Monday, January 26, 2015

Stuffed Mini Peppers

Last weekend I attended a good friend's bridal shower.  
The hostess was incredible and made a ton of food and signature cocktails.  
My absolute favorite thing she served were her mini stuffed peppers. 
I definitely killed any New Year's diet goals for that evening :)
Here is a recipe I found that seems to be just as delicious as what I had.
This may be my new favorite party treat.  
Its delicious, budget friendly, and easy to make. 

What are you favorite treats to make when hosting guests?

{ photos and recipe from Food Fanatic }

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sweet Potato Muffins

J is about to start his new job next month (more coming soon!
and its going to be very physical for the next four months.  
I have been collecting recipes to help him retain energy and 
his weight while working out heavily.  So, this weekend I decided 
to put my research into practice!  First up: Sweet Potato Muffins.  
They are starchy and packed with sugar to help him power through an active day.

3 large eggs
⅓ cup sour cream
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I tend to use more)
1½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping:
3 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
¼ cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F 

Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners

In a large bowl lightly beat the eggs. 

Next, add the sweet potato mash, vegetable oil, and sour cream.

 Stir well.

Mix in the brown sugar and add vanilla. 

Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.

Stir until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl crumble together the softened butter, chopped pecans, flour, and sugar. 

Sprinkle the topping over all the muffins. 

Bake for 18 minutes

For a healthier version skip the Streusel topping 
and let them go bare.  They are still so delicious!

In the coming weeks I'm going to be practicing my 
domestic cooking skills, if you have any great recipes 
for a guy on the go let me know!  

My "To Feed My Husband" pinterest board is blowing up but 
with 4 months ahead I can never have too many ideas!

{photos and styling by me}

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Blue & Green

Being from Seattle I love blue and green (see here).  
So, to celebrate this great weekend in Seattle 
I did a blue and green color board.  Enjoy!

Go Hawks!

{ photos:  1   2   3   4   }

Monday, January 19, 2015

Long Weekend

Long weekends are the best.
Mine was filled with the following:

*A brilliant Seahawk win

* Lots of Scrabble matches with J (I'm on a winning streak)

* Feeding my Breaking Bad addiction

* Baking - a post to prove coming soon

* Setting up my new computer! 

* A movie and Seattle date night with J and my mom and dad

* Dinner with our Portland family

* My dear friends wedding

I will be back to my normal schedule on Wednesday!


{photo from Bookshelf}

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Nature of Isa

A little over a year ago I attended a wedding for one of Justin's cousins.  
It was a lovely winter Oregon wedding and the bride was a dream in her wedding dress,
but her veil was what caught my eye.  It was so beautiful and hard to forget.

Later that night at dinner I was making small talk with the girl next to me,
we talked about how nice the wedding was but when I mentioned 
how much I loved the bride's veil she informed me she was the designer.
So began a blossoming friendship with Allison Johansen 
the creator, owner, and designer behind The Nature of Isa.

A few months later Allison invited me to her shop 
to photograph a couple of pieces for Decor Amor.  It was dreamy.  
Her small urban studio is tucked away in a busy Portland neighborhood.  
Its soft lighting and hints of vintage flair make this space 
an ideal setting for a bride to find her gown.
Allison designs and creates each piece.  She does custom work or 
you can try on one of the many samples in her shop.  
She works with lace, tulle, silk, and beading.  

If you are interested in a custom dress I would
highly recommend contacting Allison.  
A custom dress can take as little as three months
from start to finish.  


Her dresses range from $1500 - $2500.  
She can do bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride dresses as well.

Allison carefully follows trends and said that right now 
brides are loving gold, hints of color, and tulle.
Sequins are also a big accent piece for 2015 and 2016 brides.

Allison also loves two-piece dresses.  In her shop she has gorgeous 
lace corset tops that can be paired with a skirt.  
Wouldn't that lace top with a silky skirt be perfect for a Mother of the Bride?

Thank you for hosting me Allison!  You make a delicious 
grapefruit Mimosa and you have a real talent and eye for design.

For any brides out there, click the photo below to plan a visit to Allison's shop.  

No matter what dress you end up with you will be a stunning bride but
with Allison's help you will have a dress or veil to remember.

{All Photos by Me}

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Watercolor Cakes

Watercolor wedding cakes are one of my favorite trends right now.  
They can be soft and romantic or bold with pops of color. 
 Below are some of my favorite sugary masterpieces.

Also, watercolor macaroons...

Do you have a favorite?


Monday, January 12, 2015

A Tiny Home

I am a fan of tiny homes, especially this one.  

Our little apartment is definitely tiny.  It's not quite as small as this cabin 
but we literally sleep in the only closet in our apartment (at least it has a window).  
I'll post a home tour eventually but for now more of this lovely space:

{original source not found : Pinterest}

Friday, January 9, 2015

Seattle is home.

Two weeks ago Justin and I had to make a big decision 
on where to live and root ourselves and a future family.  
After many pro and con lists and a whole lot of prayer 
we ultimately decided that Seattle is home.

More later on why we had to make this decision 
but I wanted to share with you my top five favorite things
about the city that I am proud to call home...

1. Pretty City
I get to enjoy living in an urban setting but a day hike 
and moutains are a mere 30 minutes away by car.  
The city is incredibly green and the ocean borders our lovely city.  
I have not found a city that is prettier.

2. All Four Seasons
We have all four!  We start with a winter that includes the 
occasional snow fall followed by a blooming spring and warm summers.  
Fall is my favorite.  It's warm and foggy and the trees create 
the most incredible colors. 

3. Food
Seattle is a foodie city.  I could come up with  a new favorite 
restaraunt every week.  There are too many to choose from (see list below).

4. Beverages
My husband currently works as a brewer so we are
always in the know about the best and coolest new breweries in 
the Pacific Northwest.  I love wine and that's an easy local find as well.

5. Culture
Last year when the Seahawks went to the Supberbowl 
the city decorated itself more than it does for Christmas.  
I am not exaggerating!  Everyone bound together and 
created major comroderie. 

All in all we feel very lucky to live in such a wonderful city.  
Below are links to some of our favorite spots and places in case you ever visit.


Beverages & Bars:


Go Hawks!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Animals, Bubbly, and Cake

This past Friday my husband and I threw our friends 
our annual zoo lights party.  It was so much fun!  
I had been planning the decor, food, and cocktails for months ahead.  

My parents hosted a lot of parties growing up so hosting is in my blood.  

We offered two cocktails: a bubbly beverage and a whiskey cider.  
I used my favorite bubbly (here) and 
locally sourced hard cider (here).

Whiskey Cider

Bubbly Rock Candy 

*Side note: sugaring rims is SO much harder than I thought! 
I could not get it to look perfect like all of the photos on Pinterest.  
A should-have-watched tutorial here.

Considering I have a limited amount of champagne flutes and rock glasses 
I had each guest label their glass with a gold zoo animal.  

In all I had about 40 small gold painted animals.  
They decorated the cakes, drinks, and food display.

I wanted a wintery cake so I made a 
Peppermint Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Coconut Frosting.  

It was SO good.  I forced myself to toss the leftovers after the party
or I would have eaten all of it for breakfast the next morning.  No joke.

The finishing touch to our party was the gold tinsel photo backdrop 
paired with animal masks.  As seen below we had a lot of fun.  
Who doesn't want to wear an animal mask?

{photos and styling by me}

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pop Some Bubbly...'s time to get rowdy!

Tonight we are throwing a little party for our friends.  
I can't wait.

I have been planning for months.  
I have been busy spray painting animals and masks, 
ordering special cocktail napkins, and its finally here.  
I'll try to take some pics and put a post together soon.  
Happy weekend