Friday, May 22, 2015

Have a lovely weekend!

I'm off to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this weekend/week to soak up some much needed sunshine! May has been nothing but gray skies in Denver and it's getting really, really old. I'm looking forward to lounging by the pool, dipping my toes in the ocean, eating many fish tacos, hanging with my family, and relaxing. Have a great long weekend friends!

And are some cool things from the web this week...

READ: a day in the life of Pinterest. Hilarious.

ABANDONED houses: filled with 100,000 flowers. Just beautiful.

TAROT cards: come to life. Such a cool photo series.

DOTE magazine: enjoying this new online mag-- fresh articles and good photography

DOLLHOUSE: for the hipster parents' child. Confession: I secretly want it...

RECIPE box: will this be my next bread making venture?

BALLOON diy: loving these palm leaf balloons! So fun!

FUNNY stuff: if guys vacationed like girls.

TINY spaces: doesn't everyone have minimalist dreams?

(image via anthropologie)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MAKE: Tin Can Succulent Planters

I tend to keep things around not always knowing what they will become. These tin cans are a prime example of that. After using them for their intended purpose, I cleaned and stored them with the rest of my old jar collection...mainly because, well, they're pretty! I admit, I have slight hoarding tendencies. But seriously, I use my old jars and containers in countless ways and this is just one good example. It's called upcycling y'all, and it's good for the environment! This easy peasy project converts tin cans that you would normally just toss in the trash into something beautiful. Isn't that lovely to think about? 
I bought these pretty little plant babies for $3 a piece at the Cactus and Succulent sale at the Denver Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago. And since the planter is free, this whole DIY only cost me $6. I'd say that's pretty sweet! I am a big succulent fan. I love how they come in so many unique shapes and sizes! Also they are super low maintenance, which makes them a great beginner house plant. I have cared for several over years, mostly with success, but a few failures. Here are a few tips and tricks I can offer:

- Water only once a week, don't over water
- They like bright light, but avoid placing them in intense, direct sunlight
- Pick off any dry or withered leaves to avoid bugs
Fertilize once a month during warmer weather
- Don't leave them outside in the snow or freezing temps (this one should be a no-brainer, but sometimes the weather changes quickly in CO!)

  • Tin Can, empty & cleaned
  • Succulent plant
  • Drill with ¼" metal drill bit
  • tweezers or forceps
  • Potting soil


1. Make sure your tin can is empty, clean, and dry before you begin. You can also paint the outside with chalkboard paint or any other colors if you don't like the original design. Just make sure it is dry before you start your planting. 
2. Drill 3 holes in the bottom of the can (this may vary depending on the size, you may want to drill more or less)
3. Using tweezers or forceps remove residual metal bits from the holes
4. Pot succulent using potting soil. You may want to add a pretty good base on the bottom depending how you want your succulent to look. 
5. Place in a sunny location and water once a week.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Have a beautiful weekend!

I am trying to channel blue skies and sunshine today, because it's been hard to come by lately here in CO. I am hoping to be out and about this weekend enjoying some local festivities like Jazz Fest and maybe a farmers market. I so want to ride my bike around and be outside, so hopefully the weather behaves. Enjoy the weekend guys!

Also, a little link love...

ABANDONED love: photo series inspired by Miranda July's Learning to Love You More.

READ: Hahaha vs. Hehehe...How do you e-laugh?

BEAUTY tip: Do you suffer from tangly hair like me? This brush is a god send. My hair stylist used in on my hair last week and seriously it's the best thing that has happened to my hair, like ever. It cuts my morning routine in half. I know it looks pretty basic but it works wonders.

ETSY favs: this pretty turquoise ceramic bowl, these temporary kitten tats, & this sweet birdhouse for my imaginary garden.

FASHION statement: this caftan would be the perfect coverup for my vacation to Mexico coming up. If only...

MOSAIC potholes: aren't they wonderful?!

HOUSE envy: How dreamy is this countryside home?

SAY what: a cafe in Milan designed by Wes Anderson!

FAREWELL legend: B.B. King.

(photo by me)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MAKE: Quick & Easy Rhubarb Butter

When it comes to whipping up something rather quickly to spread on toast or a biscuit, fruit butters are my jam. Ha, see what I did there? But seriously, this recipe is something that takes minimal time and effort, and leaves you with a jar for yourself and a jar for a friend! What's better than that? Fruit butters are generally made with less sugar and no pectin. Almost all of the ingredients can be found on hand in your pantry. Since it is peak rhubarb season at the moment, (peak season = April-June) I picked up some stalks from the store the other day with the intention of making...something. A few days later it all came together when I realized that we had gone through almost all of our jam in the fridge. Good timing...
When choosing rhubarb at the grocery or farmer's market look for glossy red, crisp stalks with medium thickness. If they are long and floppy that means they've been sitting around too long. Also, did you know that botanically rhubarb is actually considered a vegetable? It is in the buckwheat family and is related to the sorrel. Due to it's tartness, it is often balanced by sugary fruits in pies and desserts, but, nope, not a fruit. Crazy, huh? I'm still going reference it as a fruit in this recipe though, because I just can't get use to calling this a vegetable butter. Too weird. 
Rhubarb Butter

Makes about 2 16 oz Jars // Prep Time: 20 min
  • 4 stalks of rhubarb
  • 1 apple, peeled and cored
  • 5 strawberries
  • ½ cup of agave or honey  
  • Optional: 
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ¼ tsp. rose water 

1. Rinse all your 'fruit'. Trim the ends of the rhubarb, peel and core your apple, and trim the tops off your strawberries. 
2. Roughly chop the fruit and add to food processor. Pulse in the food processor until well blended. 
3. In a heavy bottomed pot, pour fruit mixture. Add honey, and cinnamon, lemon and rose water (if using). Bring mixture to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally. 
4. Cook about 20 min. Allow the fruit to break down. When desired consistency is reached remove from heat and let cool. If you prefer your butter very smooth, you may want to puree again in the food processor or with a hand mixer. 
5. Once cooled, pour jour butter into a jar and label it! Store in the fridge up to 3 weeks. If you want to preserve it longer, you might want to freeze it or can it. I always tend to eat mine up quickly!!
Fruit butters are so versatile! This is another recipe that can be altered depending on your own personal taste. You may want to add more or less sugar or use honey or brown sugar instead of agave. You can also try different spices like cardamom or vanilla. Or different fruits, of course! It is really infinitely adaptable! I love pairing it with warm, freshly made biscuits and tea, but you can also put a dollop in your morning oatmeal or use it as an ice cream topping. YUM!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Deep Thought Thursday + A Story from my Mother...

My mom told me a story yesterday that I had never heard before. I could tell by the quivering in her voice that it was still hard to tell, even after all these years. I asked her if there was a photo of me with my grandmother tucked away somewhere. I had never seen one, and I knew she had died soon after my birth of breast cancer. This is where I’ll tell you something pretty incredible. You see, I share a birthday with my mother. The two of us also share a birthday with my grandmother. After I was born my mom did all she could to bring me to her dying mom. The three of us were only in the same room together once. No photos were taken. In the urgency of the situation it seemed to be the least important thing, and it was. My mom said that even in death my grandmother lit up when she saw me and held me in her arms like I was her own. She might have thought I was. She died the very next day. I had no idea that we had only spent moments together, but I am grateful for them. I am grateful for that time. For the bond that we will always have. I am grateful that I gave her joy in death and that my mom brought me to her when she, herself, was recovering from a cesarian. This story made me cry. It made me cry and feel proud and scared and thankful for the women in my life. And for mothers and the things they do for each other. It made me thankful for my mother, who lost her mom at 35, but has showed me nothing but strength since the day I was born.
{September 22, My mother and grandmother}

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

10 Questions for {New} Mom Aly Aga

I’ve posted about Aly  a few times on the blog, but this week I wanted to sit down and talk with her about her most recent role as a new mom! Aly is one of those friends who I often find myself coming to for advice because it feels like she has already been there and can always point me in the right direction. In that sense I guess to me she has felt like a mama for a long time, this just makes it official. She has kind of paved the way and experienced many firsts for our group of friends— first to be engaged, first to marry, and now, first to have kids. She’s a rockstar and always has been since the day we met Freshman year in college (ahem, 11 years ago). She knows who she is and what she likes and she doesn’t take a lot of smack. She’s a good best friend to have and I’m so excited for her and her growing family! Her beautiful daughter, Juniper James Wilcox, was born just six weeks ago, so I am super appreciative of her taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about what life has been like since then...

