Shared posts

15 Feb 15:57

Try This: Rosé Soaked Gummy Bears

by A Beautiful Mess

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!)I am so truly stoked to share these Rosé Soaked Gummy Bears with you today. They are the PERFECT novelty dessert for Valentine's Day (or any Bachelor Monday if you ask me!), and they're also incredibly easy to make. 

A few years back I made Vodka and Rum soaked gummy bears for Emma's bachelorette party. They were a HUGE hit! Then, this past week it dawned on me that it might work with rosé (!!!!!!). 

All you need to get started is a bottle of rosé (doesn't have to be the fancy stuff) and a one pound bag gummy bears. I chose grapefruit gummy bears because I figured the flavor combo would be kind of mimosa-esque and also the color is similar to that of rosé. I think peach would also be a great choice. 

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!) In a medium size mixing bowl, I combined my one pound of gummy bears with half a bottle of rosé (what's pictured here isn't quite half a bottle, but an hour later it was already almost soaked in, so I added more). 

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!)

Do whatever you want with the other half of the bottle... I trust you not to waste it. Haha! 

Once the gummy bears and the rosé are soaking in the bowl, just cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and set them in your fridge for two hours. I taste tested them 2-4 hours after we made them and the next morning, and I found the fresher gummies to be the best! SO if you want to serve them at a party, or for dinner, just make them some time that afternoon and leave them in the fridge. 

They are still good the next day, just not quite as flavorful. 

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!)    (This is how the bowl will look when you first pour the rosé.) 

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!)     (And this is how soaked up they will be in just a few hours! It goes quickly.) 

If you want to check on them and stir them up a few times, that doesn't hurt. But I didn't experience much of an issue with them sticking together. 

When they are done soaking, if there is any remaining liquid (probably not much at all!), drain it and keep the gummies chilled in whatever serving dish you want. Normally I wouldn't think they need to be chilled (with liquor instead of wine), but I feel like it matches the rosé theme to serve them chilled. And we care about our themes here, don't we! 

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!)       When complete, my gummy bears were larger in size. I wish I had saved an un-soaked bear to compare. They definitely turn into jumbo sized gummies! 

You can totally taste both the grapefruit flavor that they came with AND the rosé flavor, and they are SO GOOD. The texture is not sticky or gross, but when served together, they are still slightly wet, so I like to serve them with a spoon. 

You can keep them in the fridge for several days, but again—they taste the absolute best when they are fresh. And since a pound of gummy bears is a LOT, dish some out into cute little mason jars and give them to friends. Unless, of course, you're making these for a party (and I hope you are). For a party, be sure to label them so everyone knows what they're tasting! 

Now, I feel obliged to do ONE more test for you guys. (RED wine gummy bears?? Will they be awesome? Like a delicious sangria? Or weird?) I will report back to you soon. 

Rosé Gummy Bears (they're super easy to make!)   Hope you all have a great Valentine's Day! And regardless of whether you are celebrating it with someone you love, why not celebrate it with boozy gummy bears? xx -Elsie 

Credits // Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.  

09 Feb 15:23

broccoli pizza

by deb
Shh.listen

I've been way into broccoli lately

broccoli-pizza

“What the heck is that?”
“Who puts broccoli on pizza?”
“Congratulations Smitten Kitchen, you’ve ruined pizza!”

Read more »

06 Feb 19:04

self-care, two ways.

by ERIN BOYLE

self_care_two_ways_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_6838

It’s February in the year 2017 and if ever there was a time for acknowledging that we need to be gentle with ourselves, it seems this is it. Self-care is having a moment, you might say, but trendy verbiage aside, what we all really need is a moment for self-care. It’s cold out. It’s dark out. For lots of folks, spinning around on this green and blue planet feels a little more uncertain than ever. We need a holiday devoted to love and chocolate, stat. Thank goodness we don’t have to wait too long.

In a nod to Valentine’s Day and treating yourself (or your lover), here’s a list of things to do to distract yourself, to restore a bit of energy, to encourage a bit of repose, to nourish body and spirit, in the coming week and always.
self_care_two_ways_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_6845

Unplug, Two Ways:
+ Let your phone charge somewhere far from your nightstand. (No middle of the night Twitter catch-ups allowed.)
+ Meditate (for even just five minutes).

Take a Bath, Two Ways:
+ Get a $5 bag of epsom salts at the nearest pharmacy and soak yourself.
+ Up your game a bit with a nourishing blend of arnica-infused salts.

Read, Two Ways:
+ Curl up with a good book. I’m reading this one right now.
+ Curl up with a brand new read about good books.

Get a Massage, Two Ways:
+ Convince a loved one to rub you.
+ Book an appointment somewhere nearby and let the professionals do the work. 

Exfoliate, Two Ways:
+ Whip up a simple sugar or salt scrub in your kitchen. 
+ Familiarize yourself with a little something called body polish.

Change Your View, Two Ways:
+ Take a walk around the block. 
+ Go to a new exhibit.

Release Stress, Two Ways:
+ Do a three-minute lip-sync to whatever does it for you. (No judgement.)
+ Take a chance on a floral essence.

Fend Off Germs, Two Ways:
+ Wash your hands more often.
+ Swallow a spoonful or three of immunity syrup.

Get Cozy, Two Ways
+ Wash and dry your throw blankets. Snuggle under something fresh and clean.
+ Stock up on special socks.

Color, Two Ways
+
 Verb.
+ Noun.

Breathe Easy, Two Ways
+ Let some crystals work their magic.
+ Fill your room with a cool mist.

Flowers, Two Ways
+ $3 bodega daffs, style.
+ Zine style.

Hang Out With People, Two Ways
+
Invite friends over for pizza, everyone brings wine and stays too late.
+ Go to a workshop, or a book reading, or a conservatory, or a movie.

Plus, a brand-new self-care focused community.

02 Feb 20:19

Friday Link Pack

by swissmiss

Eternal optimistic talking points for 2017

A question Jason Fried asks new entrepreneurs

– From date night to cold showers: 20 habits that changed readers’ lives (via)

Top 10 TED Talks of 2016

– Thumbs up for this concrete toothbrush stand.

– You bought a new MacBook Pro? You might want to look at HyperDrive.

– Uh oh! These rain boots! Want!

– Meet Yolanda Baker, a disco ball maker.

– Love the idea of coming up with 20 new ideas a day, by Rodd Chant : Flex that idea muscle!

– My kids would LVOE this fluffy cave chair.

The 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

– Excellent long read: Why self-love is at the core of answering the riddle of who we are emotionally

– I didn’t know a razor blade sharpener existed.

– Big fan of Adam J. K’s work. Loving his new stationery collection.

This tool looks handy to have in your car during the winter months.

– Audiophiles seem to be losing their minds over these new fancy speakers called Phantom, by Devialet.

100 most-discussed scientific articles of 2016.

Love Under The Stars Duvet Cover. Yes please!

This print.

– Start your year off with some inspirational Tattly.

02 Feb 20:15

Small Room

by swissmiss

“In a small room one does not say what one would in a large room.”
– Louis Kahn

02 Feb 20:15

Japan Gift Wrap Hack

by swissmiss

Fascinating Japanese Gift Wrapping Hack that doesn’t require tape or ribbon.

02 Feb 19:57

Best Kept Secret in Radio

by swissmiss

The charming Lulu Miller gives us an animated look into the lives and practices of radio personalities and broadcasters, and speaks to the effects radio can have on us as individuals and a society.

01 Feb 21:03

Piano. Push. Play

by swissmiss

Piano. Push. Play. rescues pianos and puts them on the street for everybody to enjoy. I love everything about this!

01 Feb 20:40

Marriage

by swissmiss

“Marriage: a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive and have carefully omitted to investigate.”

The Course of Love, by Alain de Botton

01 Feb 20:38

How The Blind Cook

by swissmiss

(via)

27 Jan 17:24

Creamy Double Broccoli Pizza

by A Beautiful Mess

Creamy Double Broccoli Pizza (via abeautifulmess.com)  The other night Trey asked, "What's your favorite food right now?" And before I could even answer, he smiled and said, "Wait, is it still pizza?" To which I enthusiastically said, PIZZA FOR LIFE!

Some things never change. ;)

Creamy Double Broccoli Pizza (via abeautifulmess.com) I guess I'm just a simple gal with simple tastes: I like bread with cheese on it. Sign me up every time! 

I must admit though that I do actually like to change up what goes on my pizza. And I'm excited to share this combination with you—it's got a creamy white sauce filled with ground up broccoli and then more broccoli on top. Get it? Double broccoli. And although I probably wouldn't call this "healthy", it certainly packs a big dose of vegetables, along with the cheese and cream sauce. :) 

Pizza dough recipeCreamy Double Broccoli Pizza, makes one 12-inch diameter pizza (serves 3-4)

For the dough:
1 cup warm water
pinch of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 teaspoons of cornmeal for dusting the pan

For the sauce + toppings:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cream
3 cloves of garlic
8 oz. broccoli, divided (stalks removed)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a glass measuring cup, stir a pinch of sugar into the warm water. Then sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Let that sit for about 5 minutes. In another bowl combine the flour, salt, and oil. Pour the yeast water in with the dry ingredients and stir until a soft dough ball forms. Feel free to use plenty of flour on your work surface and hands as you work with it so it doesn't stick to everything. Knead a few times, just to make sure the dough is well combined, and then place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Place somewhere warm and allow to rise for 45 minutes to an hour until it's nearly doubled in size.

Creamy broccoli sauceCreamy Double Broccoli Pizza (via abeautifulmess.com)Towards the very end of your rise time, you can go ahead and make your sauce. In a food processor chop half of the broccoli with the garlic until very fine. In a small pot melt the butter over low/medium heat. Add the flour and whisk so a paste forms. Add 1/4 cup of the cream and whisk so the mixture is well combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the broccoli mix and remaining cream. The mixture should be thick and spreadable at this point, but if it seems too thin to you, simply put it back on the heat for a few seconds or so to help it thicken up.

Roll out your dough on a well-floured surface. Sprinkle cornmeal on your baking stone or lightly oiled pan. Bake the dough for about 5 minutes at 400°F. Then add your sauce, mozzarella and remaining broccoli. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until the edges of the crust begin to brown and the cheese becomes bubbly. Top with the red pepper flakes. 

Creamy Double Broccoli Pizza (via abeautifulmess.com)    Slice it up and enjoy! And if you love pizza as much as me, check out our pizza archives because we've got some good ones in there. Happy dinner making! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

 

27 Jan 15:40

Soba Noodle Soup with Chicken and Bok Choy

by Sally Vargas
Soba Noodle Soup with Chicken and Bok Choy

While comfort cooking and speed don’t usually coexist, this mildly spicy soup is an exception to the rule.

If you made a New Year’s resolution to eat a little better this year, this soup will keep you on track. It’s not health food — just good, healthy food!

Continue reading "Soba Noodle Soup with Chicken and Bok Choy" »

27 Jan 15:40

Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Chocolate Frosting

by Sheryl Julian
2017-01-24-chocolatecake-5

Everyone needs a go-to recipe for chocolate cake. Maybe you volunteered to bring dessert for a dinner with friends, or you’ve got weekend guests, or there’s a birthday to celebrate.

This isn’t one of those dense death-by-chocolate cakes, but more like a richer version of devil’s food cake. Cover it with a thick layer of chocolate frosting and serve it right out of the pan.

Continue reading "Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Chocolate Frosting" »

18 Jan 17:41

Cozy plant-based meals for the blustery winter days ahead

by Angela (Oh She Glows)
Shh.listen

SO many of these look really yummy!!

veganCaesarsalad-2905

Happy Global Pulse Day, everyone! I’m here to join in on this worldwide par-TAY and celebrate with some of my fave pulse recipes. You may have heard that 2016 was named the International Year of Pulses (um, hello foodie fame…*faints*), and today we’re keeping the pulse power going strong with Global Pulse Day, which is both a real-life and virtual celebration of the benefits of pulses. It’s hard not to love ‘em; pulses are packed with protein and fibre, they’re easy on the wallet (especially when you buy them dry), and their carbon footprint is lower than almost any other food group. And boy, do they ever form the base of so many fantastic plant-based meals.

Today, I’m rounding up some of my best pulse recipes (made from peas, beans, lentils, or chickpeas) as part of my partnership with Pulse Canada—and, of course, to dig into this delicious occasion. I hope some of these recipes below inspire your dinner plans tonight, and in the blustery wintery days ahead. My DIY Burrito Bowls are on the menu for tonight…can’t wait!

plantbasedpulserecipes

  1. Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup
  2. Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers
  3. Roasted Potato and Asparagus Lentil Salad with Tangy Mustard-Lemon Dressing
  4. Chickpea Salad
  5. My Favourite Vegan Chili with Homemade Sour Cream
  6. DIY Burrito Bowl
  7. Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew
  8. 10-Spice Vegetable Soup
  9. Cumin-Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad
  10. Fudgy Black Bean Brownies (Oh She Glows Recipe App: iOS and Android)

(Yes, you knew I had to include a pulse-based dessert in the mix!) Some other great recipes not shown above include: Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro Speckled Basmati, Next Level Vegan Enchiladas, Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad (top image of blog post), Ultimate Green Taco Wraps with Lentil Walnut Taco Meat. Did I forget any of your faves? Let us know below!

Android Launch

In case you missed my Instagram and Facebook posts on Monday, I wanted to share some super exciting news: We officially launched the Android version of our Oh She Glows Plant-Based Recipe App! Just like our iOS app, the Android version will provide you with 99—and counting—delicious plant-based recipes. Thanks to everyone, especially my Android-using fans, for your support, patience, and mega encouragement to develop this version; we’re so thrilled to have this out in the world at long last! And, thank you for all of your comments, emails, and reviews this week…it means a lot to us.

Photo credits: #2 and #6 Ashley McLaughlin, all other photos by Angela Liddon.

© copyright 2017 Oh She Glows. All Rights Reserved.
20 Dec 21:13

gift guide: calendars for a new year.

by ERIN BOYLE
Shh.listen

x1000000

 

2017_calendars

There’s been a lot of talk lately about bidding adieu to 2016. And I get it. There were lots of reasons that it felt like a superlatively crappy year. If we were to mark on a calendar the events we witnessed in this past year collectively—to say nothing of what we’ve experienced individually—the days would look dark indeed. And not to get too morose, but there are lots of reasons to acknowledge that we’re facing even tougher times in 2017.

But a calendar can also be a hopeful thing: A place to scribble events we look forward to, a guide to monthly meditations, a reminder for anniversaries and birthdays and milestones worth celebrating, a place for listing goals and holding ourselves accountable. 

I’m ever hopeful that a new year can be an opportunity to forge a new path. For myself, I’m taking 2017 as an opportunity to reevaluate my values and my commitment to hard work, not just for myself personally but for my business more generally. There’s gonna be a lot of crap to add to the calendar in 2017, without doubt. There will be new anniversaries that are mournful or shameful or just plain difficult, but I’m hopeful that my 2o17 calendar will have good to outweigh the bad. At the end of it, I hope I can look back and say that I’ve worked hard and been vigilant and made a difference.

In case you still have gifts on your list (or you’re hoping for something hopeful and pretty to fill your space in 2017), here’s a list of some of the simple and lovely wall calendars I’ve spotted for 2017:

Postalco One Year Wall Calendar

The Brown Paper Movement Recycled Paper Medium Format Calendar

Little Lark Lunar Phase Calendar

Margins Imprint Gold Foil Moon Calendar

Appointed Wall Calendar

Of a Kind Wall Calendar

Red Star Inc. No Exp Wall Calendar

Karolin Schnoor Wall Calendar

Common Silver Botanical Letterpress Calendar

Artifact Uprising Wood Calendar

16 Dec 20:28

At Home with Kelly Christine Sutton in Golden, Texas

by A Beautiful Mess

At Home with Kelly Sutton Birch Tray and Watering Can/SchoolHouse Electric.

Today we have a very special home feature for you! Kelly Christine Sutton is a super talented lifestyle photographer and film maker who happens to live in an American Tiny House. Obsessed!!! We were beyond thrilled when she agreed to share her tiny space with us.

At Home with Kelly Sutton                      Patio Lights/Joss & Main.

At Home with Kelly Sutton   Hand Towel and Dish Brush/Schoolhouse Electric.

"Our Golden tiny house is currently located in my tiny hometown of Golden, Texas. It's located about 80 miles east of Dallas. I was raised here, and my husband and I moved back from the city about 1 1/2 months ago into our custom built tiny home on wheels. Finding a place to park a THOW can be trickier in the city, so we were very fortunate to be able to temporarily move it to family property in the country.

At Home with Kelly Sutton     At Home with Kelly Sutton                                          Cabinet Knobs and Drawer Pulls/Joss & Main, Teapot/Schoolhouse Electric.

At Home with Kelly Sutton via A Beautiful Mess"We chose to go tiny for several reasons; the major ones being the desire for mobility, financial independence and environmental neutrality. Like most people our age, we'd been sinking thousands of dollars into renting, and we wanted something to call our own that allowed the freedom to move. We had acquired so much stuff over the years, we both started to feel the weight and burden of it. A tiny house seemed perfect for us if we were able to fully customize it to our liking, and our builders at American Tiny House ended up being a great choice. My husband, Canaan, is studying to be an environmental biologist, so the idea of decreasing our carbon footprint was really exciting to us both. Aside from all that, we just really liked the idea of living with less and focusing more on experiences and people rather than things. 

At Home with Kelly Sutton        Rug/Joss & Main.

At Home with Kelly SuttonAt Home with Kelly Sutton         Grand Canyon Print/Kelly Christine Print Shop.

At Home with Kelly Sutton          "My favorite space in our home is our cozy little living room under the loft. We picked the perfect couch that allows us to put our feet up and watch movies or play our favorite video games. 

At Home with Kelly Sutton                              At Home with Kelly Sutton                                  Velvet Hangers/Joss & Main, Laundry Basket and Dust Pan/Schoolhouse Electric.

At Home with Kelly Sutton      At Home with Kelly Sutton                                        Shower Curtain/Schoolhouse Electric.

At Home with Kelly Sutton
"My husband's book collection is one of our favorite things in the house. I think they're beautiful and add a certain coziness to the space. Most people expected we would put them all in storage when we moved in, but we found a way to make them all fit nicely. 

At Home with Kelly Sutton           At Home with Kelly Sutton                 PlantersPatio Table, Rug, Hammock Chairs, and Wall Lantern/Joss & Main.

"After almost 2 months here, we are loving our home. We've really made it our own, and it feels like we've lived here for years. If you're thinking about going tiny, just go for it!"

If you have any questions for Kelly, please comment below! And, be sure to check out her portfolio, print shop (use the code hollyjolly for 10% off all print orders!) and Instagram here.

Credits//Author: Kelly Christine Sutton. Photography: Jeff Brummett and Kelly Christine Sutton.

14 Dec 19:57

Elsie's Paint Colors (a complete guide)

by A Beautiful Mess

Entryway + blush pink door ©AlyssaRosenheckIf there's one thing you need to know about me, it's that I'm really scatterbrained. So when people ask me on social media for the names of all my paint colors, I usually can't remember or even say the wrong one, (SORRY, Instagram!) For this reason, I thought it would be helpful for me to write one big post that I can link back to over and over with all my paint colors. 

Here we go!!! 

Jeremy + Elsie LarsonPink front door/ Noble Blush by BEHR. 

Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams ©AlyssaRosenheckWhite Walls (throughout our entire home)/ Marshmallow by Sherwin-Williams. 

I love this color because it's very slightly warm, but close to untinted white. 

ExteriorExteriorMy exterior is also painted Marshmallow by Sherwin-Williams (but it's an outdoor satin exterior paint). 

Elsie's bedroom ©AlyssaRosenheckThe ceiling in our bedroom is Baby Blush by Valspar (I stole this color from Laura's dining room). 

Black trim in sunroom ©AlyssaRosenheckThe black trim in our sunroom is Dark Kettle Black by Valspar. 

Jeremy's studio ©AlyssaRosenheckThe deep blueish-green in Jeremy's studio is Midnight in NY by BEHR. 

Turquoise floor ©AlyssaRosenheckOur living room floor is Stained Glass by Valspar. Read here for the exact technique used. It's not just a painted floor! 

Dark grayThe dark charcoal color in our living room is Hematite by BEHR.

(I will say, it reads more navy blue in person.) 

Painted white fireplace ©AlyssaRosenheckOur fireplace is plain white, untinted satin finish paint with a stain blocking primer beneath it. Learn more about painting brick and stone here

Let me know if you have any questions!!! xoxo. Elsie 

Credits/Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Alyssa Rosenheck (and a couple of my own from our blog archives).

14 Dec 19:56

At Home with Arielle Vey in Oceanside, California

by A Beautiful Mess
Shh.listen

The amount of stuff/decor in this home is such a perfect amount. This is what I'm trying to do in our little house. Less less less!

At Home with Arielle VeyMirrors/Ikea, Cart/Vintage, Cocktail Shaker/Urban Outfitters.

Today, our friend Arielle Vey is sharing her lovely apartment with us! We met Arielle through Instagram a couple years ago, and it didn't take us long to figure out how amazing her photography skills were. Oh, did we mention that she recently developed a new filter pack for our app A Color Story? It's SO good. 

At Home with Arielle Vey        Lamp/Ikea, Whale Art/Jen Lobo, Geometric Painting/DIY, Wall planters and Mirror/Umbra, Round Shelf and Copper Side Table/Living Spaces, Rug/Rugs USA, White Chair/Overstock, Coffee Table/Target.

