My mom stayed with Mari and me this week, and she cooked up some really wonderful meals for us, like some tried-and-true favorites. When was the last time you had a BLT sandwich? Let me just say it tastes as good as it did when I was a kid.

She tried a few new recipes, too, like The BC's Watermelon and Arugula Salad, from her newest cookbook
I've always loved watermelon, and since we brought Mari home, I've been enjoying it daily. This salad is refreshing, and pretty, and instead of the popular watermelon-and-feta pairing, this salad calls for light sprinkles of parm.

Get yourself a crisp, good melon and try this before summer's over (note to self: back-to-school sales are starting?! Yikes).

The Barefoot Contessa's Watermelon & Arugula Salad
from How Easy Is That? (page 65)
Serves 6

1/2 pound baby arugula leaves
2 pounds seedless watermelon, 3/4-inch diced (note: 3 pounds with the rind)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (two lemons)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound chunk Parmesan cheese

Place the arugula and watermelon in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour dressing on the arugula to moisten. Toss well and plate.

With a vegetable peeler (or very sharp knife), shave the Parmesan into large shards and sprinkle them on the salad. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

And, on a totally unrelated-to-watermelon note, here's Mari. Just 'cause. Happy weekend.


beach umbrellas.

Now that we have some sensitive baby skin to protect, we're in the market for a beach umbrella (ok, and maybe some beach chairs, maybe some towels... etc.). Since it's almost August, and we're a little behind the times, I think we can score a sale or two.

World Market has some great umbrellas and coordinating chairs - all on sale!

Blues, greens and turquoise

Yellow and grays

Check out all of World Market's outdoor sales items here.


turning one.

Just eight days after Mari's birth, paper{whites} turns one! Happy Birthday to me (ish). And, I'll take a lime instead of a candle, thank you very much.
What a fun month, and what an extraordinary year this has been.

I distinctly remember where I was sitting, thinking about starting a blog exactly one year ago today. It wasn't really well thought out; it was more impulsive than anything. I was so apprehensive about putting pen to paper - in public (gasp!) - and that night, I went to bed with my heart racing with excitement, a little fear in the pit of my stomach and a smile on my face because I finally started writing.

Your visits here and there, your comments and your friendship have enriched my days in ways that make me so grateful for this experience. Since life has been on fast forward lately, I finally slowed down last night to recall my favorite posts from my rookie year:

+ the beauty of yoga.
my first guest post on the heart of the home.
+ waffles. enough said.
+ my gift tag obsession.
+ on expecting.
+ wedding anniversary tribute post.
+ finding my blog balance.
+ on the eighth month.
+ exploring my grandmother's sewing kit.
+ on changing up my day job.
+ and, of course: sharing the Mari news.

The best part about blogging is journaling life's little inspirations, and having the opportunity to share and collaborate with others. Blogging is addicting in the best way possible, and I'm so glad to have joined the conversation.

Thank you for being here, for listening, writing and sharing. Here's to a great second year.


meet mari.

We made it! Miss Mariela Leigh joined us last Wednesday night, July 13, and we have been exploding with love for her ever since her arrival.
I feel like she's been a part of me my entire life, and it is so wonderful to finally have our family of three... and I simply cannot take my eyes off of her.
The last week has, of course, been a bit of a blur, for all of us. Mari experienced so many firsts, and on the top of the list was her first walk with her Daddy on the Manhattan Beach Strand. Not far behind was meeting her cousins over the weekend.

I won't go into detail on my labor (though I'm happy to share all about it if you'd like to drop me a line), other than to say it was the single most profound experience of my life. It was hard. It was challenging. It was teamwork. It was patience, breath and mind work. It was so much joy and elation. And, it was indeed a miracle.

Just look at her.


before and after: two-door cabinet.

The office/nursette is nearly complete, and one of the many things we finished over the weekend was this little cabinet. And, when I say 'we,' it's really either my dad or Eddie, or both. There's not a whole lot of 'me' in 'we' these days (for the record, we are officially 39+ weeks (out of 40!) and have the hospital bag packed).

Have you kept random pieces of furniture around, on the off chance that you'll refurbish them down the road? We have moved this cabinet, originally used as a TV stand, from rental-to-rental for the past eight years. It dates back to Eddie's childhood, and his mom originally white washed it years and years ago, and we finally updated it for our office/nursette.
With two slick coats of white glossy Rust-Oleum spray paint and new hardware, this worn piece of furniture is now a high-performance printer and work station. We've filled it with office essentials; stapler, tape, pens/pencils, hole punch and more (perfectly sized woven tray found at Target / Smith & Hawken). Behind the doors are reams of paper, printer cartridges, extra file folders and other supplies (white supply box from IKEA).
It's a great, small piece that compliments the entire room. We're onto the accessorizing phase, and putting little touches to this special space that has been a work-in-progress since the beginning of the year. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. More to come.


happy fourth.

Happy Fourth of July! Yesterday, in between sanding, painting, planting, planning, arranging, drilling are more, we managed to hang a U.S. flag from our newly-planted window boxes and enjoy apple cobbler, all thanks to my mom.
Today, we're taking off our working gloves, getting into the spirit and looking forward to fireworks at the beach. Back with more later this week with office/nursette project updates. We're almost there.

Have a wonderful holiday!


home inspiration.

I continue to find bits of inspiration from my favorite wedding blogs, like Snippet & Ink. This one, celebrating the official first day of summer (I know I'm a week late!), is going in the inspiration folder for our home. I'm starting to notice that I'm taking a liking to deeper blues, versus turquoise and pale blues, which currently fill our little beach house.
And, the more we live in our beach space, I'm being drawn to grays, and I love how they mix with bright whites, neutrals and textures... and the beautiful view outside.

Happy weekend (and happy first day of ... JULY. I can't believe it's here). May it be spent under a sunny, blue sky.