A Dreamy Summer Afternoon with Friends

*From time to time Pottery Barn sends me product to check out. This is not a sponsored post. The colors of the rug inspired me to create a simple tablescape.
end of summer entertainingHere is what my dream afternoon with girlfriends would look like.  I am usually drawn to really bright colors, but there is something about the Gianna rug that I just love.  The colors remind me of late summer, in the twilight hours, feel really earthy to me.  Nothing relaxes me more than spending time with good friends.  So for my perfect afternoon, I would keep it simple, keep it tasty and keep it refreshing.

cheese-and-crackers-on-woodWho doesn’t love cheese with something crispy?  Super easy.

thin addictives by nonniFor a little sweet, because you know I love me some sweets, I’d put out these ThinAddictives.  The crunch is perfect and snacky with the perfect amount of sweetness.

snacks with friendsIced tea is one of my favorite beverages of all time.  Adding a hint of fresh herbs like mint or basil makes it so summery.  By clapping the herb in your palm a few times and adding to the top of your tea, each sip is scented and makes for a sensory treat.

grapefruit chamomile and cardamom sodaI’m a sucker for cardamom so when I saw this Joia Soda I had to try it.  It was perfection in a bottle.  Not too sweet, not to spice-y.  And it is always fun to having something new for your girlfriends to try.

late-summer-colors-and-iced-teaThe perfect summer afternoon.  If we are lucky it would be overcast and stormy without being humid and cold.  This is a dream scenario after all right?

iced tea and cardamom sodaWhat is does your dream afternoon with friends look like?

Rug c/o Pottery Barn.


Online Friends are Closer with Skype

*Skype asked me to share how I keep in touch with close friend and family.  This is a sponsored post by  http://skypestaytogether.com

skype brings people togetherI have been blogging for over 6 years.  And in that time, I have built an amazing community of online friends.  While I cherish my “real life” friends, I truly wouldn’t be where I am today, and enjoying it as much, without these “digital” friendships.  They have become like family to me.  I have an online bff named, Jenny.  She is amazingly talented and funny and adorable.  There is no reason, just because she lives in Washington and I live in California, that we can’t be close.  We both have two small-ish boys and every once in a while we talk via Skype.  We talk about the projects we have going on, she helps me with Illustrator questions and our boys pop on and off and wave at each other.  I love it.  While the idea of letter writing sounds romantic, it just is not practical for someone like me who spends a lot of my “me” time getting my work done on the computer.  It is an absolute shame.  There are so many cute cards available.  But I have to fill you in on a bit more of my crazy:  If I buy a well designed card, I don’t ever send them.  I end up keeping them because they are so pretty.  Uh, yeah.  Not the best way for me to reach out to friends.  And I would never buy ugly cards just for the sake of being able to let it go easier.  My friends don’t deserve ugly cards.

sharing photo tips via skypeMy online lady friends have proven to be super supportive and an amazing resource for me.  Melissa and I bounce ideas off of one another.  We ask each other for opinions on craft ideas we want to make and I make her tell me all about her blog conference she hosts every September that I can’t make it to because I am on the other side of the country.  My online family is very talented and we share these talents with each other.  And since we are all right in front of our computers, it makes sense that they are the way we choose to communicate with each other.  While emails are sent back and forth with abandon there are some things that require a little bit more visualness (yeah, that is totally correct usage of the English language…).  From helping to figure out new cameras to providing party styling suggestions, we are close knit and in touch constantly which could end up getting really expensive since we are all over the United States.  Melissa is in Florida, Chris is in Virginia, Carrie is in Illinois, Amy is in Massachusetts, (which incidentally I had to look up how to spell…).  Luckily I have Kristin and Lauren who live locally so I get to have in person conversations once in a while.  The easiest and most fun way to check in with each other is over the internet via Skype.  And while Lauren is just a few towns over, she and I have actually used Skype as well.  It is perfect for when we can’t meet in person and have a project to work on that requires seeing items not yet completed – so awesome!

happy hour with far away friendsAnd as close girlfriends do, we share our highs and lows and even a little wine, we just do it over the internet.  Skype is free and can be easily downloaded to make these conversations possible.  And since I already have the software, there is nothing stopping me from using it with my actual family who also lives out of state.  It is amazing how little time I actually spend on a telephone any more.  And luckily, the people who I Skype with don’t care when I don’t do my hair (which is almost never) or my makeup (which is not often).  Life can get busy, but I know that with Skype, we can speak for a few minutes and really get to have a meaningful conversation.  That is the beauty of getting to see who you are talking to.

skype logo

Take as second and watch this amazing video.  It is touching and really demonstrates the power of Skype.

Learn more at http://skypestaytogether.com/

FTC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT Cupcakes and Cutlery aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.


Happy Galentine’s Day!

Who watches Parks and Recreation?  When Leslie had a Galentine’s Luncheon, held on January 13th, for all her friends it warmed my heart.  While I always look for a reason to throw a party, there is just no time to fit it in this year.  But for sure it will be on the agenda for next.  My life wouldn’t be nearly as rich as it is without my friends.  They are funny, talented, gorgeous and generous and I love them!  Happy Galentine’s Day, friends!!!