Monday, February 28, 2011

oscar party

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that Oscar Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year.  The fashion, the films, the dreams coming true.  I cry a lot during the show and always feel inspired by it.  This year, I picked my husband up from the airport just a few hours before the show started.  Back at home from a work trip, I was elated to spend time with him and watch the Oscars together.  

I put together a little Oscar party for just the two of us.  I decorated the table in bright red tulips and gold glitter ribbon.  I made dishes based on our four favorite "Best Picture" films and we played Oscar Bingo that I got from HERE and used THESE fancy ballots to inspire the whole shindig.  

{sorry the pictures aren't very big, I know it's hard to see the details.  Like my favorite sparkly ribbon!}

The cocktail:  Brain Juice Bellini, The Social Network.  Minute Maid makes brain juice (it's pomegranate and blueberry juice) and billionaires drink champagne, right?  So I made brain juice champagne cocktails to honor this film.  

The appetizer:  Ricotta Bruschetta, The King's Speech.  This one might be a stretch, but I saw this recipe and wanted to make it, so here's how I justified it.  I bet if you had a few cocktails and tried to say Ricotta Bruschetta really fast and a bunch of'd probably stutter.  Recipe HERE...and ah-mazing!  

The entree: Shepherd's Pie, The Fighter.  Nothing like an old fashioned Irish Shepherd's Pie to celebrate this great film.  Used an old recipe and turkey meat so it was a healthier version.  It was perfect for the cold February evening.  

The dessert:  Black and White Brownies, Black Swan.  These didn't make it to the photo collage.  They maybe didn't even get their picture taken.  What?  I was hungry.  I made cream cheese swirled brownies.  Get it?  They're black and white.  Very original...I know.  

Oscar Bingo was SO much fun, I suggest you bookmark THIS website so you can download next year's version when the time comes.  

YAY for the OSCARS!  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - darling Vera

Who doesn't love Ms. Vera Wang?  Even if you don't care for her ultra feminine wedding gowns, how can you not love her personal sense of style and wonderful self-made story?  Well, this amazing woman is at it again.  And this time she's making it happen at David's Bridal of all places!  That's right, now every woman can wear a Vera Wang gown.  The White by Vera Wang Collection arrived at select David's Bridal stores last Thursday.  

This blush creation couldn't be more dreamy or romantic and is one of my favorites from the collection.  And it's only $1200.  Seriously!  

You can check out the entire collection (she has accessories too!) on the David's Bridal website, found HERE.   

Friday, February 18, 2011

a vegan week

Since Monday my husband and I have been vegans.  I know, it's crazy to me too.  I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could do it.  I wanted to see how my body would respond.  I wanted to test my will power, but of course I felt like I couldn't do it alone.  My meat and potato loving husband took the challenge with me in solidarity.  What a trooper.  I'm such a fan of that man.  

Anyway, we have successfully made it through the work week as vegans.  It was not as bad as I thought, but I couldn't be more ready for a slice of pizza!  (random that pizza is the thing I want to break it)  Over the past five days, I've learned a few things about vegan-dom, about myself and about the food I eat.  

I've learned that: 

- There are actually a decent amount of vegan choices, it was easier to buy prepared food than I thought it would be and incredibly easy to make dinners at home.  
- I really love Trader Joe's.  
- I will now pay way more attention to what I am putting into my body.  
- I can do anything I really set my mind to.  
- I feel much lighter but also more tired.  
- It's amazing how much I didn't miss meat.  
- It's amazing how much I DID miss butter and cheese.  
- Asian food is great for a vegan diet.  
- I don't need sugar and milk in my tea, it's actually pretty good without it.  
- I have a huge amount of respect for people who can maintain this lifestyle.  

I loved the challenge to not use my go-to options for cooking dinner and making lunch.  I loved that it forced me to really think about what I was eating.  And I love that we made it, because to be honest, I didn't really think we would.  I don't think I could ever maintain such a strict diet indefinitely, but I do know that moving forward,  I will take components of the vegan lifestyle and incorporate them into my daily life.  

