Here we are, already heading into the last few delicious weeks of summer. I hope you are enjoying yours, and finding time to relax and recharge. I'm finding it ever more important to try to disconnect these days. I am actually taking the rest of the month of August to do just that on the beaches of Spain and Portugal. I am so looking forward to spending long, lazy days with friends. I always love traveling abroad, but this year I also got to explore a bit of the United States as well. Earlier in the summer we had the delightful pleasure to travel to Maine at the end of June, for the spectacularly gorgeous and perfect wedding of Nathalie Love and Daniel Pappas.
I had the even greater honor of designing Nathalie's engagement and wedding rings. As I've always felt that designing these incredibly meaningful pieces is the highlight of what I do, I usually have not had the pleasure of knowing the couple well. This particular commission was different however, as I first met Nathalie when she was a little girl, and Dan and Nathalie had been together for a little over a decade before they married. Designing a ring for them was great fun. Dan is a total gentleman, and ideal client, with clear ideas of what he did not want, and of what would be perfect for Nathalie. He also had the diamonds from his Mother's engagement ring, along with the diamonds from a ring that Nathalie's father Nick gave to her mother Lisa when Nathalie was born.
I was able to take those stones, along with additional diamonds for the band, and create something unique and lovely, that perfectly captured Nathalie's magical spirit. There is great sentiment in any engagement ring, and with this one I feel even more so. There is a tremendous amount of love surrounding Nathalie and Dan as a couple, and that was abundantly evident on the small island where their wedding took place. Islesboro, Maine is one of the most lovely places in the country, and being there was a dream. You can read more about the wedding, and see the beautiful photos (taken by the bride's godmother, Pamela Hanson) here.
Summer weddings also are perfect for our bridal lingerie collection. If there is ever a time to invest in lingerie, it is definitely for your wedding and honeymoon. Feeling beautiful when you are spending the day preparing to walk down the aisle is so important, as is waking up feeling beautiful as a newlywed. Every bride should swan around in something special. We especially love the Maia silk dressing gown with the Laetitia slip underneath. The chantilly lace on the bodice of the slip makes it especially feminine.
The farmer's market at the end of summer is always glorious here in Southern California. The heirloom tomatoes are just as delicious as they are beautiful, and there is an abundance of just about everything that I love. The green beans have been really outstanding lately, so I've been making lots of them. This side dish has proven to be quite popular with everyone in my family, and is very easy to make, which is perfect for summer cooking.
one pound green beans, trimmed and washed
one pint cherry tomatoes
one half red onion, sliced thinly
one half cup pitted kalamata olives
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
salt + pepper
Toss the green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and olives in enough olive oil to lightly coat. Roast on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, until beans are tender, the onions have wilted, and the tomatoes are starting to burst open and release their juices. Then add a spoonful or two of red wine vinegar to the pan, along with the chopped parsley, and toss. Season with salt + pepper.