Friday, December 17, 2010

Project Nursery: complete!

Yes, Willa is almost four months and I'm just now getting around to posting some photos of her nursery. I do have a good excuse though.... her early arrival. We didn't have the bedding, a rocker or a changing table when we brought her home from the hospital! So, it's been a work in progress. I absolutely love spending time in her sweet nursery now. Everything about it makes me want to smile. Of course, she's the best part.

The illustration that sits on the bookshelf was done by my talented cousin, Katherine. The words "cute as can be baby of mine" are lyrics from the Disney movie Dumbo.

Jonathan and I worked on the photo project above the dresser for hours and hours. Hanging 12 frames together wasn't as simple as I had envisioned. We selected various photos from our travels, wedding and shots of ourselves when we were little.

Monday, December 13, 2010

in love

Seriously, how cute is she? Nothing says sweet like a little girl with feathers in her hair eating a cupcake (or is it a cookie?).

{image via the littlest}

Modern Wood Toys

I love all the goodies that Little Sapling Toys has to offer. Willa isn't quite ready for blocks, but she does love to put everything in her mouth.

Check out these adorable teethers. Nothin' like a slobbery peace sign.

And for the aspiring photographer...

{photos from Little Sappling Toys}

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Esty Buys

Dying to see a movie

Especially this one. The soundtrack is sure to be a good one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

foggy fall monday

It's foggy here, super foggy. It's as if everything is still outside except the birds and squirrels in our backyard. And that's only because my husband insists of feeding them every morning. Willa is already snoozing away and I've been able to catch up on some much missed blog reading and online this and that. Lots of fun things to share:

Beautiful advice on motherhood (via Cup of Joe).

Love this holiday wrapping paper.

I'm still obsessed with Sunol and yet they still remain a mystery band despite all my research.

Crochet Jewelry. I'd like some.

Modern Thanksgiving tablescape.

Suede winter sandal. Add it to the wishlist.

And Willa is up.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sunset Meals

I love Sunset Magazine. It's always a great day when the mailman delivers it. Even though I live many, many states away from the Western ones (sniff, sniff) I still take my favorite magazine and try out most of the recipes. Now, they are always pretty good... but the last two months have been insanely good. October was filled with one-dish dinners (who needs to make two dishes when you only have to make one?! Um, mom's with newborns). Also in October, lots of recipes that incorporate exotic spices. I made the most delicious chicken dish. And I don't even like chicken most of the time. It was amazing. I served it with a small side of butternut squash soup and frozen garlic naan from TJ's.

Bengali Five-Spice Roasted Chicken
Click here for recipe.
*I marinated the chicken overnight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Dwell Studio just came out with their new organic layette collection for babies. Hello, cuteness! Willa is going to be sportin' some new duds in no time. If only I had the same new wardrobe that she does.

Willa goes to the polls!

Yep, that's right... Willa is a patriotic baby exercising her right to vote at an early age. It was a pretty exciting morning and I know her granddaddy's would be proud. We even met another baby while waiting in line who was five days younger than Willa. Nothing like a newborn getting involved in politics. Who says you need to be 35 to run for President?!

Unfortunately, this was the only photo we were able to take of Willa's first experience at the polls. No cameras allowed inside... booo.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Willa the Zebra

I dressed Willa up as a zebra for her first trick-or-treat experience. From what I could tell, I think she enjoyed the festivities but wasn't very pleased about wearing her cute little zebra cap. But we couldn't have let her be a maneless, earless zebra now could we?! She sure helped bring in the tasty sugar treats for her parents.

Um... hello pumpkin! Look at that dimple!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yummmm... Butternut Squash Lasagna

It's official, I have become a casserole mom. I get it now. With limited time to whip up dinner these days I'm all about casserole creations and slow cooker recipes. So what if I'm prepping my dinner around 3:30 pm?! Makes bath time and feeding time that much more enjoyable when all you have to do is pull something out of the oven and pour a glass of wine a few hours later. Here's what I whipped up last night and it was delicious:

Butternut Squash Lasagna

- 2 bags of frozen butternut squash (microwave until thawed and mash with a fork)
- 32 once of part skim ricotta
- 3 handfuls of fresh chopped spinach
- 1 yellow onion (I prefer a sweet onion)
- 2 c of shredded mozzarella
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, cinnamon, garam masala (all these spices are optional)
- 12 lasagna noodles (regular or no-bake)

