9.15.2014

Rosemary, Goat Cheese and Fig Galette

This week I'm out of town for the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemakers Event in NYC, lucky me. And to change it up a bit, I'm asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest post for me. I'm pretty picky and like to create my own content, so I'm only bringing you top notch, quality bloggers here guys.

I'm so pleased to introduce you to a blogger you need to know. Today Julianne is going to bring you a gorgeous recipe for a Rosemary, Goat Cheese and Fig Galette, sounds amazing, right? 



Hello Oleander and Palm readers! I am so honored that I was asked to share a recipe here. My name is Julianne and I write over on Fern and Fog, where I try to highlight the beautiful, everyday moments in our lives: a lively family meal, quiet moments of retrospect or artful endeavors.  

Cooking in my home can be lively or quiet, artful or just messy, but all-in-all, an adventure which my whole family must partake in. Usually I can create something edible. In this case, I cooked up something truly delicious.

I have recently given figs a chance. Growing up I never ate a fig, if I did I had no clue what it was. Now I see figs everywhere and in the town where I live people eat them as nonchalantly as a basket of strawberries. I was told by a sweet persuader who thought I might be irked by the way they look, “take a bite, but don’t look at the center.”  I followed those directions and was pleasantly surprised at how mild and subtly sweet they were, and the center only looks slightly like a brain.

I am now completely curious about how to cook with them. Upon research I discovered some pairings that complimented these sweet little fruits: honey, earthy prosciutto or a little goat cheese. Thus came the rosemary, goat cheese and fig galette.

Sometimes I impress myself. It’s crazy. A galette is a free-form crusty cake, basically a really rustic pie. I appreciate making something that is a little less than perfect and calling it “rustic”.

Rosemary, Goat Cheese and Fig Galette

2 large onions (1 ½ pounds), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 sprig rosemary, more for garnish
Pinch sugar
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
¼ cup milk
1 egg
Flour for dusting
¾ pound prepared puff pastry or pie dough
1 pint fresh figs (3/4 pound), stemmed and cut in half lengthwise
5 ounces goat cheese (I used Cypress Grove’s Truffle Tremor)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Honey for drizzling (optional)



1. In a large skillet over low heat, melt butter with oil. Add onions, rosemary and sugar. Cook, tossing occasionally, until onions are limp and golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg until smooth. Stir in the onions that have just been caramelized and about 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry to a 9 by 12-inch rectangle. Transfer to baking sheet.

3. Use a fork to spread onion mixture evenly over pastry (let excess egg mixture drip back into bowl), leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange figs, cut-side up, in even rows on onion mixture (if they don’t look perfect, that’s ok! It will add to the rustic theme). Scatter cheese and pine nuts over figs. Use a pastry brush to dab edges of tart with egg mixture. Gently fold over edges of tart to form a lip and brush with more egg mixture.

4. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with rosemary needles and drizzled with honey, if desired. Cut into wedges and serve at hot, warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 8 servings.


9.12.2014

Wallums Wall Decals Giveaway

So many of you loved the Wallums World Map Decal, in the Global Backpacker Bedroom, that I'm excited to tell you that Wallums is generously going to giveaway a $50 Gift Certificate to one lucky winner. There have so many choices, you are sure to find one that fits your home and style.

Here's a few of my personal favorites.


The world map decal is so intricate and detailed, I can't image ever painting that on a wall. And the beauty of decals is that they are 100% removable. Perfect for rentals or for folks that have commitment issues.


We put up the map decal in very little time at all.  For a decal this size, I do recommend having 2 people. We started by taping the decal to the wall where we wanted it, then we taped down the center of the decal. We peeled back have the backing to the middle tape line, and working from the center  moving to the edges we adhered it to the wall by rubbing it.  We did the same to the other side and then removed the paper backing. So simple and such a dramatic focal point to the room.

Ya, that's my brother showing off his biceps as he rubs on the decal.

