Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snow and an Island

Hello friends!
Sorry, I’ve been MIA this week….here in CA we have this crazy phenomenon called Ski Week! Unlike the rest of the country that seems to be buried in snow, we’re snow deprived and need to take a week off just to get out and experience winter.  Since they’re telling us to go….
It snowed for a week straight, so we headed up on the first dry day…and what a gorgeous day it was!
Pretty good pic from the driver’s seat, huh?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade Garlic Croutons

Hi Friends!
So you must know by now my girls and I hosted a tea party a couple weeks ago and I promised you the recipes from it. I have given you the Smoked Turkey with Arugula Aioli recipe and also my favorite Scone recipe…but folks, this is not a recipe from the tea party, rather a byproduct of the tea party! You know, I used 34 pieces of bread for my tea sammies, and I cut off ALL the crusts.  {You just cannot have crusts on your tea sandwiches, of course.} So there I was with a huge bag of crusts. I couldn’t just add them to the compost bin…so I decided to make homemade croutons with them. 
um, WOW!
We ate them by the handful, like chips; and I’m not sure my family will ever eat store-bought again. {darn!}
Homemade Garlic Crouton Recipe{by the way, this is EASY! and so worth it}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Definition of Insanity, and: Satisficer vs. Maximizer, which are you?

Ok, I know you are on the edge of your seat  wondering “what is the definition of insanity?” 
Well folks, here it is:

Yes, yes, I am officially crazy.
Do you know what you are looking at?
It’s me, contemplating CHANGING the color of the walls that I painted recently less than 3 weeks ago above the finished board & batten.
You know what is so insane? I debated about those colors for months. Months. M.O.N.T.H.S.
I’m looking at the same d*#n swatches again.
Please, PLEASE, someone out there tell me you are as crazy as I am.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards {Bookmarks}

This is a great last minute idea to make for your child’s school Valentine’s Day Party. You may not have time this year to whip these up in time {Valentine’s Day is tomorrow in case you don’t have TV and haven’t seen all the Kay Jewelers commercials} but perhaps for next year?
My son and I made Valentine’s Bookmarks for each child.
Ok, so they’re super easy.  Here’s what you’ll need:
~printer paper {well, a computer & printer, too}
~pink/red paper
~fun scissors
~clear contact paper
~ribbon, etc. {optional}
Print out bookmarks. Mine are approx. 2” by 7” and I could fit 4 on a page. {Probably could have fit 5 but I was rushing.}
While you are printing, have your child cut out as many hearts as he/she can with red or pink construction paper.
As each page prints, have your child cut out each bookmark with fancy craft scissors.
Next, your child can glue the hearts on anywhere he/she likes on the bookmark. My son even “drew outside the lines”.

Stick each bookmark in between 2 sheets of clear contact paper.
Cut out.

Have your child punch a hole in the top {we used a heart hole punch, but you probably can’t tell}.
Tie a ribbon through the top. {We only did this for teachers.}
Sugar free, nut free, mess free Valentine’s “Cards” that are a little somethin’ special.  Perfect for school-age kids!
I did another craft recently with contact paper…it’s very underrated in my opinion! I made placemats out of Christmas picture/cards.  Did you see my tutorial for that?  If not, check it out here!
Ok, that’s all for today! I’ll be back with you early this week to see my progress {it’s almost done….eeeeeeee!} on my Restoration Hardware inspired kitchen island! See it here.  And talk about sore, I sanded for 5 hours straight yesterday…I think I’ll be getting’ me a Valentine’s Day massage.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Smoked Turkey with Arugula Mayo Tea Sandwiches

My girls and I hosted a tea party last weekend and I thought I’d share with you a few of the recipes for the tea sandwiches I made. {I already shared my scone recipe with you.}
We’ll start today with the
Smoked Turkey with Arugula Mayonnaise Aioli Tea Sandwiches.
I was first introduced to this recipe years ago at a friend’s baby shower. She got the recipe from and I Google it each and every time I serve these {a half dozen times}!
I think this time I really can say, I haven’t tweaked this recipe at all….we’ll see, though!
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat Mayo)
  • 1/3 cup (packed) coarsely chopped arugula leaves plus 30 whole arugula  leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 thin slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed 10 ounces thinly sliced smoked turkey
Mix mayonnaise, chopped arugula, shallot, parsley and lemon peel in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  

 IMG_2360IMG_2361 All 3 are staples in my cupboard.

