Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Monday mornings with five things/ideas/events for the week:

I.  Mastering DIY floral arrangements is tedious enough without the added element of seasonal influences.  Unfortunately, the most beautiful combinations for the best price require knowledge of what’s currently in bloom.  Luckily, Rue Magazine made the process simpler by enlisting an expert to guide us through the process.  I love this snapshot guide that you can save to your camera roll for easy reference at the grocery store or flower market.

II.  If I’m not constantly editing my keys (parents homes, vacation homes, clients, ex-boyfriends…) I end up with a monstrosity that consumes my entire handbag.  On the latest key-purge, I decided to make the process a bit more fun by indulging in a new keyring.  Feeling particularly girlish, I opted for a palette of pink, blush, and gold.  Toss monogrammed my neon-hued disk in the time it took me to order a goatskin tassel from an adorable Korean Etsy shop on my iPhone.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with the chicer (and lighter) result.

III.  As the sun fell on Saturday, San Francisco quickly went from temperate to bone-chilling. Determined not to let the shift in weather thwart my summer-inspired baking effort, I hopped in my car to pick up ingredients for Grapefruit Cupcakes. The fog rolled in so thickly that I had to use my windshield wipers to make it the three blocks to the grocery store.  Braving the elements was well-worth the aromatic bittersweet cakes that I pulled from the oven an hour later.  Whipping together butter, powdered sugar, heavy cream, and fresh grapefruit segments for frosting completed the confections.  I lit candles, turned on a Sex and the City marathon, and curled up with my cupcakes for a perfect evening chez moi.

IV.  Speaking of the weather this week, now that we’ve returned to sunnier skies, I’m already craving weekend cocktails.  I live by the mantra that it’s never too early to start planning, so I spent the morning researching summer libations.  After stumbling upon a Bon Appetit recipe for the Summer Babe, I think I know what I’ll be imbibing starting Friday evening.  The grown-up lemonade features gin, Génépy des Alpes (a small-batch artisanal liquor), and fresh lemon juice. Perfection!

V.  Living in small spaces (ahem Bay Area rental market) means that most of us are lacking a fully stocked kitchen.  Measurement conversions are a tricky thing.  I always end up googling half a dozen times while making new recipes, which takes unnecessary time away from cooking (and sipping vino).  This elegant chart solves the problem expertly by providing every kitchen conversion you could possibly need.  I’ll be printing one out and taping it to the inside of my cupboard tout de suite!

Have a wonderful week!  xx tt