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January 24, 2020

The Valentines Collection | Sweet & Simple

At the beginning of last year, I wrote how I felt like I had really gotten the hang of this store thing.  By mid-December I was already ordering Valentine's inventory - I had this all figured out.  This year I feel like I'm behind on everything.  I have a good excuse for feeling a bit overwhelmed with work that I'll share next week (many of you saw some hints in my Insta stories).  It is a big project that I've been working towards since I quit my real job 16 years ago.  I'm opening a store.  There!  I ruined the surprise.  I am opening up an "in real life" store near our home that I'll use as a creative studio and retail space.  Ah!

The last month has been a little up in the air finalizing the contract, making plans, designing the space, etc. and has sucked up most of my working hours.  With the extra planning and dreaming that has been going on, I've craved simplicity everywhere else.

As I contemplated the Valentine's Collection with my head still buzzing from the Holidays, I kept trying to come up with something extra - maybe a woodblock inspired graphic for the tag, or a antique feeling full color something... and all I could wrap my brain around was a simple pale pink heart.  It was tugging at me.  Keep it simple.  The more I leaned into the idea of keeping Valentine's Day as pure and simple as possible, the more I embraced it.  

After everything that the Holiday season is, Valentine's should be simple - delicious treats wrapped with pretty ribbon and a heart.  I'm also convinced that everything doesn't have to be tinted pink or red and formed into the shape of a heart (though that can be fun, too).  Instead, make your very favorite cookie recipe of all time, spend a cozy afternoon baking and wrapping them with love.  That's it.  No pressure, no obligations, just giving from the heart.  I love Valentine's Day.

Shop the Valentine's Collection, here >

We made this Puppy Cake out of two heart cakes and really simple icing decorations.  The heart nose makes it adorable for Valentine's Day.  I'll share a tutorial soon.

"love" script cupcakes with Dripping Chocolate Icing recipe >

 Heart Cake topped with easy Buttercream Flowers using Floral Tips

January 20, 2020

Gold Leaf Frames, Mat Boards & Botanical Prints | Gallery Wall Favorites

Gold Frames, Botanicals & Photo Mats

I first located these frames when I created a botanical gallery wall in our guest room (tour here and photos below).  Since then, I've added them to almost every corner of our home.  Some have botanicals like those in our hearth room, and some have photos like the gallery wall going up our stairs.  I haven't always been confident in my wall hanging skills - trying to determine scale, mats and genre is an acquired skill on which I'm still working.  But I have managed to create a couple of corners in our home that just work and work because of the framed prints.

This corner in our living room is one of my favorites and this new look with the Antique Narrow Mats (meaning that they are oversized mats for our narrow small prints that mimic the proportion of the frame) and the tonal seaside coral prints.  It all just works with our neutral room.  The gold is the perfect bit of elegance to keep this room feeling special but not overly fussy.

The Frames, Mat Boards & Botanical Prints are all back in stock in my store.  

This gallery wall going up our stairs is a favorite.  This is where I pull in different types of frames (besides my beloved gold leaf) but they are all coordinating.  I update/rearrange seasonally (just a couple of them that are most dominant) to give this spot a new feel.  This was our arrangement for the Summer - beach photos, whales, and some paintings and sketches to make it feel more eclectic.  

Our hearth room framed collection has grown from four (two on each side of the fireplace) to eight (four on each side).  Just adding four more prints has completed this room - I love it. 

Forgive Christmas photos!  Taken last month when I added them : )

Before (and out of focus!)

Here is the Before with just two on each side.  Using the Wide Narrow Mats keeps the space from feeling cluttered and still gives it a nice fresh look, but completes the space.

Now feeling more complete and finished.

I recently found a new spot to display a botanical collection in our powder room.  These are 8x10" frames with 5x7" prints.  They were the perfect addition to the bathroom... even though it was very difficult to get a great shot of them.

Sometimes you need small prints and sometimes you need oversized prints like I used here in the Guest Room.

This is my favorite collection to use in bedrooms - they are very sweet.  Emma's room is the only one without and botanicals right now... but I'm thinking of adding a collection of 5x7 minis in her room in a set of nine this spring.  Shop Botanical Prints >

I wanted to take you back to the Living Room this summer to show how just changing the botanicals can take this spot to a completely different place.  What feels understated now with the tonal coral prints feels vibrant and fresh here during the summer.  But same gold frames : )

This our from Our Bedroom, and features Whale Prints - even though I put these up for the summer, I've kept these here all year long.  Love soft navy accents in our bedroom.

The School House can't escape the gold frames (I mean, do I have a problem?!?!).  Here is a big collection of botanicals above the sofa.  You can see more photos of the School House as it was set up for the Autumn Open house, here >

Shop the Frames & Botanical Prints Collection, here >

December 12, 2019

Cranberry & Raspberry Christmas Pie

I stumbled upon a version of this pie on Pinterest and put it in the file of my dreams.  How charming is this little scene on top with reindeer leaping over trees below, twinkling stars above and snowflakes all around?    

I recreated using mini cutters from my store available in the baking supplies (but now sold out for the season - sorry!).  

The filling was a mix of tart fresh cranberries and raspberries.  It was so bright and delicious - perfect for a post dinner dessert on Christmas.  I used this recipe from Taste of Home + store bought pie crust.

I always bake pies on top of parchment paper sheets in case they bubble over.  Shop here >

December 11, 2019

Speculaas Cookies | Spice Holiday Cookies

Last year Tessa ( shared these cookies when she made them for her holiday gifts.  I immediately put it on my list for this year.  They are beautiful and old fashioned - my favorite combination.   Per Tessa's recommendation, I started with Martha Stewart's recipe, but doubled the spices.  They were so yummy - I loved the way they turned out, so perfect with a coffee in the afternoon.

Unfortunately these molds have already sold out, but we still have other baking supplies available.  Shop Baking Supplies >

 Classic Speculaas Cookies

3 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons of cardamom
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup of water (plus more)
Powdered Sugar

Cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy.  Slowly add in the dry ingredients and spices.  Add water and mix until combined.  Shape into 3 sections and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (you can find here).

Preheat oven to 325.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface (or you can use powdered sugar) until 3/8" thick.  Dust molds with powdered sugar.  Press mold down on dough and cut around using a sharp knife.  Gently coax dough out of mold with fingertips and place onto the baking sheet.

Place 1 sheet of cookies in the oven, then reduce oven temp to 250 immediately.  Bake one sheet at a time until edges begin to turn light gold, 40-45 minutes.  Let cool.

Shop Baking Supplies >

Shop the Holiday Sale, 40% off >

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