Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How do you attract your mate?

Have you ever seen a peacock woo? A few month back during a visit to Leo Carrillo Ranch, the site of our wedding, we were lucky enough to witness a beautiful male peacock doing his mating dance for a pretty little lady. It was truly a site to see. There is dancing and noise and ruffling of feathers!

The best part is, during our wedding a few months after this visit, there were baby peacocks running around! These are the coolest birds (I'm obsessed)!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DIY: Vanity Chair Makeover

I found this little chair a few months ago when our neighborhood was having a clean-up. People put items that they no longer wanted out on the curb for the city to pick up. Well, the deal-finder in me couldn't resist but take home a couple of interesting items including this adorable little vanity chair. Okay, so it didn't look so adorable when I found it, but it had great bones and I could see a lot of potential in it.

So, I stripped it down, primed and painted it a bright white and reupholstered the seat in a beautiful, blue designer fabric. 

I think it turned out totally adorable. I wish I had a sweet little vanity spot in my house so that I could keep it, but my little 1950's bungalow doesn't allow for too many extras. So, I sold it at our yard sale this weekend for $15 and made a couple of bucks.

Not too bad for a curb find!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Step One: Get Inspired

First thing I did after we found the perfect venue for our summer, outdoor wedding was put together an inspiration board to work out the direction that I wanted to go with color, decor, style, mood, etc. This is really a must for any bride-to-be so that you and your groom can get on the same page and it will help you more easily communicate your vision to others.

The peacocks that call Leo Carrillo Ranch (the site of our wedding) their home were totally inspiring to me. How could they not be. They are stunning and fascinating animals.

Although I am now slightly obsessed with them, I really didn't want to do the whole peacock theme for our wedding. I'm not really into "themes", so instead decided to pay the peacocks tribute by adding in just a few feathers as more of an ode to them! I think they appreciated this, because they spent a good amount of time entertaining our guests!)

I decided to focus more on color and style for our wedding decor. I wanted shabby-chic with a touch of glamor to set the scene of our nuptials and kept that in mind when designing this mood board. I knew that our smaller budget and my love of crafting would mean a lot of DIY and so I tried to keep that in mind when looking for inspiration.

We knew we wanted BBQ for dinner and a more non-traditional dessert like ice cream or frozen yogurt. Market lighting was a must and we had to incorporate a lounge and lots and lots of flowers!

One of the very first things we did after we got engaged was have a very detailed conversation about what things were most important to each of us as it pertained to our wedding (I highly recommend that everyone do this when planning something this big so that you can get on the same page as your groom!).

Some of the things at the top of our list included:

1) Family & Friends
2) Good Food
3) Good Drinks
4) Good Music & Lots of Dancing
5) Outdoor, Summer, Backyard Feel
6) Fun!

It's funny how when you put it down on paper, the things that you think would be the most important like the dress (still important, but not the main focus) really come second to things like family, close friends and fun! That's all that really mattered to us.

We wanted to throw a great party, and that's exactly what we did! Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

iPhone Photo

Okay, don't laugh at me, but I took this photo of Kevin and Zeus at the beach months ago with an iPhone camera. I came back across it the other day and still can't believe how cool it came out. I decided it would be worth sharing on this Wednesday afternoon!

DIY: Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party Gifts

Here are a couple of cute ideas for bridal shower and bachelorette party gifts that you can make yourself.

His and Hers Koozies - I got these in the dollar section at Michaels and then applied Bride and Groom sticker decals to make a cute and inexpensive gift for a wedding week at the beach!

