sweet peony

We’re obsessed with peonies, so when we saw these pretty images by Becky Young Photography from her sister’s bridal shower, and peonies were in the details, we were in love.

The soft colors, ribbon backdrop, sweet peony arrangements by the one and only Cori Cook and desserts made for one lovely bridal shower. And according to Cori, the bride, Jenny, is as sweet as pie. We want to meet her…and see her August wedding!


VENDOR LOVE
photography: Becky Young Photography
florist: Cori Cook 

{images via Becky Young Photography}

susan + michael

We love this wedding for it’s pretty simplicity, but also its DIY touches, lovely lace, vintage accessories and the most stunning floral bouquets and arrangements! Tables were set with burlap runners lined with lace borders. Such a pretty combo.  Centerpieces by one of our faves, Cori Cook, were a mix of old wooden planter boxes with beautiful arrangements of juliet garden roses, succulents, roses, veronica, cafe au lait dahlias, scabiosa pods, astible, sweet pea, lavender and seeded eucalyptus. The details and the setting made for a beautiful garden wedding.

Thanks for Harper Point for sharing the amazing photos with us. Ya’ll are good!

VENDOR LOVE
Photography: Harper Point Photography
Flowers: Cori Cook Floral Design
Paperware: Paper + Ink
Rentals/Vintage Props: A Vintage Affair Rentals
Venue: The Tapestry House

{images via Harper Point Photography}

thursday night FAC

It’s almost Friday, so make this week’s FAC on Thursday. Come on, you deserve it. Today, our ingredient from the garden is fresh strawberries, so it seems fitting that you celebrate your Thursday FAC with a Strawberry Margarita. I planted strawberries years ago, and they come back every year bigger and better. I don’t do a darn thing, and they keep growing. As long as I pick them before the rabbits and birds get them, life has been sweet with strawberries this summer.

The BEST….seriously, the BEST…margarita is a strawberry light from The Rio in downtown Denver {or Fort Collins, or Steamboat}. I can’t drink any other margs – they just don’t even come close. However, I think I’ve created one that does…I savored every last drop. Hope you do too.

Strawberry Margarita
recipe adapted from friend, Reid Griebling
yields 4 glasses

Ingredients
6 counts {yes, count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…sorry I didn’t measure and followed bartender orders} white 100% Agave Tequila
1-2 tsp Agave Nectar
1.5 count Cointreau {or Triple Sec}
20 fresh strawberries
3 limes + 1 lime for garnish
2 cups of ice

How To
Add strawberries, agave nectar, Tequila, Cointreau, fresh squeezed lime juice and ice in a blender.
Adjust to taste.
Cheers!

{images via Tutto Bella}

spread the love…and the pesto

This summer, I’ve been obsessed with fresh basil. I’ve always loved it, especially fresh pesto. Basil has been one of my successful herbs in the garden this summer, so I’ve experimented with pesto recipes, and since this week is all about the garden, today I’m sharing a pesto recipe and how to make it a lovely hostess gift, or party favor. Because who wouldn’t love fresh pesto and an easy, already-prepared dinner for a gift?

{Sandy’s basil plant}

Basil, Spinach and Walnut Pesto
yields 1-2 cups
{I usually make Pesto with basil and pine nuts, but since I was out of pine nuts and I wanted to add Spinach for the kids, I modified it}

Ingredients
2 1/2 cup fresh Spinach
1 1/2 cup fresh Basil
1/3-1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup walnut
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

How To
Add basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a food processor, then add salt and pepper.
Puree until smooth.
Find a cute mason jar or small container for your homemade pesto, and if you want to dress it up a bit, add a bow and a label or Kraft paper like I did with ‘grazie’ stamped on it.

 

Other DIY Garden-Inspired Hostess Gifts
Give an upcycled mini herb garden.
This Lemonade Summer Cooler idea is absolutely adorable.
Personalized Coasters is a lovely gift and a fun DIY project for fresh drinks from the garden.
We love this hand-tied bouquet, wrapped in a nice tea towel.
Hot pads with fresh baked bread is yummy and useful.
DIY homemade Lavender Linen Spray sounds blissful…and necessary for my bedtime routine.

{images via Tutto Bella}

we dig it

Gardens are a happy place. I really believe that. Maybe it’s because I have happy memories watching my grandpa and grandma tend to the garden with their sun hats, cherishing the sounds of birds chirping in the nearby bird bath, and taking in the smells and sounds around them…and then sharing their zucchini and garlic with us. I also know that gardening is therapeutic for people, and can be a place of solace where people connect with nature and themselves. With water and a little TLC, just a tiny seed can grow into a plant that can nourish a family. Amazing!

Having attempted a garden for two years, I’ve had successes and failures. I can grow carrots, strawberries, kale, spinach and basil. As for zucchini, well, the verdict is still out. The veggies that don’t like my garden, or my beginner gardening skills, are cucumber, beans and peas.

Now is the time of year many people are harvesting their summer garden and enjoying the fruits {and veggies} of their labor on the dinner table. So, this week is all about the garden. We’ll have recipes, inspiration and tips.

Today’s garden-inspired recipe is from a favorite family friend, Sandy Lessig. She made so many meals for our family when I gave birth to all 3 kids {and those of you with kids know how fantastic a cooked meal by someone else is post labor}, and recently had us over for dinner. I inhaled her delicious food, and she was kind enough to share her healthy appetizer recipe with me to share with you.

This makes for a wonderful party appetizer…and for all you wonderful gluten-free folk, this one works for you too!

Eggplant, Pepper and Onion Dip
recipe adapted from Sandy Lessig

Ingredients
1 red pepper
1 eggplant
1/2-1 Vidalia onion {if you like a stronger onion flavor, use 1 whole onion. And when Vidalia onions are out of season, use yellow onions}
4-8 tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Food Should Taste Good, Olive Chips

How To
Cut red pepper, eggplant and 1/2 onion into large pieces. Keep the skin on the eggplant.
Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper. I covered the veggies in about 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.

Roast veggies at 350 degrees until tender, about 30 min.
Use a food processor {or blender} to blend the veggies together. I added another 2 tablespoons Olive Oil to the food processor as I was blending it to make it smoother, but the amount of Olive Oil you add if your preference. You can add salt, pepper and even garlic salt to taste too.
Serve in a bowl or fancy individual cup with Gluten Free, Food Should Taste Good Olive Crackers. You can serve this warm or cold {it’s similar to hummus}, so you can make the day before a party and not worry about re-heating.
Enjoy!

{images via Tutto Bella}