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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about honesty and about how much is too much. Sure, we all claim that we are honest people and we easily adjust our level of trust for others based on our experiences with them, but in the big scheme of things, when is dishonesty or omission okay?

Three weeks ago, a business owner and colleague that I have worked and grown with over the years shared an incredibly frank and honest post on Facebook that provided a lot of insight into her personal life and thoughts. I hate to admit it, but I was a little bit taken aback. Not because I was judging her on any level, hey, I have my own personal stuff that I don’t necessarily talk about on social media. Don’t we all? It was because I knew that the information was so personal, that now, every time I saw her, in life or in business, that is what would immediately come to mind. And I hated that on a purely selfish level. I suddenly wished that people would hold back a bit on the honesty.

This experience had me wondering,

when is it appropriate to share your most

personal thoughts, and to who is it acceptable? 

Personally, I like to be open and relatable in my business;  it’s important to me to form unique and lasting connections with the people I come in contact with frequently. However, I am more comfortable keeping the really personal and life-changing moments and experiences to myself. There are things that I keep close to the vest or share only with my loved ones. Some things are just for you, and not everyone that you come in contact with has earned the right to that information.

Tell me, am I right or wrong? How much sharing is too much? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments below.

VIEW ARTICLE

IS THIS OVERSHARING?

Nov 18, 2018

Advice + Opinion

CONTINUE READING

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about honesty and about how much is too much. Sure, we all claim that we are honest people and we easily adjust our level of trust for others based on our experiences with them, but in the big scheme of things, when is dishonesty or omission okay? Three weeks […]

READ MORE

if

When I was 5, my Father went on a business trip, and as per our usual routine, returned with a souvenir of his time away. Typically business trip gifts consisted of tiny trinkets from lands afar, at least to my inexperienced mind; this time was no different. However, what was different was the impact that this trips gift would have on my life.

A small, metal Statue of Liberty figurine. Small and indiscreet enough to fit in the wooden display shelf that I proudly hung above my bed, I remember nights when I would pull her down and carefully examine all of the grooves in her dress. I would try to read and understand the minute letters scrolled on her tablet, would run my fingers over the sharp point in her crown. I had fallen in love with a city, based solely on my infatuation with this little silver statue, and I didn’t even know it yet.

Over time, I would ask questions about my new found silver lady. Where was she in real life, what was that place like, how could I get there? As I got older and learned more about the answers to these questions, I knew that someday, I would live there. I would be one of the stories that were so often tossed around in literature and on TV about the girl who moved to the big city, and had quite a big life, as it were. I made it my goal to move to NYC, and finally, at the age of 32, I made it happen.

While New York City, in my opinion, is everything that they tell you it is, it is so much more. There are many things that they don’t tell you. Many things that you have to learn and pick up on your own. But the moral of the story is the same. There is an energy that pulses in this city that you will not find anywhere else. This is my journal of that pulse. My experience in this foreign place.

Firstly, let me say, there are way more things that you don’t hear about New York than that you do. For instance, nobody told me that the Subway in the Summertime is the most miserable place you would ever want to be, full of angry, hot New Yorkers dealing with yet another MTA delay and laying their sweaty hands on top of yours in an effort to hold on to one of the limited poles in each train car. I had never been informed that the chances of seeing a pantless streaker on my own street were pretty high, or that the number of entirely destitute homeless people would be almost unbearable to witness.

But neither had I been informed of the magic of standing on a roof deck and seeing the city laid out before me, watching the cars drive up Broadway as far as the eye can see. I was not prepared for the way my heart would stall in awe every time I heard the traffic roaring down 5th Avenue, or the way that being a part of a close-knit community consisting of millions of individuals would affect my life. People stick together in New York City in a way that a lot of smaller communities fail to do. You know that here, somebody always has your back. They must, it is how we survive.

I had not expected to fall so deeply in love with this intensely flawed place, but in quick order, it happened. From day one, I knew that I was home.

VIEW ARTICLE

MY NYC LOVE AFFAIR

Nov 1, 2018

EDITORIAL

CONTINUE READING

When I was 5, my Father went on a business trip, and as per our usual routine, returned with a souvenir of his time away. Typically business trip gifts consisted of tiny trinkets from lands afar, at least to my inexperienced mind; this time was no different. However, what was different was the impact that […]

READ MORE

if

Whether you are hosting an event for friends, a girls night in, or want to try something a little bit more interesting on a Thursday night, it’s always a good excuse to create a beautiful and well thought out cheese board. Trust us; you won’t be sorry. Don’t know where to start? These are our tips for creating a cheese plate that will please.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MILK
Sure, we all know and love cows milk, but it’s a good rule of thumb to cover all of your bases when creating the ultimate cheese board. Give sheep milk a try, or a nice rolled herb goat cheese. Mix it up with both pasteurized and unpasteurized options to give your board a bit of flair.

TEXTURE IS KEY
If you like texture, this is for you. While cheese comes in many ages and textures, it is typically well received to incorporate a bit of variety from soft, spreadable and creamy, to firm, semi-hard, hard, crumbly, and aged.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
There are cheese options for every palette, so while you want to keep your board to around 3-5 options, allow yourself to enjoy the flavor journey. Choose from sharp, nutty, grassy, bright, briny, sweet, pungent, mild, salty, buttery, tangy, and more.

ADD SAUCES & ACCOMPANIMENTS
Pair your cheese options with intentional and beautiful accouterments that are both pretty and tasty. We like to include meats such as prosciutto, serrano ham, and salami as well as garnish additions like olives, pickle slices, and jams and sauces. One of our all-time favorite pairings is a soft blue cheese paired with honey and ham.

VIEW ARTICLE

CREATING A PERFECT CHEESEBOARD – JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Nov 1, 2018

EDITORIAL

CONTINUE READING

Whether you are hosting an event for friends, a girls night in, or want to try something a little bit more interesting on a Thursday night, it’s always a good excuse to create a beautiful and well thought out cheese board. Trust us; you won’t be sorry. Don’t know where to start? These are our […]

READ MORE

if

Cooking was never my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and quite often wished that I could do more in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a talent that I possessed. Maybe it’s an issue of patience, which I would not consider my strongest asset; however, a few years ago, attempting to practice better self-awareness, I decided to try to change that.

One of the wonderful things about living in New York City is the number of classes and activities available to its residents. Having heard good things from friends and family who took cooking classes, ranging from knife skills to advanced French cooking, I decided to try my hand at something simple that would hopefully allow me to begin cooking and baking at home. I learned a lot in my class, the surprising part is that it wasn’t all about cooking or ingredients.

1. There is something incredibly stress relieving about chopping produce. Ok, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t quite as physically exhausting as, say, a boxing class, but I did find that the amount of concentration required to cut vegetables and fruit into small pieces is a lot like meditation.

2. I don’t try enough new things. Taking this cooking class helped me to realize that there are so many things in the world that I could probably do if I were only to try. I have spent years of my life thinking that I was a terrible cook, but once I got a bit of instruction and learned a few easy basics, a world of recipes opened up to me. It made me wonder what else I was capable of, even if I didn’t know it yet. What a sense of accomplishment!

3. Patience and the ability to compartmentalize are essential when making food and in life. Every recipe has a structure and purpose, and if followed patiently, creates something gorgeous. If I could transition that attitude into my daily life, things would be much more comfortable and less stressful. It’s about thinking through the recipe and following it even when you want to rush to the end.

Interestingly enough, after gaining a bit of confidence in the kitchen, it has become one of my favorite things to do, especially on a cold Winter evening in the city. You can’t beat it.

Find cooking classes in NYC & Beyond here.

VIEW ARTICLE

HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH COOKING CLASSES

Nov 1, 2018

EDITORIAL

CONTINUE READING

Cooking was never my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and quite often wished that I could do more in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a talent that I possessed. Maybe it’s an issue of patience, which I would not consider my strongest asset; however, a few years ago, attempting to practice […]

READ MORE

if

Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is.

You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are $25 cocktails and experimental Hors d’Oeuvre. You’ll find Nightclubs & Rooftops galore in Tribeca, Sports Bars & Themed Spots in Midtown, and beautifully appointed Wine Bars & foodie inspired Pubs in the West Village.

But where does one go when what they really want is a 16 ounce craft IPA in a dimly lit, dingy room filled with all types of people and styles;  from the NYC undergrad to the somewhat incognito movie star? The NYC Dive Bar.

THE NYC DIVE BAR

I just adore a good dive bar, actually, I must admit, it can be one of my favorite ways to spend a New York City evening. And, because I can easily recall the days when, as a NYC newbie or visitor, I longed for a relaxed atmosphere to unwind after a busy day of big city hustle and bustle, I want to share my go to dive bars with you.

  1. The Four-Faced Liar • West Village (165 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014) – The Four-Faced liar is one of those no-frills, brick-lined bars where you feel like you are drinking a craft beer in your own living room. The staff is experienced and fast, if a bit gruff at times, but never take themselves too seriously. If you want a true New York City dive bar experience that allows you to rub elbows with NYC regulars and West Village residents, give this spot a try.
  2. Old Rabbit Club • NYU – West Village (124 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012) – This hidden gem serves an array of somewhat pretentious craft beers and wines in an old school, basement storefront. Near to NYU, the tiny bar holds only about 30 people at a time, but if you get there early enough to grab a front row seat at the bar, you won’t be disappointed in the friendly, knowledgeable bartenders, beer and wine options, or the 80’s punk music played at just the right decibel.
  3. The Canal Bar • Gowanus – Brooklyn (270 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215) – Don’t be fooled by the initially small look of this bar from the front door. There is a super cute, string light filled back patio and a pool table toward the back. Also, the popcorn is free.
  4. Spring Lounge • Nolita (48 Spring St, New York, NY 10012) – Nolita, a neighborhood just on the brink of trendy Soho, is where you’ll find this NYC resident favorite. There is nothing special about this bar in terms of aesthetic, but you will get a great beer or cocktail all while doing some pretty awesome people watching. This is my definite pick for a weekend day drinking sesh.
  5. Dive Bar • Lincoln Center • Upper West Side (732 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025) – This is a favorite during Ballet season as it is near enough to Lincoln Center to stop for a pint or glass of wine prior to the rise of the curtain.

If you find your way to New York City, give these wonderful places a quick visit. We hope to see you there!

VIEW ARTICLE

5 SOPHISTICATED NEW YORK CITY DIVE BARS

Nov 1, 2018

EDITORIAL

CONTINUE READING

Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is. You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are […]

READ MORE

if

How to Make It

Step 1

Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Step 3

Crack 3 Large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the following to the bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Fold in the shredded carrot and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Pour batter into previously prepared cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once removed, cool still in the pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

Step 5

After 15 minutes, remove cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Leave it plain or delicately decorate with walnuts, pistachios,  piped frosting,  or sprinkled nutmeg.

 

** Looking to add a bit of flair to your cake, no matter the season or weather? Add extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring or Summer, don’t be afraid to decorate it with gorgeous floral elements or maybe even hints of seasonal fruit.

VIEW ARTICLE

THIS CHIC CARROT CAKE WILL STUN YOUR GUESTS

Oct 31, 2018

EDITORIAL

CONTINUE READING

It’s no secret that I love Fall. I wile away the Summer months daydreaming about crisp breezes, apple cider, and Thanksgiving dumplings. As soon as the weather turns, I flee to my kitchen, ready to bring all of my cream cheese piped dreams to life, typically in the form of pastries and carrot cakes. Gah. […]

READ MORE

if

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EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

MY NYC LOVE AFFAIR

VIEW ARTICLE

When I was 5, my Father went on a business trip, and as per our usual routine, returned with a souvenir of his time away. Typically business trip gifts consisted of tiny trinkets from lands afar, at least to my inexperienced mind; this time was no different. However, what was different was the impact that this trips gift would have on my life.

