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A Modern Mexican Soiree

This modern fiesta not only blows any Cinco de Mayo party I’ve ever been to straight out of the water but would be pretty amazing any day of the year. It’s lunch and tequila tasting crafted by Modern Dame, along with bougainvillea and cactus pairings by MTF Studio and lots of pretty imagery by Steve Steinhardt. Have a look at just how to pull off the ultimate Cinco de Mayo fiesta; churros included.

Growing up in LA, I have been surrounded by Mexican cuisine and culture and I knew if I ever had to plan a fun party it will definitely be a Mexican inspired affair. With Cinco de Mayo this month, I made it an excuse to host a Modern Mexican inspired luncheon at the stunning Hudson Loft located in downtown LA. Hudson Loft, is one of my dream venues. Right as you enter the space, you are greeted with beautiful brick walls, huge open space and wide windows everywhere showing a view of downtown LA. It just takes your breath away!

I knew when planning this party, decor and food had to be on point! So, I reached out to my favorite vendor, MTF Design and Haute Chef. Brooke, owner and co-founder of MTF Design created the most beautiful floral arrangements and charming stationery on kraft paper. Beautiful lush vibrant colored arrangements in distressed gold and ivory vases displayed an opulent and festive presentation to the table display. One of my favorite details were the adorable mini potted succulents, cactus and aloe vera that added an organic and Spanish feel to each table. The dining table and chairs were rented from Found Rentals that coordinated perfectly with the overall design scheme. Along with Brooke’s arrangements of bougainvillea, pink peonies, garden roses, red berries and accents of opium poppy and greens were gold accented votives and faceted lanterns that looked effortless and whimsical. Hanging over the tables were handmade Papel Picado which made the room festive and coordinated Papel Picado motif menus were placed on each place setting. Brooke also designed the invitations which was lined with bougainvillea and wrapped in beautiful silk fuchsia colored ribbons.

When it comes to creative yet delicious food, I love working with the amazing Haute Chef. Celebrity chef, Jeff Nimer created an authentic Mexican cuisine with a fresh twist. Passed hors d’oeuvres included mini pulled chicken tacos, fried purple cauliflower bites, and mini ceviche cups. The stationed lunch featured mint and cilantro green rice, wood fired deliciously fresh farmers market vegetables, Mexican kale caesar salad, Oaxacan style black beans, and grilled shrimp with pesto. To end, we feasted on rice pudding and churros which was enjoyed while lounging at the mid-century modern furnitures from Yeah Rentals. It truly goes without saying that everything looked and tasted delicious!

I also set up a fun little bar area heaped with a mixture of three different tequilas for tasting — Herradura, Don Julio, and Ocho Reposado. I also provided two types of salt and lime for the all of the party-goers and taste-testers. Hands down, Don Julio continues to be my favorite!

Needless to say, this was one beautiful fiesta luncheon that was a lot of fun to plan and design!

Photography: Steve Steinhardt | Floral Design: MTF Studio | Stationery: MTF Studio | Caterer: Haute Chef | Venue: Hudson Loft | Dining Rentals: Found Rentals | Flatware: Anthropologie | Host & Event Designer: Modern Dame | Loft: Hudson Loft | Lounge Rentals: Yeah Rentals | Papel Picado: Modern Dame | Tabletop: West Elm | Tequila Station: Crate and Barrel

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Ultimate Clear Furniture Roundup

No matter your interior decor style or taste, I can guarantee that you’ll find a piece of piece of clear furniture you’ll love. Why? Because it’s clear, it’ll go with everything. Here, we rounded up some of our favorite pieces of clear furniture for you to peruse, and threw in a few accent pieces for good measure. Click through the slideshow below to shop and get inspired!

Ultimate Clear Furniture Roundup
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Ultimate Clear Furniture Roundup
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Mother’s Day Treat Yo’Self Event

This mother’s day out styled by Shi Shi Events and photographed by Emily Millay Photography is the perfect inspiration for showering moms with love and appreciation or maybe just a peak at how to throw a really great party. From manicures to a jewelry bar, delicious bites and cocktails galore, this get together was all about wining and dining Moms with a theme that we can so get behind. See even more of this “Treat Yo’self” shindig right here.

As a working mom, I feel inspired and empowered by other working moms who share my same struggles and triumphs. It was in that spirit I created this Mother’s “treat yo’self” Day event. I wanted to have a fun evening for fellow wedding/event industry moms to show them how much they’re appreciated, how inspiring they are, and to give them an opportunity to let loose. We partnered with Borrow Vintage & Eclectic Rentals who lent us their space and inventory to bring the party to life. Borrow created several vignettes for sitting and chatting and had all the goods in house to make our design come together in a really stunning way.

