Category: Contests

Hello everyone!  I hope you’re having a lovely week so far.  As I ease back into blogging, I wanted to share a few of my favorite items that were included in the swag of the Love and Splendor Workshops.  I looove giving gifts and I treated the swag bags just like a present I’d present to a friend.  It was important to me that I carefully curated each item that my attendees would receive.  Quality was more important than quantity, so I chose items that I would gladly purchase for myself.  I knew one of the items I had to have was a candle.

the farewell gift boxes, all bundled up

I am a big candle person, and almost always have one (or more) burning in our home.  It is such a simple yet luxurious treat to have a lovely candle going on the counter at home!  For the workshop farewell gifts, I selected a new love of mine: Rosy Rings candles.

I first got hooked on Rosy Rings in the spring, when a colleague sent me a sweet gift of one (Thanks, April!).  It was the tomato vine scent and it was absolutely intoxicating.  At that time of year, we were just starting to harvest tomatoes from our own garden.  If you’ve never been around a tomato plant, you need to know that the plant itself gives off the most wonderful earthy fragrance.  It’s a bit sweet, it’s a bit grassy.  I was delighted to find that unique smell captured perfectly in a candle.  I think it’s a perfect scent to have year round in the home, but I particularly love burning it in the kitchen or living room.

Other Rosy Rings scents I’m crazy about include Earl Grey (just like the classic cup of tea — a bit floral with bergamot and citrus), Sea Salt (fresh and clean, like the ocean breeze) and Fireside (warm and cozy, with a touch of smoke, leather and woods).  I purchased an assortment of their small apothecary jar candles to include in my gift boxes.  The petite size (2 oz) is great for travel and still burns for a respectable 15 hours.  I’ve found Rosy Rings to burn really cleanly with their soy wax and the scents are pure (no strange “off” scents during or post-burn) and lasting.

I have lots of other Rosy Rings varieties I can’t wait to try!  Honey Tobacco and Blackberry Fig are on my radar, and I know Erik would love their Spicy Apple or Pumpkin Farmhouse (he’s all about the warm holiday scents!).  Their price point makes it really reasonable to test out a few.  You can find them online at their website or at various gift stores around the country!  I love that their candles are hand poured and made with love in Denver, Colorado.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!  //  If you enjoy candles as much as I do, I know you’ll be a fan of Rosy Rings.  I have an extra candle to share with a reader so if you’d like to enter to win one, just comment below and let me know which candle from their website sounds like something you’d love to have burning at home.  I’ll pick a winner from the comments on Friday, October 31 at 10 a.m. PST.  Best of luck!  :)

Enjoy the rest of the day and see you again soon!

Happy Monday, everyone!  Thank you SO much for all the love and encouragement you shared regarding my new logo/blog/site launch last week.  I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone who took the time to take a look and send some support.  I’m sending out big virtual hugs!

I used random.org to select a winner for the giveaway and CONGRATULATIONS goes out to Jennifer Anne Merrett of Stick Girl Jam.  Woohoo!  I will be emailing you to send you your prize.  :)

Today I thought I’d kick off the week with something sweet.  Something decadently, indulgently sweet.  I mentioned in a recent post that one of my favorite activities of my weekend with the Kaisers was making homemade ice cream.  There is nothing like a rich and creamy batch of fresh ice cream, is there??  I let Grace choose the flavor we made and she was quick to suggest caramel.  That’s my kind of girl!  This creamy and buttery ice cream is mind-blowing.  When Nate took his first spoonful he said, “WHOA.  This stuff is legit.”  And I don’t know if I can put it much better than that.  It rivals any premium ice cream I’ve had anywhere else, and trust me when I say I’m quite the ice cream connoisseur.  I can’t take credit for the phenomenal outcome since I used a recipe from who else — David Lebovitz aka the King of Ice Cream.  But, I can tell you that it is worth the time it takes to make homemade caramel as your silky base.  Grace and I had a Monopoly game to get to so we skipped the caramel praline mix-in (little caramel chips).  I’m sure they would add some scrumptious texture but you won’t miss a thing without them.  If you try it out, let me know.  I bet you’ll love it as much as we did.

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream // makes a generous quart
**Adapted from David Lebovitz

  • 2 cups of whole milk, divided
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 4 TBS of good salted butter
  • scant 1/2 tsp sea salt (the best salt you have in the pantry)
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice cubes (about halfway) and a bit of water so they are floating.  Then placing a metal bowl on top of that so it is surrounded by the ice cubes.  You want an extra cold bowl to add your ingredients later.  *A key to successful ice cream making is having a completely cold custard (un-churned ice cream) before pouring into your machine.

Pour 1 cup of the milk into the metal bowl and put a mesh strainer on top of it.  (You need a mesh strainer.  Invest in one).

Spread the 1.5 cups of sugar in a large saucepan in an even layer.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof utensil (such as a silicone spatula).  Gently stir the liquefied sugar from the edges toward the center until it is completely dissolved.

Continue to stir and cook the caramel until it begins to start smoking and begins to smell like it’s just about to burn. (I know that sounds scary but it wasn’t that dramatic.  I saw the tiniest wisp of smoke rise and noted the distinct caramel scent in the air.)

Immediately remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt, continuing to stir.  Once the butter is melted, whisk in the cream.

At this point your caramel may harden (because you are adding cold/room temp ingredients to a hot melted caramel), but retirun it to low heat and continue to stir until it is amber liquid once again.  Stir in the other 1 cup of milk.

Whisk your 5 yolks in a separate bowl and then “temper” the eggs.  This means you very slowly and gradually add in some of the warm caramel to the yolks, stirring them, and then add a bit more, stirring…  If you just added the eggs to the caramel right away, you’d end up with scrambled eggs (eww).  The goal of tempering is to bring the eggs up to the same temperature as the caramel in a very gentle way.  I add the warm caramel to the eggs a spoonful at a time, vigorously stirring the entire time.  When the yolks are warmed up, you can add (slowly) to the caramel and continue to stir.  You want to heat this mixture up until it reaches 170 deg F.

Pour the custard over the mesh strainer into the milk (in that metal bowl over the ice bath).  This helps in case you didn’t temper patiently and have some floating egg bits in your custard!  It also ensures that the final product is super silky smooth.  Add the vanilla and stir over the ice bath until the mixture is cool.  Then, put the custard into the fridge for at least 8 hours, or ideally overnight.  This is a KEY step — your custard must be thoroughly and completely chilled.  If not, it won’t freeze completely in the churner and you’ll end up with soupy ice cream.  Delicious, but soupy.

When your custard is fully chilled, freeze it in the ice cream maker according to instructions.  I use the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment that works with my stand mixer.  I love it!

Once the ice cream is churned, remove to a freezer safe container and chill until firm.  (Fresh churned ice cream will have a softer texture since it doesn’t have any artificial stabilizers, but it will firm up nicely in the freezer.)

Enjoy!!

Have a sweet evening and chat again soon!

Love_and_Splendor_FULL_LOGO_low-restightcrop If you’re reading this post in bloglovin or another similar subscription box, today is the day to click over to the actual blog and take a look around. I’m SO thrilled to finally unveil the long-awaited (and long-overdue) new branding and sites for Love & Splendor. HOORAY!

