Friday, October 31, 2014

{friday cocktail: doc daneeka royale}

The new Death & Co Cocktail book just strolled into our place and claimed its spot as my all time favorite cocktail book.  It's not only filled with tons of inspiring cocktail recipes, but also intriguing behind the scenes stories at the NYC bar, chapters dedicated to understanding how to truly craft the perfect cocktail including building your bar and troubleshooting, and even an entire 5 or 6 pages dedicated to cocktail garnishes.  Most of these cocktails require a little shopping to get the right ingredients so the first cocktail I decided to try out of the book was based solely on having all the ingredients on hand (doesn't hurt that it's a sparkling cocktail as well!).  I love how this recipe is a take on one of my favorite champagne cocktails, a French 75, but with more emphasis on the gin.  This light and refreshing recipe is a great drink to greet guests with upon arrival at your place.

And if you don't order this book for yourself ASAP then you are doing it wrong....


Thursday, October 30, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram:  This donut shop in Koreatown is going to be a part of my life very soon.  Probably heading to Forever21 asap to buy this jacket!  Drake realized 3 new songs this weekend- enough said.  A fun alternative to the classic bacon wrapped date- the bacon wrapped butternut squash.  Love these vampire inspired cocktail garnishes for Halloween.  This dinner among the cypress trees seems pretty perfect.  

on pinterest:  Even though I'm not vegetarian, I love to try out different raw or vegan recipes and this garlic cashew dip sounds amazing.  A dramatic dining room with gorgeous deep blue walls. 

on the internets:  This video of T-pain's little desk session with NPR is going to be the best 13 minutes of your day. Trust. 

on my wishlist:  Obviously this shirt.  Self Portrait killing it as usual with this unique cocktail dress.  I love these upholstered chairs from Target- especially the fabric.  I know the gold animal placecard thing has been kind of played out, but I still like it. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

{late night snack tray with starbucks}

For the second post in my series in partnership with Starbucks® flavored K-Cup® Packs, I thought it would be fun to think about times other than the morning to serve coffee (see the first post in the series here).  I love to pull inspiration for dinner parties and entertaining in our home from wedding blogs (especially my two faves: 100 Layer Cake & Grey Likes Weddings).  One thing that I have seen become a staple at weddings is the idea of late night snacks that reinvigorate guests for an evening of dancing well after the dinner plates have been cleared (we even did late night milk and cookies at our wedding!).  I decided to try that idea on a smaller scale with a late night snack tray accompanied by a little caffeine jolt from fresh cups of coffee.

After guests have arrived, enjoyed your meticulously arranged appetizers, served themselves a few cocktails and settled in for a night of lively conversation there will ultimately come a lull in the evening.  How fun would it be to reinvigorate your get-together by presenting your friends with this fun snack at your next cocktail party?  The key is to pick small bite foods that won't have you prepping in the kitchen for hours.  I chose to pick some easy frozen treats like mini tacos and churros- not necessarily items I would normally present guests, but later in the evening they are the exact comfort foods that people love!

I always opt in for a late night cup of coffee to end a long dinner so I figured serving the dessert inspired Starbucks® Cinnamon Dolce K-Cup® Packs as a little evening kick would be the perfect accompaniment to the snack tray!  The best part of a Keurig machine is the ease of use- so rather than having to ask each of your guests whether they want coffee and how they prefer to take it you can easily set up your machine in an accessible place alongside a selection of mugs and coffee toppings so that guests can serve themselves.  We actually did this for a big group brunch a while back and it worked perfectly to have people serve themselves.  This time around I placed this Keurig on our outdoor bar cart along with sugar, cream, a selection of K-Cups and glass mugs!

 {tossing the freshly baked fries with a little garlic and truffle salt to give them a special touch}

{a handful of freshly baked fries served with ketchup and chipotle aioli in these mini cups

I'd love to hear about your favorite tricks for fall entertaining!! Share in the comments what you like to do to delight your guests at fall get-togethers.

The rich aromas and sweet flavors you love from Starbucks®, now brewing at home. Introducing two new K-Cup® flavors for fall, inspired by our café favorites.

LEGAL: Developed in partnership with Starbucks Coffee Company and their new Starbucks® K-
Cup® packs. K-Cup® packs for use in Keurig® K-Cup® brewing systems. Keurig, the Cup and Star Design, Keurig Brewed, K-Cup and the Keurig brewer trade dress are trademarks of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., used with permission.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company, via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company.

