Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Colorful Easter Layered Cake


Need a dessert to serve at your Easter Brunch or Egg Hunt? Try making this colorful and easy cake from the Picky Palate. Kids will love the colors, adults will love the taste & creativity, and you will love the simplicity.

Colorful Easter Egg Layered Cake

1 Box White or Yellow Cake Mix

1/2 Cup vegetable oil

1/2 Cup water

8 oz sour cream or plain yogurt

4 eggs

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix

Food Coloring or Decorating Paste (red, yellow, blue green)


Frosting

2 8oz pkgs softened cream cheese

2 sticks softened butter

2 lbs powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, mix the cake mix, oil, water, sour cream, eggs and pudding mix until well combined; about 1 1/2 minutes. Divide batter evenly into 4 bowls. Add very little food coloring or paste to each bowl to create a pastel color of your choice. Once mixed, pour each colored batter into well greased 9 inch cake pans (4 total). Bake for 15-17 minutes or until cakes are cooked through. Cakes will be thin.

2. Once cooled completely, remove from pans and stack on top of each other in the color patter you would like. Take a long sharp knife and cut an egg shape, see pics above. Once cut, place each individual layer of cake onto wax paper.

3. To prepare frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until well combined. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until desired consistency. Place first layer of cake onto a cake stand. Spread frosting over top layer then place second layer of cake on top and continue this pattern until all layers are frosted. Frost top and sides once layers are frosted.

4. Cut into slices and serve with milk

10-12 servings


For more photos and details please visit the Picky Plate. Thank you Jenny for letting me share this recipe!

The only change that I would make to the recipe would be to skip the egg-shape cutting portion and just keep the shape of a normal cake. Instead I would spend time decorating the top with frosting, candies and sprinkles. Better yet let your kids do this part, they will LOVE the involvement!


(Thanks Patsy for passing this along!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Essentials by Sheridan French

and now fashion break....



No Added Sugar is one of my most treasured discoveries I made while living in Europe. Started in 2001 by a mother with the simple wish to create witty t-shirts for her baby boy, the brand has now grown to be one of the most popular and arguably the most unique in all of the United Kingdom. Given their breathtaking success, I can only hope No Added Sugar makes the venture across the pond to open a store or two, but for now, we will have to settle for online shopping!

It is simply impossible to choose a favorite item from their line for either boy or girl as there are so many fantastically stylish options. I went with one of their very best girl's dresses that is too adorable for words - the Bustle dress. In person, any little princess wearing this reminds me of a modern day Scarlett O'Hara with the layers and layers of fabric bustling at the back. The photograph does not do it justice! Their boy clothes are fantastic as well because they range from edgy t-shirts to preppy cardigans. I went with the former, choosing a great graphic t-shirt paired with the very versatile Striped Dixie Deans and brilliant blue Ginger Beer Jacket. I don't know a little boy who wouldn't love that jacket! So as to not take away from the strong outfits, I went with classic shoes and accessories for both. (Remember that the aviators are a great option for girls as well).

A little style note on both of these outfits to keep in mind: I think people often shy away from pairing red and pink, which is such a huge mistake! Brought together, the two colors create such a beautiful warm feeling always resulting in a fantastic combination. Stripes are a love of mine as well, and I am a big fan of mixing and matching them whenever possible. Now, this has to be done within reason, but pairing the thick, bold stripe on the t-shirt with the fine, subtle stripe on the trousers works very well. Try it!

xoxo
Sheridan
"The Southern Eclectic"


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Decoration Ideas

Kid-Friendly Easter Table Setting from Southern Living


Easter is just a few days away so I wanted to share a few inspirational table decor ideas with you all. All of these decorations are easy to do and affordable. My son is too young to make his own Easter eggs so I'm not tackling that project this year. We have time to get crafty in the years to come! Just church, brunch, egg hunts and candy for now!




image via Martha Stewart


image via Martha Stewart

An elegant and playful dessert table, complete with handmade bunny garland.



image via Martha Stewart

Couldn't be any easier than this, a hard boiled egg in with a few sprigs of grass!



Now this one does not look particularly easy but the kids will devour the jelly beans before the food is even served! But I love the elegant coral theme for this Easter brunch table from Martha Stewart.


It is always a nice idea to include more than just candy in the Easter Baskets as shown in the photo above from Martha Stewart. Try a new coloring book, play dough, silly putty, and an Easter book.

Have a wonderful Easter week!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend


I'm ready for my weekend of this...

