The weekend is almost here (hallelujah!) and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve randomly been home for nearly a month (I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but for those of you who know me well, this sort of situation could be defined as a miracle) yet I’m loving every second of it. I can’t remember the last time I actually felt this grounded and present in my day to day life. I’m really enjoying the consistent comforts of “home” and although I’m already itching to travel again, I’m excited to spend this weekend working on our new house. Just about every room in our new home still needs a TON of work, never-mind our bottom floor still remains barren and gutted to the studs. My sister and nephew Emryk are coming to visit in a couple of weeks and getting a prop stylist’s home ready for a two-year-old (lets just say that unfortunately practically every last thing is breakable around here!) is quite the challenge. Great training I guess for kids of our own one of these days…right?!
I’m excited to be sharing a fun giveaway on the blog today in collaboration with the nice folks over at BHLDN. If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check out all of the fun bohemian garden inspiration here and here. It was such a thrill to partner with such a fun company, and I’m so excited to pass along some of the pretty products and decor items that were included in the shoot! I’m also going to be sending along one of the custom macrame chair hangings I made for the bridal shower inspired design. Dorothee (my friend and the glorious photographer who captured all of the details from yesterday’s shoot) and I have already used one to create a wall hanging for each of our homes using a found piece of drift wood…so many possibilities!
This fun BHLDN spring/summer collection giveaway includes some really fun decor items including :
1. A pair of maple wood Bride and Groom Banners perfect as a gift or for that upcoming shower you’re throwing this summer.
2. Six Moss Spheres in various sizes perfect for fun centerpieces or as foundational pieces for floral backdrops.
3. One custom-made macrame hanging as pictured above. Hang from pretty piece of found wood or a copper rod to instantly elevate a wall in your home!
4. Amourous Flatware including both the fork and knife set. Super cute and so useful for a backyard BBQ this summer with friends!
5. Take The Cake Napkins in white. These make me want to pair them with a cocktail ASAP!
6. One medium sized Revelry Cake Stand with cute beaded rim. So so pretty and the neutral color makes this stand really universal.
7. Set of 25 pretty Mulberry Bark Place Cards in smaller 2.5 x 3.5 size. The texture of these cards is so divine!
8. The Love Grows Here Cake Topper. Ummm how cute is that?! I’m thinking that would make one heck of a cute baby shower cake topper too!
9. A Chalkboard Balloon Kit so great for every and any occasion. These are SO fun and versatile! Would make a perfect complement to a fun family photo session or party!
10. Laser etched Beech Wood Cake Serving Set sourced sustainably from Europe…yes please!
11. Two sets of festive Ivory String Lights. I love these lights – stranded together they are perfect for the backyard too!
12. Pretty Birdcage Holder - works great to hold flowers or cards and gifts from guests. Or for my Mom a pretty home decor piece too!
13. Two adorable Wooden Box Planters for pretty floral arrangements, or turn them over to create height on a dessert table.
14. Eight fun rustic Hanging Bud Vases. I LOVE these cute little guys! There were one of my favorite details of the shoot!
15. A set of 3 Boxwood Wreath Frames perfect for arranging as a backdrop.
16. Custom painted Wooden Chalkboard Pennant with “here comes the bride” and pretty hand painted floral detail. Not getting married or throwing a shower? Easily repaint the pennant to use for your next event.
17. Chalkboard Cake Stand custom painted with a fun floral design as seen in yesterday’s shoot, or perfect for repainting again and again for each of your upcoming occasions.
18. Six Petaled Card Holders perfect for holding small name cards around your tabletop setting.
To enter to win all of these fun BHLDN products : a $619 value, simply 1) “like” our SCOUT facebook page or follow along on our adventures via instagram, 2) ”like” BHLDN on their facebook page AND 3) leave a comment in the comment section below telling us what your favorite BHLDN product is from our bohemian inspired shoot, why you love it, and what upcoming event or dinner party you might use it for.
One winner will be chosen at random on Friday, June 6th at 8AM PST. Open to US readers only. This post was created in collaboration with BHLDN. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
UPDATE : Congrats to our giveaway winner – Ellen Oliver Mote!
When BHLDN reached out a couple of months back and asked me to highlight some of their spring/summer decor collection in a bridal shower inspired shoot, I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities! They sent along a product-board of the items they desired me to highlight and I got to work brainstorming potential ideas.
