Be my guest | Fall picnic

These crisp late-Summer-nearly-Fall nights are simply magical, arent they? The cool crisp air makes entertaining outdoors a splendid affair! On my mind right now is hosting a picnic party to celebrate the on-set of harvest season with beautiful Autumn colors as backdrop.

Top tip: Never underestimate the power of simple, fresh and homemade meals. My go-to menu for this time of the year?

Fresh fettucine with lobster and black truffle butter, arugula and cherry tomato salad, caramelized onion, mushroom and fig tart, and walnut-raisin bread. For dessert serve pear gelato drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar.  Add a dash of apple syrup to sparkling water to make a yummy (and easy) spritzer.



4 easy centerpieces under $50 = ideas to steal!!

With Fall here and the holiday season knocking on the door, we could all use some tips for entertaining. For me flowers always take center stage and I almost never use fake flowers. Fresh flowers, however, can really be draining on the budget. When hosting dinner parties I like to splurge on wine and the meal itself while keeping the costs for flowers as low as possible. With this practicality in mind I created 4 easy Fall-inspired arrangements under $50, which I thought many of you might find useful. Some of these arrangements will last long after your party. To keep costs even lower, I used vases collected over the years, mostly from thrift stores and gifted arrangements.

Orchid + Berry trio = Delicate Exquisite Express

It isn’t Fall without some berries and these snow white berries compliment the burnt orange and yellow hues in the orchid creating a delicate arrangement. Cymbidium Orchid $34.50 + Snow Berries $13.50 = Total cost $48!


Lily + Oregano = Herbed Sophistication

The dual toned leaves in the ornamental oregano are reminiscent of changing colors of leaves on trees pair beautifully with Calla Lillies. Pinkish tones in the oregano are highlighted by the richer jewel toned purple-pinkish shades of the lilies. The fragrance of the oregano is perfect for dinner aromas. Oregano $9 + Calla Lily $23 = $32.

Romancing the Rose 

You can never go wrong with a classic all-rose arrangement. It screams elegance without looking over-the-top. Separating into three vases gives it a modern edge. 12 Gray Silver Finesse Roses = $22. I love the dual shades of the petals which is so Fall! Tip: make sure to cut roses at a sharp angle of 45 degree or more to make them last longer.

 Ballsy Minimalist

Moss balls might be the easiest house plants to maintain, need no watering, and last about a year. Place similar sizes ones in one large bowl or place various sized ones on several clear glass cylinder vases. Chic and minimalist, they are sure to be a conversation starter. Moss Balls 4″ $10 (2pcs) 6″ $15 (2pcs) 10″ $15 = $40

For a modern look I chose three vases to make multiple piece centerpieces but each of these arrangements would look just as pretty with only one vase. My tip, use the same type of flowers in each vase for an elegant and less-fussy look.

Hope you found this helpful. Which one is your favorite? Which one would you steal and how would you change it to suit your style?



 images: Manvi Drona Hidalgo

la vida loca + buenos aires-inspired dinner party

Blogging has been on hold this week as I have been tied up with client projects and prepping for six photo shoots next week. Certainly not complaining because I am having so much fun shopping and putting these looks together.

Time now to put work aside and start prepping for hubby’s birthday celebrations tomorrow. Inspired by one of our favorite cities Buenos Aires, and the awesome food there, we are hosting a dinner for an intimate gathering of friends. Milaneses, chimmichirri steak, proscuitto paired with Argentine Malbec and bubbly on the menu.

Hoping to make something like this for dessert with Dulce de Leche. Anyone have any recipes to share?


We might do it al freco depending on the weather.

I thought it would be fun to create my own double-sided invitations.

I printed an old map of Buenos Aires and a calendar graphic I designed and cut them credit card size. Stuck them on each side of card stock cut into same size and added gold stripe Japanese tape to the borders. I  inserted each invite into a glassine bag which I had also decorated with the gold tape. I mailed these invites in cream-colored postcard-sized envelopes, that I also trimmed with the gold tape.

Hubby was very pleased and I think they turned out well too. What you think of them? Would love to know.

images: Manvi Drona-Hidalgo, From BA to Paris and Shannon Nicole Smith




hello monday + kinfolk magazine

Over the weekend I came across a new online magazine – Kinfolk, a guide to small gatherings, and I was instantly in LOVE!!

The magazine is about entertaining for smaller more intimate groups, including dinner for one, two or few, recognizing that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. {swoon!} they had me at “guide to small gatherings”!

The simple, less contrived and absolutely beautiful tablescapes took my breath away. I felt like each visual (photographs and videos) transported me to the scene of the party as a guest. Not to mention the tablescape designs that popped in my head should they ever ask me to contribute.



Congratulations to editor/art director Nathan Williams and his team (which includes Chelsea Fuss of Frolic) for an incredibly inspiring magazine!


Kinfolk: Breakfast for Two from andrew+carissa on Vimeo.

images kinfolk magazine