A few things on my mind...
+ nail polish in a pretty mint green
+ cute vintage style bicycle with a rack to hold groceries (this one is by Linus)
+ a little container garden on my window sill
+ tabletop press...maybe one day in the near future!

(ps: This is my first time using pugly pixel's washi tape strips; quite fun but I need some practice!)


A Little Piece of Earth

I found this book after seeing it in someone else's hands.  Although there are several books on small space gardening, I'll be honest with you, I bought this one because of the small size and cute illustrations!  But it's more than just a pretty book.  I plan on starting up my own little container garden on my balcony and window sill, and this book has been lots of help.  Not only does the author give you several different options on ways to grow plants, but also informs you on different types of plants as well.  And it's more than just your typical "grow your own herb garden," she touches on other topics such as small fruit trees, growing your own mushrooms, and step by step instructions on composting.

Once I get back from my trip, one of the first things in order is to start my garden!  I'm planning on growing some micro greens, arugula, mint, thyme, and maybe get a cherry tomato plant.


Mud Australia

One thing I'm really looking forward to is purchasing some Mud Australia ceramics.  Everything is so simple and elegant, and they are all dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe.  I've been searching for some attractive food ware that can go from oven to table and have come up empty handed. 

I can't wait to try are these soft-centered chocolate puddings from design*sponge.

(photo by Ben Dearnley via Design*Sponge)


Mother's Day

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a nice weekend and Mother's Day.  Although I worked both days (darn retail), my brother and I managed to plan out a Sunday brunch for Mom.  The menu consisted of mimosas, oysters on the half shell, eggs florentine, and fresh berries and mint with greek yogurt.  I think we were all pleasantly surprised with the result!  My brother shucked the oysters while I made the eggs florentine, something I've never made before.  I even made the hollandaise sauce from scratch and put everything on my own freshly baked brioche!  Unfortunately all my pictures were either very dark or blurry.  I guess I was too hungry to be patient enough to take decent photos!  I did manage one photo of little flower vases I found from Martha Stewart. 

This week I'll be tying up any loose ends before I leave for Australia (8 more days!!!).  I'm so incredibly excited to eat all the delicious food!  Meat pie, scones with jam and double cream (I dream about this all the time, it really doesn't compare to what we have here), tim tams, fresh seafood from the fish market, the list goes on.  I'm also trying to compile a list of places to visit.  If you have any suggestions for the Sydney area, let me know!  I'm already hoping to buy some Mud Australia ceramics and visit the Donna Hay General Store


Gratitude - May 8

+ I'm going to Australia!  Tickets were on sale so I thought, why not?  I have lots of relatives living in Sydney; I used to live there too.  I'm so excited for meat pie, tim tams, real scones (and not the dry crumbly bricks we have here), king island cream, cordial... and seeing my family of course!
+ Did some research on growing plants in an apartment.  When I come back I'm determined to grow cherry tomatoes, lots of herbs, arugula, and micro greens!
+ The weather has been so nice and warm this week.  Now if only I could have fit in that picnic...
+ My stationery line will be up when I come back from Australia, but I'm determined to show a sneek peek before I leave!
+  I got a curling iron a few weeks ago and it's totally changed how I feel about my hair.  Amazing how something so small can make me incredibly happy!
+ Saw a shooting star while driving home today.  I feel so lucky.



Last week a friend and I wanted to meet up for dinner to catch up.  The only thing was we couldn't decide where to eat.  We both wanted something healthy, fresh, and simple.  But unfortunately, the location that would be best for us to meet up was only filled with not so healthy chain restaurants.  Instead, I offered her to come to my house and I'd cook dinner.  I was a little nervous but everything turned out great.  Hosting friends and family is something I really enjoy, especially when I get to decorate the table, plan the meal, and add little details like hand calligraphed menus and floral arrangements.  I didn't do all those things this time around, but I did manage to bake my own bread for the sandwiches I made! 
Caprese salad is one of my favorite things in the world, and I usually order the sandwich version when I have the chance.  It hardly needs a recipe but I thought it'd be fun to post it anyway.

+ fresh mozzarella
+ fresh basil
+ cherry tomato medley
+ olive tapenade (purchased mine from trader joes)
+ fresh bread (I made the master recipe from Artisan Bread in 5)

Lightly toast bread.  Spread olive tapenade on one side of a slice of bread (or both if you really love olives!). Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place cut side down on top of tapenade.  Layer two slices of fresh mozzarella, followed by a layer of basil.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Top it off with the other slice of bread and you're done! Serve with tomato bisque and/or herb and baby green salad.


Yogurt at Home

Last week I tried something I've been meaning to do for quite a while--make yogurt!  I don't know what took me so long, it was so easy to do. All you need is milk and some starter yogurt.  Directions can be found by a simple google search, but there are hardly any steps involved. There's even a whole website dedicated to it!

1. Heat milk over stove to 180 degrees
2. Cool milk to 110 degrees
3. Add yogurt and stir well
4. Retain temperature of about 110 degrees for 4-8 hours.  There are several ways to do this, such as keeping it in an oven, crock pot, or thermos.

I did this overnight, and it was so exciting to wake up the next morning to freshly made yogurt!  The longer you keep it incubating, the more tart your yogurt becomes.  After letting it thicken in the fridge a little more, I strained it to give it the consistency of greek yogurt.  Have any of you made yogurt before?  If you love eating yogurt I'd definitely give it a try, it comes out much more affordable than buying it from the grocery store. 


Happy May

Hope everyone had a nice start to May this past weekend.  Mine was filled with work, but I did have a chance to squeeze in some fun things like painting polka dots on my nails.  I also tried out the chocolate chip cookie recipe in the April issue of Martha Stewart Living, which was chosen as one of the "best of" recipes, but to be honest I quite like this one from allrecipes better!

This week I am planning on filling my days with working on my stationery line (more on that later) and I'm determined to go on a picnic!  The weather has been so beautiful and I really need to take advantage before it gets too hot!