Summer Staple: Potato Salad

Few things beat a fresh bowl of potato salad, especially when served with baked beans and something hot off the grill. (Drool.) I love that it’s one of those dishes that can be incredibly versatile as well. One day I’ll share my Grandma’s recipe which is famous among hundreds, but for now these nine will have to do! (Other summer staples: ice cream, lemonade, and popsicles)











All recipes and photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.



Summer Staple: Popsicles

So far we’ve covered ice cream and lemonade in our week of summer staple recipes. Today we’re talking about a treat that’s somehow both traditional and trendy all at once – the popsicle! I have very vivid memories of spending hot days at my great aunt’s pool, coming inside to cool down and argue with my cousins over who got a banana popsicle and who got a chocolate one from the bulk bag she bought at the grocery store. All I know is it’s a good thing some of these flavors weren’t an option back then, or there would have been some hair pulling! We’ve included a few boozy options for the adults below, so take note.

















All recipes and photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.


Summer Staple: Lemonade

Day two of summer staples has us singing the praises of lemonade in its myriad of forms. With fruit, with herbs, or just made the traditional way plain and simple. There are few things more quintessentially summer than sitting outside, wiping sweat from your brow, and sipping on a glass of sweet-tart goodness. (Monday: Ice Cream)












All recipes and photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.


Summer Staple: Ice Cream

In summers past I’ve chosen one treat and focused on it in a mega post. (See: 108 Ways to Scream for Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet + More and Ice Cream, Gelato, Frozen Yogurt + Sorbet – Oh My!) This year I’ve decided on a different tactic in order to cover more ground. Every day this week we’ll be posting a roundup of a food that’s nothing less than a summertime staple. We’re starting off the week with the most obvious classic – ICE CREAM!














All recipes and photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.


I (Kind of) Quit Sugar (Because I Had To)

Sugar-Design Crush


Back in May a completely unexpected thing happened. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. (I struggle not to go all Wilfred Brimley every time and say DIABEETUS.)

When I look back over the past few years, my decline is crystal clear. But I didn’t realize what my symptoms (or that I even had symptoms) were pointing to until my Mom casually suggested that maybe I should have a full blood panel run just to rule it out. So of course I looked up the disease on WebMD and suspected that’s exactly what was going on when I read the symptoms. Crap. That kicked a few things into gear, mainly doctor appointments and plenty of blood work. My numbers in the key areas were stupidly high. Awesome.

That was the first few weeks in May, and since then lots has happened. I’ve got my diet more or less under control thanks to a nutritionist and educating myself. Because I was mainly vegetarian already and didn’t eat tons of starches I was off to a good start. (It’s a misconception that diabetes is all about sugar control, it’s just as much if not more about your carbohydrate intake.) I bought the most incredible used treadmill from a friend (Built-in fans!) and use it for at least 30 minutes nearly every day. And I’m on medication. Luckily I’m not insulin dependent, but I do have a pill regimen that’s being built upon.

I started noticing the differences in myself nearly immediately. Gone was the need for daily afternoon naps, gone was the crash after most meals, gone was the near constant thirst, gone was the rapidly shedding weight I’d been experiencing… and gone were the sweets from my kitchen. I’m going to be completely honest, that last one was the toughest. (Though I’ll admit the weight loss was the only good thing going on.) This is the start of a complete lifestyle overhaul that will last a lifetime. Once my numbers get down to where they need to be I’ll be able to indulge here and there, but I’m stuck with the Big D forever.

There are definitely a lot of misconceptions about Type 2 Diabetes. One being that you get it only from being obese or a sugar hound. Though both of those things can lend a hand, in my case it was hereditary. But the thing is there’s no one way to get it, the medical community isn’t 100% sure what causes its onset. What they do know is that my pancreas has stopped producing the requisite amount of insulin necessary for my body to process glucose and get it out of my body. So without medication it just travels around in my blood and makes its way out eventually through urine, without ever being used as energy.

While it does suck, I’ve taken this thing on with a positive attitude. (I’m getting healthy! I’m getting skinny!) I mean, it’s not like I can give it back so I might as well do all that I can to treat it. So for now I’ll be living vicariously through my Food & Cocktails board on Pinterest and have a (no longer secret) board called Diabetes Food. Because that’s just the kind of girl that I am.


Happy Weekend

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01/ Nineteen breathtaking patterns found on Earth’s surface.
02/ What I wouldn’t give for a closetful of these minimal triangle hangers!
03/ Loving these gold foiled invitations that avoid feeling overly precious.
04/ Twelve lessons on climate change architects can learn from New Orleans.
05/ Here’s that BBQ-inspired typeface you didn’t know you needed.
06/ The stunning, unexpected colors of Antarctica and its penguins.
07/ I love a good multitasking credenza!
08/ Legendary fairytale princesses have gone wild in these mug shots.
09/ Tips on bouncing back from design and DIY failures, because we’ve all been there.
10/ Are flavored ice cubes the new popsicle – same idea, different form? (And good in cocktails!)

This week on Design Crush:
This month’s music is here! Listen to Mixtape #37: In the Blackness of Magic.
Butts have never looked as good as they do in the paintings of Helena Wurzel.
An uncensored moving update on my slooow relocation to Pittsburgh.
Beautiful ceramics from Caroline Gomez for your home.
Notepads are my favorite.
Rikka Sormunen‘s super flat illustrations are so, so good.
Check out these 12 June DIYs to get your creative on.
Join me (and my pup Bebe!) for #Destination Summer’s Oklahoma City stop!
Then check out the simple summer picnic bites I put together for a little backyard get together.


