Inspiration: Vintage Chic Fourth of July

June 29, 2010

country living

It's been a pretty busy year for me! Lots of projects and goals to reach. I haven't had time to throw a party of my own yet, but I sure have tons of ideas that I can't wait to execute! I thought I'd share some inspiration finds for a Vintage Chic Fourth of July celebration.

Red White & Blue Toile fabric by Duralee at Decorati. This would be lovely as a table runner or placemats!

Flower bouquet place cards at Crate and Barrel

Vintage inspired cake stand by Burlap and Blue at Etsy

Vintage colony water goblets

Vintage tablecloth outdoor pillow by Vintage Home at Etsy

Vintage French Dream candleholders at Etsy

Silver Celebration

June 27, 2010

There's no doubt about it - I love my job! Yes, it's a lot of hard work and manual labor - but at the end of each project or event I always feel extremely uplifted. It's pure joy to be involved in creating something special for someone else.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of putting together some simple arrangements for the 25th wedding anniversary of close family friends, Marisa and Choy Cojuanco. It was a spur-of-the-moment engagement but still truly special. I'm so honored they asked me to help create this casual yet chic evening to celebrate such a big milestone in their lives! They wanted an intimate and somewhat casual gathering. The location? Their FABULOUS family estate.

Did I not say..... FABULOUS?!

Coming here as a kid was always a treat. When they requested our kids join in on the fun, I knew they'd have a blast. They enjoyed the lush gardens and all the space to run free.

To cater the event, they hired my favorite Chef duo- Jen and Jeremy Slagle. Jen's one of my best friends so it's extremely fun when we get to work on the same projects. Here's a little peek on what went on in the kitchen:

The place settings for 12. For the flowers, I used antique champagne carnations and shades of cream hydrangea, roses, and lisianthus.

The Menu

Hors d'Oeuvres:
Seared Scallops with Salmon Roe, Shaved Fennel and Apricot Vinaigrette
Fried Risotto Nero Arancini with Bacalao and Spicy Aioli
House-Cured Lox on Toasted Pain au Levain with Creme Fraiche Capers, and Pickled Onion

Fish Course:
Bouillabaisse with Seared Red Snapper, Sourdough-Crusted Halibut, Dungeness Crab and Shrimp; Garnished with Caremelized Fennel, Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Saffron Potatoes

Meat Course:
Coriander and Whole Grain Mustard-Crusted Leg of Lamb
Lamb Shank Parmentier
Pan-Roasted Porcinis and King Trumpets with Glazed Cippolinis
Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes
Glazed Baby Rainbow Carrots
Leek Gratin

Cheese Course:
Cowgirl Creamery St. Pat Cheese with Mixed Greens and Fresh Apricot

Dessert Course:
Yogurt Panna Cotta with Ranier Cherries and Pluots
Dark Chocolate Ganache Tarte

And dinner is served......

Chef and Sommelier Jeremy Slagle introducing the vino.

Dinner was, simply put - amazing.

And here's the wonderful couple with Jen's chocolate masterpiece! It was truly a sweet and simple silver celebration.

For more information on hiring Jen and Jeremy Slagle for your private dining event, please email

Steal It: Tables

June 24, 2010

1. The Sawhorse Work Table. $349 at West Elm

Frugal finds!! Who doesn't love a bargain? Here are some look-alike tables I found while shopping online. The table above is the Sawhorse Work Table from West Elm. It retails for $349. And here is it's cousin:

The Vika Amon/Vika Lerberg table from Ikea, which costs $39.99! Score! This table has classic modern lines, and will complement any space.

2. The Lacquer Console. $995 at Jonathan Adler

Since I am a big fan of white lacquer anything, this is one of my favorite finds! The Lacquer Console retails for $995 at Jonathan Adler - not bad for a designer piece. But, we can do better! Here is its twin:

The Fresca Console at CB2! The price tag: $250! What a steal. High-gloss white in all it's cheap chic glory.

3. The Santa Fe Table. $1,890 by Michael Gary Furniture at Decorati

One of the biggest steals i've found so far. The Michael Gary Santa Fe Table is a sculptural classic. Here is it's look-alike:

The Rustic Block Side Table by West Elm. This gorgeous replica retails for $99!

Happy bargain shopping!!