A small, metal Statue of Liberty figurine. Small and indiscreet enough to fit in the wooden display shelf that I proudly hung above my bed, I remember nights when I would pull her down and carefully examine all of the grooves in her dress. I would try to read and understand the minute letters scrolled on her tablet, would run my fingers over the sharp point in her crown. I had fallen in love with a city, based solely on my infatuation with this little silver statue, and I didn’t even know it yet.

Over time, I would ask questions about my new found silver lady. Where was she in real life, what was that place like, how could I get there? As I got older and learned more about the answers to these questions, I knew that someday, I would live there. I would be one of the stories that were so often tossed around in literature and on TV about the girl who moved to the big city, and had quite a big life, as it were. I made it my goal to move to NYC, and finally, at the age of 32, I made it happen.

While New York City, in my opinion, is everything that they tell you it is, it is so much more. There are many things that they don’t tell you. Many things that you have to learn and pick up on your own. But the moral of the story is the same. There is an energy that pulses in this city that you will not find anywhere else. This is my journal of that pulse. My experience in this foreign place.

Firstly, let me say, there are way more things that you don’t hear about New York than that you do. For instance, nobody told me that the Subway in the Summertime is the most miserable place you would ever want to be, full of angry, hot New Yorkers dealing with yet another MTA delay and laying their sweaty hands on top of yours in an effort to hold on to one of the limited poles in each train car. I had never been informed that the chances of seeing a pantless streaker on my own street were pretty high, or that the number of entirely destitute homeless people would be almost unbearable to witness.

But neither had I been informed of the magic of standing on a roof deck and seeing the city laid out before me, watching the cars drive up Broadway as far as the eye can see. I was not prepared for the way my heart would stall in awe every time I heard the traffic roaring down 5th Avenue, or the way that being a part of a close-knit community consisting of millions of individuals would affect my life. People stick together in New York City in a way that a lot of smaller communities fail to do. You know that here, somebody always has your back. They must, it is how we survive.

I had not expected to fall so deeply in love with this intensely flawed place, but in quick order, it happened. From day one, I knew that I was home.

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

CONTINUE READING

When I was 5, my Father went on a business trip, and as per our usual routine, returned with a souvenir of his time away. Typically business trip gifts consisted of tiny trinkets from lands afar, at least to my inexperienced mind; this time was no different. However, what was different was the impact that […]

if

READ MORE

EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

CREATING A PERFECT CHEESEBOARD – JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

VIEW ARTICLE

Whether you are hosting an event for friends, a girls night in, or want to try something a little bit more interesting on a Thursday night, it’s always a good excuse to create a beautiful and well thought out cheese board. Trust us; you won’t be sorry. Don’t know where to start? These are our tips for creating a cheese plate that will please.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MILK
Sure, we all know and love cows milk, but it’s a good rule of thumb to cover all of your bases when creating the ultimate cheese board. Give sheep milk a try, or a nice rolled herb goat cheese. Mix it up with both pasteurized and unpasteurized options to give your board a bit of flair.

TEXTURE IS KEY
If you like texture, this is for you. While cheese comes in many ages and textures, it is typically well received to incorporate a bit of variety from soft, spreadable and creamy, to firm, semi-hard, hard, crumbly, and aged.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
There are cheese options for every palette, so while you want to keep your board to around 3-5 options, allow yourself to enjoy the flavor journey. Choose from sharp, nutty, grassy, bright, briny, sweet, pungent, mild, salty, buttery, tangy, and more.

ADD SAUCES & ACCOMPANIMENTS
Pair your cheese options with intentional and beautiful accouterments that are both pretty and tasty. We like to include meats such as prosciutto, serrano ham, and salami as well as garnish additions like olives, pickle slices, and jams and sauces. One of our all-time favorite pairings is a soft blue cheese paired with honey and ham.

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

CONTINUE READING

Whether you are hosting an event for friends, a girls night in, or want to try something a little bit more interesting on a Thursday night, it’s always a good excuse to create a beautiful and well thought out cheese board. Trust us; you won’t be sorry. Don’t know where to start? These are our […]

if

READ MORE

EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH COOKING CLASSES

VIEW ARTICLE

Cooking was never my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and quite often wished that I could do more in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a talent that I possessed. Maybe it’s an issue of patience, which I would not consider my strongest asset; however, a few years ago, attempting to practice better self-awareness, I decided to try to change that.

One of the wonderful things about living in New York City is the number of classes and activities available to its residents. Having heard good things from friends and family who took cooking classes, ranging from knife skills to advanced French cooking, I decided to try my hand at something simple that would hopefully allow me to begin cooking and baking at home. I learned a lot in my class, the surprising part is that it wasn’t all about cooking or ingredients.

1. There is something incredibly stress relieving about chopping produce. Ok, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t quite as physically exhausting as, say, a boxing class, but I did find that the amount of concentration required to cut vegetables and fruit into small pieces is a lot like meditation.

2. I don’t try enough new things. Taking this cooking class helped me to realize that there are so many things in the world that I could probably do if I were only to try. I have spent years of my life thinking that I was a terrible cook, but once I got a bit of instruction and learned a few easy basics, a world of recipes opened up to me. It made me wonder what else I was capable of, even if I didn’t know it yet. What a sense of accomplishment!

3. Patience and the ability to compartmentalize are essential when making food and in life. Every recipe has a structure and purpose, and if followed patiently, creates something gorgeous. If I could transition that attitude into my daily life, things would be much more comfortable and less stressful. It’s about thinking through the recipe and following it even when you want to rush to the end.

Interestingly enough, after gaining a bit of confidence in the kitchen, it has become one of my favorite things to do, especially on a cold Winter evening in the city. You can’t beat it.

Find cooking classes in NYC & Beyond here.

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

CONTINUE READING

Cooking was never my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and quite often wished that I could do more in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a talent that I possessed. Maybe it’s an issue of patience, which I would not consider my strongest asset; however, a few years ago, attempting to practice […]

if

READ MORE

EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

5 SOPHISTICATED NEW YORK CITY DIVE BARS

VIEW ARTICLE

Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is.

You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are $25 cocktails and experimental Hors d’Oeuvre. You’ll find Nightclubs & Rooftops galore in Tribeca, Sports Bars & Themed Spots in Midtown, and beautifully appointed Wine Bars & foodie inspired Pubs in the West Village.

But where does one go when what they really want is a 16 ounce craft IPA in a dimly lit, dingy room filled with all types of people and styles;  from the NYC undergrad to the somewhat incognito movie star? The NYC Dive Bar.

THE NYC DIVE BAR

I just adore a good dive bar, actually, I must admit, it can be one of my favorite ways to spend a New York City evening. And, because I can easily recall the days when, as a NYC newbie or visitor, I longed for a relaxed atmosphere to unwind after a busy day of big city hustle and bustle, I want to share my go to dive bars with you.

  1. The Four-Faced Liar • West Village (165 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014) – The Four-Faced liar is one of those no-frills, brick-lined bars where you feel like you are drinking a craft beer in your own living room. The staff is experienced and fast, if a bit gruff at times, but never take themselves too seriously. If you want a true New York City dive bar experience that allows you to rub elbows with NYC regulars and West Village residents, give this spot a try.
  2. Old Rabbit Club • NYU – West Village (124 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012) – This hidden gem serves an array of somewhat pretentious craft beers and wines in an old school, basement storefront. Near to NYU, the tiny bar holds only about 30 people at a time, but if you get there early enough to grab a front row seat at the bar, you won’t be disappointed in the friendly, knowledgeable bartenders, beer and wine options, or the 80’s punk music played at just the right decibel.
  3. The Canal Bar • Gowanus – Brooklyn (270 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215) – Don’t be fooled by the initially small look of this bar from the front door. There is a super cute, string light filled back patio and a pool table toward the back. Also, the popcorn is free.
  4. Spring Lounge • Nolita (48 Spring St, New York, NY 10012) – Nolita, a neighborhood just on the brink of trendy Soho, is where you’ll find this NYC resident favorite. There is nothing special about this bar in terms of aesthetic, but you will get a great beer or cocktail all while doing some pretty awesome people watching. This is my definite pick for a weekend day drinking sesh.
  5. Dive Bar • Lincoln Center • Upper West Side (732 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025) – This is a favorite during Ballet season as it is near enough to Lincoln Center to stop for a pint or glass of wine prior to the rise of the curtain.

If you find your way to New York City, give these wonderful places a quick visit. We hope to see you there!

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

CONTINUE READING

Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is. You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are […]

if

READ MORE

EDITORIAL

October 31, 2018

THIS CHIC CARROT CAKE WILL STUN YOUR GUESTS

VIEW ARTICLE

How to Make It

Step 1

Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Step 3

Crack 3 Large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the following to the bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Fold in the shredded carrot and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Pour batter into previously prepared cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once removed, cool still in the pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

Step 5

After 15 minutes, remove cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Leave it plain or delicately decorate with walnuts, pistachios,  piped frosting,  or sprinkled nutmeg.

 

** Looking to add a bit of flair to your cake, no matter the season or weather? Add extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring or Summer, don’t be afraid to decorate it with gorgeous floral elements or maybe even hints of seasonal fruit.

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

CONTINUE READING

It’s no secret that I love Fall. I wile away the Summer months daydreaming about crisp breezes, apple cider, and Thanksgiving dumplings. As soon as the weather turns, I flee to my kitchen, ready to bring all of my cream cheese piped dreams to life, typically in the form of pastries and carrot cakes. Gah. […]

if

READ MORE

FOOD AND DRINK

September 20, 2018

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE BARS FROM LOVE & LEMONS

VIEW ARTICLE

These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing.

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH SUPERFOOD BARS by LOVE AND LEMONS

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Serves: makes 20 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, optional
Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, until combined. Add the almond flour and maca, and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan and place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt, until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. To thaw, let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temp.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

Original Content and Images for this post were found on Love and Lemons here! 

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂 There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to […]

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EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

HOW I FELL IN LOVE WITH COOKING CLASSES

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Cooking was never my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and quite often wished that I could do more in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a talent that I possessed. Maybe it’s an issue of patience, which I would not consider my strongest asset; however, a few years ago, attempting to practice better self-awareness, I decided to try to change that.

One of the wonderful things about living in New York City is the number of classes and activities available to its residents. Having heard good things from friends and family who took cooking classes, ranging from knife skills to advanced French cooking, I decided to try my hand at something simple that would hopefully allow me to begin cooking and baking at home. I learned a lot in my class, the surprising part is that it wasn’t all about cooking or ingredients.

1. There is something incredibly stress relieving about chopping produce. Ok, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t quite as physically exhausting as, say, a boxing class, but I did find that the amount of concentration required to cut vegetables and fruit into small pieces is a lot like meditation.

2. I don’t try enough new things. Taking this cooking class helped me to realize that there are so many things in the world that I could probably do if I were only to try. I have spent years of my life thinking that I was a terrible cook, but once I got a bit of instruction and learned a few easy basics, a world of recipes opened up to me. It made me wonder what else I was capable of, even if I didn’t know it yet. What a sense of accomplishment!

3. Patience and the ability to compartmentalize are essential when making food and in life. Every recipe has a structure and purpose, and if followed patiently, creates something gorgeous. If I could transition that attitude into my daily life, things would be much more comfortable and less stressful. It’s about thinking through the recipe and following it even when you want to rush to the end.

Interestingly enough, after gaining a bit of confidence in the kitchen, it has become one of my favorite things to do, especially on a cold Winter evening in the city. You can’t beat it.

Find cooking classes in NYC & Beyond here.

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Cooking was never my forte. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat and quite often wished that I could do more in the kitchen, but it wasn’t a talent that I possessed. Maybe it’s an issue of patience, which I would not consider my strongest asset; however, a few years ago, attempting to practice […]

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EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

5 SOPHISTICATED NEW YORK CITY DIVE BARS

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Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is.

You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are $25 cocktails and experimental Hors d’Oeuvre. You’ll find Nightclubs & Rooftops galore in Tribeca, Sports Bars & Themed Spots in Midtown, and beautifully appointed Wine Bars & foodie inspired Pubs in the West Village.

But where does one go when what they really want is a 16 ounce craft IPA in a dimly lit, dingy room filled with all types of people and styles;  from the NYC undergrad to the somewhat incognito movie star? The NYC Dive Bar.

THE NYC DIVE BAR

I just adore a good dive bar, actually, I must admit, it can be one of my favorite ways to spend a New York City evening. And, because I can easily recall the days when, as a NYC newbie or visitor, I longed for a relaxed atmosphere to unwind after a busy day of big city hustle and bustle, I want to share my go to dive bars with you.

  1. The Four-Faced Liar • West Village (165 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014) – The Four-Faced liar is one of those no-frills, brick-lined bars where you feel like you are drinking a craft beer in your own living room. The staff is experienced and fast, if a bit gruff at times, but never take themselves too seriously. If you want a true New York City dive bar experience that allows you to rub elbows with NYC regulars and West Village residents, give this spot a try.
  2. Old Rabbit Club • NYU – West Village (124 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012) – This hidden gem serves an array of somewhat pretentious craft beers and wines in an old school, basement storefront. Near to NYU, the tiny bar holds only about 30 people at a time, but if you get there early enough to grab a front row seat at the bar, you won’t be disappointed in the friendly, knowledgeable bartenders, beer and wine options, or the 80’s punk music played at just the right decibel.
  3. The Canal Bar • Gowanus – Brooklyn (270 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215) – Don’t be fooled by the initially small look of this bar from the front door. There is a super cute, string light filled back patio and a pool table toward the back. Also, the popcorn is free.
  4. Spring Lounge • Nolita (48 Spring St, New York, NY 10012) – Nolita, a neighborhood just on the brink of trendy Soho, is where you’ll find this NYC resident favorite. There is nothing special about this bar in terms of aesthetic, but you will get a great beer or cocktail all while doing some pretty awesome people watching. This is my definite pick for a weekend day drinking sesh.
  5. Dive Bar • Lincoln Center • Upper West Side (732 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025) – This is a favorite during Ballet season as it is near enough to Lincoln Center to stop for a pint or glass of wine prior to the rise of the curtain.

If you find your way to New York City, give these wonderful places a quick visit. We hope to see you there!

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Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is. You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are […]

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EDITORIAL

October 31, 2018

THIS CHIC CARROT CAKE WILL STUN YOUR GUESTS

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How to Make It

Step 1

Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Step 3

Crack 3 Large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the following to the bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Fold in the shredded carrot and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Pour batter into previously prepared cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once removed, cool still in the pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

Step 5

After 15 minutes, remove cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Leave it plain or delicately decorate with walnuts, pistachios,  piped frosting,  or sprinkled nutmeg.

 

** Looking to add a bit of flair to your cake, no matter the season or weather? Add extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring or Summer, don’t be afraid to decorate it with gorgeous floral elements or maybe even hints of seasonal fruit.

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It’s no secret that I love Fall. I wile away the Summer months daydreaming about crisp breezes, apple cider, and Thanksgiving dumplings. As soon as the weather turns, I flee to my kitchen, ready to bring all of my cream cheese piped dreams to life, typically in the form of pastries and carrot cakes. Gah. […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 20, 2018

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE BARS FROM LOVE & LEMONS

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing.

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH SUPERFOOD BARS by LOVE AND LEMONS

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Serves: makes 20 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, optional
Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, until combined. Add the almond flour and maca, and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan and place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt, until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. To thaw, let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temp.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

Original Content and Images for this post were found on Love and Lemons here! 

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂 There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 10, 2018

ZEBRA MARBLE LAYER CAKE WITH ANA’S BAKING CHRONICLES

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can you resist this stripey zebra look? It’s like an elevated marble cake that we all know and love. Like the one moms would make on a Sunday afternoon to go with a glass of milk.

Only this time, I wanted to make it fancy, nice and layered. I decided to fill the cake with rich and decadent dark chocolate ganache – one of my favourites! Along with my Vanilla Ermine Buttercream which is just to die for and perfect for decorating! It was a match made in heaven, one of the best vanilla-chocolate desserts I’ve ever had!

YOU ONLY NEED 1 BATTER

I wanted to reduce the amount of dishes to clean after (worst job ever), so I decided to make this cake using only one cake batter. Yaay! I used my favourite vanilla cake recipe. It’s a really soft and moist cake with a strong vanilla flavour I got from my homemade vanilla extract.

I was thinking how much cocoa powder I should add to make chocolate batter and if I should add some extra liquid to compensate for cocoa powder. I didn’t want to add melted chocolate because that would alternate the consistency too much and I wouldn’t get dark enough colour. Therefore, I used dutch-processed cocoa powder and it worked like a charm!

Of course, I added too much liquid (I was winging it) so my chocolate batter was a little thinner than my vanilla batter. Thus, the zebra didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted to. You can see it in the bottom of every layer, it kind of mixed together. But it’s still kind of artsy and I grew to love it.

To sum up, it’s very important that both chocolate and vanilla batter have similar consistency.

The next time I’m going to make this cake I probably won’t add any liquid. That’s why I didn’t tell you anything in the recipe about adding liquid. You decide if you need a little bit of milk to make that consistency just right.

HOW TO MAKE ZEBRA EFFECT

It’s easier than you think! To ensure you have the same amount of both chocolate and vanilla batter, you need to weigh it. At least I do. My kitchen scale is probably one of my best friends in the kitchen.

TOP TIP: Weigh the bowl in which you plan to mix your cake batter, so when you need to divide it – you know exactly how much batter you have in there because you will retract the weight of the bowl. And save yourself from cleaning yet another bowl.

Now, once you have both of the batters ready, it’s time to create fun zebra stripe pattern. For this part here I also like to use my kitchen scale because it helps me make sure I have the same amount of black and white every time.

The whole process is actually about layering one batter on top of the other one. The best way to do this is by using spoons. Start with putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then a spoonful of second batter right on top of it. Since I’m using a kitchen scale, I try to put the same amount of each batter.

Every now and then you’ll need to shake the pans a little bit to help it distribute evenly. Maybe I should have filmed a video for this, but I think you get what I’m talking about haha.

And remember, if you don’t succeed at first – it’ll still be so darn delicious!

If you make this cake, make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see it, or tell me all about it down below in comment section!

Zebra Marble Layer Cake

Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Course Dessert
Keyword cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings 12
Author Ana

Ingredients

Zebra Cake

  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 240 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 125 g sour cream room temperature
  • 120 g buttermilk room temperature
  • 15 g dutch-processed cocoa powder

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  • 50 g all purpose flour
  • 225 g granulated sugar
  • 390 g whole milk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 350 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150 g dark chocolate (min 50% cocoa solids)
  • 150 g heavy cream

Chocolate Drip

  • 75 g dark chocolate
  • 75 g heavy cream

Instructions

Zebra Cake

  1. Preheat your fan oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line with parchment paper three 6″ round cake tins.

  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  3. In a measuring jug combine sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla extract. These are your wet ingredients.

  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (approx. 3 min) Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time – making sure it’s fully incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  6. Add your dry and wet ingredients, alternating between one another, starting and finishing with dry ones. (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients)

  7. Divide the batter in half and add cocoa powder in one to make a chocolate batter.

  8. Divide the batters evenly among the 3 tins using spoons – putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then spoonful of the other batter on top of it. (Check the information in the post above)

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  10. Once they’re done, let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pans to cool completely.

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  1. In a small saucepan combine flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens.
  2. Once it’s done, put a cling film over it touching the surface to prevent “skin” forming and let it cool to room temperature. This is your pudding base. You can do this in a fridge, but before using it let it come to room temperature.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Then add spoonful by spoonful of previously made pudding. Mix until it’s all nicely incorporated and with no lumps. Add the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Cover in cling film and put it in a fridge for an hour until it thickens to spreadable consistency.

Chocolate Ganache Drip

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Make it 10 minutes before pouring over the chilled cake so it has time to cool and thicken a bit.

Assembly

  1. Using a cake leveler or a long serrated knife level the tops of your cakes if needed.
  2. In the middle of your cake board or a serving plate put some buttercream to stop the cake from moving around.
  3. Spread a nice layer of buttercream on top of the first layer and pipe a border around the outside to hold the ganache in. Repeat with the next layer.

  4. Place final layer on top, upside down, and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge before final decorating.

  5. Use the leftover ganache filling to make a chocolate buttercream, mixing it with some vanilla buttercream. If it’s too loose, put it in the fridge to thicken a bit.

  6. Place both of your buttercreams in piping bags. For a vanilla buttercream I used a Wilton 1A tip and for a chocolate buttercream I used a Wilton #12 tip. But you do you. 🙂

  7. Place the chilled cake on a turntable and alternately put the stripes of buttercream on the cake. Once you’re done, fill the top with vanilla buttercream and smooth the sides using a cake scraper.

  8. Every time you use a cake scraper be sure to get rid of the buttercream that you’ve scraped down so you don’t mess up the stripes.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have a standing mixer you can use a hand mixer.
**Not all ovens are the same. I suggest to check the cakes at 20 min mark and then adjust the baking time accordingly. Get to know your oven!

Original Article courtesy of Ana’s Baking Chronicles. Find it here!

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream. Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can […]

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Lifestyle

September 10, 2018

THESE FALL WEDDING DETAILS ARE GIVING US ALL THE FEELS

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold colour but adds such a great textural element to things. The table plan on terracotta tiles is absolutely gorgeous!

Stunning venue The Copse are new members of our recommended supplier directory, The Love Lust List, and a fabulous exclusive hire space for a weekend wedding. I’ll pass you over to Jenna to tell you more…

The Inspiration

Jenna The Planner & Stylist: This was a shoot inspired by a venue and a real bride, Daisy. The Copse is a stunning new wedding venue in the heart of the English countryside owned by Penny and Tim Holley. A beautiful country house with extensive land, The Copse isn’t your typical “cookie cutter”, “designed to be perfect” wedding venue. It has a magical beauty and charm that is outdoors with a laid back vibe and this is what I wanted to capture. I felt something earthy and natural would complement the gorgeous surroundings but didn’t think that ‘English garden’ suited the whole essence of the place. This led me to the terracotta tones and material. A bold colour choice, I picked it deliberately to show how you can use pops of strong colour and a very earthy material and still create something beautiful. I also knew that it would work brilliantly with the autumnal colours that surround the venue at this time of year. In the styling it was important to me to capture something chic but with an unpolished edge, reflective of my style and that of The Copse. Then to the “Bohemian Botanicals’ – the inspiration for this part comes from real bride, Daisy. Now Penny’s daughter in law, Daisy is a natural beauty, a London lawyer with a pinch of bohemian, carefree spirit. Her style is effortless, understated beauty.

The Bridal Looks

I had a very specific idea behind each of the three bridal looks. All with a bohemian ‘nod’ each was created to capture a different part of the ‘wedding day’. The first ‘pre ceremony’ look was the most elegant and was about capturing that moment just before a bride leaves to get married. This featured a gorgeous oversized bouquet but in the more muted and softer greys and greens of the colour palette. I loved how florist, Jen Edmonds of Willowgold, foraged pieces from the venue to add to it. The dress, by Inbal Raviv on loan from Luella’s Bridal, had a two-piece effect and was teamed with killer Marina Grey Cherry heels by Harriet Wildeand accessories by Donna Crain.

