Monday, May 31, 2010

tea for three


the details:

1. the girl. 3 years old. very, very happy.
2. The dress: Libery of London for Target
3. The crown. Card stock, plastic pearls, glitter, and hot glue. 100% easy.
4. The banner. Fabric swatches (I've been saving for years from back in the day when I sold Modbe) + string
5. the "tea": Archer Farms Italian Soda
6. the hats: the boys' came from a party store, grandmas was in the $1 bin at Target and she added the bow. I wore my giant sunhat with a tulle bow attached.
7. The boys: what great sports!
8. The grandma and grandpa: Came from Montana!! yay!
9. Myself: this only got me started on ideas for a real live big girl tea party I'd like to have someday....who will come?
10. The cupcakes (lots) (I halved both recipes):

Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
3 eggs
1/2 c (or a couple good globs:) of mayonnaise. yup. get over it.
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together: 1 cup boiling water and cocoa. Set aside.
Mix flour, soda, and salt together, set aside.
Cream together in large bowl: butter, sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. mix in mayo.
Add vanilla.
Add the cocoa/hot water mixture and beat for 2 minutes.
Add the dry ingredients, and stir just until mixed.

Pour into cupcake liners. Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes

Yellow Butter Mini Cupcakes (cake recipe from Sunset Magazine)

2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
About 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and 1/2 cup butter until creamy. Crack eggs into a small dish (do not beat) and add vanilla. Add eggs to the butter mixture 1 at a time, scraping down the inside of the bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture and milk in alternating batches, starting and ending with the flour and making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next.

2. Butter and flour mini cupcake pans.
Divide batter evenly.

3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 8-10 minutes.

4. Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a rack, remove pans, and let cool to room temperature, at least 40 minutes.

Mom's Chocolate Buttercream
cream together
Butter + Powdered Sugar + Cocoa + Milk until she thought it was just right.
it was.

Strawberry Buttercream
cream together
6-8 strawberries, pureed until smooth.
1/2 stick butter.
Powdered sugar until it's the right thickness

Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
cream together
1 stick (1/2 c) butter

4 cups powdered sugar
4-5 TBS milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean

Happy 3 to my baby girl!


I was so nervous when they told me you were a girl.
A girl!
How would I do it?
Dress you?
Do your hair? (gulp)
Teach you?
What do girls play with?

I was afraid I was going to really mess you up!

But look at you.

You love to twirl in the fluffiest of dresses,
but at the same time, you can make the biggest grossest mess I have ever seen!
You love to dance and sing at the top of your lungs,
but you can hold your own in a heated wrestling match with your brother.

You have taught me more than I will probably ever teach you.

And I think you turned out perfect.

happy three.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

la la liz

photo by jesse o'neal

This is Liz.
Liz has the cutest family.
Liz lives in an adorable house.
Liz and I met online (is that weird?) and were penpals for over a year before we met face to face.
Liz makes me laugh so hard.
Liz can throw a mean party.
Liz is probably one of the most creative people I know.
Liz is a vegetarian.
Liz loves yoga.
Liz blogs.

Liz is pretty awesome.....wouldn't you agree??


Liz also has Multiple Sclerosis.

Not so awesome, huh.


Remember, she is awesome, so in a few weeks she's riding Harmon's Best Dam Bike Ride to raise funds for the National MS Society.

So, now that you know Liz, and how awesome she is, and how adorably adorable her family is, don't you want to help her?? You do!!!

Liz's team needs donations (for the National MS Society). You can do so HERE. And guess what?? You can even donate as little as $1. ONE DOLLAR! Everyone has a dollar....right?? And it's so easy--you can sit in the comfort of your own home, sipping whatever you like to sip, and make a little (or gigantic!!) donation--we'll let Liz do all the work when she rides in the race!

So just head over HERE to make your donation....thank you so much!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

friday love: condensed

Oh what a week!!!

So full it will be spilling over into next week....guranteed!

Let's start out with the food....and how much we loved Sam's Chowder House!

If you are ever ANYWHERE even close to Half Moon Bay....please please please go!!
(the covered porch was perfect for the rainy afternoon!)

I will forever be dreaming about that Salmon Burger.
(and robby highly recommends the lobster roll!)
mmm....salmon burger.

And one more place, special to my heart that needs a good loving shout out.

Dos Coyotes in Roseville, CA.
A long time favorite of ours from waaaay back in the day when it was right down the street.
everything is so so good. This time I went with fish tacos....mmm!!

Love this kid.

We loved celebrating an early birthday with our cousins!!

I love that my baby is turning 3 (ok I'm totally lying....I don't love it at all) but I DO love that grandma and grandpa are here to celebrate, and we're going to have the BEST party weekend!!
Can't wait!! (now I'm off to make a bajillion cupcakes)

Happy Weekend!!

What did you love about this week?

brooke schmidt winner!!!

Angela!! Please email Brooke at flypeterfly at hotmail dot com with your address.
Thanks so much to everyone who entered! Thank you Brooke for sharing your talents!
Check back next Wednesday for another great giveaway!

just a note.....

I am WAAAAAAAAY behind on my email!!! Just wanted to let you know...if you are still waiting, or thinking I am dead. I am not. You will hear from me soon!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

and we're back...

...kind of.

technically speaking I guess.....seeing as though we are here, in our home...

with stuff EVERYWHERE, and no idea where to start.

But my brain is still confused as to what day it is (any one?), what time it is (late), and whether or not it needs to switch out of vacation mode. (it does)

Oh....and I somehow need to get ready for my parents to come (tomorrow/today?) and get ready for a little girl's birtday (saturday!) yikes!

And find some time to stretch out my poor body that was in a car for close to 13 hours today thanks to an awesome(ha!) detour.

But there is still a lot to talk about...

Unfortunately our San Francisco day was cut short (er...cut all together) seeing as though it would not. stop. raining. Not even a bit.

So since this was the only SF photo I got, just close your eyes and pretend I took photos of
-Golden Gate Park
-the most adorable houses
-Pier 39
-the farmers market
-insert your favorite San Francisco tourist attraction that we should have done, here.

But most importantly the Dr.'s apt went AMAZINGLY well. wow.
(and thank you for your well wishes!!)

I start tomorrow on a whole new routine of something like 87 different pills/Rxs/supplements/oils/and magic potions-and I am so excited to do so!

One step closer to being done!

I will be back soon with fun stories to share!

artist spotlight: Brooke Schmidt

I am so happy to introduce you to Brooke Schmidt of Wyndmoor, PA, and her fabulous shop!

How long have you been creating things for your shop?
I opened my Etsy shop in January 2009 primarily as a way to shuffle off some of a large pile of drawings from art school. It was winter, and I was decluttering. But as I got to know Etsy better, I realized what a gem it was: instant contact with the artists themselves, and amazing handmade works at affordable prices! Over time I expanded to add more collages, sewings & works on paper, handmade clay and vintage book magnets, altered books, and embroidered Mokeskine journals. I try whatever takes my fancy. My latest additions are prints of my Polaroids, which I am so excited about. I love Etsy for it's simplicity in getting my work out there with a minimum of fuss. I have sold pieces to people in Alaska, in England, in Brooklyn ~ it's fascinating! I also like it when someone writes me requesting something special and specific that I can make for them. I feel like I'm granting a wish.

Photographing? How did you get started?
Growing up in Florida, our family went canoeing a lot on the Myakka River, and I remember my mom would keep her Canon 35mm camera in a watertight Pizza Hut cooler, in case the canoe tipped. In high school I was also wrangling photos out of an old point-and-shoot knockabout camera: I remember a favorite photo in which my friend was holding the moon on a hilltop. I love using film because I'm never sure how things will turn out. I used my mom's Canon and soon found one of my own, and then a vintage Pentax 35mm camera, which I took on road trips and backpacking trips to Europe. My first real digital was a Lumix Panasonic pocket camera, bought about 3 years ago, which I still have and use. Now I own a Nikon D90 and mostly use a 50mm lens with that ~ it's a fantastic camera. But my real passion, the camera that makes my heart beat, the camera that I wake up for every morning, is my SX-70 Polaroid Land camera. An eBay find that I purchased after finding Susannah Conway's blog last year and seeing her amazing Polaroids. It produces the most magical shots. I would also say Flickr was and is invaluable to me in seeing what's possible and being inspired.

