Archive for the ‘life’ Category
My love for gorgeous coffee table books and even beautiful and mouthwatering recipes found in cookbooks has grown over the years. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired, I take pleasure in flipping through the pages of these type of books to spark my creativity or to try something new. Not to mention, coffee table books featuring fashion, art, and photography have become the essential decor accessory to style our coffee table with. These pretty reads are creatively displayed in our favorite vignettes. I pretty much have them displayed everywhere throughout our house – from the ottoman and console table in the living room, the cookbook wall in the kitchen, the bookshelves in our home office, and even displayed in the shelf of our wardrobe closet in our bedroom.
Today, I would like to share with you some of my current book favorites – a few of which will be added to my ever-growing library.
Kiana Underwood, Florist Artist
I have been following Kiana of Tulipiana for a few years now. I am always in awe when I lay eyes on her stunning floral arrangements. The colors, the flow and style of her arrangements just make me feel happy! The kind of happy where you find yourself smiling softly as you are sitting on a chair looking at beautiful images in a book or magazine. Kiana’s bouquets and arrangements have inspired me to play around with my arrangements I place around the house. While it’s not easy to do, I am ecstatic that she came out with her newly released Color Me Floral book! The pages in this book include 40 how-tos arrangements, organized by season. I’m looking forward to practicing!
Tessa Sam, Baker and Dessert Enthusiast
I first learned about Tessa from Erin Sousa of Sparkle Media. Not only are Tessa and Erin good friends, Tessa is a client of Erin’s. You all know how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE desserts and Tessa’s sweet confections are swoon worthy images that excite my taste buds! The creativity behind her desserts include such pretty details – they look too cute eat but delicious enough to want to take a bite. With special occasions to celebrate this year, it will be fun to try out Tessa’s irresistible recipes from her new Sweet Bake Shop book.
Georgianna Lane, Author and Photographer
Oh, my ultimate vacation dream destination for years, has been Paris. Whenever I see a romantic comedy where the movie is based out of Paris, you will find me on the sofa, snuggled up and soaking up all the sites of this amazing city. It’s on our bucket list and we may be visiting sooner than we think! Until then, I can leisurely flip through the pages of the Parisian moments through the eyes of Georgianna Lane and her book – Paris in Bloom. Georgianna has exquisite fine art photography and stationary items that features romantic florals and her captivating travel images.
Joanna Gaines, Designer
I just can’t get enough of Joanna and Chip Gaines HGTV Fixer Upper makeover episodes. Likewise, their Hearth & Hand with Magnolia brand of home decor and essentials at Target is equally good. From the Magnolia Journal, I’ve tried a couple of Joanna’s recipes that turned out to be quite good so I was happy to find out she has a new book that was just released called the Magnolia Table. Filled with personal stories and photos, Joanna shares a collection of recipes from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to small plates, snacks, and desserts.
What books are you loving lately? Feel free to share and let me know in the comments section below!
-Featured photo by Rose Angel Lopez
Happy Friday, friends! What are your plans this weekend? We had three days of warm weather this week and just like that, last night a gush of wind came through and a dusting of snow hit the ground. We are looking forward to spending our days in sunny Florida at the end of this month! Relaxing by the pool with our long time friends – sharing plenty of laughs, eating, and sipping libations is probably what our days will look like. Fun. Fun. Fun.
For this week’s ‘Friday’s Favorite Finds’ post, I’ve rounded up four finds that you may like…
*Image via: Pottery Barn
I enjoy a good seasonal cocktail and this refreshing Pink Grapefruit Lemon Drop recipe sounds delightful. I’m totally going to add this to my cocktail recipe must-trys!
*Image via: BH&G
I love a good bagel and this easy Bagel Brunch idea is fun idea for all you hostesses out there!
Found this decorative lumbar pillow at Target and it’s the exact color combination that we have in our living room. I sure am considering getting a pair of these as they would make a great addition to our accent chairs!
A bellini bar is the perfect addition to a special occasion or event. Whether you’re having a bridal shower, a Sunday brunch, or even a Galentine’s Day party, a homemade bellini is the ultimate treat. And the best part about a classic bellini? It’s delicious and only requires a few basic ingredients!
That’s why Gifts.com has created a step-by-step guide on how to create a homemade bellini bar. This guide includes a list on all the materials needed, styling tips and even a sugar station for guests with a bit of a sweet tooth. Personalize your bar with a fun wall backdrop, using glittery balloons or a paper garland, and be sure to provide a variety of fruit purees on your table. Get excited for brunch and wow your guests with this one of a kind bellini bar.
You can be sure that these are the perfect fruity cocktails to serve – that everyone can enjoy! Who knew it could be so easy? Cheers!!
- Image: via Gifts.com
With Valentine’s day just around the corner, I’ve been asked by my better half what I want as a gift. Rather than a surprise gift, we tend to rip out pages from a magazine and/or catalogs we received in the mail and leave it on each other’s desk. We find it fun to give each other several ideas and then wonder out of all the items, which one we will receive! If you’re looking for some ideas for yourself or someone else, I’ve curated a rounded-up of my favorite Valentine’s gifts…
Do you have a favorite item you plan on adding to your Valentine’s wish list? Do share and let me know in the comments section below!
It’s that busy ho-ho-ho! time of year. Last minute Christmas shopping, invitations to holiday parties, wrapping presents and preparing our home for entertaining. The holiday season inspires the entertaining spirit within me. For a casual get-together, I like to keep it easy without all the hustle and bustle. A simple Christmas party idea is to host a ‘Hot Cocoa Dessert Bar’ for family and/or friends! In today’s post, I’ll show you how you can turn your bar cart into a ‘hot chocolate & dessert bar station’. Who doesn’t love a hot cup of cocoa, right?! And for the adult version, make a spiked version. I’ll share later in the post, what I used to spike my hot chocolate.
For some holiday fun, you can coordinate this yummy holiday party idea by inviting your girlfriends over to wrap presents, or set a table and have a gingerbread making contest! Don’t forget to turn on your Christmas songs playlist and have your tree twinkling in the background.
What I love about this DIY is – it’s so easy, it’s self-serve (which saves a heck of alot of time on your part) and it’s inexpensive! All the items you see are all store-bought. Between the holidays and the cold weather, this is the time of the year where all the grocery stores and home stores have so many festive gourmet confections and speciality food options from candy cane marshmallows, chocolate dipping spoons, and peppermint everything!
Let’s start with the hot chocolate, shall we? While it may be easier to have individual hot chocolate packets available, I like to step it up notch and offer a decadent tasting hot chocolate. My newest favorite is Sarabeth’s Hot Chocolate Parisienne that I picked up at HomeGoods (found it online, here). It has semi-sweet Belgian chocolate morsels inside the dutch cocoa, and pure white cane sugar. All I have to do is add milk and boil! I love the brand’s preserves, so I knew this had to be good too!
So how did I spike this hot chocolate, you may ask? Well, I used my favorite creamy liqueur…RumChata! I simplied followed the directions on the back of the hot cocoa tin can, poured the hot cocoa in my mug, added 1 ounce of RumChata and stirred. Your guests will have the option of pouring their desired amount into their mug of hot chocolate.
These festive wooden ‘holiday cheer’ stirs from Laura Hooper are perfect for guests to use when stirring their spiked hot cocoa. Or an alternative, are these chocolate spoons.
These creme filled rolled Pepperidge Farm Piroutte wafers are perfect on its own or to use as a garnish for your mug of hot chocolate.
I scored these jumbo candy candy dipped marshmallows at Walmart. To satisfy your guests preference, you can display both large flavored marshmallows and plain mini marshmallows. Check out these green and white puffy poles marshmallow twists and these flavored Irish Cream marshmallows. Target also has a variety of holiday marshmallows like these dark chocolate peppermint marshmallow pops, these festive snowflake marshmallow hot chocolate toppers and these assorted hot chocolate toppers in peppermint, salted caramel, or chocolate chip.
Since sprinkles are just for garnishing the top of your hot chocolate, you don’t need a lot of it. So I decided to use my mini salt and pepper shakers that I had extra pair of. I adhered my gold foil alphabet letters to identify the contents inside…’p’ for peppermint and ‘c’ for cinnamon. The chocolate shavings were a bit thicker in texture, so I housed that in a small glass votive candle holder – alongside an appetizer-sized spoon.
I purchased this pretty calligraphy ‘Hot Chocolate bar’ stand, back in January from PS Weddings and Events. This Etsy store owner offers many color options. I went with the rose gold color option that mimics the hue of hot chocolate. I love that I can reuse this sign many times!
How to use your bar cart to create a DIY Hot Chocolate and Dessert Bar Station:
- Create, purchase or download a Hot Chocolate bar sign. There are so many free downloadable hot chocolate bar printable options on Pinterest. Not only is having a sign fun and festive, a sign will also allow your guests to easily identify your hot chocolate station.
- Use a carafe to hold your hot cocoa. Have your hot chocolate already prepared, hot and ready for your guests to self-serve.
- Set of Mugs. I used my vintage milk glass mugs but you can use any type of mugs you have.
- Store your sprinkle garnishes in a shaker. No need to buy special shakers – if you have an extra pair of salt and pepper shakers, use those to house your ground cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate shavings, and/or peppermint dust sprinkles.
- Store your liqueur in a glass carafe or decanter. Optional if offering spiked hot chocolate. This is not entirely necessary but since I like to style items in a cohesive look (wink, wink) so I prefer to pour some of the liquor out of its original bottle. You can use adhesive alphabet letters or print labels.
- Use platters, cake stands and/or footed bowls. When using a combination of platters, cake stands or footed bowls, you are giving dimension and height to your display.
- Use your glassware. House your dessert treats in individual glasses. Whether it’s champagne or martini glassware – anything goes!
- Festive Beverage Napkins. I collect all kinds of seasonal, holiday, birthday, and cheeky bev naps so luckily I had the perfect pink color to coordinate with colors in the Christmas tree.
- Appetizer plates (not to be confused with dessert plates). Perfect size for personal tasting dishes.
- Pair your decadent and rich hot chocolate with delicious confections. I displayed a variety of six dessert treats that included cookies, chocolates, madeleines, and macaroons.
- Some garnishing and/or toppings suggestions would be ground cinnamon, crushed or crushed or dusted peppermints, chocolate shavings, whipped cream, marshmallows, and caramel.
- Since our bar cart is a two-tier, I prefered to keep all the dessert treats on the top tier since guests are more likely to revisit the hot chocolate station to nibble on a few more treats.
- I used the bottom tier to hold the hot chocolate, liqueur, mugs, stirs, and additional marshmallows.
- Keep it festive and style your bar cart with holiday decor. A few items I used are a couple of tree ornaments, some fresh greenery, and twinkly LED fairy lights.
I hope you are inspired to create your very own DIY hot chocolate and dessert bar party and may you enjoy this season, creating new memories.
-Photos + Styling by Rose Angel Lopez