Project Pinterest: Homemade Sugar Scrub

Honey Oatmeal Brown Sugar Scrub: 
When I showed Teresa the picture above she said, 
"That looks like cookie dough!" 
And as you'll read the ingredient list, you'll see it practically is, 
you could probably add an egg and bake it at 350 and it wouldn't be half bad... 

It's time to exfoliate away all those dead skin cells and prepare for swimsuit season. So I decided to try something easy for my first Pinterest project and make a sugar scrub. This is something that's been on my Pinterest board since November when a friend suggested we make a bunch and give it out as Christmas gifts, needless to say, we never got around to it. 

Did you know you can make all sorts of all natural sugar scrubs with ingredients you already have in your pantry? 

Before we get any farther, I should probably just announce now, I am not good at following directions, a common thread you'll probably see throughout all my crafty attempts this summer. You see, when I started out to make sugar scrub I had every intention of following one recipe, but then another one looked good too. So I sort of created my own, a hybrid of the first two recipes on this list

Why attempt this scrub? Well, here are 6 reasons oatmeal is great for your skin and here's some info on the benefits of honey.  Instead of making a scrub with one or the other, I thought, why not both and this is what I came up with...

Honey Oatmeal Brown Sugar Scrub

1 C Oatmeal
1/2 C. Almonds 

1 c. Packed Brown Sugar
2/3 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Honey

First, blend the oatmeal and almonds in your food processor, then add the rest and let your food processor do the work for you. 
My scrub ended up a fairly thick consistency, which I was happy with, you can always add more honey or oil if need be. 

I tried it out and really liked it! I'm all about using natural products and this way you know exactly what you're putting on your body. I loved the way my skin felt after using it, not at all oily like in the past with store-bought sugar scrubs. 

Lesson Learned: Next time I might try it with white sugar might make it look more like a scrub and less like a trendy mason jar dessert. 



Who else, like me, gets very excited to buy a Groupon only to forget about it,  wait months and months and FINALLY use it right before it expires? Well, that's how the trapeze story goes. A year after purchasing a Groupon for an intro trapeze class, I finally went. Teresa got roped in (literally, haha!) since the friend planning on doing it with me is now seven months pregnant.

I LOVED it and after one swing, knew I wanted to sign up for more and somehow managed to convince Teresa to sign up with me. So more trapeze to come for us!

Check out our cool tricks!

Project Pinterest

Raise your hand if you, like me,  have a pinterest account that looks like your an ambitious DIY-er but in actuality, you've never sewn, hammered, or made your own necklace to replicate one that's $50 at JCrew.

This summer I'm attempting a rather ambitious project, Project Pinterest.

I've dabbled in different DIY projects before, successfully making this and this,  but it's time to get serious. Each week I'm tackling a new DIY project that I've found on Pinterest. I see it as a great way to learn some fun new skills, spruce up my house and yard and make some gifts for friends.

So join me, for my continuing summer series of projects as I force myself to become a DIY-er.

I'll be back tomorrow with the first one. Be excited.

Wedding Wednesday: Best of Etsy: Bridesmaid Gifts

Here are a few fun handmade gift ideas from Etsy to surprise your bridesmaids with a special "thank you"for all that they contribute to your big day. I always love receiving jewelry that can be worn on the big day and then remind me every time I wear it of the friend who gave it to me. Personalized or monogramed gifts are also unique and meaningful. Check out some of my favorites below:
Personalized cosmetic bags (Jenny got me something like this when I was in her wedding and I still use it!) These and these are also really cute and whimsical. 
Picture frame with an old photo of the two of you, maybe from way back when you first became friends.  This would also be perfect to display the photos of you and each bridesmaid at the wedding or rehearsal dinner. 
Personalized hangers, great for pictures too!
Gold and Swarovski crystal earrings, can't go wrong with these simple, lovely earrings which are perfect for the wedding and guaranteed to be worn many times again.
Sassy print they can put up at home (this would be cute as decor and then gifted after the wedding too)
Vintage inspired handmade clutches (I want one of these!)
Gold and pearl initial necklaces 
Cards to write a nice note thanking them for all the hard work, emotional support and loving advice (and $!) they gave to your big day.

Who Wants Pie?

Today I wrote a guest post for our good friend Amber of Love at Home.
Go check out her blog and learn how to make one of my very favorite desserts. Trust me, the pie is too amazing to just make a pie dish full of it. I make it in a 9x13 pan. You need to experience it.

Happy 30th Mom and Dad!

Happy 30th anniversary to my extraordinary parents! 
Their love and commitment to each other through three decades is truly something to celebrate. I am one lucky girl to have such fabulous parents. Here's to many more happy years to come! 

Monday Motivation: Day Off!

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Print via Laura George.

Friday Roundup

Three-day weekend here we come! Do you have big plans for the first weekend of summer? We are headed to a Mariner's game with Patrick's family on Saturday and it's supposed to be 70 degrees, woot!

Here are some links from around the web to get you into a weekend-kind-of-mood. Happy Memorial Day!

Sneak peak of Regina Spektor's new album

Are bananas as bad for you as cookies? (answer: eat an orange)

So excited to see this movie! 

Gorgeous summer dress

I love cookbooks and this new ICE CREAM one is at the top of my wish list right now. Also, a review of the book and recipe for Salt Licorice Ice Cream (sounds daring!)

Great American Writers and their cocktails 

Amazing wallpaper (glow in the dark!)

I love this story and photo about our President. 

Gwyneth Paltrow's stylist shows us how to do our own hair

New favorite Tumblr: Children With Swag

The perfect summer dinner

(unknown beach babes from this fun Tumblr)

Ooey, Gooey, Chocolatey, Chewie Brownies!

Jenny made the most delicious gluten-free and vegan brownies as take-away gifts for a baby shower we put on a few weeks back. She used this wonderful mix that can be bought at Whole Foods and online. But wait, it gets better. For frosting, she used the recipe on the back of the bag but substituted the butter with coconut spread and water for coconut milk, then added a bit of coconut extract and sprinkled coconut flakes on the top. Coconut and chocolate?! I can't think of anything better. I snuck a couple of extras into my purse on the way out, don't tell.

The Faces of Construction for Change

Here's a slideshow a friend put together for the Construction for Change fundraiser that I blogged about last week. The majority of the pictures are ours from our travels. Enjoy!

What to Watch This Summer

Since most of our favorite shows are coming to an end for the year it's time to check out what's new for summer! I'm excited for the premiers a few shows, new and returning, especially since the rainy weather has returned with a vengeance here in Seattle.

I've never watched a full season of So You Think You Can Dance before but this preview got me thinking there's a first summer for everything, looks pretty good!

I'm really looking forward to Hemingway & Gelhorn, a miniseries on HBO about the relationship between journalist Martha Gelhorn and writer Earnest Hemingway in the 1930's. Check out the preview below, looks so good!

Sherlock is back! I loved the first season (my review here) and can't wait to see what BBC has up it's sleeve for season two.
The History Channel looks to have cooked up something good with Hatfields & McCoys, a new miniseries staring Bill Paxton and Kevin Costner in the famous American feud. Love the music in this preview.

I'm also going to give Bravo's new cooking show, Around the World in 80 Plates a shot and Patrick and I will be watching Suits together. 

What will you be watching this summer?

Wedding Wednesday: Tosses with a Twist

The creative wedding ideas are flowing after two weddings this weekend. I have a bunch of great detail ideas to share with you guys! This week, bouquet and garter tosses.

On Saturday the couple we worked with shook up the usual bouquet and garter tosses with a new spin on an old tradition. For the bouquet toss, the DJ invited ALL the female guests out onto the dance floor to participate. Instead of tossing a traditional bouquet, the bride tossed a fortune bouquet that consisted of a bunch of little bouquets that scattered throughout the crowd! Each little bundle of flowers the ladies caught had a fortune tied to it. I love this idea because you could write anything: a fortune, blessing, or you could even attach a gift card!

Martha tells you how to make a fortune bouquet here. 

And then for the garter toss...How many of you have been to a wedding where the single gentlemen are hiding behind things avoiding coming out for the garter toss? When they've reluctantly made their way to the dance floor, the garter is tossed and no one makes a move to catch it at all, instead the guys stand with their hands behind their backs and everyone watches it awkwardly fall to the floor. Well, I have your remedy.

This creative couple had the DJ invite ALL of the male guests to the dance floor and then announced that the winner of the garter toss received a bottle of Crown Royal, you better believe that got every last guy in the room out of their chairs. Needless to say, the garter toss was a huge hit.

I love these updated versions of  traditional wedding staples because the couple included all of their guests, not just the single ones. I've spoken with many unattached friends who dread that awkward moment when they have to walk out on the dance floor announcing their singleness to all of the guests at the wedding. Especially if you only have a few single guests, all the more reason not to call them out.

Have you seen any other creative twists on tosses?

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Farmer Teresa?

Do you ever dream about starting a life totally different than the one you have right now? Patrick and I are definitely city people, we love the hustle and bustle of being in the middle of town and the convenience of living near great restaurants, shops, culture and people. We don’t really know how to survive in the wilderness (despite many episodes of Bear Grylls: Man vs. Wild on my part). All that to say, we don’t spend much time in the “great outdoors” (I took him camping for the first time in his life four years ago!).

Buuut... sometimes I dream about moving to the country, living on a working farm, growing my own food, and having chickens, goats, dogs, pigs, and lots of rescued cats. I grew up spending a lot of time outside and would love for my kids to be able to run free someday and not be confined by the city. I was surfing the internet the other day and came across this fabulous farmhouse out on Bainbridge cool is it?!

I also stumbled upon this website about some local folks who raise goats and make award-winning goat cheese-- looks like fun, right?!  

But.... maybe I should start a little smaller by growing some herbs or making my own mozzarella this summer...

A Graduation Party

You're Invited... to check out the amazing graduation party we threw last spring! Do you have a grad? Here are some fun ideas.

Who: Last year, our wonderfully awesome JKoe Photography intern, Zoe, graduated from high school. Because Zoe is so amazing, she needed an equally amazing party.  We called it The Zoe Extravaganza. 

What: My inspiration was a little kid's backyard birthday! It's a PERFECT theme for someone graduating high school and entering the real world. A celebration of youth if you will. 

Food: What do kids like to eat? We served pizza, kettle corn, Mexican coke in the bottle with fun straws and had a gourmet s'more bar later in the evening. For the s'more bar, on top of the regular supplies, I added, banana, nutella, white chocolate, strawberries, pineapple, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat bars, Andie's Mints, peanut butter and apples and let people go to town making all sorts of yummy combinations. 

Games: We had a rousing round of "Zoe Trivia" and then, what little kid party is complete without a piñata? We also had corn hole and ping pong. Guests were given bubbles, pinwheels and other little toys to enjoy too. We set out Jenga for people to play throughout the evening and then sign blocks as sort of a guest book for Zoe. 

Photo Booth: We are photographers, she is a photographer, so naturally, there was a photo booth. We set it up in the side yard with our chaise lounge and fun props keeping with the kid-party theme. There was even a teddy bear. 

The End: We concluded the night's festivities with our gourmet s'mores, glow sticks and sparklers. 

Monday Motivation

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 
― Mother Teresa

(sunrise over Lake Washington by John Cuthbert)

Friday Roundup

While everyone else is thrilled for their weekend to begin, I feel like mine is ending. I've spent the last few days enjoying the sun and gearing up for two weddings this weekend. Both are at beautiful locations and I'll be sure to be looking for  Wedding Wednesday ideas to share! What will you be doing this weekend?

My sister and I are trying this out in my backyard. If it goes well, I'll post about it soon.

How to open a beer with a piece of paper.  Really.

Who else has gotten sucked in to marathons of Teen Mom? Catelynn and Tyler were always my favorite and this article has a few more reasons to love them.

Do you have blue eyes? We might be related! 

Super cute & reasonably priced summer dresses.

I want to try making this. Strawberries & Champagne are a great combo.

A recent study finds that coffee drinkers may live longer. I'm headed to get an Americano right now!

Creative uses for broaches. 

Check out Gidget and other great vintage shots from movies, LIFE magazine, advertisements, etc. on Love Music Wine and Revolution, which is where I got the amazing shot of Sandra Dee as Gidget, above. Discovered via another favorite blog,  Miss Moss.

Also, a friend showed me this video. Very creative wedding idea.

Sporty in the Studio: Barre Class Trial

Have you tried a Barre exercise class yet? Jenny and I had heard about the new trendy workout class that combines ballet, yoga and Pilates from a few friends and decided we needed to give it a shot ourselves. We found a deal for newbies to try out three classes for $30 at Barre3 and scooped it up a while back. Since then we found ourselves on Seattle's Capitol Hill awkwardly graciously making our way through three very different classes. 

As you can assume from the name, the class is centered around the ballet barre and mirrors that surround the outsides of the classroom. Each person uses a very sturdy but flexible ball, a strap, 1-3 lb hand weights, and a mat throughout the class. After a brief cardio warm up the bulk of the class involves tiny, 1-2inch, movements of the body while holding the muscles taunt in various positions. Throughout the class you should end up working most major areas of the body with an emphasis on the core.

We went into our first class expecting to get our behinds kicked as neither of us has much experience with ballet or Pilates. Unfortunately, the class was way too easy and not really worth the cash we put out for it. The second class was more challenging and offered some good alternative poses for us beginners. The third class (my favorite), taught be Lindsay, was by far the most sweat-inducing and we definitely couldn’t do all the moves that some of the more experienced Barries (Barristers?) expertly executed. There could have been a few modifications offered for the less experienced but overall we "felt the burn" and it was a great toning workout.

Like its predecessors  Pilates and yoga, Barre isn’t for folks who are trying to get a cardio workout. The class is great for people who want to tone their bodies and build lean muscle while listening to modern music. We suggest that they add “levels” to the class titles as we went to three classes with the same name that varied wildly in their difficulty.

As for Jenny and I, we’ll probably stick to yoga on a regular basis as we like the stretching and meditative elements in that practice that are not found in Barre. But I’d love to swing back by for an occasional work out and to learn some great new moves to use at the gym or after jogging. 

PS. Check out our other "Sporty" posts if you're interested!

(all pictures from the Barre3 blog)

Extra-Large House Cat

So last night, I  jumped on Pinterest only to discover that my feed had been taken over by this super long strip of pictures that looked like someone had basically subbed out the family dog for a lion. 

I was immediately intrigued. Who were they and why did they have their own personal Aslan poking around their fridge and swimming with them?

A couple of google searches later, I found out that the family in the photos is that of actress/model Tippi Hedren, best known for staring in Hitchcock's The Birds. Melanie Griffith is her daughter. In fact, that's Melanie in bed with Neil the lion! 

Hedren founded The Shambala Preserve, an animal sanctuary just north of L.A. and Neil was a part of their family. 

And if that isn't enough cute lion for you, have you seen this

Lovely Lilacs

Every spring I look forward to lilacs. One of my favorite things about our house is the giant lilac bush, that's really more of a lilac tree, in our backyard. I wake up to it every morning out my bedroom window. It smells wonderful. I like to put little bunches of it in to mason jars and fill my house with them and gift them to friends and often times moms as it conveniently times it's blooming right around Mother's Day!

The Philosophy of Wedding Photos

I have a little bit of wedding philosophy for you. Consider this some very basic tips for being in the right frame of mind for getting amazing photos on your wedding day. Having a good photographer is key, beyond that, there are some things you can do to insure you look your best, happiest, most in love in your photos.

Be relaxed. Sometimes this means having a mimosa with your bridesmaids before you start photos. Just one though.
Be on time. Make sure you include enough time for photos. I usually suggest even scheduling extra time so you can have a cushion in case hair and makeup runs late. More time is always better. You can always take a break after.

Be Playful. It makes for great photos. 
Be flexible. Sometimes the weather or light just isn't cooperating. Maybe there's a huge crowd of people right where you want to shoot. Trust your photographer if they suggest doing something other than what you had in mind. It could be the difference between a mediocre shoot where you wanted or an amazing photo-op somewhere slightly different. 

Be in the moment. Don’t worry about what happened before photos or what comes next in the schedule of the day. You're only going to do this once. Enjoy it. If you're stressed or rushed, you'll be able to see it in the photos. 

Be away. Go somewhere fun and away from other people so you don't have to feel nervous because people are watching, you can have a private moment together and you don't have people running up to you to ask random questions about details. Let other people figure out the last minute details and enjoy this time together.

Be done before the ceremony. This is definitely a personal choice, but here's why I suggest it. 
Be fearless. Sometimes brides step into the dress and suddenly feel like they can hardly move for fear of getting the dress dirty. Well, just know, if you're wearing something white that touches the floor, the underside is bound to get a little dirty but no one will notice, I promise. Don't miss out on amazing photos because you're afraid of a little dirt. You're only going to wear the dress once anyway. (However, I will say, the photo above was taken after the ceremony.)

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

All images JKoe Photography.

Drink of the Month: Lavender Cocktail (with Lavender Fondue!)

Yesterday Jenny, Brittany and I had a little Lavender Party in Britt's back garden to celebrate the unseasonably warm weather that we've had here in Seattle. 
Here is the recipe we used for our yummy Lavender Cocktails
2-3 oz Gin 
3/4 oz Lavender Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Bitters
2-3 sprigs Mint

Muddle mint sprigs in lime juice, bitters and simple syrup. Add gin and ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf and lavender. 

Jenny made the delicious Lavender Syrup beforehand:
• 1/4 cup Lavender Flowers (stripped from stalk)
• 1 cup Sugar
• 1 cup Water
Add ingredients to a pot. Heat while stirring with a spoon until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit for 2 hours. Strain into a bottle or other container, and store in the refrigerator. 
We also had a delicious Lavender Goat Cheese Fondue using the Palace Kitchen's recipe!
  • 3/4 cup dry Riesling 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) herb-flavor fresh chèvre (goat) cheese
  • Pepper
  • Fuji apples (1/2 lb. each), rinsed, cored, and sliced 
  • Preparation
    • In a 1- to 2-quart pan or fondue pan over high heat, boil wine and lavender until reduced to 1/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes.
    • Reduce heat to medium-high, add chèvre, and stir until boiling, about 4 minutes. Add pepper to taste. Set pan over a candle or on an electric warming tray.
    • Use forks or thin wood skewers to spear bread and apple slices and dunk them into fondue.

  • PS. Brittany prepared the other delish dishes you see above including the Japanese Cucumber Salad and Cilantro Lime White Bean Hummus

  • (Cocktail recipe inspired by Cocktail VirginPhotos by our own Jenny of JKoe Photography).

Kenya Photo Gallery

Jason and I've spent the last few weeks running around like crazy people putting together a gallery of images from our Kenya trip for the annual Construction for Change fundraiser. This year, the majority of the funds will go to build is a clinic in Mbita, Kenya, run by Med 25.

This is our fourth year traveling to shoot for Construction for Change and doing a gallery of the images. Each year I think it'll get easier and be less stressful, I try to plan ahead instead of procrastinate. Regardless of what I do, seems to come down to the wire each time.There is this sort of unspoken pressure of wanting to represent the people and communities in the photos as best we can, wanting to give them a voice through the images.  Despite a few hectic "working with your spouse is difficult"  moments, (like when Jason wanted to order more prints just hours before the event began!) killer traffic due to Obama being in town and a couple of shattered picture frames, it looked pretty flawless in the end.

PS. That cute old couple in the photo right above, that's Barack Obama's great aunt and her husband. I kid you not, she's his grandma's sister and a really sweet lady.