Monday, August 30, 2010

Listening To...

Safetysuit. I bought their album forever ago on itunes and then forgot about it. But then the other day on a long drive back home, they came on my shuffle and I got so excited since 1) I completely forgot I had the album and 2) it's GREAT driving music. If you like what you hear, also check out Annie and Someone Like You.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday!

Happy, Happy Friday! It's been a wonderful week over here. I've worked with some amazingingly, wonderful brides! I was also able to take a half day yesterday and go on a crazy hike with my husband. Where we saw 3 snakes, 1 moose, and 1 bear! Hadn't seen a bear while out hiking yet so it was a very scary and exciting experience all at once. And then today I'm making the cross- state trek to Idaho to get some fabric supplies. I'm very excited! I hope you all have had a wonderful week and continue on to have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Cookbook Library

A few weeks ago, I was inspired by Jules to do a post on my Unread Library. Since then, I've decided to also do a post on my collection of cookbooks. Because here in lies another issue of mine: buying cookbooks and then creating barely any of the recipes out of them, or even (gasp!) none! A few of these have been gifts, but I have bought a lot of them- and even though it has been with good intentions- the madness has got to stop somewhere.

So I will not be buying any more cookbooks until I've tried at least 4 recipes from each of the ones I already have. And believe me- this is harder than it sounds- because I have a lot.

And I've already been tempted- Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc (which I've been wanting to buy FOREVER) was on sale at Gilt for $28 and I stood strong (even though I added it to my cart 3 different times).

So here is my Cookbook Library:

  1. *Easy Entertaining- Ryland, Peters, & Small
  2. *Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey- Jill O'Connor
  3. *The Athlete's Palate Cookbook- Yishane Lee
  4. *Food & Wine, The magazine's annual cookbook 2007
  5. *Food & Wine, Best of the Best vol.10
  6. *Weekends- Katie Brown
  7. *The New Best Recipe- From the Editors of Cook's Illustrated
  8. *Mastering the Art of French Cooking- Julia Child
  9. *What's A Cook To Do- James Peterson
  10. *Everyday Italian- Giada de Laurentiis
  11. *Real Kitchen- Tyler Florence
  12. *Barefoot Contessa Family Style
  13. *Open House Cookbook- Rachael Ray
  14. *Feast- Nigella Lawson
  15. *How to be a Domestic Goddess- Nigella Lawson
  16. *Harumi's Japanese Cooking
  17. *At Home with Michael Chiarello
  18. *Nestle Classic Recipes
  19. *Cookies- Martha Stewart
  20. *Cupcakes- Martha Stewart
  21. *Mrs. Field's Cookie Book
  22. *Food for Friends- Fran Warde
  23. *Instant Entertaining- Donna Hay
  24. *Baking Handbook- Martha Stewart
  25. *The Essential Pasta Cookbook- Bay Books
  26. *Simple Chocolate- Gina Steer
  27. *Pie & Tart- Williams Sonoma
  28. *Emeril's Delmonico- Emeril Lagasse
  29. *Sweet Serendipity- Stephen Bruce
  30. *The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook
  31. *Sunshine Cocktails- Ben Reed
  32. *Hershey's Classic Recipes
  33. *Top Secret Restaurant Recipes- Todd Wilbur
  34. *How to Cook Everything: Mark Bittman
  35. *Book of Great Chocolate Desserts: Maida Heatters
  36. *The Desperate Housewives Cookbook- Christopher Styler


How big is your cookbook library?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Welcome to My Kitchen

Today I've decided to give you a small little tour of our kitchen. I always love looking into the houses of other bloggers (through their blogs- I'm not creepily standing outside their window)- and so I thought today I'd give you a tour of mine.

