Setting the Table: Parisian Market

April 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

CC Parisian Market

One of my favorite things is going to the farmer’s market in the spring, and buying whatever vegetables catch my eye. I love my farmers market, but I imagine the ones in Paris would be even more amazing. Isn’t everything more amazing in Paris?

The inspiration for this post was the striped tablecloth, below. I found myself near Philadelphia this weekend, and couldn’t resist stopping by the Terrain store — It’s been on my list for years! As I’m sure you can tell by their website, the store was just gorgeous, and I especially loved that tablecloth in person. I can just imagine it sitting on a table in a tiny French kitchen — the perfect backdrop for tartines and wine, don’t you think?

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Inspiration images: linensoutfitbaguettestripesbikedoor

The Official CC Guacamole

April 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

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To me, guacamole is one of those things that takes some serious time to perfect. Most times when I’m making it for chips or tacos, it’s just a matter of mashing up a few avocados in a bowl with some garlic, lime juice, and sea salt. But with Cinco de Mayo around the corner, I decided it was high time to really perfect my gauc technique. I did a couple of things to make this version stand out- the first was actually taking the time to put minced onion, jalapeño, and cilantro into the mix- nothing too earth shattering there. But the next addition came as a complete surprise to me. Extra virgin olive oil. I initially just drizzled it on top to get that glistening photo effect but that when we actually dove in, I was blown away by the difference it made. It completely brought out the flavor of the avocados. Next time I plan to whip a tablespoon or so into the dip and then drizzle more on top. So so good!

The other item worth mentioning are these chips. We’re kind of obsessed.  They’re the blue corn tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin’. These are not your flimsy tortilla chips. They’ve got real crunch and are perfectly salted.  Totally not being paid to say that, just really love these guys, especially with my reinvented guac.

Do you guys have any guac secrets? What are you making for Cinco de Mayo? Would love to hear!

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The Official CC Guacamole

  • 4 small or 3 large avocados, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • flaked sea salt and more olive oil for drizzling

Pit the avocados, scoop out the whole halves of avocado, and cut into a small dice. Gently mix the diced avocado with the garlic, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Place in serving bowl and drizzle with extra olive oil and flaked sea salt. If not serving right away, cover with plastic wrap- pressing plastic wrap directly on guacamole so it’s not exposed to the air and browns. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

Weekend Wishes

April 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Weekend wishes 9

 

Visit: your nearest botanical garden (I think it’s great to enjoy all the flowers that show up around your city or yard, but I love going to a garden once every season and just being completely overwhelmed by them.)

Discover: air plants (I think they’re so unique — and impossibly easy to care for — so this post about unique display options grabbed my attention. My favorite are the wall planters from Farrah Sit.)

MakeWhite Chocolate and Pecan Cookies (These are the best cookies I’ve had in a while. Of course, I couldn’t resist adding in some dark chocolate as well.)

Hope your weekend is filled with flowers and sun!

Life Lately | April 26th |

April 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

jardin

Happy Friday, guys! I’m so glad to be writing this post. I know I’ve said it before but this Friday series I started at the beginning of this year has really become one of my favorite posts on CC. I look forward to it all week. I love having a consistent method for slowing down, taking stock of what’s gone down each week, and reflecting on all the good (especially when I’m perhaps not in the best of moods!). It’s like taking an overall little breather in life.

So on that note…. here’s what went down this week:

  • I did a little too much beating myself over work stuff this week. This post via Cup of Jo on what success really looks like was just the reminder I needed.
  • Tonight we’re going to a friends for dinner and I made a version of this coconut cake. I’m not usually one for Cooking Light recipes, but this cake is so so good. The full can of coconut milk makes it so moist. I mixed up the frosting a bit and added in some blackberries for color- will share the recipe soon!
  • Picked up these colorful sandals from Zara. They arrived last night and are super comfy. Now I just need a pedicure so I can wear them…
  • We’re nearing Cinco de Mayo! I’ve got an insane gauc recipe coming to you on Monday, and Lauren put together an awesome recipe for fish tacos and mango margaritas. YUM.
  • Did you guys notice our updated comment bar? Huge thanks to Katelyn Brooke Designs for that one. Kate’s actually the one who designed my site and I love having her do little updates from time to time to keep the space fresh. Our comment bar was feeling a little congested, so now it should be much easier now to share and comment on posts.
  • We’ve been thinking about travel for next fall and I’ve got my heart set on going back to Paris. I haven’t been since I studied abroad in 2005 and am longing for the food, gorgeous architecture, and strolls down windy streets- hence the photo of the Jardin des Tuileries above.
  • Did you guys catch our Mother’s Day gift guide? I’d kind of like all of these items for myself. This post also made me really conscious of our blog growth. Looking back at last year’s guide made me realize just how much our style and aesthetic (and Photoshop techniques!) have developed. It can be so easy to feel like your blog is never good enough, but sifting through the archives is a great way (albeit a little scary!) to see how far you’ve come.
  • I had a chance to meet the lovely ladies of Verily Magazine this week. Have you guys checked them out? Definitely add their site to your weekend reading list, and be sure to actually subscribe. Yep- these ladies are printing this magazine, it’s that good.

This Friday is made even better by the fact that the SUN is shining. Do I constantly bring up the weather? Sorry if I do, but this NYC winter has been a tough one! I finally feel like we’re really in spring. We’ve got high 60s temps on the horizon all weekend. I’ve got a bit of work to do, but in between I’m looking forward to some napping, sun bathing, and reading on our newly decked out patio. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xx

Image Source

(The Ultimate) Mother’s Day Gift Guide

April 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Channeling Contessa Mother's Day

Envelope locket / natural nail polish / Crumbs cupcakes / Chambray shirt (always a classic!) / 3-month flower subscription / Farrah Sit planter / Aesop soap (I didn’t think it was possible for anything to smell so good. Seriously.) / Rose + Vanilla lip balm / Bellocq tea / French lavender / brush set / hand-dyed pillows

Does anyone else feel like April is just flying by? It’s pure craziness. In any event, it’s almost May, which means Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I think I enjoy Mother’s Day almost as much as my mom does. I get to spend the day with my very favorite person, and it includes all the things I love. Brunch, flowers, and chocolate? I’m there.

I’m definitely one of those people who prides themselves on being able to give the perfect gift. I tend to go for things that are useful, but still have an air of luxury. All moms are different, so we’ve come up with ideas ranging from beauty, to food and decor. Although my mom would insist presents aren’t necessary, it’s nice to be able to acknowledge everything she’s done for me over the years.

What’s your favorite gift you’ve ever given? Last year I gifted a baby Meyer lemon tree – it’s made 3 whole lemons since then.

Girl Crush: Sarah Yates

April 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Unsurprisingly, the first part of this series was quite a hit –  apparently you guys love learning more about your favorite bloggers as much as we do! This week we’re thrilled to bring you Sarah Yates, who pens the blog, A House in the Hills. I’ve long believed that I’m a California girl at heart, so I especially admire her breezy outfit posts, fresh recipes, and beautiful aesthetic. Add in the fact that she’s a talented photographer and animal lover, and you have yourselves our latest girl crush!

Where did you grow up, and where did life lead you once you left?  I grew up in Portland, Maine but couldn’t wait to move west and into the sunshine!  Immediately following high school I moved to Burlington, VT where I spent 3 semesters at a liberal arts college and then after spending another year following that back in Portland I finally got it together and moved west to Santa Barbara, CA.  After 4 years in Santa Barbara I moved to San Diego, then Los Angeles and I recently moved to Palm Springs with my husband and our two dogs.  That’s the short (long?) and sweet of it!  

What do you love most about living in California? Do you prefer one coast over the other?  I love the weather, the laid back lifestyle and the abundance of avocados!  I definitely prefer living on the west coast, but I do have a place in my heart for east coast people.  And I miss the way the Atlantic ocean smells.

We love A House in the Hills- it embodies a sunny California lifestyle (and makes us want to jump on a plane!). What made you start blogging? Thank you! I started blogging because I wanted a place to share some of my loves and I wanted a creative space to talk about non-wedding things!  I was also envious of my blogger friends for the great internet community they formed, so I figured I’d better jump in!

