Friday, August 30, 2013

{what I loved this week}

on instagram: Loving this glam master bedroom makeover from Christin of LuxeReport- especially the custom headboard.  I love the color of this long sleeved romper from Happily Grey.  This adorable boutique from Canada has the prettiest instagram feed ever.

on pinterest:  I love how this fall trench coat is winterized with the belted fur underneath- definitely remembering this look in a few months from now!  I'm always on the hunt for great party color palettes and this black/white/pink one feels girly but modern at the same time- I particularly like the use of the black chargers.

on the blogs: This DIY diamond garland is so great- would be perfect for a fun engagement party decoration!

on the internets:  My sister in law showed me this amazing promo video from NBC Sports featuring Jason Sudeikis to announce English premier league games being available- I almost cried I was laughing so hard.

on my wishlist:  Zara is just killing it as usual with this perfect quilted mini-audiere clutch and this fur trimmed duffel coat that needs to be in my closet right this minute.  Love the color combo on the new Swans book from Assouline- it would make for a great pop of color on our coffee table.

{friday cocktail: kimchi bloody mary}

My husband loves Korean food (really any Asian cuisine to be exact) so when I saw this recipe for a Kimchi bloody mary in the latest issue of Food & Wine, I knew it would be perfect for him! I modified the recipe to use pre-made bloody mary mix since we always have a bottle in the fridge, but you can see the original recipe here.  The resulting drink is surprisingly good with a more vegetal taste from the pickled cabbage than a typical bloody mary.  If you like yours spicy make sure to add in extra Sriracha which we make sure to always add to our original bloody mary recipes anyways.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

{gourmet taco night: duck tacos}

For our Oscars Viewing Party back in the winter, we served three different types of "fancy" tacos -one of which was a duck taco inspired by the menu at one of our favorite taco places near our Chicago place.  Turns out pretty much the only way to buy duck is in frozen breast fillets and we just so happened to have a few leftover in our freezer (and yes, it was still good!) so we decided to make our weeknight taco dinner a little extra gourmet this past week.  These tacos have rich flavor from the duck, but are nicely balanced with the crunchy spicy "slaw" and creamy avocado.  Invite some friends over and whip up some tequila cocktails then lay these duck tacos out on the table and watch people's level of impressed go significantly up.  Recipe at the bottom of the post!

what you need: 

  • two frozen duck fillets - you can find these easily at Whole Foods
  • one red bell pepper
  • one cup of coleslaw (we used the broccoli slaw from Trader Joes)
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • fresh cilantro for garnish
  1. Combine the coleslaw with a table spoon of sour cream, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt in a bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Finely chop the cilantro and red bell pepper. Set aside.
  3. Score the skin side of the duck breast in a cross-hatched pattern and heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  4. Sear the duck, skin side down for two minutes or until golden brown and fat has begun to render.
  5. Flip and cook for another two minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
  7. While the duck is resting, heat the tortillas over an open flame or in a dry pan.
  8. Cut duck into small pieces and assemble the taco: tortilla, avocado, coleslaw, red pepper, and cilantro.
  9. Garnish with a lime wedge and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: While I haven't gone to that many baby showers since my group of friends isn't quite at that point yet, it never hurts to keep an eye out for good shower ideas like this one for having guests tie dye onesies!  How amazing are these custom prism photobooth props Bramble Workshop created for our bride this weekend with Bliss Weddings!??!  I'm really obsessed with this vibrant wallpaper/mural in the Untamed Petals studio.

on pinterest: One of the best things about pinterest is finding alternative uses for products like this idea of using foil tape found at Home Depot to make a metallic backdrop. While I die over huge full flower arrangements like this, I can also appreciate the understated simplicity of this lemon leaf table runner- it would be perfect to make a dinner party just a bit more special.

on the blogs: It's so much fun to follow bloggers through their wedding planning process and Luella & June finally gave us a glimpse at her Bridal Luncheon.  I love the preppy mix of colors and the fun gold playing card favors!

