A Star-Spangled Third

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Tristan and I had a few friends over on July 3. It was 4th of July-themed, but on a less chaotic night (i.e. less parties to compete with). None of my friends had to work on the 4th, so it was a great night to relax and enjoy some BBQ and bevvies! I talked about my Orondo Ruby Sangria recipe here, and I still have to share the super special strawberry BBQ recipe we made. This post is focused on the party itself, and of course, the decor (is there a difference?).

4th of July Eve Party

I’d done some Pinterest perusing, and gathered some 4th of July decor inspiration, then promptly ran out of time to do anything I’d planned. BUT, our friend the Star also appears during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, allowing for easy re-purposing of existing decor when in a bind.

In this picture, we see how I painted some letters and glued them onto some ribbon I already had, and draped them across a glittery star I’ve had on my front door SINCE CHRISTMAS. I would not kid about this.

Torie and Tristan July 3 party

I also was able to re-use the festive stars I had hanging during our New Year’s Eve soiree. And I really wanted to do this centerpiece, but went to three different places looking for blue bottles (no luck), and my amazing husband brought me home flowers that weren’t red (but stunning nonetheless, and still alive, almost two weeks later!). I took these as clear signs that my centerpiece wasn’t meant to be. Here’s what I came up with instead:

Torie and Tristan July 3 party

Lantern, cookies, Orondo Ruby cherries, pit bowls and firecrackers (again, left over from New Year’s Eve!).

Here’s the BBQ station (AKA Tristan’s Turf) before it was overrun with amazing food and condiments.

Torie and Tristan 4th of July cocktail party

Yay for market lights!

Torie and Tristan 4th of July cocktail party

We inherited this flag from some family members (don’t worry – it wasn’t folded into a triangle in wooden case or anything), and it was such a fun, vintage touch!

Torie and Tristan 4th of July cocktail party

Let’s zoom in on those snacks!

Yummy treats

Our little apartment reached capacity at 13 people, inside and out. Here are some brave souls who were willing to appear on our blog.

July 3 party pic 2 July 3 party pic 1

Up next, the recipe for THE best burger I’ve ever had. Tristan and I have been eating the leftovers for two weeks and could continue through winter. It’s THAT good.





Last Minute Easter Ideas

Tristan and I are headed out to Portland for Easter weekend, so we won’t be around to be tempted to throw together any last minute projects or recipes (thank God!). But we’re getting to be an age where many of our friends own grown-up houses and are beginning to host family get-togethers – can you imagine!? If you happen to be one of these individuals, or just want a festive home (er, apartment) as I did, here are some charming ideas I’ve come across in the last week or two.

Even MORE Easter Ideas via Torie and Tristan

Crinkle-y paper fun


Via Better Homes and Garden

Nest 2

Via Better Homes and Garden

Some charming wall art…

Bunny Butt

Via Decor for the Holidays

And, to add a little hop to your step, the Easter Carrot Mimosa:

Carrot Mimosa

Via Glitter Guide

If you’re looking for some other ideas, check out the 5 Easter Decor Trends post, which inspired my Easter Vignette. Gosh, what will I look forward to decorating for after Easter… Fourth of July?



Thursday Whatevs

Every blogger seems to post favorite links on Fridays. As I am an original, I will post some of my favorite links on Thursday night. Let’s not discuss the fact that posting a round-up of favorite links is, in itself, unoriginal.


Love that patio? Check out the full tour of Jessica Simpson’s Hidden Valley Home. Gasps all around.

Here’s a Before/After Home Tour – love the before, love the after!

Have you heard about the oil pulling trend? I’ve been doing it for a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted :).

It’s almost bikini season, so I need to up my workout from once a week to really anything more frequent than that.  I think these rad leggings could be just the motivator.

… And speaking of pants, these pants are AMAZING!

And finally, something all of us can get behind: how to get free food all year long.

Happy almost Friday :).




Torie & Tristan, Out & About

It’s been a busy last few weeks. Here’s a mini photo journal.

A friend invited us over for Moscow mules at her “carriage house.” I didn’t know what a carriage house was, either. But now, I’m obsessed – it’s basically a mini party house that lives in the backyard:


Upon quick research, they appear to be universally charming. And this particular carriage house is shabby chic fabulous. The lights on the wall spell out BE NICE. And look at these Moscow Mules all lined up, begging me to take a picture (and drink one):

TandT Out and About (13)

Now that Tristan is advocating for local, organic food, I initiated him into the granola world that is the Ballard Farmer’s Market. If you’ve seen my recipes lately, you’ll know I’m already a fan.