The second look was our funky fun, playful look, inspired by that feeling after the ceremony, when the party begins. Here our bride is relaxed and revelling in her wedding day and I chose a 70s inspired trouser and fringe top combination by Otaduy paired with a turban and tassel earrings from Anthropologie. To soften the look a little and bring it back to more bridal, we chose to swap the turban for a headdress by Kelly Spence for part of the look. Again with an oversized bouquet but this time with strong pops of orange autumnal tones and matching silk ribbons from Kate Cullen. The final look was about capturing the end of the wedding day. The most pared back of all the looks I wanted a soft fishtail plait and more bohemian feel and this featured barefoot sandals from Australian brand, Forever Soles. Across all three looks Zoe and Morgan provided us with very different designs of ring to suit each style. Hair and make up dream team Patricia Soper and Mel Kinsman worked magic to translate the essence of each look and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it all perfectly.

The Flowers

In addition to the beautiful bouquets and tablescape florals, florist Jen did something phenomenal in designing the ceremony arch that I was passionate to include. Choosing a variety of flowers, English grown where possible, in a range of rich orange and apricot tones. The dahlia and chrysanthemum were used to get the right shades of terracotta and then to soften it Jen picked creams, greys and blues such as eucalyptus and viburnum blueberry. She also included her favourite flower of the moment, the chocolate cosmos, as a contrast to the lighter hues. Foraging in the countryside on location for sprigs of sycamore, rose hip and oak gave the arch exactly the look we wanted: seasonal and autumnal.

Styling

I brought authentic terracotta into the tablescape with huge charger plates and matching water cups from Portuguese curator Pedro da Costa Felgueiras
of Saudade. We also had terracotta tile escort cards created using calligraphy by Merrie Haig. Always important to blend the terracotta with something softer, Merrie also designed a stationery suite in pale grey with flecks of gold leaf that did this perfectly. The talented Laura of Cakes by Yolk designed the cake. Her style suited our unpolished chic look exactly, the result was a three tier cake, again with the terracotta middle tier blended between two buttercream tiers all flecked with gold leaf. Laura also made some delicious marshmallow accompaniments!

The whole team put their hearts and souls into this shoot and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it so fabulously!

Photography by Kitty Wheeler Shaw

Original Post Courtesy of Rock My Wedding UK. Find it here! 

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold […]

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EDITORIAL

November 1, 2018

5 SOPHISTICATED NEW YORK CITY DIVE BARS

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Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is.

You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are $25 cocktails and experimental Hors d’Oeuvre. You’ll find Nightclubs & Rooftops galore in Tribeca, Sports Bars & Themed Spots in Midtown, and beautifully appointed Wine Bars & foodie inspired Pubs in the West Village.

But where does one go when what they really want is a 16 ounce craft IPA in a dimly lit, dingy room filled with all types of people and styles;  from the NYC undergrad to the somewhat incognito movie star? The NYC Dive Bar.

THE NYC DIVE BAR

I just adore a good dive bar, actually, I must admit, it can be one of my favorite ways to spend a New York City evening. And, because I can easily recall the days when, as a NYC newbie or visitor, I longed for a relaxed atmosphere to unwind after a busy day of big city hustle and bustle, I want to share my go to dive bars with you.

  1. The Four-Faced Liar • West Village (165 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014) – The Four-Faced liar is one of those no-frills, brick-lined bars where you feel like you are drinking a craft beer in your own living room. The staff is experienced and fast, if a bit gruff at times, but never take themselves too seriously. If you want a true New York City dive bar experience that allows you to rub elbows with NYC regulars and West Village residents, give this spot a try.
  2. Old Rabbit Club • NYU – West Village (124 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012) – This hidden gem serves an array of somewhat pretentious craft beers and wines in an old school, basement storefront. Near to NYU, the tiny bar holds only about 30 people at a time, but if you get there early enough to grab a front row seat at the bar, you won’t be disappointed in the friendly, knowledgeable bartenders, beer and wine options, or the 80’s punk music played at just the right decibel.
  3. The Canal Bar • Gowanus – Brooklyn (270 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215) – Don’t be fooled by the initially small look of this bar from the front door. There is a super cute, string light filled back patio and a pool table toward the back. Also, the popcorn is free.
  4. Spring Lounge • Nolita (48 Spring St, New York, NY 10012) – Nolita, a neighborhood just on the brink of trendy Soho, is where you’ll find this NYC resident favorite. There is nothing special about this bar in terms of aesthetic, but you will get a great beer or cocktail all while doing some pretty awesome people watching. This is my definite pick for a weekend day drinking sesh.
  5. Dive Bar • Lincoln Center • Upper West Side (732 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025) – This is a favorite during Ballet season as it is near enough to Lincoln Center to stop for a pint or glass of wine prior to the rise of the curtain.

If you find your way to New York City, give these wonderful places a quick visit. We hope to see you there!

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Once upon a Thursday night, somewhere between Thompson & Houston and 3 gin and tonics, I got to thinking about the New York City bar scene. Fickle little thing that it is. You have your Upper East Side brick and leather filled lounges and your Lower East Side hipster places where the only options are […]

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EDITORIAL

October 31, 2018

THIS CHIC CARROT CAKE WILL STUN YOUR GUESTS

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How to Make It

Step 1

Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Step 3

Crack 3 Large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the following to the bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Fold in the shredded carrot and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Pour batter into previously prepared cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once removed, cool still in the pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

Step 5

After 15 minutes, remove cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Leave it plain or delicately decorate with walnuts, pistachios,  piped frosting,  or sprinkled nutmeg.

 

** Looking to add a bit of flair to your cake, no matter the season or weather? Add extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring or Summer, don’t be afraid to decorate it with gorgeous floral elements or maybe even hints of seasonal fruit.

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It’s no secret that I love Fall. I wile away the Summer months daydreaming about crisp breezes, apple cider, and Thanksgiving dumplings. As soon as the weather turns, I flee to my kitchen, ready to bring all of my cream cheese piped dreams to life, typically in the form of pastries and carrot cakes. Gah. […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 20, 2018

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE BARS FROM LOVE & LEMONS

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing.

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH SUPERFOOD BARS by LOVE AND LEMONS

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Serves: makes 20 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, optional
Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, until combined. Add the almond flour and maca, and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan and place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt, until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. To thaw, let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temp.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

Original Content and Images for this post were found on Love and Lemons here! 

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂 There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 10, 2018

ZEBRA MARBLE LAYER CAKE WITH ANA’S BAKING CHRONICLES

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can you resist this stripey zebra look? It’s like an elevated marble cake that we all know and love. Like the one moms would make on a Sunday afternoon to go with a glass of milk.

Only this time, I wanted to make it fancy, nice and layered. I decided to fill the cake with rich and decadent dark chocolate ganache – one of my favourites! Along with my Vanilla Ermine Buttercream which is just to die for and perfect for decorating! It was a match made in heaven, one of the best vanilla-chocolate desserts I’ve ever had!

YOU ONLY NEED 1 BATTER

I wanted to reduce the amount of dishes to clean after (worst job ever), so I decided to make this cake using only one cake batter. Yaay! I used my favourite vanilla cake recipe. It’s a really soft and moist cake with a strong vanilla flavour I got from my homemade vanilla extract.

I was thinking how much cocoa powder I should add to make chocolate batter and if I should add some extra liquid to compensate for cocoa powder. I didn’t want to add melted chocolate because that would alternate the consistency too much and I wouldn’t get dark enough colour. Therefore, I used dutch-processed cocoa powder and it worked like a charm!

Of course, I added too much liquid (I was winging it) so my chocolate batter was a little thinner than my vanilla batter. Thus, the zebra didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted to. You can see it in the bottom of every layer, it kind of mixed together. But it’s still kind of artsy and I grew to love it.

To sum up, it’s very important that both chocolate and vanilla batter have similar consistency.

The next time I’m going to make this cake I probably won’t add any liquid. That’s why I didn’t tell you anything in the recipe about adding liquid. You decide if you need a little bit of milk to make that consistency just right.

HOW TO MAKE ZEBRA EFFECT

It’s easier than you think! To ensure you have the same amount of both chocolate and vanilla batter, you need to weigh it. At least I do. My kitchen scale is probably one of my best friends in the kitchen.

TOP TIP: Weigh the bowl in which you plan to mix your cake batter, so when you need to divide it – you know exactly how much batter you have in there because you will retract the weight of the bowl. And save yourself from cleaning yet another bowl.

Now, once you have both of the batters ready, it’s time to create fun zebra stripe pattern. For this part here I also like to use my kitchen scale because it helps me make sure I have the same amount of black and white every time.

The whole process is actually about layering one batter on top of the other one. The best way to do this is by using spoons. Start with putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then a spoonful of second batter right on top of it. Since I’m using a kitchen scale, I try to put the same amount of each batter.

Every now and then you’ll need to shake the pans a little bit to help it distribute evenly. Maybe I should have filmed a video for this, but I think you get what I’m talking about haha.

And remember, if you don’t succeed at first – it’ll still be so darn delicious!

If you make this cake, make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see it, or tell me all about it down below in comment section!

Zebra Marble Layer Cake

Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Course Dessert
Keyword cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings 12
Author Ana

Ingredients

Zebra Cake

  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 240 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 125 g sour cream room temperature
  • 120 g buttermilk room temperature
  • 15 g dutch-processed cocoa powder

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  • 50 g all purpose flour
  • 225 g granulated sugar
  • 390 g whole milk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 350 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150 g dark chocolate (min 50% cocoa solids)
  • 150 g heavy cream

Chocolate Drip

  • 75 g dark chocolate
  • 75 g heavy cream

Instructions

Zebra Cake

  1. Preheat your fan oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line with parchment paper three 6″ round cake tins.

  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  3. In a measuring jug combine sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla extract. These are your wet ingredients.

  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (approx. 3 min) Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time – making sure it’s fully incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  6. Add your dry and wet ingredients, alternating between one another, starting and finishing with dry ones. (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients)

  7. Divide the batter in half and add cocoa powder in one to make a chocolate batter.

  8. Divide the batters evenly among the 3 tins using spoons – putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then spoonful of the other batter on top of it. (Check the information in the post above)

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  10. Once they’re done, let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pans to cool completely.

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  1. In a small saucepan combine flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens.
  2. Once it’s done, put a cling film over it touching the surface to prevent “skin” forming and let it cool to room temperature. This is your pudding base. You can do this in a fridge, but before using it let it come to room temperature.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Then add spoonful by spoonful of previously made pudding. Mix until it’s all nicely incorporated and with no lumps. Add the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Cover in cling film and put it in a fridge for an hour until it thickens to spreadable consistency.

Chocolate Ganache Drip

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Make it 10 minutes before pouring over the chilled cake so it has time to cool and thicken a bit.

Assembly

  1. Using a cake leveler or a long serrated knife level the tops of your cakes if needed.
  2. In the middle of your cake board or a serving plate put some buttercream to stop the cake from moving around.
  3. Spread a nice layer of buttercream on top of the first layer and pipe a border around the outside to hold the ganache in. Repeat with the next layer.

  4. Place final layer on top, upside down, and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge before final decorating.

  5. Use the leftover ganache filling to make a chocolate buttercream, mixing it with some vanilla buttercream. If it’s too loose, put it in the fridge to thicken a bit.

  6. Place both of your buttercreams in piping bags. For a vanilla buttercream I used a Wilton 1A tip and for a chocolate buttercream I used a Wilton #12 tip. But you do you. 🙂

  7. Place the chilled cake on a turntable and alternately put the stripes of buttercream on the cake. Once you’re done, fill the top with vanilla buttercream and smooth the sides using a cake scraper.

