Saturday, December 31, 2016
"Every time you open a bottle of champagne, it's a celebration, so there's no better way of starting a celebration than opening a bottle of champagne. Every time you sip it, you're sipping from all those other celebrations. The joy accumulates over time."
Wishing you a wonderful New Year—to 2017!
Image by Meghan Kay Sadler.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
What a semester! These last few weeks have been challenging, but it is an unending privilege to do what I love each and every day. I hope that as 2016 comes to a close, you're all feeling the same way about your work—whether that's coordinating weddings and designing floral arrangements, tackling problems that will change the world (or one little piece of it), volunteering to help others, or taking care of your families.
After a lighting-fast trip to Tulsa for a beautiful winter wedding, I'm absolutely thrilled to be spending our first holiday in Michigan—we'll have a white Christmas for sure! I've planned the two-day menu, though admittedly I haven't shopped for a thing yet. Just one exam to grade and a last assignment to submit before I can devote myself to tree-trimming and listening to Aaron Neville on repeat. Wishing you all a lovely holiday!
Image by @suertj.
Friday, November 11, 2016
A 70s classic updated with a touch of coconut cream to sweeten your weekend.
1 oz Galliano
1 oz crème de cacao
1 oz coconut cream
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10–15 seconds, then strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Notes: Totally over-the-top, this sipper is a cream cocktail that makes a fabulous nightcap or boozy dessert. The coconut cream is a tropical substitute for the original heavy cream, but I have a feeling you'll enjoy it either way. And if you find yourself fresh out of Galliano, swap it for sambuca or Neopolitan liqueur. Hope this helps lift your spirits.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Monday, November 7, 2016
When I was a kid, there were a few places I'd never say "no" to visiting: an ice cream shop, the dance studio, and any bookstore. Guess some things never change. Which is why I'm so crazy about this week's wonderful wedding at none other than the Housing Works Bookstore. The whole gorgeous affair will be up on Wednesday, and in the meantime I'll be chasing down some of that golden autumn light!
Image by Sasithon Photography.
Friday, October 21, 2016
A tart sipper for a warm fall afternoon.
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 oz fresh thyme
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Add thyme and steep until cool, then pass through a fine strainer. Combine 1 1/2 oz thyme syrup with 1/2 oz lemon juice in a shaker; shake for 10 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Add soda water to taste and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Notes: This fall-infused lemonade is perfect on its own, but if your Friday afternoon is calling for something a bit stiffer, a splash of vodka wouldn't hurt it one bit. Cheers!
Image via ABC Kitchen.
Friday, October 7, 2016
October has arrived; I say we toast with a daiquiri all dressed up for fall!
2 oz aged rum
¾ oz spiced demerara syrup
¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
¾ oz spiced demerara syrup
¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake for 10-15 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
Notes: To make the spiced demerara syrup, grind 2 grams star anise, 8 grams dried ginger, 6 grams vanilla bean, 6 grams black pepper, 6 grams cinnamon, 3 grams nutmeg, and 5 grams dried orange peel in a spice grinder until powdery (You could also substitute a pumpkin pie spice, though the cocktail will have a little less kick). Add 1 oz. of the spice mixture to 2 cups of water and 2 cups of demerara sugar and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Strain and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks, where it will make a great addition to not only this cocktail but your morning coffee, afternoon tea, or on pumpkin pancakes.
Monday, October 3, 2016
Wedding season may just be wrapping up, but the holidays are fast approaching—which means 'tis the season for engagements! With that in mind, I teamed up with some friends at Noe's Jewelry to bring you expert tips and tricks to pick the perfect engagement ring!
Before jumping headfirst into the 4 Cs—cut, color, clarity, and carat weight—get a sense of what shape of stone your partner-to-be prefers. Shape indicates the geometry of a gem (like round, square, or oval), as opposed to its cut, which is associated with the angles of the facets in a stone.
Choose the Right Setting
The right combination of shape and setting will enhance the look of your ring, so think carefully about the setting, or metal mounting of your gem. A classic round stone looks modern in a bezel setting, while an oval diamond will look most traditional in a four-pronged setting. While some couples shop together, if your plan is to surprise your partner, consider their lifestyle (Do they wear gloves at work, for example, or need to wash their hands often?) as well as the type of jewelry they already wear when picking a setting. Pay attention to whether your spouse-to-be wears sliver or platinum, or prefers yellow or rose gold. Does their taste tend toward vintage finds or modern styles? Call a bestie or see if you can find a Pinterest page with dream gems if you need more inspiration.
Make a Metal Selection
When it comes to the band itself, engagement ring jewelers offer rings in several different metals. One of the most popular choices is platinum, a highly durable metal that hypoallergenic and easy on sensitive skin. Gold's also had something of a revival recently, and you can find yellow, rose, white, and even green gold bands (though you should chat with your jeweler about upkeep of these metals, since they are softer and more sensitive than platinum). Another option is palladium, which is grayer in tone than platinum and quite rare.
A diamond may be forever, but that doesn't mean you should put yourself in debt to buy one. Choose a ring that matches your budget, and don't be afraid to make your money work for you. Purchasing a stone just shy of the next carat size can reap you a savings of about 20%, and selecting a gem with a slightly bigger table, or surface, can stretch your budget if your fiancée is looking for a bigger stone.
Inspect your Gem
When you first choose a ring, you may be looking at loose stones as opposed to mounted diamonds. Because the gem accounts for much of the ring's cost, make sure you inspect it thoroughly and keep an eye out for visible marks, chips, or flaws. Don't forget to do it again once the stone is set.
Many thanks to our friends at Noe's Jewelers for their advice, which I hope will help guide you through the purchasing process. And don't forget to have some fun while you're doing it!
Image via Martha Stewart Weddings.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Labor Day weekend means a last chance to grill by the pool, eat rainbow sprinkle-covered ice cream cones, rock all-white outfits, and drink fabulous frozen summer cocktails before the school year starts. And I've got just what you need to make it a perfect holiday weekend–Watermelon Frosé!
2 cups chilled rosé
1 1/2 cups chopped watermelon
1/2 cup simple syrup
3 1/2 cups ice
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency is reached, approximately one minute.
Notes: Pretty easy, right? To kick things up a notch and achieve a super-slushy texture, freeze the watermelon chunks in advance. And if you need to drown your sorrows about the end of summer, throw in a splash of vodka–I won't tell. Cheers!
Image by Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper.