These past couple of weeks I've been reveling in the recent shift to cooler weather...breaking out my sheepskin slippers, wearing hooded sweatshirts, and sleeping with the windows open.  Fall is my favorite for so many reasons, but mostly because it's the beginning of crochet season.  I adore spending my days cuddled up on the couch mindlessly stitching gifts for all my loved ones...a hat, scarf, or blanket truly is the ultimate sign of my affection.  But, if you're anything like me you hardly ever make time to create anything for yourself.  So, here's a little something so quick and easy you could whip up two while watching a movie next weekend (it's even worth trying if you've never picked up a needle and yarn in your life...you won't find a pattern more simple).

SKILL LEVEL:   Beginner (seriously, there's only 1 stitch in this pattern people)

SIZE:                  11" H x 32" DIAMETER

MATERIALS:     2 skeins Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (3 skeins will make 2 scarves)
                           Size P (11.50 mm) hook

SCARF:             Ch 50.   Being careful not to twist ch, join with sl st in first ch to form ring.
Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in each ch around, join with sl st in top of beg ch - 50 dc
Rnd 2-11:  Repeat Rnd 1.
Fasten off, and weave in ends.

Hope you guys enjoy!! 
You'll probably be everyone's new best friend :)


Honey Cherry Almond Parfait

We've really been enjoying the fruits of our labor from this past week's cherry picking.  Though they're super scrumptious as is, there was no way we were going to be able to polish them all off before going bad.  So, we decided to try our hand at some preserving techniques!
Using 12 cups of cherries, we made two batches of jam.  The first batch I really wanted to try using honey as the natural sweetener so I chose Simple Bites' Honey Strawberry Jam recipe and just substituted with cherries.  The other batch we sweetened with 3 cups of cane sugar using the same technique.
The remaining cherries we froze using these instructions, pitting about half of them and leaving the pits in the others to eat like frozen grapes.  My boys say they "taste like candy" like this and will be perfect to serve on hot summer days.

Now if you're wondering what to do with all that jam, it really does make a very thoughtful hostess gift, or you can follow this simple little recipe that's perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Serves 1

1/2 c Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or regular yogurt)
2 T Honey Cherry Jam
1/2 c halved and pitted cherries
1 T Slivered almonds

1 // Spoon 1/4 c yogurt into parfait dish
2 // Layer jam, 1/4 c cherries, and other 1/4 c yogurt
3 // Then add remaining cherries and almonds on top


What else do you guys do with fresh cherries?



U-Pick Cherries

There are these cherry orchards just over the hill from us in Leona Valley, so we finally took the time this weekend to go check it out.  It was opening weekend for U-Pick fruit and I was stunned by the amount of big, beautiful, plump, ripe, juicy cherries there were. 
It wasn't long before our buckets were brimming with sweet goodness and it was time to head back home to try and figure out what to do with it all...

Happy Monday Everyone!


2 + 3 / THE 52 PROJECT

These past two weeks have been sort of crazy-busy with appointments, trips, wrapping up the last two weeks of homeschool, and trying to keep my house in order, but I didn't forget...
They just love jumping on Grandma and Grandpa's trampoline...can you tell?!
And this week, we took our first trip of the summer to the beach.  They had a blast until they got trampled by the tide.  Then, it was "bury-your-brother-in-the-sand-time."  I thought both were pretty amusing!
Did you see our Great Gatsby inspired wedding up on Style Me Pretty last week?  It was a gorgeous one...
Also, Sitting in a Tree's PopUp Wedding collaboration with Rad + In Love, Yeah Rentals, Pitbulls and Posies, Bloem Hill, A MiHo Experience, and Hostess Haven happened this past weekend...I was so bummed I couldn't make it :(  Guess I'll just have to stay tuned for more photos!!
New Mexico is calling my name...here // here // here // and here
Oh, and I finally got one of my kids to eat KALE with this Chipotle Kale Chip recipe from Naturally Ella.  Try it!!
Have you guys heard of Skillshare?  It's absolutely brilliant!  There are TONS of online project-based classes taught by professionals in all different fields...I signed up for this one and this one.
Wishing everyone a wonderful and productive weekend!!  Mine will be spent super-belated "Spring Cleaning!"


Weekly Wrap-up

So, I just found out that Land of Nod is coming to CA...woohoo!

