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LA Weekend + Birthday Picnic

Hi everyone!  A new week is here and for me, after such a lovely weekend, I am ready to tackle my to-do list.  I must admit that my weekend seeped into Friday and Monday a bit (hence no blog post yesterday) but it's hard to complain about that.  When you're in good company, your obligations and work don't seem to matter as much.  Sometimes you have to enjoy those moments and not think about looming deadlines.  Of course when I do come back to reality and have all this work piled up, I think "Crap, why didn't I do this earlier?!"

Something exciting that I did on Friday was to attend the Decorate Book Tour, hosted by Anthropologie for Holly Becker's new book.  Holly is such a fabulous blogger and her design and style are such an inspiration to me.  Meeting her was the ultimate!  She is so sweet and humble and even though I probably came across as a star-struck bumbling idiot, I hope I was able to convey what a role model she is for me in her work.  Be sure to peruse Decor8, Holly's blog, because it is really something.  Pretty things fill up every post.  Here are a few pictures from the event:

Super pretty Anthropologie window display.  Visiting each Anthro is always a new experience since every store is designed differently.  This event was held at The Grove in Los Angeles.  

There's Holly...signing away!

The rest of my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were spent with my brother David and my bestie Elysse.  On Saturday night, Elysse and I attended one of my brother's band's gigs and it was amazing...such a great show!  My brother and his fellow band mates perform so well live, they absolutely blow me away with their talent.  I am one proud sister!

And on Sunday Elysse and I prepared for her birthday picnic, a celebration she hosted at Barnsdall Park (such an awesome LA park, I feel like it's a well kept secret) with a bunch of close friends and yummy food.  

I contributed some festive bunting for the event.  In my opinion, bunting always makes things a bit more special.  

The delicious spread!  Everyone brought such tasty goodies and there were even a bunch of leftovers (they are dangerously sitting in my refrigerator right now).  It was definitely hot but we set up in the shade and enjoyed Capri Suns and some wine and champagne.  It was just so enjoyable and the heat didn't even matter.  

Me and the birthday girl, who looked lovely!  Ya, we're both 25 now!

The two pictures above are from Elysse.

Elysse opening my present.  Also, the store-bought red velvet cupcakes that I contributed which looked pretty but were actually gross.  I wish I could have made something from scratch but it was just so stinking hot and we didn't want to turn on the oven and make it even worse.  Capri Sun and plastic wine bottle in the background (yep, we're classy like that).  

I embroidered this bunting gift for Elysse.  I did it in her colors and everything (blues and purples) to go with her decor.  I love that Elysse appreciates my handmade gifts because I truly love making them for special people.  

The view from the park was stunning.  The Griffith Observatory is on the right and the Hollywood sign is on the left.  It really was a beautiful day and it is just so neat to look over LA like this.  Perfect picnic location.

So Happy Birthday Elysse!  I'm so glad that I could celebrate with you and feast on sugary delights.  Here's to a new fabulous year!  


Getty Villa Birthday Excursion Extravaganza + Feast

My Saturday was devoted to my bestie Elysse

Elysse turned 24 about a week ago and because I was not able to go into LA last weekend, we set aside 8/28 as our day to celebrate.  With help from our friend Cole (thanks Cole!), I coordinated a day filled with the Getty Villa, Sprinkles cupcakes, and Spitz kebab (a winning combination if I do say so myself)!  As far as I can tell, Elysse was delighted with the surprise and enjoyed every minute of her Saturday excursion.  Instead of just eating at the Villa or a nearby restaurant, I decided to plan a picnic to make it a little more special.  Cole was in charge of the cupcakes (and he picked Sprinkles...good man) and I packed a bunch of Trader Joe's goodies, like the Australian licorice and kettle corn.  The Getty Villa was well equipped with picnic benches and because the "picnic area" was a bit secluded from the crowds, we had a relaxing and quiet lunch (very peaceful).  I had never been to the Villa before (Elysse and Cole had) and after this trip I can definitely say that I would like to go again.  It is a beautiful location, the architecture and art is fantastic, and the weather on Saturday happened to be perfect.  Overall, a really awesome Saturday for everyone!

After leaving the Villa and on our drive to dinner, Elysse said, "I'm glad you guys know me well enough to know that I would love something like this."  Ya!  It made me so happy when she said that.  I'm glad you loved it Elysse!  Happy birthday, love ya!

And now for the best part, the pictures from our day!

A birthday isn't complete without Sprinkles cupcakes!  Cole got vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cinnamon sugar, and two red velvets (you can never have just one red velvet).  I made the little fabric flags so that we would not have to deal with candles and an open flame.  Tomorrow I will post a little how-to for making the flags...they are super easy! 

These cupcakes had a short life.

Other feast particles.  The bread was for dipping in hummus and for bruschetta (that I made myself).  I also brought IBC root beer because it is my favorite.  The fact that it comes in a glass jar probably has a lot to do with why I love it. 

Elysse and Cole, stuffed from the meal and super happy about it!

And now for some Getty pics:

The main pool/fountain is so gorgeous.  With the cool breeze blowing through on Saturday, I could have sat here for hours.

There is this great herb garden at the Villa, where I took the above picture and the next couple of shots.  They had a healthy basil plant that I wanted to steal for my future bruschetta-making.

There was also a couple different lily ponds which all had flowers blooming.

They had Egyptian papyrus which was neat to see.  It was very beautiful.  Whenever I think of papyrus, I think of ancient papyrus paper so I enjoyed seeing it in its true plant form.  

In terms of art, I probably enjoyed the mosaics the most.  This was my favorite.  I like the incompleteness of it all.

Ceiling detail...love the colors!

Elysse and I doing the touristy shot.  Cuteness!

And now a few of Elysse's pictures because my documenting skills were a little incomplete:

Cole and I lugging the goods!

And us staging the picnic area, preparing for the feast.

Elysse's card was one I bought at the Renegade Craft Fair from Paper Pastries (love their stuff).

And here is what I made Elysse for her birthday.  I designed some stationary for her, highlighting a few of her favorite things/activities including writing, television, cupcakes, glasses, and ketchup (she's obsessed with ketchup)!  I also made the little stuffed heart!

Happy birthday Elysse!  I hope you enjoyed everything!

You can see more of my pictures from Saturday on Flickr here.