Friday Favorites

June 27, 2014

It's our last weekend in Phoenix, and in true Arizona fashion it's going to be a scorcher. Needless to say, we will be paying one last visit to a local favorite--the cutest little ice cream shop called Mary Coyle--before leaving town. Then it's back to gorgeous, sunny, and not quite as hot southern California. So long, Phoenix! I wish you all a wonder-filled weekend, and God bless!

This adorable DIY business card holder.

Mixed print realness from Italian label Stella Jean.

Toffee. Ice cream. Brownie. Bars. With salted caramel sauce!

DIY neon gem sandals that I want to make immediately after we get settled back in Cali. (Actually I want to make them today, but there's still a bit of packing yet to be done. *le sigh*)

These amazing paint puddle dancers by Katie Rodgers of Paper Fashion. This girl is crazy talented!

Chocolate, Almond, Coconut, and Cranberry Trail Mix

June 26, 2014

I was considering signing up for a certain snack delivery service recently but was inspired, instead, to create my own snack mix, rather than spending money to have a box of nibbles sent to me. Using a few of my favorite ingredients (including chocolate, of course) I put together a sweet and crunchy trail mix that has the added benefit of being on the healthier side. 

Chocolate, Almond, Coconut, and Cranberry Trail Mix
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
½ cup dark chocolate chips 
½ cup coconut chips

Sprinkle coconut chips on a baking sheet and toast in a 350° oven for about 6 minutes or until light, golden brown. Place toasted coconut in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients, adding the coconut only after it's cooled, and toss to mix. Add a pinch of sea salt if you want, and enjoy!


9 Summer Salads to Try Now

June 25, 2014

I'm a huge fan of summer salads--they're fresh, healthy, and don't require too much time in the kitchen. Lately I've been making a simple kale salad with a lemony vinaigrette, but I'm looking for new ideas to bring to the dinner table, especially with all the gorgeous produce that's in season now. These colorful salads are on my must-try list.

1. Lobster and avocado..I mean!
2. Pancetta and fresh herbs elevate a macaroni salad.
3. I recently got into beets so this beautiful, colorful salad is definitely on my radar. 
4. Melon is so juicy and sweet this time of year so a fresh salad is a must.
5. Classic caprese ingredients plus avocado and corn. 
6. A corn salad is the perfect accompaniment to a backyard BBQ.
7. Since my husband likes to grill, this BBQ chicken salad will be a team effort.
8. A simple green salad with fresh summer fruit makes a great weeknight dinner.
9. Red onion and sherry vinegar give sweet peaches and tomatoes a little bite.

Must Have: Naartjie Ice Cream Bus Abby Floral Romper

June 25, 2014

ice cream bus abby floral romper  

Maybe it's the fun colors, or the squeal-inducing itty bittyness of them, but there are few things more fun than shopping for baby clothes. This little romper is positively adorable, and it's perfect for my little munchkin. Note the three dimensional ice cream cones--how sweet is this look for summer?

Friday Favorites

June 20, 2014

Tomorrow marks the first official day of summer (although it's felt like summer for quite a long time now) and I couldn't be more excited. I've pulled out our ice cream maker and made a promise to my little one that we would explore all sorts of different flavors this summer--and you know little kids never forget a promise, especially one that involves frozen treats. Also, we're moving back to Cali next week which means we'll get to hop in the car and hit the beach on a whim or try one of downtown L.A.'s cool new eateries whenever we feel like it. It's going to be a great summer! Have a safe and fun weekend, and God bless!

This Vogue cover--that dress, her clavs, all of it!

The prettiest pink cocktail.

A happy little summer tote.

Chocolate that is art. I repeat, chocolate that is art.

The thirteenth anniversary of Legally Blonde.

To Do...

June 18, 2014

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

image via Pinterest

Must Have: Stella McCartney Oversized Cat-Eye Sunglasses

June 18, 2014

I tend to be a little clumsy and accident-prone, endearingly so, or at least I hope. I spill smoothies, soup, you name it; I trip over the tiniest pebble on the sidewalk; and I've lost count of the number of times I've banged my car with a grocery cart, but somehow, miraculously, I've never broken nor lost a pair of sunglasses. For that reason, I absolutely deserve these glamorous little babies. 

Ode to the Denim Jacket

June 16, 2014

The humble denim jacket--a fashion staple that's as suitable for breezy spring evenings as it is for brisk fall mornings, and pairs as easily with yoga pants as it does with a flirty skirt. There are tons of variations--acid wash, oversized, embellished--yet it's so versatile it will go with virtually everything in your closet, today and years from now. I'm obviously a fan of the jean jacket (I own three; a classic indigo jacket, a denim blazer, and a girly little number with puffed sleeves and a self-tie), and I find that I love it even more during the summer months when I spend more time enjoying the outdoors--dining al fresco, watching fireworks from my rooftop, or nighttime bonfires on the beach. Here, a few ways to style a classic jean jacket from several wildly stylish bloggers. 

Denim on denim via Micah Gianelli.

With an LBD via Wendy's Lookbook.

Ladylike with a sweet neckerchief and red lips via Atlantic Pacific.

Casually layered over mixed prints via Walk in Wonderland.

Lending a modern edge to a formal piece (consider re-wearing that bridesmaid gown, girls!) via A Fashion Love Affair.

Laidback and pretty with a sparkling skirt via Little Plastic Horses.

Office appropriate via Fab Sugar.

Happy Father's Day

June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day to my mister, and to all the other wonderful fathers out there!

image via

Friday Favorites

June 13, 2014

We're moving back to California at the end of the month (YAY!!), and while I couldn't be more excited, trying to pack up the house whilst entertaining a four-year old and one very curious and fearless ten-month old has its challenges. I'm happy to take a break from all things move-related to celebrate Father's Day this weekend, which I'm sure will include at least two trips to the frozen yogurt shop (I will not miss this Arizona heat!). Have a safe and happy weekend, and God bless!

Ridiculously cool street art interacting with its surroundings.

This look from Blush Shop (her Instagram account is beyond).

Raspberry limoncello prosecco cooler, because, I mean.

A design project that fuses together luxury labels with every day products

This candid of Zoe Saldana (with Prabal Gurung) in a dreamy, floaty dress.

image via Pinterest

Recipes to Make Dad

June 11, 2014

If you're planning to cook up something scrumptious for Father's Day this Sunday, try one of these dad-approved recipes I've featured on this site. 

What dad doesn't love cookies? (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Skip the crowded restaurant's and make a fancy meal that's surprisingly simple. (Roasted Chicken & Potatoes with Lemon, Parsley, and Parmesan)
Because, brownies. (Basic Brownies)
Something unexpected and delicious for brunch. (Cheese Grits w/ Shrimp and Andouille Sausage)
The best pancakes he'll ever eat. (Perfect Pancakes)
Hand dad the remote and bowl of this, and let him have some much-deserved man time. (Pale Ale Chili) 
An extra special dessert that dad will surely appreciate. (Flourless Chocolate Cake)
Hand-formed, homemade sausage makes a hearty addition to his breakfast in bed. (Chicken Apple Sausage)
He'll love them because they have bacon in them. (Bacon and Date Scones)

Must Have: Bicycle Scarf from Gypsy Threads

June 11, 2014

A great summer scarf is essential--they're lightweight and breezy, versatile (they make wonderful headwraps and sarongs), and they add a little something extra to simple sundresses. This one has the cutest bicycle print, and I simply adore the eggplant and pale turquoise colors. I'm thinking a bright red lip would look gorgeous with this little baby.

Homemade Butterfinger Bites

June 10, 2014

I never thought myself a candy maker--I've made the odd truffle here and there, and I can manage to pour chocolate into a mold--but when I found out I could make Butterfingers with only three ingredients I was intrigued. After two years of sitting on the recipe I finally decided to give it a try when I discovered some candy corn, the key ingredient, at my grocery store. The results were shockingly similar to a Butterfinger bar. I used Guittard milk chocolate, which is a little on the rich side, but otherwise these chocolaty, peanut buttery, slightly salty bites tasted almost exactly like the real thing.

Butterfinger Bites
1 lb candy corn
16 oz creamy peanut butter
Milk or semi-sweet chocolate or melting chocolate for dipping 

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, letting the ends hang over. Pour the candy corn in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on 50% power for two minutes. Stir, then continue to heat on HIGH in 30-second intervals, stirring often, until completed melted and smooth. It's going to be very sticky, and a little hard to stir, but keep at it. When the candy corn is melted, add the peanut butter and mix until well combined. Press the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan and allow to set. You can refrigerate overnight or freeze for about 20 minutes. Take the chilled peanut butter mixture out of the pan and cut into squares. 

In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals on medium power until melted and smooth. If using chocolate chips, add a splash of vegetable oil or canola oil (1 tablespoon per 6 ounces) to the bowl before melting. 

