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Spring Living Room Updates

2014 April 7
by Leah Bergman

Lately I have been incorporating more and more Kelly Green and Lemon Yellow into my living and dining room decor. In our small apartment, one small color change can make a huge difference! Recently I transformed an old and tired white side table by sanding and painting it a vibrant lemon yellow with little white nobs. This change added immediate sunshine to our space and brought the room into spring. Here are a few spring living room updates I am loving this season.

Spring Livingroom Spring Living Room Updates1| A bowl of fresh lemons and limes adds immediate color to a room 2| Trade out a piece of neutral art for a bright abstract like this one by Michelle Armas 3 & 4| Add colorful throw pillows, Palms & Stripes 5| Kelly Green lamp 6| Lemon Yellow side table 7| Seafoam, Lemonade & Blue Nautical Knot

{Cocktail Friday} Dragonfruit Margarita

2014 April 4
by Leah Bergman

Hooray, it’s Friday! The weather may be a bit chilly for my liking but this Dragonfruit Margarita is tropical enough to warm things right up. I’m sharing my recipe for this refreshing and slightly floral cocktail today on Style Me Pretty Living as well as my thoughts on spring versus summer margaritas.

Dragonfruit Margarita {Cocktail Friday} Dragonfruit Margarita

Now back to that wild looking fruit! Unlike it’s vibrant skin, dragonfruit is nothing but delicate in flavor. Mixed with, silver tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice and just a drop of rosewater, dragonfruit makes one lovely margarita. Have you ever tried dragonfruit? How do you like to prepare it?

Dragonfruit Margarita 1 {Cocktail Friday} Dragonfruit Margarita

For more about picking a ripe dragonfruit, visit my cocktail post on SMP Living.

Dragonfruit Margarita 2 {Cocktail Friday} Dragonfruit Margarita

photos by Leah Bergman / original post on Style Me Pretty Living

Dragonfruit Margarita
Makes 1

2oz Silver Tequila
¼ Dragon Fruit, skin removed and cubed
½ oz. lime juice
½ oz-1oz agave nectar (more or less to sweeten)
2 drops rose water
sea salt for the rim- optional

Directions:
1. Rim a margarita glass or tumbler with lime juice and sea salt. (optional)
2. In a cocktail shaker add dragon fruit cubes, lime juice, and agave nectar. Muddle into a pulp.
3. Fill shaker with ice and add in tequila and rose water. Shake vigorously until ice is broken down and margarita is well chilled. (Alternately you can blend the entire drink if you prefer a blended margarita.)
4. Pour contents into prepared glass and garnish with a slice of dragon fruit. Enjoy.

Note: Sadly that pretty pink dragonfruit skin is not edible so make sure to remove it before eating.

Gilded Sea Shell Candle Holders

2014 April 4

Happy Friday friends! Today I’m excited to be guest posting on Better Homes and Garden’s blog Style Spotters sharing an easy entertaining craft. Gilded Sea Shell Candle Holders are the perfect way to illuminate your spring tablescape and are simple enough to make for this weekend’s entertaining. You can find the entire tutorial here, but first a small preview…

Gilded Sea Shell Candle Holders Freutcake Gilded Sea Shell Candle Holders

photo by Leah Bergman / DIY on BHG Style Spotters

 

{New Column} Freutcake Book Club

2014 April 1

Happy first day of April! The start of a new month feels like the perfect time to announce a brand new Freutcake contributor and blog column, Freutcake Book Club. Meet Amy Dempsey a lovely lady whom I am fortunate enough to call my friend. Now I’m excited to announce that inspired by Amy and my mutual love for reading, we are starting a monthly book club for Freutcake readers! Whether you have a current book club or have wanted to start one, now’s your chance. Each month we will announce a new book for you and your friends to read hand chosen by Amy. You can also expect recipes, crafts, party ideas and discussion tips as well as a running conversation about each month’s book right here on the blog. So grab your girlfriends, pick up this month’s book, start a gathering, and give a warm welcome to Amy!- Leah

Yes, it’s true… I fully admit it. My name is Amy and I am a book-aholic. I’m also pretty addicted to Freutcake, so you can imagine my excitement when Leah asked me to help her launch Freutcake Book Club and take on the role of contributor. Last year, my insatiable wanderlust took me to Iceland where I learned of a proverb the natives live by: “Better to go barefoot than bookless.”  In hopes that you will never find yourself without a worthy book to indulge in, I will be suggesting one at the beginning of each month for every Freutcake reader that is interested in partaking. With that said, it is my pleasure to announce the selection for this month – The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro.

Freutcake Bookclub April the Perfume Collector {New Column} Freutcake Book Club

 

Intriguing characters, charming settings, and poetic descriptions are sprinkled throughout the pages of this compelling novel. Good Housekeeping named The Perfume Collector Best Book of the Year and it’s not hard to see why! Bouncing back and forth between London, Paris, New York, and Monte Carlo during the 1920s and mid-1950s, this story will draw you in and deeply engage your senses. You’ll feel as if you are the one sipping citron pressé in Parisian sidewalk cafes, bumping heads with starlets from Hollywood’s early Golden Age, and being mystified by the art of perfume making and the power of a woman’s signature scent.

I won’t give away too much, but I do anticipate you fully enjoying this novel. Join Freutcake this month as we read The Perfume Collector, and stay tuned for tips on throwing your own perfume themed Book Club meeting!

Freutcake Book Club 2 {New Column} Freutcake Book Club

Photos by Leah Bergman / Calligraphy by Laura Hooper Calligraphy

April Freutcake Book Club Selection:

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
Available for purchase on Amazon

Questions about book club? Email us!

Honey Lavender Pound Cake

2014 March 31

Chances are, if there is honey, lavender, or some combination of the two in a recipe, I will obsess over it. Therefore I simply couldn’t leave well enough alone and make this recipe for Honey Vanilla Pound Cake, which by the way is lovely on its own, without adding a honey lavender glaze. I mean….bees to honey, people. I couldn’t resist!

Honey Lavender Poundcake Honey Lavender Pound Cake

From Fig with Lavender Honey Crostini to Honey Lavender Ice Cream and Lavender Honey Scones, this flavor combination never disappoints. It’s just about as feminine as one can get in the flavor department but somehow it seems to appeal to both men and woman alike. Last weekend I served this pound cake topped with fresh berries as dessert for family dinner. The verdict was unanimous adoration!

Honey Lavender Poundcake 1 Honey Lavender Pound Cake

The flavor is reminiscent of a honey flavored old-fashioned donut covered with sweet lavender glaze all sliced up and served in cake form. I don’t know many people who would turn up their noses at THAT, do you?

Honey Lavender Poundcake 2 Honey Lavender Pound Cake

Oh, and I almost forgot. This recipe makes one lovely large loaf but also splits nicely into two minis. This is hands down the perfect gift or offering for any occasion, friend or neighbor! Especially if you want to get on their good side.

Honey Lavender Poundcake 3 Honey Lavender Pound Cake

photos by Leah Bergman

Honey Lavender Pound Cake
makes 1 standard loaf or 2 minis

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake- Barefoot Contessa

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan or two mini loaf pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light. Meanwhile, put the eggs, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup but do not combine. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the egg mixture, one egg at a time, scraping down the bowl and allowing each egg to become incorporated before adding the next egg.
3. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. With the mixer on low-speed, add it slowly to the batter until just combined. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula and pour it into the prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (If you are baking two mini loaves bake for 50 minutes.) Cool for 15 minutes, turn out onto a baking rack, and cool completely before glazing.

Lavender Honey Glaze

1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 Tbsp lavender honey

Directions:
1. Make Lavender Honey: In a small saucepan infuse 1 tbsp. dried lavender in 1 cup of honey over low heat for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Honey can be stored in a jar.
2. In a small bowl combine confectioners sugar, honey and warm water. Wisk together until smooth.
3. Drizzle over cooled pound cake and serve!

{Cocktail Friday} Jam Bramble

2014 March 28

Happy Friday! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I have quite the jam-packed couple of days ahead of me, no puns intended. Saturday we are helping my sister and her fiance move into a brand new home and I couldn’t be more excited for her! It’s always fun to celebrate a move with family and friends so we’re planning a small barbecue to finish off our moving day. I’m planning to bring along the makings for one of my new favorite cocktails, the Jam Bramble.

Jam Bramble Cocktail 2 {Cocktail Friday} Jam Bramble

It’s the perfect pantry cocktail. (I’m coining that term) A cocktail that can easily be made with ingredients you already have in your pantry and bar. Plus this drink is festive enough to serve at any spring or summer gathering poured over crushed ice and garnished with a sprig of mint.

Jam Bramble Cocktail {Cocktail Friday} Jam Bramble

I’m excited to toast my sister and her new home with a round of Jam Brambles. I’m sure it will be a sweet start to a very happy home!

