whenever i draw couples, i can’t hardly wait to compare their photographs to my finished illustration. it’s a creative moment that i cherish and rarely share with anyone other than michael. but today you get a peek of the process thanks to megan (of greetings from texas), her husband danny, and a team that included awake and BHLDN.
isn’t meg’s dress beautiful? i loved drawing the intricate pattern and the delicate veil. the hollywood curls framed her face perfectly. please visit her blog for more photos and styling credits.
thank you megan and danny for inviting me to be a special part of your day. happy anniversary!
photographs by awake. close-up of megan’s cameo by me.
when i posted my first brussels sprouts recipe, i joked that you would never find the vegetable in asian kitchens. well, mark me wrong— we ate asian-inspired brussels sprouts at the monterey, one of our favorite local restaurants. i liked the dish so much i hacked the recipe i.e. i asked the waitress nicely for the ingredients and figured out the rest.
ideally i would sauté the sprouts with red chinese sausage (found at asian grocery stores) but bacon is easier to find. the recipe is slightly sweet, spicy, and savory. in other words, it’s awesome.
- 2 lbs of brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, washed, and halved
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- 4-6 pieces of chopped bacon (or chopped chinese sausage)
- 1/2 cup of thai sweet chili sauce
- crushed cashews
- kosher salt and pepper for seasoning
- sesame oil
- preheat a skillet to medium. add a dash of sesame oil and sauté the bacon or sausage in the pan until the pieces are brown and slightly crispy. the meat will add oil to the pan as it cooks. use a few paper towels and wipe away most of the oil.
- add the garlic and sprouts to the pan. cook until the sprouts are tender and slightly brown (10-15 minutes). lower the heat and stir in the sweet chili sauce. season with salt and pepper.
- let the sprouts cool. serve with crushed cashews and cilantro on top.
guess what? michael and i set our wedding date. in october, we will get married and celebrate with the best bunch of our family and friends.
wedding planning hasn’t been a cake walk. several venues fell through or flaked out. i cried many times in frustration. i even pretended to write a book called love in the time of pinterest (inspired by an email to tania).
i’ve realized now that we don’t want a perfect wedding. we expect a day that is filled with love, joy, giggles, blushes, minor mishaps, and hopefully small moments of serenity. oh, i can’t forget— thrifted decorations.
p.s. if you like the cameo illustration, it’s available for you and your sweetheart here.
whenever we have guests, i think of two appetizers: potstickers (dumplings) and caprese. i don’t serve them together; they’re just terribly easy to make.
michael and i usually make caprese the traditional way with large tomato slices. on friday, we changed it up with bocconcini because i saw some photo on pinterest. are you on pinterest? of course you are. i am, too.
i’m sure this recipe has a real name, but i’m calling it compact caprese because alliteration is awesome.
- 1 container of fresh bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper for seasoning
- sandwich a piece of basil between a mozzarella ball and tomato on a cocktail toothpick. repeat until done.
- drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. season to your liking.
- try not to eat them in one sitting.
every couple of months, i receive emails from readers inquiring about silk blouses. when i moved to texas, i began buying more silk and cotton tops to help with the summer heat. as fashion editors say, natural fibers breathe. i wear them to school with skirts and on weekends with shorts or jeans.
my favorite blouses are equipment shirts, but at full-price, they are true investment pieces. however i occasionally find them at nordstrom rack or last call neiman marcus. equipment shirts fit beautifully; the blouses are tailored with elegant shoulders and bodies versus the stereotypical giant silk shirts from the 80’s and 90’s. the signature style is slightly oversized so size down. i wear an XS or S. equipment is known for solid colors but they also have stripes, dots, and quirky prints.
grechen (of grechen’s closet) highly recommends everlane blouses. the everlane line runs less than $100, and it offers similar colors to equipment. i saw her in an everlane blouse in april, and the fabric was a lovely weight and color. grechen notes that everlane blouses are more forgiving at the hipline.
i also own blythe blouses by j.crew. the silk is thinner, but they fit well. i wear a 2 or 4. plus, they have two flap pockets like the signature equipment blouses. the best part about j.crew is the promotions! you can usually find a blythe blouse on sale and sometimes with an additional discount.
do you wear silk blouses? what are some brands that you like?
collage by me. images via shopbop, everlane, and j.crew.
the picks | equipment blouse | everlane blouse | j.crew blouse
p.s. i planned on sharing this post with you yesterday, but i shot (or typed) myself in my own foot. i was thrilled about having our internet back and then it crashed again. on the bright side, a technician will visit over the weekend and hopefully solve our problem for good. sophie can’t wait to bark at him (or her).
it took a long time— almost three years to be exact— for michael and i to pick out furniture for our deck. everything we liked cost the same as “real” furniture so we finally settled on a classic wooden picnic table and an outdoor rug from lowe’s.
every warm weekend, we look forward to porch suppers. i cover the table with a neutral tablecloth and table runner, move our flower vase from inside to outside, block sophie from escaping into the yard, and we’re set. we even have a chalkboard for the night’s menu.
because i’m debating whether to paint our table, i’m only sharing a few snapshots for now. by painting i mean stenciling it with stripes or triangles or turning it into a giant slate. you’ll have to wait and see.