Happy Chinese New Year!


Or, I should say Lunar New Year, in order to include all the cultures that celebrate it.  Apparently the new year started on Monday, but I didn’t know about it since I am a bad Chinese person.  This year is the year of the dragon, so it’s supposed to be a good year.

Alt Summit Recap (part one)

I had so much fun meeting talented people at Alt Summit!  I also learned quite a bit from the seminars held by some of my favorite bloggers.  Since I know not all of you could go, I tried to take some good photos and notes.

The hotel was quite beautiful, but my favorite was the courtyard.  It looked simply magical in the evenings.  It rained for the first few days of the conference, but then snowed huge fat flakes on Saturday.

The first night we had dinner at the Market Street Broiler, sponsored by our hosts from DailyBuzzLuxe.  I had never heard of them before – I guess they are kind of like DailyCandy, except they get their content from independent bloggers instead of freelance writers.  Our hosts were so nice and even dressed up the place settings with a little game and provided goody bags full of skincare products – very helpful for the dry weather.

Some of the lovely people I met were:

Marie Asselin – Food Nouveau
Diana Taylor – may june and july
Jacey Duprie – Damsel in Dior
Kate King – Heart full of Dasies
Whitney Noziskova
Brittany Sage – Lipstick and Leopard print
Mara Kofoed – A Blog About Love
Marie LeBaron – Make and Takes
Sara Larsen – For the love of blog therapy
Kait Kucy – Yuppie Love
Megan Reardon – Not Martha

Graphic Designers
Kelli Ronci – uber-craft.com
Shannon Darrough
Jennifer Owen – Owen Design Company

Interior Designers
Brittany Stiles
Regan Baker

Laure Joliet
Rima Baroudi
Regina Boone

Shop Owners
Karina Bania – Cluster Art
Wendy Wyne of Fete Studio
Lexi Soukoreff – Daub + Design

Apologies for the overwhelming number of links, but maybe you’ll find a blog you love to read.  As for me, at least I’ll have everyone’s websites in one place if I lose the business cards >_<

Business cards for Alt Summit

As of last week, I still had no business cards for Alt Summit.  Oh crap.  Apparently, cute business cards are a big deal at this conference.  And of course, I couldn’t have digitally printed cards since it would be dumb to say, “Hi, I’m Phoebe, here are my non-letterpress business cards.  By the way, letterpress is my hobby.”  This is the design I settled on, taking cues from the blog template.

Food Discoveries + Time spent with good friends

I spent my weekend at the SF Farmer’s market with Marian and two other friends.  We filled up on samples and got to talk to some award-winning food producers along the way.  Dandelion Chocolate had a beautiful display – they’re an artisanal chocolate bar company located in the SF Mission.  Their cacao is ethically sourced, hand-roasted feel good yadda yadda yadda yadda…ok I was really mostly drawn to the packaging.  It’s beautiful.  The chocolate tastes good too, with mildly floral flavors.

Noble Coffee Roasting Company had an awesome homemade contraption to brew their coffee – they had glass funnels held aloft by some sort of pipe fixture.  The funnles were lined with coffee filters and hot water was poured in, much like an automatic drip coffee maker (except without the automatic part).  These funnels fed into glass containers placed above a metal grate (a rectangular hole had been cut into the table).  The gutter under the grate caught spills and directed all the water into a big bottle under the table (not shown).

I tried some luscious vanilla pear preserves from Dagstani & Sons.  They make small batches of jam and sell mostly by subscription.  I struck up a conversation with Raj (the owner) about the lovely packaging.  He uses letterpress -yes, letterpress, for his labels.  So pretty!  I tried not to drip jam all over his beautiful letterpress business card.

Finally, I went to Miette for the first time to get some desserts to round out my collection of snacks.  Jenny and Sheryl, my old college roommates, were coming to visit and I may have been too enthusiastic about being a good host.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It was for me, I like to eat.

The spoils (clockwise from top left)
Miette gingersnap cookies – had rich buttery taste | macarons |Dandelion chocolate bar | spicy chorizo navarre | aged goat cheese | Weybridge creamy soft cheese | Pear Vanilla preserves

Warby Parker Home Try-On Video

I’ve been hearing a lot about Warby Parker in the last few months.  It’s an online glasses boutique that sells affordable and vintage-inspired styles.  What’s more, for every pair of glasses purchased, one pair is given to a person in need.  You can also try on up to 5 pairs of glasses at a time (for up to 5 days) with free shipping and handling.  Since I’m in need of new glasses, I started looking into it and discovered their hilarious explanatory video.

Alt Summit Diner en blanc

We’ve been encouraged to wear shades of white and cream for a winter wonderland party at Alt Summit.  The blogosphere is all abuzz with what to wear to this oh-so-elegant-sounding party.  As for me, I’m inspired by gold, black, and cream lace.  I’d definitely have to wear tights too since A) it might be cold, and B) I will need to hide the bruises on my legs from general klutziness.  I’ll also have to try my best not to spill anything on a white dress.  Wish me luck!

book clutch//earrings//cocktail ring//suede pumps//lace dress

I heart: Matt’s Munchies Island Mango Fruit Snack

Recently discovered these fruit snacks from Chef Roberts, a company based in Santa Ana, CA.  I tried the Island Mango flavor, which consisted of squares of dried mango puree with shreds of toasted coconut on top.  It really is like a fruit roll-up for adults, and has a fresh fruit taste.  I can’t wait to try the other flavors.  At 40 calories per pack, it’s a tasty treat that won’t ruin your waistline.  And since it’s all natural and organic, it’s a snack that shouldn’t just be for adults.  Down with excessive sugar + food coloring!

Available at select Whole Foods and online from Chef Roberts Direct.

The most lovely wedding ever

Last year I fell in love with images from a lovely wedding website created by Stitch Design Co.

Their sister company, Sideshow Press, created save-the-dates with illustrations from vintage Audubon books.

Recently the wedding was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and my jaw just about fell off.  Of all the weddings I’ve seen, this South Carolina plantation wedding tops the list by far.  If you scroll through the pictures, the family horse and sheep are (beautifully) included as well.  I’m sold.  In keeping with the avian theme, feathers were used throughout the stationery suite and the bride’s dress had feathery pleat details.  (The bride’s and bridesmaid’s dresses were designed by Carol Hannah of Project Runway fame).  The guests even received these beautifully packaged gifts of locally-produced foodstuffs (some from the family plantation, some from their winery in Argentina)

The tent for the reception had beautiful draping – it looked decadent without being overly ornate.  (from event planner Kristin Newman)

I spent a considerable amount of time admiring all the wonderful photos of this wedding from photographer Elisabeth Millay.  If only I had a family plantation + sheep and horses…oh well, a girl can dream.

Photos from Martha Stewart and Elisabeth Millay