Archive for 2017



we have been long time partners with botanics (remember this girl’s spa night and those cool wall planters) and our whole team loves their products (especially their organic face oil + rosewater spray). so today we’re offering you a chance to win a $500 gift card to Ulta to stock up on Botanics for yourself. Ulta also carries almost every other beauty product you could imagine so you can shop to your hearts content! or you could host a girl’s spa night like we did.


here’s how to win…

1) visit the Ulta site and take a look around!

2) leave a comment below telling us one item you’d purchase if you won the $500 shopping credit.

one winner will receive $500 spend at Ulta. the giveaway closes on August 30th at 10am. open to our readers in the u.s. and canada only, sorry! one entry per household, multiple entries will be automatically disqualified without notice. 




cookbook club | designlovefest

it’s no secret that i’ve recently gotten very into cooking so when my friend barrett asked joanie and i if we wanted to be apart of a cookbook club we were in! it’s actually a little bit intimidating to be a fairly new cook and have to prepare a dish for everyone (most of the people being really skilled in the kitchen). but i took it as a learning opportunity and a chance to challenge my skills and grow my understanding of cooking different types of food.

the way the cookbook club works is that we meet once a month and there are six members and we each rotate who hosts. whoever hosts gets to pick the cookbook, hopefully it’s one you love or something you have been wanting to try. a book that people will like adding to their collection. the idea is that everyone selects an item from the cookbook to make and than you all share in it together. it gives you a chance to really understand the cookbook and for people to make comments on it, if they liked the recipe layouts, if the end result was worth the effort, if they’d change something in their recipe moving forward, etc.

cookbook club | designlovefest
cookbook club | designlovefest

i went first and picked “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” i decided to make the breaded shrimp skewers and joanie decided to make the bread salad. normally we’d meet at my house but we decided to head to descanso gardens instead to enjoy the long evening light and the outdoor music.

verdict? the bread salad was delicious but oddly labor intensive. it’s one of those recipes that once you make  you’ll know in the future which steps you can skip. i loved that it used anchovies in the dressing, it made me feel fancy. and the quality of the bread really reallly matters. i bought whole wheat focaccia from the farmers market and it was delicious. also, only make this when tomatoes are in season, that’s the majority of the salad. but overall delicious, i’d recommend making some variation of it! – joanie

shrimp skewers – there were very few ingredients in this recipe so each one counts, a lot. they turned out to be super moist from the bread crumbs and pretty easy to make! i would definitely recommend it. i also tried the tomato and onion sauce from the book and it was great! seriously everyone’s dish turned out so delicious, i was proud of us! – bri

cookbook club | designlovefest
cookbook club | designlovefest
cookbook club | designlovefest
cookbook club | designlovefest

our next book is the Jerusalem cookbook and we’re meeting on wednesday! we’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. any suggestions on books we should try?? you should do it with us! xx bri




flatbreads | designlovefest

i’m sure you probably get sick of us saying,” this is so easy!” about every recipe but our focus is to create simple and delicious meals that you can easily re-create at home and this is one of them! we used flatbread as the base of our pizza which you can find at any store and assembled them with a variety of toppings and cooked them for just 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden. you can have fun playing with the toppings, i made a sweet corn and tomato version of this last night and it was excellent. – joanie

flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
• 1 package of flatbreads
• 3 cups basil
• 1 tablespoon pinenuts
• 1/2 lemon squeezed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
• 8 oz Italian seasoned ground pork
• 2 red skinned potatoes cooked and sliced
• dry oregano for garnish
• 8 oz mozzarella cheese slices
• salt to taste

flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest

set oven to 400 degrees. cook the ground seasoned pork on medium heat, around 5 minutes or until browned and no longer pink. set aside.

to make the pesto, in a food processor add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and basil. pulse on low until well blended. while blending slowly add the olive oil. salt to taste

flatbreads | designlovefest
flatbreads | designlovefest

set all the ingredients by the flatbreads to assemble. lightly brush each flatbread with olive oil, add slices of mozzarella, a few dollops of pesto, slices of red skinned potatoes, seasoned ground pork. bake for 8-10 minutes. for a crispy flatbread set the oven to broil checking every 30 seconds until the toppings are golden brown. remove from oven.

garnish flatbread pizzas with dried oregano, shredded parmesan cheese, fresh basil leaves and pesto.

flatbreads | designlovefest

photos by: ivan solis
styling by: joanie cusack and ivan solis 



STYLED 23 | designlovefest
 (featured above is haley boyd who started marais shoes and has super chic personal style, her instagram is worth following)

in recent years i have become increasingly aware of where i spend my money. everyone gets to control their individual spending and that has power. we each get to decide what/who we’re going to support with our dollars and that’s a big deal, it’s our voice. everything from where you buy your food, wine, clothing, household items, etc. now, i’m not going to tell you that i don’t shop at Zara every now and then because i certainly do and i also can’t afford to be shopping independent boutiques all the time but i have shifted to making more conscious choices, shopping at the farmer’s market, supporting los angeles based designers (we have so many amazing ones) and trying to buy furniture made locally. and i’d like to start including some of those people and products into this column. i’m still going to include a mix of everything but i really believe that it’s important to empower and support small businesses whenever possible (and that doesn’t just mean LA, all small businesses!).  – joanie

Clare V Sweatshirt  ($125) –  in love with this mustard color and the simple lip designs. this is a great looking crew neck sweatshirt which happens to one of my favorite styles. it has an old school appeal to it.
True Botanicals – bri and i both use products from their line and they really are the real deal. their ingredients are incredible and everything is made with such care. they are based out of Mill Valley and their products are expensive but they really work. they just came out with an antioxidant booster that we’re excited to try!  i also love botanics organic face oil as a less expensive option.
Janessa Leoné straw hat ($300) – i own two of her hats and i wish i had ten more. all of her hats are handmade and her colors and styles are all so chic. i purchased both of my hats on sale through need supply so keep a look out!
Handwoven vintage blanket ($259) – obsessed with the colors on this wool blanket and the mission behind their store. they are a social enterprise that curates handcrafted goods from women artisans across the globe. they are all about supporting woman artists who are disenfranchised and helping them create sustainable lives through their work and art. they also have great pillows!
Marais jane mule ($235) – i have been buying shoes from this company since they were located in NYC but they are now in LA and they focus on small production shoes in the best colors and they are all locally made.
Ceramic bowl ($60) – my love for ceramic bowls knows no end. i could collect a million of them and jus have them sitting all over my house. they are all so beautiful and special! this one is from lawson fenning (the bowl is made in Brooklyn) which has two los angeles locations and an online store and it’s trouble. every time i go in there i want to redecorate my entire place.
P.F. candle Co. ($18) – another LA company and we burn their candles non-stop around our office (even in the summertime!).
Intentionally Blank slides ($55) – i just ordered these and i’d recommend you’d do the same, they are on sale for $55 and i plan to wear them with cropped jeans all fall long.  i own another pair of shoes by this company (based in LA!) and i love them and wear them 3x a week.
Parachute striped duvet – i love their sheets and this stripped set is calling my name!




okay, i’ll admit i’m a bit addicted to pink, but cool blues deserve a little spotlight too. a soft, cool blue color can bring a room together like no other. i love the calming feeling of these spaces. this color is perfect to paint an accent wall, or add a more neutral pop of color in a room. i’m loving the idea of a cool blue chair, rug, or wall. isn’t the painted floor below such a cool idea? shop the look below! – erika

shop them



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