Food & Drink

Kiwi Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

June 30, 2017

Happy Popsicle Week! I’m usually last to all these fun themed holidays, but this time I had a yummy popsicle recipe ready to share, so instead of waiting till next week, I decided I’d be like the cool kids and hop on that hashtag bandwagon. These Kiwi Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles are the EASIEST thing to make. And really they are not packed with sugary syrup, they are mostly just fresh fruit. So, I don’t feel bad at all that my kids powered through a batch of these in less then 3 days.

Check out the full recipe HERE, on Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company’s website.

Kiwi Strawberry Lemonade Popsicle

I mentioned a couple days ago that we are taking a family vacation to Maui this week. Well, we are here and it really is paradise. We arrived at about midnight last night and I slept like baby. Sleeping in Maui by the ocean is probably the closest thing to my childhood. The breeze, a noisy ceiling fan, the chirping birds and the sudden rain storms all lull my to sleep and remind me of growing up in Papua New Guinea. The island girl is happy.

We’ve already been in the ocean three times today, hit the pool a couple of times and eaten everything Lilikoi (passionfruit) flavored. Don’t worry, all this pristine beauty is balance with a trip to Urgent Care this morning because both Olivia and Dylan have ear infections. After flying yesterday, they both were in a lot of pain. So, nothing like starting a vacay with a trip to the doctors and some antibiotics.

Kiwi Strawberry Lemonade Popsicle

I also wanted to stop by and let you know that I was really going to try hard to take sometime off of the blog this month just to have some quality time with my family. I’ve been going pretty hard lately and we just need to be a family without me sitting in front of my laptop all the time. So, I hope you’ll stick around even though posts might not be coming too often this month. I’ll be back with fresh new content very soon. I’m so grateful for this community and the opportunities it brings me. Thank you for following along here friends. I wouldn’t have a blog with out you.

Kiwi Strawberry Lemonade Popsicle Kiwi Strawberry Lemonade Popsicle

Design

Laundry Room Dreaming

June 29, 2017

Samsung FlexWash + FlexDry

Our laundry room is definitely one room in our home that is used multiple times daily, but never really pictured on the blog. We are a family of 5, hence the loads and loads of laundry, but on top of that, we have a guesthouse that we rent out on Airbnb. It has really done well. We have guests staying with us almost every night of the week. So ya, besides trying to keep up with 3 kids’ dirtying clothes, I’m washing large loads of white sheets, towels, and bathmats almost every day! There’s a lot of juggling load priority and making sure I’m home to get the next load started before I need to change the sheets on the guesthouse or get cross county or gymnastics clothes washed for my kids.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you will know that just weeks before selling our old house, we renovated and finished our laundry there. We hadn’t planned on selling the house, and I was tired of having an unfinished laundry room. It’s kind of funny really. We literally finished weeks before closing, so I didn’t even put away anything in the cupboards or get to use and enjoy that space.

Samsung FlexWash + FlexDry

In our new house, the laundry room is in the basement. It’s a small, unfinished basement, but I do like having the laundry room a little out of the way. But, right now if really is just cement walls and floors and a washer and dryer sitting side by side. Because I end up spending quite a bit of time down there. I’m dreaming up ways to make this space better. And the first item on my dream list is the new FlexWash + FlexDry duo from Samsung

Ok, I need to get a little appliance geeky with your all. This washer and dryer duo is what housekeeping dreams are made of. The Samsung FlexWash + FlexDry duo features two washers in one and two dryers in one. These are definitely appliances that are meeting the needs of the modern family, instead of the family having to force-fit to the needs of the machine. The FlexWash and FlexDry system allows you to do multiple loads at once. This means I can be washing white linens for the guesthouse in one load and washing Olivia’s gymnastic clothes in another at the same time so that they are ready when it’s time for her lesson.

Even though I consider the trip up and down the basement stairs part of my daily exercise routine, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t miss them if I had the FlexWash + FlexDry. This laundry pair is also IoT-enabled, allowing you to stop, start and monitor their laundry cycle; receive alerts when the cycle is complete, and schedule cycles with a smartphone. A parent’s dream, this time-saving feature reduces the need to run back and forth to the laundry room.

