{Wedding Inspiration Board} Sweet Lemon

This fresh, organic color scheme would be gorgeous for a spring or summer wedding. I always find yellow to be so uplifting and inspiring (which is why I’m currently redoing my office in shades of yellow). I can imagine so many possibilities for floral arrangements, drinks, desserts, and accessories – I think the hard part would be trying to choose your favorites!

Freesia, Lemon Buttercream, & Thyme Wedding Inspiration Board

Freesia, Lemon Buttercream, & Thyme Wedding Inspiration Board

The idea for this board came from the lemon & thyme coffee cake I made for Easter brunch last weekend. If you missed it, you can find the recipe here: Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze.

Yellow Chuck Taylors

Yellow Chuck Taylors

How cute is this couple in their matching bright yellow Chuck Taylors?! Love it!

{Photo Credits}  Bride with Birdcage Veil & Yellow Flowers, Photo by Warmphoto Photography via Burnett’s Boards  //  Lemon & Thyme Cake, Photo by Romulo Yanes via Martha Stewart Weddings  //  Bright Side Print via Vapor.Qualque  //  Fresh Lemons via Martha Stewart  //  Yellow Bicycle, Photographer Unknown, via Tum Tum Tree  //  Yellow Chuck Taylors, Photo by Sarah Burton via Magnolia Rouge

xo~

Stacey

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{Recipe} Sweet & Spicy Bacon with Brown Sugar Chili Powder Glaze

Want to really wow your guests at your next brunch? Serve them this sweet & spicy bacon! I mean really, bacon is pretty darn tasty anyway, right? Well this recipe bumps it a notch (ok, like 600 notches actually). Try it for yourself and see what you think! You won’t be disappointed ;)

{Recipe} Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Chili Powder Bacon

{Recipe} Sweet & Spicy Bacon with Brown Sugar Chili Powder Glaze

Sweet & Spicy Bacon with Brown Sugar Chili Powder Glaze

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 minutes prep time + 20 minutes to cook
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon – I used Hempler’s applewood smoked, but you can use whatever you prefer.
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder – I used my Homemade Chili Powder Spice Blend, which was awesome in this recipe, but you can use your favorite brand if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own!
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can use more or less, to taste, depending on your preferred level of spiciness)

Instructions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to top 1/3 of oven, preheat to 400 degrees. Prepare pan(s) by lining with aluminum foil (to make clean up easier) and placing a rack inside.
  2. Combine brown sugar, chili powder, black pepper, and cayenne in a medium sized baking dish. Dredge bacon pieces, making sure the sugar mixture coats both sides evenly. Place on prepared baking racks.
  3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and glaze has become dark and gooey. If you used two pans, switch them halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove from oven. Transfer bacon slices to a plate using tongs. Blot excess grease with paper towels if necessary.

That’s it! It seems like it should be more difficult to make something that tastes this amazing, but it’s easy peasy (yet another reason why I love this recipe).

Hope you enjoy this one and thank you so much for stopping by. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send me a message ~ I would love to hear from you!

xo~

Stacey

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{Home Decor DIY ~ Flowers} Make This Dramatic Springtime Floral Arrangement with Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

The apple trees in my side yard are coming down. Josh has been out hacking at their overgrown branches all afternoon. I know they need to go. They were planted (at some point long before we moved in) in a terrible location. They’re crowded together and they don’t get enough sunlight. They were not trained into any particular shape and they weren’t pruned regularly, so they grow haphazardly. I can count on one hand the number of apples they have produced in the 7 years we have lived here. And now they have tent caterpillars – big, icky, writhing nests of newly hatched tent caterpillars. So, they need to go.

I’m more sentimental than I like to admit though, and taking down trees always makes me a little sad. I can remember crying when my parents had the huge cedar tree in our backyard cut down. It was rotten in the center, so it was dying anyway. Plus, if it was blown down in a wind storm, it would have fallen right onto our house. I knew it needed to come down, but it made me sad. So, I have been feeling a bit glum today about my apple trees, but bringing in some of their branches inside to enjoy in the house made me feel much better. Aren’t they just gorgeous as ‘cut flowers’?

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me before to save some of the branches when I prune my trees to use in this way. Here’s a good article from Better Homes & Gardens explaining how to ‘force’ the branches to bloom. The basic idea though, is that you cut branches that already have buds on them (the closer to their natural bloom time the better), put them in water, and keep them in a cool, dark place until they start to bloom. Make sure to smash the bottoms of the branches, as described in the article, or cut a one-half inch long vertical slit into the bottom of each, to facilitate water absorption. Strip leaves and buds off the lower part of the branches so that they’re not submerged in water. Arrange them in a vase or vases and voilà – a dramatic springtime centerpiece!

xo~

Stacey

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{Recipe} Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

The idea for this cake has been kicking around in my brain for the past couple of weeks. I kept meaning to make a ‘practice cake’ before Easter since I was planning to make this for Easter brunch. Life got in the way though and I never go around to it (what else is new?!), so I decided to wing it. Now, let me be the first to admit that my recipes don’t always turn out the first time around (or the 6th for that matter), but fortunately this one came together beautifully. I will definitely be making this one again (and again, and again…) and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

