Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites April 6 18.jpg

one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight

We are willing this long winter to end and thinking ahead to Spring (despite snow in the forecast). Target's new Opalhouse line has so many cute, bohemian wares. I love the Anthro-like throw pillows lamps for bedroom decor and melamine plates with a macrame runner for outdoor dinner parties on warm spring and summer nights. There's also a perfect macrame hammock.

Though there's still cold weather outside, we are starting to plant seeds indoors to be transferred into the gardens (hopefully soon). Joanna Gaines' post from a few years back uses egg shells for starting seeds. It's convenient and has been fruitful for our plants and provides a fun activity for little hands to plant, and spritz daily. When the freeze is gone, the plant can be placed in the dirt, shell and all.  

A good playlist, some cold brew coffee, and a book of "creative mindfullness" (from the editors of Flow Magazine, full of various prompts, pretty prints, pull out poetry cards and other decorative paperie) are some current favorite inspirations while we wait to fling open the windows and immerse ourselves in a blooming Spring.

Happy Weekend! Cheers.

*This post contains some affiliate links.

Spring's Curtain Call

The clouds are (hopefully) moving out and the promise of summer lingers. Here are some favorites from a mini--landscape shoot of our gardens and sunshine emerging in Chester County after a rainy start to the week. The peony buds are one of my favorite color/design inspirations, ready to steal the show any day. Bring on the warm, summer days.

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

(If you'd like to purchase prints of any photographs, please contact me.)

Chester County Spring
Chester County Spring
Chester County Spring
Chester County Spring
Chester County Spring

Simple, Nutritious Breakfasts

These are 3 of my favorite, simple, go-to meals for a quick.healthy breakfast.

This might be my most frequent lineup; Toast, avocado, sprinkled flax seed, topped with a poached egg, its yolk ready to pour over it all, and meld it together. Filling, full of protein and fiber, and quick. Just add a little vinegar to your pot, heat the water just short of boiling, and cook the egg for about 3 minutes.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas

The next breakfast can be made on the weekend, and stored for a quick grab; Egg cups. Add your favorite vegetables, meat and/or cheese, and eggs. I line each muffin cup with prosciutto, mix eggs, spinach, red pepper, onion, mushroom and cheese in a bowl, pour evenly, and bake them about 20 minutes. You can keep them in an airtight container or wrap in parchment paper in a freezer bag and freeze. Just warm them in the oven or microwave and breakfast is served.

healthy breakfast
healthy breakfast ideas

Another easy, make-ahead breakfast; overnight oats. If you haven't heard of these, you can search Pinterest for dozens of combinations. My favorite is coconut, chocolate chip & almond. Add equal amounts oats, milk, and yogurt (I use Siggis vanilla or Greek yogurt). Mix in your favorite additions (in this case, a few mini chocolate chips and coconut) and keep it in the fridge overnight. I add toasted almonds on top just before eating. These are good cold or warmed up. I make up a few in ball jars over the weekend and grab them throughout the week. Perfect for eating in or running out the door and good for the whole family.

overnight oats
overnight oats
overnight oats

Just a few ideas to save time and 'hanger', ready in the time it takes to brew your morning coffee. What are your favorite breakfast ideas?

Christmas Toddler Gift Guide

christmas gift guide

1 drum // 2 Book // 3 charcoal skirt // 4 play food // 5 purse // 6 play-doh tools // 7 fawn // 8 kitchen 

I'm excited for Christmas this year with an almost-two-year-old. She's starting to grasp the concept of Christmas a bit more, which makes things fun and full of spirit. I caught her talking out loud, asking Jesus to put Play-doh under the tree. Close.    

Here are some things and shops I love for my toddler to find under her tree on Christmas morning. My daughter loves to put on my purse, with a casual, unprompted, "buh-bye, target," so this miniature, leather, handcrafted purse is just her size and after seeing it, I wish it was mine. The linen skirt is a classic look for all seasons and a good, practical gift that makes her feel like she's dressing up. She also loves music and instruments and that wooden drum is reminiscent of 'The Little Drummer Boy' classic. All of their toys are adorable. She loves play-doh right now and I love the vintage style packaging with faux wood tools and lots of different texture stamps.

