Editorial: Grecian Goddess with Jose Villa

August 06

I love the simplicity of this shoot Jose Villa I did back in May…. The shoot was pretty last minute, and came about when I was having lunch with Jose & Joel on Friday in Los Alamos at Bell Street Farms. Jose mentioned these dresses had just come in and he wanted to shoot them again before he had to return them to the designer. So the following Wednesday we captured this…

I’ve been thinking about a Grecian inspired shoot for a while and the Samuelle Couture dresses lended themselves perfectly for this look.

Jose hooked up the location (a top secret ranch that is impossible to get into for the normal person, surfers know this spot well). I had actually done a wedding at this exact spot last year and I banked on if being windy (and it was, the poor model was so cold!).

I pulled a variety of props from my collection, including the brass urn up top that was from my sister’s wedding. The mirror I found at a consignment shop and has the most beautiful tooled metal handle.

I thought of this look as “Athena” the goddess of inspiration and wisdom…

For the second look we used a ball gown and shot on the exact location where I had tented for my wedding last year… Simple drop earrings from 33 Jewels completed the look.

Here, I styled the model, Eva, with loose flowers in a bundle and in her hair. I thought of this look as “Persephone,” very spring-inspired with a bouquet of lilacs, peonies and tulips all from Florabundance. Thank you Jose for capturing these insane images!!!

On the Rocks: Peachy Keen

June 29

Santa Barbara has been so incredibly beautiful lately! Now that it’s finally Friday, I am so looking forward to eating al fresco this evening with one of these bad boys. I love summer because fresh peaches are everywhere and are absolutely scrumptious in cocktails. Enjoy!

cocktail recipes with peach

In a glass add ice, 1 shot of vodka, and a medium splash of homemade sweet n’ sour (directions below). Then add a small splash of peach schnapps. I prepared my peach puree by simply blending a whole peach along with a splash of peach juice (you can find it in any grocery store). Add a heavy splash of the puree to the rest of the ingredients. Shake well and serve on the rocks. If you want it to be a little less sweet, add a splash of soda.


Here’s that recipe:

~1 shot of vodka

~Medium splash of homemade sweet n’ sour

~Small splash of peach schnapps

~1 pureed peach

~Splash of peach juice

~Soda (optional)

Homemade Sweet n’ Sour Recipe:

~Equal parts simple syrup and lemon juice

*Add ingredients together and refrigerate

-XOXO Melissa

And to see even more On the Rocks cocktail ideas they’re right here.

Press: Mag Rouge + Harvest Wedding Ideas

June 06

I’m super excited to have my wheat headdress grace the cover of this month’s issue of Mag Rouge. Shot by the uber talented Elizabeth Messina, and produced by the Wedding Chicks, it was so much fun to create these beautiful images.

To make the head wreath I started with a circular base of wire (similar to the clematis headdress). Then using green floral wire, I created a little bundles of 5 stems of wheat each. Then I attached the bundles to the wire base, working around the circle. To hide the construction, I hot glued additional pieces of wheat to cover the wire and make the head wreath more full.

Also during this shoot, Jeni from Found brought one of her amazing vintage carts and I filled it with flowers for a slightly Anthropologie-vibe.

I also brought an amazing stephanotis vine as option for Elizabeth to shoot (I’m a big fan of options). Isn’t the vine insane?

And finally, the two bouquets I made as options for the model to hold (its all about options). The one of the left is made with cabbage roses, ranunuclus, sweat pea and dusty miller. The one on the right, had peach roses, hydranga, sweet pea, ranunuclus, and dried wheat (I took the extra long strans off of the wheat for this bouquet). And be sure to visit here and here for even more prettiness.

Wedding Chicks Editorial with Elizabeth Messina

April 19

About a month ago, Elizabeth called me and asked me if I wanted to do flowers for the Wedding Chicks product/fashion shoot. It took me about zero seconds to say yes!

I did a small table setup with Found Vintage Rentals pieces (Jeni was our fabulous stylist for the shoot) and used a color palette of peaches, pinks, and burgundies for the flowers.

Tricia Fountaine was kind enough to lend me her vintage china and silverware. The glassware I picked up the weekend before at an antique store. At each setting I placed a vintage ink well with a ranunculus. I have about 12 ink wells from around 1870 that were bought here and in England (they are dirt cheap over seas!).

Here are some of the adorable products by the wedding chicks that were photographed. I love the vintage style hankies and the adorable totes perfect for  a welcome bag. You can see more on Elizabeth’s blog here and on Wedding Chicks right here. And you can shop these adorable products right here.

Home Style: Versailles

March 08

Continuing my wanderlust for France is a virtual tour of Versailles… Um, how amazing is the pattern of the stone? I love the geometry in contrast to the ornate facade.

I die for this chair and this bed. This is perhaps the most perfect french canopy ever.

Even the stairs are so pretty I could hang out on one of these landings any day. And the stables? The stone vault and beautiful wood details, make me very jealous of the horses who call this home. These photos are from the book Versaille: A Private Invitations, which will be coming home with me soon, I’m sure!

Real Wedding: Heirloom Garden, Part Two

February 27

How simply stunning are the florals by Modern Day Design? Garden roses, ranunculus, berries, oh my… I particularly love the elegant water bottles (no ugly water pitchers here) and the chair treatment with olive branches is quite simply perfect.

I love the simple arrangement of ranunculus, mint and berries (mint is one of my favorite greens to use in flowers, it smells sooo good). And can we talk about the flatware? Obsessed. Its the bride’s grandmother’s silver, gorgeous no?

Since the couple wanted more of a dinner party feel, a record player played music, while guests feasted and ate homemade desserts (the groom’s brother made the macarons).

At the end of the night, the couple set some sky lanterns (basically a mini hot air balloon) up and away… What a stunning way to end the night…

From the bride, Tamara:

My theme for the wedding was to have an intimate family dinner reception. I loved the idea of adding vintage finds as well as using memento’s of our grandparents (who are no longer with us)! With the wedding being in late summer- we chose to use flowers and a color palette that could reflect that change in season.

Real Wedding: Heirloom Garden, Part One


Today’s stunning wedding was designed by the bride, Tamara, and photographed by Beaux Arts Photographie.

The beautiful flowers by Camille at Modern Day Design incorporated cafe au lait dahlias, pink veronica, succulents and silvery brunia.

The accessories for the wedding day are too die for! Lace from the mother of the bride’s wedding dress was used to make Tamara’s garter, such a sweet way to incorporate her family’s heirlooms.

Tamara’s present to her groom, Roland. A beautiful watch…

The simple ceremony was held at Butterfly Beach under an arbor the groom made. Bird seed packets were set out for guests to toss…

I love Tamara’s Enzoani wedding dress, the lace is to die for and the simple fingertip veil is the perfect accent… Stay tuned for part two, the reception!