Lingerie Basket & Bouquet - For the same beach bride, I had friends of the bride send lingerie gifts to me and then I rolled each with tissue paper into a flower. I gathered all of the lingerie flowers into a bouquet and used a corset top to hold them all like a vase. I put the bouquet along with a few other little gifts such as slippers, bath salts and a hat to keep the sun of her face into a cute gift box.  We presented it to her as a group with a champagne toast.
Bride Ball Cap - For another friend who was getting married in sunny San Diego, I made a cute, white "Bride" cap for her to wear during her pre-wedding festivities. At that time I couldn't find an already made Bride hat, so I bought a plain white hat and bedazzled it with with rhinestones from Michaels. I paired it with a white zip-up hoodie for the perfect bride-to-be outfit!
Bachelorette Bouquet Favor - I also had the pleasure of throwing a Bachelorette Party for for this San Diego bride. We took her to a chic bar downtown, ordered delicious appetizers and drinks and celebrated the night away. I wanted the girls to have a special favor in honor of the bride, so I had some shot glasses engraved and then filled them with M&M's in the colors of the wedding. Then I sealed each one with "Glad Press 'n' Seal" (the best tool to keep in your kitchen BTW!) and trimmed around the edges. Lastly, a girlfriend and I made a dozen Martha Stewart tissue paper flowers and stuck one in each shot glass. At the party we grouped them on a table together to create a bouquet. It turned out really pretty and was a huge hit with the girls.
The Mrs. Tank - I must admit, I stole this next idea from the sister of a friend of mine, but I loved it so much that I made one for my own little sister who got married last March. It's super easy to make and let me tell you, THE GROOMS LOVE it! All you need is a plain white tank top and iron-on letters (also found at Michaels). Lay them out on the tank to spell the soon-to-be Mrs. new last name, then follow the directions to attach. Pair with a cute pair of boy shorts and you are sure to have One Great Gift!
Steal these great ideas for your next shower or bachelorette party.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Parma Rosa Spaghetti Squash

So, it has literally been month since I've posted anything about cooking. It's not that I haven't been cooking, it's just that I haven't really had the time to be all that creative with our meals, to document it! So, this next recipe is one of our household favorites. It's actually quite easy and can be made in 30 min or less.

The Ingredients:
1 med spaghetti squash
1 pkg Knorr brand Parma Rosa sauce mix
1 lb ground turkey
shredded Parmesan cheese
Italian spices (I usually use oregano, basil, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder - all dried herbs are fine)

How to make it:
Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy parts of the flesh. Lightly coat it with olive oil (I like to keep the new spray kind around for things like this) and put it in the microwave flesh side up. Cook on high for about 20-25 minutes or until the flesh feels soft and strings when you run a fork across it. You can also bake the squash in the oven (this is what the directions say to do), but in the middle of the week I just don't have time to wait for it to bake fully and it comes out just as good in the micro. (Sometimes I put it under the broiler for a minute or two after it comes out of the microwave to brown up some of the edges a bit, but this step isn't a must.)

While the squash is cooking, brown the turkey in a pan and spice with the dried herbs and spices to taste. Follow the directions on the Parmarosa sauce packet, but wait to do this until the squash is finished cooking. Once the sauce is started, scrape the squash out of the shell with a fork and into a big serving bowl. It should string into noodle-like pieces as you run the fork across the flesh.

Drain and excess liquid from the turkey and add to the squash. When sauce is ready add to the squash and turkey mixture and toss with a pair of tongs. Top it with a little shredded Parmesan cheese and that's dinner! We usually always pair this dish with a green veggie to make sure we are covered in food groups, and sometimes I add a little red pepper flake to the turkey to make the dish a little spicy if I'm in the mood!

Try it the next day as left-overs for lunch too. Even if you aren't a big squash eater (which to be honest, I am not), you'll like this dish.
Happy eating!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Engagement Photo Fun

Well, our wedding has come and gone and was truly the most spectacularly, perfect day that I could ever have imagined! We worked so hard on every little detail and it made for a beautiful, special and personal day. I am so excited to start sharing all of our work and details with you, and thought it would be appropriate to start with our engagement photos!

We had the pleasure of working with the most amazing photographers, Emily and Brett Faulknor of Emily Faulknor Photography for both our wedding and engagement shoots! After weeks of shopping for the perfect outfits and accessories, we met up with Emily and Brett on a warm afternoon in March in South Park, our San Diego neighborhood. We started by getting a delicious fish taco from Marisco's German Mexican food truck (the BEST fish tacos in San Diego BTW!) and then worked our way around our adorable and colorful neighborhood posing for pictures along the way. We ended up at our favorite dog park on Grape Street where Zeus joined us for some super fun shots in the eucalyptus grove.

After a couple of hours shooting, we ended up with so many amazing photos that it was seriously hard to choose only the best ones, but here are a handful of our favorites!

More wedding fun and DYI projects to come in the next few weeks!