Thursday, July 16, 2015

Garden Variety Thievery

Over the last several weeks we've been dealing with some thieves!  Just your average, garden variety thieves. 

The girls have been stealing snap peas straight off the trellis and aren't the least bit remorseful! 

Don't let those sweet faces fool you!  They're dirty, rotten, four pawed thieves.

"What?  My tongue didn't actually touch it!"

You might be wondering how on Earth did they decide they like snow peas?  

I'd point you in Matt's direction.  Years ago he was out in the garden and decide to throw a snow pea pod in Bella's direction... She's been salivating at them ever since! 

Obviously, Matt had to clue Haddie in on the wonder of the snow pea and now they're both hooked.  It's like crack to them!  They don't even wait for us to pick the pods off for them, it's a doggie buffet!

In addition to the snow peas, they also eat strawberries.  To be clear, they have to be ripe strawberries!  If they're not at their peak, they won't eat them.  Rotten.

Please confirm that our dogs aren't the most spoiled ones on the planet?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nursery Reveal

Made ya look!  Ha!

So technically it IS a nursery reveal, but it's the one I help design/decorate for my sister-in-law... Not one for me or anything crazy wacky like that.

Jennifer is very much a left-brain analytical thinker.  She absolutely can be creative, but it's not her forte!  You want someone to formulate rations and get all PhD on you, she's your girl!  Back at the baby shower, I had extended an offer to come down and help trick out the nursery for the baby. 

I was really excited when she took me up on it!  So Haddie and I hightailed it down to Tennessee for a long weekend and we got to "work".  In my world, decorating and being creative is nothing like work!

Obviously, Jen had some ideas for the nursery that they put in place over the last several months.  They decided on coral paint for the walls, white wainscoting, with accents of grey and teal.  Sounds lovely, eh?! 

Armed with photos of the room and our Pinterest apps, we headed to town to shop.  We found adorable wall hangings, frames and shelf decor that would give us a nice start to our 'vision'. 

That afternoon we got crafty and made a mobile for the crib.  We used this tutorial as a guide.  Jen picked up a mobile frame at a local resale shop and we were both tickled with the end result!

Sunday morning, Kyle joined Jen and I on another shopping excursion and I'm so glad he did!  To my surprise, Kyle and I agreed that the ruffled lampshade was an absolute must...  Initially, Jen wasn't convinced.  She's come around though!

I had my work cut out bringing them both to the dark side when I said that I thought the end table would look really cool if we spray painted it and then 'dipped' the legs in gold spray paint.  Bless their hearts, I could see the doubt in their eyes!  But I think (and I got a text saying they agreed!) that it was a sound decision.

The rest of the nursery came together pretty quickly and quite well, in my humble opinion!!  You'll notice that we incorporated several of the shower decorations into the nursery as well.


I'm also proud to report that our niece, Adelyn Margaret, joined the world on Sunday, July 12!!  She weighed 6 lb, 13 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long.  She's such a cutie!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Get In My Belly. Recipes That Didn't Disappoint.

Hey folks!! 

So last time I gushed about all the handmade and personal touches that went into the baby shower that I hosted for my sister-in-law.  I still swoon over the pictures!  This post is dedicated to all the amazing recipes (and their creators) that were created. 

I'm telling you, do yourself a favor and find a reason (any reason) and make some or ALL of these!  You won't be sorry.

With the shower being at 2pm, I knew that I wanted to make some lighter snacky options that were both savory and sweet.  I scoured Pinterest and started pinning away.  The menu was narrowed down to three savory options, fresh fruit and dip and 2 desserts.  Along with the food, guests could choose between iced tea or punch. 

The savory dishes included:

Corn Muffin Thumbprints.  I followed Cristen's recipe to the letter and opted to top these thumbprints with Matt's homemade strawberry jam that he cans every year.  These little gals were delicious!  The honey butter and little bits of corn, woo! 

Fresh Fruit and Orange Creamsicle Dip.  Deliciousness abounds!  I'm a BIG lover of all things creamsicle and this was spot on.  For this recipe I did substitute fresh OJ for concentrate.  

The two other recipes... Blogger Fail.  No pictures.  Alas.  You'll just have to trust me and make them without the pictures.  I'm a trustworthy gal, promise.

This Pickle Wrap Dip tastes JUST LIKE those old school, painstakingly created Pickle Wraps.  My mom is a champion Pickle Wrap maker and finding a shortcut recipe was right up my alley!  I've made this dip several times and always add a splash or two of pickle juice just before stirring.  Extra pickle flavor never hurt nobody!  

At each table setting, I set a small paper cup of this Snack Mix.  I added garlic powder in lieu of the infused olive oil and also added some chili powder.  Initially, I was a little worried this might be more spicy than most of the group could take, but they all ponied up and loved it!

On to the desserts.  Oh, the desserts!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake and Mini Apple Tarts, oh my!  They were as delicious as they look.  The cake was epic!  Seriously.  I'm a sucker for the salted caramel phase that's going around and it paired great with vanilla ice cream.  I did end up doubling the chocolate frosting recipe.  Because well, it's frosting!  

The Mini Apple Tarts were a variation of this recipe.  I opted to use store bought pie crust and went with apple filling because I'd canned some last fall... that was delicious!  Is there any interest in having my write up all my adaptations and post this recipe?  Lemme know!

To wash down all these tasty treats, I served good ol' Lipton raspberry ice tea and punch

The punch was super-duper good, but I didn't follow the recipe to the letter.  Based on several of the reviews I decided to use raspberry sherbert instead of strawberry ice cream.  And I did float some limes and lemons!  It tasted great and obviously the color was spot on too!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rustic Chic Baby Shower Decor

Last month I had the honor of hosting my sister-in-laws baby shower!  You may have seen several teaser shots on Instagram because I started planning it months in advance.  #compulsiveoverplanner

The guest list was relatively small and my 'vision' for the shower was going to most easily created if I could start putting things together over the course of a few weeks.  So the decision to host the shower at our house was made relatively quickly!  Thankfully, we have the extra space and we borrowed the tables and chairs from Matt's office.

Jennifer and I spent several hours on the phone talking about what she didn't want for the shower (hot pink, lambs or shower games) and things she did (ice cream, rustic/vintage and not too much of a fuss... Ya, that didn't happen!).  Armed with that knowledge and what I had in my party planning/catering stash, I settled on  subtle feminine touches with lots of burlap, barn wood and pastels.  Rustic Chic, if you will!

The first thing I started obsessing over on was the invitation and book request cards!  Thank goodness for free graphics and PicMonkey.

Once I was satisfied with the invites, all my attention was turned towards decorations!  Using some leftover vintage fabric, I sewed napkins.

I made pink tulle pom poms, burlap pennants and paper fans to hang as the backdrop for the food table.  The straps of fabric I tied in little bows around jute.  The white curtains?  Plastic tablecloths hung with fishing line!  Thank you, Husband!  Matt also cut and built the barnwood 'canvas' that I painted to say "You're our greatest adventure!!". 

I also came across some really cute clothespins at TJ Maxx and figured out a way to incorporate them as well with some paper doilies!

All of the linens were freebie fabric that I was given by a friend and the burlap runners were leftovers from our wedding decorations!  I don't save everything, but what I do I know I'll use again.

For the table decorations, I borrowed wood slices to set burlap wrapped cans, wine bottles wrapped in jute and old hinge topped Ball jars.

By the grace of God, I was able to track down peonies and force bloom them just in time for the shower!  The pops of pink and green from the store bought flowers coordinated nicely with the pink center in the peony!


Let's talk table service, shall we?  I decided early on that I wanted to use 'real' plates, so I hit up The Dollar Tree for plates and bowls for a $1.00 each.  Since the shower, we retired our existing plateware and are using these!  I pretty much dig 'em. 


When the new purple Ball Heritage Collection came out late this winter, I had already decided that I needed a pack.  You know, just because.  The shower gave me a perfect excuse to buy three boxes!  I tied some jute in a bow around the neck and popped in a paper straw.  Done!  And cute to boot.

To finish off the tables, I used Marisa's amazing recipes for Blueberry Butter and Orange Rhubarb Butter to give everyone as a favor for attending.  After scouring Pinterest high and low, I found the perfect printable to accessorize each little jar!

I {big puffy heart} love how it all turned out!  More importantly, Jennifer loved it too!!!

A post fully dedicated to food and drink will be next!  Come back, you'll be glad you did.