Spotlight: Monique Lhuillier

This is my 10th blog post! Hooray! Clear evidence that I am thoroughly enjoying this new world of blogging. Today I want to celebrate one of my favorite designers - Monique Lhuillier! What is there not to love about her and her work? She is the epitome of the successful, chic, and modern woman. Talking about her excites me not only because she is a fellow Filipina (born to French and Spanish/Filipino parents) and working mom - but because her style is insanely inspiring and encompasses fashion, home, and weddings (all things I adore!). Over the past decade, her business has grown from bridal wear bliss to a huge luxury style label. Her work radiates modern elegance - from her gowns to her table top, home, and fine paper collections.

Below are pictures of her LA home featured in Elledecor in 2008.... SWOON! Simply divine with a neutral palette. The look will be fresh for years to come. A great mix of glamour and simplicity - it is the perfect look for the modern couple because it merges masculine and feminine elements seamlessly.

I just can't tell you how much I love her home (and her adorable family)! Here's a peek at her bedding collection:

And if that wasn't enough eye candy, here are some shots of a tablescape she put together for House Beautiful, featuring her table top collection for Royal Doulton.

An all-white arrangement featuring the simplest flowers -hydrangea, carnations, and roses. I love how it is just so effortlessly elegant with a play of textures. The flowers combined with the rustic logs screams modern chic. I am so inspired!

Photos: Elledecor, House Beautiful, Monique Lhuillier,

Color Therapy | Turquoise + Coral

June 23, 2010

Time for some color therapy! Summer brings about a thirst for lovely bright hues. The colors I picked to dress up this white room: turquoise and coral. Pantone announced turquoise as the color for 2010:

Turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.
Coral complements turquoise perfectly. The two combined creates a balance of warm and cool tones, making any space fresh and inviting.

To create this inspiration board, I used Olioboard. It's such a great easy-to-use program that allows you to piece together furniture and accessories. You can browse their selection of items from brands like Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, and the like.'s free! It's an easy way to visualize a space before purchasing anything.

Summer Fun DIY: First Birthday

June 21, 2010

Almost a year ago, we celebrated my daughter Natalie's first birthday. It was a fun get-together with family and friends. We decided to have it at the park since the weather was gorgeous and we didn't have the space to accommodate the number of people we had invited. I had about a week to put the whole thing together - very unlike me! My plan of attack was to keep things simple and stick with a color scheme of pink, purple, and green to keep things cohesive. I didn't want to have a specific theme like "princess" or Dora the Explorer, so i just worked with the location and decided on fun outdoor elements like flowers and a fun "county fair" type of look.

Butter cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting

Garden themed cupcake tower. It took me about an hour just to pipe the grass.

The favors. I ordered the cupcake boxes online and decorated them with ribbon and homemade stickers.

With the help of my dad, I created 3 sweet stations: one for the baked goodies, one for candy, and one for ice cream. They were child size, and turned out great! I spent less than $70 for it all. I wish I took pictures of the entire process. Here are the materials we used:

1. Plastic heavy-duty garage shelving. Instead of assembling them stacked, I divided the 4 tiers into 3 as the base for the stations. Luckily our white cooler for the ice cream station fit perfectly in one of them! We simply discarded the top shelf for access into the cooler. I really wanted to avoid having to hammer anything or use wood, and wanted to be able to take-apart and re-use the materials for other purposes. Because I designed them to come apart, it was really easy to transport them to the location. After the party, we tore everything down and everything is being used again. The shelves are in the garage, keeping stuff organized.

2. Sheet Vinyl Flooring. They have huge rolls of vinyl flooring at Home Depot. I picked a pattern that resembled real wood. I covered the bases with the sheet vinyl, almost like wrapping a present. I left holes on the 4 top corners to insert the PVC pipes for the canopy.

3. PVC pipes and elbows. I assembled 3 pairs of U-shaped poles to support the fabric canopy. They just slid into the hollow holes of the shelves. About 3 cans of spray paint gave them that delicious pink color.

4. Fabric. I picked up some at the clearance section at JoAnn's. I then cut them to size, and sewed them with pockets in each side to accommodate the PVC pipes.

Everyone enjoyed decorating their own cupcakes with sprinkles, sugar, and food color spray.

I stacked the favors by the cupcake tower, and decorated them with some hand-made paper carnations.

And here's my little one, posing for the camera!