Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bow Pretty

I suppose I can't hide my love of bows. Not that I was trying. But here is my second post featuring bows. What delightful creations. Perfectly girly and pretty.

I found a tutorial for fabric bows here. There are probably hundreds of them out there in Googleland, but this is the one my cursor landed on and the instructions were easy to follow. There are other, faster tutorials with the use of a sewing machine, but I like the satisfaction of hand sewing sometimes. So organic. I made my bows a bit bigger. For the starting piece of fabric, one was 9.5" by 4.5", and the other, 8.5" by 3", approximately. If you haven't noticed, I like to improvise.

Inspirations to make the most of your bows: hair clips, bow ties, belt accents (as pictured below), pin to a shirt, dress, or shoes, add to a necklace, decorate a journal, a purse, or a wallet. Bows are quite versatile. Add anywhere to give an extra level of cuteness!

Happy bow making!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Playing With Your Food

Anyone else plan their meals for the next day as they fall asleep in bed? I know I do. I definitely live to eat. I confess, I'm a food junkie. It's just so delicious and kind of essential to survive. So it's a win-win situation.

Most days I can't cook with a recipe. I collect recipes all the time, but barely ever use them. It frustrates me to be boxed in with specific ingredients. I guess I have a little rebel inside of me. I'm always changing ingredients, even when I bake (it can get sketchy). My favorite thing is to look in my fridge and make the strangest combinations. It's so fun to experiment and you'll never be bored!

Cooking for a single person (and on a budget) can be tricky, but I've started to adapt to buying a few ingredients and then mixing and matching like crazy. Creativity is key. I thought I'd share a couple combinations. I had roasted peppers, goat cheese, tomatoes, and onions that were begging to be used.

My first combination featured quinoa, one of my favorite grains since I've been eating (mostly) gluten-free. Buy it at Trader Joe's and you won't be disappointed. It's like rice, but with a lovely, unique texture. To the quinoa I added the roasted pepper, goat cheese, onions, and a fried egg on top. I browned the onions with basil and oregano, which added great flavor (and a wonderful aroma to our apt). Yum. Quinoa is perfect to throw all your odds and ends into and come out with something wonderfully edible.

Second combination was lunch today. I made a salad of sorts with lettuce, lentils, tomatoes, roasted peppers, and goat cheese. I thought it was delicious as is, but for a stronger flavor add a bit of yellow curry or soyaki sauce. Mmmm. I love how colorful it looks on the plate!

Next up is playing with my beloved sweet potatoes! I'm already excited to eat tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Catching Dreams

There is something about the image of a dreamcatcher that has always intrigued me. I think it represents the stories our dreams tell. I still remember the dreamcatcher that hung on the side of my parents' bed. I'm not sure why it is such a vivid memory. Maybe I liked the feathers or maybe it was the future crafter in me coming out, but I'd like to believe it went a little deeper.

I guess you could call me a dreamer.

Dreams are romantic, sometimes elusive. The idea of catching those dreams is to create your happily ever after. It is about passion of the soul. And sometimes the chase is the sweetest substance of life. I am always chasing after one thing or another. Dreams of new adventures. New career aspirations. New travels. New art projects. My greatest fear is stagnancy. And the transition of seasons is the perfect opportunity to welcome change. I can feel myself squirming with anticipation, which also means my mind is running overtime with ideas.

A few pictures of my recent inspirations. Common thread: nature.

Keep dreaming.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Obsessions #1

Although I like to think summer is my favorite season with all the sun and beach opportunities, Autumn is nearest to my heart. The beginning of the holidays, spices, hot drinks, deep, rich colors, snuggling in cozy blankets, and walks in the crisp air... the list could go on. Though I'll admit I'm spoiled in LA, where "crisp" is other places' warm and beach days are still on the schedule. But I'm always obsessing over one thing or another so here are my current obsessions, heavily Autumn inspired.


Red Velvet Lookbook / Fall 2011 from elsie larson on Vimeo.

If you want these looks in your closet as much as I do, go here.

2. VANILLA CHAI & MUSTARD SEED CAFE. I know this season is all about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. A vanilla chai can be enjoyed year round, but that's only because they are the most delicious drink found on this earth. Exaggeration much? Well I did say these were my obsessions. And Mustard Seed Cafe is my favorite local place to drink these delicious concoctions. If you're in the Los Feliz/LA area, don't miss this gem of a place.

