Monday, August 25, 2014

Some things for your monday

Because cats in floral crowns make Mondays just that much better.


Also, I've been designing some new stuff and put it on my website! I'm still working on getting some products made, or making my mind up about Spoonflower. I'll let you know!

This post by Miss Moss made me start mentally planning a trip to South Africa immediately (Ready to go, Michael?). 

{via Miss Moss}
Speaking of travel… Do you enjoy traveling solo? I haven't done it often, and never a long trip, but this article by my sis makes it sound like a fun adventure.

I very much enjoyed this helpful packing post. 2 weeks worth of clothes in a carry on?! Well done.

Lastly, have you been reading this series from A Cup of Jo on Motherhood around the world? So fascinating!

That's it for now. I have a very glamorous day ahead of me- laundry and dishes! It must be done. Also baby snuggles, so don't feel too bad for me. Enjoy your week!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Color Theory


I've been working on some new collections from color boards I'm inspired by lately. So, I thought I would share! I've also added a few new things to my website. Go check it out!

P.S. Wouldn't this look great on a sweater?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let them eat (homemade!) cake!

Growing up, we were always a box cake family. In college I took a cake decorating class. I thought it would be a fun way to earn a few credits and was very into being Martha Stewart-y at the time. I also thought there would be cake to eat. Sadly, I found that each class we decorated styrofoam cakes with crisco and sugar frosting. Yuck. I learned all the basics and by the end I was able to frost a beautiful cake, but we never learned to bake or in fact made any of our own cakes. Sorry, Martha.

These days, I am into making things from scratch. I mean, have you tried no-knead bread? The best. Also, these things are usually not that hard, more delicious and healthier in general. So, recently, I decided I needed to learn how to bake a cake. I was imagining it to be much more complicated, but this cake was super easy and turned out deliciously. Not my finest frosting job (and no piped border or shells! Why did I even take that dumb class?), but I love sprinkles, and its cake, so who really cares? 

If you are inclined to bake a cake from scratch (and I hope you try it at least once, just to see how easy it is), here is the recipe I recommend:

My recipe adapted from this recipe:

Chocolate Cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar ( I skimped and used 1 1/4c, and it turned out fine, I might even try 1c. next time)
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two cake pans or one sheet pan by buttering and then dusting with flour. Set aside.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a standing mixer bowl. Mix until combined. Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Next add boiling coffee and beat on high for one minute to add air to the batter.
3. Pour mixture into two pans or one pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick/fork comes out clean.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely. Then move on to making the frosting…

The frosting is an old family recipe (and also a basic buttercream frosting recipe). While we always bought boxed mix, we also always made our own frosting. Why? My family is full of dichotomies like this.

Buttercream frosting:
1 stick of butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 milk
a pinch of salt

1. Mix all of this together. If it seems a bit runny, add some more sugar. If it seems a bit dry add some milk. It should be creamy and not runny.
2. Once cake is cool, frost away!
3. Add a generous amount of sprinkles.
4. Eat (homemade!) cake!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some pretty things for your Wednesday

I had my wisdom teeth pulled this week, so I am in need of distraction. Maybe you are too? 
Dental work is a bitch. 

This wallpaper mural by Nathalie Lete is everything. I want to crawl into this crazy floral wonderland and get lost. Don't you? (Or is that the pain medication talking?)

I'm really digging this DIY curtain. The colors, the circles, the sheerness, the easy-looking-to-do-ness. All of it.

Dreaming of Iceland. It seems every travel image I pin recently is from there. Let's go!

Enjoying this interview and peek into life of designer Erica Tanov. The wallpaper in her bedroom alone is worth a gander.
Also, if you are so inclined, I enjoyed reading more about her, her and her.

Lastly, on baking. I baked a cake recently! From scratch. It was so fun and gratifying, I don't know why I haven't done it before. I'm also totally in love with no-knead bread. If you haven't made that before, drop everything and go start a batch right NOW. Next time I'm going to try making it with roasted garlic. Mmm...

Alright, I'm off to eat something soft for dinner. Living the high life, my friends. ;) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hola, mexico

I hope you all had a happy Independence Day weekend! I'm not the biggest fan of the holiday, but I am a big fan of three day weekends!  We had a fun time seeing family and friends, attending a wedding, and watching the world cup (GO Argentina!!). I was also reminiscing and wishing we were back in Mexico with my Sis.

San Miguel de Allende. Such a gorgeous little town. We were only there for a long weekend, but it was a perfect little getaway!

