Thursday, July 31, 2008

summer of denim love

I love jeans. Love love love. almost as much as I love the late 60's early 70's stringy hair running through fields of clover with my banjo and bob dylan bo-ho thing. My friend amanda sent me this link with title "coolest jeans ever." yes, they are certainly in the running:

or else their totally rad photo shoot for their site is just tricking us. Either way I'll take a pair. Or two.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

tomato family from our yard

We have 5 kinds of tomatoes growing out back. They are just starting to ripen so we only get a few at a time, but aren't they cute all together?

Monday, July 28, 2008

to bridesmaids wearing what they want

I decided a long time ago (read: before we were engaged) that my bridesmaids would pick their own dress... one that flattered them and that they would wear again. I chose green. Any green. Lime, apple, kelly emerald. I don't much care, as long as my maid-sies are happy. I've had my moments of wanting to take their freedom away for sure, but all the dresses I liked were in the $400 range and I just couldn't do that to them. And yet everyone keeps telling me that having 9 different dresses in the bridal party will look weird. But it won't, I tell people. It won't!


How cute? Say no to symmetry! Life is not symmetric.

Top,Snippet & Ink. Second, Modern Day Design, (which looks to be a beautiful option for a Santa Barbara Florist.) Third, Vanessa Massoud... and the wedding of one of my dearest friends Laura, a few months ago in Georgia. (That's me on the far right.) Vanessa is finishing up her work on the rest of the pics and I'm going to post Laura's wedding here soon.

Friday, July 25, 2008

bridal shower tomorrow

I'm imagining it to go something like the this:

Me, wearing mad hat and unsure what's going on. Cheetah staring at me saying "I am your wedding and I'm closer than you think, but also beautiful and a party animal, dahling." And then the champers, being drunk by the bottle-full.

(not picutred: friends, moms, grandmas, and other excellent women... they are probably gathering 'round the food wondering to each other why I'm wearing such a very LARGE hat).

Another from Conde Nast.

when the wedding binder fun has past...

...there is the home inspiration binder! YES! this is brilliant. because while we are in no position to be planning/styling/collecting inspiration for our "new home," I still keep scraps of niceness for a later date... like in 20 years when we can afford to build a custom, rustic, modern, beautiful, perfect home of our own. And mine might look similar to hers:

I love the style files. Such a great blog, seriously. Except that (as I mentioned 2 seconds ago), we are not in a position to use much of her gorgeous findings for home inspiration. there's always eventually.

bride jewelry, aka things i need

Kay so with the wedding marching slowly closer. 3 months from today. (yay! gulp.) I am certain that I should be thinking about my accessories. No need to go further into detail here. I mean, brides need exquisite jewelry. end of story.

Look what I found:

Though actually I WAS sort of planning on wearing family jewelry. One piece from each grandma. From my dad's mom, I'm planning to wear a really neat necklace made from a vintage chinese poker chip, that her mom bought in Hong Kong before WWII. One thing I always forget to mention when I'm explaining this to people is that the pokerchip is made from carved pearl (NOT clay) and it's a little bigger than a quarter. It's really beautiful and I've always admired it. From my mom's mom, I'm planning to wear her blue topaz cocktail ring. Which is also pretty neat.

But see, I need earrings. So I had to start looking. And I found all these other things! I am in LOVE with the opal ring. It is completely perfect for our vintage inspired black and white wedding in a garden. And certainly I can find something to do with the brooches. and the 5 pairs of earrings.

My rings are also vintage inspired. So I'm keeping a theme, here people. So far I'm kind of into the first pair of earrings on the right, with the crystal drops and rose gold. My wedding band is also rose gold (with diamonds)... and if that's not a valid rationalization, I don't know what is. But then, I also like the round ones.

These are all from Fay Cullen and Ruby Lane.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

carrot-zucchini cupcakes for happiest birthdays

In honor of 2 dearest friends birthdays, I made my first batch of cupcakes ever on Sunday for our outing to the hollywood bowl.

I generally am not a big fan of cake. I was the kid who had peach pie with candles at her birthday party every year. Except for yummy carrot cake, which I absolutely, unfailingly LOVE.

I found a recipe that had good reviews on epicurious and added and extra cup of shredded zucchini (they are taking over the kitchen counter), raisins, and nutmeg.

Happy birthday Jen (last sunday) and Melanie (today)!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

dear crate & barrel...