on the internets: Even though they are already over halfway through the process, I'm thinking it would be fun to join in on the Apartment Therapy Style Cure.  I love everything we have in our place, but sometimes it helps to take some time to edit it all down a bit. See the full calendar for the cure right here.

on my wishlist: This little black dress from Nasty Gal would be so perfect for a night out dancing dont you think?  It might be completely impractical, but I feel like I need to own this cocktail picnic basket. We have a little trip to Europe planned for next year and The New York Times 36 Hours book would be perfect for the planning process-plus the domestic versions would make for great gifts! I love to buy fun cocktail dresses and interesting heels which means I sometimes neglect to purchase more basic items to round everything out. This camisole tank from ASOS with contrasting straps would be a good step in the right direction. 

{friday cocktail: spicy paloma}

A while back I posted a recipe for a refreshing Dill Paloma recipe that was my go to recipe at one of our fave bars in downtown Los Angeles and believe it or not I haven't had a Paloma since the last time I was there!  Seeing this recent party on The Glitter Guide inspired me to try out a new Paloma recipe, but this time I put a spicy twist on it:


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

{new additions}

It's been a while since I did a little new additions round up on the blog and I have some fun things to share that I have picked up recently (in addition to yesterday's feature on our new piece of furniture!):

 {Over the past year or so I have purchased about 3 or 4 of this same case and while I do still love it- it was time for a change (maybe something not plastic that I end up breaking every 3 months!) and when I came across this new J. Crew case on sale this past weekend I knew I had to go for it! I actually like the Iphone5 colorway even better!}

{I have a weird obsession with rare or unusual pieces of vintage Gucci & Louis Vuitton (like this garment bag or this clutch). After I purchased my new Macbook almost 6 months ago, I started scouring eBay for a vintage blue Gucci portfolio shaped bag to use as a laptop case and one finally popped up last week! You can find a similar one here or here

 {This summer, I have been determined to finally figure out a set-up that I like for my office (you can see the previous set up here, but I have since decided that wasn't working for me!).  I picked up a few accessories for my desk recently including this gold frame from Target & a vintage hobnail milk glass candy jar}

 {all three of these new additions to my shoe closet were major sale scores- the two on the left were both from the last days of the Zara sale ($29 each! can you believe that?!?!)}

 {I bought my first pair of Christian Louboutin's a while back after searching for them on eBay for years (not exaggerating.)  While a lot of people think that Louboutins aren't comfortable, I beg to differ and think that these which are the "Declic" cut are the most attractive and comfortable cut he has.  Ever since I bought the first pair, I have been patiently waiting for another pair to pop up on eBay in my size/desired colors.  These dove grey suede beauties turned up a few weeks ago and I thought they would make for a more traditional compliment to my first pair!}

 {I have been coveting J. Crew'w tassel necklace from this season, but I ended up I picking up this similar version from Akira}

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

{new sofa console table}

A couple months ago, we purchased the Malm Occasional table from Ikea intending to use it under our wall-mounted TV in our new living room set up, but once we placed it there we decided it looked absolutely horrible and not how we envisioned.  Since the table wasn't that pricey and was already put together, we opted to try it out in other spaces in our place rather than hike it all the way back to Ikea (which is quite the trek from our place!).  It lived in our guest room/office for a while, but a few weeks back I tried it out behind our large sofa and absolutely loved the result! The reason that behind the sofa wasn't the next place it went to once it didn't work in our initial vision was that I was concerned it would cramp the feeling of the room, but after living with it for a little while I felt that the ability to have a place to display some items and give guests and additional spot for their drinks to rest was worth the loss in space (about 14 inches).

The best part about this table is that it is so versatile in different spaces so I know that it will have a home even in future apartment set-ups. I particularly love when its more visible as a sofa table like in this space plus it doubles beautifully as a party table!

