Lily & Val Living - A pretty place for all who love the simple things in life.
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #65

Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #65, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #65 with Harney & Sons tea, farmer's market flowers and fresh peaches

1. Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset is my favorite tea! I drink it all year round, but there’s something particularly special about it this time of year when I’m feeling anxious for Fall to come!” – Valerie

2. “Spotted at the Farmers Market: fresh basil mixed with flowers- a simple arrangement, but such a good idea for a fragrant bouquet!” – Valerie

3“Oh how I love peach season!!!!!! I may try my hand at some peach jam.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #65 with Lily & Val pouches, San Francisco buildings and Brit & Co. chalk illustration classes

4“Packing for San Francisco! I always travel with my L&V pouch. I use it to hold my jewelry!” – Valerie

5. “Beautiful buildings in San Francisco! They’ve had chilly weather since I’ve been here and it feels like Fall! I love it!” – Valerie

6. “A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of my Chalk Illustration class with Brit & Co! I’m here in San Francisco to film two classes with them! Can’t wait to share more.” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #65 with the final day of shooting with Brit & Co., Monday morning sunrises and blooming, coral hibiscus flowers

7. “That’s a wrap on day 1 of filming! A day spent drawing flowers is a good day.” – Valerie

8. “I went out on my front porch to enjoy my coffee and do my Miracle Morning and had to capture this moment. I am so glad I did because shortly after this the sun went behind the clouds and it was gloomy for the rest of the day.” – Nicole

9. “I have never had luck with hibiscus flowers in the past, until this year. There were a ton of single blooms, but this was the most I had at once. For someone who often forgets to water her flowers, this was quite an accomplishment!” – Nicole

Best-Ever Roasted Chicken – Keepsake Kitchen Diary Recipe

Hello everyone! Those who know me know that I prefer to be inventive in the kitchen. I get bored with recipes easily. However, there are some times you must rely on the experts. I have been a vegetarian since I was 9 (a weird kid, I know) and just don’t like meat personally. What I love more than anything is making dinner for friends and family. Entertaining is my love language…and I love a lot of carnivores! This recipe helped me to make my first WHOLE roast chicken. Yes, I, a very squeamish person, was able to make a whole bird. You can too!

A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them

This recipe is a result of my love of teaching culinary classes for 4 years and being obsessed with Americas Test Kitchen. I trust their expertise and love how they explain the science of why the instructions are so detailed.  I am a firm believer that if you understand flavors and the science behind your cooking techniques, you can make anything delicious! Many recipes in my Keepsake Kitchen Diary are from family or made up in my own kitchen, but this one was a hit, and too good to not add to my book.

A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them

The instructions call for very simple salt (I think Pink Himalayan works best) and pepper seasonings, but, of course, I have tried many other flavors of herbs and spices too. The important part of this recipe is the method of cooking, and I love how much space I had to make those very important notes!

When filling out my pages I usually keep things pretty simple. I like to use color and placement to emphasize the most important aspects of each recipe. The “NOTES” section was the perfect place to highlight why this recipe produces such a tender moist chicken with the perfect crispy skin.

A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them

I also love using coordinating washi tape to make borders and light markers to highlight section titles. Having a clear visual when cooking is really important to me and these highlights help me stay on track…and just look pretty!

A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them

I also love coloring in the little illustrated elements with coordinating colors to each recipe. I like to use a color scheme for each dinner I host. I use that same color scheme when filling out the pages that I add to my Keepsake Kitchen Diary from that meal. This is another nice way to preserve memories from a special meal shared with friends and family.

A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with them

I encourage you to try this recipe. The method truly makes sense and the result is flawless every time. It’s just so nice to have those reliable main dishes that you know will please all of your guests! So here is the recipe for you to try for your next get-together. Enjoy!

BEST EVER ROASTED CHICKEN

1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tbsp. Kosher Salt & Pink Himalayan Sea salt mixed (other dried herbs and spices can be added)
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Whole Chicken (3.5-4 lb. Cleaned)

Equipment: 12 ” cast iron skillet & a digital meat thermometer

Instructions:

  • Place rack in the middle of the oven
  • Place 12″ cast iron skillet in the oven, Heat oven to 450°F
  • Prep chicken, pat dry, rub oil & spices all over the bird
  • Tie the legs together & tuck the wings in (this keeps them from burning because they cook quicker than other parts of the bird)
  • Place breast side UP in the HOT skillet (This jumpstarts the cooking of the thighs, helping the bird to cook evenly and making the skin crispy!)
  • Roast in oven until breast is 120°F/ thighs 135°F (about 25-30 min)
  • Turn the oven OFF, leaving the chicken in the oven until the breast is 160°F/ thighs 175°F (about 25 to 30 min)
  • Transfer to a carving board (use a wooden spoon inside the bird to pick it up safely)
  • Let rest uncovered for about 20 min. Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Making a sauce in the cast iron skillet is a great way to uses the drippings. This is also a fun place to get creative with your seasonings. Add some chicken broth and simmer with onion and garlic on the stovetop. Toss in some fresh herbs and you have an amazing sauce for your chicken!

