Archive of ‘Design’ category

Wyatt Studio: Aqua Plants


How amazing are these sculptures by brother Wyatt just unveiled?



I’ve never seen metal with so much motion and fluidity, almost like they are waving in the current at the bottom of the ocean. You can find these creations plus many more at





Nursery Decisions



Now that my little chubster is making her presence known via little elbows, feet and fists, it’s time to get serious about a nursery.  Her room is painted a soft gray with a sky blue ceiling and I’ve found two very different plays on that color scheme.  The first, above, is super sweet…


…while this one is more surfer girl glam.  And features a soft, shaggy rug perfect for rolling in diapers.  Fluffy poms versus a fluffy rug.  A difficult choice.

Which do you prefer?



Meatless Monday: Cherry Clafoutis


When is a pancake not a pancake?  When it’s a bona fide dessert.  Like this cherry clafoutis.  See, I was feeling bad about sharing another oven-baked pancake.  I’m a little obsessed with them.  But this pancake is really a custard and fresh cherries are so juicy right now that I can’t resist.

Cherries bubbling away in butter & sugar

The French serve it at dinner parties with the pits intact!  Talk about a buzzkill.  Supposedly the pits enhance the cherry flavor.  This is one situation in which I’d willingly sacrifice flavor to keep my teeth.

I used fresh, pitted cherries and followed this recipe.  First I made the batter then sauteed the cherry halves briefly in butter and sugar in a cast-iron skillet.

Next, I poured the batter over the softened cherries and placed the skillet in a preheated 425 oven.

20 minutes later we had a puffer ready to be powdered. I’ve read that clafoutis can be made ahead and served room temperature, but doing it that way detracts from the whole effort.  You want to see it puffed, smell the warm cherries and watch the powdered sugar and cherry juice thicken to a sweet syrup.

Would you serve pancakes for dessert?


Label Lovers Beware


Martha Stewart has a line of office supplies at Staples and you are going to want to buy every single item.

I grabbed:

a robin’s egg blue shagreen binder

pastel plastic dividers

araucana egg-colored file folders

pastel paper tags with blue and white striped thread

CHALKBOARD labels (!)

kitchen labels like the French roast label above

multiple pads of sticky notepaper

I’m not going to lie, my office has been a much more fun place the last few days.

What am I going back for, you ask?  Shagreen boxes in blue and white as a more elegant counterpoint to my other favorite storage containers.

What can’t you wait to use?



Lay Baby Lay


Presenting my newest obsession, Lay Baby Lay.  Designer Joni Lay creates themed inspiration boards for nurseries that are every bit as charming and fun as we’d like our big girl rooms to be.  She mixes real (i.e., adult) pieces from stores like West Elm and Crate & Barrel with vintage finds and etsy discoveries to create sophisticated nurseries that last well beyond babyhood.

Joni also suggests paint colors.  A woman after my own heart!

When I was convinced I was having a boy, I loved this nautical theme with the rope lamp and oversized whale.

What do you think? Is Joni making nursery inspiration the natural follow up to wedding planning for the pinterest set?

xx Sarah

The James Beard Awards



The James Beard Foundation handed it out medallions for excellence in all aspects of the food and bev industry this past Saturday in NYC.  Congratulations to all the winners! We’re thrilled that some of our favorite food writers, recipe developers and editors won.  Ladies, we read and admire you all.

Focus on Health
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen
by Heidi Swanson
(Ten Speed Press)

Writing and Literature  
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef
by Gabrielle Hamilton
(Random House)

Publications of the Year
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs


Darra Goldstein

Here’s the complete list of winners.  Anyone you’re especially excited to see?

xx Sarah

Great Design in a Small Space


Our friend Beth has her home featured on Apartment Therapy right now in the running for the Small Cool Contest 2012! If you like what you see please go vote for her place.

Photographer, wine enthusiast and maker of organic soaps, Beth left her full time job this year to travel with her husband and commit to her creative talents full time! To support this lifestyle shift the couple downsized to a 554 square feet rental.

