Monday, September 15, 2014

Hand-Tied


John was on a red-eye to Buffalo Thursday (does it seem to anyone else like he's been traveling a whole lot lately?) and AJ, one half of our usual Friday night date, was singing on Friday evening, so his best girl Laura and I decided to take advantage of our free night with cocktails and girl talk. After  spiced tequila confections at Coqueta, we strolled through Jackson Square to Bask for a pitcher of sangria and tapas. I headed home that evening feeling so grateful for girlfriends and my fluffy white bed.

We've been making a habit recently of setting an alarm on weekends; it's not the most decadent way to start a Saturday, but you can't get much more productive! After a breakfast of avocado toast topped with a poached egg and roasted fingerlings, I took my cup of tea into the living room for a morning of to-do lists, emails, blogging and even a bit of wedding planning–after picking my dress last weekend, we're working on our florist and the invitations! After some housekeeping, I sat down at my desk for an afternoon with my books, highlighters and notes to get cracking on writing–and didn't leave my laptop until John called to tell me he took first and second place at the arrangement competition in Buffalo late that evening! I hadn't realized it had gotten to late, so I whipped up a simple risotto and enjoyed a glass of rosé before heading to bed.

I woke up early again on Sunday and after some breakfast tacos, got straight to work. It goes without saying that long hours at one's computer doesn't exactly make for scintillating reading material, so let's skip to the later afternoon, when I caught up with one of my besties on the East Coast, worked up a sweat (vital after so many hours of sitting...) and then dashed off to the airport to grab my guy! I even tucked two of his favorite fall beers into my bag to go with our Indian food feast–you didn't really think I could go a whole weekend without chicken tikka and aloo naan, did you? After a late supper, we headed home, thrilled to finally be reunited and wishing there was one more day in every weekend.


Tell me, what were you up to this weekend? Dreaming of fall flavors, indulging in a new pair of riding boots, or planning an autumn adventure, perhaps?
 

Image by Clayton Austin, bouquet by Without Wax, Katy.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Varsity Cocktail


John and I spent some time last Saturday drinking this long cocktail and deciding on the perfect name; a bit tart and wonderfully refreshing, it would be ideal for sipping in the stands at homecoming.


Varsity Cocktail 

2 oz gin
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon
3/4 oz orange curaçao
1/4 oz simple syrup
barspoon of crème de violette
soda water

Combine gin, lemon, orange liqueur, syrup and crème de violette in a shaker with ice; shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Double strain into a Collins filled with ice, then top with soda.

Notes: Rothman & Winter makes an excellent crème de violette, and since it's the only one I've ever drunk, it's the only brand I can recommend with certainty. We paired the floral ingredient with a classic London dry gin with plenty of juniper, and those of you who enjoy gin will absolutely adore it–cheers!


Image by Brea McDonald.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Anderson


This week I'm loving modern typefaces, croissants for breakfast and gazing goofily at photos of me in my wedding dress–yes, it's mine, all mine! So now that I've gushed a little, tell me what you're loving this weekend!







Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alix and Andrew

































After meeting on a Teach for America assignment in Kansas City, it was clear Alix and Andrew were meant for each other. To celebrate their wedding, the couple planned a late-summer weekend fête at Lied Lodge in Nebraska with space enough for all their guests.

Alix wore a silk taffeta gown with a structural pleated crumbcatcher and romantic crystal beaded belt. Pearl-covered d'Orsay slides by Something Bleu, a pair of crystal drops from Kate Spade and a simple veil completed her look, and she carried a simple white bouquet of freesias, tulips, hydrangeas and camellias by Burton Tyrrell Flowers. Her maids looked smart in steely gray silk taffeta dresses from J.Crew, while Andrew accessorized his navy JoS A Bank suit with a white shirt, navy polka dot tie, navy-edged pocket square and brown shoes all from J.Crew.

After a traditional ceremony and their first kiss as husband and wife, Alix, Andrew and their guests headed back to farm for an intimate reception. The bride and her mother crafted each detail, from custom cornhole boards and floral arrangements to the homemade jam favors, with their friends and family in mind. Burlap runners were stamped with table numbers, a large white tent provided shade from the warm afternoon sun and after dinner, there was dancing beneath bistro lights hung in the barn. A slice of the Lincoln Cake Lady's confections couldn't begin to match the sweetness of this couple's celebration.


Each gorgeous moment was captured by Megan Pomeroy and first featured on Snippet & Ink; tell me, do you have a favorite detail or photo from this classic celebration?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dove Gray


A pair of dove gray peep toes reminds me of my favorite San Francisco mornings–overcast and cool, perfect for curling up with a cup of tea.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Garden


What a weekend–I've got big news to share!

