Monday, October 31, 2011

{mini pumpkin pies + halloween photos}

My love of regular desserts taken into mini bite size form continues with this recipe from Bakerella for mini pumpkin pies.  This recipe is seriously foolproof; the pie dough is the ready made kind you can find at any grocery store and the filling has only a handful of ingredients.  Topped with some whipped cream and this is the perfect dessert for any get together from now until Thanksgiving!

Besides this weekend being filled with a lot of baking, we also went to two Halloween parties.   On Saturday night we co-hosted our annual pumpkin carving contest/party at our friend's place in Venice.  

 {halloween themed confetti system, see a tutorial here}

 {mini pumpkin pies making an appearance alongside sangria & red velvet whoopie pies}

 {our entry into the pumpkin carving contest}

{my airplane costume from the Toddlers's dept at Target & party host, Terra, as a Cheeto}

Sunday night we were invited to a Halloween potluck which I contributed the mini pumpkin pies, but this time I topped them with whipped cream.  The whipped cream is a great addition, but you really can't put it on until right before you want to serve the pies; otherwise it melts. 

 {my "Miss Universe" costume with Heather, the host of the potluck}

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

{friday cocktail: raspberry rose champagne cocktail}

This has been a really exciting week for me; we sent out our save the dates, hosted the very first giveaway on the blog (go enter here!) and our loft was featured on Apartment Therapy!  Naturally this Friday's cocktail needed to be some sort of celebratory champagne cocktail.   Normally I shy away from a cocktail recipe that has so many ingredients, but I loved the sound of this Raspberry Rose cocktail when I came across it here and decided I could make it work with ingredients we already had.  I had to modify the recipe a bit by substituting the rose liqueur (although that sounds wonderful and I think it needs to be added to our bar) with rose syrup and using regular simple syrup with muddled basil leaves instead of actually creating the Basil Simple Syrup mentioned in the original recipe.  

{sneaky sneaky}


Thursday, October 27, 2011

{sweet potato skewers with cilantro aioli}

Is there anything better than the onslaught of sweet potato, pumpkin and apple themed recipes that appear once the calender hits October!?!?  Pumpkin is always the front runner of fall ingredients for me, but when I saw this recipe for Sweet Potato skewers with a jalapeno cilantro aioli, I knew I had to try it.  This is a great and simple recipe that is sure to impress.  You simply peel and cube the sweet potato, then while it is baking you whip up a simple aioli that includes fresh cilantro and spicy jalapeno.   The mixture of the aioli and the sweet potato is out of control.  These are two flavors I would never put together and yet, they work so incredibly well.   Putting these on a skewer is a great visual presentation, but if I ever made these again I would serve them as individual sweet potato bites on smaller bamboo skewers or appetizer picks.  I always find that dishes are easier for guests to eat if they are a one dip and one bite type of thing.  You can see the original recipe I followed here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

{apartment therapy house tour!}

I am so excited that not only is today a GIVEAWAY day on the blog, but Apartment Therapy is featuring a tour of our loft!!!!  You can see it right here.  Apartment Therapy is by far one of my favorite sites for home inspiration and the house tours are the best part since you get to see how people really live! Here are links to some of the posts that relate to things you see in the house tour:

{jewelry from Jewelmint + A GIVEAWAY!}

          {from left to right: Versailles earrings, Savoy Bracelet, Midnight Soiree cocktail ring, 
Forget me Knot stacking ring set, Cavalier Crest necklace, From here to Eternity Necklace & Earring set}

Recently I was contacted by JewelMint to see if I would interested in picking out some of their jewelry to review on the blog....umm yes I most definitely accepted that offer.  I got to chose the 6 wonderful pieces you see in the above photo from their current collection.

For those of you not familiar with Jewelmint, it is a membership site that allows you to purchase pieces from a new monthly collection of jewelry designed by Kate Bosworth.  Here are some of my personal favorites from the pieces I picked out:

I think my absolute favorite piece out of everything JewelMint sent over is the Versailles Earrings (bottom left).  I generally like to buy more understated jewelry; especially with earrings where I usually opt for simple studs.  These feel really glamorous and don't look cheap as costume jewelry that is this glitzy can be.  They are perfect for dressing up some of my more classic solid jersey dresses for a night out and I can't wait to wear them!

{outfit I plan on wearing this weekend with the my new Cavalier Crest necklace}


JewelMint is also graciously offering a giveaway for all Mint love Social Club readers!!  If you win you will get to select any one piece of jewelry available from their site!!  

