Sunday, August 4, 2013

cranberry walnut crostinis

cranberry walnut crostinis :: one of the many yummy treats we made for our open house party.  these cranberry walnut crostinis are super easy to make and make wonderful little appetizers for any occasion.  since we moved into our new house that has a rosemary bush, i have been searching for new ways to use rosemary and these crostinis are definitely my new favorite use for the herb.  

ingredients ::
1 baguette of french bread
8 oz of crumbled goat cheese
2 cups of cranberries
2 cups of walnuts
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

what to do::
1. slice baguette into 1 inch pieces
2. toast pieces at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
3. let toasts cool
4. spread goat cheese on toasts
5. top with walnuts and cranberries
6. sprinkle rosemary on top
7. drizzle honey 


Friday, August 2, 2013

top ten decorating tips | neutral and natural living room

in the process of showing you our new house, i wanted to share some of the behind the scenes inspiration that went into decorating our new living room.  first, you need to know that our living room has been the hardest room for me to decorate.  since our new house has two living areas - woo hoo TWO! - it has been a blank slate since we moved in.  i love decorating, but looking at an empty and sort of awkward room was very intimidating for me.  that feeling of "where do i even begin?" can be stressful, and if you've ever felt that way, than you know what i've been going through over the past three months.  and it's still a process.  i'm not done with it yet, but i am trying to enjoy the curation of this new room and not get frustrated and want to just be done with it.  because if i'm honest with myself, my home will never be finished.  time will pass, my tastes will change, and there will always be a new treasure to add to the home.  and that is what is so exciting about interior design!   

some tips i have for you fellow blank slate decorators out there ::

no 1. start with one thing that you love or that inspires you. it could be a pillow, a picture, a bowl, whatever.  jot down some words about that thing.  write down adjectives that describe the object's color, tone, texture, style, feel and use that list to focus you.

no 2. use pinterest. no longer do you have to buy home magazines and cut them up for your home idea book. (confession, i still have mine that i started years ago and slowly add to to it because i am a paper lover - anyone else still clip???) pinterest, however, is so easy to use and you can even create private boards to collect inspiration.

no 3. take photos of everything. my phone is constantly overflowing with photos, but i try to make space before going shopping.  i also screen shot a lot from online so that i can easily access images while i'm in the stores.  

no 4. shop around. don't be afraid to shop around at a variety of stores.  lot's of places have unique and unexpected home decor in a variety of price points.  if you don't have a lot of time for errands, amazon and etsy are great online resources that don't require driving :) there are also really cool websites that you can sign up for free like joss and main and they will send you emails daily with different home sales. yard sales are also a good place to venture - you never know what you are going to find!  i also love scott's antique market. never been before??? i will gladly go with you!  

no. 5 stay organized. whether you are using your iphone notes or an actual notepad, always be prepared to jot something down.  this is also key if you are on a budget, and you like to compare prices like i do.  i am always asking myself and my husband - "is that the best option?" i will hunt for a long time until i know that what i am investing in is the best bang for my buck.  also, make sure you record all your necessary measurements so you know what will work in your space.

no 6. not everything has to be expensive to look good.  just like a good outfit, if you have a few nice pieces to anchor the room, you can shop at inexpensive stores for other things and still have a chic looking room.  for example, our lamps are from homegoods and then i swapped out the shades for some nicer ones that i got at scott's antique market.  

no 7. stay focused. while you must like each individual piece that you purchase for the room, you have to always think about the overall design for the room.  when i'm shopping i always ask myself if the item fits in with my overall theme.  yes, unique and quirky pieces add to a room, but something has to connect back to the overall feel - whether it be color, texture, tone, or style.

no 8. find connections. within those pieces that you buy, try to make connections with other things in the room.  when i bring something new into the environment that connects to something else already in the room i call this "talking".  i don't know where i came up with this, but it's pretty funny when i explain furniture to my husband.  i say things like "see that new pillow? it has that rusty brown thread color which talks to the rusty brown hardware on the tv console. they're having a little conversation". weird, i know, but you should give it a try.  you should also know that i tend to personify everything from my car to my camera because i think its just really funny, so naturally i do this to my furniture.  but in all seriousness, visual balance and connection are key for a cohesive room.

no 9. express yourself. just like the outfits that you wear, your home is an expression of yourself.  find inspiration from others, but don't feel like you have to recreate what another person has done, because that's them, not you.  

no 10. enjoy the process. remember it won't happen over night and it won't ever be perfect.  those photos that you see on pinterest are from photo shoots of carefully designed spaces with a team of stylists, photographers, lighting experts, interior designers, and assistants behind every photo.  so unless you have that by your side, you can't compare your room to the one in the photo.

hope those tips help! below are some photos of our current living room.  you will notice that there are still some things we need to buy and work on, but i'm pretty happy with the progress of our neutral and natural living room.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

the most beautiful wedding video

Ben & Beth Bricken | Malibu, CA from Caravan on Vimeo.
i am 100% sure that this is the most beautiful wedding video i ever did see.  i only wish our wedding video was half as good as this one by caravan.

obviously love the setting, the music, and the gorgeous decor by bash please.  but what i really love is the words that donald miller spoke ::   

"What I want to know is how do you go back and thank a couple for the years they've spent since they spoke their vows? How do you thank them for figuring it out and living through it when they couldn't? Do you think they knew we needed them to still be holding hands 50 years later?"

so authentic and encouraging.  i am confident that you will watch this video at least twice. and cry. enjoy!