I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for June, 2008

June 29, 2008

the great honeymoon dilemma

SERIOUSLY as if planning a wedding wasn’t obsessive enough, try choosing where to go on your honeymoon. I mean the wedding is the wedding. It needs to be as near to perfect as possible, obviously, but in the end it’s like maybe 8 hours long. Granted, it is truly one of the most important days of your life… but the honeymoon. The honeymoon goes on for days, and if you’re lucky perhaps weeks and weeks. yum.

We had a rough time making a decision, I can tell you that. But harder was honestly finding amazing places to visit in the countries we were considering. Generic internet research wasn’t working for me and I usually consider myself quite savvy in this department.

Of course you can go to the Four Seasons pretty much anywhere and have an amazing vacation. (I was tempted by their new resort opening in Bora Bora this September). But you can do that when you’re old and rich too. We wanted something interesting.

So I realized, let professionals do the research for you. And I don’t mean a travel agent. Here are a few great resources I’ve relied on:

Kiwi Collection
Tablet Hotels
New York Times Travel
LA Times Travel
Conde Nast Traveller

(image from Pousada Maravilha in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil)

June 28, 2008

style me pretty color palette contest

The SMP color palette contest ended today and guess what? I actually entered! Not because I thought I would win or necessarily WANT to win (though I certainly wouldn’t be mad about a $250 gift card to anywhere). But I had the most perfectly romantic image to start with, so I actually had no choice.

(Top image: Flickr user jasfitz, Flowers: Ariella Chezar, Dress: Vogue 1953 via Conde Nast, Post card invite: Bird and Banner, Ranunculus: Saipua, Vintage dress: Dulcinée)

June 27, 2008

sophisticated romantic

This is part for everyone (because it’s a beautiful photo), part for me (because I love emerald green), and lots for Melanie (my future sister-in-law) because she is thinking 1950′s monte carlo style for her september 2009 wedding. I LOVE the idea of colored elbow length gloves. so unexpected and fun.

(again from conde nast, 1953 Vogue.)

June 24, 2008

dress me up groom

One of the things I dislike the most in weddings (as far as the fashion aspect goes at least) is when the groom looks just like his groomsmen. eew. We’re trying to figure out what Brock should wear and one thing on my mind is the ever-stylish and pleasantly retro white dinner jacket. I happened upon McDreamy wearing just the outfit I have in mind in a recent issue of Mens Vogue! total score. (please excuse the tattered edges, i’ve been toting it around in an issue of Martha since tearing it out a month or so ago.)

Totally love the no tie, effortlessly sophisticated vibe. I think we’re going for a modern frank sinatra meets james bond meets (of course) brad pitt? It feels palm springs-y no? We are on a dinner jacket mission this weekend.

June 23, 2008

monday tennis whites

Some Serena power to get the week started. Today is the first day of Wimbledon, hooray! I’m a big nerd and LOVE tennis, esp the outfits.
Playing sports + wearing a skirt = bliss

Wish my week consisted of sitting on the public lawn, enjoying Pimms Cup(s), dressing in white, and later supping in London.

June 20, 2008

old hollywood wedding style

We’re getting married in a little boutique hotel built in the 30′s (by a real mobster!) in downtown Palm Springs. The vibe is a little old hollywood spanish/mediterranean so I definitely want a bit of that reflected in our wedding. My dress and my ring(s) both have that feeling so we’re on the right track! (more on those later). Here’s a bit of inspiration on what is turning out be vintage friday.

*all but the bottom left are from Conde Nast. Bottom left from Bacara. Thanks FuriKuri for pointing me in the right direction.

June 20, 2008

gladiator sandals of yore

So it turns out gladiator sandals made their first (re)appearance in fashion well before spring 08. Now I LOVE my cynthia vincents, but hello…. how cool are these from 1934?

*from conde nast’s vast collection of vintage inspiration

June 20, 2008

a sea of squash leaves or mid june in the backyard

It’s possible that we have a freakshow sort of garden growing out back. Our artichokes grew to 6 ft tall during the spring and now our heirloom pumpkins have leaves roughly the size of tires and are threatening to take over a full quarter of our LARGE (by LA standards) backyard. And I swear to you I don’t use any fertilizers, just worm compost that comes directly from our food scraps. Rumor has it that before our neighborhood was turned into a neighborhood (around 1949), the land was used for farming. Which I can certainly understand seeing how everything we put in the ground acts like we’ve injected it was steroids. As in when I was out there this evening picking cucumbers and zucchini, I literally had to WADE into the sea of waist high leaves to get within reach of the fruit I was eyeing. If you found yourself on the lam, a great place to hunker down would be among our squash plants. I don’t have a great picture of it just yet as I need future hubbie to pose as the model so you can truly appreciate the scale of what we’re dealing with. Instead I have a sampling of what is in season in LA 90066 at this moment (keeping in mind, I got a late start with the planting of course).

