Thursday, June 30, 2011

{Recipes} Zucchini Bread & Wrapping

Our garden has kicked into high gear, and we have zucchini galore. What's a girl to do with all these wonderful summer veggies? Make zucchini bread, that's what. It was a great way to eat up some of the extra I have lying around not to mention a yummy treat! I'm heading to a girlfriend's house for a coffee date this morning and will be bringing some of this zucchini bread for us to enjoy.

I love creative presentation of food, gifts, mail, anything and everything. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try a creative wrap idea. All I did was use some kraft paper {a brown bag would probably work too}, wrote the recipe out in black Sharpie marker, wrapped it around the zucchini bread, and tied some yarn {twine would be cute too} around the middle to hold everything in place.

How cute would this be around the holidays for those that enjoy baking and giving edible gifts to neighbors, co-workers, etc? This idea would work with cookies too. How about as a favor for guests to take home at a baking party or any party for that matter? Hmmm....ideas, ideas, ideas!

**Zucchini bread recipe -- here.
**Love creative wrapping like me? Check out my Pretty Packaging pinboard with all kinds of cute gift wrapping inspiration!
**Other pinboards I've created and posted ::
-------Fourth of July Flair {looking for last minute ideas for the 4th? Check it out!}
-------Rainbowy Fun {So many bright & cheery ideas!}
-------Coral & Gray {A hot color combo right now and perfect for summer}

Monday, June 27, 2011

{Sweets} Banana Cream Pie Minis

My hubby loves banana cream pie -- he requests it anytime I make dessert. I had planned on making "banana cream pie minis" for Father's Day, but I never got around to it {one too many glasses of wine the night before may have had something to do with it -- ooops ;-}.

Now that I'm a stay-at-home mama for the summer {YAY -- loving every second of it!}, I have a little more time, and made these minis for my hubby the other night. Super easy and a fairly low-fat treat!

~ 1 box vanilla pudding
~ 1 tub fat free coolwhip
~ Nilla wafers
~ Banana, sliced
~ Stemless wine glass {or any other glass -- wine, martini, etc}
** Optional** Chopped candy pieces {Baby Ruth, Snickers, etc}

1. Prepare pudding according to directions on box.
2. Layer bottom of glass with pudding. Next add some coolwhip.
3. Arrange Nilla wafers around inside perimeter of glass.
4. Add another layer of pudding & coolwhip.
5. Arrange bananas around inside perimeter of glass.
6. If room, do another layer of pudding & coolwhip, making sure coolwhip is your last layer {you can throw some more bananas in there too -- I did!}.
7. Add one last Nilla wafer on top for garnish & chopped candy pieces if desired.
**Makes approximately 6 minis**
8. Serve & enjoy!

**I had some leftover pudding, so I made Dean some old-school pudding pops with some popsicle molds I bought from Target's dollar bins ;-}
**I posted a super easy banana cream pie recipe a looonnnggg time ago -- check it out if you'd rather make a whole pie instead of the minis.
**While we're on the subject, if you're a fan of bananas, you might be interested in my cute banana splits too -- they are a great summer treat!

Friday, June 24, 2011

{Color Palettes} Coral & Gray

I have been swooning over all the fabulous color combos out there right now. Coral, in particular, is one color I can't get enough of -- so beautiful for the summer!

Do you have a favorite color combo for the summer {or for anytime!}?

**Pic via The Sweetest Occasion
**Check out the Coral & Gray board I created on Pinterest!
**I am working on some coral colored wall art for my upstairs bathroom right now -- pics soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{Recipes} Summer Veggie Wraps

There is nothing to this meal -- I was able to make it in no time, and the clean-up was just as simple. All I did was roast some veggies from my garden and arrange them in a wrap. SO EASY & HEALTHY and a quick summertime meal!

~ Whole wheat wraps {or wraps of your choice}
~ Summer veggies {I used eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion & pepper}
~ Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
~ Balsalmic dressing

~ Cut your veggies and arrange on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little EVOO and season with a little S & P. Roast on 350 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes.
~Arrange veggies in wrap {I like to heat these in the oven for a few minutes so they're warm for eating}. Add a little gorgonzola cheese and drizzle with balsalmic dressing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{Weddings} 06.22.08 - K + B

Today I'm celebrating my third wedding anniversary with my sweet husband & soulmate, Bo. God couldn't have sent me a more perfect man FOR ME, and I'm so grateful for him.

