My Favorite Season

I love fall. Crisp air. Yellow leaves. Trench coats. Apple picking. My birthday. Everything even smells differently.

The gang at Friends of Type have some amazing designs, but the above one by Erik Marinovich makes me smile. 

I know it's a couple weeks late, but Happy Autumn!


The Great BBC

On our honeymoon, we discovered the BBC—Bailey's Banana Colada. Our resort in Costa Rica had a half-price happy hour each night, so we treated ourselves to several during the trip.
Of course, when you try to re-create fond memories, they never turn out quite as good as you remember. But our homemade BBCs were pretty close. Here is a general recipe, but feel free to tweak as you like. We've also added Malibu or piƱa colada to the mix. Note that we did bring home a set of bamboo straws which does add a great deal of authenticity. Enjoy!
2 bananas, broken into chunks 
6 fluid ounces banana liqueur 
6 fluid ounces Irish cream liqueur 
6 fluid ounces coconut cream 
6 cups crushed ice

In a blender combine the bananas and banana liqueur; blend until smooth. Blend in the Irish cream and coconut cream (Note: Make sure the coconut cream is at room temperature, or you will not be able to pour it). Finally, add the ice and blend until smooth. 


Wedding: Dan and Sara's Penthouse Party

This Monday was our friends Dan and Sara's wedding. The ceremony started a little before sundown at at penthouse space on Union Square. The windowed area had amazing views (see below) and didn't require a lot of ornamentation. It also allowed the bridal party to take some pretty cool shots on the roof, surrounded by urban fixtures like the water tank and skyline views.

The centerpieces were glass vases with votives floating in the midst of lush flowers. Every table was named after an NYC neighborhood—we sat in Tribeca! My two favorite design elements and personal touches were the cakes—they had cupcakes for everybody but there were two small cakes, one for each of them. Sara's was white with black scrollwork, similar to her old bedding and the color scheme of the wedding. Dan's was a drum—he's an incredible musician. All in all, they did an amazing job of creating an elegant wedding on a small budget. One huge factor was booking the venue for a Monday night = so much less expensive. Since their families would be taking a day off work regardless, and the rest of the guests were from NYC, it was still convenient. It was a great way for them to have the entire weekend with family and friends leading up to the event and also go easy on their budget.

We danced until late into the evening, as you can see from the last image. :)


Wedding: Katherine and Michael's Charming Tennessee Farm

This weekend, my friends Katherine and Michael got married in Franklin, Tenn. The outdoor ceremony and reception were beautiful and charming, filled with handmade details, cheerful wildflowers and Southern warmth. The farm is owned by the sweetest local couple who served as "hosts" for the evening, handling many details, but Katherine did all the planning and design. The centerpieces were wildflowers in Mason jars; the Southern food was hearty and the sweet tea cool. Several of the tables also had white butcher paper and a jar of crayons to keep the children amused. They offered flip-flops for guests so their high heels wouldn't sink into the grass. The views from the farm were stunning, and the entire evening felt personal and welcoming, like we were invited into their place and their story.
Check out the photos after the jump!


Destination: Franklin, Tennessee

Located only 20 miles south of Nashville, Franklin sits among lush, rolling hills of central Tennessee. Because of it's proximity, the city is home to many writers, performers and other people who work in music industry. Notable residents include Steven Curtis Chapman, Ashley Judd, Miley Cyrus, Haley Williams and TobyMac.


Layered Strawberry Shortcake

On Easter, my aunt made a layered strawberry shortcake, and I was inspired by how simple it was to make, how lovely the final product looked and how delicious it tasted!

This recipe can be done in a hurry or made from scratch, depending on your motivation level. If you're buying a shortcake at the grocery store, skip to the topping recipe. If you're making your own, read on!

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 beaten egg
2/3 cup light cream

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. Add in the slightly softened (not melted) butter until the mixture is crumbly.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and light cream. Add this to the large bowl and stir with a fork.

4. Spread the dough in a greased 8x1 1/2 inch round baking pan or a greased 8x8x2-inch baking pan, building up the edges slightly. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until the dough no longer sticks to a fork. Remove from pan and cool on a rack for about 5 minutes.
butter, softened
1 cup whipping cream
3 to 4 cups sweetened, halved strawberries

1. Use a sharp knife or wire to gently split the shortcake horizontally into two or three layers. Lift off the top layer(s) carefully.

2. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate and spread a little softened butter over this layer.

3. Now, in a bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks (this means the tips curl over).

4. You can either add half of the strawberries to the whipped cream when you spread it over the cake, or you can save it to put on top. Either way, spoon the whipped cream onto the bottom layer, then add the second layer (if you have three) and do the same thing.

5. Spoon the remaining whipped cream and the strawberries over the top. You can also add blueberries (like we did), bananas or any other fruit in with the strawberries. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!


Easter in Texas

This Easter weekend, I met my family down in Fort Worth, Texas. The above images are the Water Gardens in Downtown Ft. Worth. They've been closed for several years and recently reopened. When my parents were in grad school, they used to take me down here to play. I remember hopping from one block the another, trying to avoid falling in the water. Today, I watched my little sisters and their friends do exactly the same thing.

Next, we headed to the Stockyards for lunch at Riscky's BBQ. We were just in time for the afternoon cattle drive down Exchange Avenue.


Pop-up: Liberty for Target

Today I was walking through Bryant Park after buying a new BlackBerry and noticed the bright patterned signs for Liberty of London's collaboration with Target. I decided to check it out and managed to be close to the front of the line.

I emailed my editor at W magazine and ended up writing a brief post for their Editors' Blog. The fanciful event, designed by the incredible David Stark, felt like walking into a spring rain shower. Lovely patterns covered everything, and the surfaces not covered in florals were covered in actual flowers. Here are some of the rest of the shots (taken with my new BlackBerry!)