Friday, October 8, 2010


Been pretty light on the blogging lately, with no great excuse or flourish - just plain old life getting in the way, leaving me not much time to report on all the little lovelies I come across on a daily basis. Have to change that.

The Mr. did manage to snap a few shots of a sweet little layer cake I whipped up earlier this summer for my grandmother's birthday. I was sure the Pink Lady Cake from favorite blog Smitten Kitchen was THE one when I was searching for the perfect celebration cake for this special day. Needless to say, we only got a few shots and none of the finished product. Have to get better about that too. In this case, we were way too busy sneaking every last bit of that ridiculously delicious cream cheese frosting. Oh. Yes.

And, speaking of Smitten Kitchen and my adoration for food blogs in general, it looks like a certain someone shares the same affinity. GOOP, the lifestyle newsletter from Gwenyth Paltrow released a who's who of food blogs, to which I wholeheartedly approve - and could go on and on adding to the list. SO much talent out there - with the movers and shakers attending this week's BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco.

I'm off to enjoy what's shaping up to be an absolutely heavenly weekend weather-wise. October picnic here we come - In my mind I'll look like this gorgeously crisp + romantic photo from photographer extrodinarie Roland Bello. Happy weekending!

Images via fine & lovely, Roland Bello

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Right Now

Adoring the absolutely lusciously gorgeous work of food photographer extraordinaire Matt Armendariz. It's just so good I get hungry and swoon-ie at the same time. A longtime veteran of graphic design and styling in the food industry, Matt's work has been in countless publications and a few years ago he began Matt Bites, a blog about 'a man obsessed with food, drink & everything in between'. Love it. Add to that, he'll have a cookbook out in Spring 2011. Hope it has waterproof pages for all the drooling that will be going on over it.

Images via Matt Armendariz

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Grows on Trees

While getting ready to pick peaches from our neighborhood peach tree this morning, I got to thinking about fruit trees. I dream about having avocado and lemon trees right outside the kitchen window (oh, I could use a kitchen window too, come to think of it). I would make Cafe Gitane inspired smashed avocado on toast and try my hand at homemade limoncello. For now I will dream big of lemons, mountains and sea air on the Amalfi Coast.

Images via Haas Gallery, TerraGalleria

Monday, August 2, 2010

What the Font

With my educational and professional background of the past decade in paper and press, one might say that my first love is type. And if there is a thin line between love and hate, I would venture to say that I love, (and loathe) all types of fonts. In college, I would spend days upon days letterpress printing - setting type, pawing through job trays of lead type, learning about each curve and line of every specific serif and sans serif I could get my hands on. Nowadays, I am more likely to be pouring over a cookbook, which is surely Times New Roman or the like, than found in the studio. Every now and then I have to get my fix, and after watching Objectified last night, I woke up with the design bug and had to play with some type on My Fonts. Looks like I might need to spend a couple of days printing to get this bug out of my creative system!

Images via My Fonts (top to bottom) Apricot, Londonderry Air, Gatlinberg Gossamer NF

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sunshine in a Jar

Working weekly farmers markets this summer, I've gotten to know some of the local farmers - and moreover, been able to sample most of this summer's gorgeous bounty at it's peak. Earlier this season, when strawberries were ripe for the pickin', I was gifted some 'bruised' early berries. Needless to say, I was giddy since I had already had jam on the brain. I followed a quick and great recipe using no pectin. The result was so pure and fresh I had to eat it right then and there. We whipped up some fresh ricotta, toasted some crusty bread and on top, enjoyed dollops and dollops of juicy strawberry jam. With a crisp glass of chilled sancerre, it was a beautiful dinner. Sometimes (actually, most of the time), it really is the simple things.

And while I'm jamming, be sure to check out this great post on learning to can from new blog on the block, {every}nothing wonderful (today she talks cheese!). Happy weekend!

Image via fineandlovely (excuse the poor iphone shot!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog Love

I'll be the first to admit my love for Sunday Suppers. Though I haven't attended one of the Brooklyn, NY events or classes (yet!), fortunately, I can live vicariously through their fabulous blog. I am always struck by the spot-on styling, delicious & inventive menus and gorgeous photos. I am in love with this lavender lemonade - it sums up exactly why Sunday Suppers is oh so special. Run don't walk to their blog for some bonafide swoon worthy eye candy.

