Month: February 2015

Oscars Red Carpet Review

I love the Oscars Red Carpet. It is by far my favorite of the entire year!

I sit with a bottle of wine or champagne, a sketch book, and wait.

We don’t do glamour much in this day and age so I like to see everyone dressed up and looking like really movie stars.

Here are some of my favorites from this years Oscars Red Carpet.

Emma Stone was my best dressed this year! It’s really unfortunate that the true chartreuse color of her dress didn’t photograph quite right. Either way I think she was styled perfectly! Her red hair,  chartreuse dress, and the creamy coral used on her lips and cheeks was absolute perfection.

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Rosamund Pike and Dakota Johnson were both close seconds for me! They both looked like absolute perfection in scarlet red!

Red hot screen sirens

 

 

Black and White is always a good choice in my book and here us a little recap of my favorites! To be fair though… I am fairly certain that Reese Whitherspoon’s beautiful gown was actually ice blue and black. It photographed as white.

Meryl Streep… ahh what can I say about Meryl. She’s just perfect. That’s all and she looked divine!

Cate Blanchett was surprisingly understated for this year’s Oscars but she was gorgeous either way!  And can we just talk about her turquoise, aquamarine, and diamond bib necklace… DIVINE! It matched her eyes perfectly!

Margot Robbie was by far the commentators favorite. Over all she was just ok for me… Don’t get me wrong I think she is fabulous in general. But the dress was a little to loose and her hair wasn’t quite polished enough for the look. However, her 1.5 million dollar Van Cleef & Arpels necklace was ridiculously divine! Created for the Duchess of Windsor in the 30s the necklace is a working zipper made from 18K gold, diamonds, and sapphires. Don’t feel like wearing it as a necklace… the working zipper turns it in to a bracelet when it is zipped!

Zendaya looks like youthful perfection in Vivienne Westwood! Her stylist nailed it! Everything about her was perfect!

Marion Cotillard in Dior Haute Couture was probably one of the most surprising of the night. Her gown featured a modern take on the bustle! I can’t remember the last time I saw a patterned fabric like this on the red carpet!

Kelly Osborne… where do I begin. First, I love her… I just do. This dress was PERFECT for her! It fit her fabulously and it was youthful and fun! Her hair worked really well with it too!

Black and white

 

And on to my favorite couples! Just because they all looked like they were having such fun!

couples take the carpet

 

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My Banana Oat Muffins

It never fails… every other time I purchase bananas at least a few of them turn brown. So I end up putting them in the freezer. They end up waiting for me to get the itch to bake something.

These muffins are the perfect answer!

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3 large ripe bananas

¾ cup sugar

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 ½ cups flour *

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

or

1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375F.

 In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix or sift together

 Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Add in the sugar, then egg and yolk, then the vanilla.

In a small microwave safe bowl place the rolled oats and butter. Melt in the microwave. It is important to melt the butter in the same bowl as the oats. The butter will heat and slightly cook the oats before they are mixed.

Make sure that the butter and oats mixture has cooled before adding it to the eggs. You don’t want the eggs to scramble.

Once the butter/oats mixture is cooled, mix with the banana mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture.  Do not over mix. It should still be a bit lumpy.

Once the base mix is combine you can decide what you would like to add to it!

If you feel like adding blueberries, toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon of flour to coat.  Fold into the batter.

If you prefer nuts, chop either pecans or walnuts and fold in to the batter.

Using an ice scoop fill lined muffin cups about 3/4 full.

For a slightly crunchy top, sprinkle with a little vanilla sugar.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in to the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool for a few minutes and serve warm.

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These muffins will keep for a few days in a ziplock bag!

*Want to make them gluten free swap the all purpose flour for 2 cups of rice flour. Note that the texture will be a little different.

My fascination with The Oscars

“There is no end. There is no Beginning. There is only infinite passion for life.” – Federico Fellini

I have always been fascinated with The Oscars.

