Friday, September 30, 2011

Magic

Went to see Gillian Welch and David Rawlings last night and it was amazing. Goosebumps amazing. This was the second time we've been lucky enough to see them live and they blow every other live show out of the water. I don't even mind it when they do encores*.

And apparently I'm getting too old for mid week concerts, because I am exhausted today.




* I know that you're supposed to love encores, but they drive me nuts. I've been to a couple concerts where the encores were actually spontaneous, just because the energy was so right, and they were amazing. But I hate that the encore has become an accepted final act of every single show. It isn't exciting if you know you're going to get one just for showing up. No fun. Yes, I'm a total spoilsport. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grocery store fail

Confronted with an astonishing array of choices in the canned fish area, I started to blank out and finally decided to opt for the best looking tin.

sardines
{sardines}

So cute, right? Makes canned fish seem less intimidating.

Too bad I got all the way home and halfway into my first Caesar salad making attempt before I remembered that sardines are not the same as anchovies and anchovies are what you need. Sigh. I still made the salad, but it was noticeably lacking.

I never used to care for Caesar salads but a spate of good ones lately has swayed me. My fave so far is the tableside Caesar at Nick & Stef's but it's all the way downtown. It seems like it should be so easy to recreate but none of the recipes I've found seem quite right.

Also, I am still scared of anchovies. So there's that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The weekend, briefly

baked
{baked}

flower shopping spree
{flower shopping spree}

Malibu hills
{Malibu hills}

granola making, resumed!
{granola making, resumed!}

blogs + babies
{blogs + babies}

yogurt stop
{yogurt stop}

{notes}

:: A project-y Saturday with a dear friend, hence the cakes + flowers.

:: A very quick stop at the vineyard to pick up our quarterly shipment (and the sad realization that we need to stop being members and only go up when we actually have time to enjoy it).

:: A bloggy get together on Sunday that involved multiple adorable babies. And lots of good food, as you might expect. None of it was contributed by me, because I decided to sleep in rather than cook.

:: If there is any way to detour through West Hollywood, we will brave the traffic and do it, solely for the joy that is Yogurt Stop. You guys don't understand how good it is - so good that I have actually stopped eating all other frozen yogurt, because it pales in comparison. So good that I will refrain from complaining about how long it takes to find parking, and I never miss a chance to whine about parking! Miraculous.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday flowers

Orange dahlias! Fall snuck up on me somehow.

dahlias, milk glass
{dahlias, milk glass}

Of course, it's California fall, so, wildly unpredictable and subject to sudden heat waves. I'm sad to lose summer and excited to start the new season. Torn, as usual.

orange dahlias
{orange dahlias}

Our dining room table is chronically messy. We have a plan for our computers that should help a little, hoping to get it executed in the next couple weeks.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Honeymoon gift (from ourselves)

So we did a tiny bit of shopping while in Palm Springs. Apparently, that is what you do.

D desperately wanted these decanters and I decided that we could get them if we also got the lucite tray for them to sit on.

mini bar
{mini bar}

Sort of silly, since we mostly stick to beer with the occasional whiskey or gin for me. Clearly, I need to learn how to make actual drinks. Which means I should probably get in the habit of actually having ice in the house.

Also purchased - a brass pineapple and 5 perfectly tiny brass candleholders. None of which agreed to take a decent photo, so I'll have to try those at another time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The (ever so brief) honeymoon

I'm going to go ahead and jump in a little backwards and start with the honeymoon.

We weren't at all sure that we were going to be able to squeeze a honeymoon out of our vacation days and our budget, so we decided to play it by ear. Lo and behold, just a few weeks before the wedding the Colony Palms Hotel had a deal on Groupon, and it was settled. We headed out the Monday after the wedding and proceeded to spend most of the two days sleeping. The hotel was gorgeous and when we showed up two full hours before check in our room was all ready for us, so it was almost like getting an extra day. Love.

room bar
{room bar}

colony palms room
{colony palms room}

free coffee
{free coffee}

pool!
{pool!}

wedding toes, honeymoon robe
{wedding toes, honeymoon robe}

desert driving
{desert driving}

gambling!
{gambling}

date shakes!
{date shakes!}

The weird rain seemed to follow us around (spoiler - you guys, it HAILED on the day of our all outdoor wedding. Yep.). There was a crazy storm on Tuesday morning, but luckily it cleared up enough for us to get with the plan (drinking and eating and sleeping by the pool).

I had sworn up and down that all I wanted was a vacation where we did absolutely nothing (which is so far from our usual vacations that it's laughable) and I still think that it was perfect, but I'll admit that after two days we were both kind of bewildered about the whole Palm Springs thing. I mean, there is NOTHING to do. Even the tram wasn't open yet. We got in a little bit of vintage shopping as we headed out, but the strip was pretty dead. We've clocked a lot of desert time, but always on camping trips, which apparently just magically keep you busy.

