Is anyone barely treading water as we head into May? I am still feeling like it's mid-April, but I'm enjoying things like watermelon and berries and am in desperate need for a pedicure for my open-toed shoes. Summer is near.

Since I started instagramming, I thought I'd do a quick, monthly recap with some of my favorite photos. Here goes.
1. the finished results from our all-natural Easter-egg dying experiment, 2. my favorite thing about the Manhattan Beach Pier - besides the turquoise railings - is Mari, 3. cheesy, gooey broccoli quinoa from Annie's Eats - will be a regular in our house, 4. new favorite activity: playing with flour (this time we were prepping for pizza dough), 5. and our favorite Saturday morning ritual: have rotten bananas, make bread with this recipe, 6. a quick trip to the Master's in Augusta, Ga. via stop-over in my all-time favorite city - just a glimpse of the Capitol feeds me, 7. nursing my strawberry obsession with a gorgeous bunch from Tanaka Farms, 8. supporting a loved one #bostonstrong, 9. over the weekend: a belated anniversary celebration in the desert - more on that this week!

You can follow me @alisonsalcedo. Come join the fun!


friday foto: berry season.

Are you guys as happy as I am? I've been a little strawberry-obsessed lately. I think I get it from my daughter.   To watch her bite into a big, juicy strawberry might be one of my favorite things in the world. I recorded it on video, actually, just to capture this perfect moment which brings us smiles and lots of fabric stains. But it doesn't bother us. We just can't stop eating berries around here.
Last month, in one of my CSA boxes, we were gifted a strawberry plant, which Mari helped me pot. And she really loves it. She visits it on our deck daily, and helps keep it watered and just last week, a little bud blossomed. Can't wait to see how this goes!

For more Friday Fotos, see last week's post.


carrot cake cupcakes.

I have a major soft spot for carrot cake. I think it largely has to do with the frosting, which is my all-time favorite: cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. You just cannot do cream cheese frosting without the butter, in my opinion. I've tried, and it's just not the same.
Eddie's mom also loves carrot cake, so we celebrated her birthday this week with my favorite batch of carrot cake cupcakes. No surprise here: the recipe comes from The Barefoot Contessa. They are among the lightest of carrot cakes I've tried, and just last night, while polishing off the last few bites, Eddie told me they might be his all-time favorite cupcake.

You can follow the entire recipe here, or, if you open up Barefoot Contessa: Parties!, you'll find it on page 204.
A few bits, if you're interested:
+ my oven is so not great, so instead of baking it as she suggests, I bake at 350 degrees for the total bake time, and check after 30 minutes.
+ on the frosting: I sift the confection's sugar, as per the recipe in the book, and I think it really makes for the perfect consistency. I never skip this step.
+ how to frost: I always reference the magnolia technique from Camille Styles.
+ for garnish: jumbo confetti from Wilton.
Beautiful freesia from my mom, for our special day. Thank you for your sweet notes!


friday foto: oh, happy day.

Officially, yesterday, Eddie and I celebrated four years. How has the time flown.
{photo by Amy & Stuart}
I still think of this happy moment every time we walk into our sweet church. Love you.

Fore more Friday Fotos, click here.


paper{whites} picks: summer living.

The pile of mail in our entryway is a bit out of control. It's a lot of procrastination, for I refuse to recycle catalogs before I can actually flip through them. Though I'm barely making a dent, I did get to a few over the weekend, including the latest from Ballard, which had me flagging pages more often than not. I've clipped a few of my favorites to share with you.
1. canopy stripe tote bag, 2. cafe folding chairs, 3. ceramic beverage tub, 4. tiered wired basket, 5. sea isle rattan collection.


featured on: nicole's classes.

I've been catching my breath after finishing Designing for Web with design crush Melanie Burk, which just finished up last week. What an amazing class. We learned how to design our own website, and I'm going to use those skills to give paper{whites} a fresh new look. Coming soon!

You may recall that in February, I also took another Nicole's Class; Creating an Identity, also with Melanie. Of all the classes I have taken, it really was my favorite. I love the idea of sketching, brainstorming and collaborating to build a brand, and as an exercise, I created a style guide for my husband's company.
My work was featured on the Nicole's Classes blog on Friday, along with some other really, really fabulous work. I hope you'll go check it out!


pizza, pizza.

Mari has a little pizza dance. We sing it when she's whipping up yet another pie in her tiny kitchen. On Friday night, we sang it for real when we made our first-ever, from-scratch family pizza. Oh, so fun. And so good.
I really thought I'd have to spend endless hours researching and testing homemade pizza dough, but friends, my work here is done. I have found the thin crust pizza I was looking for: no stone, tossing or grill required. It's about as easy as it gets and the flavor is exactly up my alley.

We used Jim Lahey's recipe, which I found in Dinner: A Love Story's (DALS) book on page 270 (you can also find it online here, but you really should own this book).
Our favorite pizza is BBQ chicken, and because I can't pass up the opportunity to add some green, we usually add in some spinach. Besides this amazing crust, I really think the secret to good BBQ chicken pizza is the sauce. Years ago, my friend Erin told me she learned to mix marinara with BBQ, versus just using BBQ alone. I don't know where she picked that up, but I've followed her lead for years, and it makes all the difference, in my opinion.
This crust is so good that you must try it, with whatever your favorite toppings might be. If you're into BBQ, here's a rough recipe of our yummy Friday BBQ chicken pizza night.


friday foto: pinterest success.

So long ago - at least a year - I pinned an image of beautiful bunch of white tulips wrapped in kraft paper, and I finally pulled it off myself over the weekend.
Not that it was hard. I just don't know what took me so long to steal this pretty idea.

A trip to Bristol Farms can inspire you. Especially the floral department. White ranunculus and green viburnum opulus made for the perfect combination for a sweet little hand off to our sweet little Easter hostess.

Happy weekend, all!

For more Friday Fotos, see last week's post.


banana and berries with honey yogurt drizzle.

Remember this post? Last year, we enjoyed yogurt-covered-blueberries and banana, and this year, on Easter, I added some raspberries and strawberries and a little sprinkle of mint.
And I really loved it. So did Miss Mari. I followed The Barefoot Contessa's recipe, and to make it really drizzle-y, I recommend using regular plain yogurt, versus Greek. But, if you prefer a thicker topping, go Greek.
To glam it up, top with some flecks of mint - maybe a sprig for garnish - and I'd say you have something that's both brunch- and dessert-worthy. Love two-for-ones.

Happy April, by the way. My favorite month!