Simple Summer Picnic Bites



Yesterday I shared two of my favorite summery activities with Kohl’s #DestinationSummer, and today I’m going to talk a little bit about the simple food we pulled together for our sunset picnic. I mentioned yesterday that I think simple is key – there wasn’t even any cooking involved in this spread. Summer is the best time to take advantage of the fruits and vegetables that are everywhere and so cheap and delicious and can be eaten by the handful.





I started by slicing up some pretty radishes and lightly sprinkling them with sea salt. Then I added some water crackers and butter to a platter for layering and devouring along with a ripe and ready tomato.





This is one of my favorite new afternoon snacks, sliced pink lady apples drizzled with honey. So deceptively plain Jane, but this platter emptied faster than anything else and for a good reason. They’re addictive!




Infusing water is nothing new, but I love experimenting with different flavor combinations that get me to drink more H2O. Another recent favorite is this combo of sparkling citrus water, strawberries, and lemon. I like to add so much fruit that you get a little snack at the bottom of your cup. Add some gin or vodka with a little simple syrup to the mix and kick things up a notch even.




Finish off the menu with a bowl of Rainier cherries and slivered almonds and you’re set. That’s the best part about a picnic, it doesn’t have to be a fancy choreographed affair, just set out the things you like and let the company carry the rest.

Thanks for joining us in Oklahoma City – the next stop on #DestinationSummer is Boise, Idaho with Kirsten Grove of Simply Grove! (If you don’t know her and her style already, you’re gonna love her. Promise.)




Plaid Tablecloth // Linen Pillow // Plush Pillow // Fish Platter // Lemon Platter // Salad Plate // Double Old Fashioned Glass // Beverage Jug

Photography: Caroline Cohenour

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. All words and opinions are my own as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush going!


Happy Weekend

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01/ A minimalist depiction of mental disorders.
02/ This zen rock garden is actually full of Japanese candy!
03/ Hilariously true animated gifs of basic tips and etiquette for surviving in NYC.
04/ Painstakingly crafting portraits of musicians made from cornflakes.
05/ Ringly lights up and buzzes when your phone needs you!
06/ This retired Boeing 727 was converted into a home in the woods. Would you dare?
07/ Picnic Lounge is an oversized blanket that resembles an antique rug. Clever.
08/ Smart ads for Keloptic turn impressionist art into realism.
09/ Social Planes take you offline – download, write, fold, and fly!
10/ When baristas and bartenders joins forces we are blessed with coffee cocktails.

This week on Design Crush:
Have you entered our Soundfreaq Sound Rise giveaway?! Wake up with this alarm/bluetooth speaker hybrid, it’s sure to get your day off to a good start.
Eight art prints I wish I had room for on my walls this month.
Melissa Zexter hand-embroiders her own photography in the most beautiful way.
Industrialist meets rugged glam in the design of Maslo Jewelry.
Crazy incredible paintings/sculptures from Conrad Jon Godly.
I’m slowing going minimalist with my style and this modern lamp is my latest addition.
Childhood dreams and sketchbook drawings come to life thanks to Katharine Morling.
If you’re looking for a super easy project this DIY Matchstick Holder is where it’s at!
After seven years of blogging we finally have a Design Crush identity suite like pros.


Pudding 10 Ways

I think pudding is a highly underrated dessert/snack/midnight comfort food. It’s cool, creamy, and perfect for summer with its ease of prep and days of lasting time in the refrigerator. Not to mention the massive variety of recipes available for pleasing any and every taste palette. And if you put enough thought into it, pudding can even be healthy enough. Here are ten recipes to help bring pudding back into your life!





















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


Coconut French Toast with Strawberry Sauce



A few years ago, when times were lean and I didn’t have much extra cash, I made my mom Mother’s Day brunch instead of buying her a gift. To me it was a one time thing, but she loved it so much that this was our third year carrying on with the tradition. Every May I create something new to whip up based on her favorite foods. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m almost positive I outdid myself this year.


Coconut French Toast with Strawberry Sauce

• 1 C shredded coconut
• 1 1/2 C coconut milk
• 3 large eggs
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 loaf Italian style bread, sliced diagonally into 9-12 thick pieces
• 1 Tbsp butter
• 1 pint fresh strawberries
• 1 Tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the shredded coconut on a baking sheet, bake for 4 minutes. Stir and return to the oven for 4 more minutes, or until it begins to brown. (I didn’t pay enough attention to mine and it got a little too well done.) In a shallow bowl or casserole dish, whisk together coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. While your skillet is heating up and the butter is melting, set a few pieces of bread into the custardy mixture to soak. I let mine go for about a minute on each side to suck up as much coconut goodness as possible. Cook each piece until golden brown on each side, which works out to about 10 minutes for each batch. Repeat until all has been cooked.

For the strawberry sauce you can opt to either use a food processor or blender, I was too lazy to drag out my processor and opted for the latter. This couldn’t be easier. Trim the green top off of each strawberry, quarter, and toss into the machine. Add honey and puree until liquid.

To serve, top each serving of French toast with a sprinkle of toasted coconut and a drizzle of strawberry sauce.