At Home with Arielle Vey          "In 2010, my boyfriend Bennett and I moved into a charming 1940s beach apartment in Oceanside, CA. After two years, I got an unexpected phone call saying that we had to be out in 30 days so the owners could renovate our building into vacation rentals. Completely shocked, about two minutes later, they offered us a vacant one bedroom directly across the street but needed an answer immediately. I told them we would take it, sight unseen. I knew this was a gamble at the time, but we loved our street and neighborhood so much. When we saw the new place, we completely fell in love with its open floor plan, ocean view, and bright natural light. Our apartment is 800 square feet and was built in 1970. We’re across the street from the beach and can see the water from the living room and bedroom windows. To find a place like this now and in this area is rare, so we feel extremely lucky to be in this spot. 

At Home with Arielle Vey                       Maracas/Vintage, Basket Tray/Local + Lejos.

At Home with Arielle Vey                    Console/Target.

"The thing I love most about this apartment is the living room. The window takes up almost the entire wall where most of our plants are nestled. My favorite spot is the chaise section of the couch, which is right next to the window. This is where I take my laptop in the morning and start my day. It’s also a big enough space to have my office with an area for my desk off to the side, which is quiet and bright. 

At Home with Arielle Vey       Chair and Desk/IKEA (bases painted gold).

At Home with Arielle Vey                        Art and Camera/Vintage, Prism/Umbra, Wall Hanging/DIY.

At Home with Arielle Vey
Painting/Living Spaces, Table/Vintage, Chairs/Lex Mod, Coral Vase/CB2, Bowl/Local + Lejos.

At Home with Arielle Vey           At Home with Arielle Vey             "Something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to let go of is my octagonal table that I found on Craigslist and refinished. It’s so unique and the perfect size for our little dining nook next to the kitchen. The blue chairs that accompany the table are from Lex Mod and will forever have my heart.

At Home with Arielle Vey  Art/Framebridge (photo by Arielle), Sconces/Urban Outfitters, Nightstands and Bed/Living Spaces, Faux Fur Pillow/Target, Velvet Pillows/Ikea.

At Home with Arielle Vey   "The bedroom is our only tech-free zone, and ever since I moved my office to living area, it’s been the most tranquil room I’ve ever had.

At Home with Arielle Vey    Mirror/Urban Outfitters, Ladder/Umbra, Vase/Ikea, Dresser/Vintage, Lamp/Living Spaces.

At Home with Arielle Vey     "My favorite piece in the apartment has to be my dresser which I found at a flea market. I love the two-toned mid century look, and since most of the bedroom is white, I love how it pops. A fun newer piece is my brass metal lamp from Living Spaces on top of the dresser, which gives off a mellow glow at night.

At Home with Arielle Vey                          "We’ve been here for three years and together, we’ve never loved a place more. There are so many happy memories in this space that have evolved significantly over time. I’ve always kept it colorful but have slowly added neutral statement pieces over the years. I also feel like I’ve grown as an individual while living here, and I’m truly having the time of my life. Being able to live here makes it that much sweeter."

An apartment that overlooks the ocean?? #Goals. :)

You can find Arielle's blog here, and be sure to follow her on YouTube and Instagram too! xoxo.

Credits// Author and Photography: Arielle Vey.

13 Dec 16:00

celebrating simplicity with stowaway.

by erin

celebrating simplicity with stowaway | reading my tea leaves

This post is sponsored by Stowaway; makeup essentials in sizes you can carry.

My great great Aunt Ruth was a woman with a proper dressing table. You might be familiar with the sort of table she had: There were tubes of, I’m hazarding a guess here, decades-old lipstick in gold colored cases, a smattering of assorted perfumes, compacts with fuzzy poofs, a general smell of powder and fragrance oils mixed in with must. By the time I was on the scene and old enough to prowl around, I’d say it’s safe to say the majority of items on the dressing table had gone considerable time without being touched but there was a time when I’m sure the table saw more frequent visits. My aunt wasn’t a woman of leisure—she ran her own pediatric practice from an office attached to her house—but when it came to getting herself ready for an evening on the town, she’d had a devoted space to help her along and organize her reserve of supplies.celebrating simplicity with stowaway | reading my tea leaves

Needless to say, times have changed. Though perhaps not extinct, dressing tables of the sort that took up residence in my aunt’s bedroom are rare. But that doesn’t mean that modern folk need to go without a cache of makeup should the desire strike for a little bit of dressing up. Happily, whether you’re leisurely preening in front of a dressing table, or sitting in the back of cab en route to a holiday gathering and in need of a little freshening up, the cosmetics brand Stowaway offers modern solutions for the makeup inclined. (And unlike traditional cosmetics brands still stuck in the past, their makeup comes in sensible sizes that don’t require a dedicated piece of furniture to house them.)celebrating simplicity with stowaway | reading my tea leaves

As many of you might recall, I’ve partnered with Stowaway before. Their commitment to creating a safe and superior product in sizes that make sense remains the same. Instead of selling cosmetics so large and heavy that they’re virtually impossible to finish before their expiration date, Stowaway has sized their makeup to correspond with the needs of the people who use them, and they’re always EU-compliant, paraben-, phlalate-, and cruelty-free. So even if you do have a dressing table, with Stowaway there’s no reason it’ll be filled with fusty makeup you haven’t been able to finish. (Bonus: Stowaway also offers a recycling program for their containers! Once you’ve used something up you can pop it in the mail back to Stowaway and for every three products that you return, you’ll earn a $5 shopping credit! Details here.)celebrating simplicity with stowaway | reading my tea leaves

Stowaway’s latest additions include a Dawn-to-Dusk Eyeshadow Palette (the size of a credit card!) that includes the very prettiest navy blue and a Powder Blush that’s just 1/3 the size of a traditional blush and comes in three perfect shades: Fawn, Peach, and Rose. Plus, they’ve got you covered in terms of anything else you might need for a little holiday party primping: creme lipsticks in festive hues, a creme illuminator for the perfect party glow, and the unsung heroes of a night out, their creaseless concealer and radiant complexion beauty balm.
celebrating simplicity with stowaway | reading my tea leaves

In case you need a little something special to get through this season of celebration, or in case you have a loved one whose stocking needs stuffing, use the code CELEBRATESIMPLE at checkout to get 25% off any order of Stowaway products. (The offer is good only on Stowaway products and cannot be applied to curated gift sets that include products from other brands with which Stowaway has partnered.) The offer expires December 17, 2016. Stowaway currently only ships within the US.
 
This post is sponsored by Stowaway. Thanks for supporting the brands that support original content on Reading My Tea Leaves.
08 Dec 14:58

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad

by A Beautiful Mess

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)  Is there anything better than pasta salad? And yes, it might normally be thought of as a great side dish option at summer backyard bar-b-cues, but this version keeps all the best things about pasta salad (like the pasta and a creamy dressing) and updates it with some of my favorite winter flavors. Yum!

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad (via abeautifulmess.com)This pasta salad is excellent as a big side dish option, but if you end up with leftovers, it's great for lunch the next day too. On the day I photographed this, I ended up eating it for lunch and dinner, and I was not one bit sorry about it. :)

Butternut pastaCreamy Winter Pasta Salad, serves 5-6 as a side dish or 3-4 as a meal 

14 oz. pasta (butternut squash pasta is preferred!)
8-9 oz. brussels sprouts, about 2 to 2 1/2 cups once shaved
1 granny smith apple
3 oz. dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/3 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sour cream or greek yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

First cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and allow to cool. 

Shaved brussels pasta salad recipeAutumn pasta saladCut the brussels sprouts into very thin pieces, discarding the bottom stems. Core the apple and chop into small cubes. 

