Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Favorites

Look who woke up to officially welcome Summer!  Hello beautiful! I've been watching this peony plant every day waiting for it to pop and today is finally the day.  They only bloom for a few short weeks and I wait for it every year : )

 It's a beautiful Memorial Day weekend and what a way to kick off summer!

 Here are just a few things I've been adoring, doing, and thinking about on this gorgeous Sunday morning.....

One of my all time favorite Summer fragrances is Philosophy's Amazing Grace.  This is the cleanest and most feminine scent you could imagine.  It's a beautiful summer day in a bottle.  I have the shower gel too.  I layer both and it's not overpowering at all. 

A state of grace is a peaceful place to be.  This fragrance puts you in that place.  Like when your four year old bursts into the bathroom while you are taking a shower to frantically ask you if you have his Cars DVD.  This is real life.  Take a deep breath and pass me the shower gel. 

 I found this recipe at A Little Loveliness for pink lemonade cupcakes that I can't wait to try.  They will be perfect for a friends birthday party we are having next month.  I love how she decorated them with the paper straws and lemon wedges.  So fun! I'm sensing a theme to this party already.

I had a pedicure the other night. What is it about a pedi that makes a girl feel so good?  Is it because afterwards our toes look so cute?  Or are we in it for the foot massage?  For me it's the fact that I can actually relax in a reclining, vibrating chair for a hour while I get my feet pampered - an no one in my family knows where to find me.  Dinner will be a little late tonight, guys.....

I selected my favorite summer color - Japanese Rose Garden....Love, love, love....  
It goes great with this new lip color from American Beauty that I am adoring right now - Serendipity. Yes it is!

Is this not the cutest bike ever?  I've been thinking about getting a new one and this little Pashley number is right up my alley.  The basket had me at hello.  I can imagine myself riding down to the bakery on a Sunday morning and filling it up with croissants and baguettes, like I'm staring in a 1960's french film.  I'm totally kidding.  Seriously.  Maybe.

I've had hair issues all my life.  Anyone that knows me, knows this.  It's a fact.  I'm picky, afraid of change, and use way too much hair spray.  I cringe when my hubby uses the term "high maintenance" but in this case I'm afraid he might be right.  What would surprise him is the fact that all I really want is hair long enough to be able to put into a messy ponytail, look like I've done nothing to it, and look great.  That's all I want.  A messy ponytail.  Why is it so hard to achieve a messy ponytail? 

I have a  heart shaped candy mold buried in my pantry that would work perfectly for making these sugar cubes.  Wouldn't they be adorable in a pink sugar bowl at the breakfast table?  I don't know if the husband would appreciate this or even notice...but I would!

And speaking of breakfast, I must learn how to make my coffee do this!  What a way to start the day.  If only this were real life... : )

Thanks to the Style Network and E! I've been obsessed with reruns of Sex and the City. Ever since 1999 I've been trying to figure out, style wise, if I am a Carrie or a Charlotte???

 I think I'm probably more of a Charlotte but secretly wish I could be a Carrie?  Or is it the other way around?  I'm still not sure.  Maybe I'm just a little bit of everybody.... 

This could take years more of rerun watching to figure out.  That's okay by me.  This show never gets old.  I love the humor in it, but come on - who are we kidding? We girls really just watch it for the fashion ~

So excited to see my first cherry tomato of the season.  Is there anything better than fresh tomatoes growing in the hot, summer sun?!  Many more to come...fingers crossed! xo

Cherry Menlove's Easy Jubilee: How to Create the Perfect Party

I just downloaded Cherry Menlove's Easy Jubilee on my kindle.  I've been following Cherry Menlove's blog forever and I can't tell you how much I love her.  She's so talented and downright adorable!  Do any of you follow her?  If not please check out her blog
It's full of so many ideas from cooking and baking, to sewing, gardening, housekeeping, parenting, and fashion.  This is the first of many to come from Cherry.  I can't wait to read this!!!!!!

And we're off!  Our car is packed (or should I say stuffed!) and we are about to embark on a little road trip this week.  It will be nice to get away for a few days and enjoy a change of scenery.  We'll be swimming and enjoying the summer sun with family this week.  There will be sightseeing and lots of ice cream I guarentee.  I'll tell you all about it when we get back. 

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!!!

Danielle xo

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nectarine Custard Pie

Hello Lovelies! 

Do you love nectarines?!  Here is a recipe for a nectarine custard pie that I know you are going to love.  You serve it cold so it's very refreshing.  I made this pie Sunday.  There were three pieces left over.  Tonight there are no pieces left over.  Hubby and I polished them off about an hour ago watching The Bachelorette.  This is my life : )

You will need:

4 cups chopped nectarines (about 5 large ).  You can leave the skin on.

3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
refrigerated ready-to-use pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 inch pie plate.  Line with refrigerated pie crust (uncooked).

Whisk together the buttermilk, sugar, eggs, flour, and salt. 

Add vanilla.

Spread the chopped nectarines in the pie plate. 

Add the buttermilk mixture. 

Bake 40 minutes or until just set, covering the edges with foil to prevent over-browning. 
**As you can see I forget this step**...Oops!

Cool completely, and then refrigerate. 

Serve cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 


(recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping Magazine)

I've been thinking about how any fruit would work in this pie.  Strawberry?  Pineapple?  Maybe mango????  Oh, they are going to loooove me at the farmers market this year! 

Danielle xo

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

 Hello Friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. The weather here couldn't have been better - sunny in the 70's! 

I made a special 4 o'clock supper especially for my Mom.  We were surrounded by family, close friends, and lily's of the valley (her favorite flower : ). 

