as GOLD as it gets

Life's adventures should be fully accessorized!

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pleasant valley lavender


I am so excited to share these photos. After church we stopped by Pleasant Valley Lavender Farm and it did not disappoint. I’ve been wanting to go for awhile but missed the season last year. Today they told us the peak was really around July 4th but I truly couldn’t tell because the fields smelled amazing. They were so kind and took us around briefly and told us how different lavender smelled differently and you could rub it between your fingers and tell some were more earthy and others sweet smelling. _MG_2913They give you scissors and a basket and you are set free to roam. The are fields all around their house with a little tent shop set up out front. They even had baked lavender cookies that they let us sample! IMG_2895

The bees and butterflies were everywhere but none of them seemed to care about humans traipsing through they just buzzed around us. IMG_2935IMG_2937IMG_2978IMG_2938IMG_2939IMG_2941IMG_2946IMG_2981IMG_2986IMG_2992

This is the perfect escape in New Jersey to fool yourself into thinking you are in France for an hour or two!


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award-winning spicy & tart blueberry pie

award winning blueberry apple pie

I love participating in our local farmer’s market but the judges and competition are tough! This year I couldn’t believe I actually got third place! I pretty much went into it with low expectations but was thrilled!

The pectin in the apple really helps to firm it up so its more substantial and not soupy…if you’ve made blueberry pie before you know what I mean 😉

3/4 cup sugar
4Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1) Combine 1 1/2 blueberries, the sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the water in a medium saucepan. Set over low heat and cook, stirring often until the blueberries have become very juicy and the sugar has dissolved. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining water, then stir in about a third of the blueberry juices. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, return to the heat and cook stirring constantly until thickened and clear (3 min)
2) Remove from the heat, scrap the filling into a medium bow and stir in the spices. Let cool.
3) Set a rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 375
4) Fold the remaining blueberries and apple into the cooled filling
5) Scrap into the piecrust and spread evenly. Dot with the butter and arrange the top crust. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar
6) Place the pie in the over and decrease the temperature to 350 F. Bake until the crust is baked through and the juices are actively simmering, about 45 min.
7) Cool the pie on the rack and serve warm
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 Tablespoons chilled butter, cut into 12 pieces
1) Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor, pulse several times until combined
2) Add the butter and pulse again until the butter is finely mixed into the dry ingredients.
3) Use a fork to beat the eggs until the yolks are broken and pour into food processor. Pulse again until the dough almost forms a ball.
4) Invert the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead together 3-4 times to make it smooth.
5) Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form them into disks and wrap them each in plastic. Chill for a few hours before rolling.

6) Before rolling the dough, place on a floured surface and gently knead until smooth and malleable.

The recipe came from this book.


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Kennebunkport, Maine

kennebunkport flower box

We had the best weekend exploring Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kennebunkport Maine!  As we were driving into town we were already plotting our way to come back. The town is SO charming and the shops people are kind and the other tourists are polite and clean! HAve you ever been where they are not? It’s truly a thing to note! I did some research on things to do before we went (see how I do it here) and it couldn’t have been a better day.
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DIY large paper tissue flowers

This weekend I’m hosting brunch for Mother’s day for my mother in law (hopefully she’s not seeing this yet…). I’ll show more photos later but I wanted to share these beforehand. This is such an easy and inexpensive craft to do for a party. I got all of my materials from the dollar store! I found this great tutorial from A Blissful Nest and only slightly changed it.
large paper flower

Wouldn’t these be pretty for a baby shower or even left in a bathroom like this at a party. It reminded me of a water lilly and I just put it here so I could see what it looked like (#craftinginbedproblems)

DIY large paper tissue flower

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blueberry picking at terhune orchards

I’ve done a few posts on how much I love Terhune Orchards before (here and here). If you are in the Princeton, New Jersey area you should definitely check it out. We headed out to the farm to pick some blueberries for the West Windsor Farmers Market Blueberry Pie contest that I’m participating in.

blueberry pick you own - terhune orchards

The farm has so many different areas that you can “pick your own” but we hit up the blueberry patch. It’s a little bit intimidating deciphering which ones are the best to pick but it was fun going up and down the aisles and finding little patches are darker ripe blueberries. blueberry pick you own - terhune orchardsIt was fun until we were sweating and beetles and other swarming creatures kept coming at us. Luckily we ended up having plenty of blueberries for my pie and headed over to the farm store for apple cider donuts.
blueberry picking terhune orchardterhune orchardsI’ll post pictures and the recipe of my blueberry pie later this week!


the best picnic snacks

Our attempt at a picnic and fireworks were unfortunately rained out last night. But that didn’t stop us from still haven’t a picnic! We pulled a blanket out in the living room and had an indoor picnic for the 4th.
best picnic snacks

(Lilly Market Bag above, in jellies be jammin’)

These are some of my favorite picnic staples:
pick a soft and a hard cheese : I chose a white cheddar and brie
Multigrain crackers & pita chips (both from Trader Joes)
Salami, grapes and roasted asparagus all add a little variety to the heavy cheese and crackers
Don’t forget to pack something to drink! We love italian grapefruit soda

what to pack for a picnicClink & Drink cupswhat to pack for a picnic

Aren’t these gingham plates the cutest? Perfect for summer!
what to pack for a picnic

And you can’t forget to pack something sweet! Is anyone else OBSESSED with these soft sugar cookies?!

What are some of your favorite picnic essentials?


nautical party snack bar

This week we are in the Outerbanks for vacation and our first day of vacation happened to land on JPS’ birthday. Unfortunately most of his actual birthday was spent in the car from NJ to NC but we had a birthday breakfast and a nautical themed snack bar!