(the beach with friends and cocktails)

image via Kathryn Ireland

this...

(hiking in Santa Monica)


and this...

(hanging with my baby boy & husband)


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Father/Son Johnny-O Shirts



Fist off my husband is going to kill me for putting photos of him and my son up on my blog but I can't help it. They looked too cute last weekend in their matching Johnny-O shirts I had to share it with you all.



So my son Tripp received a Johnny-O shirt from his Grandmother Mimi on his birthday back in February and my husband also received on in a matching style and color. Mimi thought it would be fun for them to wear it together. Now these shirts don't only look good but they feel great and are very comfortable.

The cut is not your traditional polo shirt. The fabric is a thick 100% cotton jersey with pointed collars and four buttons down the front. Almost a nod back to a retro shirt but still appropriate to wear on the golf course. It looks great off the golf course on the beach or even paired under a blazer. Now I had heard of Johnny O shirts before but had not idea that they made them for children. This makes it a perfect gift for a father or grandfather on father's day! (Yes, start thinking about that now, it is officially Spring!)


The other cute item on the shirt is the logo, a man holding a longboard. Now that is a true California golf shirt!



Good news for you moms, they make them for women and girls too so the whole family can match!



I couldn't resist, another photo of my future golfer! Look at that swing, he's a natural!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peekaboo Magazine



The new issue of Peekaboo Magazine is out! This is an on-line magazine from Australia similar in concept to Lonny Magazine but devoted entirely to children's products, design and fashion. Some fun inspirational ideas and articles worth a check out. The program used to read the magazine is not as user friendly as Lonny but I'm sure they will get there as it gains more readers. This is their second issue and it is free!

Too bad that most of the products and stores that they mention are Australian so not completely accessible to us in the US, but still worth a look if you have some time to kill.

I did find out about this cute new nursery decor and bedding line from this issue called Habitat Baby, a pretty cute bedding set! I really like the color and pattern on the skirt.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Javis Davis Custom Bedding On-Line


I was just introduced to one of the easiest on-line custom bedding design websites last week by Erin Gates from her Elements of Style blog. The name of the line is Javis Davis.

Javis Davis has been creating custom bedding and accessories for children's rooms for over a decade and has some wonderful modern, traditional, and theme combinations which can be customized on-line! They are one of the only custom bedding manufactures who stocks Amy Butler fabrics so this saves you a trip from having to order them separate on-line.

Javis Davis's on-line design website is extremely easy to use and is really fun to create your own custom combinations. Here are a few of their inspirational designs in the design-your-own collection...






Now the special bonus is that the custom crib sets start at under $250 for a 3-piece set (skirt, bumper & sheet). Who knew custom could be so cheap? But please note that the bumpers are not slip covered and I have not seen these bedding sets in person so I can't vouch for the quality but the fabrics look wonderful and the ease and price point of the collection are fabulous.

I apologize in advance for the hours of wasted time that you will spend on playing the "make your own custom set game". You get hooked on it just like the Jonathan Adler Design Your Own custom pillow game (one of my designs pictured below).




Oh and did I mention that they even make custom baby doll bedding too? Every American Doll girl fan needs a custom bedding set!



Now when are they going to to get an iPhone app?

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Logo Debut



My new logo & header for my blog has officially made its debut! The lovely and talented Jessica Nell Graves from Front Porch Studio created the design and I LOVE it! I was looking for something light and airy, gender neutral, youthful, yet something with a bit of a traditional & sophisticated flair. I think she hit the nail on the head!

I chose the colors turquoise and orange because those are my two favorite colors and they are gender neutral (the living room in my house is turquoise and my office is tuscan orange). Coincidentally these are also my sister Alex's colors for her wedding in August. Thanks for letting me keep them sis!



Jessica's company Front Porch Studio is a boutique graphic design and illustration studio. They work on logo design, print for small businesses, and website and blog design. If you are interested in seeing more of her work please visit her website Front Porch Studio and her blog The Love List. Her prices are very reasonable and she was a pleasure to work with, I would recommend her to anyone. Below are a few of her designs...




As an artist and graphics designer she can create anything from a logo to complete blog design to personal stationary.