With the largest capacity in its class at 5 cubic feet, the FlexWash lower washer is ideal for handling the bulkiest of loads, saving you time. An additional 1.0 cu ft. of washing capacity in the top-load compartment lets you separate loads (like light clothing, a favorite pair of jeans, or a toddler’s pajamas) to ensure your different types of clothes get the best possible care.

Then, you can easily handle large loads and a few delicate items at the same time with the FlexDry dryer. The bottom compartment features 7.5 cubic feet, enough to handle even the biggest weekend laundry loads. Meanwhile, up top, an innovative delicate drying zone is specifically designed to handle your most delicate items, such as the kid’s athletic wear or a silk scarf, which can be laid flat to gently dry.

Samsung FlexWash + FlexDry

I put together a little DREAM Laundry Room mood board. Some practical items and some just for looks to keep me inspired and in love with my surroundings, even if I’m doing loads of laundry.

  1. Sun Art
  2. Hands
  3. Kelly Johnston Print
  4. Clothes Clips
  5. Pom Pom Basket
  6. Brass Hangers
  7. Wooden Scoop
  8. Large Glass Canisters
  9. Set of 3 White Planters
  10. Brass Mobile
  11. Samsung FlexWash + FlexDry
  12. Ironing Board Cover
  13. Rug
  14. Island
  15. Laundry Baskets

Samsung FlexWash + FlexDrySamsung FlexWash + FlexDrySamsung FlexWash + FlexDrySamsung FlexWash + FlexDry

Can you relate? Is there always a load waiting to be done at your house as well? How much easier would me life be if I could start TWO loads in the morning, get an alert on my phone when the loads are done and then put them in the dryers at the same time? It would be cutting me laundry work load literally in half. I’m always threatening to get a cleaning lady to help me out, but instead I think I might want to invest in the FlexWash + Flex

This post is sponsored by Samsung. Thank you supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.

Samsung FlexWash + FlexDry

 

 

 

 

Food & Drink

Blood Orange Mai Tai Mocktail

June 27, 2017

I haven’t mentioned this here yet, but I just might be headed to Maui on Thursday. I know, AMAZING! Don’t hate me, but I’d understand if you did feel a little jealous. I’d be jealous of myself. So, needless to say, I’m feeling all the tropical vibes these days. And I don’t think you get more Hawaiian then a Mai Tai.

Blood Orange Mai Tai Mocktail I had to do a little research on this drink and like most cocktails, there are a lot of different versions. But, I kept coming across orgeat (or almond syrup) as an ingredient. Some versions used cream of coconut, but I feel like coconut belongs to the Pina Colada. And you know what, the orgeat is delicious in this drink. This one was a huge hit with my kids.

Blood Orange Mai Tai Mocktail

Blood Orange Mai Tai Mocktail

In a shaker, add the Blood Orange Juice, orgeat, lime juice and ice. Shake and then pour into a glass. This is quite a sweet drink, so be generous with the ice. As you sip, the ice will melt a bit and mellow the drink a bit. Garnish with a straw, a slice of blood orange and an orchid for a tropical vibe.

Blood Orange Mai Tai Mocktail Blood Orange Mai Tai Mocktail

Adding a fresh orchid and serving these in fun Tiki glasses adds to the Aloha spirit of this drink. I found these glass at World market but, I also found this set of 4 on amazon.

For an adult version of this recipe, click HERE.

Design

Samsung The Frame TV

June 26, 2017

Ok, let’s play dress up, with my living room. I’m not ready to redecorate the whole space, but I do love changing things up a bit.

The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off.

I don’t know about you, but one of my least favorite things to try to decorate around is a TV. I’d rather not have ours on display, but the truth is, TVs happen. We don’t watch a lot of television, but once the kids are in bed and my brain is dead from the day’s tasks, I need an episode of one of my favorite Netflix shows. To try to give our TV a little less focus in the living room, I’ve hung a gallery wall around it. My hope is that it will blend in and your eye will be caught by an interesting piece of art instead. While we love our current Samsung TV, we have been wanting to upgrade but haven’t found anything to help elevate the style of our room.

The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off.

But, I think there is a solution, a really pretty, stylish solution. Let me introduce you to The Frame by SamsungDesigned in collaboration with designer Yves Béhar, Samsung’s The Frame is the most beautiful TV you’ve never seen. The Frame challenges the traditional black box TV, by integrating a beautiful design with high-quality display technology. The Frame hangs flush to the wall, like a real picture with it’s revolutionary wall-flush mount, and it’s easy to install. And with its single, Invisible Connection The Frame connects to the One Connect Box, eliminating unsightly cables and uncluttered unnecessary clutter, and leaving your space beautifully curated. And don’t worry The Frame is not all beauty, it’s got brains as well. It offers 4K UHD viewing. 

Here’s my living room now:

The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off. The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off. The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off.

So, I decided to play a little in our living room. I took out our current Samsung TV and styled and redecorated the gallery wall over our credenza a few different ways. Then I digitally added in The Frame to see how it would work in our space. And, no surprise, I LOVE it. With The Frame I don’t feel like I’m making design compromises because it fits in with any style of decor. It’s just like playing with another piece of art. 

I played around with 8 different looks and layouts. What do you think?

The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off.

The Frame really is another piece of art for your home. The Frame transforms into a beautiful work of art when you are not watching TV. There are 100 curated pieces of art that you can choose from or you can also upload and display your personal photographs of family and friends as well. This feels like a total game changer for me. As someone who likes to change up things in my home, really often, I would love having the flexibility of being able to change the art in the Frame when I decide I want to play with a new color palette or when I want to change with the season. 

This might be my favorite look, with a framed piece of Tapa Cloth from Papua New Guinea and the stunning redwood tree wood veneer piece my brother made.

Samsung The Frame TV seamlessly works in any room with any design aesthetic.

The Frame also has customizable frames that have the flexibility to perfectly complement your home décor, with three additional bezel options in wood, white or metal. I played with the white frame and this fun architectural image from the curated art that comes with the frame. 

When I’m in the market for a new TV, The Frame will definitely be my first choice. And then all the re-styling and re-decorating of my living room can be made super easy. I get a little giddy thinking about being able to change out art to match the season, color palette or just my mood.

The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off. The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off. The Frame by Samsung - The most beautiful TV you've never seen. Beautiful art when your TV is off.

The Frame just launched and is available in 65” for $2,799 and 55” for $1,999 starting 6/18 on Samsung.com and retailers nationwide.

The post is sponsored by Samsung, thank you for supporting the fantastic companies that help make this blog possible. 

Design

24 Stylish Coffee Tables Under $200

June 23, 2017

24 Stylish Round Coffee Tables Under $200

Today felt like a good day for a round up. I’ve been doing a lot of local design work lately. I’ve got 3 clients that I’ve been helping lately and a lot of what I do for them is just source products that I think they will love. But, in true Oleander + Palm style, I do hunt down a lot of really great deals. So, I thought I should share some of my finds with you as well.

I’m a huge fan of the round coffee table. I like playing with shapes when a style a space and usually living rooms are full of only squares and rectangles. Rugs, sofas, credenzas, and chairs have straight lines and angled corners. A round coffee table gives you a chance to change things up a bit. One of my all time favorite purchases is my West Elm Marble Topped Coffee Table (which is no longer available – so sad). It’s one of my favorite surfaces to style and restyle. This coffee table shows up on my Instagram Feed all the time. So, since I have so much love for my round coffee table, I felt like a should find some great options for you as well. And I can’t believe the prices on some of these super stylish pieces. All 24 coffee tables are under $200 and many are even under $100.

24 Stylish Round Coffee Tables Under $200

Happy shopping friends, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the prices of these coffee tables.

  1. Walnut
  2. Brass and Glass
  3. Black Metal Tray with Brass Legs
  4. Wood with Brass Tip Legs
  5. Brass Tray
  6. White and Glass
  7. White Chunky Legs
  8. Tan and Dark Wood
  9. Wire and White
  10. Rose Gold
  11. Black and Brass
  12. Woven Rattan
  13. Black and Glass
  14. White and Wood
  15. Black with Geometric Legs
  16. Rustic Wood Top
  17. Hammered Brass Drum
  18. All Black
  19. Copper and Black
  20. Black Wire
  21. White and Walnut
  22. Midcentury with Grey Top
  23. Grey and Wood
  24. Glass Top

I also have a round coffee table outside (it’s #18 in white though). Can you tell it’s really my favorite shape of coffee table?