Sitting in a Tree's Holman Ranch wedding was up on 100 Layer Cake this week (this one was so much fun)...and the bride just started her own event company!  You can see her work on 100 Layer Cakelet...HERE 

Ever since Sarah posted pics of her Tulum trip, I can't seem to get my head out of the clouds...absolutely dreamy

Came across this quote today and can TOTALLY identify

We made the best Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies...and I ate far too many of them...oops

I was inspired by Kelli Murray, who was inspired by Che and Fidel, to start in on the 52 Project.  I'm challenging myself to document our moments better by taking and posting a portrait of my children each week (I would explain further, but these ladies word it perfectly).  Feel free to join in on the fun and leave your own link in the comments section below

Oh, and I almost forgot...I've been exercising my brain with Lumosity for the past two weeks.  And, as if it's not surprising, my weakest cognitive ability is "Memory"...Ha!

Hope everyone has a fabulous Friday!!


Mother's Day Weekend

You know those days when nothing seems to go as anticipated?  When you've finally taken the time to plan a day out and things just don't fall into place?  Well...I had one of those days on Saturday.  It's not that this sort of thing is unusual to me.  I have this weird tendency to want to "make-the-most-out-of-it" when I go on outings, so I spend gobs of time researching before I go...what makes the place fun or unique? where would the locals recommend eating? are there any cool boutiques? where can I get a good cup of coffee? and the list goes on, and on, and on...
This trait I'm sure was passed down somewhere along the line from my father.  I vividly remember one morning in a hotel room in Hong Kong, he pulled out a yellow piece of notepad paper with a handdrawn grid occupying the entire page.  Each column represented a day of our "vacation" and each row a 15min time span.  I giggled inside at the irony then.  And yet, as I've gotten older I've fallen prey to the same vices entirely too often.  I've tried to cram so many things into one afternoon, one day, one weekend, that the "fun" time is no longer fun.  Instead, it's a grand race to meet all my expectations. 
So, when the pieces of my puzzle weren't quite fitting together this weekend I was reminded of a list of "5 Simple Rules for Happiness"...I can't remember what the first four were at the moment, but the last one was the important one, "#5 Expect less."
I've really been trying to work on this...to let go of the visions I formulate in my head about what "should be" and make way for the "could be"...to free my mind of anticipation so that I may just enjoy what actually is. 
And, this weekend it totally worked!  I was able to just relax a little, take a deep breath and roll with the punches.  When Plan A didn't pan out, we went to Plan B, and when Plan B fell short we came up with Plan C. And even though the day ended up looking nothing like I had envisioned, it couldn't have been more perfectly "imperfect."  Because in the end, all that matters are the moments I get to share with the ones that I love.  It doesn't really matter WHAT we're doing...just that we're doing them together! Right?!
Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day...mine was fabulous!!
PS--Am I crazy, or does anyone else struggle with this too??




Happy Monday after Cinco de Mayo!

This weather lately has got me craving a cold one....but not just ANY cold one.  A cold one just like the one I had in Venice Beach, when my friend Sam introduced me to a Mexican-style brunch complete with green chile Chilaquiles and spicy Micheladas.  Yummm...my taste buds are tingling just thinking about it.  

If you've never heard of it, the Michelada is similar to a Bloody Mary except that the vodka is substituted with beer.  It's rumored to be a good hangover remedy (perhaps a good thing to know after this past weekend's festivities) and is prepared in about a bajillion different ways.
So, in hopes of replicating the drinks I shared with Sam that morning I did taste-test, after taste-test, after taste-test (oh darn, right?!).  Here's what I came up with...

     Serves 1

     Lime wedge
     Course sea salt
     Juice of 1 lime
     A Mexican Beer (I used Modelo Especial)
     Dash of Soy sauce
     Dash of Worcestershire
     Few dashes of Cholula (or more, if you like it HOT)
     Tomato Juice (I prefer RW Knudsen Tomato Juice // found at Whole Foods)
     Few slices of jalapeno

     1 // Wet rim of beer mug with lime wedge and dip into course sea salt.
     2 // Spoon ice into mug, then add next five ingredients.
     3 // Top with Tomato juice and stir gently. 
     4 // Garnish with jalapeno slices.

Now, get crackin...open a cold one!