For the "big" gift, since she loves to help in the kitchen and begs to get out of the stroller every time we pass a play kitchen in a store, I found this simple and stylish play kitchen for half the price it was last year (on sale right now for $80 plus a coupon brought it to $70), easily the most inexpensive and cutest play kitchen I've come across. I plan to add a few minor cosmetic touches when I put it together. Add in some play food, and I think there will be one happy little girl on December 25th. 

I can't wait for Christmas morning pajamas, and wide-eyes, and little toddler fingers rummaging through packages and brunch and mimosas under a glowing, lit tree to the soundtrack of excited baby giggles and Christmas records. Only 12 sleeps left. :)

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup recipe

Cold, cloudy days have been settling in, which is an open invitation to cozy up with Christmas music and a warm bowl of butternut squash soup. This is an easy, few-ingredient soup and you can double up on the recipe if you want to keep some in the freezer. It's hearty, velvety and just what the winter nights need. Mangia!  

Butternut Squash (3lbs peeled and chopped)
College Inn Chicken Broth (64 oz)
1 Granny Smith Apple or Bartlett pear, peeled and chopped
Carrot (1-2 medium sized)
Celery (1 stalk)
Yellow Onion (one small-medium sized)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. In a pot or enamel-cast iron dutch oven, heat olive oil or butter and add the chopped carrot, celery and onion.
2. Once the onions are translucent, add 3lbs chopped squash, apple or pear and pour chicken broth until all the squash is covered.
3. Season with 1 tsp. nutmeg, 1tsp. cinnamon, salt and pepper.
4. Cover and cook on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the squash has softened, about 45 minutes. (If you leave it to cook all day, just add broth intermittently.)
5. Pour into food processor and pulse. You may have to add a little liquid if it seems too thick to mix.
6. Transfer back to your pot and add remaining chicken broth to thin it out to your desired texture. Season again with nutmeg and cinnamon.
7. Serve hot with crusty bread. Optional garnish: sour cream, crispy pancetta or bacon. 

butternut squash soup recipe
butternut squash soup recipe

Weaver's Orchard

Crisp weather, boots, and bushels of apples are in season. Weaver's Orchard in Morgantown, PA is a sweet farm worth visiting. With in-season produce, fields of pick-your-own pumpkins and apples, hayrides, animals and more, this orchard is the perfect backdrop for autumnal traditions. Here are some photographs from both our fall trip and our story time at Weavers a few weeks ago. (Note: during the summer season, five bucks gets your a story in the barn, a hayride to the week's featured field and a container of pick-your-own-fruit.)

There's also a coffee bar with something for every caffeine enthusiast, goat feedings, a market full of produce, meats and sweets (cider donuts!) and fall fun days every Saturday throughout October. If you're looking for seasonal recipes for all those fresh apples in your future, Weaver's has you covered with their Pinterest board. Apple & Gouda grilled cheese anyone? (And maybe a side of spiked cider.) Slide on your wellies, support this local farm, passed down through four generations, and get pickin'.

The Little Spoon Co
Pumpkin Orchard
Weaver's Orchard Goat
Weaver's Orchard Story Time
Weaver's Orchard Story Time
Weaver's Orchard Tractor
Weaver's Orchard Crates
Weaver's Orchard Coffee Bar
Weaver's Orchard Squash
Weaver's Orchard Birch Beer
Weaver's Orchard Pears
Weaver's Orchard Apples
Weaver's Orchard Strawberries
Weaver's Orchard Watermelon
Weaver's Orchard Peaches
Weaver's Orchard Pears
The Little Spoon
Weaver's Orchard Sky
Weaver's Orchard Blueberry Picking
Weaver's Orchard Blueberries
The Little Spoon Co

Songs of Summer

The Little Spoon Summer Playlist

There's still many sweet summer days and nights left; which means backyard parties, seaside adventures, your morning coffee, al fresco, pool days, drives to the ice cream farm and everything in between.

Here's a playlist of some tunes to get you there. Some old, some new and some new takes on the old.  My current favorites include that cover from Fort Frances of Will Smith & Jazzy Jeff, the new feel good song from Head and the Heart, All We Ever Knew, and the Mumford & Sons collaboration with Baaba Maal. Ed Sharpe's Home is a timeless favorite too.

