Showing posts with label entertaining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label entertaining. Show all posts

Friday, March 30, 2012

90% of what I know about design, I learned from my mom.

Last weekend, I had the privilege of working with my mom on a photo shoot for The Everygirl. Danielle and I wanted to create a handbook for everygirls on properly setting a table. Growing up with regular "fancy" meals on birthdays, holidays, and pretty much every Sunday, I immediately knew who to turn to for this project. It's no secret my mom knows a thing or two about setting a lovely table and throwing a charming party...

from baby showers...

She's done it all. So styling three places settings - one for brunch, one for an informal dinner, and one for a traditional formal meal - was a cinch. I love them all, especially the color from the brunch place settings.

Today we are featuring a Get the Look follow-up to yesterday's feature, detailing prices and sources for recreating the place settings in your home!

Oh, and if you're wondering about the post title, the other 10% I learned from Bailey McCarthy and Erin Gates.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

One French press full of a rich, dark roast, one egg over medium with roasted asparagus, and one sweet Nutella banana crepe: what a fantastic way to kick-start this short week after such a long, relaxing holiday weekend. I predict I'd be far more rarin' to go today if I this three-course breakfast spread at my fingertips.

How was everyone's weekend? I had a fantastic end to the summer. I finally made it to a Cubs game, enjoyed meals with friends outdoors, happily got soaked in the perfect afternoon rain, saw Colin Quinn's Long Story Short, and got to bust out my ballet flats and blazer as the 90-degree Saturday turned into a crisp 65-degree Sunday. Fall. Is. Here.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Friday, August 19, 2011

LCY Listens: Ben Howard (Oh, and I'm going hipster on all of you and getting myself a turntable.)

Meet Ben Howard. He's a 23-year-old singer-songwriter out of England. My sister and musical sensei just introduced me to him.

His first album, Every Kingdom, still isn't out yet, but a few tracks have been released on YouTube, including his first single, "Old Pine." I've been listening to it on repeat the past few days and cannot get enough of his voice, the string accompaniment, and if we're being honest - that shaggy hair and smirk. Not to mention the video has me wanting to catch the next flight to Ireland where I can frolic merrily along the open coastline roads. While listening to this song. Oh, also, the 3:20 mark is the best.

Thanks, David, for sending me this tune:

And another good one I found...

And here are some preview clips from the entire album:

While I was on his site looking for where to pre-order the iTunes album, I saw an 12-in vinyl record is for sale. Which reminded me of this scene in Crazy Stupid Love where Ryan Gosling brings Emma Stone back to his place and he puts on a record. My heart melted. I loved it. I wanted it! So after a quick Google search, I found this beauty over at Urban Outfitters. Apparently Crosley is one of the best when it comes to turntables, and the vintage design is oh-so cute! And UO sells quite a few of my favorite albums in 12-in vinyl format. Imagine Florence or Mumford coming out of the scraggly sound of a turntable. Beautyful... I think this is a worthwhile investment piece, perfect for parties, dinners, or lounging around listening to your favorite tunes.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Catch up on all of LCY Listens here!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Struck Gold

A reader and fellow blogger emailed me the other day asking if she could use images from the Gold Flatware post I wrote a couple weeks ago. I said of course and that I'd love to see the post once it was up. So this morning, Julie of Monkey Grass Hill emailed me the link to her post, and I am still glowing green with envy after reading it. Julie quite literally struck gold. You can read the whole story on her blog, but the short version is: on a regular trip to her favorite thrift store, she spotted an antique(?) set of gold flatware - we're talking full service for twelve, serving pieces, luncheon forks and spoons, and more - for $40!


Rereading my post, I noticed the flatware I featured ranged from $98-$115 a place setting! How crazy is that?! Julie got 12 place settings and then some for a fraction of the cost. Congratulations, Julie! Pretty please post more photos the first time you host a dinner with it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gingham Delight

Despite the snow piling up outside my window, I look at this bright gingham pattern and I'm reminded of a picnic in the park on a sunny summer's day. The navy and white combination adds the perfect amount of charm to any table setting, and I think they would look particularly good paired with my faux bamboo flatware (you may remember we used it at my sister's beach wedding this past summer). A set of four napkins is available from Etsy seller Sewn Natural for $30. I'd like to snatch these up and think of warmer days to come.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Stripey straws

Entertaining is all about the details. Step it up a notch by treating your guests to a little whimsy. Vintage-inspired striped straws add an unexpected yet charming appearance to an otherwise simple beverage. They are available in a variety of colors and are perfect for almost any event, whether you're hosting a children's birthday party or a Valentine's Day soirée.

sources: 1, 4, 6 // 2, 3 // 5 // 7

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Treats in Three Parts

It's true what they say: some of the best gifts are homemade. Here I present a trio of Christmas sweet treats that I helped my mom gift wrap last week. The gift consists of equal parts homemade candied pecans, Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark (although this can easily be made at home), and homemade English toffee that my mom purchases from a woman in the town. It is hands down the best English toffee you've ever had, and Rebecca, the woman who makes it, will gladly ship it anywhere (see pricing below).

