Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{engagement shoot outfits}

On Tuesday afternoon we got to take our engagement pictures with our awesome photographer Roger from EPLove (if you need a photographer, hire them. They are wonderful and you will laugh constantly).  From what I have seen most people wear a "casual" outfit and then a "dressy" outfit for their engagement shoots.  But the thing is, I would literally live in party dresses and floor length gowns if I could get away with it so I pretty much went the dressy route for each of the locations. We shot in three different spots in Los Angeles and here is what I wore:

We started out at the Griffith Park observatory, shooting on the observatory deck and in the hiking trails surrounding it.  Originally I fell in love with this Mara Hoffman dress at Anthropologie, but it was completely sold out in my size.  After leaving Anthropologie disappointed, I stumbled upon and purchased this dress from Urban Outfitters.  I bought some deep navy silk and asked the fabulous girl, Anoushka, who is making all of the bridesmaids dresses for our wedding if she would be able to take the Urban Outfitters dress top and sew a new flowy skirt on to it.  The finished product was exactly what I wanted and I highly recommend her for any custom dress needs you might have. You can check out her Etsy shop here, the shop is currently on vacation, but you can click on "sales" to see some of her work.

 {H&M by Night dress, Aldo "fawson" heels, vintage gold belt}

For the second location, we shot all over our gym, the Los Angeles Athletic Club.  People thought we were nuts when were would say "yeah we are shooting part of the engagement shoot at our gym."  I could picture them thinking "umm ok like lifting weights and stuff? weird."  But the Athletic Club has this wonderful old school 1950s feel with a large ballroom, sweet rooftop deck and an amazing indoor pool (they even shoot Mad Men there!)

{Zara Bow slingbacks, Carolina Herrara dress}

We finished up our shoot back at our loft, which we have poured our hearts into decorating over the last 6 months and is where we actually got engaged (you can re-live the magic right here).  I wore this dress to my Junior prom. The pictures on here do it zero justice because it is truly one of my favorites and Chris probably doesn't remember, but I was also wearing this dress the first time we met. 

I promise to share the photos once I have them!

Monday, August 29, 2011

{parker palm springs}

This past weekend Chris and I took a quick trip out to Palm Springs to stay The Parker Meridien for a night.  This was my first time at the Parker and I was truly blown away by how absolutely lush and beautiful the grounds are.  The entire place feels like your own private resort with all the meandering pathways and secluded areas to play croquet or life-size chess.   The pools are equally as beautiful as the rest of the property and we spent most of time during the day lounging and sipping cocktails.  As a fun surprise, we were upgraded to a huge room with a private patio right off the croquet course.  Here some shots from the weekend:

 {our room and patio}

 {winning at croquet}

 {beautiful sunset after the storm}

 {mango papaya cinnamon crepes}

{indoor pool at the palm springs yacht club}

Friday, August 26, 2011

{friday cocktail: moscow mule}

This Friday's cocktail only has three ingredients and doesn't even require being shaken- it is probably the easiest cocktail to make out of all the ones I have posted.  This is also one of the only vodka cocktails on this blog.  I generally opt for gin over vodka (we don't even stock vodka in our bar), but one of my friends had left a few travel size vodka bottles at our place.  Traditionally this cocktail is supposed to be served in a copper mug, but we don't own a set and I imagine most other people don't either so a collins glass works just fine.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{romantic pink}

A while back, I posted about an item from Romantic Pink's Etsy shop, since then they closed their little Etsy shop and opened up a much more extensive Big Cartel store front filled with tons of fun little items from party goods to stationary- go check it out here.  Best of all, there are tons of things you will discover here that you didnt even know you needed, but now feel like you cannot live without.  Here are some things on my wishlist:

I could think of a million different things to use this for. yes- a million.}

this would be so cute on bridal shower invites or thank you cards}

 {kitchen recipe booklet $12.50: Chris pretty much shoots form the hip 
with most of our meals, it might be a good idea to write some of
them down in this cute notebook}

for kids of all ages including those who are 25}

these would be really cool for our upcoming save the dates} 

I would use these to create a bunting pattern on stationary}

{all images via Romantic Pink}

Friday, August 19, 2011

{friday cocktail: mademoiselle}

For this Friday's cocktail, I wanted to make something using the lavender simple syrup I made (see that recipe here).  Basically I made this one up as I went along and it turned out great. Since I created the recipe, I get to name it.  I am calling this one the mademoiselle since it includes St. Germain which is a french liqueur.   Its light and sweet; the perfect cocktail for the end of summer.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

{swan print}

Ever since we moved into the loft back in February, we have been looking for a piece of art to put inside a large 3 foot by 4 foot gold frame we have.  I temporarily made some "art" for it which you can see in this previous post.  Finally, a few weeks ago we found some over-sized black and white prints on Etsy that were extremely reasonable in price given the size.  We choose this print of the swans and had the seller do a custom listing for the larger size which ended up being $45.  I am still shocked Chris agreed to it since the swans seemed pretty girly to me (too late now- we own it!).

