13 Aug

Make Delicious Iced Coffee At Home!

I’ve never been a huge coffee drinker, but the first few weeks of parenthood have me realizing that a jolt of caffeine in the morning will be a mandatory part of my day for the foreseeable future.  (Hazel was awake from 3-5:30 this morning just hanging out… she wasn’t even fussy, she just felt like that would be the best time to be awake.  How fun for mama.)

Since it’s summertime (and since it’s so delicious), I decided to do some research and figure out how to make the perfect iced coffee at home.  I found that cold brewing seems to be the preferred technique and the trusty Pioneer Woman had this easy recipe, so I went for it.  (Seriously, everything she posts is genius.)

After brewing my big batch of coffee using her recipe, I set out to give it the perfect sweet-but-not-too-sweet twist and here’s what I settled on:

1) Dump some ice cubes into a mason jar (or other 12-16 oz glass).  Bigger ice cubes are preferred, since they take longer to melt and won’t water down your coffee.  If you like it super strong, you can freeze coffee in an ice cube tray instead of water and add coffee cubes.

2) Pour your coffee to fill about 3/4 of the glass.

3) Add 1 generous tablespoon of caramel Torani syrup.

4) Top it off with half and half to taste.

5) Stir it up and enjoy cafe-worthy iced coffee every morning from the comfort of your own kitchen!

This simple recipe is super delicious and I can whip it up quick, even with a fussy baby in one hand, which means it gets the new mama stamp of approval :)  Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

22 May

A Shower for Baby Girl

I think I’ve finally recovered from my baby shower this past Sunday… what a day!  LOTS of women, lots of beautiful details, and lots of love for our sweet babe.  The shower was held at my parent’s house (the same place we got married!) and my mom went all out with the girly cuteness.  She made all of the food and the majority of the decor herself.  Want to see some photos?

{the pom poms over the dessert bar were hand made by my mom!}

{guests left sweet advice and/or wishes for me and baby girl in this “bucket of blessings”}

{decorating the cupcakes was my biggest contribution… confession: this took FOREVER, haha}

{a girly shower wouldn’t be complete without nail polish party favors!}

{me and my sweet momma}

{in this photo, I’m wearing a special labor necklace created from beads brought by our guests… more on that in a future post!}

Now that the shower is over, it really feels like baby girl’s arrival is imminent!  I can’t believe I could give birth in as little as 6 weeks… yikes!!

(P.S. My maternity dress is from ASOS.)

20 Mar

Usher in spring with some fresh baked bread!

Happy first day of spring, lovely readers!  The weather in the Bay Area has been feeling very spring-like the past week or so, but of course today it’s raining… isn’t that the way it always goes?  I can’t possibly be bothered by that, though, because our house is filled with delicious, fresh-baked bread.  *swoon*

Travis has been in a bread-making frenzy lately, scoping out recipes and setting aside time for baking.  We’ve made yummy table bread a number of times, but over the weekend he decided he wanted to tackle wheat bread.

He found this easy-to-follow recipe and the result was a deliciously sweet, slightly dense, perfect-for-grilled-cheese loaf.  Wanna see pictures?

Even the raw dough was beautiful!

Fresh out of the oven…

My scrumptious grilled cheese :)

Have you tackled bread making before?  Got any awesome bread recipes to share?

18 Mar

Making French Macaroons

I hope you all had a lovely St. Patrick’s Day!  Since bar hopping wasn’t really in the cards for me this year, I celebrated in a completely different way and took a baking class with two of my girlfriends.  The intimate class was held in a little studio and taught by Richard, the fabulous owner of Baking Arts.  (If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend taking a class from him… it was so much fun and way less intimidating than I expected.)

The class was all about French Macaroons and after getting a demo of the recipe (it’s very scientific… everything is measured perfectly in grams), we got a chance to try making the ourselves.

I snapped a few photos, if you’d like to see…

My friend Jen was the only one of the three of us who was brave enough to pour boiling sugar into our egg whites for the merengue!

Of course, we had to dye our macaroons pretty colors… Jen stuck with a St. Patty’s Day theme.

Our cookies, fresh out of the oven.

The finished product!

I was so excited when my cookies came out of the oven without cracks!  I was sure I’d botch the whole thing the first time around, but I was really happy with the results.  Plus, they were unbearably delicious… Travis was thrilled to be a taste tester :)

Have you ever made french macaroons?  Got any other fun or difficult dessert recipes you’re dying to try?

12 Feb

Quick & Easy Ways to Get Into the Valentine’s Day Spirit

People seem to either love or hate Valentine’s Day.  I happen to be someone who loves it.  Any excuse to celebrate love is just fine by me!

I’m feeling especially attached to  Vday this year, since it’s the last time Trav and I will be celebrating as a duo and not a trio (eee!)  But since the holiday falls on Thursday, it’s not exactly realistic to have an all-day love fest.

If you’re looking to get into the spirit of love, but haven’t made the time yet, here are a few quick and easy ideas…

Rock a heart manicure.  This one was inspired by The Beauty Department and it has kept me in the Valentine’s spirit all week!

Put out conversation hearts.  Totally cheesy, very nostalgic, and a cutesy way to leave love notes on your sweetie’s pillow…

Decorate with a DIY heart garland.  This was way easier to make than I would have expected and looks totally cute.

Get crafty.  I put together this Valentine’s Day craft box for a friend over the weekend.  Making homemade cards is still one of my favorite activities.

Decorate heart cookies!  Because you can never have too much sugar, right?  Click here for the recipe…

What are you doing to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day?  Got any ideas to share?

P.S. I am totally swooning over these heart bowls from West Elm!