Monthly Archives: June 2011

Salsa is Sassy

Last night Jaci tweeted the following:

I responded to her in kind,

She was out with our great friends in the great city of New York (yay SSM!) and I was grabbing a quick bite with Mark at a Baja Fresh (also good, and shockingly fresh) on K Street in DC.  If you are in neither of those places and want your own Sassy Salsa, check out this recipe.

Homemade Salsa = good

Homemade Salsa shared with awesome people = AWESOME, and sassy!

Summer Sandal Round Up

Summer solstice, BBQs, bug bites and the first natural tan of the year; it is officially summer.  It is time to treat yourself to a fabulous pedicure and a new pair (or pairs) of sandals.

I have done a summer sandal round up of my favorite styles from around the web, whatever your style, I think you’ll find it here:


Go bold with big color and texture with this trend. From L – R: Leather twisted-strip pumps by Alexander McQueen at TheOutnet, Molly Beaded Sandal by Ash at Jildor, Sanzo Sandal by Steve Madden at Asos, Beaded Sandal by Shellys at Asos

Beach ready, boat ready, anchors away in these styles.  From L – R: Delray Wedge by Sperry at Dillards, Montauk Boat Shoe by Sperry at Nordstrom, Urban Espadrille by Etienne Aigner at DSW, Marthe Espadrille by Lacoste at Piperlime

Fierce prints in neutral tones, these sandals are an easy way to show your natural instincts.  From L – R: Paradox Wedge by Jimmy Choo at Net-A-Porter, Original by Dr. Scholls at DSW, Cassia by Michael Kors at Bluefly, Gladiator Sandal by 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent at Lord & Taylor

Beach wedding, summer cocktails, you should shine from head to toe. From L – R: Softich Sandal at ALDO,  Jacqui Sandals by Jessica Simpson at Macy’s, Trey Sandal by Antonio Melani at Dillard’s, Diamondz Sandal by Steve Madden

Take the city by storm in something dark, utilitarian, and sharp.  From L – R: Studded Thongs by Valentino at StyleBop, Exie Thong by Sam Edelman at Dillard’s, Stud Sandal by Blowfish at Asos, Frisk Sandal by Asos


Stop traffic with a bold new color, confidence required.  From L – R: Crocodile Sandal by Tapeet at the Outnet, Thong Sandal by Matiko at Bluefly, French Espadrille by Lanvin at Barney’s, Yang Sandal by Jeffrey Campbell at Lori’s Shoes

Which style do you like most for your summer?

Big Sunglasses, Soon

In a few days this will be me…

Jackie Kennedy via At Its Best, a Kennedy Blog

Drawing by Jordi La Banda

Summer Salad

In honor of the start of Summer I made a salad to celebrate. I wanted something crunchy, sweet, colorful and most of all healthy. That is how this salad came to be.

Summer Salad Ingredients
3-4 Cups Frisee
2 ears of Corn
6 large strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons plain sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

This is a great salad for dinner option, and also travels well as each component can be stored separately and then combined on site.

Frisee – I know this isn’t the salad green that most people gravitate towards but, this branchy leaf has the right amount of bite to stay strong with the fruits and vegetables that would typically overwhelm spinach or arugula. If you can’t get down with the frisee, I think a crisp romaine could also do the trick.

Corn – For this salad fresh is best and so if you have to use a can, I would skip it entirely. This is a great way to use leftover corn from a dinner earlier in the week. My favorite technique is to wash the ear and dry it and place it on a tin foil square with a small pat of butter, salt and pepper and then twist close the foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees or throw it on the grill. For this salad, take a strong knife and shear the corn from the cob.

Strawberries – Wash, halve, quarter. Feel free to taste along the way. When in season strawberries are a favorite sweet snack.

Blueberries – Wash, dry, snack and set aside for salad.

Tomatoes – Wash, halve, sprinkle with a touch of Kosher salt and set aside.

Sunflower seeds – These added an awesome nutty, sunny warmth to the salad if you can imagine such a thing. When toasted (in a muffin tin) these erased the need for cheese or crouton toppings.

For the dressing, in a small bowl mix all ingredients and taste. I like my dressings a bit more acidic so I may use more vinegar than the next gal, so feel free to taste and modify. The goal is to keep it light and simple so that the dressing doesn’t overpower the salad.

When you’re ready to serve layer the toppings over the frisee and drizzle with the dressing. The bowl with be filled with bold, bright, natural and healthy colors.

When you’re done eating your body will be full from bold, bright, healthy foods!


Beach Wedding, Inspired

A friend is getting married on the beach in North Carolina, (soon!) and had lots of ideas.  When I was in a similar situation it helped me to make an inspiration board, and so I made some for her as well.

The bride has a beautiful beach-front location for her ceremony, and a reception on the pier (pictured below).  She has a stunning gown, and her bridesmaids will wear teal dresses, her groom and groomsmen will wear black suits.

She knew that she wanted a wedding that was fun, romantic, and reflective of who they are as a couple and the location of the wedding.

Here is what I designed:

Soft Sea Shell Wedding Ceremony

Top Row, L – R: Kitty Hawk Hilton Garden Inn, Apothecary Shell Jar via

Middle Row, L – R: Starfish Boutonniere via Wedding Paper Divas, White Hydrangea Bouquet via, Starfish Chair Wrap via Castles Crowns Cottages

Bottom Row, L – R: Guest Book Table via Martha Stewart, Hurricane Lamp Aisle Runner via, Beach Flowers Ceremony Program via Wedding Paper Divas

Soft Sea Shell Wedding Reception

Top Row, L – R: White Petals and Hurricane Candles via, Orchid and Hydrangea Centerpieces via

Middle Row, L – R: Starfish Escort Cards via, Glass Hurricanes via, White Adirondack Chair via, Cupcakes by OBX Cakes by Robin, Mirror Centerpiece via Michael’s

A wedding with a theme is a funny thing.  If you’ve ever seen an episode of “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera” you know what I mean; nearly any theme can be executed, how well it is done is in the details.   And, I love working on the details.

If you, or a friend, or a friend of a friend is getting married or throwing any type of event and needs help turning their ideas into inspiration, let me know!

Sea to Shore Style

Life Magazine - 1950

There is nothing better at 6, 26 or likely 60 years old, than spending a day on the water with girlfriends, and enjoying a few laughs with the waves lapping at your feet.

This summer let your style be inspired by vintage Americana, with a nautical twist.  This look is more Hyannisport and the Cape, than exotic getaway, and some weekends that is just what you need.

From Sea to Shore

Top Row, L – R: Meridien II T-Shirt by Saint James at La Garconne, Monaco belted halterneck bikini by Heidi Klein at The Outnet, Nautical Stripe Knit Dress at Delia’s

Middle Row, L – R: Sailor Shorts by Milly at Saks Fifth Avenue, Adventurer Ripstop Hoodie at Eddie Bauer, Nautical Bangle Set by Milly

Bottom Row, L – R: Belle Island Boat Ballerina by Timberland at Zappos, Melissa Odabash Jemima Sun hat at Net-A-Porter, Elastic Espadrille Wedge by Tory Burch at Neiman Marcus

Summer Days

Happy First Day of Summer!  I hope it is an iconic one.

Jackie Kennedy on a boat in Portofino, fifty years ago, as photographed by Mark Shaw.

Jackie Kennedy in Portofino, 1961, Photo by Mark Shaw

Hungry for the Weekend

It is totally feeling like summer in these parts, which is to say, it is hot and in the afternoon it rains and then becomes shockingly humid.  But summer also means the arrival of the cookout, the barbecue, the appointing of the Grill King.

I am missing my family’s Father’s Day celebration, which makes me more than a little sad, but I know I can share a burger and a dog with dad anytime – and for that I am very grateful.

American Gastronomy Map by LucyLovesThis via Etsy

This week’s Hungry for the Weekend features lots of local (to DC) food events, and a good sampling of food humor and inspiration.

If you, like me, are hungry for the weekend please, enjoy these links:

Have a delicious weekend!

Hostess Gifts for Any Occasion

My mom raised me to be a good guest.  Whether we are going to a friend’s house for and impromptu BBQ, or a holiday cocktail party, I am bringing something.

Whether it is a small homemade affair or a catered event I think that guests should appreciate the effort made by the host by a. offering to bring something for the evening and b. bringing a gift for the host.

Texas Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Favorite recipes to bring: for a lunch Fresh Salsa and your favorite chips, Texas Pecan Shortbread Cookies, for a brunch some fresh fruit muffins or healthy banana bread, for a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres party some savory cookies, or for just about any time the Berry Harvest Cake.  Of course you also can’t go wrong with bringing a crowd favorite beverage.

