Fall Look-Book: Harvest Picnic

My friends! Happy weekend! I hope today’s post inspires you to grab some pals and enjoy a cozy picnic al fresco! Is it just me or does eating outside make food taste 12093832 times better? Besides, why should summer picnics take all the glory? Fall is my favorite time of year, actually, for everything; including, but not limited to, picnics. I collaborated with amazing photographer,  Lindsey Marie for this post. You can check out her blog right here.  Enjoy the look-book we put together and scroll to the bottom for my menu, outfit details, tips, tricks and ideas for a perfect picnic! Bon Appetit!

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take 2

 

Picnic Tips & Tricks

  1.  Keep your menu light and travel friendly. Consider foods that won’t get squished in a backpack and ingredients that hold up well at room temperature. I opted for hardy bread, a veggie based sandwich, bottled Perrier and hand pies. They’re not messy and hold up really well without refrigeration.
  2. Make use of your Thermos! Whether it’s for a tasty soup, refreshing sweet tea or fruit infused water. It’s an underdog that takes the win every time. 
  3. Don’t make everything yourself. The beauty of the picnic is that it’s simple. You don’t have to clean your house, or worry about whether extra guests might show. Whether it’s a date or a casual lunch, ask your guests to bring a thing or two. It will make them really happy to help out and will take a whole lot off your shoulders. *literally & figuratively
  4. Prepare your picnic arsenal beforehand. I recommend a few staples to make picnicking a whole lot more fun. No. 1 is a chic picnic basket. As long as you’re not hiking very far, this puppy is a must. It protects and holds food really well and doubles as a table & cute photo prop. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, so there’s that too. Check your local thrift/antique stores. I think it goes without saying, but be sure to pack soft blankets & towels to sit on and cuddle up in as well. Music (portable speaker) and games are a must too. Think frisbees, bocce ball, flower crowns & the like.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to check out Lindsey!

Outfit:

 

Chocolate Chunk Heath Bar Cookies

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 It’s Friday. The sun is shining part-way through the clouds. I’m swaddled in a blanket cocoon with a cookie on my keyboard. Aaaaand it’s eight AM. Can you say “living the dream” or should I just sing it at the top of my lungs?  

No but seriously, here’s the deal: in case you haven’t wandered into Target lately, the holidays are quickly approaching. This Christmas, more than anything, I want you to be queen at the cookie swap party. In fact, my entire career is focused on it this week. Here’s what I’ve come up with: chocolate chip cookies with a  surprise ingredient, Heath Bars.  Earth shattering? Yes I know. Listen honey, don’t underestimate the Heath Bar or the chocolate chip cookie, let alone their love child. It’s nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

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 Hey, another thing, I see some pretty intimidating “process pics” lately of bloggers whipping up recipes and capturing the step by step in beautifully styled photographs. If your kitchen/life looks like mine in the “process” of whipping up a masterpiece. Holla at yo home girl. 

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 Shout out to my old friend, Hamilton! Halfway through, I realized I had gone into autopilot and mixed the batter together the “old fashioned way” HA!

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Chocolate Chunk Heath Bar Cookies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks) Shh just do it.
  2. 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  3. 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
  6. 3 cups bread flour
  7. 1 tablespoon salt
  8. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  9. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  10. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  11. 1 lb bar Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate bar, chopped.
  12. 1/2 bag milk chocolate chips
  13. 1 bag bits of Heath Bar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, a bit at a time and fold to combine. Over stimulating the gluten will cause the cookies to have a bread-like texture.
  5. Add vanilla, chocolate(s) and Heath bits; mix until just combined.
  6. Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 10 minutes.
  8. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Homegrown Hostess http://www.homegrownhostess.com/

 

 

