Oh my GOSH, how good is vacation? We’re back, and I’m keeping the happy alive by smiling as much as I can, and enjoying the catch up tasks. I’ll keep today simple – but it’s worth noting that I missed you guys! Here are 5 dreamy Paris pics to inspire your next getaway – this is definitely our next major trip! Need more pretty? Check out my favorite Parisian indulgences on my Pinterest board here: C’est si bon!!
It’s really easy to forget that while I live in a bubble of weddings, sunshine, and the ‘California’ aesthetic, not everyone is a 30 minute drive from the magic that is wine country, or an hour outside of Carmel! Rustic luxury is a wedding ‘theme’ (I hate that word) that came into the popular spotlight in the last 10 years, and it’s major. Perfectly in tune with California’s look (golden hillsides, perfect sunsets, vineyards and ranches galore), rustic doesn’t have to mean your wedding happens in a barn or that it looks overtly ‘Pinteresting’ – the key to this look is simplicity and an abundance of natural elements. In keeping with easy breezy west coast style, California weddings are really popular, and they’re typically characterized by incorporating some of the outdoor beauty of the event venue into the design and styling of the event. You can get married in a garden, in a field, or in a forest – the idea is to keep the vibe ‘natural’.
Here are 5 key components that many rustic California weddings have in common:
I’ve been spending a lot of my open-eye minutes recently thinking about what inspires me. Not that I really have time to set aside for this activity – it’s more like it pervades my subconscious while I’m doing other things, like dialing in for a sales call or talking to a girlfriend over a glass of wine at a very well decorated bar (happy hour, duh). I’ve noticed I can’t go more than 5 minutes without thinking about something creative, even when I’m engaged in another activity – and that has me considering my life plans.
It might sound a little silly in the abstract, but in general, I’ve been working on mindfulness, and distilling some of the 5,000,000,000+ thoughts that I have each day into tangible ideas and action-starters. I have also recently realized and acknowledged that there is only so much data capacity in my brain – how much actual hard drive is still available remains to be seen, but certainly my processing speed is impacted when I have a lot going on (so there, that’s proof! Sort of). I still believe that I can do everything I want to, semi-simultaneously, and fairly fabulously – it’s just going to take some mindful consideration and planning.
So all this is to say that about 3 times an hour at work, and on my phone every 10 minutes the rest of the time, I’m finding inspiration online, on Pinterest, reading articles, and dreaming big dreams. It’s a lot like daydreaming, and it’s great for my professional productivity. Here are 5 things creatively inspiring me today – where are you finding inspiration?
1. This perfectly ladylike living lounge, accented by a gilded mirrors and marble side table, a natural jute rug, and the most perfect custom upholstered floral lounge chair. Society Social, you are the stuff dreams are made of. I can just picture having a ginormous home office one day and a lounge area to make as girly as possible…
2. This retro photo of Françoise Hardy in a rattan peacock chair. This is what I’m saying: I want a peacock chair more than ANYTHING. Very Mrs. Lilien, no?? And also: how gorgeous is her sunkissed preppy look, in very little makeup?
3. Neon signs like this one at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in the city (SF) (in pink, obviously). I’ve been dreaming of a ‘Detailed & Delighted’ neon sign for a while now – it might be time to pick one up…
4. Saving up for a dreamy summer home, like this one in Nantucket. I have a lot of things to save for first (and I mean a LOT), but one day, I think it would be really special to give our future kids a place to call home outside of the hustle of life during the summers. Being near the sea is a must; sand is an added bonus; add in East Coast charm, and its a no brainer. Nantucket it will be.
5. The most perfect girly chic wallpaper and matching monogram to go with it – le sigh, when will we live somewhere long enough to put up wallpaper? Alexis Bednyak (conritbutor at Rue Magazine, stylist, and designer extraordinaire) really kills me with her perfect modern prep designs. LOVE.
“Blondes have more fun” is true, my good friend T would argue. She and I have been going back and forth about highlights, sending pics from a salon chair with foils in, etc for the past few years. I’m one of those humans whose natural hair color swings somewhere between light brown and dark blonde, so to some extent, I can get away with trying either color. I tend to color seasonally – when things cool off in the fall, I opt for a dark mahogany brown, and as we move into spring, I like to lighten things up.
This weekend, I’m headed back toward blonde, and I have been looking for inspiration on the EXACT color I want everywhere. Check out some of our favorite blondes below, and the shades inspired by them:
1. Blake Lively – babydoll blonde: Blake’s color is multifaceted and looks surf-y and natural – a true work of color genius. We’re guessing here, but it looks like more than 3 shades and countless foils to pull off that shade – kudos to her colorist!
