halloween chic

I’m not doing much decorating for Halloween this year, other than our little pumpkin friends.  But if I were to do any, it would definitely be on the luxe side…

I’m not doing much decorating for Halloween this year, other than our little pumpkin friends.  But if I were to do any, it would definitely be on the luxe side of things.  I’m loving the look of a black and white Halloween palette, maybe with a little gold thrown in for good measure.

Sources, from top:  Felt bat door decor from Country Living.  A 15th century depiction of bobbing for apples via Getty Images.  Halloween card from Spark Stationery.  Wreath via The Bella Life.  Bird canape plate from West Elm.  Black and white anemone flowers on JL Designs.  Cupcakes via Cake Picture Gallery.  Spooky tablescape from Better Homes and Gardens, via Little Lovables.  Painted pumpkins from Country Living.

So whatever you’re doing to celebrate the holiday, be safe and have a ball!  Happy Halloween, my lovelies!  xoxo

sally homemaker: butternut squash soup

I don’t know what it is about fall, but it just makes me want to go all June Cleaver on everything. (By the way, can we take a moment to…

I don’t know what it is about fall, but it just makes me want to go all June Cleaver on everything. (By the way, can we take a moment to honor the late, great Barbara Billingsley, who so graciously provided us with the June Cleaver icon in the first place? Loveliness personified.) I’ve been baking and roasting and cooking up a storm, and the latest conquest was butternut squash soup.

One of my fave meals in the fall is a grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of soup, and I thought it’d be a good time to do a little something homemade.  So I went to the other mother of all homemakers, Martha Stewart, for this easy recipe.

I liked that it didn’t use chicken stock or cream or tons of other bad-for-you stuff (although there is a little butter in it).  It was easy-breezy, and made enough to last for the next few days.  I didn’t use Martha’s suggested Spicy Pumpkin Seeds as a garnish, but instead used the ones I had made earlier.  The substitution was just dandy, and I’m in soup heaven!  xoxo

stop motion video: a question

Here she is, folks!  Not only is this the crazy way that we came up with of asking our groomsmen and bridesmaids to be in our wedding, but it’s also…

Here she is, folks!  Not only is this the crazy way that we came up with of asking our groomsmen and bridesmaids to be in our wedding, but it’s also part of the 30 by 30!  I am so stoked about this project, and the best thing about it is that it was made with tons of love for our bestest friends.

Featuring none other than the infamous $15 vintage Smith-Corona typewriter, I give you…  A Question.

A Question from Chelsea Costa on Vimeo.

bridesmaids and groomsmen

Mr. Lovely and I are so, so blessed to be surrounded by bunches and bunches of amazing friends.  So we had a tricky time when it came down to asking…

Mr. Lovely and I are so, so blessed to be surrounded by bunches and bunches of amazing friends.  So we had a tricky time when it came down to asking folks to stand up with us as we tie the knot.  But, knowing that we want to keep the wedding small (well, small-ish) and simple, we decided to have three bridesmaids and three groomsmen.

We wanted to do something super-special and creative to ask our wedding party to join us, so we racked our brains and came up with this:  a card in the mail, which would lead them to a link to a video online, which would be a stop-motion film made by The Lovelies, asking our best buddies to be in the wedding.  We had our work cut out for us.

We needed to make sure the stop-motion video idea would work before we went any further, so on our recent trip to California, we set up shop in my sister and brother-in-law’s backyard and tried it out.  For a first attempt at stop-motion, it wasn’t too shabby!  (Come back tomorrow, and I’ll show it to ya!)  Knowing that the video would work, we went ahead with the project.

I found some blank cards with cool patterns on them, and on each card, put the recipient’s first initial, in cut-out black cardstock.  Boys got red, and girls got yellow.

We wrote instructions on the inside of the card, and included the web address to the stop-motion video.  We included a mini-card, with instructions to read it after they found the video.  Then we wrote individual messages to each recipient on the mini-card.

It took some doing, but I’m so glad we took the time to do it this way!  Check back for the video tomorrow — there are a couple of surprises.  xoxo

pumpkin “carving”

Why the quotes around carving, you ask?  Well, we really didn’t technically carve a whole lot of pumpkin this year.  Our first one was a little sugar pumpkin, and because…

Why the quotes around carving, you ask?  Well, we really didn’t technically carve a whole lot of pumpkin this year.  Our first one was a little sugar pumpkin, and because it was so tiny, we decided to go a different route and just dress it up a bit…

Anybody recognize the bow tie?  The second pumpkin was more etching than carving, because we had something a little bit intricate in mind, but didn’t want to carve our pumpkin to shreds.  So here’s the little guy that we ended up with.

Isn’t he cute?  We only carved the moon, stars, and the detail around his eyes so when the lights were out, he’d be just like a real little owlie, staring at you in the dark.

I mean, we’re no pumpkin experts, but this is enough to make me happy!  Let’s go trick-or-treating.  xoxo

fabulous fall

It’s an autumn-tastic weekend here in our little Washington Heights apartment.  I’m heading to my Bestie’s apartment later tonight for dinner, and my assignment was to bring something sweet for…

It’s an autumn-tastic weekend here in our little Washington Heights apartment.  I’m heading to my Bestie’s apartment later tonight for dinner, and my assignment was to bring something sweet for afterwards.  My solution?  Some Trader Joe’s pumpkin bread!  Yes, it’s a pre-made mix in a box, but the fact that you get to add eggs, oil, water, and pop it in the oven makes ya feel a little more domestic, ya know?  And bonus — your house smells amazing for the afternoon.