- boil noodles for 4-5 minutes if needed
- saute onion until golden
- mix ricotta, spinich & onion. salt to taste.
- add desired spices to squash puree. salt to taste (i used a good amount as it was quite bland).
- Layer noodles, ricotta, noodles, squash, mozzarella. Continue order until you have reached the top of your casserole dish
- cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes in a 425 degree oven
- remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is golden brown

Friday, October 22, 2010

Baby Willa

I disappeared, but with good reason. Baby Willa joined the world seven weeks ago and life hasn't ever been so sweet. She surprised her mommy & daddy four weeks early and boy were we caught off guard! At 3:00 am on Wednesday, August 25th I awoke to my water breaking (it was really more of a trickle, but who needs all the gorey details?!). We laid in bed trying to wrap our head around what was happening... four weeks early, what the heck?! Jon and I were both so excited, but also a little nervous and as strange as it sounds we laid in bed for a few more hours and I fell back asleep. At 7:00 am, Jon jumped out of bed and said "Let's do this! Start packing... I have to put the stroller together!". Seriously. So, I called our midwife to find out if we needed to come into the hospital because I wasn't having strong contractions yet. She wanted us to come in and so we packed our bags, ate a big breakfast and off we went. I was 3 cm & 100% effaced when I got to the hospital and we were told we had to stay at the hospital because my water had broken and there was a risk of infection. I wasn't really feeling much in the way of contractions and I was nervous that they might induce me. Luckily, the midwife assured me that we had several hours until that would need to happen. We moved into our labor & delivery room and we set our music up and Jon helped me get comfortable. We were giggling the entire time.

My parents were already on a plane headed to see their soon to be grandbaby. Jon's mom & sister came by the hospital which helped pass the time. They were so excited about the new baby... I walked around the halls with my sister-in-law trying to progress the labor and she was sweet enough to rub my back. Things slowly started to pick up and my back started to ache pretty badly. Around 4 pm I was only 4 cm... ugh. Just when I thought they were going to have to give me some pitocin, Willa started to get antsy and things picked up in a big way. Each contraction was getting stronger and it became hard to talk through them. By 7 pm my parents arrived and they were so excited! I don't think I've ever seen such happy grins on their faces. I started to rely in Jon quite a bit as labor picked up... I kept trying to figure out which position was best, but I soon realized that I was going to feel every contraction strongly no matter how I was sitting. Around 9 pm, eighteen hours after my water broke I started shaking uncontrollably. The midwife told me I was a little past 6 cm and she encouraged me to take a hot shower. What, a shower?! I was so cold from shaking and decided that a shower might help the shivers go away. The hot water on my belly and back felt so good and I started to relax a little. Jon sat next to me and he reminded me to keep breathing and about an hour later (yes, I was still in the shower) I felt the most insane sensation to push. I have never felt anything so strong in my life... I couldn't breath anymore and all I could do was push, even though I knew I shouldn't yet. Jon and the midwife got me back to the bed and after a few minutes, the midwife checked me and and said "Courtney, when you are ready I want you to push! You're going to see your baby very soon". Jon put some new music on, Jim James of course. He held my hand and I pushed for the next hour until little Willa was here. When she finally arrived, she was so beautiful... she laid on my chest crying and with her wide eyes looked at Jon and I. We were in total love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Imaginary Getaway

I'm so wishing for a weekend getaway. While searching for places to explore, I've inevitably ended up on a distracted tangent and I'm reading my favorite blogs instead. But how lovely are these photos? This is what I'll be doing in my imaginary world today. Morning, Noon & Night.

this morning

this afternoon


source: pink wallpaper

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Salad

I made a tasty summer salad this week with some pretty white & green beans from the farmers market. Pairs perfect with a quesadilla (one of my many cravings).

*trim and cut beans into 1-1.5 inch pieces
*quickly cook beans in boiling water for 4-5 minutes
*drain water & let beans cool in an ice bath to stop cooking
*dice a shallot
*crumble some queso fresco
*toast some pepitas seeds (I prefer mine toasted, but it's not necessary)
*dressing: zest of half a lime, juice of one lime, a little olive oil, tiny bit of agave nectar (sugar will do), salt & pepper
*mix together and enjoy!
p.s. I ended up throwing some avocado on there at the end. Optional, but when isn't avocado a good idea?!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I spent a day at Phipps Botanical Gardens this weekend. All the gardens were lovely in their own way, but my favorite was the orchid and butterfly garden. There is something just magical about little butterflies flying around everywhere. Made me feel like a little kid.

