Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Here + A Giveaway

College football has officially started. And now, it is my favorite time of year.
So I made some Auburn-inspired bathroom art for the boys yesterday.
Much more navy in person!
 And hung an orange wreath on the door.
 Put out some coffee table flare.
 Made my chili and drank red wine from an Auburn glass (y'all, it is fall year-around in Monterey, we actually get the choice to embrace it while everyone else is wishing for it! I also wore jeans and boots today and was totally okay with it.)
And lastly, created the perfect game day outfit for Friday Fancies. Even Clay Travis agrees: a sundress and boots are perfect.

So in honor of my favorite season, I'd like to offer a mystery box giveaway (inspired by my dear friend Martha). All you have to do is be a public follower of Daffodils and leave a comment telling me what is your favorite part of fall. Then, next Friday, I'll announce a winner and send you a box of goodies, which will most likely involve nail polish, a Starbuck's gift card, and orange and blue earrings (because, you know, my life goal is to make everyone an Auburn fan).

Good Luck, Happy Weekend, and WAR EAGLE!

DIY Abstract Art

On Tuesday, I was feeling inspired to get a little crafty, and I was in desperate need of changing the look above my couch in the living room. So we headed to Michael's in the morning to pick up a canvas and during nap, I created this.
 My taste in art is usually very classic (think oil paintings of Paris) and Kev loves photography, so this piece is very different from everything else in out house, but I was in the mood an abstract update. Plus, for $15, it was much cheaper than buying real art.

The process was easy. I used green paint left over from my bedroom makeover for the background and rolled it on. It quickly covered in one coat.
 Then, using some craft paints, I dropped a color at a time randomly on the canvas and hit it with a fly swatter. Yep, a fly swatter. Cullen and I do this on paper all the time for fun and art-time, so it is really what inspired me to do it on a large scale because his designs always came out so cool looking.
 C woke up in time to help with the finishing touches.
 And here it is hanging in my living room. (My mom suggested a frame to really anchor it, I think she is right, don't you?)
 And I tried it above our bed. (Please excuse my unfluffed pillows)
Which look do you prefer? 

PS See those awesome colorful pillows on my couch? The are pillow covers from my friend Gosia's Etsy Shop. Check it out HERE.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Grilled Artichokes With Aioli Dipping Sauce

Since artichokes are so popular here in Monterey (we live just down the road from 'The Artichoke Capital of the World': Castroville, CA), Kev has been asking me to make them. The task seemed daunting and complicated, but after a googling a few recipes, I managed to come up with a successful recipe for our local veggie.

First up, prepare your artichokes by cutting off the spiky leaves and 1/3 of the top.
 Rub open ends with lemon juice to prevent from turning brown. Drop into pot of boiling water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until you can stick a fork into the stem. (Note: make sure it is really soft. I took mine off too early and our outer leaves were not as well done as I would have liked).

While artichokes are simmering, prepare marinade.
 Chop garlic, chop shallot, squeeze out lemon juice, whisk together with all the rest of the stuff (we don't run and exact kitchen around here).

Pull artichokes off stove and soak in an ice bath for a few minutes. Cut in half and remove the hairy leaves and the purple ones too. Put in a baggie with marinade until grill is hot (or longer if you are cooking them later).
 Grill artichokes for 5-7 minutes on both sides.

Prepare aioli.
Shallots, garlic, mayo, hot sauce, capers and more lemon juice. Whisk until delicious.

Pull artichokes off the grill and serve with aioli (o and grate a little fresh cheese on there, because cheese makes everything better). 
It is a little time consuming, but worth it! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend Update: Mom Left, We Found Sun (Shocker)

My mom left early on Saturday morning (you can see her re-cap of the trip HERE) and later that morning, we headed out to Carmel Valley to catch some sun.
The end of the cloud.
We started with a hike through Garland Ranch.

Father of the year, right here.
We found out that Cullen gets bored with hiking as quickly as his Mommy does.
And then went down to our secret Carmel River entrance. Apparently B is as solar powered as the rest of us.

 Saturday evening, we had a BBQ with friends (under some heaters) and I took zero pictures, then Sunday morning we {tried} Church. It was a good thing that the homily was about how life is supposed to be hard and if it wasn't hard, then we wouldn't need faith. Deacon Warren might have been talking right to us as we were trying to contain squirmy, shrieking Bennett. If anyone has tips for getting a toddler to enjoy Mass, I am all ears.

After two boys took 3 hour naps (and maybe one Mommy and one Daddy dozed off on the couch), we drove up to the Moss Landing Produce Stand and realized we have been paying way too much for our fruits and veggies at the grocery store.
For $35 we purchased 8lbs of oranges, 2 jalapenos, 7 ears of corn, a pineapple, organic romaine lettuce, two packages of raspberries, 3 baskets of strawberries, 6 tomatoes, 3 large avocados, bananas, 3 large zucchini, 10 kiwi, a bag of cherries and 4 apples. Ah-Mazing.
 Then we drove down to the beach and found an Army ship in the harbor.

Sunday night we grilled some artichokes (recipe to come!) put two boys to bed and watched a little TV. A night relaxing Sunday for sure.

And now we head back into the week, the best week of the year: college football starts on Thursday! Are you as excited as I am??

How was your weekend?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Perks of Being a Marme

You think crazy is cute.

You love doing puzzles.

You teach boys about Jello-O.
You get to be one of the girls.
You have wine for lunch on a Thursday (while looking fabulous in a new top from a childless-shopping trip with your daughter).
You are easily suckered into buying a new toy by a toddler seeming to say "please".
 You babysit while daughter and hubby go out on a much needed date.
Thank you, Marme, we are still glad that you are here. (And sad that you are leaving Saturday morning.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

She's Here!


 Showing off our new level of crazy.
We are glad you are here, Marme.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekend Update: Car Show, Visitors and Wineries

Happy Monday, y'all. How was your weekend?  Bennett started ours off like this:
 And then we spent Friday afternoon at the Muscle Car Auction in Monterey.
 Fun Fact: When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with getting a muscle car. Every Friday night, my dad would pick up the Classic Car Trader Magazine and he and I would flip through it, looking for my dream car. After much research, I decided that a '72 Oldsmobile Cutless 442 was my match. So you can imagine how my heart soared when C picked his car as his favorite of the day. (And just so you know, I ended up buying a '73 Mustang Convertible, and I loved her.)

 Want to know what a $500,000 car looks like? This is it.

 Friday night, I finally started messing around with LightRoom editing software and was able to achieve this look with Bennett. Love.
 Then, on Saturday, our friends Kelly, Erin and Nick came down from San Fransisco. We all grew up in the same neighborhood and just happen to live on the West Coast now. They hadn't been down to visit since Thanksgiving, so we are excited to have them again.
We headed out to Carmel Valley to Georis Winery, and met all our friends there as well.
Caitlin, Traci and I rocked the bauble.
Cullen played with his girlfriend, Hannah.
 And both boys enjoyed lovin' from Ms Kelly and Ms Erin.
 The guys
 The lovely ladies (all holding children that don't belong to them; sign of true friendship). You know we have a great group when the tasting room manager asks what we were are celebrating. Answer: Saturday. Wine Girl: I want to join your club.
 We headed home for some enchiladas and more wine, then were joined by friends later in the evening. Sunday, we went down to Carmel and walked along the beach then went to Hog's Breath for lunch. It was so nice to have our friends from home here, always easy to laugh about our lives growing up and how crazy it is that we are West Coasters now. And all in all, made for a perfect weekend.

Thanks for coming, friends!