margo jane is my fave

July 23, 2014

margo.name
I’m so happy to announce that his little gal joined our family on Friday. She was 8 1/2 pounds (we think it’s mostly in her cheeks), 21 inches, has a tiny bit of dark hair, and a scream as loud as her brothers. Her name is Margo Jane and we’re in love.

fruit crisp ice cream is my fave

July 17, 2014

fruit crisp ice cream
fruit crisp ice cream
Fruit Crisp Ice Cream

Start with:
brown sugar ice cream

Mix in:
oatmeal crumb topping
peaches
raspberries

I may have panicked thinking that the baby was going to come this week and by the time I got out of the house again, peach season would be over. So I made a special trip to Costco for a box of the greatest fruit in the world and I will eat them all within a matter of days. And then go back and buy a few more boxes because everyone lied to me and second babies don’t come any earlier than the first.

In conclusion, fresh peaches are the best non-chocolate ice cream mix in.

an ice cream crawl is my fave

July 16, 2014

ice cream crawl

It’s the summer of ice cream on yamf (have I made that painfully obvious yet?). If you’d like to join the cause of consumption, it’s time to organize the annual ice cream crawl. Gather up a group of fellow ice cream lovers, choose 3 to 5 shops to try in your area, bring along the scorecards, eat yourself silly, and declare a winner.

ice cream crawl

You can download these scorecards right here on Julep. They make things all official and such.

ice cream crawl

Another way to make things more official is to create maps for each of the guests. Here are the five scoop shops we hit up in Denver this year:

ice cream crawl

Glacier Ice Cream and Gelato – The place to go if you love variety and your ice cream with chunks.
Flavor to try: Funky Donky

ice cream crawl

Nuggs Ice Cream – Solid homemade ice cream but nothing really stood out to me here.
Flavor to try: Stellar Milky Way

ice cream crawl

High Point Creamery – If I opened an ice cream shop, this would be it. Every detail is spot on and the ice cream is the freshest I’ve ever tasted. The ice cream flight is absolute genius (five flavors, specialty toppings, hot fudge or caramel, and a tray that says Eat Your Heart Out).
Flavor to try: Chocolate Orange with Marshmallows or Mango Coconut Lassi

ice cream crawl

Em’s Ice Cream - Super fresh. Super creamy. Super tasty.
Flavor to try: Toasted Coconut (this blew me away)

Sweet Cow - I never met a flavor here that I didn’t like. Plus, pretzel cones!
Flavor to try: Oatmeal Cookie

Pace yourself and enjoy!

Psst, here are the five scoop shops we hit up last year.

scorecard and map design: Kirsten Bingham

thirty in a box is my fave

July 15, 2014

gift wrap ideas

On Sunday, my best friend Kelly turned 30 and I thought if there were ever an occasion that called for a monumental in-a-box, this was it. So recalling Jane’s fortieth birthday box, I gathered up 30 presents. For the wrapping, I stuck with kraft paper and cardboard and simple embellishments (all found in my supply closet, thank you hoarding tendencies). Here’s just a sampling.

gift wrap ideas
gift wrap ideas
gift wrap ideas

While thinking of 30 gifts would be difficult to attempt for most people, I found it was like shopping for myself and it was nice to have an excuse to buy all those Target finds that I can never justify. Here are some of the items included (I left out the less photogenic stuff like Sixlets).

thirty in a box

sources: socks from Target, garland from Target, Gap clutch, motto journal, Orla Kiely purse kit, tape and dispenser from Target, salt water taffy, happy cards, candle, seed packets, haters gonna hate sticker, twist scarf, 30 sparklers, mini heart, the short list, have a nice day stamp, perpetual calendar from Target, necklace, post-its from Target

I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn, I’m sharing to encourage the sending of care packages. So go forth and brighten someone’s mailbox.

fridays are my fave

July 11, 2014

friday.faves

1. I honestly have never served cheese yet I want all of these cheese plates
2. Frozen treats have been my lunch of choice this past month (never again summer pregnancy, never again)
3. Dots and poms make a plain cushion sing (and a fave new blog)
4. I cannot believe this midsummer mingle was put together in three weeks (the hostesses are magic)
5. Erin Jang’s invitation designs make me want to go paperless

cowboy bark ice cream is my fave

July 10, 2014

chocolate homemade ice cream
homemade chocolate ice cream

Cowboy Bark Ice Cream

Start with:
dark chocolate ice cream (with a sprinkle of salt)

Mix in:
pretzels
honey roasted peanuts
toffee bits
chocolate sandwich cookies

Trader Joe’s finally came to Denver (tough life we westerners have) so I feel it my duty to try one different treat every time I shop. Cowboy bark recently landed in my cart and I felt the need to mix it into ice cream because my theory is if you’re going to have dessert, have dessert. This one’s a winner.

color blocked canisters are my fave

July 9, 2014

diy gift wrap
Two things I’ve made clear: I’m crummy at getting wrapping paper corners to lay flat and I love Martha Stewart Crafts Acrylic Paints. Hence, this steamer turned color blocked gift container.
diy color blocked canisters
To make your own you’ll need:
- bamboo steamer
- acrylic paint (I used Martha Stewart Crafts Acrylic Paints in party streamer, wild salmon, and gold)
- basic paint brushes

All you need to do is paint the outside of the steamer (I did two coats), then let dry, and gift away. IF they like it enough, the gift recipient can even repurpose it as a storage container for bits and baubles or beef jerky. Their call.

diy gift wrap
gift wrapping ideas

photos: Jennifer Little

This project is part of 12 Months of Martha, one craft a month using products from the Martha Stewart Craft line.

celebrating america is my fave

July 3, 2014

modern maps

Have a happy, happy 4th!

