Color inspiration No.3

We’re back with more wedding inspiration, especially for those of you newly engaged in 2019 and excited to think about color palettes!

If any two colors deserve to be #perfectlypaired it's pink and green. Classic and romantic, this combination is a natural choice, especially for weddings (ahem, and websites). We curated three color palettes taking this idea in a few different directions. Click on each image to see the source and be inspired by a new Instagram account!

Bold look - taking a hint from deeper jewel tones, we paired bold green and red with mossy green and soft pink.

Fresh new take - mid-century modern and Palm Springs means bright colors and bold patterns with a healthy dose of cacti.

Classic interpretation - various hues of green-teal with rosy pinks make us love this color combination even more.

You may have also noticed that color palettes are more than just color, they also capture texture, lighting and mood. If you feel like there are too many choices and your inspiration board is full of conflicting themes, here is some great advice we got and like to pass on.

Party Mixology: The Perfect Pear

Today we have our own cocktail to start off the series! We introduced this idea back in the Fall are are excited to start sharing some recipes and party ideas this year.

January 1 was also our Perfectly Paired birthday so we wanted something that felt a bit celebratory (bubbles) and had pear (duh) so we played around and came up with something we think is pretty tasty. When we were brainstorming it made sense to take ideas from each of our favorite drinks (Amanda: gin and tonic; Isabelle: French 75) and then we added our own twist.

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Pear simple syrup reduction

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 pear, sliced

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until pears are translucent. Other similar cocktails use pear juice or a lighter simple syrup, we decided to use fresh pear, but also cook it down a bit more to extract the most flavor. Once it’s done, strain and let cool completely.

Bonus: you basically end up with candied pear! Probably would be good on ice cream, but we wouldn’t know…

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The perfect pear cocktail

1/2 oz pear simple syrup reduction

1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 oz gin

Champagne or sparkling wine

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add pear simple syrup reduction, lemon juice and gin, shake 30 seconds. Strain into a flute or coupe, top with Champagne and garnish with a slice of pear.

The pear adds a really nice floral element and got us thinking about other ways to change it up - spices (cinnamon), herbs (rosemary)… we might have to revisit this one again soon.

Cheers to 2019 and all the adventures it holds! Special shout out to all the couples getting married this year and especially the ones we’ll be working with, thank you for pairing up with us :)

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Holiday special edition: Christmas baking!

Who else is excited about Christmas?! We thought we would do something a little different this week and share some of the baking projects we decided to do this year. Some are more labor intensive than others, but the best part of any baking project is that we get to hang out together. Oh and also the eating of everything.

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Something old

Ok well not old cookies, that would be gross, but an old family recipe that we make every year are Spritz cookies (read: from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook, although to be fair, it’s a family tradition to use these recipes and it’s an American classic). They are a butter cookie with a subtle almond flavor and go perfectly with a cup of tea. The best part is that you get to use a cookie gun, which is both efficient and dare we say cool?

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Something new

Every year we like to try out a recipe we haven’t made before and this year, we were captivated by this blog post: a cookie version of peppermint bark (aka “Christmas Crack” - we also have a non-seasonal version of “Crack” that maybe we’ll share in the future). Chewy chocolate cookies, peppermint, white chocolate and crushed candy canes… it satisfies a lot of cravings and was a nice new addition to our holiday spread.

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Something borrowed

Tiny gingerbread houses that sit on your mug! Also sometimes referred to as ‘mug huggers’. This is an idea we borrowed from Anthropologie (and since discovered tons of other people had the same idea, so yay for the community of people who also fell in love with them) and we enjoy that it has both baking and an element of crafting. Long story short: we made these 3 years ago based on a template from a blog, which involved hand cutting out every. single. piece. Not only was it labor intensive, we realized later we had made them a little bit too big…

So this year we vowed to try again and also called in a little help with a set of cookie cutters. This is certainly the cookie we’re the most proud of and excited to give away as gifts. We can barely handle the cuteness.

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Something blue

Try to stay with us for this one since we really like the theme we have going here: The Cranberries have a song “Electric Blue” and we have a recipe for orange cranberry bread that’s delicious that we make every year for Christmas.

Ok, we know it was a stretch, but that’s how this rhyme goes and we really love this bread! Also, cranberries are kind of the blueberry of winter. Too far? Ok we’ll stop.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of lots of delicious treats and a happy new year - we can’t wait for more exciting things in 2019!

Our Perfect Picks: Isabelle's favorite things

We are barely into December but the holiday season is definitely in full swing! A few posts back Amanda offered some of her favorite things to give as gifts, so now it’s my turn!

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I have a much harder time with the word “favorite” (just ask Amanda) but below are a few ideas to jump-start your inner elf. Some of these make great wedding gifts and others can make a good holiday gift for anyone.

-This one takes a little planning, but Amanda and I love a personal touch: whether you are gifting a new couple or a friend with a new place to live, a personalized address or signature stamp can be a one-of-a-kind way to celebrate someone. Stamps can be of just names in a nice font or they can include an address or representative symbol. Get creative! There are quite a few places online to order a custom stamp and if you live in Seattle consider shopping local here.

