Month: March 2014

Friday Sip & Sit: Texas Style

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Happy Friday! This week I was inspired by the Lone Star State, which I have only visited once, yet diligently adore. The Spicy Grapefruit Margarita allows you to sip a ton of Texas-style charm through one tiny little straw. What would Texas be without a bit of a kick to it? The habaneros in this guy are a sure-fire (pun intended) reminder of the Texan way of life.

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Spicy Grapefruit Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1-2 habanero chiles, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice

Directions:

  • Mix tequila and chiles in a large pitcher. Let steep 3 hours, or longer if a spicier tequila is desired. Discard chiles. This can be made up to 1 month ahead. Cover; chill.
  • Pour enough water onto a small plate to cover. Pour enough salt onto another small plate to cover by 1/4″. Dip rims of eight 12-ounce. glasses into water, then into salt to lightly coat; fill with ice. Add grapefruit juice to pitcher with tequila. Fill with ice; stir until cold. Divide drink among glasses.

Recipe compliments of Bon Apetit!

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I love that the wildflowers in Texas own the highways with a prominence that makes you never want to have road rage ever again. Here, some of those beauties are incorporated as a centerpiece, placed in a galvanized metal bucket that adds just the right amount of rustic to the scene. And don’t even get me started on the stone table, look at the legs on that puppy! What a great way to incorporate something into its surroundings; this spot was flat-out meant for entertaining among the twisting branches of some southern live oaks. To top it all off, the bright, cheery chairs liven up this already thriving scene with a burst of Lone Star spirit (although, if it were me I may have gone for red, white and blue).

You can surely count me in for a Sip & Sit in this spot, prior to my rowdy, boot-scootin’ Friday night.

Cheers!
J.

 

The Fifty United Plates

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I’ve had my designer-y eye on The Fifty United Plates for quite some time now. After taking just one ceramics class in college I’ve developed an eternal itch for getting my hands back into some clay. This particular envy-inducing project began on Kickstarter and has gained what I would consider to be mind-blowing success over the past year.

Ryan and Kaitlyn Lawless started The Fifty United Plates as a way for us great Americans to pay tribute to where we’re from. “We’re all locals somewhere,” a perfect statement by the creators that sums up the passion behind their project.

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When put together, all of the plates interlock perfectly with each other to compile the entire nation. Personally, I’m a little upset that Maryland isn’t bigger-boned…I need more room for crab dip; but I guess it could be worse, at least we aren’t Rhode Island.

The company has also recently expanded their collection to include plates in Robin’s Egg Blue, Mint Green and Canary Yellow as representation of the colors used in vintage maps. Considering I love adding color to anything and everything, I certainly approve, especially when there’s such fantastic reasoning behind it.

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I’m also quite in love with their porcelain Denizen Mugs (denizen: an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place), which makes me wish the Kickstarter project was still open so I could provide a pledge and get my paws on one.

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By the time I finished exploring the work from Corbe Company, I was bursting with hometown pride. Be sure to hop over to their website and request notification for when your state becomes available, as their incredible success has put many of the pieces on backorder throughout the upcoming months—which is, I think safe to say, a good problem to have. You can also check out their Kickstarter video for a peek at the dynamic duo’s process and the passion behind the porcelain (a little alliteration for your Thursday—and an unintended tongue twister).

Cheers from a Marylander,
J.

Wanderlust: A Van in the Sea

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I’m having a bit of Wednesday Wanderlust today as I check out “A Van in the Sea,” a project by Alessandro Puccinelli. This guy is way cool for so many reasons. Not only did he buy a 1970s motorhome—the thought of restoring this baby to its original glory fascinates me beyond belief—and drove it along the coasts of Portugal; but he also pursued his passion of photography in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous and exploratory way.

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Every photo, while similar, has subtle nuances that make it a brand new masterpiece of its own. When asked why he took the venture, Puccinelli states simply, “I did that just to be able to take care of my personal photography project and also…because I just wanted to do what I like.” How lovely of an idea is that? Most of us have hobbies, but how many of us can say we took such a grand leap to satisfy a hunger for pure bliss?

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Are you inspired? Good. Now go out and do something today…just because you like it.

Cheers!
J.

The Hivernant

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If you took a peek in my closet, the assumption would be quickly made that I am, what many would consider to be, a “girly-girl.” But as I’ve started to collect inspiration throughout my design career, it’s become fairly prominent that I’m drawn to things that are actually quite manly in nature.

I suppose the argument could be made that men are more simple creatures than women—attracted to a “no frills” lifestyle. So designing for a predominantly male audience must obviously speak to this straightforwardness. The allure behind many of these manly muses that I’ve tucked away for future reference is most notably their unmatched simplicity.

That being said, today I’ve pulled from the files an Etsy shop that “MAN-ifests” (see what I did there?!) this burly nature. The Hivernant creates hand-restored camp hatchets that not only show their beauty through hand-painted handles, but also through the stories their rich histories tell.

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As designers, we appreciate all aspects of the things we create every day. Not only does The Hivernant make these great pieces of art, but the way his work is displayed is awesome design in and of itself! I love the layout, based with a topographical backdrop that sets the theme for the product right away. The surrounding objects are oozing with ruggedness and keep—for the most part—within neutral tones as to create an even greater emphasis on the bright blue head of the hatchet. Then, that bright blue ties right back on in with the bodies of water on the map. Now that, my friends, is what I like to call a complete circle of well-planned, well-executed design.

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Shop owner, Zak Fellman is a Minnesota native that is clearly adept to bringing a love of the wilderness into his work (my eye was, of course, drawn to that Field Notes book). The wonder and intrigue of forging into the great frontier comes through loud and clear in every piece. Be sure to check out his shop for more fantastic work and tons of inspiring manliness!

Cheers,
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Spring

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Happy Friday! It’s officially the 2nd day of Spring and that, my friends, is reason to celebrate. Dust off that outdoor furniture—but leave the rest of the Spring cleaning for later—because in honor of this luscious seasonal change, today’s cocktail and locale both bring about feelings of sunshine, warmth and nature.

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Springtime Martini

Per Serving:
2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Orange juice
1/2 oz. Pineapple juice
1/2 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. Aperol *

* Aperol is an Italian aperitif, somewhat bitter and with strong notes of grapefruit.

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well.  Pour into chilled martini glasses and garnish with lime.

Recipe compliments of A Cocktail Life!

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While some of the leaves in the background of this “sit” suggest a Fall chill, the amount of green on this porch is swaying me towards Spring beauty. The pink Gerber daisies pop against the white wood of the Adirondack chairs; and the soft blue watering can not only serves as a lovely complement, but also hints at the new growth of Spring.

I’d love to enjoy a nice Spring Martini here, soaking in the afternoon sun. Its airy color palette and oversized pillows are drawing me in…not to mention, I’m a sucker for a good porch swing.

Cheers!
J.

Food Type: Little Havana

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Today’s Food Type comes from what I like to think is a well-kept Baltimore secret. Pop in for some tacos, a mojito (their specialty) or simply to enjoy the warm breezes on the patio. I also happen to love the restored warehouse in which the cabana resides, representing the urban Baltimore vibe alongside the beachy Latin flair. Enjoy!

Cheers,
J.

Monday Blues

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It’s Monday, which calls for a big ol’ “womp womp.” Not only is this usually the toughest day of the week, but winter just WILL NOT go away. However, soaking up inspiration wherever possible, I thought I could share a snowy pick from one of my favorites, Windows of New York.

This project is the brainchild of Jose Guizar, a New York based designer that…well, just really likes windows. I love, not only his clean style of illustration, but the intrigue behind each and every piece. He states, “A product of countless steps of journey through the city streets, this is a collection of windows that somehow have caught my restless eye out from the never-ending buzz of the city.” I’d say this is a true artistic vision—and one that gets even bigger ups from me for taking the time to slow down and notice the beautiful things in life that are often overlooked.  

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So as I’m watching the snow fall through my own window, I can help but let my mind wander to the stories that are waiting to be told beyond the panes Jose shares. Above are a few of my absolutes favorites.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit

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Happy Friday! Mother Nature has been playing tricks with us lately, dangling the carrot of warm weather and then yanking it back juuuust as we’re about to take the bait. I’m dreaming of warmer days with this Friday’s Sip & Sit.

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Thanks to the Cookie Rookie for this week’s cocktail!

Ginger Raspberry Crush

Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, muddled
  • 3 ounces vodka (I love Titos)
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • ginger ale
  • ice
Instructions
  1. muddle the raspberries and place half in the bottom of each glass
  2. top with agave nectar, lemon juice, and ice
  3. pour in 1.5 ounces of vodka per glass
  4. top with ginger ale
  5. serve with raspberries and lemon for garnish, and a sugar rim if desired.
  6. enjoy!

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What better way to enjoy warm weather than with a relaxing waterfront porch? I could use a Ginger Raspberry Crush—someone can hand it to me after I climb into that lovely kayak—paddling along the shores, soaking in the sun with immeasurable weekend contentment. Nothing is as inspiring as an exotic locale, offering brand new views, a refreshing mindset and crystal clear waters.

Cheers!
J.

Interior Lovin’

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I’ve recently discovered my love of not only GRAPHIC design, but INTERIOR! I’ve been spending the majority of my free time over the past few weeks remodeling what is soon-to-be the brand new Tomahawk office! Priming, painting, ripping out 40-year-old carpet, purchasing things that are way out of budget (they’re worth it, I promise), the works. I absolutely love picking out fabrics, frames and furniture that I’m sure I’ll be swooning over for the next few years. Granted, my office is only temporary for now, but I still find it incredibly important to create a space that I’ll walk into each and every day and say, “This is mine.”

With that, I’m excited to say that I will be fully invested in my company as the first, full-time employee beginning May 1. It’s exciting, it’s terrifying and best of all, it’s a brand new chapter. Today, I began the official process with my lawyer and his words to me as I walked out were, “I love that you have ambition; the toughest boss you will ever have is yourself.” Coming from a man that started his own law firm from the ground up and is still going strong at the age of 68, I’d say that’s a refreshing compliment—and one that I will certainly take to heart.

“After” photos to come soon!

Cheers,
J.

Inter’l Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting some inspiring, woman-owned, design-related businesses! I feel blessed to live in a place where, even as a female, I have the opportunity to take the mildly-terrifying professional leap into launching a business of my own. So let’s celebrate, as my fellow women-owned business and I strut our stuff!

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Kari Fisher, interior designer and owner of Kari Fisher Designs in Atlanta, GA, creates custom textiles that transform into these phenomenal plush pillows. The dynamic patterns, plus the beautiful imperfections of hand-painting, create a striking balance between sophisticated properness and the comforts of laid-back home life.

Kari’s love of traditional block-printing allows her to create uniquely beautiful pieces that are 100% attention-grabbers. Variations in color, printing, fabrics and patterns allows for that creative flexibility we all yearn for. In honor of International Women’s Day: Rock on and keep gettin’ your block on, Kari!

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IceMilk Aprons drew me in right away; not only with their gorgeous linen products, but with their story. As a company that has sprung from idolizing my grandfather, I love that this company was inspired by the founder’s grandmother! The product line features beautifully handmade aprons that could make even the worst cooks want to give it a go with the oven. Throw on one of these bad boys, pat some flour on your cheeks and voila! Instant kitchen goddess.

The company also offers fantastic gift packages including recipe cards and a custom monogrammed apron—looks like I’ll be covered on bridal shower gift ideas for quite some time…

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While I may not have children yet, Senn & Sons’ nursery prints are too adorable to resist mentioning. The simplistic designs create an ultra-modern feel for baby, who is welcomed into his/her design-haven of a nursery with firetrucks, surfers, or my personal fave—the whale!

Owner, Kimberly, spends her time balancing her two adorable “Sons” and creating these awesome prints. Check out her video, which is a great glimpse into her inspiration, her process and her happiness that springs from loving what she does! A super chic, designer-mom icon for International Women’s Day!

Cheers,
J.