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Salt Crusted Whole Branzino

salt fish2

Last night I got back from LA (4 hours, a missed flight and a rebooking later than planned) but regardless, I made it.  I barely made it in time for a dinner I’d had planned for a good friends birthday, but Matt saved the day when he ran to the market for me to grab everything I needed for the meal.

My friend loves salt crusted baked branzino which we’ve had the pleasure of eating together at a fabulous Italian restaurant in Hong Kong several times. I did a practice run a few weeks ago to be sure that I could successfully pull this off and I’m here to tell you that the hardest part of this dish is ordering the fish from the seafood counter.  Luckily, the men a whole foods really know their stuff and when we told them what we were making with the fish, they were able to point me in the right direction.

Truth be told, this photo isn’t a depiction of my actual fish.  When it came out of the oven last night (it was beautiful!) but we were all so excited to see it, in all of it’s fish glory, and we were pretty hungry, so I broke rule #1 of food blogging and that is I ate the dish before photographing it.  When researching recipes a few weeks ago, however, I’d stumbled upon this one from Skye over at From My Dining Table and it’s a great alternative to mine as it doesn’t use egg if you’re not an egg person. (also, Skye’s blog is gorgeous, so snoop around over there too!)

Like I said, when researching this fish, I meshed together multiple different recipes and the one I landed on is pretty wonderful.  Matt, who didn’t eat fish when I met him, said it was phenomenal.  And he doesn’t really use words like phenomenal, so maybe it was the wine speaking!   Continue Reading…

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LA in a Day

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With all of the rigamarole for the Emmy event, I had yesterday totally empty and I was determined not to do an ounce of work and to spend the entire day soaking in what I could of LA.  Not only was I determined to not open my mail or computer, but I also challenged myself to not make a plan for the day and just to go where it took me.  For someone who usually maps out each day by the half hour, that was a big challenge. I was talking to my husband on Sunday night and told him that I was going to relax and not make any plans for myself and he laughed doubtingly.

So, of course I had to do my best, right?  I have photo overload documenting what I did in 12 hours (just wait to you see where I had dinner)! Continue Reading…

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A different kind of Beautiful

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I’m not gonna lie, I don’t consider myself a California girl.  Of the handful of times I’ve been here, I just haven’t felt like I really mesh with the culture.  I’m going to have to retract that now.  Yesterday I went to lunch at A-Frame with some friends, Kelly and Danni and we spent a few hours chatting and catching up.  After lunch, they guided me toward a couple of neighborhoods where I could wander and relax and I was in absolute heaven.

It wasn’t just the shopping and eating however (even though both were amazing). I actually wandered around in the residential streets and just house gawked. Since I’d spent all day (like 14 hours) on Saturday setting up and participating in the Pre-Emmy party (more on that later) I needed to get outside and breathe some non-club air and think about something other than the Emmy party for the first time in weeks.

I headed to the Venice area and wandered down Abbot Kinney.  Everything in the area was so close, I could wander aimlessly and not feel like I was getting lost.  As I was walking around, getting the cobwebs out of my brain I started to actually think, “I could live here!”

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Here is the thing… I have a penchant for white farmhouses and open fields, and while every region in our country has it’s own normal, I wasn’t super sold on the LA life until yesterday.  The little bungalows were so charming, their fences and gates only added to the whimsey.  There was such a beauty to the life I was wandering through that I couldn’t help but smile.  It reminded me of a very upscale hippy lifestyle which, if you know me in person, you’ll know that’s pretty much my dream.  This feeling only only compounded when I popped out of an alley in front of a natural foods store and popped in to get some milk to use in my hotel coffee this morning.

I just have to say that looking at those beautiful houses was just so lovely and calming.  It’s not the big barns and white fences that I’m used to, but it was just as gorgeous… just in a totally different way.

 

 

p.s. Ok, so the show.  I will detail the day on a later post!  I hired a photographer to capture all of the moments since I was busy rubbing elbows with Hollywood folk, I haven’t gotten my photos yet, but I’ll be sharing photos soon here and even sooner on Insta throughout the week as they’re given to me!

