Posted by: loveandsplendor | June 7, 2011

We have MOVED to the fabulous new blog!

Hello everyone!  I have just launched a brand new blog and I’d love you to follow me there.  ;-)  If you are reading this post in Google Reader, make sure you update your feeds (loveandsplendor.com/blog) so you continue to get notifications and posts. See you there!

xoxo,

Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | May 30, 2011

out of town @ engage! 11

Hello lovelies!! I hope you are having the most wonderful start to your week. I know I am beyond overdue for a posting, but I promise my absence has been for good reason — lots of lovely things are cooking in the Love & Splendor kitchen! One of the major things has been a BRAND NEW gorgeous blog!  I will do a formal reveal with a full post about it (and all the amazing people who were a part of bringing it to life) very soon…

In the meanwhile, I’m just stopping by to let you know that I will be out of town through Thursday, June 2nd, attending the Engage!11 conference! I am beyond excited… I have been enamored with the entire conference for years, only experiencing it vicariously through friends and recap posts online. ;-) This year, I am the humbled scholarship recipient and will finally get to soak up all the fabulousness myself!  I look forward to sharing a detailed, photo-laden recap of my trip when I return.

the grand del mar – host to engage!11

Although I will have my iPad with me during my trip, I am going to try to spend as much time away from it as possible.  Please expect a delay hearing from me if you email me this week. Current clients can call me with any urgent needs.  :)

Now back to packing for me!  Bursting at the seams with anticipation!!!

xoxo, Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | May 13, 2011

scott & jess – stylishly betrothed

Happy Friday, everyone! :)  As you know, I love to shout from the rooftops about how much I love my clients.  I have said time and time again I am blessed with the most kind, gracious, creative and stylish clients EVER.  (While I won’t name any names, I will say I am constantly told by vendors that my clients are always the sweetest…)  And frequently, I like to give you glimpses of these fabulous couples as they prepare for their weddings.  You may recall that last month I shared this charming proposal with you.  Today you get to meet the couple behind the gnomes! You’ll see they are as gorgeous as they are playful!  (Their wedding is going to be amazing, too…  whimsical and eclectic and intimate…)

Here is one of the most beautiful engagement shoots I’ve seen recently…  Their photographer is the talented Ryan Ray, whom I can’t wait to meet later this year.  His work has a natural, easy loveliness to it.  And it doesn’t hurt that Scott and Jess make an utterly stunning pair.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did…

Seriously, Jess has the most graceful, delicate radiance!!!  Completely captivating.

a perfectly accessorized pair.

bliss.

P.S. Earlier this week, I shared a little guest post for my dear friend Mara.  Check it out here!  And if you haven’t seen Mara’s blog yet, you are in for a treat.  She writes the loveliest personal + fashion blog.  :)

P.P.S. Jess can also be blamed for my new love and fascination with Pinterest.  I literally *just* joined but will be pinning soon, so feel free to follow my boards there~

May your weekend be sweet!  xoxo, Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | May 3, 2011

In the Kitchen: Blackberry Coconut Tart with Toasted Pistachios

I love to cook but I am not that big on baking.  At least, I thought I wasn’t.  It seems like anytime I embark on something new and exciting in the kitchen these days, it’s to bake something.  This has turned out to be simultaneously good and bad — I am grateful for the baking success, but not so fond of having delectable baked goods constantly within arm’s grasp!  ;-)

I can’t take the credit for this latest creation, which I discovered while reading Smitten Kitchen (one of my very favorite non-wedding blogs — check it out!).  **Note: SK adapted the recipe from the one in Super Natural Everyday — just another affirmation that it’s near-impossible to trace the origins of a recipe!!

My love for blackberries is akin to my love for bananas — I go crazy for anything with them.  So, once I saw this recipe pop up in my Google reader, I knew I had to make it.  Our family Easter supper afforded me the perfect excuse to whip this up.  Although I typically do not advise one to try out new recipes for things you’re taking to feed others, I was lucky this time.  As always, I made a few adjustments so I will share “my take” on her recipe below.

Blackberry Coconut Tart with Toasted Pistachios – Yield: 8-12 servings, depending on the size of the slices!

{Ingredients}

for the crust…

  • 1 cup and 2 TBS of unbleached white flour (or whole wheat flour) — I prefer Bob’s Red Mill flours
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 TBS of unsweetened finely shredded coconut (I used coconut flakes (Bob’s Red Mill again) because I had it on-hand.  I pulsed most of it in the food processor but I didn’t mind the extra texture.)  :)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 TBS natural cane sugar (I used Wholesome Sweeteners‘ organic sugar)
  • Generous 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt (I used HimalaSalt pink sea salt)
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter, melted
for the filling…
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut (again, used my coconut flakes)
  • 6 TBS natural cane sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 6 oz. fresh blackberries, halved (I halved some, and left the smaller ones whole)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, unsalted & toasted — crushed (I kept most in-tact, and probably used closer to 1/3 cup since I love pistachios!)
{Instructions…}
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9.5″ round tart pan (I got mine for $11 at Williams-Sonoma — a steal!)
  3. Combine flour, coconut, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in melted butter to incorporate with the dry ingredients.
  4. Press mixture firmly into the bottom (and slightly up the sides) of the tart pan to create a solid, flat “crust” shape.
  5. Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Take out to cool while you prep the filling.
  6. Stir together coconut, sugar and egg whites for the filling.
  7. Evenly place blackberries across the crust — I started from the outside in a circle and moved toward the center in concentric rings.  I placed leftover blackberries at random once I had the majority evenly distributed.
  8. Using your fingertips, spread the filling around the blackberries and throughout the tart, leaving the tops of the blackberries uncovered.  (It would save a ton of time to put the filling in first and press in the blackberries, but I’m not sure if they’d be as securely anchored in the filling…)
  9. Bake 20-25 mins until the peaks of the filling are golden brown.
  10. Let tart cool for 15-20 minutes, and then press in your pistachios.
  11. I then sprinkled about 1 TBS of HimalaSalt over the top of the tart and baked for another 5 minutes to set with the pistachios.
  12. Slice into wedges and serve!  Would be phenomenal alongside vanilla bean ice cream, but perfectly scrumptious on its own.
crust, pre-baking
juicy blackberries
ready to go in the oven!
the gorgeous result
check out all that yummy texture!!!

I am always so honored and thrilled when I hear that my clients and readers have tried out recipes from my blog!  Let me know if any of you attempt this tart while the berries are in season.  ;-)
-
Enjoy the rest of your week~  xoxo, Angel
Posted by: loveandsplendor | April 27, 2011

angela & james – 8.15.10

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all having a lovely week.  I cannot believe it is already Wednesday night — life has been a blur since last Thursday, when I headed to New Mexico for another client meeting.  I will write more about my trip soon, but today I am thrilled to share some absolute wedding gorgeousness, courtesy of the one and only Elizabeth Messina.  This wedding was featured today on Inspired by This, the fabulous blog by Be Inspired PR.  Make sure to check it out!

Last year I had the pleasure of planning an elegant and unabashedly romantic wedding at Saddlerock Ranch for Angela and James, who reside in New York. Although Saddlerock often lends itself to more rustic-feeling events, Angela really desired a soft and feminine feel for her wedding.  With the help of an all-star cast of vendors, I think we were able to achieve this beautifully.

A blush-tinged palette of neutrals set the stage for the day, in shades of pink, peach, soft gold and a dusty sage. White Lilac did the most incredible job with the florals, which were lush and textural, overflowing from a collection of mercury glass containers mixed with large tabletop lanterns.  To set the mood at the reception, abundant candlelight was utilized on the tabletops and grand chandeliers were suspended in the trees overhead.  I loved the juxtaposition of the natural, organic feel of Saddlerock and the luxe feel of the décor, which included over-the-top linens from La Tavola and carefully selected vintage pieces from {found}.  Elizabeth’s photography was the perfect complement to the feel of the day; her ethereal images immediately transport me to all the loveliness of this very special celebration.  It was an absolute delight working on this wedding and I am so thrilled to share it with all of you!

angela & james: thank you for allowing me to share in the beauty of your day.  your love is truly inspiring.  miss you both!!  xoxo

{ the dream team }

Venue: Saddlerock Ranch, Malibu

Photography: Elizabeth Messina

Wedding Planning & Coordination: Angel Swanson, Events of Love and Splendor

Floral Design & Décor: White Lilac

Catering: Huntington Catering

Band: The Buzzcatz

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Lighting: Lighten Up, Inc.

Linens: La Tavola

Vintage Rentals: {found} vintage rentals

Calligraphy: Xandra Zamora of XYZ Ink

Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier “Camelot”

Posted by: loveandsplendor | April 16, 2011

a charming proposal in photos

Happy weekend, everyone!!  Here in southern California, the weather is absolutely spectacular.  I wish I had planned for a beach excursion, but I am still enjoying the sunshine.  After a morning out and about, I’m currently organizing things in the office before date night.  ;-)  But, I wanted to swing by and spread a little sunshine to those of you who may not be fortunate enough to live here in soCal.  One of my darling couples (and one of my newest!) recently shared their proposal story with me.  When I heard about it, I knew I had to see photos and share them with you!

Scott, the groom-to-be, sent the following quirky photos to his fiancée over the course of a few days.  It featured their garden gnomes engaged in various activities… leading up to some treasure-hunting.  ;-)  The day the gnome stumbled upon the “treasure,” Jess came home to find her sweetie all dressed up and waiting on the front porch with their dog, Bacon (yes — their dog’s name is Bacon.  Could they be any cuter??).  Scott proposed right on the steps, next to the flowerpot with the ring in it.  It was just the three of them and as Jess says, “It was perfect.” My sis, Anna, has a slight obsession with gnomes so I know she is going to fawn over these photos.  I hope all of you get a smile out of this very sweet proposal~

Looove this one!!  Look at his tiny whisk!

These baking photos are especially sweet since Jess used to work at a cupcake shop and is an avid baker herself.

Jess & Scott — thank you for letting me share these adorable images!  I cannot wait for your wedding this fall!!

See you all next week!!  xoxo, Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | April 12, 2011

random snaps from april ’11

Hello everyone!  How is it nearly mid-April??  I have been extremely busy for the past few weeks, gearing up for a swirl of spring weddings coming up.  I love getting to see my darling clients for various meetings — there is truly a lot of loveliness in store this year!!  I am one of “those people” who always carries a camera, and while it isn’t fancy and I am no photographer, I love snapping random photos as I go through my day.  I thought my latest upload of images would make an interest chronicling of the last two weeks, so here it is!  ;-)

a lovely line-up of tulips at saddlerock ranch in malibu

satisfying a korean food craving on a lunch date with my mom

a manicure that looks like the night sky: OPI lincoln park after midnight topped with CG disco dazzle topcoat.

“the best of both worlds” – brioche french toast and pancakes with berries at a sweet breakfast at larchmont bungalow with my sweeter friend, jules. (psst – she makes THE cutest baby books i’ve ever seen, so if you are looking for something non-cheesy and totally custom, check out her etsy shop!)

sending off a finished save-the-date for one of my full-planning/design clients. yes — this is a SAVE THE DATE and not an invite, and was sent in a box to over 200 very lucky recipients.  it all started as a sketch i drew impromptu during a Skype brainstorm, and with the help of my in-house graphic designer (more on her soon!!!), we were able to put this GORGEOUS piece of stationery together.  i hope to share these in further detail with you in a future post~

anna *finally* convinced me to try five guys with her.  my burger was delicious, but still paled in comparison to my beloved in-n-out (which i have had nearly every Sunday for the past 15+ years).  my ultimate favorite burgers, however, are from umami, father’s office, and barney’s gourmet hamburger (NOT to be confused with barney’s beanery).

I hope you all have a fantastic remainder of the week!  My major tasks before the weekend: a floral mockup and rentals meeting with a sweet June bride (hi M!!), a site visit, and a brainstorming session with a full planning/design client who will be wed this November.  I also need to finalize prep for my 2nd trip to NM (next week!).  I am so excited to be working on a wedding there — everything is shaping up to be INCREDIBLE.

See you all again soon!  xoxo, Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | April 4, 2011

cynthia & luis – 8.21.10

Hello everyone!  I’m so excited to kick off the week with a beautiful wedding that was featured today on Grey Likes Weddings!

Last August I had the pleasure of watching this lovely celebration unfold at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu.  You all should know by now that Saddlerock is my home-away-from-home!  I spend a lot of time there every year (and 2011 is no different!), and I never, EVER tire of it.  (I was actually there today with a 2011 client (Hi D!) for our initial walkthrough!)  When I first met Cynthia and Luis, I was instantly moved by their kindness and joy.  After working with them in planning their wedding, I can say they are sincerely two of the most genuine and loving people I’ve had the pleasure to meet.  They also happen to be madly in love with each other.  And they’re utterly GORGEOUS.  And their wedding was, too.  ;-)

Cynthia envisioned a Spanish-inspired wedding dressed in bold, fiery colors including fuschia, red, orange, and a strong cobalt blue accent.  I love when brides have fun with color and this wedding is a perfect example of that — vibrant hues that really pop against the verdant backdrop of Saddlerock.  Cynthia had her talented uncle, a blacksmith, create stunning candleabras for the tabletops made of wrought iron and horseshoes.  Colorful Mexican pottery served as unique vessels for the floral arrangements, and the cobalt blue goblets made a great statement on the dining tables.  Handcrafted tin star lanterns floated above the dancefloor for an added dose of romantic ambiance.

My favorite moment of the night was listening to Cynthia surprise her new husband by singing a rendition of “Lovesong” by The Cure (one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands) after dinner.  It was incredibly moving, to say the least.  She has a fabulous voice!

Enjoy a glimpse of the day courtesy of Rudy Arpia

I adore these two pics of the stunning bride.

The dapper groom, Luis, was SUCH a gentleman.  That’s just the best word to describe him.


I love the florals juxtaposed with the bridesmaids’ blue dresses.

Cynthia and I share a love of flan!  (I even have a flan scar from one of my cooking misadventures — don’t ask…)

Cynthia & Luis… Thank you so much for entrusting me with your wedding plans!  I absolutely loved every second of working with the two of you.  The sweet love you share is such an encouragement and blessing to witness.  :)  Cynthia — you have a heart of gold and I am grateful to call you a friend!  Love you lady!!  Looking forward to keeping in touch for years to come… xoxo

{vendors}

Hope you all have a fantastic week!  I’ll be spending mine with lots of clients: site visits, consultations, floral design meetings…  I can hardly wait.  :)

love, Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | March 29, 2011

In the Kitchen: Banana Walnut Muffins with Nutella Swirl

Hello everyone!  I hope your week is off to a most wonderful start.  :)  Last night, after I had finished my daily emails, I felt the sudden urge to bake.  Who am I to question these sugar-craving whims, right?  I had a few overripe bananas on the counter and knew I wanted to make something with them.  A peek into my pantry and a quick Google search led me to an inspired idea: banana + Nutella muffins!  (It is a well-known fact that I am both a banana and Nutella fiend.)  I like my baked goods to have some texture (e.g. I can’t stomach a brownie that isn’t chock full of walnuts), so of course I had to add a healthy dose of walnuts. The result was incredible: sweet but not cloying, and perfectly comforting.  I enjoyed one right out of the oven with an icy glass of milk — a perfect midnight snack.  I also had one for breakfast this morning. Apparently there isn’t a wrong time to eat one of these!

It wouldn’t be nice of me to tease you with photos and not offer up the recipe, so here it is!  (It is a combination of recipes I found elsewhere.)

Banana Walnut Muffins with Nutella Swirl – Yield: 1 dozen + a little ramekin :)

{You’ll Need…}

  • 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (I use 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/4 cup of light brown sugar — I’m partial to Hain Foods sugars)
  • 1/2 cup of butter (unsalted) – softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp of vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • Nutella (how much you use is up to you; see directions below)

{Directions}

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar) in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate, smaller bowl, mix 2 large eggs, butter, and mashed bananas.  Add 1 tsp vanilla if desired.
  4. In four or five small batches, slowly add some of your banana mix to the dry ingredients.  Stir only until incorporated and the dry ingredients are moistened — do not over-mix!
  5. Add in your walnuts and stir again just to distribute them in the batter.
  6. Prepare your muffin tin with cooking spray or cupcake liners.
  7. Fill tins or liners halfway with batter.
  8. Using a tablespoon, drop a dollop of Nutella on top of each half-full tin/liner.  It does not need to be perfect… you just want Nutella goodness swirling throughout the entire muffin!
  9. Go back and fill up the liners (almost to the top — unlike other cupcakes, these muffins will not rise too much.  They have denser texture so it’s safe to go 90% full on them.) with the remaining batter.
  10. Using your tablespoon again, add another dollop of Nutella on top of each portion of batter.
  11. Take a chopstick and gently swirl the Nutella into the muffin, so you don’t just have a glob of it on the top.  One or two gentle swirls is enough — you don’t want to blend it too much.
  12. Pop into the preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.  (Mine were perfect in 16 minutes!)
  13. Test for doneness with your finger — when the muffins are ready, a little “dent” pressed into the top of it will spring back into position… the dent won’t remain.  The fork/toothpick trick won’t really work here since the moist batter and Nutella make it hard to pull out a clean fork!
  14. Enjoy any time of day!

Let me know if you end up making these muffins; I’d love to hear what you think! Also, let me know if you have a favorite way you like to cook with Nutella and/or bananas.  I love reading recipes and experimenting in the kitchen!

I hope the rest of your week is very, very sweet.  <3

xoxo, Angel

Posted by: loveandsplendor | March 23, 2011

weekend recap: 3/18-20

Hello everyone!  I hope your week has been wonderful so far.  :)  The past few days have been fabulous for the Love and Splendor team.  We kicked off our 2011 season on Saturday and it turned out to be another flawless event.  The look was fresh, understated elegance with lots of white dutch tulips and powder blue accents.  I can’t wait to share it with you when I get the professional pics!  Here’s a peek into how I spent the weekend!

Saturday’s Team: Anna, me, and Jen.  Love these girls!  Michelle: we missed you!!  <3

Stunning view from the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, the setting for Saturday’s event.  I love working at this property; many thanks to Leslie, Jill, Jackson and co. for all of their help.

I made friends with one of the ringbearers… arguably one of the most adorable kids I have EVER seen.  He was extremely camera shy, so you’ll have to wait for the professional pics to see for yourself.  A mohawk on a five year old??  Love it!  (And yes, I do work in my 4″ heels!)

A sweet blog reader, Sally, sent me the Urban Decay Naked Palette (sold out everywhere!) and one of the new MAC Sheen Supreme lipsticks in ‘Ultra Darling.’  LOVE and am so touched by her sweetness.

And speaking of sweet deliveries — the amazing Jaclyne of Heavenly Blooms sent me this STUNNING bunch of flowers this week.  Erik can tell you I was rendered speechless by them!  Parrot tulips are some of my very favorite blooms… Thank you again, Jaclyne!  You are spoiling me!  Can’t wait to work with you on two fabulous weddings this year.  :)

To top it all off, I completed my jury service on Monday!  Now that the trial has concluded, I can tell you it was a civil case — a woman suing a hotel for a slip and fall. Her case was extremely weak, so our vote was unanimous that the defendant was not liable.  I’m free from duty for another 12 months!  :)  I definitely don’t mind jury duty, but it sure threw my schedule for a loop.  Lucky for me the judge was super sweet and dismissed us all early (after I wrote him a note) on Friday so I could make it to my Palos Verdes rehearsal on-time!!

Hope you all have a great afternoon!  Coming soon to the blog: an over-the-top and beyond gorgeous save-the-date project I completed last week!  :)

xoxo, Angel

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