Mar
30

Wine Awesomeness + a Free Month of Wine!

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A miraculous thing happened at my house a few weeks ago. Three bottles of wine showed up on my porch stoop safely packed in their own little suitcase. The good folks over at Wine Awesomeness made it possible with their monthly subscription service that aims to prove that wine is for everyone, wine is everywhere, and wine is discovery.

 

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Good wine is for the masses, and not just at dinner parties. Wine Awesomeness is a monthly journey in wine education that’s curated for adventurous souls. Sound like you? Read on. Every month their sommeliers dream up a wine-fueled adventure and send it right to your door. They comb the globe to find the coolest, tastiest wines that you just don’t see everyday.

 

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They’re so confident in Wine Awesomeness that if you can recreate their box for less, you’ll receive an entire year on them! But to start, they’re offering your first month’s box for free (just pay shipping and handling). Click here to get this week off to a grand start.

Mar
13

Happy Weekend

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01/ Bandages that will make your wound look worse than it actually is.
02/ This bar in Louisiana has a built-in chilled strip to keep beverages cold.
03/ Cloud iridescence is a real thing.
04/ Weapons of Mass Instruction is a 1979 Ford converted into a book-toting tank!
05/ I love the idea of creating a grazing table instead of appetizers.
06/ The Lotus Building in China depicts the three states of a blooming flower.
07/ A hair freezing contest!
08/ These approved catcalls are hilarious.
09/ It turns out activated charcoal is really good for our skin – have you tried it?
10/ Danny Quirk‘s realistic anatomical paintings expose our inner workings.

This week on Design Crush:
Pat Perry‘s illustrations will transport you to another world.
Temperatures are slowly climbing and I have my spring wish list ready!
Beautiful modern female portraits by Annie Kevans.
How things are going after being back in Pittsburgh for six months.
The storytelling embroidery pieces of Michelle Kingdom.
These 8 great apps are some of my recent favorites.
Energetic abstracts from Kerri Rosenthal.
Ten March DIYs to keep you busy this month.
Take a peek at Gus Hughes‘ right-out-of-the-tube paintings.

Feb
25

5 Favorite Food Blogs of the Moment

Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year (whomp whomp), food porn has become even more prevalent in my carb-counting lifestyle. Thankfully there are not only plenty of ways to adapt recipes (zucchini noodles and mashed cauliflower have become my favorites), there are also plenty of sites that create beautifully developed recipes that are photographed so well I can almost taste them through the screen of my laptop. Here are five that make my tastebuds daydream.

 

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Hipsterfood is a vegan site run by couple Cara and Bob. Their ironically named site is full of sometimes healthy, sometimes decadent recipes that are made from “95% cheap, easy-to-find food, and 5% sort-of-pricey, specialty food.” I love how realistic and unpretentious these two are and look forward to the day when they write a cookbook.

Recent Favorites: Four Dollar Pho, Lemon-Blueberry Pudding Cake, Comforting Spiced White Bean Orichiette Stew

 

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Butterlust is the work of the witty and intelligent Katie, who runs her site kind of like a test kitchen. If something goes wrong you’ll know it because she’ll tell you, just like how she sometimes uses cake mix and is super messy in the kitchen. Honesty is always refreshing.

Recent Favorites: Coconut Gingeroons with White Chocolate Drizzle, Strawberry + Marzipan Hand Pies, Cranberry, Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Cinnamon Rolls

 

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Lady and Pups is a self-proclaimed “angry food blog” of one woman and her move to Beijing three years ago. You see, she kind of hates it so she’s turning all of that frustration and angst into lovely meals. I’m totally down with that – some of the best creativity is born from situations we can’t control.

Recent Favorites: Bacon Cracklin’ Pancake with Salted Honey, Cold and Warm Salmon Scrambled Eggs Rolls, Carrot Gingerbread Cake with Cardamom Frosting + Ginger Fries

 

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Seasons & Suppers is Jennifer’s cooking diary as she makes her way through the seasons Ontario, Canada. Seasonal and healthy, hearty and comforting, occasionally decadent recipes fill each post with a focus on taking advantage of what’s fresh and at its best.

Recent Favorites: Meyer Lemon Risotto with Arugula and Shiitakes, 15 Minute Spicy Udon and Vegetable Stir Fry, Baby Blueberry Beignets

 

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My Name is Yeh follows the hilarious Molly through her adventurous in food and life. Most recipes are inspired by her Jewish and Asian roots, and now that she’s moved from Brooklyn to a farm in North Dakota there’s a bit of that as well. It seems she’s always on a adventure.