Enter to win a $50 Gift certificate to Wallums below. I've given you 3 chances to enter (leave a comment, follow Wallums on instagram and follow Oleander and Palm  on instagram).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

9.11.2014

5 Potty Training Tips

I'm not a mommy blogger and being a mom is not what I regularly write about here. But, the truth is, I am a mom and this topic of potty training has consumed A LOT of my time lately. Remember this scene, we've been at it for a while now. Yes, we are definitely potty training. So, if you aren't the mom of a toddler, please just check out Olivia's cute little legs and come back for my usual topics tomorrow.


You know, my first two where both potty trained by the time they were 2, through the night and everything. I really thought I was such a great parent until I had Olivia. This kid is a tough cookie. And as we approach 3 years old, I'm really wanting some potty success now more then ever.    

I don't think there is a magic system or a secret to potty training your kiddos. It's really just a lot of work. And every kid is different, so don't beat yourself up. But, I'll share with you what I think works. It's just my 2 cents worth on potty training. I'm definitely not an expert, but I am a mom of three kids.


Here's 5 tips that you might find helpful:

1. Be Consistent - This is the hardest one. But, you have to be consistent about using the potty regularly. This is easier at home, but you've got to be ready to see the inside of every Target, McDonald's and Mall bathroom. It's not convenient or fun, but you got to take them often. I love the Pull-Ups Time to Potty App on my iphone that gives a reminder of when to visit the potty. 

2. Make it fun - You've got to be positive and up beat. Kids are so good at reading your attitude and feeding off it. If you are frustrated or anxious, they know. They are so stinkin smart. Make potty time fun with songs, stories, even an iphone game if you need to.  Just smile and think happy thoughts.

3. Have the right tools - I've listed a few of our favorites in the image below. Underwear are a must. It's the best way for kids to feel when they go. Candy can be a reward, as far as I'm concerned. We have a jar in the bathroom and just one sweat can be a nice treat. You can find other rewards, but kids do like candy. A potty seat is a must, you don't want them to be afraid to go. They need to feel secure, I love this folding one, I keep it in the diaper bag and it goes everywhere with us. At home a stool is good to have. You want them doing it all by themselves. You don't want to be lifting them up of the potty everytime they go, they need some independence. And Pull-Ups are a lifesaver. They go on and off like underwear, but you don't have to panic through nap times and bed time.


1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5.


4. Promise a Pony - Well, maybe not a pony, but the reward has got to be worth it. Not everyone is ok with candy for their kids. I think a little doesn't hurt, so Olivia got one M and M/Skittle like candy if she would pee on the potty. I'm a teacher, this might be called positive reinforcement or an incentive, I call it bribery. I WANT her to go potty and maybe I am bribing just a bit. :) But, when it came to pooping, stickers and candy just wasn't enough. I made BIG promises, like toys and even a trip to the Mall to ride the little train there. The reward had to be worth it to her. I only made promises that I could and wanted to keep. But, a couple $5 toys and 30 mins at the Mall was totally doable for me if we could be on the road to pooping in the pot. Figure out what your kid LOVES and use that to your advantage, maybe it's as simple as a little TV time. Each kids is different. 

5. Grow up kid - no more babies, no more baby talk. Use the big boy, big girl card as often as possible. Catch them doing things independently and tell them "You're so big, you can .......". They will love hearing it. Then when it comes time for the potty, you can say, "I know you're a big kid because you ........, so let's be big and use the potty".  


I hope this helps and good luck my friends.  May the odds always be in your favor. (Sorry for so many Olivia pics, but I think she's pretty cute and the Grandmas are going to be really happy that I posted so many).


This post is brought to you by Pull-Ups.  For more tips, advice and tools, check out the Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy.  

9.10.2014

Go Explore, Adventure Awaits Free Printable

I've got a little free printable for you today. I framed this little piece for my the global backpacker bedroom and sat it on the bedside table. I'm itching for some adventure. I want to go somewhere, move somewhere, do something different.  I don't know what that looks like yet, but I want to explore. Maybe I just need to go backpacking this weekend. But, it feels bigger, like I want a real change from our normal life right now. Maybe it's just because I've been stuck at this computer doing a lot of homework lately, I don't know. Do you ever feel that way? I think I like change, I definitely like adventure and the unknown.

