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Florence, Italy Inspiration Shoot

29 Jun

Did you see our great hammered spoon tutorial on Elizabeth Anne Designs? We’re so thrilled that they posted it!

But wait, there’s more!

When creating the hammered spoons, we were also finding a lot of inspiration from Florence, Italy, and designed a tablescape around that lovely city!

For the table: gold chargers, olive linens and simple white tableware. All was placed on a lovely silk dupioni tablecloth.
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We’d be crazy to leave out the fantastic rustic bread, cheeses and other accoutrement.

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A special thanks to the fantastic vendors who participated!

Photography by Kate Sommers of KNG Sommers Photography
Florals by Indulge and Bloom
Linens, tabletop and chiavari chairs by Apres
Location at Pizza Luce event space
Cheeses by Kowalski’s Market

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Recipe: rhubarb coffee cake with salted caramel sauce

15 Jun

I don’t even know how to say this. This combo is a-mazing. So good!

Start with an in-season rhubarb coffee cake, round it out with a sweet-yet-salty sauce and… yes! So good.

This recipe is adapted from two recipes – salted caramel sauce by Kelsey Nixon and a delicious rhubarb coffee cake by Smitten Kitchen.
Fruit filling:
3/4 pound rhubarb, washed, trimmed and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Strusel topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
Cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour–worked just fine)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (320 degrees for convection oven). Grease an 8-inch-square glass baking pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, ginger and cornstarch. Place rhubarb slices and toss with powdered ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add melted butter and whisk until smooth. Add flour to mixture, stir with large spoon or wooden spoon. Press mixture into bottom of bowl. set aside.
4. In a small bowl, stir together egg yolks, egg, vanilla and sour cream.
5. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine with paddle attachment or electric mixer.
6. Add butter (cut into 8 slices) and 1/3 sour cream/egg mixture, mixing on low setting until flour is moist. Increase speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Add 1/3 of sour cream/egg mixture, beat 20 seconds on medium speed. Add last 1/3 mixture, beat 20 seconds on medium speed.
7. Scoop out 1/2 cup of mixture and set aside.
8. Spoon batter into prepared pan, using spatula to get remaining batter.
9. Cover batter with sliced rhubarb, being careful to avoid dumping liquid over batter.
10. Place spoonfuls of remaining batter over rhubarb.
11. Cover rhubarb with strudel mixture, using a mixture of fine crumbs and 1/3 to 1/2 inch crumbs.
12. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes up clean. 42-52 minutes.
13. cool before serving.

To prepare salted caramel sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger

1. Combine water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, heat to medium-low temperature.
2. Stir briefly with wooden spoon until combined.
3. Increase heat to medium-high, to facilitate boiling. Refrain from stirring.
4. Boil 6-7 minutes, until mixture reaches medium amber color.
5. Remove mixture from heat. Whisk in heavy cream (mixture will bubble).
6. Add in butter (sliced into 6 slices), salt and ginger.
7. Transfer to a refrigerator-friendly dish and cool.
8. Reheat before using.

To serve cake:
Slice and serve on plates, or serve in disposable plastic wine glasses, topped with caramel and creme fresh.

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Yum!

Inspiration: birthday party tricycle wash

31 May

As I sit on my computer, wondering how steamy this week will be, this photo completes 2 goals.
1. makes me smile, ear to ear
2. makes the warm weather just a touch more bearable.

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p.s. this would be an absolutely awesome addition to most any summer party.

Love.

xoxo McKenzie

Photo by Ernest Coleman / The Enquirer via San Francisco Chronicle.

What to wear to… meet his parents

20 May

Do you ever find yourself stumped by what exactly you should wear to certain events or occasions? Let’s take some inspiration from the real world and make them work for us! First up… what to wear when meeting your main squeeze’s parents for the first time. First, let’s get out that collective “eek!” Okay, now onto the clothes.

This Anthropologie dress conveys the right message. You’re stylish, classy, and demure.

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These Mossimo Supply Co. flats from Target are sweet and subtle, with a cute kick.

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Top it off with these ladylike earrings from Forever 21 (only $3.80!).

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And finish the look with a cardigan from The Limited.

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And voila! A look any mother could love.

xoxo McKenzie

All images property of the companies referenced above.

Cute DIY decor from around the web

17 May

I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some of the fantastic decor finds I’ve come across in the last week. It’s part link-love, part inspiration aggregation. Hope you enjoy this soon-to-be regular feature!

Easy and adorable paper flags via oh! PARTY. Are these not the cutest cupcake/drink flags ever? They’d look great with striped paper straws too!

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Fabric poms are adorable! Make a bundle of these and stuff them in a jar. Instant decor – thanks to Wildflowers and Whimsy.

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This basic white jar has been spruced up with.. masking tape! Jessica at How About Orange is a brilliant crafter – this technique could easily be used on water or wine glasses, candle holders, mirrors, etc.

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Did those get your creative juices flowing or what?

xoxo McKenzie

All images via above referenced sites.

Absolutely in love with BHLDN Decor

5 May

Have you seen BHLDN’s new decor items? I’m in love, love, love! Slate heart placecards, floral epherma, treat pedestals, glass glitter and more.

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Love it all.

xoxo McKenzie

all images from BHLDN.

DIY fabulous crepe paper flowers

22 Apr

Ooh, I am in love with these crepe paper flowers that Jessica from How About Orange came up with. She is so darned creative!

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Add this to my list of crepe paper crafts I need to try – a list that just keeps growing!

Find the tutorial here.

xoxo McKenzie

Image via How About Orange.

Party dresses worthy of a fab party

20 Apr

I don’t think I could love these more. The muted tones, dip-dyed styling, ruffles and fluffles. I’m 100% enamored by Tutu Du Monde‘s fabulous party dresses. I just wish they came in MY size.

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I discovered Tutu Du Monde via one of my favorite blogs: Hip Hip Hooray!

xoxo McKenzie

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

18 Apr

To begin with, I want to thank everyone who entered to win the Kate Spade tote. And secondly, I want to thank the new Facebook fans – because of you, I am donating and additional $30 to the Red Cross for Japan relief. Thank you for motivating me

After compiling all the entries from the blog, twitter, and the new Facebook fans, and meshing them up against Random.org, we have a winner.

Congratulations to Rylee Field! (Rylee, watch for a message from me!).

To everyone else, I have another fun giveaway next week (from the always fabulous Bake it Pretty!).

xoxo McKenzie