Although it's not on the ocean, it is close to some hot springs, which we ventured to for an afternoon. La Gruta hot springs were magical. Violet loved them; her first time in the pool! 

Downtown was also really fun. This was in the artisan market. I found a gorgeous Otomi blanket there. 

And Violet with her auntie in the adorable Mexican dress she bought her. 

So many pretty churches!

And a donkey! 

At this fun wedding/party we stumbled on in a plaza.

Oddly, we didn't make it inside any of these gorgeous churches. We were busy, as the World Cup was going on and Mexico was playing! Also, my sister treated me to a massage. Priorities!

I'm a sucker for pretty doors, and San Miguel did not disappoint.

It was a great trip, over far too quickly though! We can't wait to go back. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

can't stop thinking about

The pattern on this skirt.

{Oscar de la Renta via}
I love it so much. The color, the brush strokes, all the disparate patterns mashed up next to each other! Perfection. Also the shape of the skirt is just right for my my body type. Now if only I had an extra $1,490(wait it's on sale!)$450 lying around budgeted for perfect skirts…

And here it was on the runway:



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Trip with baby! and Some tips for your travels

 photo IMG_5938_zps88a6e274.gif

Traveling is very important to me (and Michael). We don't get to travel as much as we'd like, what with money and time not being abundant, but we do try to travel as much as possible. Now that we have a baby, we are so excited to show her the world and introduce her to different places and cultures. And keep seeing new things ourselves! Also, I'm a bit restless and like change, rather than routine. So travel is essential for me!

Recently, we went for a quick visit to my sister and soon to be brother-in-law at their new place in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They are serious travelers, but have found a home base in Mexico. Lucky for us, as now we have a great excuse and place to visit in Mexico!

I wasn't too nervous about traveling with Violet, who is just under 8 months old, but my one small worry was that she might be in pain on the flight from the pressure. Plus, you just never know- traveling always has unexpected events! However, I know she loves seeing new things and people, and as long as she was with us, she would be fine. She is such a happy and engaging baby that she makes friends wherever she goes. Well, I'm here to tell you that we not only survived, we had a great time! Flights and all! A post on our time there to come shortly, but I thought I would share my tips for traveling with a baby, as I eagerly read many such posts before we went.

1. Book flights around napping/sleeping times.  Kind of obvious, and maybe not always doable, but we had great success flying the red eye (with a delay and layover), and even though Violet didn't fall asleep until around 1am (eek!), when she did, she was out. On the way back, we had an early morning flight again with a layover, and she slept for a large portion of it.

2. If there are two adults traveling, book a window and an aisle seat. Hopefully, if the flight isn't super full, you will have that middle seat free to stretch out a bit. This didn't work out for us, as all our flights were booked, but it would have been really nice.

3. Bring distractions. (Obvi, right?). You know your babies favorite toys? Hide them for a couple days before the flight, then bust then out! A few of our faves: this book, this bookthis toy, this toy. Also, all those inflight magazines? Violet loved pulling them out of the seat pocket.

4. Wear something comfortable yourself. I love these pants for traveling, and while they are a bit on the expensive side, the are totally worth it. Lightweight, cozy, elastic waistband, and flattering! The best. Also, I love a good scarf for travel. Can also be used as a blanket nursing cover, spit up rag, etc.

5. Carseat. To bring or not to bring? We opted to bring ours and just gate checked it for all our flights (which is free!). Also, that way it hopefully doesn't get banged around as much. We felt safer bringing our own than trusting the rental car company, but do what feels best. It didn't feel like a big inconvenience to carry it in the airport and sometimes Violet even sat around in it.

6. Buy diapers when you arrive. Ok, my sister kindly bought some for us before we got there, but we just took enough for the plane. It saves a ton of space in your luggage.

7. Bring an extra outfit for baby on the plane. A major fail for me here. Violet had a blowout on the flight and I had forgotten to pack extra clothes (sad face). So, she remained in a slightly dirty onesie with no pants for the remainder of the flights. We wrapped her up in my scarf though (see #4), so she was warm and comfy. Lesson learned!

8. Go with the flow. You are not going to be able to follow your exact schedule that you have at home. And you may have to take some breaks during the day, or return to your hotel a bit early to let your baby nap. Just go with whether your baby seems to be in a good mood and stay out, or if they are having a melt-down, change plans. Violet did so well, and loved seeing the town and meeting new people. We stayed out late one evening and I fed her on the go in the Ergo. She also napped in it, which was great. I highly recommend.

That's all I have for now! I can't wait to travel again. I'm already scheming of new places to go... I would love to hear if you have any tips for traveling with a baby!
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