Friday, November 30, 2012

{friday cocktail: the pink lily}

If you have followed this blog for a while, you know that we make a lot of cocktails around here. Despite how many recipes I have written up for you guys, there are only a handful of them that I can remember the proportions of all the ingredients by heart.  That's why today's cocktail is so great since it is only 4 ingredients each with the same each measurement of .75 ounces.  I found this cocktail in one of my favorite bar books where it is actually called a Water Lily and uses Creme de Cassis instead of Chambord.  We don't currently have Creme de Cassis stocked in our bar so I had to improvise a little with the Chambord.  I actually love how this turned out using the raspberry liqueur since it gave the cocktail a deep pink hue and sweeter taste, but I am definitely curious to try it again using the original recipe after our next trip to restock our bar!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

{gift guide for the Bliss Weddings Blog}

Head on over to the Bliss Weddings blog to check out a little gift guide
I created for them for all those newly engaged couples who pop up after Thanksgiving weekend!

 also- while I am not newly engaged, you can feel free to send that case 
of Dom Perignon at the bottom of the guide my way when you get a chance! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{holiday cards from minted}

Ever since some of my friends used Minted for their wedding Save the Date card a couple years ago, I fell in love with the site's clean and modern designs.  Along with a whole range of holiday and wedding announcements  Minted even recently launched a line of party goods including custom garlands, drink tags and various festive decorations!  So when they asked me to review of a few of their Holiday Photo cards, I jumped at the chance to pick out a few of my favorite designs and customize them with some photos from our wedding!  Click here to customize some for yourself!

Here are some of the designs that caught my eye (including a few from
 their save the dates section which I customized into holidays cards!):

It's so hard to choose which is my favorite, but I am really loving the gold
 glitter "Happy Holidays" one for obvious reasons! 

**Minted has offered compensation for this post, but all design choices and opinions are my own. 
I just love paper goods- you know this! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

{scenes from thanksgiving}

This year we hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner at our place in Chicago.  My parents and one of my girlfriends flew out from California to spend the holiday with us which made it extra special.  Here are a few snapshots from the dinner:

 {banner made from this Rifle Paper garland kit}

 {the floral arrangements- see the breakdown in this post}

 {extra letters from the banner kit doubled as "placecards" on the back of each seat}

 {simple printed menu- we ended up making the most amazing pumpkin souffles for dessert instead}

{my parents sent along a case of Benziger's best wine to enjoy with dinner}

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

{floral guide: thanksgiving table arrangement}

Not having access to the flower mart in downtown LA has been a big adjustment for me, but luckily I was able to find a cute flower shop around the corner from our new place that was able to order some amazing cut flowers for me this Thanksgiving.  Here is the flower guide for the two arrangements I put together for our Thanksgiving table this Thursday.  Note that I did end up adding some craspedia to the arrangements that I already had at the house so it didn't end up getting photographed above.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

{guest blog: gift guide for the bar cart enthusiast}

Today I'm guest blogging over at A Fabulous Fete with some gift ideas for the bar cart enthusiast.

Also send me one of each while you are at it! 

Friday, November 16, 2012

{friday cocktail: champagne cocktail bar}

As promised, I am back this Friday with the cocktail recipes from the Champagne and Desserts party I posted about earlier this week.  I have posted about setting up a DIY champagne cocktail bar in the past when we created one for our engagement party (see those recipes here).  For the champagne and desserts party, I wanted to go with a little bit sweeter girlier cocktail creations, but as always I made sure to include the classic original champagne cocktail recipe.  The "26 candles" recipe was named in honor of the birthday celebration using pomegranate seeds, home-made grenadine & a splash of St. Germain.  The "gingerly fizz" recipe was created to utilize one of my favorite flavored liqueurs, Domaine de Canton, garnished with a slice of candied ginger and splash of honey syrup.

Download each of the recipe cards by clicking on the corresponding links:


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

{custom cocktail guest blog for The Wife}

Today I am guest blogging a "his & hers" cocktail pairing for the fall over on Taryn's blog, The Wife.  Taryn and I have actually known each other since grade school as our mothers have been good friends for some time so I was delighted when she asked me to create a little something for her wonderful blog- be sure to click over for the full recipes!


Monday, November 12, 2012

{champagne & desserts birthday party}

This past Friday, we celebrated my friend Heather's birthday with a little champagne & desserts themed party at my place!  You can see the original inspiration board for the party right here.  I absolutely loved how this party turned out.  Just a few champagne cocktail recipes and a sprinkling of desserts mixed with pink and sparkly decorations created the perfect setting to ring in a fabulous birthday.  Here are some snapshots from the party and later this week I'll give you all the details on the champagne cocktail set up plus some freeeee printables!

 {desserts set up}

 {the gold sequin tablecloth that keeps on giving- originally from the sequins & bowties party}

 {one of my favorite wedding registry gifts- gold flatware from here}

 {gold & ivory tissue poms from BHLDN & the DIY glitter letter banner}

 {champagne cocktail set up}

 {pomegranate seeds for champagne cocktails in a vintage cocktail coupe}

 {the cutest bow tie bottle stopper from BHLDN}

 {snickerdoodle cupcakes- one of my favorite box-mix recipes}

 {festive jelly beans}

 {white chocolate dipped oreos with birthday sprinkles}

 {classic cheesecake cut into two-bite portions and topped with a fresh raspberry}

 {key lime tarts cut into bite size portions}

{the birthday girl!}

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

{amaryllis & paperwhite bulbs for the holidays}

Growing up I always remember my mother putting together amaryllis and paper white bulbs around late October/early November to display around our house for the holiday season.   When I moved out into my first place in San Francisco, my mother sent me care package filled with bulbs and all the supplies needed to plant some for my new home.  Every year since then, she sends along all the supplies for what has grown to become a long time holiday tradition.  Today I wanted to share with you the very simple yet rewarding process of planting these bulbs for the upcoming holidays.  The cost of these bulbs is low and you should be able to find them at your local garden supply or Home Depot- I have also spotted them in "kits" at Target or Trader Joes.  The ease of putting these together makes them a great hostess gift throughout the holiday season as well!

The process for planting either paper white or amaryllis bulbs is basically the same.  You can use practically any ceramic pot or glass vase you might have around so long as the bulb/bulbs can fit their width in it.  The key with bulb success is making sure not to completely submerge the bulb in water or dirt, but to plant it so that the majority of the bulb is visible above the moss in your container.  If need be place rocks or pebbles in the bottom of your container to get the bulb as high as you would like.  Use moss to anchor the bulb in your container.  Fill the entire container with water, let it sit for a few minutes and then drain all the water out by holding the bulb/moss/pebbles while tipping the container to its side.  This should be the extent of watering your bulb will require.  These potted bulbs can be placed anywhere in your home- they do not require a specific amount of sunlight!  You may want to add water and drain it once more in a few weeks if your home is very dry from air conditioning or weather.

Paperwhites and amaryllis make for great hostess gifts since they are pretty and require little effort on the part of the person you are gifting them to!  Simply plant the bulb into a nice ceramic container following the directions above and attach a cute tag like this sticker tag from Rifle Paper I recently picked up on a trip to Paper Source:

While normally I would show you the end result of planting these bulbs, if I waited that long to share it with you then you wouldn't have time to plant some for yourself!  So here are some photos of what you can hope to achieve.  While the amaryllis is my favorite because it is so dramatically beautiful, I also thoroughly enjoy the strong scent that paperwhites will fill your rooms with: