02.24.2014 / toast

toast-via-la-la-lovely

this is a post about toast.  toast and friendship, really.  friendship and comfort and care, to be exact.

i’ve always been a toast girl (when it comes to carbs, it has nothing to do with pasta, for me, and everything to do with the bread – and, yes, ok, french fries.  so french fries and french bread and we are all good).  my early memories of toast entail my young and beautiful mother ever so carefully concocting a magic mixture of cinnamon and sugar and sprinkling it, like fairy dust, out of a tiny glass teddy bear onto warm buttered toast.  i think the taste of love and care was always stronger than the sweet cinnamon and sugar.  while making toast is a small task, i always felt cinnamon toast on a school day to be a grand gesture.  to this day, my, still gorgeous, mom turned grandma makes the same cinnamon sugar toast every tuesday for my littles.  i think nigel slater said it best when he said, “it is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you.”

my other young memory of toast is with my grandma hilda.  i can’t quite pinpoint exacts, but i know she always made toast and cheese.  not grilled cheese.  not toasted cheese.  toast and cheese.  a piece of toast in the toaster, spread with butter and than topped with slices of cheddar cheese.  when i am at my worst and feeling in a very bad way, the only thing i ever want to eat is toast and cheese with a cup of tea.  i think the ritual of making toast and cheese, along with the aromatic memory, comforts and sustains me more than the food itself.  many a days, over the past few years, i’ve only been able to manage toast and cheese and tea.  it wasn’t just food for the stomach, it was food for the heart.  toast toasting and my grandmas wise words, suddenly, dancing around in my head.  with each bite, i chewed on a bit of wisdom.  warm substance for my soul all from a piece of toast.  the last time i was at my grandma’s house, she made me a piece of raisin toast with cheese.  i had forgotten about that combination.  but now, whenever i make my cheese toast with cinnamon raisin bread, i’ll be instantly transported to my grandma’s kitchen in colorado.  standing there with my sister, eyes darting back and forth between the beauty of the majestic un-moveable mountains to the beauty of a 5’1″ warrior of woman who’s story and strength are just as  un-moveable and majestic to me.

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11.08.2013 / cupcake garland

cupcake liner garland via la la lovely

how about a simple DIY for your weekend?

do you remember the trophy cupcakes and parties book i blogged about?  i’m still loving it.  the cupcakes, the crafts and all of the cuteness.

this week we made the cupcake liner garlands featured in the book.  i’m kind of excited about all of the crafty things you can do with cupcakes liners.

cupcake liner garland 3 via la la lovely

all you need to make the garland is:

+cupcake liners (the pattern options are endless)
+string / twine
+a needle

cupcake liner garland 2 via la la lovely

the string goes through the needle and the needle (with string) through the liners.  be sure to leave about 12 inches on each end for hanging.  you can hang the garland in a traditional swag but i think i may hang ours from the ceiling straight down.

and while we are chatting cupcakes and crafts and all things sweet . . .

if you are in the chicagoland area, i’m co-hosting a kids baking workshop and book signing with trophy cupcakes at the land of nod on november 16th.

it’s going to be a super fun event for kids + grownies a like.  i’d love meet you!

trophy cupcakes + la la lovely at Land of Nod

for jennifer shea (trophy cupcakes author) 10 top craft essentials keep reading .  . .

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trophy-cupcakes-la-la-lovely

doesn’t this picture just make you happy.  it works for me on a thursday lovelies!

we are talking books today.  books and cupcakes, to be exact (that’s what all the sprinkly goodness is about above)  and honestly, these are two of my favorite things.  i like buying all types of books, but cook books are right up at the tippy top.  especially ones that are visually pleasing.  yummy recipes and yummy food photos = success!

at the moment, i’m swooning over trophy cupcakes and parties!

trophy-cupcakes-5_-la-la-lovely

the book is written by, the darling, jennifer shea who is a mom, business owner and, now, author.  jennifer owns 6 cupcake shops in the greater seattle area, called trophy cupcake + party.   you can read more about her journey to success here (don’t you just  love reading about others journeys and advice?  there is always something to learn, yes?).

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business.  baking.  books.  it’s all pretty great.  sweet, really.

especially for someone who really likes to bake.  that’s me.  baking is my jam.  it just makes me happy.  when i’m stressed or just feeling out of sorts i love to bake it out.   to hear the clank of chocolate and smell it melting in a pan is sometimes the best medicine and somewhat meditative for me.   and while some find the measuring gruesome, i find it to be a welcome guide.  i love the preciseness of it.

and, i should mention that this book precisely has a lot more to it than cupcakes.

click thru for a peek inside + to see what i mean :

 

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06.06.2013 / an ode to tea

tea_La La Lovely

tea 2_La La Lovely

tea 3_La La Lovely

tea-5_La La Lovely

anyone who knows me, knows i la la love tea.  if you’ve been reading for awhile than you likely know this too.
after receiving  my pretty new glass tea pot  (+ my sweet porcelain mini vases pictured above) from not on the high street, i decided it was high time to dedicate a post to a well loved daily ritual of mine.  the images were not how i imagined them, but once i got my camera out i just went with it and i love the way it all turned out.  it’s a ode to tea of sorts.  but lets talk details . . .

