A Sibling Christmas Dinner

Rather than stress out about what to get each other for Christmas, my brother, The Sistah and I have a tradition of getting together with our significant others to enjoy some quality time over dinner and drinks. This past Saturday was my sister's turn to host and I agreed to help set the table. I mixed in several of my items with her Kate Spade china and (I believe) Pottery Barn Reindeer.

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I found this super cute Hot Cocoa For 2 at Target and thought it would make a great parting gift. The partner received the bag of sugar cookies (also from Target. I'm more of a decorator and less of a baker) and when combined, it was meant to be a sweet treat for the couple to enjoy.

Good times, good times.

Thanksgiving is Over, But I'm Still Talking About It. Mainly Because I Set A Beautiful Table. Eddie Ross Said So.

Remember when I said I wasn't going to host Thanksgiving? Yeah well, The Husband had some recipes up his sleeve and begged for us to host so he could prove his skills in chefery. And I don't mean opening up a can of cranberry sauce or making Stove Top. The Husband made the turkey (for the second time), gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, creamed corn, and left the mashed potatoes to me. I'm not one to be out-shined, so I also set the table. Beautifully. What? I didn't say it, Eddie Ross did. And he was Senior Style Editor of Martha Stewart Living. And well, we all know Martha is the Jesus Christ of craftiness and all things turned pretty, making Eddie like a disciple or something. I don't know, I'm not religious.

But anyway, here's what Eddie said. About my table. He's like big man status so he surely did not need to say anything. But he did and it could not have been said by a more qualified person than if it were Martha herself. Thank you, Eddie.

Meet the kale.

If you notice, all of the dinnerware, stemware and silverware is from my garden party. (Seen here) The vintage books, vases, dry leaves and ikat bowls I already had. I went out and bought the fabric for the tablecloth from Calico Corners. FYI, if you buy fabric from Calico Corners, it's a two week lead time. Luckily, they have a sale section in the back you can buy bolts of. I was extra lucky they had just enough yardage for my table.  The mini pumpkins, corn and kale are all from the grocery store. I filled the clear vases with paper to bring in some extra pattern. This could only last for so long until the kale starts to wilt.

There you have it, a table setting by designstILes.



I Ain't Scared of No Ghost. Uh, Actually I Am.

I realize Halloween is all about the spooo-ooky and scary, but if I talk about the spooky and scary I will have to sleep with the lights on for about two weeks. Let's focus on the pretty and zexy.

Have a very happy, fun and safe Halloweenie.



PS - don't forget I'll be in NYC next week. I will try to update.

images via House Beautiful (scanned by me) and studded hearts.

It's My Party and I'll Act How I Want To


I have over a year until I turn twenty-one thirty but I'm kinda already planning my party. Kinda like I'm already planning my baby shower and designing my future kid's nursery. No, I haven't sent out any invites or bought any nursery decor (though I've come close), but I am saving inspirational images. A lot can change in a year plus, but for now I think I'd like an ultra feminine, girly party with lots of flowers and pretty colors. Once you're thirty you're like a woman and should act more serious, and the only thing I'm ever really serious about are my outfits. And after thirty I promised The Husband I'd have baby on the brain, so I want to bid farewell to my twenties with as much fun as possible aka consuming copious amounts of adult beverages without worrying if I'm acting like a bad mother.

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images via visualize, weheartit, wedding mayhem

I'm Coming for Ya

As I made my way into Lowe's the other day, a row of picnic tables out front greeted me with, BUY ME. Not as depressing as a puppy store when you feel guilty not taking all of them home, but there they were in the sweltering heat asking to be picked up. I'll be back for you, I said. You're all raw and bare in your current state, but I'm taking one of you home and giving you a fun life by painting you (haven't decided color) and hosting a bbq in your honor. Welcome to the family. Since Summer finally decided to pay us a visit (thanks, you're more than fashionably late), I'll be coming up with picnic table settings while everyone else is preparing for Fall.

I Love You.

Here are some inspirational images to get the wheels turning.


Pretty flowers and simple setting.


Move girl, you're ruining the mood. Just kidding. You can come to my picnic bbq party.



An indoor picnic table - work it. Always a fan of turquoise, and individually seat cushions are a good call.


Smooth and semi-glossy. You're an option.


Simple flowers in old glass jars/vases. I can do this and so can you.

images via country living, at first bite, beachy in the city, Elle Decor, Mary Ruffle

Pictures From a Fiesta

Sorry for being a Lazy Susan yesterday and not posting my stILe finds, but I think you'll like these photos of Dad's Fiesta much better.


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Party was a success. Our guests all arrived wearing white, creating a crisp and refreshing ambiance, which reflected nicely once the lanterns and candles were lit. We played Loteria (Mexican Bingo), danced with maracas, drank Agua Fresca, Mexican Coke and Jarritos, filled up mini bags from El Mercado with Mexican candy, got stuffed with street-style Mexican Tacos from a real tacquero, finished off with softest Pan Dulce I've had in years and sang Las Mañanitas to the birthday boy with a cake featuring his favorite actor, Cantinflas.

