Did You Say Black Cake?!
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I found another beautiful black cake I want to eat. So I started looking into how I might be able to recreate this at home. Here’s my easy recipe for black icing:

  • 1/2 a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tube of black gel food coloring

  • 1 can of vanilla flavor Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Frosting

Start by mixing just 1 tsp. of the food coloring gel into the frosting. Then add about 1/2 a cup of the cocoa powder. Stir everything up and check your color. It’s probably more of a dark gray than black. Keep adding food coloring 1 tsp. at a time until you get your desired shade.

Happy frosting!

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EAT
Photo of the Week
Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.com

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.com

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Found another beautiful photo from Annie Spratt that would look great as your desktop wallpaper or cell phone background. Click to download.

LIFE
Fancy Desk Chairs

I’m in the market for a new desk chair. Preferably a swivel chair. But I want it to be beautiful as well as comfortable. So far, my research has consisted of trying every chair I see in all my usual favorite places to shop. But I need to be frugal about this purchase if I want to stay within budget. So far, these are the fancy desk chairs I’ve found on Amazon.com - my go-to when I’m not sure exactly what I want and need to see options of all kinds.

Retail Therapy

Love Is All You Need
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash.com

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash.com

The thoughts you think are made up of energy, and the Universe responds to those thoughts. Let love guide your way. All you need is love.

LIFE
Favorite Finds

FOUND: my favorite flats and slides for casual but fashionable outfits. Shop now!

Franco Sarto | Sanora

Franco Sarto | Sanora

Steve Madden | Flavor

Steve Madden | Flavor

Betsey Johnson | Leah

Betsey Johnson | Leah

Franco Sarto | Savanne

Franco Sarto | Savanne

Nine West | Forlove

Nine West | Forlove

Steve Madden | Feather

Steve Madden | Feather

LIFE, SHOPPINGfashion
Black Kitchen Cabinets
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Unexpected, modern, and a sophisticated look, black cabinets emphasize clean lines, sleek hardware, and beautiful wood grain. The dark color also adds a hefty dose of contrast to prevent a neutral space from looking plain and washed out.

TIP: If you're hesitant to take the plunge into all-black cabinets, start with a dose of black on an island or a select bank of cabinets.

Retail Therapy

DESIGN
Tea Time
Photo by Marisa Harris

Photo by Marisa Harris

It’s time for some tea. For me, afternoon tea is about indulging in some ‘me-time’ and taking a moment to relax and enjoy some delicate savouries. It’s kind of like a mini special occasion, with a treat. A chance to sit and chat with a friend, read a book or simply enjoy the day with a hot beverage. I realized today, when I wanted to do just that, that I don’t own a proper tea set. And it doesn’t quite feel like a fancy little occasion when you use coffee cups. Time to go shopping.

Here’s what I found so far: I’m leaning towards the black tea set…surprise. All though, the lavender is quite pretty and I like the tea pot that comes with that set a lot more. Decisions, decisions.

Retail Therapy

EAT, LIFETEA, SELF CARE, RELAXATION
The Palm Tree
Photo by Shifaaz Shamoon via Unsplash.com

Photo by Shifaaz Shamoon via Unsplash.com

The Palm Tree

Palm-tree: single-legged giant,
topping other trees,
peering at the firmament –
It longs to pierce the black cloud-ceiling
and fly away, away,
if only it had wings.

The tree seems to express its wish
in the tossing of its head:
its fronds heave and swish –
It thinks, maybe my leaves are feathers,
and nothing stops me now
from rising on their flutter.

All day the fronds the windblown tree
soar and flap and shudder
as though it thinks it can fly,
As though it wanders in the skies,
travelling who knows where,
wheeling past the stars –

And then as soon as the wind dies down,
the fronds subside, subside:
the mind of the tree returns.
To earth, recalls that earth is its mother:
and then it likes once more
its earthly corner.

- Rabindranath Tagore

LIFEPHOTOGRAPHY
Steel & Glass Doors
Photo by @metro_steel_windows on Instagram

Photo by @metro_steel_windows on Instagram

I’m always on the lookout for ideas and inspiration for the future remodel. All of our current interior doors are painted black and lacquered. And I love them. But, we’ve been talking about doors with glass and maybe even metal doors with glass. Then I came across this image on Instagram (@metro_steel_windows): a wall of steel windows and steel doors designed and installed to perfection.

And now, the possibilities are endless.

inspiration

DESIGN
No Explanation Needed
Photo by Kai Pilger via Unsplash.com

Photo by Kai Pilger via Unsplash.com

Never forget that ‘no’ is a complete sentence.

Just a little reminder that you decide what you want to say yes to. No further explanation needed. It’s okay to walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. It’s your life, do what feels right to you. 

LIFEADVICE
Sleep Now

I could fall asleep forever in this bedroom.

Black is not a very common color in interior decors, especially when it comes to wall colors. But, even so, black can be very beautiful and a bold accent color. There are many ways you can use black in your decor and still have an airy and bright bedroom.

For one, you can paint the ceiling white to create balance. Black is strong and dramatic so use elements that add warmth like plants, wood pieces and gold finishes.

Black is my happy color, so I’m definitely painting my bedroom walls black. It’s happening.

Retail Therapy

DESIGN
Chocolate Macaron
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I love black desserts, cause it almost always means it’s chocolate. And one of my besties makes a mean chocolate macaron. Here’s her recipe for macarons that are as dark as your soul. Thanks Andrea!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 tablespoon meringue powder

  • 1/3 cup + 11/2 teaspoons almond meal

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

  • 3 drops extract of vanilla

  • small dollop of black food gel

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Instructions

Begin by bringing the egg white to room temperature and line a small half-sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, sift together almond meal and powdered sugar. In a medium bowl, beat the egg white with an electric mixer. Once frothy, slowly add the merginue powder while beating continuously.

Once the meringue has soft floppy peaks, stop beating. Then, in 3 increments, add in the the almond meal and powdered sugar. Gently fold it in using a spatula. Then, add the vanilla extract.

Once everything is well incorporated, scoop the mixture into a plastic bag or pastry bag and squeeze the mixture down to one side and snip the corner off of the bag. Squeeze gently to make 12 perfectly round circles on the baking pan. Gently press away any peaks.

Let the cookies sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Before the cookies go into the oven, they should appear dry. Preheat the oven to 300° while you wait. Bake the cookies in the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. They are done when the tops are dry and they have risen up.

Let cool on the baking sheet, then carefully peel them off the parchment paper, and move them to a rack. Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar to make the filling. Dot it on 6 of the macarons, and top with the remaining cookies to make sandwiches.

EATRECIPE, recipes
The Lover Tells of the Rose in his Heart
Photo by James Coleman

Photo by James Coleman

The Lover Tells of the Rose in His Heart

All things uncomely and broken, all things worn out and old,
The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart,
The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould,
Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told;
I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart,
With the earth and the sky and the water, re-made, like a casket of gold
For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart.

- W.B. Yeats

LIFEPHOTOGRAPHY
More Than Just a Bar Cart
Photo by @melandthemonsters via Instagram

Photo by @melandthemonsters via Instagram

You might think bar carts are just for storing wine bottles and mixer sets, but they’re actually quite versatile. They can serve so many other purposes around the house.

You can use a bar cart as an accessory cart to showcase your stuff. Anything from coffee table books, candles to special trinkets. Use it as a nightstand in the bedroom or to store your makeup, and in the living room as a side table. And, hello, we missed the most obvious one, a coffee bar cart!

I’ve found a few bar carts I have my eye on. Here are some of my favorites.

Retail Therapy

DESIGN
#MondayMotivation
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Too often we are afraid of life. Sometimes it’s fear of failure. Other times we anticipate the worst, When we don't know what to expect we say no. And by saying "no" to opportunities and new experiences we reject many of life's great chances. So don’t be afraid. Just say yes.

LIFE
Open Shelves

Open shelves above the cooking space is a great way to keep the most-used items within reach. If you love art, open shelving is the perfect place to display your favorite art pieces and still make the most of storage in your kitchen. While simple white dishes seem to be the most popular look on open shelving, warm wooden dishware against a dark wall adds warmth to a space that is anything but basic.

Retail Therapy

Never Make Important Decisions On An Empty Stomach
Photo by Anna Sullivan

Photo by Anna Sullivan

Did you know researchers pinned down a hormone that is produced when we are hungry that interferes with rationality and decision-making?

You’re more likely to act on impulse when you’re hungry. And each individual can be more or less impulsive depending on the situation. So have a good meal before you make any rash decisions you may regret later. Take your time to analyze the situation and your options. Rushing into things is never a good thing.

EAT, LIFE
Photo of the Week
Vik, Iceland | Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Vik, Iceland | Photo by Joanna Kosinska

“I dreamt we walked together along the shore. We made satisfying small talk and laughed. This morning I found sand in my shoe and a seashell in my pocket. Was I only dreaming?”

- Maya Angelou

LIFE