Setting the table for a dinner party is my favorite part.  I started preparing the night before by taking out the dishes I wanted to use.  Growing up my mother had these blue dishes in our kitchen.  I always LOVED them!  I kept one as a memento and over the years I've collected the others at yard sales and antique stores. Whenever we have a special occasion I take them out.  They bring back memories for all of us.  Many, many years of meals were eaten on these dishes!  Good times. 

When I came home from church Sunday morning this was waiting for me with a card from my Hubby and son.  I love yellow roses! They know me well.  And I love knowing they know me well. 

"To know, know, know to love, love, love you....and I do..." - The Teddy Bears

We had a lovely dinner of sauteed dill chicken, corn on the cob, roasted green beans (recipe coming soon), and baked potatoes.  The corn on the cob was especially for my son.  It's his favorite veggie!

For dessert I served my favorite lemon coconut cake and chocolate chip banana bread.  I couldn't choose between the two so I made both!  I assumed I would have leftovers, and that is quite alright with me. I live for leftovers.  I've been having this banana bread for breakfast every day since Sunday.  I feel guilty because of the chocolate, but then I remember that it's banana bread so I'm getting my fruit - it's got to be healthy...right? 

This recipe is so easy.  You don't even need an electric mixer.  Take a peek...

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 bananas, mashed ( = 1 cup mashed banana)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Grease 9" x 5" loaf pan. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Mix in oil, mashed bananas, vanilla, and eggs. {At this point resist the urge to sing The Wiggles "Hot Potato/Mashed Banana"...if you live with a toddler in the house you know what I'm talking about}

Stir in chocolate chips (do not over mix).

 Pour into prepared pan...

Bake for 70 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Let loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.

Slice and enjoy!

I don't know why bananas and chocolate go so well together, but they do.  It's a fact. It's right up there with peanut butter & jelly, bagels and cream cheese, Oreo's and milk.  All the biggies.   

 Make two loaves because this one is going fast!  I hope you love it : )

For gifts, my mom and I are treating ourselves to pedicures next week.  We are getting ready for a mini vacation we have coming up at the end of the month.  Even though Mother's Day is over it's always nice to have something to look forward to - especially with your mom!  We deserve it ~ xo

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. – Sophia Loren

When I came home from work tonight I found these two in the front yard.  They looked as if they were up to something.......

I was right!  Hubby planted the roses and my little one was watering them.  He was so excited and couldn't wait to show me the "surprise"!  Now she's a happy little plant with her roots firmly planted in the soil...just like me.

It's raining now which is wonderful!  A good soak will do all the plants well tonight.  I can't wait to see my Mother's Day roses grow bigger and more beautiful (just like my little boy!) xxxooo

As I type this post everyone is alseep.  I'm off to bed to watch this weeks Gulianna & Bill (I love her!!!!) and then it's sleepy time.  I have laundry to fold, but it will just have to wait.  As you know, it's all about priorities! 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Favorites

Good Morning and Happy Sunday!  The sun is shining today after a week of rain, so that must mean it's going to be a good day.  We have a soccer game, church, and a walk in the park (possibly with a picnic) to look forward to.  That's what Sunday's are all about.

Here's a quick post about some of my favorite things that I am loving this week -

Natural beauty tip #101 - Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of water to form a thick paste.  Spread on freshly washed face and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and say hello to a beautiful you ~  I did this last night and it felt amazing.  

Another batch of cranberry almond granola.  Perfect for snacking while watching Real Housewives of New Jersey. I'm not kidding.  The show is just about as addicting as this granola. Can't wait for tonight's episode. (ok, I'm a reality TV junkie - now it's out of the bag!)

I've always been drawn to fashions of the 1950's.  These outfits blow me away.  I'm always on the hunt for styles with that classic retro look.  I love the belted waists, full skirts, and polka dots.  Reminds me that I'm due for a day of thrift store shopping.  I know there are gems waiting to be found : )

Hello dahhhhling....


I love this black and white check print.  Little Miss fancy with the white gloves.  So cute!

Party dress!

Your typical every day dress.  I need one of these.  Not to vacuum in though.

Newly planted flowers.  It felt so good to finally get my fingers into the dirt.
I'll do things a little at a time, so for now I just did my flower boxes and planters.  It makes me happy to see these beautiful colors when I pull into the driveway. 

It's still a bit early in the season here, so fingers crossed we won't have a frost!

Do any of you read Susan Branch's blog? Well, if you don't let me tell you that she just left on a seven day cruise out of New York Harbor to England where she is spending two glorious months vacationing.  Two months traveling the English countryside.  I could die. The best part is that she is tweeting and blogging the whole way.  She's taking us out on the deck of the ship, under the gigantic moon, to drink up the ocean air.  Once she gets to England we'll be going to Beatrix Potter's house, garden's, tea rooms, pubs, and everything else in between. This is my dream of all dreams kind of trip.  I'll be living vicariously through her for the next two months. xo   

Summer is coming.  I must try this (courtesy of
strawberry infused vodka

Hello strawberry martini's!  No doubt I'll be the hostess with the most-ess at my next party!

What are you loving this week?

I hope you all have a super relaxing Sunday with people you love.

Danielle xo

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy Friday!

Hi Everyone!  Are you SO happy it's Friday?!  I am!  It's been a long week and I didn't do nearly as much as I promised myself I would.  Something kept getting in my way....hmmmm.....what could it be????

Let me explain:

In case you were ever curious here's a quick glimpse into a typical evening at my house....


Yup.  That pretty much sums it up. 

This is the reason I can never get anything done... 

But more importantly, this is the reason Life is so Sweet! : )

Love this boy! xoxo

Happy Friday!