  8. Every time you use a cake scraper be sure to get rid of the buttercream that you’ve scraped down so you don’t mess up the stripes.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have a standing mixer you can use a hand mixer.
**Not all ovens are the same. I suggest to check the cakes at 20 min mark and then adjust the baking time accordingly. Get to know your oven!

Original Article courtesy of Ana’s Baking Chronicles. Find it here!

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream. Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can […]

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Lifestyle

September 10, 2018

THESE FALL WEDDING DETAILS ARE GIVING US ALL THE FEELS

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold colour but adds such a great textural element to things. The table plan on terracotta tiles is absolutely gorgeous!

Stunning venue The Copse are new members of our recommended supplier directory, The Love Lust List, and a fabulous exclusive hire space for a weekend wedding. I’ll pass you over to Jenna to tell you more…

The Inspiration

Jenna The Planner & Stylist: This was a shoot inspired by a venue and a real bride, Daisy. The Copse is a stunning new wedding venue in the heart of the English countryside owned by Penny and Tim Holley. A beautiful country house with extensive land, The Copse isn’t your typical “cookie cutter”, “designed to be perfect” wedding venue. It has a magical beauty and charm that is outdoors with a laid back vibe and this is what I wanted to capture. I felt something earthy and natural would complement the gorgeous surroundings but didn’t think that ‘English garden’ suited the whole essence of the place. This led me to the terracotta tones and material. A bold colour choice, I picked it deliberately to show how you can use pops of strong colour and a very earthy material and still create something beautiful. I also knew that it would work brilliantly with the autumnal colours that surround the venue at this time of year. In the styling it was important to me to capture something chic but with an unpolished edge, reflective of my style and that of The Copse. Then to the “Bohemian Botanicals’ – the inspiration for this part comes from real bride, Daisy. Now Penny’s daughter in law, Daisy is a natural beauty, a London lawyer with a pinch of bohemian, carefree spirit. Her style is effortless, understated beauty.

The Bridal Looks

I had a very specific idea behind each of the three bridal looks. All with a bohemian ‘nod’ each was created to capture a different part of the ‘wedding day’. The first ‘pre ceremony’ look was the most elegant and was about capturing that moment just before a bride leaves to get married. This featured a gorgeous oversized bouquet but in the more muted and softer greys and greens of the colour palette. I loved how florist, Jen Edmonds of Willowgold, foraged pieces from the venue to add to it. The dress, by Inbal Raviv on loan from Luella’s Bridal, had a two-piece effect and was teamed with killer Marina Grey Cherry heels by Harriet Wildeand accessories by Donna Crain.

The second look was our funky fun, playful look, inspired by that feeling after the ceremony, when the party begins. Here our bride is relaxed and revelling in her wedding day and I chose a 70s inspired trouser and fringe top combination by Otaduy paired with a turban and tassel earrings from Anthropologie. To soften the look a little and bring it back to more bridal, we chose to swap the turban for a headdress by Kelly Spence for part of the look. Again with an oversized bouquet but this time with strong pops of orange autumnal tones and matching silk ribbons from Kate Cullen. The final look was about capturing the end of the wedding day. The most pared back of all the looks I wanted a soft fishtail plait and more bohemian feel and this featured barefoot sandals from Australian brand, Forever Soles. Across all three looks Zoe and Morgan provided us with very different designs of ring to suit each style. Hair and make up dream team Patricia Soper and Mel Kinsman worked magic to translate the essence of each look and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it all perfectly.

The Flowers

In addition to the beautiful bouquets and tablescape florals, florist Jen did something phenomenal in designing the ceremony arch that I was passionate to include. Choosing a variety of flowers, English grown where possible, in a range of rich orange and apricot tones. The dahlia and chrysanthemum were used to get the right shades of terracotta and then to soften it Jen picked creams, greys and blues such as eucalyptus and viburnum blueberry. She also included her favourite flower of the moment, the chocolate cosmos, as a contrast to the lighter hues. Foraging in the countryside on location for sprigs of sycamore, rose hip and oak gave the arch exactly the look we wanted: seasonal and autumnal.

Styling

I brought authentic terracotta into the tablescape with huge charger plates and matching water cups from Portuguese curator Pedro da Costa Felgueiras
of Saudade. We also had terracotta tile escort cards created using calligraphy by Merrie Haig. Always important to blend the terracotta with something softer, Merrie also designed a stationery suite in pale grey with flecks of gold leaf that did this perfectly. The talented Laura of Cakes by Yolk designed the cake. Her style suited our unpolished chic look exactly, the result was a three tier cake, again with the terracotta middle tier blended between two buttercream tiers all flecked with gold leaf. Laura also made some delicious marshmallow accompaniments!

The whole team put their hearts and souls into this shoot and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it so fabulously!

Photography by Kitty Wheeler Shaw

Original Post Courtesy of Rock My Wedding UK. Find it here! 

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold […]

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CREATIVE LIVING

August 16, 2018

CREATING COLORFUL LAYERS IN 250 SQ FT NYC STUDIO APARTMENT

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For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus from fashion to interiors. She started her career working in PR for fashion brands like Halston, Vivienne Tam, and Haute Hippie. Soon after making the move from in-house PR to agency PR, she realized that her interest in home decor had vastly exceeded her interest in fashion. “Activities like going to antique shops, creating a cozy home environment, and taking on DIY projects were things that made me happy. I found myself traveling home to New Jersey more often and I felt more at peace,” Meaghan shares. Not long after that, she joined the ranks of Nylon Consulting, where she’s now part of a collaborative team of five who offer their expertise to designers and decor brands in the areas of PR, business development, creative partnerships, events and social media. On the side, Meaghan also takes online classes with the New York Institute of Art and Design, becoming certified as an interior decorator as her goal.

The 250-square-foot studio apartment that Meaghan rents on New York’s Upper West Side reflects her passion for interiors and the organic development of her personal style. It’s also where she’s been able to try out clever tricks that have turned her small rental into a warm and utterly comfortable home that feels spacious, curated and thoughtfully layered. Being the first home she’s lived in without roommates, filling it with pleasing colors and meaningful pieces was a process that fueled Meaghan’s enthusiasm for interior design even further. Decorating her new home took six months and started with choosing paint colors and the ideal peel-and-stick wallpaper, after which Meaghan moved on to accent furniture and decorative details that truly make the space. Throughout the process, Meaghan made sure that she kept to her initial budget and was able to teach herself tons about budget constraints and space maximizing. Now, her small studio truly makes the case for small-space living.

To elevate her home from dorm room to adult sophistication, Meaghan focused on certain design decisions that made all the difference: investing in a headboard, adding curtains and thinking about the space as numerous layers of color, texture, and pattern. “I wanted to experience the value of designing a home with character. Whether that is through meaningful artwork, an heirloom piece of furniture, antique home accessories with history, etc. — all of it adds to that intangible factor of feeling at home,” Meaghan adds. Although she finally has a space that feels just like her, Meaghan still enjoys the growth that she experiences while decorating. “This process has also shown me how my style has transitioned over the years from bohemian and traditional to a little more of the lived-in classic English look, with colorful textiles and antique treasures. It is fun and energizing to me to know that I’m still finding my aesthetic.” —Sofia

Photography by Anna Mathias / @annacmathias

Image above: “Because my apartment is a studio with high ceilings, I wanted to do something other than just paint so I spent a long time poring over peel-and-stick wallpaper options on Etsy. Not only was it budget conscious, but it stayed within the rules of the lease for renting,” Meaghan explains. After ordering several wallpaper samples, she landed on one with beautiful green eucalyptus leaves on a white background by StreetWorkshop.

* Original Content and Images courtesy of Sofia Tuovinen for Design Sponge. Find more of her articles here!

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For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus […]

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EDITORIAL

October 31, 2018

THIS CHIC CARROT CAKE WILL STUN YOUR GUESTS

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How to Make It

Step 1

Line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Step 2

Stir together the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Step 3

Crack 3 Large eggs into a large mixing bowl and add the following to the bowl:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Fold in the shredded carrot and add the following ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut

Pour batter into previously prepared cake pans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once removed, cool still in the pans on wire racks 15 minutes.

Step 5

After 15 minutes, remove cakes from the pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 6

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Leave it plain or delicately decorate with walnuts, pistachios,  piped frosting,  or sprinkled nutmeg.

 

** Looking to add a bit of flair to your cake, no matter the season or weather? Add extra spice, rum, or brown butter during the cold months. During the spring or Summer, don’t be afraid to decorate it with gorgeous floral elements or maybe even hints of seasonal fruit.

POST TOPIC QUICK VIEW

CONTINUE READING

It’s no secret that I love Fall. I wile away the Summer months daydreaming about crisp breezes, apple cider, and Thanksgiving dumplings. As soon as the weather turns, I flee to my kitchen, ready to bring all of my cream cheese piped dreams to life, typically in the form of pastries and carrot cakes. Gah. […]

if

READ MORE

FOOD AND DRINK

September 20, 2018

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE BARS FROM LOVE & LEMONS

VIEW ARTICLE

These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing.

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH SUPERFOOD BARS by LOVE AND LEMONS

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Serves: makes 20 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, optional
Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, until combined. Add the almond flour and maca, and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan and place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt, until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. To thaw, let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temp.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

Original Content and Images for this post were found on Love and Lemons here! 

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂 There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 10, 2018

ZEBRA MARBLE LAYER CAKE WITH ANA’S BAKING CHRONICLES

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can you resist this stripey zebra look? It’s like an elevated marble cake that we all know and love. Like the one moms would make on a Sunday afternoon to go with a glass of milk.

Only this time, I wanted to make it fancy, nice and layered. I decided to fill the cake with rich and decadent dark chocolate ganache – one of my favourites! Along with my Vanilla Ermine Buttercream which is just to die for and perfect for decorating! It was a match made in heaven, one of the best vanilla-chocolate desserts I’ve ever had!

YOU ONLY NEED 1 BATTER

I wanted to reduce the amount of dishes to clean after (worst job ever), so I decided to make this cake using only one cake batter. Yaay! I used my favourite vanilla cake recipe. It’s a really soft and moist cake with a strong vanilla flavour I got from my homemade vanilla extract.

I was thinking how much cocoa powder I should add to make chocolate batter and if I should add some extra liquid to compensate for cocoa powder. I didn’t want to add melted chocolate because that would alternate the consistency too much and I wouldn’t get dark enough colour. Therefore, I used dutch-processed cocoa powder and it worked like a charm!

Of course, I added too much liquid (I was winging it) so my chocolate batter was a little thinner than my vanilla batter. Thus, the zebra didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted to. You can see it in the bottom of every layer, it kind of mixed together. But it’s still kind of artsy and I grew to love it.

To sum up, it’s very important that both chocolate and vanilla batter have similar consistency.

The next time I’m going to make this cake I probably won’t add any liquid. That’s why I didn’t tell you anything in the recipe about adding liquid. You decide if you need a little bit of milk to make that consistency just right.

HOW TO MAKE ZEBRA EFFECT

It’s easier than you think! To ensure you have the same amount of both chocolate and vanilla batter, you need to weigh it. At least I do. My kitchen scale is probably one of my best friends in the kitchen.

TOP TIP: Weigh the bowl in which you plan to mix your cake batter, so when you need to divide it – you know exactly how much batter you have in there because you will retract the weight of the bowl. And save yourself from cleaning yet another bowl.

Now, once you have both of the batters ready, it’s time to create fun zebra stripe pattern. For this part here I also like to use my kitchen scale because it helps me make sure I have the same amount of black and white every time.

The whole process is actually about layering one batter on top of the other one. The best way to do this is by using spoons. Start with putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then a spoonful of second batter right on top of it. Since I’m using a kitchen scale, I try to put the same amount of each batter.

Every now and then you’ll need to shake the pans a little bit to help it distribute evenly. Maybe I should have filmed a video for this, but I think you get what I’m talking about haha.

And remember, if you don’t succeed at first – it’ll still be so darn delicious!

If you make this cake, make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see it, or tell me all about it down below in comment section!

Zebra Marble Layer Cake

Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Course Dessert
Keyword cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings 12
Author Ana

Ingredients

Zebra Cake

  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 240 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 125 g sour cream room temperature
  • 120 g buttermilk room temperature
  • 15 g dutch-processed cocoa powder

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  • 50 g all purpose flour
  • 225 g granulated sugar
  • 390 g whole milk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 350 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150 g dark chocolate (min 50% cocoa solids)
  • 150 g heavy cream

Chocolate Drip

  • 75 g dark chocolate
  • 75 g heavy cream

Instructions

Zebra Cake

  1. Preheat your fan oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line with parchment paper three 6″ round cake tins.

  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  3. In a measuring jug combine sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla extract. These are your wet ingredients.

  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (approx. 3 min) Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time – making sure it’s fully incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  6. Add your dry and wet ingredients, alternating between one another, starting and finishing with dry ones. (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients)

  7. Divide the batter in half and add cocoa powder in one to make a chocolate batter.

  8. Divide the batters evenly among the 3 tins using spoons – putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then spoonful of the other batter on top of it. (Check the information in the post above)

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  10. Once they’re done, let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pans to cool completely.

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  1. In a small saucepan combine flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens.
  2. Once it’s done, put a cling film over it touching the surface to prevent “skin” forming and let it cool to room temperature. This is your pudding base. You can do this in a fridge, but before using it let it come to room temperature.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Then add spoonful by spoonful of previously made pudding. Mix until it’s all nicely incorporated and with no lumps. Add the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Cover in cling film and put it in a fridge for an hour until it thickens to spreadable consistency.

Chocolate Ganache Drip

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Make it 10 minutes before pouring over the chilled cake so it has time to cool and thicken a bit.

Assembly

  1. Using a cake leveler or a long serrated knife level the tops of your cakes if needed.
  2. In the middle of your cake board or a serving plate put some buttercream to stop the cake from moving around.
  3. Spread a nice layer of buttercream on top of the first layer and pipe a border around the outside to hold the ganache in. Repeat with the next layer.

  4. Place final layer on top, upside down, and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge before final decorating.

  5. Use the leftover ganache filling to make a chocolate buttercream, mixing it with some vanilla buttercream. If it’s too loose, put it in the fridge to thicken a bit.

  6. Place both of your buttercreams in piping bags. For a vanilla buttercream I used a Wilton 1A tip and for a chocolate buttercream I used a Wilton #12 tip. But you do you. 🙂

  7. Place the chilled cake on a turntable and alternately put the stripes of buttercream on the cake. Once you’re done, fill the top with vanilla buttercream and smooth the sides using a cake scraper.

  8. Every time you use a cake scraper be sure to get rid of the buttercream that you’ve scraped down so you don’t mess up the stripes.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have a standing mixer you can use a hand mixer.
**Not all ovens are the same. I suggest to check the cakes at 20 min mark and then adjust the baking time accordingly. Get to know your oven!

Original Article courtesy of Ana’s Baking Chronicles. Find it here!

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream. Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can […]

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Lifestyle

September 10, 2018

THESE FALL WEDDING DETAILS ARE GIVING US ALL THE FEELS

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold colour but adds such a great textural element to things. The table plan on terracotta tiles is absolutely gorgeous!

Stunning venue The Copse are new members of our recommended supplier directory, The Love Lust List, and a fabulous exclusive hire space for a weekend wedding. I’ll pass you over to Jenna to tell you more…

The Inspiration

Jenna The Planner & Stylist: This was a shoot inspired by a venue and a real bride, Daisy. The Copse is a stunning new wedding venue in the heart of the English countryside owned by Penny and Tim Holley. A beautiful country house with extensive land, The Copse isn’t your typical “cookie cutter”, “designed to be perfect” wedding venue. It has a magical beauty and charm that is outdoors with a laid back vibe and this is what I wanted to capture. I felt something earthy and natural would complement the gorgeous surroundings but didn’t think that ‘English garden’ suited the whole essence of the place. This led me to the terracotta tones and material. A bold colour choice, I picked it deliberately to show how you can use pops of strong colour and a very earthy material and still create something beautiful. I also knew that it would work brilliantly with the autumnal colours that surround the venue at this time of year. In the styling it was important to me to capture something chic but with an unpolished edge, reflective of my style and that of The Copse. Then to the “Bohemian Botanicals’ – the inspiration for this part comes from real bride, Daisy. Now Penny’s daughter in law, Daisy is a natural beauty, a London lawyer with a pinch of bohemian, carefree spirit. Her style is effortless, understated beauty.

The Bridal Looks

I had a very specific idea behind each of the three bridal looks. All with a bohemian ‘nod’ each was created to capture a different part of the ‘wedding day’. The first ‘pre ceremony’ look was the most elegant and was about capturing that moment just before a bride leaves to get married. This featured a gorgeous oversized bouquet but in the more muted and softer greys and greens of the colour palette. I loved how florist, Jen Edmonds of Willowgold, foraged pieces from the venue to add to it. The dress, by Inbal Raviv on loan from Luella’s Bridal, had a two-piece effect and was teamed with killer Marina Grey Cherry heels by Harriet Wildeand accessories by Donna Crain.

The second look was our funky fun, playful look, inspired by that feeling after the ceremony, when the party begins. Here our bride is relaxed and revelling in her wedding day and I chose a 70s inspired trouser and fringe top combination by Otaduy paired with a turban and tassel earrings from Anthropologie. To soften the look a little and bring it back to more bridal, we chose to swap the turban for a headdress by Kelly Spence for part of the look. Again with an oversized bouquet but this time with strong pops of orange autumnal tones and matching silk ribbons from Kate Cullen. The final look was about capturing the end of the wedding day. The most pared back of all the looks I wanted a soft fishtail plait and more bohemian feel and this featured barefoot sandals from Australian brand, Forever Soles. Across all three looks Zoe and Morgan provided us with very different designs of ring to suit each style. Hair and make up dream team Patricia Soper and Mel Kinsman worked magic to translate the essence of each look and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it all perfectly.

The Flowers

In addition to the beautiful bouquets and tablescape florals, florist Jen did something phenomenal in designing the ceremony arch that I was passionate to include. Choosing a variety of flowers, English grown where possible, in a range of rich orange and apricot tones. The dahlia and chrysanthemum were used to get the right shades of terracotta and then to soften it Jen picked creams, greys and blues such as eucalyptus and viburnum blueberry. She also included her favourite flower of the moment, the chocolate cosmos, as a contrast to the lighter hues. Foraging in the countryside on location for sprigs of sycamore, rose hip and oak gave the arch exactly the look we wanted: seasonal and autumnal.

Styling

I brought authentic terracotta into the tablescape with huge charger plates and matching water cups from Portuguese curator Pedro da Costa Felgueiras
of Saudade. We also had terracotta tile escort cards created using calligraphy by Merrie Haig. Always important to blend the terracotta with something softer, Merrie also designed a stationery suite in pale grey with flecks of gold leaf that did this perfectly. The talented Laura of Cakes by Yolk designed the cake. Her style suited our unpolished chic look exactly, the result was a three tier cake, again with the terracotta middle tier blended between two buttercream tiers all flecked with gold leaf. Laura also made some delicious marshmallow accompaniments!

The whole team put their hearts and souls into this shoot and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it so fabulously!

Photography by Kitty Wheeler Shaw

Original Post Courtesy of Rock My Wedding UK. Find it here! 

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold […]

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CREATIVE LIVING

August 16, 2018

CREATING COLORFUL LAYERS IN 250 SQ FT NYC STUDIO APARTMENT

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For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus from fashion to interiors. She started her career working in PR for fashion brands like Halston, Vivienne Tam, and Haute Hippie. Soon after making the move from in-house PR to agency PR, she realized that her interest in home decor had vastly exceeded her interest in fashion. “Activities like going to antique shops, creating a cozy home environment, and taking on DIY projects were things that made me happy. I found myself traveling home to New Jersey more often and I felt more at peace,” Meaghan shares. Not long after that, she joined the ranks of Nylon Consulting, where she’s now part of a collaborative team of five who offer their expertise to designers and decor brands in the areas of PR, business development, creative partnerships, events and social media. On the side, Meaghan also takes online classes with the New York Institute of Art and Design, becoming certified as an interior decorator as her goal.

The 250-square-foot studio apartment that Meaghan rents on New York’s Upper West Side reflects her passion for interiors and the organic development of her personal style. It’s also where she’s been able to try out clever tricks that have turned her small rental into a warm and utterly comfortable home that feels spacious, curated and thoughtfully layered. Being the first home she’s lived in without roommates, filling it with pleasing colors and meaningful pieces was a process that fueled Meaghan’s enthusiasm for interior design even further. Decorating her new home took six months and started with choosing paint colors and the ideal peel-and-stick wallpaper, after which Meaghan moved on to accent furniture and decorative details that truly make the space. Throughout the process, Meaghan made sure that she kept to her initial budget and was able to teach herself tons about budget constraints and space maximizing. Now, her small studio truly makes the case for small-space living.

To elevate her home from dorm room to adult sophistication, Meaghan focused on certain design decisions that made all the difference: investing in a headboard, adding curtains and thinking about the space as numerous layers of color, texture, and pattern. “I wanted to experience the value of designing a home with character. Whether that is through meaningful artwork, an heirloom piece of furniture, antique home accessories with history, etc. — all of it adds to that intangible factor of feeling at home,” Meaghan adds. Although she finally has a space that feels just like her, Meaghan still enjoys the growth that she experiences while decorating. “This process has also shown me how my style has transitioned over the years from bohemian and traditional to a little more of the lived-in classic English look, with colorful textiles and antique treasures. It is fun and energizing to me to know that I’m still finding my aesthetic.” —Sofia

Photography by Anna Mathias / @annacmathias

Image above: “Because my apartment is a studio with high ceilings, I wanted to do something other than just paint so I spent a long time poring over peel-and-stick wallpaper options on Etsy. Not only was it budget conscious, but it stayed within the rules of the lease for renting,” Meaghan explains. After ordering several wallpaper samples, she landed on one with beautiful green eucalyptus leaves on a white background by StreetWorkshop.

* Original Content and Images courtesy of Sofia Tuovinen for Design Sponge. Find more of her articles here!

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For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus […]

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FEATURED

August 16, 2018

MAKE YOUR TENDENCY TO OVERTHINK WORK FOR YOU

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It isn’t always easy to know how to stop overthinking things. Any worrier knows the trap of too much overthinking that can land you in the quicksand of rumination that makes you feel even worse, and stuck. Yes, worry can be productive, but it can also be dangerous. The key to being able to protect from the downward spiral of overthinking is to understand the difference between worry and rumination, and know where the tipping point lies between them.

Worry and rumination are similar, but importantly not the same. Worry is defined as, “a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” Worry is the cognitive part of anxiety, the thinking part necessary to imagine potential solutions. At its best, it is active and purposeful.

Rumination is likewise a cognitive aspect of anxiety, but instead focuses on the symptoms, causes and consequences of distress, rather than its solutions. Long associated with anxiety disorders and depression, rumination is a kind of negative circular thinking that exacerbates anxious feelings, impairs problem solving, and often erodes supportive relationships. Unlike worry that can steer toward a solution, rumination tends to embody the very worst cognitive aspect of anxiety: feeling powerless and stuck.

More simply stated, worry can lead to solutions whereas rumination can lead to depression.

When worry next tempts you into overthinking and rumination territory, keep these four points in mind.

1. Focus on what’s in your control, not what isn’t.

A sense of control has long been associated with healthy coping and positive feelings, even in the face of adversity. And while circumstances can often feel fully outside our control, we know that we can always control our attitude, and even our feelings to some extent.Research shows that the simple act of naming your emotions can deliver a sense control. How we label them, and how we think about them, is one key way we can always exert control even in the most powerless of situations.

2. Find the silver lining, and keep your mind there.  

New research suggests optimism, and the capacity to see the silver lining in situations, may be the key to protecting against ruminations ill effects, and promoting resiliency. Focusing on how badly you feel, and why you deserve to feel this way, is the mental trap of rumination. Instead of focusing on fixed attributes of you or the situation, try instead to think about the opportunities for growth and change, and what you will learn that will help you, or someone else, in the future.

3. Focus on solutions.

When worry is focused on solutions, anxiety diminishes. Research at the University of California, Riverside, found that when worry is used to plan for contingencies, it helps people cope with anticipatory anxiety. If you can’t stop worrying about a situation, make sure you are keeping your thoughts geared towards solutions. This will keep your worry productive, and helpful.

4. Distract yourself if you are still feeling stuck or overwhelmed.

Whether it’s a funny video, taking a cognitive break, or simply focusing on the furniture or physical attributes of the environment around you, distraction has been shown to have an emotionally regulating effect in people who tend toward depression. The faster you regulate your emotional response, the faster your coping skills will come online.

To use anxiety as a productive tool, we have to make sure worry doesn’t tip into the sticky swirl of rumination. With the wrong attitude and outlook, anxious worry can quickly transform itself into more dangerous overthinking. A gateway to depression, rumination is anxiety run amok, where negative feelings drive a spiral of negative thinking that leads to increased distress, and a greater sense of hopelessness.

Optimism, on the other hand, is a powerful hedge against this negative spiral, and according to science, just might be the gateway to resilience.

 

For more help with managing stress and anxiety, check out my anxiety blog, download my free ebook, or sign up for my newsletter.

*Original Content and Images courtesy of Alicia Clark PsyD. Take a look at her super informative website! 

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It isn’t always easy to know how to stop overthinking things. Any worrier knows the trap of too much overthinking that can land you in the quicksand of rumination that makes you feel even worse, and stuck. Yes, worry can be productive, but it can also be dangerous. The key to being able to protect […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 20, 2018

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE BARS FROM LOVE & LEMONS

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing.

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods.

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. It’s the best place to stock up on all of these wonderful non-GMO ingredients for 25-50% below traditional retail prices. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable. Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares. Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.

RAW PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH SUPERFOOD BARS by LOVE AND LEMONS

Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Serves: makes 20 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, optional
Instructions
  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, until combined. Add the almond flour and maca, and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan and place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt, until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. To thaw, let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temp.
If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

Original Content and Images for this post were found on Love and Lemons here! 

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These bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂 There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to […]

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FOOD AND DRINK

September 10, 2018

ZEBRA MARBLE LAYER CAKE WITH ANA’S BAKING CHRONICLES

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can you resist this stripey zebra look? It’s like an elevated marble cake that we all know and love. Like the one moms would make on a Sunday afternoon to go with a glass of milk.

Only this time, I wanted to make it fancy, nice and layered. I decided to fill the cake with rich and decadent dark chocolate ganache – one of my favourites! Along with my Vanilla Ermine Buttercream which is just to die for and perfect for decorating! It was a match made in heaven, one of the best vanilla-chocolate desserts I’ve ever had!

YOU ONLY NEED 1 BATTER

I wanted to reduce the amount of dishes to clean after (worst job ever), so I decided to make this cake using only one cake batter. Yaay! I used my favourite vanilla cake recipe. It’s a really soft and moist cake with a strong vanilla flavour I got from my homemade vanilla extract.

I was thinking how much cocoa powder I should add to make chocolate batter and if I should add some extra liquid to compensate for cocoa powder. I didn’t want to add melted chocolate because that would alternate the consistency too much and I wouldn’t get dark enough colour. Therefore, I used dutch-processed cocoa powder and it worked like a charm!

Of course, I added too much liquid (I was winging it) so my chocolate batter was a little thinner than my vanilla batter. Thus, the zebra didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted to. You can see it in the bottom of every layer, it kind of mixed together. But it’s still kind of artsy and I grew to love it.

To sum up, it’s very important that both chocolate and vanilla batter have similar consistency.

The next time I’m going to make this cake I probably won’t add any liquid. That’s why I didn’t tell you anything in the recipe about adding liquid. You decide if you need a little bit of milk to make that consistency just right.

HOW TO MAKE ZEBRA EFFECT

It’s easier than you think! To ensure you have the same amount of both chocolate and vanilla batter, you need to weigh it. At least I do. My kitchen scale is probably one of my best friends in the kitchen.

TOP TIP: Weigh the bowl in which you plan to mix your cake batter, so when you need to divide it – you know exactly how much batter you have in there because you will retract the weight of the bowl. And save yourself from cleaning yet another bowl.

Now, once you have both of the batters ready, it’s time to create fun zebra stripe pattern. For this part here I also like to use my kitchen scale because it helps me make sure I have the same amount of black and white every time.

The whole process is actually about layering one batter on top of the other one. The best way to do this is by using spoons. Start with putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then a spoonful of second batter right on top of it. Since I’m using a kitchen scale, I try to put the same amount of each batter.

Every now and then you’ll need to shake the pans a little bit to help it distribute evenly. Maybe I should have filmed a video for this, but I think you get what I’m talking about haha.

And remember, if you don’t succeed at first – it’ll still be so darn delicious!

If you make this cake, make sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see it, or tell me all about it down below in comment section!

Zebra Marble Layer Cake

Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream.

Course Dessert
Keyword cake
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings 12
Author Ana

Ingredients

Zebra Cake

  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 240 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 125 g sour cream room temperature
  • 120 g buttermilk room temperature
  • 15 g dutch-processed cocoa powder

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  • 50 g all purpose flour
  • 225 g granulated sugar
  • 390 g whole milk
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 350 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  • 150 g dark chocolate (min 50% cocoa solids)
  • 150 g heavy cream

Chocolate Drip

  • 75 g dark chocolate
  • 75 g heavy cream

Instructions

Zebra Cake

  1. Preheat your fan oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease and line with parchment paper three 6″ round cake tins.

  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.
  3. In a measuring jug combine sour cream, buttermilk and vanilla extract. These are your wet ingredients.

  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (approx. 3 min) Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time – making sure it’s fully incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  6. Add your dry and wet ingredients, alternating between one another, starting and finishing with dry ones. (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients)

  7. Divide the batter in half and add cocoa powder in one to make a chocolate batter.

  8. Divide the batters evenly among the 3 tins using spoons – putting a spoonful of one batter in the middle of the pan and then spoonful of the other batter on top of it. (Check the information in the post above)

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
  10. Once they’re done, let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pans to cool completely.

Vanilla Ermine Buttercream

  1. In a small saucepan combine flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens.
  2. Once it’s done, put a cling film over it touching the surface to prevent “skin” forming and let it cool to room temperature. This is your pudding base. You can do this in a fridge, but before using it let it come to room temperature.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Then add spoonful by spoonful of previously made pudding. Mix until it’s all nicely incorporated and with no lumps. Add the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filling

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Cover in cling film and put it in a fridge for an hour until it thickens to spreadable consistency.

Chocolate Ganache Drip

  1. Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth.

    Make it 10 minutes before pouring over the chilled cake so it has time to cool and thicken a bit.

Assembly

  1. Using a cake leveler or a long serrated knife level the tops of your cakes if needed.
  2. In the middle of your cake board or a serving plate put some buttercream to stop the cake from moving around.
  3. Spread a nice layer of buttercream on top of the first layer and pipe a border around the outside to hold the ganache in. Repeat with the next layer.

  4. Place final layer on top, upside down, and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge before final decorating.

  5. Use the leftover ganache filling to make a chocolate buttercream, mixing it with some vanilla buttercream. If it’s too loose, put it in the fridge to thicken a bit.

  6. Place both of your buttercreams in piping bags. For a vanilla buttercream I used a Wilton 1A tip and for a chocolate buttercream I used a Wilton #12 tip. But you do you. 🙂

  7. Place the chilled cake on a turntable and alternately put the stripes of buttercream on the cake. Once you’re done, fill the top with vanilla buttercream and smooth the sides using a cake scraper.

  8. Every time you use a cake scraper be sure to get rid of the buttercream that you’ve scraped down so you don’t mess up the stripes.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have a standing mixer you can use a hand mixer.
**Not all ovens are the same. I suggest to check the cakes at 20 min mark and then adjust the baking time accordingly. Get to know your oven!

Original Article courtesy of Ana’s Baking Chronicles. Find it here!

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Classic combination of chocolate and vanilla flavours with a  zebra pattern twist! Soft and moist cake, filled with rich chocolate ganache and silky vanilla ermine buttercream. Now, I know lots of people find this chocolate-vanilla combo boring. I think we can all agree it’s a safe bet. But, it’s a very delicious one. How can […]

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Lifestyle

September 10, 2018

THESE FALL WEDDING DETAILS ARE GIVING US ALL THE FEELS

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold colour but adds such a great textural element to things. The table plan on terracotta tiles is absolutely gorgeous!

Stunning venue The Copse are new members of our recommended supplier directory, The Love Lust List, and a fabulous exclusive hire space for a weekend wedding. I’ll pass you over to Jenna to tell you more…

The Inspiration

Jenna The Planner & Stylist: This was a shoot inspired by a venue and a real bride, Daisy. The Copse is a stunning new wedding venue in the heart of the English countryside owned by Penny and Tim Holley. A beautiful country house with extensive land, The Copse isn’t your typical “cookie cutter”, “designed to be perfect” wedding venue. It has a magical beauty and charm that is outdoors with a laid back vibe and this is what I wanted to capture. I felt something earthy and natural would complement the gorgeous surroundings but didn’t think that ‘English garden’ suited the whole essence of the place. This led me to the terracotta tones and material. A bold colour choice, I picked it deliberately to show how you can use pops of strong colour and a very earthy material and still create something beautiful. I also knew that it would work brilliantly with the autumnal colours that surround the venue at this time of year. In the styling it was important to me to capture something chic but with an unpolished edge, reflective of my style and that of The Copse. Then to the “Bohemian Botanicals’ – the inspiration for this part comes from real bride, Daisy. Now Penny’s daughter in law, Daisy is a natural beauty, a London lawyer with a pinch of bohemian, carefree spirit. Her style is effortless, understated beauty.

The Bridal Looks

I had a very specific idea behind each of the three bridal looks. All with a bohemian ‘nod’ each was created to capture a different part of the ‘wedding day’. The first ‘pre ceremony’ look was the most elegant and was about capturing that moment just before a bride leaves to get married. This featured a gorgeous oversized bouquet but in the more muted and softer greys and greens of the colour palette. I loved how florist, Jen Edmonds of Willowgold, foraged pieces from the venue to add to it. The dress, by Inbal Raviv on loan from Luella’s Bridal, had a two-piece effect and was teamed with killer Marina Grey Cherry heels by Harriet Wildeand accessories by Donna Crain.

The second look was our funky fun, playful look, inspired by that feeling after the ceremony, when the party begins. Here our bride is relaxed and revelling in her wedding day and I chose a 70s inspired trouser and fringe top combination by Otaduy paired with a turban and tassel earrings from Anthropologie. To soften the look a little and bring it back to more bridal, we chose to swap the turban for a headdress by Kelly Spence for part of the look. Again with an oversized bouquet but this time with strong pops of orange autumnal tones and matching silk ribbons from Kate Cullen. The final look was about capturing the end of the wedding day. The most pared back of all the looks I wanted a soft fishtail plait and more bohemian feel and this featured barefoot sandals from Australian brand, Forever Soles. Across all three looks Zoe and Morgan provided us with very different designs of ring to suit each style. Hair and make up dream team Patricia Soper and Mel Kinsman worked magic to translate the essence of each look and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it all perfectly.

The Flowers

In addition to the beautiful bouquets and tablescape florals, florist Jen did something phenomenal in designing the ceremony arch that I was passionate to include. Choosing a variety of flowers, English grown where possible, in a range of rich orange and apricot tones. The dahlia and chrysanthemum were used to get the right shades of terracotta and then to soften it Jen picked creams, greys and blues such as eucalyptus and viburnum blueberry. She also included her favourite flower of the moment, the chocolate cosmos, as a contrast to the lighter hues. Foraging in the countryside on location for sprigs of sycamore, rose hip and oak gave the arch exactly the look we wanted: seasonal and autumnal.

Styling

I brought authentic terracotta into the tablescape with huge charger plates and matching water cups from Portuguese curator Pedro da Costa Felgueiras
of Saudade. We also had terracotta tile escort cards created using calligraphy by Merrie Haig. Always important to blend the terracotta with something softer, Merrie also designed a stationery suite in pale grey with flecks of gold leaf that did this perfectly. The talented Laura of Cakes by Yolk designed the cake. Her style suited our unpolished chic look exactly, the result was a three tier cake, again with the terracotta middle tier blended between two buttercream tiers all flecked with gold leaf. Laura also made some delicious marshmallow accompaniments!

The whole team put their hearts and souls into this shoot and Kitty Wheeler Shaw captured it so fabulously!

Photography by Kitty Wheeler Shaw

Original Post Courtesy of Rock My Wedding UK. Find it here! 

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I love every single element of this shoot. From the beauty looks, to the dresses, from the flowers to the table scape – everything has been planned and styled to perfection by Jenna Hewitt and captured by Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Incorporating terracotta into a wedding colour scheme is a great idea, it’s an earthy bold […]

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CREATIVE LIVING

August 16, 2018

CREATING COLORFUL LAYERS IN 250 SQ FT NYC STUDIO APARTMENT

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For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus from fashion to interiors. She started her career working in PR for fashion brands like Halston, Vivienne Tam, and Haute Hippie. Soon after making the move from in-house PR to agency PR, she realized that her interest in home decor had vastly exceeded her interest in fashion. “Activities like going to antique shops, creating a cozy home environment, and taking on DIY projects were things that made me happy. I found myself traveling home to New Jersey more often and I felt more at peace,” Meaghan shares. Not long after that, she joined the ranks of Nylon Consulting, where she’s now part of a collaborative team of five who offer their expertise to designers and decor brands in the areas of PR, business development, creative partnerships, events and social media. On the side, Meaghan also takes online classes with the New York Institute of Art and Design, becoming certified as an interior decorator as her goal.

The 250-square-foot studio apartment that Meaghan rents on New York’s Upper West Side reflects her passion for interiors and the organic development of her personal style. It’s also where she’s been able to try out clever tricks that have turned her small rental into a warm and utterly comfortable home that feels spacious, curated and thoughtfully layered. Being the first home she’s lived in without roommates, filling it with pleasing colors and meaningful pieces was a process that fueled Meaghan’s enthusiasm for interior design even further. Decorating her new home took six months and started with choosing paint colors and the ideal peel-and-stick wallpaper, after which Meaghan moved on to accent furniture and decorative details that truly make the space. Throughout the process, Meaghan made sure that she kept to her initial budget and was able to teach herself tons about budget constraints and space maximizing. Now, her small studio truly makes the case for small-space living.

To elevate her home from dorm room to adult sophistication, Meaghan focused on certain design decisions that made all the difference: investing in a headboard, adding curtains and thinking about the space as numerous layers of color, texture, and pattern. “I wanted to experience the value of designing a home with character. Whether that is through meaningful artwork, an heirloom piece of furniture, antique home accessories with history, etc. — all of it adds to that intangible factor of feeling at home,” Meaghan adds. Although she finally has a space that feels just like her, Meaghan still enjoys the growth that she experiences while decorating. “This process has also shown me how my style has transitioned over the years from bohemian and traditional to a little more of the lived-in classic English look, with colorful textiles and antique treasures. It is fun and energizing to me to know that I’m still finding my aesthetic.” —Sofia

Photography by Anna Mathias / @annacmathias

Image above: “Because my apartment is a studio with high ceilings, I wanted to do something other than just paint so I spent a long time poring over peel-and-stick wallpaper options on Etsy. Not only was it budget conscious, but it stayed within the rules of the lease for renting,” Meaghan explains. After ordering several wallpaper samples, she landed on one with beautiful green eucalyptus leaves on a white background by StreetWorkshop.

* Original Content and Images courtesy of Sofia Tuovinen for Design Sponge. Find more of her articles here!

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For me, changing careers from fashion to interiors was a long and winding road with unforeseeable pitstops and bumps in the road. Nevertheless, it’s a journey that I’ve never regretted and one that’s taught me that there’s always time and room to change direction. Meaghan Shanley also knows a thing or two about shifting focus […]

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FEATURED

August 16, 2018

MAKE YOUR TENDENCY TO OVERTHINK WORK FOR YOU

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It isn’t always easy to know how to stop overthinking things. Any worrier knows the trap of too much overthinking that can land you in the quicksand of rumination that makes you feel even worse, and stuck. Yes, worry can be productive, but it can also be dangerous. The key to being able to protect from the downward spiral of overthinking is to understand the difference between worry and rumination, and know where the tipping point lies between them.

Worry and rumination are similar, but importantly not the same. Worry is defined as, “a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.” Worry is the cognitive part of anxiety, the thinking part necessary to imagine potential solutions. At its best, it is active and purposeful.

Rumination is likewise a cognitive aspect of anxiety, but instead focuses on the symptoms, causes and consequences of distress, rather than its solutions. Long associated with anxiety disorders and depression, rumination is a kind of negative circular thinking that exacerbates anxious feelings, impairs problem solving, and often erodes supportive relationships. Unlike worry that can steer toward a solution, rumination tends to embody the very worst cognitive aspect of anxiety: feeling powerless and stuck.

More simply stated, worry can lead to solutions whereas rumination can lead to depression.

When worry next tempts you into overthinking and rumination territory, keep these four points in mind.

1. Focus on what’s in your control, not what isn’t.

A sense of control has long been associated with healthy coping and positive feelings, even in the face of adversity. And while circumstances can often feel fully outside our control, we know that we can always control our attitude, and even our feelings to some extent.Research shows that the simple act of naming your emotions can deliver a sense control. How we label them, and how we think about them, is one key way we can always exert control even in the most powerless of situations.

2. Find the silver lining, and keep your mind there.  

New research suggests optimism, and the capacity to see the silver lining in situations, may be the key to protecting against ruminations ill effects, and promoting resiliency. Focusing on how badly you feel, and why you deserve to feel this way, is the mental trap of rumination. Instead of focusing on fixed attributes of you or the situation, try instead to think about the opportunities for growth and change, and what you will learn that will help you, or someone else, in the future.

3. Focus on solutions.

When worry is focused on solutions, anxiety diminishes. Research at the University of California, Riverside, found that when worry is used to plan for contingencies, it helps people cope with anticipatory anxiety. If you can’t stop worrying about a situation, make sure you are keeping your thoughts geared towards solutions. This will keep your worry productive, and helpful.

4. Distract yourself if you are still feeling stuck or overwhelmed.

Whether it’s a funny video, taking a cognitive break, or simply focusing on the furniture or physical attributes of the environment around you, distraction has been shown to have an emotionally regulating effect in people who tend toward depression. The faster you regulate your emotional response, the faster your coping skills will come online.

To use anxiety as a productive tool, we have to make sure worry doesn’t tip into the sticky swirl of rumination. With the wrong attitude and outlook, anxious worry can quickly transform itself into more dangerous overthinking. A gateway to depression, rumination is anxiety run amok, where negative feelings drive a spiral of negative thinking that leads to increased distress, and a greater sense of hopelessness.

Optimism, on the other hand, is a powerful hedge against this negative spiral, and according to science, just might be the gateway to resilience.

 

For more help with managing stress and anxiety, check out my anxiety blog, download my free ebook, or sign up for my newsletter.

*Original Content and Images courtesy of Alicia Clark PsyD. Take a look at her super informative website! 

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It isn’t always easy to know how to stop overthinking things. Any worrier knows the trap of too much overthinking that can land you in the quicksand of rumination that makes you feel even worse, and stuck. Yes, worry can be productive, but it can also be dangerous. The key to being able to protect […]

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NYC

August 16, 2018

SKIN LAUNDRY – WHAT TO EXPECT WITH HUM

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Yes, you’ll have to wear those funny little goggles. 

Curious about the ins and outs of laser and light therapy for skin? We’ve got answers! Skin Laundry Founder, Yen Reis, answers all of our questions on this much-raved about beauty treatment from the future.

What are the benefits of laser and light therapy for skin?

We see a lot of remarkable benefits for laser and light treatments in our practice! Some of treatments are designed to deep clean, brighten and tighten your skin, while others produce more dramatic, long-term results. For example, it can help with reducing sun damage and fine lines, clearing acne or even stimulating collagen production.

How does it work?

We use a proprietary two-step system. First we use a YAG laser to give your skin a deep, professional clean by vaporizing oil, dirt, bacteria and toxins – anything clogging your pores. The same laser penetrates deep into the layers of your skin to stimulate collagen and elastic production, break up pigment, reduce pore size and sebum production. The second part of your treatment, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), is more superficial and targets redness, brown spots, inflammation and bacteria on the surface of your skin. When these two skincare technologies act together, they produce amazing results.

What should first time users expect?

After you check in, you are taken to a treatment room by one of our laser specialists. Once inside, we thoroughly cleanse your face and place protective eye goggles over your eyes.

Then, one of our highly trained healthcare professions performs the light therapy treatment. First, we use a handheld device that delivers a pulse of YAG laser light over your face. It feels like a tingling sensation on your skin that is noticeable,  but not painful. After the laser, a layer of cooling gel is applied to your face to start the next step, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). The IPL delivers high intensity pulses of broadband light that help reduce redness, even out skin tone, diminish broken capillaries and destroy light-sensitive acne-causing bacteria. You will notice a bright flash of light and a slight warm sensation during this step.

Finally, we cleanse the skin again to remove the cooling gel and apply our toner and daily moisturizer with SPF 35. The entire procedure takes less than 15 minutes.

How long until you see results?

One  treatment alone will show noticeable improvements in cleansing and brightening your skin. However, we recommend regular treatments to achieve more dramatic, long-term results in clarity, tone, elasticity and texture over time.

What is the difference between at-home light therapy devices and the ones professionals use?

Our light therapy devices are medical grade, meaning only medical professionals are qualified to administer the treatments. Because they are stronger devices, the treatment is more effective and yields better results more quickly than any at-home device.

To learn more about the benefits of light therapy, visit Skin Laundry’s website or better yet – book an appointment to find out first hand!

*Original Content and Images courtesy of the amazing Hum Nutrition. Read more on her website.

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Yes, you’ll have to wear those funny little goggles.  Curious about the ins and outs of laser and light therapy for skin? We’ve got answers! Skin Laundry Founder, Yen Reis, answers all of our questions on this much-raved about beauty treatment from the future. What are the benefits of laser and light therapy for skin? […]

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