February 29, 2016

image via Instagram 

Friday Favorites

February 26, 2016

February is coming to a close and already I've noticed that the sun is lingering a little bit longer before making its exit each night. I love this time of year because longer days means more time with my family. And soon it'll be summer, which means I'll get to spend all day with both of my girls! For now, we have the weekends to have our fun, and since the weather has warmed considerably, and my six-year old has been asking for barbecue, I'm thinking this weekend is the perfect time to test out some new recipes on the grill. I hope you have a fabulous weekend. God bless!

A chocolate and salted caramel tart that I want to make asap.

This dreamy little outfit that makes me yearn for the days when my girls were tiny.

Galaxy Easter eggs that look sooo cool.

Cakeland--a maze that is 1) made out of cake (from floor to ceiling) and 2) pink! 

Truman Capote, Mel Ferrer, and Audrey Hepburn in a photo booth. 

Beautiful Outdoor Tablescapes for a Spring Dinner Party

February 25, 2016

Even though it's only February, the weather is already starting to heat up (Southern California weather is so rebellious!), and while in other parts of the country people are still cozied up next to their fireplaces, I find myself wanting to spend a little more time outdoors to enjoy the first gentle breezes of an early spring. Since I love anything to do with a party, I've been thinking of gathering up some close friends for a gorgeous dinner or brunch under a beautiful spring sky. These tablescapes are serving up some serious inspiration for my dream al fresco meal.

Pillows, instead of chairs or benches, lend a boho vibe to a casual dinner. And wooden flatware and loads of flowers add to the earthy aesthetic.

The pre-evening light reflecting off clusters of different glass jars looks so pretty.

Simple and modest, without the fuss of elaborate centerpieces or dramatic tapers, can still look elegant. Hanging lights add an element of romance.

A gold tablecloth and pretty pops of pink is the perfect setting for a girlfriends-only brunch.

I love the casual and rustic feel of this table (did you notice the Red Stripe beer bottle as a vase?). Sprigs of fresh lavender at each place setting are an extra special touch.

Preppy stripes punctuated with pops of bold color

images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wordsmith Wednesday: Maven

February 24, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Friday Favorites

February 19, 2016

I love a short week! And this one was extra special because my first grader had a field trip to the zoo, (which my toddler and I totally crashed) and she won first place at the science fair! I am such a proud mama, I'm practically bursting. One of the biggest lessons I want to teach my two daughters is that they can do anything, and they can be great at it. What makes me most happy is not even the win, it's that she's so proud of herself. After several weekends of parties and events, we're taking it easy this weekend, but my husband and I want to do something extra fun to celebrate our little scientist, so tonight we're making stove top popcorn (I think the girls will love making it themselves) and picking up loads of Cadbury Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs for a movie night at home. I bid you a wonderful weekend! God bless.

This gorgeous Blackberry French 75 that would be perfect for a spring cocktail party.

Cotton candy sunsets.

A Swiss cake roll with a giraffe pattern that might be fun to make after our trip to the zoo this week. 

Everything from the Kate Spade Fall 2016 collection.

A pineapple as a vase.

Wordsmith Wednesday: Lissome

February 17, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.


February 15, 2016

image via Instagram (@yourstylejourney)

Friday Favorites

February 12, 2016

Making plans for Valentine's Day has changed drastically for my husband and me since having our two daughters. What used to be an automatic date night (even if we stayed in and I cooked) has now become a family affair, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. This weekend we'll be including our babies in the festivities as usual; first we're going to the fair, then we'll head out to dinner. And since there's no school or work on Monday, we may spend Sunday night in a homemade fort watching movies and eating popcorn. It's not the typical romantic weekend that's associated with February 14, but it is true love! Whatever your plans, have a wonderful Valentine's Day and a safe weekend. God bless!

A to-do list from Kate Spade New York.

The prettiest DIY tissue paper flowers ever.

Wedge salads, reimagined. 

These curls.