Jessica's newest project is the Love List Library. It is a selection of media chosen by notable bloggers, designers, writers, and tastemakers. A fun peek into the bookshelves of some very interesting people.


image via La Dolce Vita

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Betts's Bold Printed Nursery

I am so please to share the nursery of Jenny Miller with you today. She is one of the owners of Gramercy Home in Atlanta. Jenny did a wonderful job mixing bold prints and colors in the rug and window treatments with unique & antique furniture pieces. And you all know I am a HUGE fan of artwork and furniture which is timeless and can be used anywhere in the house.

Please enjoy the photos of her daughter Betts's nursery (LOVE the name too!).



What was the inspiration for your room?
The inspiration for the nursery started with the fabric that I used for window treatments. I fell in love with the fabric years ago after seeing it in Domino magazine. I went on a search to find it and have held onto it for many years just in case I might be able to use it for a little girl's room. I got my wish...



What was the first piece that you purchased for the room?
The first thing that I purchased for the nursery was artwork. I find so much inspiration in art, and I thought that it would be the perfect way to start a collection for my little one.



What is your favorite aspect of the nursery?
I love everything about the room but I will have to admit that the rug is my favorite. It is Madeline Weinrib, and I sell the rugs at my shop in Atlanta but had never seen a pink one in person. I bought it on a whim and it matched perfectly. It is very bold but I smile everytime that I look at it.

Now that the room is complete, what would you change or do differently if you could?
I probably wouldn't change anything about the room except for the bedding. I chose all white and those of us with children know that it gets soo dirty.

xoxo
Jenny






Please share the brand names or links to the items that you chose for your daughter's nursery.
Bedding - Custom White Pique (from Gramercy Home)
Chest & Tables - Vintage
Pagoda Lamp - Vintage
Lotus Chandelier - from Gramercy Home
Glider - Luxe by Jennifer Delonge...LOVE IT!
Artwork - Gregg Irby Fine Art - Sally King Benedict



I'm actually headed out to Atlanta in a few weeks to visit some friends and can't wait to stop into her store and a few others. Jenny carries quite a few children's items at her shop including baby bedding, Blah Blah dolls and 3 Sprouts towels. (Don't worry I'll be making posts about my visits and finds). Any suggestions on must-see stores?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Easter Outfits

Now that St. Patrick's Day is officially over, it is time to start planning for Easter. Today Sheridan French has a color-filled inspirational outfit ensemble to feast your eyes and pocketbooks on...



I have no boundaries when it comes to silly outfits on Easter. If any mother can show restraint with pastels on this glorious day I would love to meet her! I have spent my last few Easters in Palm Springs to boot, where everyone walks around looking like an Easter egg on a general day to day basis, so you can imagine the sea of pastels on the actual holiday. It. Is. FABULOUS! That said, I don't think my husband would be a massive fan of dressing our little guy in pink, green and blue all at the same time {his current outfit is navy, red, and yellow} but the mood may strike and he could easily resemble cotton candy.

Papo D' Anjo has such great clothes in great colors, and paired together they create a fantastically fun Easter outfit. Since there is no other day in the entire world that you can get away with such a pairing, I went for whole shebang and paired a bright mint green sweater with a blue checked shirt and pink pants. I am rolling my eyes as I type this! You can interpret the look however you like; the green sweater and blue shirt would be great with khaki or white bottoms. I also included a long sleeve blue check shirt from Ralph Lauren and a fun bow tie if you are in to that. If you really want to bring out the big guns, I came across some pink, green and blue Madras shoes...I'm not sure I would advise pairing these with the Papo D'Anjo ensemble...that may be too far over the line... We don't want anyone throwing eggs at your son. Also while visiting the RL website, I came across an outfit they had already put together which I think is fab - a seersucker jacket, pink and blue madras print shirt, and gold and navy bow tie. None of these are very manly...maybe put some football paint underneath his eyes for a bit of a macho factor?

The dress that inspired this whole post from the get go is the hot pink Joesphine dress from Baby CZ. If your daughter wants to be in pink from head to toe, Ralph Lauren has some great espadrilles that I am in love with! These are a very versatile purchase. If you want your little ones to match {if there is any holiday where that is definitely definitely ok Easter is it!}, Papo D'Anjo has an adorable blue check dress, as does Ralph Lauren. Different styles, depending on what you prefer. The Madras print dress was just too sunny to pass up, and with a matching headband, how can you not buy this outfit?! Even if you don't have a daughter buy it to look at. Ralph Lauren also has a perfect light weight knit cardigan that will go with any outfit you choose. Pair any of the dresses with silver flats, and you have a little girl that is too precious for words. There goes your entire camera memory card!!!

