Grazing Boards

My favorite way to eat! Who is with me? You probably know what a big fan of cheese and charcuterie boards I am, so I thought I’d mix it up and create more of a “grazing” board this time using my absolute favorite reclaimed wood board. You can read my tips for the perfect cheese board in this post. We will use some of those tips for this board as well! Here are some things to keep in mind:

Buy soft AND hard cheeses
Make sure to get a selection of soft and hard cheeses so that the board has variation. Some of my favorites include: Saint Andre, Toscana Black Pepper, Mt Tam, Aged Gouda, Port Salut, Goat Cheese with Honey, and Humbolt Fog. This is more important when it’s mostly just a cheese board, but I like to offer a soft and hard cheese on this as well.

Dips!
For a summer grazing board, I like to add a flavored hummus or other light dip for all of the veggies and crackers. Here I used a cilantro avocado hummus, but anything goes.

Cut as much as you can
One of the great things about a cheese board is that it’s easy to grab a bite size piece quickly. Try to cut the cheeses into pieces as much as possible so that this is doable. You will need to keep some of the soft cheeses as is (a log of goat cheese, for example). Same thing goes for fruits and vegetables– try to use bite size or cut into pieces.

Color, color, color!
This is essential when it comes to a beautiful cheese board. Depending on the time of year, fresh fruits and vegetables will help add to great variety of color. I love to keep the green tops on vegetables which helps add beautiful color. I also added some additional greens in this board since I wanted it looking fresh for spring.

Mix-ins are a Must
This one goes without saying! It’s necessary to mix in delicious fruits, nuts, olives, or pickles to both pair with your meats and cheeses, or to eat on their own. I often will slice up a pear or a green apple, or cut figs in half so that guests can create their own bites with different cheeses. Don’t forget to have small piles or containers of nuts (I love marcona almonds), olives, or cornichon pickles. Grapes are always a go-to, too!

Add some toppings
This one isn’t a necessity, but it’s nice to have some small containers of a relish, jam, or honey to spread onto your bite of choice.

Keep crackers and bread on the side
You’ll see in my photo that I don’t have a ton of crackers shown. This is because it would have taken too much room on the board! Just don’t forget to not skimp on various crackers and sliced bread so that there are a lot of options for your guests. I like to use a smaller basket, tray or platter to hold everything.

Variety is Key
Remember that anything goes! The most important thing here is to have variety: cheeses, dips, meats, fruits (dried or fresh), vegetables, olives, pickles, nuts… the list goes on and honestly anything works!

Cheers!

Bump-Friendly Dresses for Summer

I posted this photo to instagram and got a lot of questions from other pregnant mamas about the dress I’m wearing (it also comes in a pretty red color). It’s extremely flowy, and therefore very bump-friendly! So, I thought I’d round up a few favorites I have found for spring and summer– none are maternity specific, but all should fit a baby bump nicely. This also makes them perfect for after baby and beyond… better to spend on non-maternity so you can get more use out of them!

Spaghetti with Asparagus and Parmesan

I absolutely love this spaghetti– not only is it delicious, but it’s incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Asparagus is the perfect addition for spring and pairs wonderfully with parmesan and lemon, but the options are endless– any roasted veg added in would be delicious.

I use a lentil and chickpea pasta that I really love. I’ve tried more kinds than I can count and this brand has remained my favorite. Of course, any kind of spaghetti works, but I love that this offers more protein and fiber than most.

Directions: Lay asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 until tender.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta per the directions on the box. Once drained, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan cheese. Add in asparagus, plate up and enjoy. The perfect dinner in a pinch!

Nursery Planning for Baby Girl

With 3 months to go until we meet our baby girl, I am (very excitedly) prepping and planning her nursery. We are likely going to keep her in our room for some time (and not complete her room for a bit), so I purchased this changing table from Serena & Lily that we are housing in our master bedroom. That way, I can keep her essentials nearby until she has her own room. I added these darling beachcomber baskets to keep folded clothes, diapers and other essentials on the shelves. Of course, staying true to my beloved blue and white, I bought this Serena & Lily coastal toile crib sheet that I am using as my main point of inspiration for the room. I’m planning on having it made into a changing pad cover as well as keeping it for her crib sheet. It also comes in this darling wall paper! We are big fans of jellycat stuffed animals over here, so I purchased this darling white bunny that Henry is gifting to his baby sister upon her arrival. Next up is to order a chair for her nursery– I’m likely going to get a white slipcovered chair and order a monogrammed pillow for it. You can view some of my favorite ones- which I have found to be very reasonably priced- in my Etsy Favorites Shop. These also make the sweetest gifts!

Hope this brings you some inspiration! xo

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! Whether or not you’re able to celebrate in person with your mom this year, it’s always important to gift her a little something to let her know how much you appreciate her. These ideas also work great for your sister, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, friend… or even yourself. Don’t forget about yourself!

