Must Have: Rabbit Dessert Plate

April 30, 2014

I can hardly stand the cuteness of this rabbit dessert plate (there's also an equally adorable teddy bear version)! It's perfect for serving treats to my little girl and nieces and nephews, and will make a great addition to the table if we ever have an Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday party or animal-themed baby shower. But really, it's so charming I may just want to leave it on the kitchen counter as a sweet little decorative accent.

What the World Needs Now...

April 29, 2014

In light of the recent ignorance and hatred displayed by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, I thought I would spread a little love today. 

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. 

image via

Pearls & Pastries Sale

April 25, 2014

I recently discovered a fabulous Etsy shop called Pearls & Pastries and, I'm not kidding, within seconds I was in love. Owner Lauren Gray does these gorgeous sequin hangers that are perfect for displaying your loveliest garments (think wedding dresses and Christening gowns) or just adding a dose of fancy to your closet. Plus, there are a ton of beautiful prints with sweet, and sometimes sassy, expressions on them. From now until Sunday night, Lauren is offering the prints for just $5 each (no code needed), and you can get free shipping on orders of $6 or more with code SHIMMER (see, even her discount codes are fun). I took advantage and bought Dream Big Little One for each of my girls, and the print pictured above for my office. I can't wait to have coffee with it every morning and think about the life I'm designing. 

Have a fun weekend!

Friday Favorites

April 25, 2014

The week after Easter is always spent eating embarrassing amounts of chocolates leftover from my little one's basket, and this year was no exception. In between consuming mass quantities of Cadbury creme eggs and the subsequent sugar rushes, I managed to have a semi-productive week, and that's good enough for me (I'll get back on my game next week for sure). Have a safe weekend, and God bless!

This free desktop wallpaper from Miss Poppy Design.

The Glow, a website featuring stylish moms like June Ambrose, Busy Philipps, and Rebecca Minkoff, now in book form, and just in time for Mother's Day. 

Vegan and gluten-free brownies (made with black beans and avocado) that have my curiosity piqued.

An adorable DIY tassle tote

This lady on this cover!

5 Modest Ways to Wear a Crop Top

April 24, 2014

The crop top--it's one of spring's top trends, and there isn't a model, actress, or fashion editor who hasn't been spotted in one (even a pregnant Kerry Washington bared a little bump at this year's SAG Awards). If you're worried about less-than-perfect abs (you shouldn't be, by the way) or are otherwise apprehensive about showing a little skin, here are five modest ways to pull off a crop top.  

1. Opt for just slightly cropped; you don't have to go full on bandeau to rock this trend.

2. Wear a jacket, blazer, vest or cardigan with it so you feel a little less exposed. 

3. Pair with a high-waisted pant or skirt so that only a sliver of midriff is revealed. 

4. Layer another shirt or tank underneath, or wear a sheer top over it.

5. Cheat a little by wearing a dress or top with cutouts at the waist. It's not exactly a crop top, but it's close enough. 

images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Must Have: Forever 21 Fancy Faux Stone Drop Earrings

April 23, 2014

I was totally shocked when I spotted these earrings and learned they were from Forever 21. They look like they might be a little more expensive, right? They're colorful and playful and sparkly--the perfect match for a swingy summer dress and high ponytail.

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials

April 22, 2014

Warm weather has arrived, which means you can move the showers, brunches, dinners, and all the other spring and summertime celebrations outside. Whether you're hosting a big backyard BBQ or an intimate dinner party al fresco, there is a lot to consider when entertaining outdoors. The menu and decor are most important, but don't forget these essentials for the perfect outdoor party.

1. Citronella candles in fun, bright colors are as festive as they are effective. Place them around the perimeter, on tables, and any other flat surface.
2. Keep blankets on hand in case anyone gets chilly as the sun goes down.  
3. Lighting  is both for ambiance and for when the sun goes down. A combo of twinkling holiday lights strung in trees as well as candles in hurricanes or lanterns is always pretty.
4. A good cocktail recipe is a must for any outdoor soiree.
5. Prevent accidents with shatter-proof plates and drinkware that are actually stylish.
6. That old Igloo cooler was great for tailgating in college, but galvanized metal tubs are so much more chic for housing ice and beverages. Plus the metal will keep it all colder longer.
7. Music is a must; keep the party going with a wireless outdoor speaker and dock that transmits from up to 150 feet away.
8. Be the hostess who thinks of everything--have sunblock available if your party takes place during daylight hours. These wipes leave no goopy mess and are gentle enough for kids too. 
9. A firepit is always a nice touch. Buy one, or find a DIY firepit that fits your budget and skill level.

