Tuesday, December 30, 2008


with iphone. but i think they need to invent a case-thing with a wrist leash for taking pictures on the chairlift.

Isn't there something just inherently 70's about skiing? Maybe it's the childhood memories of my parents in their orange and brown gear, rocking the skinny skis and aviator glasses.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

snow and lights

Little snow lanterns on our deck railing in Mammoth... pretty.

I love nestling into our living room up here at night, drinking wine, making big dinners and playing games. OH and getting back into legit blogging mode. Most everyone else seems to be on holiday but I've been so absent, this time is perfect to catch up.

I'm getting some wedding posts together for the curious. fun.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

recycled wrapping (mostly)

Inside-out grocery/shopping bags tied up with pretty ribbon and butcher's twine = wrapping paper that makes me feel less guilty when all the presents have been opened and the recycling bin is full. Inside-out unless there are good graphics to be used, like the Spacecraft bag we lugged home from Melbourne. Couldn't resist the festive red dots.

And for spice, super easy tags punched from the papersource catalog and backed (using studio tac) with more grocery bag paper so there's a place to write.

It's amazing how much more comprehensive your craft supply area becomes post-wedding. Makes the last minute wrapping crisis much easier to handle.

Friday, December 26, 2008

merry belated xmas

So things were a leeetle bit crazy leading up to Christmas this year, due to a truly extraordinary feat of procrastination from yours truly. But we did get our house in order which always makes me happy when I get home from work and it's dark and cold. I love having lights on around the eaves, and on the tree. yay christmas decors!

look, it's our funky little house! all dressed up for December. I couldn't resist taking a picture a few weeks ago once I had it all cleaned up and ready for Sunday evening wine drinking and perusing of Gourmet/catching up on emails/spending QT with the computer.

And a few vintage ornaments from my grandma's collection that my mom gave me for my shower. Something about Christmas that makes vintage pretties a necessity.

I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas, if you celebrate, and an excellent few days of general relaxation if you don't.

We're in Mammoth now for a little snowboarding and general lazing by the fire. Everyone should laze by the fire for a few days during December, me thinks.

Monday, December 22, 2008

the other kind of photobooth

I'm kind of torn. We set up a photobooth for my company holiday party on Thursday night... okay WE is the wrong word. I had nothing to do with it. I was busy with the crudite and cheese platter and mixers for the champagne cocktails, but you know, WE as a company set one up. ANYWAY. It's pretty f-ing fun. And now I'm thinking is this better than real photobooth action? I like the teeny pictures from real photobooth but I like the artistic freedom that this allows, you know? we had pictures with people doing handstands and sitting on the tops of ladders. it was pretty good.

I'm not going to say who, but it's highly possible that SOMEONE had 1-2 too many ddlllrinkity-ddllrinks.

Disclaimer - we DID have a professional photographer friend set this all up for us with nice lighting, etc. But I think some wedding photogs can do this too.

Also, after your wedding, every party/event must be executed with wedding-like attention to detail. Which is not always efficient or necessary. You've been warned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

more etsy things to love

I've been trolling etsy. again. I can't stop myself. It's like a black hole once you start clicking,


makes the cutest little ceramics. just when i think i can never look at another owl, i see these teeny ornaments and NEED.

also, there is lilfishstudios

and her perfect felted acorns in a range of colors.

why are little, thoughtful things so irresistable this time of year?

Monday, December 15, 2008

prettiest flowers for an as of yet to be determined event

So since the wedding has passed, i'm going to need to come up with an event that is important enough to rationalize employing Dandelion Ranch. Their work is so rad.

seed pods. love seed pods and persimmons and asparagus fern and succulents all together in one pretty vintage vessel. I'm trying to weasel my way into future sister-in-law Melanie's (now referring to her as FSIL Melanie) appointment with them. Maybe I can hire them for floral decors for my make believe backyard banjo party in the summer?

Images from Dandelion Ranch, (cutest name, BTW). Found via Daily Candy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

firey-eyed polaroids

Have you seen Nectar & Light? sooo pretty. i made a few purchases this afternoon from her etsy store... FOR PRESENTS. not for me. me will come later when the season for giving has passed. but i already have mine picked out.

(i think i originally found a link to her blog from P? cannot remember, but P's blog is muy excellente anyway.)

my bridesmaids, in their own shade of green

while i'm on the subject of my maids, want to see how my mismatched posse came out?

YEEEEAH. They look good, no? I loved them in their varied shades and different dresses. So those photos I showed you earlier didn't lie after all!

I saw Polka Dot Bride also did a post on this same thing a week or so ago and I cannot say enough how much happier your ladies will be if you let them pick something that looks good on them, that they feel comfy in, and maybe makes them feel just a little bit sexy. (It was a cocktail party after all.)

Now I'm aware this styling isn't for everyone, but just think about it. Plus it's less wasteful when you consider that they will actually wear these dresses again vs. stuffing them in the back of the closet for the next 20 years.

So if you hate the earth, GO AHEAD, make them all buy the same dress. But if you love it, you should consider this excellent option, is all I'm saying.

photos from michéle m. waite, obv.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

gifts for my maids or anyone really

Being that I'm not sure where to start with the remaining DIY projects and the wedding itself, how about with something peripherally related to the wedding instead?

For my maids/matrons of honor (they were all equally weighted at our wedding) I wanted to give them something perty and useful and fun that in no way involved a heart-shaped engraved necklace charm. I apologize in advance to those who are into this sort of thing, but barf.

With 9, I also didn't want to spend a ton per gift. I mean I love them all to pieces but, well you know how things add up as the wedding draweth nigh. I decided to give them each a sample of things I love, that I pretty much cannot live without and that frankly, they shouldn't either.

1) A Baggu. I f-ing love these bags. They are super handy, hold a ton of groceries, and come with a little pouch that fits perfectly in your purse. I carry at least 2 with me at all times. And I don't limit their use to groceries. They come out at home depot, jcrew, wherever. Yes, I'm the weird girl who uses her own bag when she buys clothes.

2) Hanky Pankys. OBVIOUSLY. I cannot live without these. They fit perfectly, they are comfortable under almost any clothes, they rarely show lines, they come in as many colors as Baggus, and they make you feel just a teeny bit sexy all the time. And they have a new organic cotton line, bonus!

3) Mistral soap. You can find Mistral everywhere but I love them because their first store and "headquarters" is on Cedros in Solana Beach (my home town, baby) and I've been a regular shop lurker from the beginning. And of course they make the most delicious smelling soaps and lotions.

So my girls got something that makes them smell nice, feel nice, and live nice... in rainbow colors. And I wrapped them all in mismatched, re-used shopping bags, (like the ones from boutiques and Kiehls and wine stores), because I'm obsessed with recycled wrapped supplies.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

banjo jam at the hollywood farmers market

WELL, we didn't come close to doing all the things i claimed we were going to this weekend... I mean, obviously. but who cares, right? I don't.

Instead we did things like go, for the first time in the 7 years that I've lived in LA, to the Sunday Hollywood Farmer's Market. Just the musicians alone made it worth the trip. That and the salted carmel ice cream.

I <3 this trio. They were so into their music, so soulful with their banjo and fiddling and old-timey music. I need to invent an excuse to have a party, next summer, in our backyard... so they can come play.

This is why you travel. Because then you come home and you look at your own city like a visitor and you again appreciate all the beautiful moments it has to offer. Plus for a thoroughly contented west-sider, going to Hollywood IS like traveling. We don't get out much.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Heath LA opens this weekend

I'm nearly as excited about this as I was about our wedding. Okay, maybe not THAT excited. But I'm pretty delirious with anticipation. Whhhhyyyy do I love housewares so much??? It's like coffee. My life would probably be a lot better if I didn't drink it, but it's sooooo good and warm and thoroughly essential to the very core of my being.

(pictures from Heath, invite from my friend Deja who works as an interior designer for one of Heath's partners, Marmol Radziner. Thanks Dej!)

Also this weekend, we are getting our Christmas tree, going to this, making our Thank You cards (yay - projects!), and continuing to dig ourselves out from under the wedding debris that is still covering our house (and our life) with a light to medium dusting of supplies, boxes, projects, and other ephemera.

Yay, weekend.

the one i've been waiting for all year

I have a thing for under appreciated flowers. And foods actually for that matter. I fall happily into line in what Molly from Orangette calls the Parade of Underappreciated Vegetables each winter. Anything odd and bitter, uncommon and under loved is welcome in my kitchen anytime. The same goes for flowers and plants - especially the shaggy, spiny, not quite flowery Protea/Banksia family. Which is kind of like the kohlrabi of flowers, both being curious and semi-prehistoric looking.

Isn't it neat? It's kind of photogenic with all it's varied textures and colors.

Happy holiday season. I can't believe it's December.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

when you're away for a month

You come back to a sad, cold, unlived in house and it's raining and the house is a semi-disaster because you left in a rush. And there are lots of little friends now inhabiting your space. And some of them, no not you spiders, are really pretty:

This guy was having his merry way with the parsley growing in what used to be my vegetable garden. Now it's a tangle of dead tomato plants, weeds, cucumber carcasses, and the largest zucchini I've ever seen, which at this point I think I'll just let grow back there until it bursts.

