Lily & Val Living - A pretty place for all who love the simple things in life.
Bringing Back The Art of Snail Mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and Typewritten Notes

“2018: a return to naturalism. Let’s Correspond. Real paper. Real ink.” – John Mayer

The other day, John Mayer posted this and it instantly inspired me. His sentiment about 2018 being a return to naturalism is something I feel so deeply about and it’s rooted in the philosophy of what we do at Lily & Val. As stationery designers, this comes as no surprise! To remember these words as a bit of a 2018 mantra, I lettered them! In just a few days we will be launching the 2018 Valentine card collection, so it seemed especially fitting to share some thoughts on handwritten and typewritten notes!

Bringing back the art of snail mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and typewritten notes

My first love when it comes to writing letters will always be handwriting. To me, handwriting (even the messiest kind!) is art because you feel connected to the person who wrote those words when you’re holding them in your hand. When I clutch a recipe handwritten by my mother or grandmother, I instantly feel the connection. It’s a piece of them. They held that paper too. It’s a feeling an email or a text will never be able to reproduce.

Although handwriting is my first love, my husband, Mak, discovered another passion along the same vein and one that John Mayer was specifically talking about in his post – typewritten words!

Bringing back the art of snail mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and typewritten notes

A few months ago, Mak and I watched the documentary “California Typewriter.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend! What first drew me in was the fact that John Mayer AND Tom Hanks were in a movie together (what?!) This, I had to see. The movie documents the struggles of California Typewriter, one of the last standing typewriter repair shops in America. It also portrays the artists, writers, and collectors who remain loyal to this old-fashioned device.

Mak and I didn’t expect the documentary to move us as significantly as it did. It was thought-provoking and deep, stirring a long discussion about technology and our increasingly digital existence. What possibly struck me the most was John Mayer’s deep analysis of society’s loss of creative process. Before computers, you were able to see a song writer’s first and second drafts. You see the crossed out portions and the lines that were added later. You see the messy brilliancy of creativity at work. I never thought of it that way before.

This realization also touched on a topic I’ve been going back to again and again this past year: slowing down. Handwriting or typewriting is a slow process. I’m working to bring more slow moments in my life.

Bringing back the art of snail mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and typewritten notes

Inspired by the movie and our discussions, Mak and I immediately searched antique stores for typewriters! We ended up finding two, but both needed some work and love. After finding a repair store in Pittsburgh, they were able to get our machines into beautiful, working condition. One we gave to my brother for Christmas (he’s a songwriter living in Nashville) and one Mak kept for himself.

Since then, he has been finding a rhythm with his typewriter and confirms that you can indeed connect to this machine as you would with a musical instrument. He’s been enjoying typing correspondence and, yes, a letter to John Mayer.

Bringing back the art of snail mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and typewritten notes

Obviously, corresponding this way isn’t always feasible, but I encourage you to make it a point in 2018 to add some snail mail to your routine! Maybe instead of saying “thank you” via text, handwrite a quick note. Say “happy birthday” with a card – not just a Facebook post. I wrote another post with my top 3 tips for writing more letters. Happy hand / type / real / writing!

Bringing back the art of snail mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and typewritten notes Bringing back the art of snail mail: Thoughts on Handwritten and typewritten notes
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #83

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

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #83, 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:

1. “A peek at something I was working on this week using my iPad Pro and Apple pencil!” – Valerie

2. “Wild roses in process. I stayed up late and drew these just for fun. A goal of mine this year is to create simply for the sake of creating!” – Valerie

3“The Christmas decorations got put away this week. It feels good to be refreshed! This is a little faux centerpiece arrangement I made for Valentine’s Day and I love it on this Anthropologie table runner I got for Christmas.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #83 with Surprise Box planning, ribbon letters and warm, cuddly Boxer puppies

4“Some planning going on for an upcoming Lily & Val Surprise Box!!” – Valerie

5. “I drew this letter “L” to participate in the Letter Archive project on Instagram! The ribbon style is one of my favorites and works perfectly with this letter.” – Valerie

6. “It was bitterly cold here in Southwestern PA last week. I think my pups have the right idea. They pretty much lived here all week!” – Nicole

Keepsake Kitchen Diary Crafting Inspiration

With so many new people becoming Keepsake Kitchen Diary owners over the holidays, I wanted to share some crafting inspiration from the Lily & Val team! This fun spread for Spaghetti Sauce is filled with so many cute details and creativity! Scrapbooking and planner supplies will help you add some embellished flair to the pages.