How would you describe the past six weeks and your experience becoming a new mom?

It’s pretty incredible. It’s hard to narrow things down to words. It’s amazing to have this little person that we love so much, you know? You can't prepare yourself for that feeling, because you just don’t know that feeling until it happens. So I was excited to learn what that was like. And that love has been growing everyday! I don’t think I had that thing in the hospital bed where I was like, “Oh my god, I’m overwhelmed with the most incredible love I’ve ever felt in my life” the moment she popped out of me only because it’s such an overwhelming experience as it is! I was definitely fascinated and overjoyed, but there was so much going on I don’t think I had time to have that feeling. Being home with Juniper now, getting to see her little personality already has been really wonderful. The love just gets bigger everyday. Then there’s seeing my husband, Stuart, with her, that’s a whole new level for our relationship. I’d seen what a great dog Dad he was before.  He’s got such unconditional love and an incredible amount of selflessness. He’ll always put their needs before his needs, 100% of the time.  And now I get to see him do that with Juniper. I love that he wants to be so involved. He’s somebody who I don’t even have to ask for help. He wants to help, and really it’s not like he’s even helping, he just wants to be a father. It’s a different way of falling in love with him again and I think he would probably say the same thing about me. If you really truly love somebody, you want to see them succeed, and when you see that happening and it’s benefitting your little family, that’s pretty incredible. 

What were your expectations going into motherhood and has that changed since becoming a mother?

I really tried not to have a lot of expectations. I know that sounds like a cop out, but I feel like having expectations would put a lot of pressure on me, my husband and the baby! Even in six short weeks I have learned that life with a baby is all about the unpredictable!

How do you make time for yourself? What are your favorite ways to unwind? 

I take a shower everyday. Everyday. And actually, that’s more than I would shower before becoming a mom! It’s just a nice way for me to unwind. I love water so much that I really enjoy those 5 to 10 min that I can take and be by myself. And then walking. My neighborhood is awesome, and we’ve organized a group for new parents to get together with their babies, We’ve gone to the Botanic Gardens and last week we just walked around the park together. I’m so thankful for this little community!

What is the best advice you’ve received so far? Do you have a motherhood mantra?

The best advice I’ve gotten? Don’t listen to anyone’s advice! (Laughs). Do what’s right for you and your child. You can take it all, but then filter it. Not everything is going to work the same for every baby. You are going to figure it out on your own. For me, honestly, going through it is how I learn. Isn’t that how we learn so much in life? I know sometimes that’s the hard way, but so much of the time that’s how I figure out what works for me. So, maybe my advice is be patient with yourself and take the time to figure out what does work, for you, for your kid, for your family.

And my mantra? Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. Trust your baby.

Developing confidence in yourself is absolutely necessary. At first, you are like “I don’t know how to…fill in the blank" and you know, you just have to try it! Confidence is only possible if you try to experience new things.

What is the biggest surprise to you about having a child?

She sleeps more than I thought she would! (Laughs). But truly, almost everything is a surprise. I’m the kind of person that does not want to read the inside cover of a book. I don’t want to watch the trailer when I go see a movie. I just want to experience it fresh. Maybe that’s a horrible analogy, but I’m just trying to love it as it’s happening. I don’t want to say that I went into this unprepared, because I certainly haven’t— I read about parenting and babies and developmental stages all the time, but when it comes down to it, I don’t expect to follow any of those guidelines to a T. We are all just unique human beings and we are going to do things at our own pace and differently than other people. I’m just focusing on enjoying my unique experience.

What excites you about motherhood?