Use a fork to dip peanut butter squares in the melted chocolate, tapping on the side of the bowl to remove excess. Place dipped candy on parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until hardened. I added Maldon sea salt flakes to a few of them, but they're good either way.

10 More Tips to Change Your Life

June 6, 2014

Yesterday I shared Huff Post Style's 60 Little Tips That Can Change a Girl's Life, so today I thought I would add to their list with ten little tips of my own. 

1. Always remember to send thank you cards (no emails or texts).
2. Wipe your cell with disinfectant wipes once in awhile. It's a small step that can help keep your skin clear.
3. Keep your checkbook balanced. And if you have kids, teach them how to balance a checkbook--it's a life skill they won't learn in school.
4. Have date nights with your boo.
5. Eat ice cream every now and then; it won't completely derail your healthy eating habits.
6. Do your best to build up, and not tear down other women.
7. Always use sunscreen, no matter how brown you are.
8. Request a birthday cake every year. Your hubby, friend, mom, sister, someone will be happy to buy or bake you a cake.
9. Smile at strangers, and don't take it personally if they don't smile back.
10. Have at least one go-to recipe that you nail every time, even if you're not such a great cook.  

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them.

image via

Friday Favorites

June 6, 2014

Fridays were made for fun, so I always like to do something a little special, whether it's going out to dinner, having movie night at home, or spending the afternoon in the bookstore and getting frozen yogurt afterwards. Since the weather has gotten pretty unbearably hot, I'm thinking an indoor picnic is in order today. What do you do to celebrate the weekend? I hope you have a good one. God bless!

Skillet Brownie S'mores--a marriage of my two favorite desserts.

A cozy space that looks perfect for an afternoon nap.

The most gorgeous desk ever.

A sweet print I'd love for my baby girls (and proceeds benefit a family whose little girl has two kinds of cancer).

These sandals.

60 Tips to Change Your Life

June 5, 2014

Any advice, tip, or bit of information that can make my life better/easier/more fabulous, etc., I'm all for. A couple of weeks ago Huff Post Style posted 60 Little Tips That Can Change a Girl's Life--some were just good common sense (NEVER go to bed with makeup on) and some were a bit more whimsical, but every one of them could work to make any girl's life better/easier/more fabulous. Here are my ten favorites from their list.

1.   Making your own coffee/tea will make you a rich woman.
2.  Wrinkle spray and a hair dryer erase all need to ever use an iron.
3.  Realize that you can pull off red lipstick. Rock it, girl.
4.  Never try dieting pills or fads. It's all a bunch of garbage; just be healthy. 
5.  Ask for a white coat underneath the color when you get your nails done and the color you wanted looks so much more vibrant.
6.  You can and will never have too many pairs of underwear.
7.  Accessories can be life-changing.
8.  Take bubble baths.
9.  Read as much as you can for your own enjoyment
10.  Eat chocolate chip pancakes whenever possible.

image via

Must Have: Cooking Is Love Tea Towel

June 4, 2014

While the whole dinner process can be a little stressful at times (i.e. figuring out what to cook, shopping for the groceries, and actually throwing it all together to create a balanced meal), cooking for my family and friends is one of the things I enjoy most. Needless to say I was immediately drawn to this sweet little tea towel because preparing and sharing a meal with my loved ones is exactly how I express to them how much I care. I love the idea of keeping a basket of fresh-from-the-oven scones warm under this towel for a relaxed brunch at home, or resting a hot casserole dish on top of it. Plus, the polka dots and gold lettering are really cute and girly, no?

101 Popsicles to Make This Summer

June 2, 2014

Popsicles are one of the greatest joys of summertime and one of the most fun foods to eat. They remind me of when I was a little girl, my hand sticky from the juice melting down the stick, the way the color of my tongue changed to unnatural shades of red, orange, or blue, and how, incredibly, they tasted even better after a romp through the sprinklers in my Nana's front yard. They were, and still are, the perfect summer treat. This season, I'm planning to stock our freezer with homemade ice pops instead of store-bought, so I've been looking for recipes that I know will appeal to my family and friends. I've found more than a few that I'd like to try out (including several boozy, adults-only recipes and, of course, creamy, chocolate-dipped versions) and I've put them all on one colorful Pinterest board: 101 Popsicles to Make This Summer. Just looking at these pictures is enough to cool you off on a hot summer afternoon.
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