Watson & Mayberry

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DIY

Poppy's Morning Market

Recipes, GatheringsSteph SheratonComment

It's no secret around here that we Sheratons love a themed get-together. In addition, there are few places we'd rather be than at a festive farmer's market. As our darling Penelope's 2nd birthday was quickly sneaking up on us, we'd planned to gather the fam the prior Saturday morning for a crepe brunch on the patio. Low key, small & intimate. Matt & had I unofficially agreed that we'd do "big parties" for the kids every other year & on the off years, we'd keep it light or do something extra fun as a fam. But as fellow creatives may agree, once the party's theme had come to me, it was near impossible to slow this train's roll- sorry babe. Now we had a full-blown shindig on our hands. Oops:). 

I normally don't start planning or gathering specifics for an event until the week of. With a handmade business to run, 2 babies to raise & a church that I want to actively serve in, ain't nobody got time to be obsessing WEEKS before. So this shindig was no different. The week of, I began to gather the decor (mostly from within our home & for sure a thrift store run or 2)!!

This year, like the year previous, I'd planned the party to be outside- with no feasible backup plan (which is sort of dumb in Seattle- I know). But I had a vision & wanted the party to be just so! I envisioned bluegrass music rockin', market "booths" scattered around our patio filled with beautiful things to eat & do. The Saturday of P's party, I woke up to rain. RAIN. I sat in the living room, killing time & waiting for a break in the wetness to rush out & set up. BUT IT JUST KEPT RAINING. 45 minutes before folks were due to show up, there was a break in the sprinkling & I frantically threw bunting & tables all over the slippery patio. As 10 o'clock struck, the sky filled with dark rain-filled clouds. I looked @ Matt, feeling totally defeated, & asked if we should cancel. Our home was a hot mess & had been completely dedecorated so I could use it all for the patio fest. He smiled reassuringly & said "Can't cancel now!" Isn't it a wonder that our spouses can calm our crazy & bring such constant comfort?

But like a birthday miracle, the sun slowly crept out, the outdoor hangs were spared & it dried up so fast I eventually got to even throw my rugs all over the patio like i'd envisioned. So many of my "ideas" never got to be displayed & so much left forgotten in the 30 min. scramble to "make a party" on the patio. But as always, PEOPLE WIN. Our morning was filled with people we adore, adults hung around sipping coffee & chatting, kids ran a muck laughing, & bluegrass blared amidst wild flowers & fresh crepes. It was PERFECT. The decor may have not been what I'd have hoped but we succeeded in creating a "feeling", People felt loved, memories were made, & our sweet Penelope had THE BEST DAY.

My fav moment of the whole gathering was near the end when my in-laws surprised Poppy in the driveway with a BMW convertible. It nearly made my heart burst to watch her cruise with a great big grin while all the kids chased her around.

Parties for our family have always been the perfect excuse to gather loved ones & create something beautiful. We felt so blessed to be surrounded by such fantastic friends & family. Thanks to all who came & loved on our girl:).

Here are a few details of the Morning Market & some simple DIY's

MORE COWBELL!! er, MORE BUNTING!!

It's my decorating go-to for sure. I accumulate more with each gathering & it adds so much life & color to have strewn about. And HELLO- SO CHEAP!! I hit up the Goodwill Outlet a few days previous & got a bag of vintage linens for under $2. A quick wash & dry & then cut into strips & voila!! Easy scrap fabric bunting (more pics @ end of post). Another fav bunting were these vintage doilies (thrifted as a set for $2) that I tied on cotton cord. I adored how it turned out!!

Another simple one that added so much charm was to hang all of my vintage aprons on a cotton cord, just as you would a clothes line. I'd planned to do the same with a beautiful stack of vintage doilies but ran out of time- boo!

Signage is always a must for me @ gatherings. I love when food is labeled with menus on chalkboards & fun signs are around. For our Farmer's Market theme, I spent $10 on lumber @ home depot & whipped up a bunch of signs. My fav is the "Poppy's Morning Market" posted sign. It was simple- 3 boards ($2/per & pre-stained) & painted. On the bottom I had my hubby staple on some chicken wire. The night before the party I tucked branches & wild flowers througout it, creating the most festive, whimsical entrance to the gathering.

Food for a Morning Market "brunch" theme was really fun & REALLY easy. I did a market run the week of & stocked up on lots of fresh berries & produce. My talented sister-in-law made a gorgeous homemade pie, my mom brought super fun donuts & my mom-in-law brought beautiful scones. So apparently it takes a village:). I busted out a plate of sprinkle cake pops as well (a go-to oreo cream cheese recipe thats SO EASY!! Recipe on Penelope's 1st bday blog post). My husband is quite the closet chef himself, so he had a "Creperie" booth & whipped up hot, fresh crepes for the whole crew.

The "naked" cake was a breeze as well. Want the dirty details?

I used 2 white cake boxed mixed & baked them in 2 different sized. When I was popping them out of the pan, a huge chunk fell off & I just laughed & patched it up w/ some frosting- oops. At 10pm the night before, I guess a girl just stops caring:). Simple Pinterest buttercream frosting went between the layers along w/ fresh cut strawberries & then I topped it w/ a bunch more berries. A little powdered sugar shake all over & voila!! a $5 masterpiece to be eaten by tiny toddler mouthes.

For drinks, we served a pitcher of cold brewed coffee with fresh cream & our homemade Brown Sugar Lavendar syrup (recipe in previous post). It was a HIT! We also served strawberry lemonade, OJ, & La Croux. But when there's coffee, who really needs anything else?

B/c it was a Farmer's Market theme, I'd planned to raid the local farmer's market the day before for fresh flowers. When I rolled in? It was closed- boo! And b/c it was Mother's Day weekend, fresh flowers & the grocery were SO EXPENSIVE! We ended up snagging a bouquet from Costco & the rest? I went out afterdark with a giant IKEA bag & shears & took a walk, snipping anything wild I could find on the sidewalks around our neighborhood haha! It ended up being quite thrifty & just as festive.

We covered all the "eating" tables with brown butcher paper & mason jars of crayons. We had done this @ our wedding way back when & it's always a win!!

And Penelope's darling mint dress w/ mustard & navy balloons?? Snagged it @ a consignment shop while I was pregnant with her & hoarded it all this time for her second b-day- it's amazing how perfect it was, pockets & all!!

Here's a few more snaps from the party!! Thanks "Auntie Lex" for capturing P's party so we could relive it over and over:). 

"Hey, Brown Sugar Lavender Syrup- GET IN MY COFFEE!!"

RecipesSteph SheratonComment
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Ah, springtime.

Yes, it snowed here in Seattle this week but we can't help but look forward to sunshine, Sunday morning runs to the Ballard Farmer's Market & dinners on the patio overlooking the sunset. But until then, this brown sugar lavender syrup in our coffee is EVERYTHING. And it's crazy easy.  

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking lavender
  • sauce pan
  • mason jar for storage
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for added flavor
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Step 1: Add water, sugar & lavender to the sauce pan.

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Step 2: Turn stove on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil.  

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Step 3: Turn down heat & allow to simmer for 2 minutes. (tick-tock, tick-tock)  This is when to add the vanilla extract if you're wanting a sweeter syrup flavor!!

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Step 4: Strain lavender with a paper towel or spoon.  Let cool. 

Step 5: Enjoy a tablespoon (or 2) in your java & pretend it's spring:). Store in a mason jar (or tight sealing container) in the fridge. If sealed properly, it'll be good for up to a month!

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Looking for some at-home coffee suggestions??

I'm a self-declared coffee snob. Having worked espresso before, I can spot a good cup'a joe & a fraud from a mile away.

We gave up on expensive espresso machines (they were so... well... expensive. And the espresso always started to have a weird "espresso machine" taste instead of just the flavor of the bean shining through) & fell in love w/ aero press for pulling our own shots. We pull 2 shots of espresso, add a tablespoon of our Brown Sugar Lavender syrup, a splash of cream, & pour over ice. DI-VINE.

Roasters we currently love?