My old site was built in 2007 and slightly updated in 2008. Yikes! Although I launched a new(er) blog in 2011, I never updated the website because I knew it would take a lot more than a facelift. We needed something completely fresh and new. As I embarked on my rebranding journey, I reached out to my incredibly talented and dear friend Julie Song Ink. I am coming up on 2 years of having Julie in my world and she still wows me every single time. She is truly one of the most innately gifted illustrators/artists I have ever known, yet she has the most humble demeanor. I poured out my vision to her in the form of run-on sentences and an excessive amount of adjectives, colors, images, etc. She thoughtfully took in every single word and brought to life exactly what I had desired. Every stroke and detail was beautifully executed and somehow, I felt very personally connected to each bit (as if she had dipped her brush straight into my heart and let it spill out on the page). The new L&S logo is truly representative of both my personal aesthetic and our wedding design brand. See the dainty ginkgo leaves? I love how she integrated them as they come from my favorite tree. The site is clean (lots of white space) but the logo gives it that splash of signature L&S whimsy, charm, and exuberance. Playful with polish.  In addition to the dramatic Love and Splendor logo, Julie is responsible for the beautiful header on the new blog as well as all the pretty hand lettering you’ll find around the sites.  Julie // I can’t thank you enough for working so hard to bring this logo to life.  Your meticulous, careful, attentive nature paired with your natural talent bring about magic.  Pure magic.  No one else could have captured my heart in this way; you are the only person I would have wanted for this project.  I adore you so much and am thankful to call you a friend!!  Love you!!

Thanks are also due to the ever-patient and hard-working Steph Anne of Yellow and Savvy (along with programmer Raz) who helped design and code both the website and blog.  Steph Anne actually did my previous blog (in 2011) and I love working with her.  She has a great eye and offered lots of helpful advice along the way, while staying true to my vision.  I am grateful for all the effort and heart she put into this project and I absolutely could not have done it without her.

Thank you to my amazing colleagues (photographers, floral designers, etc.) for helping me bring this site to life.  The images that you see on my website and on the blog are the results of heartfelt collaboration.  It takes a village to put on a flawless event and I am blessed with the best of the best.  Working alongside amazing artists fuels my own creativity.

Finally, a huge thank you to my precious clients and blog readers who allow me to do what I love everyday.  I count it a tremendous blessing to have been in this industry for nearly 9 years, still working and being inspired and enjoying every minute.  I am also so humbled by each of you who take the time to stop and visit me here on the blog, and those who have written me encouraging notes and comments over the years.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your love and support.

Still coming:  new team photos (woohoo!) and even more beautiful images for our portfolio.  Is it funny that I already know this season will turn out weddings that will become portfolio galleries?  ;-)  Get ready for a great year!

To celebrate the ALL NEW website and blog, I wanted to share a little giveaway!  Simply leave a comment below letting me know how you found my blog (or how do you know me, anyway??) and you’ll be entered to win a random assortment of some of my recent favorite things: an Emily Isabella tea towel, Maybelline BabyLips and a few other surprises.  ;-)

white_folded

You have until 9pm PST this Sunday, April 13th, to enter.  The randomly selected winner will be announced on Monday morning (the 14th).  Good luck and thank you again for celebrating with me!!!

Today we have a delicious giveaway for all the foodies out there, and Michelle will be sharing the details below!  I wanted to drop in and thank you for the AMAZING response to our job posting yesterday.  We can’t wait to review all of the applications coming in.  If you haven’t applied yet, get to it!  xoxo, Angel

Happy Friday, L&S readers!  I hope this sunny soCal day is bringing you smiles.  :-)  And if you’re not already smiling, I hope this post helps bring one to your face.  I’m checking in, saying a quick hello, and am back with a giveaway for Labor Day weekend.

13FOOD563_EmployeeDiscountSignage.indd

For the L&S Angeleno readers, you may have heard about the scrumptious and action-packed Los Angeles Times // The Taste.  It is their annual food and wine festival which is taking place once again in Hollywood at Paramount Pictures Studios.  We are excited to announce a giveaway for a pair of tickets (2 total, valued at $125/ea ticket!) to Opening Night on Friday evening, August 30th (7:30p-11:30p).  This particular event is new to the schedule but is sure to be a very special treat with all The Taste hosts and co-hosts including LAT’s very own Russ Parsons and Jonathan Gold, as well as Nancy Silverton – Pizzeria Mozza, Michael Cimarusti – Providence, and Sang Yoon – Father’s Office) in attendance.  Plus with the smaller capacity on Opening Night, you are sure to get your fill of yummy tastings from Bagatelle, Bedford & Burns, Carson House, Fishing with Dynamite, Mo-Chica or Phorage, to name a few.