So, do you have a favorite? I think there’s some real gems in today’s post.

 

 

 

etc.

Looking for a Studio Mate

June 20, 2017

This post really is for local folks only, or anyone who would love to move to Bakersfield. You guys, I have this fantastic studio space downtown Bakersfield. It’s 650 bright, white, light-filled square feet. I’ve had folks share this space with me this last year, but some have or are moving on. So, I’m looking for a new studio mate. Who wants to share this creative space with me?

If you are interested, send me an email at oleanderandpalm@gmail.com with Studio Rental in the subject.

Food & Drink

Lemon Lavender Sorbet

June 16, 2017

Lemon Lavender Sorbet

Before I get to this super yummy and also very pretty Lemon Lavender Sorbet, I thought I should be honest about life lately. Oh boy, what a week! All the plans I had, kind of got thrown for a loop. That’s life right? Lately I feel like life it’s all up hill climbing, a little down hill or even a stroll through a meadow would be nice. The last 2 days have been filled with the worst kind of plumbing issues. Like ones that smell awful and cost thousands of dollars to repair. But, today we are heading to the mountains for a little backpacking trip. As much as I’m not in the mood to pack and prepare for camping now, I’m sure I’ll be glad to get away and enjoy some beautiful scenery and long hikes.

Lemon Lavender SorbetLemon Lavender Sorbet

We are definitely in the 100s for temps now. We have been spoiled the last week with out of the ordinary cooler weather. But, now that Summer is officially here, I’ll be using my ice cream maker a lot more.

 

Lemon Lavender SorbetWe love a anything lemon, so this Lemon Lavender Sorbet will be on repeat this Summer. Refreshing and unique, I can’t get enough of this recipe. I think it’s a winner. Head over to Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company for the full recipe.

Lemon Lavender Sorbet

DIY

Adding Personality to a Kitchen

June 14, 2017

We’re creeping close to being in our new house a whole year now! Wow, how did that happen? I really thought I would have a lot more done around here. But, man do we love this house, even though there is still lots of unfinished projects. Really, I’m a firm believer in loving where you live NOW, not when everything is finished and renovated. I think little changes and additions can really make a difference. I spend more time in our kitchen then any other room in our house and I don’t think I’ve shared a single picture of that room here on the blog. So, today I’m sharing pictures of our kitchen.

While I’d love love love to change the counter tops, re-tile the floors and repaint the cupboards, that’s just not in the cards yet. So, I’m giving this space a little attention with a few accessories and some inexpensive art. And I really love making things versus buying things for my home. I’ve teamed up with Mixbook again to come up with some fun DIY art for my kitchen.And while I am not an artist by any means, or even very skilled with watercolor paints, I had a lot of fun doodling with watercolors. Be sure to check out the Bathroom Art and California Wildflowers Canvases I made with Mixbook as well. They have so many great products for customizing art for your home.

Kitchens can be tricky rooms to decorate. They really don’t offer to much wall space and it is a space that needs to be “usable”. Real work and messes are made here, so too many cute objects and accessories can get in the way. So here’s a few things I’m doing to make this space our own without spending a ton of money or diving into a big renovation just yet.

  1.  There’s not a lot wall space, but I felt like I needed to find a way to break up all the cream cabinets and cream walls and cream trim. I started by making some really simple watercolor art pieces. And ya, if you like them also, you can download them for yourself HERE. I printed these 11×14 images with Mixbook .Their Poster Prints are high-quality large format photo prints that are really easy on the budget. They start at just $7.99 each and they come as big as 24×36. They also come in a glossy or matte finish. I chose matte for these watercolors.
  2.  The next change I made was a painted our back door black. It needed to be painted and I decided to take a little risk and try something different from all the cream paint color. The black made all the difference. It’s now the star of them room.
  3. The counter tops could definitely be worse. Really my least favorite part of them is the grout. I feel like i’m cleaning it all the time. I’m really not a huge fan of cluttered countertops. But some pretty plants, fresh flowers, and some a few favorite pieces help disguise the very busy backsplash (which I’m not a huge fan of). Leaning cutting boards and framed art in strategic places gives me little moments and memories to enjoy as a work in the kitchen.

