party food: summertime favorites

July 20th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Parties - (Comments Off)


These finger foods can be served as a main dish but can also be made as hors d’oeuvres for easy summer snacking! To keep your mind in summer relaxation mode, sides and drink selections are included!


Serve lobster rolls with kettle-style potato chips – have a bowl out for snacking and put a few in the sandwich, too. In a pinch, substitute shrimp for the lobster to save time and money! Lobster rolls can be served hot or cold, and the rolls can be dry, spread with mayo or drizzled with melted butter. Many people prefer them warm, but how good would this be chilled on a hot day? Throw some summery beers in a bucket of ice to compliment this classic.

There are lots of good pale ales out there to choose from that would be fantastic with a lobster roll, but right now shandies are having a resurgence. All you have to do is take equal parts light beer and mix with lemonade, ginger ale, or citrusy soda. There are also a wide variety of shandy blends available from many commercial breweries. Leinenkugel Summer Shandy is a classic lemon shandy and is a great cool-down on a hot day.
Chicago-style dogs have a delicious medley of toppings which usually includes sliced tomatoes, fresh onions, pickle spears and sport peppers. Sport peppers are a small, spicy, pickled pepper. Important note, if you are in Chicago and don’t want to be laughed at or asked to leave the dining establishment you are at, do not ask for ketchup. Hot dogs come with mustard only in this city! I’ve also had these served with Kraft Singles tucked under the hot dog, and it definitely was not bad!

Fries are a common side for the Chicago dog, but not everyone has a deep fryer, so I would suggest a doing an oven-baked version. Scarletta Bakes has the process down to a science in her instructions for the best baked french fries (link above). Trader Joe’s also has a fantastic garlic fry in their frozen foods section.

Set out a fun selection of bottled sodas like Boylan or Izze. Cost Plus World Market and specialty grocery stores usually have a great selection!


During my college days in San Diego I had three go-to places for amazing fish tacos and I sure do miss them! Living in coastal southern California my whole life, I’ve been spoiled with a lot of fresh fish. “Baja Style” fish tacos are my favorite. Fried or grilled with fresh cabbage, some guacamole and a squeeze of lime keeps it simple and lets the fish shine. Sometimes you will see these served with tartar sauce, which adds a whole extra level of deliciousness.


- Avocados

- Chopped white onion

- Chopped cilantro

- Finely minced serrano chiles (membranes and seeds removed)

- Lemon juice

- Lime juice

- Garlic salt

- Onion salt

I’m definitely a never-measure kind of chef, and everyone has their own preference. I suggest making this to taste. I usually have to test it a couple of times along the way, so I just keep a bag of chips handy! This guacamole combination is my favorite – clean, crisp and with a little bite.

You can make a refreshing melon agua fresca (using the above link), or if you want to save some time, Whole Foods usually has ready made agua fresca on ice!









get with the program!

July 18th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Paper - (Comments Off)


Programs are often an overlooked item of the wedding paper that simply lists the wedding ceremony and music and list of the wedding posse. After the ceremony it usually ends up in that oubliette between the console and the drivers seat of your car along with parking tickets and celeb-crazed magazines accidentally swiped from the nail salon… or at least that’s what I find in my car, ha ha!

But programs can be awesome! Here’s a few forget-me-nots! (like these paper bag programs from For Print Only! They hold pom poms to throw at the happy couple – love!)


A silhouette program, like this one from First Impression Invitations, will cut down on the “who is that girl” debate!


Sometimes keeping things simple is best. Love this. // Photo: The Becker


I love succulents and DIY fun! These are gorgeous, and useful for a summer fete! See more here.

Plantable Forest Wedding Program

Don’t want your programs to go to waste? Look no further than Green Bride Guide - these have seeds in the paper so you can grow wildflowers!


Need another use for those engagement pictures? How about a flip book to keep guests occupied? Minted has tons of styles to choose from and all kinds of other matching goodies!



July 17th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Flower - (3 Comments)
paper honeycomb
If you don’t want to use fresh flowers at your wedding, think about other options that pack a colorful punch such as honeycomb paper balls! You can purchase them in any color or DIY them! Think about hanging them above the dance floor, creating a ceremony backdrop, accenting the cake table,  or making them interactive!
for an awesome tutorial visit:

Mr. Printables

paper honey comb

honeycomb decor

colorful paper decor

ohhappyday wedding pom


best of the best

July 16th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Sweets - (1 Comments)


This weeks post is short and sweet but definitely near and dear to our hearts. This is the short list of our favorite cupcakes around. We recommend trying them all asap! And just a heads up, do yourself a favor and order and ice cold glass of milk to go with!


Sprinkles (they have several locations). They only sell cupcakes. Enough said!


We love Society Bakery in Dallas! Their coconut cupcakes are crazy delicious (so are all the other flavors) and they always have amazing seasonal flavors to try!


This is one of my all time favorites. I definitely had Magnolia Bakery withdrawal after I moved back from New York and I was so happy to learn (right before my last birthday – perfect timing!) that they had a Los Angeles location! Buttercream, buttercream, buttercream…


SusieCakes in Los Angeles is old fashioned in all the right ways – everything is homemade in small batches and they use only the finest natural ingredients! So delicious!










time to sparkle

July 15th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Beauty - (Comments Off)


Apparently when you do a juice cleanse, it’s really all you can think about.  I’m presently on day 2 of a 3-day, 6-juice-a-day juice cleanse and yet in that short amount time, all of my friends are not only aware of this journey, but they’ve also been privy to every speed bump, no matter how insignificant, I’ve faced in the past 24-hours.  I suppose that’s why many choose to cleanse while on a blissful retreat, far far away and out of cell phone reception.  Nevertheless, I’m doing it.  I’ve never done one before but got intrigued after visiting The Gem in Dallas.