 

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Friday Faves 8.22

Friday Faves 8.22

ONE how cute are these diamond paperclips from Oh Hello Friend? Even more cute is the owner of the shop, Danni, who I am so excited to see this weekend while I’m in LA.  The clips are $3.25 for 10. TWO I rose with double my shine today to get on a plane to Cali!  I could have still used this darling ‘Rise with double shine’ art from belles and ghosts, however, to act as a kind reminder at 4:30am, ouch! Prints range from $8 – $25. THREE I love minimal keychains and this natural leather key fob is no exception. $12 from Scout & Lilly.  FOUR I spent hours last weekend scouring the web for bathroom vanities that would work in our super tiny bathroom.  (this is how I spend saturday mornings while watching HGTV). This rustic vanity is small on size, but look how gorg!! $930 (with free shipping!) from Decor Planet. FIVE This fall, I’m looking to upgrade my charger situation for all of my holiday entertaining and these classic white chargers have a minimal farmy vibe which I love! $30 for 4 from Jay Companies. SIX gold and glass vases so chic and super well priced at $9 and $12 from H&M Home.

 

I’m in the air as we speak and I am looking forward to 4 uninterrupted hours of peace! Once I touch down in LA, I’ll have to hit the ground running to get ready for my Pre-EMMY party where I’ll be showcasing Grandiflora to media, press, and celebs. As soon as I arrive, I need to source fixtures for tomorrow’s show, the faux walls that I use for my booth, and all of the props that I couldn’t shove into my suitcase.

I will admit, this will be my first time hanging out in LA… SO if you have any recommendations of things I should do or see, hit me up!

ALSO!  If you want to follow along with the Emmy Party, follow Grandiflora on Instagram at @shopgrandiflora!  I look forward to sharing with you all!!

 

House of Earnest elsewhere:

I also write for Bali Blinds blog!  Catch this week’s article on how to prepare for Back-to-School with some quick organization tips!

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Grandiflora is Emmy (party!) Bound

on my way to la

I have a super exciting secret to share with you today!  I’m preparing for a trip to LA!  I leave bright and early tomorrow AM and will hit the ground running preparing for – get this – a pre-Emmy party.  Grandiflora has been invited to attend the party and have the opportunity to add some of our product to the celebrity swag bags!

Have you fallen off your chair yet?  I have had just a couple weeks for the news to sink in, but I’m still a little in awe of what I’m going to be doing there.  I’ll be setting up a booth, much like the one I set up at a trade show in Atlanta, and rubbing elbows with celebs, their publicists, and the media who attends the event.

So, I mentioned swag bags, right?  I will have a product to gift to the celebs who come through, so I’ve chosen to give a little set of our Malena Appetizer Utensils in a cute clear pillow box.  I’ll include my business card and a beautiful giant postcard with details about our company as well.

graniflora in la grandiflora home and decor in los angeles

grandiflora emmy bound

I’m a little terrified about how I’ll manage to get a good representation of my line and brand all of the way to LA in just two suitcases, but I have a plan and hopefully it will work!

While out there, I’ll be instagramming up a storm, so be sure that you follow @shopgrandiflora to catch the Emmy-worthy details.  I’m also keeping my options open in case I happen to get an invite to the actual Emmy’s.  You know, if one of the celebs is like, “oh, hey you, come be my guest”.  I’ll pack a ball gown just in case.

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Gold Initial Mug Gifts

gold initial mug gift

Sometimes the best things are the simplest, right?  While initial mugs are everywhere right now and certainly aren’t a novelty, I had a few birthday’s this week and thought that I would take a stab at my own version of the ‘anthro-inspired’ initial mug for some little lavender gifts for two of my girlfriends.

True to my mantra that a DIY needs to be cuter or cheaper than a store purchase these rolled in at just $3 each, or $5 each once you add the lovely lavender.

Anthro Inspired DIY Initial Mug

gold monogram gift mugs

I began this project just for the sole purpose of the gift – no blog intentions – but they just turned out so darn cute that I remade one to show the steps.  The things I do for you guys… just kidding!  Continue Reading…

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Homemade Garden Salsa

best homemade salsa recipe

I promised you guys yesterday that I had an amazing salsa recipe today and boy, do I! Let me start out by saying that I could make chips & salsa my entire meal.  When I go to a mexican restaurant, I really don’t need a meal, I’ll just have the chips & salsa and a sweet simple marg. And although I love some salty crunchy chips, I really could just eat this salsa on it’s own.  I put in on eggs and mix it into rice for a little south of the border flare for every meal.

