Wednesday, May 20, 2015

nordstrom half yearly sale - pretty picks

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Here in Seattle, Nordstrom's two huge yearly sales are pretty much holidays. Shoppers create game plans, reading the catalog from cover to cover, figuring out their wish list and purchase priorities. The beautiful thing - since Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns (LOVE this), you can avoid the crowds and shop with ease. Check out my top picks - the sale goes 'til May 31, 2015, so shop while you can!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

ginger martinis and our Indian dinner party

Monday, May 4, 2015
Since we've been having monthly mini dinner parties, I've been getting more adept at planning complete dinner menus, which of course, includes a drink component! Last Friday, we had some dear friends over for a dinner of Indian food. This cuisine is great because it is naturally vegetarian and meat eaters don't even notice the absence of meat. It can be made vegan without a flick of the eye either!

As many of you might know there is no traditional alcoholic drink to pair with Indian food, which had me scratching my head for a few days. But thinking of the flavors we use in cooking, I thought a ginger martini would be a natural addition!

Ginger Martini

  • 1.5 oz ginger liqueur
  • 1.5 oz gin
  • juice of half a lime
  • garnish with crystallized ginger
  • rim the glass with the excess sugar from the crystallized ginger. 

For those of you wanting to host your own Indian dinner, here's what our menu consisted of...

As you can see, I like to mix a few homemade items (our masala and martini) with ready to go products. Trader Joe's is great for this! (and no they did not sponsor this post).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5 things i learned from my wedding day

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Since I was one of the first in my friend group to get married, I often get called on for advice when a friend begins planning his or her wedding. Here are the top five things I tell my friends again and again. As advice goes, you don't always have to agree with it or take it, but these are my personal lessons learned.

1. It's not about you.

You might think a wedding is for the bride and groom, but you'd be wrong. Just like a funeral isn't for the deceased, it's for the grieving. This is for those celebrating, those uniting because of the two of you. This may be the only time in your life where your entire family is together. In the future it will be about what holiday is spent at what in-law's - enjoy being with everyone you love in one place.

2. Hire a day of planner.

I can't recommend this enough. I've been to a lot of weddings of DIY brides, where they plan to do everything themselves and hang their families with to-do lists. There is nothing wrong with this, unless it interferes with their enjoyment of the wedding day itself.

Sure, have your dad build you a dance floor, have your aunt do your alterations, emboss the hell out of those invites, but do not have Cousin Shirley pass out toasting drinks. If she's important enough to be there, she's important enough to toast right along with everyone else. And you know all those decorations you made by hand and put up? Someone has to take those down. The same people who got up at the crack of dawn to help put them up. The people who care about you the most are the ones willing to put in the work. Don't let them. These people deserve to be 100% present on your wedding day, let someone else carry the burden of the details and the schedule.

3. You're not wearing this dress for one day

You're wearing it for the rest of your life. If you're spending any money on photos, I bet it's because you're going to be printing these off, gifting them to friends and hanging them in your home. This dress will be on your walls, your kids will ask to see them, your aunt will pull them out when her friends come over.  These pictures will immortalize your gown and you'll be haunted by it. Pick a damn good one.

4. Take pictures of your dress

When shopping take photos of you wearing the dress before you decide. You may love the idea of one, but the subtle lace might not show up in pictures and instead be a little blah. I was split between two dresses but when looking at cell phone photos, there was a clear winner. Again, these photos will be around forever, so make sure it photographs just as pretty as you remember it.

5. Photos take longer than you think they will

Schedule a ton of time for photos - a ton. Also, write down in detail who you want your photos with, do this for your family photos and everyone else. I got a lot of group bridesmaid shots, but missed out on getting them one-on-one, this was a big bummer when I got them back (in defense, I didn't know I wanted this until after the fact). If you can manage, schedule a day after photo shoot with your husband, it makes it so you can spend all the time you want capturing great shots, with that handsome fella, in that gorgeous dress.

I'm sure I could come up with many many more do's and don't's, but I'll leave it with these five for now. Do you have any wedding advice you feel like you give over and over again? Please share!

(psst, if you're in the midst of planning your wedding, check Seattle BHLDN's wedding fair this Thursday, April 23, 2015 it's bound to give great ideas and serve as great eye candy!)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

get the look: ikea rast hack

Thursday, April 9, 2015

After searching high and low for affordable bedside table options we finally landed on this DIY version of the Ikea Rast drawers. It may not be the most original idea, but it is tried and true, and sure is a good one.  The dimensions were spot on; the small dresser took advantage of the remaining space on the side of our bed and gave us extra storage all at the low, low price of $35. 

There are many, many of these ikea hacks out there so this isn’t a new DIY, but I’d thought I’d share what went into ours and tips for success.


Painting: Use oil based paint and make sure to let cure for a week or two. Don’t place anything heavy on it for about a month. The oil base paint will provide a harder surface that is less likely to be damaged by rings from forgotten about water glasses, etc. 

Knobs: We got our knobs from Hobby Lobby, who has a fun selection. Be sure you go on a 50% week (knobs go on sale about every few weeks) and pick through for the goods ones. I found many with missing rhinestones- hold out for the best. If they don’t have as many as you need the store will give you a voucher to get the sale price on your next trip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

pantry planning

Tuesday, April 7, 2015
We have one very ugly spot in our house.  One of those spaces that collects junk upon junk. When we rebuilt this area two years ago Billy and I disagreed on what we should do with the space. I wanted a pantry, and he wanted to keep it open. I gave in, knowing he'd realize that I was right later on, and my friends, that day has come!

The space is just under 3'x4' and will fit a small, walk-in, L-shaped pantry perfectly. Of course, it will be white and filled with glass jars brimming with flour, rice and sugar and will always be clean and organized (ha!).

The dream: 

The Space: (you were warned, I said it was ugly)

We built the half wall for safety's sake when my brother + little kids stayed with us (which doubles the ugliness). You can see our the sketch of where the shelves will go and how deep they'll be. The space will be tight, but 100% effective. We found a wealth of knowledge about planning, and spacing via This Old House

We've had this project on our minds for a few months but were looking for the perfect door to start the project off that was both unique and narrow. Originally, I was thinking an old bank or hotel door, but those seemed to always be too wide. Then we happened upon this narrow door at a local salvage store and we officially kicked off 'project pantry'. Next, we move some electrical around and start framing it out. Hoping to have 'progress' shots soon! 

Design + Development: Revel and Design