Bye Bye Summer

Can you believe it is the last week of summer? I have decided to celebrate by adding a last minute punch of pineapple to our living room with this flower decoration. This is inspired by this pin and is a super simple way to add a tropical punch to you living room.

Though I am sad to see summer go, I am excited to move on from pineapples to pumpkins for my home decor. London weather has already decided to get a head start with dropping temperatures and rain fall so it shouldn't be too hard to get into the autumn spirit over here. Hope you enjoy your final days of summer!


Love Notes

Sorry for the silence this week! We have had a busy one with two weddings and our six month anniversary. I'm not super sappy, but I was definitely bitten by the love bug this week.

One of my favorite parts of anniversaries and weddings is looking for the perfect card. Etsy is a treasure trove of cute cards, as I am sure you are aware. Here are a few of my favorites from my searches.

This darling card from paperfeltshop on Etsy is probably the most traditional of my picks and has such a sweet and simple message.  

helloDODOshop made this great wedding card with the Ys turned into champagne flutes. You could use this card for any number of occasions, but I think this is extra cute for a wedding. 

Um, who doesn't love old people in love? Can't get much cuter than this adorable card from Etsy seller EuclidStreetShop

This is the card I would like to receive - especially the Cat's Pajamas. The hand lettering and the precious illustration make this a great card for the lovely ladies in your life. Check is out on theblackapple.

I found this on Pinterest, but it is out of stock on JulieAnnArt's Etsy shop (insert sad face). However, it was too funny not to share. An honest wish for the happy couple, this is probably one you want to save for a couple you know pretty well.


Cry Baby

Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere did a post today day about her being a crier.  I am exactly the same. I am a huge sucker for sappy things and her list was spot on... The military homecomings and the animal reunions get me every time.

One thing that is on my list as well is the engagement videos. Oh, man. Grab a box of tissues. I am sure you have seen it already, but this engagement video is one of my faves. I literally teared in the first 30 seconds because I knew what was coming. The music, all her friends and family helping out, her reaction as she sees them. It's priceless.


Flower Power

I am not a dog owner (yet), but my husband and I are fairly obsessed with man's four-legged friend. However, we do differ on our dream dog. I dream of a small, sweet, scrunchy nosed pug. He dreams of a pit bull. Up until now, I wasn't convinced. He has tried showing me all the cute YouTube videos of pit bulls playing with babies and reading me all the stats about how safe they are to no avail. Little did he know all I needed to see was a picture of them with floral crowns...

Yep, the talented photographer Sophie Gamand has created a series called Flower Power Pit Bulls of the Revolution. The series is about "challenging myself to approach pit bulls with a fresh perspective and an open heart. I invite the viewer to do the same." How lovely is that? The images are magical, heartwarming and I think completely achieve the objective.

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Perfect Pesto

I have been flexing my green thumb with my basil plant and as a fruit of my not so intensive labor I have been making a lot of home made pesto.  This recipe is so simple you will never want to go back to the jarred stuff in the store. Below is a recipe for the traditional pesto, but you can add so much to spice things up. Add Sriracha, roasted pepper, or swap the pine nuts for pistachios... The possibilities are endless.

Basic Basil Pesto 

3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cups basil leaves 
1/4 cup fresh parmesan 
3/4 cup virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the first 4 ingredients and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the food processor and blend until all the ingredients are chopped and well mixed. 
2. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil into the food processor while still mixing. 
3. Add salt and pepper to taste 


City Guide: Barcelona

This is delayed, but totally worth the wait. Barcelona was a gorgeous, friendly, warm city. You could literally spend the whole summer there and not have seen everything. Here are the highlights from our trip.

Air BnB flat in Poble Sec

We stayed in a gorgeous two bedroom apartment in the neighborhood of Poble Sec. Just at the base of Montjuic it is a great location with few tourists, great transport and great food. It was nice to feel like we were staying in a real neighborhood and staying in an apartment is always my preferred way to go. Our host was lovely and she left us everything we could possibly need (including beach umbrellas).

La Boqueria

This food market right of Las Ramblas is incredible. We feasted on fruit juices and meat filled pastries, but really the possibilities were endless. We went twice while we were there and got amazing deals when we went in the evening as everything was starting to close.


We found the best place to get Paella was in Barcelonetta, a small area of Barcelona right by the beach. After a long day of lounging in the sun we ran across a small restaurant that served the most beautiful paella. We all tried something different - I went veggie, husband went mixed seafood and brother went chicken. Each was delicious. I didn't catch the name of the place which is a crying shame, but there are so many places to try in the area I am sure you will find something wonderful.