When it comes to styling events, bridal showers are absolutely one of the most thrilling and fun ones to plan. There are SO many potential possibilities with all sorts of themes, color palettes and places to look for inspiration, especially ones that will make the bride smile and reflect her style. For this particular shoot, I knew that BHLDN was eager for me to showcase their rustic/garden inspired products in a refined and polished way. I’ve really been itching for summer to turn the corner as well, so I wanted the shoot to be full of bold pops of color and perfect for a backyard or indoor affair.
After sorting through the items they sent I was immediately inspired by the rustic charm of BHLDN’s wooden box planters. I spent the morning before the day of the shoot at the local growers market picking out the most stunning and seasonal florals I could find. Peonies, tulips, anemones, poppies, and a whole plethora of other pretties helped to create really robust and bountiful arrangements. Floral design is quickly becoming my new favorite thing to do in my spare time and while styling, and these arrangements made me happy from start to finish. Flowers are always such a simple and natural way to create texture and dimension at parties and are perfect for bridal showers! I love how the flowers bold colors play off the bohemian vibe of all of the rugs and additional decor elements.
No party and certainly no bridal shower is complete without something sweet, right?! Thankfully Jenny over at Jenny Cookies created the most wonderful desserts complete with a pretty single tall tiered cake topped with BHLDN’s “love grows here” cake topper, homemade cranberry oat cookies, coconut brownie bites and the most darling cupcakes with Simple and Crisp dried fruits on top. The fruit was an absolutely genius way to play into the color palette of the shoot and the organic garden vibe of the day.
All of the desserts were labeled using mulberry bark place cards and chalkboard paint thanks to Sally of La Happy. I loved how Sally painted the stark white tags to play off of the other chalkboard elements from BHLDN’s line including the chalkboard cake stand, and the wooden chalkboard pennants. Sally even hand painted floral garland on the cake stand, pennants and the chalkboard napkin rings!! SO SO gorgeous and such a great way to bring bohemian style into the shoot!
I loved these bamboo chairs from ABC Rentals by Cort and had so much fun creating the custom macrame hangers for each chair. The pretty rugs and pillows were sourced from Leslie over at Anima Mundi in Ballard and Turabi Rug Gallery in Pioneer Square. If you ever have a chance to visit Seattle, you MUST stop into these shops! Such an amazing selection of beautiful textiles to choose from and I’m certainly headed back to both during the process of our house remodel. All day throughout the shoot everyone on set kept saying how much they wished they could “live here”. I’m seriously considering the rug layering I did for this shoot to become an absolute staple in our new house! I was like a kid in a candy store the day I went to hand-pick the selection for this shoot – love all the fun patterns of the rugs!
The gorgeous rustic tables were sourced from Beckie over at Vintage Ambiance - she has the most wonderful selection of vintage pieces and her collection was the perfect way to showcase all of the desserts & sweets. This turquoise patina table worked so well paired with the pretty floral paintings by Sally on BHLDN’s chalkboard pennants.
I’ve been on a serious boho kick lately and haven’t stopped thinking about how fun macrame is. I’ve always been inspired by its 70′s retro charm even using it as inspiration for a shoot I directed and styled a couple years back. I definitely wanted it to be a main focal point for this shower theme. BUT : one teensy-itsy-bitsy tiny problem. I didn’t know how to macrame my vision to life. Thankfully my mom is a full fledged hippie at heart and a wizard at whipping up pretty much any project she puts her mind to. I told her my idea for the macrame backdrop which could include BHLDN’S pretty hanging bud vases from it, and my ideas for incorporating macrame throughout the shoot including chair hangings and sleeves for the cake stands. Not two days later I was flying out to Denver, and we spent 24 hours straight crafting the macrame backdrop you see here. I stuffed the entire thing into a small carry on suitcase and brought it straight back to Seattle a few days before the shoot. I’m so so thankful to my Mom for being such an amazing assistant and even more thrilled that I now know how to whip up one of these macrame beauties in no time!
The dessert table was overflowing with pretty decor from BHLDN including the beech wood cake serving set, revelry cake stands, their flower tag holders and more. I also pulled in some pretty details from Anthropologie including their cumulus glassware, majorelle teacups and saucers, and netted fringe table runner to help accentuate the style.
I feel so blessed to have had Dorothee by my side throughout the day to capture all of the details. She is such a joy to work with and she always does the best job in bringing a story or concept to life. I can’t speak enough to the importance and value in working with people you love and who love you back. Dorothee made what could have been a stressful day of setup, something fun and exciting – hallelujah! Also, a big hug to my friend Jess for all her help in sourcing some of the Anthropologie products you see here. She was invaluable in getting those smoke ring plates sourced from NYC when I couldn’t find them anywhere else.
Hands down one of the most important parts of creating a really beautiful party setting is the location. Location, location, location! A space that provides a beautiful, yet non-competing foundation for your party design is always ideal. I was SO in love with the location of our shoot : 95 Yesler. The space is located in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle and also houses the workspaces of some of my dearest Seattle friends. Good news is the space is available for rent for events and parties, so if you’re looking for a great space to celebrate in and are local to Seattle, be sure to check out their killer space! Aren’t those windows unbelievable?!!
One of the largest fallacies in event or party planning is that great experiences and beautiful images are made possible by the ideas and workings of one single person. I often sit down with clients who have the expectation that they are going to recreate an image they found online with little regard or understanding that it likely took 5-10-13+ people to make that image happen especially on a wedding day. This bridal shower would never have come to life without the amazing help of so many people I admire. The creative community here in Seattle is always so giving and the talent is phenomenal – each of the folks that contributed to this shoot are so passionate about what they do and their kindness and hard work are evident throughout all of the details. Thank you to Sally, Jenny, Dorothee, Beckie, Jess, Cass, Leslie, and the kind folks at Simple & Crisp and Turabi Rug Gallery for helping bring my vision to life. Couldn’t have done it without you!
Tomorrow I’ll be announcing a giveaway of some of the fun BHLDN products you see in this shoot! Head back to the blog tomorrow for details! You can also see this shoot as well as other’s to inspire your upcoming event highlighted on BHLDN’s blog here today!
Photography : Dorothee of Belathee Photography | Art Direction, Styling and Floral Design : Jenn Elliott Blake | Calligraphy and hand painted details : Sally Balt of La Happy | Venue : 95 Yesler | Desserts : Jenny Keller of Jenny Cookies| Dried Fruits on Cupcakes : Simple and Crisp | Rugs & Pillows : Leslie of Anima Mundi and Turabi Rug Gallery | Rustic Tables : Vintage Ambiance| Bamboo Chairs : ABC Rentals by Cort
BHLDN products used in this shoot : chalkboard napkin rings | birdcage holder | wooden box planters | hanging bud vases | love grows here cake topper | chalkboard cake stand | revelry cake stands | beech wood cake serving set | mulberry bark place cards | amorous flatware | ivory string lights | wooden chalkboard pennants | silk flower tag holders
This post was created in partnership with BHLDN. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Three. The number of pairs of shoes I soaked through on the day I sourced for this dinner. The rain was blowing side-ways, up-ways, all-ways and the city seemed to swallow me up whole. I kept gazing up to the sky wondering when it was going to surrender, its gray hue creating a grid amongst the skyscrapers. I was well aware before leaving for NYC that although my job is typically ridden with challenges, this time around would be different. Very different.
I landed in NYC on Monday morning that week and we immediately hit the ground running. This particular event had been in the works for months. And when I say months, I mean MONTHS. The delay merely caused by a challenge in coordinating schedules, not at all from a lack of enthusiasm. Anna and I initially discussed the possibility for this dinner party last fall (nearly 8 months before it happened) and our excitement the week of the event was palpable. Working together we knew was fun (we’d already done so here and here), but this felt different. It was different. This week was monumental. Not only to me (my first big gig in NYC), but especially to Anna. This week marked the official launch of her long journey and The Yellow Table Cookbook.
Anna set out last year with one plan. To create her own cookbook. She would recipe test, cook, style, execute and self publish the entire thing in her tiny Manhattan studio apartment – an apartment I might add which has no elevator access and is a 6th floor walk-up! Day after day, she hikes with bags and bags of groceries & props up her narrow staircase and cooks until the sun goes down. I know this, because I’ve seen it. The girl works.her.tail.off! All for the love of what she does. The love of good food. Of good friendship. Of community. And a desire to share her passion for all of these things in written and visual form. And how blessed I felt to not only witness her journey, but to also be a part of it that week. Seriously – even writing this post, I’m still in complete shock that I had the opportunity to be a part of something so so special.
