In the midst of yet another natural disaster where people have lost their homes in one day. – this time within 20 miles of that patio you see in the pic above – please know that we are thinking, acting, preparing and most importantly seeking to help (via texting funds for now) those in need while creating beautiful escapist content for those in need of that – us included. Obviously, this was shot last week, pre-fire, as right now sitting outside is unadvisable. Praying that the fires stop. Again. And per usual we are looking for any ways to use this platform to help those affected. Now, for the happy distraction, if you are interested … 🙂
One of my favorite (if not THE favorite) rooms of our house is our patio – and you’ve told me frequently that you like it, too. That tile sure is beautiful, photogenic and it’s “well-liked” (in your actual heart and on instagram and facebook). So why not dress her up for the holidays and show you how she can don a California winter party gown? In the name of content (and as an excuse to collaborate with a new friend) we threw a small ladies patio gathering last week and took some pretty photos to show you. Between the sponsored posts (that I’m VERY proud of which support the business year-round) and gift guides this month, we want to also create and share editorial stories just for inspiration and fun. Flexing that creative muscle when you are slammed can be hard but it’s necessary for your brain, like exercise is for your body (and brain). And despite how crazy busy I am, I like (and need) to work ‘it’ out year round.
It’s LA …. in December – the month that I fall back in love with this city because the weather is amazing and the light is still beautiful. I made a couple of changes out there to make it feel different for you (some just for the shoot and some more permanent) but it’s mostly another layer of holiday decor. We temporarily swapped out the Target table for this vintage one I’ve been hoarding in my garage. This beauty isn’t an outdoor table so it will be stored quickly after next week’s shoot before it gets destroyed by the elements. Also typically we have the larger, far more comfortable club chairs around the dining table but these are more photogenic so I borrowed them back from my friend who is fostering them (and full disclosure they do leak a bit when they get wet so I can’t put them on my precious tile for fear of rust stains). Us Hendersons like comfort, to an annoying (and uncomfortable degree) but these chairs are so handsome.
I also moved around the marble table because the fig tree is losing its leaves so it kinda ruins that corner shot.
I recently met Barrett from Valley Brink Road and loved her whole vibe (and personality). She is a chef and florist, with beautiful work (that tastes good, too) plus she lives nearby and our kids go to the same preschool. I reached out to see if she wanted to collaborate on the food/drink and flowers for our “party”. As the busiest time of both our year I knew that I couldn’t handle more optional work, but I really wanted to create this content and just decorating the patio with wreaths and garland wouldn’t be enough.
Plus this was a good excuse to hang out with a few ladies (two of whom I know, and two I’m getting to know). Barrett suggested a fancy holiday toast, simple crudite and I requested a bourbon punch recipe because, well, I and my friends love a bourbon punch and I needed a new recipe for them.
Everything that Barret created has a holiday bent to it and while I didn’t make it, it looked simple and easy to make… HA, but that’s the genius (and devil) of being good at something – the better you are at your craft, the easier it looks to everyone else, which often means the harder it is to justify your cost/worth. IT’S HILARIOUS. If I had a dollar for every time a client implied ‘Woah, it takes that much time to insert-your-job-here?’ I’d be a trillion-aire. When your overhead seems low and your job looks fun, it sure is easy to assume it’s easy and fast. Here is an example. A couple years ago I had a client who wanted to reduce our design time/billing because it seemed high to them, so I gave them a few suggestions on how we can get the time/cost down. I told them to create a pinboard with inspiration images (and they were Pinterest savvy so it wasn’t starting from nothing) and also to pin actual current home product they really loved. This would reduce our jumping off design/inspiration time and the back and forth time of us guessing what they liked, being wrong, tweaking, editing, proposing again, etc. A week later they emailed saying ‘Listen, I don’t have time, it’s taking WAY too long to find the perfect inspiration and pieces and I’m super busy right now so I can’t spend the time’.
I responded “I totally understand. It takes time. It’s either my time or yours… your choice’. He chose for us to do it and I think had a much larger respect for the craft and creativity (and while it still took hours, it was far faster than if he had done it). This is why I think our budget posts are so valuable – we are doing days and days of design work with the hopes that you like it and can click and purchase a well-designed room.
Point is, I think the execution of this food might be simple, but the expertise behind it isn’t – so you guys benefit from Barret’s years of honing her craft and reducing complicated food, drink, and floral craft into simple recipes. Thank you, Barrett.
First up is the Burrata Toast with Pomegranates, Pear, Basil, & Aged White Balsamic.
For the crudite, she included beautiful, farm fresh vegetables and a homemade dip that was delicious.
Lastly, for the drink, a DELICIOUS bourbon and ginger beer drink that you can make a large batch (like a punch) or individual cocktails.
It was DELICIOUS.
And yes, my tile is getting properly aged and I’m fine with it 🙂
Speaking of shots … you’ll never guess but those blooms in the climbing rose bush are FAKE. SILK. FRAUDS. HA.
There are two real ones that are actually still blooming, but we put a few more in both climbing rose pots to fill it out for the shots and they look AMAZING. My gardener was over while we were prepping on the patio and he showed them to me all proudly, saying that he recently pruned them so they are growing/blooming more and I was like, ‘HA! HA! DANIEL THEY ARE FAKE!’ and it blew his mind. I’m keeping them in there until they look gross…
The two big blooms in here are fake, too (but there are some that are real) and the greenery that is climbing is all real – we just popped in some larger blooming roses.
For a California winter party I got to throw some fur, blankets and indoor pillows outside. The tabletop is mostly stuff I already had mixed with some new pieces from the flower market and some Target.
There is the lovely Barrett with her little baby bump …
Happy Holidays, folks. If you are interested in anything we used, here you go!
A huge thanks to Barrett of Valley Brink Road for the food, drink, and flowers. Her company also sends out AMAZING high-end gift boxes so if you are in the market to shower someone with love, head on over to her site. She also creates and shoots her recipes on her site. It’s always so nice to meet someone that kinda does what we do, who is interested in making pretty content. Thank you, Barrett!
For those who asked for more readable recipe cards here you go!