Monday, September 2, 2013

One Year

Friends, today is a very special day - my husband and I are celebrating our one year wedding anniversary.  I can't believe that a year has passed since that day, especially given all of the preparation and anticipation leading up to it.  Marriage has been an amazing blessing, and I'm excited for more to come.  As we celebrate, I've been going through our wedding images and have some that capture some of the details that added to the memories, to share with you.

{all images courtesy of the lovely Jen Lauren Grant of Birds of a Feather}

Gosh, it was fun.  A little DIY and a lot of Pinterest inspiration really came together with the help of our amazing vendors, for which I am forever grateful.  Wish we could do it all again!

photography: Jen Lauren Grant // florals: Milieu Florals {by Hannah Koo} // venue: Spanish Hills Country Club // cake: La Starr & Co // hair and makeup: Susie Chhuor // DJ: DJ Jeff of VOX DJs // cermony harpist: Vonette Yanaginuma // videography: Skipping Stones Productions

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Market Eats

Over the weekend, I came to the realization that we are in the middle of August, and that summer is nearing its official end.  I also came to the realization that I haven't yet been to a farmer's market, per my summer list.   Not to be deterred, I visited my local Whole Foods market armed with a shopping list that included a few ingredients that I've been meaning to try in recipes this summer - peaches, nectarines, and summer squash.  On the menu for this week:

For packed lunches: Quinoa salad with peaches and pickled onions via Bon Appetit
For dinner: Gnocchi with summer squash, basil, and feta via Real Simple
As a side: Squash and tomato gratin, also via Bon Appetit
Just because: Pickled nectarine salad with burrata

A little too much produce?  Maybe - but at least we'll be keeping the summer going, meal-wise.  What's on your shopping list this week?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Easy Peasy DIY: Gift Tags

Are you ready for the easiest DIY?  If you're like me, there are many reasons to celebrate others during the summer, leaving me with a need for gift packaging.  If I'm not using a card from my stash, I will usually quickly make a gift tag to coordinate with said gift packaging - whether it be attached to a package, tied with a ribbon to a gift bag, or helping to seal cellophane treat bags.

Depending on what crafting supplies you have on hand, there are countless different versions of what you can create.  However, all tags will need the basics:

01   Tag punch - either traditional or circle.  Pick your favorite crafting store, and they will have a variety in stock.
02   Single hole punch (small) - My recommendation is the 1/16th inch punch; it fits the scale of the tag punch.
03   Patterned paper or card stock - I like to recycle pretty paper and use it for this purpose.  The paper pictured above is primarily from an old Paper Source desk calendar, but I've also used the front of greeting cards (non-photo holiday cards work well, too).  Just remember that one side should be blank, for you to write a brief message.
04   Ribbon or twine to attach the tag to your gift - the thinner, the better.

To make, line the paper up with the punch so that the desired design of the paper is what will be punched out, like so:

Not pictured: use the small single hole punch to punch a hole a couple centimeters below the top of your tag.  String about 4-6 inches of ribbon or twine through this hole, and knot the ends.  Alternately, tie your tag directly to the gift or package using a longer piece of ribbon or twine.

These are seriously simple to make, and can be made in large quantities.  In fact, my girlfriends and I made a bunch of holiday paper gift tags during one of our original craft days.  Pick an assortment, package them up, and give them away to the paper lovers in your life!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hot off the Letterpress

Growing up, if you had asked me what my dream job was, I would have told you that it would be to have my own stationery store and design cards all day long.  A couple of years ago while browsing the merchant stands of Unique L.A., I happened to mention this in passing at the Dee & Lala paper goods shop, where the kind sales associate (perhaps one of the owners, unbeknownst to me) told me that their studio offered letterpress classes.  I don't know why it took me so long to sign up, or how I even remembered this recently, but friends - I have finally taken the class, and it. was. awesome.

{my freestyle text design}
I arrived at Lala Press in Silver Lake and was greeted by Mable, the owner and class instructor.  Although the class sizes can range up to six people, my class was just another paper lover and me, which meant that Mable got to spend a little more instruction time with each of us.  She led us through each step of the production process, from selecting our paint color from the Pantone color wheel (so many choices!), mixing the paint color ourselves, and applying the paint to the press, to running the card stock through the press one sheet at a time and literally cranking out our designs.

The class included making 25 folded note cards from a combination of one of Dee & Lala's "Thank You" card templates, and a typography design of our own.  I chose to make five thank-you cards and 20 personalized note cards, and mixed a fun coral color to apply to my design.  You can never go wrong with custom, right?

