Friday, May 31, 2013

{what i loved this week}

on instagram:  Sometimes Ikea just gets it sooo right- these chaises that @sarahshermansamuel picked up for her cabin are fab! I would love them with a black/white striped cushion.  I picked up two new summer nail colors: Essie's Boom Boom Room & Tart Deco.  Everything in the @betches instagram feed makes me laugh out loud especially this one

on pinterest:  I just imagine this Persion love cake to be light and airy, but full of flavor- I guess I should make to actually find out.  I love the idea of setting up a refined taco bar for a summer outdoor gathering (especially since it frees up the hosts so much!).

on the blogs:  I am a total sucker for free printables- this simple birthday set from Tom Kat Studio could easily be used for a variety of occasions. 

in real life:  For the past three years I have scooped up a 4th of July theme bikini from Target so I guess I started myself a new little tradition- how can you beat the price of this one!

on the internets:  While I am still undecided on how I feel about the new Daft Punk album overall, I definitely love the remixes and covers that have been popping up based off it especially the MJ mash ups here and the acoustic Daughter version of "Get Lucky" here

on my wishlist:  This romper is somehow both playful and sexy.  This iphone case is so perfect for those nights out when you want to keep your belongings to a minimum.  Free People's lace kaftan really needs to be living in my beach bag, but the price it a bit too much for me.  This unique ring holder would be a fun nightstand accessory. 

{friday cocktail: the master}

This Friday's cocktail was created using inspiration from a less than traditional place....juice cleanses.  I based the ingredients off the recipe for the very popular Master Cleanse (which by the way I have never done and think it sounds insane, but I have heard it actually tastes great).   Since I have been so into spicy cocktails lately, I thought the master cleanse ingredients plus some rye whiskey could be quite tasty and I wasn't wrong!  This cocktail definitely has some fire from the cayenne which doesn't actually hit you until after you sip, but the sweetness from the maple syrup helps to round it all out.  I doubt this cocktail will help you cleanse, but it sure works well for livening up a friday evening...


Thursday, May 30, 2013

{disco ball decor}

Ever since we used my champagne bucket filled with mini disco balls as decoration at Bliss' recent Kiki party, I have been wanting to find a way to incorporate some disco balls into our decor.  I know at first it sounds super cheesy, but I have seen it done really well in some homes.  I especially like when I see a disco ball in an unexpected place like the corner of a living room or bookshelf.  I would love to collect a cluster of disco balls to hang in the corner of our office room. Here are a few inspiring images of disco ball decor:

{we loved the disco decorations from our kiki party so much that now that bucket lives 
on the coffee table in the studio}

Friday, May 24, 2013

{what I loved this week}

on instagram: Two ideas I am totally stealing: @sodressedup's peonies in a champagne trophy bucket & this restaurant in Atlanta's idea to serve personal trays for DIY bloody marys! Also this tank top in @carlyhaslee's photo is perfect.

on pinterest:  This silver fringed heart is amazing- it would be so perfect as a photobooth or dessert table backdrop (plus I think it would be pretty simple to execute).  I am so inspired by all the summer outfits popping up in my pinterest feed- especially this one that mixes chambray and neon. 

on the blogs: You know that feeling when you stumble on a wonderful blog you have never heard of and then spend an hour going through all their posts from the past year?  Yeah- that just happened for me with Luxe Report.

in the magazines:  I want to re-create this entire Cali- Persian menu from the latest issue of Bon Appetit. 

in real life:  This weekend we are dog-sitting Emma the french bulldog and Finley the boston terrier.  I'm in heaven. 

on the internets:  This video literally had me bawling- while this kid's story is heartbreaking it is also one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen. 

on my wishlist:  Oh. My. God.  This Alice + Olivia dress is just perfect- the cut is gorgeous plus I love the surprise in the back and the leather details (and it comes in this color too!).  Target does it again with this fabulous black/white rug.  Another dress with a party in the back- this one's price tag is fabulous too! 

Happy Weekend!

{friday cocktail: chartreuse smash}

Last night we hosted a cocktail class at our house that Chris and his friend Josh auctioned off at a recent Charity Event.  This was one of 7 cocktails they created for the group of six that bid on the prize.  It is light and refreshing- absolutely perfect for summer.  I'll be sharing all the recipes from the class next week so make sure to check back!

**normally you would serve this cocktail in a high ball or spritzer glass, but we were serving half pours of some of the cocktails last night so that is why it is in an old fashioned glass. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

{new flamingo artwork}

I feel like I have been seeing flamingos everywhere lately right?!?!  Maybe it is because summer is right around the corner or something.  I happened across this vintage flamingo print by Roger Tory Peterson while antiquing with my mom and felt like it would be a perfect addition to our house.  I love the kitschy feel that flamingos always give, but in this particular print the colors are bit more on the muted side which gives the whole thing a great 70s vibe.

In the future I would love to pick up a sister print to this one and then use it with the current one flanking each side of a bed, but for now I'll be happy with these guys hanging out next to our bar in the living room!

