Friday, June 29, 2012

Breakfast at Victory's No. 2 >> Vanilla-maple-berry french toast

A fond memory I have of staying at my grandparents' house is the huge breakfast my grandma would have sitting on the table for us when we woke. We would munch on melons, eggs and sweet french toast smothered in warm berry preserves that would make me wish that we could stay over everyday. Here is my attempt to recreate those warm, fruity, breakfast treats.

Adapted from Epicurious
Serves 6

9 eggs
2 1/4 cups whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 3/4-inch-thick slices French bread (I used sourdough)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
Warm maple syrup
Warm Berry Preserves
1 1-pound bag frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 1-pound bag frozen unsweetened mixed berries
2/3 cup red currant jelly
1/3 cup sugar

Mix all frozen berries, jelly, and sugar in large nonstick skillet. Let stand until berries thaw and mixture is juicy, stirring occasionally and breaking strawberries into smaller pieces with spoon, about 2 hours.
Boil until mixture thickens but is still chunky, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring frequently.)

Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in milk. Add 1/3 cup maple syrup, sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk to blend. Divide custard between two 13x9x2-inch glass baking dishes. Arrange bread in single layer in dishes. Let soak 10 minutes. Turn over. The recipe suggests soaking the bread overnight but based on reader reviews I just soaked them for the 20 minutes. Worked fine for me and my impatience.

Heat large griddle or heavy large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, brush griddle with some butter. Add soaked bread; cook until brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn French toast over; cook until bottoms are brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to plates. Serve with additional syrup and Warm Berry Preserves.

Photos by me

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Artisanal farmhouse dining

Often times I've found myself frequenting a local eatery not only for the menu but for the ambiance that goes with the dining experience; my eyes like a little design feast while my belly gets a literal feast. I'm pretty sure if I lived anywhere near Rucola in Brooklyn that I'd be a regular. The design team at Uhuru Design did marvelous things to create this artisanal farmhouse look, from the glass jar chandeliers, black cane chairs, chalkboard menu and repurposed wood slabs...it's rustic elegance at it's finest.

Uhuru Design for Rucola

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Night & Day >> The long blazer

I love a good multi-purpose wardrobe staple. These are the pieces I can mix and match to my heart's content and can easily make outfits that can fit into both day and night settings. First up, the long blazer. The length is that of your boyfriend's blazer but is nicely tailored up top so it's not so much like you're playing dress-up in his closet. Paired with bare legs and gold details, both of these looks are well suited for breezy summer weather.
Long blazer // Night: Necklace Blouse Skirt Clutch Shoes // Day: Ring Shirt Shorts Bag Sandals

Monday, June 25, 2012

Housewarming blanket invitations

Over the weekend, Matt and I finally got around to throwing our housewarming party! It was so much fun to host our friends and families, and I of course had to send out some invitations a few weeks prior to spread the news! (Note: I know y'all wanna come and drop by yourselves for BBQ chicken and Wii tennis matches, but without our address being shown here, it's just not possible)

For the main piece of the invitation, I wanted to give a play on words of "housewarming" by creating a plaid blanket overlay that you lift up to reveal our house underneath, all warm and cozy.

I'm giddy over our return address stamp which was designed by the talented Molly Jacques. I'm looking forward to using this for our wedding invitations too! Heck, I might just throw parties year-round and send out invitations just to use this stamp!

Lately, I've been designing a lot of illustrated maps for the brides I work with (I'll have to share those soon!), so why let them have all the fun? I went ahead and designed an illustrated map of our own to guide our guests to our home.

{ Victory Paper Designs }

Thank you to all our friends and family who came out to warm our home with us. It's been a joy to make our house into a home, and now that our loved ones have seen it, I think a house tour may be in the works soon! -xo

Friday, June 22, 2012

Breakfast at Victory's No. 1 >> Fried egg sandwich

I don't have much time to cook during the work week, but come Saturday morning you can find me in the kitchen whipping up some sort of yummy breakfast for my hubby and whoever may be staying in our guest room any given weekend. It's becoming our weekend tradition to start our mornings slowly with a hearty homemade breakfast and it gives me a chance to stretch my culinary skills. I thought it'd be fun to start a tradition here as well and share some breakfasts to take you into your weekend!

This first breakfast is a favorite around our house for its ease and deliciousness. Matt practically survives on sandwiches, so the sandwich meets salad made suitable for breakfast with a fried egg combo really whets his appetite. Here's how it goes down:

Fried egg - Better Homes and Gardens cookbook
2 tsp butter or margarine
4 eggs
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Break eggs into skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low; cook eggs for 3 to 4 minutes or until the whites are completely set and yolks start to thicken. Turn the eggs and cook 1 minute more.

