Thursday, June 30, 2011

{lavender simple syrup}

I have experimented many times with lavender in my baking before and have always love the result- especially the time we made lavender honey ice cream.  Although I often use our Lavender bitters, I have been really wanting to make a cocktail with actual lavender simple syrup.  It is so quick and easy to make flavored simple syrups like this, I am surprised we dont have more of them around the house.  Here is the recipe I followed:

What you need:
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons culinary lavender
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  1. place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium to high heat
  2. allow all sugar to dissolve
  3. remove from heat and let cool for about 30 to 45 minutes. If you need the syrup immediately you can set this in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
  4. strain syrup into a container of your choice. Placed in the refrigerator the syrup should be good for a few weeks.

 {swing top bottle from Specialty Bottle}

Check back tomorrow for a recipe using this syrup!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{flower arranging trick}

I got to spend most of last weekend hanging out with my wonderful mother.  We took a little trip over to the flower district and picked up a few things to make an arrangement for Chris' mother as a thank you for hosting our engagement party.  After scoping out the entire flower mart, we decided on fuchsia peonies, white peonies, white ranunculus, light pink ranunculus and dusty miller.  Once we got home and started arranging the flowers, my mom showed me the coolest way to easily create and hold together a flower arrangement.  Here it is....are you ready??...simply place the cut stems from your flowers as a lattice across your vase to form a grid which you can place your arrangement on- see photo below:

We ended up placing about three more stems than this to create the grid and I am still excited about learning this new trick! I feel like everyone else already knows about this because it is one of those things that once you learn it, you almost feel kind of lame like you should have known it all along.

{finished arrangement with our engagement party crest}

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

{diy champagne cocktail bar}

As you may have noticed from reading this blog, I love champagne cocktails. A lot. I have been wanting to have a DIY champagne cocktail bar for the longest time, but we just haven't had the right type of party to warrant one until our engagement party last weekend at Chris' parent's home.

First I started out by deciding which cocktails to include and of course a classic champagne cocktail was an obvious choice.   I also really wanted to use St. Germain liqueur in one of the cocktails, partly because it tastes so good and partly because the bottle is really pretty.  I debated on the third cocktail option for a while, jumping back and forth between a Blackerry Royale or a cocktail with Domaine de Canton which is a ginger liqueur.  Ultimately I went with the Blackberry Royale since I figured most people wouldn't be very familiar with ginger liqueur or wouldn't want to try it.

Here are links to the cocktail instructions that I framed in these Ikea frames which we spray painted gold - you can drop these images into a word document and size them for whatever frame you choose to use:
 I really believed that only the ladies at the party would be interested in making a champagne cocktails for themselves, but I was shocked to see that almost everyone at the party tried it out and most people tried out all three!  The only thing I would do differently next time is instead of doing straws as decoration in the flutes, I would do stir sticks or nothing at all.  Let's face it- the straws were pure decoration and I never really intended people to actually drink through them. (also they come pretty close to poking your eye out while you try to sip from the glass which is not exactly ideal.)

    {chris, me, and my beautiful mother right after we set up the champagne cocktail bar}


    Monday, June 27, 2011

    {sneak peek}

    Yesterday evening was our engagement party and tomorrow I will be back with all the details, but for now -here is a little sneak peek photo:

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    {friday cocktail: basil gimlet}

    The smell of fresh basil leaves is one of the most appetizing herbs to smell in the kitchen and I recently came across a simple recipe for a basil gimlet. I really loved how this cocktail turned and it will definitely become one our go to cocktails since we almost always have fresh basil around the house.


    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    {confetti lab}

    Tonight I am going to be checking out the Confetti Lab party at The Wedding Pantry in Tustin. If you are in the area I highly recommend you RSVP right away and join me there tonight to check out all the wonderful party goods (there are also going to be tacos involved. enough said.)

    For more information- check out Lauren's blog, A Fabulous Fete or if you don't want more info about the event, but you DO want to see lots of cute party ideas then go to her blog anyways!

    {images via A Fabulous Fete}

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011


    Today is my 100th post on Mint Love Social Club!!!!  
    I get an incredible amount of joy from writing this blog every day, I cannot believe it has been 100 posts already.  This post is a virtual toast to all those who follow this blog- thank you so much for your support and here is looking at hundreds more posts to come!

    I cannot wait to share some the fun DIY projects we created for our upcoming engagement party this weekend! In the meantime here are some of my favorite posts of the past 100:

    My favorite DIY project I have taken on thus far with our loft is this Bubble chandelier and it has ended up as this blog's most popular post to date.  

    I love the post about the faux succulents in our apothecary jars because it was one of those projects where I found myself pleasantly surprised and impressed by my final product.

