Spicy Sweet Potato Winter Salad

spicy sweet potato winter saladspicy sweet potato winter salad spicy sweet potato winter saladwinter saladFor the salad:

  • 1 yam and 1 sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • large handful of mint
  • 1 large red pepper

Cut the sweet potato and yam into small cubes and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake on a cookie sheet covered in parchment for 30 minutes on 400°. Cut the shallot into very thin slivers and combine with chopped pepper and mint leaves **if you despise mint, exchange it with another herb, cilantro or basil would taste great as well** When the potato and yam are finished cooking, allow to cool slightly and then combine with the rest of the ingredients. Serve cold or warm.

for the vinaigrette

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the lemon and orange juice, whisk in the olive oil, add to the salad and you’re done! January is the month of attempting to be healthy and getting your Christmas-cookie-tummy feeling slightly more clean and fresh so I’ve been on the lookout for some interesting new “winter salads” that aren’t just a mound of lettuce leaves. This one is super fast and easy and can even be served over rice which is what I ended up doing. Plus, sweet potatoes are such an underused wonder, they really deserve another chance and combined with some winter citrus, this is one of my new faves.

 recipe inspired via

– <3 A. 

A Vintage Patisserie and Free Printables

vintage muse modern views

In my Mango and Mint Ice Bellini post for New Years, I don’t think I quite emphasized enough my excitement over discovering Angel Adoree so I think she deserves her own post. It seems that Britain has been enjoying her absolutely adorable success without bothering to mention her across the waters to all of us here in the States. Growing up in East London in a family who taught her that entertaining was a way to show love, Angel has at last figured out how to combine her love for hosting parties, drinking tea, selling and collecting vintage items, and making people happy into one all-inclusive experience. In a nut-shell, she sells the vintage tea-party experience. Like I said in my previous post, I learned all about her from my find of her latest book sold in Anthropologie stores:

angel adoree

She’s actually written two books and offers her tea-party services via this adorable, interactive screen:

the vintage patisserieOf course, if you don’t live in England, it would be pretty difficult to experience her custom-made tea parties. But, for all of us not lucky enough to experience it first hand, she has so much eye-candy to peruse that it’s definitely worth checking out. And, you can even purchase chocolates, rose transfers to adorn cakes and cupcakes, and soundtracks complied by Angel herself of some 1930’s female artists to help your own vintage party get into the right groove. I was reading on her bio page that she recently went on a British version of the American show Shark Tank, called “Dragons Den,” (I’m not sure which show inspired which) where small business owners pitch their idea to successful investors in an attempt to grow their business. Of course, they (wisely) jumped at Angel’s idea, and she’s since been able to build her brilliant, tea-party business by leaps and bounds. Since Angel is all about sharing the tea party love, check out these free, downloadable thank-you notes and invitation cards she puts both in her books and here for all of us vintage fans to enjoy.

free vintage printables

I’m quite the fan already and I’m thinking Valentines Day might be the perfect up-coming time to throw a vintage tea party bash with a little help from Angel. Stay tuned, I already have my recipes and ideas picked out from The Vintage Tea Party Book and I can’t wait to share them. Nothing like party-planning to overcome a wimpery winter mood.

– <3 A. 

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Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes     in your wildest dreams
  Earl Grey Cupcakes           In Your Wildest Dreams

New Years Eve DIY Photo-Booth

After weeks of saying “NO NEW YEARS EVE, DON’T COME I’M NOT READY!!” I ended up celebrating it early. My beautiful sister-in-law and brother hosted an early New Years party over the weekend and I decided my contribution would be a DIY photo-booth and it was so much fun!

vintage new years

vintage new years

diy photobooth

diy photobooth

diy photobooth

diy photoboothI hung a black blanket for our background, decked it with a homemade banner, some sparkly stars hung with twine from the ceiling, glued mustaches and lips onto dowels, added a few more props, and we were set. The photo-booth is such a fun addition to keep the festivities going all the way ’till midnight without losing anyone to the sleepys, and we got some pretty fantastic photos. Even if you’ve waited until now to decide on some party ideas, you’re not too late with this DIY because you can make it as simple or as outrageous as you want. While I was setting everything up I thought of tons of other things I could do so I’m writing them down for next year, or, maybe just the next party since this one was such a success. Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years!

– <3 A. 

