Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Easy Strawberry Tart

"You really shouldn't make this tart anymore.  If you do, I'm going to end up eating the entire cake pan by myself!"

I'm always looking for easy and delicious recipes, especially for summer events.  I originally planned to make a strawberry lemonade cake in a Fleur de Lis Nordic Ware this weekend, but when I saw the fresh strawberries at the market, decided to change my recipe.  And it's a good thing.  The tart was a huge hit both at home and at the potluck dinner I attended.

Today, I'm going to share a delicious treat with you that is so easy!  The cookie crust of this Strawberry Tart adds texture to the sweet filling.

The tart is a perfect dessert to make ahead of time for parties.

Here's what ingredients you will need for this easy recipe:
-  Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
-  8 oz. Whipped Cream Cheese
-  A tub of Cool Whip
-  1/2 cup sugar
-  1 tbsp. vanilla

1.  Prepare a baking pan with a small amount of cooking spray.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.  Press the cookie dough into the pan. (You can see from the picture that my dough was not perfectly spread.  No worries!  It will work out perfectly and rise up about half an inch while it bakes.)
3.  Bake the cookie dough for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
4.  After the dough is completely cooled, you can add the filling.
5.  Mix cream cheese, Cool Whip, sugar, and vanilla at a low speed on your mixer.
6.  Add strawberries (or the fruit of your choice) and chill in the fridge.

Cookie dough is ready to bake!

The whipped topping is light and fluffy on top of a cookie crust.

Enjoy the delicious seasonal fruit!

Ready to serve.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Nautical Bridal Shower

Family and friends honored me this weekend with a delightful bridal shower.  Two of my aunts traveled quite a distance for the luncheon and I was so touched to see so many people there.

Here are some of the gifts I opened.  So many lovely things.  I especially liked the beautiful floral packaging from my Aunt Lois and the nautical wrapping with personalized name tags that my mother made.  Of course, I will put the Lilly Pulitzer gift bags to good use!

Fresh flowers in a vintage vase complement the old fashioned nautical lace doilies on each table.  At the end of the luncheon, guests were invited to take a shell from the table to place in a Pottery Barn container filled half way with sand and a candle.  My shower guests helped to make a centerpiece that now decorates a table in the formal living room!  Such a clever idea.

My sister came from North Carolina to host the shower!  So sweet of her.  She thought of every detail and made the day special.  Doesn't she look a lot like Alexia?

Place cards at each table helped guests find their table.  Color coded place cards helped the waitstaff know who got which entree.  I love the shell place card holders.

One of the shower games was so clever and unique.  Guests scratched off a card found at their place setting to see if they had won a prize!

My soon to be sister in law brought a beautiful anchor cake!  It was so delicious and was worth every calorie.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of this incredibly special day!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Worth the Wait In Line

Good things come to those who wait...or better yet, the early bird catches the worm.  

In this case early birds can scoop up some pretty substantial deals at J. Crew Factory stores this weekend.   The entire store is 50% off!  The newest summer goodies just hit stores a week or so ago, so it's a great time to stock up on everything you'll need for the warm weather.

The last time the factory stores had a sale like this, there were lines to get into the store, lines for dressing rooms, and lines to pay for your purchase.  But it's so worth it.  Here was the line at the Leesburg, Virginia store shortly after they opened their doors.

So shop early and shop often!  Stop back here to leave a comment and let me know what great deals you find.  I'd love to hear about what you bought.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nautical Invitation

It's in the mail!  The wedding invitations are in the mail and I'm so thrilled to share the design with you.  After pouring through dozens of designs and different kinds of paper, I felt a little overwhelmed with the choices.  I knew that I wanted a nautical theme and planned to incorporate navy and pink into the invitation.

Luckily, my mother is amazing when it comes to all things paper.  We're actually paper aficionadas and adore beautiful paper.  I had considered letterpress invitations, but since our wedding is relatively small, it didn't make sense to go through the process of letterpress for a small number of invitations.  I knew that I also wanted to personalize the invitations to a high degree.

My mother designed and made the invitations.  This allowed us to choose just the right paper and special touches.  The invitation has an inner and an outer envelope.  I love the clean look of a wedding invitation with two envelopes.  A navy blue grosgrain ribbon embellishes this two layer combination of delicate vellum and Crane paper.   Did you know that you can use Crane paper and envelopes for all of your personal printing needs?  It's amazing quality and allows you a lot of personal freedom to use your own design.

I also really love the pink anchor and plan to incorporate the design into other printable items for the wedding.

Each guest receives a personalized response card.  We're offering quite a few menu choices to our guests.  What else would we serve at a summer Maryland wedding besides crab cakes and other delicious options, right?  The reply cards are all personalized in order to help us track response cards easily.  Organizing the place cards will be a breeze.  If you've ever had a guest send a reply card without a name, you'll appreciate the value of this personalized touch!  

Stay tuned for more fun details about the wedding.  Planning for the final touches is in full swing now.  This weekend is my bridal shower and I am so eager to spend the day with family and friends.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When to Wear White

Memorial Day until Labor Day.  

It's not a lot of time at all.  If I look at my wardrobe, it makes me think that I should move to a warmer climate.  There are enough shifts and pretty dresses to change clothes several times a day during the summer without repeating an outfit.  Meanwhile, the weather in Maryland is not cooperating with me lately and I only seem to be able to wear summer clothes from May until early September.

And don't get me started on the white.  I love the look of crisp white jeans, especially when they're paired with a pretty nautical blouse or with a bright top.  So I decided to change a long standing rule and break out the white before Memorial Day.  I figure that Maryland is close enough to being a southern state that it would be ok.  My new rule is that I'll start to wear white after Easter.