Use scrapbooking and planner supplies to add recipes and memories to the pages of your Keepsake Kitchen Diary

Some of my favorite details on this spread:

Washi tape. I love how the red gingham tape creates a colorful divider to break up the spread. (One of my favorite washi tape resources on Etsy!)

Colored illustrations. The line drawings on each spread provide a great opportunity to color and coordinate the rest of the elements on the page. You can add your own illustrations too! I love the spaghetti drawing in the bottom left corner of the recipes page. Both colored pencils and markers were used here and it looks so cute!

Telling a story. Instead of recording each specific date and occasion when the dish was made, you can turn that page into an opportunity to tell a story about the recipe. The diary prompts are so versatile in this way!

Use scrapbooking and planner supplies to add recipes and memories to the pages of your Keepsake Kitchen Diary Use scrapbooking and planner supplies to add recipes and memories to the pages of your Keepsake Kitchen Diary Use scrapbooking and planner supplies to add recipes and memories to the pages of your Keepsake Kitchen Diary Use scrapbooking and planner supplies to add recipes and memories to the pages of your Keepsake Kitchen Diary Use scrapbooking and planner supplies to add recipes and memories to the pages of your Keepsake Kitchen Diary

I hope you enjoy making the Keepsake Kitchen Diary your own and adding your precious family recipes and memories in a meaningful way! For more inspiration, be sure to follow the Keepsake Kitchen Diary on Instagram! 

Not sure where to get started? This post will help you!

January Happy Mail Idea- Cozy Winter Vibes

cozy winter vibes hand lettered card by Lily & Val

Friends, I hope your 2018 is off to an amazing start! I think this is the perfect time of year to try something creative. Yes, because of the new year, but mostly because it’s FREEZING outside and I’d rather be cozied up inside with a new project!

This happy mail idea centers around giving your loved one an excuse to embrace those cozy winter vibes and do something just for fun!

Lily & Val for Plaid Crafts stencils are available at Michaels!

A package of Lily & Val stencils found at Michaels stores might be the perfect item to spark some creativity! They are so versatile and can be used to make chalkboards, wooden signs, or an array of projects! Here’s a great post from Plaid Crafts with instructions on how to use them!  They also make a great happy mail surprise since they are flat and super easy to ship!

Pair the stencils with our Cozy Winter Vibes card to let the recipient know you were thinking of them (especially if they live in freezing temperatures!)

Lily & Val for Plaid Crafts stencils are available at Michaels! Lily & Val for Plaid Crafts stencils are available at Michaels!

We love the idea of surprising someone with a little, unexpected gift just because! Sending 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 #LVhappymail on Instagram!

We’ll be sending this stencil pack and note card to one lucky winner!  Check out our Happy Mail Instagram post to enter!

Cozy Winter Vibes hand lettered card by Lily & Val
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #82

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

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #82, 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 #82 with Valerie's artwork roots, the snowy PA turnpike, Aunt Holly leaving her mark in the Keepsake Kitchen Diary

1. “I went through a bunch of my old things in my parent’s basement and found this little gem! This is how I decorated my planner circa 1997. It brought back so many memories and laughs.” – Valerie

2. “The beautiful drive to Harrisburg on the Pennsylvania Turnpike! We had a White Christmas!” – Valerie

3“On Christmas Day, we asked Mak’s Aunt Holly to fill in pages in our Keepsake Kitchen Diary. I love that I now have my Mom’s, Mak’s mom, and now her handwriting in the pages.” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #82 with ugly Christmas sweater traditions, iPad painting and Christmas cookie decorating

4“Christmas Eve ugly sweater tradition with Mak and my brothers at my parent’s house!” – Valerie

5. “After Christmas, I came down with a terrible flu then cold. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on the couch with my iPad Pro!” – Valerie

6. “I loved making Christmas cookies with the family this year! I think this might be a new hobby in 2018!” – Emily

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #82 with awkward family photos with your besties, pork and sauerkraut and fashionista preschoolers

7. “The best friends let you take an “Awkward Family Photo” with their 38 week pregnant belly. These ladies inspire me, each in a different way.” – Emily

8. “Our New Year’s Day tradition is a big old crockpot full of pork, kielbasa and sauerkraut because it brings good luck for the new year!” – Nicole

9. “My little niece is my style icon. Four years old and oh so stylish!” – Emily

2018 Lily & Val Flagship Store Update

Lily & Val Flagship Store

Hi Friends. Today I have some bittersweet news to share and I’m not really sure if I have the right words, so please bear with me. Also, there’s SO much on my heart and too many things I want to express, but for now, I will be as concise as I can. 🙂

In 2016 I felt a tug for Lily & Val to expand. It had always been a dream of mine to own a brick and mortar retail shop and when the most perfect, adorable building (hello, real fireplace and mantel!) became available in my neighborhood, I felt it was there waiting for us. We jumped at the opportunity. Guys, it’s the store of my dreams. (I hope that doesn’t sound conceited, but boy it really is!)  From the Print Bar (an actual marble bar you could sit at and browse through our print menu) to the Sign & Seal Station (an antique letter writing desk containing tons of supplies to craft your card) it was a physical manifestation of everything I wanted the Lily & Val brand to represent. It may sound old-fashioned, but I always had a desire to celebrate the tangible and authentic through L&V, especially in our oversaturated digital age. The store was something you could genuinely experience – feel, touch, smell, hear – and that excited me. I think we built something special and I’m intensely proud of it. We had a space for in-person workshops (another dream!) and I loved every one. Seeing your faces and meeting new Pittsburgh friends in the store was amazing. I got to know many of you, and I hope you know how grateful I am. It truly shocked and humbled me everytime fans of Lily & Val would travel to visit our little store. Seriously, for those that came to see us from all across the country, I’m still shocked, but so honored.

Lily & Val Flagship Store

As amazing as all of that is and much as it pains me, what I’ve come to realize is that Lily & Val is meant to expand, but in a different direction. As of February 1, 2018, we will no longer be operating the Flagship Store. I don’t regret anything we’ve done. The past year has stretched and taught me and ultimately helped me see that the efforts of the Lily & Val team need to be refocused. As a tiny team with so much on our plates, I didn’t want us to lose focus on the bread and butter of our company – our online store, wholesale, and licensing programs. 2017 gave us bucket-list-worthy opportunities like collaborating with Anthropologie, winning an award at the National Stationery Show, and working with Starbucks and Martha Stewart! The quote “you can do anything, but not everything” hit me hard. I will be honest, the past year has had a ton of highs, but I’ve also felt often burnt out and imbalanced trying to do everything. I say this news is bittersweet because getting to this place of realization has given me more clarity than ever for the future of Lily & Val.

It’s been a pleasure serving those in our community, but I feel I can better serve on a much larger scale with the full attention of my efforts turned to our online audience. The mission of Lily & Val centers around the idea of savoring and celebrating ordinary, simple pleasures and I desire to bring that joy, warmth, and encouragement to our customers in everything we do. My goal is to spread our mission and passion to as many people who resonate with what we’re doing. I get messages on an almost daily basis from friends across the world wishing you could visit the store and I want to be sure I am serving all of you the best I know I can. As a small business, these decisions are tough but necessary to make sure we’re staying on track with our values and what’s really important to us. And with that said, I cannot wait for you guys to see what is planned moving forward. I am so passionate about what we’re doing and how exciting our refocused efforts will be.