You’re a (super talented) wedding photographer! What’s your favorite part about your job? How did you get into photography? Thank you again!! I have two favorite things:  the people and the travel.  Love both equally.   I’ve been photographing non stop since I was given a pink Barbie camera as a kid, but I really got serious about turning it into a career when I went to college.

How do you balance work and blogging? I don’t, I’m a mess!  But if you find out how, please let me know.

What’s your morning routine like?  It’s all about my husband and the dogs and a whole mess of cuddling.

What’s your evening routine like?  Taking the pups for a walk, making dinner, Bravo Tv and Pinterest.

How do you decompress?  My favorite way to check out of life is to spend an afternoon in our backyard listening to music, drinking sugary cocktails and splashing around in the pool.  

You dream weekend involves… a trip to the spa for a massage, a brunch date with my husband followed by a bike ride and a dinner party with friends.

Three products you can’t live without:  I can’t live without my running sneakers, my iphone and coconut oil (which I use for cooking, as shower gel, in lieu of moisturizer, as a lip balm and in my hair when the ends are feeling dry).

TV addictions:  I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but the Housewives on Bravo.  All of them.  And also, Homeland and Girls. 

Your guilty pleasure(s):  I have a massive sweet tooth, as evidenced by the amount of treats I post on my blog.  But the guilt isn’t in the sweets themselves, it’s really in the amount I consume at one time.

Most recent happy purchase: A Clare Vivier leopard fold over clutch 

Plans for this summer: My husband has a big birthday coming up in June so I’ll be planning the best party of our lives.  And then I’ll probably spend July recovering.  Hopefully we’ll sneak in a vacation and I’ll definitely do my fair share of lounging by the pool.  I can’t wait!!

Something about your most people wouldn’t realize or know:  I’m dying to move to Australia.  I think it might be the one place I could love more than California.

Thanks, Sarah! Can’t wait to see what’s next for you. (Also, there’s no shame in watching Bravo. None.)

Dressed to Entertain: Mexican Fiesta

April 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

fiesta outfit

Of any entertaining theme, I’d have to say that throwing a fiesta is when I (Lauren) am most in my element. Pops of brilliant turquoise, icy-cold margaritas, piñatas and papel picado banners overhead, and a big batch of guacamole within easy reach? Heaven. So with Cinco de Mayo next weekend, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share a colorful and festive entertaining outfit for one of my favorite holidays.

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To make things extra festive, I threw together this super simple Cinco de Mayo garland with some white tissue paper and baker’s twine I had at home. I’m not crafty, but this is one DIY anyone can create!

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To keep with the theme, I wanted to wear something really bold and bright. This Anthropologie dress was a perfect find a few months back–jewel-toned and flecked with tiny dots in an incredibly comfortable fit. I added a beaded belt for extra interest, then searched for the ultimate summertime shoe to complete my look. The multicolor woven wedge of these sandals? So obsessed. They were a little splurge, but I love the wow factor the wedges add and can’t wait to wear them with dresses, shorts and white jeans all summer.

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Of course, I had to get a true south-of-the-border touch in, so I potted tiny cactus and succulents into turquoise votives to set on each place setting. I also used beaded cuff bracelets with fun tribal patterns as the napkin rings–they double as wearable favors for your girlfriends to take home at the end of the party!

fiesta outfit

To serve? Try setting out a Grilled Avocado bar, a fun alternative to guacamole and sooo delicious! Clearly tacos and margaritas are a must–some of our favorite “taco & tequila” pairings: Fish Tacos with Lime Slaw & Mango Margaritas or Beer-Braised Pulled Pork Tacos & Watermelon Margaritas. This Mexican Street Corn is also a perpetual crowd pleaser, and there’s no better way to treat your guests than to finish the festivities with Tres Leches Cake piled high with fresh berries.

How are you planning to celebrate on May 5th?

Get the Look: Anthropologie DressBelt & Earrings | Coach Wedges | World Market Bracelets | Elma Blint Bracelet | Crate & Barrel Margarita Glasses | Anthropologie Floral Plates | Pier 1 Chargers | Pottery Barn Votives (holding cactus and succulents) | Williams-Sonoma Napkins | Free People Beaded Cuffs (as napkin rings)

Where Am I?

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