  • Servings: 6 to 8 (although I could probably eat an entire cake all by myself)
  • Time: 30 minutes active time + 30 minutes cooking time
  • Print

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

Ingredients for Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a round 9 inch cake pan.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add lemon zest and thyme and stir to mix in.
  3. Cut in butter. Whisk egg, milk, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour cake batter into prepared pan, spreading it out so that it’s even.
  5. Prepare glaze by adding all ingredients to a small sauce pan and cooking over medium low heat until it just reaches the boiling point. Remove from heat and spoon evenly over the top of the cake batter.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean, and the top of the cake has become golden brown.
  7. Serve warm.

{Low Sodium Recipe} Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honey Bee Glaze

Hope you like this one as much as I do!

xo~

Stacey

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Braided Hairstyles You’ll Swoon Over + Complete Tutorials

I love braided hairstyles, especially the easy-going, bohemian variety. I just can’t ever get my hair to look quite right when I try to do them on myself though. So, in an effort to improve my own braiding skills, I have been scouring the web for thorough, step-by-step braiding tutorials, and I have found some that totally awesome. Of course I can’t keep all this awesomeness to myself, so I’m sharing some of my favorites with you today ~
Braids_Collage

Visit the links below for complete instructions on how to do all of these fabulous styles ~

Sources:  {1} Waterfall Braid Tutorial via OnceWed  //  {2} Ribbon Halo Braid via Irrelephant  //  {3} Braided Chignon via A Beautiful Mess  //  {4} Bohemian Side Braid via Wonder Forest  //  {5} Mussed Yet Mesmerizing Side Braid via The Globe and Mail  //  {6} Simple Braided Half Updo via Irrelephant

Let me know if I’ve missed any other great hair tutorials (braided or otherwise). I always love to try something new!

xo~

Stacey

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Happy Easter!

If you’re celebrating Easter today, I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful holiday!

Bunny Eating Carrot

Cutest thing in the history of, well, ever…

Fingerprint Carrot & Bunny Painting

Fingerprint Carrot & Bunny Painting

If you find yourself in need of a quick project to entertain wiggly kiddos this afternoon, give this cute carrot & bunny fingerprint painting a try! You probably have most of the supplies on hand already, and the rest can be improvised (we’re using embroidery thread for the carrot tops since I don’t have any green baker’s twine). For complete instructions, check out the original post over on Sassy Dealz.

We had a pretty epic brunch this morning, so I will have lots of recipes to share with you this week ~ Lemon Thyme Coffee Cake with Honeybee Glaze (YUM!), Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon, Potatoes Fried in Cream, and Strawberry, Orange & Mint Salad.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

xo~

Stacey

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Image Credits: Bunny Photo found here

 

{Recipe} Zesty Potato Salad with Lemon & Fresh Herbs

Lemon, Parsley, Dill & Basil

Lemon, Parsley, Dill & Basil

I love all kinds of potato salad – the creamy kind with big chunks of hard boiled egg, the warm German kind with crispy little bits of bacon in it, even the mustard yellow type that’s served with a deli sandwich – I’m not picky. (Well, ok, I am picky…just not about potato salad.) I do have a favorite though, and I’m excited to share it with you today!

This recipe elevates potato salad to an entirely different level. It’s fresh, flavorful, and just downright delicious! I feel like I have to give you fair warning though – once your friends have tasted it, you will be asked to bring it to every single BBQ & potluck. ever. for the rest of time. If you’re like me though, you won’t mind because it’s a good excuse to make a double batch!. It seems that no matter how much I make though, we always manage to eat it all (and lick the bowl) ;)

 

{Recipe} Zesty Potato Salad with Lemon & Fresh Herbs

{Recipe} Zesty Potato Salad with Lemon & Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I actually like the taste of “light” mayo in this recipe, but regular is just fine too if you prefer.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (add more, or less, to taste)

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes in a large stock pot until tender (approximately 20 minutes, but it depends on the size of the potatoes). Remove from pot and wait until they’re cool enough to handle. I don’t bother peeling them, but you can remove the skins at this point if you want to.
  2. Cut cooked potatoes into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle rice vinegar over the top, toss to coat.
  3. Add mayo, herbs, and 2 tablespoons lemon zest. Stir with a large spoon until the potatoes are all evenly coated.
  4. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of lemon zest over the top and garnish with parsley.
  5. Can be made up to 1 day in advance. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

No_Salt_Circle

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, October 2007 via Epicurious. I mainly adjusted the quantities of the ingredients because I really like this salad with lots (and I mean LOTS) of fresh herbs. If you prefer it less so, check out the original version here: Epicurious. This recipe doubles easily. In fact, I almost always make a double batch because it saves well and always gets eaten.

Anyone else as much of a potato salad fan as I am? I would love to hear about your favorite recipes and I hope you like this one as much as I do!

xo~

Stacey

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