Friday, November 27, 2009

Breaking news! Act FAST!

Yea Amazon! For letting us celebrate Black Friday from the comfort of our own homes. They have an awesome deal going, on an awesome gift, but it's only available for a few more hours. Remember these? Usually $35, now $10* until they are all purchased or time runs out. Save money, save a child (feeds a schoolchild for a YEAR!), and save yourself a trip out into the insanity.

Happy Friday! I'm going ice skating, so I'll be back in a few days unless I have a broken neck. Which is highly likely given my mad skating skillz.
*(When you get to, you have to click on the little promotional box that says "Black Friday Deals" and then scroll through the list until you get to the FEED bags. If you look it up using their traditional search, they'll show up at the regular price. Just a hint.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stunning Swedish flowers

Minna Mercke Schmidt writes Blomsterverkstad, one of my favorite blogs to look at. I've started just looking, because Minna writes in Swedish. I'm pretty sure Google translate doesn't always get it correct, based on some of the wacky things I read that I'm pretty sure she didn't write! But her fantastic photos of her fantastic house, fantastic garden, fantastic life really don't need much explanation.

This week, Minna shared some pictures from a flower show she went to at a Swedish floral design school, from what I can tell. I just love the successful blend of modern and innovative designs with fabulously lush, romantic textures and a rustic appeal--a very difficult feat!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm thankful for this!

This being a STUNNING recipe for sweet potato casserole!

Hold on, don't click off of here yet, all of you potato haters! This recipe from Cooking Light a few years ago (yes! it's light!) has successfully converted EVERY person I've ever served it to into a sweet potato lover. The family voted me sweet-potato-bringer for every Thanksgiving from here until eternity after I made it the first time, and I've never felt any desire to fiddle with it's formula for delicious perfection. The crazy part is I usually see several people sneaking into the fridge to heap a little more on their plate at dessert time.

If you're the sweet-potato-bringer for your feast, please, PLEASE give it a try this year. You'll be thankful for ME!

Fluffy, Awesome, Sweet Potato Deliciousness
The potato part of recipe can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. I usually make the topping the day before as well, and just keep in a separate container until time to bake. And don't worry if the potato mixture is very thin when you pour it into the baking dish--that's what makes it taste almost like a souffle. Serves 10-12.
2 1/4 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Place potatoes in large pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or so until very tender. Drain, cool slightly.
3. Place potatoes in a large bowl. add half-and-half, 3/4 cup brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, beat well. Pour mixture into a 13" x 9" greased baking dish.
4. To prepare topping, sprinkle miniature marshmallows over top of casserole. (This is the one place I do mess with the recipe. I can't resist accidentally spilling too many onto the top). In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt. Cut in butter until mixture is course crumbs. Stir in toasted pecans and sprinkle over marshmallows.
5. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

(#29) Just a glimpse...

of Thanksgiving table inspirataion from a beautiful wedding! Loving the refreshing, rustic change from all those dark harvest colors, and I'm off to buy a bolt of burlap! (Photos by Carrie Patterson , directions here, rest of the wedding here! All via Style Me Pretty)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday update

1. Involved in the usual family brawl over Thanksgiving main dish.

2. Making a run for the border today for a class in Vancouver BC tomorrow with a talented group of friends from a rock star teacher. I'm the girl that doesn't have an up-to-date passport and my radio tracking device hasn't arrived yet, so I'll be spending most of the day flirting with the customs officers.

3. The nighttime tape-on-the-counter trick has been deemed successful. Rosie the Cat did not appreciate getting her paws stuck in packing tape, but Binky the Fish does appreciate the peace.
Spud wreath for my friend by Laura Dowling.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Frock shop

It seems like all of the clients I've been talking with lately are deep in the midst of bridesmaid dress shopping. Seattle bridesmaids have a fantastic new option opening in the next couple of weeks--I'll have more info later this week! So excited!!!--but for now, and everyone else, J.Crew just added some really lovely dresses (and beautiful accessories) to their pretty constant repertoire for bridesmaids. These seem to be a little more seasonal perhaps, so I'd jump on it if you see something you love.