To enter the giveaway: become a member of Jewelmint by clicking here and then comment on this post about what piece you would love to have from their current collection (you will have to be a member to browse their entire selection of jewelry, but don't worry membership is completely free!).  If you are already a member of JewelMint, simply comment on this post letting me know something you already have from them or what you would love to pick out if you win. Giveaway ends next Tuesday (November 8th) at 10PM PST. (winner will be randomly selected)

If you absolutely can't wait to see if you have won the giveaway, JewelMint is also offering a coupon code for 50% off the first piece of jewelry you purchase if you enter the code "MINTLOVE" at check out which means you could get anything on their site or any of the jewelry pictured here for just 15 bucks!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

{save the dates}

Last weekend we sent out our save the dates!  Anytime we get to check something big off of the wedding checklist, I feel extremely accomplished.  After our engagement photo session, I had a very good idea of what I wanted to the save the date cards to look like.  Chris and I designed these together and got them printed at a local printer in downtown LA.  The envelopes are from Paper Source and come in a variety of colors and do not require any extra postage despite the weird size!  I have been really loving the look of kraft paper ever since we used it for the envelopes when making our engagement party invites. This time around we used full sticker sheet kraft paper for the envelope address wraps.  Label outfitters makes sticker kraft labels in a variety of sizes available here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

{corner closet}

The built in closet that came with our loft is absolutely wonderful except that the closet rod was installed a lot lower than normal and my floor length dresses end up dragging on the ground.  This wasn't really a big deal up until recently when I bought 4 new long dresses for some of the wedding related events coming up.  I have seen people buy small rolling clothes racks to house or display extra clothing, but I didn't want to lose a ton of our floor space in an already small bedroom.  After some brainstorming while wandering around Home Depot, we decided to install a bar on a 45° angle in the corner of our room right outside the closet.  For about $30 in piping and 15 minutes of labor, I now have a bar that is high enough to keep my long dresses from getting damaged.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{friday cocktail: gin cabaret}

Apparently I really like cocktails with blackberries in them!  This is probably the fifth one I have made on this blog (you can see some others here, here & here).  I came across this one on pinterest and was exited to try it since it included St Germain!  I substituted the vodka in the original recipe for gin:


Thursday, October 20, 2011

{a little white spray paint}

I have been having a super productive week! In addition to finally hanging our upholstered headboard, I also tackled a small spray paint project that has been on my to do list forever.  One of the problems with living in the loft is you cannot just walk out to your driveway to spray paint something.  Instead, I have to go down to the street level and hang out with my stuff while I spray paint it behind our building (people give me odd looks like I am about the tag the side of our building. It isn't pleasant).  Anyways, I have had these candle holders since we moved to LA.  They used to be the stands to some glass hurricanes and I painted them Robin's Egg blue to use as candle holders (you can see them in action here).  While the blue is pretty, it isnt very versatile and I finally got around to repainting them a glossy white.  I really love how these turned out and plan on keeping them on our dining room table instead of hidden on our bookshelf from now on!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{almost tufted diy upholstered headboard}

Sometimes there are those DIY projects that you start and just never can quite get around to finishing.  We set out to make our own tufted headboard before we moved into the loft.  I picked up this blue grey stretch cotton fabric from the Micheal Levine loft and we were able to whip up the frame and upholster the headboard within an hour or so.  The part that escaped us for next 8 months was the actual tufting of the headboard.  All the tutorials we read said this was the most time consuming part.  We even dropped off fabric to get the buttons for the tufting made at Pepe's in Silverlake and still havent picked them up!  Since we were still planning to tuft the headboard after we moved in, we never got around to mounting the headboard on the wall, but last night with a photoshoot in our loft looming this weekend, we finally got around to putting it up...

 {holes drilled in the back of the board which allow for the tufting!}

You can see the tutorial we followed to make the headboard here.  I promise to actually tuft this thing and share the real finished product in the next month!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

{sprucing up the deck}

Gardening on our deck is a lot more difficult than it looks. Since the artificial grass sits on top of "rooftop" concrete, I have to put down plastic painter's drop cloths whenever I want to garden since any dirt that doesn't make it inside the planters has no where to go but down a tiny drain on the side of the deck.  Because of this, I try to save up gardening projects and do them all at once.  This past weekend, I finally had a chance to plant some succulents I picked up in the downtown Flower Mart into some ceramic urns I scored at Michael's Crafts.  The urns are intended to be used for our upcoming wedding, but until then they'll hang out in the corners of our deck.  I also picked up a small white azalea bush for our dining table.  Other than our cocktail tree, I try to only plant succulents so that I don't have to water that much, but I couldn't resist this girly little plant on a recent trip to Home Depot.