summer is finally here and i’ve got afternoons hanging out on the patio on my mind. every summer i feel inspired to redo my yard area, and right now i’m dreaming of a tropical riviera look. think fringed unbrellas, pretty palm trees, and lots of rattan. here’s some inspiration to add a little poolside glamour to your space even if you don’t have a pool! – erika

shop them





grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest

it’s almost memorial day weekend which is basically the entrance of summer and all the fun things that come along with it! but most importantly, summer eating! spring to summer is one of my favorite transitions at the farmer’s market, i love seeing all the produce come in weekly and how it changes throughout the months. sweet corn season can’t come soon enough! if you’re BBQ’ing this weekend we made this grill ready salad which we topped with chicken but any meat on the grill would do. if you’re making it for a smaller group, have people individually dress their salad to keep from the whole thing getting wilted and the leftovers will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. happy memorial day weekend! – joanie

grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest

serves 5-6 people

what you’ll need:

• 2 chicken breasts
• 1 can of corn drained or 2 fresh ears of corn
• 1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
• 1 cup cilantro chopped
• 1/2 red onion diced
• 1 avocado diced
• 1 head of romain lettuce sliced
• 10 tortillas
• grape seed oil
• 1 cup quinoa cooked
• barbecue sauce (we loved using trader joes brown sugar bbq sauce)


• 1 cup sour cream
• 1/4 cup buttermilk
• 2 tablespoons fresh dill
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 lime juiced

grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest
grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest

• pile 10 tortillas and cut into long strips, then cut those strips in half to create smaller ones. in a medium pan filled about 1 inch deep heat up grape seed oil. fry the strips on each side turning over every 30 seconds till golden brown. remove and set on paper towels.

• salt and pepper your chicken and grill till fully cooked. once removed from the grill brush with the bbq sauce.

• make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a blender and blend until well incorporated.

grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest
grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest
grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest

• to assemble the salad lay out the quinoa, red onion, cilantro, black beans, corn, avocado, romaine lettuce, tortilla strips and chicken out on a bowl. toss to combine with the dressing and serve while fresh.

grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest
grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest
grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest

if you have leftover tortilla strips, dip them in the dressing! it’s sooo good!

grilled chicken bbq quinoa salad | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis 
styling by: joanie cusack 





megan galante made these pretty desktops for us this week! love her pretty floral paintings. click through below to download the desktops for your computer, and you can shop her paintings  here too.





we just launched a collection with Keds! i’ve been waiting so long and it’s finally here!

our ladies for ladies collection includes 1 sneaker, 2 slides, and espadrilles! i really wanted to design a line of shoes that felt simple, special, and affordable. something you could wear all summer and they could match with just about anything. you could dress them up or down. i wanted nice materials and details like the perforated leather, rose gold and suede. i also wanted a more muted pink color so it didn’t feel over the top girly but still felt true to the designlovefest brand. we went through many different rounds and i am really happy with the end result!!

here are all 4 styles…i would love to know your choice!





this was also a really fun photoshoot to put together! i’ve always wanted to visit that awesome pink apartment building with colorful stairs in spain…and since that wasn’t really possible for this, i decided to recreate the scene! the team that helped me pull it off was amazing and i’m so grateful!

photographer: heather gildroy | set designer: sean genrich | creative director: bri emery | stylist: healther allison | models: lola rose dompé and our very own joan cusack

see more about the Keds launch on their site here!



how to shop a sale | designlovefest
images via mansur gavriel

we’re quickly approaching sale season! the matches fashion sale started monday and i suspect that netaporter will begin their sale any day now. i almost never buy anything full price, either purchasing second hand (consignment stores, ebay, depop, etc) or i buy it on sale. lots of people are intimidated by sales, which i totally understand, so i thought i’d offer a few tips on how i snag a deal.

• first, i only buy items that are returnable (unless i’ve tried it on before and know it fits), there is no point in buying something on sale that can’t be returned because it’ll end up costing you more money if it doesn’t work out. luckily, almost all online retailers offer free returns.

• secondly, i don’t just scroll endless pages of sale items, i know what i’m looking for or what brands i like and i search for them. for instance, i want a black one piece bathing suit, so i’ll type that into the search bar, or a floral wrap dress. and i’ll search by designer too, i like almost anything Ulla Johnson does so i’ll search for her.

how to shop a sale | designlovefest

• read the reviews, many items that go on sale have something off about them, they either run too big, or too small or aren’t as described. i’ve found major deals on something that runs small simply because people don’t like ordering two sizes up (which i understand, it’s not fun!).

• shop for classics, i have a list of items that i’d love to own one day and i’m always looking for them to go on sale (i.e. the mansur gavriel pieces i listed below). some of my favorite life long pieces are ones i’ve scored on sale, like my Burberry trench coat. it seems fun and exciting to order that pair of red silk pants, but it’s also exciting to buy a classic black cashmere turtleneck that you’ll wear 1,000 x.

• be as ruthless of a critic with sale items as you would be with something that is full price. i can’t tell you how many times in my life i’ve bought something i just like (not love) because it’s on sale, and it always ends up being a mistake. an item on sale still costs money, if you don’t love it, return it.

how to shop a sale | designlovefest

• and finally, don’t be afraid to order a lot, order multiple sizes of an item you love and you can return what doesn’t work. once a box arrives, i try everything on almost immediately and return the next day so that it’s not sitting around the house taking up space.

and here are a few items i’m dreaming over at the matchesfashion.com sale!

Bliss and Mischief blouse $184 – hilary is a local LA designer who has the great line, Bliss and Michief. she makes great jeans and t-shirts and i also love this top. i have a feeling this color is going to be in demand after Amal wore it to the royal wedding.

Mansur Gavriel bag $556 – a totally splurge item, for sure, but if you’ve been eyeing the it bags by Mansur Gavriel now is your time to strike.

Self-portrait dress $227 – i don’t own anything by self-portrait but i love their use of textures in creating their designs. i think this dress would be the perfect thing to wear to a summer wedding.

Self-portrait top $204 – again with Self-portrait and also with the texture. you can’t go wrong with a white blouse and i love the detail on this one.

DVF little red dress $234 – look at this dress on the model, looks great on the body and it’s a fun alternative to the little black dress.

Isabel Marant $395 – sweaters are an often overlooked wardrobe investment but i wear them all year long and i think a neutral color sweater is a great piece to have.

Eve denim jacket $219 – a lined denim jacket that feels close to the much more expensive Saint Laurent one.

Isabel Marant earrings $297 – a pair of statement earrings that you can wear over and over again.

Mansur Gavriel tote $409 – another Mansur find, one of their first shapes, the classic tote. i also like this zip-around wallet.

Re/Done originals $203 – bri and i both own these jeans in black and they’re great. i wouldn’t mind the light version.

Masscob cotton shorts $157 – i like a good pair of shorts but i don’t like them to be too short or too long, these high rise ones look like a good option.

Preen crepe top $187 – i’m slow to purchase pretty tops because i usually gravitate towards a dress but a fancy top and jeans is a really solid outfit. the top in crepe looks really delicate and sweet.

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