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Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring Cleaning Worksheets

I love spring cleaning.  I'm sure that sounds nutty, but I do.  Remember when we moved out of our house for our new addition?  I said, "I love packing."  And again when we moved back in, I said, "I love moving and unpacking."  It is all in the same vein for me - that fresh start, new project feeling.  Cleaning up and cleaning out.  I just love the feeling I get of physically working and cleaning, not to mention the lightness it brings to our house.

Our home works very hard for us - entertaining, family time, play dates, nightly dinners, big and little holidays - so keeping it in good order helps us to live fully.  We've all had those issues in our home that make us feel like "we can't have anyone over until..." or "we can't enjoy the backyard until..."  I never want any of those reasons to keep us from fully living and enjoying - having friends for dinner, family time in the backyard, relaxing on the porch with wine in the evening, coffee in the morning, and our time in the kitchen.  If your home is not serving your life in a productive and positive way, it will make you feel so much better to take some time to tackle those "if, only, when" barriers.  

Spring Cleaning Worksheets - Download

You can download all of the spring worksheets here.  I have blank sheets, as well my own list, in case you need inspiration.  They are in PDF, Excel,Numbers and JPeg formats.

I am the first to admit, I'm not great at keeping things neat and tidy all of the time on a daily (hourly?) basis (at all), so having this regular re-organize and deep-clean schedule keeps everything relatively nice feeling... even with my day-to-day messes.  For this spring, I made a list of the spots in our home that need the most attention.  Most of these items need to happen every season - which keeps it manageable.  I also make sure I have "fun" projects, too, like adding fresh pillows and throws.  As you can see, I did the "fun" thing first - only thing checked off so far!  Normally, I would wait until everything else was checked off, but those pillows from the spring collection were too good to resist.

The first item on my Inside list is the Freezer and Refrigerator.  I have been meaning to do this since January.  Oops!  I'll be doing that today and stocking it with healthy options fresh for spring (like favorite smoothie ingredients... and frozen cookie dough).  I'll walk you through everything that I'll keep stocked next week.

Here is the freezer inventory list I made to keep on the inside of my cabinet.  I always forget what I have in there!  I used to do this when we lived in Concord when Emma was a baby since we relied on the freezer so much.  I would be stumped for a dinner idea, then go to this list and remember that I had frozen parmesan chicken or soup in the freezer.  Every year we get a freezer full of beef from my family's farm.  This list will help me remember that I have 2 briskets, 8 ribeyes, 20 packs of hamburger and 3 chuck roasts still in the freezer.  I'll be implementing this again this spring.

I am so glad it is time to get our hands in the dirt again.  Since I end up working at my computer for a big chunk of the day, I really look forward to nice weather so Emma and I can spend our after school time in the backyard.  We've done the cleaning out, now the fun starts with mulch, seeding and some little gardens we're planning.  I'll share more details on those in the next week.  

We woke up to our first daffodils blooming this morning - so fun!  Emma thought it was Easter : )  I'll do a little pre-spring garden tour later, too.  Gosh, I've made quite a list for myself... hopefully I'll get to checking off everything. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Spring Clean Collection | Fresh Spring Wraps, Pitchers, Clear Bottles, Tablets + LePens, Market Totes

As I sit here this morning with the back door wide open, it feels like spring is already officially here. Yesterday's warm afternoon sun made me itch for cleaner, fresher everything. As always, I yearn for simplifying and adding more open space to our home and our routine. I'm ready for afternoons in the backyard, long walks and fresh dinners. I want clean tabletops and cupboards, and freshened, clutter free spaces with essentials only. Essentials including big pitchers of blooming branches and blooms, of course.

Spring Wraps, $16

Market Totes, Set of 3, $15

Why is it so hard to find simple things?  Every market bag I see is cluttered with too many logos, colors, "funny" sayings and brands.  I'm keeping a set of these in my car for groceries, but I've also found that they are useful for so many things - transporting food for a party, toting Emma's things in the car, dropping off a meal for a new mom, and a handy place to stash things (like gloves, hats, socks...?) when hanging on a mudroom peg.
The perfect accessory is the Market Tablet to keep your list in order. 
Set of 3

Dusty Blue Tablecloth

My favorite seasonless linen.  I love this with big bunches of white flowers, or pale yellows.  This size is almost like a runner, it helps to make our big table more cozy.

