Friday, August 31, 2012

essentials >> labor day bbq

This summer we've pretty much become barbeque experts. We'll even go over to friends' houses and Matt will get put on the grill duty 'cause he's proven himself the master. Most people consider Labor Day weekend as the last hurrah to summer and will be firin' up the ol' grill one last time before sending them into hibernation. I'll miss our weekend barbeque parties but I'm totally looking forward to cozy-sitting-by-the-fire parties too. Happy holiday weekend, friends.

rib rub // pitcher // apron // cookbook // barbeque fork // chair // s'mores kit

Monday, August 27, 2012

mid-century feminine

I'm such a sucker for mid-century modern rooms with touches of feminine style. I appreciate homes that don't take themselves too seriously but rather are a reflection of the resident's artistic and fun personality. I'm now convinced that you can't go wrong with a yellow sofa when incorporated into a well curated space.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Breakfast at Victory's No. 10 >> Avocado & egg breakfast pizza

Who doesn't love avocado? I'm slightly allergic but will still camp out at the guacamole bowl with plenty of water on hand...it's well worth the pain. This is another example of "put an egg on it and it's breakfast" style of meals that I seem to be falling victim to. I'll seriously buy the 18 pack family size carton of eggs at the store and it'll be gone in a week, we're like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast {"when I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs..."}

Anyway, here's the recipe below. I used a guacamole seasoning package from the produce section instead of the seasonings listed because I can't eat spicy food without my eyes watering {wow, just revealing all kinds of my food kryptonites today}

Recipe adapted from Justina Blakeney
Greek or pocketless pita, or any kind of flat bread
Ripe avocado
Organic egg {I used regular}
Sea salt, pepper, chili flakes, cumin, cumin seed, extra virgin olive oil {I used guacamole seasoning...}

Toast pita until crisp, mash avocado and spread on pita, drizzle with a dash of lemon, olive oil and spices, place egg cooked to your liking on top and serve.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

essentials >> wedding crashers

This weekend Matt and I are headed out to Carmel to attend one of his old friends' wedding. We haven't been to Carmel since getting engaged and are planning to go back to the cafe where he proposed. I'm pretty sure it'll be magical. We also haven't been to a wedding since we've started planning our own, so it'll be a great source of inspiration as we start to finalize our plans. Here are a few essentials for any wedding guest:

dress // earrings // camera // clutch // heels // gift wrap // silver twine

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Heidi Merrick Fall 2012

I love Heidi Merrick's Fall collection completely. The neutral palettes with pops of bright saturated hues makes for a wardrobe with a bit of cheer for the colder months ahead.

Heidi Merrick

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

a few of my favorite things...

wear // home // create
My fall wardrobe will be consisting of tomboy basics. A soft chambray shirt and an oversized blazer with dark shades will essentially be my uniform. I love these throw pillows from Ferm Living! The geometric shapes and neon colors would look so cute in our home. Of course the girls from A Beautiful Mess are super creative in the kitchen; and Emma's post on puff pastry pizzas inspired me to have our own pizza making party last weekend!

We bought puff pastry sheets along with some basic pizza toppings and had our guests bring over the toppings of their choice to make our own little personal pizzas! My favorite was made with mozzarella, tomato, basil, mushrooms and gold potatoes. It was so fun and so yummy!

Keep up with more of my favorite things on Pinterest!