Happy Easter everyone :)
xoxo Sheridan
http://sheridanfrench.blogspot.com






For more inspirational Easter Outfit ideas check out tada! Shop


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amanda Nisbet Inspiration Board on Project Nursery Today


So here is the inspirational room designed by Amanda Nisbet Design which is featured on Project Nursery today. Please follow me over to Project Nursery to read this complete post and find the sources for the images in by board below!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kennedy's Glamorous Green Nursery

Kennedy's Modern Glam Nursery

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and the color green, I would love to share a real nursery of a friend of mine in Dallas, Texas. The bold green color chosen for the walls sets a modern and glamourous tone for the room. Enjoy!

What was the inspiration for your room?
The inspiration for her room was a picture that I saw in a magazine of a green living room (pictured below).


What was the first piece that you purchased for your nursery?
The Z Gallerie mirrored chest that I used as a changing table.



What is your favorite aspect of the room?
I loved how modern her room was and how most of the furniture wasn't necessarily "children's" furniture, but her room was still very juvenile and functional. I loved the kelly green walls with the brown stained furniture. It made me happy every time I went into her room.

Now that the room is complete, what would you change or do differently if you could?
We moved...so now I am working to recreate the room (maybe orange on the walls this time instead of green). The list of my sources is below. Unfortunately many of the items that I used are not longer available as Kennedy's nursery was designed two years ago.

Sources for the furniture, accessories, and bedding in Kennedy's nursery
Changing Table - Z Gallerie
Rocking Chair - Luca Glider by Monte
Bookshelves - Ikea
Platform Bed - Ikea
Mirror - Cantoni
Animal Picture - I made that from a bag she received her first baby gift in
Branch Wall Art - West Elm
White Piggy Banks - Pottery Barn Kids
All fabric for the bedding was hand-picked by my mom from a store in Midland, TX called Graham Kracker

xoxo,
Kennedy's mom Paige



Monday, March 15, 2010

Displaying Children's Artwork

Although my son is on 13 months now he'll be drawing before I know it.


I was inspired to write this post when I saw the images above featured on Decor 8, a few weeks ago. I don't think I've seen a classier or more imaginative way to display your children's artwork. This mini collage was designed by Jan Elini for her home in New York City. The collage measures 60" x 40" and holds 112 designs. They are custom designed and can be ordered through her website Jan Elini Interiors.

Another photo featured was of her desk and yet another grouping of her children's drawings. This is a more do-it-yourself approach with frameless glass. These are simple glass plate frames which can be purchased at most frame stores or even Target & Walmart.


This is a simple but effective multi-color gallery-style frame combination from Aaron Brothers of their colored metal frames. An inexpensive and easy solution.



For a less modern look, try framing the artwork in spray-painted gold frames similar to the ones above. Both images above and below are via interior designer Caitlin Creer.


In this living room she had the children of the house paint family portraits to display as art. What a great idea!


I have always liked this image from Cookie Magazine of a home in Pasadena. Instead of making one large cork wall in the living room, they separated it by painted white panels to make it look more architecturally interesting while creating a special play space for the kids.



Dynamic Frames offers a nice gallery-like alternative with their 4-piece Da Vinci interchangable art collection. The frames not only display your children's artwork but also store 50 pieces and can be hung vertically or horizontally.

If you are looking for another solution without using frames or putting too many holes in your walls, try covering your walls with burlap or grasscloth (the texture of the wallpaper hides the holes from tacks).

For those tech-savy moms, you can create your own poster of your child's artwork by scanning it and uploading the images to Snapfish or Shutterfly and creating your own collage poster or canvas image of the artwork.


The Art Cable from Pottery Barn Kids pictured above is an inexpensive non-committal option for hanging artwork. The cable clips enable you to change out the displayed artwork more frequently plus there is no danger of a sharp tack getting stepped on or swallowed by a little one.



My last DIY alternative is to paint a wall with magnetic paint and then cover it with the color of your choice. MagnaMagic Active Wall primer is an inexpensive solution and costs as little as $1 a square foot. You also don't have to use magnetic paint on the whole wall, just chose a section where you would like to hang the artwork. Magic Wall Magnetic Paint is another good magnetic paint source. If you really want to be creative, use magnetic paint first and then cover with chalkboard paint, that way your kids can either hang their art on the wall with magnets or create new art with chalk whenever they want.

I would love to have some of my old childhood artwork hanging in my house, wonder if my mom kept it...time to raid the attic when I go home to Texas next month for a visit.