Wednesday, May 23, 2012

French Strawberries

Central Market is hosting an event, Passport to France, a two week celebration of French cuisine and and culture. Sadly tomorrow is the last day of the showcase, but in honor of the French influence, I am trying a recipe to celebrate in my own way since I can’t make it to Central Market. I made a recipe from Brittany, part of western France, called Brenton Butter Cake filled with strawberries and topped with raspberries. It was actually really fun to make, and I love the contrast between the red strawberries, white cream and dark raspberries. It seems like I am already getting prepared for the 4th!
A family friend made this cute parfait with organic Greek yogurt and fresh fruit for us recently, and this inspired me to bake my own French cake filled with strawberries and cream, thanks for Martha of course. The French really seemed to have fresh fruit and cream mastered!
I am hoping to continue to celebrate French cuisine by making crepes tomorrow for my siblings for breakfast.
I hope you had a blessed day, and go enjoy a delicious dessert-you only live once! Much love, Kelsey

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Food for the Soul

Recently, I have become obsessed with food, recipes and all things culinary. Food is fascinating to me, from the preparation to the way it brings satisfaction to the stomach and even bring peace of mind. Honestly, food ceased being satisfying to me awhile ago, and I always feel disappointed after what looks it was a good meal. So I have been eating WAY more than I need to, trying to consume enough to  appease the hunger pains and find enjoyment in food like I used to.
Well that didn’t solve the problem, and my pants are groaning and stretching in frustration as my stomach expands unnecessarily.
So I am starting at the basics. I am first enjoying making food again, from baking or cooking or simply browsing recipes and drifting through the grocery store appreciating the produce and goods. Food tells a story, and just as people enjoy watching movies, reading literature or listening to music to absorb tales and experiences. Taste buds convey meaning and excitement, and the tastes and smells of a good meal not only give a great setting for relaxation and conversation, but can bring satisfaction all on its own. I am starting to eat slowly, to savor the flavors and the colors and the smells. Because I love to garden and to be outside, I am always focusing on the variety of produce and the ingredients that came together to make the dish.
So maybe I am being a little dramatic. But, putting it simply, I want to enjoy food again.
I also want to enjoy reading a good book.
It’s been MONTHS since I have enjoyed a good book for fun. I used to love reading, and as a kid, I would spend hours upon hours curled up in a corner drifting far outside my room to different worlds and times. I miss that.
So I am combining both longings together in a exciting summer reading list. I am feeding my soul with encouragement and fueling my imagination. It’s been starving. Longtime lover of great books and delicious dishes alike, I am indulging in both now.
This is the list of food fiction I am going to sample:
Any other recommendations? Much love, Kelsey

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Mind is Full of Strawberries

You know you have been at work to long when you close your eyes and all you see is strawberries. For a change of pace, I was asked to come in to dip strawberries in chocolate for the Mother's Day special. Honestly, I quite enjoyed it and would love to do it again. The process overall was a bit tedious, from washing the berries, to drying them, to cutting off the stems, to dipping them, drizzling more chocolate over them, packaging and finally wrapping the strawberries to be sold throughout the store. My favorite part, by far, was dipping the vibrant red berries into the giant warming bowls of milk and dark chocolate. I didn't cheat until the very end, when I was about to wash the huge bowls of chocolate. I snuck a tiny lick of dark chocolate at the bottom of the bowl before pouring the rest down the drain. It was painful to do. 

More and more I am considering going into business. I would love to run my own bakery one day. I love sweets, and I love making things work and coming up with strategies with how to make things more effective and more marketable. I understand that business is so much more than just that, but I feel such a elation when planning and making and putting things together, and making sweets. Of course, I would hire someone to professionally bake the wonderful sweets, but I would love to help and contribute input and come up with how to sell the beautiful creations.  

Who knows where I will be in five years, or ten or even fifteen. I do know that wherever I am, whatever I am doing, I will be dipping strawberries and baking sweets, if not at least for myself and my family. I wish all the wonderful mothers in the world a sweet and lovely Mother's Day! Much love, Kelsey

Home Again

Home after my first year of college is a bit strange, but I am enjoying slowly easing into a routine. I need to work like crazy this summer, but right now I'm just taking it easy unpacking and readjusting. I love the blooms in our backyard, from the mums to the antique deep pink roses. Hank, our lab/mastiff mix, and our chocolate lab, Ainsley, both enjoy sleeping the day away while the kids are at school while I savor my homemade chai tea latte and my new read, No Higher Honor by former Sectary of State Condoleezza Rice. After I heard her speak at Baylor a couple of months back, I have really wanted to read her memoir and see her point of view on the issues and events that went down while she was in Washington. The love of my life knew I wanted the book, so he secretly ordered the book online and had it shipped to my dorm. I was extremely pleased and irked he had spent money on me again-something I am learning to accept and appreciate.

