Tuesday, May 31, 2011

{bridesmaid ribbon medallions}

I had been trying to think of a unique way to ask my lady friends to be bridesmaids in our wedding, when I remembered some DIY ribbon medallions I had made during the holidays as the prize for our annual pumpkin carving contest.  Originally I had planned on making these for Chris to ask his groomsmen with as well, but after I made the first bridesmaid one I decided they were way too girly for the groomsmen- even if I used more masculine colors.

I am so happy with how great these turned out and was surprised by how easy they were to make! I followed a very simple diy for the medallions from the archives of Style Me Pretty (tutorial here) and then I added a modified circular label that I downloaded from one of my favorite blogs for free printables, Just Something I Made. You can access the sheet of circular labels here; I used the label in the top left of the sheet. I already had all the ribbon which I purchased a while back from Target Trim in downtown Los Angeles' fashion district.

This would be a great gift to make for a milestone birthday or anniversary by putting the year as the center of the medallion. Or I think they make great prizes for friendly games during the holidays or at bridal and baby showers.

I presented each of these to my bridesmaids individually over the course of last week over drinks and at a few dinner parties. I am so happy to have such a wonderful group of girls; Terra, Eva, Heather, Kay, Katie & Caroline- LET'S DO THIS!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

{friday cocktail: salty dog}

This past week have been extremely busy mostly with fun things like dinner parties and venue shopping, so for this Friday's cocktail I have made something very simple called a Salty Dog.  The main part of this cocktail has only two ingredients plus a salt/sugar rim; 5 minutes and it is ready for drinking:


Thursday, May 26, 2011

{etsy favorites}

Here is another quick round up of some of my current Etsy favorites:

How great are these correspondence cards?  I think I have said every one of those phrases to a friend in the past couple months and it would have been so much more fun to send an actual card to them.

I am a huge sucker for small leather goods and Harlex's etsy shop is filled with affordable hand-made leather goodies. I especially like this clean card holder in the muted natural color and their laptop covers that have a contrasting ribbon closure.

I know I have shown printed kitchen towels on here before, but I just love them so much. They are also make great gifts wrapped around a wine bottle as a host or hostess gift.  I know many a beer lover who would enjoy this towel wrapped around a specialty brew.

This shop is filled with beautiful and affordable large prints.  It was really difficult to pick just one to show on here so I highly recommend you check out her shop immediately.  Most of the other prints in the shop are black/white with one of my favorites being this ice cream cone print.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

{gourmet potluck dinner}

 {everyone wrote their dish up on the kitchen chalkboard}

Since our weekends have been so busy, we have been having people over for dinner during the week much more and now weeknight dinner parties are quickly becoming one of my favorite things.  Last night we had two couples over for a gourmet "potluck" dinner with each couple in charge of one of the courses.  Dylan and Jeni brought curried cauliflower with chili and seared sugar snap peas with yuzu kosho as starters.  Chris and I did the main course which was orange + beet salad, cilantro lime potatoes with crema, and new mexico rubbed pork loin with bourbon ancho sauce.  Josh and Heather brought lemon yogurt cake with ricotta honey custard and cherry compote for dessert.  After dinner, Chris told me that the pork recipe he used from one of Bobby Flay's cookbooks (recipe here) was by far the best pork he had ever made.

 {chris with the cilantro lime potatoes & seared snap peas}

 {beet & orange salad, curried cauliflower}

 {chris, jeni & dylan with the ancho pork}


A lot of people tell me they want to entertain more, but they are intimidated by the idea of cooking an entire evening's worth of food for their friends.  This potluck dinner was amazing and removed a lot of the pressure of cooking 4 or 5 different dishes. Plus everyone gets to talk about how they choose and cooked their dish!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

{diy projects wishlist}

It seems like for months now every week has been filled with work and social commitments- which is really not a bad problem to have.  Although I do wish I could take an entire week for a stay-cation to do some of these DIY projects that I have had on my mind: 

I have been wanting one of the over-sized clutches from American Apparel for some time and I think this easy painted stripe DIY would be a great way to make it a little more unique.

We have been in desperate need of a coffee table for our deck and this table would satisfy that need and my love for succulents at the same time! 

Although I love this oversized frame with the polaroids, that kind of film is expensive and hard to come by.  But I do think this would be a great way to display the hundreds of photos we have from photobooths we set up at past parties. 

If I made the coffee table with the succulents that I already mentioned then I think this sofa/chaise made using recycled pallets would complement it really well!  I also think this would make a great bench in an entryway.

Friday, May 20, 2011

{friday cocktail: bufala negra}

I love balsamic vinegar on pretty much everything; caprese bites, salads, ice cream from Scoops and now even cocktails. For this friday's cocktail I bring you a Bufala Negra (the black buffalo), a tart and tangy whiskey cocktail whose dark color comes from the addition of a balsamic simple syrup. Here is the recipe originally taken from Imbibe magazine:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{birthday cake pops}

For my co-worker's birthday last week, she requested that I make her cake pops and since our desks face each other and we converse for 8 hours a day I certainly wanted to honor her request.  The one complaint I have heard about cake pops is they are too sweet which is not a surprise since you make them by mixing frosting with cake and then cover the entire thing in melted candy. I recently came across a recipe for Lemon Buttermilk Cream Cheese cake pops (here) and this sounded like the perfect amount of sweetness. I'm not going to lie, these cake pops turned out amazing; and by amazing I mean out of control good. You should probably go make some immediately...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

{exciting news}

{I apologize this image is blurry- I was too excited to review the photos and take a clearer shot}

For dessert during the celebration dinner I posted about yesterday, we decided to open a bottle of 2000 Dom Perignon champagne we had received as a gift for our 25th birthday. We had been waiting for a good reason to pop this bottle and Chris' amazing score on the GMAT seemed like a great reason to me.  Little did I know that Chris had another reason we should be drinking this bottle of celebratory champagne. Right before popping the cork, Chris said he needed to grab something from the kitchen and came over to my side of the table.  He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!! 

I was completely surprised and could not have asked for a more perfect evening or setting for such a memorable event.  Before Chris proposed, we had spent part of the dinner talking about how truly lucky we are and in that moment, I really could not imagine that life could get any better until Chris proved me wrong minutes later with this beautiful ring:

Monday, May 16, 2011

{a celebration dinner}

After months of studying, Chris took the GMAT this past Saturday. I had wanted to throw a big party to celebrate, but Chris said he just wanted to cook a dinner for the two of us. Even though we weren't having a huge get together, I wasn't going to miss out on a chance to decorate so I made a simple table setting for our celebration dinner for two.  I used some butcher paper as a table runner and covered it in gold origami squares that I cut into extra large confetti using a 2 inch circle punch.

{dessert from bottega louie}