Why Don’t You. . . July 31st and August 1st
. . . go peach picking? Last Sunday, my best girlfriend and I did our best to look like Southern belles, grabbed a couple of metal old buckets, and made our way inland to Brentwood, CA. If you live in Northern California, set aside an afternoon to hit up the beautiful peach orchards (here’s a guide to the various farms)! We had so much fun climbing ladders, picking, and sampling the lovely peaches and nectarines here. It also makes the perfect spot for quaint pictures. Plus, it will give you a whole other activity for later in the week. A couple days after our peach picking adventure, we set ourselves to making peach everything–peach pastries, peach tartes, peaches and cream! It was delicious–I’m still in a state of food coma. Do yourself a favor, and try this amazing, easy peach cream tarte recipe from Paula Deen for the Food Network. It tasted like it took much more work than it did, and it was easily (and gluttonously) devoured within the day! -Allison
. . . make fabric flowers to adorn whatever you like? I’ve been seeing fabric flowers on everything lately, and I just love them. I featured some beautiful ones from Emersonmade in my tea party inspiration board on Wednesday, but as those are a little out of my budget–and I’m in the mood for some crafting!–I’ve been hunting around the web looking for how to make them on my own! Go here to make beautiful little roses with great instructions from Calamity Kim. Also check out her (slightly easier to make) chiffon flowers. The easiest ones I found to make were over at Hey Jen Renee; I also like how understated they are. Martha even breaks it down with templates for specific flowers here. For flowers that most closely resemble Emersonmade, check out this tutorialposted at 100 layer cake by Michonne. -Allison
. . .add a luxe touch to your next bonfire or camping excursion with gourmet or innovative s’mores? This is the first summer in a long time that I haven’t been to a single beach bonfire! I haven’t even been camping. This dearth of bonfires means another huge gap in my life–no s’mores! I’ve been thinking about fun ways to mix up the typical s’mores recipe, and the ideas keep on coming. Why not grab some chocolate graham crackers, Reeses peanut butter cups, and the usual marshmallows to make a chocolate-peanut butter lovers dream? Or, take a fresher approach, whip up some mint marshmallows, grab some York Peppermint Patties and chocolate graham crackers to make a chocolate mint delight! Or, my personal favorite, some almond joys, homemade almond marshmallows, regular graham crackers, and some crushed almonds and extra coconut sprinkled in-between. Sounds like heaven! Try straying from the typical graham cracker and grab some ginger cookies. Then make some lemon marshmallows, add some blackberries, and lemon curd, for a real treat! Check out this recipe from Joy of Baking for how to make homemade marshmallows. Also check out this Plush Puffs blog that features a new s’more combination every week! -Allison
… have a spa getaway at home? Who doesn’t get exhausted after a week of working in the office or with the kids or both, and craves a fabulous spa getaway? While not all of us have the time or money to indulge that fantasy, Martha Stewart has a fantastic guide for a 3 Day Spa Getaway at home using ingredients you probably have already! Even if you don’t have 3 whole days to dedicate to yourself, just using a few of these methods to help relax would be beneficial. I can’t wait to try out the DIY facial massage this weekend. This relaxing playlist would even help to take your spa day and de-stressing to the next level. -Vanessa
… host a canning party? With the plethora of fruit from the summer season, I know I’ve been having trouble using all of it in creative ways. I’ve never done much canning myself, but this idea of hosting a canning party from design sponge sounds like a blast! I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer weekend than with friends and fruit. How About Orange provides a great free printable label for canning, so you can make your finished products look stylish enough to be gifts. I even found a fantastic website called Sweet Preservation which provides recipes and an awesome canning playlist! -Vanessa
… make rainbow cupcakes? When I stumbled across this recipe last week, I literally squealed with glee. I have never seen such incredible cupcakes in my life! These rainbow cupcakes from spearmint baby are the prettiest things I’ve ever seen, and I’m positive they’d make any adult or kid’s day; they’re so cool! I had to try them out, and I have never had so much fun baking in my life. From mixing the colors to dolloping the layers on top of each other to finally biting into the final product, my kitchen was full of giggles and delighted shouts. I’m completely serious. In other words, you MUST try this recipe!
… send your father-in-law a note? July 30th is “Father-in-law Day”, so if you have a father-in-law, why don’t you show him how much he means by sending him a quick note? The Love Letter Squad has a great article showing how you can go about sending him a note he’ll love. -Vanessa