Oh, and if you pick any of the following lovelies, I'd like to offer my bridesmaid services. I can be super supportive, come to all of your parties, drag your grandfather out on the dancefloor, and pick gifts straight off your registry. Especially if it's that grey number with the brilliant yellow shoes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Real Weddings: Kelley + Mike

OK, we really suffered for this one at Bellevue's Robinswood House, with pictures from the lovely Kelly Chandler. I usually love my job...the joy of handing someone their dream bouquet on the best day of their life is pretty unbeatable. But, when you're doing an outdoor wedding on the hottest day in Seattle in 98 years, things quickly go from exciting and creative to just plain torturous and scary! Thank you Jenn and Kimberly for helping out on this one--you're saints for helping me heave huge spools of ribbon 40' up in the air to hang lanterns while sweat is dripping into your eyeballs! The other saving grace was the happy, sweet bride, and her gracious and thankful mother.
Shimmery gold linens from Choice, handblown votives from Glassybaby. And flowers, yours truly.The lanterns were glowing like floating moons when I came back to pick up at midnight--so ethereal and otherworldly. Green silk curtains are my newest favorite shade of dupioni silk draping I'm carrying. Granny smith apple green!
Two centerpieces kept made the reception tables varied and interesting. The low mounds were inspired by a photo Kelley had taken of some flowers her dad sent her earlier in the year that she loved. The tall pieces were manzanita branches embedded in split peas (a perfect shade of green! But I got the STRANGEST looks buying 100 lbs of split peas in that weather!) with wired cymbidiums.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Urban Unveiled I

Just a few pictures from the show, with more to come when I'm not rushing off for an evening on my couch.

Table design and centerpiece by Fiore Blossoms, composed of phaleonopsis orchids, vanda orchids, magenta and eggplant colored stock, green hydrangea, and hanging crystals. Linens from Choice Linens, chivari chairs and chargers from Pedersen's.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Design principles, explained.

1. Always go for the bold statement.

2. Small details can make the ordinary seem special.

3. Thoughtful placement is imperative.

Immense, velvety, raspberry gift box from Bell'occhio, shiny document fasteners from Garrett Wade, naughty switch plate from Watson Kennedy.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

(#28) Just a glimpse...

of some sweet scholarly touches! Pictures from Jeff Wallace via Grey likes Weddings.

The only thing missing is a blackboard for the groom to write his sentences on.
"I will always be sweet when my wife comes home with new shoes.
I will always be sweet when my wife comes home with new shoes.
I will always be sweet when my wife comes home with new shoes.
I will always be sweet ......"

The First Florist

Some beautiful flowers from Laura Dowling. The White House announced this week that she has been chosen as the official florist for the Obamas--quite a nice gig! Laura frequently travels to Paris to freshen up on trends and keep her design style true to her description of it as "French garden style". She almost never uses a visible vase (amazing yellow wedgewood shown below aside), but instead wraps with leaves, stems, reeds, petals, pods...

Laura has a shop in old town Alexandria called Interieurs et Fleurs, and regularly blogs at L'Art du Bouquet about basic principals of French design and posts photos of her work. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

(#27) Just a glimpse...

of a floaty-hamocky-altary flower thing that Sarah from Saipua rigged up for her best friend's wedding. Brilliant.

Photo by Robert Sukrachand. He's sharing more on his blog btw.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


In honor of election day today, Suann of Simplesong Design and Real Simple magazine both posted pictures from Suann's darling son Ike's 3rd birthday party. Such a cute play on his name, and the kids look like they are having a blast even though they weren't around for the first I Like Ike campaign.
Suann had a few helpers...Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee helped with styling, Design Cuisine handled the catering and the adorable cake and photographer Kate Headley took the photos.

OK, if you are in still have a little time to approve 71. Get to it.