Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend in Photos

Perfecting the art of the poached egg, a flourishing succulent garden as well as some growth on my roses, spring tulips, creating a delicious coconut tea sparkler and spending some quality time in my kitchen all made for a wonderful weekend! And by the way, the weather ended up being beautiful and sunny all weekend-so much for the snowy weather report! Happy Monday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rainy Weekend

Happy Friday! Definitely looking forward to the weekend, though it's raining buckets here and they say there's a chance for snow flurries tonight and tomorrow. Absolute craziness-I'll believe it when I see it! Either way, I suppose it's a perfect opportunity to hibernate in my sweats and watch my favorite Audrey Hepburn flicks;)

Have a lovely weekend!

image/ via

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dreaming of Exteriors

With perfect weather just around the corner, I've been daydreaming way too much about how to transform our backyard into an oasis. In California, we are big on dining outdoors, especially in the midst of Summer when the Delta breeze brings an ease to the hot daytime temps.

Our backyard is a pretty blank slate right now, which is a visionaries dream because the posibilities are endless! Of course, that can also mean pricey. I have to accept that it won't be complete as quickly as we would like, though I hope to find a large and reasonably priced patio table soon. So the search is on. Until then, I'll be dreaming of sweet Summer nights...

Check out these awesome exteriors!

all images via Sunset magazine

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Preperation

When it comes to sticking with healthy eating and snacking, a little preperation goes a LONG way! It takes about 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon to wash and prep fruits and veggies, hard boil some eggs and grill up a few chicken breasts so healthy snacks and meals are right at your fingertips all week.

And a little tip I have learned: if a beautiful array of produce is the first thing staring you in the face when you open your refrigerator, chances are, you are less likely to reach for the Girl Scout cookies and consume mindless calories!

Just remember: "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
In good health,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Sweet Find

As yesterday was President's day, Mom and I decided to swing by Goodwill to take advantage of their 50% off holiday sale. Not really looking for anything in particular, I browsed the home goods department, where I snagged two square Pottery Barn vases as well as a stainless platter (also from PB).

But my real find was discovered while browsing the books. I am always on the hunt for them. Mainly for hardbacks with pretty covers-you know, for decorative purposes:) So you can imagine the happy squeal I let out when I discovered an entire section of these Reader's Digest novels! Look at those fun, bright covers!! (There goes the giddiness again!)

Talk about design on a dime-these puppies were originally marked at $2.49, though I only paid $1.25 thanks to the sweet half-off sale. Score!!

Next time you stop by the Hansen's, don't be surprised if you find them scattered about the house, serving as sweet pops of color :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Inspiration: A Cheery Pantry

I am a believer that, in life, it really is the little things that matter. Take for instance this recent face-lift we gave the inside of our read that right, the inside of the pantry. True it is something most people won't ever see, but I see it-every day. And you know, I think that your home should make you happy and should exude your personality.

So with that said, I would love to show you our little weekend project that's totally making me smile.

Here's a peek at our pantry before...

Emptied out and ready for a spruce up...

And finally, here it is with the back walls brightened up with a coat of Valspar's Cantaloupe Smile. Fitting name, don't you think?!

It's exactly the cheery lift I was hoping for! And for less than $10 and two hours on a Saturday afternoon, I would say it has already paid for itself, what with the fact that I can't stop gushing over how wonderful it looks each time I open the pantry!

With all the major projects on our home improvement list, it's great to have little things like this to tide us over with a sense of accomplishment:)

Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Love

Happy Friday! I'm definitely looking forward to a long weekend. On the agenda: our monthly stock-up trip to Costco, executing a little idea I had to spruce up our pantry, finding a use for some lovely new fabric I bought, taking a stab at Ellie Krieger's {healthy} dutch baby pancakes and hopefully re-potting the mums, lillies and tulips my sweet husband surprised me with on Valentine's Day. Oh the exciting life I lead;) Have a good one!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Until Further Notice...

I will be repeating this quote over and over to myself:

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
Robert F. Kennedy


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{Cookbook Love}

After what has felt like a temporary rut in fresh, new meals in my weekly planner, I am newly inspired. Leave it to Food Network star, Ellie Krieger and her new book, So Easy, to leave me feeling completely recharged with healthy meal ideas!

Her food philosophy is right in line with my own and because she is a registered dietician, I can also rest assured that her recipes fit into my clean eating lifestyle.

Ellie's newest book is broken into four parts: breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. But she further breaks these catergories into "quick" and "leisurely". How brilliant is that?! So if I am looking for two new breakfast recipes for a busy week and one for a leisurely Saturday morning with my hubby, I know exactly where to look!

And with amazing sounding recipes like her Dutch Baby Pancakes with Peach Compote and Chipotle Orange Glazed Pork Chops, you can bet I'll be making the most of my new cookbook!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On The Menu...

Do you remember my cyber drool fest over this? From the moment we signed on the dotted line to purchase our house, I had my eyes set on these prints for our breakfast nook. Their significant size, cheerful hue and nostalgia for my Oxford days made them a shoe-in for this room!