I think he's a tomato worm actually, but since there are no tomatoes left, I suppose he had to settle for something else.

I'm getting back into it here people. I have a handful of projects for the wedding left, and then there's the wedding itself of course, but it's hard to just jump right into that.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

where to start

How about with chocolate? it's really as good a place as any, don't you think?

Um, so we're back! we had the bestest time and now, back at work, it seems like we never left. Amazing how 2 days at the office can do that to you. But today is the farmer's market so everything will be better now.

We arrived back to reality on wednesday morning super early, drove to san diego for serious family thanksgiving time and finally slept in our own (very excellent if I do say) bed on saturday night. But before retiring to our lovely Tempurpedic, we made a trip to adult disneyland, aka Whole Foods in venice, where I discovered this chocolate bar:

Clearly, we only bought one that first night. But then the next night, I needed another. Bad. I don't even particularly like chocolate. It's FINE, don't get me wrong. But it's not my thing. Nor are desserts really at all. But this, this is different. It's the most deliciously dark chocolate with salty/sweet hazelnuts inside.

Salt + chocolate (or anything sweet) = divinity.

So, we drove back to Whole Foods the next night where I noticed there was only a SMATTERING of these bars left. Which of course put me into panicky disaster preparedness mode, overcome by the need to stockpile lest these bars disappear forever. You can see in the picture 2 empty boxes and 2 full boxes. We have to ration them.

So what I'm saying is GO TO WHOLE FOODS. Get these bars. They are from Charles Chocolates, a boutique chocolatier in the Bay Area, and these particular bars are specially made for Whole Foods. The Emeryville Collection, they are calling them. I won't tell you how much they cost. Just throw them into your basket along with a weeks worth of groceries and you won't even notice when you see your total.

Friday, November 21, 2008

some photos...

from michele.

oooooooh. we're so excited. it's a little surreal to see us at the wedding. and weirdly sad? it's over then, right? darn, because that was really fun.

we're in melbourne, the final stretch of our trip. also sad, but i will say that i'm seriously looking forward to huge salads again. they are hard to come by over here! for internet friends who made such great restaurant and entertainment recs in this city, we are taking your advice right to heart. Thank you! i shall report back when we return.

For now, you can see more of our photos on michele's awesome blog.

Friday, October 31, 2008


and loving this whole honeymooning thing. HIGHLY recommend it. Sydney is treating us v. well... the food has been delicious, the weather balmy and breezy, the ocean cold and the sand hot. and it's only been 2 days.

Quickly, Michéle posted a little peak of our photos...

I love. Cannot wait to see them all. She and her husband Mark are great people, beautiful inspired photographers and Mark even helped my dad change a flat tire the morning after the wedding.

Hope the real world is going as well as our fantasy over here.

OH, and yes, the wedding was amazing.

(you can see the big version on Michéle's blog)

Friday, October 24, 2008


is the big day.

good night and i'll see you all on the other side.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

thoughtful invites from thoughtful day

Kay, I know, I'm obsessed. But really, we're just hanging out at our house, drinking coffee and working on our vows (and quickly checking in with the blog world)... my time on the internet is in no way taking away from my wedding week experience, i swear.

ANYWAY. You have to check out Erica's insane invitation suite posted on Beautiful Paper. omg. I cannot wait to see her line when she's done designing it. I think it might be one of the best out there.


This might also be a good time to warn some of you who are thinking, "hmmm... maybe I should start a blog?" to be careful. It's dangerous territory once you get into it. Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

and in a panic...

i realized we had nothing to mark reserved seats for family and bridal party during the ceremony.

good old gocco, such a reliable horse.

this was literally a 50 minute project. love those.

I had an extra pack of cards left from our escort card project, (which, take note, ALWAYS buy more than you'll need, you can always return what you don't use and you'll most likely be glad you have the extra supplies around the day before you leave for your wedding). So anyway, designed, xeroxed and had everything printed and cut to final size in the space of an hour. That's some wedding efficiency my friends. You get used to this after a while, it turns out!

SO we're in palm springs, just rearranged our entire seating chart for 180 people. after a few beers. fun times! But our rental house is great and it the last of our projects will be finished by tomorrow, sundown. We have a small army of people arriving tomorrow to help in the home stretch.

Now it's getting exciting.

night, night.

spiced nuts for you

Hi. First, I need to say THANK YOU so much for all your sweet comments in the last week or so. I feel like such a delinquent for not responding to any of them. It's just, you know, a little crazed around here is all.

