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August 18, 2017

The Classic Home Collection | Tuesday, 8/22


It is official!  The Classic Home Collection will launch on Tuesday, August 22nd at 8 am Central.  This collection has been a long time coming - I've been gathering and designing new products all summer.   I'll see you there!  


The Classic Home Collection will launch on Tuesday, August 22nd at 8 am Central


August 16, 2017

Apple Bread | Back to School


For our first "meet the teacher" day, Emma and I brought her this Apple Bread.  I thought it was a fun (and yummier) twist on the classic, take an apple to your teacher tradition.  



We baked it and wrapped it in parchment paper, then tied a ribbon and tag on it.  For a hostess gift, you could also present it with a tea towel tied in like pictured here.


I love these new tags with a surprise stripe on the back.  It adds just enough whimsy and fun to a classic card.  It comes in these 4 color ways as part of the Classic Home Collection (coming soon).  


I used this Beige Stripe ribbon.

Having these gift wrapping essentials around always make it easy for me to turn anything into a gift.  As you know, I would much rather make something than go out and buy something.



Apple Bread
4 small or 2 large loafs

2 Eggs
2 cups Sugar
1 stick of Butter (melted)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 Apples, peeled and diced
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare loaf pans by lining them with parchment paper.

In a mixer, combine eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.  Add flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture slowly.  Add apples in and stir just until combined.

Pour batter in the parchment lined pans.  Put the pans on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.



These small and large baking loaf pans will be available as part of the new collection.  I love the squared sides - they look very professional.  


I cut the parchment paper to fit each pan.



Lining them this way makes them easy to lift out of the pan and gives them a liner, much like a cupcake paper.


Bake them on a baking sheet to keep your oven clean if one should spill over while baking.  It also makes them easier to get in and out.


These checked tea towels are part of the new collection also and have coordinating napkins.



Fresh out of the oven!  This is Emma's photo.


 They lift right out of the pans because of the parchment liner.


I love homemade gifts!

August 15, 2017

Back to School | Classic Home Collection Preview #2

We are officially here, the first day of Kindergarten!  She was beyond excited to start this new adventure - even ready to go to sleep early last night so it would get here faster (which never happens for our night owl).  I'm counting down the hours until pick up and hear all about it.

In the meantime, I'm back to work : )   I was hoping to have a new collection to launch to distract myself from the very quiet house... however, I'm still waiting on the rest of the new block print designs.  They seem to be held up - let's hope not lost.

For now, I wanted to give you a little look at what I've been up to to prepare for the new store collection.



 You'll notice the new header on the blog that features some of the new products (hello, checked and block print tea towels!) and a recipe coming later today.  


We baked this apple bread for her teacher - we thought it was the perfect spin on bringing your teacher an apple on the first day.


I lined the new loaf pans (part of the new collection) with parchment paper to make them easier lift out after baking.




They are wrapped in parchment paper, then wrapped them in ribbon and attached a new tag... also part of the new collection.  Did you notice the back?  This tag will come in four color versions.  I love it.


I love this mix of peach roses with coral dahlias, sprigs of navy blue berries and little touches of fall foliage.  Perfect pre-Fall colors.


The new hutch is getting lots of photo/product love.  


An entire new collection of mix and match classic linens.





This table is set with layers of block print textiles + hemstitch essentials + checks and candle light.  I love the layered, collected cozy feeling.  For me, a table like this says, come, sit and relax, settle in and enjoy.  That is how I always want my guests to feel and how I always want to feel when we go to someone's home.    


Casual, gathered arrangements.


Help yourself to wine.  Again, my favorite kind of party : )


Comfort food for fall dinners.  Classic Roast beef for company or Sunday night with family.


Healthy weeknight dinners like this "rainbow" soup.  I made a huge batch and am keeping portions in the freezer for lunch.


Home decor that evolves and changes with growing collections, souvenirs and old favorites.


New Gold Leaf frames.


Wild gathered flowers.


Easy giving.

August 06, 2017

The Classic Home Collection | Coming Thursday



**Update : Due to a product delay, the new collection will launch next week.  Please stay tuned for a day and time.  Thanks!
....

I feel like I've been away for years.  I have this incredible itch to get back to work, just as one should after a 3 month long summer break.  Emma and I have done summer, and we have done it right.  This is Emma's last summer before Kindergarten.  Not only is it the end of Summer, but it also seems to be the end of our puttering around days.  "Back to School" other years has really just been back to part-time Preschool.  Now we are entering the real world of 5 days a week, full day school.  If possible, my heart is breaking and expanding at the same moment.  I know I will yearn for those puttering around days (I already do), but I am thrilled for her and this new horizon.  

For those of you who have messaged me over the last 5 years wanting more from me - more blog posts, more recipes, more new ideas - you're about to get it.  I wasn't available until now.  I was too busy splashing in puddles, wiping up the floor, cleaning up lunch, walking up and down the street, making playdoh messes, making real (normal) dinners and puttering around town with a kiddo.  I am so glad we did it the way we did.  She's piddled and played, she's explored and conquered.  She's had slow time and down time.  She has learned and felt the comfort of home.  Now she's ready.  