I took this picture at Lassen Volcanic National Park last year with just my iphone.  The sky was so incredibly blue and I can almost taste the crisp, clean air.


The print is 5x7". So you can trim it to that size and frame it in a 5x7" frame. Or leave it with the white boarder and frame it as a 8x10" or hang it on an old wooden hanger like I did.  I just used my home printer, but it might be nice to have this printed on some photo paper at a professional lab.  


Click HERE to download and print a copy for yourself.

9.05.2014

How to Put Together Perfect Pillow Combinations

I have a pillow problem, well that's what my husband calls it. But, they're are such a great way to add and little color and pattern to a space. You just can't have too many, right?  


Pillows are a great way to break free of the matchy matchy sets of furniture and decorating of the past.  But, with so many choices out there, it can be hard to put a perfect pillow combination together. I recently discovered that Tiny Prints has AMAZING pillows that can be personalized with monograms, initials, names, dates and even photographs. The Happy Home pillow needed to be on my couch.  My pillow choices can sometimes look random, but here's how I usually put them together. I'm basing this on groups of 3, because odd numbers in design are so much better. So, here's what you need to look for when grouping pillows. 

1. A solid (or something very close to that).
2. A large scaled pattern.
3. A small scaled pattern.

And as far as color goes, pick one accent color.  That color should show up in each of the three pillows (unless the other pillows are completely neutrals - black, grey, white, tan, or brown).  So, if you look at my examples, in the first combo, green is the accent and the other two are neutrals.  In the second combo, gold/yellow is the accent color. And in the third combo, coral is the accent.  Other colors can appear in the pillows, but there needs to be one color that ties them together.  

I'm sure there are a lot of formulas that designers have put together before, but this usually works for me and seems like a plan others could try as well.  
1 + 2 + 3
1 + 2 + 3
1 + 2 + 3

I hope this makes sense. To clarify a little further (not because you're not smart), but because I might be stretching my own rules a bit, here's what I consider a solid, small pattern and large pattern in the combos above.

Solid + Large Pattern + Small Pattern
Small Pattern + Large Pattern + Solid
Large Pattern + Solid + Small Pattern

The beauty of this formula is you can take any pillow away and it still works.  Try it, take one of the pillows away from one of the combos and the pair remaining still look fabulous together. You can add more to the mix as well and you should be golden.  


9.04.2014

Thrifting Thursday - Finds for the Global Backpacker Bedroom

For today's Thrifting Thursday, I'm sharing some of the thrifted treasures that I found for the Global Backpacker Bedroom.  I want you to see that decorating and designing a space doesn't have to cost a fortune. Some of the best pieces in this room cost less then $5. With a little hunting and a love for the quirky and sometimes weird, you can give your home a unique look.


This little train cost less then $3.  I gave it a quick spray with some flat white paint and filled it with some nice succulents.  


I bought the vintage Hudson Bay blanket at the Pasadena Flea Market.  I paid $50 for it and $40 to have it dry cleaned.  The nightstand cost my $8 and I left the drawer and top it's original wood finish and painted the rest a glossy black.  I found the backpack at a thrift store for $5 and a vintage boy scout book for a buck or two.  


My brother, Joash, found this other backpack, I'm sure he only paid a dime for it.  The two antique folding chairs where bought by my parents at an antique store in Northern Cal.  And the desk/table was made by Joash with ALL found materials and objects.  The top is an old redwood diving board, how cool? 


The paint by number, has appeared on Thrifting Thursday before.  I paid only $2.84 for this gorgeous piece.  The Yosemite pendant I paid a whole $10 for, but it was sooo worth it, right? 


What have you scored lately?  Are you finding your treasures at thrift stores, garage sales or craigslist?  

