Lavender Lemonade

homemade lavender lemonade

When I was in college, I took a Marine Biology class one semester. I’d always been interested in the ocean and it fulfilled one of my science elective requirements. Plus my friend was the TA and he said I’d love it. Little did I know that taking that class would be one of the best things I ever did. As luck would have it, my Marine Biology class was the one and only prerequisite for a Marine Biology field study program the professor did every summer in Monterey Bay. I hadn’t even really known about the field study when I signed up for the class, and I didn’t apply for the program. But they had a student drop out at the last minute, and because I met the only requirement (and because my friend was the TA), I got offered the open spot. Going to Monterey that summer was hands-down the most magical, wonderful experience of my entire four years at college, and one of the best times of my life. We worked all day taking detailed notes, collecting specimens, and doing research. We woke up early, like before the sun comes up early, to tromp around the beach in big gumboots at low tide looking for chitons and barnacles and anemones. And when we weren’t in class, we ate at restaurants on Cannery Row, or watched the sunset on the beach in Carmel, or slept in sleeping bags under the stars outside Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, or ate mexican food and bought trinkets at the farmers market in downtown Monterey. I get wistful just thinking about it.

You’re probably wondering what in the world this has to do with lavender lemonade! Our professor, Dr. Braithwaite, cooked for us a few times during our program. I don’t know about everyone else, but it forever endeared him to me. Once, he made us pancakes after a particularly early field trip to Elkhorn Slough to dig up weenie worms, which look about like you’d imagine based on their name. Another time, he made us an amazing bean soup, which I was lucky enough to get the recipe for. And once, he made us lavender lemonade and told us how much he loved it. And I’ve always loved it because of him.

You probably didn’t have that same experience in college, but lavender lemonade tastes amazing either way! It is refreshing and sophisticated, and the perfect drink for summertime. You can find the recipe, which is delightfully easy, on my latest Design to Dish post for Julep.

minted 40th birthday party bbq

A 40th Birthday Party

My husband turned 40 a few weeks ago, and we threw him a beautiful party in our backyard. Back when we were still building our house, we talked about how fun it would be to move in and throw a housewarming party, to invite our friends and new neighbors over to visit and eat good… 

Read More »

white kitchen with subway tile and open shelves

Dream House Update: Kitchen Tour Photos!

It’s the end of our first full week of summer vacation, and I must say, it’s been a doozy. It always takes a little time to hit your stride with a new schedule, and let’s just say I’m really looking forward to the weekend. We have a birthday party, a Midsummer celebration, a Father’s Day BBQ,… 

Read More »

old fashioned oatmeal cookies recipe

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

My husband and kids love oatmeal cookies, but it took me a few years to find the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe. Some recipes I tried made cookies that were cakey, and some recipes made cookies that were buttery and paper thin. What I wanted was a cookie that was somewhere in between. I wanted a thick, chewy,… 

Read More »

homemade chocolate pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Other than my friend Kristy who doesn’t like chocolate (I know, I know), I can’t imagine anyone not loving chocolate pudding. It’s one of those tasty concoctions that we fall in love with as children and never really outgrow, and this homemade version is spectacular. I like store-bought chocolate pudding cups as much as the next person…. 

Read More »

white kitchen subway tile

Dream House Update | Kitchen Photos

I promised kitchen photos last week and failed to deliver. Whomp whomp. It was a busy week that ended with a huge birthday party in our backyard, and we spent all week getting ready, and all weekend having fun. But, as promised, you can find kitchen photos on my Dream House post for Style Spotters!… 

Read More »

pacific northwest apricot trees

Dream House Update: Spring Projects

You’d think that moving into your dream house would mark the end of home improvement projects. Since it’s a brand new house (and a completely perfect one at that), you’d think there would be at least a modest amount of time where you weren’t working on anything house related. But I think moving into the new… 

Read More »

hello sessions blogging conference portland pacific northwest

The Hello Sessions Ticket Info

UPDATE 5/28/15: Tickets are on sale now! Click HERE to go to the registration website. My friend Joy and I have been planning our little conference, The Hello Sessions, for almost two years, and I’m delighted to announce that tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 9am PST! Tickets are $250 (plus fees) and there… 

Read More »

swirly homemade popsicles with fruit and yogurt

Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles for Memorial Day Weekend

  I can’t believe it’s already Memorial Day Weekend! It’s been rainy here for the past week, but I’m hopeful that we’ll have some warm, sunny weather so we can barbecue and play outside and eat popsicles. I made a batch of delicious popsicles a few weeks ago when we are having a particularly glorious weekend…. 

Read More »

lemon cream cheese pie cheesecake

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

My husband’s favorite pie in the whole, wide world is a Lemon Cream Cheese Pie from a place that isn’t open anymore. Sad face. Luckily, I concocted a pretty close and incredibly delectable homemade version last month, and my husband was completely over the moon with happiness. It has a sweet and buttery graham cracker… 

Read More »

white panel wall inspiration board

Dream House Update: A Mudroom Inspiration Board

Even though we’ve been super busy writing books and coaching 3rd grade soccer teams lately, we miraculously found time to start working on the much needed mudroom makeover last week! I rounded up some really fantastic mudrooms on Style Spotters last month, and used some of my favorite parts from each mudroom to put together a… 

Read More »