It started very early on when my mom introduced me to classic films. I met Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers for the first time when I was about five years old in “Top Hat”.

 I fell in love with film immediately.

Watching the red carpet was always an event for me. Loving fashion and wanting to design evening gowns made the experience that much more important.

But the love really began when my mom used to tell me stories about going to the Oscars.

Yes, that’s right. Going to the Oscars!

My mom was the first female head usher at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

The Music Center. Where the Oscars used to be held.

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I saw pictures of her in her uniform next to the ABC camera man, saw all of her badges… then one day she brought out the ultimate in Oscar memorabilia.

Her collection of programs! I nearly cried.

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A small portion of my mom’s amazing collection I hope to have framed one day.

She has at least 10 years worth of programs!

Including the 50th anniversary program.

When I opened this program and the accompanying book the first thing you see is a thank you.

To the patroness of the 50th anniversary Academy Awards. Her Serene Highness Princess Grace Of Monaco.

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Golden Anniversary Oscars

Along with all of her programs she had another amazing experience… She was a seat filler in the front row when Jack Lemmon’s wife was late to the show!

I often wonder if my mom feels nostalgic about those times when she watches the Oscars with me. I often wonder if she realizes the kind of obsession she sparked in me with that first film.

Either way, this evening I will enjoy watching the Oscars and texting with my mom to chat about who we think should win, what they wore, and how these talented people will be remembered.

Happy Oscar Sunday everyone!

Modern Woodinville Winery

For the third installment of our Woodinville Winery Blog series we take a look at

 Novelty Hill Januik!

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I would like to thank Amelia Soper Photography for sharing these amazing images with us!

There will be a full vendor list at the end of this post with links!

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Sarah and Devin leave Novelty Hill – Januik Winery after their wedding!

Novelty Hill Januik is by far the most modern looking winery in the Woodinville area. The stylishly modern building isn’t what most people think of when they think wine country.  However, being surrounded by lush greenery and one spectacular tree that appears to be a few hundred years old, it fits in perfectly.

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The lovely tree that greets visitors when they arrive at Novelty Hill- Januik.

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Novelty Hill Januik is unique. The two wineries have been sharing a production facility and tasting room since 2002 and opened their beautiful venue in 2007.

Under the direction of Mike Januik, the two wineries (Januik and Novelty Hill) share this amazing facitility that has quickly become a popular hang out for locals and an even more popular wedding venue!

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Locals have a closely guarded secret around here… The summer and early fall is absolutely stunning! Sure, we want you to think that it rains all the time… but it doesn’t.

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This venue has a stunning outdoor space as well as their beautiful tasting room with floor to ceiling windows. If you pop in for a tasting you will quickly feel the need to buy a bottle of their AMAZING wine and possibly one of their famous brick oven flat bread pizzas.  (Pizzas are available Friday – Sunday 12 -4pm)

Tastings are available daily from 11am to 5pm.  If you have a party larger than 12 please call ahead for a reservation.

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Regardless of the time of year Januik hosts Wine’d Down Wednesdays! A very popular event featuring live music, wine specials, and a ridiculously tasty menu that puts many popular restaurants to shame!

If you happen to drop by for one of the summer Wine’d Down Wednesdays the outdoor space will be packed with very happy visitors!

Weather permitting, grab a table on their outdoor patio and play a game of corn hole or bocce ball! There is nothing that says “Woodinville Summer” like a bottle of wine in the sun on the Novelty Hill Januik patio.

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This rosé happens to be one of my summer favorites!

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Candles on the Januik patio

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This venue also plays host to many weddings every year. Januik is one of the featured wedding venues in the wildly popular wedding show Weddings in Woodinville. Check their website for tickets, the show is always the last Sunday in January.

For those looking for a more modern venue, it doesn’t get much better than this! With the ability to host from 12 to 150 guests depending on your room choice, this winery fits so many styles.