making homemade salsa

Most homemade salsa’s I try are a little lack-luster and very very acidic. For this reason, I haven’t made homemade salsa in quite some time because it was honestly just never as good as store-bought.  But, this year we have an overabundance of tomatoes, so I need to do something with them and set out to create a better salsa. I’ve balanced this recipe out with one wonderful little addition that will have you singing the praises of the salsa gods.  Continue Reading…

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Points for Trying

points for trying

I’ve never been much of a housekeeper.  Or a much of a lot of things actually.  I don’t work out enough or drink enough water or wash my face nearly enough. I really fail when it comes to doing laundry and watering my flowers.  Around the house, it’s quite evident that I don’t give 100% to lots of things.  I run a blog, I run a shop and a consulting business and try to spend as much time as possible with my husband.  But all of those other things, they all just ‘kind of’ get done. I try, I really do, but at the end of each day, there are things that never get crossed off the list.

The other night, I’m thinking about all of this while doing the dishes from the giant batch of homemade salsa that I’d made (more on that later), and I’m really dwelling on the point that I didn’t drink enough (any) water that day. It was one of the goals I’d literally made 10 hours earlier and I’d already botched it.  Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 8.15

fall shopping favorites

ONE a gorgeous handmade porcelain mug with the most darling braided handle. From KinaCeramicDesign out of the UK and is a treat at $35, but would make a lavish gift in a set. TWO I definitely have a thing for campaign stools done well.  This leather seated version from Serena & Lily would look amazing as extra seating in a living room. (think: opposite the sofa and coffee table). $795 each. THREE fall is coming and this cozy handwoven blanket looks like the perfect purchase for the season. It’s organic, undyed natural sheeps wool and looks beautiful unfolded too! $144 seems steep, but take it from me, pure sheep wool ages so so well and just gets softer with time. FOUR I’m always looking for a stylish laptop bag and this one is perfect.  The slim profile means it can be carried with another bag, or just slip a card case inside and it’s all you need. I especially love the small little monogram hit! $175 from Mark & Graham. FIVE drop everything you’re doing and look at this flattened hexagon mirror. It’s the epitome of beautiful, clean, minimal and trend-right design and a great price at $160. Take a look at some of the other beautiful shapes offered by Silicate Studio as well. SIX this is the tufted sofa I used as a prop in my photoshoot last week and I wish I could have kept it! It was a wonderful size for a small space and had major style.

 

Guys, I smelled fall this morning. It’s coming and I think it’s coming soon.  Me and my totally nerdy biology background informed Matt that the ‘fall smell’ was actually the smell of decaying plant matter, but he said (and I agreed) that we still love it.  It’s a crisp and sunny 54 degrees here and I’m cozied up with Perry enjoying a hot coffee and just reveling in all of the fall that is to come. I spent this past Monday brainstorming and planning out the fall editorial calendar and I have to tell you that it’s going to be great! I literally can’t want to get started and I hope you guys are ready!

I know a ton of you had little ones headed off to school this week, so I’m sure it’s been stressful and wonderful all at once, I hope your weekend is fabulous and I’ll see you back here on Monday!

 

House of Earnest Elsewhere:

I also post on Bali Blinds Blog!  Check out this week’s 5 tips to create an airy feeling in the home and don’t miss by master bedroom window covering revamp!

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Treat Yourself: Foil Pressed Stationery

 

treat yourself - custom stationary copy

Personalized notecards may seem like such a ‘duh’ splurge, but I actually don’t currently have stationery!  I went to write a note to someone the other day and though, “well, I suppose I should bite the bullet and finally indulge!” Although it’s something that seems obvious, how many of us have actually treated ourselves to such an indulgence?  Some might argue that these aren’t frivolous at all, but completely necessary.

I really love Minted’s Personalized Stationery because the designs aren’t cheesy, they’re really well priced, and the quality is amazing.  There are tons of great options on Etsy too… I personally love In Haus Press.

For mine, I wanted something that had a ton of personality, which is where the gold foil comes it.  I think it suits me and isn’t too trendy to where I would be sick of them soon. Although I like these three the best, I am still keeping my options open… even tough I’m severely leaning toward the gold hexagon design.

Tell me, do you have personalized cards?  Do you think it’s a justified ‘treat’?

 

Have a wonderful Thursday, guys!

 

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