Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Broiled Grapefruit

Have you ever tried broiled grapefruit? Seemed weird to me! 

This morning I decided to give it a try. I sprinkled cane sugar on each half and broiled them in the oven until the tops started to brown. Once I removed them from the oven, I drizzled them with lavender honey and a dollop of vanilla yogurt. It was a really nice change. Simple and delicious!

The next time we have overnight guests, I'm serving this for breakfast.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Spring Bed Sheet Refresh with California Design Den

 Spring means warmer nights!  It's time to remove those heavy-thick layers and refresh your bedroom with a set of crisp white sheets.

I recently partnered with California Design Den to freshen up our guest bedroom with a set of new sheets.

I want our guestroom to feel cozy and comfortable, selecting quality sheets was the perfect start.

California Design Den has a commitment that comes to life in their products, which are crafted thoughtfully, beautifully, and sustainably with their customers in mind.

First impressions make an impact!  The sheets came packaged in an eco-friendly box.
For our guestroom, I chose Hotel Quality - GOTS Certified 100% Organic Cotton - Cool Crisp Percale Sheet Set.  Out of the package, the sheets may feel a bit stiff, but after a few washes, they will soften.

They even have a corner tag on the fitted sheet, to make it easier to make your bed!

The full elastic band on the California Design Den sheet ensures that the fitted sheet stays in place and fits like a glove.

Comfort is key to getting a good night's sleep.  I really hope our guests enjoy the new sheet set.

If you're in the market for quality sheets at an affordable price, I can absolutely recommend California Design Den!   

Visit California Design Den--

**This post was made possible through a partnership with California Design Den. All opinions expressed are my own words.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Anemone Black & White

I enjoy shopping for flowers while in the grocery store.  But I always dreamed of having a cutting garden, where I could walk out to my yard and cut fresh flowers to bring into the house.  Growing your own feels so rewarding.  It's something I've always admired from afar.

A few seasons ago, I decided to get serious about gardening.  I put together a list of the flowers I wanted to grow, then shortened that list to the flowers that grew best in my area; zone 7b.  My favorite black-eyed beauty anemones were at the top of that list.

I ordered bulbs in the fall, thinking I'd plant them around my mailbox, where I'd be sure to see them as I pulled into the driveway.  Each year since, they've put on a show.  I was completely surprised they bloomed the first year I planted them.  Their satin-like petals and long stems are truly my favorite.  They're the first flower to bloom in my yard, as early as February.     

I ordered my bulbs from Floret Flower Farm and found the tips shared on the planting guide to be very helpful.
This season I added a few more varieties and I'm anxious to see them blossom.  

Anemones are simply stunning and easy to grow.  I hope this post inspires you to grow your own!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Say it Sweetly with Basic Invite: Storybook Theme Baby Shower invitations, Menu Cards, Thank You Notes and More

Spring is near and I have so many things to look forward to!  I’ve planted new flowers in my front yard, markets will be selling the freshest produce and I’ll be hosting my first themed dinner.  I’ve had my fair share in hosting meals and parties at my home over the past few years, but I’d usually only invite family members and neighbors for a small celebration.  This time around, I want to challenge myself and try my hand in hosting a delicious fare to welcome the season of new beginnings.  I partnered up with Basic Invite to create the perfect start to an amazing spring dinner.
invitations for a baby shower

storybook theme baby shower invitations
fire truck baby shower invitations

Basic Invite offers a multitude of options for all stationery needs, from storybook theme baby shower invitations, to thank you cards, to menus.  The site provides total customization to fit any occasion.

  Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online.  Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail.  This is what sets them apart from almost any other online stationery company.

For my spring dinner, I wanted menus that put flowers, my favorite part of the season, in the forefront and a background that could complement them.  I could personalize the colors and font to capture the essence of spring while still maintaining a minimalist appeal. There were so many choices and themes I could choose from, but I happily settled on a fresh pink background with a flowery border.

Along with my menu cards, I made a few thank-you cards for my guests.  Basic Invite steps outside of the box with their designs and has stationery for any and all people.  None of their products are stagnant or out of style and you have total control with your masterpieces.  

Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with their invitations.  Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened.  All Basic Invite envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.  Basic Invite also offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process.

Though it may seem small, having such classic menus and thank-you cards to match makes for a memorable dinner.  Basic Invite makes me excited to have all of my close friends over for a night of good conversation and great food.  If you are interested in taking your stationery to the next level, visit Basic Invite.


*P.S. Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

**This post was made possible through a partnership with Basic Invite.  All opinions expressed are my own words.

Monday, January 21, 2019

New Living Room Coffee Table

This past summer we updated the floors throughout the first floor of our house.  We went from orange-toned laminate to dark brown, engineered hardwood floors.  The new floors are beautiful and add so much warmth to our house.

But as the saying goes--one change leads to another and the style of the old coffee table no longer worked in the room.  I've had my eye on a more traditional table and finally decided to add it to my cart.

The wood top complements the floors and I love the two additional drawers for storage.  (Link to purchase the coffee table.)

Here's a look at the old table.  (I moved it downstairs to our family room and plan on spraying the base black.)

When it came to styling the table, I added a vase filled with greenery from my yard as the focal point.  Fresh greenery adds life and I love the organic feel.

A candle and a few decorative items finish the look.

I also gave the side table a makeover with black chalkboard spray paint.  I love that chalkboard paint doesn't require the extra steps of sanding or primer.

Here's a glimpse at the side table before painting it black and view of how the room looked 4 years ago.

I tried decorating with more color, then quickly realized neutral tones are my jam!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Baked Sour Cream Donuts

There's been a whole lot of baking in our house this month.  The holidays are my excuse to fill our bellies with sugar.

It started with cookies, then after that a cake.  This week I surprised my family with a fun donut breakfast.

They're baked, not fried!  This recipe can easily be mixed up since there's no yeast involved.

Just combine ingredients, bake, decorate and enjoy!

Adding sour cream made the donuts moist and soft.  They're a lot like the packaged donuts you find in grocery stores.   

I hope you give this recipe a try and love it as much as we did.  It deserves a spot at your breakfast table!

Ingredients Donuts 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup browned butter
 1/2 cup sour cream 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Ingredients Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar 
1/4 evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
rainbow sprinkles

 Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray donut pan with a nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together sour cream, cooled browned butter, egg, and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together until smooth.  Place donut batter in a plastic bag, snip a corner off the tip and pipe batter into doughnut pan.  *Be careful not to overfill.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.  The donuts will not be very brown, but they should be springy to the touch.  Allow donuts to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack. 

To make the glaze, in a food processor add in powdered sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Dip the donuts into the glaze to coat the tops.  Place the donuts back onto the wire rack (set over a baking sheet) and top with rainbow sprinkles.  Allow glaze to set for a few minutes before serving.  *Donuts are best enjoyed the same day. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Holiday Spiced Iced Tea

My family drinks a lot of tea.  Sweet tea is one of those things synonymous with the South.  It's simple and refreshing, yet not overly sweet.  

I was in search of the perfect drink to serve with Christmas dinner, then decided to stick with our tried and true old faithful.   

This recipe has amazing flavor.  Adding in cinnamon, topped with the star anise pods and orange slices is a nice presentation, giving it the holiday touch.  It tastes as festive as it looks.  It will be delicious to serve with dinner or holiday parties.    

4 cups water 
4 individual tea bags
juice from 1 lemon  
1 cinnamon stick
  Sugar or honey, sweeten to taste 
ice cubes 
orange slices, star anise pods, additional cinnamon sticks for garnish 

In a large pot, bring water to a boil.  Remove from heat and add cinnamon stick and tea bags.  Steep 3 to 5 minutes. *The longer you steep, the stronger the tea flavor.  Remove tea bags/cinnamon stick and add lemon juice.  Mix in sugar (or honey).  Stir until dissolved.  Set aside.  Add ice cubes to individual glasses.  Garnish with additional cinnamon sticks, star anise pods and orange slices.