 Initially I fell in love with the color version of this print (here), but the price is about 4 times as much so we opted for the back and white.  In the end though, I am really happy with the contrast that the large black and white print brings to the room.  You will have to excuse the dark photographs- the there isn't a lot of light in the back of the loft, but the lack of light comes the lack of windows which just means there is more usable wall space for artwork!

Here are some of the other options we were considering:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

{new additions}

I recently picked a few small accessories for our place, one of which is another new apothecary jar. Yes, another one- clearly I have an issue, but at least this time I knew exactly what I was going to use it for.   I have been looking for the perfect round and short apothecary jar to hold candy on our coffee table forever and I picked this one up at Michael's Crafts.  For the longest time, I was only seeing this type of shape in the larger ones so when I found this one for $10 I couldn't pass it up.

We also bought these white lion bookends off Etsy.  Originally they were going to be used on our bookshelves, but the shelves are white against a white wall so these bookends just blended into the background.  I am currently trying to think of a new spot for them. I might create a little mini set of books on my dresser in the bedroom since I am one of those people who is always reading two or three books at a time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

{friday cocktail: new york sour}

This Friday's cocktail is another discovery from 12 Bottle Bar.   I came across this classic cocktail recipe in the website's write up on 4 different ways to make a sour which is a very informative post and I recommend you check it out.  The New York sour is just like a plain old original sour except...wait for it....there is a float of red wine on top. Yes, wine.  I was skeptical about this one, but I am attempting to appreciate rye/whiskey and since I love red wine, I figured this might be a nice cocktail to ease me into it.   I would never have ordered this cocktail if it was on a bar menu, but it was actually really good. Plus, I got to try my hand at "floating" a liquid on top of a cocktail which is definitely more intimidating than it actually is.  Here is the recipe:


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

{diy confetti art}


Recently I needed to buy a frame for a gift and I conveniently found it at Aaron Brothers during their 5 cent sale. Which meant I was able to pick up a 24 inch square box canvas along with the frame I needed for free!  I was originally thinking I might mount some photos on it using this previous post as inspiration.  Instead I was inspired by some Kate Spade dinnerware - see above.  I picked up some metallic gold cardstock and glitter paper then used my 2-inch circle punch to create the confetti.  I placed it haphazardly around the white canvas and secured it with spray adhesive.

This entire project took me maybe 15 minutes!  It would look even better if I had taken the time to paint the canvas since our walls are white and a little color would have made it pop more.  This would make a great gift for someone's birthday; I would love to see it as multicolored confetti on an even bigger canvas!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

{bourbon & bleu}

You may have heard me mention our friends, Josh and Heather, who recently got married.  Well before they got married, they had a wonderful food blog which ended up taking the backseat to wedding planning for the past year.  But now is back!!!  I highly encourage you to head over and check it out.  Josh and Heather entertain at their place often and the blog is full of easy recipes as well as cocktails and even some Los Angeles area restaurant reviews.  Here are links to some of my personal favorite posts from them:


Monday, August 8, 2011

{summer appetizer: strawberry pesto crostini}

Okay technically this appetizer could be made all year round, but the strawberries make it feel like it belongs in summertime.  Anyways this is now my new favorite appetizer since it has everything you need; toasted bread, creamy goat cheese, tasty pesto, sweet strawberries and tart balsamic.  I originally came across this recipe on Pinterest and you can view the instructions here.  To be honest, I cheated on this and bought the pesto from the store since I was exhausted after a weekend trip to Palm Springs (yes, I realize pesto is easy to make and yes, I still choose to purchase it pre-made: it is Classico brand and it was great).  I would also recommend that instead of chopping the strawberries, you slice them in thin layers and lay them on top of the crostini.  The chopped strawberries got a bit messy and I assure you it wasn't user error, those strawberries fall everywhere.  Just do yourself a favor and slice them.