TWINK + SIS HALLOWEEN DINNER PARTY

It's spooky season! We were so thrilled to have our Halloween dinner party featured on ELLE Decor. Today, I'm so excited to share even more images and details from our Halloween celebration with you.

THE DESIGN: We wanted to create a stylish and dramatic Halloween dinner party for the adult set. Something fun and festive, without losing the beauty of a sophisticated dinner party. 

The first two key elements of our table were the black flatware and the Jarrahdale (light grey/green) pumpkins. Those two elements were actually the jumping off point for the whole design. 

We purchased the pumpkins from a local pumpkin patch and they really made the table. We knew from the start that we wanted to forgo orange and do something a little more unusual. We were completely in love with these pumpkins and just wanted to cover every inch of the table in them. 

Once we had settled on black and the pumpkins being key aspects, that dictated everything else as we moved forward. We added light grey plates, flowers in deep red/purples as another contrast to the lighter colors, and smokey brown (goblets) to finish it off. We also thought that using classic silver for candlesticks, vases and goblets, added a perfect moody touch. 

We have a rule to always use fresh elements, wherever possible — even at our kids' parties. Whether it be pumpkins, flowers or evergreens, having an abundance of fresh, seasonal items really creates the most beautiful effect.

The plate decorations are actually chestnuts! We really wanted to have the flowers be a bit spooky and unusual. So when we came across these little brown monsters, we knew they would be the perfect unexpected addition to the table.

We loved the glass cloches. We placed some of the black birds, branches and the chestnuts under them. They created a great eerie vibe.

Make the most of your investment: Load up on heirloom pumpkins. Not only do they make great party decor, but they will keep your home festive all the way through Thanksgiving!

THE COCKTAIL: Our signature drink for the evening was “The Darkest Night.” It consisted of fresh muddled blackberries, bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup, topped off with sparking water. It was like a Halloween soda for grown-ups.

THE DESSERT: The cake was created by Whisk & Whittle. It was a two-tierd (gluten-free) chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. She created the spiders from marzipan and the web from spun sugar.

CREDITS:

Party Concept, Design, Cocktail & Florals: Twink + Sis

Photography: Sarina Cass of Red Anchor Photo

Cake: Whisk and Whittle

Tabletop sourced from: Borrowed Blu

Flatware: Classic Party Rentals

Candles: Yummi Candles

Skull & Blackbirds: Pottery Barn

Pumpkins: Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch

 

GRAIN-FREE CARROT CAKE

It's Easter Week! We will be celebrating one of our favorite holidays with decoration and recipe ideas. Here's a delicious cake without all the post-junk food guilt!

I took one of my favorite grain-free recipes and put a holiday twist on it. I love this cake because it's the only carrot cake I've ever had that doesn't make me feel sick after eating it. I adapted the recipe from Elana's Pantry, but I have changed several components. I also use real cream cheese in the frosting. Elana has a great coconut-based frosting, should you want a dairy-free option. 

Cake Ingredients:

3 Cups Blanched Almond Flour

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

5 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Warmed Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or a combination of both)

3 Cups Carrots, Grated

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice.

In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract and oil. Add Carrots. Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until completely combined.

Place batter into two well greased round 9" cake pans.

Bake for 35 minutes. Do not over bake! Allow to cool. 

Frosting Ingredients:

3- 8 oz. Bars of Cream Cheese (at room temp)

3/4 Cup Maple Syrup

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

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Topping:

1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut

*For Easter, I've also added some chocolate caramel eggs from Whole Foods.

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Serves 8-10

Combine cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl and mix on high for 1 - 2 minutes until thoroughly combined and creamy. Do not frost the cake until it is completely cool.

When you are ready to frost the cake, take a pastry bag with a 1/2" open tip and fill it with 1/2 of the frosting. If you don't have a pastry bag, create your own by taking a large Ziplock bag and cut 1/2" off of a side corner.

Place the first half of the cake top-side down on your cake plate.

Frost the first layer, by starting in the middle and work your way out in a continual circle. It's fine if it doesn't look perfect! Just make sure it is all covered out to the edge.

Place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting top-side up. 

Fill your pastry bag with the remaining frosting and repeat. Now gently smooth the frosting with a spatula. 

Sprinkle coconut shreds evenly on top.

Decorate with candy eggs to add an Easter touch.