We did stop in at the casino on the drive back, since I've never been to one. I was a disaster, losing my $10 almost immediately. D played up to $30 with his and then back down to $20.83, netting us a small gain and an hour well wasted. Then I had date shake and we drove off before the rain could find us again.

And then we got home and wrote almost all of our thank you notes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yogurt + jam

We are settling back in around here. Back to our apartment, back to work, back to our kitchen, which was sadly neglected in the last month or so and is now filled with all sorts of shiny new toys. Wedding posts will be coming, although I haven't entirely decided how to handle them. Wait for the pictures? Give you the lead up now, while it's fresh in my mind? Split it up into lots of little posts and dribble them out whenever it occurs to me (currently the front runner) or just compile everything into groups? I don't know.

For now, I'll just leave you with this ...

The best waffle topping, ever.

for waffles
{for waffles}

2% Fage yogurt (I suppose any thick yogurt would do, but I have a strong preference for Fage) + a hearty dollop of the best jam you have on hand. Currently, for us, it's blackberry.

yogurt + jam
{yogurt + jam}

Swirl and slather liberally on hot waffles.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Married!

married!
{photo by Melissa of Fresh in Love}

And Melissa totally got the money shot. If this were all we had, we'd still be thrilled. Isn't she amazing? More of a teaser here. And I'll be back here at some point, once I've recovered. There is so. much. to share, seriously.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Handmade Wedding {contest closed}

I had the pleasure of contributing several projects to Handmade Wedding, published by Penguin Australia, and the book is finally out! I was so excited when I got my copy - obviously, contributors have no control over how projects will be photographed or how a book will look once it's all finished, so there's always a high level of anticipation/fear. I love the way this one was put together - it looks gorgeous and has plenty of good projects in it and I approve of all the fonts. That's huge.

Handmade Wedding
{Handmade Wedding}

I have an extra copy that I'd love to share with one of you, and I'm also going to include the shoe clips that I made for the book. The clips are particularly special to me because they were made with a pair of vintage earrings that I'd been hoarding for years in the hopes that they would someday prove useful. And they finally did! They're entirely handstitched and made of blue silk chiffon and wool felt backing. If you're getting married soon, they could be your something blue. Or you could, you know, just wear them.

shoe clips, vintage earrings
{shoe clips, vintage earrings}

shoe clips
{shoe clips - these types of shots always make me even more bitter about our cheap carpet - someday i'll have hardwood floors and my life will be complete}

shoe clips, vintage earrings
{shoe clips, vintage earrings}

I also made these little fabric topped bags, which I'm fond of, along with a couple other projects that I didn't manage to get shots of before mailing them out.

fabric topped bags
{fabric topped bags - for holding favors or tossing confetti or whatever}

Leave a comment on this post to enter and I'll choose a winner on Monday. It's a holiday weekend here, so that might make the pool smaller and give you a better chance at winning!

International readers, I love you, and normally I would include you on this as well, but international shipping requires a special trip to the post office and I just can't face it when I'm staring down my wedding in one week (!). Next time, I promise.

Sadly, the book doesn't have distribution in the US at this time, but if you want your own copy you can order it from Australia.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The cake topper, finished

This was actually a really easy project, I just managed to spread it out over an entire month. D and I have a collection of dia de los muertos figurines that we love, so it seemed like a natural choice for the cake topper, if we were going to have such a thing. I purchased the bride and groom at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles for $13 each. You can order similar ones online, but no two are exactly alike because they are hand painted, so I always like to pick mine out in person.

cake topper, finished
{cake topper, finished}

I purchased the round wooden circle from a craft store for less than a dollar and then gave it a quick paint job. The bride originally came with a mantilla veil that was kind of cheap looking, so I yanked it off and gave her a small one I made out of gold netting instead. I made teeny-tiny flowers out of bits of fabric and stuck them together for a bouquet (yes, by this point I knew I was being obsessive, but I was enjoying it).

cake topper, finished

The biggest stumbling block for me was that they came firmly glued to these little squares of wood and it drove me nuts because it was making them hard to position. I whined about it for two weeks and then started googling. Turns out that heat was the solution! I just aimed a blow dryer directly at the base and after 30 - 60 seconds I could easily pull the figurine off. Then I set them up on the painted circle and glued them down. Perfect.

We've been trying to strike a balance with the wedding - honoring some of D's heritage without making it seem like we tried to throw a cinco de mayo party. This just felt right.



(Note - this is one of those craft projects with hidden costs. I spent $27 to make this, but I already had paint and brushes and hot glue and netting and fabric on hand. If I'd had to buy all of those supplies it would have been closer to $50 and I would have had a ton of stuff leftover)