I may owe you an apology. It's just that you know, EVERYBODY getting married registers with you. And I just want something unique, perhaps made by hand or by a timeless artisan of craft. So I apologize for saying that I wouldn't ask my guests to buy your things. Esp when you sent such a cute email today:

Look at you, alluding to your support for local food and reusable bags! I love the green and white stylings, the 60's-pyrex-inspired designs, and the light an airy kitchen you promise. I'm not changing my mind at this point, but I do remember that in a time before weddings dominated both my creative energy and my vacation days, I did like a good stroll through your brightly lit aisles. I did enjoy the anticipation of a more thoroughly organized kitchen that the pages of your catalog so seductively displayed. And I love that you, with your home decor prowess are maybe making a more conscientious way of life just a teeny bit more mainstream. Truce?

farro salad with fresh herbs, corn and grapefruit

I love farro. It's so nutty and rustic and wholesome tasting, the time it takes to prepare is always worth it to me. And for summer, it's an ideal picnic food (big time crowd pleaser) when presented in salad form.

Sunday we went to the Feist show at the Hollywood Bowl (which was super fun! Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings opened and they are amazing too), and for non-LA residents the Hollywood Bowl is like the grande dame of picnicking spots in town. Picnic must be impossibly delicious and gourmet, must include wine and/or beer, and must also fit in a bag you can carry on the shuttle.

Perfect Picnic for the Bowl (in my opinion)

Cheese, fruit, baguette
Farro salad with fresh herbs, corn and grapefruit
Rustic cucumber and heirloom tomato salad with basil and cotija cheese
Carrot Cupcakes (for Jen and Melanie's birthdays!)

This farro salad is really QUITE delicious. It's sweet from the corn, spicy from the peppers and flavored oil, and full of herbs. All day yesterday I was fixating on coming home from work and eating the leftovers. All of them.

Farro Salad with fresh herbs, corn, and grapefruit
(this "recipe" makes a potluck picnic-sized amount)

3 cups farro

Soaked overnight. Dump farro in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand overnight. This is an essential step. I have attempted to skip the soaking process multiple times and the results are less than ideal. Just plan a teeny bit ahead. It's so worth it.

1 small-med fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved on a mandoline.
4 ears corn, kernels removed, blanced for a few minutes in boiling salty water
1 large bunch of cilantro, leaves removed from stems
1 bunch of mint, leaves sliced into thin strips
handful of chives, sliced into 1/2 in pieces
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 oro blanco grapefruit, fruit removed from the membranes, but save any juice released for the salad
6 shishito peppers, thinly sliced (these a japanese pepper, sort of a cross between jalapeño and bell pepper. if you don't have, maybe use minced de-seeded jalapeño? you just want it a teeny bit spicy)

olive oil (i used jalapeño-lime flavor from O, and some regular dressing-quality too)

Drain the soaked farro. Follow directions on packaging for cooking (boil, simmer, etc). Once it's perfectly tender, but still retains it's shape, drain and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit until it's cool. You don't want your cold ingredients heating up from the warm grain.

Add all ingredients together. I could go into detail, but I'm not super exact with this sort of thing and I don't think anybody really reads this part. My advice is to go by what tastes yummiest. Toss everything together and taste. Now add olive oil, salt and pepper until it is extremely delicious. You may want to add a bit more grapefruit juice or even some lime?

I was also thinking of adding some avocado, but figured it might be brown by the time we reached our picnicking destination.

Monday, July 21, 2008

job-related angst

I am tortured by this on a regular basis:

I can't help but acknowledge that if I didn't design one of my projects, someone else would.

Secretly, I wish I was an NPR correspondent, asking smart, thought-provoking questions to people doing interesting and important work/research and then having the perfect follow-up to their answers every time. Does everyone struggle with this question of "Why?" when it comes to their profession... I wonder.

poster via a cup of jo

Friday, July 18, 2008

Registry guilt, then elation!

Allison at HaselBride did a post on unusual registry items yesterday, so I thought I'd follow with "registering at unusual places, and the fallout." I've talked to many women getting married who dread the process of registering and this, friends, is a mindset utterly foreign to me and my product loving self. I've pretty much had most of ours picked out for the last 5 years, quietly waiting for day we would declare our everlasting love by registering for items we COULD live without but would prefer not, to since we have the choice thank you.

This doesn't mean that I don't find the whole concept of telling people in no uncertain terms what you want, and then expecting these items to show up at your door in the months before and after your wedding, a little bizarre. Especially when you are 1) a kitchen/food junkie and have essentially been receiving big ticket registry-type items for christmas and birthday for the last 5 years so you really don't need anything, and 2) already live with future husband and really don't need wedding guests to "help you start your new home together." I mean I'll take it, but I'm just saying.