Imagine the possibilities...crisp white jeans...white on white Jack Rogers Navajo sandals...a pretty white sundress...

Here's the outfit that inspired me to wear white now:  

I'm wearing white jeans and a nautical anchor top, both from J. Crew.  I bought the top last year in J. Crew, but there's a very similar top right now in J. Crew Factory stores.  The shoes are Milly for Sperry Top Sider.      Bangles always add a pop of color to my outfit.  Today's bangles are from knot:ical and Fornash.

When do you pull the pretty whites out of your closet?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day of Kitchen Flash Sale

The One Kings Lane Day of Kitchen sale is here just in time for Spring! This is one of the best sales of the year because of the variety of high quality kitchen items One Kings Lane offers! Below are some of my favorite sales they are hosting. Remember, One Kings Lane sales only last 72 hours so when you see an item you love you should definitely buy it! This Day Of Kitchen sale is live from today-4/26. Let me know what you wind up getting to make your space ready for spring time!
The Spring Table Sale at One Kings Lane
Set a table that blooms with these light, bright entertaining necessities. Full of floral dishes, playfully printed linens, and vibrant flatware, we’ve got something to freshen up every spring soiree.  I'm a huge fan of chevron stripes and adore this tablescape.  

The Composed Counter Sale at One Kings Lane
From cookware inherited for your first apartment to the bone white china on your wedding registry, a fully-equipped kitchen is a highly-personal thing of beauty. For those missing a few key pieces, we've created a collection of kitchen essentials, perfect for function, family, and entertaining.  Add a pop of color to your kitchen with these gorgeous choices.  

Entertaining Essentials Sale at One Kings Lane
Warm days and balmy nights -- this season is just made for entertaining. Whether you're planning a casual alfresco brunch or an elaborate outdoor party, these colorful wine glasses, tumblers, coasters and cake stands make every occasion stylish and chic.  Fabulous!

The Eat-In Kitchen Sale at One Kings Lane
The eat-in kitchen is the heart and soul of the home. It’s where friends and family gather, meals are prepped and served, and memories are made. We selected our favorite kitchen and dining finds, from furniture to table linens, so you can create your own freshly-styled, functional eat-in kitchen.

Let me know what goodies you find in today's sale!  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hibiscus Water

After I posted a picture of my delicious hibiscus water in a Lilly Pulitzer pitcher on my Instagram account, many people asked how they could make this delicious drink at home.  It's very easy to prepare.  I usually have a pitcher of this prepared in my fridge at all times.

I first discovered this delightful treat when I lived in Mexico.  Colorful glass jars of flavored waters line the market stalls and can be found in almost every home.  In addition to being incredibly delicious, hibiscus water does not have any calories and is rich in antioxidants.  It's also a diuretic (adios summer bloating from the heat!) and promotes good kidney health.

First, you'll need to get some dried hibiscus flowers.  You can buy these in a package in the international section of your local grocery store.  I buy them loose at a local market.  It only takes a handful of the flowers to make a gallon or so of water.  I've seen other recipes that tell you to use a cup of flowers, but it's not necessary.  Hibiscus is incredibly inexpensive.  A huge bag is only a few dollars.

Boil a few cups of water.  Steep the flowers in the hot water for about 10 minutes.  The water turns a deep reddish pink color almost immediately.  The flowers are very potent!  Hibiscus does stain, so be careful.

Now you're ready to make the hibiscus water.  I prepared a cute little lime jug from the Dollar Spot at Target with cold water and a few ice cubes.  This helps to cool the hibiscus quickly.

Using a strainer to collect the hibiscus flowers from the pot, pour the steeped hibiscus flower liquid into the jug with the cold water and ice.

Hibiscus water is a little bit tart, so you may want to add a touch of sugar.  I also enjoy this with a squeeze of lime.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pink and Green Update!


Hello!  Life has been such a whirlwind that I've neglected my sweet little blog for a while.  Many wonderful readers have reached out to me to ask if everything is ok in my pink and green world since I had not posted. 

Well, let me tell you.  So many good things are happening and I'm sorry that I have not shared them with you sooner.  On top of the fun wedding planning, J and I found the most adorable home and started making it our own this past weekend with the big move.  So you will probably see quite a few decorating posts from me in the future and of course, I'd love to get your input.  Packing and moving are overwhelming tasks that have kept me busy, but now the fun part begins.  Unpacking and decorating are fun! 

Here's a glimpse of our new house...

The minnies are busy too, with lots of activities at school and outside of school.  Natalia performs in Beauty and the Beast this weekend and is thrilled to be on stage for another play.  She loves theater.  For the past two weeks, the cast has had practices every day from 4-9 in the evening.  Natalia has been working hard to do all of her homework, sleep, and practice and I'm so proud of her diligence.  She's maintaining straight A's with this rigorous schedule.  Whew!

I'm also spending quite a bit of time getting my AP Spanish students ready for the AP exam.  If you're a parent of a high school student or have taken any AP courses, you know what a huge task this is.  Truly, the AP tests are probably more difficult than many college courses and in the case of the Spanish test, reflect a 300 or 400 level Spanish course.  My students have been coming to review sessions after school and on Saturdays to practice as much as they possibly can.  Wish them luck and send happy thoughts their way!

Squeeze a few orthodontist appointments in there and that's my life in a nutshell. 

Good things are happening and I promise to update you about them on a more regular basis along with the usual dose of fashion and fun. 

Have a great day!


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