than do blueberries.

All good stuff for all of us, but especially for the bump.

I like eating them straight from the colander, and I've never really cooked with them, but now I might. Look how easy it is to get sidetracked, daydreaming about summer:

+ Marscapone Cheese Custard with Blackberry Sauce
+ Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam
+ Orange and Blackberry Trifle

3.22.2011

the perfect tank and then some.

At least in my world, these days. What makes me feel pretty is what makes me feel comfortable, and these tanks are soft, good quality and don't stretch out like some other tanks out there. Even when you're wearing and stretching them often (read: almost every day).
{Sleeveless Scoop Neck Tank from A Pea in the Pod}
And, bonus: they're two-for-one right now, online and in stores.

I haven't made too many maternity-wear purchases, but lately, another affordable cotton top I'm loving - that's actually not maternity - is this striped tee from Target. It's light weight, stretchy and long enough for those with bump. Cute enough for all.

In the footwear department: I was told by brilliant sister-in-law no. 2 not to invest in any fabulous shoes during this special time in my life, because, well, feet swell and shoes stretch. And, by the way, I now believe her. In the last week, shoes and rings feel ... tighter. Everything does, but this is a new thing.
{the city flat :: the metallic city flat :: patent city flat, all from gap}
I can not, however, resist these on-sale ballet flats from The Gap. I mean, can you? The soles are even split, just like your favorite Capezio.

3.17.2011

thoughtful thursday (and friday, for that matter).

Thanks to Tulips & Flight Suits for tipping me off to For Japan With Love; the beautiful concept started here and here.

I'll be observing tomorrow's Bloggers Day of Silence, and I've made my donation that goes towards providing Japan earthquake victims with much-needed shelter boxes. You should, too, and you can make it right here.

I wish you love this Friday and all weekend long.

3.16.2011

baby shower details.

Sunday was a special day, celebrating Staci and baby Chase. I love reconnecting with old friends, meeting new ones and coming together with my best ones to celebrate each other.
And the details, those are a bonus, right?
{garland}
{table decor}
{hopes for baby chase}
{dessert}
{dessert, wrapped}
{dessert-wrapped-favors}
I love group efforts, and Sunday was no exception, our moms included.

Staci: congratulations to your beautiful, growing family. We're so happy for you!

3.14.2011

favorite hummus.

Happy Monday! We had a lovely day celebrating Staci and baby Chase yesterday, and I'll have some details to share later this week. For now, I have our favorite hummus recipe, which we enjoyed with a hazy sunset on Friday night.
In Friday's case, I topped it with some lightly salt-and-peppered halved grape tomatoes and thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers and red onion - a little something we picked up at Olive & Ivy in Scottsdale. I got the veggies prepped, threw them in a bowl and added a tiny drizzle of olive oil before letting them sit in the frig while I mixed up the hummus. The bite of onion is a great compliment to the creamy hummus.

Our favorite crispy-type treat is lightly toasted french bread that's been drizzled with olive oil and kosher salt. Nothing very exact: thinly slice a french bread loaf and brush very lightly with your favorite olive oil. Sprinkle bread with kosher salt. Bake on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until the bread is a lightly toasted golden brown.

If you get the bread sliced and in the oven before you start making the hummus, you'll have toasty bread just in time to chow down.

The Barefoot Contessa's Hummus
Yield: about 2 3/4 cups

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons liquid from chickpeas or water
8 dashes of hot sauce

Using a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the garlic cloves until finely minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste for seasoning and refrigerate until serving.

A couple of notes for any hummus virgins:
+ Depending on the size of your garlic cloves (and how much you love garlic), you may only need 2-3 cloves.
+ Same goes for hot sauce. Add to taste at the end if you're not a fan of spicy.
+ Tahini was hard for me to find on the first go 'round. Whole Foods came to the rescue, near the peanut butters.
+ Since homemade hummus can get a little dry in the following days, squeeze some lemon juice or add a sprinkle of water before serving.
+ This is a quick, easy recipe. Make this hummus once, and you can mix it up in 20 minutes or less, including bread toasting.

3.11.2011

happy weekend!

{the perfect timer, from Anthropologie}
I'm already counting down the hours until sunset mocktails. I'm also excited to gain an hour of sunlight this weekend, even if that means losing some sleep.

I'm behind on blog reading, as per normal, but have a few gems to share:

+ Must re-learn how to sew to have a chance at copying the cutest pink baby leggings on earth.

+ Speaking my language - a simple spring table, found via Sara's Party Perfect.

+ More spring: spring wish lists = eye candy. The One Line a Day journal is catching on, and I might need one. See what Mary had to say about it.

+ Another pretty catching blog notice: Antiquaria. Read about it here and here. Wish I had found this two years ago. Sigh.

Have a lovely weekend!

3.10.2011

friday ritual.

Having a pregnancy belly invites all sorts of interesting babe-related questions. One common question that I get asked is, "what do you miss most?" Referring to, of course, life pre-pregnancy.