Flowering White Quince Branches are one of my favorite.

My favorite Wreath Tablets in my favorite Pshades.  The new tablets come in a Tall and Small size.  I keep the Tall at home by my desk and in my kitchen.  The Small size is perfect for tucking in my purse, and keeping by my bedside.  Since the tablets are made with cardstock, they are also perfect for a little note.
Creamy Cardstock, 50 pages
Of course, Le Pens are the perfect accessory.

The Gold Leaf Frames ($8-14), Natural Mats & Botanical Prints have been restocked.

Shop all Botanical Prints, here.

The entire collection of Clear Bottles have also been restocked.   Shop the collection, here >

All of the Kitchen Essentials are also restocked!  Perfect for getting everything freshened and back in order for spring.   Shop Kitchen Essentials, here >

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spring Workshops : Menus Announced!

Spring Workshops + Pop-Up Shop
I'm getting so excited about the Workshops coming up on March 1st in Kansas City.  I've finalized the menus below - each has some of my all time favorite (and most popular) recipes.

There are three sessions available on March 1st, 2017.  Each session will have cooking demonstrations, table settings, entertaining tips, and home decor presentations.  There will also be a Pop-Up to shop for participants with my store products and new products not available in my online store, like breakable + heavy things.  I've ordered lots of planters and garden pots that I will be filling with fresh topiaries, spring flowers & herbs.  I can't wait!

Spring Workshops + Pop-Up Shop
March 1st, 2017
Indian Hills Country Club
6847 Tomahawk Rd
Mission Hills, KS 66208
(Please note in your reservations if you have any food allergies.)
Order Tickets, here.  There is a limited amount, so we are able to keep each session intimate.

Session 1 : Lunch, 10 am - Noon, $50
Enjoy cooking, table setting and baking demonstrations followed by a lunch created from my recipes + pop-up shop open for participants.
Lunch Menu:  

Goat Cheese Tart & Spring Greens Salad 
Lobster Bisque* 
Lemon Berry Layer Cake

Order Tickets, here >

Session 2 : Flowers & Baking, 2pm - 4pm, $55
A hands-on floral workshop - you'll make your own small spring arrangement to take home.  I'll also demonstrate my favorite scones recipes that we'll sample + pop-up shop open for participants.
Flowers & Baking Menu :
Make & Take Home a Spring Floral Arrangement
Orange & Cranberry Scones
Vanilla Bean Creme Coffee
Order Tickets, here >

Session 3 : Dinner, 6:30pm - 8:30pm, $65
Enjoy cooking, table setting and baking demonstrations followed by a dinner created from my recipes + pop-up shop open for participants.

Dinner Menu :
Prosciutto & Fresh Mozzarella Toasts*
Bibb & Radish Spring Salad
Baked Individual Truffled Mac & Cheese
Chocolate Molten Cakes
Order Tickets, here >

*Shellfish and/or Meat Free Options will be Available

Monday, February 6, 2017

This Week's Menu | Apricot Chicken & Couscous, Steak & Potatoes, Sheet Pan Lemon Salmon & Easy Chicken Pasta

I feel like I'm in a bit of warp zone today.  We were on vacation for a week, then I went on a girls trip over the weekend, and then to a super bowl party last night... it is going to be 60 degrees today, but it is not yet Valentine's Day... Is it Monday?  Is it still winter?  Is anyone else feeling out of sorts?  I'm happy to have this morning to get myself re-centered for back-to-real-life and mom duties.  

I love the downtime of winter (and usually need it after the holidays), but this year I feel like I've kept myself running too hard and not had the time to slow down.  So, I'm going to give myself a break this month and really try to keep the calendar free of obligations.  I'm going to make an effort to let time stand still for a while this week to spend some time inside, bake some valentines cookies, take winter walks and begin some cleaning projects that always help me feel re-organized.

