April 2015 ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Spicy Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

A spicy spin on my Cornbread Stuffing that EVERYONE loves!

Sweet Potato Souffle for Thanksgiving

One of my most popular recipes EVER, and just in time for Thanksgiving!

DIY Painted Photo Backdrops

Super easy backdrops for your photo, plus a few tips!

Golden Sweet Corn Bread Mini Muffins

A sweet spin on traditional cornbread!

Easy Sweet Potato Pie (without a crust!)

The easiest (and healthiest) pumpkin pie recipe ever!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas + Do Tell Tuesday #71!


Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas on Do Tell Tuesday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!  Do Tell Tuesday is the time where WE get to see what YOU are up to! Share your projects and recipes, then take time to look around at your fellow creatives.  Not a blogger?  That's ok!  You can still take a look around and discover some new ideas and inspiration!

Each week a featured host will be bringing you a set of features.  Before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts!


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:

Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of Tori!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Treeline Woodworks feature, promo & GIVEAWAY!


For this week's Shop Small Saturday Showcase, I am really excited to share this one with you because this one was a first for me!  Normally, I find these amazing makers and creators at shows around Southern California and share lots of photos of their finished products with all of you.  However, when I spoke to Ad from Treeline Woodworks, he invited me to take a look at the amazing shop where they craft their pieces, plus their nearby lumberyard.  The wannabe woodworker in me was so excited!  :)

You'll see in the interview below many of the pictures I took during the tour.  Believe me when I say there were ten times as many interesting items to photograph, but I could not possibly fit them all here.  For example, in the lumberyard collage of pictures, you will spot a church pew sitting on top of a wood pile.  That pile of wood was actually reclaimed from a set of church pews that were being torn down.  There were sets of school bleachers, fence posts, and all kinds of interesting objects that the wood was being sourced from.  It was amazing!

Last but not least, my readers are being treated by another generous shop owner!  One of you will win a beautiful State Cutting Board (you'll see it in the widget below), and ALL of you can utilize the 15% off promo to their entire store.  That translates to: you can buy 15% more... at least!


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Treeline Woodworks feature & GIVEAWAY on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Tell me a little bit about yourself!

I'm an engineer by education and designer by disposition. From machine class in college to making things out of wood for friends or my loft, I've enjoyed building things for a long time. My interest in working with reclaimed woods is fairly new, a handful of years, I'd say. As a fabricator, I'm always learning about more materials and trying to incorporate them into my designs and what we have to offer.


Where did the name of your store come from?

Treeline has been a favorite word for long time. I'm a sucker for the outdoors and adventures with reckless abandon. Treeline is the highest a forest can grow up the side of a mountain before conditions get too harsh for it to survive. So in a way, it's the natural limit for forest. I'd like to do good work and there's always more left to learn, so I'm striving to reach my treeline.


Treeline Woodworks feature & GIVEAWAY on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Why did you start making goods for Treeline Woodworks?

There a lot of things I'd like to make and as much custom work we do, I enjoy flexing my creative and designer muscles. So whenever we have some free time on our hands we dive into a collaborative ideation process and experiment with product we can design and make ourselves.


What is your favorite item?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Perfect Gifts for Your High School Grad!




Somehow, summer is upon us and that means it's time for graduation!  Having such a huge family, it is always a challenge to find something unique to give as a present.  However, I have a lovely gift guide for you today which was put together by my lovely friend Mary, a total expert in all things tech and school supplies-related.  Absolutely everything on the list is beautiful, functional, and guaranteed to be a great gift.

They'll be sure to love these items during their last "free" summer or during the school year.  Now, let's get to the picks!


Perfect Gifts for Your High School Grad! on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #DROIDTurbo #CleverGirls

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas + Do Tell Tuesday #70!


Mother's Day Gift Ideas on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!  Do Tell Tuesday is the time where WE get to see what YOU are up to! Share your projects and recipes, then take time to look around at your fellow creatives.  Not a blogger?  That's okay!  You can still take a look around and discover some new ideas and inspiration!

Each week a featured host will be bringing you a set of features.  Before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts!