Monday, August 20, 2012

sneak peak >> 2013 Wrapping Paper Calendar

Lately I've been hard at work developing Victory Paper Designs' wrapping paper calendar for 2013! {remember 2012's calendar?}. Gosh, things really do get released earlier and earlier every year, like I'm pretty sure Macy's will be decked out in wreaths and giant ornaments next month. I'm just wrapping things up {pun intended} and I wanted to give you guys a little sneak peak at a few of the patterns I've designed! This year I really sat down and invested some hard time in designing these patterns. These are all designs that I personally would be excited to see on a gift from a loved one, and have adorned on the wall of my office from month to month! Just a little taste, more to come soon! xo

Friday, August 17, 2012

Breakfast at Victory's No. 9 >> Eggs benedict

Confession: I had never had eggs benedict before attempting this recipe. While preparing the sauce on the stove I had no idea how it was supposed to taste but I do know it was all kinds of yummy. I would say to just lightly toast the English muffins as well as we ended up eating them with a fork and knife. The fact that Matt licked the sauce and egg mixture off his knife after consumption should tell you something about the level of tastiness.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Makes 4 servings

4 egg yolks
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pinch ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 eggs
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
8 strips Canadian-style bacon
4 English muffins, split
2 tablespoons butter, softened

To Make Hollandaise: Fill the bottom of a double boiler part-way with water. Make sure that water does not touch the top pan. Bring water to a gentle simmer. In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon water. {I just ended up simmering all the ingredients in a saucepan as we don't have a double boiler...worked fine for me...}

Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm.

Preheat oven on broiler setting. To Poach Eggs: Fill a large saucepan with 3 inches of water. Bring water to a gentle simmer, then add vinegar. Carefully break eggs into simmering water, and allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Yolks should still be soft in center. Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and set on a warm plate

While eggs are poaching, brown the bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and toast the English muffins on a baking sheet under the broiler. {or, you know, a toaster works great}

Spread toasted muffins with softened butter, and top each one with a slice of bacon, followed by one poached egg. Place 2 muffins on each plate and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Serve immediately.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


I'm always looking to DwellStudio for the prettiest and most graphic homewares. We have a few of their throw pillows in our bedroom that are so modern and chic. I'd be like a kid in a candy store in their new flagship store in SoHo; I could seriously walk out with everything, especially that charming gazelle sidetable in gold...


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Turkish Pestemal towels

Admittedly, the rooms in our house that company rarely sees are the ones that need a little TLC. Our master bathroom, for instance, could use some artwork, trinkets and fresh linens. These gorgeous Turkish Pestemal towels are hand-woven using 100% Turkish cotton and dyed with vegetable dyes. They're traditionally used in Turkish bath houses and are super soft. I'm thinking some his and hers stripes are in order


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My mini house tour

Today I wanted to share with you guys a little sneak peak into my home! Matt and I bought this 2-bedroom, 2-bath townhouse back in March and we've been having a blast decorating and furnishing our little bungalow. I'm very satisfied with the way the dining and living room have come together; the other rooms in the house, eh, still need a little work and unfortunately they're not high on the priority list at the moment.

My favorite things about our house are the high vaulted ceilings and light filled rooms. We also boast these really cool views of the wilderness from our balcony; the perimeter of our neighborhood is surrounded by a thicket of trees and unoccupied hills which are home to deer, wild turkey and the occasional stray cow.

Matt and I each painted our own meditation circle to reflect our energy in the space. He's left-handed so I think it's really cool that our circles rotate in opposite ways. I love our coffee table with its hairpin legs and jagged edge made from salvaged wood by my online buddies Elpis & Wood.

The dining room set is my favorite thing we've put together. The table is from Room & Board and is made from old recycled whiskey barrels. I adore all the cracks and imperfections. The chairs are knock-offs but are seriously legit, they feel the same as the designer version but we got 4 for the price of 1. I painted the imperfect stripes artwork; the gold paint sparkles in the sun.

And of course you gotta have your design bibles...next to the bar...

Our house has become my favorite place in the world. I love cooking dinners here with my hubby and enjoying a warm summer night on our balcony with a bottle of wine. This. is. happiness. Thank you for letting me share my little world with you.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Breakfast at Victory's No. 8 >> Protein berry smoothie

In preparation for wedding dress shopping {yay!!} I've been trying to lose a few vanity pounds. I've been running, doing yoga, and every other day replacing a meal with a protein smoothie. I have to say, these things are truly yummy and are comparable to a Jamba Juice Protein Berry Workout {which just happens to be my go-to Jamba drink}.

