Heath Ceramics

September 30, 2013

hip hip hooray! i am a long time fan of heath ceramics so when they invited me to be apart of their heath 10 campaign to celebrate the past 10 years of heath i couldn't have been more excited. i've adored all of their products and love their shop, so i am happy to be one of the 10 contributors sharing my inspirations from the last 10 years on their pinterest page. you can read a little interview on the heath blog and follow my pins. a very special thank you to the heath team for having me!

Petals and Pops | Seal Beach, California

September 26, 2013

Petals and Pops / blog.jchongstudio.com
Petals and Pops / blog.jchongstudio.com
i just discovered this adorable shop in seal beach called petals and pops of course you can guess what they carry! but besides making beautiful floral arrangements and filling your soda pop cravings, they have an assortment of home goods, magazines and chocolates. while i never typically fill my home with flowers, i really did want to bring an arrangement home with me. really glad to have this cute boutique in the neighborhood!

Petals and Pops / blog.jchongstudio.com
Petals and Pops / blog.jchongstudio.com

Petals and Pops / blog.jchongstudio.com
Petals and Pops / blog.jchongstudio.com

214 Main St
Seal Beach, CA 90740


Blueberry Banana Pancakes

September 24, 2013

Blueberry Banana Pancakes / blog.jchongstudio.com
fall is officially here – it feels good to be back at home after being away for two weeks. i've missed the cool la temperatures, but this morning i think i felt the cool fall crisp air and it was quite lovely. i've been scouring the stores for pumpkin but i have yet to find anything... long beach friends, where can i find it!? i just want to make a bunch of pumpkin flavored things asap. i don't recall ever being so excited about pumpkins! okay well enough about that, this week in lieu of pumpkin flavored things i decided to make a blueberry banana pancake. these are super delicious, fluffy and perfect for the weekend brunch.

Blueberry Banana Pancakes / blog.jchongstudio.com
Blueberry Banana Pancakes / blog.jchongstudio.com

INGREDIENTS 1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup full fat coconut milk
2 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup blueberries
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw honey
coconut oil
maple syrup and fruit for topping (optional)
1. sift together all dry ingredients
2. in a bowl whisk together coconut milk, mashed banana, eggs, honey and vanilla.
3. combine the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. once combined fold in blueberries.
4. preheat a pan and coat with cooconut oil (you can use butter too) once hot, spoon out two tablespoons of batter to make small pancakes, flip after 3 mins – cook each side (ususally first side longer than the 2nd)
5. serve with maple syrup and top with blueberries and bananas!
Blueberry Banana Pancakes / blog.jchongstudio.com


Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip

September 17, 2013

okay, i don't want to say this too loud but i think i'm ready for fall... or at least the 75º perfect la weather i remember. i spent a week in atlanta with old friends and celebrating my friends wedding, and welcomed whatever weather i was going to get. thankfully it was pretty nice, in the 80's but no humidity and it even cooled down in the evening. i was actually really cold sometime because they blast the ac everywhere you go and i'm not used to it! now im sitting in vegas where the weather is 97º. with all this heat, i never wanted to turn on the oven, but if there is ac in the house it's all good.

i've been craving chocolate chip cookies lately, but when i bake at home i challenge myself to make baked goods sans refined sugar and gluten. really happy with how these came out, perfectly moist and sweet. they will definitely be on the dessert rotation from now on. what i love about these cookies is even my non paleo, gluten-free friends love them! so you can enjoy a tasty cookie without all the bad stuff!

Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie / blog.jchongstudio.com
Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie / blog.jchongstudio.com

1 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
4 eggs
1 vanilla bean pods
2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of honey
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
3 bananas - smashed
1 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life Mega Chunk Chocolate)
1. preheat oven to 350º
2. in a bowl combine all of the dry ingredients – coconut flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
3. in another bowl mix smashed bananas, 4 eggs, vanilla extract, honey, and coconut oil until combined, then add in vanilla bean pods. once mixture is combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
4. spoon cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper – once you've spooned these on I like to use a spatula to 'flatten' the tops a bit since they don't really rise or spread after they bake.
5. bake for 13 minutes, cookies should be soft but not mushy. allow cookies to cool and enjoy!