And then I like to use the mini-prep to make the aioli. {Doesn’t Aioli sound so much fancier and healthier than mayonnaise?}
Place bread slices on work surface. Spread aioli mixture on each slice, dividing equally. Top 6 bread slices with turkey, dividing equally. 
Did you know Trader Joe’s sandwich meats are nitrite/nitrate free? Their ham and turkey both are.  I love Trader Joe’s!  {I’ve yet to find any salami that is nitrite/nitrate free…let me know if you know of one!}

Place 5 arugula leaves atop turkey on each. Top with remaining 6 bread slices, mayonnaise side down, pressing to adhere. Cut each sandwich diagonally into quarters. Be sure to use toothpicks, they really DO make sandwiches taste better {well, at least according to Fancy Nancy!} IMG_2419
IMG_2418 Enjoy!
I’ll share the rest of the sandos with you in the coming week.

Linking up to:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome Stella and Dot {my first sponsor}

WARNING: I use the word cute at least a dozen times in this post.

Today, I am delighted to welcome My Greenbrae Cottage’s newest first sponsor, the fabulous and fun jewelry collection from
Stella & Dot!

Brought to you by Ruthe Woods, stylist.
“Even though I have a full time "job" with three girls and a husband, I longed for something FUN and stylish that was truly my own. I wanted a business that I was proud of, and if I worked hard I could enjoy the rewards of my own effort. When I discovered Stella & Dot, I was thrilled that I could launch my own boutique right away and work it right into my current lifestyle & activities! The product is so stylish and affordable, it sells itself! Many of my customers have already seen Stella & Dot jewelry featured in fashion magazines, like Instyle, People, Oprah and more!”

Can you say SUPER CUTE?

I don’t think there’s a piece they carry that I wouldn’t love to wear any day of the week…hint hint, honey {I know you’re reading this}

And, I am not the only one who finds their styles stunning….just look at the following they have:


Can you tell which TV shows I watch?

Anyways, here’s just a small semi-small sampling {I got carried away and couldn’t pick just a few things to share with you…it’s all SO CUTE!} of what they have to offer. You’ll have to check out the website to see more! You won’t be disappointed!


I think I’m developing a thing for turquoise all of a sudden.
Oh yeah, blue is my favorite color…well, duh!
{See here and here and here.}


What’s that? I think I hear the Bahamas calling me.
Or at least I can pretend!


Date night?  Lunch line?  BOTH! 
With these pieces, it’s easy for a girl to look cute all the time.


Just think what these will do to my plain white T!


Seriously, that owl? Does it get any cuter?


I’ve always had a crush on stacking rings.


I see a girls night out in my future!



But just when I thought it couldn’t get cuter…take a look at this:


SHHHHHHHH Don’t tell my TWIN girls about this…mama’s first in line!


Ooh la la! {we love Fancy Nancy}….they even make a handful of their pieces matching in mom and girl sizes…SO SWEET!


At any rate, you can tell how excited I am about this sponsor!

Sometime in the future, she’ll be offering give-aways…so be sure to check out her website now so you’ll know which piece{s} you can’t live without when the time comes!
And, if you just can’t wait, instant gratification is always available…just buy on line tonight and wear tomorrow next week! So, ladies {and gentlemen} get your shop on!


Ruthe also books trunk shows…so if you are in the SF Bay Area, be sure to contact her for more info: 
You can see many of the pieces in person, try them on, and giggle with girlfriends as you shop.


AD space now available!
If you or someone you know has a business that would like to advertise on My Greenbrae Cottage, please feel free to email me for details. Right now is a great time to start a relationship with me before I hit the big time while you can still get monthly rates for free next to nothing.