 

A family cookbook and memory keeper: The Keepsake Kitchen Diary holds your most precious recipes and the stories that go with themI hope you guys give this recipe a try and spend some time making memories to add to your Keepsake Kitchen Diary! Have fun making this dish and crafting your KKD page to coordinate!

Cheers!

 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #64


Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #64, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #64 with eucalyptus and chamomile, flowering succulants and a hint of fall

1. “I’m so in love with the chamomile and eucalyptus combo these days!” – Emily

2. “I have never seen a succulent bloom like my Nanna’s is blooming! Every time I see it there are more pink blooms! All mine just die…TEACH ME NANNA!” – Emily

3“I have been prepping the fall and holiday shoot styling for a couple months now. (Which is actually late this year!) I always start out the process a little frustrated and not in the mood…but NOW I’m so ready for fall and Christmas it’s not funny! Bring on sweater weather!” – Emily 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #64 with quaint cafes, Color Me Mine artwork and Chalk Project Nights

4“Pretty sun at a pretty local café…and my favorite color!” – Emily

5. “I took my Mom to Color Me Mine to paint pottery as a belated birthday gift! We had such a good time. These are going to look SO different when fired -I can’t wait to see them.” – Valerie

6. “We held our first Chalk Project Night this week! Everyone did an AMAZING job creating their signs. I can’t wait to hold more of these!” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #64 with tasty macaroons, sneak peek at the fall line and pumpkins at Whole Foods

7. “Before heading to Color Me Mine, we made a stop into Gaby et Jules and picked up a box of macarons. Always a good day when there are macarons involved.” – Valerie

8. “A peek of Fall prints! I was prepping them for our photo shoot!” – Valerie

9. “First signs of Fall at Whole Foods! Ahhhh! I’m. So. Excited.” – Valerie

Welcome To The Brand New Lilyandval.com + the Ultimate L&V Favorites Giveaway

Welcome to the brand new lilyandval.com. Memorable gifts and goods for heartfelt moments

Friends! The brand new lilyandval.com has been in the works for many months and I’m thrilled to finally get to reveal it to you! This new home on the web is a big step for our little company and it’s filled with MANY improvements for our amazing customers. I’m excited to tell you about a few…

New Tagline:

Unveiling our new website seemed like the perfect opportunity to also reveal our new tagline: Memorable Gifts & Goods for Heartfelt Moments. Ahhh! Typing those words makes me so happy. It sums up the heart behind what we do at L&V.

Product Categories:

Our vastly improved product categories will make your shopping experience more streamlined. With drop down menus + both top and side navigation, the new website is much easier to search through each product type and category.

Welcome to the brand new lilyandval.com. Memorable gifts and goods for heartfelt moments

Larger Product Images:

Our product photography shines on this new website, allowing you to see large photos of each product to really capture the details in every design. I especially love the roll over zoom function on a mobile device – just run your finger across the photo.

The Keepsake Kitchen Diary is a family recipe cookbook and memory keeper. Recipe Journal, recipe diary, family recipes

Convenient Footer Navigation:

The footer of the site now contains every place that you may want to go! No more searching around – just head to the footer and you can find it there including FAQ, Workshops, Flagship Store, Wholesale, and more.

Store Locator:

Also located in the footer is our “Store Locator” function! This brings up a map, where you can type in any zip code and it will bring up stores near you that may carry our products!

Store locator on the new Lily & Val website

Those are just a few of my favorite improvements, but we also have a brand new about page, videos on product pages, AND a much-improved review system where you can share your feedback. I’m just thrilled for all of it! A HUGE thanks to our wonderful web designer and developer, Love Inspired! I highly recommend them! Cathy is a dear friend and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.

To celebrate our launch, I put together the ultimate L&V favorites package! It includes over $300 worth of Lily & Val best-selling products. Follow the instructions below to enter! Good luck! We’re also offering 25% off your purchase on lilyandval.com now through Monday with coupon code: NEWSITE

The Ultimate Lily & Val favorites giveaway - over $300 in prizes!

