Tuesday, May 31, 2011

three years

Three years ago on this day I married Matt and it was one of the two happiest days of my life, right up there with the birth of Ezra.  If I could get married all over again I would do everything the same, except there would be more pom poms (hey, I got married in 2008... they weren't so ubiquitous then) hanging in the tree above our guests during faux-cocktail hour.  The branches were a bit sparsely decorated in my opinion.  And while I loved my dress and jewelry, my heart has been stolen by this fancy number
which I would pair with this snazzy bracelet.  {Check out the Kate Spade Wedding Belles shop for more lovelies.}

I would always choose Matt to be my groom.  Happy Anniversary, love!

Friday, May 27, 2011

happy weekend

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway!  I loved reading all the comments.  The random generator selected Nicole as the winner - congratulations!  I'll be in touch soon.  I apologize for the spotty posting this week... I got lazy with it being my birthday week.  Here's to concluding the best birthday week ever!  And here are my favorite links from the week:  
- here's healthy change 21
- these are just about the prettiest blankets I've ever seen
moroccan rooftop dining sounds fabulous
- love this mirror revamp
fizz & raspberries make for a delicious and refreshing beverage
- I want this tea party (complete with pretty dresses and glittery shoes) for me
- wish I saw this storage idea before I got rid of our bamboo steamer last month
- would you sport neon ombre hair?  I'm so tempted.
- what would you add to this list of annoying words?
- must make a list of summer goals asap
What do you have going on this weekend?  Matt is shooting his first wedding of the season tomorrow and on Sunday Ezra is being dedicated at church.  Afterwards we're having a cookout with two other families whose babies are also being dedicated.  Then on Monday we're having a cookout with friends at Colt State Park in Bristol.  Sounds like lots of grilling is in our future.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

happy happy birthday

(image via come tarry with me)
Yesterday was my birthday so I took the day off from blogging.  The above photo was taken on Sunday at my beautiful party given by Matt, world's best mousse maker.  He spent approximately five hours making this cake and it was delicious!  Everyone's favorite part was the chocolate mousse layer, and like my mom said, it rivaled Pastiche's.  Matt surprised me by taking the day off yesterday so we could spend some time together.  He made me breakfast in bed, planned a picnic at Roger Williams Park (no, we didn't go to the zoo), and took me out to dinner at Red Stripe.  Every bit of every moment was perfect!  Being 25 is awesome.

Monday, May 23, 2011

hooray! it's giveaway day!

Today is Sew, Mama, Sew's giveaway day and I'm thrilled to be able to participate!  Last year I found so many new blogs to read and I'm excited to browse the giveaways this year for the same reason.  Possibly winning a giveaway is a bonus.
If you win my giveaway, you'll receive a length of bunting (pictured at the top of the post - it's about five feet long), this onesie with a stitched butterfly, and... 
this lovey blanket.  I realize my fantastic zebra rug is competing for attention, but the blanket is the true star of the show.  It's half minky and half flannel on both sides with coordinating ribbons in white, pink, and green.  Of course I forgot to measure it and I don't feel like doing it now, but it's roughly 15" by 18".  
To enter, just leave a comment on this post.  Easy as pie.  Good luck!  
Giveaway Guidelines
- You have 4 days to enter this giveaway (closes Thursday, May 26th at midnight)
- anonymous comments will be ignored so make sure I know who you are and how to contact you!
- the winners will be chosen randomly and announced in my "happy weekend" post on Friday, May 27th
- the winner must respond within five days to secure the prize
- sorry, but I won't ship internationally

Friday, May 20, 2011

happy weekend

(image via alapan)
Tonight Matt, Ezra, and I are blissfully doing nothing.  Maybe we'll bake some homemade bread for the first time... I can smell the doughy goodness already.  On Saturday we have plans to visit a local farmers market in the morning and then we're hanging out with the teens and their families from the youth group for a fiesta in the afternoon.  On Sunday my birthday week will begin - hooray!  We're celebrating in the afternoon with a pop rocks cake, salted brown butter Rice Krispie treats, or chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies... or all of the above!  That would be fantastic.  While I recover from all the anticipated excitement, here are my links from the week:
- almost endless cupcake combinations that I can't wait to try
- here's healthy change # 20
- the motivation I need to make macarons
- wouldn't you love a necklace of your state's outline?
- I love the details of this handmade baby shower
- even more desktop wallpaper from fossil
Happy weekend and birthday beginnings!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

wall additions

The bare wall dilemma is slowly becoming less of one.  I made my own chevron canvases, albeit not as neatly as Jess's.

Matt bought three canvases at Job Lot for $4.99 each and I spent $0.88 each (and about twenty-five minutes standing in front of the acrylic paint display at Michaels trying to choose a color only to ultimately decide on using a very similar shade of bronze) for three bottles of acrylic paint.  We already had the painters tape.