During the planning and design process, one thing kept coming to mind for me. Kindness. Anna is absolutely hands down the kindest person I have EVER met. When she speaks to you, you feel like the only person in the room. When she sends you a card, you know it wasn’t simply a formality, but rather a well thought out expression of love. When she cooks for you, you savor every last bite not only because it tastes damn good, but because you know the process of executing the dish came right from her heart. Everything this woman does is from a place of good. A place of connection, of something real. I wanted everything about this dinner to feel approachable, sweet, organic, and reflective of the spring season. But mostly I wanted it to reflect the woman with which we were all celebrating that night. Kind, passionate and determined Anna.
My job is always made a whole heck of a lot easier by two things. Location and great stuff. And by location I mean Drift Studio (okay seriously, what party wouldn’t look amazing in THIS perfect blank space?!), and by stuff I mean ABC – the interior mecca of all things good and awesome and beautiful. If you’ve never had the chance to visit ABC Carpet and Home in NYC, please please PLEASE do so if you are ever in town. It’s pretty much a prop stylists version of heaven. Floors and floors full of the best loot you’ve ever seen! When I initially found out I’d be sourcing all of the items for the night from ABC, I actually had to re-read Anna’s email four times. Say what?!! I couldn’t believe it, let alone imagine the beauty that was to ensue. From the antique european wood tables (the one on the right is actually an archived piece of the CEO’s!), to the fresh white bistro chairs, to the olive wood bread bowls, to that runner….OH that runner!, to the lovely Jane Burtz ceramics, to a plethora of stunning vases to hold fresh florals…everything about this dinner and the potential for a beautiful tabletop made me grin from ear to ear from start to finish.
Not only did I have beautiful products to style the dinner with, but I wanted the dinner to feel personal as well. I wanted it to be reflective of the reason we were there. Here’s where I thank Sally. Sally brought my vision for the menu to life in the best possible way. I was struggling for a few weeks to come up with a way to bring the actual yellow table – the table Anna grew up with and for her represents community & family; the table that currently sits in her own NYC apartment; the table that symbolizes and inspired her entire journey as a food writer & chef; and the table that was also unfortunately a logistical nightmare to actually get to the studio space for the dinner party itself. Uh-oh.
No yellow table, meant I had to bring the yellow table to dinner some other way. I just HAD to. A week before I left for NYC, I sat straight up in bed at 2am. Yep, I had it. The menu. Of course! I sent Anna a text super early that morning after barely sleeping another wink, crossing my fingers my idea could actually come to life. Would she have a photo? Would it scan okay? Would Sally be able to print it on such short notice? I asked Anna to scan me some of her favorite images of the yellow table from her childhood and after 3 visits to Kinko’s (bless her heart!) I was able to get a copy from Anna and on to Sally. The photo I chose to use was actually from the year Anna was born and created the perfect backdrop to Sally’s gorgeous calligraphy. I also asked Sally to calligraphy each guests name on a stark white piece of cardstock. I used an exacto knife to cut a two-inch slice near the bottom of each card and then slid them onto each fork the day of the event.
The week of the dinner was non-stop. Although ABC was providing all of the decor and furniture for the event there was still so much to do! After spending all day Monday and Tuesday errand running and finalizing details with Anna, I woke Wednesday morning at 5am to hit the flower markets early and had already soaked through my first pair of shoes by 5:07. The market was crazy. Busy. Frantic actually. And EXPENSIVE. Overwhelmingly expensive.
As with any design related task, you have a vision. And once you have set your sights on that vision it can often be hard to compromise. And I’m not good at compromise. I really like to get my way. So what I had meant to be one single trip to the flower market that day turned into 5 separate trips, including one to the local farmer’s market to get the best deals. Determined as I was to make arrangements that were bountiful, beautiful and reflected the spring vision I had for the dinner party, the weather made it nearly an impossible task. No taxis in sight, subway platforms that had inches of water on them, nowhere near enough clothing layers…I was freezing, slightly overwhelmed by a gigantic bustling city, and exhausted.
BUT through it all, I was exhilarated and SO SO SO happy. Happy to be doing what I loved. Happy to be creating in a city like New York. Happy to be spending such quality time with a friend. Happy to be working with a company I had admired and respected so long. Happy to be creating in such a gorgeous space. H-A-P-P-Y overtook all the challenges and by Thursday, the sun was out, and all the hiccups of the week turned into laughter, great conversations, and a tabletop I was proud of.
