Summer Recipes: Gluten Free Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp, Anchovy Miracle Sauce & St. Germain Grapefruit Margaritas


During the last couple of rainy summer days, I was feeling a little under the weather. The last thing I wanted to do was venture out into the rain unnecessarily and I sorely needed a break from the internet, so I decided to get back into my neglected kitchen and start cooking and concocting again. The season has brought on a severe case of cooking laziness, but I took advantage of these sudden culinary urges and went nuts in the kitchen, making as many things as possible. Not only edible things, but homemade shampoo (which works better than any other shampoo I’ve purchased this year), vanilla lip balm, and an extra-moisturizing facial serum for my neighbor.

There was a bounty of fruit and herbs in fridge that we had either picked or were gifted by various neighbors. Enormous stalks of rhubarbs, luscious Rainier and Bing cherries, sage, rosemary, marionberries, raspberries, huckleberries, and peaches.

One of the dishes I made was this gluten-free and dairy-free raspberry rhubarb crisp from Minimalist Baker and added marionberries to the mix. Next time, I may add some lavender, too! I’m pretty picky about my cobblers and crisps, and I was pretty happy with this one. And I’m surprised how well it turned out with olive oil instead of butter!

I also whipped up this easy anchovy sauce from Nom Nom Paleo to dress up my vegetables and give it some umami taste.

I’m having guests over tonight for cocktails and dessert, and I’ve been on a grapefruit and tequila kick lately. And my absolute favorite liquor is St. Germain (clearly, I have a love for elderflowers), so when I saw this recipe from the Baking Bird, I knew I had to try it out with my friends!


Image Sources: 1. The Minimalist Baker/ 2. The Baking Bird



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Claire Elsaesser


I think I found some new art for my place! The problem is narrowing it down to one or two of her pieces. I think the painting above really captures the beauty, comfort and primitive security of having a trusted bedmate. I read an interesting article on the Atlanic today about why we sleep together. According to the Atlantic article, “At the end of each day we remove the onerous cloaks we’ve donned to face the world, and we want to do this lying next to our best friends, to know we’re not in it alone.” And apparently, this has nothing to do with romantic partners–historically, bedmates included family members and some very unlikely sleep mates, such as the article points out. But I’m trailing off on a tangent–if you’re looking for lovely, affordable art, Clare Elsaesser offers plenty of options on her Etsy shop! :-) Here are a few of my other favorites.

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Kaufmann Mercantile

jadeite plates

If you’re looking for some quality investment pieces, check out Kaufmann Mercantile. They’ve got jadeite plates, leather bags, pantry items, beauty products, you name it–many of which are made by artisans in the United States. BTW, I’m really digging the model’s polka dot dresses and clogs below. I could probably wear a simple uniform like this on a daily basis–maybe with a big, straw hat if I was a bolder hat person. I’m working on it!

leatherbag polkadotdress

[Images: Kaufmann Mercantile]

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Redecorating Inspiration

Slowly, but surely, I’ve been redoing my apartment. It’s so much more challenging than any other space I’ve had, although it’s a third the size of my former living situation. As it’s proven true in writing, editing down is always a longer and tougher process! And I have to figure out how to work around beige carpets, nondescript architecture and less than desirable natural light.  I’m just about done with my dining area, although I’m still on the fence about painting the walls or adding white beadboard panels. I’ll post some pics up in the nearish future! Now, I’m tackling the living room and its somewhat weird layout.

I’ve been trying to mostly use things we already own and painstakingly repainted an old dresser from my husband’s bachelor’s days that I came thisclose to giving the boot. I’ve been thrifting a lot and found some sweet deals. Anyway, here are a few photos I’m drawing inspiration from these days! Definitely lots of white, a calming Scandinavian vibe, and traditional with a modern twist. Since it’s a small but open layout and looks easily crowded and cluttered, I’ve had to practice a LOT more restraint with the patterns and colors. I realize I gravitate toward pink like a deranged moth to the light. But there will be still be color and pattern!

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Image Sources: 1. Hally’s  2. Skona Hem 3. Photos by Petra Bindel for Elle Decor UK 4. Jaclyn Campanaro  5 & 6. Photos by Jorunn Tharaldsen for Klikk

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Love these brass bangles from the Portland-based company, Sseko. According to the company, “Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand that hires high potential women in Uganda to make sandals to enable them to earn money through dignified employment that will go directly towards their college educations and ensure they will continue pursuing their dreams.”

caramel-accent-tote-mojave_5 tstrap-mojave-sandal-front_1

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More Swedish Love

johanna-009[Images: Lina Ostling]

I recently discovered Johanna Flyckt Gashi through SFgirlbybay, and I had to repost this interior stylist’s awesome home!





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Blooming Lovely


Wowee wow wow. Mikarla Bauer’s floral studio is stunning, and photographer John Mangila has done an amazing job of capturing it. More photos of this magical studio are featured on his blog, Blooming Lovely, which chronicles the flower shops and florists of Sydney, Australia. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of these places when I go back to visit Oz. Thanks, John!






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Ethical Rugs from Novica


If you’re looking for rugs that haven’t be woven by children nor adults under unfair working conditions, I found a great and affordable resource for you. Novica is a global marketplace that allows artisans from around the world to set their own prices and control their inventory. They also offered 0% interest loans if they want to expand their business. They actually have all kinds of products, but I love checking their site regularly for rugs, pillows and cushions. And the prices are definitely reasonable!

Below is a photo of Kristen Grove’s bedroom with one of Novica’s fabulous rugs.


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Beauty out of Sweden


When I was 19, I decided to had to get out of Florida for a while and enrolled myself in a Swedish university for six months. It was such a joyful, life-changing experience, and I’ve been a Scandophile ever since! Sweden is just an endless fount of interiors inspiration for me. Many people might describe Scandinavian design as very modern and minimal design, but this home is a perfect example of what I consider the best kind of Swedish design. It’s light, clean and simple yet inviting, warm and full of character, with the right mix of vintage and modern. I am pretty much smitten with Catarina’s Swedish home. She’s inspiring me in major ways as I work on freshening up my home! To view more photos of her gorgeous home, click here. Thanks, Catarina!



IMG_6963  IMG_6976[Photos: Another Side of this Life]


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As if I needed another project right now!

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I’m currently living in a rental, and while I don’t imagine being here very long, I just can’t deal with the nondescript beige walls and carpet much longer and that “transitional” feeling with all the boxes, clutter and lack of cohesiveness! Lately, I’ve really begun missing my 1920s bungalow with hardwood floors, built-ins, molding and my free license to do whatever I wanted with it. But we’re renting it out right now and have temporarily settled in a cozy and convenient apartment surrounded by greenery and quiet neighbors. But design-wise, the place is VERY limiting and outdated. So I’ve decided to start making some rental-friendly changes on a budget. I’m tackling the dining room space first, but I’m also entertaining ideas for the bedroom. I’m thinking of “wallpapering” the wall behind my bed with fabric and liquid starch. Low commitment and easily removable once we move on. Apparently, it’s an old “Army wives’ trick.” In the photo above, the walls were covered in Laura Ashley bedsheets!

Here’s a link to in-depth directions from Aesthetic Ouiseau. I’m so excited to try it out!


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