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Modern Masculine Birthday

We’ve featured many, many, manyyy feminine, glitzy, glam, over the top girly affairs. But what about the poor men in our lives? One peek at Pinterest and you’ll notice immediately that they tend to get left in the dust. But not if Bough&Annex is on the scene! Dominique threw together the most epic of all epic 30th birthday parties for her sweet husband, complete with a gallery filled with photos from Peter Delgado!

From Dominique… Planning a party for a guy can be pretty hard. If you scour the internet, few examples of tastefully done parties for men can be found. For my husband’s 30th birthday I wanted to plan an event that brought together some of his favorite things – clean, simple Scandinavian inspired design, good friends and great food. Our home was the perfect venue. As a couple, our design aesthetic is simple and clean – we prefer to let the sun do the decorating. The living room has floor to ceiling windows with a tree lined view. The wraparound deck was a great gathering place to enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather and sunset.

For the food, I contacted Chef Joshua Alkire – a premiere private chef in the San Diego area. I described my husband’s tastes and then told him to go for it. He sent me the menu weeks before and I didn’t change a thing. The menu was impeccable and all of the guests were blown away. Instead of a cake (John isn’t a big sweets fan) – we did a sugared scone with fresh peaches and mint infused creme fraiche – it was delicious and we all had to resist sneaking a bite while singing “Happy Birthday”.

Green Fresh Florals provided stunning arrangements for our piano and for the appetizer area. Each one was full of succulents and beautiful structured flowers – everything clean lines and modern.

One of my most favorite elements of the party were the menu cards that also did double duty as favors. Handcrafted by Peg and Awl, each one was made from reclaimed wood and vintage leather and included a chalk pencil. In my own simple handwriting, I wrote out each item from the menu. I loved being able to include personal elements throughout the party. I also hand wrote the place cards and tucked each one into a fresh cut succulent as the holder.

The flatware was from Crate and Barrel and the chargers DIY. They started out as black, but I wanted a concrete look so we sprayed them with a stone finish and then a gray color.

Vintage glass apothecary bud vases were filled with bright white flowers in the center of the table. My husband cut and stained the wood for the center piece and I added the succulents and candles. When the lights went down, it felt so intimate and warm.

We laughed and talked long into the night. Gathered together around a familiar table, it felt like the perfect way to celebrate 30 years. Simple moments often make the best ones.


Truffle butter and zataar topped radish
Grilled Mediterranean chicken wings

Pickled watermelon salad
Chicken breast/chile buerre blanc
Fresh corn polenta and herb flowers
Charred green beans

Macerated stone fruit with fresh sugared scone and mint infused creme fraiche

Photography: Peter Delgado | Floral Design: Green Fresh Florals | Chalkboard Tablets: Peg And Awl | Chef: Joshua Alkire | Flatware: Crate And Barrel | Styling And Planning: Dominique Albrecht- Bough&Annex

Chocolate Chip Cookie Milkshake

Every once in a while, I curse the mega-sweet tooth I’ve been plagued with since birth. But then I remember that it allows me to get embarrassingly excited about fabulous dessert combinations. And isn’t that what lifes about? Unnecessary emotions towards desserts? No? Because I’m so excited about Classy Clutters chocolate chip cookie milkshake recipe I could cry!

Chocolate Chip Cookie MilkshakeTwo desserts combined into one sinfully delicious treat!
prep time
5 Minute/s
cook time
total time
5 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 2-3 chocolate chip cookies from your all-time favorite recipe
  • 1-2 scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • 1 cup of milk (or Almond Milk!)
  1. In a blender, mix all ingredients until semi-smooth. I suggest 2-3 cookies per 2 scoops of ice cream.
  2. Take another cookie and crumble it up into dime size pieces. Mix into the shake with a spoon. This gives you delicious little cookie chunks in your shake.
  3. Break out the straw AND the spoon and go to town.

Photography : Classy Clutter | Recipe: Classy Clutter

Provence, France Mini-Guide

One of my very best friends moved to the South of Frace for a year when we were just 19 years old. At the time, I wasn’t much of a traveller and never did make it over to visit. It is, to date, one of my biggest life regrets. Made even more so when I stumbled upon Gert Huygaerts mini guide to Provence. If you need me, I’ll either be packing my bags, or poring through the gallery over and over.

From Gert… Last year I had the chance to be part of the wonderful Feather & Stone Photography Field Trip film photography workshop in the French Provence, one of the most lovely places in Europe!

I already read and heard a lot about the Provence, but I had never been there before. The fact that I had never been there before, was for me the reason to book a few more days at the hotel, apart from the workshop, just to get to see some of the beauty of this region. And I can assure you, I did not regret this one single moment! At the end of September, temperature still being at a very nice 25-30 degrees, it was the perfect place to get some peace of mind and see some nice things “à l’aise”.

I was staying the first days of my trip in a very cosy family-hotel called La Ripaille in the small town of Fontvieille. It was a very nice, clean and cosy hotel in the typical Provence style, with one big advantage for me… it was in the centre of the Provence, so everything I would love to see was at a small distance. For example the lovely town of Saint-Rémy de Provence was at a less than 30 minutes drive. This lovely, authentic French town showed all the beauty of its ancient history, narrow streets, lovely town squares in the shade… all you need to wander around for a couple of hours!

Something completely different and ideal to clear your mind and come to rest was the area of Le Camargue, an enormous nature resort with huge lakes, lots of birds… even pink flamingos!… and wild horses… this all with almost no-one around, just because the area is so wide-spread. It was a longer drive from where I was staying, but …also because of the nice weather… this was one of the places where I took time to sit down and relax… listen to the wind, the water …and the silence… love it!

After having my batteries charged in Le Camargue, I went to see one of the bigger cities in the Provence, Avignon. It is also a very ancient city, with a lot of different faces: the historical part, the shopping area, the industrial area, etc… It has a lot to offer, but some parts of it were also a bit confronting to… poverty was very well visible here and there… nevertheless, I think you should visit Avignon when in the Provence, as it has a lot to offer.

Something that made Marseille world-famous: soap! I couldn’t believe that this was so important for this region, but every tourist shop, grocery store, supermarket, even at the airport… they sell the Savon de Marseille. As I didn’t want to see just a shop selling this magical item, I went out to see how this soap was manufactured in the old-fashionned way! Therefor I went to see the ancient “soap factory” of Rampal Latour in Salon de Provence. Really something one should do when around… you get to know a lot about the region, the products and the history of this product.

From the 4th day, I spent almost all of my time at one of the most lovely hotels in this region: Le Hameau des Baux The Feather & Stone workshop was held in this 4 star hotel and i was worth every cent! Lovely accommodation, delicious foods, a primacies to dream dream of… really a dream come true.

After 3 days of workshop, I promised myself one thing: I will come back to Le Provence!

Photography: Gert Huygaerts | Factory: Rampal Latour | Hotel: Le Hameau Des Baux | Hotel: La Ripaille