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Inspiration By Frida

30 Jun

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A Little Bit of Happiness

23 Jun

Sometimes, the simplest things make me the most happy.

A cup of tea, a vase of fresh flowers, a new book, or a mid-afternoon nap.

Today, make sure to treat yourself to something you know makes you happy, because you deserve it.

It is often the smallest of things that can make the biggest difference.

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Inspiration By Kate

2 Mar

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Homemade Macarons

23 Feb

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Strawberry- Rhubarb Macarons

Macarons are a luxurious treat, therefore, obviously one of my favorite indulgences. But, a financially responsible lady cannot afford to purchase these yummy (but pricey) treats too often, as one macaron can range from $1.50- $4.00. And, as it’s impossible to eat only one, the expense can rack up!

So, what does a resourceful lady do? Well, she makes her own of course!

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Cinnamon- Maple Macarons

Although the process is quite a finicky and delicate one, it is incredibly satisfying. There are a few methods to making macarons (French and Italian) and testing these processes, inventing flavors and individually decorating is quite fun!

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Very Vanilla Macarons (Blue color accent in honor of the birth of Prince George!)

Here is a step by step overview of the French method to making delicious macarons!

1. Assemble your ingredients. This is the recipe for a chocolate macaron with chocolate ganache. Depending on your recipe the ingredients will slightly vary but these are the staples.

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Macaron Shell:

– Powered Sugar

– Almond Meal/Flour

– Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

– Salt

– Egg Whites

– Cream of Tartar

– Granulated Sugar

Macaron Filling:

– Bittersweet Chocolate

– Heavy Cream

– Unsalted Butter

2. Combine powdered sugar, almond meal/flour, salt and cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse the blade a few times to aerate and mix the ingredients. This will make the shell smooth and light.

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3. Sift the combined ingredients into a bowl. I often do this twice to ensure the dry particles are as small as possible to create the smoothest shell. Set aside.

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4. Fit your mixer with a wisk attachment. Place egg whites in the mixing bowl and beat on a medium setting until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until egg whites become opaque and white. Slowly add in granulated sugar and beat until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.

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5. Using a spatula, fold the egg white mixture (meringue) into the dry ingredients. Fold until the meringue deflates and the consistency of the mixture mimics a cake batter.

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6. Transfer the batter from a pastry bag/ziplock bag onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and pipe out 1 inch rounds. The next instruction is very important. Hit the baking sheet against your work surface a couple of times. This will create the signature base or foot of the macarons. It will also rid the shell of air bubbles!

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7. Let the macarons sit for about 30 minutes. This will dry the macaron and ensure even baking.  Pop into the oven for  7 minutes at 350 degrees. Rotate baking sheet and bake for another 7 minutes.  Take out macaron shells and let cool completely.

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7. Create the ganache by chopping up the bittersweet chocolate and slowly mixing into a saucepan with heated cream. Take the mixture off of the heat for 1 minute and then add the butter. Mix until smooth and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

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8. Take the chilled ganache and transfer into a piping/ziplock bag. Pipe a cherry-sized amount of ganache onto half the shells. The other half of the shells will be used to top the macaron.

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9. Match up same sized macaron shells, place together and put into the refrigerator for 24 hours (or sometimes a little less because I’m not very patient when it comes to deliciousness!)

10. Serve on a pretty platter, be impressed with yourself and enjoy!

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Inspiration By Lady Violet

2 Nov

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Inspiration By Estee

23 Oct

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Bar Cart Style

22 Oct
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A little bar cart is a cute and fun way to recycle vintage furniture.

In particular, for a lady like myself living in a small apartment, it is a multi-faceted way to make efficient use of space!

Where and how to use a bar cart in your home:

1. Bathroom: Roll up towels and stack them on the bottom rack while toiletries placed in pretty dishes and vases remain on top. Hair dryer, curler, straightener and brushes can be stored on top as well.

2. Kitchen: Silverware organized in mason jars or bottles on the top rack while bowls, plates and cups remain on the bottom for easy access.

3. Living Room: A mobile bookshelf! Stack books and magazines together on both the top and bottom shelves. Place a pretty vase of flowers on top.

4. Bedroom: Use as a nightstand with a lovely lamp on the top shelf, alarm clock, and dish for jewelry to be put in before bedtime. Have a coaster for your morning coffee or nighttime tea ready! Place make up wipes, lotions and contact solution in a hat box on the bottom shelf.

5. Dining Room: For it’s conventional use, a bar cart can be stocked with glasses and alcohol for before/after dinner/anytime drinks. Also, it can be filled with tea cups, mugs and tea fixings for a lovely afternoon tea!

Check out Shell Chic’d for other ways to decorate your new favorite piece of furniture!

Inspiration By Blair

12 Aug

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Breakfast in Bed

11 Aug

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Waking up morning after morning to the same old routine can often get, well, tiring! Who says you can’t make waking up a lovely and enjoyable experience?

Breakfast in bed is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. Personally, the fear of dirtying the bed is silly… sheets and comforters can always be washed! It’s the feeling of relaxing in bed while eating a delicious and energizing meal that cannot be beat.

The steps are simple and easy:

1) Find a fun and functional tray. One with legs or without is just fine!

2) Make a pot of tea or coffee. That way, you can have a few cups without having to get out of bed. Pair it with cream and sugar in serving glasses.

3) A glass of orange juice or milk is not only tasty but adds color to the breakfast display!

4) Pick your main meal. Whether is it oatmeal with berries, toast with peanut butter or yogurt with nuts, make it high in protein!

5) Accompany it with real silverware/plating and a pretty napkin. Remember, this is a treat… doing the dishes is worth it.

6) Fresh cut flowers from the garden… optional, but almost a necessity!

Now, you have something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning. Give yourself a good 30 minutes to enjoy your meal, slowly wake up and get your mind ready for the day.

Once finished, it’s time to get dressed and go do some wonderful things!

Inspiration By Eleanor

27 Jul

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