Monday, August 31, 2009

Twitter and the Blog Connection

Twitter is a place that I get away to. It completely annoys my husband and my kids although my husband always sneaks onto Twitter to see what the pro cyclists are up to. I've caught him. Back to what I do on Twitter. I chat with friends on twitter. I network. I eat up time, but most of all, I meet new people; local people. Interesting people. And some of those people I have met in person. Some I have yet to meet. Last week, for example, @TwentyFour had a giveaway on her blog, Twenty Four at Heart. So I signed up. So did other people from around the world, she said. But a randomly I won. See above. Anne Taintor coasters and cocktail umbrellas which arrived today. Thanks Suzanne! She's a local OC person I've been wanting to meet. I could have met her recently but she was taking her son off to college. So this is karma that we must meet and share cocktails on me, apparently~

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Arroz con Pollo in the Cazuela

Finally buying a covered cazuela (a terra cotta casserole pot) has been my dream come true. Well not really but I've been wanting one for a long, long time. My mother in law had a huge cazuela that I one day hoped to own, until it cracked when she was cooking with it. We were all devastated. She had to resort to a Mexican, some kind of metal one. Last night I made Arroz con Pollo modified from this recipe in it. I always modify. I don't love peppers, or green peppers, thought I had bacon and didn't, wanted to use my new bittersweet paprika I got at La Espanola, so did and added some El Pato for spice. Plus my husband can't eat cumin, so eliminated that. It was a hit. I told my hubby not to compare it to his moms or any one elses for that matter, just tell me if he liked it or didn't. He absolutely did. Phew!

Back to the Cazuela that I got. It was purchased at my new favorite store La Espanola Meats in Harbor City where they make their own Spanish chorizo, jamon serrano, and much more as well as import many Spanish products. It's a gem!

Here's the market area where they sell wine, sweets, crackers, olives, olive oil, nuts, spices and so much more
The meat counter with their products packaged.
The dairy case with imported Spanish cheeses filled to the brim. The Jamon Serrano is hanging. I saw one that was $100. So that's pretty inexpensive I'm told. Jamon in Spain can be $1000 for a whole one or more.

I'm so excited with my cazuela. There are a few things that are important about them. Before you use one, you must immerse it in water for 6 hours so that when you use it for the first time, it doesn't crack. If you live in a dry area, soak it periodically. Also, you can use it on the stovetop, in the microwave and in the oven but don't use it on the stovetop any higher than med-high or it will crack and elevate your temp slowly.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

OC Blogger Awards

Many of you wondered what I meant when I posted on my facebook that I was going to step way out of my comfort zone last night. Well this is what I meant. In my whole adult life, I don't recall being nominated for an award, much less showing up at an event to see if I won. But that really wasn't the intention. I was nominated for an OC Blog award and thanks for many of you for voting for me. I really didn't think I would win. And I didn't. But more about that later. I really wanted to go to this event to meet other bloggers in Orange County and "network". I thought it would be a great opportunity to get away from the tv for an evening and see what lurks outside my driveway. I'm really glad I went. So with the support of my friend Kristin (we carpooled and she knew a lot of these people) we showed up at Wowzville.
It was an awards ceremony for the 2010 generation put on by's Kelly and Colleen. Above is Kelly. The evening was simply set up to meet other bloggers, enjoy some Dippin'Dots and other sweet treats and the winners were Twittered so people just checked their phones at a certain time. I loved that. Low key, not a sit down ceremony. No nerves. Not embarrassing.
This is Dana. She won in the Most "Creative" Blog Category (the one I was nominated in) She is a super talented sewer and has quite a following. Check out her blog, Dana-Made-It.
Had to throw in a little Orange Crush for the OC! There were lots of interesting sodas to drink also.
They had a photo booth. I had to try it~

My friend Kristin Ausk of Meringue Bake Shop and Suz Broughton who I've been looking forward to meeting. She's an amazing photographer and I hope to be like her one day. ;-)

I met so many really great people. I look forward to more meetups in the future. It was great to get beyond the recliner and out of the driveway, even though I did miss the premiere of Top Chef. Thank goodness for my dvr.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bursting with Big News to Share

First I want to thank all of my friends and followers that voted for me in the OC blog contest. We will be finding out the winners in an awards ceremony on Wed, Aug 19. I'll keep you posted.
Now for my big news:

A couple of months ago I got the huge honor to be one of the product writers for Rare Bird Finds, a popular, fun, and unique, product blog. However, the blog took a little summer break and today, it is relaunched with new content, many new writers, and lots of new ideas of how to make it even more exciting.