 {read all about our gold coffee table here & our bar makeover right here}

{muji clearly loves it}

Monday, August 19, 2013

{dream kitchen inspiration with Delta Faucet}

Today I'm back with part two of the Inspired Living with Delta Faucet series- check out part one right here where I revealed the new faucet I chose for our kitchen from Delta's new Touch2O line!  In this part of the series, I'm discussing my dream kitchen inspiration.  I have always been drawn to kitchens that are almost a blank slate with a very neutral color scheme of black and white.  I'm particularly in love with crisp white subway tiles used with dark grout- especially the massive wall of them at my favorite restaurant.  Ideally, I would mix the clean lines of the white subway tile with contrasting black cupboards/cabinets, luxe carrera marble countertops and a natural wood island.  

In our current kitchen, we don't have my ideal color scheme since we have very dark granite countertops mixed with orange-y wood cabinets that almost match our wood flooring too closely. Since we live in a rental and I'm not about to go painting cabinets and putting in new countertops, I try to achieve a look similar to my dream inspiration by keeping our counters free of clutter and trying to only use white or steel appliances/accessories.  

You can check out all my dream kitchen inspiration as well as get the sources for the images you see above in my Inspired Living Pinterest board right here

Be sure to check back next month when I show my new Delta Faucet installed in our kitchen along with some other fun upgrades! 

Delta Touch2O Technology for your kitchen and bathroom is precisely in tune with your every touch. Take the quiz to learn which faucet style best describes you at

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Delta via Glam Media.  The opinions 
expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or 
positions of Delta.

Friday, August 16, 2013

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: This color combination of bold green and white cabana stripes mixed with vintage pink captured by Peppermint Bliss in a client's powder room definitely needs to be bookmarked for a future party color palette.  The TargetDoesItAgain girls always make everything look so good- especially these cozy ponchos for Fall.  I'm keeping this cake photo from TheFlowerGirlLosAngeles in the back of my mind for inspiration for mine and Chris' brithdays next month!

on pinterest:  A DIY tutorial for using your home print to customize cocktail napkins- the possibilities are endless! Besides the fact that Sarah Samuel's home is amazing, I am particularly interested in her DIY garment rack.

on the internets:  I was glued to instagram earlier this week as Target was showing off the goods at the Phillip Lim for Target preview- I am not joking when I say I would take every single one of those bags pictured-especially the one in the bottom left.  You can see every single item from the upcoming collab on Refinery 29 and you can find me camping outside of my local Target come September 15th.

on the blogs:  Sitting In A Tree & Hostess Haven killed it with this Champagne Dinner Party Inspiration Shoot.  I love the moody dark tones of the party and the glassware set up is nothing short of amazing.

on my wishlist:  These canisters from ZGallerie would definitely add a glam touch to a simple kitchen as well as this fun Ikat print salad bowl from C. Wonder.  I also love C. Wonder's gold cocktail napkins- they also come in dinner napkins, but I don't think those would last too long in our house.  Even though summer is coming to an end, I still can't help adding a cute swimsuit to my wishlist.  This leather skirt was on my wishlist up until this morning when I finally purchased it!!

{entertaining tips for a girls night in with Sauza Tequila}

Remember that little sneak peek I gave last week of my trip to New York to shoot a fun video with four other fabulous bloggers?  Well I'm back today to show the final video the team at Glam & Sauza put together starring Hallie, Ali, Mel, Devon & yours truly.  The video is inspired by a fun girls night in showcasing the new ready to serve Sparkling Margaritas by Sauza (a classic cocktail made into a sparkling version?!? count. me. in!)  Plus read on past the video as I share some of my favorite tips on entertaining for a girls night in!!

I just love watching that video! We had so much fun making it that I wish I could go to that fabulous beach house every weekend.  I wish I could say the five of us single-handedly made all the dishes and decor, but while we were laughing (and drinking) there was a huge team behind us making everything look gorgeous (including some very talented food stylists!).  While you might not have a glam team behind you next girls night, you can still put together a beautiful evening with some of my tips for a quick, easy, and girly entertaining set up....