Simple & Natural Thanksgiving Table

Hey lovelies! Today I have a simple and natural thanksgiving “tablescape” to share with you! It’s super chic and unbelievably easy (inexpensive) to assemble. I love this because it’s like a neutral pallet to place your feast upon. I learned from my mom that you should never light scented candles during a dinner party because all the smells can become overwhelming for guests. Plus, it takes away from the wafting smell of home-cooked dinner! I used the fresh scent of lemon, neutral candles, and herbs used in the dinner for this table. If you follow Style Me Pretty religiously the way I do, you’ll notice that a lot of their table stylists have been going for the no frills, simple, natural elegance that will keep your guests focused on family, friends, and the fabulous food for this holiday season. Not to mention, gold, fresh greens, and mismatched vintage silverware is so the apple to my pie. 

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 I started with a natural fiber tablecloth that I found at HomeGoods and a bunch of fresh clippings from my lemon tree. It’s probably the easiest centerpiece I’ve ever put together. No concern for perfection, I layered the branches down the center of the table and nestled little white pumpkins & glass votives in randomly. I really wanted it to look like I didn’t fuss much with it. Well, because, I didn’t. 

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 Next, I set the table using gold chargers and cream and gold trimmed china. It’s my mom’s and stone cold tradition that we dine using this china for holiday meals. I love it because the pattern/style she chose is incredibly timeless. Using twine and fresh herbs from my garden, I created place card/favor combo’s for each guest. Since our home is out in the “country” compared to where the rest of our family lives, they appreciate going back to the city with garden fresh goodies anytime they visit. Rosemary & thyme are two of my favorite spices for Thanksgiving cooking so I thought they’d be fitting for the occasion and would compliment the meal well. 

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 I finished off the table in a traditional “dinner party” setting : water glass, wine glass (mason jar),  linen napkin with hints of gold, salad fork, dinner fork, knife, spoon, from left to right. Or you could just save yourself the confusion and see my slightly blurry picture above. Sorry, I’m still learning this photography stuff:) 

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 Lastly, I decided I wanted to use a contrasting napkin for the heads of the table. I just haven’t found the right ones yet!

What do you think? Gold? Green? Subtle pattern? 

What are your thoughts about challenging the traditional rustic, autumnal color scheme for Thanksgiving? 

So thankful for all of you today & all days! 

XOXO

 

DIY Boutique Clothes Rack

If you live in a tiny apartment with a seriously small closet space, or you just like to put pretty things on display, this little DIY is for Y-O-U my friend! You won’t believe how easy & affordable it is to add instant storage & chic-ness to your space. 

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  • (4) 60″ x  1/2″ threaded steel pipes
  • (4) 10″x 1/2 ” threaded steel pipes
  • (4) 1/2″  iron flanges
  • (6) 1/2″ iron elbows
  • (4) 1/2″ iron T connector joints
  • (6) 1/2″ X 1 1/2 steel threaded nipples
  • Spraypaint
  • dropcloth
  1. Remove Stickers & excess grease from pipes. 
  2. Twist the 10″ pipes into each elbow. Attach T connector onto one pipe and then the other to form one side of the base. Repeat for the other side. 
  3. Twist 2 60″ pipes into the top T connector. Twist into the elbows. Repeat with remaining elbows & pipes. 
  4. Spray paint your rack silver or gold and let dry. Hang clothes & enjoy! 

 

 

Favorite Fall Printed Pants

It finally feels a little bit like fall! Here in southern California it’s pretty much hot weather from June until the end of October. Oddly enough, I love cold weather. And since I can now, I’m wearing leopard printed harem pants… and heels for that matter. Statement necklaces are nice, but statement pants just go for it.  Normally, I’d pair these puppies with a tighter fitted top. In fact, I have a long sleeve black top from h&m that I usually love with them. But, today, the slouchy Brandy Melville sweater was it. Maybe it’s not the most fashionable choice, but it was so cozy and I ate seconds at dinner. For that reason, I think it’s fabulous. Also, I made super yummy pretzel crust pizza tonight and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you! Stay tuned! //

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