It was really fun to think about some snacks that everyone would like and that we could have a nautical spin on…nautical party snacks

fish & chips – potato chips
fishing bait – gummy worms
crab legs – pretzel sticks
seaweed – sour punch straws
nautical party snacksnautical party signs - wholesome to the partynautical party sailboat sugar cookiesBecause traveling with food can be beastly I tried to think of some simple things that could be made ahead and travel easily. I baked sugar cookies, decorated them and froze them a couple of weeks ago. I transported them in a cooler so the icing wouldn’t heat in the sun and smudge. I also made glazed donut muffins and added the sweetest anchors to them.

nautical party snacksnautical party signs - thirst aid station

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2015 Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale

2015 Lilly Warehouse Sale

Friends, I have survived. After a quick nap (if you can even call it that), Andrea and I got up at 230am, were on the road by 3am and in line by 415am. The line nearly wrapped around the entire Philly Expo Center + thats even with some amusement park line weaving inside the building and under a tent outside. It took us until 8:55 to actually get to shop. Here’s the thing….

2015 Lilly Warehouse Sale

There is a waiver now! Hallelujah for those animals that call themselves humans and apparently had no sensible mother to teach them how to act. The line was pretty insane but as always, Lilly Pulitzer CEO, Scott Beaumont was walking through the crowds. He is so nice and Andrea and I got a picture with him last time but we were looking rough so we didn’t take another one this year! He stopped and chatted with us, girls around us took pictures and then he asked when we got there, we told him about how much fun we had at Lilly for Target (and about my birthday party!) he was smiling the whole time and even moved up with us in line as the line started to move to keep chatting!

2015 Lilly Warehouse Sale

So I won’t go into the gory details. I had a great haul, only spending $92! Some of the prices were more expensive: totes at $69 v. $29-39 before. Elsa tops were around $69 I believe, shoes $89…so I chose to focus on more inexpensive items that I wouldn’t find for such a good deal elsewhere.

2015 Lilly Warehouse Sale

Zebra print dress is 3/4 sleeve and only $29 [can you believe that? similar are usually $98] but it doesn’t have a tag so I don’t know much more about it than that, murfee scarf (cashmere scarf) in she got sole, [originally $118, $34], on the rocks necklace [regularly $88, $19], pick me up pouch [originally $32, $9] that I’m going to use as a case for my iPad mini. I can’t believe I made it out in under $100, I was really trying to limit myself! I spent $92.68 on $336 retail!

They were constantly pushing out new inventory so if you haven’t headed to the sale yet don’t worry about things being there! They definitely are planning on it lasting the three days – this isn’t Lilly for Target! The line was longer than ever before, CEO Scott Beaumont also confirmed that he had never seen anything like it but he agreed the buzz around Lilly for Target made people come out early and in large quantities. I think that the line progressed more slowly and I can’t even be upset becauuuuuuse, the shopping experience was so much better than I remembered! They let fewer people in at a time so you could actually walk around and see what was there rather than have to just grab blind and head to a corner to sort through your stuff. I was actually super impressed with the sale and staff this year, they were really awesome! I was disappointed that the prices seemed higher…but what can you do?!


2015 Lilly Warehouse SaleA look back to 2013 Lilly Warehouse sale!


planning the perfect lilly pulitzer party!

I recently held a Lilly Pulitzer-inspired party. Here are some tips for you to have the perfect Lilly Pulitzer party! (or how to plan the best flamingo party!)

lilly pulitzer partyBe sure to theme your party to a print! I chose a flamingo print and based all the decisions on the print…but I had to add some gold! The gold balloons above can be found here, for just $1.50/balloon. They are a little hard to blow up so you’ll need a little bit of patience (and a flat iron to seal the balloon!).

flamingo cookies

Homemade sugar cookies / cookie cutter (similiar here) I made the tent signs on photoshop.

crepe paper photo booth wall | as GOLD as it gets blogI bought crepe paper streamers (yes the .88 ones at Party City!) I also made the banner and will do a DIY soon!

photo booth ideasLife’s a party. Dress like it!

shop sweet lulu balloons

These balloons were so fun to play with! I love getting party supplies at Shop Sweet Lulu! They don’t have these balloons anymore but I’m really like these and theselilly pulitzer party

I set up a little bubbly bar on a small table we have with flamingo straws, napkins, cups and three hot pink bottles from home goods ($2.99 each). You can’t see the cups well in this picture but they say clink and drink.

lilly pulitzer party

 She lived like every hour was happy hour.

lilly pulitzer party lilly pulitzer partyI loved sneaking these flamingo picks into the strawberry cupcakes. Isn’t that the cutest flamingo? He was a gift from my mother-in-law, and hes actually a watering can so he can be on our patio all summer long!


I also had chocolate frosted donuts (recipe here) and cake pops (recipe here). And in case you find yourself also needing a gold sequined table runner, you can find it for a steal here.

We had such a fun time and Lilly Pulitzer makes for a perfect party. To see more of this party check out #27lillydresses on instagram!

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how to have the best summer picnic

Memorial Day weekend is the best start to picnic season! Get out your picnic baskets and get ready to hit the park.

summer picnic | as GOLD as it gets blog

rittenhouse picnic | as GOLD as it gets

Have a quick stop to a market, or our fave philly pick, Dibruno Brothers. We picked up olives, prosciutto, rosemary gouda, mozzarella prosciutto, baguette, olive bread and a spicy pasta salad…and my favorite summer time drink San Pellegrino (in blood orange and clementine).

picnic essentials | as GOLD as it gets blog

Don’t have a large picnic blanket? Use a fabric tablecloth! We also used lilly for target napkins.

philadelphia picnic | as GOLD as it gets blog

snacks for picnic