Welcome to our kitchenMoving from a house to a duplex meant we either had to get rid of a lot of things (which we did) and/ or we had to find a different way to store them. This is where our baking rack came in super handy. I had originally used it in the office of our old house, but when I ran out of room for our (many) kitchen items- I had no choice but to bring it out for it's original purpose. And I love it.Really the only purpose for this next shot is to show you the old, reclaimed window I bought at a garage sale for $5 last week. I love it! Danny felt differently (thinking it would only clutter up our already cluttered house) so I quickly found a use for it.
The counter...And our kitchen table. I bought this sturdy table at a garage sale for $10 back in California. The top used to be the the color of our cabinets until Danny painted it this fun green (that we later used for the peg board). The old school, paint splattered chair was also a garage sale find ($5). The small steps on the bottom are perfect for helping my short legs reach tall shelves.
So that's it. Hope you enjoyed the tour :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Listening To...

Kings of Convenience. I first started listening to them about 5- 6 years ago and I'm still in love. They're relaxing, but not so much that you're going to fall asleep. I'd Rather Dance with You is back from there '04 album but it's still one of my favorites. Also check out Misread, Me In You, Love is No Big Truth, Know How, Mrs. Cold, Toxic Girl, and Gold in the Air of Summer if you like what you hear (Can you tell I love them?).


Friday, August 20, 2010

I HEART SATURDAYS

I realize today is Friday, but since I don't post over the weekends, I thought I would dedicate the normal "Happy Friday" post to Saturday. Because I really do LOVE Saturdays. Saturday mornings are me time. I work one or both jobs every other day and time of the week- but Saturdays mornings are completely mine.

I start the day checking out different garage sales in the neighborhood. Last week I went to a couple estate sales under the Tetons... one had amazingly massive wood furniture, bison rugs, etc... and the other had tons of old school furniture and trinkets. I picked up a black, vintage desk lamp and crystal and silver serving dish all for $10. I'm using the dish as a fancy playing cards holder- it perfectly holds 2 decks.

Here was my view on the drive out...
And then after hitting up the sales, I always stop by the farmers market in the town squareThis is my Belle moment. I feel like people should be singing Bonjour to me as I pass by. That's how happy I am. These were some of my goodies from last week's trip: kalamata olive bread, fresh bell peppers, zucchini, squash, jalapenos, carrots, blueberries- and the always important chocolate chip cookie I can't wait for tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Notebook Engagement

I am loving this Notebook inspired Engagement Shoot by Blushing Bride Studio. The Bride looks so much like Rachel McAdams that I thought they were shots from the movie at first.

All images from Green Wedding Shoes

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Real Wedding: Tracy & Brian

Take a look at this Gorgeous Girl! I feel like this photo is straight out of an Audrey Hepburn movie


I first started talking with Tracy back in February. She was living in London at the time, and trying to find a hair flower for her June wedding. She ended up choosing the Champagne Brunch design, and luckily just in time for her dress fitting.


Tracy and Brian had their beautiful June Wedding in New York City. And aren't they one of the most stylish couples ever?! I absolutely love how she did her hair, and Brian- the light suit and upturned collar- Amazing.

The next set of photos are some of my favorites. Because besides being incredibly glamorous, we get to see their goofy sides as well. I love their decision to bring out the fun sunglasses. It's something I thought of doing for my wedding way back when and then never got around to. I'm living vicariously through them right now :)
Thanks so much for sending these photos over Tracy. I wish you and Brian a lifetime of love and happiness!

The very talented Kiersten Rowland of Prema Photographic captured their day beautifully and I highly recommend checking out more of their photos here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

SALE ALERT: Badgley Mischka Heels

Whether you're a Bride looking for your wedding shoes, a bridesmaid looking for heels for your dress, or simply a person like me who likes beautiful shoes at a bargain, check out the Badgley Mischka sales over at ideeli today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Wow- I can't believe it's Friday already- this week just flew by! My husband's coming back from a climbing trip today- which will give me something to look forward to while I'm at work. And then I'm hitting up a big community garage sale tomorrow where I'm hoping to find some good bargains for our house. I wish you all a wonderful weekend as well!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meet Christina

Christina and I first met back in February. She contacted me about creating a hair flower for her wedding, but using her grandmother's brooch as the flower's center. I was instantly excited to create a piece using a family heirloom. And Christina was also amazing to work with- incredibly sweet, laid back, and kind.

