Archive for the ‘INSPIRATION’ Category



cooking at home resources | designlovefest

i get a lot of questions about my recent obsession with cooking. favorite books or recipes. what videos i like to watch. where i get my kitchen tools. how i keep finding new recipes and staying inspired. so i sat down and really thought about all of this and made a giant list! my new love of cooking has been absolutely incredible and i am so happy to share my journey here! lots of love, bri


i find cooking shows to be so relaxing. i find myself watching them for hours on a sunday. we have an apple tv which has actually been really nice for this new hobby. i have different apps (like kitchen stories) to watch videos and the recommended food videos on can take you down a fun path. a lot of the times if i am going to attempt to make something (let’s say mac and cheese) i will just sit and watch 4 or 5 videos from channels i like and get inspired or learn a new trick or two.

 it’s such an inspiring/addicting show! it was definitely one of the things that got me fully into cooking again.

– justin showed me this one last year (you can watch on their website but i prefer the app on apple tv) the videos are gorgeous, nice design, elevated plating, relaxing…i love them! i don’t really like the fast paced videos when i really want to learn how to cook. most of theirs are slow paced but not boring, and no annoying voices, just music! here is a few from their site to start on: , ,

– it’s been around a while, but still good to rewatch and get inspired by passionate people.

– i loved season 14 (all the episodes are on hulu)

– justin and i split the yearly pass for the masterclass so we can lay on the couch and nerd out together. it kinda feels like you are back in school and i love that. i loved watching and class (can’t wait for alice waters this spring)

– i liked the show, but i especially felt inspired by the home cooking episode from this season. david chang is pretty awesome.

– again, i like watching these on the apple tv. but there is tons you can just watch too. is a fun watch.

– one of my favorite things to do

– it’s actually been really inspiring for me to show glimpses of my cooking on . i just like giving people ideas and showing that home cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming…it can be completely therapeutic and amazing. you can see a lot of my cooking stories! (breakfast ideas is my favorite category)

cooking at home resources | designlovefest


there are so many traditions and activities to do on a weekly basis that will keep you in the kitchen or cooking with people in your life! all of these really changed my view on cooking at home…

sunday dinner/cooking for someone you love – we started a sunday dinner tradition that we try really hard to stick to when we are in town. a few couples get together, sometimes rotate houses, and choose a dinner theme. greek night! pasta! roast and potatoes! everyone makes a dish or brings the wine. it’s been such a bonding experience. i look forward to planning the menu every week. practice your entertaining skills by mastering a cheese board, lighting taper candles, making dinner party playlists, getting fresh flowers for the table…anytime you can cook for people you love, it brings joy.

farmer’s market – we love the on a sunday morning. don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn more from the vendors. stay curious! try new produce you haven’t cooked with before. just wander around and dream up new things to make.





post travel rituals | designlovefest
 image via

it doesn’t matter what type of trip i’m coming home from (road, plane, work, fun) or the length but somehow i always come back from traveling feeling disconnected from my body. i think i’m more a creature of habit than i realize and when i leave town i am not good at maintaining my structure. i’ll skip workouts, eat differently, sleep differently, forget to drink water, drink more alcohol, etc and the whole combo of things leaves me feeling like a bit of a mess. i’ve realized this pattern by now and have some post travel rituals that i usually do as soon as i get home that help me feel back to normal quickly. i’d love to hear if you experience the same thing, i know people who absolutely love to travel and don’t share this same feeling at all but i’m sure there are plenty of people who feel thrown off, even from a long weekend trip (like me!). what sorts of rituals do you have? what makes you feel connected to your body or relaxed after you travel?

for me, i want my first meal back to be healthy and for some reason i always want either pho or a baked sweet potato, i dry brush and take a bath, drink tons of water, unpack almost immediately, and go to bed early. then the next morning, i drink hot water with lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar and move my body in some way, take a brisk walk, jog or pilates. oh, and i’ll lay off drinking for a few days because time away usually means one too many glasses of wine. that combo of things generally has me feeling back to normal in no time. i didn’t actual realize how intense i was about my post travel rituals until my husband pointed it out, he calls it the “joanie detox” which it basically is but i don’t like not feeling like myself so the rituals are important to me and my sanity! i’d love to hear your pre or post travel rituals that keep you feeling like you! – joanie



i’m coming up on the end of my three month no shopping commitment (more on the experience later) and i’m definitely starting to feeling the shopping itch. it really wasn’t that hard but that’s mostly because i avoided online browsing (email blasts about new arrivals and sales are my downfall!) and also didn’t go to any malls. i had to shop one day for a shoot and it was way harder to not buy anything when it was right in front of me. it’s also the fact that spring collections have launched and there are so many pretty colors popping up and that’s hard to resist (case in point is that above which i didn’t even want to tell you about because what if it sells out before my three months are up?!). so instead of buying anything i just created a list of nine items i’d buy if i was shopping! – joanie

 $158 – i saw these yesterday in person and was immediately drawn to the mustard yellow color and the classic mule shape with a feminine touch. i find jeffery campbell shoes to be very comfortable as well.

 $245  – i think we all have a soft spot for anything Clare V and the fun and whimsical details she adds to her bags. I love the beading detail on this pretty black and white piece.

  $83 – if you don’t own a duster, it’s about time you do. they are the perfect thing to travel in, they’re so cozy and it’s basically like wearing a bathrobe in public, a very chic bathrobe. , this one is the perfect grey/purple color.

$50 – i know i’ve been on a serious H&M kick but they really are doing such a good job. i love this blouse so much and think it’s the perfect spring piece.

 $388 – my sister has a version of these shoes and i just saw her wearing them last weekend and was reminded what a great shape they are. so flattering and would pair well with basically anything.

