I hate to say this, but I will be gone for a while. Some things in life are needing my attention at the moment. I will miss communicating with you. But I will be back soon, with lots of new inspiring entertaining ideas.
I got inspired by these little tree favors, that I found absolutely adorable to create the stationery for a tree themed wedding. Trees represent life, and what is more beautiful than a wedding that takes life as a symbol.
I designed the invitations using tree illustrations, and a light beige pocket to re-create the feel of a tree.
The escort cards are hanging from branches with stiches gros grain ribbon ( I love this ribbon )
I can just picture a huge vase filled with branches at the entrance of a hall, and all the escort hanging, prestigious!
Giving little trees as a favor will make your guests smile. It is thoughtful, unique, and carries a lot of meaning. They will think of you when planting it, and while watching it grow.
Use all shades of greens, they all match. Forest green, lime green, mustard green, khaki green, mint green. For toning down, you can use chocolate browns and beiges, these remind me of the wood. Don't worry about coordinating, green is the colour of nature, and nature is perfect the way it is. Take a walk down a forrest or park, and look around you. You will be amazed at how many shades of green and browns there is.
If you want to use a color for accents, I will personally use a red.
Are you thinking I am nuts about Marshmallows? Well, yes I am. I am also nuts about Donna Hay. And in one of her latest issues ( the one above ) she was mentionning the marshmallows of Sweetness The Patisserie. I wrote to Gena Karpf ( the woman behind Sweetness ), and the next day, she calls me. I was surprised, and oh, so happy!. And, I fell in love. First with Gena, how sweet can she be! Then with what she had to say: she will be providing Donna Hay's new store with her marshmallows, and finally with the whole re-visited marshmallow concept.
We talked, and talked and talked some more. Gena is so easy to talk to! So much passion in her voice, and so much kindness. The type of person, I just love working with. She asked about my business, and sent me samples to taste. Yes, all the way from Australia. Even the post office clerk was amused : " These marshmallows better be good! They travelled quite a bit! " . I didn't give him any to taste. I wanted to be the first one! I was so excited with the parcel. I felt like a little kid receiving a christmas gift. And, when I opened the box, I was even more excited. Colours, colours, colours! I can't describe how great they taste, and so many flavors: vanilla, raspberry, passion fruit, chocolate, blueberry, coconut... I was spoiled. Thank you Gena! Thank you, thank you!
I made a little favor box ( the one in the collage ) to show you how cute these can be as wedding favors. Especially the white ones.
I am sure that each one of you, when thinking of your mom, picture her doing something particular. Mine is a baking angel. Whenever I smell baking, warm childhood memories come back and somehow it relaxes me. I associate baking with comfort and love. I remember her standing in the kitchen for hours, beating, mixing, frothing. And what I remember as well is the taste of all these bites of heaven, warm and fresh. That buttery smell, the different textures, in one word: pleasure!
I often visit Mamma for "bake dates". I spent last friday at her house, baking with her. We made almond biscottis ( I am not sure if I ever told you I was italian, you might have guessed though, my name doesn't really hide it! )
Here is the recipe. My Mamma's recipe :) I took a picture of her recipe book to show you. That book is a little treasure, and hopefully (if she allows it ), I will be sharing more of these recipes with you.
Make yourself a good cappucino, and enjoy this traditionnal italian treat!
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup of oil
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 ounzes chopped almonds
1 lemon - zest and juice
Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer
Add oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and almonds.
In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder and add it to the yet mix.
On a large surface, put flour (to avoid stickiness) and shape 2 logs.
Place on a baking sheet over parchment paper.
Bake at 375 degrees celcius until golden.
Remove from the oven and let them cool.
Slice, while still warm, and place on baking sheet.
" Once you take a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which ones I am taking with me when I go " Erma Bombeck
Well, I think which ones I am taking too. Would you laugh if I were to say I get high on spices? No wonder the Spice Girls called themselves this way ( or maybe, their success is due to their name? Hum, this will remain a mistery! )
Whenever I go the the Jean Talon market, I feel a fatal attraction to the store Olive et Epices. It is just an uncontrollable feeling, I try to resist every time, knowing I will just waste another hour sniffing, smelling, dreaming. But I can't.
The infinite number of color shades, all warm, all vibrant, are a teaser to inpiration. Running out of ideas for a party colour scheme? Well think of a few spices you love, and there you go, you've got yourself a colour scheme. They make perfect centerpieces. If you take big clear vases filled with alternating rows of cinnamon stick, cloves, sugar cubes, you just made the perfect brunch centerpiece.
I love spice just everywhere. And especially in chocolate. Have you tried it before? If not, I highly suggest to visit Genevieve Grandbois' store on St Viateur, and indulge in some of her Safran or Piment chocolate squares. Mmmm.
I discovered two soap companies, that make exquisite spicy soaps. This one and that one.
And if you are a spice lover, or know of one, Purpose Design makes beautiful spice kits. The packaging is sharp, and they're such an original gift. Pair the spice kit with a matching cooking book, and you know your friend will be in spice heaven. Hot gift, happy friend.
When my friend called me asking for my help for her son's baptism, I was thrilled. She had decided to have it at MB mange. boire restaurant in little Italy, a place I particularly enjoy. Not only because Matteo the owner is a family friend, but also because the chef Tommy ( which happens to be a good friend of mine and my husband ), is awesome!
I knew the food would be great, and it was.
For the decor, we started with invitations. Since it was a baptism, Noah's mother wanted to keep it serene, without it beeing too classic. The chocolate brown and mint green duo not only brought that feeling to life, but also reminded me of my beloved after eights :)
I designed a simple monogram with Noah's initials, and this graphic element was used on the invitations, menu, cake, and cookies that were given out to guests as a favor.
Eva did a great job on the flowers, it was original and fit perfectly the sleek look of the restaurant, as well as our colour scheme. The guests were wowed. She used some inexpensive stainless steel plaster containers from the hardware store. The shape was perfect, the look impeccable, and very affordable.
The cake and cookies were created by Montreal Confections. I love this girl, she absolutely masters her art. I packaged the cookies to match the whole look and feel of the party with tranparent cellophane bags to reveal the design of the cookie, and a fairly wide gros grain chocolate brown ribbon to make a cute bow.
It was a fun project. I enjoyed it. Congratulations Noah!