We did it!  Go us.  But for tomorrow...bring on the pizza.  And extra cheese on mine, please!  

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - picking colors

Once in a while, a Bride will fall in love with a picture she sees on the internet.  And this is great because it's a jumping off point for her own wedding design.  In this case, in order to help her pick a color scheme, I've made a few color combos in photoshop using the picture of the bouquet that she adores.  I'm hoping this will help her see which colors she really loves with those gorgeous flowers.  

This is a handy tip to all you around with colors, what you like might actually surprise you.  And don't be afraid to do something you haven't seen on the blogs...strive to pick what you love, not what you think you should love or what's popular.  

Here are some options for this Bride...what do you fine readers think?  Which one is your pick?  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

hearts day - update

Welcome to "Kaufman Day of Love: Destination Unknown".  As I mentioned HERE, we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day a day early and do something different.  We woke up crazy early and hit the road for an adventure.   We named it "Destination Unknown" as we decided to travel up the coast and stop when we felt like it.  It was one of the best days EVER.

Here is a photo recap for you.  Enjoy!

{first things!}

{a sunny morning at the beach = a happy girl} 

{"Maybe we should just stay here all day"}  

{a stop at a vineyard for a little road trip sustenance} 

{what's a Day of Love without a little bubbly?} 

{vines and Valentines}  

{we ended in San Luis Obispo at this famous gum wall, I wasn't so sure about it} 

{dinner at a fabulous place, under a tree, next to the creek was heaven} 

{be. my. valentine.}  

I hope you had a fun, laughter, kiss - filled Valentine's Day.  I know I did!


Friday, February 11, 2011

hold your breath

The perfect Valentine's Day gift for all of us ladies will arrive on Monday.  Anthropologie is unveiling it's new line of bridal dresses, accessories, party dresses, jewelry and shoes.  So, hold your breath for BHLDN to come out on Valentine's Day, I have seen a few sneak peeks and I can promise you that you will swoon!  BHLDN (pronounced "beholden") will surely make us all have that giddy, girly, romantic feeling.  And I cannot wait!  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!  DO something comforting, BE in love and GO exploring!  


Thursday, February 10, 2011

hearts day

Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching and while many people feel like it's a silly Hallmark holiday, I happen to love it.  I think I love it because my first date with my husband was on Valentine's Day.  And I'm a sentimental schmuck like that.  I feel like it was only yesterday that we circled the ice rink together and I got that wonderful butterfly feeling when we held hands for the first time.  I love celebrating Valentine's Day with the man that was my first and only Valentine.  

That being said, just like the cynics, I hate trying to figure out what to do to celebrate Valentine's Day.  If we want to go to our favorite restaurant, we have to pay double for a prix fixe meal that we don't even want.  I hate that, so this year I've been brainstorming some alternative ways to celebrate Valentine's Day.  I've got three to share with you in hopes of inspiring you to think outside the box and find a unique way to celebrate with your honey.  

1 - Road Trip It.  
Celebrate by waking your Valentine up early and hitting the open road.  Just think of hours in the car together talking, singing and laughing until you reach your destination.  Head to a town you've both always wanted to explore and spend the day together doing just that.  Have lunch somewhere fabulous, a few noon-time cocktails, some more exploring and then head back home.  

2 - Scary Movie Marathon. 
What's more comforting than being in the arms of the one you love?  Pick out a few scary movies, pop some popcorn, turn out the lights and let the frights begin.  You'll love being "protected" by him and he'll love watching some anti-romantic it's a win-win!  

3 - A City Scavenger Hunt.  
Pair up with a friend who is also looking for an alternative Valentine's Day and make a city scavenger hunt for each other.  The two of you can set some parameters and then just let your imagination run wild.  Maybe they send you to find the cheapest glass of wine on the 300 block of La Brea, and maybe you send them to get a matchbook from where they got engaged.  Either way, it'll surely be a fun and surprise filled night for you and your Valentine.  

My husband and I are going with option number one and we are so excited!  Sunday morning we're hitting the road bright and early to head out for a fun, love-filled day of exploring.  I can't wait!  

Whatever you end up doing, I hope it's a wonderfully special day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - pom poms

Remember when people used to throw rice or birdseed on the Bride and Groom?  That was fun then, but what is fun now?  How about something colorful and incredibly creative like this couple did?  They gave each of their guests a cone of pom-poms to shower them with whimsy as they walked back down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife.  I absolutely dig this idea, in fact, I sent it to one of my current clients and am really hoping they love it too!  

In today's wedding world...let your imagination run wild!  Express yourself as best you can and your guests will have a blast and leave feeling like that wedding was "so you!"  

images by: Jill Thomas 

Friday, February 4, 2011

super bowl snacks

Ever since Christmas my sister-in-law and I have been making pigs-in-a-blanket together for the Packers games.  We feel it is no coincidence that they have been winning ever since we started doing this.  So now, she makes them at her house for the first half of the game and I make them at my house for the second half.  Honest to goodness, this snack has helped us get to the Super Bowl.  

That being said, I'll DEFINITELY be making those at half-time, but what should I make for the beginning of the game?  I need some help.  Two weeks ago I got kind of sick of the typical football snacks so I made hummus and tzatziki and served them with pita chips.  It was good because it was different.  But this is the big game.  We're going to a friend's house so there will be a few other snacks, but I feel like I need to bring my A-game.  

I'm thinking I want to try and make green and gold snacks only.  So, I need your help.  Here are some of my ideas...will you help me pick?  Any new suggestions are greatly appreciated too!  

Deviled Eggs 


Something with green and yellow peppers...any ideas? 

 Packers cookies 


Help!  What should I make?  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - winter wedding

As I woke up this morning to images and news stories of the blizzard in the Midwest, I thought "Oh no, what if you were getting married this weekend?"  Then I came up with the perfect answer.  You grab a few more fabulous accessories and go frolic in the snow with your new husband.  There is something BEYOND beautiful about a winter wedding.  A Bride dressed in white, surrounded by crisp white snow is just too pretty.  It's peaceful, it's cozy, it's cuddly and it's darn right angelic.  So if you're planning a winter wedding, just make sure you, your husband and your Bridal Party are ready to head out into the winter wonderland so you can get some gorgeous pictures like these couples did.  And for an added touch, throw in a few great accessories like a faux fur wrap to add texture or a colorful scarf to pop against all that winter white.  

both images by: Orange Girl Photographs

Stay warm and safe if you're snowed in!  

best girl scout EVER

This is not the magical Girl Scout, I'm sure she's very sweet...but we do not know her.  

Last week, my husband called to discuss our order for Girl Scout Cookies.  A co-worker brought in the order sheet for his daughter, so naturally we want to help out the Girl Scouts and donate some money.  We're philanthropic like that.  I told him we should probably donate a lot of money and if that means that we get a lot of boxes of cookies, well, so be it.  Anything for the Girl Scouts.  He placed our order and I kind of forgot about it, because usually it takes a few weeks (what seems like months) to get the cookies.  Then, magic happened.  Last night, he walked in the door with a bag FULL of boxes of cookies.  I think our Girl Scout is magical.  She was able to get us our cookies in a matter of four business days.  Magical Girl Scout and I love her.  

Don't worry about that fact that three boxes are already opened and half way gone.  

"On my honor,  I will try.....not to eat them all today."  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

miss mila

I didn't really know that much about her before, but call me a fair weather fan because I'm digging Miss Mila Kunis lately.  She was wonderful in Black Swan, she's gorgeous and she is a red carpet do-gooder!  She has been a stand-out in the award shows this year.  I wish her continued success and can't wait to see what she wears next on the red carpet.