Oh, and I had another helping of peach cobbler. Twice in one week- not bad at all. I will be buying more of those fuzzy duffers at the farmers market today.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Peachy Peachy

I wasn't lying when I said I stocked up on peaches this week. In addition to eating a few peaches throughout the day, I make something yummy with these juicy, fuzzy fruits. I had the pleasure of having my grandma in town this week and yesterday we spent the morning baking an old-fashioned peach cobbler. It was scrumptious, although I tend to fancy a little more crumble with some oatmeal and brown sugar.

Next up, peachy preserves... my grandmother's specialty. Simply wash, peel and slice the peaches. Combine the peaches with sugar (1/2 c sugar/1 cup peaches) over low-medium heat and stir constantly while boiling until you have a very syrupy mixture. Fill hot jars with preserves and make sure the the tin top seals. My favorite way to serve peachy preserves... over vanilla ice cream. Simple.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches!

Holy moly, I just meandered through my favorite farmers market in town and came home with a huge basket of local, juicy and delicious peaches. I know it's a bold statement, but I'm pretty sure I just tasted the best peaches in the country.

Nothing say's peach season when you have to step outside to eat your peach on your porch because you have juices running down your arm (and in my case, there is a puddle on my ever so large belly). Tonight on the menu: grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream. Tomorrow: peach and blueberry tart. Any other suggestions?!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tunes for Tuesday

Okay, okay... the only man I truly love is my husband. But then there is Jim James (aka: Yim Yames). In my imaginary world, he is my other honey. NPR is streaming his Newport Folk show from last weekend... 1 hour and 33 seconds of pure bliss. Enjoy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August. Really?

Gosh, Summer is just flying by. These photos embody the season and are just simply, beautiful. Hope the rest of your summer is filled will lazy days laying in the grass, firefly evenings and the buzz of cicada. Happy August!

Friday, July 30, 2010

nice little friday

garden hipstamatic
(don't you just love this iphone app?!)

It's a gorgeous day here. A break from the heat and a cool breeze is a welcomed treat after the heat wave. So many of my flowers burned out last week, so I think I'll run to the nursery (yes, again) and hopefully find some other pretty petals that will last through September. I just don't think I can't stand looking at a bare patch in the garden.

I heard this beautiful song on the way to the market this morning. I can't stop listening to it.

I discovered this cute California cutting board via Cup of Jo this morning. I'll forever be a California girl despite living 2500 miles east of the golden state.

Fell in love with these lovely earrings via {wit + delight} and just had to buy them. Bonus: 20% when you use YDT20 upon checkout.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Project Nursery

32 weeks down, 8 to go... whoa! I am obsessed our baby's bedding from Rickshaw Design. I can't wait for it to arrive. Umm, how darling is this babysack?!

Lots of baby love on the net this week:

If a little girl were on the way, this would be perfect.

Hello, Baby DJ.

The Walk to 40 Weeks from Pacing the Panic Room. This is the sweetest photo journey and journal. Wishing I would have jotted more down throughout my pregnancy.

cute, cuter & cutest find from Etsy.

Latest baby read... one that I actually like.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Garden Veggie Galore

I simply love all the good veggies in my community garden this week! Chard, huge zucchini, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers are in abundance. Although, I'm not sure Jon and I can keep up with the amount of cucumbers, it's just a matter of time before I start eating them for breakfast. This might be the week where I test my canning skills.

Monday, July 19, 2010

happy monday!

I am back from the beach. I'm relaxed, suntanned and my belly is large. Very large. My mom taught us how to play bridge, whoa... I feel so mature. I finished my fourth book of the summer.

Got back just in time to head to the park for an evening picnic to watch Rosanne Cash on stage.

Check out her new album.

Make a Moscow Mule (a summer evening picnic essential).

In the meantime, I need to unpack and adjust to reality. Cheers!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grilled Tuna Salad

One of the best aspects of summer is how simple it is to throw together fresh ingredients for a delicious meal. This weekend, we made one of my favorite dishes... grilled yellow fin tuna on a bed of mixed greens with avocado & mango. I don't follow a recipe, so you may have to add a little of this & that to yours.

*marinate tuna in some soy, ginger, shallot and jalapeno.
*salad dressing: sesame oil, soy, ginger, sriracha, brown sugar, salt & pepper (lime ia also good)
*on a plate, grind pepper and mix with sesame seeds.
*encrust tuna with pepper & seeds right before grill time.
*make a fresh mixed salad with mango, avocado and cherry tomatoes
*toss salad with dressing and add sliced tuna


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Corn

We've been eating silver queen corn everyday down in South Carolina. We've been roasting it and using it in corn salads with tasty tomatoes, grilling it, eating it off the cob and one day we made some sweet white corn chowder. It was so delicious and the poblano pepper puree added the perfect dash of spice.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Countdown to Beach Vacation

We are gearing up for our two week beach vacation in South Carolina!! The packing list is simple... suit:sarongs:flip-flops:books:sundress:floppy hat.