  • Stumptown - "Hairbender" roast... b/c it's SO YUM & comes in our Smith Brothers Farm milk delivery.
  • Bird Rock Espresso - a random find on a trip to SoCal in La Jolla. The won micro brewer of the year!

Bottoms up! Happy weekend!!

Guest Feature: Olivia Rice & her charming east Texas home

Guest FeatureSteph SheratonComment

I'm under the notion that when you find a good thing you should share it. No, not offering' up my handsome husband for date nights, but my ride-or-die homegirl & past college roommate Olivia Rice has an eye for creating a home that I just HAD to highlight! Checkout our brief dialogue on the subject & feel free to fall in love with her gorgeous east Texas home via the photo candy:). Cheers!

Olivia & husband Micah.

Olivia & husband Micah.

Tell us a bit about yourself & how you'd describe your home.

I went from living in a small town outside the city of Seattle to living in a small town outside the city of Dallas. Quite the climate change, I know, but that’s what happens when you fall head over heels for a Texas boy. After seven years of living in our charming east Texas town, it continues to win my heart every day. It’s the kind of town where the grocer still walks your groceries to your car, where the local postman stops at the neighbor girl’s lemonade stand, and where we pull folding chairs to our front lawn to watch Fourth of July fireworks over the high school stadium. Our 1920’s bungalow home sits on the kind of street I grew up only reading about – lined with Colonial, Victorian, Tudor and cottage style houses all shaded by hundred year old pecan and magnolia trees. I never imagined I’d live in an old house. When we moved in I didn’t know the first thing about decorating or home renovations, and quite honestly, I still feel like a rookie!

What are a few of your favorite projects you’ve done in your home- details that you’ve created that you are most proud of?

My husband and I really wanted a buffet in our dining room, but my goodness, those things are not cheap! We were bopping around Home Depot one day and ran across a raw wood shop bench for $70. We both looked at it and then looked at each other like, “can we make this work?” We brought home, painted and roughed it up a little bit, and bam – the perfect dining room buffet! We laugh every time we remember that it is a tool bench.

Our room divider was one of the first pieces we found for our studio apartment during the first year of our marriage. We rescued the panels from my brother-in-law’s garage and fastened them together for the ultimate statement piece. We couldn’t afford a Christmas tree that first year, so we strung lights and hung ornaments on it. It was perfect. Fun fact – it was originally a window display at Neiman Marcus.

You know when you have an idea pictured in your head, but you have a sneaking suspicion it won’t turn out as good as you hoped. Well, that was NOT the case with our book lamp! Constructed out of vintage books and a wire basket for a shade, this piece is one of my ultimate favorites.

Having flowers in my house is such a treat. They add so much color and joy. So, when I stumbled upon one of Lia Griffith’s tutorials on how to make paper roses, I knew I had to try it. These beauties won’t ever wilt and are the perfect accessory to any mantle or dining room table.

With zero home renovating experience under our belts, my husband I decided to tackle a bathroom – eek! Hours of YouTube tutorials and coveted help from some handy friends later, we were in awe of what we were able to accomplish. If someone would have told me five years ago that I would be cutting and laying tile, taping and bedding walls, and building floating shelves I would have cried laughing. And now I feel like I can take on the world, ha!

You’ve been in your home for five years now. What have you learned along the way? Any tips for new homeowners or other folks wanting to redecorate?

Shop in your own home first. When I get bored with a spot in my house, like my mantle, the itch to buy something new is often irresistible. But, more often than not, simply switching up your existing pieces can make it feel like a brand new space, without having to spend any money. This is what my husband affectionately calls “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” ha! I will walk through the house pulling everything off of shelves, bookcases, tables and the mantle and plop it all on our dining room table. Simply lumping your pieces together in one hodgepodge can inspire a new combination of colors and textures. You’ll be amazed at how “new” your stuff will feel just placed in a different spot around your house.

Take it one space at a time. Decorating is overwhelming - so much space to fill, so many projects to complete. Pace yourself and take it one space at a time. I’ll admit, this is not easy for me. I look at a room and I see ten different projects and I want all ten done at the exact same time. Take your time, find pieces you love, and don’t rush to fill up your home with a bunch of clutter right away. For every cute corner in my house, I have three more just begging for attention.

