Archive by Author

Happy New Year {Six Month Recap}

10 Jan

Happy new year, everyone! I’m finally making an attempt to pick back up on the blog a bit. It’s been an action-packed six months, so I figured I’d give a quick update of some of the highlights.

The rest of the summer was mostly spent getting settled into our new home and getting ready for Baby P … and sometimes both at the same time! One of my favorite projects in the home was, of course, planning and decorating the nursery! So much fun to plan a totally different type of room! I also loved having a blank canvas to work with in the rest of the house to re-imagine some of our existing furniture and add some new pieces in as well. Here are some snapshots of a few of my favorite spaces as they start to take shape.

20130904_184841This is our family room and I was so excited to move some of our new basement pieces from the basement redo up to the main living area. I love the coral and navy color palette and am so glad that it is now in a room that we use ALL the time.

20130922_182158The living room gave us the space to hang some of our favorite things on the wall … like the ukulele, which I think is beautiful, but is still easily accessible when the urge to play strikes one of us. And the Mary Belcher maps from Eastern Market really complete our office nook in a special and personal way.

20130901_122203

Finally, here’s a sneak peek of how the nursery started coming together. More on that later!

20130823_182426

Of course the biggest development in the last six months was the birth of our sweet baby girl. On November 12, 2013, our little Naomi Virginia finally decided to grace us with her presence! She was over a week late, but well worth the wait. Adam and I have been adjusting to our new world as her parents and enjoying how much she changes day-by-day ever since.

20131112_223759We have since been so overwhelmed by the love and support of our family and friends; who have visited, cooked for us, waited on me while I recovered and fed our little one, sent gifts, offered wise advice, and just generally been amazing!

I am enjoying the time away from work to really soak in these first weeks and months of Naomi’s life …  all of the firsts, the ups and the downs, and everything in between. I’m also looking forward to easing back into a {somewhat} normal routine, which will hopefully include continuing with some of the open projects around the new house and maybe even writing about a few things here. It’s pretty hard to tear myself away from this little face, so we’ll see how that goes!

20140109_124954

Up, Up & Away {Vintage Travel Themed Baby Shower}

10 Jul

So, where did June go? I suppose I have a few good excuses for the complete radio silence in June … not the least of which being our big move to the new house! One of the more fun excuses was helping to plan another baby shower for a dear friend! We went with a vintage travel/hot air balloon theme because the mama-to-be loves to travel. I’ll spare you a lot of the details because one of the other hosts has that covered over on her blog. You can read up on all the fun details {and more to come} on her fantastic blog, Short Pockets Number Two.

I’ll just share with you some of my favorite images from the day!

Invitation

{Invitations were made using the Silhouette digital cutting tool and decorative fabric tape from cutetape.com}

Garland

{Hot air balloon garland was made using a circle punch, heart punch, decorative fabric tape and bakers’ twine}

Check-In

{Guests pinned their birthplace upon arrival and the map was a unique guest book for the mom- and dad-to-be}

Food

{The sky’s the limit when it comes to adorable, pink sweets!}

Drink

{We carried the travel theme through with the various stations at the shower, including the “beverage cart”}

Favors

{Iced animal cracker favors came together easily with snack-sized ziploc bags, a hot air balloon rubber stamp, and oval labels from Paper Source}

As always, the best part of planning a shower {apart from the fun crafternoons with the other hostesses} is preparing to welcome a new life into the world! So excited for the parents-to-be and can’t wait for their little girl to be BFFs with Baby P :)

Happy Mother’s Day {Big News!}

12 May

After going three-for-three with my 2013 brunch-a-month goal, I had to take a bit of a hiatus. It has been a busy couple of months in the Polon household and the next few months {and years} show no signs of slowing down! We are closing on our current house in less than two weeks and then on our new house a week after that! When it’s all said and done, we should be in our new house about this time next month {eek and fingers crossed that all goes smoothly!}.

So instead of brunch posts, you can expect a little more of a focus on home decor and the like. Adam and I will be a little sad to say goodbye to his home of the last decade or so and the only home we’ve known together …

house

… but we’re so excited to move into the new place and all of the new memories that await us there! I am especially excited for next spring to roll around so that we can see that gorgeous tree out front in full bloom!

new house

But wait there’s more!  All of the home buying and selling is pretty exciting, but it pales in comparison to our real news!! I am so incredibly thrilled to share with you on this Mother’s Day the most exciting memory awaiting us in the new house: the expected arrival of Baby P in early November! Here’s a first look at the little guy {or girl} as seen a couple of weeks ago at our 12 week appointment.

ultra

A big thanks to everyone who has loved and encouraged us on our journey so far! We look forward to sharing more with you over the coming months and, most of all, look forward to meeting Baby P in less than six months!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms {and future moms} out there!

Another month, another brunch {Musings on Fellowship & Food}

1 May

While searching for inspiration for March’s monthly brunch, I found myself thumbing through a book that was a wedding gift from a dear aunt on the other side of the country.book cover

I am definitely my father’s daughter when it comes to being overly wonderfully sentimental, and reading the inscription from two and a half years ago started me thinking not only about the wonderful memories from our wedding, but even more so the countless, delightful meals we’ve shared with family and friends since then. We are truly blessed to so often share warm fellowship and tasty food around our table.  I couldn’t express my wish for my life with Adam any better than my Aunt Bonnie did!

note

With all of this in mind, I decided to make only dishes from The Culinary Institute of America’s Breakfasts and Brunches this go round. I tried out the recipe for Raspberry Muffins with Pecan Streusel, which seemed to be a hit {and were certainly a hit with me if no one else}! A nice balance of the tartness of the raspberries and the sweetness of the streusel.

