Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love...with..

Image Source:
..making this vase. 

My kitty, Miles, always eats my farmer's market flowers.  I can't wait to have this vase to keep his kitty paws off my florals!

Image Source:
..this cup!  So true. For me anyway. ;)

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..this quote. 

Happy Friday, lovelies! I hope your week has been a great one and you are looking forward to the weekend. I know I am. 

I plan to spend my weekend making the wall-hanging vase, finishing up The Pink Monster project, checking out the first Unique LA summer show in Santa Monica, and I hope to do a Wine Spectator wine pairing dinner with Chris.

What are your plans for the weekend?



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rosé Summer

This summer I have been all about rosé.  I just can't get enough of the cool and easy flavor.

To me, drinking rosé is the perfect way to get the delicious flavor of a red wine without the warmth - keeping me cool on those warm summer nights.

I also just love the subtle flavors of rosé wines.  They don't punch you in the face, like reds, yet don't leave you wanting more, like whites. 

This rosé is 88 points and I found it at Bevmo for $13. Yes, yes, yes. 
The subtle notes of strawberry make my heart happy.
P.S. Isn't the bottle topper so cute?!  Its meant for champagne.

Image source: Martha Stewart Weddings
This is one of my most favorite value rosé champagnes.  You can pick up a bottle for about $20.
Guess who else loves this rosé and keeps it stocked in her cellar for parties and gatherings?!
If you guessed the fabulous Martha, you are right. :)

This is a show stopper rosé champagne.
2002 Perrier Jouet Champagne Rosé.  It runs about $200.
On my 22nd birthday my boss ordered a regular bottle of Perrier to celebrate with me. 
The bar tender wasn't looking and opened this instead.  What a lucky day!!

Most Americans think of blush wine, white zin and other sweet blends, when they see rosé.  When, in fact, rosés made in the "dry" European fashion are the opposite of sweet.  They are made with red grape-varietals and are amazing!  I challenge those of you that haven't ventured near the rosé isle to take the leap!  French and french-style rosés are my very favorite.  

I can't wait to find more fabulous rosés to carry me through the twilight of the summer!

Do you have any favorite rosés?  Do you like them?  Hate them?



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fabulous Florals

I thought I would give you all a little floral eye candy today!  Some of these you could totally do yourself, others would take a professional.  All are just gorgeous!

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Couldn't help but throw one in from our wedding! ;)
Check out Lauryl Lane's other work!
Happy planning, lovelies!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Pink Monster, Part 3

I am so excited to share the results from the third step in The Pink Monster adventure!  My lovely chair is finally showing its true colors!  Click here and here to refresh yourself about where we started.  It was a mess!

Step three consisted of staining and lacquering the chair to a beautiful red mahogany.

Before I started the actual staining process, I first wiped the chair down to remove left over dust from all the sanding.  Then, I set out my tools - stain, staining brush, towel and fabric to catch any drippings.
Here is the stain and staining brush.

Here is the chair after one coat of stain.
You never know when you start a staining adventure how many coats you will need.  It depends on the texture of the wood among other factors. 

I always pray for one coat and my projects almost always end up needing three. Ugh! That's life, I guess!

After applying a coat of stain, you let the stain sit for 5-15 minutes to allow the color  to penetrate the wood.  Then, you remove the excess stain with a clean towel. 
My towely towel!
After the towel step, you wait 4-6 hours and then you can add the second coat of stain. I usually let the wood sit overnight to ensure its completely dry and ready for another coat.
This is the chair after two coats of stain.  Coming right along.
You have to repeat the toweling and drying process with each coat of stain. 

So, after completing those steps on the second coat and day of staining, we moved on to day three!

I finally achieved the color and coating I was hoping for with the third coat. Yippie!  After toweling and letting dry overnight, I then applied clear lacquer to seal and protect the stain.

