Monday, April 29, 2013

{one year}

Yesterday marked our one year wedding anniversary!  I know it's cliche, but I really cannot believe how fast this entire has flown by.  I have heard that people say the first year of marriage is the hardest, but ever since I have been with Chris every single year has proved to be even better than the one previous with this year being the best one yet.  Chris surprised me with trip to California where we are currently celebrating our anniversary at one my favorite places, The Parker Palm Springs.  The Parker happens to be where we spent our wedding night as well as my bachelorette party so it holds a really special place in my heart.

Friday, April 26, 2013

{friday cocktail: top 5 sparkling bottles under $20}

Since our one-year anniversary is coming up this Sunday and I am in a celebratory mood, I thought it might be fun to bring you my favorite budget friendly bottles of sparkling wine rather than the usual cocktail recipe.  If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that champagne ranks pretty high among my favorite things.  Over the years I have developed a set of go-to bottles I can find almost anywhere.  Here is my top five bottles of sparkling (in no particular order) which you should be able to locate at your local market or liquor store.  All are under $20 and the majority clock in around $10  which makes them perfect party staples or hostess gifts or tuesday night drinking staples (hey- no judging.)   If you wanna get fancy and completely disregard a budget friendly purchase then this bottle is the one for I reach for.

Ill be spending the weekend at my favorite place ever and surely 
partaking in some bubbly- follow along here. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

{kentucky derby party inspiration}

With the Kentucky Derby right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to put together a little party inspiration for in home viewing party.  I have never actually hosted (or even watched) the Kentucky Derby, but I know it would be an easy and festive little party to throw together.  All you would really need is a few mint juleps and tea sandwiches plus requiring ladies to wear fabulous hats and gents to don a bow tie.  Throw in a few grass green party decorations as well as maybe these awesome party favors and you are ready to go!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{side dish: red beets with avocado puree}

The same line of thought that led me to want to make the kale aid smoothie last week also steered me in the direction of wanting to a find a healthier/lighter side dish option to go along with some fish Chris cooked up last week.  I spotted this dish over the Kitchy Kitchen (one of the best food blogs out there in my opinion) and I knew it would be perfect!  We decided to cheat by buying pre-steamed red beets to cut the cooking and prep time down.  We also added in some chopped walnuts for a little bit crunch as well as chipotle yogurt sauce for a little bit of spice.  For the chipotle yogurt sauce we simply mixed about 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chipotle peppers and sauce (you can add more of less depending on how spicy you would like it).  

This turned out way better than I could have ever imagined!  The chipotle yogurt sauce sort of stole the show so I highly recommend adding it in since without it I think this dish might lack a bit of flavor.  This recipe worked perfectly as a side dish, but would also come out nicely as an appetizer especially one that travels well since it can be served cold! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

{friday cocktail: the other london}

Chris recently took a trip up to Canada and brought me home a bottle of reaaaally good maple syrup.  There are two things you should know about this gift: first of all, my mother is Canadian so maple syrup is what I was basically raised on it and second, Chris and I have a longstanding argument concerning Aunt Jemima vs Authentic Maple Syrup.   Maple syrup makes for a great sweetener for cocktail recipes so we decided to try some out using the new fancy bottle.  Since the syrup Chris brought home is made in London, Ontario, we decided to name the cocktail "the other london."  It is definitely a more sweet recipe than most of the whiskey recipe I have posted and the dark rum rounds out the edge of the whiskey so its suitable for those who don't normally choose a whiskey cocktail (like me!).


{true food's kale aid smoothie}

One of my favorite places to go when I'm in Southern California (besides my first love) is True Food Kitchen, the menu is incredibly fresh and tasty plus they have a fun cocktail list.  Even if I don't have time for a full meal there, I love to stop in and grab their Kale Aid smoothie!

After returning home to a very rainy Chicago this week, I decided a Kale Aid smoothie would be a great reminder of warmer weather.  A little googling and I was able to find the exact recipe and you can see my adapted version below which adds in almond milk instead of water and a splash of agave nectar for added sweetness!  This smoothie is super refreshing as well as good for you- don't let the leafy ingredients and green color scare you away!

what you need:

  • half cucumber, peeled & sliced
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 chunk fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  1. Add all ingredients into blender or food processor until all leaves are fully incorporated.
  2. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{a little vacation shopping}

In case you were wondering why blog posts around here were a bit light for the last two weeks it is because I was spending time in California attending a host of wedding related activities for two of my girlfriends plus a little trip up to San Francisco to visit my parents. Even though my two week trip included a bachelorette weekend in Santa Barbara, a bridal shower, a 5 day trip to SF and a full wedding weekend in Orange County, I still managed to squeeze in a little shopping!  Here are some of the goodies I picked up!

 {a fun costume jewelry ring that I paired with my bridesmaid's dress from last weekend}

 {vintage decanter labels I finally found while browsing antique stores with my mom 
in Sonoma you can find similar ones right here}

{a BCBG dress for a wedding next month that I also wore to the rehearsal this past weekend}

 {a tassel keychain from the new C. Wunder store in Newport Beach- comes in a ton of cute colors!}

 {a leather jacket from Zara in the perfect of nude/blush}

{I have been wanting to find another leather jacket for years, but finding the right 
color (in a reasonable price range) has been a challenge until now!}

Thursday, April 11, 2013

{bliss weddings & events' KIKI party}

Today over on the Bliss Wedding blog, we are finally sharing the photos from the Kiki party they threw to welcome their newly opened Bliss Studio & office space!  Check out the inspiration board I put together for their event below as well as a few snapshots and head over to the Bliss Blog to see more!!!

This is one of the best party themes I have seen in a long time! Inspired by the Scissor Sisters song "Let's Have a Kiki" (go enjoy that gem right here). A kiki party would be perfect theme to use for a bachelorette party theme or a milestone birthday!

{find out all the details on the kiki kiss mirror later this week on the bliss blog}

{all images via Studio This Is, Inspiration board by Mint Love Social Club}

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

{bed frame options}

I have been wanting to get a new bedframe for our room for year or so now. Earlier this year, I spotted this upholstered frame on Amazon made by a company called Skyline Furniture ranging in price from $550 to $700.  The price is unbeatable based on the other frames I have seen, but I was definitely skeptical thinking some things that are too good to be true probably are until I saw the bed in this recent home tour on The Everygirl.  After seeing the bed "in the wild," my interest in finally nailing down a color/fabric to purchase was renewed.

I have been able to narrow down my choices to the three options shown above.  With a lot of our home decor purchases, especially larger pieces, I tend to be very risk aversive and settle for a "safe" color or fabric option like our grey couches or simple white dining chairs, etc.

What do you think? What option do you like best given the current decor in our room:

At this moment, I am leaning towards the navy- its feels a little bit more masculine and sexy than the greys, but I dont love how contrasted the nailheads are on this color versus them having a more tonal look against the greys? ugh decisions....

Check out all the details about each of the options here: 

Friday, April 5, 2013

{mint love social club on facebook}

I honestly cannot tell you why it has taken me over two years to set up an official facebook page for this blog, but the wait is finally over!  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

{bachelorette party pins}

This past weekend was the bachelorette party for my good friend Katie who will be getting married in just two short weeks from now!  We spent the weekend up in Santa Barbara going wine tasting, dining and other general bachelorette activities which I won't go into detail about here.  I have blogged in the past about cute bachelorette party accessories from my friend Heather's bachelorette weekend and my own bachelorette party out in Palm Springs so I am obviously a big fan of the matching girly group flair.  

For Katie's bachelorette, we debated between embellished sashes or some sort of headpiece, but ultimately we decided to create some custom pins with girly ribbon and sequins inspired by this image.  I designed the simple pink heart design and then we ordered 3" custom buttons through Zazzle.  This was my first time using Zazzle and it proved to be completely painless- the shipping was free and the pins looked picture perfect for less than $3 each!  I created a "bride to be" pin for the guest of honor and a "katie's final fling" pin for the rest of the group since we had a mix of bridal party members as well as good friends otherwise I would have done a "bridesmaid" option. 

We picked up a mix of grosgrain ribbon, satin ribbon, lace, sequin strands and fringe in the fabric district of downtown Los Angeles.  The bride's pin included some exclusive striped pink ribbon as well as white lace while the rest of the pins featured a mixture of light to bright pinks in the varying materials.  We cut each of the pieces of ribbon/sequins about 6 inches long and hot glued them directly onto the back of the pin.  

These were such an easy project and would lend themselves well to a variety of events- even if you are just making one singular pin for the guest of honor at a birthday or baby/bridal shower.  Since there is no minimum order quantity on Zazzle, you can order one singular pin and the price/shipping does not change.  How amazing would a simple version of these pins be as personalized place-cards for a wedding or dinner party?!?