If you’re curious about the other events at The Taste, still on the menu are favorites from last year including Field to Fork, Flavors of L.A. (general admission currently sold out, but limited tickets are available with the Secret Cellar upgrade), Labor Day Block Party (the only all-ages event on the line-up) and Cocktail Confidential, which will close the weekend off on Sunday night.  We’re looking forward to spending another great weekend with local and celebrity chefs, delicious restaurants, tasty libations and a plethora of cooking demos.

Check out the official website to learn which Times food writer or critic will be hosting each event, read up on the chefs scheduled for cooking and/or bar stage demonstrations (did someone say Michael Voltaggio – ink and Robin Chopra – Corazón y Miel?  Yes, we did!), or just let your mouth water as you review the long list of restaurants participating at each event.

Hungry yet??  Here are the simple instructions on how to enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to Opening Night at The Taste!

  1. Make sure you are a follower of this blog on Bloglovin’
  2. Make sure you also ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook!
  3. Comment below and let us know your favorite meal in Los Angeles.  Is it a simple dinner with your family enjoying comfort foods, or is it an all out fancy affair at one of the city’s top restaurants?  Give us the yummy details!

That’s it!  To ensure your name is added to the random drawing, please follow all instructions above.  We will accept entries until Tuesday, 8/27 at 10 a.m. PST.  The winners will be announced shortly thereafter!  Of course, remember that the events are in Los Angeles so we apologize to our non-local readers (unless you are ready to road trip!).  **Please double-check your schedule to confirm that if you are the lucky winner, you will be able to attend Opening Night on Friday, 8/30 in Hollywood.  These tickets are not transferrable to any of the other weekend events.

Best of luck to all entrants; have a fantastic weekend!!  Continue to find what you love and truly enjoy it.

xoxo, Michelle

See you next week, everyone!

A loong while ago I had a fun series on my blog called { fab finds } — it was a round-up of fun and random favorites in beauty + fashion and a sort-of wishlist.  I’ve been thinking about resurrecting the series, and the perfect post idea came to me over the weekend.

I was recently inspired (or convicted! haha) by my friend Erica‘s post on Instagram in which she revealed that her purse had more than a few lipsticks and glosses.  I think we’re all guilty of hoarding lip products, right??  Anytime I switch purses I inevitably discover a stash at the bottom, like lost treasure, buried beneath crumpled receipts, an overstuffed wallet and a ring of keys that looks like it belongs to a groundskeeper.  After ooh-ing and aah-ing over the long-lost lippies, I feel a rekindled love for each of them, as if I now owe it to myself to paint on a perfect pout for the next five days (before I lose them all again to the dark recesses of my handbag).

So that’s where I find myself this Monday, and I thought I’d share some of my favs before they disappear again!

