3 Star-Studded Memorial Day Recipes

If you’re planning to throw any type of backyard party this summer – which you should be! – you’ll want to have the following three recipes safely in your back pocket. They will quickly become your secret BBQ weapons of choice, guaranteed to wow anybody walking by the potluck spread. We love that these recipes will come in handy all season long – Memorial Day, birthdays, 4th of July, no problem! They’re so simple, yet sophisticated you’ll never sign up for potato salad again!


Pulled Pork & Brie Sliders (serving size 6)


– 3 cups pulled pork
– cut of your favorite brie
– 6 sesame seed slider buns
– radish slices for garnish
– arugula for garnish


Prepare pulled pork and heat in crock pot {we love this marinade!} or buy it from your local grocery store. Toast slider buns and dollop spoonful of pork onto bottom bun. Slice a thin piece of room temperature brie and add to top of pork. Garnish with arugula and radish slices. Enjoy!


Pea Shoot & Radish Salad (serving size 6)


– 1-3 radish bunches
– 1/2 cup watermelon radish
– 3 cups pea shoots
– 1 avocado
– 1/2 c – 1 c of whole English peas
– Manchego cheese for garnish
– lemon vinaigrette
– salt to taste


Lay pea shoots on serving platter. Use mandoline slicer to achieve thin radish slices. Add radishes to pea shoots as well as whole peas. Slice avocado over top with shaved Manchego cheese. Drizzle with your favorite lemon vinaigrette and sprinkle sea salt to taste!


Sparkling Star Spangled Sangria (serving size 4-6)


– 1 bottle white wine
– 1 bottle champagne
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup sliced peaches
– 1 cup cherries
– 1/4 cup Triple sec
– sugar to taste
– rosemary to garnish


Mix chilled wine, champagne and Triple sec into pitcher. Add sugar to taste {about 1/4-1/2 cup} and stir until dissolved. Top off with chopped fruit. Let chill in fridge for at least 4 hours. Serve over ice.

If you’re looking for more summer entertaining ideas, be sure to check out all our favorite outdoor entertaining ideas.

Summer fun, here we come!

produced by bianca sotelo // original photography for apartment 34 by to wander & seek // food styling by natasha kolenko // illustrated recipes by bright room studio

A Chic Twist on Memorial Day Entertaining

Did you realize that Memorial Day is this weekend?!  Yeah, we didn’t either! But we couldn’t be more excited because the holiday weekend means feel good times are right around the corner. But instead of doing the typical Memorial Day BBQ  – hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and beer – we’d like to treat our guests {and let’s be honest, ourselves!} to what we like to call BBQ’ing Chic.0. Whether you’re spending the holiday glamping in the woods or planning to let the good times roll in your own backyard, we guarantee you’ll throw the best Memorial Day party ever by adding a few twists your guests won’t forget. The best part? It’s a whole lot easier than it looks. It’s simply a matter of setting the picnic table with a little extra flair and cooking up the weekend’s traditional dishes with a touch of elevated style!


Entertaining starts with the table decor and when you’re outdoors, we say embrace it! Nature has so much to offer, there’s no need to over think it! Our favorite and probably easiest styling trick is to collect pretty river rocks or wood pieces to adorn your tabletop. Picnic tables can also be rather blah, but tablecloths are a bit formal, so a super simple sprucing-up idea is to hand paint paper placemats. On thick paper, Kim from Bright Room Studio created summer night’s sky themed placemats. We love the way the splatter effect turned out! Even simpler, make a placemat statement by painting thick stripes inspired by the American flag.


We glammed up the natural elements on our table with gold lanterns, gold silverware and with pretty all-white flowers. These touches instantly elevate a picnic. And there’s no need for fancy flower arranging – simply pick blooms straight from your bushes leaving the stems long and the greenery on for a beautiful organic look!

With a simple tablescape as our base, we really let the colors and presentation of the food do the talking. In this setting, garnishes go a long way in elevating traditional barbecue dishes. Everyone’s favorite pulled pork sliders are brought to an epic level with a little brie and arugula. A salad is a must and our radish and pea shoot salad is definitely a stunner. It’s also surprisingly just as easy to make. For sides and snacking, corn nuts and blue corn chips ease salty cravings while the season’s first cherries and sweet white corn give you that fresh summer taste! Tip: leave the husks on the corn while grilling and sprinkle with a little parsley to add flavor and sophistication to your cob.


And a barbecue wouldn’t be complete without guests getting a little boozy! Our favorite warm weather drink is a perfectly chilled sangria! Easy to make in big batches, it’s the ideal cocktail for a party and our white wine based recipe is especially refreshing. It’s packed with a sparkling punch aka sweet summer fruits and bubbly champagne! Yum.


So who’s ready for a season full of gorgeous outdoor parties?? We hope this is getting you in the summer spirit!

And be sure to check back in tomorrow. We’ll be sharing all of the recipes and how to whip up the gorgeous sangria for yourself!

produced by bianca sotelo // original photography for apartment 34 by to wander & seek // floral + food styling by natasha kolenko // placemat art by bright room studio

Monday Motivation: How to Unleash Your Artistic Side

Have you ever been shopping and seen two completely opposite pieces of clothing that you were sure would never go together, but when you tried them on it’s as if they were made for each other?? That’s kind of the inspiration for this post. Too often we’re restricted to operate within “rules” of what “works.” But it’s so important to just let loose every once in a while and let your artistic eye run wild. Because that’s how the most genius ideas to come together!

That’s why we’re loving the work our graphic design intern, Brittany, recently put together. We’re constantly inspired by her eye. She has a knack for seeing things from a totally different creative perspective and we’re kind of ob-sessed {and slightly jealous!}. Today Brittany is sharing some insight on how to get your artistic eye goin’ too!


Brittany: I’ve always been drawn to design that surprises me; design composed of unlikely elements that somehow work together. To me, creating something is about achieving a certain harmony – whether combining typefaces or mixing patterns in your wardrobe, when it comes to finding harmony between unlikely pairs it’s no different for graphic design. With some practice, you can train your eye to remove yourself from knowing things by their definition and only acknowledging them by their shape. It’s as simple as that. Yet I realize it may not be as easy as it seems!


The secret? Step away from what an object is and see it for what it could be – then you really start having fun! Why can’t a grapefruit be a perfectly good substitute for a head? Why not a pendant light as a makeshift hat? It’s similar to laying in the grass during your childhood and spotting animals in the clouds. You just have to sit back and let your imagination run a little wild!


Then you simply start experimenting. With this type of creativity there are no mistakes – only happy accidents! And remember, letting your imagination run wild doesn’t have to mean completely reinventing the wheel. That’s where people begin to feel the pressure. You just have to think about reinventing the way the ol’ wheel is interpreted and you’re bound to come up with something fun!

We couldn’t agree with Brittany more. Are you dying over her killer collages as much as we are? How cool would they look framed and hanging on a wall?!  When you give yourself the space to play, you just might be surprised by what surfaces. We hope you can carve a few minutes out of your week to do just that – we certainly will be!


collage 1: image 1 via James Tolich // 2 via Maiken Winther // 3 via Saintemaria

collage 2: image 1 via West Elm // 2 via Donald Gjoka // 3 via Esra Roise

collage 3: image 1 via Leta Sobierajski // 2 via Jason Kibbler // 3 via Mats Gustafson

collage 4: image 1 via Daikoku Design Institute // 2 via Studio Nicholson // 3 via Alex Proba

collage 5: image 1 via Society 6 // 2 via EetuElmeri Sihvonen // 3 via Gary Didsbury