I have to laugh every time I see an owl themed accessory. My baby sister graduated from grad school a few years ago and the mascot for the school was an owl. So...my mom and I went on a mission to find ANYTHING with an owl on it as a grad gift. When I say we looked everywhere it's an understatement! We couldn't find a single owl! And now...there are owls absolutely everywhere!! I like to think it's because I was looking for owls so all the designers in the great wide world decided owls must be the next big thing if Kate is needs them:) Well, regardless of the reason, I am glad there are owls all over. They are simply adorable little creatures and they always bring a smile to my face. Just look at all these fun little accessories that could fly into your home and have you owling in no time...
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Sorry for the lack of posts this week! I'm bound and determined to get my brand spankin new Kate Marie Paperie website launched soon! This means lots of late hours on top of other client projects. I will be back to the blog shortly!
Thanks for your patience:) I can't wait for you to see the website!!
Monday, January 23, 2012
I am always on the lookout for new sources of unique and quirky items. In a world of big box stores and giant malls, it's sometimes difficult to find items truly worthy of adding to my collection. Today I was in luck for today I found Leif! Leif is a small online store FULL of fantabulous little items that I'm just dying to have! I mean...a rainbow of colored acrylic flatware?! Come on! How cool is that!?
Oh and these cable knit mugs! Don't they just scream cozy evening around the fireplace with friends!
They also carry awesome jewelry and stationery. Totally worth a look. So go check out Leif...I promise you won't be disappointed!
Friday, January 20, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Not everyone likes coffee...gasp!! I know, how could anyone not like coffee? Seems strange but I had some tea over the holidays that might actually make you consider trading in your cup o' joe for something a little different. With flavors that read more like a dessert menu then a tea selection, Stash Tea brings a whole new collection of flavors that are sure to tempt your taste buds! Chocolate hazelnut, almond cream, creme brulee, tiramisu, chocolate peppermint, and even Jamaican butter rum. All the wonderful tasted of dessert without all the calories and guilt. Perfect for all those resolving to be healthier this new year.
Stash even has some really cute teapots and teacups for serving your new found "dessert" to you or even your guests. Here are a few that tickle my fancy...
All photos via Stash Tea
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I had another "now why didn't I think of that" moment when I saw this amazing colorful photo shoot on Style Me Pretty. The table was designed by In the Now Weddings & Events and I have to say it is one of the most clever ideas I've seen in a bit. I don't think I have ever seen metal pegboard before but I will certainly be keeping my eye out for it now! It creates such a wonderful modern backdrop for the delicate flowers. And not to mention it's pretty darn simple. Just add some "legs" to the pegboard and insert flowers! You can even take this display vertical and create a stunning wall of flowers. Add string lights behind the panels for an even more dramatic effect. Want to add a little more color?? Grab a can of spray paint and go to town!
The genius didn't stop there...oh no, check out the utensils. What a great way to add some color to the place setting! Who knew Plasti-Dip could be so fashionable. I have to admit I had seen this stuff before but had NO idea you could create your own colors! They even sell a Create Your Own Color Kit. The possibilities are endless. Guess I'm going to have to put the local hardware store on my list of places to visit for decorating inspiration!
All photos by Jasmine Star via Syle Me Pretty
Monday, January 16, 2012
Olive oil is an essential cooking ingredient that just about everyone has on hand BUT did you know that it is incredibly easy to take your olive oil from everyday to entertaining gold? Infused olive oil is so easy to make and so easy to use. You can add just about any dried herb to your plain ol' olive oil and it transforms it into something amazing. Drizzle it on a bowl of popcorn or simply serve it alongside a basket of bread for a great appetizer. You can even use the infused oil in place of plain oil when cooking your entree. It will add that little something extra that will leave your guests asking for more. And when they do...you can send each of them home with a little bottle of their very own infused oil!
So here's how you do it...
1. Pick your favorite olive oil. It doesn't have to be the most expensive but you should like the taste of it before infusing.
2. Gather up some of your favorite dried herbs. It's typically best to choose one herb per bottle but I like to add red pepper flakes too for a little heat. JUST BE CAREFUL HERE! Bacteria can grow on the things you add to the oil if there is any water! So to be on the safe side...only use DRIED herbs. Check out more information on this at the Olive Oil Source.
3. Find a small glass container that has a good lid. You want to make sure it seals tightly to protect the oil. You can have a little fun with this part. There are alot of decorative glass containers that would make great gifts. A few I like...
|Via Olive Oil Source|
|Via Olive Oil Source|
|Via Olive Oil Source|
4. Add your herbs to the bottom of the bottle. How much is up to you. It also helps to rub the dried herbs between your hands to release the flavor.
