Monthly Archives: February 2016

New Year… New Room

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Black Two Pelt Sheepskin Rug | Gold Dino Planter | Basic Black Bath Towels | Peyote Poem Candle | Cat Grass | Quartz Cluster Box | Bertoia Reproduction Chair | Good Vibes Throw Pillow | Dreaux Metal Stacking Chair | Faux Mongolian Sheepskin Throw | Dennis Hopper Drugstore Camera Hardback

I’m all for a good deep house clean, and in our house this usually comes around twice a year.  Our big spring cleaning was in May when we moved, so it was about time to bite the bullet and start a winter purge. Most times during the deep cleaning process, things seem to get way worse before they get any better. I pull out all furniture, and pull up all rugs, dust, sweep, mop, and finally, rearrange. Rearranging is key, adds a fresh energy to our space, and lets us figure out more efficient ways of storage. This time it was; wire baskets that slide in and out under our entrance way bench that store small accessories perfectly, and a  hook to hang our large wicker laundry basket near the ceiling because its bulky and awkwardly shaped. I purchased a couple of fur throws (one for the bed, one for the metal chair) for a more cozy, and less harsh feel thats ideal for the winter months. Throw pillows are probably the easiest way to instantly spruce up any room. Written mantras like this “Good Vibes” pillow from Urban, perpetuate the words they display.  I love the feel of a minimalistic design, although my tendency is to collect odd and ends, knick knacks, trinkets, coins, shells, flowers (you name it) that end up in the form of multiple “altars” around the house. I have to force myself to throw things out, re-purpose them, or give them away. I’ve vowed to keep one small side table in the house where I can display those items, and keep them contained in one area. I’ve also adopted a “one in one out” policy for clothes. This has worked out rather well for my wardrobe, pairing down my closet and compelling me to buy only staple items that are classic and durable. In the vein of minimalism, my color story (or lack thereof) usually consists of white, black, and pops of metallics, along with hanging plants, or table top succulents. Any earthen items such as crystals as well as hanging plants or tabletop succulents brighten the space and naturally clean the air, while providing an organic and inviting vibe.

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These gooey triple chocolate brownie-like cookies are sure to satisfy any chocolate lovers craving! They have sort of a merengue-like consistency outside, and a creamy chocolate center inside. Containing only seven ingredients total, they are super simple to make, and are healthy too (about as healthy as a cookie can get). These are flourless (so gluten-free), and contain cacao nibs which add an extra chocolate crunch when you bite. The recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, in which I substituted Cacao powder for cocoa, Pink Himalayan Salt for regular, and they came out perfectly. Bake these for your lover for Valentine’s Day and keep them coming back for more…

Ingredients:

-3 cups gluten-free powdered sugar
-¾ cup Cacao Powder
-1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
-2 large egg whites
-1 large egg
-4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
-3 tablespoons cacao nibs

Instructions
Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Whisk powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in egg whites and egg; fold in chocolate and cacao nibs. Spoon batter by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart.
Bake, rotating sheets once, until cookies are puffed, cracked, and set just around the edges, 14–16 minutes.
Transfer baking sheets to wire racks and let cookies cool on pan (they’ll firm up).
***Do Ahead:
Cookies can be baked 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

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Staycation

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 There’s nothing like a vacation getaway, but sometimes it’s just as fun to be a tourist in your own town…I’m talking about a solid STAYcation. We decided to do just that in Santa Monica at the Fairmont Miramar right next to the ocean. Although the Fairmont has a traditional hotel style building, they also offer 32 awesome poolside bungalows (the only accommodations of this type in Santa Monica, if you want to get the real beach cottage experience). We were  drawn to the property because we love our bungalow (see previous post), and each one is accessed through a private entrance, nestled among the beautiful winding gardens. Like ours, these rooms were originally built in the 1930’s, and have since been meticulously restored, with Southern Californian inspired interior design by Michael Berman. They also offer personalized products from Le Labo upon arrival. The property’s restaurant FIG uses fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers, and is a perfect place for either a girls lunch, or romantic dinner for two. There is also a full service spa, as well as the Bungalow bar which is frequented by all the area residents…we would know. This place has everything, the only reason you’ll want to leave the grounds is for the beach. To read more about our room, and to book a stay click here.

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