On Friday night, I skipped out of the office and toward the beach to meet John at Masala for all the curries we could dream of. He brought a few fall beers from Sierra Nevada and we curled up in our favorite cozy corner of the restaurant for an early dinner. After our feast, we headed home and kicked back with a Errol Morris documentary, Tabloid. We headed to bed early, knowing that Saturday would be a big day! 

We were up and out of bed long before our neighborhood woke up, and decided to wait out the opening of one of our favorite little breakfast spots with laundry, email and a bit of housekeeping. After empanadas and oversized mugs of coffee and tea, we headed home to get serious with our to do lists. John tackled scales, arpeggios and etudes while I cracked the books. We kept an eye on the clock though, because we had a date neither of us wanted to miss–an appointment at Berkeley's The Wedding Party to see a dress I've been absolutely crazy about! I can't say enough good things about the experience working with Clara and Jennifer; they let me pull a whole pile of dresses, posed me for pictures and encouraged John to speak up about what he liked. No one teased me about saving the dream dress for last, and in the end, it didn't disappoint. To celebrate, we popped across the street to Cask's new location for a bottle of sherry and I called my mom to tell her the news as we drove across the Bay Bridge. There was no time for dwadling at home, though; I'd scored an orchestra seat to the opening night of Susannah, and I dragged John to grab a standing room spot. Luckily our swanky ensembles (and no doubt the glow of finding the dress) caught the attention of the staff, and they offered us up to Grand Tier seats in the third row! We dashed upstairs just in time for the curtain and watched Carlisle Floyd's incredible opera unfold. A bit exhausted from the emotional upheavals of the day (we also discovered a monstrosity is being installed in our ideal ceremony location, sending us back to the drawing board), we headed home for a late night snack and an episode or two of Frasier before bed. 

We were up early again on Sunday, and decided to whip up a magnificent breakfast of avocado toast with poached eggs, roasted potatoes with garlic and chives and plenty of caffeine. After straightening up the house, we both got into our weekend routines–reading, note-taking and highlighting for me, practice, practice and more practice for John. We both got outside for a little exercise, and while John grabbed a beer with our friend and neighbor, I dashed out to the library where more books awaited me! I also got a chance to catch up with my oldest friend and organize myself for the week ahead. Over a simple spaghetti supper, John and I enjoyed an episode of Frasier and the promise of a quiet evening with our latest reads.


Tell me, what were you up to this weekend? Did you do a little fall shopping, make a plan to visit your alma mater or take up a new project, perhaps? I want to hear all about it!


Image by Jenelle Kappe Photography, white peony bouquet by Asrai Garden.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Caipirinha


Sure, summer may have unofficially drawn to a close this week, but I'm game for a few more warm weather cocktails if you are! This Brazilian specialty is the daiquiri's rough and tumble cousin, and absolutely perfect for late summer evenings!


Caipirinha

2 oz cachaça
1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar

Slice lime into 1/2-inch rounds, then muddle in cocktail shaker with raw sugar. Add ice and cachaça, then shake for 10-15 seconds. Pour into an Old-Fashioned glass or small tumbler. Serve with a straw.

Notes: Cachaça is similar to, and occasionally undistinguished from, agricole rum, a slightly funkier version of the Bacardi found in liquor stores. This is tantamount to treason, but if you can't find cachaça, an agricole rum (we like St. George's, naturally) will do just fine in this boozy setting. Cheers!


Image by Abby Jiu.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cheerful


I must confess, weekends probably won't be very glamorous in the next few months (truly, are they ever?). I'm working on a big project and two unstructured days each week means lots of time to devote to my undertaking. But I promise to do my best to keep things interesting–I have tickets to the opera and an appointment at a local bridal shop to see my favorite dress next weekend !
 
On Friday night, I headed home and straight into the waiting arms of my guy–Indian food was on the way, a bottle of my favorite French apple cider was chilling and the foggy weather promised us a perfect evening. After a curried feast and a few episodes of Masters of Sex, we tumbled off to bed excited for one well-deserved long weekend.

We were up early on Saturday, and while I cleaned out my inbox, John was crafting a fabulous breakfast he delivered to me in bed. Avocado toast topped with a poached egg and some roasted fingerling potatoes proclaimed that the weekend had truly arrived, and we clinked our teacups before diving into a day full of favorite projects, with John at the guitar and me at my computer. When I'm engrossed in something, I can easily spend all day reading, writing and thinking, which is precisely what Saturday was devoted to–along with a bit of yoga and a light lunch. John ducked out that evening for supplies, and when he returned home, everything was ready for an impromptu date night. We sipped cocktails, noshed on pâté and cheeses, and let Bebel Gilberto provide the perfect soundtrack to our cozy evening.