Friday Favorites

April 18, 2014

I always enjoy the week leading up to a major holiday because I love our big family gatherings, but also because my four year-old gets so excited she practically explodes. This week she asked if it was Easter yet no less than three dozen times, and has been saying "Happy Easter!" to anyone who will listen (she's the sweetest). I can't until Sunday morning when I can tell her it is finally Easter. I hope your weekend is beautiful. Happy Easter, and God bless!

Something to keep in mind.

The phenomenally beautiful Jourdan Dunn for Maybelline.

A brilliant way to tote wine to the park or beach.  

This print that I want to get for each of my daughters' rooms.

Easter bunny tails, or coconut donut holes, whichever you prefer.

Pretty Spring Cocktails

April 17, 2014

Spring offers many reasons to celebrate, which means plenty of opportunities to throw a party. Here are some lovely cocktails to make a springtime fete even more festive. 

The name alone says springtime, but the edible flower garnish is what makes it.  

A real refresher for an outdoor soiree.

Expecting a crowd? A pitcher of sangria is always a good idea. 

The pretty pastel colors, the sparkling champagne--this may be the most perfect bridal shower drink ever. 

The pink color presents beautifully; make these ahead of time and have them waiting for guest on a chic serving tray. 

Must Have: Tiny Food Party!

April 16, 2014

I'm big on tiny food, and I love to entertain, so a tiny food party sounds like the best idea ever. There is nothing, nothing, I don't love about this book; even the title, with its exclamation point, is excited about tiny food. And these aren't recipes for fancy hors d'oeuvres that require a ton of prep and cooking time, but actually miniature versions of fun, every day foods like tacos, onion rings, and the teeny tiniest chicken and waffles. Plus, there are recipes for mini cocktails! Honestly, I'm having a blast just looking at the pictures.

Beautiful Minds

April 14, 2014

Have a beautiful day!

image via Pinterest

Friday Favorites

April 11, 2014

Spring is in full swing, but the weather is starting to feel more like summer, which has me thinking about swimsuit shopping. I managed to work out four days this week--a record for me since having the baby last July (although chasing after both of my girls should count as cardio). I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with my little family, and I wish you a fabulous weekend as well. God bless!

A tasty-looking spicy kale and sausage salad I'm dying to try. 

This market pad from Garance Doré that is equal parts practical and cute.

My beautiful and insanely stylish friend Helen's blog.

A Valentino dress and a giraffe!

These adorable Easter crafts for kids

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

April 10, 2014

The arrival of spring brings with it a number of reasons to celebrate--from April on through the summer there will be Easter dinners, Mother's Day brunches, and countless bridal shower teas--and a major part of any good celebration is the food. These pretty little cookies, with their buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture and tangy, citrusy buttercream, are the perfect dessert for any springtime celebration.   

Lemon Sandwich Cookies
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cup confectioners' sugar
cups all-purpose flour
cup cornstarch

6 tablespoons butter
cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Sift flour and cornstarch together, then stir into butter and sugar mixture in two batches. With floured hands, roll rounded teaspoons of cookie dough into balls and place on baking sheet, about an inch apart. Next, use a floured fork to flatten the balls, then bake for 15 minutes. 

While the cookies are baking make the buttercream. In a small bowl, beat butter, sifted confectioners' sugar, and lemon zest until pale and fluffy, then beat in the lemon juice.

To assemble cookies pipe buttercream on flat side of one cookie and top with the flat side of another cookie

Must Have: Illume Go Be Lovely Coconut Milk Mango Soap

April 9, 2014

I'm a total sucker for pretty packaging, so naturally I was drawn to the black, white, and blush paper wrapper of this soap. It's just so pretty, almost too pretty to use. But the scent is this tropical, island girl blend of coconuts and mangoes, so why wouldn't I use it? It may just be my go-to summer fragrance.

Cool (and Affordable) Gifts for Mom

April 8, 2014

1. Backwards in High Heels    2. Garance Dore for Rifle Paper Co. Oui Pocket Notebooks    3. Caudalie Divine Oil    4. Floral Eye Mask    5. Capwell + Co. Seven Stone Metalized Necklace    6. Drogas Chocolates Money on Honey    7. Stripes & Bars Chiffon Scarf    8. IKEA Fyllig Vase    9. Royal Botanicals Bath Soak    10. West Elm Mirrored Tray  

Mother's Day is less than five weeks away, which means now is the time to start thinking about a, today. Here are a few gift ideas that will surely make you mom's favorite. Plus, they're cool enough to give to all your girlfriends who are mommas too. 

