Thursday, June 30, 2011

You're Going to Have to Trust Me

That this cake was both presentable and delish.
Because I know you've seen more impressive pictures of chocolate cake.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pre-party picture.

Try to view this as a photographic evidence of a cake-much enjoyed.

Or rather just trust Ina as it's her recipe.

Last weekend I tried her chocolate cake recipe in this cookbook.

In my book of unwritten cake rules, cake must always have a substantive amount of butter to very good.
This however, shockingly has only 1/2 cup of...oil.  So I broke my rules and gave Ina a chance.

The result was a lighter, fluffier {compared to this favorite cake} very chocolaty cake - kind-of like the texture of a cake-box-cake, but moister and homemade-good.  The real win was that the couple odd ducks in my family who usually pass on chocolate {I'll never understand} liked this cake. Hurray.

So it was a yummy end to this party my Sister just threw together in their pretty backyard - isn't it so fun?
Sorry it's also a post-party picture, but you at least you get the idea of the funness.

See my Very Favorite Recipes {HERE}

{Linking to Just a Girl}

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yard Sale Silver

 On my rather jarring first day back to Reality after our 56 Hour Getaway -
{the same day somebody had already pooped in the tub and another somebody had a complete meltdown over bubbles}

- I loaded all my kiddos in the car for a therapeutic drive around the neighborhood...and stumbled upon a garage sale.  No one was there, so I pulled right up to the front, left the air-conditioning and music on and stepped about seven feet from the car {stressing that I did not abandon my children} where I found a bag of this.

 Almost eight complete settings of silver.

Including eight soup spoons - my very favorite article of silverware.

All for $9.

Suddenly Reality was really quite lovely after all. ;)

See Today's Post {HERE}

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

56 Lovely Hours Away

  This last weekend my Sweetheart booked reservations and walked me into this lovely place to celebrate our five whole years of married life for TWO DAYS + 8 hours. It was truly a groundbreaking event.
 {The lobby}

Somehow my Sweetheart caught this resort just at the lowest of the low season, so we got an amazing rate.
 We were continually smiling in disbelief at each other and saying "how did we get here again?"  We were quite out of place, and I tried very hard not to get too spoiled and hold loosely to the whole experience....

...I'm not sure I succeeded. ;)

We walked about the picturesque little mountain town of Vail.

We ate sublime-ness on a plate.
 {Sweet Basil Restaurant}

With more for dessert.
{Flame Restaurant}

And played golf.
{actually just my Sweetheart - I was the unofficial cart driver - a childhood dream come true!}

I was also the official sports photographer.
So I tried to get some artsy shots.

 And caught some sweet action.
{Just look at that form! Whew.}

It was all completely lovely, but my real anniversary gift was this...

I took about 15 baths during our stay.  
Not really on the 15 part, but I did get quite pruny. I never indulge in baths at home; it was the ultimate treat. 

Thank you for a beautiful time, Sweetheart. Love you much.

 {and thanks to superb Nana for watching our kiddos!}

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stamps from My Aunt

 The few weeks ago while my Aunt Kathleen {who does beautiful stamp/embossing work} was visiting I told her about a bitty dream of mine to own a set of typewriter-type letter stamps and wondered where her expertise would advise me to look for them.  She thought perhaps she just might have such stamps laying about unused.

A few days ago I received these in the mail - both upper and lower case.  

 I am positively thrilled and happily exploring all the lovely possibilities stamps like these afford.

...such as a happy little thank-you note.

{ Linking to Life Made Lovely, Just a Girl, & Bowl Full of Lemons}

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Iron Beds

I love iron beds.
They're just so quaint-lovely-antique-vintage-looking.

The lines are always so interesting.

  Painted is so fun too.

 And lined up in a row...

 So sweet.

{I also love it when Blogger works...sorry for the delay today}

{I also love to get away with my sweetheart - going away this afternoon - may not get posts set-up...we'll see!}

{Linking to Lollipops}

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pretend You're a Pastry Chef

You will certainly feel like one as you whip together this yummy Blueberry Cream Cheese Pastry. This has been a favorite recipe, modified and perfected, for many years.  It is quite delicious, quite easy, and has just the right amount of specialness for Father's Day breakfast or the like.


1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup blueberry preserves (optional)

1. Mix yeast, water and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add egg.
2. Cut butter into flour and salt and mix well. Add yeast mixture.
3. Divide into two balls and roll each into 8x10 inch rectangles.
4. Make filling by combining cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar.
5. Spread half the filling on each rectangle, spread blueberry preserves on top.
6. Fold by taking each long side toward the middle, making sure the sides overlap a little.  Fold the ends up about 1 1/2 inches.
7. Bake immediately at 375 for 25 minutes.  When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy some with coffee or tea, friends or family, on a lovely morning soon!

