Sweet Summer Picnic & an Amazing Salad Recipe!

sweetSummerPicnic

I can’t believe its already been two weeks since we celebrated my mom’s birthday! We love to surprise her and do something special every year. This year we decided to have a birthday picnic downtown near the Riverwalk. We picked up some food from Trader Joe’s and I made tassel streamers. Here are a few pictures from our evening.

sidebySide ^^^^ Two straws are the new thing! :) ^^^^ Ok, they were so cute we had to use both of them. We got a bunch of fun summer drinks: Sparkling Fruit Water, White Grape Chardonnay (grape juice), Virgil’s Root Bear and Blood Orange Soda. My mom got to drink out of the crystal wine glass/goblet.

food Claire recreated our favorite salad from this Italian restaurant in Chicago. Even if you don’t like dates, they add a perfect sweetness, just shop them up small. Seriously, it’s so good! We also had a bunch of different cheeses, prosciutto, sour dough baguettes and lots of fruit. Goat cheese is my favorite! You can get a great trio of goat cheeses (pepper, original, and garlic herb) from Trader Joe’s. Here’s the salad recipe:

Ingredients: 
arugula
bacon
parmesan
medjool dates

Dressing:
olive oil + balsamic vinegar

streamersClose  ^^^^^My tassel streamers^^^^ Party decor is the best. Usually at home we do tons of balloons for birthdays. This year I tried out these tassel streamers. They were easy to make and fun to keep out all the time.  I’ll post a short tutorial on how I made them  later this week or next. They’re now hanging above my desk area.

picnic1It was a perfect day! We all agreed that we should have picnics more often.

SIGN_OFF

A Prince is born!

royal-baby-

Even though I’m a few days late, I had to post on the royal baby! I was so excited for Will & Kate.  Kate looked beautiful. She is such a good example of elegance and poise. Let’s not get started with Will! :) It will be fun to watch little George grow up.

174290676
Thanks to my mom, my sisters and I are anglophiles!l It started long ago when we first watched the 6 hour BBC Pride and Prejudice. Then we watched all Charles Dickens movies and the love affair has only grown. My younger sister is studying abroad in Oxford, England next semester! So cool right?!! I think she’ll marry an Englishman! :)

So many of my favorite people/things have come from England: Jane Austin, C.S. Lewis, William Shakespeare, J.M.W Turner (incredible landscape artist), C.H. Spurgeon, JK Rowling (ahhhhh Harry Potter!), David Beckham, Westminster Abbey, TEA!!! I’ve had several cups of tea this week in honor of the newest addition to The Royal Family! :) A few of my favorite English things below.

allYouNeedisTea

1// Walkers Scottie Dog Shortbread Cookies  2// Queen Diamond Jubilee Teapot 3// All You Need is Tea print 4// Harrods Earl Grey Tea 5// British Royal Guard Tea Towel 6// Union Jack teacup 7// Kate’s Sapphire

wedding_059
I had to include The Royal Wedding.  There are more beautiful images of Will & Kate on their website: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge.

SIGN_OFF

sources: top images via, royal wedding via

More low glycemic index snacks & lunches for kids!

quiches Continuing from the last post with some more low glycemic index snacks for kids: How cute are these little lunches? Continue reading

Low Glycemic Index Snacks

GRIDlowGI
I used to teach first grade and I’ve kept in contact with a lot of my former students. One of my sweet families has recently made some dietary changes due to health reasons, and the mom asked if I had any healthy snack ideas that were low glycemic index. Continue reading

Graphic Rugs

patternSocietyrugsPatternSociety

How cool are these graphic rugs from Pattern Society? Rugs are great because you can do something bold, but it’s not permanent or a hassle to change or move them. These would add such a good punch of color to a space. I think I like the top two the best. The black + + + taking the cake. I bought this striped rug last year and it makes me so happy! Who doesn’t love stripes? Pattern Society is a new company, est. 2013. They plan on expanding (only have 5 designs currently) and I’m excited to see what other patterns they will offer in the future. If you’re thinking of buying a rug (or if you’re just curious like I was when I read this post) Emily Henderson, a designer & HGTV host, shares her expertise on choosing the right rug size for a room in this post. She even has a good video showing you how a rug size can make a room feel bigger or smaller. My rugs are “technically” too small for our space, but big rugs = big bucks. :) Ohh well! I like them just the same. :) Here are a few more of my favorites:

Souk Wool Rug (it has tassels!!) // Vintage Moroccan Rug // Zola (black/white/bold!)

valencia_horizontal

My mom’s birthday picnic yesterday was a blast! My sister Claire and I spent the day making yummy food & decorations. She made a killer salad with arugula and bacon. I’ll share some pretty details and the recipe next week.
SIGN_OFF