Friday, October 24, 2014

{friday cocktail: la vie en rose}

I love the process of making a really complicated cocktail- whether it's something that takes multiple errands to find the right ingredients or something that takes a significant amount of prep to prepare.   But then there are many times when I want to enjoy a drink without having to keep a pantry stocked with fresh citrus and flavored syrups.  Enter this Friday's cocktail, La Vie En Rose, which takes all of 1 minute to make and the hardest part of this recipe is having a bottle of chilled champagne at the ready.  Another amazing thing about this recipe is that it utilizes St Germain perfectly and by that I mean to say that I have gotten a bit burned out on St Germain lately (it seems like it's on every cocktail menu and it can be overly sweet), but this recipe had me putting it back front and center on our bar.   Ok would think I was being paid to pimp this cocktail with how much I'm singing it's praises- the bottom line is its flavorful, delicious and includes champagne- nuff said.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: This ottoman might just be the perfect piece of furniture for those who love to entertain.  I would like to completely copy this bathroom in a future home.  Another fun restaurant opening in DTLA to add to our list!  Lately, I have been obsessed with trying to find some dining chairs like these that have a metal base and upholstered chair.  

on pinterest: Chic pumpkin decor.  These mini caramel apples look delicious and easy to make!  Another fall outfit inspiration- if only it would cool down just a bit in California. 

on my kindle:  My copy of Elements of Style by Erin Gates finally came in the mail and I. Am. Obsessed.  It such a wonderful inspiration for home decor and would make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season. 

on the internets: Everything in this BuzzFeed round up on why living in Paris destroys you for real life is so spot on!

on my wishlist:  You guys.....this Rebecca Minkoff purse is haunting me.  I must have it.  Of course the agony of picking is a color is no small struggle.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{weekday breakfast with starbucks & keurig}

I am so excited to partner with Starbucks for a 3 part series about their flavored K-Cup® Packs because let’s face it lifeblood before noon revolves around coffee. We’ve had a Keurig machine for almost 3 years now ever since we received one off our wedding registry and it really satisfies my push of button instant gratification needs (read: I’m a bit lazy in the morning so anything that takes significant effort or laborious clean-up isn’t going to work).

Today’s post is all about my favorite breakfast pairings. My dream breakfast situation (besides going out for a boozy Sunday brunch) is a leisurely morning spent cooking (probably this French toast) and maybe even getting back in bed to eat it, but most days that’s not a reality.  So today I thought it would be fun to show two of my favorite go-to breakfasts for quick weekday mornings: a super-food packed acai parfait and avocado toast using my secret ingredient!

Most mornings the very first thing I do (after taking out our high maintenance dog) is brew a cup of coffee in our Keurig and add a splash of cream.  I enjoy that cup of coffee while getting ready, watching the news, trying to make myself presentable to leave the house, etc.  I always drink that first cup of coffee like it’s my last and it disappears in about 15 minutes, so I’ll brew a second cup to enjoy with breakfast.  I usually just add a splash of cream to my coffee so I was excited to try out the flavored Starbucks® flavored K-Cup® Packs hoping that the sweet flavors like Vanilla or Cinnamon Dolce might prompt me to use less cream (which they did! win.).  Scroll down for my secret avocado toast ingredient and simple acai parfait recipe that I pair with my morning coffee!

{custom coffee sleeves with our wedding crest from here}

{sugar bowl from here & gold tongs from here}

{you guys. this Tajin Seasoning is the secret ingredient to out of this world avocado toast. trust.}

Simple Acai Parfait:

what you need:

  • acai smoothie packet (I like the unsweetened version from here - and you can find it cheaper at your local Whole Foods or Costco)
  • 1/3 cup granola 
  • 1/2 cup light vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup kale (or leafy greens like spinach)
  • 1 half banana, chopped
  • 5 strawberries, sliced
  • toasted coconut flakes
  1. Place granola in bottom of glass or bowl. 
  2. Chop bananas and strawberries. Set aside.
  3. Place acai packet, kale and soy milk into a blender.  Blend until smooth and then place contents on top of granola.
  4. Top acai blend with strawberries, bananas and coconut flakes. 
  5. Enjoy!

The rich aromas and sweet flavors you love from Starbucks®,now brewing at home. Introducing two new K-Cup(R) flavors for fall, inspired by our café favorites.

LEGAL: Developed in partnership with Starbucks Coffee Company and their new Starbucks® K-Cups® packs. K-Cup® packs for use in Keurig® K-Cup® brewing systems. Keurig, the Cup and Star Design, Keurig Brewed, K-Cup and the Keurig brewer trade dress are trademarks of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., used with permission.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company, via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company.

Friday, October 17, 2014

{jalapeno caipirinha}

Caipirinhas are one of my favorite sun-lounging cocktails (besides of course a spicy marg).  Filled to the brim with ice and a zesty tang from the limes there truly is nothing better to sip on while doing nothing other than re-applying sunscreen and reading US Weekly.  This past Sunday we whipped up a batch of spicy caipirinhas utilizing some of the leftover jalapeño peppers from this ceviche.  This recipe was the perfect accompaniment to the refreshing dish and a lazy end to the weekend. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: Dying over this "almond in case of emergency" pocket in this purse.  Living vicariously and missing Paris dearly by looking through Corals & Cognacs travels there right now.  A great idea for a Halloween party- have a simple costume bar for those who refuse to show up in costume.  Carole Radziwill is by far my favorite housewife and this sweatshirt makes me love her even more!  I need this shirt. Dreamy outdoor wedding/dinner in Palm Springs captured by Rachel Castillero. 