This special night also would have NEVER come to life without the immense help and support of an amazing group of people. To Annie at ABC Carpet and Home who worked endlessly to ensure we got everything we needed for the night – even rushing over a pretty pink vintage table in a cab with her when it didn’t make it on the delivery truck. To Nathan who lent his beautiful space for the evening and who never once complained or even questioned lending a helping hand – he was there through it all and I’m so grateful!; to Dorothee who without her this event would not have been photographed so fully – I called her merely hours before the event in an emergency and she dropped everything she was doing to be there to capture it – what I friend I’ve found in that lady wow!; to Sally whose gorgeous calligraphy and efficiency brought my vision for the menu to life; to Jean-Luc Le Du whose wines were the cherry on top of a perfect evening – those gigantic rose bottles will forever remain one of the best moments of the night!; and mostly to Anna – your friendship, support and trust mean everything in the end. Congratulations sweet lady. So excited to follow you on the rest of your journey!
Photography : Dorothee of Belathee Photography | Art Direction, Styling & Flowers : Jenn Elliott Blake | Menu & Food : Anna Watson Carl & Linda Sarris | Furniture, Settings and Chairs : ABC Carpet & Home | Venue : Drift Studio | Calligraphy : Sally Balt | Wines : Le Du’s Wines
The dust has finally settled a bit on our initial remodel of the new house (our full electrical and plumbing overhaul are 95% done) and as the kitchen and bathroom slowly come to life this place is starting to feel more like “home” everyday. Although we have a VERY long way to go until this place really sings, we are focusing the majority of our energies right now on getting the kitchen and bathroom as livable as possible. There will be many photos to come soon of our slow, but steady progress, but for now a few kitchen items that have caught my eye and will gradually be making their way into our space, if they haven’t already.
1. Marble Kitchen Slab : As much as I would have loved for all of our countertops to be marble it just wasn’t in the budget. I’m still thrilled with the butcher block countertops we went with, and as a means of keeping them looking pretty and fresh we are using this pretty marble slab on top of the counter for all of our meal prep.
2. White Subway Tile : This is hands down the thing I’m most excited about when it comes to our kitchen remodel. I plan to do ceiling to floor subway tiling throughout the entire kitchen. Currently looking to this Melbourne home and this San Francisco coffee shop for inspiration.
3. Glass Jars for Pantry : We have really limited storage space in this kitchen so I want to do an open pantry with reclaimed wood shelving and have all of our storables in glass jars. I’ve already purchased a variety of these Ikea jars in the small, medium and large sizes.
4. Turkish Kars Rug : I’m on the hunt for the perfect rug to sit underneath the sink. I want something with fun bright colors to juxtapose the neutral foundation of the white cabinets and appliances and butcher block countertops.
5. Wood Utensils : I’ve collected wood kitchen tools all over the world during my travels and can’t wait to finally have a place to display my collection in pretty canisters on our countertop. I especially love these pretty jobillo wood spoons and these ones too!
6. Copper Pots and Pans : With the majority of our decor budget going down the drain with the plumbing and electrical overhaul (ha! get it!), purchasing these gorgeous copper beauties is a long ways off, but a girl can have a bit of wishful thinking right?
7. Enamel Dishware : I’ve had just a teeny obsession with enamel for a while now, especially this amazing collection at Merci in Paris. I bought one of these pretty almond green bowls last time I was there and am wishing I could have the entire collection for entertaining.
8. Leather Cabinet Pulls : I’ve always been drawn towards kitchens that offers a little something untraditional. I tend to get bored easily with interior decor, and all of the cabinet pulls and nobs I’ve found online never spark much interest for me. For longer than I can remember I’ve envisioned having leather cabinet pulls if we ever got a chance to remodel a kitchen. Now that the cabinets are installed (thank you Adam and Jason!), I’ll be spending next weekend looking for the perfect leather hide to create our new pulls. I like these ones, but feel like for the price I can easily make my own and be just as happy with them. I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out!
9. Apron Sink : At least 10 people told me it wasn’t possible. To give up the idea, it just wasn’t gonna work with our cabinet choice. Well, guess what? It worked and looks damn good. A BIG thank you to my sweet hubby for not giving up and making that apron farm house sink a reality for us after cutting into the cabinets for the perfect fit. And although we had to wait months to get the darn thing, I’m so grateful this one was a reasonable price!
