vanilla bean and bourbon marshmallows

It’s become a tradition now: the day before we got on a camping trip, I make these vanilla bean and bourbon marshmallows for the adults. I mean, if I am going to have some s’mores, it better have a little something something extra in it, don’t you agree? These are also amazing with a little bit of Bailey’s or with coffee.

Last weekend we went up to the Russian River valley with a lot of friends and had such a good time. As much as I love jumping on a plane and exploring new countries, going camping – near or far- remains my favorite. Even when pregnant and in my third trimester. There is something just so relaxing about it – and no, it’s not all because of the bourbon marshmallows 😉 Being out in nature where most of the time we have absolutely no cell reception is so refreshing. The adults chat, make food, play the guitar by the fireplace while the kiddos run around happy and free, doing what kids are supposed to do. It’s pure, simple happiness right there. I mean, I am happy to get back to by bed after a few days out camping, but I LOVE sleeping in the tent with my entire little family – it makes me feel so close to them. Do you guys like going camping too?

little camperrussian river funmadelineFreiahappy Freiamaking smores for the littles and the adultsrussian river campingcamping in the russian riverolivia

So, about the marshmallows: I made these already last fall for our camping trip to Little Basin (when I also made this delicious fall sangria!) – and I loved these but at the time it was my first time making them and I needed a bit more time to experiment with them before sharing the recipe with you all. Now here it is! Don’t be afraid of trying to make your own marshmallows, whipping out a batch only takes less than 30 minutes and they taste SO much better than the store bought ones. As long as you have a candy thermometer at home you should be able to easily make these :)

vanilla bean bourbon marshmallows

Ingredients

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated white sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup Bourbon
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped

Recipe

1. Make sure to gather and measure all of your ingredients before you start – very important, you’ll thank me later as some of these steps need to happen rather quickly!
2. Mix the cornstarch and powdered sugar together in a bowl. This will be the coating for your marshmallows. Heavily coat a baking pan with some of the marshmallow coating using a sifter – make sure to leave no bare spots! Reserve 1/2 of the coating for later. PS: You can choose a pan the size you like, but the wider your pan the thinner your marshmallows will be, and the smaller the pan the thicker the marshmallows.
3. Combine the 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin and 1/4 cup of the water in a small bowl. Mix and let stand.
4. In a small sauce pan, combine 2 cups of sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup water and warm it over a medium low heat for a minute or so. Add in 2/3 cup corn syrup and turn the heat up to medium-high. Using your candy thermometer to check the temperature (important!) bring the mixture to 240 degrees F.
5. While you are heating up you sugar/corn syrup mixture, start mix 3 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a stand mixer on low until the eggs are just a bit foamy.
6. When the sugary syrup hits 240 degrees F, turn off the heat and add 1/2 cup of bourbon and the gelatin mixture. While the gelatin melts, turn the stand mixer back on, this time to high, and start whipping those whites real good!
7. Once the whites have become fluffy and cloud-like, slowly pour the syrupy mixture into the mixer bowl -very slowly so the syrup doesn’t splash and burns you.
8. Add in the 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and the scraped vanilla bean seeds, and whip for another 12 minutes or so – until the mixture is fluffy, stiff and the outside of the bowl is cool to the touch.
9. Pour the fluffy marshmallow creme onto your baking sheet/pan, using a spatula to even it out. Dust it with some of the coating and then let it sit uncovered overnight – or for at least 5 hours.
10. When ready, use a sharp kitchen knife or pizza cutter dusted with some of the coating to cut square of marshmallows. Or you could also go a bit more funky – where are these flamingo cutters you’d been meaning to use? :)
11. Toss the cut marshmallows into the bowl with the coating, just a few at a time, and using a spoon, make sure they are fully powdered, then use a wire strainer to give the marshmallows a good shake and remove the excess coating. You can make these up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container at regular temperature. Ours never last that long though :)

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bright and airy living roomSource

Hi friends! Hope you all had a lovely weekend – we went camping for a few days and I came back from our trip with a big smile on my face…and a pregnant belly begging for a bed 😀 camping during your third trimester is no joke but I am so glad we did it! I’ll share more pictures from our trip at the end of the week, but for now I wanted to show you some image of this beautiful, bright and airy Swedish home.

The Swedish home belongs to Sofia from the Mokkasin blog and her family. By now my love for Scandinavian interior design is no secret. I really wish we could pull of having white hardwood floor in our home too! Maybe when we remodel our in-law unit? I love the simplicity of this home. The way they mixed a few vintage pieces with more modern furniture brings so much soul to the rooms – I mean, did you see that pendant light and the wooden cabinet in the office? Oh oh, I am not even going to mention the wallpaper….hellllooooooo gorgeous!

PS: Have you entered our flamingo stroller giveaway yet? It ends tomorrow, hurry!

bright simple homegorgeous pendant lightoffice with vintage feelbookshelf by the bed

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DIY cute flamingo pull toys for the little ones

Flamingo frenzy continues (have you entered our amazing flamingo troller giveaway yet by the way?!) – meet the flock :) Your little ones are going to love pulling these DIY flamingo pull toys around the house! They are so fun and  their wings flap in the wind if you take them outside for a stroll.

When I received our flamingo stroller for Freia last week, the girls totally rolled their eyes and screamed how unfair it was that Freia gets all of the cool flamingo stuff. I told you, flamingos are a high commodity around this house! So I decided to make all of the girls these little flamingo pull toys that could tag along when we go on a stroll. Flamingos gotta stick together, ya know? 😉

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These little guys have pretty much been going everywhere we went since I made them! They are surprisingly easy to make and I am pretty sure they will win you Best Parent of the Year award if you hand them out to your littles….or something like that :)

Click here to learn how to make these flamingo rolling toys!

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in love with this flamingo fling stroller by Cosatto

Do you have the flamingo fever real’ bad like we do around here? :) Well, you are going to love what I have in store for you today and tomorrow – trust me about that! Today Cosatto and I have partnered to give away this super fun Flamingo Fling stroller (value $400). Is it your lucky day or is it your lucky day?! :) Instructions on how to enter are at the bottom of this post, but hey, first let me tell you how awesome this stroller is!

flamingo stroller by CosattoFlamingo fling stoller by Cosattoballoons and a flamingoflamingo feverwalking around with a flamingo

Here are the details: We used to own an umbrella stroller in New York but it broke shortly before our move and we never go around to getting a new one in California. I love that the Cosatto Supa is light and small to pack up in the car but still has many great features of the larger strollers. Freia sits comfortably in it and it’s big enough to even stroll around bigger sister in it -so great size from baby to young kid.I’ve read on some reviews that some users find the frame a bit wobbly – but not my case, it really feels great to drive. The sun hood easily extends with a zipper closure – it essentially doubles the canopy! The seat reclines to a full flat position for naps, and the fabric of the stroller is of great quality, it protects UPF50+ and is shower proof. This stroller was designed in the UK so you know, they know their rain alright 😉 And in case you get stuck in more than a quick shower, the Supa comes with a rain cover also as well as a cozy toes with kangaroo pouch and reversible zip-off fleece liner to keep the littles warm during the winter – can’t wait to try it this winter!

cosatto flamingo fling

Cosatto included a cup holder too that you can place on the right or left side if you’re a leftie….helloooooooo morning coffee! Not that the super bright and fun pattern of the stroller isn’t a mood booster already – I love the happy colors and so do the girls. The super fun pattern is probably my very favorite thing about this stroller. I’ve been getting so many compliments since cruising around with this stroller!  Want to know about another great feature? Cosatto included an ipad window (+speaker!) inside the hood of the stroller so that you child can watch the ipad in those busy life moments where you’d give anything to keep your little one happily sitting in his/her stroller. I haven’t used this feature yet, but I am thinking it’s going to come in super handy one of these summers when we travel to Europe and get stuck through airports :)

love the flamingo fling strollerby Cosattopolka dots and balloons happinessthe flamingo fling stroller by Cosatto

Now you, my readers are extra lucky because this Flamingo Fling Supa stroller is only available for pre-order here for now- so you’ll be one before anyone else in the US! How about that for being special?! All you have to do is enter in the Rafflecopter below between today and next Wednesday. Do as few or as many  of the options as you want – but obviously the more you do the better your chances of winning. US residents only, sorry! And please pretty please, no cheating – we’ll be checking that the winner actually did their part when entering ;) Good luck y’all!

Enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Giveaway sponsored by Cosatto USA. It is limited to U.S. readers only, age 18+. $400 USD total value. Winner will be contacted by email once giveaway closes and announced in the rafflecopter widget above. Pictures by Jacqueline Knapp for This Little Street and by Audrey Smit.

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10 gorgeous pendant lightsSource

You guys, I’ve been spending way to much time on the internets looking up pendant lights since we moved to our new home last December. Don’t tell my husband, he’ll roll his eyes at that because the previous owners put in new fixture right before putting the house on the market….good fixtures, just not the fixture I would have picked and it bugged me to look at them every day – hubby on the other hand probably doesn’t even know what color or shape they are…..the only thing he notices is the light that comes out of them 😀

Do you have this thing with light fixtures do or is it just me being crazy? In any case, I thought I’d share with you all the fruit all of these hours spent scouring the high seas of the web for lights – starting today with these 10 gorgeous pendant lights. One of them we ended up picking to set up above our dinning table – can you guess which one? :)

10 gorgeous pendant lightsSources: 1. |2. |3. |4. |5. | 6. |7. |8. |9. |10.

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“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ― John Muir

The magic of getting lost in nature. There is nothing like it, don’t you think? That’s why I love living in California so much – it’s is never short of place to escape to, new trails to discover. Last weekend we hiked Tennessee Valley – in Marin county, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was the most gorgeous hike and I decided to listened to my own advice and just let the hills and the fog roll through my soul – well ok….maybe it sounds a bit too poetic, I was also really out of breath with my growing growing belly….how am I already 26 weeks pregnant?! It was the first time we went there, and somehow I felt right at home.  Maybe because it reminded me of Ireland and the year I spent there? Or maybe it’s just that home to me is being surrounded by majestic hills, thousands of yellow flowers and my family.

Do you have anything fun planned this weekend, friends? Wishing you all a great weekend! xxx

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Oh yes, you’d better get excited because today I have partnered with Nuna and Giggle to give you their gorgeous Nuna MIXX stroller in Basil – a color that’s sold exclusively through Giggle! Giveaway is only open today so hurry and enter.

When Nuna asked me if I wanted to review their new MIXX stroller, I thought why not?! I’ve been using strollers for years now with the girls and tried many -so good some bad!- everywhere we lived and went, from the streets of New York to the hills of France, through many many airports. Hours of beating the pavement with 3 kids and strollers are probably the piece of baby gear that I am the most critical of.

When the Nuna MIXX arrived I was simply blown away – and that’s saying a lot coming from me! The stroller was super easy to put together – I barely had to look at the instruction manual. The seat can face you or by easily switch forward with one click and lift, and it reclines to several position, all the way to flat = major score for when Freia has to nap! The sun canopy unzipps open for extra shade when you need it so no sun in your little one’ eyes.

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AND this stroller is SO easy to drive, you guys – I can make that bad boy swivel and do a 360 with one hand, no sweat! I may or may not be doing it just for the fun of it….. poor Freia’s got her head spinning alright 😉 The storage basket under the stroller is very spacious – Madeline has already tried several times to climb in it to hitch a free ride :)

But oh my very favorite feature of the Nuna MIXX stroller? Super easy folding/unfolding! Trust me, as a mama of three who’s currently pregnant, that part REALLY matters to…the less I have to fight with my strollers the better :) it takes no effort at all. I am seriously in love with this stroller. I love it so much that I am planning on buying the Nuna Pipa car seat that goes with it – it’s just that good.

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This stroller really is the perfect mix of being stylish and practical. And you my friends are in luck because you can win your own Nuna MIXX in Basil thanks to Nuna. All you have to do is enter TODAY (giveaway will close at 11:59 PST tonight!) in the Rafflecopter below and we gave you tons of different options. Do as few or as many as you want – but obviously the more you do the better your chances of winning. US residents only, sorry! And please pretty please, no cheating – we’ll be checking that the winner actually did their part when entering 😉

Enter below to win a Nuna MIXX stroller in Basil.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


* Giveaway sponsored by Nuna USA/Giggle. It is limited to U.S. readers only, age 18+. $500 USD total value. Winner will be contacted by email once giveaway closes and announced in the rafflecopter widget above. All pictures by Jacqueline Knapp.