5. Pour the olive oil over the herbs. Again, the amount is up to you. The more oil the less flavor you will get from the herbs. You might have to try a couple batches to get your proportions just right.
6. Seal the bottle and put it in a cool, dry, dark place. A cabinet will work just fine. Let it infuse for a few days then taste it. The flavor will change a little each day so just keep track of what works for you.
7. Once the flavor is just right, you can strain the herbs out of the oil or leave them if you like.
8. Add a fun label to your bottle and you're done! You can download these free labels I designed by clicking on the link below the photo. Designed for use with the arched labels by Avery.
Using your olive oil is as simple as drizzling it over cooked veggies but here are a few other wonderful recipes from Lucini, one of my favorite sources for infused olive oils (I especially LOVE the chili oil...mmmm!)
|Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette|
|Watermelon & Feta Salad|
|Tortino con gli Aspargi|
|Lemon Roasted Chicken|
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
You all know that Lonny Magazine is one of my FAVORITE online publications! Every issue is filled to the brim with amazing eye-candy and great articles. The November-December issue was no exception! The Editor in Chief Michelle Adams put together a wonderful piece on throwing a dinner party that I just couldn't take my eyes off of. It even includes a detailed timeline for preparations leading up to the start of the event. One particular piece of advice I love..."a well choreographed seating plan can make a party." We don't often think about this level of detail when throwing a dinner party but one of the great things about getting together is meeting new people! Mix it up at the table and have people sit next to someone they might not have met before. Just make sure each person has a little something in common to prevent that awkward "we have nothing to talk about moment".
The other great thing about this article is the advice given by Chef Dan Kluger for hiring a caterer. I know most of us probably make our own food for a casual party but sometimes it's fun to hire a caterer so you can completely relax and enjoy the night. Some of Chef Dan's tips:
Find someone who's passionate, professional, and organized and who has previous experience.Ask to see menus and pictures of dishes he or she has prepared in the past.
All images via LonnyMag.com. Photos by Patrick Cline.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
|My Tabletop Design|
While I was looking around for table linens I stumbled upon Anthropologie's new Tabletop Design Tool. It is so much fun! You can choose from several different backgrounds and color schemes to create your design. It is great for a visual person like myself when it comes to assembling new tablescapes. It even gives you the option to add the items in your design directly to your cart. Aside from a great design tool..it's also a cheap art maker! Anthropologie's tableware is so gorgeous that you could print out your designs and frame them for a great art addition to your kitchen. My design is at the top and these are a few of the samples from the website. Have fun playing!!
|Designs by Anthropologie|
Monday, January 9, 2012
Ok, so this is another ridiculously easy recipe. Actually...more of an assembly as there isn't any real cooking involved. Details details! It tastes amazing and with a little presentation magic looks like a million bucks. I remember having this at parties growing up but for whatever reason it had left my usual rotation of go to apps. Then, my mom busted it out on New Years Eve and I was instantly reminded of how great a dish it is for a party. Proof..I have already taken it to one since that night and it was a hit!
So here it is...are you ready? There are a whopping two ingredients! Sweet Hawaiian Bread and Marzetti's Spinach Veggie dip. That's it. All you have to do is slice up the bread and put the dip in a bowl and you're done. Now, as I have said before, presentation is the key when it comes to making a simple dish look as praiseworthy as it tastes. Here's what I do..first stand the loaf on its side and cut it in half so you have a top and bottom. Keep the two halves on top of each other. Next, cut out the center of the round loaf of bread so that the dish for you dip will fit inside. I like to eat this little part myself:) Then cut the rest of the bread like you would a pie. Place the bread on a pie plate and put the dip bowl in the center. Put the dip into the bowl and sprinkle it with a little paprika and chopped almonds. Store bought to homemade in two seconds!
Simply amazing! I secretly wish that it wasn't such a hit so that I could take home the leftovers!! But no such luck. So add this little gem to your repertoire and enjoy!
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, January 5, 2012
|Serena & Lily|
I just LOVE the look of the layered linens on this tablescape by Serena & Lily. What a fantastic way to add texture and warmth to a table. Especially in the cold winter months! I also like the addition of blankets on each chair for dining al fresco when the temps dip. Although, in my neck of the woods you would have to give everyone a snow suit to eat outside!
I will definitely be trying the layered look in my next table design. Here are a few of the linens that are in the running...
duck feet napkins / ikat runner / herringbone napkins / owl napkins / india placemats / blue runner / natural runner / reversible tablecloth / embroidered tablecloth / robshaw tablecloth