10. Scented Soy Candle : I love having candles burning throughout the day especially in the kitchen. I fell head over heels in love with these Apotheke soy candles while we were in Brooklyn a few weeks back. They have so many fun scents, including the basil sage mint, tomato and the green tea ginger, all perfect compliments to a kitchen. I brought home the jasmine scent for our living room too!
11. GE Artistry Series Appliances : When we initially started our hunt for new appliances (the house had none in it when we purchased it) I thought we would head in the direction of stainless steel, but none of the appliances we could afford really made me happy. When I randomly stumbled across this white retro looking line from GE, Adam and I both fell madly in love. At the end of the day, we wanted our kitchen to be really clean and neutral in color and these appliances fit right in. We purchased the fridge (my favorite of all of the appliances), the stove, microwave and dishwasher too (hallelujah for that last one!). I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they look.
What?!? It’s Monday again?! I’m seriously not sure why weekends can’t go on and on forever, especially when they include a plethora of amazing sunshine like we’ve been experiencing here in the PNW. Seriously, best place on the planet to live when the sun is out!
We spent our weekend slowly chipping away at some tasks on the house (nothing exciting enough to share on the blog), and were also out and about with a visit to the Ballard Farmer’s Market (pretty much heaven on earth and the closest thing to my memories of the markets in Paris), an evening of wine and chatter with close friends, and a quick jaunt down the street on Sunday morning for the biscuit food truck. Yep – you heard me correctly…fluffy, buttery, covered in gravy…yum, yum…yum! One of the best parts about the new house is that Chuck’s Hop Shop (this would be Adam’s version of heaven on earth) is literally a two-minute walk away and they always have the best food trucks parked out front on the weekends. I feel a new tradition in the making my friends…!!
After five weeks of non-stop projects, I’ll be spending the next couple of days cleaning up the mess of those said projects. Although it may seem that a prop stylists job is complete once the shoot or event is done, that’s hardly the case. Endless returns (props, decor, furniture, borrowed elements), invoicing, re-organizing, unpacking, re-packing, clean up…there is almost more to do after a shoot than before sometimes! Today is all about returns so I’ll be rushing out that door with an arm full of organized loot this afternoon, but before then, I wanted to give you a little peek into a simple brunch I styled a couple week’s back at my friend Anna’s‘s gorgeous pad in NYC.
Her amazing apartment is in the Nolita neighborhood and it was such a joy to see Anna in her element as she whipped up the most amazing and tasty Saturday brunch for some of her closest friends. Anna is working on self publishing her own cookbook (you can learn all about her amazing journey here) and I went to New York to help her execute some fun gatherings, one of which was this simple brunch in her beautiful home. What I took away most from Anna during my time in New York, was her philosophy on sharing oneself with loved ones around our very own dining tables. That not everything has to be perfect; the menu doesn’t have to be grand or elaborate ; really no fuss at all. That a home cooked meal served under the bounty of laughter and conversation of friendship is one of the most important things in life and can actually be simple and beautiful all at once. Some fresh lilac, white ceramics, a new set of linen napkins, a classic menu and of course the yellow table made this particular Saturday incredibly special.
My time with Anna actually inspired me to make community and the art of “gathering” a new priority in our house. We have always used our dining room for something other than a table (my office, additional storage, an extension of the living room) but after being around Anna for a full week, and watching her relish in the beauty of the table and sharing in the simple pleasures of great food cooked at home with friends on a regular basis, I cannot even imagine not making that same experience a priority in our new home.
For more details on this lovely and simple brunch, some fantastic recipes, as well as all the amazing adventures Anna is heading on later this summer be sure to head over to her blog! I’ll also be sharing some fun (and gorgeous!) images from the dinner party I styled for the launch of Anna’s book later this week. Stay tuned!
photos by : signe birck.
Happy Monday ya’ll! Goodness it has been far too long since I last checked in here! The past few weeks have been one gigantic whirlwind with non-stop travel and a plethora of fun new projects (if you follow me on instagram you might have noticed I’ve spent about 7 of the last 45 days at home in Seattle). Paris, Barcelona, Keystone, Denver, New York, Denver again…I feel like I’ve wrapped myself around the globe three times over and am just now slightly coming up for air. The entire experience has been thrilling all at once, but lack of sleep, gross re-circulated airplane air, and a “go-go-go” mentality have definitely started to take their toll. I’ve never been more sleepy in my life and I feel a cold coming on…nooooooo!