Nate Berkus for Target + $100 giveaway to Target!

September 12, 2013

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
earlier this year i had the privilege of getting a sneak peak at nate berkus's fall collection at target which arrives in stores next week! so many beautiful additions that i can't wait to add to my home. i'm excited to share a few of my favorite pieces with you all today and a special part of my phone interview i had with nate berkus himself! i know this is probably one of the longest post i've done but it's worth the read and you'll get a chance at $100 target gift card giveaway at the end!

most of you probably know nate from his time on the oprah show where he was a regular guest design expert, but did you know he actually has a degree in french and sociology and not design? having a mom as a designer, he would often come home to a house where the rooms were completely redesign. he also spent a lot of his childhood visiting flea markets and antique shops but it wasn't until he studied in paris that he realized that designing was sort of the most natural for him and he wanted to return and create a company designing great spaces for other people. he is still really interested in sociology and french and believes it's applicable to his current work. everyday he has to make design decisions on clients that are essentially strangers before he has their first meeting.

i always love to hear how people make transitions from one career to another. nate credits his job at an auction house as being very valuable although it wasn't a design job per say he learned about the history of things, what period furniture came from and got the chance to assemble rooms in preparation for monthly auctions. at the auction house people would often ask if he designed the room and asked him to help arrange their space. his first big residential client was a lady in chiago who was also looking at three other agencies with years of experience. nate didn't have a portfolio or a staff but he made a great connection with her and suggested that they design one room and if she liked it he would complete the house. she liked what he did and from that job he continued to receive more opportunities. now nate has a staff of over 50 people. anytime they have open design positions nate says he typically never sees anyone who doesn't have a design degree unless they were recommended from someone he knows!

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
JC: you’ve accomplished so many great achievements in your career such as being apart of the oprah show, having your own syndicated show, author, executive producer and designer of your own product line. what would you say has been one of the highlights/pivotal moments of your career?

NB: one of most pivotal moment for me was probably the day i decided to start my business and had business cards printed. i really focused on the fact that this was what i really wanted to do and i was going to do anything i could do to be successful at it. work as and hard as i needed to work. i gave myself six months to get clients and make it a real company or i was going to back to working at the auction house. i didn't know but i was gave myself six months to see if i can turn my company into something. the second most pivotal moment was probably that moment years later where i got to stand at the doorway with people and tell them it was time to open their eyes and they saw their homes redone for the first time on the oprah show and then my later my own show. that never got tiring for me.

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details

JC: i love your target collection its modern, elegant and unique – perfect for those who appreciate design at an affordable price – with your latest collection releasing soon at target, what were some of the biggest challenges and rewards designing for target?

NB: i think the biggest challenge was that my old brand has always been about a home or interior that has been assembled over time and when your working with a huge retailer like target, i didn't want to sacrifice having the pieces feel like you could have found them anywhere in the world. there wasn't any limitations as far as manufacturing were concern i worked with the teams at target and my team and we sourced things from literally 70 different countries. if we couldn't find something that i really loved or a material i thought was being crafted correctly we would just switch vendors and keep trying before it made it into the collection. the challenge was that when you are making 3,000 objects from a prototype it's hard to make it feel special. i learned early on with designing for the mass market that there were certain things that would always make it feel special, using natural materials, hand done techniques, carvings, baskets, textiles, combinations of things people haven't seen before. i am a huge fan of mass design and affordable design, i think its really important and to not to be a snob about where you find something. i wanted to make sure the heart of the line and the essence of the line stayed true and i think it has.

Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
Nate Berkus for Target / $100 giveaway to target - click photo for details
JC: i’ve read many of your pieces are inspired from your travels, as traveler lover myself, i have to ask what are some of your favorite travel destinations?
NB: i love all areas of mexico, i tend to go to the places where not a lot of tourist go. i love wahaca, tulum, and a city called merida that is fascinating and has beautiful crafts. i love south america in particular peru they have incredible crafts, the crafts change every 15-20 miles you drive. i also really love europe, i just got back from madrid and from a three day trip i literally spent a day and half in a little antiques and vintage areas where they have tons of areas of tiny shops everything from true junk to incredible italian lighting from the 1950's, 18th century ceramic tiles. no matter where i go i always look for where the locals shop, i am much more interested in what the people who live in that country buy and how they decorate their home. i am able to bring back better ideas that way.

thank you to the team at target for setting up the call and nate for taking time out to chat! it was such an honor speaking with nate, you can check out all of the new products for fall on target.com. target has offered one of you the chance to win a $100 gift card to target! once you log in with your facebook or email below, you will be prompted with a few different ways to enter! to gain additional entries and increase your chances of winning the prize, you can do one or all of them – and if you already follow just enter your info and you'll get automatic entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Papaya Salad

September 10, 2013

Papaya Salad / blog.jchongstudio.com
Papaya Salad / blog.jchongstudio.com
Papaya Salad / blog.jchongstudio.com
im off to atlanta to celebrate a friends wedding and then vegas for work, it feels as though i haven't been on the road much but when i am its constantly back to back! last week i shared this papaya salad on style me pretty! be sure to hop on over to check out more photos!

im chinese but both of my parents were born and raised in laos. at home my sister and i grew up with a mixture of lao/chinese cultures. we all spoke chinese but my parents spoke laotion to each other, mostly when they didn't want us to understand. of course after listening to them growing up, i can pick up a lot of what they are saying now. (which was pretty helpful during my travels to southeast asia a few years ago!) one of the dishes that we ate a lot at home and out parties was papaya salad. i remembered they always made it super spicy and served it with fried pork skin. i think i really just wanted pork skins but needed something to eat them with so always suffered through the spiciness. after a while they started making a 2nd smaller batch for mild spice.

there are several variations of the papaya salad, sometimes people also add green beans, dried shrimp or crab. oh! and getting one of these julienne peelers make it easy to cut the papaya!

Peach Lime Mint Fruit Roll

September 05, 2013

Peach Lime Mint Fruit Roll / blog.jchongstudio.com
labor day has passed and they say that summer is ending, but really la has been the hottest all summer the last week. i just sit at home and sweat... literally. it's so hot i've been sleeping with an ice bag and night i can't handle it. any opportunity i get to leave to house to find some ac for comfort i jump to the occasion. right before the madness of the heat began i made some peach lime mint fruit rolls. these are super tasty, so easy to make and fun for kids. no added sugar just fruit, some lime and mint! happy september!

Peach Lime Mint Fruit Roll / blog.jchongstudio.com
Peach Lime Mint Fruit Roll / blog.jchongstudio.com
Peach Lime Mint Fruit Roll / blog.jchongstudio.com

Brika + {$100 Giveaway!}

September 03, 2013

have you guys heard of brika? it is a curated online shop featuring talented designers and makers of beautiful things from all over the us. things like accessories, baby, and home decor. i think what sets brika apart from the rest is that they don't just feature products of talented makers but each maker has a dedicated page with their unique story and some fun q&a. you really get to know a bit about the designer and they all have inspiring stories to share!

i had the pleasure of meeting the two founders jennifer lee koss and kena paranjape earlier this year. they are incredibly passionate about brika and the makers they feature. read more about their story here. when we were talking about what items to giveaway i had such a hard time picking that i decided to giveaway $100 gift card instead so you can purchase exactly what you'd like for yourself.

you have SIX ways to enter! just login with your facebook or email and you'll see all the different ways! what is the first thing you are going to get from brika.com?

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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