Third coat's a charm!
Viola!  All my used-to-be Pink Monster needs now is fabulous fabric, which I already found! :)

Check back next week to see the final step and before & after photos!  So exciting!



Monday, July 25, 2011

Mother Earth Monday - The Joy of SKOY!

Happy Monday, lovelies!  For my second Mother Earth Monday post, I want to share one of my most favorite earth saving items for the kitchen - SKOY Clothes! 

Chris and I have nearly replaced paper towels since we started using these magical clothes.  They are great for cleaning up quick spills, serve as colorful and efficient dinner napkins (when we don't have guests, of course), and are cleaned and disinfected by simply rinsing and popping in the microwave!

Here are a few more fun facts about SKOY:
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Using 1 SKOY cloth until its tattered and time to throw out (usually at least 2 months) is equal to using 15 ROLLS of paper towels in an average home.
  • Read again - 1 SKOY for every 15 ROLLS of paper towels!
  • You can use SKOY as a replacement for sponges too! (Which are many times made of synthetic materials that are bad for the earth.)
  • You can buy 4 SKOY clothes for $6.95.  That means 1 SKOY costs $1.75. The average price of 1 roll of paper towels is $3.  Remember that 1 SKOY replaces 15 rolls of paper towelsDo the math.  
  • 1 SKOY @ $1.75 = 15 rolls of paper towels @ $45!!!!
  • Using 1 pack of 4 SKOY will save you $180 in paper towels.  Seriously.

You can find these amazingly awesome, cheap, germ-killing, earth-saving clothes @

When you buy these and they change your life, please email me to let me know! :) 

Do you know of other products like SKOY?!

Have a wonderful, earth friendly week!




Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love...with..

Image by: Mario Testino
....this dress!!!!

I am also in love with the fact that Vogue shot SJP with her husband and kiddos for the August cover story.  In fact, I am so in love with the story and this dress, nothing else I saw this week is even worthy to post.

Go pick up Vogue's August issue.  Run. Now. Do it!

Have a lovely weekend, dolls!  Stay out of the heat, wear sunscreen, cook some yummy food and snuggle with the ones you love!



P.S. I have two (yes, two!) art openings this weekend!  Chain Letter and Open Call L.A. If you are in the LA area, go check them out!  Pretty please, with sugar on top. :)

P.S.S Did I mention that August's issue made me SO excited for September's?!  And, so excited for fall!  Bring on the deep, rich colors, florals, and boots.  I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

For A Classic Closet...

Image: Tig-Fashion
I stumbled upon this checklist while doing my daily browse through Pinterest.  Holy awesome way to get your classic closet in order!  I am so excited for my next shopping trip now that I have a checklist! (I am a Virgo, so I live and die by checklists.)

This is my checklist.  I need to do some work in the shirts and accessories departments!
I find shirts and accessories to be the toughest things to shop for because there are so many options!  I am so excited to finally have a list to follow to ensure that I have all the classic pieces.  Aren't you?!

Do you think you will use this ckecklist?  Do you already have most of these pieces?  Do you think that there is a classic piece missing?!

Happy shopping, lovelies. :)



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wedding Gifting - His & Hers

Fretting about what I would get Chris as a wedding gift was at the top of my list of stressors during the wedding planning process.  I wanted my gift to be something timeless, something reflective of my love for him, and something truly beautiful. My ideas ranged from a guitar, to etched cufflinks, to an expensive set of ties and other man products. None quite fit the bill.

What I finally came up with was a boudoir photobook to be given to him the night before the wedding. (I am mean. hehe.)  I spent about 2 hours prepping with make-up and hair and another 2 hours posing during the photoshoot for this gift.  The look on his face everytime he opens his photobook is worth every minute and penny I spent.  :)

As you can imagine, I am not posting my boudoir photos here, but instead sharing Chris's gift to me because he and I held the same ideas about wedding gifting - timeless, reflective and beautiful - which is so clear when you see his gift.

Tiffany's small, crystal dish, which now serves as a ring holder.
What bride wouldn't swoon when her wedding gift comes encased in Tiffany blue?!

As you look more closely at my gift, notice that it came inscribed. 
Tears began to flow for me when I saw this element of the dish.

Guess what tops the awesomeness of this gift off?!
That is Chris's actual hand-writing etched on the glass.

To me, the most important element of wedding gifting is putting your love into it.  Whether that means doing a photobook for your love to treasure forever, etching your sentiments into glass, or hand-stitching a handkerchief.

What are you planning to gift on your wedding day?!  What are you secretly hoping to receive?

Happy planning!



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oklahoma Breeze - The Sound of Summer

Hi guys!  I'm back and settled from my weekend trip to Oklahoma to see my sister and what an amazing whirlwind adventure we had!  From fantastic dinner at The Brady Tavern to pork buns at Yokozuna to Poblano waffles at Lucky's to $2 mimosas and fantastic hair experiences at ARCS, we truly celebrated Toni in such a special way.

I think my favorite time spent during the entire trip consisted of hanging out with Toni, doing nothing but listening to sound of the warm Oklahoma breeze and the song of happy crickets and other summer critters!  Those are my favorite sounds of summer.
This picture is a great reflection of Toni doing just that!

I stumbled across a fantastic Oklahoma artist while in Tulsa, Christine Sharp-Crowe. One of many local artists who represent the state so well.

I couldn't resist this tea towel in her home collection. 

The birds flanking the word Oklahoma are the state bird, the scissor-tail flycatcher!  How beautiful.  Even more beautiful are her instructions for cleaning the towel, which say that the towel texture is "best when line dried in the Oklahoma breeze."  Can you blame me for tearing up when I read that?!

Check out her line and check back with me tomorrow for a super fun, Wedding Wednesday post!



P.S. What is your favorite sound of summer?!

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's Friday, I'm In Love...with..

white and geometric patterns.
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going home.
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cooling off in style from the oklahoma heat. :)
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.....and my sister!!!

Happy Friday, lovelies! I'm sitting in LAX as I write you in route home to Oklahoma for the weekend to celebrate my amazing little sister, Toni Lauren Long's, 23rd birthday!

It's going to be above 100 degrees every day I am there - wowzers! But, I am still so excited to celebrate with her and see my family and old friends!

I totally plan to make champagne popsicle drinks to celebrate ( and attempt to stay cool), too! ;)

I wish you all the best of the weekend. LA dears, walk, bike, don't drive!!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Pink Monster, Part 2

Sanding the Pink Monster was much more of a chore than I anticipated.  Holy powerful, power sander! So much so, that I may have contracted out this step to my wonderful husband.

Doesn't he look adorable with the dust mask on?!  hehe.

Working hard for a new chair!

Can you see on the front where he had already power sanded?  What a magical machine!
After another 2-3 hours of work (getting in the nitty griddy parts of the chair and removing even more staples takes time), our chair is now sanded and ready for staining!

Right side.

Left side.
Sanded chair! Oh so smmmmoooooooooothhh. :)

I owe a big thanks to Chris for helping me out / doing this entire step for me. love. love.

The Pink Monster will be stained next week and I finally found my inspiration for fabric, so I will pick that up as well!  I am so excited to see this beauty completed! Aren't you?!



P.S. Check out this vintage revival!  LOVE!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day After, Year After The Wedding Photos - LOVE!

Style Me Pretty
For whatever reason, ever since the passing of the three monthaversary of our wedding last week, I can not stop thinking of ideas for and planning our one year anniversary.  Very crazy, type A, triple Virgo of me, I know. hehe. 

When I saw this "day after" photo shoot on Style Me Pretty last week, I knew I had one idea down - a year after photo shoot!

What I love most about this "day after" or "year after" photo shoot idea is that yes, you get to wear your beautiful dress again - holla!, but more, you both get to have pictures of you being you (not you being the "bride and groom") in your wedding attire.  Which is super fun!

This couple is from New York!  How awesome are the pictures with the taxi in the background and the hotdog!?

Chris and I are totally going down to the Santa Monica Pier and riding the ferris wheel for our year after shoot!

Do you have any plans for a "day after" shoot?!  Isn't it such a fun idea?  What about ideas for your one year anniversary?!

Happy planning, lovelies.  And, as always, feel free to leave a comment or email me with any wedding planning questions you may have!



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oven-Free, Summer Time Recipes! Yum!

Since our bungalow doesn't have air conditioning (like nearly all homes in Santa Monica), we try to cook oven-and-stove-free meals as much as possible during the summerto help keep the place cool.  I don't mind the heat-free meals at all because I have a serious love of cold soups and salads.

Here are three of my very favorite oven-and-stove-free meals to help you beat the heat!

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling, plus 1/3 cup

  • 8 large portobello mushroom caps, brushed clean with a damp towel

  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves, a few sprigs

  • 1 tablespoon, a palm full, grill seasoning blend

  • 2 crusty semolina rolls or 1/2 small loaf semolina bread

  • 2 cloves garlic, cracked away from skin

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste

  • 3 hearts romaine, chopped

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a few generous handfuls

  • Ground black pepper

  • Directions

    1. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil evenly over mushroom caps liberally then rub with rosemary and grill seasoning. Grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side - until dark and tender. Remove the caps and reserve.
    2. While mushrooms cook, toast split rolls or bread under broiler until deeply golden then rub with 1 clove of cracked, split garlic. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bread and season with a little pepper then chop bread into cubes.
    3. Rub the inside of a bowl with remaining cracked clove of garlic. Combine the lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire, hot sauce and anchovy paste. Whisk in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add the greens and bread to the bowl and toss greens with dressing to coat. Add cheese to salad and toss again then season with black pepper, to taste. Top servings of salad with sliced mushrooms across the top.

    **serves 4-6

    • 1/2 cup 0% fat Greek Yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish (optional)
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 4 to 6 Kirby cucumbers (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

    1. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, lemon juice, and dill. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk well to combine.
    2.Add cucumbers, and toss to coat. Garnish with more dill, if desired. Serve, or refrigerate, covered, up to 4 hours.

    **serves 4


    • 4 slices bread, crusts removed (4 ounces), plus 2 slices bread, diced and fried in a little olive oil (for garnish), divided
    • 11/2 cups cold water, plus extra to soak the bread, divided
    • 5 tomatoes (about 2 pounds), plus 1 small tomato, finely chopped (for garnish), divided
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • Small piece of green bell pepper, plus extra finely chopped green pepper (for garnish), divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped, for garnish
    • 1 small white onion, finely chopped, for garnish


    1. Break the 4 slices crustless bread into chunks and soak it in water to cover until softened.
    2. Remove cores from the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor. Press the juice and pulp through a sieve, discarding the bits of skin and seeds.
    3. Squeeze the water from the bread and place it in a blender or food processor with the garlic. Blend until smooth.
    4. Add the tomato pulp, green pepper, cumin and salt. With the blender running, add the oil in a slow stream. Blend in the vinegar and some of the 11/2 cups cold water.
    5. Place the gazpacho in a pitcher and add the remaining water. This makes about 41/2 cups gazpacho. Serve immediately or chill until serving time.
    6. To serve, pour the gazpacho into individual bowls. Place each of the garnishes (finely chopped green pepper, cucumber, onion, tomato and crisp bread) in small bowls. Pass the garnishes with the gazpacho and allow guests to serve themselves.

    The gazpacho should be the consistency of light cream. Lemon juice can be substituted for the vinegar.

    **serves 6-8

    Enjoy, lovelies!



    P.S. Do you have any oven-free recipes you live for during the summer?!

      Monday, July 11, 2011

      New Series : Mother Earth Monday - Do You Know Your Carbon Footprint?

      Happy Monday, Lovelies!  Did you all have a wonderful weekend?! 

      It was sunny and warm here in Santa Monica, so Chris and I were inspired to work on the Pink Monster and pieces for my art shows coming up this month.  We also cooked some fabulous oven-free meals, (trying to keep the kitchen cool in the heat) which I will be sharing this week!

      My favorite event of the weekend was Chris and my discussion about an element of our life that I have forgotten to share with you all here, our serious effort to live a low carbon footprint life.  Thus, the new series, Mother Earth Monday!  I plan to share all the ways that Chris and I try to save the planet as well as tips and ideas I find around the web.

      To begin this new series, I thought it would be fun to see different carbon emissions from around the world, a breakdown of the emissions of an average person in the USA, and my household carbon footprint.

      Isn't this such a cool way to look @ world carbon emissions?!  Boooo to USA & China!


      Can you believe that holiday flights take up 6% of the average person's carbon emissions!
      Let's all Skype at holidays.
      Or, maybe pick just one holiday to travel?!

      This is Chris and my household carbon footprint! I am proud of us! Together, we emit 1/3 the carbon of the average 1 person!
      We are a one car family, buy local and organic and don't fly much (we like Santa Monica) = low carbon footprint!

      I did our carbon footprint calculations at Its fun to measure and see where you spend the most energy.

      I found these websites that also do carbon calculations: Carbon Fund,,

      Do you know your carbon footprint?!  Are you excited to find out?!

      I hope you enjoy the new series and find ideas that you can implement in your lives to try and save the earth and lower your carbon footprint!  If you are interested in learning anything specific (ways to recycle, how to buy local, how to use less water, anything!), please leave me a comment or email me! 



      Friday, July 8, 2011

      It's Friday, I'm In Love...with..

      Cozy gallery walls.

      Biking to the beach for picnics.
      Outdoor evening concerts and an excuse to eat Charcuterie for dinner! yum.

      Creative summer drinks!
      Frozen raspberries as ice cubes - yes, please.

      Happy Friday, lovelies!  Its looking like it will be a hot weekend here in Santa Monica, so I am hoping to spend some time outdoors, grab patio drinks with friends and cook meals that do not require an oven. Check back next week for my favorite summer-friendly, oven-free meals!

      I wish you all the very best of the weekend. 

      Much love and xo,


      Thursday, July 7, 2011

      The Pink Monster, Part 1

      The pink monster was found a few weeks back at an estate sale in Santa Monica. I walked past it about 10 times in a matter of 30 minutes deciding as to whether I wanted to save and restore this mid century beauty. After asking the price ($10) for the 10th time, I was sold. 

      And here begins a four part series about the pink monster restoration! Enjoy!
      The Pink Monster

      Once I got the monster home, it was time to assess exactly how I would restore this pink painted, zebra printed, unfortunate change-job back into the beauty I knew it could be. 

      At first glance, I knew I would have to sand the paint off, stain the legs and reupholster the cushions.

      Then, my mom informed me that pink paint was a latex, meaning that instead of just sanding it off, I would have to use paint remover and a scraper.  That added a step to the process that I wasn't anticipating.  Total steps = 4.  Scrape paint, sand smooth, stain and reupholster.

      Step One = Paint Removal

      My Tools for paint removal.

      After one hour of work.

      After two hours of work.  This is when I dubbed my chair "Pink Monster."
      After three hours of scrapping, Chris came out and helped me remove the seat cushions.  That was such a chore, it took both of us and I didn't caputure pictures.

      After seven hours of paint removal.
      After seven hours of work on the books, all paint was finally removed, the cushions were gone and I was ready for step two!  Sanding!  

      I should have steps 2 and 3 next week!

      Do you find furniture restoration fun?!   Do you like the results? Do you have any fun projects going on for your home?  Are you excited to see my chair results?!

      Have a lovely Thursday!