In related news, I picked up two apartment-friendly (read:  small) pumpkins this week, to do a little carving.  What should we carve on them?  We’re pondering an owl on one and a moustache on another, but we’re open to suggestions!  Leave a comment if you have a fab idea.

And finally, I snagged a butternut squash at the market and I’ve got an itch to make a butternut squash soup from scratch.  We’ll have to see how that one goes — I have a feeling it’ll either be brilliant or a complete disaster, but nothing in between.  Stay tuned for The Great Butternut Squash Extravaganza of 2010.

xoxo

roasted pumpkin seeds

I am of the opinion that half the fun of carving pumpkins is roasting and eating the seeds.  Who’s with me?  I winged it this time around, making up my…

I am of the opinion that half the fun of carving pumpkins is roasting and eating the seeds.  Who’s with me?  I winged it this time around, making up my own seasoning concoction for the seeds, which actually came out kinda tasty!  Here’s what I did.

-Rinse pumpkin seeds and dry excess water with a paper towel, while oven preheats to 300.
-In a bowl or plastic baggie, toss seeds, 2 tbsp. olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic powder, and a sprinkle of curry powder.
-Spread seeds evenly on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with either sea salt or kosher salt.
-Bake for approx. 40 minutes, until seeds are golden-brown.  Stir and flip seeds intermittently.
-Enjoy the deliciousness.  xoxo

pumpkin patch

I mentioned a couple posts ago that we took my niece to a pumpkin patch while I was visiting California recently.  Really, my niece was more like an excuse for…

I mentioned a couple posts ago that we took my niece to a pumpkin patch while I was visiting California recently.  Really, my niece was more like an excuse for the big kids to go and run around in the pumpkins for a couple of hours!  We tasted pumpkin seeds in the Country Store, the boys shot baby pumpkins out of pumpkin launchers, and the girls rode a zip line (although what a zip line has to do with pumpkin patches, I’m not really sure).  It was a gorgeous day, and our li’l punkin’ was a trooper!  xoxo

yard sale find: vintage smith-corona typewriter

I was yard sale-ing in my hometown a couple of months ago, searching for hidden treasures that might help with the vintage feel of our impending nuptials, and, as luck…

I was yard sale-ing in my hometown a couple of months ago, searching for hidden treasures that might help with the vintage feel of our impending nuptials, and, as luck would have it, I found exactly the thing I was looking for.  I had it in my head that I wanted a vintage typewriter at the guestbook table, so that people could not only write, but type if they wished.  I stumbled across this vintage Smith-Corona at a yard sale in my old neighborhood, and knew it was perfect.  And better yet — it was only 15 buckaroos.

Isn’t that fun?  And I just loved that it still had the key to the case and the instruction manual, fully intact!  It’s a little dusty, and will need some love, but it’s fully functional.  And we’ve already used it for a project, to be posted here soon!  Here’s a hint — it’s one of the things on my 30 by 30…  Any guesses?

xoxo

triple salted caramel cupcakes

We’re crossing off something delicious from my 30 by 30 list today — Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes!  I stumbled across this recipe on Sprinkle Bakes earlier this year, and have…

We’re crossing off something delicious from my 30 by 30 list today — Triple Salted Caramel Cupcakes!  I stumbled across this recipe on Sprinkle Bakes earlier this year, and have been drooling over it for months.  These little guys look so fancy that I had written them off and decided to just look longingly at pictures of them.  That is, until I started writing the 30 by 30 — and thought it would be a good idea to tackle them head-on!

My handy-dandy sous chef (Mr. Lovely, of course) and I tackled them on our whirlwind California trip last week.  We gathered all of our ingredients, hijacked my sister’s KitchenAid, and trekked to my folks’ house for a little family baking time.

I’ve gotta be honest — these puppies are labor intensive. That being said, none of it is difficult!  They just take a bit of time because every single part is from scratch, which I love.

You can find the full recipe here (thanks, Heather at Sprinkle Bakes!).  A few additional tips:  make absolutely sure the frosting is fully cooled before you frost the cupcakes.  We frosted too soon and had to let the cupcakes cool in the fridge for a bit.  (But they were just as delicious chilled!)  Also, be sure to make your caramel discs on parchment paper.  We tried one round on wax paper, and they were a big sticky mess.  We also found it best to work very quickly with the discs.  Make extra — your first few may not be the cutest.  Well, mine weren’t, anyway…  😉  And finally, the recipe says that it makes 15 cupcakes, but we like ours a little full, so we made 12 nice big ones and it worked out perfectly.

Not too shabby for a first try, if I do say so myself!  If I end up doing them again, I might make the discs a little larger and the frosting a little taller.  But neither of those things affect the fact that they were delicious. xoxo

wedding inspiration board

I’m so excited to finally post this project!  Since the day we became engaged, I’ve been saving photos that I’ve come across — things that inspired me, or looked like…

I’m so excited to finally post this project!  Since the day we became engaged, I’ve been saving photos that I’ve come across — things that inspired me, or looked like the vibe that I envisioned for our wedding, or were just plain beautiful.  I’ve finally gotten them whittled down, and they encapsulate the exact feel that I’d love to have on the big day:  vintage-inspired, carefree, and just plain happy. Presenting…  The Wedding Inspiration Board!

Many thanks to Mr. Lovely for taking my mess of photos and turning it into this perfect board!  Find photo sources after the jump.  xoxo Continue reading