I’m a total broken record, but seriously, growing your own food is a transformative experience. It is satisfying in the get-your-hands-dirty-and-make-something-from-nothing sort of way, but also connects you to a legacy that was lost somewhere between the birth of convenience food in 1950′s and the blackberry-obsessed, time-strapped (among other things) 21st century. If you have even the slightest inkling to grow a pot of herbs in your apartment window, I highly recommend that you try. And try again if/when your first little garden goes the way of shriveled stems. My “gift” with plants was a running joke with my roommates in college. Literally couldn’t keep a houseplant alive. But guess what… I’m an urban farmer now (very small scale) and it is amazing.

Kay stepping off the soapbox… another picture, dusk over the fence.

and the list

strawberries (we have late bloomers apparently)
boysenberries (still!)
herbs of many sorts (including the omnipotent oregano)

June 19, 2008

for feeling dramatic and bridal

Tim Walker at the London Design Museum, via oh joy. Amazing work. Might need the book. But the pound is killing me.

An alternate interpretation of drama. Feels like a sweet summer firefly wedding.

June 19, 2008

summer salads for dinner

While the official, official start of summer is still 2 days away, I say let’s buck the calendar and call it here… as of yesterday. The Wednesday farmer’s market at opening yesterday morning was literally bustling with the warm summer energy of people ready for long days, heirloom tomatoes, obscure berries, and generally cool food. If you’re not familiar with the Santa Monica Wednesday market, it’s practically a living legend. Chefs from all over southern California descend on the 4 blocks lined with farmer stalls to fill their cold rooms with local produce to last the week. And lucky for me, our office moved 1 block from the market back in January so now I get to join the early risers with my reusable baggu bags (which are awesome, you should get some, they fit in your purse!), for first pick of the week’s haul. I seriously NEVER get tired of it. Though returning to the office, with produce coming out my ears is admittedly less than ideal. Really I want to come home and play with my food.

Anyway. Summer. It is here and it inspired my salads last night. Both would be excellent staples for backyard dinners and BBQ potlucks.

Cucumber salad with yogurt and dill (for 2)
*This was directly stolen/inspired by a salad served for the post-wedding brunch at Farm255 in Athens last sunday.

a mix of 5 organic cucumbers – i used japanese (from fairview gardens at the market) and pickling (from my yard)
super thinly sliced red onion about the size of a lemon
greek style yogurt
sea salt

Using a mandolin (or if you don’t have one, a sharp knife) thinly slice cukes into rounds. don’t go for paper thin. you want them to stay crisp in the dressing. Do the same for the onion. If you’re using a young onion, you will need more since the flavor is milder. For a normal red onion, use less. Though the amount really depends on taste.

Combine with dill in a large bowl for mixing. On the side, mix 1/2 c yogurt (i think you could use sour cream too, which might have been what they did at the restaurant since theirs was ultimately creamier) with a lil’ bit of olive oil, juice from a lime, salt, and pepper. Dump onto cukes. Mix. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted heirloom potato salad for summer
*This one I made up on the fly so amounts are kind of loose. Go by feel.

mixed bag of baby potatoes (purple, red, yellow) Washed and par-boiled, to speed the roasting.
1 cloved smashed garlic
olive oil
s & p

Halve potatoes. Toss with olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. (Reserve dirty bowl for tossing the whole salad). Roast on a foil lined cookie sheet at 400 for ~20 mins. But check on them often since they are little and partially cooked already.

green beans
baby tomatoes
salt and pepper

Trim and blanch green beans 1 minute. Make sure to have your ice bath ready so they stay crunchy in the final salad. Cut into halves or thirds so the beans are slightly larger than bite size. Halve the tomatoes. Thinly slice the basil.

Toss everything (in the original bowl you tossed the potatoes so you get any leftover garlic and olive oil) together with a little salt and pepper and maybe a touch more olive oil to taste.

YUM. I was licking my plate.