In a small bowl stir together the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and dry mustard. In a large bowl combine the pasta, brussels, apple, dried cranberries, and pecans. Drizzle the dressing over everything and toss so it all gets coated in the dressing. 

Creamy Winter Pasta Salad (via abeautifulmess.com) Serve right away or cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. Man, I love pasta salad! So good and also insanely easy to make. I bought my butternut squash pasta (shaped like pumpkins!) from Trader Joe's, but it looks like it's also available on Amazon. You could also use regular (not flavored) pasta instead and this recipe will still be just as good. I'd recommend farfalle or fusilli. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions

08 Dec 14:57

DIY Yarn Wreath

by A Beautiful Mess

DIY Yarn Wreath (from abeautifulmess.com)I don't know what it is, but about once a year (or maybe a little less, every 18 months?), I get the itch to make a wreath. Wreaths are such a classic decor project that there are about one million options for how to create one, what supplies to use, etc. Since it's the holidays, I decided to make something simple that I knew I could use year after year if I choose. This easy DIY yarn wreath is similar to making a latch hook rug and kind of resembles shag carpet—but I mean that in the best possible way. :)

DIY Yarn Wreath Also it only took about 2 hours to complete, so you're just one good holiday movie away from completing this cute project. You could use any color yarn and ribbon, so it doesn't have to be a holiday wreath unless that's what you are going for. And this project is so inexpensive (mine cost around $12) that I could see this being a really fun gals' night craft project or homemade gift you could make multiples of if you wanted. 

How to make a yarn wreathSupplies:
50-60 yards of yarn
wire ribbon
wire wreath frame
spray paint, optional
scissors
needle and thread

Quick note about yarn for this project: I'd recommend choosing something that isn't prone to fray much if at all. I also think thicker/chunky yarns look really nice here, and they will make this project come together much faster (you'll see why in a second). I used 1 1/3 skeins of Yarn Bee yarn in Astounding White (each skein was 43 yards), but see what you can find at your local craft store as I think there are lots of options that would work well here. You could even use jersey yarn or cut up t-shirts into thin strips of fabric for a different look than yarn. The possibilities really are limitless here, but do keep in mind to choose something that doesn't fray easily. 

How to make a shaggy yarn wreathStep One: If you using, spray paint the wire frame. I decided to do this as my original frame was a dark green and I chose to use white yarn. So I wanted the frame to be white in case any small areas showed through the yarn. If your frame already matches your yarn color choice, then you can skip this step. 

Step Two: Cut one of the skeins of yarn into 7 to 8 inch pieces. This is a bit longer than you will probably need, but it makes it much easier to work with. You will likely need more than one skein of yarn, but it depends how big your wire frame is. So it's good to just cut one skein, and then wait to see how much more you will need before cutting a second one. 

Easy yarn wreath tutorialStep Three: Loop each piece of yarn over the wire frame and then slide into place. See the images above for how I did this. Repeat until the entire frame is covered in yarn.

DIY shag rug wreathStep Four: Give your wreath a hair cut! Trim the yarn to the length you desire. Then add a ribbon bow or any other embellishments you want (faux berries, decorative birds, greenery, etc.). You can sew these in place or use a hot glue gun. I chose to sew mine with thread to the wire frame. 

DIY Yarn Wreath  That's it—pretty simple! Now you can display your wreath on any door or wall in your home. Mine is currently hanging on the inside of my backdoor. If you do choose to hang it outside, you might consider using a product like Scotchgard Rug & Carpet Protector to help make it a bit more weatherproof. Yarn is delicate, so if your doorway doesn't have some kind of overhang or a storm door and you think your wreath might get excessively wet, then it may not last long. But again, this kind of depends on your doorway. So use your best judgment here. 

Also, feel free to judge my backyard. Maybe I should have been raking leaves instead of making a wreath? Hmm. But making a wreath is SO much more fun, guys. OK, excuse me, I need to go find a rake. ;) xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

08 Dec 14:57

12 Days of Christmas: Giveaway Six (CLOSED)

by A Beautiful Mess

Babe with the Power berry teeGet excited, everyone, because today 6 lucky winners are going to receive one of our best selling shirts from Oui Fresh!!! Are you The Babe with the Power? Winners will receive this shirt in its latest color option—berry. And if you're still gift shopping this season and have any tiny humans on your list, might we recommend the baby version of this tee? :)

Babe power teeTo enter for a chance to win, sign up below and you'll also see that you can submit more than one entry by following us or signing up for our newsletter. If you have already signed up for the newsletter or already follow us on Twitter/Pinterest, simply do it again below to receive the extra entries (it won't cause you to receive duplicate newsletters or anything; it's just so we can verify your entry). Good luck! xo. Emma + Elsie

7th Day of Christmas 2016

08 Dec 14:56

gift guide: gifts that give back.

by erin
Shh.listen

I love any/all of these thigns

gifts that give back | reading my tea leavesSince we find ourselves in a season of gift giving, I thought it might be nice this year to pull together just a few of the lovely things I’ve come across this season that also support a charitable mission. As always, I’ve chosen goods made by small, independent companies and artists. Some of these shops always contribute to a charitable cause, while others are owned by individual makers who have have decided to donate portions of their holiday profits to charities doing important work here at home during a complicated moment. If you know of other folks doing similarly stellar work—or if you’re doing it yourself—please don’t hesitate to share notes in the comments.

There Is An Alternative Print: Alice Saunders of Forestbound adapted an image found in a 1972 underground newspaper of her dad’s and made a limited edition letterpress poster printed by Repeat Press. 100% of proceeds from the poster to go the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire. (We’re working on a protest art wall in our apartment and this print is headed there.)

Noland Baby Quilt: Block Shop textiles recently launched a limited edition run of baby quilts, hand printed on organic cotton in Bagru, India. Each year, Block Shop invests 5% of their proceeds to build and implement community healthcare programs for the cooperative of block printers who print their products.

Bertu Pillow: Designed in Brooklyn and handwoven in Ethiopia, proceeds from Bolé Road Textiles go to support self-sustaining economic development in the communities where their goods are made. 

Banana Leaf Basket: All profits from every sale at Indego Africa go to fund education initiatives for the artisans who make their products in Rwanda and Ghana. Services provided for their workers include business, vocational, technical, and sexual health training.

Handmade Quilts: On Saturday, December 10 from 11 AM – 2 PM PST, quilter Elizabeth McMurtry will be auctioning four of her handmade quilts through her Instagram account. Stay tuned to that space for upcoming details on individual quilts. Proceeds from the sale of the four quilts will be split between the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. (This post helps explain how to place your bid. Photo of the quilts by John Cranford.) 

Pour Over Coffee Set: The brand-new home goods shop, Jane and William, just opened a holiday preview shop featuring their pottery handmade in Upstate New York. They’ve partnered with Kiva.org to donate 100% of their profits to small business micro-loans. 

Alingo Rectangle Earrings: Proceeds from the sale of all goods at Mombasa go to support the nonprofit I Pour Life’s 10 x 10 program, “a women-led family empowerment program which seeks to end the cycle of extreme poverty and social isolation in Korah, Ethiopia.” More about Mombasa’s charitable giving, here.

Peace Print: Photographer Jamie Street gathered thirty women on a foggy morning to make this image. Last week she put it up for sale temporarily through her Instagram account. I bought one of these prints for our apartment, but just in case you missed it, Jamie’s extended her sale by two days for Reading My Tea Leaves readers. The 12″ x 18″ fine art print is printed on thick cotton rag paper and costs $65. (Optional gallery framing is available in natural, white, or black for an additional $100 without a mat; $150 with a mat.) 100% of print proceeds go to the ACLU. To place your order, email Jamie with your request at jamie@jamiestreet.com by Tuesday, December 6 at 5:00 pm PST. 

Island-made Bags: Lissa Snapp of Barnacle Bags is donating 15% of her sales this week (December 4 – December 10) to the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who have been protesting the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline on their sovereign land. (The Army Corp of Engineers decided to yesterday to deny the permit for the pipeline in that spot, but there’s still work to be done and resources that need giving.)

PS. A quick acknowledgement that a gift guide of this nature is a tricky thing to navigate. Buying a product with a charitable element can feel like it might obfuscate a greater need for direct action—and just yesterday we saw the impact of direct, on-the-ground action by the water protectors working to preserve sacred land in North Dakota—but it’s my sincere wish that this is a start in positive direction. In case it’s not goods you’re after, here’s my Charitable Giving Primer from last week.

PPS. I’m working on a longer post about voting with your wallets more generally. Stay tuned.

PPPS. Tradlands is still giving 25% of proceeds from this post to charity through the end of December.

08 Dec 14:56

clutter-free holiday decorations.

by erin
Shh.listen

I want to make those cinnamon star ornaments

clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves
We needed to take things up a notch with our holiday decorations this year. I knew we’d put up the usual lights and candles and tree, but I had a hankering for something extra sparkly, extra magical, extra jolly. Hell, I totally lost my mind and brought red into the picture.

If it’s looking like my adult Christmas tree is merely a vehicle for me to live out my childhood dreams of time traveling well, then, mission accomplished.

I love a good old-fashioned Christmas tree, not just because I think they’re pretty but because they make sense in a small space. I’ve written before that we try to keep all of our holiday decorations to a single shoe box and with the exception of one special addition this year, we’ve stuck to that rule by making our tree a little more festive through the magic of compostable decorations. Here, four simple ideas for decking the halls a bit more lavishly, without breaking the bank (or needing to invest in a storage unit).clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

Cinnamon and Applesauce Ornaments

What you need

Apple sauce + Cinnamon + Heat + Time + Upholstery Needle + String

One of my cousins makes them every year for Christmas, but I hadn’t made a batch of my own since I was in elementary school. Happily, these guys couldn’t be easier and if you omit the traditional use of Elmer’s glue, you’ll find that they still hold perfectly well together. (Caveat: It might be that without the glue these guys get crumbly after a year in storage—I haven’t tested that—but for now, they’re as solid as the glue-filled alternatives.) I got cinnamon in bulk from my neighborhood spice shop, bought a jar of plain apple sauce, and used my friend Katy’s recipe to make a batch. 
clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

We ended up with so many stars, that I’m planning to use them to decorate presents this Christmas, too. I used an upholstery needle to make the holes and string the stars, but any poky thing you have around will do. 
clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

Cranberry Garlands

What you need:

Cranberries + Needle +  Thread

We made these a few times growing up and I was glad for a little something in a pretty shade of crimson to add to the tree. The good news is that in the week or so following Thanksgiving fresh cranberries often go on sale, and you can make a festive garland or two inexpensively. The cranberries are easy to puncture with just about any sewing needle (and if you use a blunt-tipped needle even little helpers can join in). No hugely extensive tutorial needed here; just string those berries and tie off the ends of the garland!  (Update: As with all things, please make an effort to source sustainably! Industrial cranberry agriculture is something of an environmental disaster. I found sustainably harvested, organic berries for just $2.99/bag at my local organic market!)clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

One tip: For both cranberry and popcorn garlands, I find that it’s easiest to drape them nicely in the tree if I make several shorter lengths that wrap around the girth of the tree just once, rather than trying to string one very long garland neatly around and up the entire tree.
clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

Popcorn Strings

What you need: 

Popcorn + Thread + Needle

Stringing popcorn is admittedly slightly more tedious than stringing cranberries (sometimes it takes a few times to strike the sweet spot that will let the needle through the popcorn and sometimes the popped corn crumbles under too much pressure) but generally making these is a cinch, very inexpensive, and something meditative to do while watching a movie in the evening. I make a batch of stove top popcorn that I leave plain—no need for butter or salt or za’atar here—and string it onto cotton thread. For my tree this year, I chose to alternate all-popcorn and all-cranberry garlands, but of course you can mix them up and add other interesting things to your garlands as your heart desires.
clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

Dried Fruit Ornaments

What you need: 

Sliced apples, pears, and oranges + Heat + Time + Needle + String

A bit of dried fruit on a tree is another inexpensive and easy-to-make alternative to traditional holiday ornaments. You can follow last year’s tutorial for dried oranges if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide. I concede that I was a little impatient this year and had these guys in too hot an oven, so my pears and apples were a little more on the brown side of golden than I would have preferred. No matter, they still look pretty and apparently they’re still delectable, too—Faye took a gigantic bite out of a hanging pear and was very pleased with the results.
clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

A tip: In general, the oranges take a little longer to dry out than the apples and pears, and so it might be a good idea to cook them separately, or at least to check in to make sure your apples aren’t getting too cooked.clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

All put together, I think the finished tree is every bit as cheery as we needed, without being overwhelming in a small space. 
clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

For our tree-topper this year, we decided to go the decidedly heirloom route. My dear internet pal Ashley of ABJ Glassworks made us this five-pointed glass star to add to the top of our tree. Needless to say it’s quickly become a treasured gift and a reminder that you don’t have to be overly dogmatic about any of this minimalism stuff. Strike a balance that works for you, treasure the things you have and that you love, and otherwise get on with it. If you are wanting to go a simpler or smaller route for your tree-topper, I happen to think a lovely length of mustard-colored grosgrain or velvet ribbon would make a mighty fine bow atop an otherwise compostable tree (and of course it would be very easy to stash in a small space for future years). clutter free holiday decorations | reading my tea leaves

In case you’re not into the the compostable Christmas tree look (and yes, I admit I had one reader email me earlier this year to say that she needed something a little less…homespun), here are a few more ideas for finding ornaments with a bit more polish.

Shop Vintage: While we really don’t have the space to store them, I can imagine one day starting a collection of vintage glass ornaments. (And likely there are plenty of folks who have boxes of family ornaments that might eventually get passed their way—or that already have.) There’s no shortage of beautiful vintage options on places like Etsy, but it might be worth keeping in mind that in addition to being fragile, some of these older ornaments likely include things like lead paint, so they might not be best choice for homes with small children.

Shop Fair-Trade: There are lots of artisans around the world making beautiful ornaments this time of year (and always). Businesses like Ten Thousand Villages or Fair Indigo are committed to sourcing fair-trade ornaments from around the globe, so they might also be a nice place to start looking. These sparkling snowflakes from Bangladesh caught my eye. 

Shop USA-Made: If you’re looking to invest in brand-new traditional ornaments, you might also consider seeking out Made-in-the-USA options. While I can’t vouch for the products or company personally, I did notice that Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Michigan has a section of their site devoted to USA-made products, including sets of very classic glass balls.

Shop Small: Finally, my personal favorite route is to turn to small designers making beautiful ornaments and decorations by hand. Here are a few beauties that have caught my eye:

+ Beveled Star Ornament by ABJ Glassworks

+ Carved Wooden Bell by Pilosale

+ Balsam Fir Embroidered Ornaments by Quite Alright

+ Big Dot Ornaments from Pigeon Toe Ceramics

+ Patchwork Stockings by Ace & Jig and Kou Kou

+ Homespun Christmas Star by 86 Home

+ Porcelain Moose by Art et Manufacture

What about you? Any favorite sources for ornaments? Any favorite things to make yourself?

04 Dec 19:46

Star Garland Advent Calendar

by A Beautiful Mess
Shh.listen

I'd love to do this for June next year!

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarI've always adored traditions at Christmastime, but as an adult, I'm learning sometimes you have to sacrifice traditions because of schedules, sickness, family situations, and just for sanity's sake. After getting married, it was really frustrating for me to give up doing the same things every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and I definitely felt some of the warm fuzzies associated with the holiday season begin to slip away.

Through the years I've figured out ways to come up with consistent holiday traditions that can be adjusted as life throws curveballs our way—the recipes I make, the records we play, and the few activities we can depend on every year, like decorating the tree together and driving around to look at Christmas lights. And this year I've thrown a new tradition into the mix: An advent calendar!

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarThis is the first time I've made a full 25-day advent calendar, and I think I'm just as excited about it as my kids. I had made an advent calendar with surprise activities and gifts for my husband a few years ago, but it was pretty stressful making sure our calendars allowed for the surprise activities, not to mention our budget allowing for the gifts. So when I set out to make this calendar, I made sure the activities and gifts would be easy and simple. For me, the fun of an advent calendar is just being together and setting aside a bit of time, as small as it might be, to connect with one another, even if it's just to open a little box with candy inside.

So check out how I made this advent calendar garland, and take a peek at what we planned for our 25 days!

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarDIY Star Garland Advent CalendarMaterials:
-star boxes—I used these 4" paper mache boxes as well as these 2" paper mache boxes.
-twine, string, or ribbon
-eyelet screws
-gold liquid gilding or gold leaf kit (leaf sheets + sizing + sealer—I prefer this for texture.)
-acrylic paint
-numbered stamp set or number stickers (I ended up using these American Crafts stickers.)
-ink pad (if using stamps)

Tools:
-scissors
-brush
-fine cloth (if using gold leaf)

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarStep One: Decorate the outside of all 25 boxes. I chose to gold leaf rather than paint because I love the shine and texture gold leafing adds. Perfect for the holiday season! This was definitely a time consuming process, though, so if you're not up for the task, you could choose to brush on paint or liquid gilding, or perhaps spray the boxes with primer and metallic paint.

If you choose to gold leaf the boxes, as I did, you'll need to make sure you have enough gold leaf sheets for all boxes. I had plenty of sizing and sealant in one gold leaf kit, but I did end up purchasing additional sheets at Michaels to finish all of my boxes. I sliced the sheets into strips to help me conserve them when applying the sheets to the sides of the boxes.

To apply gold leaf, brush a coat of sizing onto the box, let the sizing dry a bit (wait about 15 minutes), then lay sheets of gold leaf onto the sticky sizing. Use a fine cloth to burnish the gold leaf onto the box, and try not to handle too much with your fingers. The oils from your hand will cause the metal to tarnish. Seal the gold leaf as soon as possible.

Work with just a few boxes or lids at a time, as letting the sizing sit for too long will make them less tacky, making it difficult for the gold leaf to adhere to the boxes. I found working with 4-5 boxes or lids as a time was a good amount for the time it took to apply the gold leaf.

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarStep Two: Paint the interior of the boxes. It took me 3 coats of acrylic paint to completely cover the paper mache boxes I used.

Step Three: Add numbers to the box lids. I had intended to use stamps for this, but I couldn't get any of my ink pads to work with the shiny metal surface created by gold leafing the lids. So I decided to use stickers instead. If you're a scrapbooker like me, you'll probably have a lot of random numbers from old sticker sets that you could use in combination with each other to come up with enough ones and twos for all of the days in an advent calendar.

IMG_7758DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarStep Four: Poke or drill tiny holes into the tops of your boxes, then screw in the eyelet screws. If you don't want to use eyelet screws, you could certainly poke holes for threading the string through, but it will be less polished looking and more difficult to thread.

Step Five: Thread the string or ribbon through the hooks and tie it in place. I spaced my stars about 5" from each other.

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarStep Six: Fill the boxes and hang up the garland in your home. I chose to hang my garland on a leaning ladder because I sadly don't have a mantel to decorate. But I love the way it looks draped on the ladder!

Most of the lids fit snugly onto the boxes, but the looser lids are secured with clear tape. I might use tape on all of the boxes to discourage curious little hands from taking premature peeks at the surprises inside.

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarDIY Star Garland Advent CalendarMy husband and I went out for dinner and planned each of the days' gifts or activities in our advent calendar together. Here's what we came up with for the boxes, reserving the right to change around the box contents to better fit our schedules! :)

Day 1: Light-up Christmas lights necklaces
Day 2: Paint—Paint mini stain glass window decals
Day 3: Mini marshmallows—Drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie together
Day 4: Mini book—Unwrap a new Christmas book to read together
Day 5: Chocolates
Day 6: Colored beads—Make bracelets with elastic string
Day 7: Mini teddy bears
Day 8: Mini wooden peg people—Kids paint the pegs and Mom adds faces
Day 9: Life Saver candies
Day 10: Dice—Family game night
Day 11: Mini gingerbread house—Decorate gingerbread houses
Day 12: Mini deer figurines
Day 13: Mini wreath—Make pipe cleaner wreaths for the dollhouse
Day 14: Chocolates
Day 15: Jingle bells—Make jingle bell necklaces
Day 16: Life Saver candies
Day 17: Mini Christmas light bulb ornaments—Drive around to look at Christmas lights
Day 18: Mini gingerbread ornament—Decorate gingerbread cookies
Day 19: Dice—Family game night
Day 20: Wooden snowflakes—Paint snowflakes to make magnets for the refrigerator
Day 21: Disco ball ornament—Family dance party to Christmas party playlist
Day 22: Mini marshmallows—Drink hot chocolate and watch a Christmas movie together
Day 23: Mini stand mixer—Bake cookies with Mom
Day 24: Mini pillow—Camp out in the living room beside the Christmas tree
Day 25: Mini book—Read the Christmas story together

DIY Star Garland Advent CalendarDIY Star Garland Advent CalendarI'd love to hear what kinds of things you put in your advent calendars. Since this is my first year making one, I have a feeling it's on the ambitious side, and each subsequent year will be simpler and perhaps full of more candy! Ha! But we'll see. Wish me luck! -Mandi

Credits //Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.

29 Nov 14:30

spinach sheet pan quiche

by deb
spinach-sheet-pan-quiche

I know we all associate December with cookies, cocktails, yule logs and latkes, but what about the smaller, enduring festivities that often go overlooked, namely workplace and other potluck luncheons? Because my “coworkers” are basically a laptop and occasionally these wild things, my current participation level is limited, but I know that usually what happens is that it’s rather easy to bring cookies and cakes but as nobody wants to drag a roast on the subway and then heat it up in the breakroom microwave, main dishes are harder to nail down.