You can play my playlists right from your Spotify app now or find the playlist below. Find us under 'thelittlespoonco'. Happy dancing and sunning :)

Firecracker Pops

These 4- ingredient popsicles are a favorite for all ages. They are great for teething babes, hot nights and even a quick breakfast on the go, as it really is mostly just fruit and yogurt. Happy Summer!

Little Spoon Popsicle

Strawberries (1 & 1/2 cup)
Blueberries (1& 1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt (1 cup)
Ice Pop Molds (I used these which are very convenient as each pop comes off separately.)








1. Pit and quarter strawberries and puree in the food processor with 1 tablespoon sugar. Pour into a bowl.
2. In the clean food processor bowl, add blueberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar and puree. Pour into a bowl.
3. Starting with strawberry puree, spoon into a ziplock, cut the corner and squeeze into bottom layer (about 1/3) of ice pop mold.
4. Partially freeze this layer, about 1 hour in the freezer.
5. Fill a ziplock with the greek yogurt and fill the second layer of ice pop mold.
6. Fill another ziplock with the blueberry, topping off the final layer of your pop molds. The yogurt consistency will keep your layers separate, for the most part.
7. Put your sticks in and place in freezer until completely frozen, a few hours or overnight.


The Little Spoon
The Little Spoon

Recipe - Summer Pizzas

Pizza is a great summer lunch or dinner. There are endless combinations for using all the fresh summer produce from your grocer, garden or farmer's market; and the kids will love to get it on making these pies. Though these were oven cooked, you could also throw the dough on the grill as personal, make-your-own pies for dinner or backyard parties. Whether you want sweet or savory, this fresh, easy meal means more barefoot evenings on the porch with a free hand for your favorite summer brew or glass of wine. Mangia!

Sausage & Fennel Pizza
Pizza Dough
Sweet Italian Sausage
Plum or Vine Tomatoes
Fennel Bulb & Greens
Fresh Mozzarella
Olive Oil

Peaches, Pancetta & Ricotta
Pizza Dough
Fresh Peaches
Ricotta Cheese
Olive Oil

Sausage & Fennel Pizza
1. Preheat over to 425 (or the instructed temperature on your dough's instructions)
2. Remove casing from about 4 sausage links, cook in olive oil on stove top and crumble
3. Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and roll out the dough. I keep Landolfi's frozen dough on hand and just pull it out of the freezer to thaw and rise the night or morning before. Wegman's fresh dough in the bakery is also good. One pack will make a 14x20' pie
4. Drizzle olive oil on bottom of pan. Carefully transfer dough to pan and drizzle olive oil over top. Make sure to rub the edges to give you a browned, crispy crust.
5. Spread chopped garlic, sausage, sliced tomatoes (bigger slices keep the crust from going soggy), chopped fennel bulb, garlic,some of the fennel greens and salt and pepper evenly on the pizza and drizzle oil over top. This will keep the fennel from drying out as it cooks.
6. Follow dough's instructions to cook time, about 20 minutes or until underside and crust is golden brown. Spread mozzarella evenly for the last few minutes or until cheese melts. I like the fresh mozzarella pearls best.
7. Let cool a few minutes and slice

pizza dough
the little spoon co pizza

Peaches, Pancetta & Ricotta Pizza
1. Preheat over to 425 (or the instructed temperature on your dough's instructions)
2. Bring Balsamic to a Reduction on Stovetop and set aside. ( Heat 2 cups of balsamic vinegar on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. You want the consistency to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon.)
3. Sprinkle flour on a clean surface and roll out the dough. I keep Landolfi's frozen dough on hand and just pull it out of the freezer to thaw and rise the night or morning before. Wegman's fresh dough in the bakery is also good. One pack will make a 14x20' pie
4. Drizzle olive oil on bottom of pan. Carefully transfer dough to pan and drizzle olive oil over top. Make sure to rub the edges to give you a browned, crispy crust.
5. Spread ricotta evenly over dough in a thin layer. Too much might prevent the crust from being crispy underneath.
6. Spread sliced peaches, sliced pancetta (if it's thinly sliced, wait until the last 10 minutes of cooking to put on top) half the balsamic reduction, and salt and pepper evenly on the pizza
6. Follow dough's instructions to cook time, about 20 minutes or until underside and crust are golden brown and pancetta is crispy.
7. Toss Arugula on top, and drizzle remaining balsamic reduction over pizza.
7. Let cool a few minutes and slice

