Monday, June 25, 2012

great advice

I recently got some really great advice from someplace quite unexpected.

Yep, 50 Cent. Via Oprah. {My washer stopped working mid-wash, so I loaded up my car and drove over to my parent's house to finish my laundry. My mom was watching Oprah's Next Chapter.}

I've always been a worrywart. I fully believe it's hereditary, but 50's words really resonated with me and have inspired me to change my worrying ways. 

Have you received good advice from an unexpected source?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

puff daddy

Last weekend, I wanted to make something new for breakfast. A while ago, I'd been watching the Barefoot Contessa and she whipped up some oven pancakes {also known as Dutch babies or German pancakes}. They puffed over the side of gratin dishes, turning golden brown and delicious-looking. A few days later, I stumbled upon this puffed pancake recipe and decided it was time to make them myself.

They were simple and delicious. And Mark was happy to wake up to a made-from-scratch breakfast before we headed out for the day.

If you don't have a pie pan, try a cast-iron skillet.

Top with a little butter, sprinkle on some powdered sugar, add some strawberries and maple syrup, if you please.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

from russia {and italy, and france...}, with love

A sweet, thoughful, handwritten, sent-via-snail-mail note is my favorite thing to get in the mail {except for maybe a surprise package from my husband or a dear friend}. And I especially love postcards from far-away places.

Over Christmas, I found this envelope of vintage stamps from around the world on sale at Anthropologie and I just had to have them. I love the idea that these stamps have adorned love letters, thank you cards, just-because notes and, of course, postcards, from people I'll never meet. I'm sure some of these stamps may have traveled quite a distance to reach their destination.

I decided to create an easy weekend DIY project, so I painstakingly sorted through the collection and selected a few of my favorites to display.

I'm loving the way it turned out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

some of my favorite things

Just a few of my favorite things of late.

~pig tissues from target~

~hungry chipmunk in our front yard~

~smart thermostat - the nest~

~cloudy day with a view of the towers~

~a sweet-scented candle is even better on sale! thanks, anthro~

~a new book {paris! sweets!} and macaron boxes~

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

fresh spring meal

Inspired by our successful Easter meal on Sunday {check out my baking disaster},  Mark and I spent some more time in the kitchen last night. We whipped up some delicious, light and healthy turkey lettuce wraps for dinner - perfect for spring.

When we first started dating, Mark would make me the most amazing meals {it's no secret that my culinary skills are firmly planted in the world of baking}. As we grew in our relationship and tried making meals together, it was usually a disaster, where I would end up in tears and he would be fuming. We would always get in each other's way and on each other's nerves.

Maybe we're still in the honeymoon phase, or maybe we've just learned how to work better together, but we've become a really good team in the kitchen. I'm a much better cook than ever before and now creating meals is always quick and easy!

It was the first time we've made this recipe, and although we'll be making a few tweaks next time {like a little less Chinese five-spice} we polished off the entire dish.

I always like a good shortcut in the kitchen, and for this recipe we used ready rice cups. One cup is the perfect size for the recipe. 

Another thing I like? Substitutions. Mostly because I always forget to pick up at least one ingredient when I'm at the grocery store. This time I forgot to get a fresh bottle of sesame oil, so we substituted stir fry oil.

We topped off each wrap with freshly shredded carrot, julienned basil {for Mark} and a mix of sweet chili and soy sauces.

Pure perfection. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

sweet little cakes and a simple little 'scape

Happy Easter!

I spent Saturday baking Easter cupcakes for the first Easter dinner Mark and I hosted in our home. I found the cutest liners, crackers and napkins for my tablescape, and used the arrangement from my first floral design class for the centerpiece. {The candles and burlap runner were from my wedding tablescapes.}

~butter and eggs captured with my new lens~
~pretty liners found on sale: pink & yellow petals for vanilla and chocolate cakes~

~the first time I EVER over-portioned~

~completely unsalvageable~

~cupcake toppers~

~napkins from ikea and crackers from sur la table~

~simple tablescape with plenty of room for the food~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

beautiful bunches of blooms

Lately, I haven't been able to get enough fresh flowers in the house. I love to pick up bunches of single flowers {my faves of late : freesia, tulips, antique blush roses, daffodils} and drop them in vases as a quick and easy way to bring some cheer to a room. And while these single-style flower bouquets are pretty on their own, I decided it was time to up my game and gain some skills in floral design.

