August 29, 2010

Back to School!

For teachers {and students} all around the world, summer is officially drawing to a close and a new school year is beginning.  Some of you may have children of your own that you have sent off already to another year, another grade.  I have had a wonderful summer, but I am ready to get back to work and get to know my new sixth graders! 

I can't get over these darling cookies I came across at Bake at 350

{all photos courtesy of Bake at 350}

Want to know how to make them?  Click here!

I am so glad I stumbled across Bake at 350!  Be sure to check out their website for lots of ideas and inspiration.

Happy New School Year to everyone!

August 25, 2010

Zoey's Hand-painted Baptism Cross

My good friend, Emma, sent me lots of great inspiration for her niece's Baptism cross.  Because her name is Zoey, meaning life in Greek, she wanted the butterfly {a symbol of new life} to be incorporated somehow.  Such a great idea!

I think the butterfly was such a nice touch ~ especially on a precious baby's baptism where new life in Christ is being celebrated!

Can't wait to see pictures of the cross hanging in sweet Zoey's room!

{Wine Wednesday} Tres Pinos Tierra Blanca White Wine

Find it at Trader Joe's for $4.99.

What the bottle says:  "Tierra Blanca White is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and Chardonnay. these grapes are grown in San Luis Obispo Country along California's beautiful Central Coast. This wine is bright and crisp with lovely aromas of citrus and wildflowers."

What I think:  I went out on a limb here and spent two dollars more than my usual "Two Buck Chuck" and did not regret it!  The citrus quality of the wine makes it so refreshing and smooth.  Besides, I am a sucker for anything with lemon ~ you should see my kitchen.  And of course, the label is super cute also!

I love the three tall trees and colors on the label.  The wine is made in San Luis Obispo, so the trees are very fitting. The perfect wine to take on a picnic, or to serve at an outdoor party!

I am loving Wine Wednesdays!

August 23, 2010

Jen's Stylish Bridal Shower

You may remember my best friend Jen from the Lingerie Shower post a few weeks ago.  Her sister Michelle somehow managed to graduate from Law School, pass the BAR, begin a new job at a law firm, and throw Jen this amazing shower all within a couple of months!   Everything was beyond BEAUTIFUL!

Michelle, a.k.a. Superwoman!

The gorgeous Bride-to-Be arriving at her Bridal Shower!

The Shower was held in the backyard of Jen's childhood home.  Tables were set up under a fabulous {and much needed} tent.  The light pink fabric swagging, hanging crystals, and beautiful flowers really made this shower amazing!

No detail was overlooked ~ aren't the centerpieces adorable?

The cake was made by one of the bridesmaids, and it was as delicious as it was beautiful. There was a yummy spread of salads, edible arrangements {made by yours truly}, salads, and tea sandwiches to munch on.  Michelle even made the "W" sugar cookies {Martha's recipe} herself. Yum!

Jen and Justin have such a neat story - they were actually High School Sweethearts!  At the shower, a scrapbook that Jen made for Justin when he graduated High School in 2002 was passed around for the guests to look at.  In it were many old {and hilarious} pictures, as well as a "Marriage Certificate" that they had purchased at a High School Dance.  How cute is that?

16 years of friendship and counting!  I love you, Best Friend!  I'm so happy for you ~ and we all can't wait for October 2!

August 20, 2010

Only in my Dreams...

My husband and I have been married for two years now, and we have made our hand-me-downs {which we are oh-so thankful for} work for just about as long as I can take.  I am ready to finally choose a living room color scheme that we can live with long-term rather than buying decor that "will work with what we have."  I am really, really, really getting the itch to redo our living room.  Here's what I'm dreaming of...

Some of these items we already have; like the mirror, coffee table, and wood ledges on the top left.  Our coffee table was passed down to us from my in-laws.  It's not from Pottery Barn, but it looks identical to this one.  Score! Our mirror is actually an old antique oak mirror that we stained this dark brown color last year.  We registered for the archetype wood ledges from Crate & Barrel and ended up purchasing them for a discounted price after our wedding.  So what's left?  A sectional (that we will definitely not be purchasing from Pottery Barn), some throw pillows, and a rug.  Sounds simple enough to me!  Oh, real life, why must you get in the way?  You are too expensive!