Here are her and her new husband on their wedding day...And the flower I created using her grandmother's GORGEOUS brooch.Thanks so much Christina for letting me be a part of your special day. I wish you and your husband all the best!!Have a family heirloom piece that you'd like to see tied into your wedding accessories? Contact me to get started on a custom piece.

Kitchen Peg Board

This past weekend, my husband bought me something I've wanted for at least a couple years now... a peg board from the local hardware store lol. He set everything up in the garage for me so I could paint it the fun shade of green we had left over from our kitchen table (which I still need to show a picture of).

Here's the end result. It took under 10 minutes to paint and 30 minutes to dry. And now, instead of being shoved into a bottom drawer, our pots and pans are within easy reach.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Peach and Blueberry Crostata

Last night I made a Peach and Blueberry Crostata for dessert. I followed Tyler Florence's recipe from Eat This Book. I highly recommend this book, even if only for his simple takes on ordinary dishes- like the amazing Guacamole I get compliments on every time I make, or the delicious and flavorful Avocado Salad with Lemon, Bacon, and Watercress.

But last night was something new for me. I've never made a tart, and although there were a few hiccups along the way- the end result was still delicious.

So here it is, the recipe for his:

Peach and Blueberry Crostata (my notes are in red)

Ingredients:

Pastry Dough:
  • 2 cups all- purpose four, plus more for rolling
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 Lemon, finely grated
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

Filling:

  • 4 large ripe peaches
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all- purpose flour

  • 1 large egg, beated with a drizzle of cold water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk, and the ice water and work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in the food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, pulsing in the butter, and then the egg and water- this is what I did.) You want their to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky, so check the consistency, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. (I needed to use about 2.5 more tablespoons of water to get the right consistency.) Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

When the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Put a pizza stone in the oven to heat, if you have one.

Cut the peaches in half, discard the pits, slice in a large bowl. Add the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and flour, and toss to coat; set aside.

Sprinkle the counter and rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll the dough out to a 14- inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle; free form is good. (Mine was about 13 by 10 inches.) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza paddle. (If you don't have a pizza stone ad paddle, transfer to the back of a jelly roll pan; you'll put that right in the oven.) (This is where I messed up- I did mine on the back of a baking sheet- hence the size- and then transferred it directly onto the pizza stone- which had been in the oven and instantly started cooking and softening my dough- making it incredibly difficult to complete the next few steps.) Spoon the filling mixture over the center of the dough round, leaving a 2 inch border all around. Brush the border with the egg wash. Bring the edge of crust over onto the filling, leaving the fruit exposed in the center. Gently fold and pinch the dough to seal any cracks. Brush the crust with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with the sugar. Transfer to the pizza stone (or put the pan in the oven) and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly and tender (About 27 minutes for me).

Slide the knife under the tart to loosen it from the stone or pan. Then cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.


The ice cream was a nice compliment to the crostata. My husband and his friend has vanilla, and I had strawberry- yum.

Please let me know if you have any questions- I'll try my best to answer them :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

SALE ALERT: Mario Badescu

If you've been looking for some good skincare options- Mario Badescu may be what you've been searching for. I needed some good night cream a couple months ago and decided to try out their Seaweed Night Cream since Gilt had the line on sale. And I love it! My skin looks, smells, and feels wonderful after putting it on. I promised myself once it was on sale again, I'd buy more products- and today's the day!

The Mario Badescu line is on sale on HauteLook today. If you need an invite let me know. I've already purchased the Flower and Tonic Mask in attempt to keep away those stupid blackheads that keep surfacing on my chin and nose.