If you love it, go for it. Your home is a reflection of you – of your family. Style it and fill it with pieces that make you happy. I know there are rules about how high to hang your curtains, which colors go best in certain season, and the ideal way to mount a photo collage, but at the end of the day, you have to live in your house and you should love it. The best compliment I receive about our home is when people tell me that it matches us – that it reflects our personality and style. Our desire has always been that our home is a place where people feel welcomed and loved, and if I can accomplish that with a cute chalkboard sign, colorful throw pillow or plate of chocolate chip cookies, you better believe I’m going for it!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Absolutely everywhere! Magazines, Instagram, blogs, storefronts, antique malls, flea markets, and my friends’ homes. I love that you can find inspiration anywhere. I also don’t think there is any shame in seeing something you like and simply recreating it. That is how I learned to decorate my house. I would see a picture of something I liked and I would replicate it. After doing that over and over, you start to get your own eye for design and feel more comfortable trying something original or unique. Like anything, decorating just takes practice.

She's such a peach, right?! Follow her insta @oliviarice & gander @ her blog www.griffithave.com where she shares random thoughts & everything she writes seems to strike a chord with me. As lovely as her home is, her soul is even more so. Feast your eyes on a few last photos of her charming slice of heaven.

Woodland Tea Party- swoon fest for our Penelope June's 1st Birthday!!

Steph SheratonComment

Sunday, May 15th we rang in our sweet Penelope June's 1st birthday w/ all the bells & whistles... ok, maybe not bells & whistles, but most definitely lots of tea cups, bubble machines, copious amounts of fabric & lace buntings, & most importantly- obnoxiously large floral crowns.

We laughed & swooned the afternoon away, enjoying the company of close friends & family & feeling over-the-top... BLESSED.

Of course it had been yet another gorgeous week in Seattle, like, bathed-both-babies-in-the kiddie-pool-on-the-patio-every-night kinda gorgeous. Then Saturday? It down poured. It rained all day Sunday as well w/ the exception of our party & the hour before it- a true birthday miracle! But b/c of weather & our usual busy Sunday morning @ church, by the time we got everything out to our little slice of heaven in the woods? We had 30 minutes to set up & decorate- YIKES. Thank goodness for a few good friends & family members who helped pull it all together!

Being a maker & a mama on a budget, I wanted to share how we pulled off this little love fest & for under $150- true story.

Here's how we did it- ready for the secret???

WE MADE PEOPLE PAY TO COME!

Ok- definitely not:D!

Here's the breakdown of the different elements of our little shindig & then a glorious photo gallery @ the end to eat your little hearts out!:)

 

PHOTOS!! I really wanted to "be in the moment" & not worry about capturing the moments I'd miss trying to capture them:). Our dear friend Candace took a million beauties for us- she's a midwife-to-be who also does all our W&M shoots, fam shoots, & was even there @ Penelope's birth to capture our first moments w/ her. We're obsessed! We also passed around our camera & got a bunch of gems from my mom & mother-in-law:).

Because our little Woodland Tea Party was in fact "in the woods" we had to provide our guests w/ directions of how to find our little magical spot. My hubbs picked up some lumber & we rigged these simple directional signs up right quick that marked the trail. So simple, so charming, & SO cheap. Some quick paint & scrap fringe? Voila. Total cost? $5.

Of course, when throwing a tea party, one must have a stellar table & spread!! We constructed ours in true Alice in Wonderland extravagance by connecting 2 long table & covering them with vintage floral sheets & table clothes (Total cost: $2). The table was sat with 6 chairs, each thrifted for $1/per & then painted or decorated. We also brought the 2 benches from our own farmhouse kitchen table to seat more buns. My favorite piece (still sitting on our patio since there's no spot in the house:D) is that wild floral chair!! I snagged it for $1.50 @ a Goodwill Outlet on a 1/2 price furniture day haha:). Here's how we decorated the table setting:

The table setting was basically a mod podge of stuff I just snagged from our house & threw in laundry bins. The different thing about throwing a party in the deeper woods is that if you forget something? There ain't no goin' back for it. But? That's SO much crap to carry!!! A few of the essentials I brought were some vintage floral tins, misc. mason jars we filled with fresh flowers I'd snagged that morning, & one of my fav details- 2 vintage egg baskets, each with an Anthropology Volcano candle burning in it so we can all agree- it smelt like HEAVEN in our little piece of the forest. We threw in lots of random things that I found charming- a vintage globe, some jadeite dishes & cake plates, & old Reader's Digest books w/ pretty patterned covers. Because it was a tea party, we obviously needed tea cups & such- not something I keep a million of around the house:). So here's what I did!! I thrifted them!! I snagged all of these for about $30 total (tried to spend no more than $1/piece). Another fun detail was the silverware. I snagged about 30 different silver forks w/ fun handles from a thrift store. It cost me about $4, so comparable to plastic flatware but was SO much more charming.

Everyone likes good food @ a party, am I right?! We lucked out a smidge in this dept. because our gathering was @ 3pm. We served up a tasty spread of gummy bears & peachios (that I purchased in bulk & my grocery checker TOTALLY gave me judgy eyes like I was just gonna sugar up my own toddler & bae w/ all that), homemade mini scones w/ jam (thanks to my baker-iffic sis-in-law), homemade lemon bars (thanks ma!), turkey wraps (thank ma-in-law!) & our party staple- cake pops. Here's my amazing life hack, fool proof, crazy-easy cake pop recipe:

World’s Best (& easiest) Cake Pops:
-1 package of oreos
-1 package of soft cream cheese
*Crush oreos (let your kiddo help w/ this by doing it in a large ziploc & letting them have at it!) & then mix in the cream cheese.
*Handle into small balls & allow to harden in the freezer
*Dip in candy chocolate, add a stick, & sprinkle!

We saved ourselves some major dimes by doing the cakes ourselves as well. I went super organic & cutting edge on these- or not so much. 3 boxes of Funfetti cake mix later, we had 2 2-layer cakes smothered in peach frosting & rainbow sprinkles- one for our guests & one for our little bae to smash to her hearts content:). We sugared everyone up w/ cake for less than $10.

DRINKS!! We set up our little yellow vintage table as the drink station. Because we're Seattle folk, coffee is always a must. We had a growler of cold brew (thanks Kels!!) w/ cream & homemade vanilla brown sugar syrup. We also served peach iced tea, water bottles & juice boxes b/c #kidparty .

The part I was most excited to see in action was setting up the "atmosphere". Ridiclous amounts of homemade fabric bunting, vintage quilt squares clothes pinned to twine draped between trees, & vintage doily dream catchers- every pop of color was so beautiful against the natural pallet of the forest. We also threw in a few chalkboards from home & took a few minutes to print off some pictures of this past year w/ our little dream girl. A simple element was a large wooden frame I snagged for $1 & spray painted gold. I push-pinned a few strands of vintage lace across the back & it provided the perfect canvas to display photos. The most magical additions were our lanterns. How to construct? I purchased 3 used lampshade covers ($6 total) & then cut off the fabric covering. I spray painted the structures gold & hot glued some vintage lace & random trims. Piece of cake!

At most kiddo parties, everyone gathers around for the present opening hay-day. To overcome this hurdle (& provide a cozy spot for babies to safely hang & crawl around) we laid out a waterproof tarp & then covered it w/ vintage quilts & cozy throws. Add a few pillows & it was basically glamping!!

 

Dressing the birthday girl- oh how i adored this part!!

I whipped up this darling sun suit for Miss P out of some beautiful eyelet lace my mom had snagged from Mood Fabric in New York & set aside for a special occasion. The matching mama-babe floral crowns I chose to purchase from a fellow mama & YOU GUYS. She was amazing to work with- I can't sing her praises enough. Check out her Insta @racooli.shop !!

Still reading? Here's a fun gallery of some special photos. What a perfect day for our little family!!