We purchased the plastic bags from the Container Store, divvied the candy up evenly, and tied them with green ribbon. One of each treat went into a gift bag, and voila! Christmas Cheer served up right.

As I mentioned above, I highly recommend ordering Rebecca's Toffee. It is a family favorite of ours, and my mom has to order an additional small box to prevent us from eating the toffee that's meant for gifts. It makes an excellent hostess gift or a tasty party favor. As I mentioned earlier, she ships anywhere.
You can also email Rebecca at

Two-pound box: $44
One-pound box: $22
Half-pound box: $12
Quarter-pound box: $9
*Small party favors: $5

*great for dinner parties or bridal and baby showers

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

LCY Shops: Gold flatware

Gold flatware makes my heart skip a beat. Its warm hue is unexpected and unconventional, but it looks stunning atop a wooden table or crisp white linens. I've been seeing more of it these past few months with holiday tabletop ideas, but I think this could easily transition into the warmer months, paired with cool blues and hot pinks. If and when I decide to retire my Target flatware set, I think I'll be investing in some shimmery gold utensils. Glam up the morning cereal, I say.

1. Bamboo Flatware from Neiman Marcus | 2. Oneida gold flatware |
3. Mepra Ice Oro flatware from Barney's | 4. Sun-tipped silverware from Anthropologie

images via Lonny, Coco + Kelley

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My crazy talented friend.

So I have this friend. Her name is Caitlin. She writes the blog Sacramento Street. And I've only mentioned her about 100 times before because quite frankly, Caitlin is one of the nicest, most sincere people I've ever met. Not to mention she was born into this world with a knack for style (of course, I believe her mother may have played a roll, as most mothers do). But most of us have to work hard to define our style. Caitlin can look at something and decide immediately whether she loves it, hates it, whether it's a good investment, whether it's a piece of junk, etc. She's only 25 but her beautiful apartment is chalk-full of stunning investment pieces, family heirlooms, and one-of-a-kind antiques. I had the pleasure of staying there on my last trip to San Francisco, and I fell in love with every last item in her home.

Well, anyway! A couple of weeks ago she shared with me the exciting news that she was selected to be featured in 7x7 Magazine, a San Francisco periodical. Having your name and url mentioned in a print magazine is exciting enough, but this was a full-page feature. Photos, headline, story, captions, headshot, the whole shebang. The assignment was to style her Thanksgiving table, and let me just say that I still get giddy looking at these shots she sent me from her iPhone. She went above and beyond I thought anyone our age was capable of. I mean, seeing the tabletop she styled, I would have thought it was the work of a seasoned veteran in the lifestyle and event planning bizz. Ok, enough talking... see what I mean here.

This shot allows you to sneak a peak at the rest of Caitlin's beautiful home. I am completely obsessed with the perfect shade of blue on her walls. The rug in the back room is West Elm's jute bouclé, and it's actually quite affordable and very soft underfoot. You may remember me blogging about it in a Fashion vs Furnishings post a few weeks back.

Old family photographs framed in silver tinsel acted as placecards. The silver flatware is from Portobello Market in London. Jealous, much?

For details on the centerpiece and more of Caitlin's decor tips, click over to her blog to read the rest of the article and see the professional shots. You won't be disappointed! This style could easily work for upcoming holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah, even New Year's!

Congratulations, again, Caitlin! I cannot wait to see all the other opportunities that come your way.

*first photograph by Cody Pickens for 7x7 Magazine

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


After attending the most spectacular dinner party in New York, I left the Big Apple inspired and committed to taking some of what I learned from the talented Kelley Moore and implementing it in my own life. So for my 25th birthday (which is officially today!), I decided to host a small dinner party for my very best girlfriends. This meant invitations, fancy tabletop, appetizers, and cooking a meal for five (I've only cooked a meal for two a handful of times, so this was intimidating). The theme was black and sparkly, as indicated on the invites, so I wanted everything to do exactly that - sparkle!

