Valentine’s Day Brunch

Valentine’s Day Brunch

Snow storm got you feeling down? Turn those blues into shades of red and pink by planning a Valentine’s brunch for that special someone in your life. I teamed up with food writer and friend Chelsea Moore to put together a how-to guide on celebrating Valentine’s Day with brunch, booze, art, and music.

Here’s your one-stop-shop for recipes, romantic tunes, food and decor ideas, and art.

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FOOD

Waffles with a Cherry Blueberry Compote

Waffles are one of my favorite food groups. Last year my mom sent me a waffle maker for my birthday, making waffles a regular part of my diet. I love how easy they are — and how delicious they are too. Whip up a batch and then drizzle this Cherry Blueberry Compote on top. ValentinesDayBrunch5

Cherry Blueberry Compote

1.5 cups frozen cherries

1.5 cups frozen blueberries

splash of orange juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon chia seeds

dash of cinnamon

Heat the fruit and orange juice in a saucepan. When it starts to boil, reduce heat to low and add in sugar, cinnamon, and chia seeds. Mash fruit with a wooden spoon, leaving some fruit whole for aesthetics. Keep on the stove for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes enough for two generous portions.

Nutella Strawberries

Strawberries are a Valentine’s Day staple. Dip in Nutella to make them even more romantic.ValentinesDayBrunch13

ValentinesDayBrunch16Cranberry Vodka Cocktail

A light boozy drink, perfect for mid-morning.

1 ounce vodka

1 part chilled cranberry juice

1 part chilled ginger ale

Garnish with fresh cranberries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yogurt Parfait 

Siggi’s strawberry and rhubarb yogurt is amazing, but let’s be honest: when is Siggi’s ever not good? Top with your favorite local granola, and drizzle with honey. Mix in berries for added fruit flavorings.

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STYLING

Christine and I tag-teamed on the styling. Lately I’ve been all over white + gold combinations, and was excited to pair them alongside reds and pinks.

To set the table, I used my favorite white plates from Crate and Barrel, white flour sack dish cloths as napkins, and gold flatware from my great-grandmother’s collection. I spooned the yogurt parfait into porcelain ramekins.

Christine is so talented, and her art makes an incredible backdrop to any scene. I loved how the table settings were brought to life against her canvas.

Place Cards 

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Make your intimate valentine’s day thoughtful and memorable with a placecard to keep to mark the occasion. Place card ingredients include: watercolor paper, red/pink watercolors, water, a brush, a pen/sharpie, (gold leaf optional).  Cut and fold your watercolor paper into a 3inx3in square.  Dip the brush in water and then the paint and apply till the color is the tone your desire, add more water to mute the color. Let dry or blow dry. Once dry trace, or write your name and your beloved’s name onto each place card respectively. To add gold leaf, simply get a glue stick and apply the gold leaf to the corners or desired area.

ValentinesDayBrunch19PLAYLIST

Set the mood as soon as you click play. We’ve created a playlist of flirty tunes to inspire you to turn the music up and the romance on without the hassle of creating your own playlist. Listen on Spotify!

PINTEREST 

We did the work for you by curating a board filled with our favorite Valentine brunch ideas. From the simple to the detailed, we’ve got you covered. View the Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board for Ideas!

Cheers! To you best Valentines yet!

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Chelsea on Instagram for more foodie tips, reviews, and recipes.

Interior Decor With Joanna Carden

Interior Decor With Joanna Carden

Interior Decorating, An Art FormChristine_Olmstead_Art_12

This past weekend I had the pleasure of invading Joanna Carden’s space to watch her style my paintings in a variety of settings. I love collaborating with Joanna, because I learn so much each time I’m with her. She has the tools, ability and vision to pull together a clean and beautiful room.

It is interesting that just because someone is creative, or artistic, that artistic vision doesn’t necessarily translate across all mediums. For example, a painter may be a great artist, but lack ability in putting a room together, or struggle with plating a tasty dish.

Watching Joanna work this past weekend was fascinating because I realized she puts together a room in a similar way to the way I create a painting. When I start a piece, I start with the focal points on the canvas. Where do I want the viewers I to go and how do I want to direct their eye across the whole canvas. Joanna approaches a room in much the similar way.

She chooses the focal points of the space and balances them accordingly. After I’ve chosen focal points on the canvas I need to balance the piece in such a way that the focal points still stand out, but the piece doesn’t feel awkward or over weighted on one side. It’s hard to explain and it is largely something that needs to be felt. The determining factors that go into whether a piece is balanced or not are focal point placement, color selection, depth of color, color placement in proximity to the focal point, focal point directors, tone, texture, and white space. All of these things are factors I consider while painting.

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Of course, I don’t know what is going on in Joanna’s head, but watching the way she worked and the things she said while styling the various rooms, made me know that she was thinking about balance, focal points, and white space (aka breathing room, so a space feels pulled together, but not cluttered).

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Joanna was talking about balancing height, making sure pieces could fill, but not overwhelm the room they were in. She was talking about balancing pieces that draw attention but don’t detract from the focal points of the room. It was then that I really understood interior decorating for the artform that it is. The room is the canvas, you can choose your focal points, colors, tones, accent colors, accent tones, balance of textures etc in much the same way an artist chooses to paint their canvas.

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Thank you Joanna for letting me come and watch you work. Watching your artistry is always fascinating and I’ve loved getting to see you work!

All styling by Carden Interiors. Follow @joannagcarden for more styling tips, tricks, and interior design services. Also you get 10% off of any of my originals and commissions when you work with Joanna.

To shop furniture similar to the pieces from this shoot visit https://www.furniture.com/

Artsy Craftsy

Artsy Craftsy

Artsy Craftsy & The Battle with Childhood

What do you think of when I say, “artsy, craftsy?” (I know “craftsy” is not a word, but we’ve been saying it forever, so play along) Perhaps you conjure up images of your great aunt’s spare bedroom that is covered in tchotchkes, scrap cloth, thread, patterns, miles of yarn, and thousands of pins stabbed into her life-size manikin form with its expandable waist that increases each time you visit to mirror your Aunt’s waistline. When you visit your great aunt, you have to push all that crap off the bed to sleep on it. I would define this as “artsy, craftsy.”

Or maybe you just think of someone who is creative and likes to make things with their hands. I don’t know what you think, but I think of the former scenario.

To me, “artsy, craftsy” is code for “messy person, who makes things people send to goodwill” the kind of person I pray I never become. Yet, I was struck with a revelation as I visited my childhood (more like teenhood) home.

Visiting my parents at Christmas was the perfect opportunity to clean out my old room and bring home any childhood memorabilia I wanted.

I was knee deep in old sketches, drawings, palette tests, paintings, watercolor samples, my hot glue gun, light table, easel, my tool box full of oil paints, brushes, my separate watercolor box full of watercolors, glitter, my jewelry kits (from that brief time I wanted to make jewelry), all of my charcoals, pencils, and my special calligraphy pens.

It was here, sitting on the floor of my teenhood bedroom that I mused, “am I one of those dreaded ‘artsy, craftsy’ people?” All of the evidence was there. I was ready to throw it all away. “My gosh say it isn’t so! I swear I wont become a hoarder!” I screamed at myself in my mind.

I took a step back (figuratively, not literally, there was no room to step back literally). It’s ok. It’s ok that my childhood self created all of this stuff, and gathered and experimented and painted all day sometimes. As a child, I usually was never satisfied with my paintings, they were never good enough and I still feel that way. But looking back at my childhood drawings and sketches, I’m glad I did them. I’d tell my little self, that it’s ok to make all these messes because it something you will do your whole life.

My mom is incredibly cool and let me stain my carpet beyond repair too many times to count; my bedroom carpet will need to be replaced if my parents ever sell their house.

Looking back at all my little paintings, sketches, and color tests, I smile because nothing has changed at all. Except I like my childhood/teenhood art more now, and I certainly respect it more.

I’m coming to terms with being an “artsy, craftsy” person, but please, just humor me and call me, “creative!”