In the Kitchen: Lamb w/ Candied Olive & Orange Tapenade

September 26

I love citrus in savory dishes, and this recipe for lamb brochette is certain to get your taste buds hopping… First up, Duo picked up both the blood oranges and lamb from Santa Barbara’s farmer market and got to cooking…

To make this recipe you will need:

For the lamb:

-2 Lamb Loins

-1 Tablespoon Finely cut rosemary

-3 Garlic cloves, minced

-Zest of 1/2 Orange

For the Tapenade:

-1/2 Cup pitted olives (we often use picholine, Nicoise, and Luque Olives)

-1/4 Cup dice orange (the entire orange- do not peel).

-1 Tablespoon Sugar

-1/4 Cup Water

-1 Clove garlic, minced

-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

-2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley


  1. Clean each lamb loin of any silver skin and split lengthwise (leaving you with 4 pieces)
  2. Rub the loins with the Rosemary, garlic, orange zest and salt and pepper- set aside.
  3. Combine water, sugar and orange in a sauté pan over high heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Add olives and garlic and continue to simmer for an additional two minutes (the majority of the liquid should have evaporated – if the water evaporates too quickly add 2-3 additional tablespoons).
  5. Allow mixture to cool.
  6. Add parsley and set aside.
  7. Heat a sauté pan with 2 tbl Neutral cooking oil over meadium, high heat.
  8. sear the lamb loins on all sides, reduce heat and cook for a total time of 3-4  minutes.
  9. Remove lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  10.  slice each loin into 6 pieces (for a total of 24).
  11. Top each medallion with 1 tsp of the Tapenade.

Makes 24 Brochettes. Enjoy these bites sized treats!

*Duo & Michael and Anna Costa are sponsors of Santa Barbara Chic

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: Peonies & Love at San Ysidro Ranch

September 10

Are you ready for one seriously gorgeous and intimate wedding? Held at the always stunning San Ysidro Ranch, this wedding’s design was inspired by the beautiful gardens that make up the grounds of the property.

The bride carried a stunning bouquet of pink peonies, dahlias and garden roses (all my favorites!) by Florette Designs and wore a stunning dress by Vera Wang.

Paper goods were kept simple and elegant and are from Etsy. Escort cards designed by Lazaro Press were little tags that were tied to a vintage ladder.

For the reception, the outdoors were brought inside with more gorgeous blooms (I can’t get over the size of these peonies) tucked into mercury glass containers. A big thank you to Joy for sharing this gorgeous affair with us and to Jose Villa for the beautiful photos!

Spotlight: Lilly & Louise

July 26

I’m a big fan of pretty paper goods, and local Santa Barbara invitation designer Leslie Lewis Sigler of Lilly & Louise does just that. About a month ago Kirsten of Beaux Arts and I did a little styling session with Leslie’s paper good for her new website. It was a fun day and I loved all the pretty paper goodies we captured.

Leslie does completely custom work and she’s also a fine art artist so mixing media, colors and textures is right up her alley (she was the genius behind my own blog re-design). Here’s a very classic and elegant invitation which I styled with a black tie, vintage perfume bottle and a string of pearls.

I love the playful calligraphy of this suite, and the notched flag detail? Adorable!

From programs with a sewn edge, to buttons with guest names, to fortune tellers, Leslie designs paper items way beyond your standard invitation.

Here she designed welcome bags to match the invitations. Seriously, have band-aids ever looked so cute?

Of course, if something more mod, and slightly Mad Men in flavor, is more your speed, this suite she created for a 70s birthday bash is pure mid-century awesomeness. I styled the invites with some matchbooks from the period (I found a bunch in Los Alamos). Anyway, you can see more of Leslie’s paper goodness here, her fine art here (she painted my favorite silver piece in my collection right here) and if you’re looking for logo design, she does that too, right here. And you can take a tour of Leslie’s adorable home over on Design*Sponge!

Flower Chic: Bold Ikat

July 11


I’ve really been digging Ikat lately (pretty sure its gonna be the next “chevron”) and I’m loving this bold version I recently picked up at Michael Levine’s. The bold red, yellow, pink aganist white is just so perfect for summer. When I found yellow, with a tinge of red, peonies at Fabulous Florals, its was obvious these two were meant to be together.

For the container, I used a white and gold haviland bowl (the same one I used for Wedding Chicks) layered on a gold scalloped tray I picked up at a consignment store. The gold glassware is vintage and is from an antique store in Los Alamos. I’m seriously loving gold right now.

To make this arrangement I used clear floral tape and created a grid at the top of the container (this acts as floral frog, and holds your flowers in place). I used these insane yellow/red peonies, but you could easily use only dahlias which are in season right now. Anyway, to make the arrangement you will need:

2 bunches yellow/red striped tulips

1 bunch yellow peonies

1 bunch red/yellow dahlias

2 bunches yellow/red calla lillies

1 bunch geranium

Floral Shears

Clear floral tape

Stay tuned for my picks of ikat products later today! And to see all Flower Chic posts click right here.

Real Party: Mexican Fiesta Rehearsal Dinner

May 14

I’m a big fan of a hosting a large rehearsal dinner. And this one, is well, awesome. Held at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum the understated fiesta vibe, is elegant, and oh so fun.

A muted palatte of taupes and creams is given a distinctive fiesta flair with shots of turquoise and bolsa wood flowers that are a twist on the colorful paper flowers usually used for this kind of look.

Of course, if you’re going to throw a proper fiesta, you need a really good mariachi band to set the mood. Add in a menu of delicious tacos and churros and you’ve got the makings of one successful party.

Did I mention, the churro situation? I’ll take one!

Real Wedding: Bohemian Splendor at Dos Pueblos Ranch

April 16

This wedding has a special place in my heart… The bride, Elizabeth was an absolute pleasure to work with and this wedding was among the last weddings I planned… Tricia Fountaine created the amazing designs in collobration with Elizabeth who created many special touches herself. The groom, Jaime was a total sweetheart– the two had a pretty amazing choreographed first dance which was so very romantic…

Elizabeth wore a beautiful Claire Pettibone dress and Tricia created a beautiful bouquet of peonies, roses, blue thistle, millet, and jasmine.

The ceremoy was held under Rancho Dos Pueblos’ three hundred year old sycamore tree. Old barn doors were staked to create an entrance (found on the ranch) and decorated with flowers. Old church pews were used for guest seating and chandeliers were hung assymetrically at the front of the ceremony area.

The bridesmaids were dressed in different dresses in shades of blue and the groomsmen wore classy gray suits. Photos were taken all over the ranch, including under the huge alley of morton bay fig trees at the Casa and at the greenhouse.

Another found piece from the ranch, served at the table for seating cards. And old bread tin filled with acorns (a nod to the couple’s southern roots) was filled with scrolls featuring quotes from the couple’s favorite poems and songs.

For the tabletop design we used Tricia’s extensive collection of fine china. The bride made lace runners for some of the long tables and napkins were Tricia’s vintage hankies.

Vintage piano shawls graced some of the tables, and a large cotton wreath grounded the back wall of the reception.

Instead of a traditional coffee table, a large tea time table was designed. Linens from La Tavola were hitched up and tulle layered beneath.

Food was very important for this couple, cheese plates were set on each table for guests to snack on. Honey from the ranch served as favors and featured tea stained tags made by Elizabeth. Shots of Jameson were passed out right after toasts to get the dance party started. Congratulations again to Elizabeth & Jaime!