Well, Chris' parents bought them for us this Christmas, though because they came from an Etsy seller in England they took a while to get here. They finally arrived last week, where I instantly gave them a home! I am nothing short of in love with them!

And that means that we actually have a completed room in our house!! So without further ado, I give you the Breakfast nook:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Love

Happy Valentine's day you all of you! What a lovely weekend I had! My hubby surprised me with a wonderful date Saturday. I was served breakfast in bed and then taken to one of our new favorite wineries to picnic and delight in the sunshine! It was absolutely perfect! Of course, today marks the end of several weeks of warm temps we've had here in Cali, so we had to soak it up!

Sunday evening we had some friends over for dinner and I'm excited to share with you my little Valentine themed tablescape! I love a pretty table and I love free, so this was a beautiful combination of the two as all the elements were pulled from what I already had (my favorite thing to do!) with the exception of the flowers in the center. {Love!}

I first grabbed a long piece of burlap (leftover from Christmas) and used it as a runner for my table, thanks to this inspiration.

Then I trimmed these lilies from last week and split them between two square vases from Pottery Barn. Then using this hurricane from Ikea as the centerpiece, I added more color by filling it with a bunch of carnations (not generally my fave, but they give you a good bang for your buck, especially on Valentine's weekend!).

Using some twine, I tied each place setting together and added a stamped "love" note on each setting.

To finish it off I added a few small bowls and tealight holders for that extra pop of color along with some candle light (neccessary I think!).

And finally, I found those heart shaped mints in my pantry, which pulled together the whole love theme!
And there you have it, my $12 Valentine tablescape! I hope you had a delightful weekend and an even more marvelous Valentine's day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

{Sweets and Surprises}

I realize that Valentine's day isn't until Monday, but because the hubs and I both work, we are celebrating this weekend (I'm sure we are not alone!). And I'm getting really excited because Chris has totally left me in the dark about what we're doing/where we are going! All I've been told is not to make any plans Saturday. Done! :) I'm loving the whole surprise factor!
{hint, hint: please let Lindt Dark Chocolate Truffles be involved!}

Any fun plans or lovely surprises you're looking forward to this weekend? Whatever you've got planned, I hope you're with ones you love!

Have an extra sweet weekend, lovelies!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Road Trippin' It!

Just wanted to share a little with you as details of our Seattle trip unfold...

Last weekend, while looking at plane tickets to Seattle and kind of toggling back and forth about how ridiculously overpriced they are, we revisited the possiblity of making a road trip out of it. Being as I have never been to Portland, we thought it might be cool to make the drive to Seattle and stop in Portland on the way. When it was originally discussed, we didn't have a reliable car so that idea was quickly tossed aside. But now that we have the much more road trip friendly Jetta, our vaca has officially become a road trip!! We are so excited!

So now, not only do I get to plan a trip to Seattle, but also a day in Portland! I'm looking for some advice from those of you who have spent some time there. Where should we eat? Play? What do we have to see and do??

I'm sure I can find a million and one tips online, but it means so much more coming from people I trust! I would be absolutely delighted with anything you have to share!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just Because

Just a pretty for your Wednesday. And imagine, this is only three blooms-just wait until the other eight bloom! I'm thinking I could be perfectly content coming home to lovely flowers like these every single day! Have a good one!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's Not Said Enough...

{Roasted baby carrots}

I love my family and I love a good, home cooked meal! And the two are only enhanced when combined. I sometimes think I take for granted how lucky Chris and I are to have our parents so close. Because not only are they close in distance, but they are friends, making get-togethers with both sets of parents frequent and wonderful!

Last night was not out of the ordinary by any means, but I was reminded of what an incredible blessing we have in our family.

The five of us {my dad is currently out of town} enjoyed grilled steaks, accompanied by our favorite, roasted baby carrots. And for dessert, fresh pineapple and strawberries. Simple yet amazing. Afterwards we all migrated to my living room where we ended up playing each other at Words with Friends on our various iphones...

Which brings me to my favorite thing about my family-we can enjoy each others company in the simplest of ways and you can bet we are always laughing!

So thank you, family, for being so stinkin' wonderful! I love you to pieces!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Running Away With My Heart

With all the leftover burlap I have from my Christmas wrapping this year, I'm thinking a similar version of this little runner will be added to my craft to-do list {which just seems to be getting bigger and not smaller!}.
I spotted this table runner here. Isn't she just darling?!

Wishing you a very Merry Monday!

PS-I have so many fun things to share but have been a little busy lately with sewing cozies, home projects, early spring cleaning, work and such! Be back with regular postings soon:)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feeling The Love

Confession: I love Valentine's day! So much in fact, this year I went circa second grade and sent out valentine's to our nearest and dearest!

I simply could not help myself when I received an offer last week for more free cards from Shutterfly. I was just so pleased with the quality of our Christmas cards, I decided to take them up on their offer and even purchase a few more to cover the bases of our immediate family and friends.

Second confession: I think I like these even more than the Christmas card! So thank you, Shutterfly, for meeting {and certainly exceeding} all of my holiday card needs:)


One very satisfied customer

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