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:

Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of Cassie!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Olive Heights Trading Co. feature & GIVEAWAY!


This week on Shop Small Saturday Showcase, I have something just for the big kids.  :)  When I first found Olive Heights Trading Co. at Artisanal L.A. last year, one of their bottles of bitters ended up being one of the only items we bought that day.  Usually, I try lots of samples, file away all the business info, and figure out what to buy from the online shops later, but this just couldn't wait!  All of the items were interesting, but the Moroccan Orange Bitters came home with me that day.  :)

Actually, if you are interested in trying it for yourself, the awesome owners and of Olive Heights Trading Co., Benjamin and Scott, are giving away a gift set of Moroccan Orange, Basil Rosemary and Padre Pio Molé Bitters to one of my lucky readers!  But first, check out the interview where you'll find out the amazing inspiration for the Padre Pio Molé Bitters and more interesting tidbits!


Olive Heights Trading Co. feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!

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Tell me a little bit about yourself!

Our company was founded in 2013 by veteran bartenders Benjamin Carpenter and Scott Winnie with the vision and guidance of longtime friend and business analyst Skyler Champion. Our aim was simple; to produce quality artisanal bitters while only using organic ingredients from the finest domestic and international sources.


Where did the name of your store come from?

Olive Heights is the neighborhood in Pasadena where we founded the company in an attic apartment of a historic Craftsman home.


Olive Heights Trading Co. feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Why did you start making goods for Olive Heights?

Ben had recently become head bartender of Green Street Restaurant in Pasadena. His owner and bar manager, Michael and Alison Hawkins had approached him about buying bitters for the bar and Ben asked for the opportunity to make them himself. A couple of weeks later, they hosted a bitters tasting for him and enjoyed them so much that they encouraged him to start a company and offered to be his first account.


What is your favorite item?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Hydrate this Summer the Sparkling Way!

This post is in partnership with Dasani and Target. However, 
the opinions expressed below are all my own.


Somehow, summer is upon us and that means just about a million plans!  Just this weekend, I have two all-day craft festivals, a beer fest on the beach, and a charity wine tasting event.  Whew!  I'm getting pooped just typing that!  But seriously, since I'm constantly on the go, I try to stay healthy so my energy stays up.  That means that I can see more, do more, and have more fun!

That means three things to me: hitting the gym, eating healthy, and drinking enough water!  If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I do my thing at the gym.  :)  I always make sure to have enough healthy snacks, which is even easier now that practically every one of my favorite fruits and veggies is in season!  Lastly, I make sure to have lots of water all day, every day.


Hydrate this Summer the Sparkling Way on Diane's Vintage Zest! #DASANIsparkling


Even though it should be easy to drink plain water when it's hot out, during the summer, it seems like everyone has pretty drinks.  Yes, I noticed that if my beverage is just a bit more special, I totally drink it up!  After finding Dasani Sparkling, I was so happy because it's just a little fancier than normal water but keeps me hydrated.  It is lightly carbonated, unsweetened, has no artificial flavors, and has zero calories.  Perfect for swimsuit season!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms & Soy Crumbles


Did you know it is National Soyfoods Month?  Well, it is and I have a couple of recipes for you to celebrate!  As you know, I usually cook with lots of veggies and whole foods, so I sometimes end up skimping on the protein.  Well, lucky for me there are wonderful swaps with soy foods that bring on the protein, flavor, and nutrition!

I love a beautiful slice of veggie lasagna, but if I'm ever in the mood for a meatier version, I have this recipe to share with you today.  The trick is, there is absolutely no meat at all!  Don't tell your carnivore friends and family until after they have tasted it, and they'll be totally surprised.  Seriously!


Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms & Soy Crumbles #soyswaps


In this recipe, I swapped out the typical ground beef for the MorningStar Farms grillers crumbles and it makes the entire recipe even easier and quicker.  You don't have to cook it nearly as long as beef requires and it's super convenient to have this on hand in the freezer!

Now, let's get to the recipe!


Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms & Soy Crumbles #soyswaps


Vegetarian Lasagna with Spinach, Mushrooms & Soy Crumbles
Adapted from here

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pretty & Inspiring Spring Outfits + Do Tell Tuesday #69!

Pretty & Inspiring Spring Outfits on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!  Do Tell Tuesday is the time where WE get to see what YOU are up to! Share your projects and recipes, then take time to look around at your fellow creatives.  Not a blogger?  That's ok!  You can still take a look around and discover some new ideas and inspiration!

Each week a featured host will be bringing you a set of features.  This week, Lisa chose some gorgeous spring fashions!  Gorgeous style inspiration ahead...  But before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts!


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:

Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of Lisa!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Simply Brigadeiro feature & GIVEAWAY!

Simply Brigadeiro feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!  #dessert #gift #favors


On today's Shop Small Saturday Showcase, I have a gorgeously delicious shop to share with you today: Simply Brigadeiro!  I first met the fabulous Sabrina at Artisanal L.A. while she was passing around samples of her amazing brigadeiros.  I was hooked!  They are sweet, gorgeous, and the perfect gift for everyone!

I did my usual interview and took some photos, and awaited the "few" pictures she had of her own.  Well, I was absolutely floored by the creativity and gorgeous displays she created, so be prepared for the literal eye candy ahead!

Not only that, but Sabrina is offering a box of 24 assorted brigadeiros to one lucky winner!!!  Check it out below after the interview and beautiful photos.  Enjoy!


Simply Brigadeiro feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!  #dessert #gift #favors


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Tell me a little bit about yourself!

Hello! I'm a Brazilian transplant from the Southern part of Brazil to Los Angeles since 1994. My family always cooked and baked. My passion comes from watching and helping both my grandmothers. They both taught me how to make a few delicious dishes and sweets. Sometime in 2006, I took a professional baking course at Epicurious and cooking classes here and there.


Simply Brigadeiro feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!  #dessert #gift #favors


Where did the name of your store come from?

The name behind it its purely from the product itself. I'm a gourmet brigadeiro boutique so Simply Brigadeiro was the right way to go with. Because that's all I do.


Simply Brigadeiro feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!  #dessert #gift #favors


Why did you start making goods for Simply Brigadeiro?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bridal Shower Invitations with Wedding Paper Divas

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Wedding Paper Divas.
I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”


Bridal Shower Invitations on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #ad #WeddingPaperDivas #IC


Remember a few weeks ago when I shared the plans for my sister's bridal shower invitations?  After perusing the Wedding Paper Divas site and the sample kit with my sister this weekend, we decided to change the plans I initially told you guys about.  So, here is our final plan for the bridal shower invitation!


Bridal Shower Invitations on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #ad #WeddingPaperDivas #IC


Initially, I thought we would match my dress above, choose a clean, modern design like the sample above, have scalloped corners, and use a gold envelope to match the gold foil.  Well, after ordering a few samples, we decided that the wedding invitations should use these details instead and do something more bridal and light and simple!  We went with this design, which you can see below!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Upcoming Events: Food, Drink, Crafts & More! - Spring 2015


Upcoming Events: Food, Drink, Crafts & More! - Spring 2015 on Diane's Vintage Zest!


It's April, and that means all of the fun spring and summer events are starting up again!  Last year, I shared my plans, and I dare say that the next few months are even busier!  There are some old favorites that I visit every year, plus a few new kids on the block that I'm excited to see for the first time.  If you plan on going to any of these events, let me know!


Jump to:



Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create & Give Joy Book Launch Party!

Upcoming Events: Food, Drink, Crafts & More! - Spring 2015 on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Joy Cho is one of the bloggers, and I'm look forward to checking out her new book at next week's launch party!

Oh Joy! 60 Ways to Create & Give Joy Book Launch Party at West Elm LA!
Date:  April 16, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Location:  west elm, 8366 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048
More Info & RSVP:  https://ohjoyla.eventbrite.com


Whitney Port Personal Appearance

My friend and I just had to go to this because it's so L.A.!  She'll be showing off her latest Whitney Eve designs and sharing some fun freebies too.  Fun!

Whitney Port Personal Appearance
Date:  April 18, 2 pm - 4 pm
Location:  Nordstrom The Grove, 189 The Grove Drive Los Angeles, CA 90036
More Info & RSVP:  http://shop.nordstrom.com/st/nordstrom-the-grove/Whitney-Port-Personal-Appearance-for-Whitney-Eve/64026



Jackalope Arts Fair

Upcoming Events: Food, Drink, Crafts & More! - Spring 2015 on Diane's Vintage Zest!


This is a totally new art fair that I am pumped to check out!  Over 200 local artisans, crafters, and DIY enthusiasts will be bringing their locally handcrafted goods to the community over two days!  They have two other locations in Denver and Phoenix, so my readers from those cities will be able to find the quality artisans that have been curated by the talented founders of Jackalope Arts.  Nice!

I found some of my amazing Shop Small Saturday Showcase features on their vendor list, so I will definitely be catching up with Clay & Fabric, Foxboxes, Hallo Jak, Kheel's, Squshies, TeaDrops, Wood Brain, and Zazu Faure.  Then, I will be sure to find some fresh new shops for future features to share with you all!  So excited!

Jackalope Arts Fair
Dates:  April 25 & 26, 11 am - 6 pm
Location:  275 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Tickets:  FREE
More Info:  http://www.jackalopeartfair.com



Artisanal L.A.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Plátanos Maduros (Sweet Cuban Plantains)


Platanos Maduros (Sweet Cuban Plantains) on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #recipe #cuban #sidedish


Well, I'm down to the last plantains post!  If you have ever had Plátanos Maduros at a Cuban restaurant, you might just agree that I saved the best for last.  :)  I do love the Tostones (Fried Green Plantains) from last week, but there's a reason why everyone eyes the last Cuban plantain at the table...  Yes, these are sweet, but they are commonly served as a side dish.  In fact, they go wonderfully with my favorite Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja, hint hint.

If you thought last week's recipe was easy, this one is even easier.  REALLY.  Just make sure to check out my tips for picking and prepping plantains to make sure you get just the right plantain for this recipe.  By far, the hardest part is going to the grocery store.  I promise!


Platanos Maduros (Sweet Cuban Plantains) on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #recipe #cuban #sidedish



Plátanos Maduros (Sweet Cuban Plantains)
Adapted from Three Guys From Miami

Monday, April 6, 2015

Spring Cleaning Tips & Inspiration + Do Tell Tuesday #68!


Spring Cleaning Tips & Inspiration at Do Tell Tuesday on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!  Do Tell Tuesday is the time where WE get to see what YOU are up to! Share your projects and recipes, then take time to look around at your fellow creatives.  Not a blogger?  That's ok!  You can still take a look around and discover some new ideas and inspiration!

Each week a featured host will be bringing you a set of features.  This week, I chose some wonderful features to help you with this year's spring cleaning!  Lots of awesome tips and inspiration ahead...  But before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts!


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:

Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of yours truly!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Vintage Remade Feature, Promo & GIVEAWAY!


On this week's Shop Small Saturday Showcase, I have one of my favorites shop to share with you!  When I first saw Vintage Remade's booth at Unique LA, I stopped dead in my tracks because Michelle had the cutest vintage sewing machine on display (you can see it below).  Then, I noticed Mic shop name was made up of two of my favorite words: Vintage and Remade!  I obviously love vintage and I am an upcycling fan as well, so when I found out the materials she uses for her bags, I fell even more in love with her items!

So, get this.  Once you peruse through all of the eye candy and read about the roots of Vintage Remade, Michelle is offering a 30% discount to all of my readers AND she is giving away this gorgeous black leather clutch!  I am in love.  Now, enough of me, let's get to the feature!



Vintage Remade Feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!

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Tell me a little bit about yourself! 

Well, first off, thanks so much for the interview! I'm happy to be featured on such a lovely site.  I'm a mostly-self-taught designer living in Los Angeles, but I'm originally from Texas.  Since I was little I've always loved making things and creating.  I started sewing on a whim about seven years ago.