For events where you can bring something to be shared, here are some tips:

  • if you’re bringing a food item, be sure to ask what the host is serving so as to not repeat a dish or clash with her menu
  • be aware of the host’s, and other guests’, dietary needs and restrictions
  • if you’re bringing a dish that requires platters or special serving utensils, bring them with you
  • if you’re bringing a salad, prevent it from getting wilted by keeping the salad greens, toppings and dressings in separate bags or containers
  • bring items that don’t require additional appliances; if the party is a BBQ – sure, bring items for  the grill, but don’t expect to bake that pie in someone’s oven

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to bring something to be enjoyed during the occasion.   Those examples include: anything professionally catered, unless otherwise requested, or if the host declines the offer.

So, what to bring as a gift for the host?  This is tricky, as sometimes the hostess if your best friend, and sometimes it is the spouse of your boyfriend’s boss, who you have never met.

Try to do as much reconnaissance as possible, you want to gift something that they’ll appreciate.  If they are a oenophile, and you’re a connoisseur of Two Buck Chuck,  don’t bother to get a Merlot on the drive over.

Here are some favorite no fail gifts:

The Candle collection from Michael Aram is one part luxurious gift and another part art for the home.  The Lotus candle is great for your yogi-hostess, I am partial to the black orchid collection.

Michael Aram Lotus Candle

If your host is a foodie at heart treat them to a special series of oils or vinegars.  It is a thoughtful gift that most people wouldn’t pick up for themselves.  New, highly curated, food site Gilt Taste has a beautiful sampling of pantry items to use as gifts.  That is where I found these, the Sparrow Lane California Fruit Vinegar Collection.

Sparrow Lane Vinegar Collection, via Gilt Taste

Make your attendance a sweet memory with a gorgeous assortment of handcrafted truffles, like the Exotic Truffle Collection from Vosges.

Exotic Truffles Collection from Vosges

Another idea, for a host you know well, is to give them a fresh start in the morning.  If the host and hostess had a wild Saturday night party, make their Sunday morning easier with artisan coffees, a basket of fresh pastry/scones/bagels.  It will make waking up that much easier.  I love this gift from Zabar’s – mmm, bagels and lox!

Zabar's Morning Basics Basket

Other favorites for breakfast baskets include: Gourmet Gift Baskets, Wolferman’s, Stonewall Kitchen, and Zabar’s

Other easy gifts include a beautiful bouquet of blooms, an artfully wrapped bottle of wine, or the local favorite baked treat.

Red Velvet Cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake

Give a gift of relaxation with a beautiful bottle of bath bubbles like the Lollia Calm Bubble Bath from Anthropologie.  This is a perfect gift for the hostess, that you know well, and know that she’ll need to unwind when the party ends.

Lollia Calm Bubble Bath via Anthropologie

Of course the most important present you can give is your presence, and a thank you note!


A Bouquet of Rose Gold

A few weeks ago my Twitter timeline was buzzing with photos and tweets from the Jewelry Show in Las Vegas.  Some lucky staffers at Brides Magazine and Martha Stewart Weddings were touring the trade show floor trying on ring after gorgeous ring.

I kept up with their tweets and noticed a sweetly romantic trend, rose gold.

I have been crushing on rose gold for a little while now.  If the gift of jewelry could be any more romantic, rose gold makes it so.  Softer than platinum and yellow gold it has a sweet, vintage aesthetic.

My rings are platinum, but their is something blush worthy about these styles.

Top Row, L – R: Clear Quartz and Rose Necklace by Ippolita via Saks Fifth Avenue, Rose Gold Diamond Ring at MKULGems, Paloma’s Crown of Hearts Ring via Tiffany & Co, Fancy Pink Diamond Ring via WCM Jewelers

Middle Row, L – R: Boutonniere Ring via Gemvara, Pear Pave Ring by Zoe via Barneys New York, Rose Gold Love Bracelet by Sydney Evan,

Bottom Row, L – R: Ariella Collection Openwork Ring via Nordstrom, Majolie Rounded Diamond and Rose Gold Ring via Max and Chloe, Rose Gold Ring by Heiko Shrem via Stuart Moore, Diamond bangle bracelet from the Fidelity Collection in 18K rose gold via Kwiat

Would you be blushing for rose gold jewelry?  Let me know in the comments!