Wow this summer has gone by so very quickly! I cannot believe it’s *almost* fall. Before summer completely slips away, I thought I’d share a few of our weekend road trip (and other miscellaneous) photos. It’s amazing just to see Liv’s transformation over these two months! She’s already two inches too big for the pjs in the ‘nana’s house’ pictures at the bottom of this post.
This summer was our summer of weddings – we had the privilege of attending four (4!) in June and July alone. Let’s start with Kevin’s cousin Anne, who married her sweatheart Alex.
Such a beautiful wedding! Also full of those rustic, organic details that are so pretty and popular right now (note: I did not make that cake at right but I thought it was so pretty).
Two weeks later we traveled up to Monterey (in the greater San Francisco area) to witness the vows of Madelene and Joel.
The grounds of the chapel were absolutely beautiful!
And check out this handsome fella. I met Jack, a friend of ours’ new baby, for the first time.
This also happened to be the weekend of our five year anniversary, so we took an overnight trip to SF to celebrate (read more about our must-sees here).
Next up were a few days at Camp Powell, a summer camp that Kevin grew up attending and one that he volunteers at now. Liv was old enough this year to run around and to play in the mountains, too! Here she is with daddy and there’s a pic of Kevin entertaining all of the kiddos at campfire. His character was a Scottish ballerina. Amazing.
The following weekend we headed back to the bay area for Nick and Clare’s wedding, an adorable couple with a beautiful backyard reception that I can’t wait to share more of. Hoping to post more on the dessert table that they designed once I track down those pictures…
Here are a few photos from a weekend brunch at our house! Had to share this picture because it’s a perfect time lapse moment, we can retake these three little munchkins sitting on our porch again in a few years and admire their fast growth.
Liv and her buddies.
Back up to Santa Cruz we go! Let me take a moment and introduce you to my hometown. Before leaving for college ten years ago, these were my stomping grounds:
Beautiful. I love going back to visit.
Here’s a picture of that pier stretching all the way out to the water, this shot is taken on the walk from my parents house down into the village of Capitola.
And once you enter the village, you’ll come across a beautiful lazy river that meets the ocean (just. don’t. swim in it). That green restaurant on the water is where I worked as a hostess in high school.
Just across from that restaurant is this shot:
With brightly colored vacation homes lining the sand and another picture of that pier that I shared above.
My sister traveled up to Santa Cruz with me on this particular trip, here we are walking through the Capitola village.
My childhood home was actually further back in the hills of Santa Cruz, but it really is nice to be so close to the beach these days! When we visit nana and papa we try to walk down to the village at least once for appetizers, a glass of wine or a stroll through the shops.
Speaking of nana’s house, here’s Liv playing with her grandma in the morning while I’m at work (yup, when I travel for work I travel back to my hometown, so Liv gets to play with nana a lot!). She’s become quite the little photographer, and check out that morning hair (I’m pretty sure she’s also drinking her breakfast smoothie out of a plastic restaurant-style ketchup bottle. Must have forgotten the sippy cup.)
Liv’s getting ready for Europe!
Last wedding of the summer was for Katie and Danny, you might remember the cake project for this special day.
No trip to SC is complete without a trip to Harts Fabrics! I adore this store. Picked up that little stack on the right for a future project.
I don’t know how I missed it, but we had two different sets of cousins in town plus friends from AZ with their brand new Emmett and I don’t have any photos! Ah well, that’s enough weekend for now.
And finally, this friends – this is Kevin’s latest project/adventure and one that he traveled out to Iowa for in July. More to come…
Happy Labor Day!
PS More weekend fun (and other random family adventures…) here.
Posted in Family & Friends, Travel Adventures, Weekend Fun | Comment »
I thought I’d share a few pics from our surprise anniversary trip to San Francisco last weekend. We celebrated our 5th anniversary on Saturday the 23rd and on Sunday headed up to the Bay Area for a quick day and night to explore the city.
We were actually up in the Northern California area to celebrate a wedding with friends of ours, so location and babysitter proximity (my parents are in the area) were both in our favor. Here we are on our actual anniversary at the wedding:
The day after the wedding we packed our overnight bags and whisked ourselves away to San Francisco (about an hour and a half north of where my family lives in Santa Cruz). I can’t remember the last time we explored, shopped and went out to dinner without a toddler in tow!
Growing up so close to SF I’ve been to the city many, many times, but we decided to revisit all of the fun sites as official tourists, even booking tickets on a double decker bus on Monday morning.
We had so much fun visiting near every tourist-y spot in the city.
Favorites of ours (and must-sees if you come up to visit San Francisco) include: Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Ghiradelli Square, Haight & Ashbury, Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach (and little Italy), a ride on a cable car (don’t wait in line, instead have your cash ready and hop on as it stops at an intersection) and Alcatraz (must book several weeks before your visit).
I love to visit the city just for the beauty of walking it. If you can get beyond the crazy tourist gimmicks (which can be equally fun – like one of my favorite guys in head to toe silver up above – or the bushman!) you’ll notice every detail that makes this city special.
I also highly recommend a fresh bowl of clam chowder right on the water – sourdough bread bowl is a must!
We enjoyed a delicious meal in the Financial District at Prospect (great recommendation from a friend), followed by a yummy hot fudge sundae at Ghirardelli.
One last image from the weekend, does this not remind you of Full House? Ah memories.
Such a great getaway! and so happy to have been married to my mister for five years.
Posted in Weekend Fun | 6 Comments »
And they’re gluten free. But don’t let that deter you my wheat-eating comrades, these guys are amazing.
My good friend Anna recently threw a party for her son’s 2nd birthday and featured these chocolate treats as the dessert.
They were so delicious. Rich, moist, flavorful and – dare I say, healthy? okay not quite, but with ingredients ranging from your traditional sugar and eggs to mashed ripe bananas and nay a stick of butter in sight, I’m counting it.
After discovering hers and her son’s intolerance to gluten and dairy, Anna has found ways to substitute key ingredients in delicious recipes to create yummy meals. The secret behind these doughtnuts? A fabulous cookbook that she recently lent me by Silvana Nardone, editor-in-chief of Everyday with Rachel Ray and author of Cooking for Isaiah (check out Silvana’s daily blog here):
Other than the unique flour blend that Silvana has created (which I’m thinking I can substitute with white flour – funny that I’m trying to re-gluten a gluten-free recipe?), the ingredients are basic: eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and bananas.
Banana Doughnuts (from here)
Makes: 12, Prep Time: 15 minutes, Bake Time: 15 minutes
1¼ cups Silvana′s Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 °. Grease 2 nonstick, 6-count doughnut pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, 1 ¼ cups mashed bananas, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon the batter about three-quarters full into the prepared pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out dry, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool completely on a rack.
¼ cup boiling water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped (about 1 cup)
2¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Stir together the boiling water and chocolate until melted. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and add the corn syrup and vanilla; stir until smooth.
Set doughnuts on a rack over a baking sheet. Dip the doughnuts in glaze and set on the prepared rack; top with sprinkles. Enjoy!
Yum. And more photos from the adorable birthday party!
Favorite details include paper lantern hot air balloons (holding little dinosaurs who are each peering over the edge) hung up in the trees and a scrabble mat that doubled as a brightly colored tablecloth (above).
Happy Birthday Mr. Gavin!
PS he’s Kevin and my’s godson, which gives me even more bragging rights.
So handsome. This is my favorite picture from the day.
Have you been surprised by any alternative ingredient recipes lately? I must try these doughnuts again soon.
Tags: Decorating, Desserts, Green, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Red, Yellow
Posted in Family & Friends, Weekend Fun | 4 Comments »