{I like to scoop up cute wrapping paper whenever I come across it (most of these are from Home Goods!)- its great to have on hand for last minute gifts, but it can also double as a fun tablecloth or runner! I store all my gift wrap in this vase from Target}

{the same goes for dinner/cocktail napkins- whenever I see a fun design, I make sure to buy it. I can always find something fabulous at Home Goods or Ikea}

{Although I love to whip some mini appetizers (usually inspired by this pinterest board), I also make sure to keep our freezer stocked with tasty and quick frozen apps.  While fresh dishes are always preferred, if you keep a good selection of bites in your freezer you will always be ready for impromptu guests or a great spread of food when you are short on time!}

{One of my go-to simple desserts are these cheesecake bites (seen previously here), using a regular frozen cheesecake, a few raspberries & fun appetizer picks this dessert looks like it took all day to assemble when really it takes only a couple minutes.  The instructions on the frozen cheesecake will probably tell you to let it thaw in the fridge for a couple hours, but I prefer to let it thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes then cut it into the bite sized cubes while it is still slightly frozen as it makes it easier to cut.  After you have the cubes, simply let them thaw at room temperature for about another hour then pop a raspberry one top of each one secured with a wood appetizer pick}

{Who doesn't love pita chips and tasty hummus?!?! I like to fancy this classic snack spread up a bit, by placing the pita chips in a vintage pedestal bowl and transferring the hummus from its store bought container into a simple rectangular bowl}

{the best part about the Sauza Sparkling Maragritas is that they are all ready to go out of the bottle! No prep or mixing needed, but that doesnt mean you can jazz them up just a bit more with fresh garnishes like mint sprigs or lime/lemon wedges!}

{I love to display fresh garnishes in vintage cocktails coupes (like at this party) and allow guests to serve themselves as they desire}

{peach mango garnished with fresh lemons, wild berry with raspberries & original margarita with mint and a lime wheel}

{this simple spread does takes some planning ahead of time, but you can have almost all these ingredients on hand in your fridge or freezer so that your next girls night in takes minimal prep time on your part- which leaves you with more time to pick out a fun outfit and spend time with your friends!}

Sauza® Sparkling Margarita is our brand new, ready-to-serve sparkling margarita. It's available
in three delicious flavors: Original Lime, Mango Peach and Wild Berry. Now you can add a little 
more sparkle to your ladies' night. Connect and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sauza® via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed 
herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sauza®.

{friday cocktail: tequila royale}

Do you like tequila? do I! I also really like champagne.  This cocktail is the best of those two worlds in one drink! Is your mind blown? The original recipe for this tequila infused sparkler is right here, but I altered the proportions significantly to suit my taste and then added in an extra kick of citrus by adding lime bitters.

Be sure to check back here around 11ish CST for the final reveal of the video I shot in NYC with some of my fave lady bloggers!

{what do you guys think of the newly designed recipe card!?!?}


Monday, August 12, 2013

{budget florals: 4 arrangements for $25}

If I could fill every corner of my house with fresh floral arrangements every week, I most certainly would, but it would also cost a lot.  The good news is that both my local supermarket and nearby Whole Foods sell a variety of in season single blossom bunches.  I can usually find a good selection of 4 or 5 different flowers priced around $5 to $8 per bunch.  On a recent errand this past weekend, I picked up 4 bunches of flowers (listed below) and the total came out to only $25!  Since the spray roses and eucalyptus cover a lot of surface area in an arrangement, I was able to get 3 good sized floral pieces and one mini arrangement out of these 4 bunches to place all around our place!

 {two arrangements went into our entryway in white ceramic trophy shaped vases from Target}

 {one arrangement was placed on my desk in a vintage milk glass container}

 {the last little arrangement was placed in our guest bathroom in a small bud vase from CB2}