IMG_0491

from left to right…

  • Buxom Lips by Bare Escentuals in “April” // love the tingly sensation you get when you apply!  This is a perfect cool pink for me, with delicate silvery glitter. 
  • Dior Addict Lipstick in DiorKiss #578 // my perfect “everyday” lipstick… It’s a medium bright pink (if that makes sense) that goes on sheer but is perfectly buildable.  I love that it feels so moisturizing and I can wear it without a gloss on top… Dior Addict lipsticks are known to be hydrating.
  • YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in Dewy Papaya #2 // This is my grown-up “instead of lip balm.”  I am a YSL lipstick devotee (at least a dozen in my drawer) and these sheer candy glosses are downright luxurious.  Shade #2 is a barely there gloss that is perfect for everyday.  For a sweet pop of color, I love #4 Succulent Pomegranate.
  • Another Buxom Lips, but in punchy “Naomi” // sheer hot pink with fine glitter — what else could you want?
  • YSL Rouge Volupté Perle in Coral Sun #102 // YSL lippies win me over with their creamy texture, ultra smooth finish, delicious scent (melon!) and luxe packaging. The perle line has the most subtle shimmer and this particular color is a summer staple.
  • MAC Lipstick in Crème Cup // Of MAC lipsticks, their ‘cremesheen’ finish is my favorite.  Crème Cup is the perfect neutral on my lips, just a shade lighter than my own natural lip tint.
  • Stila Lip Glaze in Grapefruit // I’ve been using grapefruit since I was in high school and it’s still a favorite peachy-pink.  The clicking sound it makes when I turn it is sort of nostalgic for me… haha

The funny thing is that as I was typing this out, I dug through my purse to answer my phone and discovered two more lip glosses!  haha  I’ll save them for another {fab finds} installment, I suppose!

IMG_0496

Let’s kick off the week with a giveaway, shall we?  I have a brand new tube of my aforementioned beloved Dior Addict lipstick in #578 Dior Kiss, and I’d love to send it to a sweet reader!  To enter, simply leave a comment below letting me know your favorite lip product(s).  For one extra entry, unearth the lip products in your purse, snap a photo and post it on Instagram.  Make sure to tag me @loveandsplendor and use the hashtag #longlostlippies so I can see it!

You have until Sunday, 7/21/13 at 9 pm PST to enter.  I’ll announce a winner next Monday, on 7/22.

Have a great Monday afternoon & see you soon!

Happy Friday, everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July yesterday (if you are here in the USA).  I am truly grateful to live in this beautiful country and thank God for the blessings and freedoms I’ve enjoyed as a result.  Unsurprisingly, we celebrated at a proper BBQ and my contribution was organic homemade vanilla bean ice cream.  It was actually a frozen custard, made with lots of egg yolks and good, whole ingredients.  It turned out AMAZING.  You guys, it was the creamiest, dreamiest, most decadent dessert.  I think I’m making it my new Independence Day tradition!  Maybe next year Olive will be able to help me make it, too.  ;-)

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen Olive twirling around in some of my favorite dresses from dot dot smile.  My sweet friend Nicole is the stylish maven behind the clothing line and she puts out the cutest twirl-friendly dresses and funky leggings for your kiddos!  Olive has four “Lucy” dresses in various patterns, and I can’t get over the newest prints for summer.  They are just toooo cute!  I get tons of compliments on them when we’re out and about.  The cut is perfectly fitted in the body and the full skirt drapes beautifully (and is perfect for twirling, naturally!).

wearing the new “peachy peach aztec” in the Lucy Dress

If you have a little boy, I know lots of friends love the “Azure” leggings!  They come in tons of great patterns, many gender-neutral, so no one has to be left out of the fun.

Today I am THRILLED to be sharing the dot dot smile love with a fun giveaway.  We are giving away any darling Lucy dress *and* a pair of Azure leggings for your little one, in the patterns and sizes of your choice!

You can see Olive looooves her dot dot smile dresses!

“purple party aztec” Lucy dress

“teal & coral aztec” Lucy dress

This is a BLOG + INSTAGRAM giveaway.  The rules are simple: you must comment below to enter.  One additional entry is available on Instagram .  If you post on IG but don’t comment below, I can’t count your entry.  The blog comment is the official way to to enter.

1) You MUST comment below and let me know what cutie in your life could use some dot dot smile in their wardrobe.  Add one fun fact about your little one that makes you smile… a quirk, a habit, something they say or do, etc.

2) For an ADDITIONAL entry, post a picture on Instagram of your little one (or cousin, niece, nephew, etc.) and use the hashtag #makemedotdotsmile and tag @loveandsplendor and @dotdotsmile

You have until next THURSDAY, JULY 11th at 9p PST to enter.  The winner will be announced a week from today!