One of the local community colleges offers community education classes that are hosted near my house {think yoga, photography, computer skills, pottery, etc.}, and I was so excited to see they offer a four-week floral design class!

Last night was my first class, and I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with - a pretty Easter arrangement and a rose corsage.

~creating the structure~

~in progress~

~buds, wire and floral tape for the corsage~

::: And the finished designs :::

Full disclosure: immediately after taking this shot, I tried to put my corsage on my wrist and it pretty much exploded like a glitter-rosebud-wax flowers-floral-tape bomb. Sad face.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I've long been jealous of iPhone users and the cool, just-for-iPhone apps {I'm an Android user}. But today I'm so excited because one of my favorite lust-from-afar apps is now available for my phone's operating system.

Hello, Instagram.

I think we'll be great friends.

follow me @modernlovely

Thursday, March 29, 2012

a post about love, and about a blog about love

I've been reading lots about love and marriage lately. Not sure why these things keep popping up on my radar, but they have been, so I'm embracing the knowledge being showered upon me.

One of my favorite bits of advice is to hang out without other couples {double dates!}. Experts {i.e. authors I've been reading} say that you can learn a lot from your friends' relationships. Watch how they interact - do they hold hands? Are they quick to apologize to each other? Are they polite to one another? Even if they're having a not-so-wonderful night, you can learn from that, too - how not to act, perhaps. Either way, it can strengthen your relationship, and it's fun to spend time with friends!

Another thing I've learned? Appreciate the little things. And make sure your partner knows you appreciate and love them.

One of my new favorite blogs - A Blog About Love - posted on that very thing recently. It's too good not to share with you. While in the story, the author had originally written the advice as six things to always say to your spouse, I think it's applicable to your friends and maybe even yourself, too.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

some of my favorite things : around the house

This weekend, I picked up a few things to add a little whimsy to the house. 

~spooning leads to forking. new art in the kitchen - a giant spoon from my mother-in-law~

~first spotted this little piggy at sur la table. found it on discount home goods.~

~daffodils : the perfect way to welcome spring~

~this little piggy will live in the garden, glowing pink at night after soaking up the sun all day {it's solar!}~

Monday, March 5, 2012

bikinis to fit any body

Spring is in the air, and in Arizona, that means summer {and bikini season} is not that far behind. 

I've struggled with finding bikinis that fit my shape - and more specifically, my bust. I envy those girls who can walk around in itty bitty string bikinis without a care in the world. I strap one of those babies on and the outcome borders on vulgar. 

Suffice it to say, while most people find bathing suit shopping difficult, I find it always unpleasant and disappointing...until now. 

Freya offers bra-sized tops! I picked up this style and am completely in love.

Ok, ok. Sure there are plenty of places that offer bra sizing, but these bathing suits from Freya offer sizes from C to GG. And they're adorable!

Find more styles here

all images via amazon.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

sleeping beauties

A few weekends ago, I invited some of my fave girls over for an old-fashioned sleep-over, filled with lots of food, movies, popcorn and an adult twist {besides the wine and beer, of course} - spa treatments.

I discovered some great kitchen esthetician recipes for face masks and decided to make two, one for ladies with combo/oily skin, and one for those with dry skin {I bought raw honey, but the recipe actually called for organic honey - which, thankfully, I had in my pantry. Phew!}.

~i picked up this clay at a local farmers. mix with water et voila!

We whipped up the masks, slathered our faces {or hands, in some cases} with the treatments, painted our nails and enjoyed girls-only conversation and fashion and gossip magazines.

We then headed down to the theatre room for popcorn and movies.

The next morning, we enjoyed bagels, coffee and OJ.

As a party favor, each girl left with a homemade, all-natural lavendar vanilla sugar scrub.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...