When I’m at the beach (which is quite often!), I always seem to pick up a pretty shell or two and pocket them as mementos. Slowly, these shells have accrued in the corner of my house, and I finally decided that I had to do something about the situation and find a way to put them to good use. There are tons of craft ideas out there for repurposing shells, but these are my favorite! Here are three great projects to turn your beach souvenirs into lovely home trinkets:
1. Shell Collection Display: An easy way to use your seashell collection is to put them out for the world to see. Find apothecary jars and glass vials at flea markets and thrift stores to use as displays for your collection. If you’re a world-traveler, start collecting sand and shells from beaches that you’ve visited, and put them in their own bottle. Add labels and make note of where each jar came from. Your display will not only look stunning in your home, but will be a great conversation starter about your travels for guests!
2. Seashell Lights: I saw this picture on Marthastewart.com and I knew I had to make this! Sure, you can probably buy these lights from her site, but I figured this project was simple enough (and cheaper!) to do on my own. Go to your local hardware store and buy a set of white tree lights (or go through your garage and find old Christmas lights! I’d rather avoid the hassles of untangling, though) Take each of your shells and, using a pair of tweezers, carefully superglue them onto the string in front of each bulb. Let dry, hang and enjoy!
3. Shell Dish: I love this one because it’s so simple. The hardest part about this project will be finding a big enough shell. Once that’s done, you’ll need to make sure that all of the living tissue on the shell is gone. You can do this by either boiling it or freezing it for a day or two. After the shell is clean, simply use it as a soap dish in your kitchen or bathroom.
So simple and fun, right? Which one of these three projects is your favorite?
It’s a beautiful 75 degrees and sunny here in San Clemente, CA, a sure sign that it’s officially SUMMER! Yipee! Happy First Day of Summer, everyone! I’m going to celebrate this day by spending my afternoon at the beach and listening to some classic rock n’ roll, and then daydreaming about new sweet treats to add in my cookbook. What will you be doing?
It seems like the trend these days in the baking world is “what’s old is new again”. From cupcakes to whoopie pies to ice cream sandwiches– anything considered old-fashioned is now making a modern comeback. Take for instance the Banana Cream Pie; for years, this classic dessert hibernated in local mom-and-pop diners. Today, it’s the most popular request I get through my bakery‘s wholesale restaurant catering business. I wasn’t sure how to go about this dessert, so I decided to do a little research of my own and spent last Monday visiting some Los Angeles eateries – like Urth Cafe and Apple Pan — and trying out their take on this classic pie.
Some places used chocolate crusts, some used nut crusts, and some mixed in banana with the custard, while others used bananas only as a garnish. There were so many different combinations, so I thought, why not put my own twist on it?
For Beach Town Baking’s Banana Cream Pie, I decided to go with a thick and crunchy graham cracker crust topped with a thin layer of dark chocolate. After the chocolate set, I made a vanilla bean custard and poured the hot custard over the chocolate covered crust. I let the custard set up for a few hours and then topped it with lots of thinly sliced bananas (3 bananas worth)! To finish the pie and make it pretty, I piped mounds of whipped cream rosettes on top. Lastly, I garnished the pie with freshly grated chocolate curls and drizzled some salted caramel sauce on top. YUM.
I’ve gotta admit, my tummy is pretty happy with my updated version of this classic pie!
Do you have a particular way you enjoy your Banana Cream Pie? Share it with me!
Usually, I dress pretty low-key to the beach, but sometimes it’s nice to be a little fashion-forward, too! Going to the beach doesn’t strictly mean wearing a bikini and shorts; here’s my little guide on how to dress at the beach for any type of occasion:
1. Just a beach day: A simple sundress or a wrap in a bold color or pattern worn over a cute bathing suit is the way to go. Grab some gladiator sandals and oversized sunnies, and throw your hair up in a bun. If you want to get a little fancier, some gold or wood bangles are a great way to “dress up” your look without overdoing it.
2. Stroll Along the Pier: Pair patterned shorts with a white tank for an effortlessly chic look. Dress it up with a statement necklace and a pair of embellished but comfortable sandals. Remember to bring a light cardigan to throw on just in case the breeze begins to pick up!
3. Dinner Overlooking the Sea: Beach style should always be simple, so for a more formal occasion, a maxi dress is an easy way to instantly transition from a laid back daytime look to elegant evening attire. Add a pair of wedge sandals, a gold chain necklace and bracelet, and take down your bun to let your hair fall down in natural waves.