We made the mistake of going at lunchtime and so naturally, everything looked and smelled delicious. We made a pit stop at the Market Minis stand for some powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar fresh mini donuts.

Image Image


Then we opted for fresh tamales and veggies:



And look at this!

TandT Out and About (2)

Later, using some of our veggie purchases, I created one of my first-ever “I think these ingredients should all taste good together” recipes: roasted red pepper, sauteed mushrooms, chicken, chestnut fettuccine, cucumber, basil, garlic…


And, yay!


Another night, when Tristan was in charge of dinner, he continued to confirm that he is a WAY better photographer than I am. I received this picture message on my phone:


He just has an eye for photography which I try to fake. And I even have a better camera phone. Oh well, that’s why we’re a team! And the dinner was yummy, too :).

We also tried out two raw “healthy” cookie dough ball recipes – chocolate chip and peanut butter butterscotch. LOVED them both, and they lasted us all week and completely satisfied our sweet tooth (teeth?) while being a great protein boost.



This weekend, we are having my aunt and uncle over for fondue (our fave) and I will be able to finally debut my Easter tablescape and new gold flatware. Pictures to come next week!





March 8, 2014

It’s finally starting to feel a bit like spring in Seattle. Which doesn’t mean much; maybe just less frost in the morning. Occasionally the smell of grass wafts by. It does mean that there’s a new occassion for which to decorate – Easter!

I am slowly adding new holidays to my decorating stash each year. Halloween/Thanksgiving was an easy first, since all of my belongings were black, white and rust anyway. Christmas came next (chronologically) and I forced myself into a metallic color scheme so that I wouldn’t be tempted by all ornaments ever. Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day were added in 2013. This year, I’m exploring Easter and potentially 4th of July. St. Patty’s Day is more of a 2015 project, I think. Any holidays I’m missing?

Anyway. Here are the ideas I’m looking at to inspire my Easter decor this year:

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 1- Burlap

Easter is about the only occasion where I will permit myself to use this material, likely because burlap is actually used in springtime activities such as gardening.

Clockwise from top, L-R: Shabby Chic Easter Bunny; Rustic Burlap Easter Bunny Sign (cute dollar store DIY here!); Bunny Burlap Runner; Easter Carrot Glittered Burlap Banner

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 2 - Hanging Eggs

A fun alternative to a bunting sign – embrace it! Top: Top Dreamer Bottom: DIY Showoff

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 3 - White Ceramic Bunnies and Moss

White ceramic bunnies JUST got added to my thrift store hunt list. How chic next to greenery, and for those of us who love bold contrast? Of course, these could also be quite subtle against a white backdrop. And, you can even spraypaint them brown and they look like chocolate bunnies!

Top: Setting for Four Middle: Martha Stewart Bottom: Martha Stewart

Torie and Tristan - 4 Spring Decor Trends - TREND 4- Candlesticks and ClochesI have built quite a collection of apothocary jars, candlesticks, cloches, and glass platters from – I know, broken record – thrift stores. For $10 at Michael’s, you can buy kraft eggs and “nesting branches” (? I just made that name up) and create a beautiful Easter-themed vignette. I know this because I just bought these two items at Michael’s today and it was $10.

Clockwise L-R: Easter Eggshell Votives; Glittered Egg Candlesticks; Apothocary Eggs; Speckled and Guilded Easter Eggs; Apothocary Eggs 2; Purple Easter Scape


I am feeling excited for my Easter/spring decor this year! Are there any other trends you’ve noticed that I’ve missed? I will probably incorporate garden creatures such as bunnies and birds so that I can keep the decorations up throughout spring, but will incorporate phrases such as “He is Risen” and perhaps some crosses for Easter itself. I’ll be sure to share my results with you!



<3 <3 <3

Valentines Day Treats - torieandtristan


The longer you follow this blog, you’ll note that topiaries and wreaths are the only decorations in my wheelhouse. I am a one-trick pony! Wait, and candles.

My favorite topiaries and wreaths are made of boxwood, and after I made the initial investment, no holiday is except from their presence. I was inspired by this Etsy wreath. Hobby Lobby is likely the cheapest place to purchase boxwood wreaths and topiaries, but definitely check online retailers such as Amazon in case there’s a door-buster deal. I also stumbled upon this garland from Paper Source which is cute sans-wreath as well.

Playing off of the XOXO theme, I love this project from Amy Sue I Love You – simple and easy to display.


Call me a scrooge, but I just don’t have the motivation to make Valentine’s Day cards for my friends and loved ones. I expect this motivation to come back when I have kids, and need to compete with other moms for Best Valentine in the Class. When the time comes,  I’m sure the cards will be one of these 12 Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids.


I found the Dating Divas website a while back, and though the sappiness factor makes me puke a little bit in my mouth sometimes, they do have some really cute ideas. Also, I found the website because I realized I needed to work harder at my marriage, and I respect the fact that these ladies are actively working at it.

I love their date night idea with the theme Love’s Laboratory, which includes a few simple G-rated science experiments and printables for added charm. Add vanilla vodka to this recipe; call it Love Potion No. 9.

Not G-Rated: February Love Calendar << If Tristan or I call you mom, do your self a favor and SKIP THIS ONE.


I have spent far more of my Valentine’s Days as a single adult versus in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean I was alone on Valentine’s Day! I always went out with a girlfriend or had a dinner party. My cousin just threw a Cocktails & Conversations party for ladies only – how cute would that be on Valentine’s Day?

One fun activity could be a lipstick or lipgloss exchange – each gal brings her favorite drugstore lipstick or lipgloss (wrapped and unused, of course) and each gal leaves with a new one. Take a group pictures at the end with each lady sporting her new shade. You could also buy some cheapie canvases (one for each guest) and have each gal kiss the canvases. For a fresh take on this trend, outline the lips in black a la Andy Warhol.

Lipstick image from Stephanie Louise.


Oh Em Gee, I’m obsessed with Macarons. Totes the new cupcake. How darling are these ones, which come embossed with a Sweetheart-eque phrase?

Tristan loves his popcorn. I love making everything more complicated. The perfect marriage: Valentine’s White Chocolate Popcorn.


I hope you’ve loved these ideas! Let me know what you think and of any other good ideas I need to know about! 🙂



Seahawks Chic

This might be the ex-cheeleader in me, but I’ve always loved planning and wearing spirited outfits. I think it’s the challenge and creativity involved in being color-constrained. I loved gearing up for Husky football with a new headband and socks this year, and while I didn’t purchase any new Seahawks gear for tomorrow’s Superbowl game (we invested in jerseys this season), I can sure plan ahead to next year! Here are the best new/cute/fun items I’ve seen that I would love to add to my spirit gear stash:

TorieandTristan SeahawksChic

Seahawks Superbowl Outfit - TorieandTristan.com


1 – This beanie has just the sporty yet chic look I love. Plus, when worn with a black leather jacket, black pants and gold accessories, it could totally translate outside of football.

2 & 3 – These nail decals and nail polish colors are the diamond in the rough of all Seahawks manicures I saw. As I mildly freak out about later in this post, the Seahawks logo is very intricate and peopleshouldnotpaintitiftheyaren’tabsolutelyamazingbecauseitwillsuck! GAH!

4 – His and hers sweatshirts that say “12th man” in French… très  Seahawks chic! More info here.

Two notes on Seahawks shoes. I saw so many Seahawks-y heels. I would like to know – who actually wears high heels to the games?! I wouldn’t even wear them to a bar to watch the game. But they are cute! I’m more interested in tennis shoes, though. Which brings me to my next point. I have seen several hand-painted Seahawks tennis shoes on Etsy for eleventy million dollars, and I’m struggling. The hawks logo is very intricate, so perhaps a simple NFL logo such as the Chicago Bears would’ve been fine… but I found some serious proportion/line issues with all of the Seahawks ones I saw. Yes, I’m probably overly passionate about this.

5 – Some shoes on Etsy aren’t hand-painted. These are pricey but I know the logo is official, and who doesn’t love Cons!? Obviously simple navy blue Cons with lime green laces would be darling as well and one-fifth the price. Maybe even these cute laces from American Apparel!?

6 – LOVE THESE PANTS which mimic our football player’s uniform. What girl wouldn’t want to lounge around in relevant leggings on the weekend? And best yet, these are for sale on Facebook.

7 – These are my coworker’s feet yesterday. Sheer brilliance to wear neon yellow/green shoes and make them Seahawks-y by adding blue leopard laces. Similar shoes available here, which I in fact own myself. Too bad I couldn’t find navy laces in time!

8 – Another non hand-painted Seahawks shoe. Pricey but fun.


At this point in time I feel it would also be appropriate to mention something related to a Seahawks viewing party, this being a lifestyle blog and all…

I have had this Pin stored away for quite some time now for a future game watching party. I will preface it with this: In my mind, this darling display is the single remaining acceptable use of mason jars that I know of. Click on the link below the photo for more fun ideas and printables.



From Flamingo Toes.