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Januik also has their own culinary team! Head Chef Seth Fernald leads this extraordinary team to create some of the tastiest plates anyone would love to serve at their wedding!

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It is so hard for me to pick a favorite wine here… I have yet to try one I didn’t like! So try a tasting flight recommended by their knowledgable staff and you are sure to find something you love!

I hope you all enjoy this amazing venue!

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Sarah and Devin drive away from their wedding in one of Butler Valet and Transportation’s beautiful cars!

Vendor List!

(Click the links to be taken directly to the vendors websites)

Event Planner – Taylor’d Events by Jennifer

Photographer – Amelia Soper Photography

Deserts – Midori Bakery

Favors – Lady Yum

DJ – Adam’s DJ Service

Makeup – Me! Thats right I was so fortunate to work on this wedding while I was working with Kathy Evans Beauty Studio. 

Videographer – Bogle Productions

Rentals – AA Party Rentals 

Linens – Choice Linens

Transportation – Butler Valet and Transportation

Officiant – Window to the Soul (Mary Calhoun) 

A Woodinville winery in the woods.

In the second installment of our “Woodinville Winery Series” we are featuring JM Cellars.

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First, I would like to thank Melody Davis of MG Davis Events for sharing the amazing photographs you will see in this post. The photos were taken at Weddings in Woodinville by The Popes Photographers. Melody was the coordinator for this venue. Please click on the links for Melody’s and The Popes’ information.

JM Cellars is tucked away just up the hill from the center of wine country.

This winery is one of my absolute favorites! I came to know JM Cellars through the wedding show, Weddings in Woodinville and fell in love with it immediately. You can see why!

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This little gem is a family owned winery offering limited release wine. The passion of the winemakers comes across in their amazing wine, and their beautiful venue. Located on a seven acre parcel of land known those in the area as “Bramble Bump”,  you’ll feel almost like you have been transported to a fantasy world in a beautiful secluded forest. (Click here to check out the rich history of this area)

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It really doesn’t mater what season it is, this location is absolutely stunning. I have seen this location on a regular rainy day, a beautiful sunny day, and when it is set as the venue for a stunning wedding… dressed down or dressed up you won’t be disappointed.

If you are looking for a venue for an intimate wedding you should definitely look at JM Cellars as an option! Below are some more photos of the setting Melody created at JM Cellars for Weddings in Woodinville 2014.

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Tastings are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and cost $15.00  Plan to visit between 11am and 4pm as these are their hours of operation. For large parties they recommend that you call ahead and make a reservation.

Also, be prepared for the possibility that you will need to valet your car. There is limited parking. If you do need to valet, you are likely to be taken care of by Butler Valet. Now again, I’m a little biased as I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Butler Valet on many, many occasions. I adore them! These young men are wonderful and will make sure you are taken care of to the best of their abilities.

Now to the wine!

The wine that you will taste at JM Cellars is available at the tasting room for purchase, online, and at a select number of retailers. So if you like it… Buy it! You aren’t likely to find it somewhere else easily.

My favorite JM Cellars wines are at the moment are…

2013 viognier 

2012 Columbia Valley Syrah

While I haven’t personally tasted it myself, I have heard amazing things about their 2013 Mourvèdre Rosé. So why not give it a try when you visit!

Thank you again to everyone who contributed to this post!

A weekend in Washington wine country

Starting today I will be writing a Woodinville winery blog series!

Weekends in westen Washington means one thing… A trip to wine country. Now, I’m a little biased having grown up in Woodinville. This area has a special place in my heart.

All of the wineries in this series have tasting rooms in Woodinville.

My first must visit tasting room in Woodinville is Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Even driving up the drive way is an experience! Driving through the iron gates, through the rows and rows grape vines you feel like you are being transported to another world. Once you get through the trees you come upon the chateau. The main house looks like it has been plucked out of the south of France!

