Al Fresco Entertaining

I was recently invited to a spring fete at the home of private chef and owner of Le Picnic, Ariane Aumont. It was a beautiful afternoon, the jasmine tea cocktails were flowing and the food was top notch to say the least. I’m still dreaming about the most delicious banana leaf wrapped coconut rice and pork belly
mushroom parcels (with crispy shallots!).

Outdoor Entertaining (9)

The table was dressed in candles, artichokes, dogwood blooms and cabbage.

Outdoor Entertaining (5)

Outdoor Entertaining (7)

Outdoor Entertaining (1)

Outdoor Entertaining (8)

A nest detail.

Outdoor Entertaining (3)

Outdoor Entertaining (2)

For dessert, we chanted ‘Hatsuyuki’ while Ariane used her Japanese shaved iced machine for the first time.

Outdoor Entertaining (6)

Outdoor Entertaining (4)

You can see the menu and more photos from this spring celebration here.

The Sweet Life

Life in Ojai (5)

You know when you have one of those weekends that you wish would last for just one more day? I had one of those weekends. The weather was amazing, the hubs was out of town, and I got deeply invested into Call the Midwife. I also spent the most beautiful afternoon feasting in the middle of an orchard with the most beautiful women. Life in Ojai ain’t bad.

Life in Ojai (4)

Life in Ojai (3)

Life in Ojai (2)

Life in Ojai (1)

First Look at Marimekko for Target

It’s been a while since I’ve been super excited about a Target collaboration, but the superstore revealed it will partner with the Finnish clothing line Marimekko for its latest limited-edition collection. In addition to the usual apparel and home good items, the collection from the celebrated design house will also include some items like paddleboards, hammocks and parachutes. The inspiration for the collection include both the Finnish summer – when the sun stays out until close to midnight – and Finnish culture, which weighs heavily on gatherings among family and friends. Look for the full line to go on sale at Target stores and online April 17. Summer here we come!

Images: Target

Feeling Fall

Most of the boxes have been cleared out of the house and I finally have the mental (and actual) space to get into the Fall mood.

1. This everlasting arrangement will keep pretty on your table for as long as you want.

2. I took a few liberties with this recipe, but these chai spiced sugar cookies are yum-um.

3. Been looking for a new hat and I think this one is it!

4. Totally stealing this art idea for my guest room which has a bit of a camp-y theme going on.

In The Kitchen: Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

8 c. rolled oats

2 c. wheat germ

1 c. sunflower seeds

1 c. chopped raw cashews

2 c. sliced raw almonds

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. maple syrup

3/4 c. honey

1 c. sunflower seed oil

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 c. raisins

1 c. dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, cashews, and almonds in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 30 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins and cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

*This recipe makes a big batch, I like to package some up and give to neighbors. Feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Homemade Granola Recipe

Happy Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Decorations

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! It’s the year of the horse and I must admit the lunar new year is a bit more exciting than the regular ol’ new year because there are something interesting and fun traditions involved. I never understood why my mom was always so frantic to get the house cleaned before Tet (Vietnamese new year), but now I’m totally into the belief that cleaning the house will rid the bad fortunes associated with the old year. And all cleaning must be done before the holiday to prevent sweeping good luck out the door (happy to say I did not lift a cleaning finger today). You’re supposed to spend the first few days visiting family and friends. Although I don’t have any family in the Bay Area, I will be having friends over for my annual Super Bowl partay (that counts, right?). It’s also believed that how you spend the first fifteen days sets the tone for the rest of the year.

I’m hoping I’m off to a good start. I spent the morning having a very productive meeting with my bookkeeper. Then while I was out treasure hunting, I found a decorative paper lantern (just like above) along with a very old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (something I’ve been in search of for a very long time). Then, I was featured on Refinery29 and am super stoked to be considered one of SF’s go-to designers. Very excited for the new year…wishing everyone good luck and fortune this year!

IKEA : BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (10)

So, I’m really hoping the new BRÅKIG limited edition collection from Ikea will also be launching in the US this coming February. I’ve been seeing these pretty pastel images on the international interwebs and I’m not gonna lie, kinda excited they’re bringing back the Frosta stool. I mean how else can you buy a tall stack of Alto wannabes for pennies (even if they do have one extra leg)? The BRÅKIG  collection is in in collaboration with ArtRebels, a Danish collective made up of designers, film-makers and other artists from around the world. Scandinavian design, pastel colours and clean, graphic shapes. What’s not to love?

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (1)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (2)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (3)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (12)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (5)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (13)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (7)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (6)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (8)

IKEA BRÅKIG Limited Edition Collection Frosta Stool (9)

Images via Ikea

Merry Merry!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Image via mendetc instagram

Bloom That

It’s gettin’ down to the wire folks, only one week left until Christmas! If you live in SF and are looking to send a sweet little something to either your family, friends, a crush at work, your boss, or a complete stranger, Bloom That has super affordable and beautifully arranged bouquets, wreaths and even mini pies and they’re all delivered within 90 minutes. Their floral assortment is simply curated from what’s local and in-season. It’s a pretty good resource for all you procrastinators…now get to it!

In the Kitchen: Homemade Granola Bars

I’ve been overindulging since Turkey Day and a lot of my jeans aren’t too happy about it, but I thought I would slip in a healthy baking recipe amidst all the cookies and cakes I’ve been making. These granola bars are easy and pretty good-for-you, a nice gift alternative for all your health nut friends.

Ingredients:

2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal
1 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. wheat germ
3 tbs. unsalted butter
2/3 c. honey
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 c. chopped pitted prunes
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
1/2 c. dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal and almonds together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the prunes, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares.

Page 1 of 712345...Last »