farmers market bounty

fresh deliciousness. fava beans, dandelion greens, chinese broccoli and oyster mushrooms. 
if you can get past the time spent shucking and peeling the fava bean, they are quite beautiful. this article from NPR says they are high in fiber and iron, and low in sodium and fat. they have no cholesterol but so much protein, they are called the meat of the poor... and are considered good luck. oyster mushrooms contain statins which work to reduce cholesterol. dandelion greens have more calcium, vitamin A and iron than broccoli. recipe links are below.
here is what i made...
capellini with braised mushrooms and chinese broccoli 

sauteed dandelion greens 
mashed fava beans with mint 
 i tweaked the recipes a bit. i replaced cappelini for fettuccine, and last night i served the mashed fava's with pork tenderloin, baked sweet potato, and braised leeks. two delicious dinners packed with health benefits.


susina cookies

i have always been a lover of tiny things, details, and little objects that can be appreciated from close-up. clearly, my in-the-know friend from new york has my number. on her trip west, i made her come visit. she brought a bountiful box of gorgeous cookies from susina bakery in los angeles. i remembered the logo, as my mom and i had lunched there ...almost 7 years ago... after shopping for a wedding dress. but while there, somehow i had missed their perfect petite cookies. her gift was now that much more special.
 each perfectly shaped little cookie (none of them longer than your thumb) was more darling than the next. each cookie was lovingly rolled in nuts, filled with fruit, or dipped in creamy chocolate. i couldn't resist taking a group portrait... and a lineup. 
 delicious? yes, each and every one as lovely in the mouth as they are to the eye. we savored a few together, then i was left alone with the box. poor cookies.


e's stationery

i made some quick little personal stationery for E.


lemon bars

i pulled two recipes for luscious lemon bars, and made them both. the first from epicurious, got amazingly high fork ratings. the second from ina garten, a trusted source for anything buttery. 
 ina's bars on the left, epicurious on the right. ina's bars were thicker and more gooey. the epicurious bars were dainty and slightly chewy. 
i packed a few bars up for a playdate, and for help in deciding the keeper recipe. both bars had their strengths. ina's bars were much more lemony and tart than the epicurious bars, which i love. the curd was more abundant which made them much richer than the epicurious. the epicurious bars would be great in tiny pieces for a tea, where their delicate citrus flavor can be savored. overall, my husband preferred the ina bars (thicker of the two)... as did i


e's bike

so many trikes, so little time. with e rounding the corner at 18 months old now, neal and i decided it is time for her to have a bike, or something like it. here are some pretty neat versions i found. first the foot to floor pushers. listed next to the bike is a number that corresponds to the list of links at the bottom of the post.
my personal favorite, but not available till july. the kettler smoovy. (2)

click below to see many more... 


make something!

make this toy storage unit from wine crates.
 click below for full tutorial...


invitation in the works

among other projects, i have been working on these special 90th birthday party invitations. here are all the components, the assembled finished product is still to come. the birthday boy was a marine pilot, and flew F4U corsair fighter planes. the theme of the party is centered around the plane and the aircraft carrier he used to land on, the oriskany.
i found gliders that look just like the corsair planes, and based the invitations around the gliders and these darling air mail envelopes i found at jam paper.
once the gliders are assembled, they are three dimensional, so the invitations will be sent to the guests in boxes. i found the perfect size box to accommodate the plane at uline. the boxes are adorned with labels that match the inner telegram, and inform guests that the party is a surprise. i also found an air mail washi tape here that works perfectly for sealing up the box before shipping.
 i painted the inside of the box in gray, and stenciled the aircraft carriers number on the grey paint, to serve as the runway for the glider.

the invitation itself is based around a telegram. i formatted the page to resemble and old telegram, and used a vintage looking typewriter font for the message.
i printed it on thin parchment and cut it to a good telegram size.
 final assembled invitation still to come!


e's dress

e was handed down a darling dress from a friend. brand new, it has a great shape and is made of lovely fabric in a perfect pink. the only thing is that it had two big character patches on the front. cute, if you like characters on clothing. so i fixed it.
 i added fluffy patches of fabric right where the embroidered character was. i used scrap fabric in two colors, and cut it into circles of varying size with my pinking shears. i sewed the fabric circles through the center of the circle right on to the dress, to cover the embroidery. after doing this many times, the new floral applique completely covers the original less desirable design. 
i put some little buttons in the middle of some of the circles to upen up the "flower" a little, and add a little interest.
i replaced the pink plastic buttons with lovely pearl buttons.
and thats it. i made the old into a new unique dress that we both love. it is that simple.



love this book light by Myung-seo Kang.
 see more of her collection here.


inspired by...

inspired by these beautiful chandeliers made by madeline boulesteix.
she gathers pieces of kitchen gear from second hand stores and garage sales and re-purposes them in these bright fixtures. she says... "I liked the idea of making something opulent - a chandelier - but out of humble objects."


make something!

make these vintage button earrings.
 i found some vintage buttons at the (amazing sacramento) flea market, and bought pairs of them to make earrings. (they don't even have to match!)
click below for full tutorial. 


chocolate craving

craving these gorgeous chocolates from mast brothers. i think i like the wrapper as much as the idea of the treat inside... with the combination of a simple label, and patterned paper. so beautiful and unexpected.
giving in to temptation isn't too bad considering. cocoa beans contain large quantities of flavonoids (plant compounds with potent antioxidant properties) that prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidizing and clogging the arteries. sounds good to me.


nursery decor

i absolutely love this mirror in the nursery. in lonny magazine, mirror from shabbychic.com
image via ohdeedoh


tiny pieces of art

 i love these tiny pieces of art from etsy vendor kiki and polly.
printed from her original paintings, they are all so unique... i love the combinations of line drawings with acrylic. and the color palettes are so subdued and lovely.
 ...via bloesem kids


arugula watermelon and feta salad

for a friends barbeque this weekend, i made this arugula, watermelon and feta salad from ina garten. so lovely and summery. the nice juicy crispness of the watermelon, with the salty sharpness of the feta, and peppery arugula... divine. 


old letters

i am inspired by these old letters. i have been working on a custom invitation using vintage air mail/telegram as the theme. while researching vintage mail style, i found these gorgeous old letters with beautiful writing and just as beautiful stamps. how lucky the collector is to have such gorgeous and interesting pieces of ephemera. seems like a good example of accidental graphic design. see more here.


make something!

make this alphabet print for your child's room.

i typed and printed this in only a couple minutes on word, using a fun font i downloaded from dafont.com. you can make your own, with your favorite font, or download and print this one by clicking the link below.
i printed one alphabet on blush card stock and one on gray.  put it in a frame, and voila! instant (and inexpensive) kids room art.
click below for link.


garden with your children

e. and i went to the local nursery and picked up a few new plants for the urn that sits outside our door. we went downstairs together in our aprons ready to get dirty. i thought e. would either sit and watch or run around playing with things that she found... nope.
e. took to planting our new container, she used the spade by herself, and added soil to the pot. we had such a great time and now have a fresh container of plants by the front door that we water and watch grow, together. i highly recommend planting something with your children, or someone else's for that matter. 


india inspired

anthropologie's new india inspired may catalog is out...

what gorgeous photos!