1. Reading material to remind her why being a woman is so awesome.
2. Sweet notebooks that she can take anywhere.
3. The most amazing smelling body/face/hair oil ever.
4. An adorable sleep mask that'll ensure sweet dreams.
5. A statement necklace is always a good idea.
6. A delightful combination of wildflower honey caramel plus dark chocolate plus fleur de sel--possibly the best gift ever.
7. A gorgeous scarf that you can borrow.
8. A sleek and modern vase to house the flowers Mom will undoubtedly get on May 11. 
9. A beautiful bottle filled with a heavenly bath soak. 
10. A functional mirrored tray upon which Mom can display her jewelry or serve mimosas.

DIY Flavored Coffee

April 7, 2014

My morning cup of coffee is something I look forward to every day. It's not that I'm a caffeine addict (I currently drink decaf), but I love the whole coffee experience--the sound of the pot percolating, the feel of my hands around the warm mug, that first sip. Experimenting with different flavored coffees is also part of the experience, and I was surprised to learn that I can make my own flavors at home. Here are two ways that I like best:

Flavored Coffee 1
In an airtight container, store whole coffee beans with fresh versions of your flavoring agent, such as broken cinnamon sticks, whole vanilla beans (split open, lengthwise), toasted hazelnuts or almonds, or cardamom seeds. The longer you keep the coffee stored, the more intense the flavor will become. Grind the flavoring agent with the coffee beans (except vanilla beans) when you're ready to brew. For vanilla, you can scrape the inside of the bean into the grinder with the beans, then grind it up together.

Flavored Coffee 2
Add a few drops of flavored oils (coffee flavoring oils, essential oils, or candy flavoring oils) to whole coffee beans and allow to set for at least thirty minutes. It may take several attempts before you figure out exactly how much oil to add to your liking. You can purchase professional grade coffee flavoring oils online; essential oils and candy flavoring oils can be found at cake supply shops or sometimes even Michael's.

*For either method, try mixing a couple of different flavoring agents together to create a custom blend. 

Best Easter Treats

April 4, 2014

One thing I look forward to in the spring is making treats. I think it's because somehow Easter treats are better than any other holiday treat--the colors are far prettier, the cookie cutters are way cuter (cuddly lambs and baby ducks are irresistible), and, let's face it, life just wouldn't be the same without Cadbury's Creme Eggs. I'm looking forward to getting in the kitchen with my four year old sous chef and making something fabulous, inspired by these amazing-looking sweets.

1. This speckled cake is almost too pretty to eat. 
2. Homemade peeps that are no doubt a million times better than store bought. 
3. The perfect little bite: bird's nest macaroons.
4. Homemade chocolate covered peanut butter eggs--I'd make these for any occasion, actually. 
5. So much detail in this decorated Easter cookie.
6. Aren't these chocolate cheesecake eggs are adorable? The "yolk" is passionfruit sauce!
7. Caramel bird's nest cupcakes that are as pretty as they are sweet.
8. Spring's prettiest colors in one beautiful rainbow ruffle cake.

Friday Favorites

April 4, 2014

April is a crazy busy month for me; I've got my husband's birthday and our five year wedding anniversary (both on the same day, thankfully), plus a big Easter dinner with my entire family. Plus, in just four short months I've got my baby's first birthday, along with my mother's sixtieth. It really makes me feel blessed that I have so many reasons to celebrate. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. God bless!

Scenes from a grilled cheese party.

A gorgeous black, white, and gold table that I'd love to recreate. 

Words to live by.

Pretty DIY vases made with paint and various glass bottles.

Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict with a side of pound cake "home fries."  (Have you had any Cadbury eggs yet this season?)

Must Have: Uniqlo Wide Striped Mini Dress

April 2, 2014

I love easy, no-fuss pieces for spring, and somehow striped knit dresses epitomize that category. Black and white stripes are especially easy because they're basically a neutral that you can wear with any color and any print. This little number begs to be paired with a gauzy floral scarf and a pair of bright heels (perhaps these) or a straw fedora and sandals.

April Fool's!

April 1, 2014

April Fool's Day is not an actual holiday as far as I'm concerned, and frankly I could do without it--not that I don't love a good belly laugh, it's just that I've never been much of a prankster. What I am into is fashion, so I have to admit I had quite the chuckle when I found these April Fool's Day pranks from fashion brands and bloggers. 

Toeless Hunter wellies. 

Spray-on yoga pants from Lululemon.

Statement anklets.

See more here, and Happy April Fool's Day!  


April 1, 2014

Just something to remember...  Have an amazing Tuesday!
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