2. Poppy Delevingne – balayage blonde: from Marie Claire, “Balayage is a French word meaning to sweep or to paint. It allows for a sun-kissed natural looking hair color – similar to what nature gives us as children – with softer, less noticeable regrowth lines”. Poppy pulls off a modern blonde look with multiple shades that look as though they have been individually painted, dark roots that are shiny and provide contrast, and multi dimensional strands that reflect light.
3. Gwen Stefani – bottle blonde: the only person we’ve seen really rock the Platinum blonde look for more than a decade, Gwen’s bleached locks and light roots are always flawless, and her color is the brightest shade of white blonde.
4. Lilly Pulitzer model – caramel blonde: this darker shade of blonde is a perfect mixture of highlights and lowlights, keeping things looking organic and well balanced. The caramel blonde look is popular as a transition between brown and blonde, because highlights take a few applications (read: months) to really take over completely.
5. Reese Witherspoon – Hollywood blonde: Known for her perfectly coiffed light blonde hair, Reese keeps her roots clean and her color palette bright. Her hairstylist Cervando Maldonado has been coloring her hair for years, and holds the secret to that perfect color: light, bright, and minimal highlights.
What’s your perfect blonde? Let us know!
Love is in the air – not just because the new ’50 Shades of Grey’ movie comes out this weekend! With Valentine’s day on Saturday, poppy pink and red inspiration is everywhere. We love the brights and muted pinks together – it gives the wedding look a lot of dimension, and helps keep things from being too ‘bubblegum’. Chloe and I geeked out over a Valentine’s Paper Source window display on Chestnut last weekend; today I spent 10 minutes looking at a Kate Spade email blinged out in pink. Inspiration is everywhere – enjoy our favorites!
For starters, how pretty are these images from a Style Me Pretty shoot by Rach Lea Photography?
We’ve also rounded up our favorite love-inspired bridal accessories below – je t’aime, mon cheri!
Clockwise from top Left:
3. The perfect ‘getaway’ outfit inspiration, courtesy of Atlantic Pacific
7. Ruby Heart Lapel Pin, for your dashing groom
There are very few people who dislike Mac and Cheese. It’s one of those favorite comfort foods that is rich and savory, and can be made in a single pot to share with your family (or eat by yourself on the couch!). Growing up, my FAVORITE was always the Kraft blue box with silly shapes – more pasta surface area within each bite. These days, I need a little less mass-produced packaging in my life, and a little more organic goodness. Enter: Whole foods. I shopped for all of the organic ingredients in this recipe there, but the real pièce de résistance was the fresh gigli pasta I found in their refrigerated section. It really made the dish fluffy and delicious.
We like this recipe a LOT in our household, because the cheese sauce is simple to make, and it’s easy to integrate a few vegetables into an otherwise indulgent dish. Test it out, and be prepared to be amazed – it’s exceptional!
Cast iron pan (deep!), Large colander, Cutting board, Chef’s knife, Deep pot for boiling, Wooden spatula
8-ounces fresh pasta (gigli), uncooked
3 cups organic broccoli florets, Italian parsley (for garnish), and 1/2 organic yellow onion chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 free range chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 cup organic skim milk (or Lactaid)
1 cup organic chicken broth
1/4 cup organic all-purpose flour (wheat is fine)
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup organic shredded cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to the directions on packaging.
Add broccoli florets to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, and set aside.
In the meantime, prepare the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, chicken broth, and flour. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder; whisk until well combined. Stir the milk mixture into the pan with the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
Add pasta mixture and cheddar cheese; stir until cheese is melted and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat.
Let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Stir and Serve. Bon appetit!
It may have been decided on groundhog day that we’re going to have another 6 weeks of blustery cold winter, but Chloe and I are over here making the most of it by planning for spring! Spring shopping is a nice turn of the seasons in Northern California, because the transition is gentle. You can wear sweaters year round here, so there’s no need to stash your winter wardrobe away. Instead, it’s fun to mix winter pieces with new bright colors and a few fun finds.
Spring is also a great time to plan for your vacation (as I’ve said a couple of times recently), and many designers roll out new fragrance and jewelry collections, in addition to Spring fashions. Shop our favorites below – what are you shopping for this Spring?!
Clockwise from Center:
3. Sugar Paper Black 2015 Desk Calendar (perfect for my new Mixpanel office!)
4. Diptyque Paris ‘Baies’ Candle (nothing like roses in the spring)
9. Aerin Lauder’s BRAND NEW ‘Rose De Grasse’ Fragrance (#obsessed)
10. Tiek’s ‘Lavender Snake’ leather flats (if I put these on enough wish lists, do you think they’ll just appear in my closet?!)