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- Cast iron skillets used to remind us lay-people of the frontier but their versatility, durability, and ability to hold a consistent temperature have chefs of all experience levels bringing this classic back. For a fun twist on the standard, we love mini skillets. They are the perfect size for a breakfast egg or a personal-sized dessert (giant chocolate chip cookie or miniature pie?!), plus breads, pancakes, potatoes… the list goes on.

- It’s no secret we love baking (check out our Instagram @perfectlypairedsisters) and a couple tools of the trade any baker would enjoy as a gift are a high quality set of measuring cups and spoons (bonus: this adjustable measuring cup is the baking tool you never knew you needed but will find yourself using all the time). If you know anyone interested in getting into making bread and pastries, another great tool is a bench scraper and for those avid watchers of the Great British Baking Show, one step deeper into the world of baking is a kitchen scale. You’ll want one that can provide readouts in a variety of measures.

-Give the gift of quality: time and ingredients. So many of us are so busy that cooking can easily fall down the list of priorities. For a nice way to pamper a new couple or a busy friend, think about getting them a few high quality ingredients and including a recipe card for a simple but flavorful meal. Depending on your timeline and the time of year, it’s easier to pick up things that are shelf-stable such as a high quality fresh pressed olive oil or a well aged miso paste or soy sauce. There is also a whole world of vinegars that are great for dipping, dressing a salad, and creating sauces. If you have a local farmers market you can put together a basket with honey, jam, maybe some cured meat all while supporting local businesses. Whatever high quality item(s) you choose, pick a theme and include a suggested meal plan/recipe so that on the night when your friend(s) need some inspiration, they can enjoy a good meal on you :)

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-If you, or your gift recipient(s), are not the cooking/baking types, consider a small houseplant instead. Many require minimal care and can add a touch of color all year round, plus they last longer than a bouquet. We love Swansons Nursery (featured in this post’s photos) for many of our planting needs and the staff are always so helpful!

What are your favorite go-to or one-of-a-kind gifts? Share the gift of inspiring someone else this holiday season!

Thankful for local shops we love

Happy Thanksgiving! We’re spending it together (of course) with our family and plan to eat all the things. We love watching the NYC parade in the morning and playing games after dinner. When we started to brainstorm ideas for this post we got really excited about the idea of being thankful for local businesses. We have been mentally collecting a bunch of local shops we love and really want to tell you about (especially for DIY projects) and with a growing emphasis on supporting small local businesses during the holidays, it seemed the like the perfect fit. This is a bit different from the typical gift guides you’ll see as we put our own twist on it - trying to strike a balance of offering content whether you’re in wedding (or maybe wedding shower) planning mode or not.

Ok, we can’t wait any longer! Here are local shops we love, want to support and hope you’ll take the time to visit. We can also virtually guarantee this won’t cost you more than shopping at a big retailer online (unless you decide you want all the things in the store, like we do), which is why we are loyal customers.

Baker’s paradise

Home Cake Decorating Supply Co.

This place has such a fun story, it’s an ‘About Us’ section worth clicking on. There aren’t many places like this left, but if you have a baking project in mind this is the type of shop you visit first. Always helpful, tons of ideas - so much fun stuff to dig through and then come up with a project! The prices are also great and the friendly service is even better. We will definitely be back here soon for all our holiday baking projects.

Your DIY dream store

Seattle ReCreative

Not only does this definitely fulfill our promise of saving you money, you’ll wonder why this hasn’t always existed: it’s the Value Village/Goodwill (mini-shout out because we love them too) of craft supplies. Seriously. There is such an amazing selection of all the craft things you could ever want at great prices and you’re saving things from the landfill - as Michael Scott would say, that’s a win-win-win. They also have tons of ways to get involved, learn or hang out with fellow crafters.

Get yourself party ready

Labels Consignment Clothing

This consignment shop has been around since we were little, but now it’s in a bigger, brighter location and we can’t help stopping in every time we walk by. A mix of trendy and classic styles with great prices, we have found some of our favorite pieces here. We particularly love the great selection of dresses, so consider stopping in to look before getting ready for your next party.

When you realize you need to pick up a hostess gift

Chocolati

Fair warning: the hot chocolate here is going to blow your mind, but we decided to add it to the list because it’s also the perfect local spot to grab a small gift. Of course this city is full of great chocolate shops, but we have to rep our home-neighborhood of Greenwood! Plus again, a gift for your friend, a hot chocolate stop for you.

Add a little *sparkle*

Rhinestone Rosie

This place is full of vintage jewelry, a truly unique shop where you can buy beautiful pieces and the only place that will work on vintage costume jewelry. (note from Amanda: I brought a family heirloom here to have a bracelet made a little smaller - she did an amazing job and turned the extra pieces into matching earrings!) It’s a great place to find that unique piece for a special occasion, wedding or costume.

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to your holiday season, let us know about any local businesses you love!