Browsing Tag



Pink and Orange Little Monkey Valentine Party Theme

little monkey cupcakes

little monkey cupcakes

I’m glad that the New York photographer now based in California Djamilla Rosa Cochran told me about the fabulous “Let’s Monkey Around” sock puppet party that she photographed. You might have seen it featured on the blog of Amy Atlas. Let’s discuss why you should consider a pink and orange color scheme for your Valentine’s Day party.

monkey pop cakes

It is OK to refrain your use of red on Valentine’s Day. Here, the typical red is used sparsely or as a support while the orange and pink steal the show. The result is fresh, bold and playful, just like my Jonathan Alder’s Chevron Pink Toilet Roll Cover for Cottonelle. By the way, I was glad when I saw it inside the swag bag that I received at the Canadian Design Bloggers meetup. The cute toilet roll cover now cheers up my powder room.

monkey sock puppet dessert table for valentine's day

Going back to the party colors, I like the childish elements that would be cute even for grown ups. Tell me who can resist to the charm of monkey sock puppets?

This party is a team effort from California-based vendors. Marjenah of Candy Bar Couture created the dessert table. Jazzy Cupcakes modernly decorated the cupcakes while Cake Pop-in did the cake pops. If you do it yourself, do not be afraid to work with several vendors for a party. Communicating well the colors is key to get a cohesive dessert table. To make sure that everyone is on the same track, rely on colors from paint fans or the Pantone colors to communicate your color choices.

+ photos by Djamilla Rosa Cochran of The Rose Weddings



Celebration Weekend 2011 is this weekend

celebration weekend

celebration weekend

I love Sunset magazine. I discovered it a few years ago while we were in San Francisco or Los Angeles. There was a copy in our hotel room. I was hooked. Every week, Sunset organized a Celebration Weekend outdoor exhibit at their headquarters. They have activities for all members of the family, food and drinks demonstrations, beautiful gardens and a product exhibit. It is definitely on my to-do list for next year.

If you are not too far from the Menlo Park area this weekend, plan a day at Sunset Magazine Headquarters. Watch this video with footage of the 2010 edition.

+ See the lineup of Celebration Weekend 2011


To Grow Your Own Citrus Trees at Home

tips to grow citrus trees at home on sunset magazine

tips to grow citrus trees at home on sunset magazine

If there is a thing I envy from people who live in a warm region is their capability to grow their own citrus fruits. I wish i could have my own citrus orchard since I am a huge fan of citrus fruits for cooking and eating just by themselves.

For the ones who can grow their own citrus trees at home, I invite you to read this excellent article on Sunset magazine. The gardener tips come from Todd Porter and Diane Cu, the couple behind the White on Rice Couple blog. For the rest of us, the article is an eye candy.

+ Growing citrus at home on Sunset – photo by Andrea Gómez Romero
+ photo of the Oroblanco grapefruits by Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple


Sweet Lucie’s Organic Ice Cream Cart

sweet lucie's vintage ice cream cart

sweet lucie's vintage ice cream cart

Sweet Lucie’s is another cute story born from the desire of parents-to-be to eat organic food. The idea emerged from the ice cream craving of Geri. This explained why owners Geri and Mike Czako named business after their little girl.

I was sold when I first laid my eyes on their charming 1950’s ice cream truck and their vintage ice cream cart. From the reviews I read online, their organic ice cream is supposed to be divine. I say “Bravo!” for developing such a superb concept.

Serving Southern California

sweet lucie's organic ice cream vintage cart and truck

If I was hosting a wedding, a birthday party, a bar/bat mitzvah or a special private party in the Southern California area, I would give them a call. Sweet Lucie’s can cater up to 600 guests per event but you do not have to host a huge party like that go with this party rental service. I know that they were hired for a 40th birthday party, kids birthdays, weddings and a golf tournament. Sweet Lucie’s will work with you to tailor the ice cream flavors to your taste and party theme. They can also serve a sunday bar.

sweet lucie's mint lemonade sorbet recipe

As far as I know they did not start yet, but they should bring their ice cream to the streets of Southern California in a near future. For the rest of us who live too far to enjoy their tasty ice cream, we can prepare their Simple At-Home Organic Mint Lemonade Sorbet Recipe.

+ Sweet Lucie’s
+ Sweet Lucie’s at The Knot event – photo by Duke Photography Inc.
+ Simple At-Home Organic Mint Lemonade Sorbet Recipe on Tastespotting’s blog


Asian Grill Recipes for your Next BBQ

asian grill recipes as seen on sunset magazine - june 2010

asian grill recipes as seen on sunset magazine - june 2010

If you are looking for something different to grill on your BBQ, why not get inspired by Asian cooking. I would serve the Five-Spice Chicken Noodle Salad into a big bowl placed on a tray. And the tray will also hold the bowl of Chile Lime Dressing. Serving the dressing in individual bowls will be aligned with how they serve food in Japanese restaurants.

And talking about Japanese food, you can’t go wrong if you serve Japanese Tofu Skewers on Soba. It’s healthy! You alternate the nigari tofu with alternating with green onions and shiitake mushroom caps.

These two recipes appeared on the June 2010 issue of Sunset magazine. You will find drink pairings by Sara Schneider online. And they proposed three more delicious Asian grill recipes.

