Friday, October 19, 2012

Beautiful Invitations

As the wedding gets closer, I find myself really drawn to images of beautiful stationery.  Lets face it: these are going to be the fanciest pieces of mail I ever send and I'd love to be able to make an impression with the recipients.

I've decided to make the set myself, with the help of my future sister-in-law who is an amazing graphic designer. She asked for ideas and I think I've delivered:

It looks like I'm drawn to ornate, calligraphy-style fonts, string wrapped around envelopes, and light font on dark envelopes.

I just love how you can get a feel for the type of wedding and the style of the bride and groom just by looking at their invitations. They're so personal!  And despite so much communication switching to more modern means, I love the feel of rich cardstock and the excitement that comes with opening an invitation that someone has obviously spent so much thought and time putting together.

So tell me: which are your favorites? Or do you like a more modern vibe for your invitations? I'll admit I slant more toward the traditional personally, but I absolutely love seeing the bold new ideas coming out of graphic designers!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

So. Much. Cooking!  That's pretty much what my weekend consisted of...and the inevitable cleaning of dishes that follows that much cooking.  And you know what?  It was wonderful--absolutely wonderful!  I've been trying to eat healthier foods so it's been a long time since I've baked a sweet treat, and that's definitely the category these little guys fall into.

I'm impressed at how moist the cake is, but the icing is what really steals the show:  a cream cheese buttercream frosting--oh holy cow!  And they really didn't take long to whip up.  I got about two dozen when I adapted the following recipe into cupcake form: Sigrid's Carrot Cake by The Pioneer Woman.

The only changes I made were to swap the all purpose flour for unbleached whole wheat flour (I had it on hand).  I haven't tried the originals, but I imagine it would lend a bit more texture to the cupcakes. I also used 1/3 less fat cream cheese in the frosting, again because I had it.  They're so sweet and decadent, though, that no one noticed. :)  And it wasn't mentioned in the recipe...but I cheated and threw pecan halves in the blender for the frosting--worked like a charm. Actually people at work thought I'd sprinkled brown sugar on the top!

So I'd say the recipe is a sure bet if you want to impress someone. Plus it makes the house smell amazing for fall! Is there anything better than baking with cinnamon?  And tell me--what are your favorite go-to recipes for sweet treats?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Bringing Fall Home

There are a few things that Fall always brings to mind for me. Camping, chili, football, just spending time taking in the changing leaves... There were so many traditions tied up in the changing seasons for us as kids and now every year I start to ache for those things.

Unfortunately without being able to travel this weekend, I'm going to have to bring fall to Phoenix.  So here is the group I came up with, obviously the leather chair is a splurge, but I think I could manage one or two of the other elements.

Bring Fall Home

This definitely has a masculine undertone, but I think there's some whimsy to the gilt deer head or some elegance to the patterned pillow that keep it from going too far in that direction. I'd definitely be curious to hear your thoughts: do you change decor with the seasons?  Do you find yourself craving elements inside that remind you of the season outdoors?

And speaking of fall traditions, if you're looking for an amazing chili recipe, look no farther. I was a little intimidated initially to add wine to my chili base, but this works incredibly well. It provides a slightly different, richer taste that I really enjoy.

Anyway, hope you have an amazing weekend and get to enjoy the beautiful start to Fall!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Street Style

I have a confession: left on my own, I'm not a terribly stylish person.  I just seem to lack that creative spark that allows some people to combine pieces is new and totally amazing ways.  So...instead I look to other people, store mannequins, ads, etc, for my inspiration.  And luckily since I try to use pieces from my own closet to recreate the looks, I get a unique interpretation.

So: enter this picture, a street style shot taken during New York Fashion Week: 

This, to me, is a perfect place to start for inspiration.  She looks polished, but with an edgy twist.  And it has two major benefits: 1) she constructed the outfit with basics that most of us have in our closets and 2) this would easily work in many offices/businesses. Also I'm loving that faux peplum she created with the tie--very clever!

And just in case you're in the market, here are a few pieces I found to help recreate the look. They would easily mix and match into other outfits as well.  Le sigh...I'm craving those beautiful shoes. 

Street Style

So let me know: where do you find inspiration?  Or are you one of those amazing few who can put together a killer outfit on the fly?  PS: Teach me! :)