So finally I get to let the "cat out of the bag" and let you know my new gig. I will be looking for very unique and fun kitchen accessories as well as home accessories that fits Rare Bird Finds product appeal. I know, very different for what you'd expect from me, but believe me, I know kitchen and home products very well and this is exciting to not have to look at jewelry again and again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Little Bit of Italy

clockwise-chocolate-amaretti torte with amaretto cream, pistachio gelato, italian cannoli's
Last night I was taken to Italy with a whole group of new friends. My friend Mei-Lynn formed a cooking, or rather an eating group that each time we meet, we make something from a different country and have a meal together. I had never met any of the other 8 people there so it was really fun to meet new friends too. Some of the dishes were typical dishes like a pesto linguine, but it had a real homemade freshness of basil and intense pine nuttiness that you don't get from the jar so that was refreshing. I was in love with an eggplant caponata appetizer. It was savory and sweet and I could have eaten it all day. I'm still waiting for the recipe because we did exchange recipes. Some people didn't bring them but we'll get them online. Above was a delicious home made pistachio gelato. Here's the recipe. I'm gonna have to break out my ice cream make for this one because it was soooo worth it!
The first party was graciously hosted at Mei-Lynn's home by the sweets herself. She made the Italian Cannoli's (above) and had me in tears; they were so good! Bobby Flay bring it on!!!
I don't have the recipe for that one yet either, but when I get it, I'll post it.
I made the chocolate-amaretti tortes and they were a hit, I have to admit. Thank goodness! Phew. I got the recipe from Bon Appetit and found it on Epicurious too. I read reviews there and ever one of them said it was an easy recipe and it turned out perfect every time. So that was the one for me. I suggest you try it as well!

So in two months we meet again for a Moroccan feast. I wonder what will become of that one. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

If You Read This, Contact Me

This is not a typical post for me. This is the only way I know how I can reach out to a high school friend that I hope reads my blog. She all of a sudden deleted her Facebook profile and her blog this past week and went awol. I am concerned, her friends are concerned. We noticed. We care. Please contact one of us and let us know you are ok. Please. my email address is bonnindesigns (at)yahoo(dot)com ~Be well.

Friday, August 07, 2009

When Designs Come to Life

How great is it to have wonderful clients/friends that wear my flowers and show me how the flowers worked with their clothing for their particular event. Above is Kristin who had a heck of a time trying to find the right jewelry for her dress but it all looks fantastic with that flower for a big dinner event!
In Jen's case, she didn't have a choice, I was at her wedding! I pulled her aside at the reception and took the above picture. Isn't she just gorgeous?
The wedding was in San Francisco and I admit, it was a bit windy and I didn't expect the ostrich feathers to curl like that but it makes it look kinda fun. They really did their own thing. This photo was taken by a friend of hers.
This is Jen's sister, Laura who was the Maid of Honor. She wore a yellow Feather Flower barrette I designed with peacock feathers sticking out. Pretty fun with that gorgeous hair, huh?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

OC Blogger Award Nominee

As I go about my day I certainly don't expect stuff like this to happen. I was nominated for the 2009 Orange County Blog Awards in the area of Most "Creative" Blog. That's not to mean my blog is very creative in itself but the content is crafty and creative. Just right up my alley I suppose. Someone knows me well. I'm pretty excited but my competition is also very creative.

I must ask you for your votes. So please head over to Just Spotted and vote for Bonnin Designs. It's in the top left column. And while you're over there, please check out my friend, Kristin's blog, Meringue Bake Shop and vote for her! Thanks friends. Voting closes Aug. 13.

Monday, August 03, 2009

For the Bride or the Bridesmaids - In Red

I recently sold a red silk flower hair piece and found out it was for the bride so I thought I'd feature red handmade accessories for the bride or the bridesmaids.

Above is my favorite custom bridal bag designer, Becky OH! She has an amazing handbag shop as well and at the bottom of her web shop is a link to her bridal shop where you can order custom bridal bags. I've personally been involved in ordering 2 bags and know that she was speedy fast, has great customer service and you will absolutely fall in love with your one of a kind bag!

This adorable fire opal red faceted CZ heart necklace on a beautiful Italian chain is by South Paw Studios. There are many pieces in her shop that would be just perfect for the big day! I just "met" South Paw Studios as we are both members of the Etsy Twitter Team!

I have to mention my red Feathered Flower hair barrette because when I commented on Becky's bags the other day, she said how great they would pair up and that's how this blog post came to be. This Feathered flower hair barrette is a custom piece so if you are interested in something like it, please let me know through my Etsy shop , however I do have some pieces available for purchase now already made.