20 September 2012


My sister-in-law is moving soon to be with the love of her life. She will be missed indeed. Maybe this will inspire some road trips for our family. Hopefully she and Jeff will visit often. At any rate, until she moves, we celebrate her loveliness.

She's moving South so we thought we'd send her off with a bit of Palm Springs style. She actually posted this a while back on Pinterest, so we knew she would like it. Thank you Sarah for your inspiring gold flamingos. And thank you to our fabulous friends, Nicole, Whitney, Carole, Britta, and Angie for the beautiful food and beverages.

We love you Em. xxo

15 September 2012


I am fairly organized. I admit this sickness and people that know me, know this about me. But with all my obsessively organized ways, I have yet to find the best way to organize my recipes. For several years I've spent plenty of time and money trying different methods to organize them so that I can find them easily and deal with the many sizes they come in.

Recipes from emails that I print at 8.5"x11"
Recipes that I find online and print at 8.5"x11"
Recipe cards from Grandma Wright - 3"x5"
Martha Stewart recipe cards - 4"x5"
Williams Sonoma recipe cards - 4"x6"
Magazine recipe clippings - random sizes

1) My sister-in-law has her recipes in pretty file folders and an open top wood bin, I like the looks of this but I want to be able to see the recipes easier and faster.
2) I love all the cute 3x5 recipe card boxes on the market but I have too many recipes to write them all out. Plus I will always be printing things at 8.5"x11" to save time.
3) I used to convert everything into an InDesign file and print those so they all looked the same but who has the time for that? That was clearly pre-kids.
4) Binders! I like this idea so I can flip through them and see the categories easily, but I fill the binders up fast and the tend to fall apart and pop open and all of the guts fall out all over the kitchen floor when I'm in the middle of a crazy dinner rush.

Of all of these options, Binders are the most functional for me, so I will try it again and see if I can make Martha Stewart's Staples products work for me. I like that she has protector sheets with four compartments for her recipe cards and blue protector sheets that I use for my favorite recipes. I put those first in each category so I can find them quickly.

But I have some pet-peeves about binders. I don't like the tabs or any protector sheets to stick out beyond the binder. I also don't like the tabs to be hidden and not stick out far enough from the protector sheets. These seem like simple fixes, but most binders, protector sheets and tabs are not sized appropriately to avoid the issue.

So I altered them. I cut a small opening on the outer edge of a protector sheet (the same width of the tab) and inserted the tab sheet into the protector sheet. This way, the tab is the same size as the protector sheet and the tab extends beyond the edge so you can actually SEE your categories. And they don't stick out past the binders edge. 

So far, I have two binders loaded with five categories each. I'm not going to overload them. They look nice and they aren't popping open. My only concern is that Martha tends to discontinue products so I may purchase a couple more sets for the future so that I can add to this plan easily and have it all match.

02 September 2012


Nina's party was Saturday evening, the ONLY day with rain in the forecast. It had been high 90s for weeks and weeks and of course here we are in the midst of a storm on her party day. What the?!?! So we went about our business and hoped for the best. Because, what else can you do? It's a barbecue and there's no way around it. Food was purchased, decorations were up, people were coming. It was a "Christmas Miracle", (as my husband says) because it didn't rain until after the party. Not only did it rain, it HAILED huge hail balls as everyone was leaving. And then the power went out. It was amazing, the timing of it all.

Many thanks to our neighbors and family that joined us to celebrate our sweet little tweedle Nina who turned TWO!

Here's a sneak peak of our Farmer's Market Birthday party.

Below are some of the preparations:
Name Garland - I painted the invite and scanned in the art to apply to other letters and alternated the color palette colors with the painting letters to spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY NINA.
I cut out the printed letters and glued them to twine. Then I clipped mini clothes pins to the top of each letter.
Rag Garland - I cut 1/2" strips from three different fabrics and tied them to a strand of twine. Easy. Done.
Lollies - I've never made these before, but it was easy. I found a recipe here, bought molds and sticks. The other ingredients I had in my kitchen. Added a bit of color and flavoring. Next time, I'll add less color, a little goes a long way.
Pennant Garland - I cut triangles from three different patterned papers and three solid papers and sewed them together. When I make these, I like to make stacks of each pattern so I can grab the next one easily and keep my machine running evenly.
Party Favors - I filled some canning jars with candy and tied a strip of fabric around the lid. I also inserted a piece of burlap into the top of the jar.
Table cloth - I purchased a cheap round burlap table cloth and some fringe at 1/2 price (because that gets expensive) and then I sewed the fringe on.

The other decorations were things stashed in our basement: wood crates, Grandma Wright's painted vases, old farming crate labels that my husband and I have been wanting to use for something. This was the perfect project. A vintage frame that I wasn't using for anything else, and a wood bowl from Australia.

There's a helium shortage apparently so balloons... I thought I'd have to go without our favorite 36" balloon and blow up the small ones and have them hanging upside down. But then I found someone that doesn't seem to know about this shortage... Thank you Harmons!

A huge thank you to my lovely friend Nicole for making Nina's cute little green tunic. She's so talented and whipped that out in a couple of hours, I'm sure. You can see more of her talents here.