TWINK + SIS VALENTINE'S PLAYDATE

We recently created a little Valentine's playdate for Mila and Brixton, and we were so honored to have it featured on Woman's Day. I wanted to share more images today since it IS Valentine's Day! 

The theme was “hearts on hearts on hearts!” and embraced Valentine’s Day with every shade of pink, red and purple. For the “tablecloth,” we covered a long sheet of kraft paper with hearts in various sizes and colors. This is something that can be recreated at home very easily. Layering is the key -- with a mix of pre-cut larger hearts, and smaller ones made with a heart puncher. We used simple school glue to adhere the hearts to the kraft paper and then draped the whimsical tablecloth over a small kids' table. The sheepskin throws then adorned their little chairs to add a really cute, luxurious vibe. 

The centerpiece is a homemade gluten-free vanilla cake. We used natural beet dye to color the frosting.

We try to always have a fresh floral element and this time it came from my backyard. The coral camellias were the perfect in-season touch to top the cake and table. 

The kids snacked on treats and drank pink lemonade while they made valentines for their dads and played with their massive red heart balloons. It was a really sweet and fun afternoon! Here are a bunch of pics!!!

CREDITS + SOURCES:

Design, Photography & Cake: Twink + Sis

Plates, Napkins & Cups: Meri Meri party via Bonjour Fête

XO Garland & Giant Heart Balloons: Bonjour Fête

Paper, Hearts, Ribbon, Stickers & Heart Straws: Paper Source

Heart Cookies: Thyme Cafe & Market

Heart Puncher, Wooden Forks & Cake Stand: Amazon

Table & Chairs: The Land of Nod

Sheepskin Throws: Ikea

Happy Valentine's Day!!! xoxoxoxo!!!

MOMMY AND TODDLER VALENTINE PARTY

One of our favorites: Mommy and Toddler Valentine Party! Here are the details on our design -- filled with pink, hearts, flowers and balloons -- and photos by One Eleven Photography.

Lets take a moment for Mila's outfit before we get to the party details. She's wearing a Wovenplay gold sunsuit, Tutu Du Monde cape via Shop Belle and headband via Thumbeline.

The neon pink “KISS” party favor bags by Meri Meri via Paper Source sent me into a tizzy, so I incorporated them into the tablescape to hold the “VALNTN” balloons from Shop Sweet Lulu.

You may recognize the “HAPPY” piñata letters from Mila's 2nd Birthday Party.  I DIYed them from an Oh Happy Day! tutorial.  

Twink saved hundreds of dollars on our party budget by making the three layer naked cake herself.  It’s a Pamela’s Vanilla Gluten-Free Cake Mix.  And then I decorated it with peonies, anemones and ranunculus in pink, coral and magenta.

Heirloom LA did gluten-free pizzas with a choice of cured meats or vegetables.  They also did a delicious crudité platter with homemade ranch and spinach dip.  

"I love you more than pizza."

Twink made the fresh fruit tray with organic, seasonal finds from a local farmer’s market and melons from Whole Foods.  

Twink made organic strawberry water and raspberry lemonade from scratch.

For the crafting station, I wanted something that wouldn’t intimidate non-crafters, so I opted for a simple feather mobile.  I pre-painted the feathers in six different colors for guests to choose from, supplied driftwood, thread and twine, and voila!, moms and kids crafting together!

Twink and Brixton even got in on the balloon pit fun.  And by the way, the gold balloon pit is just a cheap drugstore kiddie pool covered in gold duct tape.

The giant inflatable hearts and party favors are from Oriental Trading

You can also see more fun stuff on Style Me Pretty Living.  

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  XOXO

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING (REFINED SUGAR-FREE)

Lately I have been doing a ton of cooking and baking. Every night I seem to be testing out some new version of my favorite recipes to suit my (kinda, almost) mostly sugar and grain-free diet. Sis coined this as "Paleo Adjacent" and I think that's a perfect description. Turns out, Sis and I like our Paleo Adjacent desserts more than their earlier, traditional incarnations. This Dark Chocolate Pudding is taken from the most INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS recipe from The New York Times. I've substituted the sugar for maple syrup but I do love it with real milk and cream. I've included a non-dairy version that is really delicious too. The original recipe also called for corn starch which I replaced with arrowroot powder and optional grass fed gelatin. The texture is thick and smooth. Make this for your Valentine and I'm sure you'll get lots of X's & O's. 