My husband and I, as a team, worked together planning this wedding from top to bottom, start to finish and here is just a little taste. There were so many little details, even the photographer couldn't capture them all {and it would take me much, much too long to tell you about all of them!}.

As far as brides are concerned, I was pretty daring with color. More so than I would be if I were planning my wedding present day ;-} Lime, dark pink, and tangerine were some of the bright, bold colors used in my wedding as you can see in this picture of my sister and me.

I love when the bride carries a colorful bouquet. I adorned my bouquet with a butterfly broach, and my bridesmaids' bouquets with broaches as well.

My nephew and godson, Jack, was only 6 months at the time and a little too young to be in the wedding :-{

I love this picture of my dad holding my hand in the limo.

I searched high and low for jewelry and couldn't find what I was looking for {I wasn't wearing a necklace, so I wanted a thick, chuncky bracelet with crystals and ivory beads}. I finally found Lisa, who made exactly what I had envisioned. She even attached a little blue bead as my something blue.

We chose to have pictures taken before our ceremony. I was torn about this decision, but my husband and I both really wanted to enjoy our cocktail hour. I was also a nervous wreck about the thought of seeing my husband for the first time while walking down the aisle. I am not a public crier, and I was pretty sure I would loose it while walking down that aisle if I didn't see him beforehand. Looking back, this was definitely the right decision for us. We had pictures taken at Independence Park with our bridal party in Philadelphia. The old brick buildings were exactly the backdrop I wanted.

My girls all carried parasols -- they made for a great photo opt.

Once we arrived at Cescaphe Ballroom, we had the entire place to ourselves for about an hour. It was great! The entire bridal party and our parents had private rooms upstairs where we were able to decompress for a little while. The staff had all kinds of delicious food out for us, so we could get our pre-wedding munchies on. There may have been a champagne toast or two that took place as well ;-}

I had one of my 8th grade students make my bridemaids' jewelry {yes, 8th grade -- she made me a bracelet for Christmas and I loved it, so I knew she'd do a great job!}. She used brown beads on all the bracelets, but they were all different as she used a variety of shapes and sizes.

Details, details, details...

Rather than placecards, I choose to display my seating chart on these big display boards. I used one of Cescaphe's recommended vendors to make the boards.

In addition to our reception, our ceremony was also held at Cescaphe. I am 100% comfortable recommending this venue to anyone getting married -- they definitely are skilled at what they do and were unbelievable to work with. Joe, the owner, went above and beyond to accommodate all our requests. One of the things we loved was that as our guests arrived for our ceremony, they were all held on the patio and seated in the ballroom at one time for the wedding. During that holding time, the patio was open and some light, pre-wedding cocktails were served. My husband is a food/drink & entertainment connoisseur and made most of the decisions concerning these things. That explains the ice bar he "had to have" for the patio.

Mini lemontinis served in lemons {aren't they cute?!}.

Cocktail hour band -- they were fabulous!

I ordered a monogrammed aisle runner {which I later had made into a Christmas tree skirt!}.

After we were married, Bo and I had a quick mini session with our photographer. We walked next door to a hip & trendy bowling alley called North Bowl {Northern Liberties}. We were able to get some really fun pics here!

We displayed all our families' old wedding invitations all the way back to our great-grandparents. It was so neat to see how much the style of invitations have changed over the years ;-}

We had a specialty martini menu, and I created four different options for drinks. The "Something New" was our signature cocktail and served with rock candy.

In lieu of a traditional guestbook, I choose to have my guests sign a platter. Now it sits on a plate stand in my dining room, and I love that a little piece of my wedding is within view everyday.

We decided to add a photobooth late in the planning process, and I'm so glad we did. It was a blast! I even used our photobooth pics to create our first Christmas card as a married couple.

Two copies of the photobooth pics were printed. One copy the guests kept and the other copy was placed into a scrapbook with personal {and some ummm...drunk....messages ;-}. It's a fun keepsake!

Introduced as Mr. & Mrs. -- sparklers shot off as we walked down the steps!

The food -- incredible. Bo and I are dying to attend another Cescaphe wedding so we can actually take everything in and savor the food. When you are the guests of honor, everything is such a whirlwind!

I did not have a theme to my wedding, but I love green apples, so they definitely worked their way into the day more than once. These were the intermezzo -- apple sorbet served in hallowed green apples.

Our signature cocktail was what we named a "Bubbly Appletini." {Bubbly by Colbie Caillet was our wedding song, which is why we incorporated champagne into our signature cocktail}. It was your classic appletini with a splash of champagne and a rock candy garnish. Our favor was a recipe card and a rock candy swizzle stick.

Cescaphe had tons of options for different table sizes and shapes. We chose to set the ballroom up using round, oval and cluster tables. This pic shows one of the clusters {three rounds put together}. They allowed us to seat large groups together.

See the green apples making an appearance again? They were used in our centerpieces, too. If you click on the picture to make it bigger, you might also be able to see the table number signs. I added pics of me and Bo as children, with our families, etc. to each table number sign. I tried to incorporate some of the people sitting at those tables in the pics if I could. They were really cute!

We choose a cake with chocolate icing -- it was yum!

We were taking a little break and enjoying some of the decadent desserts from the unbelievable dessert spread Cescaphe served while watching our guests dance the night away.

Cigar bar on the patio...

My hubby requested we do this. There is no picture of the set-up, but we bought all kinds of cool cigars, arranged them in square glass vases and added some monogrammed matches. It was a nice little hangout for the guys.

The mummers also made an appearance at the end of the night. My husband used to help out with the South Philly Stringband and thought it would be fun for the guests if they performed.

I spent a ton of time hand painting about 25 umbrellas for our guests to use when the mummer's performed. Bo helped me with about one and half of them and gave up -- haha. It just wasn't his thing.

My favorite umbrella ;-}

I made bags that were butlered to each table as the mummers arrived. Each bag contained props for the guests to use {2008 glasses, sparkly hats, umbrellas, etc}.

Happily wed -- sigh.

Although I've always had an eye for details, my wedding was what inspired Studio LIME Design, for it was then that a true passion for entertaining was born. Hope you enjoyed!

**Venue -- Cescaphe Ballroom {check out their newest location -- Tendenza -- looks amazing!}
**Photography -- In His Grace Photography
**Invitations & Custom Signs -- Abbey Malcolm Letterpress + Design
**Flowers -- Alicia at Il Fiore

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{DIY} Homemade Cards

Yes, I'm still on a card strike. And you know what? I'm actually really enjoying making my own cards. They're more personal and can be made to coordinate with the gifts that accompany them. This is one I just made for a good friend that celebrated her 30th birthday {with a very fun surprise party I might add!}. I played off the dark pink polka dot ribbon I wrapped around her gift.

**Square cake plate {there were two so I snagged one for me too -- I'm so weak} -- HomeGoods
**I'll be featuring another wedding tomorrow -- MINE!
**I've got some "real parties" to share with you, but I've been so busy that I haven't had the opportunity to put the posts together -- SOON!
**I've got a super simple summer dinner for ya'll {minimal prep time & quick clean-up too!} -- post later this week
**School's out & it's officially SUMMER -- off to the pool to soak up some sun with my baby boy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

{Decorating} July 4

I recently added a few more simple Independence Day touches to my home. The best part? It cost me $4 total. Yup. How? Target dollar bins.

I love the traditional look of American flags, so I was thrilled when I found some at Target so reasonably priced. I bought two packs of small flags {3 per pack at $1/pack} and one pack of medium sized flags {2 flags per pack at $2}. I put the smaller ones in a small glass bottle and placed on top of my cake plates {I have another bottle with flags sitting on windowsill above my kitchen sink.

The larger ones decorate my twig tree and one of my flower baskets on my front porch.

The picture I have leaning against my mirror on the buffet is something I found in my basement. I bought it years ago when I was renting my first apartment {Target}. I thought it looked cute and festive for the 4th.


In other news....someone discovered Mommy's iced tea and LOVES it. Not good...especially since it contains caffeine and is an "adult" drink AND it kept someone up half the night ;-/

**Hope you had fun celebrating all the wonderful dads in your life!

Friday, June 17, 2011

{TGIF} Bubbly!

It's Friday, it's the last day of school {with kiddies!!}, it's the start of summer, the start of pool time, beach days, baby boy time, relaxation time, summer reading time, summer house project time, OBX time, etc, etc, etc.

I think that calls for a celebration and no better way to celebrate than with a glass of champagne. I think I'll skip the dancing on the table part though {I AM almost 34 years old afterall ;-}.

**Pic via Wanelo
**Have a WONDERFUL weekend!
**HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the hardworking & dedicated dads out there! I know I would not be the same person without my own dad's strong presence in my life. And I know my husband feels the same way about his dad. I'm thankful that my son has the same kind of father -- XOXOXO BO POWELL -- AMAZING DADDY!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{Inspiration} Rainbowy Goodness

This picture makes me smile :-} Isn't it adorable? The bright, cheery colors caught my attention immediately. That and the fact that I adore mini or individualized desserts of any sort.