Sunday started much the same way, though Gruyère omelettes were on the menu instead. I pulled out my notebooks, favorite sticky tabs and brightest highlighters while John worked through logistics for an upcoming trip to Buffalo, NY. He dashed out for an afternoon run while I met up with an old grad school pal to talk weddings over a glass of rosé at Outerlands, and soon we were ready for an early supper. We made a big trip to our favorite grocery store, then headed home to enjoy simple turkey, swiss and avocado sandwiches as the sun set. We curled up with Funny Face, one of my favorite films (which John had never seen) while a loaf of banana bread baked in the oven, and as we fell asleep, we remembered giddily that there was still one more "weekend" day left!

I had us up even earlier on Monday morning to keep us on our usual schedule. Banana bread and a cup of spiced tea made for a perfect breakfast, and while John practiced scales, I curled up with my laptop and the latest issue of Martha Stewart Weddings. I spent the majority of the day with a book in my lap, but a bit of sunshine is good for the soul, and so I did get out a bit. That evening, we hosted a friend for dinner, and served a Spanish-inspired menu: Marcona almonds, olives and cheeses with Sherry and Campari cocktails to start, following by a spicy tortilla española and a big pile of greens. We washed it all down with a bottle of rosé–the perfect wine to toast the end of summer with.


Tell me, what were you up to this holiday weekend? Poolside cocktails, beach-side barbeques or perhaps attending a wedding or two? I want to hear all about it!
 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day


Enjoying one more quiet morning by the sea–hope you've all been having a beautiful weekend, and see you tomorrow!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Mid-Morning Fizz


Inspired by the classic Ramos Gin Fizz, this light, complex cocktail pairs beautifully with brunch dishes–and will have your weekend guests asking for the recipe!


Mid-Morning Fizz

1 3/4 oz gin
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz syrup
1/2 oz green Chartreuse
5 drops orange blossom water
1 egg white
soda water 

Combine gin, lemon juice, syrup, Chartreuse, orange blossom water and egg white in a shaker. Shake vigorously without ice for 10 seconds, then add ice and shake vigorously for an additional 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with ice, then top with soda and garnish with an orange wheel.

Notes: An unobtrusive gin, like Plymouth or St George's Botanivore, will bring together the other ingredients will aplomb. There are inexpensive bottles of Chartreuse to be found, but the good stuff is well worth the higher price tag, and is one of gin's best partners. Cheers!
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Coles and Mark

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield
 Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Azalea cocktails at a classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Champagne at a classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

Classic Georgia wedding designed by Tara Guérard Soirée and captured by Liz Banfield

When Coles and Mark decided to tie the knot, the bride's parents' home was an irresistible location for their fabulous Southern fête. With the help of the event design and planning team at Tara Guérard Soirée, the couple's garden wedding, inspired by the colors of hydrangea blossoms on the lawn of the turn-of-the-century Georgian estate, was a smashing success! The Lettered Olive provided save the dates, along with programs, tags for favors and welcome bag goodies, and charming signs, but a classic calligraphy invitation from The Paper Lady set the stage for a picture perfect summer wedding.

Coles chose an elegant lace Anna Maier A-line gown and a simple chapel-length veil; a diamond tennis bracelet, simple studs and a low chignon were perfect accessories for her wedding day. Bridesmaids wore blue chiffon gowns with a single ruffled strap by Amsale and carried diminutive versions of Coles' white rose and peony bouquet. Mark and his groomsmen made a bold statement in white dinner jackets and classic black bow ties.

The Augusta Symphony Orchestra played Bach and Handel as five hundred guests gathered to witness Coles and Mark exchange their vows. After the ceremony, the family's silver service was used to present hors d'oeuvres and Azalea cocktails in honor of the nearby Augusta National Golf Course, and hanging candles led guests to dinner and dancing, where Carolina quail, shrimp and grits, beef tenderloin, crab cakes, grilled lamb chops and pan seared sea scallops by Aberdeen Catery were served. The newlyweds cut a rug with the Atlanta Party Band before cutting into their six-tier cake by Jim Smeal, featuring dozens of delicate handmade sugar flowers. As the night grew long, hot pretzels and fresh donuts were served, and thanks to Tara Guérard Soirée, it was a night no one is soon to forget!


Of course, there's no chance of forgetting the loveliness captured by Liz Banfield; many thanks to her and the team at Tara Guérard Soirée for sharing these gorgeous images! Tell me, what's your favorite photo or detail from this Southern celebration?
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