What you can expect:

As the team charges forward into 2018, the biggest thing you can expect to see is more product and product collaborations from L&V! Last year we held a survey and an overwhelming number of you said you wanted to see more products! We heard you loud and clear. Product development hasn’t progressed nearly as much as I would have liked with divided attention, but moving forward our heartfelt product lineup will continue to expand and I really think you’re going to like what we have coming! With continued product collaborations and partnerships, you will also be able to find L&V in an increased number of stores!

Additionally, more Surprise Boxes filled with L&V curated goods are coming! This is our small way to stay connected to the store by pairing favorite products and handmade items with our own. I’m also pleased to announce the new position of Emily Cowey! Since she will no longer be merchandising the store, her new position is Creative Coordinator and Stylist!

It is bittersweet to write this news, friends, but I’m optimistic. I’m excited about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead. Meeting many of you through the store has been a highlight of this past year, thank you to each and every one of you who walked through our pink doors! Ultimately though, my goal is to serve and share L&V with as many of you as I can and I’m excited to have realized that to achieve this, we’ve been pointed in a bigger direction! As always, thank you times a billion for your love, support, and encouragement. It means the world to me.

 

“Refocus” January Free Desktop Wallpaper Download

Happy New Year, everyone! For January’s free desktop wallpaper download, I’m excited to reveal my word of the year – Refocus!

Why “Refocus”?

In the 2017 Year in Review for Lily & Val, I declared 2017 the year of “learning.” I’m grateful for the past year and how much it stretched, challenged, and taught me. Following a year like that, I’ve been doing a great deal of reflecting and realized areas that have been too much of a focus, at the expense of others. The phrase, “you can do anything, but not everything” hit me hard. 

Of course, refocusing doesn’t happen all at once. There’s guaranteed to be awkward, uncomfortable stages in-between! I don’t like the in-between – it’s messy and unsettling. Part of my 2018 goal is to accept every stage and sit in the mess. It’s the sticky, in-between parts that bring us to new places, push us forward, and create depth in our lives. As with any work in process, imperfection and mistakes are to be expected and I’m learning to sit in that too. These moments push us past comfort zones and develop a beautiful complexity and richness of life.

Perhaps you’re in a stage of pivoting or refocusing for 2018. New goals and dreams will always require a shift- a resolve to take even the smallest of steps to push you forward. I hope this desktop download helps move your attention to what’s important and serves as a reminder when you need encouraged. Enjoy!

Here’s to the best 2018!

Refocus hand-drawn desktop download

Download JANUARY DESKTOP WALLPAPER.

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS >> Click the “JANUARY 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!
2017 Year in Review

Happy almost New Year, my friends!

A few days ago, I read an article on how to effectively reflect on the past year and use it to propel you forward. One of the suggestions was to name your year. I typically do this at the start of a new year (I already have my word for 2018 and will be sharing that soon!) but I’ve never paused to give a word to the year that has passed. I loved the idea so much and decided to declare 2017 the year of LEARNING for Lily & Val.

I’m excited to pause and re-cap this whirlwind year! You can be sure a “year of learning” means there were many mistakes, new obstacles that pushed us past our comfort zones, and ultimately difficulties that gave us new perspectives and clarity. The year was also filled with some major accomplishments and bucket list items. I’m grateful for each milestone and how it’s shaped this little company and me personally. Thank you to everyone for coming along on this journey! Most of all, I’m grateful for all of you because, without your support, there would be no re-cap to write!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

Here is a re-cap of the last year at L&V:

In January we kicked off our year of hygge!  This theme of “coziness of the soul” really did permeate our entire year, especially during a Pittsburgh winter.

In March, we introduced our Chalk Lettering Tool Kit! Putting all of my tools and favorite products together in a kit was a dream of mine ever since The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering came out in 2015! Each one is hand-assembled right here in Pittsburgh.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

Also in March, we held our very first workshop at the Lily & Val Flagship Store! It was a Chalk Lettering Techniques class and these attendees were the first to receive a Chalk Lettering Tool Kit! The year brought more workshops to Pittsburgh, like our Faux Floral Wreath class!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

March was a busy month because we also introduced our Spring in Provence print collection filled with designs inspired by a special trip I took to France. 

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

The coming of April brought National Letter Writing Month! We wanted to make a splash in celebrating the art of snail mail, so we released 10 new cards in the shop! 

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

In May, Mak and I appeared on KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live!

We also headed to New York City for our second year at the National Stationery Show! It was an amazing week, but what blew us away the most was The Chalk Lettering Tool Kit winning not one, but TWO awards including overall “best of show” and best new product in “Craft it up/DIY”. I still chuckle when I see this photo taken by the NSS team when they gave us the award. Mak’s expression sums it up.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val 2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

In June, we celebrated 5 years of L&V!!  It’s still amazing to me that 5 years ago I pressed publish on an Etsy store that was supposed to be a hobby. It’s humbling. We celebrated with a party in the office and a card grab bag!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

In July we launched our Recipe Collection featuring a brand new product – loose recipe cards! Also, in July Emily and I went to Atlanta Gift Show to find new lines to carry in our Pittsburgh store.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val 2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

One of my favorite collaborations to date also happened in July when Lily & Val stencils were released! What a dream it was to work with such a well-known and respected company in the craft world – Plaid Crafts! It was truly an honor and a thrill to see them in Michaels Stores across the country!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

July brought some changes to the L&V team and shifted our roles. This was one of the many moments 2017 pushed me past my comfort zone.

We also welcomed our new Shop Assistant, Nicole, to the L&V team! If you’ve written to us this year, you would have most likely communicated with her!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val 2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

Also, in July we held our Summer Retirement Sale and said goodbye to dozens of classic L&V designs. Many of these designs had been around since I started the shop on Etsy! We had never retired so many designs at once before.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

Lily & Val saw growth in 2017 that we hadn’t experienced up to this point! We had a lot to figure out and learn (that word again!) Growth can sometimes seem glamorous, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that is anything but! There were multiple times the team came together for long hours of assembly parties in the office to fulfill orders for major retailers.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

August brought our brand new home on the internet! We also released the Fall Collection! This collection was especially meaningful and significant to me because it marked a shift in my artwork. I drew this collection after feeling a pull for simplicity. My heart was craving slow, a fresh start. I admit I was nervous to release it since I felt it was very different. I was especially worried about the scrawled and sketchy F. Scott Fitzgerald poem, but it ended up being a favorite from the collection! I tried to push myself artistically this year and learned a lot along the way.

As part of the Fall line, we also introduced another brand new product- L&V Canvases! 

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

August took me back to San Francisco to film two new classes with Brit & Co! One was for chalk illustration and the other was a watercolor lettering illustration class. So much fun!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

This was certainly an exciting Fall, because the first wave of the L&V for Anthropologie collaboration hit stores! Last year, I designed a tea towel, but the line was expanded with glasses and travel mugs. Seeing the juice glasses in stores for the first time was a moment I will never forget (Plus, it happened while on vacation in Boston after having met my insta friend Holly Nichols of H.N.Illustration in person. This was a great day!)

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val 2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

In September, I had the privilege of collaborating with TLC and their agency to create a series of illustrations for the Little Couple!

Lily & Val chalk art for the Little Couple on TLC

The Lily & Val Flagship Store turned one in October and we celebrated with an Anniversary Open House!

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

The 2017 Holiday Collection, which we named “All is Calm,” also launched in October.  The art and the heart behind it followed the same thoughts from the Fall Collection. I wanted the designs to feel like a breath of fresh air.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

Another new product came with our Holiday Collection – the Holiday Gift Tracker! This was a product created because I really needed it and it was a thrill to see how well it resonated with you too.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

And another wonderful collaboration! Through a partnership with Mixbook, we were able to offer a series of holiday photo cards and matching return address labels. (You can expect to see more with Mixbook in the future!)

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val

In November, we revealed a brand new cover option for our best-selling Keepsake Kitchen Diary™! The whimsical lemons cover gave a sunshiny and cheerful pop to this beloved product.

2017 Year in Review at Lily & Val - The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

I always love partnering with Starbucks!  This year, they sent me this fun “cup decorating kit” to make their holiday cup design my own.

