Thursday, May 31, 2012

{diy flower crowns}

Ever since Lana del Rey sported this awesome flower crown, I feel like I have been seeing flower crown inspiration popping everywhere (some of my favorites here, here, here).  I even considered wearing a floral crown at my wedding, but I didn't feel like the style of my dress would compliment one so instead I had some of my bridesmaids wear them.  Ever since seeing their fresh flower crowns in person, I have had major envy and wanted one for myself. 

I just so happens that we are heading out for a weekend in Palm Springs in a few weeks and I decided laying poolside would be the perfect time to wear a flower crown.  Honestly- is there really an "appropriate" time for a flower crown?  Let's just say I saw my opportunity to wear a flower crown among friends at Chris' family's vacation home and I am seizing it.

This past weekend, my friend Eva and I picked up all the supplies at Moskatel's in downtown Los Angeles and followed this simple tutorial.  The only difference that I made in making mine was that I did not end up utilizing the floral tape.  I found that as long as you bend the ends of the floral wire away from your head that the crown is surprisingly comfortable and did not require tape to seal it.  The supplies pictured in the below picture is enough to make two flower crowns.  I recommend getting at least 4 large "blooms" for each crown as well as some smaller buds and leaves to fill in the sides.

This is by far one of the easiest and quickest projects I have ever done.  It may seem difficult, but as long as you have the right supplies you can create a simple crown in about 15 minutes.  I am even considering making one in red, white and blue flowers to wear for 4th of July weekend.  But at the very least, I absolutely cannot wait to this one out in the desert!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{fresh strawberries with yogurt foam}

After a some cocktails, dinners with friends and a little boating excursion; we ended this weekend with a leisurely home-cooked meal.   There has been an ongoing joke for sometime about how much Chris hates dessert and would almost always prefer a cheese plate to anything usually offered on the dessert menu so I was shocked when he suggested trying out a dessert recipe from Ferran Adria's The Family Meal to round out our dinner last night. 

We decided to try out the recipe for fresh strawberries with yogurt foam which utilizes a whipped cream siphon that we have been wanting to try out for something other than simple whipped cream for the longest time.  This recipe is incredibly easy and quick while still being delicious in light of how simple it is.  You could easily switch out the strawberries for another fruit you might have around the house and while I liked the tart flavor of the plain yogurt, you could also switch this out for something a little more sweet like regular vanilla or raspberry yogurt.   Here is the recipe taken from The Family Meal:

what you need (4-6 servings):
  • 1 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • whipped cream siphon
  • fresh strawberries- about 3 per person
  1. Pour the yogurt and cream into a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Sweeten the mixture with 2 tbsp. sugar if you desire a sweeter taste.
  3. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the siphon.
  4. Charge siphon with cartidrge and let cool in fridge.
  5. Cut strawberries into quarters and set aside.
  6. When ready to serve, place about 3/4 cup of the yogurt foam into a small bowl or cup. Then top with fresh strawberries. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

{friday cocktail: rosemary grapefruit mojito}

 I want to be honest with you and let you know that there is nothing really about this cocktail that makes it a mojito other than the fact that it has rum in it and there is a little bit of muddling involved.  I just dont like to mislead people and I feel you may be misled by this title (hope we can still be friends).

Regardless, this is a great herbal and refreshing cocktail for this weekend's inevitable day drinking.  It only has a handful of ingredients so there is really no excuse not to make up a batch of these for your friends while laying poolside....


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

{wedding photobooth}

These days if I was to arrive at a wedding reception that didn't have a photobooth, I would probably leave.  Alright, maybe that's being a little dramatic, but photobooths are so easy to execute and they really capture the mood of the reception that I dont see any reason why you wouldnt have one.  I have blogged about how we set up photobooths for our parties in the past and you can re-live that magic here.

For those of you who didn't memorize that post word for word, we generally set up a photobooth at parties that uses a wireless remote to trigger the camera.  That set up tends to work pretty well at parties populated by people in their 20s, but the remote trigger concept is pretty foreign to the older generation.  So for our wedding photobooth, we decided to hire Chad Cheverier of The Portable Photobooth to come "man" our camera all night long.  This was the best decision, we have ever made since it meant someone was there to double check that the exposure settings were correct and that the frame was centered on the people in the booth.  For about $100, we also rented a ring flash from Calumet Camera which is what gives all the pictures that amazing look and blinded every single one of wedding guests.  The basic set up of of booth looked something like this:

The other big difference between our normal photobooths and the one for our wedding was the amount of time I put into creating the backdrop.  While the actual method I used to make this backdrop is straightforward and simple, the time it required was what truly made it a labor of love (the backdrop is now available to purchase here).  Since we purchased cotton fabric in our wedding colors in bulk to use for all kinds of decorations, I do not have a good sense of the exact yardage it took me to make this backdrop, but I would estimate that using 3 fabric colors (plus some gold metallic party fringe) would require at least 5 yards per color for a backdrop of this size.   Here are some general directions on how to construct this backdrop:

