My MIL came to town and asked to meet all my local friends. What better way than with a tea party, she thought? In an attempt to make it easy, we didn’t make everything from scratch.  I’m happy to say it was a success :) Here are a few pictures of the scape.

The orange down the middle was stock I had in my ribbon bin. Brian gave me the salt and pepper shakers in my stocking last Christmas (Target $1 bin). We hand stamped notecards from Michael’s clearance bin (cut in half) with Avery’s Martha line of labels.

An Anthro egg crate made a perfect display for freshly dipped strawberries. I attempted a recipe for a new favorite cookie from the Brown Butter Cookie Company on the Central Coast (yummy recipe trying to duplicate these delectable cookies that melt in your mouth here).

Lemon bars and meringue cookies from Trader Joe’s… Because we were trying to keep this tea “simple” and “relaxed” :)

The ice bucket (barely in the photo) was from the Long Beach Flea Market. Orange striped and teal blue dot napkins from Michael’s.

Scones we made were a Lemon Rosemary and a Cream Scone. (Recipes linked; we liked the cream scone best)

Each guest left with  notepad, nail file and stamp. I could eat one of those croissants every day if I could.

We made egg salad (with wheat bread) and curried chicken salad (with potato bread) sandwiches. No recipes, my MIL just did them from scratch.

We served 2 scones (with lemon curd, whipped cream, and strawberry jam), 2 sandwiches, almond and chocolate croissants (Trader Joe’s frozen section), fruit salad, spring greens with vinaigrette, tangerine italian soda, and of course some tea. Dessert included blueberry hand pies (recipe for the filling here but we used frozen pie dough from Trader Joe’s), white chocolate dipped strawberries, brown butter cookies, French macarons (Trader Joe’s) & lemon bars (yep, another from Trader Joe’s frozen section).

I’m always scrambling for recipes for teas – do you have any favorite sandwich or scone recipes to share?

Overall there were seven adults, one tween, three babes under 4 months old, and one pup to enjoy the day. We had a great time and ate way too much, as is par for a tea!


Stamped Towels

August 6, 2013

A craft day with my friend, Laura, resulted in a new obsession. Laura has fabulous vintage stamps her grandfather used for his business back in the day! On tea towels, these stamps made some fun gifts. (Warning, I only took iPhone photos; I promise I’m getting better at using the real camera!)

Here is one I made for our good friends who were moving away – all the way to Virginia! I thought this towel would be a fun reminder of their time in San Pedro (they lived in California from 2009-2013).

The next set was for friends who were getting married. I love monogrammed and personalized anything so I knew I had to make them something. (I didn’t give them the mutt though.)

After making all of these towels – I wanted one! You know how I love towels right? Here is what I made for our house:

These towels are super quick and easy. Just buy some tea towels and fabric paint, then stamp ‘em. I watered the fabric paint down just a tad – literally a couple drops of water – so it wouldn’t turn out crispy on the towel once it was dry. They are completely machine washable and hold up really well.

Let me know if you attempt this project; I’d love to see your results!


Happy Birthday, Ryan!

August 5, 2013

Happy Birthday to my loving brother! He turns 35 today. (Wow- you’re getting up there, Ryan!) ;)

I’m so glad you were born to be my big brother. You are loved!

Here’s hoping the latter part of your 30s goes better than the first!


Lemon Meringues

August 4, 2013

Following the kick I started with the vanilla meringues, I decided to try adding a flavor. I thought lemon sounded nice and summery, and since they were delicious, I thought I’d share the recipe — or just store it in an easy place for me to come back to since I modified various recipes to come up with this :)

Lemon Meringues

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
small splash of vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon

Beat the egg whites (after being at room temp) with the cream of tartar, vanilla and lemon extracts. Once soft peaks form, begin gradually adding the sugar. Then once the peaks are stiff, fold in the lemon zest. Pipe onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 200° for 1.5 hours. Once dry and stiff to the touch, turn off oven and let cookies cool down inside the oven.


Nautical Growth Chart

August 3, 2013

For my best friend’s children, I like to give them a handmade gift for their birthdays when I can. For the sweet firstborn, her first birthday brought a growth chart (I showed it off back in 2010). So with baby #2, I naturally had to do the same. Only for little Jack, his first birthday came and went and I never made his promised growth chart. As his second birthday neared, I knew I had to tackle the project.

This time I thought I’d give a few more details so anyone who wants to make one will have more information about it. (Sorry for the bad photos – I wasn’t thinking before I shipped this off at the last minute to make it in time for his birthday!)

First, I grabbed duck cloth at Joann with a coupon. It was $10.99 a yard, and I bought half a yard (it was 60″ in width – just what I wanted). Then I snatched up the acrylic craft paint in the colors I needed. I already knew I was going to base the growth chart off of his big-boy bedding from Pottery Barn:

Tyler Quilt, Full/Queen, Red/Navy

I then just started sketching out boxes on the duck cloth so I knew what went where before I painted anything. If I messed up, I could erase the pencil as long as I didn’t draw it on too dark. I basically started with one color (navy blue) and painted random boxes all over the cloth, making sure I spaced out the color enough, then moved on to a new color (light blue). Here it is as I started painting.

Then as I continued adding colors, I added new “textures” with a regular paint brush or with a foam brush. Most of this was painted with a foam brush to get the streaky look, and I also added a tiny bit of water so it went on the cloth easier. It started coming together as I added the red paint and started the detail of the anchor and boats.

I freehanded his name while looking at it typed in large font on the computer screen. Normally I would have printed it up and cut it out to create a dye cut I could stencil with, but my printer broke and this was faster :)

Once everything was painted and dry, I stitched the edges, leaving an extra large edge at the top to insert a dowel. On the dowel, I screwed in two small eye hooks to attach the ribbon to so they can hang it up. Then I added the hash marks for the height increments along the right edge.

Here’s the full length view:

What do you think? Is this a project you would attempt?


Fun at Target

August 1, 2013

I was casually browsing Target and came across a couple things I certainly did not need, but could not pass up. I’m sure you know how that goes… The last time I did this I came home with floor poufs for the living room. But today, the damage was minimal.

How cute is this birthday banner? I figure we can pull it out and celebrate every birthday with this hanging in the living room. And with the grommets, it’s sure to hold up for years.

(It’s the Target Spritz brand if you’re wondering. Just $3.99)

And paper straws for $1.99? Such cute colors! I don’t know when I’ll use them but I couldn’t leave them on the rack.

Have you found anything fabulous lately that you had to bring home? Target is a dangerous place…


Dining Chair Update


Well – they didn’t last long. Once the new Crosby couch came, it seemed too classy to be in the same room with the bright kindergarten-esque chairs I showed here. Here’s a reminder of what it looked like: And here we stand today: I spray painted them with Rustoleum’s gloss paint in “Warm Yellow.” (Aren’t [...]

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French Meringue Cookies


I have always wanted to make meringues and since I committed to bring dessert to a ladies lunch this week, I finally attempted them. I don’t know why I waited years to make them! They are so easy! Here’s the recipe I used for my first batch of vanilla meringues. Vanilla Meringue Cookies 4 egg [...]

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Oh, Crosby…


Cue the choir… Our Crosby couch from West Elm is here and it is nearly perfect! I Instagrammed a photo the day we got it: The rug wasn’t in place because we were dog sitting, so here is how it looks usually: Yes, our sweet Winston loves the end of the chaise so he can [...]

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4 years and counting


Four years ago I stood at the altar next to this guy and promised to love him, remaining by his side in good times and in bad, all the days of my life. Who knew it could be so easy?! I get to share every day with this amazing guy who always is making me [...]

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