I also added this adorable Meri Meri Easter cake topper to make it extra festive. xx

INSIDE JULIETTE LEWIS' SUMMER SOLSTICE BIRTHDAY DINNER

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Before the summer officially ends, I wanted to share an inside look into one of our favorite parties of the season. On the longest day of 2015, we celebrated the birth of our beautiful and talented BFF, Juliette Lewis, with an ethereal, Summer Solstice-themed dinner party. We were so unbelievably honored to have the party featured on Elle Decor and MyDomaine - two of our favorite sources for home decor and lifestyle inspiration.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

This radiant birthday girl was so fun to plan a dinner for. I asked her what her favorite style was and she said "Romantic -- like Romeo and Juliette." So we put together a palette of purples, brass, vintage dishes and lacy linens to create that.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Both Sis and I love a bare, solid wood table. It's our preference for most events these days. The slotted wood bistro chairs (all from Classic Party Rentals) added a clean, European charm to the garden setting. 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Most of these gorgeous tabletop items -- including the mis-matched vintage dishes, brass flatware, candlesticks, napkin rings and linens were sourced from the amazing Borrowed Blu.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

I love adding other "live" elements to the table, in addition to flowers. For this one, a combination of figs, plums and lichee went perfectly with the summery, romantic vibe. We always find that guests are more than thrilled to take fresh produce home to enjoy when the party is over. I love that it doesn't go to waste!

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

A little secret: These gorgeous (and legit!) amethyst crystals that added such beauty to the table - they're from Amazon! They also made great parting gifts for the guests. I love decor that does double duty!

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

I kept driving myself crazy, laying awake a night, wanting to have another modern and interesting element included in the table design. That's when I decided to "ombré" the candles down the table. I ordered four different shades from Yummi Candles (they have the best candles) and used about 6 per color.  I LOVED how it came out. I also want to say that you can almost never have enough candles. The tables that really speak to me have an abundance of candles. Go big or go home yo.

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Checkin' things out. It's good to look at things through some kind of camera to see if it's making sense from a photograph's point of view. Sometimes I will realize "Whoa! That's really sparse" or "The flatware crooked!"

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

For the evening's signature drink, I made one of our favorites -- hibiscus cooler. It's a really refreshing drink -- great warm summer days (and nights). Pick up some organic hibiscus tea from Whole Foods or your local health food type store. Brew the tea and add raw agave (or whatever sweetener you prefer) to taste. Cool and pour over ice. Done!

I make this in huge batches for parties. It's easy to make but don't wear clothes that you care about while making it - the color is super bright and stains! To make a large batch, boil a huge pot of water, put a box or two worth of tea bags in and then sweeten with agave to taste. Then put on a ton of ice, only when you are ready to party. I serve it in one of my big drink dispensers so guests can just help themselves. Got some boozers coming? Keep a bottle of vodka or gin around for them to spike it up! 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Cocktail modeling is my favorite job. 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

For the dessert table, I draped an antique desk, that I inherited from our Nana, with more of the vintage lace. I made the yarn backdrop from basic cream and gold colored yarn purchased at Joann Fabrics. I measured, cut and knotted rows of ten strings, making the middle row the longest and coming up bit by bit on each side to make a V shape. I liked the romantic boho vibe that it gave. 

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Our girl Emily from Whisk and Whittle outdid herself again with the most beautiful, and GLUTEN-FREE, confections. Her cakes are works of art. The large cake in the back is a berry shortcake and the shorter cake with the cute "Little Shop of Horrors" guy on top is some seriously relish carrot cake. To make sure the chocolate lovers got some love of their own, she made salted chocolate chip cookies and brownies. We had a lot of fun eating dessert that night!

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Photo by: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Look at all those gorgeous goddesses!

Massive thank you to all who helped make this evening so magical! Love you, JL!!!! xoxoxo!!

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CREDITS:

Party Design, Florals, Signature Drink + Custom Backdrop: Twink + Sis

Photography: Jenna Elliott of One Eleven Photography

Tabletop + Linens: Borrowed Blu

Misc. Tabletop: Twink + Sis' Own

Furniture Rentals: Classic Party Rents

Desserts: Whisk and Whittle

Candles: Yummi Candles

Amethyst Crystals: Amazon

Backdrop Materials: Joann

 

IT'S NATIONAL WAFFLE DAY

It's National Waffle Day!

I don't know about you but when it comes to waffles, I actually prefer a heartier version to the traditional fluffy, sugary kind. So I've pulled together five beautiful recipes with a focus on paleo, gluten free and grain free, in the hopes of inspiring you today.

If you're hungry for more waffle recipes, Brit + Co. has 26 to share!

IT'S ICE CREAM SEASON: RORI'S ARTISANAL CREAMERY

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Santa Barbara-based Rori's Artisanal Creamery is one of our all-time favorites and we were more than happy to go and eat their ice cream for "the sake of the blog." If you find yourself in the Santa Barbara area and needing the most delicious organic ice cream, Rori's has two locations: one in Montecito at the Montecito Country Mart and the other in downtown Santa Barbara, inside the SB Public Market. 

Why we love Rori's: 

Their grass-fed, organic ice cream, made with Straus Family Creamery dairy, is some of the creamiest ice cream I have ever tasted. They also make their own regular and gluten-free cones. 

Their cute SB Public Market location.

Take some to go!

Fresh mint patty and John Martin (coconut and chocolate chunk) on a gluten-free cone went down real easily.

B ate the top and the bottom of his vanilla cone. Can't wait for my next Rori's scoop! xx