Salty Caramel and Toffee Cookies

February 10, 2016

Until recently, I considered crackers to be merely a vehicle for eating cheese or dips and I never gave them much thought. But I had this idea for a dessert that involved crackers and caramel and toffee, and to my surprise, crackers (when made into these salty caramel and toffee cookies) are now one of my favorite foods.  These are a sort of a cross between a cookie and a candy bar--in fact, they're actually very much like a Twix bar, only better! The cracker lends a saltiness that pairs so well with the caramel (and helps keep these from being overly sweet), while the buttery toffee bits add a satisfying crunch. They were a bit messy to make, but so worth the effort! 

Salty Caramel and Toffee Cookies
1 10oz box round butter crackers, like Ritz (you probably won't use the whole box)
1 11oz bag caramels
1 11.5oz bag milk chocolate chips
1 8oz bag crushed chocolate toffee candy bar

Unwrap and place the caramels in a microwave-safe bowl, along with 2 tablespoons of water; microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. Spread the melted caramel on the unsalted side of the crackers and allow to set. Meanwhile, melt the milk chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip the caramel-covered crackers in the chocolate and coat completely; set on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the crushed toffee candy before the chocolate dries, then place the entire baking sheet in the fridge for 20 minutes to allow chocolate to harden. Enjoy!

Wordsmith Wednesday: Penultimate

February 10, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.


February 8, 2016

image via Instagram (@abeautifulmess)

Friday Favorites

February 5, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday is a big deal in our house, but we've decided to skip the fanfare this year and have a low key "home-gating" party. We're not having a ton of food or a ton of people over--just nachos and some sort of dessert for my husband, our babies, and myself. I'm going to miss the noise of a big party, but sometimes it's nice to have my loves all to myself. Do you have plans for Super Bowl? Whatever you're up to this weekend, have fun and be safe. God bless!

The sweetest heart barrette.

Bianca Jagger's most glamorous looks.

This image of a shooting star in Sweden that reminds me of how small I am in this universe.

Cute tea sandwiches my daughters will love.

Sweet words to share with my little girls.

Wordsmith Wednesday: Intransigent

February 3, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Holy Trinity and Other Cajun Cooking Terms

February 2, 2016

Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, and if you're planning to do any cooking for the festivities--whether it's a traditional  étouffée, jambalaya, or gumbo, or you want to give your favorite burgers, pastas, or casseroles a Cajun kick--it helps to know a few key terms in Cajun cuisine. 

Holy Trinity: a combination of chopped onion, celery, and bell peppers that is used as a base for tons of Creole recipes; the Cajun Holy Trinity is typically 3 parts onion, 2 parts celery, and 1 part bell peppers

Filé (pronounced fee-lay): a spicy herb made from dried sassafras leaves that have been ground to a fine powder; typically used in gumbo

Maque Choux (pronounced mock shoe):  a mixture of corn, bell pepper, onion, garlic, celery, and tomato braised together and served as an accompaniment

Roux (pronounced rue): flour and fat (i.e. butter, oil, lard, etc) cooked together and used as a thickening agent for sauces, soups, and other dishes; often used in gumbo

Remoulade: a condiment used in Creole dishes, especially seafood; typically has a mayonnaise base or an oil base, along with Creole mustard and the addition of spices, herbs, and sometimes finely chopped vegetables.

Blackening: a cooking technique, typically for fish, shrimp, or poultry, in which the meat is coated in melted butter and a specific mix of herbs and spices, then cooked on a very high heat. 

Andouille: a type of smoked sausage, often spicy, used in many Creole dishes

Sauce piquante: a spicy tomato sauce, usually contains the Holy Trinity cooked into it

Brochette (or en brochette): food--typically meat and veggies--cooked on (and sometimes served on) skewers

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Valentine's Donut Skewers

February 1, 2016

Valentine's Day is supposed to be for lovers, but my husband and I try to include our little girls as much as we can. My husband has started the tradition of getting gifts for each of us girls, and I get our day started with an extra special breakfast. These donut skewers are not only adorable and perfect for Valentine's Day (as well as the other 364 days of the year), they're also a breeze to make. I simply took foam heart stickers and pressed them back to back onto paper straws, then I pushed the other end of the straws through the donut holes. 


February 1, 2016

image via Instagram
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