find out my favorite teas, accompaniments and how this american makes the perfect english cuppa (so my friends say)

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we have been making a lot of green drinks around here.  of course, it’s the new year and everyone is cutting this and that and everything out of their diet.  i’m not good at that.  i never have been.  but, like I told you earlier this week, what am good at is adding good things.  and adding lots of fruits and vegetables is a good thing.  i love vegetables but i don’t always find it easy to eat several servings a day.  what i do find manageable is to drink them in a yummy smoothie. my current favorite combo is:

+ spinach : a big handful
+ cucumber : a quarter of an english cucumber
+ pear : one half
+ banana : one half, frozen
+ mango : one handful, frozen
+ chia seeds : about a tablespoon
+ rice milk : to desired consistency
+ ice : one small handful

its good.  my kids love it, kind of good and there was no bribing or brainwashing them into believing it was hulk juice.  it’s really one of the only smoothies that i don’t put almond butter or yogurt in and i have to say i like it all the more.

do you love to smoothies?  i’d love to hear your favorite combos.

i also love this green smoothie, that i wrote about last year, and when i want a non-green smoothie this recipe is my go to.

10.24.2012 / Decorating for Fall

Do you decorate for fall?  I used to, but these days, I just haven’t had the energy and I don’t care for all of my former fall decor.  I saw this garland and it really got me thinking about just bringing in a few natural elements.  Such a great idea string or group them together some goodies from the great outdoors.  I think I feel a nature walk coming on.

And speaking of fall and all of its goodness, check out these pumpkin candy cakes.  So cute!

image Apartment Therapy

09.18.2012 / New York

Do you ever just pretend?  You know, like you are somebody else or at least just living somewhere else.  I do, but it shouldn’t be any surprise as my imagination tends to be on the overactive side (in good and bad ways).  Usually, it’s when I’m reading a book or watching a movie, I get a little lost in the character, the set, the plot and find myself right there in the middle of it all.

This past weekend while we were in New York celebrating our anniversary and visiting dear friends, I did just that.  I imagined, envisioned, and made mental pictures of myself living in a big city.  And of course, not just myself but my lovely (not so) little brood.  Could we do it?  Would we survive?  What would life look like?  I took in so many details, as I always like to do. My eyes scanning and searching the layers beyond the surface.  This time it wasn’t just the buildings, the fashion, the food, and the palpable creative drive that seems to permiate the air.  This time, I watched families, children, everyday life, the coming, the going and those unnoticed in between moments that are often unseen and overlooked or deemed unimportant.  I found those moments to be the telling ones.

I  can’t say I have come to a conclusion on whether or not I could or could not do it.  And I suppose, a conclusion is not really necessary, as all of this thinking and imagining is theortical.  But, I like to know what I’m capable of and if I had to or even wanted to, would I survive?  Yes, is the answer to that, but would we thrive and be able to take on a such a foreign way of living?

These kinds of trips, which are usually meant for fun, always end up meaning so much more.  There is a deeper meaning to everything, at least always in my mind.  I’m grateful for the thoughts, the conversations, the learning, and the possibilities.

As for what we did, it kind of went like this….Thursday night I stopped by the Rue Turns Two party.  Then we hopped on over to an event for Q Ideas which was held in Tom’s NYC showroom (which was beyond cool).  I loved meeting new like minded friends that are brilliant in the industries they work in.

After that, we had a great time with our friends and pretty much shopped and ate our way through New York.  And although, I now probably need to exercise for a week straight…I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Here is a list of places we went, which I would, without a doubt, recommend:

Hudson Clearwater – this place is like a secret garden.  it seriously took us awhile to even find the entrance.  so good and such a great atmosphere.

Magnolia Bakery – it had to be done.  and yes, it is a good as they say.

Co. -  for pizza.  probably the best pizza crust i’ve ever had.

Shake Shack - i could have eaten this every day.  and i’ve been thinking about it every day since.

Le Pain Quotidien - bread. croissants. tartines.  perfect for a quick bite.

Sarahbeth’s - lovely for breakfast and known for their jams.

Our last night we saw the Broadway show, Once.  The music was insane and the story is the kind that sticks with you.

I love this last shot on the flight home.  It looks like all sky, but really its where the air meets water (sky + Lake Michigan).

*Tomorrow I’m sharing some photos from a shop in NYC that totally inspired me.

images from la la Lovely Instagram.

09.14.2012 / Fave Friday

Since I’m away I thought I’d forgo my normal fave photos of the week and share a yummy recipe for coconut cloud cake.  You can be sure that I am eating my way through New York City this weekend.  But, if I were home I’d be baking up this cake, no doubt.

+  a few of my faves this week  +
01 / A really great rug DIY
02 / The always stylish Erin made Marie Claire’s street style round up (slide 79).\
03 /  A fun social media cheat sheet
04 / I def want to make these painted baskets.
05 / Just bought this dress (in blue but they sent the stone color).  Which do you like?
06 / Weekend reading here.  Viewing here.  And what I want to listen to here.

 

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image : Martha Stewart