On Sundays I always try to make it a point to cook something I can nibble on for the rest of the week. Last Sunday I made these delicious spicy tuna cakes from Nom Nom Paleo. They taste great hot or cold. I’ve loved snacking on them throughout the week. My favorite way is to sear them in a pan to make them a little crispy. Packed with canned tuna fish and mashed sweet potatoes they are the perfect balanced emergency protein snack. You can make them mild or spicy, whatever you fancy. They will freeze great too. Let me know if you like them. Thanks Nom Nom!
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a bridal shower for one of my dearest friends, Casey Musser. Casey is one of the sweetest, down to earth girls and I was beyond honored when she asked me to be her Maid of Honor. I wanted to design something that reflected Casey and I thought an outdoor garden dinner would be most fitting. Casey is a girl after my own heart; she loves to cook, take trips to the farmers market, and enjoys all aspects of nature. I chose to have the dinner at Tiny Boxwoods, a restaurant and plant nursery in Houston, Texas. The private outdoor gazebo couldn’t have been a more perfect setting for an intimate, charming garden dinner. If you haven’t been to this restaurant you should plan to go because I feel it is one of Houston’s true gems. At night time the atmosphere becomes magical.
This is the first party I have thrown since I made the move back to Houston. One of my favorite things about throwing a party is when I connect with women who inspire me with their talents. I couldn’t have pulled the night off without the help of these three women: Rachel Nieman, Tamara Menges, and Crista Elycee.
Casey’s color scheme for her wedding was going to be lavender, and I wanted to carry the lavender theme into her bridal shower as well. The minute I saw the chalkboard invites with a lavender border on Minted I knew they would make the perfect invitation and set the mood of the party. Rachel Nieman addressed the envelopes and created the cutest insert card with her outstanding, whimsical calligraphy. I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw how they turned out.
Tamara Menges created the most breathtaking lavender lush botanicals. She is one incredible, talented, floral designer. I am just in love with her. She also helped me with the votives and candles that were placed inside the gazebo. Everything looked so enchanting when the night turned dark.
To display the menu I kept with the rustic garden theme and used an old chalkboard I found on Etsy years ago and had Rachel do an artful design. I also had her write everyones name on some zinc garden markers I found. I think they made the perfect place cards. I have no words to describe how awesome Rachel’s calligraphy looked.
Since it was an August dinner outside I knew there was no way we would escape Houston’s hot, humid weather. To try to help, I found these vintage lace accordion fans and placed them at each setting. I also wanted everyone to take home something personalized to look back and remember, so I had some custom hankies from Wedding Chicks made with one of my favorite bible verses that I think describes Casey and the rest of the women at the party:
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” Proverbs 31:25.
All of these pictures were captured by the coolest photographer, Christa Elyce. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be able to share with you this special evening. If you are considering a photographer, she is one of the best. Christa is so down to earth, I felt like I had known her for years. These pictures capture the essence of the dinner and bring back the best memories!
I think the night turned out exquisite and it will definitely be a memorable evening for me. I am so blessed Casey let me be a part of this special journey. Through her I have met some of the dearest people. Casey I love you and wish you a lifetime of happiness!!!
“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” Did you know that today is national ice cream day. Thanks to President Ronald Reagan the month of July is designated National Ice Cream Month and the 3rd Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day. I used to be very sensitive to dairy at a younger age, but as I have gotten older I am able to tolerate it better. The one thing I could never give up was ice cream. I’m the girl who would rather get ice cream on a date than a fancy dinner! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is make homemade ice cream.
I remember being a little girl and helping my dad hand churn our White Mountain Old Fashioned Ice Cream Maker that used rock salt and ice. It took a lot of time and muscle but there really is no better reward than a bowl of homemade ice cream. We don’t have our White Mountain machine anymore, but one day I would love to get another one. Thankfully, I have an amazing Cuisinart machine that has become my summer bff. I love that it comes with two bowls so you can make a double batch or two flavors at once. One day I will share a favorite recipe, but I just haven’t had time to take pictures before my ice cream melted. I am really lagging behind in the photography part of this blog- it isn’t my strong suit haha.
For those of you that don’t have time to make your own I wanted to share with you my favorite new discovery:
Jeni’s Spendid Ice Cream. This is some of the best and most innovative ice cream I have ever tasted! Jeni Bauer makes all her ice cream using only the highest quality, local ingredients, and grass-fed whole fat milk and cream. I love her hand-labeled pints. She has an online shop where you can order different ice cream collections and bring as a party favor or just give the gift of an insanely delicious pint of ice cream to a friend. If you can’t tolerate ice-cream Jeni also has a collection of sorbet. I just found out she has a homemade ice cream book that I am wanting to order and add to my growing cookbook collection. I think ice cream really is one of the best American indulgences!
Images 1,3,4: here
“Be STILL and know that I am God”.
I don’t know if any of you struggle at times with staying still on the inside. I know we all go through rocky times and dry seasons of drought where we don’t see anything changing. Maybe you are blessed in one area but in another area it seems dry and barren. We find ourselves holding onto hope with two hands. The wondering, waiting, silence, uncertainty…it isn’t comfortable or easy, or at least for me it isn’t. I am constantly needing to remind myself of Psalm 46:10. One night when I was just feeling a little down I discovered Marrisa’s Be Still Clothing Co and I felt I couldn’t keep it a secret all to myself. I love when I come across companies that base their principles on truth and spreading positive messages. Marrisa wanted to create fashionable, comfortable clothing that would bring hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, and comfort to those in pain. She founded her clothing line on Psalm 46:10 and Exodus 14:14. I just adore everything she makes. That night I placed an order for her Be Still & Know shirt. This shirt has become one of my favorite shirts and I feel so encouraged when I wear it because to me it is a little reminder that I am loved and that God promises to look after every detail of my life and all I have to do is
BE STILL. I hope that when I wear it that others get a little encouragement too because we all have moments when our troubles feel to big. I’ve realized that seasons really are only seasons and tests of endurance.
Leo Tolstoy once wrote “The two greatest warriors are patience and time”. He couldn’t have been more right.
Marrissa just relaunched her site with new items. I think you should go check it out. She even makes tees for the men in your life and I personally think they look really awesome on. She has a few pieces on sale and added some cute new designs.
I really can’t wait until she adds back her sweatshirts in the fall.
I wish you a happy Friday and together lets just remember to “Be STILL and KNOW…”
Images via: here