what you need:
  •  plain white fabric large in the size you want your backdrop to be. I used a King size sheet. 
  • cotton fabric in the various colors you wish to use for the triangles (you want to stay away from using very heavy or silky fabrics)
  • metallic fringe decoration (if you want any sort of metallic like silver or gold in your backdrop you will need to use this since you aren't going to find something affordable or attractive in a fabric)
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  1. start by cutting your colored fabrics into rectangles sized 24 inches by 28 inches.  Then fold each of these in half so that you are left with a 24" by 14" piece. (these rectangles do not need to be exact, I eyeballed the cuts on these so mine definitely vary in size)
  2. place one rectangle at a time on the cutting mat and cut "fringe" starting about one inch down from the folded side.  Each fringe is about 3/4 inch wide, but again this doesnt need to be exact. 
  3. once you have cut fringe across the entire piece, fold it half along the 24" long side. Straighten fringe so everything lays flat then make a diagonal cut from the bottom corner on the "folded" side to 2 inches below the top corner on the "open" side
  4. After you have cut plenty of fringed triangles, start pinning them to the large piece of white fabric. Working on row at a time from the bottom up, pin a row of tringles.  I didnt use any sort of pattern to the colors and I think it looks best that way.  You will also want to pin each tringle overlapping the next one by about 6 inches. 
  5. Once you have a row pinned simply sew one line across the top and then continue on to pinning the next line! 


Friday, May 18, 2012

{friday cocktail: mint julep}

This Friday's cocktail is a true classic cocktail recipe and I thought it would be fitting to have Josh from Bourbon & Bleu guest blog this one since he is the one who taught Chris and I everything we know about cocktails... take it away Josh!  

May always reminds me of how much I love Mint Juleps.  The weather starts to warm up, news begins to mention the Kentucky Derby, and inevitably some friends post pictures wearing giant hats.  There is something so perfect about a pile of crushed ice being slowly worn away by a medley of mint and bourbon in a metal cup.

The recipe is simple on its face, but the love that goes into a Mint Julep makes all the difference. First of all, mint is not to be crushed.  It is important to gently release the fragrant oils while not bruising the mint and turning it bitter.  I recommend either clapping the mint gently in your hand and gently rubbing the mint leaves on the inside of the julep cup.  From there, the rest of the ingredients go in, followed by a few stirs.  Add crushed ice to the top of the cup, give a few more stirs, and top with a final mound of crushed ice.  Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint, a short straw (so that the drinker gets a full breath of mint with every sip), and a napkin or cloth to keep the iced metal away from a thirsty patron’s hands.  


Here’s to a spirited summer!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{big news}

This coming August,  I will be moving 
to Chicago for 2 years!!!!!!!

I have known that a move was on the horizon since December when Chris started getting back acceptances from the graduate schools he had applied to for his MBA.  After the final round acceptance letters went out and he took a few visits to the city, we officially decided that Chris would choose Kellogg at Northwestern University to get his MBA this Fall.

We could not be more excited to get to explore this awesome new city together for the next two years.  We even signed a lease on a great two bedroom place back in March!  While I will miss our friends here, our loft and the amazing times we have had in Los Angeles over the past 4 years, I cannot wait to see what this next chapter of our lives will hold for us!!


Let's meet up when I get there!  Let's have some drinks, eat some food and you can give me recommendations on the best Chicago has to offer.

 While I have treasured my time working in Licensing at Junk Food Clothing for the past 4 years, I am taking this move as an opportunity to shift my career in a more creative direction (in addition to expanding this blog and my Etsy shop).  Over the past couple years, it has become clear to me that I have real interest and passion for event planning and design.  I think there would be no better time to go on a new career path into this industry than our move to this amazing new city and I would gladly welcome any advice those currently in this industry are willing to give out.

Let's hang out!! You all have just shy of three months to get some quality time spent with us. 
(Oh and don't you worry because I already decided on the theme for our going away party...)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{flower guide: spring arrangement}

This past Saturday, Chris and I braved the insane pre-Mother's Day crowds at the downtown flower mart to pick up some things to make a fresh arrangement for our place.  If our mothers had been in town, this is the arrangement I would have gifted to them.  This is the first time in a while that I have bought fresh flowers for no other reason than just for the fun of making a big arrangement.  I re-used the long wood containers leftover from our wedding centerpieces (you can buy 12 of them here if you want!). 

{In retrospect- I do not recommend using the purple delphinium. I am not sure 
if I did something wrong, but this flower hated life in this arrangement after about a half a day} 

  {just felt like its been a while since the last Muji picture on here}

Monday, May 14, 2012

{sunday brunch: breakfast polenta}

Even though I thoroughly enjoyed spending countless hours creating things for our wedding in our spare time, it feels really good to be back to having free time on the weekends that we can spend relaxing not feeling like there is some wedding related activity we should be getting done.  This past Sunday with both of our mothers out of town, we made a leisurely brunch for just the two of us to enjoy. 

My friend Eva suggested we try this breakfast polenta she found on Pinterest and it did not disappoint.  We followed this recipe which is for the sweet version with candied pecans, maple syrup, marscapone and fresh berries.  Chris also made his own savory version using the polenta base, but adding bacon, pesto and a poached egg.  Topped off with some home-made bread and mimosas, this was by far one of the best brunch meals I have had in a long time. 

The variation between each of our dishes reminded me of our personalized baked eggs dish which we have done for bigger brunches before.  The breakfast polenta dish would work perfectly for this type of meal where you could make a big batch of the polenta base and then let your guests add sweet or savory toppings to their liking.

 {savory version}

 {sweet version}

 {gold flatware from our registry & pink napkins from Mexico}