I’m trying my best to keep all the avenues of life in tact during these periods of solid work but am seriously falling short on most fronts. Does anyone else ever have this problem?? I feel like sometimes this world of social media gives off the impression that everyone is kicking ass at everything all the time. I mean for those of you mama’s out there (Happy belated Mother’s Day by the way!) who are juggling school schedules, naps, play dates, family dinners AND a business or work schedule I salute you!! Doing it all AND well, is no small feat!
I’m so so excited to share all of the fun collaborations I’ve been working on lately especially after I wrap shoot 8/8 this Wednesday. I’ll have a couple days off (yay!) before jumping right back into work mode again, and I’m hoping during those moments of calm I can spend a whole lot more time tucked into my cozy bed and a whole lot more time here on this blog with you. I snapped this shot after wrapping a fun shoot I styled for True North Coffee Roasters this week, and I can’t help but stare at this image and wish it was me leisurely reading the paper this morning. I’m jetting out the door to source some final props and furniture for an upcoming shoot with BHLDN this week, but will check back in soon!
A favorite image from a shoot I styled a few months back for Mount Townsend Creamery. Cause why wouldn’t cheese styling be my idea of a perfect work day? If you ever get a chance to taste some of Mount Townsend’s cheeses you won’t regret it. Promise.
Photography by Rina Jordan. Tags by Julia Manchik. Food and Prop Styling by Jenn Elliott Blake.
I turned another year older yesterday and it got me thinking about my ideal birthday celebration. Although I spend most of my time brainstorming and dreaming up ways to celebrate special occasions for others, I rarely enjoy actually doing so for myself. Adam never fails to ask me year after year what I want to do for my birthday though and I usually answer with one large empty sigh and a big melodramatic : “N-O-T-H-I-N-GGGG”. Now don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my nearest and dearest, and eating just-out-of-the-oven cake is just about my most favorite thing to do, but celebrating turning another year older just gets to be more and more of a drag as the numerals increase each year, ya know?
So in an effort to rid myself of my Eeyore-like birthday tendencies, I decided to get excited about turning another year older for once! With the help of Bing Rewards and my sweet friend Rina, I set out to plan my most ideal spring birthday celebration complete with a cake with a twist. I wanted to mix it up this year and create an untraditional birthday cake : cue in the pancake! Ever since I got back from Europe last week I’ve had a mad craving for pancakes. Maybe it’s because I just ate enough french croissants and crepes to float home across the Atlantic, but a good old fluffy home-style pancake seemed like just the way to curb my birthday sweet tooth!
But first I had to find a way to create those perfect and fluffy cakes. Oh and of course get those much-needed party supplies as well : cake stand, candles, inspiration for decor, flowers, ya know, the essentials! Luckily using Bing as my research tool, I set out to find a recipe for the fluffiest pancake. One of my favorite features of Bing is their image search which can easily be accessed right from my iPhone. Not only can you set out to search anything and everything, but you can also seek out images by color, category or even those which are copyright protected! Amazing right?
For this particular celebration, I simply wanted a pancake that not only tasted good, but looked good too – therefore the images available via Bing were key! In the midst of searching for that perfect cake, I also used Bing to search for information related to farmers market hours (on Easter Sunday I picked up all my pretty spring assortment of flowers from the Ballard Farmers Market) and the ingredients I would need for my frosting glaze.
Did you know that each time you search via Bing you can rack up points through Bing Rewards and in turn use them to acquire gift cards?! Yes! – you heard that correctly – just by searching for party decor inspiration & the perfect pancake recipe online, I accumulated points which in turn allow me to acquire gift cards for amazing party decor and supplies via websites like Amazon! How awesome is that, right?! Hello pretty white cake stand! Uh, let’s just say Bing Rewards is now this prop stylists new best friend.
I found an entertaining video here and set out to make my cake. With the help of my adorable husband who stayed home to help me master the art of the pancake, we found that like the video mentioned, folding in the whipped egg white vs. just adding the whole egg in at once did make for a fluffier (is that even a word?) cake. We also added chocolate chips and coconut flakes to the mix to add a special sweetness to my pancakes, which I sourced from one of my favorite local shops Delaurenti’s in Pike Place Market. I finished my pancake cake off with a simple powdered sugar + milk glaze on top, and some fresh berries to make my cake layers.
