Ahoy, matey: Etsy nautical finds

I’m a sucker for an anchor or a nautical stripe, and ahoy, matey, is seaside chic ever having an Etsy moment. Look at all the fun:

From emandsprout on Etsy, a sailor tee that I’m really into: $16

Happy striped pillows, $70 for three:

Yellow cabana stripes, $20:

Anchor placecards, $50 for 50.

I wish I had the guts to wear this FablesbyBarrie dress, $108:

Very tempted to order these and have personalized nautical water in my fridge, just for fun, $12:

A little cast iron goodie for your wall, $9

Mission: find awesome men’s vintage vest in my size and send it to BrightWall on Etsy. This is $26.

Sweet print by Letterpress, $10:

PrettyRacoon might be my fave new Etsy find. (Visit her shop, and ogle the Eiffel Tower dress.) This anchor tee is $31.

Um, yes please: $25.

Or, should I get this, $60:

By |2012-01-14T20:20:33-07:00January 14th, 2012|Style|0 Comments

Tooth Fairy Doors D-I-Y

For Christmas, I gave some little people that I love homemade tooth fairy doors. The doors hang on the wall — above a nightstand, say, providing access to coin-bearing nymphs that visit in the night.

I love the gift of imagination.

 

The doors are meant for miniature dollhouses, and all you have to do is order the supplies, paint the pieces and glue on brass door accessories.

I might be making a few more — for my mother, and myself.

We believe in magic.

By |2012-01-12T20:16:56-07:00January 12th, 2012|DIY + Projects|5 Comments

Scarlett’s Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Party

I thought the cutest thing I’d ever encountered was my 3-year-old niece Scarlett, calling me on the phone: “Jaimee, will you come to my Strawberry Shortcake birfday party?” Will I ever.

And then I went to her Strawberry Shortcake birthday party, which my sister Kapri turned into 3-year-old nirvana — also known as a tea party — and watched Scarlett running around in a strawberry tutu and a strawberry purse. And that was the cutest thing on the planet.

The invites:

The room:

Strawberry cake pops, made by my sister, (who may be nuts):

The outfit:

And yes, that is a baby strawberry purse.

 

The party favors for each guest — aprons monogrammed by my sister (certifiably nuts):

Birthday cupcakes, candles (and helpers named Blake):

Decorating with dolls:

Kapri, pouring “tea” . . .

. . . which was really water . . .

. . . or strawberry soda.

The food matched:

Did you know there are strawberry-shaped marshmallows?

Scarlett’s balloons:

And the second round of party favors:

A pinata to match:

Baby brother and Granni, dressed as decor:

And a happy little girl, who asked last week if she could have another Strawberry Shortcake birthday party, and when.

By |2012-01-12T20:11:10-07:00January 12th, 2012|Parties|8 Comments

A pink cupcake first birthday party for Scarlett

Turning one is really, really hard.

You have to get all dressed up in pink, puffy cupcake clothes and open lots of polka-dot presents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have to help your mom by taking naps while she makes cupcake-shaped invitations and cupcakes with pink sparkles and polka dots on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Said naps take place here. Can you imagine how hard life in this nursery must be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your older brother might try to steal your new cupcake toys given by Granni. Your older cousins will want to attack your pink pinata. (Your smart mom bought it on clearance after Valentine’s Day, saved it, and added a paper “1.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have to smile for all your guests, who get to eat skewers of pink saltwater taffy that your mom made and strawberry spinach salad on pink polka dot plates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have to wear a hat that looks like this.

At the end of the party, you will be given your very own giant cupcake to eat all by yourself, baked by Granni, who even made a giant cardstock cupcake cup, just for you. The icing is cream cheese, covered in glitter. The cake is chocolate.

Hmmm . . .

Isn’t that the worst?

 

By |2011-07-12T20:08:59-07:00July 12th, 2011|Parties|0 Comments

My Mom’s Zucchini Bread

My dad’s garden is filled with squash the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s right arm, so this week I made my mother’s famous zucchini bread.

(Note: that is a regular, apple-sized tomato. NOT a mini.)

I made lots and lots of zucchini bread.