That’s it!  As a fun sidenote, dot dot smile is having an Independence Day sale through tomorrow (Saturday) night PST, so I’d scoot on over to their site and pick up some items all at 15% using the code SMILEUSA before the sale is up!!

I’m looking forward to reading your entries!!  Have a delightful weekend & see you Monday!

{ Congratulations to WILD ORCHID : winner of our $50 Shabby Apple giveaway! Thank you to all who entered — we will have more fun contests coming up very soon!  I appreciate your support of this blog!  xo }

Well, we made it!  Saturday was move-in day and with the help of our incredible church family, we moved our 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house to another one in just under 4 hours!  It was no small task, considering that our old house had 16 stairs and our new one has 19.  I think we all got more of a workout than we bargained for.  ;-)  I was so blessed by those who shared their muscles, trucks, and servant hands with us as we cleaned, loaded and unloaded.  That afternoon, another sweet friend from church (Hi Lauren!) brought her daughter over and watched her with Olive while I started unpacking.  I was able to get so much done in the kitchen and I hope to resume cooking in the next day or so.  Our tolerance for takeout is wearing thin… hehe

I imagine we’ll be living out of boxes for another week or so, but I am truly enjoying getting things settled in our new home.  Some little updates:

  • Two friends from church came to help us begin painting!  We only tackled our master bedroom so far, but I can’t tell you how much a fresh coat of paint has brightened up that room.  
  • I couldn’t find my makeup on Sunday morning so I went barefaced for the weekend.  I liked it.
  • Olive has rekindled her love for her bouncer, and we have been able to get 15 minutes of distraction out of it lately.  It’s hilarious watching her jump so enthusiastically in that thing, when the last time she was in it (5, 6 months old) she would just sit and delicately swat at the toys.
  • I deep-cleaned the washer and dryer that the seller left behind for us.  I bleached it twice, ran a hot vinegar cycle, and then went at it with a toothbrush, skewers and a bulb syringe!!  LOL  If you haven’t cleaned your washer in a while, I dare you to.  ;-)  Now mine is sparkling and I’ve been able to begin that “moving laundry” pile that is taunting me in our room.
  • The night before we moved (Friday), we had the worst night of sleep in recent memory.  Olive woke up screaming and was completely inconsolable for an hour.  In the morning, we realized she had cut ALL four of her molars.  In the same night!  Thank God she is feeling better now, but can you imagine?

Re: the title of this post… Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking of all that we want to do and need to do for the new house.  I am grateful that most of the issues are simply cosmetic, but it will be a while before many are addressed.  I have to be reminded (when I turn all Veruca Salt “I want it nowwwww”) that it will all come together in good time.  Working on the house is actually something Erik and I really enjoy, so here’s to many packed weekends ahead of painting, scraping, cleaning, replacing, sanding, staining, replacing, tiling and more!

Trying to channel my friends at Casa de Perrin with my glassware.  One day we’ll paint or re-face the cabinets.

dishwashing for days

If only you could hear her elated squeals… Floors need refinishing, too.

paint in progress

We don’t have internet at home yet so I’m working and blogging with a laptop at church using the WiFi!  I expect to be up and running in a couple of days but until then, I appreciate your patience with me.

Moving was bittersweet, as I truly loved the house we rented for the past 21 months.  When we moved in, I was pregnant.  We created Olive’s beautiful nursery together in that home.  We hosted 40+ guests over the course of our time there.  We had our church over for a big potluck, I hosted a ladies’ tea… I made countless meals in that beautiful kitchen, gazing out the four windows facing the ocean.  We brought home our baby girl to that house.  We spent sleepless nights pacing the floor, rocking her to sleep.  We laughed with friends and cried with friends sitting in the living room.  Olive learned to roll over, crawl, and walk in that house.  If those walls could talk, they would have so much to recount about the joy we shared under that roof.  I thank God for the blessing we had of renting that home, and now for the amazing gift of buying our own house.  I can’t wait to build new precious memories in it…

home.  in the foreground: a massacre of pampas grass.