recipe

muffins

muffin

I also tried out a couple of quiches that were quite tasty as well! First off was a a Caramelized Onion Quiche.  Side note: I don’t think I’ve ever truly caramelized onions before and let’s just say we were lucky to have any left for the quiche after I performed my requisite quality assurance taste test!

caramelized onion quiche

Next up was a Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche. One guest happened to get a bit of bacon and quiche in the same bite and suggested adding bacon the next time I make it. Can’t go round there as far as I’m concerned!

spinach quiche

And what springtime brunch would be complete without a Peeps centerpiece?!?  Happy May Day!

peeps & tulips

Hello, March! {More Brunch + Zucchini Cake}

1 Mar

So far in 2013, I am keeping up the brunch portion of my “doing what you do” resolution pretty well! Adam and I had a few people over for a leisurely Sunday brunch last week and, as usual, it was so wonderful to catch up over my favorite meal of the day! This time it was mostly former co-workers of mine and their significant others, so there was plenty of reminiscing about our good old audit days.

photo 2

I made a couple of the standards from my B&B days: pineapple cream cheese French toast and sausage balls {if you click on this recipe link, please note that I chose to pass on the mayonnaise dipping sauce … maybe I’m not a true Southerner at heart, but seriously, Paula?  Mayonnaise dipping sauce for sausage?}.

I tried one new recipe this go round: Martha Stewart’s Zucchini Bundt Cake. I was trying to avoid the overly sweet with this dish, so I skipped the orange glaze and candied zucchini. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as is and found it to be perfectly delicious! A nice balance of savory and sweet, with warm, spicy undertones courtesy of cinnamon, anise seeds, and cardamom. Also worth noting, this cake came out of the pan easily, which is always a plus when making a bundt cake. I enjoyed the leftovers at work and would definitely make this one again!

photo

The anticipation of spring was definitely on my mind as I put together the centerpiece. I love the bright blues and yellows together and nothing says “spring is coming” like daffodils! The table runner was a lucky {and super cheap!} find on the remnant table at G Street Fabrics that I pressed the night before to look like it had actually been hemmed {which would have involved such complex tasks as changing the thread on my sewing machine!}. I was so excited to find something as on-trend as a bold chevron print on the sale table! I’ve had the teapot for years and loved the idea of re-purposing it as a vase. The tiny teacups were the perfect size for floating tea-lights and added a nice glow to the table {not to mention a few more pops of blue}.

photo 1

photo 3

photo 4

Cutting things down to size {Note cards for spring}

21 Feb

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for spring. And what better way to prepare than to pull out some springy colors and play around! I often find that when I have a few spare minutes and feel like crafting, it takes some time to get the creative juices flowing. And usually, I don’t have all day to spend on crafts {shocking, I know}, so I end up putting my supplies away without much to show for it!

This time I tried a different tactic – I started with A2-sized note cards {4.25′” x 5.5″} and then I cut them all in half {down to 4.25″ x 2.75″}. It’s such a simple thing, but it’s amazing what a difference it makes to shrink the size of your blank canvas! Suddenly, my task wasn’t quite as daunting and lots of little ideas started popping into my head. It’s probably a good thing to remember when tackling any project – if you’re staring at blank paper for very long, maybe you just haven’t cut your tasks into small enough pieces!

Here are some of my favorites from the night – these little cards are not really big enough for mailing, but are perfect for gifts and hand-delivered wishes. Enjoy!

photo 1 (9)They didn’t have a bass stamp, but this one is for the hubs. While he’s out making music, I’m home making cards :)

photo 3 (7)

I had in mind all of the beautiful women I’m lucky enough to call family when I made this one. Wishing I was sharing a pot of tea with them right now!

photo 2 (8)

photo 1 (10)

Heat Embossing Tutorial {Wine & Chocolate Party Invitations}

11 Feb

You may remember the wine and chocolate party invitations from the party celebrating my parents’ 60th birthdays last summer. I made them using one of my favorite rubber stamping techniques: heat embossing! With the right tools, heat embossing is a great way to add a little more oomph to your next stamped project by turning a flat image into a professional-looking raised image! I’d like to share a few tips for getting great results every time. All you need is:

  • Heat embossing tool {clip a 40% coupon from Michael’s to pick one up on the cheap}
  • Embossing powder {I love opaque white on bright paper}
  • Your favorite rubber stamps
  • Inkpad {a slower-drying ink is best for heat embossing}
  • Sturdy paper like card stock
  • Scrap paper to cover your work area

invitationStart by putting some scrap paper down over your work area. Heat embossing powder can be messy, but you don’t need anything fancier than a piece of paper to keep your table clean. Then stamp your image. I used VersaMark watermark ink for this project because it’s slow to dry and doesn’t leave any pigment behind.

IMG_3465Make sure you put the embossing powder down quickly before your ink has a chance to dry. Cover the image completely – don’t be afraid to just dump it out. You may be tempted to go easy to save powder, but it’s really easy to get the powder back in the jar. I’ve been using the same jar of opaque white for ages {including about 50 of these invitations with three embossed images each} and I’ve hardly made a dent.

IMG_3467

Shake off the excess powder over your scrap paper, tapping the paper lightly on your work surface. Give the back of your paper a good “thwack” to get any stubborn bits of powder off. When you’re done, you should only have powder on your stamped image.

IMG_3468Make a funnel with your scrap paper and let the excess powder slide right back into the jar.

IMG_3469

Turn your heat embossing tool on and hold it a few inches away from your stamped image. Embossing powder is made of wax, so all you’re doing is melting the wax. Slowly move the tool around the image, moving on when the powder becomes shiny – if you leave it over the image much longer, it will start to look a little less crisp.

IMG_3472

That’s really it! Your embossed image will be cool and dry in seconds! Repeat as necessary :)

IMG_3474

IMG_3485

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.