If your summer is at all like mine, it has been inundated with more beer/pool parties, more margarita/enchilada sittings, and less exercising than I’d like to admit.  The part of me that has always felt so radiant was losing its sparkle so I opted for a cleanse.
Why cleanse?  Here’s what The Gem says a cleanse can do for you:

• Flood your body with micronutrients.
• Drop a few pounds.
• Reduce inflammation.
• Curb your sugar cravings.
• Increase your energy and productivity by clarifying your mind.
• Bolster your immune system.
• Kick start a new healthy eating plan.
• Sleep better.
• Glow with bright shiny eyes and clearer, more vibrant skin.
So if you’re feeling sluggish or less sparkly than you used to, give it a try!  There are loads of cleanses to choose from, some that deliver all the juices straight to your door, others that you pick up.  At The Gem, I pick up my 6-pack of juices (that they so cleverly pack in a beer carrier) each morning and I drink the juices every two hours in the order they specify.  Drinking plenty of water along the way as well as green tea if you’re used to a daily cup of joe is integral!
Of course there are other things you can do to keep your beautiful self extra vibrant.  For instance, I found this super helpful Healthy Pantry/Refrigerator Makeover on The Gem’s blog:
1. White rice and pasta.
2. Salty, fried snack foods like potato chips and corn chips. Especially those with chemicals and color.
3. Vegetable oil. It’s acidic and tasteless.
4. Sugary cereals, boxes with BRIGHT COLORS, OR PRIZES INSIDE
5. Canned soups, make your own and freeze the extra.
6. High Fructose corn syrup drinks.
7. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners and colors.
8. Any thing labeled sugar free, fat free or ‘lite.’ If they can’t spell it right, it’s wrong.
9. Take a look at the ingredients in your condiments. Try making your own salad dressing.
10. Frozen entrees. Lean Cuisines are loaded in preservatives and sodium.

1. Whole grains like long grain brown rice and quinoa. Whole grain cereals. Go Lean Crunch is pretty tasty! Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal is a winner.
2. Nuts.  Raw almonds and pumpkin seeds rock my world. Dried and/or dehydrated fruit. Sliced frozen bananas or grapes are awesome in the summer.
3. Healthy oils like canola, olive, coconut. Spices like Jalapeno Lemon Pepper or Tommy’s Coffee Rub are amazing additions to spice up your foods.
4. There is no finer snack than popcorn made with coconut oil and sea salt.
5. Canned beans: cannelini, black, pinto, lentils. (Dried are best. See easy crock pot bean recipe). Beans and rice topped with salsa and avocado is a perfect protein meal.
6. Sparkling water and limes–the perfect cooler.
7. Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
8. Domestic (or local), seasonal fruits and veggies. Keep all the ingredients for a quick smoothie in the pantry and freezer. Amazing Meals is a great vegan protein addition!
9. Hummus, tamari sauce, salsa, guacamole.
10. Homemade chili or soup.  Keep in the freezer for quick access.
To a more sparkly you!
Sources: The Gem

i do: caitlin and joe

July 14th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Style - (1 Comments)
Caitlin and Joe are beyond adorable. Their wedding was sent to us by their photographer, Lauren Volo of Lady Bird Weddings, and we couldn’t be more pleased to feature their amazing wedding. We were struck by how unique the dress was, the amazing family feel of the whole event and most of all, the OBVIOUS LOVE that these two share. We may or may not have teared up when going through these pictures…ok, ok – we did tear up. Check out the last photo, it’s almost impossible not to. So, without further ado, here’s the day Caitlin and Joe said “I do”, with an intro by the bride herself!
“Joe and I met in New York City.  On our first date we bought tongue tacos in the rain and ate them on a street corner.   It only felt right that we buy a hot dog in the rain on our wedding day…nothing says love like street meat. We decided to get married at Deity in downtown Brooklyn/Boerum Hill.  When looking for an affordable place to have our wedding we knew we wanted to avoid the typical hotel setting, but we also couldn’t spend a fortune on converting art spaces or renting out restaurants.  Deity was romantic and hip without being too over the top.  The space was already cool and interesting.  All we needed to do was fill it with our friends an family. Getting married in Brooklyn also allowed us to use the city as a backdrop for our wedding.  The wedding party grabbed umbrellas, braved the wind and hit the streets to capture some of what we all love about living here.  We wandered for several blocks and took some time to really enjoy the unique, exciting landscape of Brooklyn. I had very few expectations when I started planning my wedding, it was never something I’d imagined before.  However, after having the most wonderful day I can say it exceeded any expectation I could have had.  It was exciting, fun and so full of love.”   ~Caitlin


party decor: balloons!

July 13th, 2013 | Posted by Hello Love in Parties - (Comments Off)


Balloons have come to be standard party decor, present at many occasions and celebrations. Inexpensive, colorful and accessible, it’s not surprising that they have become a staple. Here are a variety of balloon decor ideas that are anything but ordinary!


Frozen water balloons stand in for ice while keeping these bottles cold.


Wrapped with light-weight fabric and adorned with pom-poms or ribbon streamers, this crafty idea would be a great way to use scrap fabric.


Balloons painted with a marbled effect add a soft and artistic touch to this cake display.


Helium filled balloons reach for the sky and fill the ceiling with color. Fun tip: put a marble inside the balloon and they will hang upside-down!


Confetti in any size or color palette in clear or white translucent balloons is a great way to match any occasion.


Gold splatter paint looks current and contemporary!


Go for the gold! Metallic balloons are perfect for the event that needs a touch of glam!







Sources: A Subtle Revelry // The Cinderella Project // Ruffled Blog // Hostess With the Mostess // CA Shine // This Is Glamorous