Picking Favorites: Warm Weather iPhone Wallpapers

Pinterest 1

My iPhone wallpaper is not something I usually think about. I find one I like — typically an image that Apple provides — and keep it for a year or more without even batting an eyelash. There are more pressing matters to worry about, no? I started to think about my wallpaper, though, when West Elm posted an Instagram photo of two new free wallpapers they designed. They were so cute that I instantly downloaded them. Now I see cute little blue fish when I check the time on my lock screen! Anything to get me in the mindset of sun and warmth.

This inspired me to round up other wallpapers from across the Internet. I knew there had to be more fun ones out there. Below you’ll find all kinds of images to welcome the (finally) warmer weather and get you ready for beach/swimsuit/bbq/picnic season.

Do you have a favorite iPhone wallpaper? Which is your favorite here? Below you’ll find directions for setting up your new wallpaper.

Watercolor

Strokes from ban.do

Lemons

Lemons from Neiko Ng

Mermaids Don't Cry

Mermaids from ban.do

Leaves

Leaves from Leah Goren

Pineapples

Pineapples from ModCloth

Clouds

Clouds from Yao Cheng

Watermelons

Watermelons from Wonder Forest

Watercolor Plants

Plants from ban.do

Watercolor Strokes

Watercolor from Lines Across

Swirls

Swirls from ban.do

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Flamingos from West Elm

Summer Fun

Summer Fun from ban.do

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Fish from West Elm

Strawberries

Strawberries from The Wonder Forest

Found a favorite? Here’s how it works.

If you’re reading this from your computer | Click on the image you’d like to use. Download it to your desktop, and then email or text it to your phone. Open the image on your phone, and save it to your camera roll. Open Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper > Camera Roll. Select the image, move and scale it however you’d like, and make sure Still is highlighted (rather than Perspective). Click Set.

If you’re reading this from your phone/tablet | Click on the image you’d like to use. Press and hold and then click Save Image. Open Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper > Camera Roll. Select the image, move and scale it however you’d like, and make sure Still is highlighted (rather than Perspective). Click Set.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Our Trip to Arizona

If all you know of succulents and cacti is that they are easy, slow growing additions to a desk or a bedside, you are gravely unprepared for Arizona. Prickly pear, agave, and saguaro cacti line highways, grow wild in the desert, and are the foundation for many a home’s hardscaping. These, in combination with citrus trees and skyscraper-level palm trees, make for a vacation for the books.

Within an hour of arriving at Anne’s aunt and uncle’s house in Scottsdale, I nearly crashed my bike as I ogled the biggest barrel cactus I had ever seen. Little did I know this was just the beginning. Our trip was filled with time at the pool, delicious food, cool museums, Cubs spring training games, and a lot (A LOT) of plants. If you’re planning a trip to the Phoenix area, I cannot recommend the following enough. Some of these suggestions originally came from Sarah Rhodes (@arrowandapple) and Jayme Henderson (@hollyandflora). Thanks you two!

To-Dos in Arizona

Desert Botanical Garden | The Desert Botanical Garden is filled to the brim with native plants and wildlife, but it’s unlike any other botanical garden I’ve ever been to. Saguaro and organ pipe cacti reach 70 feet into the sky, and the agave will measure close to your wingspan. Be sure to carve out at least half a day here in order to walk all of the trails, eat at the relaxing restaurant, and browse the gift shop for plants. Oh, and don’t forget to go home with a few saguaro seeds from a volunteer. Mine are germinating, and if all goes well, they’ll grow 1-2 inches in the first year!

Phoenix Public Market | This open air market is definitely worth adding to your list. It’s open on Saturdays from 8a-1p, and is the perfect spot to meet local farmers, artisans, and bakers. One of our favorite booths was Radish, a fresh-pressed juice company with pretty amazing juice combinations.

Musical Instrument Museum | “Anyone with a love of music should be legally bound to make a pilgrimage to this museum, missing out on it would be a crime.” MIM hosts the largest collection of musical instruments in the world, and it is awe-inspiring to say the least. The exhibits are attainable for any visitor, and their headset technology allows you to hear all of the instruments they have on display. Is hearing them not enough, though? Visit the Experience Gallery for a chance to play a curated selection of instruments.

Changing Hands Bookstore | Do you like books? Do you like beer? Changing Hands is not only a bookstore, it’s home to First Draft Bar. Roam the aisles with a beer in hand, or sit and meet other bookworms over a drink. Changing Hands offers an excellent selection of new and used books. I almost lost Anne forever here.

Baseball games | Spring in Arizona wouldn’t be complete without a little baseball! The Cactus League is what brought Anne and her family down from Chicago in March. We went to a couple of Cubs games and enjoyed lounging on the outfield lawn.

To-Eats in Arizona

Vovomeena | Portuguese for “Grandma Meena,” this is a great place for breakfast or brunch. Cute decor, friendly staff, and good coffee.

Joyride Taco House | Just know that you probably won’t want to leave. Besides the jaw-droppingly good tacos, enjoy a prickly pear margarita on the patio and take in the hip and well-curated vibe. The veggie tacos were delicious.

FnB | The chef at FnB isn’t called the “veggie whisperer” for nothing. We ordered what felt like the better half of the menu and indulged in our dinner there for over two hours. Each plate had incredible depth and a unique combination of ingredients. We left asking ourselves, “Do you think they’d cater our wedding in rural Wisconsin?” It was that good.

