455  //  new series! Creative’s Dish: julie lee

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studiorecipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioI am so excited to share the first of a new series I have been working on for Smitten Studio called Creative’s Dish. I’ve found that a love for food runs deep in my creative community and as a major foodie myself (but NOT quite a cook), I wanted to find a way to incorporate the epicure side of me into the blog while also highlighting some amazing creatives (and also hopefully learning a few tricks in the kitchen along the way). So, I’ve asked a few inspiring people to share one of their go-to recipes for me to try and replicate while they also dish about what they are currently up to.

First up is Julie Lee of gorgeous food collage fame. Aka, Julie’s Kitchen. I had the pleasure of having Julie come over to my house for this one, luckily she took it easy on me and crafted up this really simple (and tasty) beautiful meal, Zucchini Pasta with Mint-Pea Pesto. Hope you enjoy!

creative dish with julie lee // smitten studioJulie Lee is a self-taught photographer, food stylist, and editor based in Los Angeles. Her food collage photography series is inspired by the beauty of nature and local, farm-to-table eating. Her photography was recently featured in the Flowers for the Moon group show at The Standard and named 100 Best of 2013 by Saveur magazine. If you don’t already follow her on instagram, I HIGHLY suggest you do. Her collages are incredible.

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioSS: what made you chose this recipe?

JL: “Zucchini and peas are at their peak season right now. I love this dish because it’s delicious, easy, and suitable for many diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, etc.). You can even make it vegan by subbing nutritional yeast for the Parmesan.”

SS: most prized kitchen utensil?

JL: “My Shun knives. I love all my fancy gadgets, but at the end of the day a really sharp knife is all you need.”

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studiorecipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studiorecipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioSS: Name three things that we may not know about you.

JL: ” 1. I play fantasy football. (I’m the only girl in my league.) 2. I love playing Scrabble so much that I sometimes play against myself. 3. I love to get lost in the woods. Backpacking is the best.”

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioSS: Guilty pleasure?

JL: “Binge watching Scandal.”

SS: Sweet or Savory?

JL: “Ugh Both! Especially the combination of the two. I’m an eating machine.”

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioSS: What are three blogs you can’t stop reading?

JL: “Besides Smitten Studio, 101 CookbooksLingered Upon, and Sprouted Kitchen

recipe: zucchini pasta w/ mint-pea pesto // creative's dish with julie lee // smitten studioI had so much fun turning the camera around on Julie and shooting her while she schooled me on spiralizing! Get the full recipe after the jump and let me know what you think! …

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453  //  A Sunny Afternoon – new basket!

a sunny afternoon new picnic basket Happy Memorial Day weekend guys! I hope you will be BBQing and Picnicking to your hearts content. I released a new basket over on A Sunny Afternoon today! It has the same outer basket but is wearing a new outfit, aka a green & white gingham lining. It’s just a little glimpse into all sorts of new goods to come this summer. Enjoy the long weekend. x

Picnic Basket, Napkins, and Serving Board by A Sunny Afternoon

Images by Sarah Sherman Samuel

452  //  house update: DIY built-in shelving

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioWe did it! We finished one of the gazillion projects on our hands right now and I am so happy to share our finished built-ins. We started the project a couple weeks back and just put on the final coat of paint this weekend.

DIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioDIY built-in shelves // home update // smitten studioThe paint was hardly dry before I dove into the garage and started digging out some of our favorite tchotchkes and books that I haven’t seen in ages (8 months of living through renovations and we are finally starting to un-pack some boxes and settle in). It took us (my dad, Rupe, and I) two LONG full days to build 98% of it, and then another day to finish trimming out the front of each shelf and to paint.

This project isn’t the easiest of DIY’s but if you know your way around a miter saw and a router it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds (just takes a lot of elbow grease). We also utilized Ikea kitchen cabinets for the base of our built-ins which made it a heck of a lot easier. The thing about built-ins are that of course they are unique to each room so I will outline the steps we took and hope you guys can take something away from it.

All the details and product sources for as much as I can remember after the jump!

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451  //  my style: lasercut shorts & crop top

lasercut shorts, crop top // smitten sudiolasercut shorts, crop top // smitten sudiolasercut shorts, crop top // smitten sudiolasercut shorts, crop top // smitten sudiolasercut shorts, crop top // smitten sudiolasercut shorts, crop top // smitten sudioSummer came early in LA this year, and I’ve been sweatily happily reaching for shorts and tanks over my usual layers. I love the lasercut pattern on these shorts, and the material, and the fit. ;) I’ve been wearing them any chance I get, to the beach with a bikini in the day, and dressed up with the cuff and bag (also a new favorite, thanks to Rupe shopping my Pinterest Want page… score!) for a night out with our happy hour crew.

Shop the look: lasercut vegan leather SHORTS from Anthropologie (on sale!) // crop TANK from Asos, find similar here or here // black slim BAG by Chiyome // triangular CUFF by Topshop // HAT from forever 21 find similar here // SANDALS by Vince Camuto find similar here or here

For more style posts check here

450  //  from the weekend: beach picnics & home projects

beach picnic // a sunny afternoon // malibuI had a friend visiting this weekend so I took Friday off to head up the coast and enjoy a beach day at one of the prettiest stretches or shoreline LA has to offer, El Matador State Beach. We grabbed a blanket, books, and my basket. Packed it up with lunch and we were set for a full day of sunshine, seal watching, and tide pool searching. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Once back at the homestead, Rupe and I finished the built-ins (a peek here), and the patio benches (a glimpse here) and again our backs are broken this Monday morning. :)

Hope you had a lovely weekend. x

Image by me (with some help from @annezuelke :)) via instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)

449  //  home progress: unfinished projects all around

back patio progress, built-in seating // smitten studioThe major renovations are basically over (thank the Lord, Hallelujah, Amen!), the laundry room and bedroom that we added on are fully functioning and the construction crew has been replaced with Rupert and I. It is nice having the house back to ourselves, but we still have a ton of little things (and some big things) to do. We currently have about 10 DIY tasks in the making, each at various stages of completion all over the house. Here is to hoping we can knock a few of these projects off our list this weekend….

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447  //  from the weekend: DIY marathon & evening strolls

pelican // smittenstudioI woke up Saturday morning with a project in mind. We have this not so pretty, blank cement patio in the far back of the yard and I wanted to make it into an outdoor living space. Until now it was just a gathering place for a zillion plants we’ve collected and construction tools etc. so we cleaned it out and spent ALL day both Saturday and Sunday building some built-in seating for the space (we only got about halfway done, pictures to come soon). We both could hardly move at the end of each day (must. start. working. out.), so we finished with a walk in the marina to loosen our aching DIY muscles. A peaceful nighttime walk by the water soothes much.

Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend! (especially to you Momma’s and Moms to be). x

Image by me via Instagram (I’m @sarahshermansamuel)