Recent Favorites: Shakshuka Pizza, Breakfast Hasselback Sweet Potatoes, Rich Little Brownies with Matcha Glaze

Feb
20

Happy Weekend

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01/ Five friends got together and built Icehenge in Lake Mills Wisconsin.
02/ White balloons erupt from houses, basketball hoops, and more in Invasions.
03/ See what a cup of tea looks like in 22 different countries.
04/ Rebecca Bartoshesky turns Jell-o into modern art.
05/ Glowing terracotta warrior lantern sculptures are on display in Sydney for Chinese New Year.
06/ Winter winds have carved frozen sand towers on the shore of Lake Michigan.
07/ Lifelike galvanized wire animal sculptures by Kendra Haste.
08/ Beautiful mosaics made from painted ceramic plates by Molly Hatch.
09/ Joy Pitts turns unwanted clothing labels in to beautiful animal portraits.
10/ I now want to adopt a capybara even more since finding out they enjoy hot tub soaks.

This week on Design Crush:
Big + bold statement art and why it works so well in nearly every room.
Pretty snowy script street art by Faust New York.
I’m an adult! I got a new Casper mattress!
Check out these 12 February DIYs you’ll want to make ASAP.
Stunning textile art by Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia.
Great leather bags meet art at Epoché.
Cheuk Lun Lo turns shampooed heads into abstract art.
Stay warm with hot chocolate 12 ways.
Who knew that flowers look just as great frozen in ice as in a vase? Makoto Azuma.

Design Crush elsewhere:
Sometimes pattern-free is just the way to be!

Jan
15

Moscow Mules 10 Ways

One of my only goals for the new year is to perfect a kickass Moscow mule, the classic is new(ish) to me and it’s quickly become one of my favorite cocktails. They just go down so smooth and the shiny copper mugs make drinking one all the more fun. I’ll keep you all posted with my progress, but for now here are ten variations that I’d love to try while doing my own (ahem) research and here are some of the best ginger beers to use.

 

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Click on each image to go to the recipe.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.

Jan
05

Makrbox

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When subscription boxes became an overnight trend a few years ago it was tough to separate the wheat from the chaff. There were plenty of smart ideas, but little quality in my experiences. I’ve remained true to Birchbox and Hatchery, and now I’m under the spell of Makrbox.

Their idea is to provide a collection of the best handcrafted home and kitchen goods made in the Pacific Northwest. Each of the 2-3 products you receive includes the story if its creator, their inspiration, and the process. A few favorite pieces I received are above – an ergonomic hardwood saute tool by Geoff Fisher, Flying Bird Botanicals Dreamcatcher Tea (a new obsession), San Juan Sea Salt, Pigeon Toe Stacking Thimble Cups, and a linen tea towel from Love, Daniella.

 

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Dec
27

Happy Weekend

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01/ This floating greenhouse is powered by solar, wind, and tidal energy.
02/ Tara Donovan creates incredible paper towers.
03/ Here’s to 2014!, and illustrated mashup of pop culture events from the past year.
04/ The prettiest confections from Nectar & Stone.
05/ The captivating beauty of libraries around the world.
06/ If I owned this beautiful Hock Design Fitness Equipment there’s a tiny chance I might workout.
07/ Intricate paper animals crafted by elaborate origami techniques.
08/ Support the #FreeTheNipple campaign with a Tit Tee.
09/ Mirage Pavillion is a mind-bending installation made up of of 1,200 small mirrors.
10/ Bottom Feeders depicts tea set pieces that appear to have been dredged up from the sea bottom.

This week on Design Crush:
Colorful tropical birds by Pete Cromer.
My go-to planner for every year – the Day Designer.
Fabric and paper animal masks by Abigail Brown.
Lovely fabric accessories by Anna Joyce.
The crazy/quirky art of Kelly Puissegur.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
You’re invited to New Year’s Eve.

Dec
16

Creating a Holiday Candy Buffet

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It’s holiday party season – are you organizing one this year? I’ve been having a few friends over here and there, which I much prefer to one grand shindig. More quality time to talk and just hang out at the speed I prefer. I wanted to pull together a little takeaway for each gathering and came up with this candy buffet in my dining room as a sweet treat to end the evening.

 

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I used the metallic tones I tend to gravitate towards during the holidays as a starting point. Lots of glass jars of different sizes, small porcelain bowls, gem-cut mercury glass bowls, a metal hammered gold bowl, and a few pieces that I already had tucked away round out the spread nicely.

 

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Layering different heights adds visual interest that pulls you right through the buffet as you gather your goodies on the go. I stuck to a palette of silver, blue, red, and green candy and was sure to include lots of different types – chocolate, fruit flavored, chewy, hard – lots of different textures and flavors to satisfy even the choosiest visitor!

 

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The main focal point is a group of three paper trees I made a few years ago, a sweet white ceramic stag head, and several tea lights in small mason jars to add lots of sparkle and shine to the surface. A flocked wreath hanging in the overhead in the window added some extra holiday spirit.

 

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Of course we couldn’t forget the most iconic Christmas classics – candy canes and peppermints. Miniature candy canes are perfect for adding to a cup of hot chocolate. Use one as a stir until it dissolves for a twist on the old standby.

 

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The buffet is easy to replenish as things run out between get togethers and looks pretty enough when not in use. Hope your holiday season is stress-free and sweet!

Shop the buffet: Ceramic Stag Head // Small Gold Metal Hammered Serving Bowl // 18″ Flocked Wreath with Blue Ornaments // Assorted Porcelain Dip Bowls // Silver Mercury Glass Cereal Bowl // Small Frosted Gold Mason Jar // Medium Frosted Silver Mason Jar // Medium Frosted Gold Mason Jar

 

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

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Dec
10

25 Cookie Swap Recipes

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My Grandma turned 90 this year and has finally agreed to relinquish cookie making duties to me this Christmas. (She’ll still be making her famous-among-hundreds nut rolls, however.) I’ve done a few cookie swaps over the years, and I have to admit they make the cookie task much more interesting. I love trying other peoples’ tried and true family recipes, and I love the variety that comes with a good ‘ol fashioned swap. Do you have a go-to?

 

mandarin orange tea cookies

 

Mandarin orange Tea Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

Mint Slice Cookies

Frosted Spiced Persimmon Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts

Nutella and Hazelnut Palmiers

 

Frosted Eggnog Cookies

 

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Orange Ricotta Cookies

Peppermint Butter Cookies

Whipped Shortbread with Molasses Glaze

Brown Sugar Cookies

 

peppermint pattie cookies

 

Peppermint Pattie Cookies

Rum and Eggnog Cookies

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt

Cherry Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

 

Cranberry Marzipan Cookies

 

Cherry Marzipan Cookies

Gingerbread Donut Cookies

Chai Cookies

French Toast Sugar Cookies

Flourless Hot Cocoa Cookies

 

PUMPKIN PIE COOKIES

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

Citrus Sugar Cookies

Brownie Cookies Dipped in Chocolate and Pretzels

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Allsorts Sugar Cookies

Dec
05

Happy Weekend

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01/ Go minimals this December with a nativity set of wooden blocks.
02/ Spy on classic authors’ American homes on Google Maps.
03/ Here’s what a tattoo looks like really, really close up.
04/ Move over ugly Christmas sweaters, it’s time for the ugly Christmas suit.
05/ The plans for Pier 55, a floating park over the Hudson River, look beautiful.
06/ Food Ministry’s Cake in a Can… for cake eating emergencies.
07/ Gumhead is a sculpture in Vancouver made to be covered in chewing gum.
08/ Dried scotch turns into interstellar landscapes in Vanishing Spirits.
09/ Stephen Orlando captured the motions of kayaking and canoeing in light paintings.
10/ Need some alone time? Meet the Nutshell.

This week on Design Crush:
Are you following along with 24 Merry Days? Twenty-four bloggers are doing giveaways for 24 days this month.
Drake General Store x Design Crush is giving away a cherry-picked prize pack worth a whopping $1,000!
Check out eight art prints I’ve got my eye on this month.
Crushing on the ceramic work of RedRaven Studios.
Time to start fresh with some clean stockings this Christmas?
The wall hangings of artist Heather Levine are stunning.
More holiday cards, just in case you have yet to pick yours out!
This monthly art subscription – Papirmass – is perfect for the art lover on your list.
Showstopping hand-painted wallpaper from Voutsa.
2015 calendars, part 5 to get you ready for January!
Sharing the last room on the first floor of my home, the kitchen.
A bevy of drinks for holiday entertaining and coping – Happy Alcoholidays!

Design Crush elsewhere:
Shiny brass accents are where it’s at!