Images via Sunday Suppers

Monday, July 19, 2010

Queen Bee(keeping)

Loved this story I heard on NPR this morning about the surge of women beekeepers in the states. With the mysterious plight of disappearing bees these days, and the importance of bees to our food supply, it's such a welcome trend. Fingers crossed it's not a passing fancy.

There are numerous independent organizations popping up in communities all over to support and educate those who would like to learn beekeeping. If you are in and around the Chicago area, the Chicago Honey Co-Op is a great resource. I can't wait to check it out. Watch for a sweet post on that to come!

Images via National Public Radio, Chicago Honey Co-Op

Friday, July 16, 2010

Color Love

Loving some pink and gray currently. Could be the hot and hazy weather we have been having, but the romantic gauzy patina of this subtle combination never seems to get old.

Happy weekend - hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of the sweet summer that seems to be finally here. The Mr. and I have a full dance card with a waterside concert, a double birthday (fun!) a few new bakeries to visit around town and a little work mixed in. See you next week!

Images via Our Labor of Love, Katie Elliot, Design Hole, Martha Stewart, Decor Pad, Cakegirls, (painting) Edmund Charles Tarbell

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sweet Smarts

How clever and adorable are these hanging mobiles?! Coming to us from the lovey LA based stationery shop, Urbanic, these decorations are simply twine and cupcake liners. One of those, 'wish i had thought of that before' moments. Sweetness.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Stitching Pretty

Whether it's a cocktail party or wedding, it's nice to have an alternative to towering floral displays - especially those that can be reused and redesigned with different themes. We were floored after flipping through the latest Martha Stewart Weddings issue to find something we had never seen before (yes, apparently that exists)...embroidery hoops used as table cards, chair numbers and hanging decor. This idea really couldn't be any sweeter and most importantly, versatile. While MSW went with a 'Bohemian Chic' look here, we could see this idea transformed to any aesthetic from romantic formal, chic outdoor, all the way to downtown modern. There are countless sizes of embroidery rings that can be found at any local craft or fabric store, boundless textile choices or take it one step further by designing your own fabric with Spoonflower, an online custom fabric printer (with no minimum it!). See the project here.

Images via Martha Stewart Weddings

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fine Line

Found the most amazing chocolate from Fine & Raw at last years Indie Wed event. Not only were we drawn to the name (naturally), but after one try of the cacao and coconut bon bon we were smitten. Based in Brooklyn, Fine & Raw's creators yearned of a chocolate that was loaded with health benefits while still being considered a gourmet product. Using conscious ingredients and innovative low heat techniques to keep the chocolate's raw vitality and flavor, they developed their line of agave and coconut sweetened raw confections. To say that Fine & Raw chocolates are addicting would be an understatement, they are intoxicating. So fine!

Images via Fine & Raw

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Print Hungry

Look familiar? Hopefully you were awake during Geography class, and can see the state of Michigan as a sunny side up egg...if not, let's just say you're hungry. The bestselling Michigan print is just one of all 52 states in the series, The United Plates, designed by John Holcomb of Short Handed Studio. Some of our favorites include South Dakota (shown below), Alabama, DC, Georgia, Iowa and Maryland - but who are we kidding, they are all inspired. See the whole collection at Short Handed Studio's website.

Images via Short Handed Studio

Monday, June 7, 2010

Swooning for Succulents

Hardy and gorgeous, we have always adored succulents. Researching and thinking about doing a 'living wall' of these beauties. Loving the great, low maintenance ideas and step by step from Sunset. Also perfect for weddings...a fresh spin on table settings, bouquets and boutonnieres.

Photos via Sunset, Apartment Therapy, Once Wed

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cheese + Print = Love

Received this incredible (and incredibly useful) print from a friend who knows our extreme weakness for cheese. The designer, Lucy Knisley, is an illustrator raised by foodies, and native of NYC now living in Chicago. She recently published her first book, French Milk (how adorable?!), which tells the story about a girl living (and eating) in Paris with her mother. We love her sweet and varied work, see the current sampling here.

Image Shown: Lucy Knisley Cheese Print, Purchased at Renegade Craft Chicago

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Get it Because it's HOT!