See my little collection of tried-n-true recipes {HERE}

{Linking to Bowl Full of Lemons}

Yesterday was a Big Day

And it wasn't big because I served us all breakfast on a nicely set table in the Dining Room (which we never do) or because when we came home from church I actually had a Plan for lunch (which I rarely do).  Those were all big, but the biggest, happiest part of the day (for me, at least) was stepping outside before lunch to get these pictures of our kiddos with their superb Daddy (which I have very few of).


They are always tickled pink to be up on his shoulders.


 I had to work quick as everybody was ready for lunch already, so I just barely got them all in this shot (shoes, included ;) as they were walking toward me, but I'm so thrilled to have my very favorite people in a picture together.

It was such a gift.
It really almost felt like Mother's Day. ;)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flora and Fauna for the Closet

Believing that no space is too small or insignificant to be overlooked when it comes to decorating, and that beautified spaces are much more pleasant to maintain organizing-wise, here's little project I did to make my closet a bit lovely. 

But first let me introduce you to my very favorite calendars.  The Cavallini calendars have been a must-have on my Christmas list for five years now.  They are always exceptionally lovely.  And though they are a bit on the pricier side, it always feels worth it because the each month is really a beautiful, even frame-able, print on archival quality paper.  So here are some of my old years.

I cut out an assortment of birds and botanica and using non-permanent, double-sided tape, I arranged them wallpaper-like on the top portion of my front closet.
{the same closet formerly shown HERE}

Since I was just experimenting and trying out the feel of it, I didn't batten down all the edges and such. 

I love the unexpected loveliness waiting for me each time I open these doors I'm thinking this is going to be fairly permanent.

Now for some paint on that bottom half...

Wishing you some unexpected loveliness this weekend!

See Today's Post {HERE}

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Picnic with Twins

Last week, when it was my boy's turn to be sick, we decided that I would take the twins out, while my Sweetheart stayed with him.  I packed mozzarella, apples and Annie's Bunny Crackers and set out for a make-do picnic in the park. 

 There's something special about being out with just these two.  They get along so well, and I listen to them revel in their own little language between themselves without the interruptions of their more rational big brother.

 When this one runs to me, he often gets playful and starts to half-skip with a big, teasing smile.

So thankful for two.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Five Lovely Years of Wedded-ness

Though I look rather serene in this particular photo, five years ago today I was giddy beyond all reason to be marrying this man.  The whole ceremony, all the guests (sorry lovely friends and family!), the reception - I was oblivious to everything.  All I saw that day was him.

So I've steadied a bit since that day...just a little bit.   But I'm no less thankful and happy. He's a most wonderful guy who plays rambunctiously with our kiddos, makes me the best no-bake cookies, and vacuums about every other day.  Yes, I am a blessed lady, and these last five years have been very. good.  

Thank you, Sweetheart.

And three cheers for an Anniversary Getaway!!!
(Next week, after we finally kick this stomach bug...and catch up on the laundry...)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This Was Supposed to Be My "Before" Picture

I had a can of white spray paint and was feeling quite certain that this vase on my bedroom dresser needed a nice coat of it. 

However, in preparing to take a "Before" picture I did a little tweaking.  I finally trimmed the long bottoms off these stems that had forever for over a year been bent-up to fit inside - not pretty.  That made quite the difference, and then instead of having the vase and jewelry box to either side of the dresser I pushed them both to the center of the dresser.  

And then, I realized I was actually ready to take my "After" picture.

Paint project averted.  

What around your home just needs a little tweaking for a "Before" picture to turn it into your "After" picture? ;)

Flowers: Target
Jewerly Box: Tuesday Morning
Wire Tray: Thrift Store
Vase: Hobby Lobby

See more tweaking in the Master Bedroom {HERE}

Monday, June 13, 2011

Out with the Old & in with some New

Last weekend, I said good-bye to the most mountainous pile of stuff you could imagine.  I took loads and loads and loads over to Sister's and on Saturday we said good-bye to most of it at our garage sale.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture - it was impressive.  

But while it felt so Amazing to get rid of so much, I was yet happy to say "hello" to just a couple of new things (at least they're small ;).  Some friends sold some things at our sale, so I got that super-lovely tray from them along with the acrylic paints in sweet little glass jars that make me want to set up an art room.  Frame from my mom, and purse that is completely impractical for this stage of my life but still so funky-cute-I-couldn't-resist from Sister.  I thought it would make a good garage-sale-ing I said impractical - I'll probably sell it at the next garage sale, woohoo!

 The tray gets to live here now.

 So did you do some lovely cleansing or lovely collecting this weekend? 
Or both?

Now, my favorite thing ever collected at a garage sale was this hutch, now in the twin's room -
it was just what the room needed.

See Today's Post {HERE}

{Linking to Life Made Lovely}