Jam Bramble Cocktail 1 {Cocktail Friday} Jam Bramble

photos by Leah Bergman

Jam Bramble – inspired by jam cocktails here & here
makes 1

2-oz gin or vodka
1-oz lemon juice
1-oz simple syrup (optional)
1-Tbsp blackberry jam (or your favorite flavor)
crushed ice
mint for garnish

Directions:

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine gin or vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup (if you like it sweet), blackberry jam. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
2. Pour over a glass of crushed ice and garnish with fresh mint. Enjoy!

Freutcake Tips:
1. Serving this cocktail at a party? Offer a variety of Jam choices for guests to mix in. Everyone will have the opportunity to chose their favorite flavor and level of sweetness!
2. Having trouble finding crushed ice? Your local fast food restaurant will usually sell you an extra large cup or two.

DIY Painted Wooden Coasters

2014 March 27
by Marisa Mangum

On one of our many adventures to the craft store we picked up a set of lovely little birch wood rounds, ready-made for coasters. Now that spring has arrived we finally have the perfect way to use them! Inspired by graphic patterns and fresh pops of color, these DIY Painted Wooden Coasters are sure to bring a dose of spring to your home.

Painted Wooden Coasters DIY Painted Wooden Coasters

To make these coasters, you will need:
Birch wood rounds- Found at Michael’s Craft Store
Acrylic Craft Paint
Paintbrush
Tape
Clear Acrylic Craft Sealer – We used Plaid Aerosol Spray

Steps DIY Painted Wooden Coasters

Let’s get started:
1. Tape off the desired patterns on wooden coasters.
2. Using white, green and yellow acrylic paint, fill in the negative spaces using a small paintbrush.
3. Let dry. If you’d like, finish with a spray acrylic sealant.

DIY Painted Wood Coasters DIY Painted Wooden Coasters

tutorial photos by Marisa Mangum / styled photo by Leah Bergman

Blistered Shishitos with Buttermilk Dip

2014 March 26

Whenever I see shishito pepper on a restaurant menu—which is often!—I order them. These teeny, not-super-spicy chiles are ridiculously delicious sautéed and sprinkled with salt.

Blistered Shishito Peppers Blistered Shishitos with Buttermilk Dip

If you’re looking for an effortlessly “wow-worthy” appetizer to serve at your next party, give this 5-ingredient recipe a try. Your friends will think you’re so daring serving chiles as a snack, but the secret is only 1 in 10 shishito peppers are spicy (and it’s kind of fun to see who gets the hot one of the bunch!)

 Blistered Shishito Peppers ingredients Blistered Shishitos with Buttermilk Dip

 

If you’re a first time shishito eater, they taste something like a hybrid between a bell pepper and a jalapeño. They’re popping up in grocery stores more and more often. Can’t seem to find ‘em? Go online and look up Ark Foods from Delray, FL—they’re a family-run shishito farm and they list store locations via the website.

 Blistered Shishito Peppers 1 Blistered Shishitos with Buttermilk Dip

 

5-Ingredient Blistered Shishitos with Buttermilk Dip
serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 container shishito peppers (about 4 ounces)
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
PANTRY STAPLES: Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the shishitos and cook, turning often, until blistered on all sides, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
2. Stir together the sour cream, buttermilk, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Serve the shishitos with the dip.

Blistered Shishito Peppers 2 Blistered Shishitos with Buttermilk Dip

photos by Erin Phraner

Favorite Beauty Products for Spring

2014 March 25

It’s been a couple of months since I shared my favorite beauty products of the moment and boy do I have a few good ones to share! This month, and for the last couple of months, it has been all about perfecting my skin care routine. Nothing looks better than a fresh flawless face, and while I’m not quite there yet, spring feels like the perfect time to work on it. To complement a lovely glow, some incredible lashes, naturally effortless hair, and a fun bright lip go quite nicely. Here are my favorite beauty products for spring to achieve that fresh-as-a-flower look!

A Few New Beauty Favorites for Spring Favorite Beauty Products for Spring

1. Julep, Sea Salt Texture Spray*- $22
I really can’t complain about my thick straight hair but on certain days I envy those ladies who can easily achieve a carefree look with little effort. Even with dirty hair, my locks look straight and well, dirty! This Sea Salt Texture spray is amazing for achieving that messy look while still appearing put together. It’s also great for giving a little texture to loose curls. I’ve been obsessed with this spray since my very first use!

2. Butter, Nail Foundation Flawless Base Coat- $19
When it comes to this nail foundation, the name says it all! This nude toned base color creates a perfect canvas for your nail polish color.