1. A market tote! Darling for the beach, market, or to hold throws at home. I really love this one from Jenni Kayne. Also, this one on Etsy is a great price!
2. A cozy hand-loomed linen throw to cuddle up with.
3. This candle is my absolute favorite and comes in this perfect spa-like scent for mom to relax.
4. Pair the candle with this darling match striker.
5. One of my favorite little ginger jars to put anywhere!
6. I adore this knot door stopper– a go-to gift!
7. Gift her with a fun new straw hat for summer. This floppy one is darling, as is this very chic visor.
8. Who doesn’t love soft new pjs? Lake is my go-to for cute, casual cotton pajamas. I love this nightie paired with this robe.
9. For books on the coffee table or linens for entertaining, this tray will certainly get used nonstop.
10. My absolute favorite bread boards for cheese and appetizers. They also make for fun decor for a countertop or bar cart.
11. Beautiful monogrammed cocktail napkins for the mom who loves when the clock turns 5.
12. A darling ruffled baker or loaf pan for the mom who loves to cook and bake.
13. Add a photo of the two of you into a cute new picture frame for her home. This one is also pretty!
14. Lastly, another cozy washed linen throw… that matches her new pajamas.

Hope you have a fun day celebrating!

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Happy Spring! Happy Easter! This is one of my favorite springtime appetizers. It is so perfect to make on Easter, but really it’s delicious and absolutely acceptable to have anytime. Plus, it’s extremely healthy! The ingredients are very flexible, but the below is my favorite combination. Hope you enjoy!

6 eggs
1 avocado
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
lemon zest
2 tablespoons green onion or chives
salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Lower in 6 eggs, carefully with a spoon. Boil for 30 seconds. Cover, reduce to very low and simmer for 10-11 minutes. Remove from heat and drop the eggs into an ice bath for 15 minutes. The eggs should be perfectly hard boiled and very easy to peel!

Mash together all ingredients– egg yolks, avocado, lemon juice, a little lemon zest, green onions, mustard, salt and pepper. With a piping bag and tip, or just a snipped plastic bag, pipe the filling into the eggs. I like to finish them with a sprinkling of more lemon zest and sea salt. Enjoy!

Keeping Cozy at Home

There’s no place like home… especially right now! Now more than ever, we are learning the importance of keeping our homes a comfortable and cozy place. Whether it’s just you at home, or it’s filled with young kids running around, here are a few simple things I love to do (mostly in the evening) to relax and keep cozy.

Soft light – light all your candles and your fireplace if you have one! Honestly a glimmering candle by your sink makes doing the dishes a lot easier. Plus the scent that fills the air will help with the cozy ambiance. Also, don’t forget to dim your overhead lights.
Keep clean – this doesn’t mean spend all your time scrubbing, but picking up the mess from the day will help you feel a whole lot more relaxed.
Pour a drink! – make it something special and put it in a nice glass. Sparkling water with fresh citrus, a glass of wine, a super strong cocktail… no one is judging here.
Get comfortable – put on cozy clothes. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a new robe, pajamas or loungewear that not only look great on, but also make you feel good. Don’t forget slippers!
Turn on music – having a nice playlist on really helps to set the mood.
Fresh flowers – who doesn’t love having fresh plants and flowers around? It helps make a room feel warm and welcoming.
Entertainment – I’m a coffee table book and magazine fan (with a side of my phone), but if you prefer the TV or a great novel, then you do you. Just make sure to cozy up with…
Pillows & Throws – Add a few new throw pillows and a blanket to your couch or chair so you really look forward to cuddling up for the evening.

Hope you’re staying safe, happy and healthy at home. xx

Easter Gifts for the Littles

Easter is not cancelled! While it’s looking like we will all be staying at home with our families this year, it’s still a holiday I will always love to celebrate. I think it’s such a sweet day for kids– besides the obvious (and incredible) celebration of new life, I can’t get enough of the darling pastel outfits, excitement of an egg hunt and a basket filled with goodies for when the kiddos wake up.

Here are some of my favorite finds for your little bunnies this year:

1. Lake pajamas will always be a favorite for myself and I love this short set and this long set for kids.
2. A darling bow Easter basket (plus one for your little boy)
3. I love this Yeti tumblr so your little can match mom and dad.
4. Petite Plume always wins for sweetest nighttime dressing– I love this nightgown with this bunny eye mask.
5. Get set for spring swimming with this darling suit for your little girl. I also love this pattern!
6. A classic bow for the season.
7. My favorite shoes for spring and summer.
8. A matching minnow suit for your little boy.
9. Your little one can never have too many stuffed animals and this bunny is so sweet for the holiday. Pick this bunny rattle for your extra little one.
10. A sweet tea set for your little girl.
11. The cutest bike for spring and summer– and you could fill that darling basket with other goodies or flowers.
12. A sweet straw luggy basket or this darling strolley for weekends at the market, dolls or pretend play (plus darling for storage and to use as their Easter basket!)
13. Plus this picnic basket for warm summer lunches outside.
14. A true classic and keepsake– all 23 original tales of Peter Rabbit.
15. I love these wooden block sets for learning numbers and letters.
16. A darling Peter Rabbit cakelet pan to bake a sweet treat together.

Happy Spring!

Recent Reads

photo by Paul Massey via House and Garden UK

Here are a some articles, images and recipes I’ve come across and enjoyed– hopefully all are a quick escape from the news and bring you a little happiness! Stay healthy and at home, everyone.
xo

Rita Konig’s insanely charming farmhouse in Durham

How to grow Thyme (on my list of herbs to plant in the coming weeks)

A delicious and healthy lemon feta salad, perfect for spring

Springtime dessert: almond, pistachio and orange blossom cake

Plus, a favorite springtime Negroni to go with it

Relax your mind and body with a detox bath

The most beautiful rose farm, also on the ‘gram

Rickie Fowler’s intimate wedding in Mexico


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