The other thing that you might notice when you walk the grounds of this beautiful winery is the amphitheater. Most people who live in surrounding areas are well aquatinted with the outdoor summer concert series that the Chateau holds every year. For those who aren’t familiar getting your hands on tickets to these concerts is not an easy task. They are some of the most coveted concert tickets of the entire year.

Chateau Ste. Michelle summer concert series

Chateau Ste. Michelle summer concert series

Wine club members get first pick of the concerts. Because you needed another reason to be a member right?!  In the past there have been performers like Harry Connick Jr., Michael Bublé, Abba (revival of course), John Legend, The Goo Goo Dolls with Christ Daughty, and The Plain White T’s, and so many more.

I was lucky enough to go to a few of these with friends of mine. The John Legend concert was my birthday present last year. It was AMAZING!

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My best guy friend Andy and me at the John Legend Concert.

You might be thinking… an outdoor concert venue… it can be that good. But trust me they have perfected these concerts over many years. John Legend sounded amazing and it was just him, a piano, and a few sting instruments.

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John Legend Concert

 Now this isn’t your typical convert venue. Bring blankets, beach chairs, your picnic basket, lots of water, and lot’s of wine… (must be Chateau Ste. Michelle though). When they open the gates you pick a spot on the grass and get comfy with your friends. If you run out of wine you can always go to the tasting room and buy more!

There is nothing better then one of these concerts during the Northwest summer. Just make sure that you bring a sweater or a blanket to share with a loved one when it gets a little chilly after the sun goes down.

Now to the really important business… the wine!

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Syrah Rose

Here are my favorite wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle for a concert in the summer… or really anytime! Click on the wines listed to be taken to the Chateau’s webpage.

 The Horse Haven Sauvignon Blanc

Limited Release 2013 Syrah Rosé 

Limited Release 2012 Viognier

Limited Release 2010 Mourvèdre

2012 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon

Looking for something bubbly?

Michelle Brut Rose

This happens to be one of my favorites and it makes amazing mimosas!

If you are visiting for a wine tasting on a rainy day or wandering the grounds on a bright, sunny, northwest summer this winery is a must see! I always take out of town guests here for a visit because it is a Woodinville wine country staple.

I hope you are able to make a trip here!

(These are entirely my choices and reviews. All opinions listed in this blog are entirely independent of the winery.)

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Goodies!

If you are like me… you are crazy busy and don’t have a ton of time to do elaborate craft projects (even though I LOVE them). I love holidays, and I love to give little gifts to my friends! So here are a few little last minute things you can do to make someone’s Valentine’s day last minute.

About 7 pm last night I decided I wanted to make a few things for my lovely friends for Valentine’s day.

So I headed to the grocery store and here is what I threw in my basket.

Two cake mixes… One devil’s food, one red velvet.

Two cans of white vanilla frosting

A tub of red edible glitter (On sale for 75 cents I couldn’t resist!)

One box of cupcake papers

Sounds pretty easy right?! Right!

I ran home and mixed up the cake mixes.

A little tip… If you aren’t the biggest fan of the taste of red velvet cake… add an extra teaspoon of vanilla to the batter.

To make the devil’s food a little more fancy I add a tablespoon of instant espresso (prepared, not just the powder).

I got the batter in to the paper lined muffin pans and let them cook.

While they were in the oven I looked around my craft box to find some red and pearl white card stock.

I cut a few dozen little hearts with the intention of putting them on the tops of my cupcakes.

Card stock hearts for decorations!

Card stock hearts for decorations!

After the cupcakes come out of the oven it is imperative that they cool completely before you frost them. If they are sill warm your frosting will melt right off.

Using a pastry bag, I just piped a little of the store bought frosting on to the lovely, fluffy little cakes.

And here is the finished product!!

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Everyone will be getting one of these and one of the cards featured on yesterday’s blog!

Don’t forget the folks at your go to coffee shop! They deserve a little something too!