When the moms arrived we greeted them with a bar of white, red, or sparkling pink wine and a kicky Planter’s Punch. Marigold Catering provided absolutely delicious eats of finger sandwiches including olive tapenade, egg salad and smoked salmon with creme fraiche, hummus and pita, and an array of cheeses and accoutrements. I baked two ricotta cakes from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit; one cherry and one mixed berry of blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry to serve as well. The ladies could also treat themselves to mini manis or hand massages from Dante Lucci Salon, self-style flare found in the form of gold or silver temporary tattoos, or a piece of jewelry from Oceanne Jewelry Designs new summer line which Anne of Oceanne debuted for us that evening. We also had a raffle for an overnight stay at the ultra-luxe Inn Walden and a bangle from Oceanne, which two lucky moms won. Molly Taylor and Co. designed beautiful floral pieces to amp up the loveliness, Seaworthi created custom calligraphy signs for us in inspirational quotes about what it means to be a mom, and the whole evening was captured by the very talented Emily Millay Photography.

There was plenty of lady swag to be had as the ladies left including gift certificates for the decadent Spa Walden, “treat yo’self” travel mugs from us at Shi Shi, fresh flower bunches from Molly Taylor and Co., french macarons from Philomena Bake Shop, and Oribe hair products from Dante Lucci. It was the perfect spring evening to gather, chat, and laugh; one that energized, inspired, and showed the true beauty and power of what it means to be a woman and mother.

Photography: Emily Millay Photography | Stationery: Paper Trails | Jewelry: Oceanne Jewelry Designs | Catering: Marigold Catering | Venue: Borrow Vintage & Eclectic Rentals | Floral: Molly Taylor And Co. | French Macarons: Philomena Bake Shop | Hand Lettered Signs: Seaworthi | Manicures/Hand Massages: Dante Lucci Salon | Planning, Design & Styling: Shi Shi Events | Spa Gift Certificates & Overnight Stay Donation: Walden

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
The Only Cinco De Mayo Menu You Need

Searching for the perfect Cinco de Mayo recipes? Our very own Abby Larson came up with the ultimate menu for Cinco de Mayo that includes tried-and-true favorites like her easy pink lemonade margarita, the best-ever guacamole (you won’t believe the secret ingredient) and mouthwatering pulled pork tacos. Feast your eyes in the slideshow below!

The Only Cinco De Mayo Menu You Need
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The Only Cinco De Mayo Menu You Need
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Behind the Scenes: Munster Rose

Meet our new favorite virtual gal pal Jackie Reisenauer. She’s the uber talented creative director/ owner of Munster Rose and this lovely lady knows a thing or two about gorgeous florals and design. With over 400 weddings under her belt, she’s talking the ins and outs of running a successful business, staying inspired and the fuel that keeps her going (hint: it’s all about mega stuff oreos).

SMP: Tell us a little about your business.
Munster Rose specializes in floral design for weddings and events. We’re a boutique studio that only does custom work. So we do one-of-a-kind events, not retail. We also offer styling services, workshops, and have a huge and diverse inventory of rentals.

SMP: Some words you live by?
Work hard and be nice.

SMP: Any guilty pleasures?
Mega Stuf Oreos. Ever since I had my boy, I eat at least 5 a day. Don’t tell anyone.

SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?
To work “in fashion”. Whatever that meant to me at the time.

SMP: What’s your favorite quote that describes your creative process?
“Sometimes you just have to start over.” That’s something an artist friend of mine said once. It reminds me that sometimes I need to take a fresh look at things. Minor tweaks and adjustments can’t fix something that’s perhaps flawed in bigger ways.

SMP: If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
Relax. Don’t kill yourself stressing over the details.

SMP: If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
I would have started Munster Rose sooner. I had no idea how a growing business evolves in the early stages. It’s a lot of work, making continuous adjustments. The sooner you start that process, the better.

SMP: What is your favorite item in your home?
My bed. No joke. I love crawling into my bed at the end of a long day.

SMP: What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?
Set limits and stick to them. If you decide to take a Friday off, take it off! Being in the creative industry, you need to take time to refuel and stay fresh. Sometimes that means taking a weekday off, or doing something else that inspires you.

SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel like it was going to thrive?
When we hired staff. It was wonderful doing installations with my husband, but I think he appreciates having his weekends back. And I really appreciate our amazing staff.

SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?
Trust your gut. It’s hard being a woman in the business world. We feel like we need to be people pleasers and say “yes” all the time. But sometimes you have that feeling that something just isn’t right. Trust your gut. Say “no”. It’s okay to do that.

SMP: Stranded on a desert island question… what’s the one cocktail you would take with you?
If a tropical island: a margarita. If an arctic island: “Bear’s Milk”, which is a combination of milk, brandy, nutmeg, and honey. So good.

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?
In the wedding world, blush pink. It’s been around for a decade and isn’t going anywhere. It’s feminine, romantic, and subtle.

SMP: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?
Something vintage or found. Sure, get pieces from your favorite modern catalogs. But found pieces help make your home unique.