1. Montana Flags Map from These are Things
2. California felt pennant
3. Colorado State Map from Bri Buckley
4. National Parks Checklist Map from Ello There
5. Wonderful Forever, National Parks Map from Best Made Company

an ice cream party is my fave

July 2, 2014

It’s National Ice Cream Month, yippee! Since I like to encourage as much ice cream intake as possible, today I’m sharing tips on how to pull together a frosty fete.

ice cream party invitations
ice cream party invitations

Send: This ice cream invitation! Simply download, print, fill-in and mail to anyone who appreciates summer and ice cream. Anybody else can stay home.

Decorate with: citrus hued balloons. Don’t overthink it, get some balloons blown up and lay out some picnic blankets then call it a day.

homemade chocolate gelato
ice cream party ideas

Serve: Ice cream, toppings, and Starbucks Discoveries Iced Café Favorites™ – Caffe Mocha (for an extra treat).

Here are some ideas for toppings to set out : fresh fruit, waffle cone bits, cookie dough balls, brownie chunks, gummy bears, sprinkles, hot fudge, pirouette cookies, Oreos, crushed candy bars, chocolate covered pretzels, caramel.

homemade coffee ice cream
ice cream party ideas

Make: Caffe Mocha Gelato. I love homemade ice cream so I usually make my own for such an occasion. Here’s a favorite flavor among the adults.

Caffe Mocha Gelato (adjusted from Ina Garten’s Deeply Chocolate Gelato)

Ingredients:
- 2 cups Starbucks Discoveries Iced Café Favorites™ – Caffe Mocha
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 extra-large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Large pinch kosher salt
- 8 chocolates, roughly chopped, optional

Directions:
Heat the Starbucks Discoveries Iced Café Favorites™ – Caffe Mocha, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar in a 2-quart saucepan, until the sugar dissolves and the milk starts to simmer. Add the cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour into a heat-proof measuring cup.

Place the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and very thick. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the egg and chocolate mixture back into the 2-quart saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. A candy thermometer will register about 180 degrees F. Don’t allow the mixture to boil!

Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla and salt. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and chill completely.

Pour the custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. Stir in the roughly chopped chocolate, if using, and freeze in covered containers. Allow the gelato to thaw slightly before serving.

ice cream container labels
ice cream container labels
ice cream container labels

Send guests home with: A carton for themselves! Pre-package ice cream in pints (buy them right here) and customize with these wraps and lid toppers free for you to download. Then your guests can grab their favorite on their way out.

And you’re done (and have solidified your title as best party host ever).

ice cream care package

Love summer and ice cream as much as I do? I put together an in-a-box to go with this party and it’s up for grabs today! It includes:

- you’re cool card
- popsicle string lights
- popsicle temporary tattoos
- ice cream cups
- Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones
- Coupons for 5 free cartons of Starbucks Discoveries Iced Café Favorites

To enter, simply comment on this post before eod Friday, July 4th. Winner will be randomly chosen then notified by me via email. Good luck!

*No purchase necessary to participate or win. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal US residents eighteen (18) years of age or order, except employees and the families of Bellalimento.com (“Sponsor”) or any company or agency responsible for the sweepstakes or any prize provided (“Sweepstakes Participants”). Enter by posting comment on the Site from July 2 – 4. A winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries. The prize is a variety of goods valued at $100. One entry per person, per email address. All determinations by Sponsor are final. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. No cash substitutions for prizes and prizes are non-refundable and non-transferable except at sole discretion of Sponsor who reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. Entrant’s name and entry may be used for promotional purposes without additional compensation unless prohibited by law. Winners release Sweepstakes Participants from all claims and damages associated with the Sweepstakes and use of the prize. Subject to all federal, state and local laws. Winner is responsible for any taxes on prize.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Starbucks Coffee Company. All opinions are my own.

photos of invitation and ice cream packaging: Jennifer Little
invitation and ice cream package design: Kirsten Bingham

fourth of july paper bags are my fave

June 30, 2014

4th of July printables

If that American flag jumpsuit just isn’t festive enough for you this weekend, how about printing some American pride onto paper bags? They’re perfect for storing loot from the parade, picnic lunches, or goody/distraction bags for the kids. You could even print the designs on removable tattoo paper.

Get the free printable right here on Julep.

Design: Kirsten Bingham


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