My mom baked it every summer when the zucchini took over our backyard. We whiny children required that she omit the nuts and raisins, and puree the squash into oblivion so that we “could not see any green in the bread,” my mom says.

I wonder if it makes good french toast. I wonder why my mom didn’t puree us.

After I baked the zucchini bread, I delivered some to my sister, still in the hospital with her baby. “No nuts,” said she. The baby is getting better.

I took some to my brother, who fell and broke both of his ankles this week and is in another hospital across town. “This is SO good,” said he. He has a very good doctor.

I shared with my other, sister, too, while extracting a promise that she not fall/bleed/cry/need for the foreseeable future. She agreed.

For my mother, comfort-giver extraordinaire, racing from hospital to hospital, I made a special bread. Extra nuts. Which is how I imagine she feels.

I made sure  that you could not see any green.

It was hard.

She must really love us.

Her recipe, in her words (and a treat from me down below):

Mom’s Zucchini Bread 
Mix:
3 eggs
2 C sugar
1 C oil – or substitute 1 C applesauce – or 1/2 cup of each tastes the best.
2 t vanilla
2 C blended zucchini

To blend zucchini in order to disguise any “green things” in the bread:
Pour 1/2 C of oil/applesause into the blender/food processor. As blender is running on low, slowly cut the zucchini into the blender. If blender becomes sluggish, add rest of oil/applesauce. I just kept checking the cup measurements on the side of the blender until I had 3 cups of liquid (or 2 1/2 cups if I had only added 1/2 of the oil/applesauce). Blend in the eggs and the sugar.

(Note from Jaimee: if you are using overgrown Schwarzenegger zucchini, first take out the seeds. Chop your squash into one-inch dice. And you’re going to need a food processor, not a blender, and a lot of patience.)

In a separate bowl, sift:
3 C flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
4 t. cinnamon

Slowly pour the egg/zucchini batter into the sifted ingredients, and mix.

Options:
1/2 C chopped nuts (which I rarely did because you kidlets would pick them out 🙂 )
1/2 C raisins (I did this once and everyone flipped out with “ugh”)
(From Jaimee: For my mom and moi, I added 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries. It was excellent.  I was a bratty kid.)
Bake:
2 regular loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans
Well-greased and floured
350 degrees – 60-70 minutes (maybe less for minis, when toothpick comes out clean)
Notes from Jaimee: This is the best zucchini bread you will ever have. Big props to my mother for inventing this. She hated to cook. We nut-phobic, raisin-hating, green-fearing picky children have no idea why. Also: don’t peel the zucchini. The point is to disguise as much nutrition as humanly possible, so then you can slather it with this:

Cinnamon-vanilla honey butter: heaven, come to life.

Mix: 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature, 1/3 cup honey, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and a pinch of salt.

You’re welcome.

By |2011-06-15T20:56:51-07:00June 15th, 2011|Recipes|0 Comments

Spring harvest party

I think the arrival of asparagus and artichokes deserves its own party. My editors agreed. Here’s a peek at my ideas for a spring harvest fest, complete with yellow tulips, a posh cocktail, and homemade napkin rings. You can find details, directions and see all the pictures here. (And a big thanks to Nicole for sharing my Frank Lloyd Wright story. I heart Nicole.)

Martha Stewart’s edge punch strikes again.

I always go completely insane over those mini vegetables in the stores. I buy them, bring them home, open the fridge, and stare.  Here’s a way to actually eat them:

Party Favors: seed packets from the grocery store. Artichokes can really come in handy. Besides, of course, on your dinner plate. (I love them as centerpieces, too, or placecard holders at each placesetting.)

Remember last summer, when I told you all about my love for American expatriates Gerald and Sara Murphy, who hung out with Picasso, Hemingway and Fitzgerald? This was Gerald’s favorite cocktail. He called it the juice of a few flowers. It’s my favorite, with or without the champagne. Once, F. Scott Fitzgerald drank too many and started throwing glasses off the balcony at the Villa America in France. I love knowing this.

His recipe: Mix 1 ounce each freshly squeezed orange juice and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1/2 ounce each fresh lemon and lime juices. Top with 1 ounce gin, vodka or champagne. Garnish with a flower, of course.

