Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The New Design Vertgio

Design Vertigo has moved. Please vist the new website + blog! Everything you have come to love reading about art, events, fashion, food, and design tied up with a cute new branding. Thanks for reading, Enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bruschetta Bliss

Tomatoes are in season and my favorite treat is Bruschetta! It is a crowd pleaser at parties but I happily enjoy this dish as a vegetarian, fresh and easy entree.   
  1. Variety of tomatos (I prefer heirlooms)
  2. Red Onion
  3. Clove of Garlic
  4. Balsamic Vinaigrette
  5. Salt and Pepper
  6. Grated Parmesan 
  7. Toast (I use regular bread for myself, and a fancy bakery baguette when I'm serving these for company) 

Cut up and mix your tomatos, onion, garlic, a squirt of balsamic and a few solid cranks of salt and pepper.

Scoop a hardy amount of the tomato mixture on your toast.

Grate a thin layer of fresh parmesan on top of your tomato mixture.

Put in toaster oven or regular oven on broil until the cheese is melted.

Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child

image credit 
I tend to agree :o)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bee Happy

Image Credit
Delilah Smith, Michigan, USA
Emily Dickenson 

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry
Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.
His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

Oh the sweet summer sounds of bees buzzing in the gardens. Well, I'm not thinking about these kind fat bees today, I've got my mind on their little, angry, bee friends as I accidentally stepped on a hive of them yesterday evening. 
After a lovely afternoon of kayaking with my brother around Lake Calhoun, I got a sting on my hand as I was pulling my kayak out. My poor brother had to army crawl through the water to rescue my Kayak by pulling it back out to the lake and around to a bee free location. 

I have some winning tips on how to treat a sting. I read an article on the topic that had multiple solutions but I'll tell you about what I did that worked like a charm! 

  1. First, put pressure on the area around the sting to contain how far the pain will spread. This is key!! 
  2. Make sure you still don't have a stinger in the site, then wash it with soap and water. 
  3. Take an ibuprofen.
  4. Ice the sting areaThe coldness constricts blood vessels (which slows the flow of venom-tainted blood) and numbs the pain and itching. 
  5. Now, the natural remedy: Put a slice of tomato on the sting site for about 5 min.
  6. Reapply the ice and tomato about every 5 hours as needed. 

Day two, your sting will be an itchy little sucker. I suggest putting toothpaste on the sting site.  The tingling action will make you feel like you're scratching the itch, which is relieving. (I'm typing this  WITH my toothpaste on the sting, and it feels SO much better.)

Hope you are getting along with the bees this summer. But if not, I hope these remedies work as well for you as they have for me! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hi! I want to make your life better

Ok, so maybe I can't make your whole life better but I can tell you that what makes my little Amanda heart happy is helping people live and work in spaces that inspire, calm, and balance everyday life. Did you know the environments you spend your time in could do all that for you? I do what I do for love.  I think it’s important work.  I want to help people. 
I chose my college major of interior design because I had a natural knack. My patient and encouraging mother was kind enough to allow me "creative license" in her home as I stretched my aspiring designer wings. With enough creativity oozing from every pore I couldn't walk into a room without being filled with ideas and if I didn't find an outlet for it all, I'd combust . Now, as an entrepreneur,  I see the wonderfully positive effects that a well designed and utterly creative space can have on the human spirt. And I need to design more. I need to reach more people and give their spaces a loving and creative kick in the butt, so that their full potential can be reached.  
Interior design is my expression of Joy and I want to share my joy with as many people, companies, and fellow business owners as I can; you know, to make the world a more beautiful place to live and work in.  To do this, especially in this economy, I'm committed to finding the best prices for the highest quality. I'm not expecting to get rich. I just want to do what I love and pay my bills.  
Well, you might say, not everyone can afford a designer. This is true and that is a big part of why I keep this blog, pinterest and a facebook; to inspire the DIYers and folks on a small income; because everyone deserves a wonderful space.

So that is my challenge. How to reach more nice people like you?

Foodie Favorites, Milwaukee Edition

I heart Milwaukee, WI! After living in this trendy, eco conscious and foodie friendly city for five years, I would like to share with you a few of my favorite spots to grab some great grub.

First and formost, Ristorate' Bartolotta. (Ahh, my mouth waters just typing the words.) Located in the charming suburb of Wauwatosa. The environment is romantic, the service staff is top notch and extremely knowledgeable of the Italian menue. I prefer a seat bellied up to the warm and rustic bar. Now, what to recommend you eat...everything! Favorites that I still taste in my dreams are the salmon and pepperdellie. You must have a glass of an Italian red wine or share a bottle on their special half price wine nights. The seasonal menue changes; favorites like the white truffle and heirloom tomato menue are to die for and are worth planning your travel to milwaukee around.

