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Friday, July 30, 2010

j-e-l-l-o

Question: Can one ever go wrong with jello?  What's that you say?  No?  Right, that's what I thought.  Of course not.  Personally, I have found that jello is good all the time and in any form.  Well, almost.  I admit to consuming some less than desirable fruit jello molds but we mustn't hold their inadequacy against the jello.  Poor flavor and texture can only be the fault of the jello maker, because really, how does one go wrong with jello?!  It's only powdered gelatin and hot water!  But I digress...  anyway, this weekend I'm going to attempt to create what I feel is the pinnacle of jello goodness.  That's right, I'm making rainbow jello!  As usual, I found several recipes on tastespotting here, here, here, here, and here.  I know, that's a lot of recipes, but I'm having a difficult time making a commitment to one of them.  Which one would you choose?  Should I be more concerned with flavors or colors?  Would you make it in a bundt pan and slice it at the party?  Or would you use a square pan and make jigglers?  I'm being indecisive and would appreciate any and all input!  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

aden + anais

Last week I found out that hip Aussie swaddler and accessory brand aden + anais has launched a line for 77kids, a branch of American Eagle that I also only just discovered.  Some of my favorite items include the Little Robot, Starburst (available in blue, orange, and pink), and Little Love swaddling blankets.  The washcloths and bibs feature even more fun prints and bright colors.  I'm hoping to add some of these baby accessories to our collection which I'm sure will grow quickly as the big day draws near!  Anyone have any favorite baby brands that I should check out?        

Via cool mom picks

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

summer suppers

I don't know about you but I've been having a hard time getting dinner on the table lately.  It's so hot that food isn't very appealing, I'm not much of a griller, and I certainly don't want to turn the oven on.  These dishes from Real Simple may just do the trick...
Each recipe requires few ingredients, little time, and yes, the oven or stove or other kitchen appliance, but I'm willing to sacrifice a little as long as Matt and I aren't alternately eating PB&J and cereal every night.  After successfully making a home-cooked meal we can dive into one of these cool desserts - 
My mouth is watering already.  Now which one to attempt first...  What are some of your favorite summertime meals and desserts?  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm a closet sneaker addict

Have you seen these new Keds?  They're called Champion Spectators and they are my new shoe love.  I can picture myself wearing them to work with black dress pants and an oxford shirt with the sleeves rolled to my elbows and my hair held back with a tortoiseshell headband.  Available in black and berry (my personal preference), these babies can be found at Bloomingdale's.  Want to feast your eyes on another snazzy pair of sneakers?  Check out the Champion New Americana Stripe Sateen
 
These would be the perfect complement to my yellow summer khakis, a plain white v-neck, and a straw hat.  If I were dressed like that I would go blueberry picking and then ride home on a bicycle.  Perfect summer afternoon in my book.  Do you have a pair of favorite summer footwear?  Besides flip flips, of course...

Monday, July 26, 2010

eye candy

After more than a week of internet delinquency I'm finally back!  Our connection was down for a while and after about nine days when we discovered it was back to normal working capacity I discovered that I rather liked not being a slave to the computer and ceased blogging.  One might say I was lazy but it was a nice break and I'm glad to be back!  My apologies to any readers who were wondering where I disappeared to... I'll be back in full force this week, beginning with some photos from various events I've worked with local floral and event design house Stoneblossom as an event stylist.  I can't wait to see all the weddings and parties to be created this summer!
For a look at my most favorite wedding ever go here.  I worked alongside the groom all day not knowing he was the groom!  He was busy hanging artwork on a burlap covered frame he built himself in order to create an outdoor gallery at their beachfront Jamestown home for their wedding.  The Stoneblossom designers and set up team busily erected birch canopies woven with vines and hung with pretty votive holders to create a warm glow for the intimate reception.  Elegant centerpieces were placed on the tables alongside lanterns that glittered once candles were lit inside.  
Another favorite was held at belle mer, a stunning Newport venue (specifically on Goat Island) with an ocean view.  The bride and groom incorporated some personal details that I'm sure made the day very special for them and their guests.  The sunset that evening was beautiful and really made for an amazing transition from the ceremony to the reception.
Last but certainly not least I would like to share some imagery from the first wedding I ever worked on - a lavish celebration for a couple who make their home in both London and Ghana.  It was a very overwhelming first assignment and the largest team I've ever worked with to date, but I learned so much and was in awe of the creativity surrounding me.  The ceremony area, cocktail lounge, and reception "room" were all beautifully furnished with authentic African details brought to America by the bride.     
 
Do you see why I can't wait to start the season? 
Images from Southern New England Weddings and Stoneblossom.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Duck & Bunny

Birthday traditions are wonderful.  My friend Ari and I instated a tradition of taking each other out to fabulous restaurants to enjoy a meal together a year ago and it's something I always look forward to.  This year Ari took me to the Duck and Bunny on Wickenden Street to celebrate my 24th.  It's an adorable place and each of the three rooms is fabulously decorated by co-owner Jessica.  The first is my favorite - everything is black or white, marble topped tables are flanked by white leather banquettes studded with nail heads, and the floor is checkered.  The next room is more private as there is less seating available.  Also, it has zebra details - can't go wrong there.  The last room is set up like an English-style tea room with straight backed wooded chairs and classic paintings on the walls.  Look closely and you can find a duck or a bunny in each piece of artwork which is a playful addition to the formal room.  Picture Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring with a duck smiling back at you rather than a young girl.  After Ari and I settled into the third room we quickly made our dinner decisions.  We have very similar tastes and we're good sharers so we selected two entrées to split.   