Happy 60th once again, Dad

Irene Lovett

And a very special thanks to The Sistah's friend who was kind enough to snap some photos. Be sure to visit his site - frenetic+joy.

Time For a Fiesta

The Sistah and I have agreed to plan a party for our Dad's 60th. I've always been a collage-type of girl and Polyvore allows you to do so without having to reach for the scissors or glue, so I've created a little inspiration board to relay my vision for the partay.


- If you haven't guessed it already, it's a Mexican theme. Our dad is super proud of his culture and this is a celebration of it for him.

- The man in the black and white picture is not my dad. Cantinflas is the late Mexican comedian/actor best described as the Charlie Chaplin of Mexico for those who don't know who he is. My dad has watched his movies about 100 times each and laughs hysterically every time as if it were his first viewing. Cantinflas cake?

- We've asked our guests to dress in white just 'cause we think it'll look cool.

- White lanterns will hang from above.

- No flowers on these navy-blue-tablecloth-covered tables (with zarape runners). We've opted for multiple, varied size vases filled with white candles because flowers are too girlie for dad.

- Small cacti dispersed throughout - way more manly.

- Okay fine, a bouquet of sunflowers will accentuate the buffet style table.

- Mini Reuben sandwiches as an appetizer. Get it, get it?

- I know, let's drink the mojitos and margaritas from cantaritos.

- Maracas will emphasize the beat of the music once people are ready to get jiggy with it on the dance floor.

I think that pretty much gives an overview to how I picture this fiesta. I hope to have some pictures to share after the event.

Happy {Almost} Birthday, Dad

-Irene Lovett

Garden Party

Last Saturday, I hosted a little garden party for a few of my cousins. I recently got into table setting and this was somewhat of my debut.  A special thanks to our friend who came over and snapped some photos. And an extra special thanks to Chef Ev whose freshly squeezed blood orange/lemonade, cilantro pesto, and tuna poke took my little shindig to another level.

I kept this intimate to alleviate the stress of seating more than eight people.  Once I become more pro, I'll be able to figure out extra seating arrangements.

As for my plan of attack, it actually came fairly easy. It all kind of came together as I came up on stuff while running errands not necessarily pertaining to this garden party.

- I bought the pink wing back at the Salvation Army shortly after we moved into our house. I've been meaning to reupholster it but still haven't after several months. I'm sort of glad I haven't as it fit in perfectly with the color scheme.

- The two yellow side wing backs are from the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market. They too need some reupholstery work.

- The white chairs are the only two dining chairs we currently own, and they are from Maison Midi.

- The wooden chairs are from Cost Plus. We bought these years ago when we needed some extra seats for a Super Bowl Party. The fold up and store easily.

Picture taken by Evan

I thought it was cute when one of my younger cousins asked, "So where do you find all this stuff?" And our photographer friend asked Evan if I spent my days shopping since there was no way I found all this on one trip.

I actually found several of the pieces while I was out finding items for work.

- The white vase in the center is from Home Goods, which usually hangs out in our bedroom. The green mossy butterflies inside the vase are from Michaels.

- The striped pots are also from Michaels. The plants are from a local flower shop. My original plan was to go with daisies but I'm glad I found these instead. The green with pink veins could not have been a better find.

- The placemats are from Kmart.

- Glasses, goblets and some of the plates are from Maison Midi as well.

- Other plates are from my China, Cost Plus and Target.

- Place cards were leftover from our wedding, and the little gift boxes were another Michaels purchase.

Basically, I just mix and match to keep things interesting.

The host and her sistah

We wore hats to block some of the sun and try to appear fancies.

One of my guests took this photo, but I don't know who. Let me know who you are so I can thank you profusely. This is one of the cutest photos of our little doggies (yes, I say doggies even though I know there's only one) yet.

Spring Is A-Comin'

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image from houzz

This beautiful setting reminded me that Spring needs to hurry the heck up. It's close, though. And I can feel the changes coming. The sun is setting a bit later, weather is warming up (not that us Southern Californians have much to complain about), but these are always pleasant reminders of what's in store. Spring has long been my favorite season, making me wanna bust out some girlie sundresses and plan for a fun birthday. May 12th, ya'll.

That said, I've suddenly had the urge to host a garden party. A sweet, afternoon gathering with my girls, appetizers, cocktails, sunshine, and some great table setting.

Here are some images to keep the inspiration moving.




Some items I'd incorporate into my theme.

Garden Party

pink peonies in a silver pitcher, mini tree place card holders, fun plates, turquoise goblets, bamboo silverware, cute patio chair, wood trestle table and pink ikat table runner.

What would I wear to my party, you ask?

In my imaginary world, I'd wear this Rebecca Taylor frock from her Spring 2010 collection.


other images from designmom, domesticbliss and  cocomale