December began with our L&V Surprise Box launch! We had no idea what to expect, but you all blew us away when the boxes sold out in just 20 minutes! We’ve been working behind-the-scenes to bring you more boxes in the future!

The second wave of the Anthropologie collection hit shelves! Two tea towels plus two travel mugs rounded out the holiday product offerings. Again, it’s just surreal.

Speaking of surreal, I wrote an article for the Martha Stewart Living Blog about how to draw chalk snowflakes! I gasped when I saw the below photo posted on the Martha Stewart Instagram!

We wrapped up December with our company dinner and office gift exchange. What. A. Year.

As 2017 with its ups and downs comes to a close, I feel so hopeful and excited about 2018. I have a renewed sense of direction and confidence moving forward. I can’t wait to share more about this in the coming weeks. Again, I can’t say thank you enough for your continued support and encouragement. It means the world to me. Thank you for following this little journey.

Happy New Year

2018 Digital Download 2018 Digital Download
Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #81

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

For this week’s Pretty Ordinary Friday #81, 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 #81 with word of the year for 2018, hand-lettered holiday envelopes and hot chocolate in Hershey, PA

1. “I broke out my Copic Markers to draw my word for 2018! Can you guess what it is?” – Valerie

2. “I love lettering envelopes- especially around the holidays! Is so fun to come up with new ways to make them special.” – Valerie

3“Mak and I went to Hershey Park’s Christmas Candylane! They have the BEST hot chocolate (naturally).” – Valerie 

Lily & Val Presents: Pretty Ordinary Friday #81 with a Kit-Kat in Hershey Park, souvenirs from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert and beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts

4“When you’re in Hershey, PA… haha!” – Valerie

5. “I caught a pick at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert! This concert always puts me in the mood for Christmas!!!” – Valerie

6. “It was so pretty that I didn’t want to open and ruin it! But it was totally worth ruining. I am so blessed to be a part of this team!” – Nicole

 

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe Crafted In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary

Russian Tea Cookies are also something you will find on every wedding cookie table, and if you are from the Pittsburgh Area or Ohio Valley you know how fantastic these cookie tables can be! Cookie tables at weddings are one of my favorite traditions because, like at the Holidays, you get sample all kinds of amazing home made treats from all of your friends and family. The cookies we make during these special times of year are never just made on a random Tuesday and that makes them seem even more special.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

I love this recipe because, even though the result is so pretty and wintery, these cookies could not be easier to make. Most likely you have all of these inexpensive ingredients in your house already.  So check out the recipe here.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

Even though my family has always made Russian Tea Cookies/Cakes for Christmas, I wanted my Keepsake Kitchen Diary entry to be a little festive but also just a beautiful everyday spread…because maybe I will make them some other time of year! I also prefer to have all my interior pages coordinate in some way to the style of Keepsake Kitchen Diary that I am using.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

My favorite colors are mustard yellow and chartreuse…so naturally the interior of the Lemon Kitchen Diary cover is my favorite part. I try to tie these colors into every spread so that my book looks beautiful no matter where I open it.

Tip: I think highlighting the “Memories” lines in different colors is a nice way to separate each story (because sometimes 1 memory takes up more that one line.)

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

My mom has all of her mother’s handwritten recipe cards. I love them so much, and I love how holding them and seeing her writing makes me feel like I know her a little better. It’s nice to have a place to put those special recipes so that I can take  her instructions with me and leave the memories in those recipe cards for safe keeping at my childhood home.
Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

It’s great to include the more practical things in the Keepsake Kitchen Diary entry as well. I especially like to make note of wether or not certain cookies freeze well and the best way to do that. These cookies freeze perfectly and are so easy to bake quickly for last minute guests or impromptu parties.

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper

I hope you give this recipe a try! When you create your next Kitchen Diary spread…challenge yourself by trying to incorporate an unusual color, you may find you have a new favorite palette! Enjoy!

Russian Tea Cookie Recipe In The Keepsake Kitchen Diary - a family cookbook and memory keeper