9.03.2014

Global Backpacker Bedroom Reveal

Ok, this is truly one of my favorite spaces. I would happily move into my nephew's new big boy bedroom (and I do when I'm in town because it doubles as a guest room).  This almost 4 year old's room is all boy, but not a toddler space. I think this will be a room that he can grow up in.  It's a mix of old and new and has just the right amount of color and pattern.  I spoke to my brother and sister-in-law about the look they were going for and we decided that the space would be outdoorsy, adventurous and global.  It's really a room that embodies my brother Josh and his adventurous life and spirit.  


Remember this inspiration board for a Global Backpacker Big Boy Bedroom.   I know, it was a long time ago that I posted this.  Warning: I might start rambling here, feel free to skip over this and just look at the pics. And really, the room has been done for quite awhile, I've just been stuck on taking the plunge to share this project. It's weird, I'm really proud of this space, but I've been anxious about weeding through the pictures and sharing the finished product. It's been on my to-do list every week for months and I keep leaving it there. I don't know why I'm sharing this. But, I am frustrated with myself lately. I've had a lot on my plate, and as a result I've been very absent with my blog, and I really love this part of my life (blogging). I don't want to be like this, I just have trouble sharing posts that I think are less then perfect (that's pretty much everything on this blog). The truth is, I'm not a photographer, even though I have to take pictures for my blog almost daily. I'm self conscience of the quality of my images. I know this room looks good in person, but I want it to translate to your computer screen the same way. I just don't do anything half-hearted, and therefore as a result, sometimes I put off and put off things. I don't know if this makes sense or if you care to hear my ramblings. I just want to share a little bit more about this one-man-show. But, I do love to take risks, so here's my little risk for today, I'm finally sharing the room I designed for my nephew. I hope you like it as much as I do, and if you don't, that's ok. 




Over the next week or so I'll share more of the details and resources for this space. So, today just browse through the many pics and feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer them all in the posts to follow.  

The little grouping of art over the dresser is one of my favorites. I love to put smaller prints and pictures together to make a statement as one piece. The awesome Minted art (Bear and Mountains) were the starting place for this grouping. I love that you can buy their gorgeous prints framed and ready to hang. And white mattes and white frames are so crisp and clean. 


The huge black world map decal from Wallums, is perfect in this space. The black map looks so sharp with all the black furniture. I'll be telling you more about this piece. It was so easy to put up and the results are so dramatic. 


And let's be honest, I can't really love a room with out a little Land of Nod here and there. Nod products work so well with vintage and thrifted pieces. The red library cart, the adventure art, the plaid storage cubes, the first aid box, the chevron pouf, the bear pillow, the & storage bin, the black and white striped sheets, and the D for Discover pillow were better then perfect for this space.  

I also made a couple pillows to throw into the mix. Logan is named after a Mountain in Canada, so the mountain was a must and the blue camping fabric had to make it's way into the room somehow.  Canoes and canteens, come on now.  


Now, I'm sure I've said favorite already, but the little desk really is the highlight of the room and the kid's favorite spot. My talented brother, Joash, made this desk out of all found and reclaimed supplies.  It's a gorgeous piece, that's unique and perfect for little kiddos to play and color at.  This was truly a custom piece.  My parents got all the grandkids these sweet little antique folding chairs a couple Christmases ago, so I asked Joash to make a table that would fit the chairs perfectly and sit right under the window in this room.  The top of the table is an old redwood diving board. Joash sanded it just enough to reveal the beautiful grain, but also left hint of the painted surface. He made this entire piece without any nails or screws, it's all doweled together. The legs he found somewhere, along with the filing cabinets and cubbies that he added the center of the table.  



I used the same sheets on both the top and bottom bunks, but used different blankets. The bottom bed sports a vintage Hudson Bay blanket (that I bought for my brother for Christmas a couple years ago at the Pasadena Flea Market) and the top bed I gave a splash of color with a yellowy-mustard quilt from Target


I refinished a little mid century nightstand by leaving some of the original wood on the drawer and top and painted the rest a high gloss black. Then I made a really simple black shelf with some very inexpensive supplies and hung a vintage backpack under the shelf for stuffed animal storage.  


Keep checking back, I'll have more details about the room in coming posts. And if you want the sources for anything you see in the space, please just ask.