 $40 – a wrap dress is the perfect thing to bring you into spring, paired with a denim jacket and sneakers or dressed up for an evening out with a strappy sandal.

 $50 – buy these shoes right now, maybe in both colors because they will be a shoe that you will wear all the time, trust me.

  – there is nothing new about gingham for spring but i’m still so drawn to it, especially in black and white which feels particularly chic. and i really liked J.Crew swimwear.

 $100 – somehow getting a new pair of running shoes makes me more excited to work out and i love the nude with purple on these ones.




has a reputation for being only for the younger crew but i think that’s something that should be reconsidered. one of my favorite things to do is to take a brand that people are generally blinded too, and dig through and make them reconsider. i don’t think shopping in their store is the best way to go about it but, i do think that a little online browsing will turn up more than a few things that you’d like to add to your wardrobe. i’m not denying that they have many trendy items (and wayyy too many crop tops!)  but they also have some well priced fun pieces that would be nice to add to your wardrobe. i picked out nine items, pieces that are very wearable, easy to pull on, easy to pair with things or stand alone and items that just get the job done when you don’t want to fuss. nothing too funky or too boring, these pieces hit at just the right spot.

• starting with the which bri owns and i want to own. they have stretch in them which makes them very comfortable but they still keep that killer 60’s retro look. cute paired with kitten heels like they show or with sneakers! and, they’re only $40!

really into the 80’s feeling this  is giving to me. it doesn’t get more classic than this piece for summer, i love it with a tee shirt tucked in or worn with a bikini top. the buttons are a great detail and the slit is high but not too high. $69

a pretty in the of the moment color, purple! i do not agree with their choice to pair this dress with black ankle boots (what were they thinking!?) but i think this is such a simple and pretty dress for summer and the wrap waist is very flattering. it would also be cute with a white t-shirt under it. $69

i know it might be a little early to talk about a beach dress but spring break is right around the corner and i love this . blue and white is such a classic summer combo and this dress looks so light and easy to wear. $49

another pair of , this one with a straight leg and in a stripe that makes you want to be on the beach in italy. pants can take a back seat in the warmer months but this pair has stretch and looks so chic with a simple white tank that i think your summer wardrobe will appreciate the addition. $39

i guess i’m having a pant moment? these in cotton are so cool. again, not into them with black boots but they’d be so chic with the right footwear. a pair of slides, a woven sandal, something streamlined. $59

the price point on is much higher than most OU pieces but i think it deserves to be highlighted. it such a pretty feminine cut in that beautiful dusty yellow and i love the muted floral print it has. it also looks very flattering with a waist that’s not too high but sits above the belly button. $170

i call these socially acceptable pajama pants and i’m very into them. cut with a relaxed fit, in rayon which is really light weight and with a nice crop look so comfortable and have a cool ease to them. $59

in a a pretty cream with a dolman sleeve is the perfect thing to throw on over your sweats or with a more tailored look like shown above. i love the finished edges and that there aren’t any buttons or closures. $39



Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest

it would be rare to be a foodie in los angeles and have not heard of Nancy Silverton. she is the hero of bread and the owner of (among other restaurants) which makes some of the best pizza in town (and also has a mozzarella bar!). if you ever go you have to order her focaccia, it’s truly unbelievable. one of her other famed dishes is the chopped salad, which i’ve never had in person but have heard wonderful things about. i’m not typically a salad ordering person when i go to a restaurant but i do like to make them at home and both bri and my aunt had just made her recipe so we thought it was time to give it a test run for the blog. some of the chopping can get tedious but the homemade dressing is really easy to whip together and the end result is worth the chopping pain. it is definitely a main dish salad. we served ours with fresh bread and i’d recommend that combo. – joanie

Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest
Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest

what you’ll need:
for the salad –
we took this straight from the that published her recipe back in 2011. 

•  1/2 small red onion cut in half from top to bottom
• 1 head iceberg lettuce
• 1 head radicchio
• 1 small pint of cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
• kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups chickpeas drained and rinsed
• 1/4 pound aged provolone, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
• 1/4 pound Genoa salami, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
• 5 pepperoncini (stems discarded), cut into thin slices (about 1/4 cup)
• 1/2 lemon juiced
• dried oregano as garnish

for the dressing:
• 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons dried oregano
• 1/2 lemon juiced
• 2 garlic cloves smashed
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

• for the dressing whisk together the vinegar, oregano, lemon juice, smashed garlic (we used a pestle and mortar) , salt and pepper in a medium bowl. let the mixture rest for 5 minutes (to marinate the oregano). add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to form an emulsified vinaigrette. taste for seasoning. the yield is a generous 1 1/2 cups; you’ll use up to 1/2 cup for this salad, and the remainder can be refrigerated for another use (up to 3 days).

Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest
Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest

• for the salad cut the onion in half and use a mandolin to thinly slice.

• cut the iceberg lettuce in half through the core. remove and discard the outer leaves, and discard the core. separate the lettuce leaves, stack two or three leaves on top of one another, then cut them lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. repeat with the remaining leaves; thinly slice the radicchio in the same way. cut the tomatoes into quarters, season them with salt to taste, and toss gently.

Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest
Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest

• combine the lettuce, radicchio, tomatoes, chickpeas, provolone, salami, peperoncini and onion in a large, wide bowl. season with salt to taste, and toss to thoroughly combine. drizzle 6 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad, then sprinkle with the lemon juice; toss gently to coat the salad evenly. taste, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, salt and/or lemon juice as needed.

• Transfer the salad to a large platter or divide it among individual plates. sprinkle the dried oregano leaves on top and serve. i love serving salads on a salad board the one i have (pictured below)  is no longer available but is!

Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest
Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest
Nancy's chopped salad | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis
recipe adapted from: “,” by Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreno
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