3. MAC, 36 Lash – $16
I have long been on the hunt for the perfect natural but still full and dramatic false eyelashes. This particular set is a natural dark brown and fills naturally thick lashes in quite well! Also, they look insanely good in photographs. It’s tempting to wear them on a daily basis.

4. L’Oreal, Colour Riche Extraordinaire in Fuchsia Orchestra*  – $8.99
Lip gloss is rarely pigmented enough for my liking. This L’Oreal lip gloss acts more like a liquid lipstick while giving a super shiny lacquered finish to lips. As for the color, this bright fuchsia is almost identical to Nars, Schiap (one of my favorite lipsticks) and is almost 1/3 of the price! Plus it smells delicious which is always a lip gloss bonus, am I right?

5. Paula’s Choice$11-$45
As I have shared in past posts on skin care, I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect line of products or combination of products to combat my sensitive yet breakout prone skin. About four months ago, a good friend of mine referred me to Paula’s Choice after discovering and loving the products herself. She recommended I give them a call and ask for a regimen recommendation. The customer service representative who took my phone call was amazing asking me detailed questions about my skin, and even sending me samples of the products she thought I should be using. After trying samples for almost two weeks I knew that I loved them. Because my skin at the time was pretty badly broken out, it took a good month or so after ordering the products to clear it all up. That being said my skin was never overly irritated, red or itchy during the process and the texture and glow of my skin immediately improved. It also doesn’t hurt that this line is very affordable with prices ranging from $11 for a cleanser and $24 for a night moisturizer. I can’t recommend this company more highly! It is definitely worth a try. Here’s what I am personally using:

CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser- AM/PM
I love that this cleanser foams up nicely and removes all of my eye makeup but still treats my breakouts.

CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution With 2% Salicylic Acid- PM
This product is magical. It clears breakouts, smooths out my skin texture giving it a glow, shrinks pores, and reduces red marks. Yes, I love it.

CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide – AM/PM
I use this benzoyl peroxide spot treatment sparingly and only on my stubborn breakouts but it works like a charm!

Hydralight Shine-Free Mineral Complex SPF 30 – AM
I can’t stand when moisturizers with SPF smell (and feel) like a thick beach sunscreen. This is a light and refreshing moisturizer with very little fragrance and SPF 30.

Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion – PM
When I first started using the 2% Salicylic Acid treatment at night my skin was a little sensitive just before bed. This moisturizer is like a cool and calming cucumber mask for your face. I’m obsessed with the light, natural fragrance and calming effects. It’s like a tall glass of water for your skin.

Resist C15 Serum – AM (mentioned in my last product post)

*Products marked with an asterisk were gifted to me, not purchased. However, I was not paid to review them and any and all thoughts and opinions here are my own. I do not share products on this blog that I do not personally use or enjoy! – Leah

Home Brewed Bar

2014 March 24

One of the perks to living in Los Angeles is that you can find some sort of teashop offering milk tea with boba on every other street corner. The unfortunate fact is, not all of them are very good! Boba, if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying them, are little chewy tapioca balls with a mild nutty flavor that are typically added to cold teas or coffee and sipped up through a straw. I grew up drinking milk tea with boba after school with my girlfriends and have developed a sort of love and slight obsession for the chewy drink. However, when I heard that a new coffee and tea bar opened in Pasadena called Home Brewed Bar, offering none other than milk tea with boba, I didn’t jump for joy.

Home Brewed Bar Pasadena Home Brewed Bar

Just another teashop I assumed. That was until I tried my first sip of Home Brewed Bar’s milk tea with mini boba prepared for me by one of their zealous brewistos. The blend was intoxicating and completely un-traditional! Earl Grey Tea blended with sweet milk and accompanied by chewy, fresh mini boba. (Yes, fresh is a serious requirement when it comes to boba!)

Home Brewed Bar Pasadena 1 Home Brewed Bar

The shop itself is small and simple but the service is terrific and a bit quirky, just the way I like it.

Home Brewed Bar Pasadena 2 Home Brewed Bar

Of course Home Brewed Bar also offers Vietnamese coffee, 20-hour cold brewed teas and coffees, and flavored milk teas such as taro and honeydew, just to name a few.

Home brewed bar 2 Home Brewed Bar

It’s become my favorite place to get my boba milk tea fix and I’m sure you will love it too. Say hello to Tucker for me if you stop by!

Home Brewed Bar 3 Home Brewed Bar

photos by Joanne Pio

Home Brewed Bar

39 N. Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91103

pixel Home Brewed Bar