the little spoon co pizza

Father's Day Gift Guide

1. Whiskey Cure Tee (found at Marshall's for 5.99!) 2.Cocktail Mixer 3. Shave Club 4. Sunscreen Flask 5. Trunks Swim & Surf Co. 6. Swell Blonde Wood Bottle 7. Leather Planner & Brass Pen 8. Leather Beer Carrier 9. Bowie Art Print 10. Papa Bear Camp Mug

Father's Day is coming up on Sunday, June 19. Here are some fun, favorite picks for papa in lieu of another tie. Hint; that's not sunscreen. You can't go wrong with that leather beer carrier filled with his favorite brews and Scout Mob has a promo going with code MENS20. There are tons of unique gifts on their site. For Bowie fans, or local Philadelphia fans, check out Paul Carpenter Art for awesome designs and T-shirts. If you're looking for quality time with dad, baseball tickets are always clutch. Enjoy celebrating dad!

Local Guide: Bakery + Barn Sale in Malvern

It's always satisfying to stumble upon places with character. That's the charm of supporting small businesses; Owner(s) standing there, arms outstretched, offering patrons their passion, tinged with heart, sweat and creativity, and hoping it is met with equally inspiring spirit. Last weekend's visit to Malvern presented just that; inspiring spaces. First I stopped into Malvern Buttery, a bakery/coffee shop/eatery, followed by a pop up barn sale at Life's Patina at Willowbrook Farm, an architectural beauty that holds seasonal pop up shops of new and restored home goods.

Malvern Buttery offers a casual experience of fresh baked breads and pastries, delicious coffee options, and an eatery that changes day to day, based on fresh ingredients. On this particular Sunday, the menu included sunnyside up eggs atop grains and asparagus, sweet potato and parsnip soup (pairs well with their fresh, crusty bread), and greens with beets, nuts and goat cheese, tossed in a delicious vinaigrette. In the multiple times I have been there, the baristas are friendly and attentive and the chefs in the open kitchen are passionate about their culinary creations. With tables, stools, and couches, this is the perfect spot for both meeting friends and cozying up solo to knock out some work on your laptop. 

With full bellies and caffeine in the bloodstream, I caught the last day of the Summer Sale at Life's Patina at Willowbrook Farm, just a few miles away. Life's Patina offers home decor, new, antique, and repurposed, all staged in an old stone barn. There is so much character in an old barn where beams meet stone under the spotlight of high rafters, and the timbers of the sides wear age that lets the light seep through in all the right spots. Add to this, unique accents for home and events, and creative inspiration is abound. (See Below, drawers made from vintage cream cheese boxes). Life's Patina has a pop up shop each season with special events and sales intermittently. Check the upcoming events here (next one is June 9). 

Summer Mini Style - Rompers + One Pieces

Ladies 1. French Terry Cotton Stripe 2. Knit 3. Ice cream 4. Teal Liberty 5. Watermelon 6. Plaid Smocked 7. Floral Bow Straps 8. Red Gingham Flutter

Gents 1. French Terry Cotton Stripe 2. Collared Stripe 3. Sunshine Graphic 4. Blue Shortall 5. Snow Cone 6. Mint Plaid Pockets 7. Neon Jumper 8. Engineer Stripes 


This spring has been cooler and cloudier than we'd like but here's hoping the sunny days of summer are fast approaching. With it, comes romper season! What's cuter than baby thighs? One pieces make the best baby outfits; easy for changing, cool for those warm days and comfortable for your babes to roll, crawl or run around in all summer long. Check out some of my favorites for boys and girls. I love the french terry and neon green jumpsuit on boys and girls and they're both so lightweight and soft! And those gingham flutter sleeves? Hurry along, sweet summertime.

Brunch with a view at Wyebrook Farm

The lush, green, countryside rolled on for acres behind the landscape of stone barns and wooden farm tables. I've been meaning to stop into this 18th Century working farm/restaurant and Mother's Day was a beautiful time to immerse ourselves in their fresh brunch menu. Wyebrook Farm, in Chester County, PA, offers a variety of fresh, farm raised meats paired with locally sourced produce, and dairy (brunch orders at our table included: beef hash, roasted mushroom and ricotta omelette, grass fed burgers). There is plenty of seating outdoors under their pavilion adorned with wooden beams, fresh flower-set farm tables, and baskets of blankets for the still chilly spring mornings/evenings. Inside the classic stone barn, you can find more seating, next to the butcher and market full of local artisan cheeses, jams, condiments, ice cream and baked goods.

I ordered the slow roasted pork belly topped with fried eggs and it was even better than it sounds; melt in your mouth freshness; dippy eggs and tender pork, atop a buttery, grainy slice of bread with grilled greens and veggies to compliment. They also offer bottled Peloton Cold Brew Coffee from West Chester, PA which was delicious and they are BYOB with pints and pitchers of their own orange juice and bloody mary mix for brunch (noted for my next visit). All the food at Wyebrook is either farmed there or nearby, organically. We picked up some market goods to go, headed outside where the babe could play (imagine: open fields, farm animals, an old country tire swing beneath a treehouse) and headed home with full bellies and hearts. Wyebrook Farm is the perfect pastoral setting to "be still" and soak in life and its blessings over good food. They have live music weekly and plenty of outdoor seating as the summer days slowly creep up on us. If you're looking to take a country outing a bit off the beaten path, with great culinary reward, Wyebrook Farm is your place.

If you're interested in this locally sourced farming concept, the owner, Dean Carlson, recently published a book "Field & Feast" and is visiting Wellington Square Bookshop (another local favorite) this Sunday morning.

wyebrook silo
FullSizeRender (20).jpg
wyebrook cattle
wyebrook stairway
wyebrook view
wyebrook beams
wyebrook farm table
wyebrook pavilion
wyebrook pavilions
wyebrook market
wyebrook view
wyebrook brunch
Wyebrook Cold Brew
made with wyebrook
wyebrook butcher sign
wyebrook farm

Soundtrack to Your Mother's Day

A perfect Sunday morning isn't complete without good food, mimosas, and dancing across the kitchen floor with the little ones that blessed us with the role of mom. Here are some fun & sentimental picks for your Mom's Day Mix. Watching my 1 year-old daughter twist to "little bitty pretty one" pairs well with any brunch in my book and the Brandi Carlile song written for her daughter has all the feels and perspective of motherhood. The Avett Bros. also capture family nicely. Wherever your plans take you this weekend, I hope your blessings are plenty.  

"Wilder than a brushfire burns deep inside the bramble
Baby, I think God made your soul born to ramble"
-Brandi Carlile

"make sure my sister knows I love her, make sure my mother knows the same
always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name"
-The Avett Brothers


Mother's Day Gift Guide

Solly Baby Wrap | Swaddle | Bag | Engraved Bar NecklacePoetry | Coffee Pourover | Mumford & Sons Card | Polaroid | Blooms Muffin Pan | Rosemary Mint SoapSummer Sunset Seeds DiBruno Brothers Gourmet

Here are a few favorites for mom's in all stages of life. For the new/expecting mom, I love my Solly Baby Wrap. It was given to me as a shower gift and a cozy, stylish way to keep baby close and comfortable while still being hands-free. My daughter still fits in it at 15 months old.

Swaddles. These are the softest muslin cotton blankets to both swaddle and snuggle with as baby gets older. With so many cute prints available, any mom expecting or with little ones would love one (or three) of these to throw in the bag for the spring/summer days ahead.

These bags are unique, sustainable and perfect for trading the cliche diaper bag look for style. They are made by Guatemalan artisans and each purchase lets you decide which humanitarian project you'd like to support for the Guatemalans.

These necklaces are subtle and personal, with several options. I love the bar with just an initial but you can also get names, or stack them with their other shapes/engravings available in all different lengths, great for moms of all stages.

This book is full of classic poetry. N.B. there are not pictures but it is a beautifully curated collection of poems and great for grandmothers to read to their grandkids for years to come.

Coffee. enough said. But if you need more convincing, it's made of sleek leather and wood, and the glass does not absorb previous coffee odor and is chemical free. Delicious coffee with a classic look. Go for the 8 cup option, mom.

Our mother's day cards are unique and can be framed thereafter. Bonus - instant downloads for the last minute gift givers. Pairs nicely with wild flowers and a bottle of white.

Polaroids are making a comeback. This instant-print classic comes with storage, 3 color options, photo-booth setting, and sleek enough to fit in your purse. There's fun in instant, candid photos. Spare yourself the photo editing and capture moments with nostalgia.

Any of the artisan bakeware at Anthropologie is a win for mom's kitchen. Great for muffins, mini frittatas, and even bento box style lunch for the kiddos. Bonus: 20% off Anthropologie through the weekend!

I recently used this soap while I was staying at an airbnb and it smells so good, I had to include it. Handmade in Brooklyn, and all natural, Rosemary Mint is refreshing.

Why buy Mom flowers when you can grow her a garden? These summer sunset seeds are vibrant and unlike many early spring seeds, it isn't too late to plant these for a summer bloom.

If you live locally to the Philadelphia area, DiBruno Brothers is your answer for a last minute gift. Their gourmet Italian shop has been providing culinary delights for 75 years. They have curated gift boxes or experts at their shops to help you pick out something that will go nicely with that wine mom wants.

Mother's Day can be simple. Some of the best blooms you'll find right now are probably in your backyard. Gather a bunch in a ball jar, write a card and just spend time with all the moms in your life. 

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Baby time is just around the corner, winter has set in, and all things cozy are abound. This made for a cozy time to shower baby with a party thrown by my sister and mom, themed “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The fete was complete with a hot chocolate bar, tiny cottons on clotheslines, twinkling lights and snowflakes, and delicious winter cocktails, or at least they looked pretty from my cranberry mocktail vantage point.

There is something to be said for entertaining with attention to detail, tasty homemade food, good cocktails and good company, and letting that carry the party; and so the gifts came unwrapped ready to display, a well wish tree invited guests to write & hang messages for mom & baby and everyone was left to eat, drink and be merry.  Bambino is so loved and all that’s left is his or her arrival. You can check out some of my registry picks coming soon.

The featured drink was a White Christmas Sangria; easy to make ahead of time and large batch (a good white wine, white cranberry juice, club soda, peach schnapps, fresh cranberries, granny smith apples diced, and rosemary. Hypericum (red berry) flowers and baby's breath along with a variety of lanterns dotted the tablescape for a cozy winter atmosphere.

The menu consisted of baked brie topped with pistachio and honey, caprese salad, mini roast pork sandwiches,and this recipe for Winter Minestrone Soup & Garlic Crostini. Desserts included Italian cookies (which resemble snowballs for this theme), cannolis, and mini cheese tarts, all homemade. yum.

For favors, each guest kept their mug from the hot chocolate bar and got little bags put together by my sister with hot chocolate, and this white chocolate bark, adorned with little baby footprint stamps and 'warmest thanks'.

Newborn Neutrals

1. Fisherman Knit One Piece 2. Knit Bear Hat 3. Knit Booties 4. Footed Pants 5. Knit Cream Sweater 6. Knit Bear Hoodie 7. Organic Burp Cloths 8. Cotton Footies 9. Hi organic onesies (similar here) 10. Cheeky 11. Bird 12. Stars Burpy Bib 13. Easy Swaddle 14. Muslin Bibs 15. Reversible whale blanket 16. Gap Bear One Piece 17. Hat 18. Crossover Onesies 19. Footed Pants 20. Knot Caps 21. Muslin Swaddles

Who can resist all things pint size and stylish? Without knowing bambino(a)'s gender, these styles are some of my favorites donning the nursery drawers. Added bonus? They hand down well to any gender and neutral colors and textures often highlight the natural newborn stages. Of course, anything so tiny is tempting and cute but I try to remind myself to stick to classic styles that transcend any time period, soft cottons that hold up to the wear of all things baby and of course, comfort and practicality for a snoozing, diaper-change-demanding, snuggling bundle.

Update** 2016- Many products no longer available but I will fix the links to similar products.