Entertaining At Home: Simple Spring Tea

Spring is one of the most fun seasons to entertain! I love the warm sunlight that filters through the trees, the sound of twittering birds and beautiful bouquets of the freshest blooms. This time of year begs for outdoor parties, late afternoon tea, or brunch that invites guests to linger for a few hours. 
Entertaining at home doesn't have to be complex or stressful, and this is one simple set up that you can pull together in just a few minutes, so you can enjoy the time with your guests. 

Strawberry Tea Sandwiches

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
24 slices thin white bread, crusts removed
15 sliced fresh strawberries
Garnish: fresh baby basil leaves

In the work bowl of a food processor, place cream cheese, mayonnaise, and salt. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Stir in basil.
Spread cream cheese mixture onto half of bread slices. Top with sliced strawberries. Cover with remaining bread slices. Cut into triangles. Cover with a damp paper towel, and store in a sealed container to keep bread from drying out. Garnish with basil, if desired. Serves 12

Turkey, Apple & Brie Sandwiches

Smoked turkey, thinly sliced
1 french baguette
2 apples, thinly sliced
1 wedge Brie cheese
Honey to garnish

Slice baguette in half and cut each half into 6-7 small pieces. Layer open face sandwiches with turkey, apple slices, and brie slices. Secure with a toothpick. Drizzle with honey to serve. 


Spring Trends: My Top Picks

With the onset of Spring, I'm looking forward to incorporating all things fresh and pretty into my wardrobe. There are so many fun spring trends that I'm loving lately! Here's a few of my top picks!

1. Blue & White: Is there anything lovelier than this classic combination? My go-to outfit lately has been any pairing of pieces in this color palette. Think blue and white stripe tops with white pants, delicate blue florals, navy and white for a nautical-inspired look, or blue embroidery on breezy white pieces that evoke a vacation vibe.
2. Pastels: There's something so fresh about pastels. I recently purchased a pair of sneakers (linked above) in pale blue (they also come in a beautiful blush shade!), and I've been partial to soft pink and blue stripe button down tops with pearl embellished or neutral accessories. These shades pair so well with denim and add a feminine touch.
3. Ruffles: Ruffles are the new statement sleeve. They add interest and a bit of sophistication to an otherwise basic piece. Instantly elevate your look with a ruffled top, skirt, or dress.
4. Floral Prints: Florals are basically a spring staple that somehow manages to never get old. I am a big fan of a silky blouse in delicate floral prints and love to pair them with a white pant, skinny fit denim, or high waisted shorts. This is a classic look that's always on trend.
5. Statement Earrings: There are so many fun versions out there this season! I picked up a pair of pretty teal tassel earrings and look forward to wearing them with much of my spring wardrobe.

What trends are you loving this Spring?


What's Your Love Language?

February is a month where we place an emphasis on love and relationships. Regardless of  relationship status, Valentine's Day is the perfect reminder to show appreciation and gratitude for our loved ones. People always appreciate being appreciated, and while we might think these things, it's so important that we actually let them know how valuable their presence is in our lives. One of the habits I've been cultivating in my own life is the practice of a gratitude journal, and each day I make time to jot down a few things that I'm grateful for. I encourage you to make a list of some people in your life that you are grateful for and and let them know--make a phone call, send a text, send an email, write a note, or set up a time to get together and tell them in person! In my experience, this not only makes their day, but also strengthens the relationship.

How else can you express your gratitude? Start by speaking their love language. A number of years ago I was introduced to Gary Chapman's research and writing on the 5 Love Languages, and I took the quiz again about 2 years ago to get a refresh. It's based on each person's preferred communication styles, and will give you so much insight into how you like to receive love as well as how to better love other people. Communication is such a critical element in all of our relationships, and when you know how to speak someone's love language, you'll be able to understand how to relate to one other better. Also, I've found that it is so beneficial to continue to learn more about yourself and identifying your love language is a powerful tool for personal growth and understanding. You can take the quiz here!

Finally, decide to see this holiday and focus on love as the perfect reminder to freely give and receive love. It is easy to place barriers around ourselves, but life was meant to be done in community. Relationships with other people are so essential to living a meaningful and satisfying life; we need one another! It's scary at times to put yourself out there, and perhaps you've been hurt by others in the past, but I encourage you to love others anyway. The more love we give, the more our capacity to receive love is expanded; I can't explain it, but it's one of those things that the more of it that we give away, the more we seem to discover within. Whether it's through a smile, a hug, a card, a phone call, or time invested with someone, decide to show some love and appreciation for the people in your life. I promise it will make an incredible impact!

February Inspiration

Happy February! It's the second month in the new year, and we're officially inching closer toward Spring! We've had a couple days lately that have been the picture of perfect spring weather. I'm looking forward to many more days of that to come! Each month I like to choose some thoughts and quotes that inspire me for the next few weeks, and I enjoy sharing them with you in the hope that you will gather a little motivation from them also. This time, many of them seemed to have a rosy hue which seemed most appropriate for February. Here's to a fabulous, inspiring month ahead!
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