Take 2 slices of sourdough and lightly toast them in a convection toaster with a slice of havarti cheese on one slice. As soon as they're out of the toaster I like to butter 'em up and sprinkle some garlic salt on each. Transfer your egg (2 per serving) on top of the cheesy slice and season with Tabasco and salt and pepper. Top with some leafy baby spinach drizzled with Italian vinaigrette and sliced purple onions for a salad effect.
{ Photos by me }

Breakfast is served! Have a yummy weekend -xo

Thursday, June 21, 2012

summer dining

The weather's been so nice lately, we've been finding ourselves having more and more meals outdoors to enjoy the warm summer evenings. Any of these brightly patterned tablewares would go with our barbeque and summer salads quite nicely.

plates // placemats // serving tray // glass // bowls

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

15 summer essentials

It's the first OFFICIAL day of summer!! Hard to believe since we've been feeling the heat already for quite some time here in Dublin. I went ahead and put together a list of some must-have items for your summer wardrobe:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15

1) Bright colored shorts go with the bright sun perfectly. I like my shorts on the longer side so I'm loving this pair from JCrew
2) A great canvas tote works from the farmer's market to the beach
3) Big Jackie O sunglasses are never out of style
4) Yellow sunny nails
5) This cute floral swimsuit goes with any skintone...cause you're gonna be showing a lot of skin
6) Desert patterned notebooks beat the heat
7) This lip balm has SPF15 in a great tint of red
8) Maxi dresses are so effortless but look so glam, especially on the beach
9) A simple arrow necklace
10) A light and gauzy tank in a pretty shade of pink
11) A classically chic beach towel
12) Big wooden bangles couldn't be more vacay ready
13) I'm obsessed with the buttery, redish tone of cognac leather. Even more so when they're stapped on my feet!
14) Sunblock. Everyday.
15) Portable music player/radio for all your outdoor bbq's, picnics, beach trips, camping, etc.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Water the plants

The final touch that Matt and I put on decorating our home was some leafy houseplants. I've never actually had a green thumb, but I'm trying real hard to keep these ones alive...at least long enough to make it through our housewarming party this weekend. Maybe these quirky watercolors by Angela Dalinger would be better served for someone like me who wants the aesthetics of greenery without the effort of having to remember to water the suckers.

Angela Dalinger

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Father's Day BBQ gift certificate

To kick things off here, let's start with a little Victory, eh? This is another example of substituting my own designs in lieu of a print-out from Livingsocial. This one was a Father's Day gift for my dear-ol' step-dad. He's pretty much a beast on the BBQ {he has three different kinds of grills in his backyard!}, so my sister and I thought it was only fitting to go in on a gift certificate that brings quality meats right to his doorstep. What more could a man ask for really?

{ Victory Paper Designs }

Welcome to Victory & Company

Victory & Co.

So this is pretty much what I was doing last week instead of posting blog posts. Welcome to my new blog, Victory & Company!

I've had this idea of rebranding the blog heavy on my mind for months. I had first started my blog a year ago in hopes of kick starting my paper shop, Victory Paper Designs. I wanted a place to share my designs and personal projects without committing to an official inventory of items; I would just show the blogging masses what I was capable of and be like, look what I can do! Somebody hire me!!

Honestly, I got sick of that real fast. Even looking back on those designs that were just a year ago makes me grimace. I hadn't designed in my own style since design school, and I wasn't really sure what my personal style was quite yet. The blog helped me find my voice, helped me push myself to present work that I could feel proud of. It's a little embarassing that it had to happen in a public space, but I think it shows my ability to grow and perfect my craft over time.

Well now it's a year later. Victory Paper Designs is flourishing on its own thanks to Etsy: I had a plethora of brides this spring to work with, I made my first sale to a retailer, the lovely Beam & Anchor, and I'm in the process of developing wrapping paper calendar v2.0 after all the positive feedback I received last year! {it's gonna rule, just a heads up} I feel happy and excited about the direction that my business is moving in!

So then where does that leave the blog?? The poor blog was suffering from an identity crisis. It was named after my paper shop but I was talking about colored jeans??? It was a gradual transition that the blog started to become a place where I shared all the things that I loved and inspired me, from retail roundups to style guides and DIY. As a graphic designer and avid magazine reader, I love sharing these finds and creating cute little layouts to accompany my posts, but this had nothing to do with VPD in any way. And so after much debate and back-and-forths in my own head, Victory & Company was born.

Victory & Company will be just that: my business ventures from new products, projects, sales and appearances as well as the company of others that I admire; I'm working on developing more original content and features as well. {Bear with me while I work out the kinks, resize posts in the archives, etc.!}

As I embark down this new road of blog-dom, I'd love to hear your feedback, comments, how your day was, anything! Afterall, we're all in this blogging thing together, and the best way to make a community thrive is to encourage and participate and I promise I'll always do the same. Thanks for your support, it means the world to me. xo-Victoria

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paper Crave summertime paper crafts + printables

Kristen of Paper Crave has been such a big supporter of Victory Paper Designs from the get-go. If I ever met her in person I'd like to shower her with a basket of mini muffins. People go crazy over those. Click on over to check out her feature on summertime crafts and printables with a lil VPD in the mix.

Paper Crave

Thursday, June 7, 2012

VPD in stores >> Beam & Anchor

I'm truly excited about this next venture for Victory Paper Designs. You can now find us in this cool brick and mortar in Portland called Beam & Anchor. The space is run by Robert and Jocelyn Rahm who strive to support local artists and makers. The downstairs is a retail shop of curated art, home goods and furniture and the upstairs boasts a studio for makers and workshops for the community. I honestly could not be more honored to be a little blip in their shop.

Beam & Anchor

If you're interested in selling Victory Paper Designs in your store, contact me at victorypaperdesigns[at]gmail.com -xo

The lake house

I caught an episode of the new season of HGTV Design Star last night. Based on the white box challenge episode, my fave so far is Britany who adorned her room with faux crown moldings and a sick gold chain chandelier. Still, my favorite Design Star winner has to be season 5 winner, Emily Henderson. Honestly, the girl can do no wrong; case in point, her most recent project of decorating a lake house for a young family in upstate New York. SooO many elements to fawn over! A claw foot tub, gilden tree stump side table, Julia Rothman wallpaper, blue wicker elephant table, white tolix chairs...! Insanely good. I need her to work her magic in our bedroom...well, you know what I mean.

Emily Henderson

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ban.do heart + love

I'd like to take a quick timeout to sing the praises of my fiancĂ©, if I may. A few weeks back, I blogged this post about phone covers I was coveting and told my tragic story of my phone's watery death. Low and behold this past weekend Matt gifted me the same ban.do heart cover he saw in my post! He's pretty much the sweetest...I think I'll marry him.
Photo by me

A fabulously pink reception

I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "girly girl"; in high school my wardrobe basically consisted of oversized sweatshirts and holey sneakers. It wasn't until I started attending FIDM that I really began to embrace women's clothing {let me tell you, the girls at FIDM were fitted out EVERYDAY. It made you want to throw on some stillettos and a manicure, stat} And while my closet may now incorporate a few dresses and heels, there's still that bit of tomboy inside of me leaning toward cozy t-shirts and jeans.

I guess this explains my rather erratic mood swings in my design eye and why I can go from one week to being inspired by tomboy style to pretty shoe prints the next. Well GUESS WHAT. It's a girl day, and I'm completely smitten with this wedding reception styling from Style Me Pretty. The pink is so obviously girly and over the top made only that much more fabulous by the sparkles of gold and frilly carnations. Really screams "way cool Barbie girl".

Style Me Pretty

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Father's Day gift guide

With Father's Day just on the horizon, I've rounded up some gift ideas that pops is sure to love.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

My dad, I'm sure like many other dads out there, loves the tried and true classic staples as his wardrobe. This water resistant duffle coat is perfect for his outdoor activities and is finished with cool fisherman toggles. These whiskey stones will keep his favorite liquor ice cold without diluting any of its flavors. Dad's sure to love a pizza date on you, check out Groupon for restaurant deals in your town. The Kindle Fire is now just $199...he can read books, watch movies and play games all in the same place! A leather iPhone case with a cool lunar landscape will always be in his pocket. This grooming and fragrance gift set not only smells manly, but the spray bottle has a rustic wicker finish perfect for dad...it's all in the details.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wes Anderson BINGO

Has anyone seen Moonrise Kingdom yet?? The Royal Tenenbaums will always hold a special place in my heart. This Wes Anderson BINGO board would be funny to play when viewing any of his signature styled movies.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Free download: June desktop calendar

As I mentioned earlier, we spent Memorial Day weekend at Lake Isabella with my sisters and their guys taking in the sun and pretty much barbecuing every meal. On Sunday we went off-roading and parked on the lake shore and spent the whole day grilling chicken, drinking and dipping in and out of the water. My younger sister, Saralyn, snapped this perfect photo of the lake and I saw it only fitting to use it for June's desktop calendar.

Photo by Saralyn Tsurumoto // Graphics by Victory Paper Designs

{terms and conditions}
This desktop calendar is free for personal use, not for commercial distribution. If you wish to blog about this download please link back to this page and not the downloadable image. Do not sell, distribute, or copy this image. Enjoy your calendar!
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