I picked up some vanilla bean flavored protein powder from GNC which adds some sweetness to the drink and keeps me full. Of course you can always skip the powder and maybe add some extra fruit for equal thickness. I've been loading this smoothie into a to-go cup in the morning {which lately has already been 80+ degrees by then!} for a quick and refreshing breakfast.

Vanilla soy milk
Frozen mixed berries
Vanilla bean protein powder

In a blender, combine 10 oz of soymilk, one 24 gram scoop of protein powder {the powder will usually come with a little pre-measured scoop inside} and roughly two handfulls of frozen mixed berries {my package from the grocery store had strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. The berries being frozen makes it so that you don't have to add ice}. Hit blend until smooth. Voila!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

let them eat wedding cake!

I've been a huge fan of weddings even before I got engaged. When I was 15 it was not uncommon for me to pick up a bridal magazine at the checkout stand; I even frequented the wedding blogs even before I began my wedding invitation business. So I've been deep in the planning of Matt and my wedding and let me tell you, I'm in love with weddings even more with the whole DIY wedding trend catching on. There are so many talented artists lending their hand to the wedding industry these days that our wedding can have a crafty charm without us lifting our craft-challenged fingers. Just a few adorable cake toppers, for instance, that have caught my eye on Etsy:

From top to bottom: MissSarahCake // ReadyGo // Figs & Ginger // Potter & Butler

You can follow along as I pin our wedding inspirations on my Pinterest board too!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hey Murphy jewelry

Hey Murphy's spring/summer line has such an dynamic mix of stones and metals. I'm adoring the styling which just screams bright summer afternoons. Me thinks a braided top knot will be making its way into my hair-do rotation in the near future.

Hey Murphy

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Essentials >> Class is in session

Fig. 1 // Fig. 2 // Fig. 3 // Fig. 4 // Fig. 5 // Fig. 6 // Fig. 7 // Fig. 8 // Fig. 9
When I was a student, the silver lining of having to return to school in the Fall was the chance to do some major back-to-school shopping. I almost wish I had a class or two to attend to put these cute little goodies to use; I'm pretty sure I would take massive notes when my highlighter is shaped like a nailpolish bottle. Too cute.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Aubin & Wills for Fall

With August in full swing and back-to-school ads bombarding the airwaves, I can't help but look to Fall fashions. I'm pretty much in love with classic, tailored pieces like a structured buttoned shirt {in a lovely shade of lavendar!} buttery leathers and low-stanced cardigans. UK brand, Aubin & Wills does all of these things right.

Aubin & Wills

Friday, August 3, 2012

Breakfast at Victory's No. 7 >> Breakfast grilled cheese

After my breakfast banana split concoction a few weeks ago, I tried to think of other ways to transform a meal into the breakfast variety. I was really craving a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast and wanted to use some leftover brie from a wine get-together from the night before. So how do you make a grilled cheese sandwich appropriate for the first meal of the day? Well, you put an egg on it of course.

Obviously, there's no real recipe here to list. I filled the bread with brie and shredded cheddar {the only kind we had readily available}, and topped with sliced grape tomatoes. I grilled the sandwich on the stove until it was all melty and gooey and then cooked an egg sunny side up which I topped on the sandwich and sprinkled with garlic salt {a seasoning I'm far too obsessed with}. I ate mine with a fork and used the bread to lop up the egg yolk. It was a cheesy breakfast treat that I'm sure I'll be making again.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends. xo.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Free download: August desktop calendar

My desktop calendar collaborations with Saralyn have turned into an unintentional water series with August now being added to the bunch. But hey, it's summer so it seems only fitting. This shot she actually snapped when we went to the Renegade Craft Fair a few weeks ago; you can even see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, which can be a rarity in SF given that it's usually covered in fog. Happy August to you, friends!

Photo courtsey of 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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