Back in late July you may recall that I hosted a party in our backyard with Sutter Home. At the time I shared a couple of the DIY projects, a sneak peek at the decor and the prettiest dinner party printables designed by my lovely friend Maddy of The Proper Type. Late last week the first of several videos was launched on Sutter Home’s Facebook page and I have to say, seeing that video really brought it home just how amazing an experience throwing this party was for me both personally and professionally. In a nutshell, we filled our backyard with a ton of family and friends, incredible food, an abundance of great wine and live music by John Driskell Hopkins, who is also a member of the Zac Brown Band. Then, an incredible production crew complete with director, videographers, photographers, art directors, sound guys and stylists took over our house for the day and after an early morning hair and makeup session the day kicked off and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the morning. I’ll be sharing all the other videos, recipes and photos with you as they roll out, but it would mean the world to me to have you take a few minutes to go watch the first video, or the appetizer video as Sutter Home has so cheekily dubbed it, and appropriately so. Getting to share my life’s passion in this way and on this kind of platform means so much to me it almost brings me to tears seeing it all come to life. Click through for loads of behind the scenes photos that Alice captured on what our friends, family and neighbors have affectionately come to refer to as Sutter Home Day!
While I am definitely one who generally passes up on seasonal coffee concoctions (no offense, pumpkin spice lattes), I am very definitely someone who loves playing with fun seasonal cocktails throughout the year. This time of year in Upstate New York is still prime apple season, not so much for picking them since the season has passed for that, but certainly you can still find loads of fresh local apples. Making an apple sangria seemed like a requirement this year, but I wanted to keep it light and really refreshing so I added lemons and made it with rosé so it’s crisp and fruity and not at all heavy like fall sangria recipes tend to be. Add brandy, triple sec and simple syrup and you’ve got a pretty perfect fall cocktail. It would even be ideal for making up a big batch early in the day on Thanksgiving so your guests can serve themselves while you’re finishing buttering up the mashed potatoes. Want try another great apple cocktail? Give my caramel apple sangria recipe a whirl. It’s one of my all time most popular cocktails!
It’s no secret that I love a good party appetizer, and I think the best are ones that are simple to pull together that still allow guests to try out a few different things. Enter this super easy bread and oil appetizer dipping station! You know those restaurants where you get to munch on great crusty bread and delicious flavored oils while you wait for your meal? That’s totally the inspiration here. All you need is a few baguettes sliced up, olive oil and a bunch of yummy flavors to add into the mix like lemon zest, red pepper flake and minced garlic. Here I’m sharing a few of my personal favorite flavor combinations, but you should absolutely mix and match to your heart’s content using your favorite herbs and spices. To serve everything, cute little bowls for each oil concoction (I’d suggest at least two or three) and a pretty wooden board piled high with bread will do the trick.
Writing this post today is one of those happy, emotional and surreal experiences that just make me love life. Friends, meet my sweet little niece, Marley Gray! Born on September 18th at 5:21pm, Emerson’s baby cousin and new BFF clocked in at 7lbs 9oz of seriously beautiful baby. For those of you keeping track, yes! Em and Marley share a middle name, which was derived from our maternal grandparents’ names (Gary + Kay) and I hope it always makes them feel close and special, like it’s them against the world. Today I am so excited to share a bunch of photos of Ash, Justin and Marley, along with all the details on her adorable little nursery, which Ash and I worked on together from 1400 miles apart. (Big ups to secret Pinterest boards!) From the beginning Ash was really drawn to mostly neutral nursery spaces with loads of texture and sweet little details. She definitely did not want anything that was pink or screamed girl, but she did want it to feel playful and fun which is where the touch of tropical comes into play. Scroll through for all the insanely beautiful photos from Jessica Bornder Photography, and you’ll find all the shopping links below. Welcome to the world, Marley! You are so so very loved.
In a shocking turn of events, our sweet little Emerson turns two in just a few weeks. Two! It is so so true what they say. The days are long, but the years are short. It’s immensely bittersweet for me, which I’ll ruminate on at great length as her birthday approaches, but suffice it to say that I love watching her grow up, I just wish it were happening a little slower. (Classic Mom feels, I guess.) As I prepare her little wish lists for her birthday and Christmas for grandparents, aunts and uncles, I realized it was perfect timing to share some of our favorite toddler toys! I am really committed to the idea that fewer, higher quality toys (and things in general) is the way to go, both from the standpoint of not wanting to waste money on things that feel really disposable, but also because it helps keep clutter in check. I am someone who gets really stressed out by visual clutter, so choosing toys that look great, function even better, keep her happy and are easily tucked away at the end of the day keeps me feeling sane. Plus I love that idea that we try to mostly select toys that are really well made and could easily be passed down to her kids someday. I am all about that nostalgia life. Keeping reading for a bunch of our current favorites and please comment with links to your favorites so I can check them out!