Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Recipe: Margarita Fruit Salad

Thank you for your patience as I juggled a hectic work week, completed finals week in Finance and Accounting, and prepared for this weekend's house guests and shower. Whew! I hope to be back to regular posting next week.

In honor of the "Desserts and Decor" wedding shower my girlfriends and I are throwing on Sunday, I thought that I would share the recipe for one of the menu items: Margarita Fruit Salad. I will be sure to share the whole menu next week, but I want to keep the rest a surprise. Let's just say that it's going to be TASTY!

This recipe is light, refreshing, and simple, which makes it ideal for the spring and summer months.

Margarita Fruit Salad

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 oz. tequila (optional, but not really!)
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

First, anyone who knows me well understands that I DO NOT LIKE melon. I think that it's a tasteless filler fruit. I realize that I am very opinionated on this matter, so if you like melon, pull out your baller and scoop away. Anyway, I like to mix up the fruits I use for fruit salad. I suggest any combination of peaches, strawberries, nectarines, plums, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, or star fruit. You will need enough fruit for 6-8 cups of fruit salad.

For the dressing, combine the lime juice and honey in a small bowl and whisk until the honey dissolves. Add a pinch of kosher salt, to taste. Add chopped mint; set aside while cutting the fruit.

Combine all fruit in a large bowl; pour dressing over the fruit, stirring gently to distribute. Be careful not to smash the fruit. Serve with a lime wedge and a mint sprig.

Makes 6-8 servings.



Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wine & Design: Mantle

We hosted a Wine & Design event last week at my brother and sister-in-law's house to tackle a design dilemma in their new home. Tammy invited over about eight friends to enjoy wine, appetizers, and advice from the Chapin Group on how to decorate a fireplace mantle. We had a fabulous time and Tammy loved our styling. Check out the event:

Tammy, who remains adorable while 7 months pregnant, takes a load off before the event starts. We brought several items from our antique booth to have on display during the event. Here, we showcased vintage seltzer bottles, a wooden Pepsi crate, an antique camera, and a Chapin Group custom-made cigar lamp.

Tammy and Brian's dining room table was covered with a spread of images from decorating magazines for everyone to peruse and find inspiration in.

Tammy and Brian appreciate comfort and like a casual feel to radiate through their home. They are an outdoorsy couple and enjoy spending time in their beautiful yard or in the park with their two playful dogs.

Here is the BEFORE picture of Tammy and Brian's mantle.

And here is the AFTER.

Again, BEFORE:


To reflect their personalities, we brought the outdoors in by hanging a moss wreath over a mirror above the mantle.

We found this fabulous dog statue that seemed just right as a focal point in their living room. We brought in the red from the room's curtains with the croquet ball for the pup. (Important to note: Brian and Tammy have been known to play croquet matches at Piedmont or Grant Park from time to time!)

These amazing vintage ballister candlesticks contribute additional color and add an interesting texture to the arrangement. They have been an incredibly popular item in our booth.

In addition to styling the mantle, we also presented an assortment of trayscapes to the group. Trays are a great way to update a room without a complete overhaul. Add a tray to your coffee table, end table, counter, or sidebar for a pop of personality.

We gave this tray to Tammy and Brian as a thank you for hosting us. The rope tray adds a nice contrast to the dark, gloss of the coffee table. (The table was constructed by Brian-- more on that in another post!) The nest hints at the Spring season just around the corner. The cigar box is a GREAT hiding place for those unsightly remote controls.

This tray is what we like to call "Hollywood Regency". It's all glam and girly. It would be fabulous on a bar or in a girly guestroom.

This tray was designed with the guestroom in mind. It's a simple silver tray filled with contents to meet your guests needs: a small pad of paper, pen, a bookmark, and a lavender sachet for sweet dreams. Most importantly, it gives your guest a safe landing place for jewelry, a wallet, etc.

This is the trendiest tray of all. Set on a simple wooden platform, these vintage beakers are the epitome of cool. Add a few clippings from the yard for a clean, crisp look.

This tray adds a bright, cheery pop of color to the kitchen. The tray is simply a wicker charger repurposed as a tray. The mum is set in an urn (this one was actually from my wedding!) we found at Old Time Pottery. We set a simple candle and bird figurine alongside the urn to balance out the arrangement. (I apologize for the terrible picture!)

Finally, we constructed a seasonal tray to get everyone in the holiday spirit. The stacked garden-themed books add both height and color to the arrangement. The flower pot, eggs, and bunny are perfect for the upcoming Easter holiday.

After Easter is over, convert this arrangement to a Springtime piece by switching out the bunny for this beautiful bird statue.

Whew! That was a long one. What do you think of the transformation? What about the trays?

Have a great day-- and say a little prayer for me as I take my Finance final Monday night!


Friday, March 19, 2010

La Dolce Vita's Equestrian Chic

As I was perusing one of my regular reads, La Dolce Vita, I came across Paloma's latest blog entry on decorating with horses. I am not a big horse aficionado, but I LOVE these rooms. Her post is fabulous. Head on over there and check it out.

This looks so lived in and comfortable-- yet styled at the same time.

[Eric Roth Photography]

I love everything about this room. The gorgeous orange hue reminds me of my recent post on my friends Kristen and Joe's place. I want to live here.

[Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles]

I love the big mural look going on in this room. We are currently hunting for a map of the Southeast to blow up for the office. We want it mural size similar to this look.

[Thom Filicia]

Just thought I would share...


Friday Recipe: Beer Mop Brisket

In honor of this BEAUTIFUL weekend, today's Friday recipe is for my dad's Beer Mop Brisket. I love a good brisket, and this recipe is one of my favorites. Please note that this recipe requires overnight refrigeration, so be sure to plan accordingly. Now-- Get outside and get grilling!

Ken's Brisket Rub

¾ cup paprika

¼ cup ground black pepper

¼ salt

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 teaspoons cayenne

View full recipe

Combine ingredients in small bowl. Apply rub evenly to 8 to 12 pound brisket; reserving one tablespoon for basic beer mop. Place brisket in plastic bag and refrigerate over night. Remove from refrigerator 45 minutes before grilling or smoking.

Basic Beer Mop

12 ounces beer

½ cup cider vinegar

½ cup water

¼ cup oil, canola or corn

½ medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chili powdr

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 Tablespoon Ken’s Brisket Rub

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

In a saucepan mix together mop ingredients and warm over low heat. Use to baste brisket coated with Ken’s rub.

Grill and enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend! (Mine will be filled with studying for finals-- maybe I can at least study outside??)

View full recipe

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tasteful Easter Decor

Chapin Group is hosting a Wine & Design event at the Borngesser household later this week. We will be featuring styling tips for fireplace mantles. Check back later in the week for picture updates.

In preparing for the event, I have been searching for inspiration for a tasteful seasonal display. Here's what I found:

I L-O-V-E the cake stand and egg cup spring display I found at Martha Stewart. Don't be surprised if you find this in my home in the near future. I love the bright cheery colors.

The subtle color palette in this mantle design by Martha Stewart makes holiday decor elegant.

The flower-filled watering cans I found at Pottery Barn make me want to be outside soaking up rays.
Family Circle featured this gorgeous all white mantle. I love how the white bunny adds a tasteful, classy reminder of the season.

Pottery Barn's new bird bath serving pieces are absolutely beautiful and will be the focal point of your Spring and Summer tablescapes.

Look for lots of exciting posts about our house and projects in the near future!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Updated Booth Featured at Creative Style

Cheryl over at Creative Style featured our booth on her blog yesterday! Cheryl is a fellow vendor at Scotland Yard Antiques in downtown Lawrenceville. Here is a peek at her beautiful booth that has been completely restyled for Spring with a romantic garden feel. Isn't it beautiful?

Scotland Yard is open Monday 11am-5pm and Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm. Come check out all the great finds for Spring!

Friday Recipe: Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Today's recipe is an embarrassingly simple treat. However, my weekend plans involve a baby shower. When I am hosting showers, I always try to include a few relatively easy, crowd-pleasing treats to complement the more involved dishes. This is a great go to recipe for showers, tailgates, or any other type of gathering.

I hope you enjoy!

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 7-oz. jar marshmallow cream

Dash of ginger

1 Tablespoon orange rind

View full recipeMix all ingredients. Use as a dip or topping for various fresh fruit. I recommend peaches, bananas, strawberries, and pineapple.

Note: I like to play with the recipe and add dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla. Great creative!


[Photo: McCormick's]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Invitations: Laura's Shower

My longtime friend and former roommate, Laura, is getting married! (Her fiance, Chris, is one lucky guy!) Just like any good bridesmaids would, we are throwing a shower in her honor in just a few weeks. Check out the adorable custom invitations created by the oh-so-talented Emily McCarthy of EmmaJ Designs in Savannah. (You should check out her blog as well.) Emily and I met through a mutual friend's wedding several years ago and then reunited through the blog world. She was a pleasure to work with on this event. (Ironically, I received a birth announcement and shower invitation created by EmmaJ designs just this month. Small world!)

I love Emily's clean, crisp, and playful designs. I also am taken with the idea that all of her work is two-sided. The link pattern on the back of this shower invitation reminds me of a Kate Spade design.

[Note: The blue rectangle on the front of the invitation is there to block my address. Safety first!]

Monday, March 8, 2010

Decorating Chapel Hill Style

Ryan and I traveled to Chapel Hill last weekend to visit our fabulous friends, Kristen and Joe. Kristen and Joe relocated to North Carolina for a few years while Joe completes his pediatric residency at UNC-Chapel Hill. You may remember this story from my post on Kristen's going away party in November. We miss them dearly, but we had SUCH a fabulous time visiting. The visit mostly consisted of eating delicious food, drinking great wine, fun convos, an epic foot race, shopping for the girls, and golf for the boys-- all-in-all a success!

This was actually my second trip to visit their lovely home in just two months-- lucky me! Several of our friends flew up for a girl's weekend in January. While there, we were SO impressed with the amount of decorating Kristen had accomplished in just a month. They rented a great place near campus to call home during their few years in Chapel Hill. Kristen used a burnt orange color palette that she expertly wove all throughout the kitchen and living space to make their place feel homey. The color gives off a warm feeling and adds excitement to each room. See for yourself:

Kristen began decorating with inspiration from the burnt orange color. She painted two accent walls in the living room.

Here is what the second accent wall looked like on my first visit. In talking to Kristen, I recommended that she add a second picture above the first to add height to the enclave.

And what do you know? She listened to me. Isn't it great?

The coffee station just inside the kitchen displays oranges and continues the palette.

The copper pots mounted above the sink, the bright yellow sunflowers, and the bold rug complement the burnt orange nicely.

Kristen continued the color scheme in the kitchen with the pops of yellow and orange in the rubber spatulas and book displayed. (Of course, I love that the book pays homage to the great city of Atlanta!)

Between the kitchen and the living room, Kristen placed this GORGEOUS antique hutch. I just love how much character this adds to the room. The floral arrangement, brown bottles, and orange stool are perfect for the display.

This lamp is absolutely perfect for the living room. (It sits directly across from the big orange wall.) Gotta love Homegoods! This is how the corner of the living room looked on my first visit. I told her that the lamp was fairly hidden and was too beautiful not to display more prominently. I advised her to elevate it on a stack of books, cigar boxes, or some other platform.

And again, she listened. Kristen decided when she got home from the store that the box under the lamp is a little too high, but it works for now. See what a difference that makes?

Here's a closer look. Notice the storage basket beneath the table. Kristen and Joe did a great job of getting the most out of storage space in their cozy home.

Thank you both for the wonderful hospitality, the amazing weekend, and allowing me to showcase your home. Now we just need to plan the next visit so I can display the beautiful blue bedroom!