The first was chosen based on the recommendation of Ari's mom who warned us that it sounded like a weird combination but was actually really yummy.  We took her word for it and ordered a special, the Ultimate New York System Crêpe.  It's described as an "R.I. classic re-imagined" - four weiners slathered in homemade meat sauce, topped with chopped onions, drizzled with yellow mustard, and sprinkled with celery salt.  It did not disappoint!  


Our second choice was the PB&B, a sandwich stuffed with peanut butter and banana and drizzled with honey on toasted Portuguese sweet bread
.  Delicious on its own, I'm sure, but Ari and I decided to go for the Full Elvis and added two slices of bacon and a fried egg.  Fluff was an option that we skipped.  I loved the sweet and savory combination of banana and honey with egg and bacon and can't wait to make this at home on our panini press.  My only complaint was that the peanut butter was a little thickly spread and I could have really used a glass of milk to wash it down.  Even though we cleaned our plates Ari asked our server for a dessert menu.  It's nearly impossible for us to escape an eating establishment without having something sweet at the end so we shared two cupcakes - red velvet and brownie mint surprise.  Both were tasty but I preferred the chocolate simply because I always prefer chocolate.  I can't wait to go back so I can sample more cupcakes, like the buttermilk lavender and peanut butter chocolate truffle.  Check out the menu and next time you're on Wickenden don't forget to stop by the Duck and Bunny!

Friday, July 9, 2010

in a tree

(image via Tickets to Disney)
Ever since I visited the Swiss Family Tree House in Disney's Magic Kingdom with my family when I was in the fourth grade I have wanted to live in a tree house.  With the recent 100°+ weather we've been having in Rhode Island I've been thinking it might not be such a bad idea to sleep outdoors when the air finally cools down, although I suppose a mosquito battle may occur.  If I can't live in a tree house I'd at least like to visit one.  I've found a few interesting options...    
Tree House Point in Washington offers attractive accommodations and meals made with locally grown foods.  
Wyoming's Teton Tree House is a bed and breakfast that offers a whimsical escape from reality with its four levels and maze of hallways.
The Grand Treehouse Resort in Arkansas looks to have the most luxurious accommodations of everything I've found.  
Another bed & breakfast, Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise in Oregon, is still accepting reservations for this summer!
Lastly, the world's largest treehouse in Tennessee has over 10,000 square feet of space (there's even a mini indoor basketball court!) but you can't spend the night - it's privately owned!  If these tree house resorts were closer I think they would make a nice weekend getaway right about now...  What about you?  Would you like to stay in a tree house for any length of time?    

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Café Choklad

My mom works for Superior Court in Providence so I always try to find excuses to meet her for lunch in the city.  Recently my dad and brother joined us for a date at Café Choklad.  While I did suggest a parking space which later cost my brother $100 I think we all enjoyed our afternoon meal.  
It's nearly impossible to resist ordering a treat from the impressive spread of pastries and desserts that is prominently displayed on the counter.  I actually started eating my black and white cookie before our meal arrived because it was irresistible.  
I ordered a delicious pesto chicken sandwich with fresh mozzarella on ciabatta bread along with carrot sticks.  My mom and brother ordered the same - it seemed to be a popular choice in the cafe that day.      
Corn chowder was one of the specials so my dad and I shared a cup.  It was a little spicy for me (I'm a huge wimp when it comes to heat of any kind) but the texture was smooth with just the right amount of corn and potatoes.  
My strangest request of the day was for a cold hot chocolate.  Yes, I asked if they could make a hot chocolate but cold.  It was essentially chocolate milk.  I don't know why I thought it would be any different or better, but it was still a great beverage and I sucked it down like a skinny tick. 
We've visited (and frequented) many restaurants around College Hill but I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for quick lunchtime bites... What is your favorite Providence restaurant or cafe?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

flowers

I wish there was an outdoor flower market in Rhode Island because Carbone's is just too cold for browsing or strolling!  I love fresh flowers but my black thumb prevents me from growing too much of my own.  Anyone know of a local farmer's market that has flowers on a regular basis?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

wedding style guide

  
Have you heard of the Wedding Style Guide?  It's an Australian wedding publication that always features gorgeous events and offers darling downloads (for the bubble!).
Some of my favorite ideas are the book club, the garden party, modern spice, the tea partyfall in love (a great idea for Laura's wedding, maybe as a rehearsal dinner treat), and a class act.  I use the recipe cards from a class act all the time.  See more of their free downloads here.
Do you have any wedding resources to share?  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Alex & Andy

Our friends Alex and Andy are getting married in September and I can't wait for their wedding because a.) they are awesome and b.) they are getting married at a super awesome place.  They recently had an engagement shoot with Michael of Ash Imagery, a Philadelphia-based photographer who will also be capturing their wedding.  I'm a bit obsessed with weddings and all related activities (especially the pictures that result) so I was super excited to see Alex and Andy's engagement photos.  


See more here
All images via Ash Imagery
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