Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

i wanted to take a quick break from the kitchen to say happy thanksgiving!! the turkey is stuffed and the pie is made, the parade is on and i have enjoyed my first bellini. yum yum. i hope that this holiday is one filled with much love and gratitude for the multitude of blessings we can all find in our own lives. even in these times that can be scary and uncertain, i hope that each one of us can find the simple joys of life around us. our family will be especially thinking of all of those this holiday who have lost much in the recent fires. we hope you will find peace and restoration in time.

starting tomorrow, our shop, santa barbara gift baskets, is participating in a "buy local" campaign over the next four days. we are offering a 30% discount in the store and online with the code "localshops" as a thank you to all of our loyal clients who support our local business and the local farmers, artisans and vendors who create the wonderful products we love to sell. visit for more details about all of the small local shops participating nationwide.

blessings and love to you all. . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

advent treat

This advent calendar is just such a great idea from dsharp (photo credited to her, as well). .I am going to stay up all nite one nite to make this, I can already tell. Design Sponge has great photos of her amazing workspace and detailed instructions on how to make the calendar here. . .with fun little ideas for treats to slip inside. . . ie "make a candy encrusted graham cracker house". if that does not get you into the holiday spirit, i just don't know what will.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

drowning in apples

ok, so you all know i had the apple party. . .loved every part of it except the pressure for us to eat like 10 apples a day with the leftover decor. so i searched for a recipe for applesauce and found some, this is what i tried. i think it was delightful and oh so yummy:

peel, core and cut into 1 inch chunks- 4 lbs of apples (about 12 apples-i left the skin on one apple on accident, but i kind of liked the way it turned out)
put them in a big pot on the stove

add 1 and a half cups of water

add 1 cup of organic raw sugar (kind of naughty, but seriously, yummy, if you just can't do it, put a bit of honey in instead)

squeeze 2 lemons' juices into the pot

add a tiny tiny pinch of salt

add a grande pinch of cinnamon (an herbalist i know said that my daughter should be eating cinnamon everyday, so here is the way how)

put the stove on medium high, stir and mush every once in a while.

when most of the mix looks "applesaucy", but there are still a few chunks, turn off stove.

enjoy! so yummy. put it in mason jars and share. simple and sweet gift. attach the recipe so the gift can continue.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

shes the apple of my eye photos

shes the apple of my eye

madeira turns 4 on tuesday. so we had a party for her and a few of her girlfriends this saturday. she asked for a hello kitty theme, but being the kind of mom i am, i very subtly talked her into an apple party. it's fall afterall and how do i get crafty with plastic hello kitty stuff??? she had a great time and i did too. . .just wanted to share the photos with you. the girls made caramel apples and apple stamped goodie bags, we had yummy macaroni and cheese, hummus and veggies sticks, caramel popcorn, pita chips and apple chips, a great apple lemonade concoction (pear juice, lemonade and apple juice) that i discovered on party perfect's blog featuring a very inspiring green apple party and finally apple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (see links for recipes!) martha inspired the happy birthday sign and floating apple votives. . .thanks to madeira for letting me live out my fall apple party fantasy. . . daddy and i love you so much and can not believe you have been in our life for only four years. you bring us more joy than we ever thought possible and inspire us to be better with your free spirit and unconditional love for all people. we are blessed to be your parents. . . oh and just so you all know, i did buy hello kitty gear for the dinner we had at my parents house-i'm not a complete meanie.