Not too far from Miller Stadium you'll find El Senorial's mexican restaurant. This is my favorite for super cheep and incredibly tasty chimichangas. (Don't forget the extra guacamole!) Wash it down with a pacifico beer and you just had yourself fun frugal and authentically mexican evening. Don't go to this restaurant for atmosphere but the festive tunes and bustling diners help distact from the outdated decor.

At Pizzaria Piccola you will find the BEST thin crust, naples style pizza. I don't mess around with the fancy toppings, I just stick with the classic margarita pizza and it is cooked to perfection in their wood burning oven.  Sip the local brew and my personal favorite beer eveR, New Glares Spotted Cow.

The hipster vibe and eclectic decor makes Cafe Hollander a favorite for sunday breakfast. I love a mrs. hollander breakfast and a spicy bloody mary. They also serve my favorite Belgium style beer, Kwak on tap here.  They have two locations in the Milwaukee area.

And I can't talk about my favorite places to eat without mentioning my favorite place to get groceries (and don't forget to bring own market tote!) 
Sendicks Food Market
Why I Shop: They have the freshest and best priced produce (and beautifully stacked, I might add), a wonderful meat counter staffed with very helpful butchers, and you can get a beautiful dozen roses for only $7.99 everyday ( I can't beat that when I buy wholesale!)

Groppi's Food Market is a neighborhood grocer in Bay View, WI (great views of downtown Milwaukee from this town) This charming Italian market is my favorite for buying fresh cuts of meet and the only place I buy my Italian Arborio rice for making risotto.

Located in the public market in one of my favorite downtown neighborhoods, the Third Ward; you will find St. Pauls fish counter has a wonderful assortment of fresh fish and an oyster bar thats hard to beat. Belly up with a pinte of your favorite local brew and a plate of fresh oysters or a bowl of clam chowder.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Strawberries

Summer is officially here in the Twin Cites and that means it is time to call the Berry Hotline! This week I took my two favorite small people strawberry picking at Pine Tree Apple Orchard and we had so much fun! After taking the wagen ride out to the fields and being assigned to picking rows, we were set free to harvest to our little strawberry hearts content! We did, and it was so hard to stop! Below you can read what we did with this plethora of beautiful berries. I hope you enjoy the good eats as much as we did!
I found my recipes and pinned them on my Pinterest. Below you'll see the links but also my little edits on the recipes that I discovered and changed when making the meals myself.    

Fruit Salad  
The kids were great helpers with this one. The recipe comes from The Real Mom Kitchen, with my edits below.

  • 1 (5.1 oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding 
  • 1(20 oz) can pineapple tidbits with juice 
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, quartered 
  • 3 bananas, sliced 

In a bowl combine the dry pudding mix and canned pineapple with the juice. Stir until well blended and all the pudding mixture has dissolved. Fold in the strawberries and bananas

Strawberry Short Cake Popsicles 
 These were a hit for the kids to make and eat and the grownups were enjoying the treat too!

Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles (adapted from Bakers Royale)
makes 12 popsicles
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup crushed Nilla wafers
2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
1/3 cup honey (more if desired)
12 6 oz. disposable cups
wooden popsicle sticks (or we used plastic spoons) 
In a medium bowl, combine the crushed Nilla wafers, yogurt, and honey. Set out 12 6 oz. Dixie cups, and fill each one with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture. Set in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree or mash up the berries. Divide the berries among the 12 cups, and freeze for another 30 minutes.
Finally, divide the remaining yogurt mixture among the cups, add a popsicle stick to each one, and chill completely, several hours or more.

Strawberry Grilled Cheese  

Inspired by cooks at Simple Lens, these were easy and delicious and "taste like summer" according to Justin. 
  • slices of bread 
  • strawberries, chopped
  • sharp white cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • handful of fresh basil
  • chop strawberries and marinate with balsamic for about 15 minutes.
  • Assemble your sandwich layer the cheese, basil and strawberries.
  • On an oiled skillet pan, medium heat, place the sandwich halves. Cook until cheese has just started to melt (~3 minutes or so).
Strawberry Mango Salsa 
This recipe is complements of the McConkie Menue Blog. You'll see I'm not big on exact measurements because I just make it and taste it till I'm happy with my result. 
This is a recipe that I completely recommend! Its SO delicious! 

 Strawberries, finely diced
 Mangos, finely diced
 Red Onion, finely chopped
Basil Leaves, chopped
 Fresh Lemon Juice
 Sea Salt
 Black Pepper 

This salsa was awesome all by itself! But I actually put it over tilapia that was served on a bed of herbs(picked from the garden) rice and sprouts. It was so delicious and gorgeous! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Get Carried away to the Spring Soireé!