Coming soon to the blog:: more NZ/Australia trip recaps, a featured wedding, and Olive’s 15-month post.  Enjoy the rest of your Monday!!

Hey everyone!  I hope your week is off to the loveliest start.  :-)  Today is a very exciting day for my family but I’ll share more about that soon… For now, I am delighted to bring you a great giveaway from the online clothing site Shabby Apple.

I had first heard of Shabby Apple via my dear friend Mara and instantly fell for their ladylike, retro-inspired clothing.  Their items are both feminine and modest, and I love how they embrace pops of color and fun prints!  If you are a fan of vintage clothing (as I am), you need to check them out.  I was delighted to see they also have a great maternity (and maternity-friendly) range… I’m filing that info away for the future.  ;-)

Here are some of my current faves from their site…

1523

2009

2110

2266

2251

567

They have a darling kids’ line, too!

Today they are graciously offering my readers a chance to win a $50 credit to their site!  To enter this giveaway, there are 3 simple steps:

1) Make sure you follow this blog on Bloglovin’

2) Visit shabbyapple.com and pick out some favorite items.

3) Leave a comment below letting me know how you might spend your $50 credit!

**For one extra entry, follow me on Instagram (@loveandsplendor) and leave your IG name in your comment.

**For a second extra entry, like us on Facebook and say you did in your comment!

You have until this Sunday the 23rd at 9 p.m. PST to enter this giveaway.  I’ll announce a random winner on Monday, June 24th!

Can’t wait to hear what catches your eye; have a great day loves!

Happy Friday, everyone!!  I want to start off by congratulating REGINA, as the winner of the Piggledee pouches!  Check your email so I can get your prize to you!  Thank you everyone else for entering.  I wish I could give each of you a pair of these darling pouches, but make sure to check out Asako’s Etsy shop if you want to pick up some of your own.  I truly love mine.

photo-12

 

This week has been a blur of errands, emails and appointments!  One thing that remains constant, however, is Olive’s current obsession with reading.  I hope her love of books is more than a stage, of course!  It’s just that these days, she can’t get enough of them.  She is constantly bringing me (and Erik ) various books to read to her.  I love when she waddles over to me and plops herself on my lap, snuggles in, and looks up at me as if to say, “Okay already, are you going to get to it??”  Her current favorites include Let’s Dance, Little Pookie, Mister Seahorseand Puppies… which is really a picture book with a bunch of dog photos!  haha  In Puppies, there is a tiny maltese named Toby and whenever we get to his page, Olive leans forward and plants a kiss on him!  Melt my heart!!  I think Erik knows that a maltese puppy is in the future one Christmas ahead… ;-)  Although I’m sure I sound and look hilarious while I’m reading aloud to Olive, it is absolutely worth it.  I love getting into character and watching her eyes widen and her face crinkle up in delight as I read to her.  I’m never going to be too old or too busy to get silly with my little girl!

410OLzMygDL._SY300_

 Does anyone else know the Pookie Shimmy??  I feel like I sing it 10x a day!

I have a lot of half-written posts in the queue so I will be spending some time this weekend preparing posts for next week.  Remaining consistent with my blog posts is a big goal, so I truly appreciate all of you who stop by to read and comment.  ;-)  In addition to writing, my weekend will consist of purging & organizing my closets (a LOT more to sell on @shopangelscloset on Instagram, if you’re interested), having a Skype consultation with some potential clients, and swinging by Barnes & Noble to read up on our fast-approaching trip down under.  So excited!!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, whether restful, productive, or both!  See you next week with Olive’s 14-month post and more.  ;-)

Hello everyone!  I hope your week is off to a lovely start!  Mine certainly is — I had such a sweet mother’s day on Sunday and I’m still beaming about it.

mother’s day 2013

We started the day at church and I served in the nursery.  There was a visiting family with a young boy (about 2 years old) and he initially had a hard time adjusting to the nursery, surrounded by unfamiliar faces.  He took to me for some reason and I spent most of the service just holding him.  He actually fell asleep in my arms (so sweet!!) and woke up content to spend the remaining time playing with Olive and his other nursery-mates.  It reminded me that although I am not his mother, I can nurture and love other children as my own.  For many years before I had Olive, I longed so much to be a mama.  I want to send a special encouragement to any of you out there who may be in that circumstance now.  I fervently pray that God will open the doors for you to become a mother soon, but urge you in the meanwhile to love on the kiddos around you in your life.  There’s lots of love to go around!

After service, I grabbed our customary Sunday lunch on the way home: In-N-Out burger, of course! We scarfed it down quickly since Olive had fallen asleep in the car, and then we drove out to the charming town of Los Olivos.  Erik took me to get my favorite Enjoy Cupcakes (yum!) and I devoured the pistachio lemon chardonnay + banana lemon creme treats.  We walked around a bit (truthfully we were just chasing Olive around town as she excitedly ambled about, greeting everyone in sight) but the unseasonable heat had us headed home early.  ;-)  We then spent some time browsing the aisles of Home Depot (hilarious, I know… We are both fixated on home stuff right now!) before having delicious Korean food for dinner.  Toward the end of the day, Erik had Olive hand me “her” mother’s day card.  Erik, being Erik, had helped her pick out a card that was for encouragement (not Mother’s Day…haha!) with a chihuaua and a dumbbell on the front.  Inside it said, “You’re stronger than you know.”  I just about died of laughter!  He also helped Olive write me a sweet note and she signed her name with her own hand.  I’m not gonna lie — I was impressed with her penmanship.  ;-)

photo via @enjoycupcakes on IG — love Amber & Kevin and their incredible cupcakes!

All in all I had a lovely day with my little family.  I got exactly what I had hoped for: some time out of the house with my two favorite people!

Before I sign out today, I wanted to share my excitement about my new bag.  I was on the hunt for a knitting bag but wanted something large enough to double as a travel tote or carry-on.  I discovered Piggledee on Etsy and followed the links to Asako’s blog.  I was instantly SMITTEN with her beautiful creations.  She makes backpacks, totes, knapsacks, zippered pouches and more, all using beautiful fabrics, many of them in quirky Japanese prints!  The bags can be used for tons of purposes, including cosmetic bags, travel bags, pencil cases, changing pads, washcloths, reusable lunch bags, diaper bags and more…  Although I’m not a cat person at all, I couldn’t resist the whimsical kitty print in grey for my big tote.  I also added a large zip pouch to use for cosmetics when I travel, and for my notions when I’m knitting.  ;-)  I found it hilarious that I was ordering a travel bag for my trip to Australia from a seller who is based in Sydney.  Oh, irony!  Asako is also a fellow Cal grad (Go Bears!); it was fun to learn we had so much in common!

I just received my bags yesterday and I couldn’t be more pleased with them.  They are well-made and beautifully constructed.  Asako herself was a pleasure to work with from start to finish, and her kind communication and speedy shipping were much appreciated.  I can’t wait to revisit her shop and pick up many more goodies in the future!  Today I am thrilled to giveaway TWO of her fabulous pouches!  The winner will win BOTH a large grey cat print zippered pouch, and a slightly smaller pink cat print pouch.

To enter:

  1. Like Love and Splendor on Facebook
  2. Comment below and let me know what you’d use the pouches for if you won!
  3. If you follow this blog on Bloglovin’ and/or follow me on Instagram, mention it in the comment for extra entries (1 each).

You have until Thursday, May 16th at 9 p.m. PST to enter.  I’ll announce the winner this Friday, the 17th!

Thanks for stopping by; see you again soon!