 

By |2011-04-15T20:46:01-07:00April 15th, 2011|Parties|0 Comments

A Valentine Lunch (no boys allowed)

My friend Angela, one of the event masterminds of Angelic Grove, had the girls over for a Valentine lunch. She put on a little red dress, lit candles, made sangria, and baked heart-shaped quiche. Women really should be in charge of Valentine’s Day entirely.

The table: (mats and coasters from Target, vintage glass plates, amazing roses from Angelic Grove, of course)

Did you get a good look at those napkin rings? Candy necklaces! (Also from Target.) We all put them on, and perhaps took a bite or two. Mine tasted like perfume. (Perhaps this is why grown-ups should not eat candy necklaces.)

The Sangria was delish. I watched my friends spoon up every last bit of fruit.

Dessert? She served two  — each shipped overnight from the East coast just for our party. There was a chocolate-covered lemon torte with berries and Devonshire cream (goodness), and French macarons that matched the table. They tasted just like Paris. (You can find these  here at Essence Bakery Cafe in Tempe.)

Party favors? We got to take home the centerpieces, and I had pink roses to keep me company all week. A girl couldn’t ask for a better valentine than Angela. (With apologies to Ty.)

P.S. I don’t know about your valentine, but mine, darling as he is, often needs a little direction. Reminders. Links. Phone numbers written surreptitiously on notepads I just happen to leave out. Girls, send your men to Angela. 602.462.9700. You just might get something as romantic as these tulips that she and her designer husband Mark sent to a client the other day. Can you believe that carved vase, initials and everything? Best Valentine flowers ever.

By |2011-02-15T20:29:39-07:00February 15th, 2011|Parties|0 Comments

Pinked-out Baby Shower

When Miss Scarlett Rose Roberts was on her way to my sister, Kapri, the women in my family went soft in the head. My mom, sister Heidi and I threw a ruffled, rhinestoned shower with a rose theme to celebrate, all in pink. Take a peek:

Kapri has quite the closet waiting for Scarlett. We pulled out the greatest hits and displayed them on wire dress forms we bought at Ikea a few years ago.

In a stroke of brilliance, my mom pulled out all our white doll furniture to double as decor and serving dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic forks + cute PB Kids vanity = no one cares that the flatware is disposable.

Pesticide-free roses look very pretty floating in ice water, and a doll armoire holds the glass flutes. (Invest in real glassware, friends — enough for large party. Yes, you have to wash it, but it’s infinitely more posh and you’ll use it forever.) Find these here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it sweet? (Love that baby dress.) Here’s a close-up of the dessert table.

Of course we had to have cupcakes, baked a few days in advance and frozen by moi, then frosted and dusted with pink-dyed coconut just before the party.

The mini pink milkshakes return.

(If y’all missed this from my last bash, it’s my favorite trick of the year. The milkshake is from the McDonald’s drive-though, decanted into shot glasses, and all the women swoon.)

This is my niece, Khloe, all pretty in pink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These cotton candy cones were my favorite new idea for this shower. Cut 8 1/2 by 11 scrapbook paper in half width-wise, twist into a cone, seal with a homemade sticker. Stuff it with cotton candy. When my nieces saw this on the buffet, they were quite sure they’d found heaven. Kapri snuck a bag off for herself. (Her party, she’s allowed.) And even my Granna was tickled pink to be eating cotton candy. (A big thanks to Cindy, who brought this home for me from the ballpark.)

Heidi made pasta salad, which we served in tiny pink takeout containers with scallop-trimmed edges, and displayed in a doll bed. Find the takeout containers at Michaels, details for trimming them here, and the doll bed at Pottery Barn Kids.

You bet we had favors: Martha Stewart’s new pink flower boxes, dressed up with a rhinestone, filled with pink M&Ms. (Purchased in another smart move at Valentine’s Day, and saved for this occasion.)

These boxes aren’t online yet, but you can find them at Michaels, about $20 for 20 boxes, I believe.

The invitation: (Sorry for that weird piece of paper. I don’t know how to blur addresses.)

And we even rhinestoned a few of the rose petals — my mom’s idea, and just one more detail to make the shower special for my sister.

 

By |2011-01-15T20:10:50-07:00January 15th, 2011|Parties|0 Comments
Go to Top