Since it's summer - yes, it's here, not officially, but c'mon, it's June - we have been getting into more refreshing beverages with fruit, ice, herbs, and well, let's be honest here, liquor. Summer cocktail concoctions have arrived. With the exciting discovery of the elusive Blenheim Ginger Ale, we have been making some lovely discoveries like the Moscow Mule and Sweet Lucy, which both incorporate ginger ale (or ginger beer) and our favorite summer addition of fresh lime.

Great spirits are important (we love Hendricks for gin, Buffalo Trace for bourbon, and Vikingfjord for vodka), but the key, really, is the ginger ale. There are some good artisan ginger ales and beers out there; Cock & Bull, Reed's, Maine Root and I'm sure many, many other regional favorites that I wish I knew. However, the best we've found that literally 'knocks our socks off' is Blenheim. It's spicy, peppery, truly gingery taste is unparalleled. The one drawback is that it's incredibly hard to find, so when you do come across this lovely libation, be sure to snap as much as you can up. Check out the official site for all the lore, and be sure to check out their blog for new recipes and great stories.

Images via Martha Stewart, Green Olive Media

Friday, May 28, 2010

Perennial Pie

It's memorial day weekend. We have blue skies for days, cool breezes and (fingers crossed) a quiet(er) city than normal. Feeling clever and sneaky, we were able to get away last weekend for a pre-holiday camping trip, so we have a relatively low key weekend at home planned. Upon our return and mail sorting, I spotted this absolutely stunning tart in the issue of Sunset magazine we'd just received- a timely Rhubarb Cardamom Galette. Just gorgeous. Can't wait to leisurely hit the market tomorrow, pick up some fresh rhubarb and be on the porch with a piece by the afternoon. Happy long weekend!

Image via Sunset Magazine

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rainy Day

This rainy, cold early spring day is making me want to cozy up in a cafe with it's doors open, feeling the fresh air, reading and drinking steaming cups of coffee. Some of loveliest days are the rainiest of days.

Image (top) Tartine - San Francisco, (middle) Gafe Gitane - NYC

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sweet Paul

Loving the new (and first!) issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. Filled with great everyday recipes, crafts, table setting ideas and general eye candy - Sweet Paul is the extension of the wildly popular blog of the same name. How adorable would this cheese box be for an impromptu late spring picnic!

Also - if you like this issue of Sweet Paul, be sure to check out the equally gorgeous and ingenious Nonpareil Magazine (more on that later!).

Image via Sweet Paul Magazine

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lighten Up

As it's the middle of March, and officially Spring, I'll be the first to admit, we're a little late to the party on this one. Winter citrus is really one of the major culinary bright spots of the early part of the year, adding much needed zing to the winter palette. Panna cottas, tarts, sorbets, marmalades and even citrus salads are the cure all for any late winter doldrums. Read all about the array of winter citrus choices here....from honeybells to clementines to satsumas, the range of options is truly surprising.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Never has the phrase 'flattery will get you everywhere' rang so true. Came across this witty shot via the blue hour blog, strolling past a neighborhood coffee shop. One cappucino please, and I'll take that scone too, come to think of it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Keep Your Fork...There's Pie!

The weekend has many lovely things in skating, reading, yoga and...pie! We have long been meaning to visit Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago's West Town and have planned a visit this weekend with some friends. Will be hard to sleep tonight dreaming of strawberry rhubarb, coconut cream and downward dog! Oh what a sweet life!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Diving Into...

My new book just arrived - can't wait to devour what I hear is a truly delectable treat of a read! Such great new (food and otherwise..) literature out now. I must catch up! For more information, see the author, Kathleen Flinn's site here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lemon Coconut

I must admit, I got on the cupcake bandwagon early on. Weddings, bakeries, books & articles all centered around the lovely cupcake. What's not to love? Of late, however, my tastes have turned to not actually eating the cupcake, but admiring from afar - for no good reason other than that I must have been on cupcake overload. Oh what a fool I have been...

Coming across the literally magical combination of lemon and coconut is a revelation. But in a cupcake, it's really perfection. Here are a couple of recipies; one with lemon curd in the center, and a good old fashioned lemon cake with coconut creme. Happy Friday!

Photos via measured memory
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