I had never heard of Pinchos before Barcelona. They are pretty much canapes that you buy individually. They are made fresh and have everything from roasted tomatoes and artichoke hearts to traditional Spanish tortilla sitting on a small slice of crunchy french bread. We were lucky enough to have one around the corner from our apartment called La Tasqueta De Blai where each pincho was €1 and was delicious.

Parc Guelle

Gaudi is a must when you are in Barcelona and my favorite of all the Gaudi architecture had to be Parc Guelle. Set on the top of hill, it is quite a hike to get to but is really enjoyable to walk around the area. We got off at Vallcarra on the Metro and walked through the park which was much more scenic than coming from Lesseps. I would also recommend buying tickets in advance and getting to the park early. We got tickets for 8.30am which seems crazy, but it was a much nicer experience with 50 of us in the park than with 400 which is what is there most of the day during tourist season.

The Gothic Quarter

The Gothic Quarter is an incredible place to wander around and get lost. Tiny streets lead you to open squares that are filled with churches, artworks and fountains. My favorite place we found was Pla├ža de Santa Felip Neri (pictured above). A tiny square with a church, an elementary school and the glamorous Hotel Neri. It was one of the few quiet spots in the city and was a welcome escape from the noise and heat of the city.

Parc de la Cuitadella

Another great place to escape is Parc de la Cuitadella. This place was filled with picnic goers and exercise enthusiasts when we were there in the evening. The vibe was very relaxed and it was a scenic place to wander around. The most impressive spot was this incredible fountain called Cascada. The park also has museums and a Zoo.

See an movie at Castell de Montjuic

Want to do something most of your friends haven't done? Go and watch Grease on the side of a 17th century fort. Tickets were super cheap (€6 each) and you can bring along a picnic. We set up shop pretty early so we could listen to the live music before the film. Lots of people dressed up like Pink Ladies and T Birds and everyone sang along once the movie began. It is going on for the rest of the summer if you still want to take part and happen to be in town. Check it out.

Go to the beach

This is a pretty obvious recommendation for Barcelona, but it is totally worth the hype. Beaches are free (not the case in some other European cities), clean and friendly. We spent a lot of time soaking in the sun in Barcelonetta within view of the impressive W hotel. Be aware, lots of people are topless or completely nude.  But there a lot of people in all states of dress/nakedness so you will feel comfortable no matter what you are wearing.


The biggest recommendation I have is to go and wander around the city. There is so much to see and take in. Our last night we decided just to walk through the streets of the Gothic Quarter and El Born and ran into the most amazing performance out of a window. Two women had their guitars set up and were singing to the crowds below.

**This list barely scratches the surface of what Barcelona has to offer. If you do go be sure to also include the Picasso Museum, La Sagradia Familia and eat lots of tapas.


July Favorites

Is it really August already? July was such a fun month for us - traveling to Barcelona and Marrakech, enjoying some sun here in London, BBQs, garden parties... the list goes on. Excited to jump into August as well we are going to a wedding and hosting our first string of dinner parties at our house.

Ten Great California Homes from Design*Sponge

So I am cheating a little bit on this one and not choosing one interior but ten. Design*Sponge did a great post about the ten greatest California homes and it was a dream. With yellow bed posts, fireplaces filled with books (not burning) and turquoise kitchen floors, what's not to love! My favorite is probably the San Francisco home that comes up first on the blog, but it is definitely worth browsing through all the different links.

Mexican Rice from Damn Delicious

I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try just a couple of nights ago. It is DELICIOUS! Tastes just like what you would get in a California Mexican restaurant. I hadn't tried a recipe from Damn Delicious before, but we will definitely be trying one again.

The Day Date Dress Tutorial from Elle Apparel 

I am an amateur seamstress at best, but this dress is so adorable I really want to give it a try. The tutorial looks not too difficult (famous last words) and the dress looks perfect for fall. If I make an attempt I will let you know how it goes - the good, the bad and very possibly the ugly.

Fashion Statement
Moroccan Tassel Bad

I got this bag in the Souks of Marrakech and I have literally been carrying it everywhere. It is a great summer bag with lots of space and serves particularly useful for picnics. Pretty sure this won't transition well into the fall so I am using it as much as in these last few weeks of summer.

The Girls With Glasses

I love, love, love these girls. First they made this super cute video 2010 and I was in love. Now they have a really cute blog that explores everything from style and DIY to motherhood. Speaking of motherhood, they also did a hilarious spoof of I'm Fancy that will knock your socks off.  If you want to have add a little more happiness to your day, check them out.