    The Friday cocktail posts are so much fun and the very first one I did is my all time favorite cocktail so this post holds a special place in my heart.

    The reason for this celebration dinner paired with the amazing menu make it one of my memorable meals- not to mention the huge surprise that came with dessert.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    {mini spinach bread bowls}

    I love the variety and quality of Trader Joe's frozen appetizers, many are a fixture on our shopping list (I'm looking at you Carmelized Onion and Gruyere Puff Pastry Bites!),but it is just so much more fun to serve guests something I have actually made.  Which means I am always on the hunt for quick and easy appetizer ideas that wont take much more effort than opening and heating of the Trader Joe's packages. A few months ago I saw this recipe for mini spinach bread bowls on Picky Palate and was intrigued that one of the ingredients was Pilsbury french loaf dough which was cut into squares.  This ingredient interested me not only because it seemed like it cut tons of time off the prep of these appetizers, but I was also curious to think of some other unconventional uses for canned Pilsbury doughs. 

    You can see the recipe I followed here and note that this recipe uses a regular sized cupcake pan, but I also tried it with my mini cupcake pan as well.  In the end, I would say the mini cupcake pan didn't work so well since it was difficult to not use too much dough inside the tin and the bread to spinach dip filling ratio wasn't as good as it was with the ones that were baked in the regular sized pan.

    I served these for a little dinner party we had last week and I was very pleased with how they turned out. Although really how can you not be pleased when half the ingredients are some form of cheese or cream?!  In the midst of all the socializing at dinner (read: drinking wine), I completely forgot to take a photo of the final product so here is a photo of how delicious they look, taken from Picky Palate:

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    {friday cocktail: cilantro limeade cooler}

    Early this week, we had a good friend over for dinner who doesn't drink alcohol so I thought it would be the perfect time try out one of the "mocktail" recipes in the back of my favorite cocktail book, The Ultimate Bar Book.  I made him the Cilantro Limeade cooler and modified the recipe a bit:


    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    {etsy favorites}

    Romi Ceramics Etsy shop is filled with unique ceramic bowls and planters- all of which have this sort of off center "spin" to the middle.  Their color pallette also reminds me of Heath ceramics, but at a fraction of the price.

    Delezhen's Etsy shop has an amazing selection of hammered gold vermeil rings and earrings with a selection of almost any stone you might want. 

    In my first Etsy post, I mentioned that I sometimes use Etsy to find inspiration for DIY projects that I would liek to try on my own. I have been eying these hand-printed burlap table runner in EAB Design's Etsy shop for some time now while I figure out exactly what I would want to print onto burlap. 

    With the engagement party invites we made a few weeks ago, I have definitely had paper goods on the brain.  While searching around for Kraft paper envelopes, I came across Packagery's Etsy shop and it is filled with tons of unnecessary, but fun packaging items.   I also especially love their printed library tags, here.

    Since Father's Day is right around the corner, I thought i would throw in a great gift idea for Dads for all you last minute shoppers. Cook Outside the box's Etsy shop sells tons of different gift sets of spices from this rub set above to a gourmet popcorn set.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    {diy bachelorette headbands}

    {terra with muji & dugg-e wearing their pouf collars}

    For Chris and my 25th birthday party last year, we made fabric pouf collars for the dogs to dress up in- see the photo above (please note the happy expressions on the dog's faces).  The dogs were less than thrilled about this and as the night progressed the pouf collars turned into a pouf headband- see picture below:

    {Terra wearing the pouf collars as a headband}

    This past weekend was the bachelorette party for my friend Heather and she had the great idea to make these pouf headbands in all different shades of pink for all of the ladies to wear instead of ordering obnoxious screen printed tank tops (thank you heather).  Here are the very simple directions on how to make these fun headbands:

    {kaylee, natalie, heather (the bride), me}

    what you need:

    • fabric in the varying shades you wish to use. (one single headband using about 5 or 6 different fabrics will only need about 8 square inches of fabric for each color)
    • one 24 inch strip of grosgrain ribbon for the band (while we used fabric for the band part of the headband- it will significantly cut your time and effort if you use ribbon)
    • scissors
    1. cut strips of the different colored fabric about 1/2 inch wide and 6 to 7 inches long. These strips do not need to be straight or perfectly cut in any way.  It actually looks better if they are a little but uneven and fraying at the edges
    2. starting in the middle of your 24 inch long piece of grosgrain ribbon start double knotting the strips of colored fabric one by one right next to each other
    3. push all the knots as close together as possible and rotate some of the knots so that the strips become more of a cluster than a straight line

        {Sarah (the maid of Honor) wearing hers as an arm-band}