And what party is a party without some pretty decor? Since spring is in full swing in Seattle I loved the idea of incorporating a pretty floral palette, especially since Easter is still on the brain and today is Earth Day! I created a simple garland using the buds of my favorite spring flowers (including some heaven smelling lilac from our front yard, twine, tiny clothespins and washi tape) and also assembled a charming arrangement to be buddies with my cake. Mango orange juice with a touch of champagne in pretty french glasses and voila! My perfect spring celebration, just in time for my birthday. Simple, fresh and sweet.
Photography by Rina Jordan. Styling, concept and floral design by Jenn Elliott Blake.
I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.
I woke at 4am once again to the sound of raindrops against our bedroom window and the ache of severe jet lag. Both my pounding headache and the sweet sound of nature made me realize instantly that I’m back in the land of reality.
After spending an amazing two weeks abroad creating, brainstorming & dreaming with close friends, I’ve returned home to a plethora of exciting upcoming projects lumped together with the sheer mania of continued home repairs. We still don’t have a functioning kitchen or bathroom and there are boxes and boxes of stuff in every corner of the house (you are correct in assuming we haven’t even started unpacking yet!). Working from home in the midst of a full remodel is no small feat let me tell ya. I find myself engaging in constant daydreaming just to escape the harsh reality that life is a bit of a mess right now with no end in sight.
It has been a bit challenging to balance home and work life lately and Fridays these day’s don’t feel like Fridays much at all. With Saturdays and Sundays spent fighting the crowds at Ikea, repainting walls and attempting to make just one room in our home “livable” weekends feel like a whole lotta work these days. Looking forward to the day when we can just enjoy the beauty of homeownership, but in the mean time I’m just gonna keep channeling those quiet afternoons people watching at a cafe along the streets of Paris.
In the midst of returning home to the real world, a few links around the web that caught my eye this week:
1. Embarrassed to admit it, but I watched this video at least 15+ times this week. You’re welcome.
2. If you aren’t already watching this show it’s a must. I’m so addicted and have been for years. Revenge has never been so entertaining.
3. So excited to have my own chance to navigate the NYC floral markets for a fun dinner party this month with Anna.
4. If I could have one thing for my birthday next week, it would be one of these amazing classes. Too bad their all sold out through AUGUST!
5. Ummmm seriously, how did I not know about this show?? Thanks for introducing me to my new-found obsession Jill!
6. I can’t believe Easter is right around the corner! Loving this adorable egg decorating idea. Way to think outside the box Kelly!
Happy holiday weekend friends!
Over the past few years I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel more times than I could ever have imagined I would in my entire life. When I was a kid, we rarely traveled unless for a summer road trip that only happened every few years. So whenever I get a chance to pack up for a flight somewhere fun for work or play, I’m always eager to find a way to make it happen. And as I’ve become more and more accustomed to traveling, often traveling even very last-minute, the whole packing thing has become sort of a no-stress affair. I’ve come to realize that no matter what you pack, you’ll always end up wishing you’d brought something (that perfect red dress for a dinner at THAT restaurant) or wish you’d left something at home (those shoes that gave you walking blistering just 2o minutes into the trip). So now, I just kind of throw things in a bag and hope for the best really. For this particular trip to France this week, I’m currently coveting a few items that are essential to a comfortable and enjoyable adventure abroad.
pretty colorful flats from madewell (so you can look stylish while running to catch the metro) | dry shampoo by oscar blandi (perfect for those travel days when you’re on the go – I use it even on freshly washed hair to increase volume) | new passport (mine was finally expired & needed a name change) | comfy sweater from steven alan (one of those throw on and go options for chilly nights) | scarf from we are owls (can double as a pillow or eye cover on those long flights) | across the shoulder messenger from zara (make sure it has a zipper to ward off pickpockets) | digital camera from fuji film (i’ve been pining for a new not too bulky digital camera for easy travel) | lightweight jacket from jcrew (one that matches everything and will ward off unexpected afternoon weather changes) | packable hat from moorea seal (for those days you just don’t wanna fuss with your hair) | rose perfume from fragonard (i don’t wear perfume daily but I can never buy enough of this stuff to bring home while I’m in Paris)