wedding touches can lead to gropes

denimanddiamondsUsing the good china to eat a brownie
Formal teas, a tutu over her soccer uniform
Toothsome brioche sandwiches in the woods
Bringing champagne to a campsite

I believe in denim and diamonds. Not in the same way one believes in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or in the Half His Age Plus Seven rule. But I put confidence in mingling the mismatched. I won’t say that I’m all about flea market finds because that would be a balls out lie–I don’t have the patience or vision. But I do love the idea of taking our beloved comforts–as threadbare and raggedy-ass as they are–out for a candlelit sea-swept dinner. Sweatpants with a chunky watch, diamond studs. Buttery jeans with cocktail party drop earrings. Tattered jeans with bejeweled wedding slippers.

food favors

(Midnight Snack packs for guests from Jo Gartin’s Weddings)

It’s why I adore all things wedding. The bagel + cream cheese wrapped up in the Sunday paper, as a to-go parting favor at a Saturday evening event: does it for me every time. I believe those small wedding touches should lead to lifelong gropes.

jellow (Photo: Ladylike, Forget-Me-Not Jell-O Shots)

I’ve never understood, for example, why magazines highlight beauty tips for the day of, and not all the days ever after. Wouldn’t you always want that clean pressed bright-eyed beauty look? We all want to feel as if a fresh bouquet of flowers is awaiting our arrival, that small girls with golden ringlets admire us, and want nothing more than to throw petals at our manicured feet.

It’s why I strive for (read: obsess over) those special occasion touches in my everyday. Okay, more realistically, it’s why I make it my business to include some fanciful something into our lives monthly (weekly, depends on the month).

– I love the idea of using a piping bag for mashed potatoes or pureed carrots
– Taking a soup can (opening both ends) and creating stacks of vertical food within (this week calls for a vertical cobb salad)
– With game night approaching, I plan to bake brownies, decorating them like dominoes, baking heart and spade sugar cookies (then freezing extra for game nights to come)
– Concocting fanciful summer drinks with sugared rims and sliced booze-soaked stone fruits
– Foxy jell-o shots, layered with cream, fresh berries floating within

stacked salad (Stacked Salad from Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation)

I try to step back and analyze why these things matter so much to me, or rather, why they make me come alive with thoughts of possibilities, and I can’t quite say. I think I’m just driven by these small approaches, to baking and making the extraordinary fit into our “how was your day at work” day live, because life is too short to always be using the paper towel roll as our napkins. Sometimes your water goblet just sings out to be garnished with a paper-thin slice of cucumber. Like a good lipstick, sometimes a melon-baller really can make everything better.  

BTW, I’m fully aware that this content makes me appear equal parts insane, sheltered, and vapid. At least I’m not unaware.

Am I alone here? Does no one else revel in the incongruity of it all?



  1. Oh, I never thought about cucumber on a water glass. I do small things that make things special for my family and carry on the tradition my mother started. If I left it up to my husband, there would be no flourishes, guys just don’t think about it, well, straight guys usually don’t.

    The soup can idea is cool. Thanks for some inspiration, urm, refinement.

  2. Why doesn’t love a special occasion stacked salad or theme based food on a Wednesday? I think we do that kind of stuff to celebrate life. And I love that you want to do it outside of the traditional confines. I think it just means that you want to celebrate life all the time…and that is great!

  3. I love high brow/ low brow its what makes life interesting and I totally believe that its all in the details and caring about details doesn’t make you insane or vapid.

    Stephanie, I think we took at least one writing class together at college? I love your blog and have been following it on and off for years.

    – Elizabeth

  4. i will say jello shots by their nature have a trashyness. those cube ones are cute (and way easier to eat) but they are not jello shots. jello shots in demitasse cups?

  5. I recognize that stacked salad. Have you made it and posted it in the past? I’m sure it’s you, as I don’t frequent food blogs or food magazines.

  6. Stephanie,

    Could you tell me where to find that diamond stacked band ring in the collage? I have been looking for it for years?! Thank you.

  7. You are not alone, Stephanie. THIS is the stuff which changes another ordinary day into a special day.

  8. Stephanie,

    Thank you. You are a doll! I’ve been reading your blog since the day you started it and this is the first time I’ve written in!

  9. I live in a 300 square foot studio, but I still spend a substantial portion of my work day planning how I’m going to redecorate it when the boyfriend moves in with me in a few weeks. A new set up made for a separate living spaces, all white decor with pops of sage green, a new cocktail set so that we can have after work cocktails when we get home. I think so much of it has someone special to share it with – – my apartment is significantly more functional and utilitarian when it’s only me (and my daydreaming and planning is busy with dinner party menus). I guess anything can feel high/low when you live in a dollhouse sized apartment :)

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