on pinterest:  Love the simple drama of these magnolia blooms- now I just need to hunt down a magnolia tree to steal some from!  Probably the ultimate fall meal- white bean and sausage soup in a pumpkin bowl

on the blogs:  Bridal week just hit NYC this past week and even though I have no need for a wedding dress in my life, I still love to swoon over all the gorgeous gowns!

on my wishlist:  Today is the last day of Shopbop's Friends & Family sale.  All these items are 25% off with the code FAMILY25.  Love this double duty reversible Rachel Pally dress.  A great over-sized bag for work or travel.  Shopbop has a good selection of gift items including a solid offering of Joanthan Adler's ceramic frames and canisters- this frame is perfect to stock up on for gift giving! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{peruvian ceviche}

Over the weekend, we headed over to the westside to have dinner at our friend's amazing restaurant, Fundamental LA.  Every single dish we had was amazing, but one I was particularly obsessed with was a flavorful crudo.  During the following Sunday spent lounging on our deck, we decided to try to recreate a similar dish using this recipe for peruvian ceviche.   Using that recipe as a base we added in pomegranate seeds, thinly sliced radishes, and persimmons  Do not skip the pomegranate seeds and persimmon in this as they add a delicious crunch and tartness- I especially love their flavor mixed with the spicy jalapeño slices and citrus-y marinade.  This dish may look complicated, but besides the chopping up of all the ingredients, the labor involved in putting the dish together is minimal and takes only 5 minutes.    Serve it alongside sea salt and vinegar potato chips for a perfect refreshing lunch dish!

 {check out this simple video for the secret to harvesting pomegranate seeds}

Friday, October 10, 2014

{friday cocktail: sparkling negroni}

I cannot believe that it has taken me this long to mix together one of my favorite cocktails, the classic negroni, with a topping of champagne!  After noticing a champagne cocktail using Campari at a local wine bar in our neighborhood, I knew the next chance I had to mix up a negroni I would be trying it as a sparkling version.  The negroni cocktail can turn some people off because of its very distinct strong taste and bitter flavor from the Campari, but a few ounces of champagne on top definitely cuts the taste a bit for those who might prefer it.  It's the perfect cocktail for cozying up on a fall evening (or if you live in California you can turn the AC up and pretend it's less than 80 degrees out!)

Oh and PS- that awesome needlepoint coaster pictured above is from this set!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

{what i loved this week}

on instagram: My favorite pool accessory all dolled up!  Shoe heaven in Rachel Zoe's studio.  The perfect east vs. west sweatshirts.  A great reminder with this quote

on pinterest: A fun alternative to the pumpkin jack-o-lantern.  Kind of obsessed with this white on white outfit.

on the blogs:  An easy DIY from A Fabulous Fete for custom cocktail napkins- how perfect for your next get together!

on the internets:  Food waste on fruits and veggies in our house is somewhat embarrassing so I'll definitely be printing this helpful graphic out to reference! 

on my wishlist:  A super luxe travel set in my favorite pattern- stripes!  Fabulous gold and marble bar set- would make a perfect housewarming gift.  A fun alternative to a simple t-shirt or jersey for upcoming basketball season.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{fall shopping list}

I'm in shock that we are already coasting along into October as it feels like it was only a couple weeks ago that we moved back to California!  It's been a bit difficult to get into the fall spirit with the heat wave that has been hitting Los Angeles this past week keeping temperatures consistently in the 90s.  The truth is that even when this heat wave passes, the weather here is still going to be pretty delightful in the 70s throughout the fall.  After experiencing a the fall season in Chicago (with gorgeous changing leaves and crisp weather), I know that Los Angeles' fall is really just a slightly cooler extension of summer.  That's not going to stop me from shopping for one of my favorite seasons, I simply need to be more aware of the pieces I buy so that I'm not dying of heat stroke.  Here's my little fall shopping wishlist - note the absence of puffy coats and gloves- thank. god. 

Ankle Boots:  I'm still desperately scouring eBay for the Isabel Marant fringe boots for H&M!

Long Sleeve Dresses:  While there might not be very many days that I can pair a chic long sleeve knit dress with tights around here, I still think it could be a great look paired with some of the above ankle boots!

Silky Plaid Tops:  I love plaid tops- especially when mixed with more feminine pieces like a pencil skirt or jeans and sky high heels.  Flannel is going to make me feel like I'm wearing a blanket in this heat so I'll be keeping my eye out of plaid tops in thin silky fabrics.

A Camel Coat:  I'm obsessed with the classic look of a camel coat and am hoping I can hunt one down in a lighter weight blend that I can wear out to dinner when the temperatures drop at night time.

Felt Floppy Hat:  Parisian Chic at it's finest.  These felt hats have been popping up everywhere and I'm positive I need to own one- especially for lazy hair days.

A Glamorous Holiday Frock:  Ok so the holidays are still a couple months away, but it's never too early to start shopping for great holiday dresses.  You don't wanna be the girl with her entire closet splayed across her room 5 minutes before your company's holiday party because you hate everything you own.  I know you know what I'm talking about here.

Grey on Grey:  Chris has made fun of me several times for my love of wearing grey on grey, but it's an easy combination that somehow looks put together and casual at the same time.