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diy new years tablescapes vintage new years drink recipe ginger rogers new years style

New Years Tablescape        Mango and Mint Ice Bellini          Ginger Your New Years

New Years Table-scape and DIY Twineballs

Ok, I gave up, New Years is happening so I decided to give it a nod and put up something festive.

new years tablescape

Twine-balls are everywhere, I’ve seen them decking weddings, parties, baby showers, and now, you’ll be seeing them at your New Years party if you feel like kicking off 2013 with a little arts and crafts. It took me about an hour and a half to make these guys (not counting drying time) and they make quite the impact I think when hung over whatever table-scape you’re planning.


new years decorating ideas

  • Mix the corn starch, water, and glue together until the mixture is starting to thicken. You might have to play around with the proportions a bit to get the consistency right. I had to make this mixture twice in order to coat enough twine for four, rather large balloons. (**confession: I wanted to make the twine-balls gold so I tried pouring gold paint in with the mixture but it ended up making a murky grey color so, don’t try and skip a step, just make the twine-balls and then spray-paint them whatever color you want later. I ended up deciding to paint them a chic black anyway.)
  • Place a rod between two chairs so you have something to tie the balloons on while you’re working.
  • Blow up the balloons to the size you want and tie them to the rod with some twine.

diy twineballs

  • Coat the twine in the glue mixture and then just start winding the twine around    the balloons until you have as much twine as you want coating the balloon. It’s a bit messy so put some paper down to protect your floor and it’s also a good idea to have an extra set of hands to help hold the balloon steady while you are applying the glue-soaked twine:

diy new years craft

diy twineballs

**A note on drying time: this really depends on the weather, how warm your house is, how much glue you have on the twine etc. You should be able to tell if it’s dry by touching the balloons to see if the twine has made a hardened shell.

  • After the twine feels dry, spray paint the balloons whatever color you desire. I’ve done this project before and just left them white and I thought they turned out beautiful. For New Years though, I wanted something a bit more dramatic so I went for the black. (**if you want to hang these outside, don’t forget to also add a protective coat of clear spray-paint, otherwise if the twine gets wet the balls will deflate. Trust me, I forgot to do that step before and I was left with strange, soggy, limp twine.)

diy twineballs

  • After the paint dries, just cut a tiny hole in the balloon to let the air out SLOWLY. The balloon will separate itself from the twine and then you’re left with a pretty impressive globe:

new years decorations


diy twineballs new years decorations

I think these twineballs are so fun because they’re so versatile:  you could hang them around a light bulb for a chandelier effect, make miniature ones to place over twinkle-light strands, hang outside for a garden party, or even over a crib for a mobile. I paired the balls with some vintage decanters I just discovered at Salvation Army. I got the entire tray of decanters plus the champagne glasses seen in yesterday’s post for a whopping $18! Pretty nifty, yes? Hope this inspires you and (almost) Happy New Year!

– <3 A. 

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Mango and Mint Ice Bellinis and Homemade Ice Bowl

Over the Christmas holiday I made a trip to Anthropologie and stumbled across this pretty fantastic find:

vintage tea party

It’s pretty much like a blog in a book. Complete with gorgeous pictures, DIY ideas, recipes, party ideas, style tips and tricks, and, in the authoress Angel Adoree‘s own words, “expect glamour, roses, rabbits, headscarves, foxes, teapots, parlour games, cakestands” and everything that is beautiful about vintage. You definitely will be seeing more peeks into this gem, but I wanted to share this drink recipe in case you’re hunting for a super classy way to ring in the New Year.

Mango and Mint Ice Bellinis

vintage new years drink recipe

new years eve drink recipe

new years drink ideas

I marked this right away while I was flipping through the pages of my new love. I’m not much of a drinker of the alcoholic beverages but you simply canNOT have a New Year’s Eve without just a splash of champagne. Plus, these looked so simple yet oh so fancy, I had to give them a try.

new years eve drink recipe

Mango and Mint Ice Cubes:

  • The recipe says you could use juice or fresh mangoes. I went the easy route and just poured mango juice into an ice tray. If you don’t like mangoes, any sort of juice would be delicious, I think raspberry might be in my next attempt at this.
  • Let the juice-cubes freeze for about 45 minutes to an hour and then place a mint leaf in the center of each cube and let them freeze completely.

ice bowl:

  • Place a small metal or plastic bowl into a larger bowl and place something heavy inside the smaller bowl so it doesn’t float completely.
  • Pour water into the space between the bowls. You can play around with this depending on how big you want the hole to be in your bowl. I think it would be fun to do a square or other shapes too.
  • Let the bowl freeze completely and then remove the ice carefully. Angel says if you have trouble (and I did) taking the ice bowl out of the metal, run a little lukewarm water over the outside of the metal bowl to loosen it.
  • Pop some cubes into the champagne glasses, place the rest in the ice bowl, and enjoy!

new years drink recipe

new years eve drink recipe

vintage new years eve drink recipe

Doesn’t it look so fancy!? I was impressed by how it turned out and it really was super simple. Give yourself enough time to let the ice bowl freeze otherwise it will melt before your guests have a chance to gush about your party-skills, and trust me, they will gush!

– <3 A. 

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