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homeground the greenhouse collection

| jewelry

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

has your breath been taken away yet? when brittany broas of homeground sent me her new greenhouse collection, i was speechless. not only is it one of the most unique and beautiful jewelry collections i've seen, but the photography and vision behind the pieces are so stunning, don't you think? i feel like i'm walking right in the greenhouse with her, with a delicate necklace or bracelet just dripping from around my neck and wrist. inspired by her favorite local greenhouse, i think these pieces are just as lovely and colorful as the plants that surround them.

make sure to visit brittany's beautiful blog and website to shop around, then head over to her facebook page to see more of her beautiful work!

my diy hammock

| DIY projects

happy monday, dear friends! i told you i was going to make a hammock this weekend (remember? ), and i did! it turned out great and i've been enjoying it all weekend. here's how i did it!

my diy hammock

for the most part, i just followed these great instructions from 'outside mom'.  i had two yards of this striped linen fabric, so first i hemmed each of the long sides. then i hemmed each of the short sides by first folding over a 1/2 inch and pressing, then folding over again about 3 inches to create a sleeve for my rope to go through (see picture below).

my diy hammock

i used a tight zig zag stitch with heavy duty polyester thread to make sure the seams were really strong. i then threaded some rope through each end that i found in my mister's tool box (hehe) and tied a secure knot to each of my posts.  you could also do this around a branch or a tree trunk.

my diy hammock

isn't it lovely? it's super sturdy and comfy, just right for an afternoon cup of tea and a good book. :)

diy Cookie Dough Ice Cream… without an ice cream maker!

| handmade

One thing that I have always wanted to make is homemade ice cream. I have always wondered - how would my own, fresh, homemade ice cream taste? Would the difference be detectable? Would it be worth the time?

Despite not having an ice cream maker, a simple Google search provided me with a recipe: homemade ice cream that can be made without an ice cream maker! Additionally, it is easy to flavor it to your liking, or add custom mix-ins. I like that you can control all of the ingredients - even make them completely organic.

This recipe comes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt on I chose this basic recipe because of the amount of testing the recipe author conducted. J. Kenji understands that the purpose of the ice cream maker is to provide continuous churning, which prevents icy crystals from forming; so, the secret to producing creamy, non-crystallized ice cream is to initially freeze the mixture in small compartments.

First comes the ice cream, followed by my custom mix-in: edible cookie dough with chopped peanut butter cups.

ice cream ingredients

8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

12 oz can condensed milk

2 cups whipping cream


cookie dough ingredients

1/2 cup flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, or chopped peanut butter cups (optional)



Begin with the ice cream. Separate 8 large egg yolks into a bowl, and whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk on medium-high for about 5 minutes, and then set aside.

Bring evaporated milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour the heated milk into the egg/sugar mixture, mixing well. Return the milk/egg/sugar mixture to the saucepan, and heat until 180 degrees F - any hotter than this could cause the eggs to scramble. Whisk the mixture constantly. Once the mixture has thickened and reached 180 degrees, remove from heat, and chill completely.

While the mixture is chilling, beat 1 cup of whipping cream until it has doubled in size. Once the egg mixture has chilled, stir in the whipped cream. Pour this mix into ice cube trays, and freeze until solid - about four hours.

cookie dough directions

While your ice cream mixture is freezing, start on your edible cookie dough.

Cream together brown sugar and butter in a bowl. Next, add vanilla extract, water, and flour, stirring well. Stir in the mix-ins of your choice - I went with chopped peanut butter cups. You can either roll this into a log, and chop into pieces once frozen, or if yours is a little soft, just drop small pieces like drop-cookies on wax paper and freeze.

Back to the ice cream...

Once your ice cream cubes are frozen solid, remove cubes from the tray into a food processor (I had to use a butter knife). Pour in your mix-ins and the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream (not yet whipped), and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Pour the mixture into an air-tight container and place back in the freezer, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

The next day, my result was smooth, creamy, scoop-able ice cream. There were no large crystals, no crunchy ice pieces - it tasted fresh and perfect!

ashley paul indie pretty projectOut to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.


| simple living

it's friday already?! not sure how that happened...

make your own hammock

{make your own hammock}

this weekend is going to be a little hectic. today the tour of california comes through our town of solvang, so the mister is busy busy tending to athletes and supporting the race. tonight we will be attending a gala for the event and the excitment that has been building for months now will come to a close. as for me, i have plans of crafty things (of course). i've got seat cushions to make, bottles to paint and hammocks to build.

did i say hammocks to build? YES. hammocks to build! i've got a huge piece of striped canvas that's just screaming to be made into a hammock. for now i'm planning on following these directions from outside mom, but also enjoyed watching this video on the art of hammocking by mary jane's farm.

what are you doing this weekend?

around the yard

| gardening

to say i'm still in shock of the natural terrain here is an understatement. it seems that every time i go out into the yard i see a rose that was just created to be put in a vase and enjoyed over dinner! since i just came in with some fresh ones, i thought i would share them with you. i hope they brighten your day as they have mine!

roses from my yard

roses from my yard

roses from my yard

roses from my yard

wine box salad garden

| gardening

i stumbled across the diy for this wine box salad garden yesterday (via llh designs, found on the style files) and fell in love- what a brilliant idea! i'm a big believer in square foot gardening as it is, so using pre-made wooden boxes just makes the whole thing easier from the start. and the fact that they are wine boxes covered in french just makes them all the more lovely. i wonder where linsey got these from? were they free? maybe she'll pop over and let us know!

just think, no weeds, fresh greens (or any veggie for that matter), and a small place to tend to. sounds like the perfect garden to me! visit llh designs for the full how to and happy gardening!

favorite fabric shops

| home decor

i have a problem.. an addiction of sorts, to fabric. i miss the days when i could just walk into my mom's fabric shop and start cutting away at the many gorgeous yards of fabric. now that we're so far away, we've started to skype and send pictures back and forth of the new fabric she gets in, then she heads to the post office for me (isn't she sweet?). to supplement my addiction, i also love to browse several fabric shops on etsy. today, i thought i would share a few of my favorites with you!

favorite fabric shops

fabric palooza: peacock feathers by amy butler, dew drop by tula pink, damask by joel dewberry, disco flower by amy butler, honey child by jennifer paganelli, nicey jane by heather bailey.

favorite fabric shops

sew love fabrics: trailing orchard by amy butler, parisville by tula pink meadow sweet by sandi henderson, nicey jane by heather bailey, st. croix by jennifer paganelli, delhi blooms by amy butler.


the fabric worm: twilight peony by amy butler, mod green pod, delhi blooms by amy butler. little folks by anna marie horner, damask by joel dewberry, silent cinema by jenean morrison.

what are you favorite fabrics right now? any favorite shops to buy from?