A girl can dream, right?!

Happy Weekend!

August 18, 2010

{Wine Wednesday} 2009 Green Fin White Table Wine

I love a good glass of wine!  Maybe it's because I have Greek and Italian roots.  Or maybe it's because a glass of wine can completely relax me after a hectic day at work.  Or maybe it's because I love cheese and the two just go together so well.  Or maybe it's's delicious ~ what's not to love?

Last week I decided to venture out from my two-buck Chuck routine and try a new bottle of wine, and I was pleasantly surprised.  After this I had the crazy idea to start the series "Wine Wednesday" where I will post about a new bottle of wine I've tried.

Now trust me, I am no wine connoisseur.  You won't read any wine-specific lingo like "palate" or "components."  I have a serious lack of true wine knowledge, and I will often try wine simply based on its label (at least I'll admit it).  I like wine that tastes good, and wine that is, let's face it, inexpensive!   I'm looking forward to being a little more spontaneous with my wine choices and even finding a nice red wine that I like (eek! I'm not big on reds).  Maybe you will read about a new wine that interests you!

For the first Wine Wednesday I bring you...

2009 Green Fin White Table Wine
Find it at  Trader Joe's for $3.99

What the bottle says:  “This Green Fin White Table Wine is made entirely from organically grown grapes. This pale straw colored wine has very intense orange blossom and honey aromatics while delivering a full rich body with a core of pear and nectarine flavors followed by a smooth aftertaste that’s long and focussed. Savor the flavor of this organically grown white table wine with your favorite meal or by itself. Enjoy!”

What I think:  I love this wine!  It's sweet, but not too sweet.  To me, it tastes similar to a Riesling (which I love).  I drank it with a chicken dish and it went together really nicely.  And let's be honest...the bottle is so cute!  You can see by some of the background colors in my kitchen, that I love greens and yellows.  I saw the old Woody and surfboard on the front and that was it for me.  Then I saw the price, $3.99, and I was sold! 

I love good old Two-Buck Chuck, but I must say that the extra two dollar splurge was well worth it!

August 17, 2010

I Need Your Help!

While doing a little inspiration-searching for Kyle & Danielle's wine-themed wedding cupcakes,  I came across these old wine barrels.  Actually, my mom found them ~ thanks, Mom!  The problem is, they are pretty pricey {when factoring in the number I'd have to purchase along with shipping & handling fees}. 

I think these quarter barrels are ideal for the cupcake display table, but I could think of a few things I could do with half or full barrels as well!

I haven't contacted any wineries in the area to see if they sell barrels for a better price.  Do any of you expert party-planners have any advice or experience in this area?

Any tips would be much appreciated!

August 16, 2010

Another Year Down

Today I am officially one year older!  I received this lovely little Anthropologie gift a few days ago.  Don't you just love getting things like this in the mail?  It definitely beats bills!

I love the candle necklace and the perforated cupcake ~ too cute!  Of course, I love any excuse to visit Anthropologie, and the 15% means that a trip is in order very soon.

I'm thinking of purchasing another  Capri Blue Candle, my favorite candle ever!  If you've never tried this candle out, you must!
{photo:  Anthropologie}

This birthday is already off to a great start!

Life really is sweet ~ Happy Monday!

August 15, 2010

Sweet, Sweet Summer!

If you've been reading my blog lately, you know that I can not complain about my summer.  My husband and I are both teachers (with no children of our own *yet*), so we have really jam-packed our summer with fun!  As it is coming to an end (we go back to work tomorrow), I can't help but reflect on what an amazing summer we've had.

Our summer began with a three-week long trip of a lifetime to Europe...
We ate amazing food and drank great wine.  We saw the most breathtaking sights, art, and architecture.  We met great people, and were incredibly humbled by the way other human beings live their lives around the world.  We are so thankful for the chance to have taken this trip!

We got back from Europe on July 10 which left us lots of opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends...
We are so thankful for our families!  Our nieces, Madison & Ella, are growing up so quickly.  They are smart, funny, and adorable!  We've been to many weddings and we can't wait for more to come in the next few months. We celebrated our 2nd Anniversary, and my in-laws celebrated their 30th!

We've gone on a few mini-vacations with both of our families as well...
We've vacationed in Palm Desert with my in-laws, and we've celebrated my oldest sister's 30th Birthday with my whole family in Las Vegas last weekend.  Because we live about twenty minutes away from the coast, we've enjoyed frequent beach days in Newport and Huntington also. 

I've buckled down and created this blog...
I've had so much fun figuring this blog thing out and getting inspired by the amazingly talented women out there who are following their passion. I've even gotten a few clients out of creating this blog! I still have interest in so many different things, but I am slowly figuring out where my place is.  In the meantime, I am thankful to have this creative outlet and I'm having a blast in the process!

Yes, I am a little sad to go back to the "real world," but I am so thankful for the experiences we've had this summer!  We are thankful for our lives; our jobs, friends, family, and opportunities.  We are thankful for the ups and the downs, and the lessons we've learned.  

I hope you too have enjoyed your summer ~ and that you take some time to count your blessings!  

Life is Sweet!

August 10, 2010

Something Sexy, Something Sweet...

My best friend Jen is getting married on October 2!  We have been friends since we were nine years old.  She was my Maid of Honor in my wedding two years ago, and I am honored to be the Matron of Honor in hers!  I was pleased to host and plan this Lingerie Shower for her ~ it was so much fun!  Here are some pictures from the evening...

The invitations

Chocolate Diet Coke Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting

Marshmallow Pops inspired by Hostess with the Mostess

Food consisted of light, but yummy appetizers & pasta salad.  Spanish Sangria and Mike's Hard Pink Lemonade was served to go along with the color scheme (and because they are both delicious!).

I got to use many of my gifts to the bride as decor.  So fun!
The "Ooh~La~La!" banner added a nice touch.

That's me on the left and Jen, the bride (fittingly in white) on the right.  Doesn't she look beautiful?!
Jen went to FIDM and has worked as a fashion designer for GUESS until she recently started working at a popular Bridal Salon, Mon Amie.  Given her career in fashion, I thought it would be totally fitting to play one game where all of the girls designed "Wedding Night Lingerie" for Jen.  The game was hilarious!

After the shower, we headed out to Newport Beach for a little Ladies' Night out.  We had a blast!  We spent the night in the suite and spent the following day lounging at the pool of the Marriott, Newport Beach Bayview ~ it doesn't get much better than that!

I had so much fun designing everything for this shower; from the invitations to the menu, and the decor & games.  Thanks to all of the ladies who came out and showered Jen with love, gifts, and fun!  I love you, Jen.  Congratulations ~ Can't wait for the wedding!

August 5, 2010

{Inspiration} Marshmallow Treat Pops

I am a huge fan of Bakerella's Cake Pops, and I've made them quite a few times. Although Cake Pops are always a yummy hit,  they can be a pretty time consuming to make.  Because I am actually hosting my best friend's Lingerie Shower tomorrow {and planning all of the drinks, decor, food, and games for the evening} I found myself needing a quicker alternative. 

While perusing one of my favorite blogs, Hostess with the Mostess, I came across...sound the trumpets...Marshmallow Treat Pops! 

Mine are finished and adorable!  Best of all, they were so EASY to make, pretty tasty, and very cute!

A big THANK YOU to Hostess with the Mostess for the inspiration, photos, and instructions!

Stay tuned for photos from Jen's Lingerie Shower!

August 4, 2010

Spotted: Cupcake Chardonnay!

While browsing my local grocery store for the Spanish Sangria I'm making for Jen's Lingerie Shower, I came across the cutest bottle of chardonnay.

Maybe I'm living in the dark ages, but I had never seen this before!

Cupcake Chardonnay

I'll admit, I'm a sucker for two things:
1.  Cupcakes
2.  Cute Labels

I held back and didn't purchase a bottle {yet}.  The bottle itself makes me so curious.  Is it called "Cupcake" because it's sweet?  Does it pair well with cupcakes?  Does it taste like an actual cupcake? I am dying to know more about this wine!

Have you tried it?

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