8.24.2010

A Deco Wedding

Art Deco is one of my favorite styles in history. I love all the lines, geometric shapes and the colors. With all the themed weddings these days, why not have an art deco wedding? 











This beautifully styled photo shoot is by Sakura Photo and featured on Ruffled. To see the complete shoot, be sure to check out her blog.

8.19.2010

"You Say It's Your Birthday..."

..."It's my birthday too, yeah."
Yes, it is my birthday weekend and all week I've been preparing myself for being a girl (dare I say woman) "in her mid-twenties." Twenty-five might be just a number but it's kind of a wake up call. People in their mid-twenties were always sooo old to me when I was younger. When I think of some of my favorite movies and shows, they usually involved people in their mid-twenties wrestling with life and it's life changing decisions. It's pretty crazy that I've reached that stage in my life. I feel like I just graduated high school.

As much as I wish I could stay young forever, I have to admit, I love birthdays. I love ALL birthdays - mine, yours, stranger's, I just love them. There is nothing like a good celebration and every celebration deserves a cake. That is why I created this flower cake:
So, I didn't make this for myself because that would be just plain weird. I actually made this for a floral design class and I thought it was a great way to say Happy Birthday for those who don't like cake and for those who can't eat cake due to health issues.

I made the cake back in March when ranuculus were at the peak of their season. I love all the colors that ranuculus come in so I decided to use as many as I can but I do think a monochromatic cake would be much more dramatic. I wrapped the floral foam with ti leaves, used corsage pins to act as the frosted pearls on a traditional cake and of course, set it all on a cake stand.

8.17.2010

Toss it up

Growing up, I always hated tomatoes. As I got a bit older, I could handle one in a sandwhich or a salad but was never one to eat one like an apple. Then, I discovered heirlooms. They are gorgeous in color, funky in shape and it might just be in my head, but they are sweeter and lighter than your standard red tomato. I found this recipe for a tomato salad using heirlooms and chunky, seasoned croutons and just had to try it. I made it for a family bbq and it was a hit!

Tomato Salad with Cheese Crisps


The recipe calls for 2 pounds of mixed heirlooms which can be quite expensive so I recommend going to your local farmer's market (if you're in SoCal, check out the one in Laguna Beach, it's my favorite). I didn't plan on making this salad until late in the evening, so I just had to run to the store and I picked up the small, cherry size heirlooms, which were less expensive and just as easy to work with.

These toasty treats were deliciously paired with the juiciness of the tomatoes


All mixed up and ready to eat


Parmesan cheese clustered and ready to bake


Parmesan cheese crisps hot out of the oven.

I had some issues with these guys... with some of them I think I went a little heavy on the parmesan. I found it's best to spread the cheese thin before baking and they will crisp better. Also, be sure your cookie sheet is either non-stick, well greased or use a Silpat to help with the sticking. I had trouble getting some of the crisps off the sheet. Other than that, they are quite tasty!


Here is the "How To" -

*Active: 30 min*Total: 40 min*Serves 4*

Ingredients:

4 thick slices Italian bread, cut into cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 pounds mixed heirlooms tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the bread with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Whisk the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the tomatoes, scallions and dill and season with salt and pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Set aside while you make the crisps.
3. Toss the cheese with the flour and pepper to taste in a bowl. Arrange the mixture in 4 mounds on the baking sheet slightly. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly, then remove with a spatula to a rack and let cool. Serve with the tomato salad.

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

8.13.2010

Wall Splash

I am starting to get that end of summer itch to re-arrange my room and paint the walls. If you know me, you'll know that my walls have been a million different colors over the years and I have somehow maintained the current color for a few years now. Well, I am ready for a makeover!
There are so many options for wall treatments these days. It is no longer a matter of just picking a color but a choice of thousands of colors, textures and patterns. I know that some of the treatments I love at the moment are just too bold for my space but they are fun to imagine having one day.

My favorites:

Lovin' the contrast here. How great are the arches and what looks to be
low-lying seating in the bay window? To see more on this house
Indian house and other wall treatments, check out Elle Decor.
I know, I know, I know. Wallpaper was a thing of the 80's and early 90's and we have all
worked so hard to get rid of it. BUT! I tell you, I love wallcoverings, especially, this one.
It's so soft, so soothing and so buttery. It looks great paired with that bed/bedding too.


We all recognize Marimekko as the signature Crate & Barrel prints that can be spotted hanging around the store. Guess what? They now have wall coverings! These three pictured above, are just a hint of the many selections they have here.

Marimekko also has their own line of wall clings.
This world map is spectacular and SO easy to do yourself.

DIY: Wedding Shower Invites

One of my best friends is getting married in October and I am so excited for her and for the wedding! The bridesmaids and I are throwing her a shower but we were having a hard time finding invitations that she would like. She loves red and black (her wedding colors) and simplicity. I searched several stores for invites that weren't pink and floraly and with no such luck, I decided I would just make some. I headed over to Michael's and here is what I came up with...


I started with these three papers: a transparent floral motif, silver and a
 shimmery red (which is a much deeper red than the pictures show).
I layered the silver paper under the transparent floral motif and placed
the red on the top with printed details of the event. I finished it off by hot
gluing a hand tied black bow to the top.
I created small registry cards and mounted them on small scraps of the
transparent floral motif that I had left over.
I used black envelopes and a silver gel pen to address
them and sealed them with a single piece of bling.

The whole process really didn't take that long and it was fun to do. Michael's really has a large selection of beautiful papers so you can customize the invites for anyone and for any event. If you do decide to create your own invites, I highly recommend double stick tape and a paper cutter for a headache-less project.

8.09.2010

Beauty+Function




I was browsing through Inhabitat and came across this power plant in the Netherlands (pictured above).The architecture firm, Cie joined with artist Hugo Kaagman, to create this beautiful structure that serves as a power plant AND an ode to the history and community of the Dutch people, culture and history. The structure is clad in Delftware glazed tiles that are iconic to the Netherlands. I am so pleased to see a structure that is not only functional but also composes beauty and purpose. If you've ever driven by the power plant in  San Onofre, CA (or most power plants) you will understand the stark contrast between a gigantic concrete struture that is unnaturally emerging from the Earth and a structure that is so fitting in its place that it is hard to even recognize that it is a power plant.