This is my favorite kind to make at home. Elephant Vanilla Chai (buy it here). I'm thinking the 4lb bag. Don't judge.

3. SWEET POTATOES. This probably sounds silly, but I dare you to try baking one. It's good even without the loads of butter, sour cream and cheese. Can your run-of-the-mill, Russet potato say that? I'm not convinced.
Sweet potatoes are especially tasty with pecans, like this recipe.
Instant taste of Fall!
Let me go google some more recipes right now...

4. BB DAKOTA on Modcloth. Particularly this cardigan.

Look at those beautiful Fall leaf colors!  All I want is to snuggle up with the above mentioned vanilla chai and a good read (possibly the new design*sponge at home book.). Sigh.

5. LAURA MARLING. A Creature I Don't Know just released this week. You won't regret spending your money on this one. Her voice is flawless and perfectly haunting. Autumn as represented by music and moving pictures:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Isn't it Romantic?

For all my faithful readers out there (Mom), I know, I know, it's been a long time since my last post. Whenever I let more than a couple days go by without blogging, I suddenly feel this immense pressure to deliver the perfect post, or else why did I let so much time go by? So here I am breaking down this wall by starting with a ramble, definitely not perfect. Also, I'm going to enact these 5 steps for staying inspired to prevent this from happening again! I might not be going back to school, but that doesn't mean I should lose all semblance of discipline and productivity (not that I wasn't the queen of procrastination, ask any of my study partners: I'm the worst distraction.)
If you made it through that paragraph, what I really want to write about is the beautiful event I was blessed to be a part of last weekend, the marriage of my best friend, Whitney Gearhart, to her best friend, Noah Starksen. I won't hide the fact that I was more than a little jealous that he rode away with her at the end and I was left to go back to the hotel without her. But such are weddings right? I shouldn't have been so surprised.

Whitney and I in the prime of our cuteness.

When I think of Whitney a million memories come to mind. Our preschool crushes, our Hanson obsession, petty arguments over who got the name Crystal when we played mermaids, rants about "stupid boys" and planning friend anniversary cruises to Antartica (we can be a little strange), and those froyo dates where we talked about anything and everything. We've been through every stage of our lives together. It is something so unique and special. Seeing her last name change to Starksen causes my heart to smile every time. Whitney and Noah, you are beautiful together. You are strong. You are creative. You  bless those around you with your love and laughter. All the distance you have endured has only brought you closer. You might just be my favorite couple. I hope to find someone who compliments me as well as you compliment each other someday. Lovelovelove you both.

Go here to see some gorgeous pictures from the special day!

Hope you've had a wonderful start to your week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Inspiration

We've been experiencing 80 degree heat, but when the calendar hits September, I consider it time for Fall style. Boots and tights please! This Fall is all about 60's inspiration. The gorgeous collars, lace up boots, polka dots, and mod silhouettes all remind me why this is my favorite season. I can't wait for pumpkins, hot drinks, and holidays. Now if only the LA sun will cooperate and turn itself down a few degrees! The following are a few of my favorite collections so far.

The most lovely patterns and details, if only I could afford a piece or two of this collection by Lauren Moffatt:





I loved everything about this lookbook of styles for the office this Autumn. I would have posted every outfit, but after some time (which I'd rather not disclose), I was able to decide on these as my top two. The polka dots with the stripes is just flawless and that mustard yellow! Well let's just say I'm still in the middle of my romance with this color. Head over to Ruche to see all the other beautiful looks.

If you've never read the blog, A Beautiful Mess, now if the time to start. Call it a new Fall resolution? Trust me, you won't me disappointed. Elsie always has the sweetest posts. And if you're looking for some one-of-a-kind, handmade pieces to add to your wardrobe, then look no further than her shop, Red Velvet. Tomorrow her new collection becomes available, but items are limited and sell out fast, so stretch out your fingers and get ready to click away!

And last, but certainly not least, the new stylebook by Modcloth. In my eyes, they can do no wrong, and so far I have never been disappointed. There's not much I can say, except, I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! Take a peak for yourself: