Friday, May 30, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Almost-Summer Celebration

Image via Society6
Is pink the new white? A complicated new era for rosé. (Thanks to VMAC & Cheese for bringing this article to my attention. Do you follow her blog? You should.) And yes, I will be gushing about rosé all summer, so let's just accept that now.

Speaking of - finally, something to blame last Saturday (okay, most Saturdays) on: 3 Weird Reasons You Pour Yourself Too Much Wine (New York Magazine)

One of my favorite online shops, Waiting on Martha, is having a HUGE sale: 40% off sale items with code MOVEITALLOUT. Including some great finds for entertaining - I especially love these black cabana stripe place cards by Sugar Paper, royal coasters by Rifle Paper Co., and Shelter Island guest soaps by Jonathan Adler. All great additions to your hostess gift stash.

Is everyone else LOVING J.Crew for Paperless Post?! I might have to plan a cocktail party just for an excuse to send this cheeky invitation.

Ashley Brooke Designs just released her summer collection. These gift tags - especially the one that says "Let's eat cake!" are officially on my wishlist. And now that the "Let's always be fancy" mug is back in stock, I might have to add that also.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wedding Guest Style by Dress Code: Black Tie, Cocktail & Garden Party

Megan: Lately it seems that Memorial Day is not just the unofficial start to summer, but also the kick-off of wedding season! If your fridge is covered in save the dates and calligraphied wedding invitations with dress codes from black tie to beach chic, then you are probably already scouring your closet for outfits to satisfy each special event. I put together three looks to represent popular wedding attire requirements: black tie, cocktail, and garden party.

Megan: In my book, black tie means ball gowns - full length and fancy. In an increasingly casual world, I cherish the opportunities to get decked out in a gown that sweeps the floor. I think it signifies the grandeur and the gravitas of the event, so when the invite says black tie, I say keep the cocktail dress at home and go for the gown. I am forever on the hunt for black tie options that are distinctive and original and stand out in a sea of black satin, and when I stumbled upon this Tory Burch gown in the shop window, I knew it would fit the bill for a number of black tie events. I love its romanticism - the soft pink hue, the delicate pleats, the graceful movement of the skirt - and it has just the right amount of personality - it's not often you find a gown with a sequin collar. 
Dress: Tory Burch, Tatum Dress, Winter 2013, similar here and here | Watch: Kate Spade | Bag: Whiting & Davis, vintage, similar here

Megan: The "cocktail attire" dress code offers the most room for flexibility, but I typically lean toward a shorter dress that still feels dressed up. I look for dresses that have a special element, like the embellishment and sheen of this dress's fabric. It's not something I would wear in my daily life - to work or out to dinner - so it's just right for a special occasion that calls for getting dressed up without entering into gown territory. Cocktail attire is also the perfect opportunity to incorporate some fun accessories - like sparkly heels and a whimsical clutch!
Dress: Tory Burch, Kirby Dress, Winter 2013, similar here and Ann Taylor version here | Bracelet: J.Crew, similar Ann Taylor version here | Bag: Kate Spade, this version would be perfect for a wedding! | Shoes: Vince Camuto, similar Ann Taylor version here

Megan: If you're headed to an outdoor affair - like a gathering in a garden or a bash on the beach - you'll want an outfit that is appropriate for the setting and comfortable for the climate. This carefree little Shoshanna number is perfect for an outdoor wedding on a warm afternoon, and a lightweight sweater will carry you into a cooler evening. I recommend a wedge sandal over a heel if the terrain is grassy, sandy, or otherwise treacherous. I kept the accessories simple - a gold bangle and a wicker clutch are perfect for a more casual affair.
Dress: Shoshanna, similar version here, similar Alice + Olivia version here | Sweater: J.Crew | Bag: J.Crew | Bracelet: Kate Spade, similar version here | Shoes: Ann Taylor, also love J.Crew's classic espadrille, similar L.K.Bennett version here

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Scenes from Memorial Day Weekend in Brooklyn

Did everyone have a fantastic weekend?! I stayed local and didn't even cross the bridge once. Every meal was eaten on our terrace or in the park. It was wonderful. Tomorrow, Megan will be back with some styled looks for wedding guests. I'm so excited! In the meantime, I thought I'd share some photos from the weekend with you.
Picnic in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Rainy Friday night cookie baking has become a tradition
Making rhubarb simple syrup for the bar cart!
Terrace dinners
Heirloom tomatoes from Foragers

Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekend Links: Memorial Day Celebration

Strawberry Cobbler & Cup O' Pisco Punch at Saxon + Parole*
*Photo not taken on a Monday night. Okay, it was.
Welcome to one of the BEST weekends of the year!! It's not too late to throw together something festive. Get inspiration from The Sweetest Occasion's 20 Red, White & Blue Memorial Day Party Ideas and The New York Times Memorial Day Picnic board on Pinterest.