I was trying to come up with a suitable thank you present for you all to show my appreciation for your rad internet support...

how about these?

They don't look like much, but I assure you they are the most delicious spiced nuts. My stb sister-in-law, Melanie, passed on this recipe a few years ago and since it's become a staple for entertaining. The are insanely easy and equally addictive.

(Side note, Melanie is marrying Brock's brother next September and I've been dubbed "chair of the craft team" for their wedding. So even when our wedding is over, I can assure I'll have lots more wedding projects to share. They are so fun).

Spiced Nuts
(adapted from Union Square Cafe's bar nuts)

About 1 cup each of almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and pepitas. (or any combination you like, of course).

3 T minced fresh rosemary
1 t cayenne
1 t smoked sweet paprika, "pimentón"
1 t nutmeg
2 T dark brown sugar
2 T kosher salt
3 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400. Toast nuts until golden on a cookie sheet (about 10 - 15 minutes). Make sure to mix them periodically during the toasting so they don't burn.

Mix spices, sugar and melted butter together in a bowl. Dump the nuts in a large mixing bowl, dump the yummy mixture on top, and stir everything together until the nuts are evenly coated.

Let cool, taste for saltiness and sprinkle with sea salt if necessary (which is always, for me) and serve!

I planned to put these in our ill-fated welcome bags, but when those were cut I still had all the supplies. So I made them anyway for our welcome cocktail party on friday. We'll see if there are any left by then.

We're off to Palm Springs in a hour. Wish us luck! Wait, everyone already did.

Thank you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our finished escort cards

YAY. We just got our cute little cards back from Jenna, and as always they look so great.

(couldn't get a great photo of them before I put them away)

Luckily, I haven't stamped the actual table numbers on yet because the hotel sent us an email yesterday with some, shall we say, potentially frustrating news. Apparently they've had problems with noise over the last few weekends and they want to go over our table diagram (that I slaved over, thank you) and figure out the best layout for the band vs the tables. HI. Our wedding is in 5 days. If you change sh*t around on me at this point, I'm going to scratch your eyes out.

a little welcome note

Remember how I scratched the welcome totes in honor of my santity? Instead I quickly put together a little welcome note with the weekend schedule of activities, that we'll have the hotel give to guests as the check in. Brock pointed out that the sentiment is there... we're still saying "YAY, you're here in palm springs for our wedding!" but we're not going insane putting together 55 bags full of delicious homemade and farmer's market purchased treats. I'm good with it.

We bought a nice matte cover stock to print them on and stuffed them in those neat long envelopes (black) with the cute button and tie from Paper Source. If I'm super ahead of the game tonight, I may or may not be tempted to gocco our little monogram on the outside of the envelope. But I'm going to the Korean spa today for a long massage and some time in the sauna (see, I can relax) so let's not get our hopes up.

DIY table numbers

Hi. It's me. I feel like i've been AWAY SO LONG. we are leaving tomorrow for Palm Springs, and our living room is so full of boxes it looks like we're moving there. This would be the perfect time to share with all of you who still have time to turn back, do not try any of this at home. Seriously. We had to rent a 2nd car to drive all of our projects out and still we're going to have to pawn a bunch of stuff off on brock's brother and fiance.

ANYWAY. Our table numbers. We used vintage palm springs postcards I've collected over the last year, mounted them on black cover paper and then used left over pattern from our envelope liners to dress up the number side.

Aren't they fun? I love imagining the 50's in Palm Springs.

Sadly, I didn't get this together in time to have Jenna do our numbers so my shaky hand with the calligraphy pen had to suffice. Again, as everyone says, no one will notice. (that's become my mantra, btw).

Number stands are from Surfas, the restaurant supply store in Culver City. Easily one of the coolest places ever.

Friday, October 17, 2008

DIY ceremony arrangements!

I had to stay away from the blog world this morning. It was seriously encroaching on my ability to finish my projects in a timely manner. But I have some good things to share. Which to me means that I'm working my way through the list!

Kay, first are these:

I started them a LONG time ago, like maybe in June, so they had plenty of time to grow all full and nice by the wedding. There are two different versions, 4 of each... so we have 8 big arrangements to line the aisle. Does that make sense? It's kind of hard to see them in this photo and then right after I took it I realized I should test out the ribbon too.

So the finished product will look like this:

They are totally charlie brown and funny, but guess what? We're going with them! I kind of wish I had black & white ribbon or something more fun, but I don't know if I can bare another trip downtown to the flower market.