If you would like to buy this print for yourself you can scoop up an 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

{our wedding photo album}

I am so excited to finally have the physical copy of our wedding photo album in my possesion!! I have been working on creating this book for a couple months now- continuously tinkering with different photo choices and layouts.   I chose to use Blurb's photo services for our wedding album because I have always had such a great experience with them (you can see the series of photobooks I made with them as well as a link to a super helpful review in this post).

I chose their biggest format which is 12" by 12" square for our album since I knew that all the photos I would be using would of a high enough quality to handle the huge size of the pages.  Initially I debated keeping with a simple one photo per page layout to really highlight each and every shot, but in the end I wanted to include sooo many photos that this would have been unreasonable.  The book includes a variety of layouts from 1 or 2 photos on a page to 4 photo collages to two full page photo spreads.  I only included two pages of text in the entire book which are our wedding vows that we each wrote and surprised each other with during the ceremony.  Blurb just released a line of thick "pro-line" paper which is 140 point paper which costs extra per page, but worth every single penny.

Our book ended up being about 240 pages since I decided at the last minute to include 80 or so pages at the end of my favorite photobooth shots.  Initially I thought the photobooth pictures should be in a separate book, but there are too many great shots that really capture the feeling and emotion of the party/reception that I couldn't leave them out. 

Although the pictures are not as high of quality as they are in the actual printed book, you can see the entire book in digital preview format right here.

**no compensation or sponsorship has been provided to me by Blurb- I really just love their service and quality product!

Here are a few snapshots of our album:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

{turning spicy tuna bowls into an appetizer}

One of my weeknight dinners is a deconstructed spicy tuna bowl which I blogged about almost two years ago here!  We made these bowls for dinner the other night and I thought it would be fun to try turning this fave dish into an appetizer version by making it into bite size pieces.

Technically since this dish is a deconstructed sushi roll, the appetizer version would be turning it back it into sushi rolls.  While sushi is great, it is very labor intensive so I decided instead to arrange the ingredients on a bed of thick cut cucumber slices.  Following the ingredients and process from the original recipe, simply stack ingredients on top of a cucumber slice starting with the rice followed by the ahi, sprouts, avocado, and spicy mayo.  Sprinkle the top of the dish with panko flakes and sesame seeds.  Keep prepared slices chilled until ready to serve.

Friday, May 17, 2013

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: @camillestyles picnic looks absolutely perfect.  
chris & I (in last minute costumes) ready to head out to Kellogg's annual 90's party.

on pinterest: "rasmopolitan cocktail" favors from Martha Stewart would be perfect for handing out a bachelorette party.  Giving doors a simple makeover that makes a big difference.  Love the look of these tissue tassels taped randomly on a wall as a backdrop rather than strung on a string. 

on the blogs: I am obsessed with this chic black and gold birthday party especially all the fabulous paper goods!

in real life: It's peony season!!! This gorgeous (and massive) arrangement of coral charm peonies is currently brightening up our studio at Bliss Weddings.

in the magazines:  I love seeing Kate Upton all glammed up in this retro spread for Vogue. 

on my wishlist:  This neon statement necklace sold out before i could scoop it up a few months ago, but now its back in stock at asos!!  I love this simple green dress for a bridal shower or sunday brunch.  The price tag is bit hefty for these headphones, but I love the design. 

{friday cocktail: spring sparkler}

Wedding season is definitely in full swing which means a calendar full of bridal showers, bachelorette parties, engagement celebrations and wedding receptions!!   A social line up like that also calls for many celebratory (aka sparkling) drinks so I thought I would whip up a quick champagne cocktail inspired by spring wedding season.   The only thing I love more than a great bottle of champagne is a dry and crisp bottle of sparkling rose so that is what I used for the foundation of this cocktail.  Add in some Chambord and aromatic lavender bitters and this cocktail is transformed into a sweet and pink drink perfect for the next bridal shower or bach party!

(also- if you are wondering why the main image isn't the usual cocktail photo you see on Fridays it is because I had my camera on the wrong setting and all the photos of the real cocktail were blurry.  Hey- that's life- it happens, but the cocktail was tasty and it got drank so that's all that matters right? right.)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

{diy shortcake bar + free printables}

On a recent trip to Trader Joe's, I picked up a pack of their fresh shortcakes which inspired me to create a little diy shortcake bar for a weekend brunch.  This little set up would be so perfect to add on to the buffet at a bridal or baby shower.  I chose to offer a mix of classic and fun options for the shortcake toppings including the pepper jelly and cream cheese mix to add a spicy savory option!   At the bottom of this post you can download all the printables you see used here!

{are flags necessary to hold your shortcake together?  no.  do they look cute? yes.  moving on....}

  {The toppings selection I offered included classic strawberries and cream, lemon curd with lavender, and red pepper jelly with cream cheese.   Some other great options could be be nutella and bananas or a selection of flavored jams.} 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

{jeff+katie's wedding paper goods}

As you might have seen on instagram last month, we travelled back to Southern California to celebrate the wedding of two of our very good friends, Jeff and Katie.  The event was absolutely beautiful and one of the most fun weekends I have ever had.  The couple was married at one of the most lush southern california venues called Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado Canyon.  Besides being a massive estate with a gorgeous area for the ceremony/reception, there is also a menagerie of zoo animals on the property including tigers and zebras!!