SMP: If you could buy yourself a single gift of any cost, what would it be?
A personal chef. I love good food and since having a baby, I rarely have time to cook meals the way I used to. “Chef, make me homemade gnocchi and stewed lamb, please now!” That’s what I’d like.

SMP: Three things every home should have?
Good cookware, original art, and plant life.

SMP: Your most prized possession?
A pair of vintage Herman Miller office chairs with the original tags on them. I found them at a thrift store and paid $29 for the set.

SMP: One thing you can’t live without?
Denim. (And Mega Stuff Oreos, in case I haven’t mentioned that.)

SMP: Your secret to success?
See above. (Work hard, be nice.)

SMP: What design trend do you think will stand the test of time?
The desire for quality, handmade goods (clothing, furniture, housewares). It just makes sense. Who wants to buy a new tote bag every year? That’s not good for the environment or the pocketbook. Instead, spend money on high quality when you can. You know that Filson bag comes with a lifetime warranty.

SMP: One small design change that can make a big impact?
Rearranging your furniture. Changing up a floor plan can make an old room feel brand new.

SMP: Number one interior design tip?
Don’t rush it. Take your time to purchase pieces you really like.

SMP: Your top 5 design tips?
1. Keep it real. Don’t try to force a design in a space that’s not right for it.
2. Step Back. Look at things with fresh eyes and try to forget current trends. That bold floral
print you’ve been seeing on instagram for the past month may seem super rad, but in a year
you’ll probably regret having it plastered on your couch.
3. Mix it up. Don’t be afraid to combine art, furniture, and objects from different genres.
Modern and vintage pieces can live together in the same room, if paired properly.
4. Live with it . Sometimes you need to live with something for a bit to see if you like it. Give
that paint color a chance before you decide you love it or hate it. It’s just paint.
5. Change is good. Don’t be afraid to change things up from season to season. Add plants,
flowers, or decor specific to the time of year. It helps to keep a space fresh and exciting.

SMP: One place everyone must visit in their lifetime?
Paris. Inspiring, beautiful, overwhelming, and style-packed.

SMP: The best job you ever had?
Owning my own business, Munster Rose.

SMP: Best moment of your career so far?
Being featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. I was BEYOND when Munster Rose was highlighted in the winter issue. Checked one off my bucket list with that.

SMP: Advice you’d give to your younger self?
Learn to say “no”. (Again, see above.) You don’t have to be a people pleaser all the time. As an industry friend recently put it, “This is your business, it’s not a hobby.” So be strong. And that includes saying “no” sometimes.

SMP: Your favorite instagrammer?
I have three: Canary Grey, Design Love Fest, and Wit and Delight.

SMP: Your go-to recipe?
Boeuf en Daube – a french beef casserole topped with buttery puff pastry. It takes half a day to make it, but is TOTALLY worth it!

SMP: What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
This was the hardest question for me. I really think the person that I put out there for the world to see is the real me. But if I’m being really drastic, my answer would be: Sell all my possessions, buy a farmette in Northern California, and try to live off the land.

SMP: What was the first job you ever landed?
Grocery bagger. At the young age of 15 I was eager to work, and grocery bagger was the only job that would hire a 15 year old. (You couldn’t be a cashier or work in retail until the ripe age of 16.)

SMP: What’s a typical work day for you like?
It starts at 6:30 a.m. when I wake up to check emails and social media. Then I hang out with my sweet boy for an hour or so before I dive back in. During off-season that means consults, workshops, styling, photoshoots, blog posts, press releases, emails, and more emails. During wedding season I get to add to that list: ordering floral, processing floral, then designing floral. I try to be done for the day by 5:00 p.m. So it’s a 10 hour day – give or take a few moments to get dressed, eat breakfast, and gobble down granola at lunch.

SMP: Your most memorable moment?
My wedding day. It was the best day of my life. It was wonderful to really focus on the love my husband and I share. All while being surrounded by our close family and friends.

SMP: What’s one thing you really want to do, but have never done?
Surf. (It’s kinda hard to be a surfer in Minnesota.)

SMP: The best advice you’ve ever received?
From my dad, he said, “Go to college first. Then, if you still want to make a living painting greeting cards and selling them on the beach, do it.” My teenage hippy aspirations were a bit unrealistic. I’m glad I toughed it out, went to college, got a degree in design, and am now working at my dream job.

SMP: Do you have any secret talents?
I can play guitar. Not really secret, but most people don’t know that about me.

SMP: If you could dine with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
My husband. Seriously. He’s my favorite person on earth. I’d rather spend a night with him than anyone else.

SMP: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Running a bigger and better Munster Rose. I would love for Munster Rose to bustling with an even larger group of creatives. I’m passionate about local, sustainably run businesses. So I’d like to continue to bring something good to the community.

SMP: Why do you think your business has done so well?
At Munster Rose we all work really hard. And we’re all really nice people.

Photography: Canary Grey | Design: Munster Rose

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here