No one will notice they even exist I'm sure. Our awesome and creative florist, Hoot & Heart, has been exceedingly nice and agreed to let me get all in their business with my own contributions. I love them. They are adding garden roses and petals to the aisle too.

Here is how you complete this project:

Buy large pots.
Buy cactus/succulent planting mix.
Buy succulents.
Plant in desired arrangement.
Wait. (water sparingly).
Remember they exist, run to the side of the house to make sure they haven't died during months of neglect, and water again.
Wait some more.

THEN, when it's time for the wedding, fill in the empty space where you can see the dirt with spanish moss (the coolest floral supply ever, I just learned).
Tie your ribbons around the top of the pot and VOILA!

A note to interested parties, you can actually make these a few weeks before the wedding too, they will just be a little smaller. But the good thing is you have way more control over the final product and you don't have to worry that your succulents want sun and your sword plants want shade, making neither particularly happy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DIY jam jar placecards

... or something like that.

In the early days, when the wedding was a fantasy far far away and I was obsessed with the idea that everything about the wedding had to be personal, made by me, and reflect our personalities and lifestyle (HA. HAHAHAHAHAHA), I wanted to make jam for our favors. 200 jars of jam. I smartened up quick, don't worry.

INSTEAD, (because I have issues with letting things go once my heart is set on them), I decided to make jam as favors/placecards for our rehearsal dinner. 40 jars of jam it turns out, was less impossible. Though take note, it did encroach on my crafting time and has subsequently resulted in the recent removal of 2 major projects from my list. For that, I whole-heartedly thank East Side Bride, who in her "wedding graduate" post on A Practical Wedding says:

"3. Know when to let go. Two days before the wedding, your to-do list will seem insurmountable. It is. Take a fat sharpie, cross out three big projects, and get some sleep. Seriously."

Kay, well, 10 days before our wedding I'm taking your advice. It truly feels amazing. I just deleted 1) welcome bags (sorry guests, but I'm sure you'll agree that my sanity and beauty sleep are far more important than the goccoed gift bag full of spiced nuts, dates, oranges, etc. you were going to receive upon checking in to the hotel), and 2) the Cookie Bar. Again so sorry, but we have an excellent favor alternative that does not involve me making 12 batches of cookie dough and then baking 400 cookies in the few days before the wedding. More on our alternate favor later.

But I digress, as usual.

Anyway, I'm super excited to give our bridal party and close fam a little token of our appreciation for coming out 2 days early (our rehearsal dinner is on Thursday), to celebrate with us. I've been making batches of jam for a few weeks... One is the yummy yummy yummy Fig & Lavender jam I posted about a while back. And the other flavor is a new one for me, Plum Vanilla. It's really good too. I stumbled upon it on Martha's site while looking for something interesting to make with the last bits of summer fruit at the Farmer's Market.

It's all about the vanilla beans. Sooo good.

I used leftover ribbon from our invites to tie on the name tags. I don't love the tags actually, but following the advice of many a bride before me, no one will know that I planned to make cute gocco-ed tags instead of these that I busted out in 20 minutes last night with a handy tag-shaped punch from Michaels. Which I finally learned is a pretty nifty store.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

more on pumpkins

from the grande dame herself, of course:

These are old news to those who love Martha "regular" (as I like to refer to the original publication) like I do, but I couldn't resist posting them now that I have time.

I LOVE this. Look how many varieties of pumpkin-like squashes there are. And up until a few years ago we've all been stuck with the boring jack-o-lantern sort.

Here's to growing and purchasing heirloom varieties. For why, might I suggest reading The Botany of Desire if you haven't yet? C'est tres excellente!

I'm going to the farmer's market now, because I can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

about those 6 weeks off...

We'll be here:

I made a trip montage from flickr. yay. I think I might need a rain jacket? I don't have one.

Anyone have suggestions for must-see, must-do in Australia? Our itinerary is set, but we have no activities planned, except a dinner reservation, a spa treatment, and some snorkeling.

We will be going to:

Byron Bay
Gold Coast
Hamilton Island
Port Douglas
The Daintree
Barossa Valley
2 stops on the Great Ocean Road

Most excellently, over the summer Design*Sponge did city and design guides for Australia. So at least I have those. And I found a couple great shopping/eating guides on The Design Files.

But we'd love any extra tips you, most awesome internet friends, might have for us!

Monday, October 13, 2008

speaking of groovy 70's weddings...

I present, my parents:

brown tuxedos, anyone?

This was actually my first wedding. My mom's bouquet and high-waisted dress are just hiding me. :)

31 years and counting...