Design Vertigo and the shops in downtown North St. Paul are excited to invite the twin cites to shop local and feel the joy of springtime at our second annual Spring Soireé!

On May 12, 2012 Downtown North St. Paul will come alive with the freshness of spring just in time for mothers day as the shops and business come together to host The Spring Soireé!  The festivities will continue from 10am – 3pm featuring free petting zoo, kite making workshop, local artist fair, plant sale, as well as in-store sales, specials, and give-a-ways; all the makings for a fabulous Soireé in every shop! See the complete schedule of events!

Thank you to our Local Sponsors! 

Platinum: North St. Paul Business Association, La' Garage and GalleryDesign Vertigo, Blu dot Photography
Gold: Anchor BankReflex MedicalNeumanns BarSandbergsAmerican Legion
Silver: Anderson BuiltLuther AuctionsAntiques at the Pharmacy, Demo Unlimited, PTN ComputersHistorical SocietyCountry TreasuresVillage PizzaChrist Lutheran

Be a fan of the Spring Soireé on Facebook

– Meet adorable baby farm animals at the FREE Petting Zoo.
– Create your own kite to get carried away at this years Spring  Soiree (first 100 kites - FREE)  
(located on downtown North St. Paul's 7th Ave. E.)
 Hair Styles Unlimited is offering games and prizes 
 Hair Styles Unlimited is offering games and prizes 
 Design Vertigo’s new on line store The Wilde Room, will be hosting their second ‘Occasionally Wilde’ Sale

Visit Participating Local Artist and Community Orginizations
(located next to Design Vertigo)
Silver Lake SplashChrist LutheranSt. MarksDynamic Divas
 Design Vertigo’s new on line store The Wilde Room, will be hosting their second ‘Occasionally Wilde’ Sale

Visit Participating Local Artist and Community Orginizations
(located next to Design Vertigo)
Silver Lake SplashChrist LutheranSt. MarksDynamic Divas

Visit Participating Local Artist and Community Orginizations
(located next to Design Vertigo)
Silver Lake SplashChrist LutheranSt. MarksDynamic Divas
Visit Participating Local Artist and Community Orginizations
(located next to Design Vertigo) 
Silver Lake SplashChrist LutheranSt. MarksDynamic Divas

 Dozens of Local Art Vender's will sell their art and handmade goods in the parking lot next to Design Vertigo.
 The Historic Society will have their annual PLANT SALE at the Historic Museum, selling Bergmann’s Greenhouse grown flowers, flats, and baskets.
– Learn about other community activities and offerings at a variety of booths that will be sharing their info and playing GAMES FOR PRIZES.
 Dynamic Diva’s will host a PASSPORT TO SAVINGS with a HUGE grand prize. See their booth in the Design Vertigo parking lot for details.
Visit Participating Businesses
 La’ Garage and Gallery, Special Sponsors of the Petting Zoo will also be offering complementary refreshments, drawings and specials
 Little Shop of Treasures is offering a make-and-take craft project
 Village Pizza is offering games, prizes and lunch specials
– Antiques at the Pharmacy is offering shopping specials and a starter plant giveaway (while supplies last)
– American Legion is hosting their annual meat raffle 
Stone Wing Design,  Just Bead it - Designs by Sarah, Zippity Duda , Foxy Squirrel,  Suz and Roo, ScentsyMuddy Missy Studio , Inner Swirl, Tangled Up in Hue, AOTP, Ravern Photoraphy, Tastfully Simple,  Squereah Photography, Scrap Savvi, Landre Gifts, Dynamia Aromatics

Young Entrepreneur and owner of Design Vertigo, Amanda Wilde, created ‘The Spring Soireé last year to invite the community to discover and enjoy all the charm downtown North St. Paul has to offer. Tucked away in the shadow of the large snowman on highway 36, downtown North St. Paul is located on 7th Ave. E. Just a block off the highway and a short 15 min. drive between St. Paul and Stillwater.

Downtown North St. Paul has all the offerings of a charming small town! From free parking to a variety of boutiques, antique stores, and eateries all in a short walking distance.  You can feel the sense of community and the rich history that North St. Paul prides itself on.  Shop keepers’ great their customers with a smile and give personal attention to individual needs. Your experience in this delightful town will certainly leave you excited to return again!