As expected, I found the production process to be very interesting, and was grateful to experience first-hand each of its elements.  What I'm most excited about is that now that I've successfully completed the class, I can rent press time from Miss Mable for future projects.  Who knows; maybe I'll have a future in paper after all!

{the Vandercook press with our first color and plate}
{first round, first color}
{color switch and finished card}
{custom folded cards}

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer School

{a sneak peek of an easy craft}
This picture excites me for a few reasons - 01. pretty paper, 02. pretty colors, 03. twine, 04. kraft paper background.  You see, even though the majority of my week is strictly professional, the inner me screams with glee when I walk in to stores like the Paper Source, see a beautifully wrapped gift, get some fun snail mail, or even break in some new office supplies.

Feeling inspired by my summer bucket list, I decided to give this inner glee its proper outlet by researching and signing up for a few classes.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to be treating myself to classes from the following sources, and can hardly contain my excitement:

+ A class held at West Elm (one of my favorite stores) taught by the lovely Kelly from Studio DIY, found through Skillshare.  I attended a paper rose making event a few months ago led by Kelly, and it was a blast.  I'm doubly excited to have found the Skillshare site, as I know I will be perusing it in more detail in the future to help further other interests of mine.

+ An Introduction to Stationery Letterpress class offered by Lala Press of the adorable Dee & Lala.  I have been in love with letterpress stationery for as long as I can remember, and know that I will find the process of designing and printing to be fascinating.  I am thrilled that I found a {somewhat} local studio that opens itself up to visitors.

+ A cooking class through EATZ LA.  My husband bought me a gift certificate for classes as a Christmas gift (after me stating several times that I'd like to take a cooking class), and I am just now redeeming it. The hardest part of signing up was having to decide on one cuisine to learn from so many fun options.

If you couldn't tell, I've really come around to enjoying group classes - especially when they are with people who share the common interest.  I'd love to know - which classes fill your heart with glee?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Bucket List: Grill

Happy July 5th!  I am happy to announce that over the holiday, I marked something off of my summer bucket list - I used my new mini grill.  I know, I know - it seems like a pretty simple thing to mark off, but I've had this grill for a couple months now, and we {my husband} just took it out of the box yesterday.  Now that we've gotten through the first use successfully, I'm looking forward to more grilled meals.  I've already bookmarked a couple recipes.

To celebrate the fourth, we had our first summer barbecue with friends.  On the menu were some new recipes and some store-bought supplements:

+ Assorted grilled chicken sausages from Whole Foods
+ Panzanella salad using this recipe
+ Reser's Original Potato Salad
+ Chocolate chunk blondies using this recipe

My friends Melissa and Regina were also sweet enough to bring over chocolate chip cookies (with kettle chips as a secret ingredient!), pretty skewered fruit salad, and agua fresca.  It was all so delicious and festive, and came together so well.  We stuffed ourselves and finished just in time to catch the local fireworks show.

Hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Curry Village: A Packing List

During our almost week's stay in Yosemite, we stayed in a tent cabin at Curry Village within Yosemite Valley.  This was a first for me, as all of my previous trips had been of the tent camping variety.  Being the planner that I am, I began to wonder about what to pack, and more importantly - what to eat.  In doing some research, I found that Curry Village includes several amenities such as actual beds, a light fixture within the cabin, and a power outlet.  I also found that cooking facilities are not available within the Village.

Keeping this in mind, my husband and I made some decisions about what to bring.  Since we were driving in and had space in the car, we decided to bring some additional items such as camping chairs and our bikes (best idea ever, by the way).  We also decided that we would bring breakfast and lunch items, and eat in the park for dinner.  We made a quick stop at Trader Joe's before we left and picked up breakfast bars, snacks, and fixings for turkey sandwiches on the go.  This ended up working great, as once we were in Yosemite, I'd make sandwiches in the morning, pack them in my day pack, and head out for for the day.

One special treat that we reserved in advance was a dinner reservation at the Ahwahnee Hotel on our last night in Yosemite.  After having pizza for dinner a couple nights in a row and wearing our hiking clothes each day, it was fun to get dressed up and recap the stories of our trip during a date-night type dinner.  The dining room ambiance took us back in time with a live piano player, tapered candles, and gorgeous views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

For those of you planning a trip to Yosemite and staying in Curry Village, I put together a Curry Village packing list which you can download here.  Hope you make it this summer!

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