Even though I mentioned it a bit last week, I’m no less excited to share the news that Trophy Cupcakes brand new party book is now in bookstores – you can nab yourself a colorful signed copy right here! I had the pleasure of styling the images for this fun and inspiring cookbook, and I can’t wait to dance my tail off in celebration at this Saturday’s launch party in Seattle (details on how to attend here - hope to see you there!).

It seemed only fitting as the stylist to share some special “behind the scenes” images (top image) juxtaposed with the finished images you’ll find in the final print copy (bottom image). Be sure to grab a copy of the book to see the finalized storyboard images complete with Julia’s amazing illustrations. Also, by the way, please ignore my funny faces or odd hand positioning in the following images…I tend to forget I’m behind a lens while styling – ha! Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite outtakes and final images from the book so stay tuned this weekend!

Each image you see throughout the pages of the book was carefully curated to represent the heart and soul behind Trophy’s philosophy that “everyday should be a party” and each photo represents hours of prop sourcing and on-set creativity amongst our team. Be sure to check out the Paris party on pg. 71 – it was my favorite one to style!

Styling a book has always been a big dream of mine, so when my own hardcover copy showed up on my doorstep I could hardly catch my breath long enough to take in the reality that it actually happened and I helped to make the images come to life. I’m so thrilled with how the book turned out, and feel so incredibly blessed to have worked with such a talented team.

A HUGE thank you to Sasquatch and Jennifer Shea for having me along for the ride – it’s a true honor to have been a part of something that meant so much to you! Thank you to Rina Jordan who was the genius behind the lens (14-16 hour days on set made us fast friends and I adore her to pieces!) and to Jenny Batt who crafted her heart out week after week (seriously that pinata?!) and sweet Julia Manchik whose hand painted illustrations & type were the cherry on top of our colorful collaboration. Also a HUGE thank you to Nathan Carrabba who put up with and assisted the six of us crazy ladies day after day, week after week and was the extra support we needed to get things done!

Thank you to everyone who was a huge support in making this book happen. ESPECIALLY my husband Adam, who spent many an hour carrying box after box of props to and from the car every morning and who was always the best sidekick on my scouting trips. Love you immensely and your support of my dreams is everything I need!

photography credit : Rina Jordan.

 8.

I love traditions. And although I like to often pretend to myself that I’m really good at keeping them alive, over the years I’ve realized that there aren’t too many that I’ve held onto and actually upheld as I’ve entered adulthood. So when Adam and I got married four years ago, we made a pact that every year around the date of our wedding anniversary we would return to the small town where we were married and stay overnight in the same hotel (and room!) that we spent the night of our wedding.

So far, we’ve stuck to our tradition and are heading to LaPorte, Colorado once again on Sunday to stay at the Armstrong and celebrate four years of married bliss. I count my lucky stars everyday that I married a man as wonderful as Adam, and every year when we make the time to take this trip I’m reminded of the beauty in tradition and how important it is to maintain precious memories.

While packing up my bag this week for our weekend getaway, I was dreaming of the perfect “old town Fort Collins” afternoon stroll outfit, so figured why not bring back one an oldie but goodie style layout : top | middle | bottom.

Happiest of weekends to you dear friends. If you’re stuck in the Seattle rain, I really hope that sun finds its way outta the clouds for ya!

P.S. If you get a chance make sure to check out my friend Moorea’s new shop. So many beautiful accessories and home goodies! I want it all, especially that leather pack!

top : [headband] [chambray top] middle : [backpack] [skirt] bottom : [shoes]

 8.

I’ve been looking forward to sharing today’s DIY ever since I excitedly arrived at my local bead store to pick out all the pretty colors for this fun and easy summer entertaining idea. When we initially started planning the summer menu and tabletop for this season’s Fortunate Feast, I knew I wanted the colors to be bright and bold with also a bit of a whimsical twist. I loved the idea of a handmade detail amongst all the colors and vintage details and these DIY cocktail stir stick came to mind instantly.

My favorite part about these little cocktail accessories is that they only have four parts! AND the assembly is fast and relatively easy too! You could even have your closest girlfriends or those early to arrive guests assemble these on their own as a fun project before your dinner party! A great way to remind your guests who’s drink is who’s!

What you’ll need :

1. Short wooden dowels (I found mine here and chose the 6 inch dowels although the height depends on what type of glass you choose for your cocktails – taller the glass, taller the dowel should be).

2. Thin copper jewelry wiring (width should be small enough to fit through desired beads but also sturdy yet pliable enough to wrap around dowel).

3. Scissors (to cut copper wire to desired length).

4. Beads (choose a variety of colors, shapes and sizes – the more eclectic, the more fun! I found mine here).

As I mentioned above, assembling these little cuties is really easy and would be great fun for guests to do on their own before their cocktail is mixed!

Step 1 : Cut copper wiring to desired length. You want to have plenty of excess wiring to wrap the top and bottom of the area of beads to keep them secure. I chose to cut the wire about 12 inches in length.

Step 2 : About 2 inches down from the top of one end of the dowel, wrap the copper wiring tightly around the dowel three to four times, securing the wiring by initially tucking the end under the first wrap.

Step 3 : Once the wire is secure to the dowel begin stringing on 10 beads (quantity of beads depends on size of beads) in order of your choosing. I really liked making the bead arrangement varied in shape & size, but kept like colors next to one another for a bit of consistency.

Step 4 : Once you have strung all beads, twist string of beads around dowel to create a swirled effect.

Step 5 : Tie off strand of beads by wrapping remaining copper wire around top of dowel. Make sure you do this about a quarter inch from the top of dowel so strand of beads does not slide off or come loose.

Step 7 : Adjust the closeness and swirl of the beads as desired. Once assembled I pushed together the two copper ends to create a tighter swirl.

These cocktail stirrers are perfect for any summer cocktail (margarita?! mojito?!) or Seth’s gorgeous sangria recipe you can find a few posts back here! Hope you enjoyed this summer inspired DIY!

FF Collective : {photography : Monica Hines | food and recipe development : Seth Hines | styling and art direction : Jenn Elliott Blake | custom graphics & titles : Amy Moore

 

 6.

My apologies for the slow blogging days friends! With the POP-UP SHOP right around the corner, I’ve been occupied with tags & packaging materials for the past few days, all the while organizing my tail off in order to be ready in time for next weekend’s exciting event. Adam asked me yesterday if I was going to become emotional about selling some of my favorite pieces at the shop, and although I pride myself as being a person that gets sentimental about the littlest of things, I don’t actually think I’ll cry it out this time around. I’m actually immensely excited to see my finds go to amazing and loving new homes, and can’t wait to see how our initial pop-up goes! I hope to see you there!

BUT before the shop gets into full swing next weekend, I’m heading off to Vegas to spend a couple of days with my Mom and sisters to celebrate my 30th and Coli’s 21st. And with little time to hunt for some new duds for the trip, I’m left daydreaming about the perfect Vegas poolside necessities.

bag | sunglasses | coverup | lip balm | hat | tank | shorts | sandals | swim top | swim bottom

 

 3.

I love those days when I accidentally stumble upon a handsome well curated online shop I’ve never seen before. I instantly perk up as my eyes survey all the beauties the brand has to offer. In the midst of one of my many rabbit trails this past week on the web, I found this pretty place and wished I could put every last item into my shopping cart. I’ve been dying to re-arrange, repaint and refresh our home and these goodies would be a great place to start. I also love how each product on the site is introduced with its own personality in the snippet below it, and how its scale changes when you click it on the page. LOVE that attention to detail!

all coveted goods from : nalata nalata

 0.

Currently Coveting : Coachella.

•  11.April.2013

For years I’ve suppressed the inner ‘bohemian hippie goddess’ within me that has secretly been dying to attend Coachella. Last night while we brushed teeth and got ready for bed, I lazily swung my (way too long, need a haircut, hasn’t been combed in 3 days) hair from side to side in percussion to imaginary indie rock beats, my hands raised expressing the signs of peace, and proclaimed my desire to wear fringed shorts, a large brimmed hat and moccasins to Coachella someday. Adam’s only response? “What’s that.”

