Friday, March 27, 2009

don't go far

Stay in your own backyard and picnic- but create a bug-free zone by hanging an oversized mosquito net then cozy up your space with a blanket and some throw pillows!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

handy helpers

These might make picnic just a little bit easier, now isn't that handy?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

tin bins

What could be more fun for a picnic than these ? 1. bucket grill
2. picnic tin
3. plastic pail

Monday, March 23, 2009

picnic week

I admit it, I can't stop thinking about summer, that's the reason for the swimsuit post yesterday.

and consequently also why I've decided to dedicate this entire week to Picnic Planning. I'm going to check out all the outdoor eating supplies available at my favorite vendors. Hope you're looking forward to summer as much as I am.

For starters:

Square Plates

Friday, March 20, 2009


dear wonderful husband tim,
can we move here and live in these?
k, thanks,
your devoted wife

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I WANT this table.

This is the dining room table my husband wants. he says "Now THAT's a table I'd pay full price for!" For a guy who despises over-priced, pretentious furniture, I'm shocked. THIS is the table you like . . . don't get me wrong, I love this table - it's thick, rough-hewn, reclaimed timbers from a Brittish distillery. I LOVE this table. I'm just surprised that my sweetheart, (we're talking ramen noodle 'because it's soooo cheap' eating TIM, here) would drop over 3K for this.

COOL! Except that's a huge chunk of down-payment money. . . which means - yea, we're not doing that, but I'm still in awe.

And . . . because he wants this table, it makes ME want this table, and NOW my desire is totally justified.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

misty morning

It was so foggy this morning I could barely see the cars in front of me - I grabbed these shots with my iPhone. On the corner where I sit and wait for (the longest light in history) to turn green, I can usually see the 7-11 and Shell station very clearly as they are both less then hundred feet from my window - but this morning it looked like this:
I think this means its getting warmer!

Friday, March 13, 2009

tim's day

March 12 is Tim's birthday. . . he worked a really long day - I had to say 'Happy Birthday' to him at midnight because otherwise I wouldn't have seen him on his birthday!

Me: Happy Birthday!!!!

Tim: Thanks, what tie should I wear tomorrow? (holds up decrepit tie hanger weighed down with ties and a striped one already in his hand.)
Me: That one! (choosing the one already in his hand) How come you have to work for 22 out of 24 hours that make up your birthday?

Tim: Because we have 5 events today, and the President will be at one of them . . . . and there's a lot of extra things that need to be done when the President is attending something.

Me: President Obama?

Tim: No the other President? Yeah, President Obama is coming to my birthday party.

Me: I always knew you were important.

While he was off doing a little bread winning I thought it would be sweet (in a first grade kind of way) to make him a batch of cupcakes that he could take to work today since he'll actually be in his office for part of today.

The only problem was that I couldn't decide what kind to make - so I made two kinds
Butter Pecan and Lemon. I made regular sized cupcakes and mini ones, by the time I was finished I had enough cupcakes on the kitchen table to fill my cupcake carrier times FOUR!!!

But I only have one cupcake carrier not four, sadly - so I'll be transporting the rest to my office to share with my co-workers via a very uncool baking sheet.
I'm not sure exactly why (probably has something to do with my obsession for all things candy) but I like to try and work in favorite candies when I'm making a batch of cupcakes for someone special - Last year I made a Nerd/Smarties Cake for Tim and it was pretty darn cute though I say it myself:
So this year, I incorporated peeps - Tim really loves peeps - in fact he actually enjoys them in all stages - Stage 1 being the freshly opened soft and sandy deliciousness, Stage 2 is the day old slightly firmed version and then there's Stage 3 - the several day old, been sitting with the plastic open, freely exposed to the air and now completely stale and hard stage. He claims he likes them best in Stage 3 when they've "matured." Gross, I know. but in any event I put peeps ontop of the lemon cupcakes, I think they've now got a better chance of being devoured before we reach stage 3, don't you?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Apple Tart

Easy Apple Tart:
I made this tart this past weekend for a bunch of friends and it was pretty quick - I generally use shortcuts like puff pastry or pre-made crusts to speed up the process, especially if I'm not making a recipe ahead of time, but I wasn't planning on making this until it was begged of me - and who am I to deny a good friend some apple tart? Actually I couldn't resist the excuse to bake - we talked about a few apple tarts I had made last fall as we were sitting down to eat dinner and I got so excited thinking about baking this that I barely ate any dinner and jumped up to find a crust recipe. I didn't have much flour so it was tricky finding one that I had all the ingredients on hand for but this was it. There was more of this tart to begin with then in the picture above but by the time I got out my camera this was all that was left. The crust is really easy and tastes a lot like shortbread due to the excessive amount of butter.

What You need:
2 sticks of butter, cold, cut into slices
2 1/4 cups of flour
dash of salt
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of ice water (it does have to be cold)


3 apples
butter for drizzling while its baking

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the butter, flour, sugar, and salt into your mixer (or food processor) and mix until it just begins to form a crumbly clump then add the cold water just a little at a time until it looks more like dough but watch out that it doesn't get too sticky, if this does happen just add a bit more flour. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat it together, then knead it for a quick second roll it out flat. Place the rolled sheet of dough on the parchment lined baking sheet. Form a rectangular slab and cut off any excess. Then form a rim by folding over the edge about a 1/2 inch and pinch it together.

Drizzle honey, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the dough and peirce with a fork in two or three places. Place in the oven for about ten minutes - check it to be sure it isn't rising or getting too brown.

While the crust is in the oven lice the apples thinly - I used a variety (one yellow, one gala, and one pink lady) to give the tart some extra color. Then pull the crust out of the oven and arrange the apple slices in neat rows - or if you could just throw them on there and spread them around until you like the random arrangement - though the apples tend to cook more evenly if you take the extra minute to arrange them. drizzle more honey, sugar and cinnamon on top and place the tray back into the oven - to be honest I don't really remember how long it took to bake because I was making brownies at the same time but I'd guess about 25-30 minutes. Check it now and then and if it looks like it might be getting dried out drizzle some butter over the tops of the apples, I ended up using another 1/4 of a stick!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pink Shower

Holly's having a girl so naturally the shower details were all pink (paired with chocolate brown), all the caregroup ladies have been wanting a tea party for so long that this seemed like the perfect excuse to bring out the teacups! We dressed up the dining room with streamers and hung these cute pink lanterns from the chandelier.
Each lady got to take home a white teacup with a few nice teabags and a bit of chocolate wrapped up in brown organza and finished up with ribbon. We used these at the place settings so they doubled as place cards!
We hung these girly Pom Poms along with streamers and ribbon above the buffet. We snacked on
cucumber, chicken, and gluten-free varieties of tea sandwiches. There were all kinds of Tea as well as scones, tea cookies, fruit, and pink lemonade!
Pink candies were festively displayed in small dishes, some tied with ribbon to create a mini candy-bar and floral arrangements placed in teapots graced the table. I so enjoyed doing a little decor for this girl get-together.

Monday, March 2, 2009


One of the things Tim and I most enjoy about the area where we live is that there are so many parks and historic properties. One of our favorite things to to is explore these places. About a year ago we found a gorgeous an overgrown area that though completely coverd in vines and weeds, we could tell must have once been a beautifully landscaped garden. There were brick walls and paths and raised beds, even a little bench tucked into an alcove. It reminded us so much of the Secret Garden that we now call it that.
We took one of our exploring driving/walking trips a few days ago to am old brick bridge and as we were leaving we saw these beautiful rays of sun shining through the clouds.

We stopped to take the above picture and admire God's beautiful creation, after a moment we turned to go but just then an enormous flock of birds flew over our heads and I had barely enough time to whip the camera out again. We were so glad we stopped!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

singing in the rain

I would definitely sing in the rain if I had one of these umbrellas, and these will surely cheer up any dreary,drizzly day!