In a way, I'm ready, too.  For now.  I feel a little like I've earned my time, back working with my entire brain for a full day while she'll be at school during the week.  This part-time spot has always kept me above water during the mommying days.  It is my creative space, my refuge, my ultimate ever changing project.  I've weathered the burnout, and I've kept my graces.  (Right?)  Now, I'm ready to see what I can do.

Even as I write this, I know in two weeks I will be ready to pick her up early, or skip out on a Friday so we can go out to the country for fresh apple cider donuts.  I already miss our days and that's how I know they were so good.

......

The Classic Home Collection

This collection is all about creating a timeless, season-less house that always feels like Home.  I will continue to focus on essentials for Family Dinners and help you make them happen gracefully.  This collection will include a new line of Block Print Linens with Pillow Covers, Table Linens, Napkins and Tea Towels.  I've also included the ever classic Hemstitch Table Linens that will mix and match for any season or occasion.  There is nothing more classic than Framed Fern Botanicals, with a new French Cream mat board option, as well as a new Gold Leaf Frame.  This time of year always puts me in a baking mood for breakfast and after school snacks.  I have some new recipes that have become favorites of ours over the summer.  I'll see you on Thursday morning.

Launch : Thursday, 8/10, 8 a.m. (eastern)

Please note, due to requests from the West Coast, the launch time has moved an hour later so they don't have to get up at 4 a.m. in the morning : )

July 19, 2017

A Garden Party | Our Annual "Clambake"



A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our 6th Annual Clambake... after an 8 year hiatus.  We invited 4 couples, half new and half old friends.  Last week, I gave you a tour of our back yard (here), and today you get to see it in action.  


A real party.  So many times when I'm doing a new product launch, I have to set a "fake" table - which I hate!  It feels so unnatural.  But this is a real party.  With people and everything : )   

This is the first time we've hosted an adult dinner party in our backyard, so I went ahead and fulfilled all of my outdoor entertaining fantasies.  Flowers from the garden, candles everywhere, white and creams with accents of natural wood tones set in a lush green yard.

(the napkins are new, here, and the willow vases are back in stock!)


Our typical backyard entertaining looks nothing like this... more like kids running around, parents perched on the steps, everyone eating in laps or at the picnic table and not much sitting and relaxing by candle light.   However, sometimes, we like to step it up and treat our friends to a real party.






Those casual summer parties have a certain magic, but it is nice to sometimes have real, uninterupted adult conversations while sitting in a garden sipping rose, feasting on lobster with butter dripping down your chin.  What a treat it was!

Willow Vases, $16
White Napkins with Natural Jute Braid, 4 for $24
Anchor Place Cards


Willow Vases, $16




The table has a slightly nautical feel, thanks to the Anchor place cards, but everything else was simple and neutral.








  I made the striped cloth from outdoor awning fabric, cut to fit the table.

Willow Vases, $16
White Napkins with Natural Jute Braid, 4 for $24
Anchor Place Cards



Sorry, the photos just keep going : )

And for a little behind the scenes set up : 


For 10 guests, I used 2 x 6ft tables.  The 6ft tables were a perfect fit for my car so I could avoid the delivery charge from the rental company.


I covered it in a long striped cloth that was in three sections.  I covered the ends with plain white clothes.  I rented natural wood folding chairs.  I think they feel more charming and casual than the white wooden that are often used at weddings.




And, a few detail shots to help set the mood.



 Then it started to rain... pour!


Inside, party prep continued with crossed fingers that the rain would stop.


I like to get everything out, lined up and ready to go.  Nothing left until the last minute - the only way I can enjoy myself at the party, too.


Ice cream goes in short tumblers for Black Cherry Soda & Vanilla Ice Cream Floats.  I put the entire tray in my freezer and just had to pour the soda over for server.  Super easy, yummy and light on a hot summer night after an indulgent dinner.


Herbed Garlic Bread ready to be wrapped in foil and go in the oven.


Heirloom Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil & Prosciutto Platter served with toasted baguette for an appetizer with prosecco and beer.


Terry clothes rolled and ready for hot water & lemon, for after the seafood.  Butter ready for melting, then pouring into the cutest 2oz ramekins.



Darling lobster cocktail napkins that I've been waiting to use for 6 years.


Claw crackers and bowls for shells.


I referenced the Barefoot Contessa's Poached Lobster recipe (Cooking for Jeffery), plus added shrimp.

Menu :

Prosecco & Beer
Tomato & Mozzarella Platter with Prosciutto and Toasts
...
Lobster Tails
Large Shrimp
Corn on the Cob
Garlic & Herb Bread
Drawn Butter
...
Black Cherry & Vanilla Ice Cream Floats

About an hour before guests were going to arrive, the rain stopped and the table got reset.  Yay!


The heat is so bad here now that no one would dream of sitting outside for dinner, but when September rolls around, this is where we'll be again... but probably with lots of kids running around while the grill is going.  I'm so glad I have these photos to remember our lovely evening with friends.

There have been a couple of updates and out of stock items in the online store - stop by and take a look around : )



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