Friday, August 6, 2010

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Happy Friday Everyone! This weekend I'll be working, attempting to make a Peach & Blueberry Crostata (pictures to follow next week), and going to see The Other Guys with my husband. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend as well! See you on Monday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SALE ALERT!

Hunter Boots are on sale at Restoration Hardware! They're hidden in the Outdoor Accessories section here- which is why I think they still have some left- But they're on sale for $57.49! They're usually $115. And if you enter FHCTD17 at checkout- you'll get an additional 10% off!


My wonderful husband gifted the navy ones to me last Christmas, but now I'm heavily contemplating if this is too good a deal to pass up... Hello Yellow! Awh decisions!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Unread Library

I am a lover of the written word.


Stacks of magazines and books are enveloped around my house. I love reading and on a range of different topics. I always find myself purchasing new books at the bookstore, I subscribe to about 15 different magazines (it used to be 35 so I'm improving) and I'm also a member of Swaptree (trading books with other people and only paying for shipping). But I find that with my crazy, busy schedule, I rarely get around to finishing... or even starting many of them.

So the other day when I was reading through Jules' blog Pancakes and French Fries, I saw that she had created The Unread Library: a list of books she currently owns but has not yet read. She's decided to not purchase another book until each one has been read as well. Wooh! After looking through all of my titles, that may take me awhile- but I'm inspired to follow suit.


So here we go: Here is my Unread Library!


*Northanger Abbey: Jane Austen

*Tally's Corner: Elliot Liebow

*The Works of Banjo Patterson

*The Age of Innocence: Edith Whaton

*The Call of the Wild: Jack London

*Night: Elie Wiesel

*Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas

*Ishi, Last of His Tribe: Theodora Kroeber

*The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand

*Selected Essays, Lectures, and Poems: Ralph Waldo Emerson (reading)

*After the Funeral: Agatha Christie

*Just Take My Heart: Mary Higgins Clark (reading)

*Walden: Henry David Thoreau (reading)

*They Call Me Coach: John Wooden

*My Story: Ingrid Bergman

*The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

*Ernest Hemingway on Writing

*The Joyful Christian: C. S. Lewis

*For One More Day: Mitch Albom

*The Devil in the White City: Erik Larson

*Jane Eyre: Charlotte Bronte (Read half forever ago now I think I need to start over)

*The Woman in White: Wilkie Collins

*The Short Stories: Ernest Hemingway

*Zen in the Art of Writing: Ray Bradbury

*The Mystery of Creation: Watchman Nee

*Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess: Fischer/ Margulies/ Mosenfelder

*Hughes: Richard Hack

*Thirteen Senses: Victor Villasenor

*Soul Surfer: Betthany Hamilton

*90 Minutes in Heaven: Don Piper

*Gracie: George Burns

*Eat, Pray, Love: Elizabeth Gilbert

*The Shadow of Your Smile: Mary Higgins Clark

*As I Lay Dying: William Faulkner

*A Mind Awake: C. S. Lewis

*The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved: Ken Ham

*The Black Tulip: Alexandre Dumas

*The Ragamuffin Gospel: Brennan Manning

*The Purpose Driven Life: Rick Warren

*The Marth Rules: Martha Stewart

*It's Easy Being Green: Crissy Trask

*The Five Love Languages: Gary Chapman

*The Case for Christ: Lee Strobel

*Entertaining is Fun: Dorothy Draper

*The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Nell Newman

*A Year in the World: Frances Mayes (I have read this book 3/4 of the way through about 4 times already and will not finish it because I love it so much)

*The Bible (Finished New Testament- and currently on 5th book of Old)


With all of these books, plus the ones that I've read, plus all of my magizines- my house is a crazy place. I dream of a home with a library someday- with a moving ladder- and plush chairs- awwhhh. Someday.

So what about you? What's your unread library consist of?


(Image source here)