I won't bother with a tutorial since this isn't my invention, but I will share one tip that Matt thought of.  In order to cut a zillion segments of painters tape I stuck strips of it to my cutting mat and used a little Fiskars rotary cutter and my ruler to cut two inch pieces.  Visit make under my life for detailed instructions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

operation cardi

Operation Cardigan is officially over and I declare it a success.  Not only did I make ruthless decisions about which sweaters to toss or donate, but I learned a lot of the same things that Melanie learned, the worst of them being that I dress super boring.  I wear jeans almost every day and I hardly ever accessorize.  I blame Ezra, but I don't hold it against him.  Wearing a scarf, earrings, necklace, bracelet, or even an embellished tee shirt gets difficult when your six month old thinks everything is his personal chew toy and proceeds to soak anything within grabbing distance with drool.  My goal for the next six months is to get dressed every morning.  I don't mean just put on clothes, I mean get dressed, meaning putting thought into if pieces coordinate and complement each other so that I don't mentally smack my hand into my forehead when I run into someone I know at the grocery store and I'm wearing jeans with holes (real ones, not artfully placed ones) and Reefs and a day old ponytail.  We'll see how long this resolution lasts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

from Matt & Ezra

For Mother's Day Matt dedicated a birthing kit from the International Rescue Committee to me.  I honestly didn't want anything but Matt insisted so I suggested something that would help other mothers.  The kit provides blankets, clothes, and other essentials to mothers who are giving birth in a crisis zone to help give their babies the best start in life.  I only wish I could find out who the recipient of the kit dedicated in my name will be.  Matt also got me this adorable book, I Love My Mommy by Sebastien Braun.  Does anyone know why it sometimes sells for upwards of $100?  I think Matt picked up a copy for about $15 so I can't imagine why.  Anyway, I can't wait to read it with Ezra.  By the way, Ezra wrote me a poem for Mother's Day.  He's that talented.  Now, what to do for Matt for Father's Day...

Monday, May 16, 2011

happy weekend

(image via aHa! Modern Living)
Obviously this post is more than a little late.  My link roundup posts are usually posted on Fridays but Blogger was down for a while, so here's the list to start off your Monday...
- I want to reach out and touch these peonies
mini s'mores cakes sound delicious
- I can't stop looking at these mother & child photos that I somehow missed the week before last
- already thinking of ideas for Ezra's smash cake
chips. for national holidays only.
- tried this beef stroganoff recipe with butternut squash last week
- this list of snacks, especially bacon fat popcorn, for a game night might come in handy
- how to have the perfect picnic
Jordan's travel tips are spot on
- hooray for birthday weeks!
- I've said it before, but a breakfast birthday is brilliant
- check out healthy change no. 19
- I want a wall of confetti in our house
- maybe I'll make some alphabet cookies this weekend
I'm looking forward to a week of nice weather here in Rhode Island.  Hopefully I'll get some planting done and Ezra and I will spend lots of time in the sunshine, slathered in sun block.  Do you have a garden?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

fresh from the farm

(image via Dr. Green's Blog)
Usually my favorite part about summer is that there's no school which, in the past for me, meant no work.  Now that Ezra is here I'm not working outside of our home anymore so the allure of summertime has changed.  This year I'm looking forward to receiving our weekly CSA share from Ledge Ends in East Greenwich.  We're trying to be more mindful of what we put into our bodies, so joining a CSA seemed like a good fit for us.  We'll have a box of produce dropped off for twenty weeks starting in June and lasting through late October.  My plan is to blog about the delivery and meals I make with it each week.  I'm especially excited about the option to sign up for additional items, like meats, cheese, and even flowers.  Have you ever joined a CSA or do you shop at farmer's markets?  What are some of your favorite seasonal fruits and veggies?  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

a quilt for soleil

Let me begin by saying that while I love my little boy, girls definitely have the best options when it comes to fabric.  And clothes, but that's a story for another day.  I think I spend more time on the female half of babyGap than I do on the male half.  Anyway, my friend Jill (who is Jaclyn's sister) had some fabric squares from her yet-to-be-born daughter's bedding and she asked if I could make something out of them for her.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was a quilt.
I went through my stash and happily found lots of prints and solids that coordinated well with the swatches of the How Does Your Garden Crib Bedding Grow set Jill had given me.  Some meadowsweet, Hope Valley, and a couple stripe and polka dot prints made their way into the final design.  Kona candy pinkcanary, and grass green make an appearance as well.
This bright summery stripe backing and the polka dot binding are the only fabrics that I didn't have in my stash.  They both remind me of a popsicle enjoyed fresh off the ice cream truck on a hot summer afternoon.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but I quilted in an off-centered X pattern which was new for me.  It evolved as I tried to go from corner to corner and then remembered the quilt wasn't a square, but I like how it turned out.
I forgot to add a label to the quilt so I added the baby's name afterwards with a black Micron pen.
I can't wait to meet baby Soleil and see some photos of her on this little quilt.  If she's anything like her big brother she's going to be adorable!
Note: These photos were taken at about ten at night in a room with one dim lamp and a girl who shuns the use of the flash.  The girl's editing skills are quite limited which makes for some interesting color and shadows in said photos. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

half birthday boy

Each year when my birthday rolls around Matt has to endure at least a week of me claiming that we should do things and go places because "it's my birthday in three days" or "it was my birthday the day before yesterday" or some other reason relating to my birthday occurring once again.  
Since Ezra's birthday isn't for another six months I wanted to celebrate another milestone: we survived the first six months of Ezra's life.  For real though, I love birthdays and half birthdays are just as good of an excuse for celebrating as whole birthdays and I want to celebrate them every year with Ezra and any other children God chooses to give to us.  It was Matt's idea for me to bake a half cake and I love him for having that idea.  I made two eight inch round cakes, cut them in half, and stacked them with frosting in between the layers, of course.  I was a lazy baker and just made Funfetti (yes, the first ingredient is sugar and it's basically poison in a box but we love it anyway), but I made the chocolate sour cream frosting from scratch and let me say that it was divine.

Of course, this year was a bit of a bust since Ezra doesn't have a clue what's going on.  He didn't even blow out the candle.  The best part of his cluelessness was that he wasn't trying to swipe the cake so Matt and I had it all to ourselves.  

We gave him a milksicle instead.  Yes, it is what you're thinking.  Also Matt's idea.  Order these popsicle molds if you want to make some for your breastfed baby.

There is way too much much sugar on that plate but guess who finished it anyway...

That's right, it was me.  I'm looking forward to continuing this tradition each year complete with half cakes.  Happy Half Birthday, Ezra!  

Monday, May 9, 2011

six months!

Last Sunday our little boy turned six months old - hard to believe, but I guess I'll be saying I can't believe how old he is for the rest of his life.
The theme of his six month shoot was 'moody' and, as you can see, Ezra hit the nail on the head.
and one shot with me
Since turning six months old Ezra has enjoyed a milksicle, started solids, and looked on as Matt and I ate his half birthday cake (more on that tomorrow).  We're so excited for all that the next six months will bring!  

Friday, May 6, 2011

happy weekend

(image and amazing garlands via made)
This weekend brings lots of parties and meals shared.  My brother's birthday was on Tuesday and we're celebrating tonight.  I wonder what meal my mom has in the works.  Saturday is our church's annual Mother Daughter Luncheon and my mom and I are attending.  We can look forward to a delicious meal as well as some sentimental speeches, I'm sure.  Of course, Sunday is Mother's Day and after church we'll be spending the afternoon with Matt's family.  What are your plans this weekend?
- I love this week's healthy change especially because now Ezra can join in!
- a good reasons to have a dinner party on a Monday night
- definitely participating in this year's May Giveaway Day so stay tuned!
- someone should put these Mother's Day printables to good use this weekend
- these streamers are incredible
- my mouth is watering (that is such a weird expression, isn't it?) just thinking about these pretzels
- I want one of these fox dolls. Why am I obsessed with stuffed animals?
- some chocolate peanut butter banana bread along with some wise words
- looking forward to this Target collaboration in the fall
- I'm excited that another issue of Styled. is due out in a few months
- just requested Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook from my local library
- the coolest baby hammock can be found right here in this nursery
- and the BHLDN decor line debuted yesterday
I'm looking forward to time spent with my mom this weekend, and to time spent with Ezra as his mom.  Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

triple chocolate

Matt's grandmother's birthday sometimes falls around Easter and this year was no exception.  We combined Easter and her birthday celebration so when I was asked to make a dessert for the holiday this came to mind.  A simple chocolate cake that can be dressed up in so many different ways.
{the birthday girl as we sang Happy Birthday}
I chose to bake the cake in three layers because I think layer cakes always make a statement, especially when they're elevated on a cake platter and especially when it's a scalloped one.  Let's face it, though, layer cakes are great because you can cut yourself a fairly skinny slice and still have lots of cake to eat.  And lots of frosting, too, let's not forget that.

The frosting recipe is my friend Ari's - if you would like to recreate it, here are her words: "I definitely started with two sticks of room temperature butter and 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar. After that, give or take a little, I added about 1/4 cup sifted cocoa, 1/4 cup of nutella, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3-1/2 cup of peanut butter. You really can't go wrong after you have the butter/sugar base. Perhaps I intentionally didn't write down the recipe so I can always taste as I go!"
I wish I had a piece of this in my fridge right now because I would eat it for breakfast.  Or I could just whip up a batch of frosting and have that instead.  I seem to have lost my senses...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ezra the Gnome

When I was in early elementary school one of my favorite shows was David the Gnome and I developed a fondness for woodland creatures.  Thanks to my blogging friend Leslie I now have my very own gnome!  Leslie made a hat for her adorable daughter Delilah and I complimented her on it, saying I wished I knew how to crochet.  Leslie kindly offered to make one for Ezra and it was on my doorstep within a week!  
It's so soft and the best shade of chocolate brown.  Obviously Ezra likes his new hat as much as I do!  As Leslie said, the hat is meant for an older child but Ezra has a rather large cranium so the size isn't too far off.  I think there's enough give to the yarn that he'll be able to wear it come September.  Thanks again, Leslie!
P.S. Happy 22nd birthday to my brother, Brendan!  
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