For me, the time for rosé has officially begun - I had my first glass(es) of the season last week. I had been waiting for the perfect scenario to order it - a beautiful location, sunny weather... for some reason I felt it needed to be perfect. I even joked with a friend that I was treating it as seriously as losing my virginity. In that case, she said, I'd better just get it over with. Ha! Here are 5 great rosés to look out for: Everything's Coming Up Rosés (Food & Wine)

Summer is also the season for punch Ready to Roll with the Punches (NYT)...

...and spritzers All That Sparkles: 5 Spritzer Cocktails (PUNCH)

...and more wine Summer's Winners: 20 Wines Under $20 (NYT)

...and cocktails Make Mine Cool & Easy (NYT)

After all those, you're gonna need something to snack on. Let's start with the classic cheese straw: Straws They'll Grasp At (NYT)

For those in NYC, Tasting Table put together a guide to the Best Picnic Provisions near local parks. I love that my favorite Foragers made the list! (If it was possible to be BFF with a market, Foragers would be mine.) Also check this out: Every Summer Outdoor Movie Screening in NYC, Now in One Calendar (Thrillist)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Memorial Day // Picnic Baskets

There's not much I get more excited about this time of year than a good picnic. What better way to spend the extra day of this long weekend than lazing about in the park with friends and food? So make yourself a Pan Bagnat, and don't forget an ice pack for the prosecco. For more inspiration, check out my Picnic Design board.
Top: Williams Sonoma Wicker Picnic Basket - I love this one because most are designed for 2, but this one is for 4. Not all picnics have to be romantic! | Insulated Picnic Basket | Bottom: C.Wonder Picnic Basket | Terrain Picnic for Two - this one is just gorgeous - I love the lining, attached wine carrier and leather strap.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Graduation Gift Guide: Girls & Guys

Whether you're attending a graduation party or just want to offer your congratulations to a loved one, here are some great gift ideas! This guide is unisex - all of these items are appropriate for guys and girls. I know sometimes it can be hard to find gifts for men! Some have different color options in case you want an item that is more gender-specific. A lot of these are personalized gifts - I think it's nice for people just starting out to receive something with their names or initials. Congrats to all the graduates! 
1. Le Pliage Monogrammed Travel Bag - this is the perfect sized "weekender" bag | 2. Ribbon Collage Address Label - useful for thank you notes! | 3. Personalized Acrylic Stemless Champagne Flutes | 4. Instagram Photo Book | 5. Tumi Travel Kit - will be used for years to come | 6. Apple TV | 7. Monogrammed iPhone Case | 8. Monogrammed Zip Folio | 9. Personalized Cheese Board | 10. Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers  | 11. Personalized Luggage Tag | 12. New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in USA & Canada | 13. Kitchen Aid Mixer - every apartment needs one! | 14. Bar Tools Set with Stand | 15. Canon PowerShot - iPhones are great, but real travel calls for a real camera | 16. Personalized Notepad | 17. Tumi T-Tech Carry-on - Tumi's least expensive and most durable line makes for great starter luggage | 18. Monogrammed Tumblers | 19. Bose Headphones

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in Summertime Cocktail Celebration

Time for a vote: I can only reasonably justify purchasing one of these (so. freaking. adorable.) ice cube trays. Which should I go for - the pineapple or the popsicle shaped? Either one would be perfect for fruit punch on the terrace. I'm thinking the pineapple since it's the symbol of hospitality...

Avoid desperately googling "outdoor bars" whenever the forecast is clear. Use this list instead: 11 Rooftops to Make Summer Hot (Refinery29)

If this is really happening, I couldn't be more excited about it: The Return of the Tableside Bar Cart (Punch)

For those opposed to the $20 cocktail, try these 6 Ways to Instantly Make Better Cocktails at Home (Food52) Need some flavor inspiration? I have a zillion drink recipes pinned. As soon as I can get my hands on some rhubarb, I'm making a summery simple syrup.