This is post is sponsored by Mixbook. Thanks for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible.

Find

24 Must-Have Beach Towels

June 7, 2017

I think we just made the best decision for our Summer plans. We just signed up to for a pool membership! Yep, there is hope we will survive these 100 F plus days. We are only 3 days into Summer vacation, and my kids need a way to get exercise and burn some energy. Summer here is equivalent to a harsh winter elsewhere.  Keeping kids looked up indoors all day is a recipe for sibling conflict and endless messes.

So, now that we will be swimming daily, beach towels were on my mind. The couple of beach towels that we own currently are over 10 years old and have definitely seen better days. So, I’m definitely in the market. I put together a little round up of some of my favorite finds. With so many good choices, I’m not sure which ones I’ll pick.

  1. Gold Palm Leaves
  2. Yellow and Pink Stripes
  3. Black Marble
  4. Black + White Stripe
  5. Black Tribal
  6. Green + White Stripe
  7. Pink with Tropical Leaves
  8. Pineapples
  9. Hot Tub
  10. Wide Black + White Stripe
  11. Good Vibes
  12. Round Tropical Leaves
  13. Green Leaves
  14. Peach Turkish Towel
  15. Pink with Black Leaves
  16. Round Tribal
  17. Pink Stripes
  18. Orange + Blue
  19. Orange Smiley Faces
  20. Round Black
  21. Moroccan Black + White
  22. Geometric Black + White
  23. Garden Rose
  24. Round Geometric

Did one catch your eye? I think my oldest would love the number 23, the Garden Rose. I love the big round towels, not only for the beach but also for a trip to the park or just for hanging out in the back yard. Number 5 is probably is my favorite, I’m always a sucker for Pendleton patterns.

Food & Drink

Faux Gourmet Donuts

June 2, 2017

Happy National Donut Day!

Ok, I think this might be the best idea I’ve had in quite a while. You guys, I’m a huge fan of a gourmet donut. You know what I’m referring to – the $3-4 donut with unusual flavor combinations. Well, my town does not have a fancy donut joint. And while I do like making donuts from scratch, they can be very time consuming and messy. So, I’ve come up with a fun way to have that over-priced, trendy donut fad in your life without frying or spending a lot of money. Let me introduce you to Faux Gourmet Donuts!

Faux Gourmet Donuts - give grocery store donuts a makeover with 3 yummy flavor combinations. Faux Gourmet Donuts - give grocery store donuts a makeover with 3 yummy flavor combinations.

I’m taking grocery store donuts (ya the ones that cost $5.99 for a whole dozen) and I’m giving them a gourmet makeover. I already shared the Boysenberry Rose Donuts in Wednesday’s post. But, I’ve have two more winning flavor combinations for you.  Matcha Green Tea with Coconut and Lemon Lavender are two new favorites in our house. I topped regular cake donuts with the Boysenberry and Matcha icings and glazed yeast donuts with the Lemon Lavender. Oh my, these are so good. And I totally had my family fooled.

Lemon Lavender Icing

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried lavender
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

In a small microwave save bowl, combine the lemon juice and lavender. Microwave on high for 45 secs. Allow to cool completely. Strain off the lavender flowers. Add the powdered sugar and zest to the lemon juice. Whisk together until smooth. Dip the donuts in the glaze and top with a sprinkling of zest and a few lavender flowers.

Matcha Green Tea Frosting

In a small bowl whisk the green tea powder and cream together. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. This should be a very think frosting. Dip old fashioned or cake donuts in the frosting and top with a sprinkling of toasted coconut flakes.

Faux Gourmet Donuts - give grocery store donuts a makeover with 3 yummy flavor combinations.

Aren’t you glad we made it to Friday? Be sure to celebrate with a donut or 2. And if you really want to try taking on homemade donuts, these Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts a good place to start.