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING

Serves 8

1 large egg, plus 2 yolks

6 oz extra dark chocolate 70-85% (or darker if you prefer), roughly chopped

2 tablespoons butter (use ghee for a dairy-free version)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups whole milk (use full-fat coconut milk for a dairy free version)

1/2 cup heavy cream (use coconut cream for a dairy-free version)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 tablespoon grass fed gelatin (optional)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for garnishing

whipped cream for serving (whip up the leftover heavy cream from above with a dash of vanilla and a splash of maple syrup)

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together egg and yolks. Set aside.

Place chocolate, butter and vanilla in a food processor or blender (I use my VitaMix) but do not turn on.

In a medium pot, whisk together milk, cream, maple syrup, cocoa, arrowroot, gelatin and salt until smooth. Bring to a full boil, whisking, and let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let it burn. It will start to thicken. When it does, remove from heat. 

Pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to prevent them from curdling. Do this a few times and then pour the eggs into the pot with the remaining mixture. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture just returns to a bare simmer (one bubble is plenty). Immediately pour into the food processor or blender. Run the machine until the pudding is very smooth (the hot mixture will melt the chocolate).

Pour into individual bowls or one large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refridgerate until firm and cold. At least 4 hours for individual servings or 8+ for a large bowl. One chilled and ready for serving, remove from fridge. Sprinkle with medium-sized sea salt granules. Top with fresh whipped cream. I also love this with fresh berries.

 I hope you love it as much as we do! xoxox!

Seersucker Napkin: Hedley & Bennett

Wooden Tray: West Elm

Wooden Bowls: Target

LAST MINUTE VALENTINE'S DIY CAKE TOPPER

It's officially Valentine's weekend! If you didn't have tons of time to prep, here's a super cute DIY cake (or any dessert or food!) topper you can make in 10 minutes!

What you'll need:

A few sheets of paper in any shade you'd like. (I used a dark and light hot pink) 

Heart Puncher (Mine is 2 3/8' from Michael's)

Bamboo Skewers (You can find these at most markets). 

I made 14 skewers (8 of the dark pink and 6 of the lighter). To make 14 skewers, cut 28 hearts.

Place a conservative amount of glue going down the center of one heart and on each side about 1/4" out. Place a bamboo skewer on the center glue and out another strip of glue on the skewer. Add another heart to sandwich the skewer and gently press together.

Lay flat for few minutes to allow the glue to dry.

Starting in the front of the cake, add the heart skewers at various heights (you will most likely need to trim the bottoms, depending on the height of your cake. Gradually increase the height of the skewers as you work your way back. Cute!!!

Happy Valentine's Day! xoxoxo!!!!

VALENTINE COCKTAIL: "MAKING OUT IN A FIELD OF STRAWBERRIES"

I think it's pretty clear that we over here at Twink and Sis are big fans of Valentine's Day. So, to keep the party going, I have created this flirty and refreshing cocktail that I like to call "Making Out in a Field of Strawberries." It's two of my favorite flavors - strawberries and mint - with a nice, clean vodka. I think it would taste great with gin too, if you are so inclined.

*A Quick Note Before We Start:
I believe this drink should not be strained and should contain pieces of the smashed fruit and mint. So using a shaker with a strainer is not necessary at all. This drink also works great for parties and large groups and can easily be made in a pitcher or punch bowl, by just multiplying the recipe below by however many servings you would like to make. 

For One Serving You Will Need:
4 Medium-Large Strawberries (with tops removed)
Two Sprigs Fresh Mint (leaves removed from stem)
1/2 oz. of Simple Syrup
1 oz. Vodka
About 3 oz. Sparkling Water or Prosecco
Ice

In a cocktail shaker (or bowl or pitcher) muddle the strawberries and mint well. 

Add simple syrup and vodka. 

If using a shaker, add a few ice cubes and shake vigorously. If using a bowl, skip the ice for now. Stir and smash all of the ingredients until they are well combined. 

Glasses:  Crate & Barrel , Heart Stir Sticks:  Shop Sweet Lulu

Glasses: Crate & Barrel, Heart Stir Sticks: Shop Sweet Lulu

Pour over a glass of ice. Top it off with sparkling water or prosecco, if you are a lush like me.

If you'd like to go the non-alcoholic route, skip the booze all together and make a yummy strawberry-mint soda with the rest of the ingredients.

Cheers to you and your Valentine!

xoxo!