Monday, January 31, 2011

A little getaway

My husband and I escaped to San Francisco over the weekend to celebrate my birthday! It was such a wonderful trip. We got to shop a little, have an amazing dinner, get a massage, eat some more and wander our old stomping grounds. Most importantly we got to RELAX knowing our little ones were safe (and likely quite spoiled) at home with Grandma and Grandpa.

We stayed at Hotel Vitale. We've stayed here a few times before and always have a great experience. It's a small boutique hotel located along the waterfront. Great location and a fantastic modern/zen vibe.

We spent Saturday afternoon browsing a few shops in the Westfield Shopping Center. Had to hit up Kate Spade, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, JCrew and Janie & Jack for the kiddos.

What did I get you ask?

This fun's Kate Spade but I bought it at Nordstrom
And this fantastic black and white stripe sweater from JCrew.

And I absolutely LOVE Janie and Jack for girls. Amelia is still in the squishy baby phase so I'm still keeping her mostly in onesies and jammies...but oh my, when she gets a little older? It's ON. For now though, she gets this hat. Which of course is still too big, but should fit perfectly for summer! I'm telling you though...the patterns and colors they had available were PERFECTION.

Later that evening we went out to dinner at Twenty Five Lusk. Swanky and modern, I was totally in love with the decor. Exposed brick and wooden beams to die for, plus some pretty tasty food. We had a cocktail in the lounge...

and then enjoyed dinner upstairs.

We slept in and had a lazy breakfast on Sunday at the hotel. Then after a massage at Spa Vitale we headed over to Chestnut Street in the Marina district. We lived in the Marina for years before moving to suburbia, so it's always fun to visit our old neighborhood. We browsed around and had some yummy tacos for lunch. After lunch it was time to head home to our babies. And the best part of my weekend? The great big hug I got from Owen when we arrived home. He put his head on my shoulder and snuggled up. Nothing better then that.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bow-Tie Baby Shower

I came across this ADORABLE baby shower on HWTM the other day and just had to share. This bow-tie themed event was thrown for Jesi Haack to celebrate her new little man. And no wonder it's good...the hostesses have some serious talent....Courtney from Joyful Weddings & Events, Carissa of JL Designs and Melody of Sweet & Saucy Shop were all responsible for this charming shower.

The invitation from Posh Paperie set the tone for the event, featuring the bow-ties at top and their cheery color scheme of mustard yellow, kelly green and baby blue.

And here's another ruffle cake! This one features a fondant bow-tie at top. Seriously cute, don't you think? Bow-tie striped ribbons were tied around mason jars for a fun way to serve drinks. And see that fun striped straw? And remember how I said Pretty Smitten would be offering some new items in 2011? Well that's a pretty big hint :)

The food featured light snacks like these lovely little sandwiches. And darling toothpick flag decorations from Joyful Joyful finished them off.

And Melody from Sweet and Saucy created this amazing dessert table. I absolutely love the use of the milk glass stands and containers.
* All photos from Gabriel Ryan Photography. Beautiful! *

Check out the full posting here for even more pictures and information! I'm loving this theme so much Pretty Smitten might have to add a bow tie to our motif options to do our own take on the 'little man' party...what do you think? These colors are sweet and cheery for a baby shower. But other color options could be great too...what about navy and orange? Or bluebell and papaya? And there's always our favorite bluebell and red. I'm thinking it could be quite cute!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Ideal Bookshelf

Quite excited, I got this lovely print in the mail today. Titled Ideal Bookshelf from 20x200. Now tomorrow it's off to find a frame. Did you know Aaron Brother's is having their penny sale? Until January get shopping!

Sweet Cakes

Hello all! It's been a busy week so far...Pretty Smitten's shop is in full swing again and I've been creating all kinds of party items. One of my favorite party items to create is our cake toppers. A birthday cake is often the main centerpiece at a party, so it better be good! I love to bake and I love to drool over pictures of cakes online. I'd love to try and re-create them all, but no one has that kind of time, right?? So lets just check out the pics instead...

Pink, ruffly perfection, from Martha Stewart of course. For sweet baby Amelia's first birthday perhaps? No, I'm not at all ready for her to be ONE (we have a looong way thank goodness!) But yes, I'm already thinking of her birthday party! I'm ready to dive into the pink. Don't you think this would be just perfect with our Eiffel Tower and Poodle motifs? Oh yes, I do.

Here's another pink cake which wouldn't require all of those ruffles. I love me some pastry tips, but I won't bet the bank that I can recreate those ruffles. Love how simple and sweet this one is is...from Bondville, found on Sara's Party Perfect. This one would work well with any of our girlie, castle, cupcake...and could easily be changed to blue for a boy!

And speaking of's a sweet sailor cake also from Martha. Fantastic with our sailboat motif in bluebell and chocolate. Those frosting peaks on top are perfection.

And I have always wanted to make a rainbow cake!! This one is the BEST that I've found online. I've stored this colorful picture for a while now, from Whisk Kid. Combined with our rainbow motif, this would be one fun party!

And also from Whisk Kid, this adorable Lemon and Almond cake. How cute would it be with our bee motif?

Are you drooling yet? I'll be dreaming of cake tonight.

And if you're planning a party, we hope you check out all of our party motifs! They can be found here and here.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. We relaxed, ran errands and watched football. My husband is a huge Steelers fan, so we're happy campers around here! I also found the time to take a few more pictures of Pretty Smitten's new line of note cards. There are so many pattern and color options so I want to showcase a few of the many possibilities.

Loving pink and navy...and with the chevron pattern, always a favorite!