The truth is, the bump life is rich and full in so many new ways, that it's hard to focus on what you're missing when life is changing by the minute. This week, though, it hit me: what I miss most about pre-pregnancy life is our Friday ritual: cocktails at sunset.
It's not the booze that I miss (although, a marg sure sounds good). I'm talking about the ritual of winding down the week, with my husband, as the sun sets over the ocean. It's so soothing, and something that really, for the past seven or so years, we've enjoyed together whenever we can.

So, tomorrow, I'm bringing it back with enthusiasm because life is just too short to forgo a Friday ritual. I have a mocktail in mind that will fill a wine glass beautifully ... specifically: Giada's Champagne Sangria, minus the Champagne (with sparkling water as substitute). Hoping to get the ingredients prepped tonight.

Cheers to a great Friday (it's almost here!), hopefully with a ritual of your own.

3.08.2011

let's get nautical.

It's Tuesday, and I'm already counting down to the weekend because on Sunday, we get to celebrate my beautiful friend, Staci, who is a new mom to baby Chase.
Chase arrived a few weeks before his due date (and I'm happy to report he's getting stronger everyday). So early, in fact, that we get to celebrate Staci-as-mommy, as previously scheduled. I like that Chase understands the needs of us women already. Quick learner.
My friends and I have a little love affair with all-things-nautical, so this has been extra fun to plan. Is there anything better than celebrating one of your best friends with all of your best friends? It's one of my favorite things.

As is paper. Here are the sources:
+ invitations: Tiny Prints
+ labels: Paper Source
+ stamp + ink: Paper Source
+ return address stamp (not pictured): Paperwink (thanks to Tulips!)
I hope to have some party photos to share with you next week!

3.07.2011

bacon-egg-and-cheese.

Ah, the breakfast sandwich. I first sampled the bacon, egg + cheese in New York, after a fabulous late night out in my early 20s with my two best friends. At the time, it was washed down by lots of laughs and orange Gatorade (we were lacking all kinds of electrolytes). Ten+ years later, I don't treat myself to the b'fast sandwich all that often. But, on our quick trip to Scottsdale over the weekend, I enjoyed the tasty treat that took me all the way back to Battery Park.
Our weekend getaway was filled mostly with work, but we managed to visit Olive & Ivy twice; once for dinner and once the following morning for the breakfast sandwich (oh, and a scone to go... for later, of course). It was all kinds of wonderful, with loads of treats for the senses, with a hip, Mediterranean-style restaurant on one side, and a smaller-scale Bristol Farms-esque marketplace on the other (which was a great post-dinner stop for banana gelato for the walk home, btw).

After scouting out the breakfast menu the night prior, we returned to Olive & Ivy for more goodness (that, and the babe needed some protein, which is always a good reason to indulge in my book). The grown up breakfast sandwich was served on a soft bun, topped by creamy slices of avocado, with a side of breakfast potatoes sprinkled with coarse sea salt. In short: yum. And, PS: the scone? Perfection.

I wanted to tuck the restaurant into my pocket and bring it back to California with me. I also could have stayed a few extra days to sample its sister restaurants, on the same city block: Culinary Dropout and Sauce. Next time.

PS: if you're heading to AZ anytime soon (or TX or CO, for that matter), check out the restaurant group.

And, double PS: if you're a bride (or not), in Scottsdale, you might fall in love with this Melissa Sweet gown that's currently dressing the windows at Priscilla of Boston, like I did. Sigh.

3.04.2011

one more postcard.

Perfect for a Friday, I think (tho not for a baby room). Check this cute little set to drop a note to a loved one, near or far...
{customize your map/card with included heart stamp from Rarrar Press}
I wish you a wonderful weekend, and have some pretty links to get you started (this was a particularly pretty week, so there are lots!):

+ Sweet, healthy idea: Sweet Potato Hash from The Chic Line.

+ Not one, but two gems from Snippet & Ink: brunch details + Williams-Sonoma giveaway, and a dreamy faux wedding for the prima ballerina in you.

+ Pretty BM dress detail, from a pretty sunshine-y wedding.

+ Oh, the day when I'll need personal calling cards. Because I want one of these, stat. From Paper Lovely, via Oh So Beautiful Paper.

+ First birthday invitation inspiration from Lovely Morning. See DIY tissue paper confetti. Love.

+ Note to self: cheap and chic curtain rod, from Little Green Notebook.

+ Wow. Yummy farmhouse-y blog 1 and blog 2. Found via Dreamy Whites.

Have a lovely Friday (and weekend)!

3.03.2011

west elm gray.

I'm totally smitten with a few gray West Elm catalog finds. On maybe I'm in love with stripes. Yum.
{bath time: modern stripe tumbler; stripe shower curtain
{bed time: stripe duvet cover + shams; stripe sheet set}
I think gray would go very nicely in a room with icy blue walls and some sprinkles of pink and orange, don't you?

3.02.2011

[post] card prints.

Over the weekend, I found a postcard in our mailbox from Sweet Mary of Tulips & Flight Suits, and it got me thinking about baby room wall art. How fun would it be to frame pretty prints like these?
{Paint Palette Typography Postcards by Kitzie G; Letterpress Postcards by Igloo Press}
{Winnie The Pooh by Raw Art Letterpress; Cupcake Print by Raw Art Letterpress}
I will be keeping my eye out for other baby-friendly typography-type art. Any great finds, please send them my way!