Vortex, a 2013 Calender by Ink & Wit

November 20

I’ve been a big fan of Tara’s work at Ink & Wit for a long time, and its my yearly ritual to purchase one of her beautiful letterpress calenders. This year’s is no exception and was inspired by some of the most stunning places in the world like, Machu Pichhui in Peru and Joshua Tree in California.

I’m seriously in love with the way Tara creates a three dimensional feel via geometric patterns and her color choices are always spot on (an aqua Emu? sign me up).

They’re available for purchase right here, better hurry she always sells out!!!

Home Style: Leslie’s Eclectic Santa Barbara Abode

September 27

Today we’re visiting the home of one of my favorite local Santa Barbara artists (and invitation designers), Leslie Lewis Sigler. Her home is her creative space and is filled with collection of vintage and heirloom pieces, her paintings, and a few pieces from good ole’ craigslist.

In the dining room is her father’s table that he made for her and which Leslie drove all the way out from Texas. A built in nook holds colorful plates and bowls, and a vintage child’s chair makes an adorable plant stand.

In her bedroom, her pups, Peach & Skip enjoy colorful prints, eclectic pulls on the dresser, and a serious collection of jewelry.

Outside a petite bistro table is flanked with a grouping of succulents, the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of tea. A big thank you to Leslie for sharing her home and you can see more about her work, here, here and here.

Editorial: Romance on the Ranch

September 24

I’m simply in love with this editorial styled by Joy de Vivre and photographed by Kurt Boomer. Shot on a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley with Pervuian horses, what could be better?

Joy draped the table in La Tavola’s aqua Tuscany linen for a slightly casual feel then ramped up the elegance by pairing Town & Country’s cane backed chairs and elegant rimmed china. Flowers by NLC Productions added a punch of hot pink and sherbet.

To finish off the design, elegant paper goods by Lazaro Press in a palette of gold and hot pink. To see more of this editorial check out the new magazine Flutter created by Tracy of Lazaro Designs and Kim of Love Mikana.

Real Wedding: Eclectic Pink Wedding at Ojai Valley Inn

August 27

I love an intimate celebration, and this wedding with its small count of just 50 guests, coupled with its romantic vintage vibe is simply lovely.

First up, the love birds: The bride wore a Melissa Sweet gown (no longer avalaible) and the groom wore a sweet gray suit that complimented the bride’s playful dress perfectly.

Dinner was held on a terrace at the Ojai Valley Inn. To personalize the long feasting table, the bride brought her family’s china all the way from Oregon.  Flowers by Lauryl Lane in a soft pink and peach palette with touches of gray finished out their table design.

Dahlias, ranunculus, scabiosa and succulents gave great texture to the flowers and created a romantic vibe for dinner and dancing. Congrats to the happy couple!

Editorial: Soft Pink & Purple Garden Wedding

August 20

I’m loving today’s thoroughly feminine wedding editorial created by Toast Events and photographed by Elisa B Photography. The dip dyed silk ribbon of the bouquet paired with lavender and white garden roses is ever so romantic.

A floral headpiece, a seersucker bow tie, a field of flowers… perfection.

The tabletop design continues the soft garden look with a slightly French feel. Upholstered chairs, elegant etched glassware and a table set with delicate scalloped china from Anthropologie feels effortless and timeless. Thanks Elisa for sharing these lovely images!

On the Rocks: Sweet n’ Salty Gingy

August 16

TGIF! I am so excited because I have some of my girlfriends coming up to visit me this weekend and you can bet that we’ll be shaking up some cocktails. Today’s tasty treat is for the ginger beer fans out there and is a beautiful concoction. The bright red color of the blood orange addition gives a vibrant addition to this yummy yummy drink and pays further homage to the name “Sweet n’ Salty Gingy”…a double entendre no?


1 1/2 shots of silver tequila

Blood orange soda


Ginger Beer

Kosher Salt

Granulated sugar

On a plate, add Kosher salt and granulated sugar and mix well with a fork. Rub the rim of a glass with a lime wedge and dip into sugar/salt mixture. Set aside. Add ice to a martini shaker, tequila, lime wedge (squeeze first), splash of blood orange soda, and heavy splash of ginger beer. Shake well and serve on the rocks in your rimmed glass. Enjoy!

-XOXO Melissa

PS The coaster and glass are both available at Anthrologie….And for even more cocktail ideas check out past On the Rocks posts here.

Escape to… Bali

June 29

Things are heating up in California, and so, too, is our Escape. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce one of my favorite tropical destination escapes…Bali, Indonesia! The beaches alone are mesmerizing, but the cliffs and scenic landscape do everything in reminding you of just how very far away from daily life you are.

The people and places in Bali do more than just evoke “relaxing getaway”…there’s a true spiritual reverence surrounding you at all times, especially when touring the infamous temples. In viewing the Balinese temple offerings, I can’t help but wonder what silent hopes and dreams lie behind the food and floral displays.

Another common sight in Bali? Rice fields…and even they contribute to the tropical beauty of the landscape. How joyous is this rice farmer’s smile?

But my favorite location of all has to be the Balinese markets. I always say that you can get a true sense of any culture in visiting their markets, and Bali is no exception. The joy for cooking and for life are evident in everything from the people to the food here. And the smells are just magnificent. I could spend all day in this market!

Here are my picks for the best in where and what you should sleep/eat/see in Bali:

Sleep: The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah…located near the city of Ubud, yet worlds away in luxury and serenity, The Chedi is your best bet in experiencing the ultimate in luxurious accommodations without losing the distinct cultural experience of Bali. Stay in one of their one bedroom suites (perhaps a one bedroom pool or spa villa if you’d like), or stay in the Hadiprana Villa (the two bedroom luxury estate once owned by the founder and owner of the property). Either way, you’ll enjoy the lavish pool, cultural performances, fine dining, and local excursions in style.

Eat: Melting Wok Warung…located in Ubud, this restaurant is by far a must visit while in Bali!!! The food which utilizes local meat and produce, encompasses traditional and more modern Balinese cuisine. Reasonably priced and served in a simple yet elegant atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. Reservations are a must, so be sure to ask your hotel concierge for help.

See: Beyond the temples and local beaches near Ubud, be sure to visit Bature Lake, which is the largest lake in Bali and a short drive away in Kintamani. The lake itself sits inside the crater of Mount Batur, next to an active volcano. Cross the lake to Trunyan village, where the island’s original inhabitants (the Bali Aga people) still live. To see the best in local artisan-try, head to the village of Tenganan, known for its people’s unique double ikat weaving and smoked grass woven baskets. Or climb Mount Agung, Bali’s highest peak and witness the infamous, multi-tiered 14th century Pura Besakih mother temple.

Until next week…

xo ~Cynthia