Sweet Republic | Even if you think you don’t have enough room left for dessert, you’ll have enough room left for Sweet Republic. They’ve been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Time Magazine for good reason. I ordered the black sesame ice cream just to try something different, and was not disappointed. Their ice cream is all-natural, local, and homemade.

(Other spots that were recommended to us but our bellies were too full: Lux, Federal Pizza, St. Francis, Fame, Rollover Doughnuts, Nami, Ollie Vaughn’s Kitchen and Bakery, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Welcome Chicken and Donuts, Max’s Mukhaase, Angel’s Trumpet Ale House)

Clearly, a return trip is in order.


PS) Did you participate in the 30-Day “Reset” Challenge in March? How did it go? Leave a comment and share your experience–I’d love to hear what worked and didn’t work for you.

It’s Hamantaschen Season

Hamantaschen season is the best season. Purim is right around the corner and although I’m not Jewish, I know a good pastry when I eat one. When I was looking into a hamantaschen recipe to try, the most popular comment I read was that these just don’t work. It was either the dough, the filling, or the triangles fell apart while baking. Many said that these weren’t worth trying, and that it’s easier to just go buy them from a bakery.

I’m here to say that there’s hope! I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, and Anne can attest to their swoon-worthy quality. I wouldn’t call the recipe too intensive, although there are a few steps involved. Baking with a friend or significant other definitely wouldn’t hurt! We ended up baking one disc of dough (see recipe below) and freezing the other to bake a week later. The second batch turned out just as delicious as the first.

Hamantaschen (adapted from Bon Appetit)

Active time: 35 minutes | Bake time: 16 minutes | Yields: 36 hamantaschen

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • jams or preserves

Whisk baking powder, salt, and flour in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar on medium-high until pale and fluffy, five minutes. Add two eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition. Scrape down bowl when needed.

Reduce speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough has come together. Divide dough in half. Form two discs about 3/4-inch thick, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2+ hours.

Place oven racks in upper and lower thirds. Preheat to 350°F. Take out one disc from the refrigerator, and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Place disc between two sheets of wax paper. Roll out dough until 1/4-inch thick. Peel back upper wax paper and use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out rounds. Use a spatula to transfer rounds to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Gather scraps and repeat.

Place 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of each round. Brush a beaten egg generously around the edges of the rounds. Fold up and pinch the sides to create triangles. Brush all exposed dough and seams with egg again. Take out second disc as you put the first batch into the oven.

Bake for 16 minutes or until light golden brown, switching racks halfway through. Let cool in pan for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

From Scissors & Sage

Happy Purim, and happy daylight savings!

30-Day “Reset” Challenge

January tends to get all the credit for “starting over.” I don’t know about you, but when January rolls around, our kitchen counters are still full of leftover holiday desserts, our Christmas tree still has opened presents under it, and the last thing on my mind is going to the gym.

February is usually a slog, although this year a little less! It’s leap year, so today I feel like I am winning at life. Plus, it’s my once-every-four-years half birthday. Yeah!

March is where it’s at. It’s almost spring! We, at large, cannot accept the fact that climate change is a real, scientifically-proven thing that is happening, and yet we whole-heartedly trust a ground hog when he pops up to tell us spring is coming early this year. I guess I’ll take what I can get. These hints of warmer weather in Philly recently have just been the best.

So with spring on the mind, I’ve been inspired to try my first-ever challenge. Let it be known: you can eat as much dessert as you want in this challenge, and I will never suggest that you should go to the gym. This is a different kind of challenge. A “reset” challenge if you will. I like the idea of starting fresh with the changing season, and making new growth with nature. If there is one thing I know to be true, it is the importance of living simply.

The objective of this challenge is simple: Complete each task every day, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss one here or there. It’s okay.

Download the image to your computer (click here). Print it out and hang it in your kitchen. Write out the tasks in your calendar or planner. Whatever will help you most in completing each day’s challenge is what I want you to do. If this is your first time trying a month-long challenge, I am joining you in that! Let’s reconvene in April to discuss how it went.

Leave a comment if you’re participating. I’d love to hear how you’re going to stick to your daily tasks! (I’m putting them in our monthly calendar.)

Inspiration for my 30-day “reset” challenge came from Apartment Therapy and Into Mind.

Picking Favorites

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a Picking Favorites post. I always look forward to putting these posts together. I get so much inspiration from other blogs and websites, so it’s really fun for me to pick some favorites to share with you here.

Do you have any fun Memorial Day plans? Anne and I are visiting my uncles in upstate New York this weekend. We’ve been planting in their garden, eating great home-cooked meals, and indulging in life outside the city. It’s always so refreshing, isn’t it? DIY Travel Bag from Say Yes, for when I learn how to sew. I’m ignoring the fact that this looks like quite a complicated project! This chambray apron from Food52, well, just because. Maybe it’ll make for an easier first sewing project down the road. This fresh flower napkin ring from Paper + Stitch is the perfect project for this time of year. You just need metal rings, green washi tape, and fresh cut flowers. This cake topper seems simple enough, and great for all kinds of special occasions. The tutorial also happens to come from Paper + Stitch. I love these minty green bowls from Illyria Pottery. Katie’s work is simply beautiful. Are you in need of a few beautifully watercolored words of wisdom? Grounded on the Daily is for you, then. Nicole’s hand-painted pieces of inspiration are perfect.

Check this out: Four Terrific Habits of Homebodies (via Apartment Therapy)

Or if you own a fiddle leaf fig tree, here is one woman’s funny take on how she’s raised hers into adulthood.

Have a great week, everyone!