I'm also making an effort to begin eating a little bit lighter.  We've had many months of slow simmered ragu and piles of pasta dinners, so I'm starting to lean into a lighter and fresher feeling.  Probably a result of having to wear a bathing suit in January... when I've only been used to layers of turtle necks and puffer vests : )

Here is what I'm planning for the week : 

Apricot Glazed Chicken with the Most Amazing Couscous

I like to make this at the beginning of the week because it makes a great leftovers lunch.

Steak & Baked Potatoes

Sorry, did I say healthy?  I know this does't really look that healthy, but with a smaller portion of the steak, and maybe roasted broccoli instead of baked potato, it will be balanced.  I will not skip the mushrooms and wine sauce, though!

Sheet Pan Roasted Salmon & Vegetables

I love Sheet Pan recipes.  Everything goes on one pan, then in the oven.  A sauce from the lemons and olive oil developed naturally in the pan and can be poured over when serving.  So good, fresh, and flavorful.

*Essential Sheet Pans have been restocked.

Penne Pasta with Grilled Chicken

This is the sort of pasta that I create out of what we have leftover.  Maybe I pull frozen shrimp out of the freezer if we don't have chicken, and maybe I use peas instead of spinach?  It is something easy to throw together on a Thursday night... without having to go to the store.   I'll make an effort to make it 50% veggies and protein and 50% pasta to make it somewhat nutritional.

The Sweetest Sale Continues!  Please note, tomorrow is the last day to order Valentines products.

Shop the Sale, here >

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Sweetest Sale | 15-30% Off Entire Order + Markdowns

The Everyday Occasions Sweetest Annual Sale

Yay!  It is Sale time!  It has been a while since I've offered a big sale... but with Spring inventory headed this way (launching at my Spring Workshops in March), it is the perfect time to give you all a deal on what we have left... so we don't have to deal with it anymore : )

I love offering a sale this time of year, because we still have plenty of Valentine's offering available, and lots of essentials in stock, too.  Stock up on Wood Block Linens, Candles, Entertaining Essentials and Botanical Prints.  While getting organized and cleaning up the inventory, we found some things we didn't even know we had (like some throws and pillows!), so be sure to check for things that have been out of stock.

15% off of orders over $50, code : FEB15

20% off of orders over $100, code : FEB20

30% off of orders over $150, code : FEB30

Shop the Everyday Occasions Store, here >

Monday, January 30, 2017

Weekly Menu | Comfort Food, Pot Pie, French Onion Soup, Pot Roast, Banana Cream Pie

We just got back from a fun-filled week in Disney World!  We had the best time with perfect weather and lots of Disney magic everywhere.  This is us after Day 2 (and walking about 10 miles) - Emma princess dress clad, eating a chocolate dipped Mickey Bar.

Someday I'll get around to sharing our agenda - we loved our hotel and schedule.  We stayed at the Beach Club Resort, which allowed us to walk directly to "Paris" at Epcot for fresh croissants and coffee every morning.  I mean, I do realize there is a huge difference between actually being in Paris vs. the Disney version... but, the Disney version was pretty charming and a good perk of a kid focused vacation.

Of course, I was hit with a crazy sinus infection the moment we landed at home.  The perfect cure for a Disney hangover and sinus infection is comfort food, so here we go : )

The Dinner Planning Tablet, $14, is available in my store, here >

It is filled with all of our dinner favorites and helps me get organized for the week with menu planning... and remembering options.

Chicken Pot Pie

It doesn't get more comforting than this.  Besides the crust, this is a very healthy and filling dinner.  We have some busy nights later this week, so I will make extra for the freezer for Mike and Emma to get out.  Making the biscuits with my Heart Cutters (set of 3, $6) would make this so cute for a cozy valentine's dinner.

French Onion Soup

Emma loves French Onion Soup.  We have a video of her slurping it up when she was 2... asking if she can put it in her cup.  I love that this is a super quick and comforting dinner.  Mike has a meeting, so this will be the perfect dinner for two with leftovers going in the freezer for Beef Drip Sandwiches some day.

Beef & Butternut Chili

We haven't had chili since the fall, so I'm ready for it!  I may actually make a Chili Mac Soup recipe I tried a while back instead.  I'll share soon!

To cap off the comfort food week, I'll make Pot Roast with Mashed Potatoes... and maybe go really crazy and also make a Banana Cream Pie.

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