{INSPIRATION} California Mission

Although this is a craft, food and decorating blog, I often find inspiration while I'm out and about.  Which is why I'm sharing our day trip to a California mission a few weeks ago.  I was instantly impressed and amazed at all the beauty and architecture it had to offer.  It definitely inspired me to write this POST after seeing all the cactus and terra cotta pots. The entire mission was a photographers dream come true.  Everything from the buildings to the bell towers to the gardens to the arch corridors. I could have spent all day there lounging around the central garden area taking pictures.

Just look at that pond.
It was filled with huge koi fish that weren't afraid to come up to the surface to say hello. 

Even the natural floors were lovely. 

There were activities throughout to keep the kiddos entertained, such as plate rubbing and adobe brick making.


As always we ended the day on a sweet note with fro-yo.  
{at a near by location}

I encourage all of you to get out and explore a new place...close to home or a day drive away.  You never know what you will find.

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{Craft} St. Patrick's Day Pom Pom Clutch

I like celebrating St. Patrick's Day but I never seem to have GREEN in my wardrobe.  I saw these fun green pom poms at the craft store for $1 and immediately thought of all those adorable pom pom garlands hanging across everyones fire place mantal on pinterest.  As cute as those garlands are {and trust me when I say I was very tempted to make one for my mantel} I wanted to use them for something I could take with me on St. Patty's Day to keep the pinching at bay.

Materials Needed
{Pom Pom Garland Clutch}
green pom poms
green twine
big needle
medium zipper pouch
hot glue gun

Materials Needed
{LUCKY Clutch}
green pom poms
medium zipper pouch
cork board letters
green sharpie marker
hot glue gun

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{DIY} Herb Garden in a Rasied Box Bed

 I have an amazing husband who is very talented when it comes to wood projects.  I had seen a raised bed planter on the pioneer woman's blog years ago and had to have one of my own.  So, I batted my eyes and sweetly asked {ok, begged} my dear husband to build me one...and he did!!!

I filled it will cilantro, chives, basil, parsley, dill, strawberries, and squash.  I could have planted each one from a seed but that just doesn't work for me.  I can be a very impatient person who prefers instant gratification, so naturally I bought already sprouted herbs.

Those strawberries are already so cute with it's tiny white flower.  I can picture me picking the red little berries and making this for a little afternoon cocktail hour.

I didn't have room for a tomato plant in my raised bed so I planted it off to the side.  I don't have great luck with tomatoes so we shall see how this beauty does.  I would like to make THIS so keep your fingers crossed.

I truly enjoy gardening.  I love being outside in the sunshine, weeding out the dead leaves and picking what my garden has grown.  I have dreams of one day selling my herbs at a farmers market and chatting with fresh food lovers about new recipes and favorite dishes.  In the mean, time this will have to do.  

P.S.  all those herbs will eventually be THIS. {yum!}

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{CRAFT} Bright Geometric Mini Succulent Pots

I have been admiring painted terra cotta pots on pinterest for some time now but couldn't find the right occasion for them.  If you live towards the west coast you are fully aware that winter is OVER! Spring has sprung and what better occasion for painting outdoors than warm beautiful weather.  I headed to Joann's craft store for the supplies and was pleasantly surprised at how inexpensive the materials were.  
{This would be a great birthday gift, mother's day gift, or house warming gift}

Materials Needed:
3 small terra cotta pots
3 mini succulent plants
3 acrylic paint colors
1 paint brush
painters tape

Start by taping off a triangle shape {just eye ball it} anywhere on the pot.  

Paint your triangle in one color and allow the paint to dry {10-15 min}

Remove the painters tape and paint the rest of the pot in a different color.  

 Once you have painted all three pots in different {but coordinating colors}, allow the paint to dry. One side of the pot will be a nice solid bright color,

The other side will have these cool geometric triangles.  Add your mini succulents {plastic pot and all}  

Find a great place inside or outside to display your new pots or give as a gift. 

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{BAKE} Red Velvet Valentine's Day Surprise

Treat your Valentine with these deliciously sweet RED VELVET CUPCAKES.  Whether you are going out to a fancy dinner or ordering in your favorite pizza, these sweet cupcakes will surely impress your loved ones. 

Here are some fool proof and fantastic Red Velvet Cupcake Recipes
{or you could buy the boxed stuff...your secret is safe with me}

Don't want to blow that diet you've been working so hard at since the great Christmas food purge...
try mini red velvet cupcakes instead...

A two bite cupcake that will allow you to indulge just a tiny bit without over doing it.  

I know I enjoyed them!

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{BAKE} JUMBO Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These oatmeal cookies are far better than you think they are.  They have chocolate chips instead of raisins.  The texture is just as you would imagine an oatmeal cookie to be.  Dense, chewy, hints of spices with the perfect crispy edge.  


    • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
      1 cup light brown sugar
      1 cup granulated sugar
      2 eggs
      3/4 cup whole wheat flour
      3/4 cup all purpose flour
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      3 cups rolled oats
      1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter until creamy in an electric mixer. Add sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. 
  2. Mix flours, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon together, then stir them into butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. 
  3. Using 1/4 measuring cup scoop dough and roll into large balls.  Placing each dough round onto parchment paper–covered or silplat covered, large cookie sheets. Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. {Halfway during baking, turn cookie sheets}  Let cool on cooling racks for 20-30 min.ENJOY!
    simply made by Stephanie


{GIVE} Valnetine's Day Gifts

Every year I give my little valentine's {my kiddos} some sweet goodies to show them how special they are too me.  This year is going to be no different, which is why I have already started prepping their treats.  These would be great for friends, teachers, cousins, or...anyone really!  
Who doesn't love sweets and treats?

{Push Pops filled with candy and Awesome bags filled with tiny treasures and candy can be found at Michaels Craft Stores}

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