There is a buzz about Wilde’s events and co-operative marketing strategies for downtown North St. Paul. The events (Merry little Shindig, Spring Soireé, fashion shows, and art classes) have continued to gain momentum as more business and organizations jump on board and contribute to the events activities! At Design Vertigo, we understand that it is essential to the health of the small businesses for new people to discover the hidden Gem that is downtown North St. Paul.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Meeting in the Middle - Hawaii Wedding

The inspiration for this wedding came from the bides love of pink! The only guidelines the bride and groom gave me for their destination wedding were the color and they didn't want the day to feel informal (as some destination wedding are very casual). All wedding planing I did with this couple via Skype because they live in Japan.
Since it was a small ceremony and reception (13 guests to be exact) I was all about making it personal and adding those extra details that are hard to afford when your hosting a big wedding.
There are extra hurdles whenever i'm doing an event/wedding outside of my bubble near my St. Paul studio. Traveling to Hawaii from Minnesota, a whole new set of things to figure out; the biggest being flowers: how I was going to get them and how I was going to keep them alive until the wedding. After doing a ton of googling Waikiki flower shops/wholesale flower resources, it dawned on me that they were all getting their flowers shipped in from the mainland and I was coming from the mainland. So I brought my own fresh flowers! I dry packed a big box of my flowers that I purchased on the friday before we left and paid the fee for an extra bag and checked them. I had to fill out a customs form (which I knew about because I called Hawaii like 3 times before the trip, making sure my flowers weren't going to get trapped in quarantine)  but that was it, no one even check my box; it couldn't have gone more smoothly!
The hotel said they didn't have buckets available for me to barrow (lame) so that was my next hurdle but when I got to my room and saw trash canes, I was like SWEET this will work perfect!
I only had one bunch of calla lilies get crunched in transit but everyone else was still in perfect condition. I chopped and plopped them in the 'water buckets' and made all the arrangements in the hotel room the night before the monday morning wedding. It was just enough time for them to rehydrate, open up and be beautiful for the ceremony and reception.

Other Wedding Details

The Wedding Ceremony took place on the Hala Koa Hotel property in the Japanese Garden.

Since the bride and groom weren't having a wedding party, I requested that everyone attending ware the wedding colors of pink and gray. Without being too matchy matchy, it worked out perfect!

Ceremony Decor
The gazebo got a new look for the day. We hung white, circular medallions made of shell from inside the gazebo and I used two pink table runners to flank the opening of the gazebo. above the entry I hung a spray of orchids and roses. I had other orchids to tuck in the pink cloth but once I had it together, it was just too much - less is more in this case!

For the ile I chose to make a swirl pattern with the rose pedals instead of the standard just tossing them at random. This helped with the bride and grooms of wish of a more 'formal' ceremony and it was just an extra detail that looked, according to the boys, "ITs Sweet Mandy".
Programs I made before I left. I chose to make them into fans since it was an outdoor wedding and people could get warm. I did my best to incorporate Japanese Kangi into the program and the paster did the service in both Japanese and English, which was very cool!

Reception Decor 
The Reception was a lovely lunch held in a small banquet room after the service. I opted for one long table so that the lunch was more intimate. I had brought gray linens with to layer over the standard white. I did 4 arrangements down the center of the table, keeping them low for easy conversation. 
Place card were made out of a pink patterned paper and I embellished with a Martha Stewart paper flower.  

The table favor is a pink leather photo album. The cover saying the new couples name and wedding date, the first page having a lovely thank you note to guest for their travel and presence at the wedding. Guests were encouraged to use the favor for trip/wedding pictures. 

Guest also wrote notes to the newlyweds on the photo matt guest book. I choose a pink medal frame to make it more personal to the event. 

All in all, the wedding was wonderful, full of love and the joining of not just two families, but also two cultures. I believe its a day that will be cherished byt all who were there.   
Thank you David and Midori for letting me be part of your special day! 

My Art Crush for April

I love, appreciate, and enjoy fine art. But when I go in an art gallery, its not very often that I wish I could afford to take a piece out with me. This was not the case when I visited Wyland Galleries in the North Shore Marketplace in Haleiwa Hawaii. I was instantly drawn in to the colors and bold patterns of one artist, Heather Brown. I  couldn't get enough of it! My boyfriend dragged me out, empty handed and we carried on with our vacation.
On the last day of our trip, we were strolling through the shops on Waikiki beach and I spotted it, one of Heather Brown's paintings printed on a beach bag! I ran in, checked the price tag...BINGO now this I could afford, what an awesome find. We were in the popular surf shop Rip Curl. I wound up purchasing a lightweight sweatshirt with a sunset printed on it. We chatted with the shop keepers about Heather Brown to get the scoop on this new art crush I had found.

Heather Brown is a local Hawaiian artist living in the North Shore of Oahu. Boy, she sounds like a busy lady! She sells her art and products all over including her own gallery in Japan. The inspiration for her art comes, quite obviously, from nature, hawaii and the landscape of the ocean.  Her colors are wonderfully sullied-shaded and softened so that they recall sun-bleached stucco and the comforts of old jeans and flannel pajamas. I love the quirky, lightheartedness of her work. although they are neat and organized, they are still very playful and organic.