Her great design taste and creative use of the space makes this tiny home feel cozy and bright.

Spices cleverly stored on the side of the refrigerator.

She used temporary wall paper to give the bedroom accent wall depth.

The bigger bedroom is now an office/craft space/reading nook.

Their bathroom looks like a spa!


Such an inspiration to us all. I really hope they win don’t you?



Meatless Monday: 10 Grain Pancakes


You know how they claim certain store-bought shortcuts are so good there’s no reason to try from scratch?  They lie.  Exceptions are limited to puff pastry, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (because you want them to taste like Pillsbury crescent rolls, not real rolls) and, now, Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake Mix.

Fluffy and filling with just a hint of satisfying whole-grain grit, these pancakes take 5 minutes to make.  No harder than Bisquick, but way better tasting and much more nutritious.  Follow the “Bob’s Way” recipe on the back for a memorable Sunday morning.

10 grain pancake recipe

The trick to making any pancake extra fluffy is separating your eggs and beating the whites into stiff peaks.  A hand mixer gets it done in 2 minutes.

Folding egg whites into batter

Combine the egg yolks, oil, milk and pancake mix then gently fold in the whites. Looks gross but this is always a fun step when you’re the one doing it.  Stop folding before the batter become homogenous.  You want to see pillows of foamy whites throughout.

That’s the layman’s poetic way of saying it.  It really looks like lumps of curdled cheese.  But it feels light and pillowy.  You’ll have to trust me until you make them yourself.

10-grain pancake recipe

Hello there, puffy pufferton.  Can’t wait to eat you with warm maple syrup.

Here’s the recipe straight from the bag.

Xx Sarah

Bob’s Way 10 Grain Pancakes

Makes about 8 medium pancakes

2 eggs, separated

2 tablespoons oil

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Pancake Mix

Scant 1 cup milk

Butter for browning

Beat egg whites until stiff.  In a medium bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients until just combined.  Gently fold in the egg whites.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add butter then, when it foams, gently drop in your pancake batter.  Cook until bubbly then flip and cook until done.  Enjoy with more butter and warm maple syrup.

Color Worship




Wishing you a vibrant weekend so rich and dense in experiences you can scoop them up with a spoon.




Chesapeake Blondies


blondie recipe

Pepperidge Farms is the OPI of cookie companies.  Just like a certain raspberry shade tells you a girl is Berry Daring, certain flavor combos familiarize you with the residents of Sausalito, Montauk, Captiva and Santa Cruz.   It makes total sense that they everyone in each respective town likes milk chocolate with macademia nut, milk chocolate chunks, dark chocolate brownie, and oatmeal raisin cookies, right?

I made blondies for the first time ever on Monday, using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. Inspired by the Chesapeake Pepperidge Farm cookies I stare at daily while waiting for my morning coffee at the campus cafe, I added dark chocolate and toasted pecans.

butter and brown sugar blondie recipe

All it takes is one bowl, one baking dish, one measuring cup and one measuring spoon.  Practically no mess!  Use your microwave to melt two sticks of butter then add two cups of brown sugar.

Beat until combined.  It will look greasy and gross at first but don’t worry, it comes together.  Beat in two eggs and two teaspoons vanilla extract plus a generous pinch of salt.

Add flour to make your batter blonde.  Two cups, of course.

It would be hard not to memorize this recipe.

Two cups chocolate followed by your pecans, already toasted then cooled.  I used all the pecans I had left, about a cup and a half. An even two cups would be just fine.

Pour into a buttered 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees until almost done in the center.


While they cook the kitchen smells like warm vanilla. Not butter, not chocolate, not cookie dough, just pure, unadulterated, amazing vanilla. Consider me converted.

After 35 minutes mine were set along the edges and gooey with warm chocolate.  Not bad for one bowl and five minutes work time.

You can add whatever flavors you want to the basic blondie blueprint- espresso, white chocolate, dried cranberries, bourbon, etc.  The Chesapeake blend was crunchy and a little too sugary.  I should have know those imaginary Southerners would have a sweet tooth!

What would you put in your blondies?


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