Anatomy of a Picnic Guide

Sweet, it's picnic season and this summer a picnic gathering is definitely on the list. Whether for an outdoor concert, or at a lake, or a  park, I've grown to think they're pretty fun, actually. Thank the cheese. But really the wine.

And since TH has been cooking up a storm and his current style is casual, simple summer, I think he'd pack a darn good meal. So he's for sure invited. You can check out his food blog here.

That leaves me to gathering the picnic basics. So when Red Envelope contacted me to participate in their Anatomy of A Picnic Guide, I thought it was the ideal fit to show my picnic style. I mean, stile.

Anatomy of a picnic

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In lieu of a traditional picnic basket, I chose a woven tote which can be used for the pool or beach. Plus, it's on sale.

I wanted to add some color and pattern so pink cocktail napkins and coordinating disposable cups show the cute side of my stile.

For color contrast, I went for yellow plates to coordinate with the wooden forks. Also disposable.

For an evening picnic, an insect repellent candle will keep you from having to share your food with bugs and add some glow if you're on a romantic one. Don't forget the matches to light it up.

Tying it all together is the beautiful honeycomb throw, a great backdrop for all the delicious food.

Happy Thursday!

Happy Birthday, Blog


Yesterday was my blog's unofficial birthday. Four years, folks. That's a long time in internet years. It's like the equivalent of my real age. Or the age I feel at least. This was my first baby. First came the blog, then came Bams then came (real) baby. And a Nora in between.

I don't think I've gone more than a week without posting. It's been a big commitment if I do say so myself. It's tough coming up with everyday content but so far I still enjoy the occasional posting. It's a public record of what I like and it allows me to go back and see how my stile and I have evolved. And hopefully sharing the things I'm into and inspired by have somehow inspired you too.

This definitely calls for a celebration and I'm for sure drinking champagne tonight. I should probably enjoy it with cake.

Cheers with a round up of pretty champagne flutes.


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Happy Thursday!

Color Inspired Tablesetting

I liked the combination of colors this J Crew model is wearing so much I thought it would make a great example of how to translate it into a tablesetting. This approach works any time I need color inspiration actually. I see a pretty image, vibrant artwork or colorful fabric and I use it to pull a color story from.

Here a winter fresh look can easily transform into a tablescape for Spring. I think I found my new favorite plates.

winter tablesetting_edited-1

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Happy Tuesday!

Entertaining with stile: Picnic Essentials

I often tell TH we should go on a picnic, but somehow we usually just end up at some lunch spot. No complaints here as I love eating out, but something is telling me I should actually come through on this thought soon. Picnics are so summer appropriate and LA has some really great locations. From the Hollywood Bowl to Malibu Family Wines, we should at least go on a few.

Here is my list of picnic essentials. I think that cheese board is a must.


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Hopefully this inspired you to picnic it up soon too.

Entertaining with stile: Outdoors

Now that summer is basically here, I want to get ready for some outdoor entertaining.

This is my summer wishlist of items that can be used for bbqs, parties or simply just because I want to add more color to the backyard.


pom pom umbrella // armchair // pillow // tumblers // wire stool // outdoor rug // plates

Happy Tuesday!


I wanted to share a few insta-shots from my nephew's first birthday. Mostly because he's so cute. And I really don't think I'm just saying that because he's my nephew, or because I've been told he looks like me, he really is a cute kid. They say he looks like me. Did I say that already?

As mentioned the other day, the theme was Kentucky Derby. It was just a small gathering of close relatives and few friends. And lots of food. There was some KFC in the house.



First year pictures shaped into a one. All great ideas come from Pinterest.


Max and his momma, aka my sister.



centerpieces - jockey hats and horses. My sister cut out felt and put numbers on them.


drink station



one of the most moist cakes I've ever had. I'm not even a cake person, but this was as good as it was cute.

Time to start planning birthday number two.

Happy Wednesday!

Entertaining with stile: The House Guest

We had a few guests visit us over the holidays and it reminded of things you, too, can do to make your guests feel welcome.

Lay out an extra blanket in case guests get cold in the middle of the night. These Mexican coverlets are really pretty.

Light a scented candle just before they arrive to keep the room smelling fresh.

I like to pick some flowers from the garden and put them in a vase on a nightstand.

freshly washed towels make your guests feel like you've awaited their arrival.

A decanter for water (or wine) for some middle of the night drinking.

these guest toothbrushes are a nice touch.

And if you stay at our house, TH makes a killer breakfast the next morning. It's like a bed and breakfast up in here.

Happy Tuesday!

First Birthday Party

Welcome to the new year. So far so good. Then again it's only day two.

This was like so last year but I never did share pictures from this little girl's birthday party I stiled. Remember the mood board?

How this works is, mom comes to me for ideas and tips, we either shop together or I specify where she can purchase items and then I come set it all up for her. Not a bad gig.

One of my specialties is color coordinating. I like using various colors so the overall scheme looks less one note.

I just took colors from the inspiration, the nursery wallpaper, and moved forward from there.

Mom was able to find a bakery that took the wallpaper pattern and recreated it on the cake.

The focal point was this gallery wall of Claire's pictures through her first year. I used washi tape to hold them up and add a little more punch to the white backdrop. Also a personal touch.

Sweet and cute for an intimate first birthday.

Happy Wednesday!

images via Gladys Lara

Entertaining with stile: Christmas Table Setting

Instead of doing the whole gift exchanging thing, my brother, sister and I get together for an early Christmas potluck and spend some quality time with our significant others. Growing up, we were surrounded by lots of uncles, aunts, and cousins on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so it's nice to gather more intimately during the holidays to catch up and reminisce about our days as kids. Sometimes we go out for dinner but this year my sister hosted and, you guessed it, I set the table.

Again, the goal is to minimize spending and try to re-use items already owned. My sister bought the red chargers and I bought flowers from a local florist and the little stockings from the 99 cent store.

I like bringing in different variations of colors so the overall look feels more unique and not so traditional. The flowers felt a little tropical, adding to the way the season had been feeling here in Southern California; warm and sunny.

Happy Tuesday!

Entertaining with stile: Lighting

Now that the holiday of all holidays is fast approaching they'll be lots of holiday parties to attend or holiday parties to host. And if you're hosting, I'm sure you already know the key factors to throwing a great fiesta. Music, food, drinks and company, but the one that sometimes gets forgotten is lighting. I'm a stickler for lighting. Nothing kills my buzz more than bad lighting. I get all Goldilocks about it too. It's too dark, it's too bright, I want it to look like I just benefited from an amazing facial. It should be bright enough that you actually see the person you're talking to and dark enough so you don't see their pores. Creating a nice glow is my personal preference.

The easiest way to achieve that glow is with strings lights. They're inexpensive and they're in season.

 For added glow, my favorite, candlelight. I can't emphasis candlelight enough. It's the prettiest. I've bought unscented white candles in bulk and I bust them out pretty much any time we host anything. Disperse them throughout and notice the extra twinkle. Stick candles in mason jars or clear vases, and if you're feeling extra crafty, fill them with holiday appropriate decor.

Switch out your bulbs to colored bulbs for added color. Or simply buying bulbs with a lower lumens outpour to create a more party atmosphere. A bulb with 450 lumens and 40 watts means less energy and better mood lighting.

Here's to better party lighting.

Happy Tuesday!