What is your favorite thing in your shop?
The Snail's Dream, an 8x8 inch print of a Polaroid I took with my SX-70 camera. It's a dreamy and soft polaroid of a snail, luminous and with those wonderful eyes on stalks, contemplating a world of wood sorrel. It completely knocked my socks off as to the true possibilities of an SX-70. I was, at the time, on a road trip in California and that photo made my week. I have the original framed over my bed. Oh, that snail!

What are your other hobbies?
Reading, a lot ~ Gardening ~ Walking ~ Hiking ~ Tea-drinking ~ Road trips with my husband, Tim ~ Travel and living out of a suitcase or a backpack ~ Baking chocolate chip scones once a week ~ Collecting rocks when I travel ~ Thrift shopping! ~ Requesting books and audiobooks from my local library ~ Scrabble ~ Loving my dogs, Donovan and Lucy ~ Yoga ~ Reading in the back garden in an adirondack chair with my cat, Mimi, on my lap ~ Sitting by a fire and chatting ~ Collecting Agatha Christie paperbacks, Pyrex bowls, Fiestaware, textiles, wool blankets and things cobalt.

What do you listen to while creating?
I have a DVD/VCR player in my studio and often half-listen to old Agatha Christie flicks with her famous characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. For some reason, those get me in the zone. I also have a collection of my favorite films like Gosford Park or Manon des Sources which I'll put on and listen to like most people listen to a cd. I never listen to music while working, sometimes listen to a book on tape (British readers only, please!) and often just work in silence, which really isn't silence at all but a flexible space for thoughts to grow and for the wind to fill. Hours disappear that way.

Because I am a food lover....what is your favorite thing to eat?
Warm chocolate chip scones with butter slathered on them, and a tall glass of cold milk! My recipe found HERE

Please make sure you go and thoroughly explore her shop....there are so many fun things to find! Polaroid prints, hand made clay magnets, these cute little embroidered journals and so much more!

For the giveaway today Brooke is giving away this hand picked set of her clay magnets
(my fav is the plant:).
Just go visit her shop, and leave a comment letting me know your very favorite item.
Also be sure to visit her on flickr and her cute blog....I am in love with her photos!
Comments will be accepted until Thursday, 5/27 at midnight, and the winner will be announced Friday.
Tweet/facebook/or blog and come back for an extra entry!


Friday, May 21, 2010

happy weekend

Well.....I am off again. By the time you read this I will be somewhere between here..... and there.

But before you think that I am going to do something wild and crazy like this:

I am actually going to do a little of this:

I found a Lyme specialist (remember my little secret I told you?)
We are hoping that he is the one....and will make me better with the push of a button!
(wishful thinking never hurt anyone....right?)

Check back on Wednesday (mark your calendars!) for another artist spotlight and giveaway!

Wish me luck as I drop my pants for, yet again, another stranger.

Happy Weekend!

birds of ashmae winner!

The winner is Hayley!

Thanks to everyone who entered....and if you missed it, be sure to check out Ashley's cute shop!

friday feet

erin: traffic:)
sheena: bride and groom feet

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


today we took off our shoes.
the earth squished between our toes.
it was smudged on our faces,
and is still refusing to come out from underneath our fingernails.

today we dug.

and not so deep.

we watered.
tiny plants.
and each other.

today didn't stop until the last piece of sun fell out of the sky.
we smelled of compost.
and chicken poo.

I wish more days were like today.

artist spotlight: Ashley Mae Hoiland

I am so excited to start up our artist spotlights and giveaways!! Check back every Wednesday!

Kicking things off is Ashley Mae Hoiland of Provo, UT and her shop Birds of Ashmae.
I have seen Ashley's work come up on a few other blogs and I am in LOVE with her style!

How long have you been painting? How did you get started? I've been painting for as long as I can remember. I used to stand behind my dad and watch him draw. I've always loved colors and the texture of putting paint on paper.

What is your favorite thing in your shop? I think the thing I love most in my shop is the little painting of the old fashioned bride. I don't know why, i just love it. Right after I painted it, I spilled an entire cup of water on it, and everything bled. I was sad for a little bit and then realized that I liked it even more because of the spill. ( i love this one too!)

What are your other hobbies? I love to play soccer, write, ride my bicycle and cook with vegetables.
What do you listen to while creating? I love listening to music while I paint. I listen to a lot of bjork, sigur ros, and lately laura veirs.
Because I am a food lover....what is your favorite thing to eat? My favorite thing to eat are tomato sandwich's with bread from the provo bakery and orange rosemary jam from annemade jams. I eat them everyday.

I also loooooove her personalized portraits! I will have one of these someday! Send in your photo and she will paint a custom portrait just for you!

Today Ashley is giving away any print from her shop! (excluding personalized portraits)

Just visit Birds of Ashmae, and leave a comment with your favorite print for a chance to win!
Also be sure to check out her cute blog.
Comments will be accepted until Thursday, 5/20 at midnight, and the winner will be announced on Friday.
Tweet/facebook/or blog and come back for an extra entry!


Monday, May 17, 2010

"fancy" brownies

Ok. They are actually regular brownies. But for some reason a cute little tart pan makes me feel like they were really fancy. And that I was really fancy.
And I liked it.

Brownie Tart
(tweaked and halved from this recipe)

1 stick butter
4 ounces of good quality dark chocolate
2/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour tart pan.

Melt butter and chocolate in a 3-qt heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm. Whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs one at a time until mixture is glossy and smooth.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt, then whisk into chocolate mixture until combined.

Spread in pan and bake until a pick inserted in center comes out with crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes.

We ate them warm with ice cream and raspberries, but they were also sooooo good after they had cooled too!


over the weekend....

a few from the weekend....more coming soon! the weekend really over? I am still unsure as to what day/time it actually is.

It was very full of:

-quick plane rides
-humidity + my hair don't mix
-a pretty wedding
-camera strap tan lines
-10ish hours with a pbj as my only fuel
....which only lead to
-drastic measures
-eating a hamburger
-at 10:30 at night
-and loving every bite
-and maybe wishing I had another
-3 hours of sleep
-dragging my sis-in-law out of bed before 4 am to haul me back to the airport
-through the fog
-counting down seconds until I am home again
-and greeted by little notes on my bed
-lying in the sunshiney (sunshiney!) grass reading stories
-making (and eating) cookies together

and then craaaaaassshhhing.

see you soon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy Weekend!!!

Happy Weekend Everyone!!
I'm off to shoot a weekend wedding--I'll be back soon with lots of fun stories to tell!
Thanks so much for all the pizza tips--I can't wait to try them all out!
Get out in the sunshine and play this weekend--oh and while you do, listen to this is awesome.


haha sister. that was for you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strawberry and Almond Scones

Before we get started today.....I want to share a little secret with you.

A few bloopers.

Did you know, that for every decent food photo I get, there are about 5 bad ones to go with it?? Most of which involve:

My child's finger, pointing, touching, or tasting.
or, my child's face......smelling.
Just thought you should know.


Whole Wheat Strawberry and Almond Scones
recipe adapted from these strawberry scones

1/4 cup agave nectar
6 TBS milk
1 tsp pure almond extract
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 c ground flax seed (are you surprised?)
small handful toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 TBL baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
11 TBL unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1 cup diced strawberries
1 egg, lightly beaten
extra oats for sprinkling

- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees with the rack in the top 1/3. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the agave nectar, almond extract and milk in a small cup, and set aside.
- Combine the flour, oats, almonds, flax, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
- Using a food processor, cut the butter into the flour mixture, pulsing until it appears sandy (about 20 quick pulses). ( I just used a fork) Continue mixing until you have a good sandy texture.
- Add the agave/milk mixture. Mix until the dough comes together. Be careful to avoid overmixing. You can add a little more milk if the dough is too dry.
- Gently fold in the strawberries with your hands. The dough will be very crumbly, this is ok!
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface or a piece of parchment paper, kneed once or twice, if necessary to bring the dough together. Press in any strawberries that may have fallen out. Be gentle with the dough and avoid over working it.
- Press the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle or circle. (I did two circles, for smaller scones) Cut into even sized pieces. Place the pieces on the prepared baking sheet with at least 1/2 inch between each scone. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with oats.

-Bake at 350° for 20-25 min.

top with a bit of honey and enjoy!