Features Tagged ‘Entertaining’

California + Williams-Sonoma


My kitchen is where I spend 80% of my time. Whether I’m writing a blog post (I do most of my work here!), making a meal, chatting with my husband when he gets home, or entertaining family and friends, it’s my favorite room in our home. I think for me, it’s the idea of the creating and gathering that happens in a kitchen, that feeling of home, and that feeling of designing an experience. 


A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of experiencing California for the first time (I know! what took me so long?) with an incredible group of blogger ladies and brands including Williams-Sonoma, Fortessa and Fairmont Sonoma for Style Me Pretty. I was in my element, to say the least. And that feeling of creating and gathering was in full force.


We spent a couple of days enjoying the hospitality of these incredible brands. My favorite part was our cooking class with Chef Thomas McNaughton at the original Williams-Sonoma flagship store, which was insanely gorgeous. Think five-inch-thick gigantic marble countertop extending 20 feet long. A dream. After Chef McNaughton taught us how to make the most delicious cappelletti, he signed each of us a copy of his book, Flour + Water


We then spent the afternoon at Silver Oak Winery enjoying the amazing wine and vineyards, followed by a beautiful evening and dinner at Fairmont Sonoma. I left feeling even more inspired than I already am about food and entertaining and of course, added so many Williams-Sonoma items to my wish list. You can head over to Style Me Pretty today and see some of my favorite wedding registry picks! And take a peek below for a few other items I’m coveting. 


Font Favorites on SMP Living


If there’s one thing that elevates an event, wedding, or simple gathering at home for me, it’s hands down beautiful lettering. OK, and pretty blooms, too. But when I spot gorgeous fonts and calligraphy, I’m hooked. 

With the holidays quickly approaching, I’m always looking for ways to infuse little bits of lettering into my gatherings, from place cards to charming bar signage to savory cheese boards. So, I like to keep an arsenal of favorite fonts to choose from, particularly calligraphy style. Easy to print up last minute if you’re in a pinch, but still really lovely and will wow your guests. Head to Style Me Pretty Living today for some of my recommendations! Font shown above is Bombshell Pro.

*Photography: Erich McVey

Cinnamon Coconut Simmer


I’m a summer baby at heart, but I do love the coziness that fall brings with it. The fresh, crisp air and all of the wonderful smells the season brings. During weekends around the house, I love to mix up a quick simmer to make our home smell delish. This year, I whipped up my usual fall scent with a touch of summer coconut, and you guys, it’s amazing. If you’re a fan of coconut it’s a must try! Get the recipe below.


Cinnamon Coconut Simmer

4-5 cinnamon sticks
1 heaping tablespoon of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Dash of ground cloves
Fresh orange slices (optional)

Fill medium sauce pan 1/3rd of the way with water. Add your ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it hits boiling point, bring it back down to simmering level. If you want to keep it going long, just add water as it evaporates. For a citrusy twist, add some fresh orange slices too. Really, you can add whatever you have in your spice cupboard, experiment! 


How To Make Fresh Cut Flowers Last Longer


I love a fabulously, overflowing and colorful arrangement, I do. But sometimes you just need simplicity. A few pretty blooms in a small vase, unfussy and still completely satisfying. Being so full and lush, blooms like peonies (or roses) can stand on their own and look oh-so-good doing it. I’ve been enjoying these pretties for the last few days and wanted to share some tips for how to make fresh cut flowers last longer.

1. If you’re buying them from a flower market or grocery store, make sure to pick ones that have not yet bloomed and are completely closed up. It won’t take long for them to bloom!

2. Give them a fresh, 45 degree angle cut. During summer months, if you have them in your flower garden, cut them in the early morning while it’s still cool and immediately submerge the stem in cold water. Re-cut again inside before arranging in your vase.

3. Cut all leaves that will sit below the water line to avoid bacteria contaminating the water.

4. Make your own flower food. Per quart of water, add 2 tablespoons each of sugar and lemon juice. Changing the water and solution every day or two will help the flowers last longer.

5. Try to keep your blooms in a cool spot. Heat will make them bloom more quickly. You can also keep them in the fridge at night (if you have room!) to keep them fresher.

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