Over the weekend I had the pleasure of hosting one of my former sorority sisters and her sweet kiddos for the night. It had been a crazy week for Julian and I, so I simply did not have the time to prepare much for her stay. However, I wanted to do something small to welcome their family to the island, and our home!
Every hostess wants her guests to feel comfortable, and something a simple as a welcome tray can do just that. This tray takes only a few extra moments, but can make a big impact in making your guests feel right at home.
Let me know if you try this in your home! Happy hosting.
The suspense of “The Girl on the Train” will keep you up all night until you’ve finished reading! There has been a lot of buzz about this book lately, as it has some parallels to “Gone Girl” and is being made into a film that will be in theaters this fall.
While on the train, the protagonist, Rachel, witnesses something that drives her deep into events that unravel her already broken world. The story is told from three different points of view, and each turn of events is more shocking than the last. “The Girl on the Train” is a thrilling ride!
Have you read it? Do you plan to? Let me know your thoughts!
Favorite quote: “I don’t know. I don’t know where that strength went, I don’t remember losing it. I think that over time it got chipped away, bit by bit, by life, by the living of it.” -Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train
Our Julian Koki is 8 months old today! His personality is shining through more than ever, and we feel so fortunate to be his parents. Here are some of the things I want to always remember about our sweet baby Jules at this age.
Biggest Milestones: Julian is on the move! He scoots, army crawls and rolls to his destination. He is still dragging his belly around, so I’m not sure I would call it “crawling” just yet. But he is mobile! He is also pulling himself up to stand and can hold the position for some time! With mama right behind him of course.
Talking: Julian’s favorite word continues to be dada. I document this a lot of snapchat! He is babbling more and more, and louder and louder. He says mamamama but it is a lot less frequent than dada. He’s figuring out his N’s and B’s as well. Which makes his Nana very happy!
Eating: Baby Julian eats it all! I have gotten more creative with his baby food lately. Just last night he had a puree of avocado, pear, spinach and rosemary. He loves to eat what we’re eating as well. Which means, now more than ever, I really need to be mindful of what we are eating.
Sleeping: Our little man is still an incredible sleeper, and we do not take it for granted! He is staying up a little later during these summer days, and sleeping about 12 hours a night. Hallelujah!
Favorite activity: Now that it’s summertime, we’ve been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and have been to several outdoor BBQ’s and hosted a fun Fourth of July party ourselves. Julian loves hanging out outside with his rescue pup Jetand everyone else. He is already so spoiled by his grandparents, especially those grandmas! And he loves it!
Favorite book: We are both loving Julian’s Five-Minute Bedtime Stories from Usborne lately. As the title states, each story takes about 5 minutes to read, and follows the chronicles or Dog, Cat and other friends. It’s the perfect way to wind down before bed.
One thing I never want to forget: When Julian sees something he wants (usually food) he goes into a frenzy. His eyes grow wide, he begins grunting loudly and waving his arms so you’ll take note. As if you could miss it! It’s one of our favorite things to witness. If only we could all have such enthusiasm!
Our small town really comes to life over the Fourth of July! BBQ’s, parades, bare feet and boating are what summers are made of here in the Pacific Northwest. And when I was working at the VA Hospital in Seattle, I gained a new appreciation for holidays that make our country uniquely America. This year for the 4th of July we are hosting a family dinner at our home. Most of my family members have odd work schedules, so it is rare that we all get to celebrate together. In fact, our 4th of July celebration is doubling as a belated Father’s Day celebration! I am feeling particularly grateful this year that I get to celebrate with everyone, as my former work schedule rarely allowed it. Just one more perk of being a stay at home mom!
This delicious flag pie takes a little extra effort, but makes a big statement. I used this recipe for the filling, and of course, my own crust recipe. I had fun building the flag crust and the finished product did not disappoint. It is one of those pies that’s almost too pretty to eat, almost!
How are you celebrating America’s birthday? I hope it’s with family, friends and lots of red, white and blue! Happy Fourth of July everyone!
Now that our house renovations are (mostly) over, I have been taking full advantage of hosting in our new home. Over the weekend I hosted a casual girls night in with some of my dearest childhood friends. We sipped and snacked and laughed as we reminisced.
When hosting, I don’t like to make a big fuss because it tends to stress me out and give me an aversion to hosting again! I’ve found that the key is to keep things simple and to not let the idea of the perfect night get in the way of having a relaxed get together. Those always end up making the perfect nights afterall.
Do you celebrate by staying in? I hope you do! And I hope it’s with good drinks and good friends! Cheers!
The drink: Lime and rose spritzers
The food: Charcuterie and cheese board with a fig and honey plate
The dessert: Lavender and lemon shortbread cookies
Happy first day of summer! Around here summertime means peach pie! This pie is my go to for summer events. I have made it for work parties, BBQ’s, baby showers, even a friend’s wedding. This particular peach pie I made while wearing Julian, the day he got his first tooth! Now it feels even more special to me. It is hands down my favorite pie. It even trumps pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day in my book.
The hand cut leaf crust may look complex, but it really is a breeze. You need a little extra time, but the reward is a beautiful, showstopping pie. The world needs more warm peach pie, so let me know how yours turns out, I’d love to see them!
Place a baking sheet in the oven at 425F to preheat
Boil a large pot of water and drop the peaches one at a time into the water for approx 20 seconds. Remove the peaches and submerge into cold water bath. When cooled, peel the skins of the peaches. (Alternatively, you can use frozen peaches. Just defrost before preparing filling.)
Slice the peaches and toss with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and spices.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough and transfer is to a greased pie pan. Trim edges. Refrigerate.
Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out leaf shapes and aim to have the leaves be similar in size and shape, approx 3 inches long. Mark veins with a knife.
Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and brush with egg glaze. Add the peach filling and dot with butter.
Assemble the top layer by starting from the outside and working your way towards the center of the pie, layering rows of leaves until filling is covered. Brush with glaze.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425F then reduce temperature to 350F and bake for 35-40 minutes. Until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.