lemon almond shortbread cookies.

i believe that summer days should be sprinkled with lemony treats.
it just seems so wonderfully appropriate to enjoy a zesty sweet on those hot summer days. 
whether it be a tall glass of ice cold lemonade or a slice of lemon pound cake . . .
i am always on board for a lemony treat. 

i baked a yummy. and quite darling
little lemony treat that i wanted to share with you.

this is my own little recipe for lemon almond shortbread cookies. 
topped with a scattered bouquet of summer daisies. 

the wonderful thing about this recipe is 
that you will likely always have the ingredients in your kitchen.
the ingredient list is short & simple.
basically pantry staples that one should always have. 

all you need is . . .

3 sticks of unsalted butter. room temperature.
1 cup white sugar.
2 teaspoons almond extract.
3 1/2 cups flour.
1/2 teaspoon salt. 
2 lemons.
1 cup powdered sugar.

thats it. 

start by mixing the butter & sugar until smooth.
add the almond extract in to the mixture.
squeeze the juice of one lemon in. as well. 

in a separate bowl. 
sift together the flour & salt.
then slowly add the dry mix into the butter mix.
keep mixing until the mixture forms into dough.

roll the dough onto a floured surface. 
wrap in saran wrap & chill in the fridge for thirty minutes. 

take the dough out & roll it to 1/4 of an inch thick. 
cut the cookies into whatever shape you desire.
i used round biscuit cutters. 

place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.
bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
or just until the edges start to brown. 

while the cookies are cooling . . .
go ahead and make your glaze topping.

using a whisk. mix together the powdered sugar & the juice of one lemon.
add tiny bits of almond extract or water until you get the consistency that you like.
{i prefer to have my glaze a bit thicker so that it does not run off the cookies}

using a spoon. spread the glaze onto your cooled cookies.
i use the back of a spoon to bring the glaze to the edge of the cookie. 
while the glaze is still wet place your embellishment of choice.

i used sugar flowers from miette bakery in san francisco. 
i think they are just the sweetest little things.

and voila!
you have your lemon almond shortbread cookies!
both delicious & beautiful.


patrick's tribe.

little mister loves to hold little "guys" in his hands.
those chubby little fingers grasp on tight to little things all day long. 
i found these darling. just darling. little guys on etsy
and just as mama hoped . . . patrick adores them. 

see for yourself why . . . 
patrick's gang of buds is quite fun.

he's got cowboy sheriffs & bandits as buds.

& one little. two little. cute little indians. 

he's got robbers.
the cutest little bad guys you ever did see.

& coppers. too. 

he's got a whole gang of pirates.

yo ho. yo ho. 

i mean. honestly. it doesn't get much cuter. 
these little wooden guys are the perfect size for patrick.
not too big for his hands. 
not too small that mama has to worry.

i just adore them. 
consider yourself warned mama friends. 
this may be my new go-to birthday gift. 
cause hey. everyone needs their very own tribe of buds. 

my main squeeze.

i want to take a few minutes to brag about my main squeeze.
my lovie. my hubby. my best friend. & my supporter to the max. 

i don't tell him nearly enough how grateful i am for his love. 
and so today. i am going to tell him a few silly things i love best about him.

i love your devilishly handsome good looks.
i love your old. old. old. very old soul. 
i love that you are a bibliophile to the 10th power.
i love your organized & categorized collection of books.
i love that you drink your coffee black. 
i love that you dream of walking around in a robe. smoking a pipe. wearing slippers.
i love your deep manly voice & your school girl giggle. 
i love that you are impossibly practical. & terribly disciplined. 
i love that you wish you had more gray hair.
i love that you are such an intellectual scholar.
i love that your favorite outfit is a suit & tie. 

but most of all.
i love you for loving me. 

i simply cannot imagine going through this life without you by my side. 
you are such a wonderful gift to me. 

lela rose.

i love the lela rose 2015 resort collection. 
its simple. its elegant. its beautiful.
but i especially love the feel of the photo shoot.
check it out. 

all of my fave things in one photo shoot.
black. white. photography. coffee table books. linear decor.
 & a healthy dose of drama. 

well done miss lela. 

teaching grace.

at my ripe old age of twenty-nine . . .
it seems that i have learned 
that the foundation of all relationships we encounter in life
is based upon an unwavering mountain of grace. 

one little word. 
holds such a great big heaping amount of power.

the power to build love. the power to take love away.
the power to show kindness. the power to reveal a callus heart.  
the power to build a relationship with someone's heart.
and not simply with ones behaviors. 

if not for this little thing we call grace.
how could anyone possibly love us at all? 

are we all not in need of grace every. single. day.
{i happen to be in need of grace several times a day}

it took me a lot of years. 
a lot of stubbornness. 
& a lot of heartache 
to learn how glorious the power of grace actually is. 
to learn how to receive grace.
and more importantly . . . how to give grace. 

if i teach my child nothing more than to love jesus & to live by grace . . .
i will consider my role as a mama a success.
but how does one teach grace? 

how do you teach the immeasurable value of showing grace 
to a loved one that has let you down?
or to a friend who has wronged you?
or to someone who just has a bad attitude? 

i am making that my goal. 
to teach the freedom that comes with extending a heart full of grace.
the pure joy that fills your soul when accepting another being with an embrace of grace.
which in that very action causes you to only see the good in that person.

to recognize that everyone has their own story. their own struggle. their own sin.
& while it is likely behind closed doors. and unseen by you or me. 
there are reasons & circumstances that dictate all of our behaviors. 

& whether right or wrong. those behaviors are not ours to judge.
not ours to find entitlement to be hurt by. 
they are not ours to take ownership of. 
or be annoyed by. 
or be saddened by.

but rather.
those behaviors give us the divine appointed opportunity to show a gracious heart.
to show our grace. that is a direct reflection of christ's kindness.

& now that i think about it . . . 
i believe the only way to teach grace is by example.
i personally learned the true meaning of grace by receiving grace.
or more powerfully so . . . by not receiving grace.

we have all been hurt by the lack of grace our world tends to offer. 
the olive branches in this dry land are few & far between.

and sadly. as i am sure many of you have been. 
i have had experiences when grace was not easily gifted to me. 
when judgement came strong & swift. 
where lack of understanding allowed for bitterness & anger.

and oh. how desperately one longs for grace in those moments. 

so it is my hearts great desire to show grace to this world. 
to be an example for my baby boy. to teach him what it means to give grace.
and how wonderful it is to receive grace in return.

after all. 
grace is quite great. 
and it is contagious. 

so start sharing grace today. 
we all need it. 

easy chic.

these days. when at all possible. i choose to take easy street.
life can just be so busy. so hectic. & so messy.
especially when chasing after a walking one year old. 

one way to stay on easy street is wardrobing yourself in what i like to call
easy chic.

to me. emerson fry is the epitome of easy chic. 
she embodies effortless styles with pieces that coordinate.

i am coveting each look from the emerson fry 2014 spring collection.
take a peak & join me in the swooning.  

those pants. 
they are amazing. 

loving the lines of this top.

that mesh top. yes. please. 

who doesn't want a slate jumpsuit?

my go to look. neutrals. simplicity. perfection.

easy breezy monochromatic screams easy chic. 

love everything about this. 

again. this top. paired with crisp white denim.
 class to the max.

neutral. texture. simplicity at its finest. 

everything about this is easy chic. 
the summer sweater. the pants. those slide-ons.

& finally the raw edges shirt dress. 
the definition of effortless. easy. chic. 

i just love how the entire collection coordinates. 
mix & match made easy courtesy of the ever-so-chic emerson fry.

smash cake extravaganza.

boy. oh. boy. 
did we have fun with patrick's smash cake!

i wanted to give him plenty of time to really enjoy his first birthday cake
so we did his real smash cake the day before his party.
i mean. let's just be honest . . .
we are all a bit envious of the whole smash cake idea.
none of us get to dive in. heads first. well, hands first. into a giant cake.
eat till our hearts content. with frosting on every inch of our nearly naked bod. 
and since this only happens once. i wanted to do it right.

so in true birthday style. 
patrick had his way with his smash cake.
. . . and ate it. too. 

he got all dressed up in his birthday suit. 

& had to do the once over in the mirror. 

as usual. he was quite pleased with what he saw in the reflection. 

pleased with it all. minus the birthday hat.
{he is his fathers son. no pom-pom hats allowed}

after donning his birthday bloomers. he was ready.

a bit skeptical. 
mama. is this a trick?

and needed to do some serious sensory investigating. 

after deciding that this is just wonderful
i snuck on that silly birthday hat again. 

it only lasted for about two licks. 

hats off to a big messy frosting extravaganza. 

frosting finger painting. it just doesn't get much better. 

nevermind. it totally gets better. 

all ten fingers. all ten toes. & everything in between frosting painting.

that is sweet.

loved watching this little one year old make one big mess. 

because if it is not messy. it is not birthday smash cake fun. 

want a bite mama?

tricked ya. this bites for me. 

in true boy style.
we just had to bring our wagon in for the fun. 

& oh my. it was wheely fun. 

our smash cake extravaganza was the best.

and perfectly messy. as mama had wished it would be. 

all in all.
it was a smashin fun time. 

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