It would be the perfect compliment to a little artist's party, rainbow party, candyland party, and more!

**You can find the recipe and more pics at The Family Kitchen.
**Check out my Rainbowy Fun board on Pinterest for more rainbow inspiration!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{R. Dean} Little Phillies Fan

Baby boy joined his daddy and me at the Phils game this past Saturday. He loved it -- for about a half hour. Mr. Ants in His Pants was all over the place -- trying to grab the guy's beer sitting next to me, wanting to touch everyone and everything including the wad of gum someone left behind in the cup holder, trying to walk back and forth between Bo and me in about a 1/4 inch space. Oh boy, what were we thinking?! The game was fun while it lasted -- one whole inning ;-}

Don't let the pics of what appear to be a very calm boy fool you! Ha!

The sweetest little busy boy there ever was {sorry...I'm biased ;-}.

**LAST full day of school for me today!!! Two 1/2 days and a teacher close-out day, and I'm done for the whole summer. Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

{Recipes} Stuffed Zucchini

One of my favorite parts of the warm weather is the fresh summer veggies, and I always find myself spending a small fortune at local farmers' markets because I serve either zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, or corn with almost every meal. Enough is enough! Bo decided to give our garden another go this summer {he planted a garden the first summer after we bought our home and Ginger destroyed it -- she was only 3 months old at the time and a very energetic pup}. This time he did his planting on the other side of the fence, and we've already gotten some huge zucchini. Pretty soon there will be corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and pumpkins {for the fall!}.

**Notice baby boy ripping down the little fence my husband put up. What can I say? If it's not Ginger, it's Dean!

Tonight for dinner, we used some of our homegrown veggies and made "stuffed zucchini." I made these almost exactly like I make stuffed peppers. Here's what I did:

~ 2-3 nice sized zucchini
~ 1 pound lean ground beef
~ 1/2 onion, diced
~ S & P | EVOO
~ 1/2 - 3/4 cup salsa {a can of tomato sauce would work too}
~ shredded cheddar cheese
~ 1 packet Success rice {I used brown rice}

1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out middle {I saved the hollowed out zucchini, cubed it, and added it to my ground beef mixture}.
2. Place zucchini on a baking sheet and pour a little EVOO over them. Then sprinkle with S & P.
3. Place in oven for approximately 20 minutes {or until zucchini are just about roasted}.
4. While zucchini are roasting, cook rice according to directions on the box.
5. Then brown ground beef, onion and remaining zucchini cubes in a skillet on the stove.
5. Drain fat, add salsa, a little cheese, and rice to beef mixture.
6. Scoop beef mixture into hollowed out zucchini and top with some more cheese.
7. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes {or until cheese is melted}.
8. Enjoy!

**I served my stuffed zucchini with corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes -- YUM!!

Changing subjects...

Baby Lifestyles just released a brand new online magazine yesterday, and it's gorgeous! As I was flipping through, I spotted one of the pics I took from Dean's Little Mister Mustache Bash {Baby Lifestyles also featured his party in March}. It's a tiny picture, but it's still exciting to see something that you put a lot of hard work into being used to inspire others!

Thank you for including me in your spread, Baby Lifestyles!

To see a full screen view of the pic from Dean's party {it's his mustache party hat I made!}, click HERE.

To check out the entire magazine, click HERE.

Monday, June 13, 2011

{Featured} Gourmet Night on The Party Dress

Happy Monday, y'all! Check out The Party Dress today -- our Ballpark Gourmet Night is being featured!

Kelly, the brains and beauty behind The Party Dress, is an entertaining diva who posts great parties and amazing entertaining tips. Her new magazine {online and in print} is a must-read if you're an aspiring hostess!

Friday, June 10, 2011

{TGIF} I'm Ready...

...for the weekend, for summer, for relaxation, for time with my baby boy -- you name it, I'm ready for it. One week of school left...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...


**How delicious does this summer treat look?!?!?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{Home Decorating} Patriotic Mantle

I always have and always will LOVE Independence Day. It's one of my favorite holidays, and rapidly approaching, so I did a quick mantle makeover in the name of red, white & blue.

It's just the way I like it -- SIMPLE.

I used some sparkly stars from Target's dollar bins {last year} and some sparkly star picks from Joann's {this year} to add some patriotic flare.

**Check out my Fourth of July Flair board on Pinterest to see more adorable Independence Day ideas {and I'm still adding to it}!