Can't wait to read these books {1, 2, 3}.

Loading up the iPod with some new tunes.

This looks like good backyard fun.

Just can't get enough of this song.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pint-Sized Design

Now this is just too cute not to share. My friend, Paige, at (pk)flynn has the most adorable set of mid-century modern chairs {think mini Bertoia & mini Eames} in her store from the Australian furniture company, little nest. If you don't have a kids room to decorate, you'll surely find an excuse to after seeing these.


the yolk

Monday, June 21, 2010

Garlic Scape Galore

Garlic scapes are delectable vegetables that you probably don't know about if you don't grow them or shop directly from farmers. They are an early summer treat and if you're like me, they are testing my creativity in the kitchen. They are great on homemade pizzas, pasta, breakfast scrambles. However, in order to keep up with the supply of my weekly CSA, I've been coming up with new delicious ways to incorporate these tasty treats into more meals (recipes below). Any other suggestions?

{garlic scape & almond pesto}

10 garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 c of parmesan
1/2 c of olive oil
1/3 c of almonds, chopped

combine garlic scapes, almonds and cheese into the food processor and pulse a few times. Add olive oil, pinch of salt and pulse until desired texture. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Makes about 1 cup.

{garlic scape & basil butter}

this is amazing.

4 garlic scapes, chopped
small handful of basil leaves
1 stick of salted butter, cut into pieces

combine scapes and basil into the food processor and pulse until scapes are broken into tiny pieces. Add butter and mix until well combined. I then transferred butter mixture to a small bowl and sprinkled with sea salt and serve with a good warm bread (i prefer ciabatta).

{summer pasta with scapes}

Note: you can make this pasta with just about any summer veggie. I use whatever is fresh: cherry tomatoes, peas, basil, asparagus, you name it. In the following recipe I used cherry tomatoes and basil.

5-8 garlic scapes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
pasta of choice (i use farfalle)
1 lemon
one basket of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
handful of basil, chopped
parmesan cheese (i use about 1/4 cup, you can always use more or less)

Saute scapes in olive oil over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes or until tender. Season with salt & pepper. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of salted water. When both the scapes and pasta are done cooking, transfer both to a large bowl. Add grated parmesan, lemon zest and lemon juice of one lemon, basil and combine. I then add olive oil and a small amount of pasta water to help incorporate flavors and sauce. Add tomatoes, salt & pepper and enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

summer day!

It's a beautiful summer day here! I'm heading out to the garden to give the plants a shower and getting ready for an evening BBQ at our place. A few great finds on the web today:

i love this summer tunic found on unruly things.

watermellon mojito? yes, please.

inktank. the latest creation from my ever so talented friend, brandon joseph baker.

i can't stop "flipping through" the latest Lonny Mag.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Banana Bread Ice Cream, oh my.

Holy moly, I just woke up and I think I was dreaming about the the banana bread ice cream that my better half made last night. Yep, you read right.... banana bread ice cream. A pregnant ladies dream come true. It was so delicious, rich and bursting with the flavor of roasted bananas. It even had bit of melted chocolate whipped through it {think stracciatella}. You really should make it yourself, pregnant or not.

{Banana Bread Ice Cream}

3 ripe bananas
1/2 light brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 0z. semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (we left ours out and sprinkled on top when finished)

Note: Jon sprinkled some cinnamon and nutmeg on the bananas before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the bananas into about half inch pieces, and toss them in a small baking dish with the butter and the brown sugar. Bake the bananas for about 40 minutes, stirring them around once midway through. Set them aside and let them cool off a bit.

Once they’ve cooled, mix the bananas with the milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a blender or food processor and puree until you have a nice, smooth mixture. Let it cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

When the mixture is nice and cold, just process it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. When the ice cream is nearly thickened to your liking, break the chocolate up into a microwave safe container, preferably one with a pour spout, like a pyrex measuring cup. Melt the chocolate at 10 or 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it’s melted through and pourable. Slowly pour it into the almost finished ice cream; it will freeze and form small chips throughout the ice cream. Finally, add the chopped walnuts and continue to process until the walnuts are mixed through and the ice cream has reached your desired consistency.

recipe courtesy of The Kitchen Illiterate. Photo.

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