TOP: gold chargers and pink cloth napkins are from World Market; white square dishes are from West Elm; the wooden letters/place cards are from JoAnn Fabrics but I painted them gold; one and a half yards of sparkly black tulle covered my white linen tablecloth to add a bit of dazzle pizazz to the tabletop.
BOTTOM LEFT: I used designer Nathan Turner's suggestion and wrapped sparkly black scrapbook paper around a clear vase. I added a bunch of hot pink roses and voila!
BOTTOM RIGHT: I designed the invitations in Photoshop, printed them off, mounted them on black card stock, and sent them off to the ladies - instructing them of the black and sparkly dress code.

Needless to say, the party was a huge success! I knew the gals were impressed when they started taking photos of the table, and the fact that they all showed up in black and sparkles made it that much better. We dined, we drank, the played a fun "how well do you really know each other" trivia game that I had set up, and then we ventured out to dance the night away.

Saturday night I had dinner with my family, tonight Nate's taking me on a date to my favorite French restaurant, and this Saturday I get to celebrate in San Francisco with my Rue girls and other favorite bloggers!

25, it is so nice to meet you! I welcome you with open arms!

Friday, September 24, 2010

RUE in NYC: Oh What A Night, Dinner with Kelley Moore and Company

Saturday night Caitlin, Anne, Crystal, and I ventured across Soho to attend a dinner party thrown by the talented lifestyle expert, Kelley Moore. Never in a million years could I have anticipated what beautiful surroundings, talented people, and delicious champagne awaited.

Behold the very first photograph taken of all the Rue gals together. After four months of working closely with one another online, we finally all met in person. Things went well to say the least. We laughed. And laughed. Then laughed some more. Well, you'll see...

The night began when we rolled up to the tallest building on the block. Not knowing what floor to buzz, we were able to figure it out once we spotted the elegant candelabras in the window. Always a good sign.

Upon entering the front door, we were greeted by one fabulous hot pink hallway that led to the main living room. There is no denying Kelley knows how to travel in style.

The solid black frames not only made the art more dramatic against the bright wall, but they unified the collage as a cohesive whole.

After countless tweets and emails, I was finally able to meet our lovely, talented, and entertaining hostess, Kelley Moore (left). Seated with her is close friend Cassandra of the wildly popular Coco+Kelley, and Rue's cover girl, Jamie Rummerfield of Woodson and Rummerfield's House of Design in LA.

Rue's Man in the Blue Blazer columnist, Will (also of Bright Bazaar fame) and his boyfriend Toby had just arrived from London. Literally. Got off the plane and came to the party. I was fortunate to be seated next to these gentlemen for the meal and within minutes, I was positively smitten. Their accents, style, manners, and overall genuine personalities reminded me why I love England so much and why I need to go back. Soon.

Glam, glam glam.

I let out a gleeful yelp when I saw the place holders were our own colorful portraits a la famed Andy Warhol paintings. The acrylic frame and pop art made perfect party favors.

While guests mingled and clinked glasses, I grabbed my camera and kept snapping photos. I knew the table setting was one of those things you have to see - no description could do it justice. And believe me when I say it was 50 times more glamorous and magical in person. Kelley had the fashion fabric constructed into a table cloth specifically for this party, and accented with hot pink, navy, and gold items. The antique candelabras that we spotted from outside the building are Kelley's own. Some people pack too many sweaters. Kelley packs tableware.

Kelley's good friend from home flew with her from Seattle and cooked a mouth-watering three-course meal for us. The main course consisted of pressed game hen, roasted beets, and haricot verts drenched a mustard butter sauce. Ohhhhh myyyyyy gaaaaaaaaawd. Best meal I had in NYC. Hands down.

I'm now convinced that when a group of style-savvy ladies get together in NYC, anything is possible.

Remember when I met Crystal earlier this year? Actually, it was just a few months ago! Who would have thought we'd be here now. Neither of us did! Talk about serendipity. (And the power of blogging.)

Seven hours later, we were all pretty much besties. Left to right: Cassandra, Anne, Crystal, Caitlin, me, Erin and Julie.

And as for the Rue team... needless to say after four months, thousands of emails, and one stressful all-nighter, the honeymoon went well.

Walking back to our hotel we spotted the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom and posed to show our appreciation for one of Rue's advertisers!

That, ladies and gentlemen, was night #1.


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