+ Photography by Annabelle Breakey – food styling by Karen Shinto for Sunset magazine

HOME + GARDEN MODERN architecture

Vote for your Favorite House We Love on Dwell

ridgewood residence

maison noire by architect Pierre Thibault

The only Canadian house that Dwell selected for their House We Love competition is here in Quebec. It’s the Maison Noire by the architect Pierre Thibault. His house is all black outside and all white inside. Maison Noire is one of 20 finalists.

ridgewood residence

What I enjoy the most are how architects succeed with the integration of the single-family residences in an urban environment. The Ridgewood residence is amazing. I still have to vote since I did not look at every project yet, but it has an advantage on my heart.

house we love finalists: Swedenborg house and sigg house

The Swedenborg house represents an excellent integration of a modern architecture house in a traditional neighborhood. The Sigg house exhibits nice craftsmanship and I like their inviting kitchen.

zack house :: dwell\'s house we love finalist

You can say the same with the Zack house, which feels very LA. Voting for your favorite residence will be hard since the 20 selected houses are awesome. You have until June 27th, 2010 before midnight to cast your vote.

+ House We Love by Dwell


Hay Bales as Seats and Tables

hay bale seats and tables :: western wedding in the californian wine country photographed by verite photography

hay bale seats and tables :: western wedding in the californian wine country photographed by verite photography

I cannot be happier that the outdoor entertaining season has started. It is so much fun to eat outside. Hay bales easily transformed into seats or tables. Make sure to place a few layers of thick fabric, like canvas, on the hay for comfort. Or you can lay out a simple fabric and add cushions on top. Then, you get an easy and affordable furniture solution for a big family picnic in the countryside.

This photo was part of an elegant western theme wedding that happens in sunny California last year. Check out the thoughtful details and the great design ideas of this wedding celebrations on Style Me Pretty.

+ photo: Verite Photography


Ink & Iron’s Letterpress Cards | Etsy Finds

ink and iron letterpress cards on etsy

ink and iron letterpress cards on etsy

I came across the original work of Ink & Iron on Oh So Beautiful Paper. I like how her imagery adds a charming touch to the greeting cards. Ink & Iron is definitely a name to remember. For their custom made invitations, announcements, greeting cards, head to Pilot Press, their studio located in Davis, California.

+ happy face letterpress birthday card $4 USD at Ink & Iron on etsy
+ we’re a great match letterpress anniversary card $4 on etsy


Planters and Containers by Architectural Pottery

vessel architectural pottery planters

vessel architectural pottery planters

If you are willing to spend more to get a true feel of mid-century design that was popular in California, have a look at the vast collection of containers and planters reissued by Vessel USA. They manufactured from original designer specifications and drawings used by Architectural Pottery. The shapes are superb. The pieces will acquire patina with time.

+ La Gardo Tackett TH-series $245 – $1434 USD
+ La Gardo Tackett IN-1 $245 – $348
+ Vessel Architectural Pottery at Velocity


An Outdoor Entertaining Space Like in The Movies

dramatic views of the sunset plaza residence in los angeles

dramatic views of the sunset plaza residence in los angeles

This feels truly like Hollywood, on a good way. Imagine how easy it should be to throw a party with such dramatic views as your backdrop. Yes, I am in awe with that Sunset Plaza house designed by Assembledge.

upstairs terrace lounging area of the sunset plaza residence designed by assembledge

The pool area and the upstairs terrace were designed for someone who likes to host pool party. They are ideas to steal here if you are redesigning your backyard. I am particularly fond of the long benches. It is not hard to build something similar. You can always reduce the cost by opting for cheaper type of wood that you will paint.

sunset plaza residence swimming pool at night :: los angeles

I am sure that I saw the Sunset Plaza house used in a movie or a TV show. Do you recall which?

+ photos: Assembledge


3 Must-Have Details for your Next Milestone Party

wonderful props at a eunice and daniel's wedding

wonderful props at a eunice and daniel\'s wedding

Weddings become more and more amazing every year. That formal event seems more fun than in the past. Couples these days want a memorable wedding that fits within their personality. For these reasons, they are always an incredible source of inspirations for any big party.

You probably have seen the wedding of the creative director of Hello!Lucky, Eunice with Daniel. It is featured on The Spring 2010 edition of Martha Stewart weddings and many on the blogosphere have praised it this month. This remarkable wedding illustrates so well key components that can make any party one that your guests will remember for many years.

1. Set the Tone with Stages, Props and Custom Signage

custom signage contributes to a party decor

If you wish to make a statement, you need to invest in out of the ordinary party decor elements. They use the service of Because We Can to build a portable flat-pack grand stage, various signs, and fun props. Look for local people with a background in theater set, or even an excellent store window designer. They know how to create make believe props and stages.

And do not underestimate the power of custom signage. It does not give directions to your guests. It look should reinforce your party theme.

2. Parades and Costumes

party activity: get props for a festive parade

The idea of a parade to bring the guests from point A to point B is a great and fun idea. It sends the message that it is time to celebrate. People of all ages love parades. Anyone with an artistic flair coupled with some building experience can made their own version of hand-painted silhouettes, if you have time on your hand. At a kid party, the kid can decorate their own silhouettes. When selecting the materials, make sure the silhouettes once attached to the stick will still be lightweight.

3. Attention to the Comfort of Your Guests

details to assure the comfort of your guests

Assuring the well-being of your guests is the number #1 rule of entertaining. Every party has their high and low moments. Make sure that your guests always find something to do. It is not just about paying attention to food and drinks. It is also making sure that nobody is too hot, or too cold. It is about self-servicing snacks all day long, just in case someone is really hungry. All these little details translate into fun and happiness for your guests.

The last point applies to everyday entertaining. If those are planned ahead, the host and hostess will be free to enjoy the company of their guests. It does not always work that way in real life. But as long as you aim for more work before and less work during the party, you should be OK.

+ Eunice and Daniel feature on Martha Stewart Weddings
+ Portable stands, props and signage by Because We Can
+ Behind the scenes coverage on the blog of Hello!Lucky
+ Get the vendor list on Hello!Lucky
+ via 100 Layer Cake