Where did the name of your store come from?

All of my Vintage Remade pieces are quite literally made from repurposed vintage textiles.  I take old clothes, curtains, leather coats, etc. and refashion them into one of a kind handbags.  When I named my shop, I was apparently going through a very literal phase of life.  :)  I had tossed around a few other ideas, but ended up just going with something that made it clear what my line was all about: Vintage Remade.


Vintage Remade Feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Why did you start making goods for Vintage Remade?

My first creation was a tote bag made from an old curtain.  When I saw the fabric, in all of it's 1970's glory, I could instantly envision it as a bag.  That purse got me thinking what else I could repurpose, and I began running with the idea of deconstructing old clothes and other fabrics and reimagining them into something new.


What is your favorite item? 

I love getting to do larger leather tote bags.  Leather-working involves using lots of tools, and there's something really fun about a process that's hands on.  Out of everything I make, the leather tote bags are also the most involved, so it's a rewarding accomplishment to see the finished product.


Vintage Remade Feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!


What is your most popular item?

Our leather clutches are probably the most popular item.  A clutch is great because it's versatile enough to use every day, but it can also elevate an outfit.


Where do you get the inspiration for your work?

Friday, April 3, 2015

(Budget-Friendly) DIY No-Slip Hangers!


For the past few Fridays, I have been sharing some pretty awesome crafty DIYs (if I don't say so myself), but this week is a combination organizational tip with a DIY solution.  Yay!

Well, you know how much I like to keep my closet tidybelts organized, and jewelry nice and orderly.  One thing that all of my organizational systems have in common is that they don't cost an arm and a leg and I usually try to upcycle something that I already have.  This one costs nothing, and definitely makes use of something that would end up being recycled anyways.

Now, you may wonder why I wanted to DIY no-slip hangers in the first place.  Let's take a look!


DIY No-Slip Hangers on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #free #organization #tip


You know when you try to hang a piece of clothing with small straps, and it starts to shimmy down the hanger?  Well, that happens to me all the time!  Since I have a small closet, I need to use skinny hangers for as many items as I can.  Of course, coats go on sturdy wood hangers, but this SoCal girl doesn't have that many anyways!


DIY No-Slip Hangers on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #free #organization #tip


So don't cringe... but instead of buying however many fancy, no-slip skinny hangers, I ended up using free wire hangers from the dry cleaners.  They are perfect for light blouses and summer sundresses, except for the tendency for spaghetti straps to slip off.

By the way, I actually did not have that many hangers on my own.  However, my parents had a huge stash of them, which they were happy to give to me!


DIY No-Slip Hangers on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #free #organization #tip


First up, the failed methods:  Rubber bands didn't work at all.  I had no pipe cleaners on hand, and I would have needed a lot.  Besides, I heard garments slip off when moving them in and out of the closet anyways.  The best solution I could find was this ugly, and only semi-reliable method below.


DIY No-Slip Hangers on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #free #organization #tip


That's right, I used Q-tips.  Ugly, time-consuming, and it actually didn't work that well.  *Sigh*

Fortunately, this new method came to me and it works so much better!  Not one slip yet!!!  Let's see how it works!



DIY No-Slip Hangers

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Patacones (Fried Green Plantains)


Patacones (Fried Green Plantains) on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #recipe #cooking #appetizer


Remember a couple weeks ago when I shared my tips on how to pick and prep plantains?  This week, I have a savory recipe for you!  Although I am referencing the Colombian recipe of patacones, there are similar dishes in other Latin American countries.  In fact, when I searched for one of tools traditionally used to make this dish, I found it online as a tostonera, named after the tostones dish from Puerto Rico.

In either case, patacones utilize the savory green plantain and are double-fried in a flat pancake shape.  They are crispy, salty, and often topped with a fresh salsa.  They are usually  served as appetizers or side dishes, but either way, they are devoured super fast.  Yum!


Patacones (Fried Green Plantains) on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #recipe #cooking #appetizer


Patacones (Fried Green Plantains)
Adapted from here

.