Giveaway includes: A Keepsake Kitchen Diary | Signed copy of The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering | Award-winning Chalk Lettering Tool Kit | XOXO trinket tray | Coffee chalk art print | Set of 3 French Building Prints | Seek Beauty Zippered Pouch | Hello Lovely Zippered Pouch | Hand-Lettered Cotton Tea Towel | Pack of Recipe Cards | 10 best-selling L&V cards

Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amy Tangerine and Lily & Val Hand Lettered T-Shirt Collaboration

Hey friends! Today I’d like to share a special project with you – the Amy Tangerine and Lily & Val Hand Lettered T-Shirt Collaboration!

When Amy asked me if I would like to create lettering for a new t-shirt line she was producing, I was thrilled! (Remember Amy’s gorgeous Keepsake Kitchen Diary spread?) She is a true creative and inspiration.

“Work hard and be kind” is one of my favorite phrases and mantras. It felt perfect for this t-shirt. I absolutely love the charcoal color and how soft the shirt is! It is that perfect slouchy tee for lounging in or tucked into jeans for a cute, effortless look.

I’m certainly no fashion blogger or model, but I hope these photos give you a good idea of how comfy the shirt is – I love it! I am wearing a size Medium and it has plenty of slouch to it!

How it works:

This shirt is part of Amy’s Monthly T-Shirt Subscription! Each month, she gives you two exclusive tees to choose from. Pick your fave (or both!) and ta-da: a fresh tee is on its way to you! I’m pleased to have my design part of August’s choice! (You can cancel your subscription at any time.)

Get yours here!

Thanks for featuring my design, Amy! I hope you all love it as much as I do!

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #63


Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #63, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #63 with a visit to Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens, Roxanne's Dried Flowers and Smoke Pittsburgh1. “Despite a to-do list a mile long, Mak and I spent a slow Sunday afternoon at the Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens. It was just what I needed. How cute is this “Caution Honeybees at work” sign?” – Valerie

2. “A trip to Roxanne’s Dried Flowers in Pittsburgh is never anything short of magical. These colors are so inspiring.” – Valerie

3“More plant life! I just can’t help myself. We tried out “Smoke” in Lawrenceville over the weekend and I loved their welcoming, cacti-filled entry.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #63 with Grandma's Texas Sheet cake, the first sign of Fall and gorgeous carousels4“Monday was Mak’s birthday and I wanted to make him his Grandmother’s Texas Sheet Cake (his favorite). I was nervous about it turning out because I had never made it before plus I had to make it gluten free. Mak’s grandmother was an expert baker and so there was a lot to live up to. I was proud when Mak said that it tasted just like hers!” – Valerie

5. “The first signs of Fall. I’m ready now!” – Valerie

6. “Riding a carousel is so quintessentially summer. I was also inspired by these pretty pastel shades!” – Valerie

 

August Happy Mail Idea – Cards & Cake

August Happy Mail Idea using Lily & Val Chalk Art Cards & Loose Recipe Cards - Cards & CakeHappy August, friends! For this month’s Happy Mail Idea, we could use really any excuse to celebrate! So, we decided to create the perfect gift pairing with our “Celebrate Cake” card and our brand new chalk art recipe cards!

One idea we had was to take apart the recipe card pack and fill out a sweet recipe in your handwriting. Then, you can send the recipe along with the card to surprise a friend. You could even include some of the recipe ingredients along in the package.

It’s a simple idea, but that’s what we’re all about at Lily & Val!

August Happy Mail Idea using Lily & Val Chalk Art Cards & Loose Recipe Cards - Cards & Cake

August Happy Mail Idea using Lily & Val Chalk Art Cards & Loose Recipe Cards - Cards & CakeAugust Happy Mail Idea using Lily & Val Chalk Art Cards & Loose Recipe Cards - Cards & CakeWe created this series to inspire you to connect with your friends & family by sending more snail mail surprises! Happy mail doesn’t need to be on a big budget or a large scale. If you create a bit of happy mail inspired by ours, we would love to see! Use #lilyandvalhappymail on Instagram!

To really help you spread the love this month, we are giving away a boxed set of 8 celebrate cake cards and a pack of recipe cards! Head on over to our Instagram to enter to win this snail mail package.

August Happy Mail Idea using Lily & Val Chalk Art Cards & Loose Recipe Cards - Cards & Cake
A Virtual Tour Around The Lily & Val Flagship Store

The Lily & Val Team in Pittsburgh PA at the Flagship Store Aloha, all! 🙂 The Lily & Val team is always so honored and grateful when friends near and far come to visit us at our brick and mortar store in Pittsburgh! For our friends that cannot visit in person, we wanted to give you a virtual tour around the Lily & Val Flagship Store instead!

The store changes around quite often, but this is our current, summer look filled with tropical vibes!

The Print Bar at the Lily & Val Flagship Store in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Print Bar (above) is where we offer every L&V print with framing options. Customers can sit at the bar and flip through our “Print Bar Menus” to find the perfect design for them.

The Lily & Val Flagship Store is located in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PAIn addition to our own L&V products, we stock the store with handmade goods from some of our favorite vendors, one-of-a-kind vintage finds, repurposed furniture, and items we love!

The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PA I love our current tropical leaf themed mantel! Part of me never wants it to change!

The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PAOur Chalk Lettering table! All copies of The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering available in the store are signed! We also have our Chalk Lettering Tool Kit and new Lily & Val stencils!

The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PA The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PAThanks for joining this little virtual tour! It is still so surreal to me to have this store and the amazing team that we do. I will be honest to say that running a small business is not easy. There’s a lot of ups, downs and everything in between, but the truth is, I wouldn’t change anything. You all make what we do so worthwhile and it humbles me everyday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, friends.

We hope to see you in person! For more Pittsburgh Flagship Store info and workshops, click here.

The Lily & Val Flagship Store is a gift boutique located in Pittsburgh PAThank you to Lindsey Zern Photography for the beautiful photos!

August’s Blue Floral Free Desktop Wallpaper Download

August's Blue Floral Free Desktop Wallpaper Download - beautiful hand-illustrated blue floral design
August is always a funny time for me because I’m in the midst of planning and finalizing everything for our Fall collection launch toward the end of the month. Although I’m trying to soak up the summer, my heart begins longing for the fall season! I cannot wait for you all to see what I have planned!

In the meantime, this blue floral desktop download is a tiny nod to things to come! The L&V Fall Collection contains blue and yellow mixed with soft neutrals and black and white botanicals. It’s a very modern, unique take on Fall and different from anything we’ve released in the past.  I really can’t wait to share it all with you! Until then, I hope you enjoy this little taste for your tech!

August's Blue Floral Free Desktop Wallpaper Download - hand-illustrated blue floral design by Valerie McKeehan of Lily & ValDownload AUGUST DESKTOP WALLPAPER 

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS >> Click the “AUGUST DESKTOP WALLPAPER” link or the image above. When the image is opened in a new window, right-click the image and select “Save image” or drag it to your desktop (You may have to click twice to bring the image to its full size).  Once the image is saved, go to your System Preferences> Desktop/Screensaver and choose this image as your new wallpaper!
Coordinate your tech with this bonus iPhone wallpaper!
August's Blue Floral Free Desktop Download - Hand-drawn blue floral iPhone wallpaper
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #62


Pretty Ordinary gives you a sneak peek into Lily & Val behind the scenes! On Lily & Val Living!

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #62, we’re documenting snapshots of our week. While our pictures may not be the prettiest or the most interesting, we enjoyed each instance and want to remember them! These are the behind-the-scenes, in-between moments – the small peeks that would otherwise be forgotten. Join us as we use this series to scrapbook the unedited, memorable happenings at Lily & Val and what is inspiring our team!

The team says:

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #62 with vintage chalkboard drawing books, sunflowers in "fall" and almond milk lattes.1. “This is a page out of a book called “Blackboard Sketching” from the 1930’s! This blows my mind!!! Someone was sweet enough to send this to me and I will treasure it. I always thought chalk art for artistic purposes was a modern thing, but this definitely proves me wrong!” – Valerie

2. “It’s been feeling like Fall in Pittsburgh the past few days and I’m certainly not unhappy about it!” – Valerie

3“My Monday almond milk latte tradition at Adda in Pittsburgh has become something I look forward to every week.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #62 with Target ball caps, new fall designs and a peek into the summer retirement sale.4“I used to never wear hats, but I’ve been loving them lately – especially this cute one from Target! I also love the time it saves in the morning.” – Valerie

5. “It’s no wonder I’ve been in the fall mood- this is what I’m currently working on in the studio!” – Valerie

6. “This week marked our big Summer Retirement Sale. It’s been sentimental and nostalgic for me to say goodbye to some classic designs. This one is a favorite (& more fall love!)” – Valerie

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #62 with Flagship store mantel artwork, summer ice cream cones and Valerie's prints at home.7“A peek at the L&V Flagship Store mantel all ready for the Summer Retirement Sale! I never want to erase those tropical leaves!” – Valerie

8. “Nothing says summer like melted ice cream all over your face!” – Nicole

9. “Yes, even the employees adorn their homes with Valerie’s artwork. Proudly displayed on my mantel at home!” – Nicole