Watching her grow and change. Now, every time I see other children at different life stages, I think about her being that age, and I’m excited for her to go through all that and be there for it. It’s exciting to watch her change and grow and think about what she’ll be like in the future. Of course, I am trying to enjoy everything in the present, but you can’t help but wonder. 

What scares you?

Just making the wrong decision. I want to do the best you can. I am always going to try my best, but it’s just scary to think about all the different decisions that have to be made and trying to get her on the best path. There are so many options these days, that there is a lot to consider. Should she go to a charter school? Or home school? Or should she go to the public school that’s a little bit rough, because that’s what I did and it worked out well for me. With so many different decisions, it’s hard to know what’s going to be best for her, and for us! You really have to know yourself and your partner, and base it on that.

What is the best part?

Just getting to spend time with her-- this lovely little snuggle bug. Giving her affection, and giving her what she needs, and spending time together as a family. Experiencing all this new love together. Seeing her smile. 

Have you developed any rituals/routines?

Well, there are things that we do for her everyday to show her affection and love. Stuart is really cute with her and you can see the differences between the ways we interact with her. I think it’s really important for people to know that the way that you do something is not going to be the way that someone else does it and you really have to let them do their own thing because that has a different benefit for her. Like if we both parented her exactly the same what’s the point in having two parents, right? Right now it seems like I’m the one who tries to be calming and gentle and use a soothing voice, whereas Stuart wants to excite her, and distract her, and bounce her around to the point where I’m like “oookay, that’s a lot of bouncing!" but she totally loves it! You can tell that she really enjoys her time with her dad and he’s able to settle her down with his own tricks and ways, and same with her mom. It’s just different. I also have been narrating everything I do. I’ve taken Juni on a tour of the house everyday. At this early stage, you just want to be talking to them a lot and when there is nobody else here I don’t know what to talk about, so I’ll introduce her to everything, “this is your dog” and explain, "he’s such a curly boy and he has soft fur” and “this is a mirror and this is your face” so we just do a lot of talking about everything that’s around. And we get in the tub almost every night together, which is really nice. She enjoys it a lot and she always sleeps better when she’s taken a bath with mama. She just lays on my chest and I pour water over her with a little cup. Last night she nursed in there too… it was like she was at the spa! 

What would you tell anyone starting out on this journey as a new mom?

This is maybe obvious, but the transition is not gradual. One day you don’t have a baby and the next day you do! And now you have a child for the rest of your life, which is kind of a crazy thing to try to wrap your brain around. Of course it’s going to be hard at times, but it’s amazing! I think it's important to stop and just enjoy the experience. And it’s such a wonderful experience. I don’t know what else I would rather be doing at this period of my life, honestly. I’m really grateful to be where I am. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

For Mom: A Mother's Day Gift Guide...

Mother's Day is coming up, and in anticipation I have a few special posts for you guys that will touch on the subject of Motherhood throughout the week. Although I am not a mother myself, I have a lot of experience in the gift giving category as an aunt, sister, friend and daughter. I feel like even if you are shopping for a new mom, it is important to keep mom in mind and not be tempted to shop for the baby. I am all about anything that is going to pamper, or encourage 'me' time. I also like to buy things that might be considered splurges for everyday, but are totally manageable on their own as a gift. The above gift guide is full of things that in my opinion improve quality of life. Everything represented goes a little deeper than the object itself it's an experience, a memory, a scent, that is sure to tell mom to relax and enjoy the day. 

1. Capri Blue Constellation Candle — these candles have a long burn time and smell up the whole room, or bathroom ;)

2. Artemis Hair Pin — jewelry is always a good idea, but I am in love with this amazing hair pin. So unique!

3. Ceramic Carved Planter — I never buy ceramics for myself, which is exactly why I fee like they make the perfect gift. These beauties are by a local Denver maker, Veak Ceramics. Add a succulent or cacti for that extra something.

4. Jurlique Hand Cream — I gave all the moms in my life hand cream last year. It's such a simple luxury, but also so important. The rose scent is my favorite!

5. Artifact Uprising Photobook — or any of the AU products. They are are also a LOCAL company {Denver shout out} and I love their philosophy that is "inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible." If you haven't heard of them I strongly encourage you to check them out!