So my plan for the registry was to only request things we really wanted/needed, ensuring that our lists didn't seem greedy, inappropriate, or unnecessary. And to register for things that are thoughtful and beautiful so everyone feels like they get to give a good present, no matter how big or small. To me this means no registry at macys or crate and barrel, which turns out to be confusing for many people.

Which brings me to my point. Apparently some people still like to go IN PERSON and pick out presents. And when the only store that is convenient to everyone (Sur la Table) on your registry only has 5 items on it, people start to get a little huffy. My grandma, upon hearing of this travesty from one of her friends, almost insisted that I add more things. And I resisted people, I did. I was trying to be practical, (shout out to Meg at A Practical Wedding, this is the only practical thing I can think of that I've done so far), by only requesting things we really thought we should have.

But then yesterday at lunch, I caved. I hadn't thought of it, but one can actually go into a store and register for items in person! How quaint! I suppose this is how people did it back in the old days now that I think about it. So with this new tidbit of inspiration, I entered Sur la Table. At which point they hand you a gun and you troll the aisles for anything that strikes your fancy. Amazing! I have to admit, it was oddly satisfying. And as with everything wedding, I've learned that you can resist up to a certain point, hold dear your bridal beliefs, and then finally when your energy is low and your impenetrable outer shell shows weakness, you just let the wedding flow take you. And it's totally fine, you come to see.

beautiful things we would like, from Heath.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

DIY gocco save-the-date

We are nearing the 3 month mark. I remember reading wedding blogs last year thinking, WHOA those girls only have 3 months to go. That must be a trip. And now here I am, almost there myself. SO now's when the hardcore DIY projects start coming out.

I would classify myself is as pretty determined DIY bride. Most of my projects haven't made their worldly appearance yet, (they are fairly comfortable relaxing in my head or on a list at this point), but I thought I'd start sharing what has gone down so far.

GOCCO! i love gocco. in the course of this project, i learned everything one should NOT attempt when using gocco. Literally had to redesign our save-the-date at least 3 or 4 times during the printing process. I was, shall we say, ambitious about what one can achieve with their plastic screen printing toy. Which means, with each screen, I realized the next wasn't going to work the way I imagined. le sigh.

So here they are... the back inspired by a vintage postcard, the front was, well, whatever I could cobble together during multiple near disasters in printing. There is another shot of the front in the picture from my post on paint chips. And my original post card inspiration came from these (i wrote about them on our office blog before I had my own).


Notice how the white ink is less than ideally legible on recycled chip board. oops.

Monday, July 14, 2008

vintage bags for brides, etc.

These popped up on design*sponge this morning. A must have for modern vintage wedding? Or of course any other occasion that calls for a beautiful little clutchy-thing.

New item to obsess about, which is ALL I need.

from Charlotte Casadejus... and everything is beautiful on her site.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

paint chips are your friends

In the struggle to pick a "palette" for our wedding (ugh, who wants to be chained to one group of colors?) I became quite good friends with our neighborhood paint stores. Talk about the most excellent free resource out there. HUNDREDS of shades of hundreds of colors. Home Depot will work in a pinch, but swing by a real paint store and 1) your options expand and 2) the paint chips get bigger.

We are settling in to vintage floral greens, black, off white, and yet to be determined support colors. See my vintage flower frogs (which match my paint chips perfectly)? I have ~70 of those and we're using them for our escort card display. I was beside myself with happiness when I came up with the idea. Never seen it done before! I now know why. I have fought long and hard on ebay for my collection and between you and me, this hasn't turned out to be an inexpensive DIY project. But I am too committed to turn back. And they are so cute. I'll be selling them after the wedding if anyone's interested.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

runway bride-wear

So I'm no expert, but it seems to me that if you're in the market for a minimally "bridal" feeling wedding dress, you should skip the bridal lines altogether and spend your money on something straight from the runway. I would venture to guess that your money will go farther and you'll potentially have a dress you may even wear again. That is, I guess, if you're willing to spend a bit on your dress and you are also the type that frequents or plans to frequent in your married future the sorts of events that warrant the wearing of long, fancy dresses.

The Resort 2009 looks have, if nothing else, some beautiful dresses for lusting after. My favorites are the top left... (ooh stripes!) and the bottom right... rehearsal dinner? I'm trying to concoct SOME excuse... Obviously I'm feeling the black and white thing right now.

All from, from to left to right, top to bottom: Emanuel Ungaro (beautiful collection fyi), Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, can't remember, Diane von Furstenberg, Diane von Furstenberg.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

envelope show

My new favorite friends...

I need these hanging on my bulletin board at home. all of them.
by Andrew Bush, via a most excellent blog, pretty.pretty.paper.