Staying Stylish in Suburbia

Foodie Friday- Savory Summer Blackberry Pizza

Friday, June 28, 2013

In honor of the beginning of summertime I'm bringing back a flavorful favorite of ours. It may strike you as odd to add fruit to you pizza but I swear it is absolutely DELICIOUS!!! 



Ingredients 

  • Pizza dough- I buy mine at Trader Joe's but you can get it almost anywhere or make your own.
  • White Sauce- (this optional) You can buy an Alfredo at the store or make your own simple roux white sauce.
  • Cheese- Again I usually use Trader Joe's, "Quattro Formaggio", a shredded cheese blend with Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan and mild Provolone. I have also made it with just plain mozzarella though so use whatever you like best.
  • Blackberries- Add as generously as you see fit
  • Arugula- This adds a bit of a bite to the flavor palette that I love. Plus it's packed full of green goodness.
  • Pecans - Self explanatory



Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Follow the directions on how make the dough (whether it's homemade or store bought.) Roll it out as round and thin as possible without breaking. 
  • Add toppings in the order you prefer
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes or as long as it takes to turn the crust golden and melt the cheese.

And there you have it.  Have a scrumptious weekend everyone! xoxo

Bringing the Bow Tie Back

Thursday, June 27, 2013

We recently took advantage of a great sale and got the hubs a bunch of work clothes. Instead of sticking with the standard neck garb he surprised me by opting for some bow ties! I was all for it. I think they are adorable and a bit unexpected which makes them a great mix of sexy, hip, sophisticated, formal and fun. Esmae likes them too.













Here are a few other ways to rock a bow tie.

MEN


wear them with suspenders


WOMEN



wear them with a lovely blouse.


KIDS



Dress up your little one


Dogs


Put them on the pooch


How To



What Do you think? Is it time to bring the bow tie back!?





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Favorite Summer Tote Bags

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tote bags are the perfect summer accessory in my opinion. Great for the beach and perfect for mamas on the go!  I just got this ombre jean tote recently. I feel like Mary Poppins with the amount of supplies I can fit down inside it. Here are a few of my other favorites at the moment.





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"Friend Dating"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How finding new friends can feel a lot like dating...



“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” - C.S. Lewis


Whenever my best friend from college and I describe how we met, it ends up sounding like a burgeoning romance. And for all intents and purposes it was. I'll be the first to admit that I totally friend courted her. My initial interest started out as fairly superficial too. I dug her style which made me that much more interested in getting to know her. When we ended up in English class together I thought to myself this chick has style and she's clever. Now that's the kind of gal-pal for me. Then one night it happened. We wound up at a party. The stars collided and by the end of the night as the dancing and drinking were winding down we found ourselves sitting on the floor talking about our random tastes in music among other things."Wait! You listen to OutKast and you have Frank Sinatra? No way! Me too!" And from then on we just knew...it was a match made in friendship heaven.



“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.” - Audrey Hepburn


It was the same story only a slightly more grown up version with my best friend out in Cali. We met and it was love at first playgroup. Before we knew it we were going on stroller walks and spilling the beans about everything from our similar styles in child rearing to our marriages, finishing each others sentences and making each other laugh out loud all the while.

But here's the thing...that type of connection doesn't happen everyday and it certainly doesn't happen without a bit of effort. In both cases I had it in mind that I needed some good friends. New to college or new to a city, I was going to have to strap on my girlie-gettin' boots and go out and find me some like minded ladies to hang with.

I've been thinking about that lately. Just how similar the process of finding new friends is to dating in general. Think about it. It's all about the chemistry. It's hit or miss. It takes up a lot of your time and there are guarantees that it won't just fizzle out in the end.

Once when I was in my twenties someone told me that I aught to write down of all the qualities and I wanted in a man. I was single at the time and they said it would give me a clear sense of what I was looking for. I still have the journal with that long list scrolled down the page. And I'm not saying it works or it doesn't work, I'm just saying that not long afterwards I met my husband and the rest as they say is history. Our meeting felt totally random and yet completely meant to be. And who knows, maybe it did have something to do with the list-making, in the sense that it got me to play an active role in deciding who it was I wanted to welcome into my life.

If I were to list out the BEST qualities my closest friends all have in common it would look something like this.

  • Kind
  • Curious
  • loyal
  • Funny with slightly naughty sense of humor
  • Creative and/or Artistic
  • Willingness to be silly
  • Generous
  • Open minded
  • Spiritual
  • Smart
  • Interesting
  • Positive
  • Honest
  • Down to earth

Now that we've moved to a new city I'm back on the lookout for friends. I still have my besties to lean on from afar but it's important to have a local support system as well. I've been going to mom groups and I have some pretty great neighbors too. Everyone has been super friendly so far. It's just about breaking through the more formal get-to-know-you stuff and getting down into the real nitty gritty of friendship which can take time. If only it were as simple for me as it is for my daughter. She sees another little person around her size and it's no questions asked let's play!



Of course it's a bit more of a process for us old folks and sometimes you end up having to weed out the wrong ones, same as dating. But I think one of the big difference between "friend dating" versus romantic dating is that while your life partner should possess a whole plethora of overall qualities to make a good match, friends can fulfill more singular needs in your life. In other words not everyone has to be a soul mate. I have friends that I love to talk about books and writing with and others who I love to go out and party with. They all bring something different to the table. It can be intimidating and exhausting to put yourself out there but in the end I've always found my efforts worth the while. Because as Winnie-the-Pooh so artfully states, "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go and get them sometimes."



How about you? How important are good friends in your life. Have you found the process of finding good peeps easy or hard?

P.S.

This post was somewhat inspired by this robberstore lookbook. A series of photos of women and their best friends.



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DIY Baby Onesies

Monday, June 24, 2013

When it comes to baby onesies the options out there are often limited. It seems like they are all either super generic (pastel pink with flowers or blue with trucks) or way overpriced for something the little ones will grow out of in two seconds. So the other day when I came across this book of stencils in the craft store I got to thinking...why not just make my own? It only took me a few hours and it was such a fun project! Here's what you'll need in case you're so inclined to give it a try.

The Materials




STENCILS - You can either buy a book like this one with the stencils included or you can easily make your own designs with something as simple as cardboard and an x acto knife.



PAINTS - Some sort of fabric paint. I chose this Martha Stewart Multi Surface because it comes in great colors.


PAINT BRUSH - Almost anything will do
PALETTE - You can even use an egg carton
TAPE - Scotch tape works fine


SIMPLE WHITE ONESIE - You can order them here.


The Process


Choose your stencil. Choose your placement. Tape the stencil onto the onesie, pulling it as taught as possible.






Follow stencil with paint colors of your choice and give time to dry before removing stencil.



 The Result











For this particular project I went with an animals and audio theme. How cute are they though!? I can't wait for our new baby girl to try them out! It won't be long now...

Lavender Farm Frolic

Thursday, June 20, 2013

 Last week we discovered a lavender farm just up the road from us. It is a small family run business co-owned by a mother and daughter team and employed by grandchildren, neighbors and interns. When we first drove up there was a little store that sold a variety of lavender goods including soaps, oils, candles, jelly etc... We paid the small entrance fee there before walking up the dirt road. The first thing we came across was a little pinned in area with several bunny rabbits available for petting. Esmae was thrilled of course. The bunnies maybe not so much. Up further still we found the actual lavender fields. Not large but with a variety of flowers to choose from. There were baskets laid out on the grass for the taking and scissors too. We started wandering through the fragrant clusters. The stems were 12 cents each. Esmae was happy to help for a bit but there were also toys scattered around the farm to keep her occupied while I continued to gather flowers. 

Afterwards I was able to speak to the co-owner and grandmother who built her house above the fields after retirement. She was a sweet lady, content to see all the people enjoying themselves on her land. I also got the chance to speak to one of her grandchildren (who was probably high school age) and ask her about the different kinds of lavender grown there. She told me that the quickest way to dry the stems was to lay them out on a bed in a not too sunny room with a fan for two days. That's what I did and it worked brilliantly. 

All in all it was the most pleasant afternoon I've had in a while. Here are some of the pictures I took. I also included the varieties I picked and their suggested uses. Now I have three bundles hanging in my kitchen and filling it with fragrance. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with each of them but I'll let you know soon in another blog post soon. 

















Lavender