Read more »

28 Nov 16:39

brussels sprouts, apple and pomegranate salad

by deb
brussels-sprouts-apple-and-pomegranate-salad

Things I Learned Hosting My First Friendsgiving
On logistics

• As I realized last week, what makes big meals (we had 16 people) scary isn’t the cooking as much as the sheer volume of it all and the logistics required to manage them. I mean, who here has a kitchen that was built to feed 16? Trust me, it’s not you, it’s your kitchen making things hard.

Read more »

28 Nov 16:39

Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

by Angela (Oh She Glows)

cozybutternut-sweet-potato-red-lentil-stew-5458

cozybutternut-sweet-potato-red-lentil-stew-5462

After my ambitious triple-blog-post week just after Arlo was born, I lost the motivation to write. I even had a few recipes and photos uploaded to my drafts folder, but I just couldn’t write the actual posts.

Knowing how fast this time goes by, I yearned to simply be present. I slowed down, which felt absolutely amazing. I worked when the inspiration was there and didn’t when it wasn’t. I soaked up our sweet baby boy. I savoured the confidence and ease of being a second-time mom (what a difference). A rollercoaster of hormones hit me early on, and I struggled with the blues on and off. I nursed and pumped and nursed some more. Eric and I mumbled incoherent words, back and forth, in the middle of the night (why is it so impossible to string words together at 3am?). I kissed Arlo’s head, cheeks, and feet a million and one times, and it has yet to feel like enough. I don’t think it ever will.

We witnessed Adriana transform into a little girl right before our very eyes. One night as I rocked her at bedtime—with her long legs falling off the side of the rocker, my arms burning under the weight of her body, and her bossy words instructing me what songs to sing and not to sing (“NO thank you, MOMMY!”)—it struck me that I was not cradling a baby anymore. I fought back tears. It had been a while since I rocked her, as my 3rd trimester bump had gotten in the way. Now she was basically a teenager disguised as a two-year-old. 

Our basement renovation is almost wrapped up, so we’ve taken up dancing, the four of us, in the unfurnished rooms while listening to Christmas music. Adriana clutches her baby doll in her arms, just like I do with Arlo. We also play hide and seek. Often, the basement fun abruptly ends in tears as Adriana has a penchant for running into walls. Ouch. Boo-boos are kissed, and we explain, once again, why it’s a bit too soon for her to pick up her baby brother. So she hovers about an inch over his face, just trembling with excitement, sneaking in kisses. “He’s looking at you!” she yells with delight as he stares into her eyes.

I never want to forget these moments.

Even though I haven’t been writing as much, I’ve been cooking every chance that I get. A couple months ago, Pulse Canada contacted me about partnering with them to develop and share a recipe in celebration of the International Year of Pulses. If you can believe it, I’ve never created a sponsored recipe; most offers I’ve received didn’t feel like authentic reflections of me and the Oh She Glows brand. But pulses…well, I didn’t have to think twice. Peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas? You know I’m down with that. As I’ve shared on the blog before, Canada is one of the world’s leading producers of pulses (in fact, we’re the #1 producer of peas and lentils, which I think is super cool). There are a whopping 22,000 pulse farmers in Canada (high fives), and our pulses are consumed in over 150 countries. (“Our pulses”? Okay, now I’m talking like I grew them myself or something!) On a personal level, I eat pulses every single day, and I adore their flavour and versatility. Red Lentil Hummus, Chickpea Pancakes, No Bake Chickpea Cookie Dough Bars (a recipe I never got around to finalizing!), Lentil-Walnut Taco “meat”…the sky’s the limit with what you can create!

Aside from being super nutritious and easy on the wallet, pulses are friendly to the environment, too. Their carbon footprint is lower than almost any other food group.

Pulse Canada has created the “Pulse Pledge” encouraging people to commit to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks and reduce their carbon footprint all at the same time. It’s totally free, and you can sign up with me here. (Spoiler alert: I’m killing it, lol.)

A big thanks to Pulse Canada for sponsoring this post. I’m delighted to finally share my newest pulse-based stew recipe with you below! 

A couple housekeeping notes:

Be sure to check out my Instagram post on Friday for some super exciting Black Friday news (hint hint: big app sale, a free holiday cookie app bundle, and Android news!).

Lastly, I’m thrilled to let you know that Oh She Glows Every Day has made it to the final round in the Goodreads Choice Awards. Thank you so much to everyone who has voted and helped to get the book this far! Voting for the final round is open through November 27th; if you’re game to cast one more virtual ballot (or maybe your first!), I would appreciate the support more than I can say. :)

image

veganstew

cozybutternut-sweet-potato-red-lentil-stew-5424

Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, and Red Lentil Stew

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

Butternut squash, red lentils, and sweet potato are wrapped in a lightly sweet and creamy coconut and tomato broth accented with spicy notes of turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and garlic. Apple cider vinegar provides a tangy brightness to bring everything together. This stew tastes better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to mingle; if you can make it the day before serving, I’d highly recommend it! This recipe was created for Pulse Canada, and was inspired by Deliciously Ella.

Yield
11 cups (2.75 quarts)
Prep Time
20 Minutes
Cook time
30 Minutes
Total Time
50 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the stew:
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups/280 g)
  • 3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups (400 g) peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash*
  • 1 large sweet potato (450 g), peeled and diced (2 1/2 cups/340 g)*
  • 3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) dried red lentils, rinsed**
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you like heat
  • Fine sea salt, to taste (I use 1 1/2 teaspoons pink salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons (15 mL) apple cider vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 bunch chard, stemmed and finely chopped***
Optional accompaniments:
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, minced
  • Cooked rice
  • Garlic powder and chili powder

Directions:

  1. To a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the squash and sweet potato and stir to combine. Add a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for a few minutes longer.
  3. Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), coconut milk, lentils, tomato paste, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. (If you are spice-shy, feel free to add half the amount to start and increase from there after cooking, to taste.) Stir well to combine.
  4. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, stir again, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and potato are fork-tender. Reduce the heat if necessary.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar to taste. Adjust the other seasonings if desired.
  6. Optional step: Using a handheld immersion blender, blend the stew for only 2 to 3 seconds (any more and you’ll blend too much of the veggies). This thickens the broth.
  7. Stir in the chard, and cook for another couple minutes until the greens are wilted.
  8. Scoop some cooked rice onto the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the stew overtop. Garnish with minced cilantro or parsley and a good dusting of garlic and chili powder, if desired.
  9. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, and they freeze beautifully too.

Tips:

* Make sure to dice the squash and potato very small (about the size of almonds), as this will expedite cooking. Also, if you are short on time, you can skip peeling the butternut squash as the skin is edible. (I don’t recommend skipping peeling the potato, though.)

** You can swap the red lentils for 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed).

*** You can swap the chard for 5 ounces of baby spinach or a bunch of kale (stemmed). I recommend chopping the greens into small bite-size pieces for easier eating.

cozybutternut-sweet-potato-red-lentil-stew-5455

© copyright 2017 Oh She Glows. All Rights Reserved.
15 Nov 18:26

Raining Clouds

by swissmiss
Shh.listen

GOLD TEMP TATTOOOOS

tattly_james-gulliver-hancock_whirl_2_grandetattly_james-gulliver-hancock_whirl_catalog-01_grande

Loving this rainy cloud illustration by James Gulliver Hancock which just launched as part of the Radiant Set over at Tattly. Rainy clouds for rainy days! Waving with my umbrella!

14 Nov 20:21

Office Buddy

by swissmiss

Office buddy

Office Buddy lets you update your in-real-life status to colleagues, in a beautifully analog way.