Good grief. I guess I’ll be daydreaming of flower child head crowns, celebrity sightings & 90 degree temperatures alone this weekend.

bagtop | sunglasses | shoes | sunscreen| | watchshorts | blanket | hat | necklace |

 3.

Emmadime Lovely Lady.

•  27.March.2013

If I’m being completely honest, despite considering myself an avid blogger, there aren’t actually a whole lot of blogs I follow on a daily basis. Although there are a million gorgeous blogs out there (and I do try my best to keep up with as many of them as I can!) there are only a select few I keep gravitating back to time and time again. Emma’s blog : Emmadime is most certainly one them.

I first stumbled across Emma and her gorgeous blog during my travels in Paris a couple years back while Emma was also having adventures of her own in the City of Lights. I have continually been inspired by her immense creativity and talents ever since then, and although I’ve never had the good fortune of meeting Emma in person, I can just tell she’s a really good person – someone who is just immensely genuine and kind.

One of my favorite series on Emma’s blog is her Lovely Lady + Gentle-man style posts. So it’s no wonder that I almost fell off my chair when I read Emma’s email asking me to be a part of the series. I consider it a huge honor to be on her blog, and had so much fun sharing my “favorite piece and why” over on Emmadime today. You can see the post here. Thanks for having me Emma!

Also, a BIG HUGE thank you to my friend Julia for snapping these pics of me in Ballard – my most favorite neighborhood in Seattle. I had so much fun laughing endlessly with you that afternoon!

photography credit : {Julia Manchik}

 15.

New Series : Fortunate Feast.

•  19.March.2013

I’m actually giddy with excitement to share this new series on the blog today. This new series has been an idea in the making for many many months now (over a year actually) and I can’t believe I’m actually sharing a fresh batch of images from the intro series today!

For the past year or so I’ve had a strong and overwhelming desire to bring food content onto SCOUT. One of my biggest passions in life is eating food (who’s isn’t?!) and I really wanted to share recipes and unique food inspiration through this blog. Right before Christmas last year, I realized that I didn’t want the recipes or perspectives for great food to necessarily come from myself, but rather from a person incredibly passionate about cooking and who lives a lifestyle reflective of healthy and whole eating on a regular basis. I wanted someone to be a part of this blog who finds complete and utter joy in using their hands for the purpose of creating sustenance.

With all of that considered, I also realized that one of my favorite things in the world is the collaborative process and I decided having a collaborative/collective food series would be immensely richer than just a recipe series of me lost in the kitchen. NO really, I rarely have a clue what I’m doing! That’s when the idea came to mind to create a series with my good friends Monica and Seth. Monica and Seth are a husband and wife photography team here in Seattle and their creative strengths expand far outside just photography. Seth in particular is an AMAZING chef and I’ve always been so envious of Monica’s instagram feed as she’s always sharing images of these hearty and beautiful meals Seth prepares for her. I realized that by collaborating with Monica and Seth, we could create a series reflective of all of our strengths : Monica behind the lens, Seth in the kitchen, and me the detail creator and maker.

When I considered names for our series it took me a long while to find a name that fit and felt right. I didn’t want the name to be limiting or too basic, but rather a term that rolled off the tongue and continually made me excited to create. The intention of our series is to share food reflective of season (March, April and May will reflect a spring menu, June, July and August a summer menu and so on and so forth) + our area of the country : the PNW. Seth will be sourcing all of our menu items from local farmers and growers in the PNW region (wine and cocktails included!) and each tabletop that I design will in part also be reflective of the season with which we are sharing it.

When we shot our first dinner a couple week’s back, I still hadn’t come up with a name for the series yet, as I felt the appropriate inspiration would come from the interaction and process of the collaboration – and luckily it did. On that fateful Sunday, while Seth worked his magic amongst his pots, pans and cutlery, while Monica stood on tall chairs and sought out the most appealing light sources, and while I unpacked endless pieces of pretty things, I had an overwhelmingly feeling of being fortunate. Fortunate for the blessing of friendship; fortunate for the ability to create and be inspired without limits; fortunate to be sharing in the beauty AND blessing of food with people whom I admire and love; fortunate to be eating locally sourced and grown healthy food options; and fortunate to be watching all of this come to life.

The images I’m sharing today are the initial process of any food series…sourcing and prepping. Monica was able to capture some unbelievably gorgeous images of Seth at Pike Place Market (the dreamiest place in all of Seattle for foodies) and during his initial process of preparing our first Fortunate Feast. I hope you enjoy these initial images and prepare yourself for an exciting amount of restaurant worthy recipes to come your way!! Later this week I’ll be sharing images from the tabletop design itself and then next will be our first recipe for spring!!

Also, a special thank you to my dear friend Amy for the custom graphics for this new series. Her talents always blow my mind, and I feel so lucky to have her as a part of this collaboration. How cute are those paper clips?! Thank you Amy!

FF Collective : {photography : Monica Hines | food : Seth Hines | styling and art direction : Jenn Elliott Blake | custom graphics & titles : Amy Moore}

 20.

Pic Me A Palette : Bad Hair Day.

•  15.March.2013

I’m having one of those weeks when my hair just isn’t cooperating. Up, down, straight, curly, it just doesn’t wanna do what I want it to. We all have those days no doubt. You do everything in your power to work it out, but you fight with all your might and it’s still just there. Ill inspiring and annoying as hell.

On these sorts of days, I usually opt for a fun hat or a no fail braid. I love braids because they look like you at least tried. You didn’t totally give up, but worked with what ya had that day. Braids are also great cause hair can be dirty, or just out of the shower clean – plus there are so many fun options! A crown, french, loose…any way is the right way. They are the perfect combo for a day of travel too, plus they always make me feel all nostalgic and take me back to those summer days as a freckled, play in the dirt soccer kid.

I’ve been really inspired lately by Alison Brislin and have been trying to channel her braid power on those days when I’m having that bad hair day. Her work is SO SO gorgeous. I’m loving her hair tutorials over here. Happy braiding friends!

photography credit : {adam blake via vscocam during a day in Melbourne}

 1.

I’ve been meaning to share these images for a long while as our trip to Sydney this past December was by far one of my most inspiring adventures thus far. Not only was the scenery and vibe of the Australia culture immensely captivating, I felt an overwhelming appreciation for the well-curated lifestyle evident of many Aussies. One Australian whom I’ve admired for quite sometime is Sibella Court. Her perspectives on styling and cherishing found treasures along her travels has me wishing I’d been a lot more receptive and intentional in sourcing during my own past travels. If you’ve never had the chance to explore Sibella’s books Etcetera or The Life of A Bowerbird, I encourage you to get your hands on a copy of either OR both ASAP. From the intro page of each book it’s already clear that Sibella’s desire to capture her passion for travel within all that she does, easily co-mingles throughout the layers of her life. Each chapter chock full of inspiration and a curious, eclectic whimsy aesthetic that I can’t help but gravitate towards.

I had the chance to visit Sibella’s boutique shop The Society Inc. while I was in Sydney this past December and from the moment Adam and I turned the corner onto Stewart Street I knew immediately that the place was like nothing I’d experienced before. You might remember I shared a little peek of this amazing shop’s front in this post here. I got chills just pulling open the door of the shop as it felt as though I was stepping inside a secret, hidden world or the inner workings of a secret treasure trove of someone far wiser than myself. I instantly fell head over heels in love with the frantic and haphazard nature of her curated objects on the shelves, and although Adam wanted to run from the shop screaming, I on the other hand couldn’t help but wish I could stay forever. There didn’t appear to be rhyme or reason to her collections display, but rather an organic presentation of little trinkets that clearly marked something significant for Sibella. As I picked up, turned over and studied each new potential purchase, I imagined the far off places from which they were obtained. I cherished the forethought Sibella put into capturing and returning each object to her storefront. I left, willing myself back into the store, but somehow knowing I’d be back again someday to soak in the chaotic goodness once more.

The Society Inc. 18 Stewart Street | Paddington | NSW 2021 | Australia

 1.