angel food cake | designlovefest

i have to start by saying that Ivan had never had angel food cake!! i couldn’t believe it. i hadn’t had it for years before last week and had never made it from scratch. i forgot how wonderful it is; light, fluffy, subtle almond and vanilla flavor wrapped in a thick layer of whipped cream. it’s strawberry season here in California again (YAY!) and this cake felt like the perfect way to celebrate. i included a picture of how we cooled the cake below because i remember watching my mom doing this when i was a kid and being utterly confused why the cake pan was resting upside down on a soy sauce bottle (also, the fact that this cake has to completely cool before taking it out of the pan is torture), but it’s an important step, don’t skip it! – joanie

angel food cake | designlovefest

Angel Food Cake
recipe adapted from allrecipes. com 

• 12 egg whites at room temperature
• 1 1/4 cup cake flour
• 1 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1/4 salt
• 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon almond extract

angel food cake | designlovefest
angel food cake | designlovefest

now, i’m going to be honest and say that i overworked the egg whites this time around, you want to whip them and then immediately, gently fold in the dry ingredients. this cake is delicate so treat it with care!

• start by sifting together your flour, sugar and salt, do this five times and set aside.

• beat your room temp egg whites until stiff peaks form, then add cream of tartar and the vanilla + almond extract. gently fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients and pour into an un-greased tube pan (make sure the inside of your pan is really clean and really dry!).

• place pan in a cold oven and turn oven to 325 degrees, cook for about 1 hour, ours needed 55 minutes. until cake is golden and bounces back when you push on the top.

• place the pan upside down on a bottle (as shown above) until it is completely cool. once cooled, use a knife and run it along all the edges to loosen, turn the pan upside down on a plate and hit the bottom until the cake falls out.

angel food cake | designlovefest
angel food cake | designlovefest
angel food cake | designlovefest

we topped ours with whipped cream (to make – just beat whipping cream, a splash of vanilla and a bit of white sugar until soft peaks form!) and sliced strawberries but it would also be great served with ice cream!

angel food cake | designlovefest
angel food cake | designlovefest
angel food cake | designlovefest

happy strawberry season!

angel food cake | designlovefest
angel food cake | designlovefest

photos by:
styling by:



hotel tonight | designlovefest

i recently stayed at in san franscisco, designed by kelly wearstler. i was extremely impressed and inspired by her design choices. i booked the hotel through one of my favorite apps, . i really like using their app and was thrilled when they asked if i wanted to work together as i use them all the time (did you know you can now book up to 100 days in advance!) i love staying at unique, design focused hotels when i travel to get inspiration for either a project i’m working on for the blog or something at home. i’ve been working on finishing up the interior at my house and so i’m always checking things out when i go someplace new. the app is also great for last minute trips, when justin and i were in europe we randomly decided we wanted to go to Amsterdam and i booked (which is a really cool spot!) on and we flew there the next day, such a fun spontaneous trip!

hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest

i love how there were so many mixed patterns and textures everywhere. i actually felt excited by all of the unexpected details throughout the space. the perfect velvet couches, retro vintage rugs, art deco style furniture, amazing art curation, unique lighting…it was really inspiring! and don’t forget to check out the rooftop bar for even more design ideas. this space has definitely encouraged me to take more risks with colors and patterns in my own home, and proven again that kelly wearstler is SO talented.

hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest

i took some notes in my head on some design elements that inspired me during my stay…

hotel tonight | designlovefest

inspired by all the fun design elements at the proper, i came back and added a velvet chair with an animal print throw here in my living room. i love how cozy and laid back it makes the space feel now and has an unexpected touch. i’ve been with a designer,  on finishing the living room and she’s doing a great job making the room feel feminine and masculine, unique, and most of all it has personality! (more on those room resources soon!) i’ve been slowly designing each room with more thought over the past few years. next up is my bedroom…

hotel tonight | designlovefest

my bedroom has been a place where i’ve played it very safe. mostly out of laziness, time, and the fact that it’s totally fine the way it is. bright, airy, easy. but i would love to add more visual interest to the bedroom and have the decor be a little more intentional and sophisticated. i think it would be really cool to add a patterned couch or chair to the window and create a separate space there. i would love to add some fun pillows or a quilt on the bed that made a statement. maybe instead of a chair or couch it would be cool to have a desk area by the window like this?

hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest

although i love these too…

hotel tonight | designlovefest
hotel tonight | designlovefest

i really admire how kelly seamlessly integrates many different periods of furniture into her rooms. it’s always the perfect mixture. i will be keeping that in mind as i work on my bedroom.

i always love when traveling brings new inspiration, and this definitely did that for me this time. it’s fun to do a solo trip from time to time too, i booked this with really no agenda and no travel companion and it ended up being a really inspiring time at a beautiful property. highly recommend and !



i love playing around with shapes in my house, and pillows are such a simple way to switch things up. a big part of decorating with throw pillows is adding dimension to the sofa with varied pillows. usually i switch between large squares and small squares, but lately i’m loving round pillows. there are so many other funky shapes: rectangles, knot pillows, and even triangles to play with. lots of options to choose from below! what is your favorite pillow shape?

shop them





summer is in the air and we’re refreshing our desktops to bring out those summer vibes. here are some of our favorite summer wallpapers so you can update your background. here’s to bringing a little sunshine to your day!

1. download HERE

2. download HERE

3. download HERE

4. download HERE

5. download HERE

6. download HERE

7. download HERE

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9. download HERE


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15. download HERE



last summer i went on a serious pizza kick, making it at home with dough from trader joe’s and all sorts of produce from the farmers market. i was making it on a baking sheet for the longest time because we have a pizza stone but it won’t fit in my oven from the 1950’s. and then i realized i should be making it in our ! it’s the perfect size and i pre-heat it in the oven before putting the dough inside so the bottom actually gets crispy which is one of my biggest complaints about homemade pizza, i hate a doughy crust! a cast iron pan is a total must have in a kitchen, really inexpensive and if you maintain it well it will last you a lifetime! one of my favorite ways to make a pizza is to make the base a super simple cheese pizza and then throw together a big salad and serve it directly on top with a little olive oil and lemon! it’s seriously delicious and a pretty balanced meal if you ask me. – joanie 

what you’ll need:

• 1 package of pre made pizza dough room temperature (from Trader Joes)
• olive oil
• 1/2 red onion diced
• 4 – 6 cups arugula
• 1 avocado diced
• 1/2 lemon juiced
• parmesan cheese
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (more or less based on your desired cheesiness!)
• 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
• 1 shallot thinly slice
• salt and pepper to taste

• preheat oven to 425 degrees. place cast iron in oven to heat up for at least 20 minutes.

• fry the shallots: put about 1 inch of oil on medium heat in a pan. once hot, add the thinly sliced shallots and fry till browned. remove and set aside on paper towels.

• remove cast iron from the oven and brush with olive oil. carefully stretch the pizza dough into a circle and place into the cast iron, covering the bottom. brush dough with olive oil, spread a layer of mozzarella cheese and garlic slices on top of the dough and bake the pizza for 15 minutes. you want your cheese to be golden brown!

• in a large bowl place the arugula. add the red onion, avocado, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper

• once the cast iron is out of the oven place the arugula salad over the pizza and garnish with shaved parmesan and the fried shallots. cut into slices and serve while hot. enjoy!

do you have any fave cast iron recipes?!

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis

see more recipes HERE

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