Tomorrow is more unpacking and reorganizing. Can't wait to really enjoy summer by the poolside, but that may be awhile because of my hectic new work schedule this next week! I hope you are doing well and enjoying this nice spring weather and summer freedom. Happy Mother's Day too! Much love, Kelsey

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Manic! Monday-Summer Trends: Peplums

I love this bold, sexy dress from Lulu's! 

Hello! I hope you are having a great week. In the midst of studying for finals, I can't help but look for new dresses and styles this warm weather is bringing. My list of trends that I want to share is SUPER long, so I will start with one of my favorite first: peplums. When I first saw the look, I was not a fan, but it has certainly grown on me, especially thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge (one of my favorite ladies of all time!)
She inspires me to be a better woman, in style and fashion, and grace and class as well. I don't believe this is her best outfit, but she still pulls it off effortlessly, wouldn't you agree?
1) I love this Kate Spade New York 'Randie' Zebra Top, especially paired with red! 2) Topshop's Peplum Scuba Pencil Dress is adorable, and this color is great! 3) Miss Selfridge Pink V Neck Peplum Dress is definitely a classic 4) This classy yet elegant Warehouse Ponte Peplum Dress is one of my favorites! 5) Lulu's Peppy Longstockings Black Skirt can be professional or fun and flirty 6) Lulu's Dotty or Nice Polka Dot Dress is the perfect candy-pink dress! 7) Lulu's Good Sport Blue Tank is simple yet divine in its shape 8) Oh My Love Jersey Peplum Dress is a pastel beauty 9) I loved the Dotty Dress in this color so much, I had to put it twice! 10) Alice + Olivia Tory Peplum Dress is sleek and smart 11) Forever 21 Contrast Trim Peplum Dress is chic and simple! Much love, Kelsey

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blessed by Kilen

 I love him. He is amazing to me. This weekend, when he came up to Waco, he brought me roses and a VIDEO CAMERA! It looks like a phone, so I am preparing myself for some weird looks as I start filming for my journalism final project, but I am so thankful. He was getting some weird looks this weekend wearing his UT shirt on the Baylor campus. Silly boy. He is my world. I can't imagine life without him. In July, it will be two years. I am super excited and already brainstorming gifts that I am going to give him. I don't have much money or really much to give at all, but I hope by making gifts and writing him letters, he will understand how much he means to me. As soon as he gave me the camera, I was taking pictures (yes, I was upset that he spend money on me, as usual, but I am learning to be thankful and just accept the gifts he gives me without worrying about the cost). This picture above was taken in the dining hall, when he felt ignored because I wouldn't put the camera down. Below, he is blowing me a kiss before he starts the car to go on our adventure to the movies. I hope you are having a great week. Remember to be grateful for the little things! Much love, Kelsey

Monday, April 16, 2012

Manic! Monday-DIY Apartment Decor

Paint your own masterpiece: My roommate (Alyssa, she is amazing!) and I want to paint a piece of art on a huge canvas together and coordinating the rest of the room around it.

Although I am not moving into my own apartment until next fall, this hasn't stopped me from day-dreaming and catching "Pinning fever" when it comes to DIY projects for the apartment. These are a few of my favorite, and I wanted to share what I have been spending hours pouring over. Enjoy! Much love, Kelsey

Wall Decor: What a beautiful way to display your jewelry with that gorgeous frame and sticks. And those squares are shoebox lids and cool paper! Easy decorating!

Add a little pop of color with button letters on a canvas, or yarn art with different colored letters into a saying.

I am pretty sure I am obsessed with everything vintage and nature inspired. I love these candle holders decorated with small branches, and these unique frames with a worn look. 

This rug is adorable and easy to make. Removable wallpaper? YES! I love these colors and the pattern, and perfect for dorms and people living in apartments--thank you Urban Outfitters.

Shutters anyone? Great ideas for how to reuse old shutters, from a message board to a side table!

Create this beauty by painting a canvas in multiple colors, then use painter's tape to create a herringbone pattern or pattern of choice with a couple of pieces missing, and finally paint the canvas white and remove tape when done. Voila! 
Happy Monday!