10-Year Cocktail Timeline: From Cosmos to Barrel-Aged Negroni (Food & Wine) Speaking of the cosmo - a few weeks ago I saw Sarah Jessica Parker at dinner. I know in New York we're supposed to pretend that's NBD, but c'mon - Carrie Bradshaw out on the town in Manhattan on a Saturday night?! I fear every subsequent celeb sighting will be significantly less exciting.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Read Now: Cooked by Michael Pollan

Last night I went to the 92nd Street Y to hear Michael Pollan speak about his latest book and answer food-related questions. I adore this man. Not only do I agree with most of what he says, but he is such an inspiring and engaging speaker; I could listen to him tell stories all day. In Cooked he sets out to learn about the history of cooking - how it has evolved and why its popularity seems to be on the decline in the general population. He read selections from the book last night and I can't wait to read the rest. For those of you interested in cooking and in food in general (which I assume most of you are) - definitely pick up a copy of this book!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Easy Entertaining: Radishes with Butter and Sea Salt

It was in the 80's this weekend here in New York! Since it's finally warm enough to entertain outdoors, I thought I'd share one of my favorite no-cook snacks that can be thrown together in seconds. It's great on the terrace, and perfect for picnics also! Tip: make sure you use a high quality butter, preferably cultured.
You can find a similar cheese board at Brooklyn Slate Company.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in (Last Minute) Mother's Day Celebration

Cheers to all the moms! 
How to celebrate Mother's Day at the last minute:

Forgot to send a card? The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet has curated a selection of Mother's Day cards on Paperless Post. Seeing her in person? Use this chic printable "Maman Je T'aime" card by The Atelier. It would go nicely with this printable floral gift wrap by Oh Happy Day. Or use up any photo strips you have lying around for this printable card by Minted. And if you're avoiding the brunch crowds and making breakfast at home, these Mother's Day breakfast printables by Minted and the printable banner & party kit by Oh Happy Day will help make it extra special. Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends out there!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Drink Up! Pimm's Cup

During a recent food styling class taught by Rebekah Peppler at Haven's Kitchen, one of our "lessons" was making and photographing cocktails. I thought it would be fun to share some behind the scenes images from the shoot with you. Scroll down for the recipe. Cheers!

Pimm's Cup
Pour 2 oz Pimms into a shaker over ice
Add cucumber slices, lime slices, and mint leaves; muddle & shake
Strain into a glass with ice; top with high quality gingerale; Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

4 Free, Pretty May Downloads for Desktop & Mobile

Don't think I forgot! Same as last month - I love calendars & freebies from designers. Here are some super pretty May backgrounds for your computer desktop & mobile wallpaper / lock screen. The links in the captions will take you to the original sites where you can download them. Enjoy!
Emily Green for Design Love Fest
Sugar Paper
Chocolate & Zucchini

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo: Bar Cart Design, Food & Drinks

Even if you're not hosting a Cinco de Mayo party (we're not this year), why not have just one festive cocktail to celebrate? Here's what I put together on the bar cart today - no special purchases, just what I had around the apartment. I focused on bright colors and anything Mexican, Texan, or with a cowboy on it that I could find. Liber & Co Texas Grapefruit Shrub | Espolón Tequila | Jonathan Adler Rocks Glasses (similar) | Kate Spade Acrylic Straws
In need of more Cinco de Mayo inspiration? Here are some great resources: 

The Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Guide (Bon Appétit)
8 Cinco de Mayo recipes straight out of Austin (Love & Lemons)
Cinco de Mayo Placecards (Vmac & Cheese)
25 Mexican Inspired Drinks (Saveur)
Throwing a Fiesta de Mayo (Could I Have That)
8 Festive Recipes for Cinco de Mayo (Food52)
Boozy Margarita Lime Cake (Pastry Affair)
10 Best: Margarita Recipes (Camille Styles)
Tres Leches Cake (Oh Sweet Basil)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Weekend Links: The Latest in May Celebration

A makeshift bar cart at Haven's Kitchen // Food styling with Rebekah Peppler
Happy weekend! We're supposed to have decent weather here in Brooklyn after a week of rain. So I'm looking forward to getting our terrace set up (finally!) for spring/summer entertaining. Next week I'll be back with Cinco de Mayo bar cart design and a Pimm's Cup recipe. Until then, here are your weekend links!

Seasonal produce guide for May (Vintage Mixer)

Spring-inspired photography from the archives of Gourmet (Gourmet Magazine)

10 Drinks to end your day, for every possible scenario (The New Potato)