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DIY row of houses using removable wallpaper

Guys, I am telling you: there is nothing like putting a pregnant woman in her new home. She’ll go into crazy mode nesting habit and get all sorts of stuff done 😀 Oh my friends, I am whipping this house into shape like nobody’s business – the basement renovation into a media room, setting up the girls in their new bedroom, oh and I haven’t told you yet that I am working on setting up my new office in the house….among (a few) other things. It’s like my brain wants this house 200% for when the baby arrives – never mind that most of these changes have nothing to do with the baby itself 😉 I am no foul though, I know that the burst of energy I have right now ain’t gonna last so I take full advantage of soon. Soon enough all you’ll find me doing is eating ice cream on the couch while watching re-runs of Ally McBeal.

Anyhow. The big girls’ room is almost finished – a detail here and these and I’ll be sharing the full room with you in a couple of weeks- and today I want to show you this fun little row of wallpaper houses I put in their room using removable wallpaper from Spoonflower. It was so easy to set up (DIY how to at the bottom of the post) and is a major hit with the girls – it makes the whole room so cheerful and I love how it calls for their imagination!

DIY row of houses using removable wallpaperDIY row of houses using removable wallpaperDIY row of houses using removable wallpaperDIY row of houses using removable wallpaper

I set up a little wooden ledge right at the bottom the houses so that they can put their toys and pretend the houses form a little town.  I often catch them making a little mouse go to school or a mama rabbit head to the market :) Olivia mostly displays her horse collection up there – that girl and her horses, unstoppable! Of course Freia loves to come to her big sisters’ bedroom and knock all of the toys down :)

DIY row of houses using removable wallpaperDIY row of houses using removable wallpaperDIY row of houses using removable wallpaperDIY row of houses using removable wallpaper

The best thing about this project is you can easily adapt it to your own space – just decide on the length of the row your need, pick the colors and patterns that go for your little one’s room and you’ll be on your way!

Because I wanted to use several patterns, I kept the houses very simple in shape. I simply hand-drew them and they are a little crooked but I love them for it. I went for a mix of gold yellows, soft and hot pinks, and bits of green and grey. I really love how it turned out! Spoonflower has so many options for patterns, and I even started to design my own  – the wallpaper that has the bits of green and red is mine. So fun!

Click here to learn how to make this row of wallpaper house!

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live here eat that all naturalL: Rotterdam home via Avenue Lifestyle|R: Apple toasts with thyme and honey via Tasty Yummies.

You guys know I love me loads of colors, but I just can’t get enough of the simple, natural vibe of this Dutch home. They went for very earthy colors throughout the house without getting to dull – these bright accents of mustard yellow, pretty orange dinning chairs and the green accent wall in the kitchen. Combine with the high ceiling in the living room and tons of brick walls – it’s a winner in my books! I’d move there in a heartbeat :)

And how amazing do these apple toasts with honey and thyme sound? So easy too, got to try them this weekend for breakfast!

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1280x1024_May 15

Happy Friday, friends! Hope you all had a good week – if not, well here’s a little reminder from the lovely Jessica at Coco & Mingo and I to keep just breath and take it easy on yourself. It’s a three-day weekend here in the US and we have some friends visiting and my brother is also here – although ironically he’s at the hospital right now because one of his lungs collapsed after his flight….so much for the whole “just breath” thing :) He should be ok though, we’re hoping he can make it out of the hospital in a couple of days.

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For this month’s free wallpapers for your computer of your phone, we created a little design that goes well with the May page of our free printable 2015 calendar (below) from earlier this year – which you can download here and just print on your home printer :)

Click here to download the wallpaper(s) that you need for your tech!

Breathe wallpaper for your phone
Breathe wallpaper for your PC
Breathe wallpaper for your Mac (13 inch)
Breathe wallpaper for your Mac (15 inch)

See you all next week after the holiday weekend, I’ll have some exciting things going on around here next week….giveaway, did anyone say giveaway? :) Have a great weekend!

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