Another favorite pattern of mine (well lets face it they are all my favorite) is medallions. Here it is showcased in blossom and kelly green, with a strawberry envelope. Girly and fun!

I also had a chance to add our party packages back to the shop. These are customer favorites for sure! They feature all of Pretty Smitten's favorite party items, all in one listing. It's the perfect party for 12. You get 12 invitations, 12 note cards, 12 cupcake toppers, 12 favor tags, 12 napkin rings and 1 cake topper. Need more then 12? Or want to add additional party items like a pennant banner, tented signs or party circles? Everything can be customized, just contact me for a listing that contains everything you need for the perfect Pretty Smitten party.

I'm so happy to have gotten these listings up in my shop. And there's still more to I hope you keep checking back!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wanting this for my office...

How fantastic is this large Ampersand? From Hindsvik.

Now, would I want it in black?


or natural?

Decisions, decisions...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken Marbella

After Amelia was born a dear friend of mine brought my family a very yummy dinner...Chicken Marbella. Last night I decided to make it myself! I love it because you marinate the chicken ahead and then just pop it in the oven. Makes for an easy weeknight meal.

The full recipe can be found below, but here's a quick summary.

First, I gathered all of the ingredients for the marinade. The recipe calls for 1/2 head of garlic, finely pureed. Well, I went the quick route and used crushed garlic from Trader Joes.

Here's the marinade all ready to go. I probably added more then what was called for for the olives and prunes. Love them both, so why not!

Pretty much whenever I cook with chicken breasts I pound them to be thinner. Personally I just think they are better that way!

All set to pop in the fridge! The recipe says to marinate it the night before, but I didn't get my act together last night. So I whipped it up this morning and I don't think the taste suffered any.

And then later that evening all I had to do was transfer it to a baking dish and add the last couple of ingredients.

Into the oven for about 50 minutes and voila!

I had been planning on serving it with egg noodles, but checked the pantry and ooops! I'm out. So I went with fusilli instead. By the way, I bet that wouldn't happen if I had that organized pantry I'm drooling over. But anyway....fusilli pasta was just fine. Added a simple salad and dinner was served!

Here's the full recipe. Try it out and let me know what you think!


4-6 chicken breasts
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
2 T dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c pitted prunes
1/4 c pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 c capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white wine
2 T fresh cilantro

In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice and bay leaves. Add the chicken breasts and coat completely with marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange chicken in single layer in shallow baking pan and spoon marinade over evenly. Sprinkle chicken breasts with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour.

With slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with cilantro.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

In love with a pantry...

Yep, that's right, I'm in love with a pantry. Shelley from House of Smiths is the creative genius behind this beautiful pantry...

Now that's a space for storing food. I go into my pantry about 500 hundred times a day...okay, maybe not that many times, but between going in there to get what I actually need, and going in there to take my curious toddler out...I'm in there a lot! I sure would love it to look as pretty as this one.

Shelley began by clearing it all out, painting the shelves and background, and then the best part? Adding the pattern! We all know I love a good pattern, so to have it in the pantry...LOVE.

Shelley used vinyl to create the pattern on the walls. She owns this vinyl shop, so she had good access to it! It can be a bit pricey, but you can contact her to order. She also offered up another more budget friendly option...stenciling! Yes, it's more work, but the same effect can be achieved. Find the stencil here.

I also love the way she used vinyl to label her glass jars.

Vinyl labels can be found in Shelley's shop, and I also found some Etsy shops that sell them...

and from decalfarm

chalkboard labels would also work well, I like these. Perfect to tie onto baskets!

And I love how she used vintage crates on the bottom of her pantry. I was at a local antique store the other day and saw a vintage coke crate. Wouldn't that look cool? A sturdy container with an added pop of red. Here are a few soda crates on from this seller. So fun!

And from the same seller, definitely more pricey, but pretty cool...

Check out House of Smiths for the full description of this amazing pantry makeover.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretty Smitten is on Facebook!

Well, I just had to do it...Pretty Smitten is now on Facebook! Want to be my friend? Or fan? Or whatever it's called when you 'like' me? Pretty please? I'll do my best to keep it updated and fun :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

We're OPEN! And with a new look....

Yay! Pretty Smitten's shop is OPEN! And not only are we up and running again after the birth of little Miss Amelia, but we have a new look and a few new designs. I've been so indecisive with Pretty Smitten's logo...I think because I love color and pattern so much, that it's hard for me to pick just one style. So I went the other direction...a simple silhouette. Navy and white. A pop of light blue. Classic. Timeless. Or at least I hope so! What do you think?

Last week I gave you a sneak peek of some new patterns, and now they are available as note cards, invitations and party items in my shop! I absolutely LOVE these new patterns. I think my family now has stationery in every pattern and color combo possible, just because I love testing them out so much. The combos are endless, but here are a few...

Petals...shown here in navy, bluebell and kelly green

Clover...shown here in pool and orange

Damask...shown here in black and teal

Zigzag...shown here in sunshine and kelly green

And here is the classic stripe pattern showcasing some of our favorite party items. I just love this color combo and theme...Paris, pink and green! The inspiration? A darling little pillow that can be found on Amelia's nursery rocker. Found at Home Goods of course! I'd take a picture of it, but it's almost 10pm here and my sweet girl is fast asleep. So maybe tomorrow!

And another new pattern, medallions, shown here on some more party items. I love classic blue and red for a boy!

I'll be continuing to add more examples in my shop, so keep checking.

Hope you like...actually hope you love...the new Pretty Smitten!