Katie asked myself and fellow bridesmaid, Kay, to help out with creating the menus and programs for the event which we were more than happy to do (and by happy I mean ecstatic- we all know how much I obsess over paper goods!).  We drew inspiration from the color of the bridesmaid's dresses and went with a simple design that showcased white text against the saturated blush/coral backdrop.  And then we of course had them printed at the best kept secret in downtown LA.

Here are a few snapshots of the menus and programs in action on the big day (you can see even more of the lovely photos from this day on their wedding photographer Cean One's blog right here):

 {programs on the ceremony chairs and amazing florals by Chelsea of Hello Gem- the same talented lady who did my own wedding flowers}

{custom beer escort cards/favors plus a little sign you might recognize from here and the 
menus at each dinner place setting}

Congrats Jeff & Katie!

{event images via Cean One Photography, all the rest taken by Mint Love Social Club}

Monday, May 13, 2013

{quick entree: pan seared scallops with pea & avocado puree}

For the better part of my life, I have not liked eating fish (with the exception of sushi- yes I know that doesn't make a lot of sense), but lately I have been making a concerted effort to seek out more fish recipes.  Surprisingly, I have really enjoy most of the fish meals we have tried cooking and I am beginning to believe the whole not liking fish thing was all in my head this entire time.  We whipped up a quick and easy scallop dish the other night inspired by a lot of the scallop appetizer recipes I was seeing that featured pan seared scallops on a bed of some sort of pureed veggie.  I liked the idea of using peas for the base puree, but we tossed in some avocado for an added creamy texture.  We used the frozen scallops from Trader Joe's which are great since this recipe lends itself nicely to appetizer portions so you can always have the scallops on hand in your freezer to be ready for guests.  Recipe is at the bottom of this post! 

what you need:
  • 8 to 10 scallops- we used the frozen ones from Trader Joes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup peas- frozen is fine for this as well
  • 2 roasted jalapenos, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  1. Puree cilantro and olive oil. Set aside to be used as a drizzle for finished plate.
  2. Place avocado, peas, and jalapeno in food processor and blend until smooth. Salt & pepper to taste.  Can add olive oil to reach desired consistency if mix if too chunky.
  3. Lightly salt and pepper the thawed scallops. Add butter to a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. Once butter has stopped bubbling, add the scallops. Cook one and half minutes per side. 
  4. Set scallops aside to rest for a few minutes while you prepare the dinner plates with a bed of the avocado/pea puree. 
  5. Place scallops on top of puree and then lightly drizzle with cilantro oil. 
  6. Salt to taste.
**if you wanted to modify this for an appetizer dish you could portion a small spoonful of the puree in a appetizer spoon and top with one scallop as you see in this photo

Friday, May 10, 2013

{what i loved this week}

here's a little round up of things I loved this week- links to each are at the bottom of the post! 

Happy Weekend! 

on pinterest: this casual summer outfit in the perfect neutral shades (plus I already own the skirt!). these simple white cylinder planters.  this recipe for mandarin orange & olive oil donut holes sounds like the perfect mix of sweet and savory.

on instagram:  I have been loving seeing all the sneak peeks for the National Stationary Show that is coming up- especially the beautiful offerings from @SugarPaperLA. These rosemary skewers look pretty and add flavor from @inspiredbythisblog

on the internets: Phillip Lim for Target was just announced-  I will start counting the days now!!

on the blogs: I was dying over every image from this cocktail & food pairing post on Inspired By This- would love to re-create this kind of set up for a future dinner party!

in real life: I finally hunted down these Zara heels (I actually located them in orange county after they sold out seemingly everywhere and had to have a friend go pick them up to ship them to me in Chicago- thats not crazy. at all.)

in the magazines:  The striped paper suite by Cheree Berry in the Martha Stewart Spring 2013 issue is simply amazing.

on my wishlist:  This white lace kaftan/cover-up is perfect with summer around the corner and another Palm Springs trip on our calendar for June!  I would love to wear this necklace to dress up a simple white t-shirt & jeans ensemble.  An affordable black dress that is equals parts sexy (its almost backless) and bohemian

{friday cocktail: the sls rose}

After falling in love with a fabulous cocktail made with rose and jalapeño at the SLS Beverly Hills on our anniversary trip (see some live footage of me drinking that very cocktail in this video), I just knew I had to try to recreate something similar once we got home.

Ideally I would have found some simple rose flavored syrup like this one that we used own, but I came across this $10 bottle of Jo Snow Rose Cardamom syrup from our local Binnys and was intrigued by the flavor combo.  While this isn't what I originally wanted, it still made for a great cocktail.  Heat from the jalapeño  spice from the cardamom and sweetness from the rose all come together to make for a unique taste that is sure to impress your next dinner guest.  You can also substitute a real cardamom pod and regular rose syrup similar to this cocktail.