Farmer’s Market Rope Tote

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With farmer’s market season just around the corner, I’m excited to have stumbled upon this fantastic DIY Rope Bag from SMP Living, perfect for toting fresh finds home from the market. As the name implies, it’s constructed by sewing a continuous coil of rope together with a contrasting zig zag stitch. Pure genius. I can’t wait to make one!

Check out SMP Living for the detailed picture tutorial on how to make this gorgeous tote!

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DIY Wall Flowers

wallflower I had an overwhelming urge this weekend to embrace Spring at home (though things had cooled off again), it didn’t matter. We had a dose last week of the warm weather to come, and I wanted to keep the spring fever going.  From sparkling grapefruit soda to deep cleaning to fresh flowers, we did our best to cultivate our own spring at home. I picked up a few bunches of flowers, placed them around our place, and created a wall-hung vase for our bedroom using a thrifted round vase ( $.99 at Goodwill!) and a wall bracket. It came together super easily and makes for a simple, spring focal point (that smells amazing!) in our bedroom. IMG_3650

Materials List:

Step 1. Prep the vase: Moisten the area on the glass vase with a wet papertowel where the bracket hanger is to be adhered. (Gorilla glue cures best with moisture.)

Step 2:  Adhere the bracket part of the hanger to the vase roughly an inch down from the opening of the vase. Apply glue to the bracket and press firmly onto the vase.

Step 3. Prop the vase up on it’s side (so the bracket faces the ceiling) for 24 hours until the glue is expanded and dried. As you can see in the left image below, when the glue expands, it’s not super pretty, but it is a very strong hold, and you won’t see the bracket once you add the flowers!

Step 4. Arrange flowers in the vase and hang! wall-vase-francois-et-moiIMG_3644

Sparkling Grapefruit & Thyme

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I quit drinking pop (soda) about 4 years ago, and I don’t really miss it, but every now and then I crave the fizzy carbonation. This weekend I was especially craving something sparkling, so I decided to concoct a grapefruit “soda” garnished with thyme. The aromatic thyme paired with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and bubbles is super light and refreshing–great for brunch or an afternoon sipper, and it could easily be topped off with gin for a bit of a kick. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • Juice of one pink grapefruit (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 c chilled sparkling water
  • Fresh thyme sprigs

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Step 1: Cut grapefruit in half, and juice each side into a liquid measuring cup.

Step 2: Stir in honey until dissolved.

Step 3: Fill each glass with 1 parts grapefruit juice mixture to one parts sparkling water. Top with ice if you prefer.

Step 4: Garnish with thyme sprig.

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Lavender Crème Brûlée

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Happy Friday! Lately I’ve been (happily) consumed with preparing for our trip, and it seems all this planning and daydreaming has begun to influence daily decisions in other areas of my life. This weekend we’re looking forward to dinner at a friend’s on Saturday night, and we offered to bring dessert. So naturally when conjuring up what to bring, crème brûlée (un de mes desserts préférés français!) was quick to spring to mind. Typically my go-to recipe for crème brûlée is Martha Stewart’s classic recipe, but I came across Jayme Franklin’s lavender infused take on the classic, so I think I might switch things up and give this one a try.  How gorgeous and fresh are Jayme’s photos?! Check out more images and the recipe here. And look for the Instagram of our version later this weekend!

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Photos by Jayme Franklin.

March Dinner Club: The Kenwood

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As I mentioned last fall, Ken and I part of a Dinner Club made up of a few couples that meet once a month, each time at a new restaurant around Minneapolis. March’s dinner club took place at The Kenwood, a charming little place in the heart of–you guessed it–the Kenwood Neighborhood, just around the corner from the frame shop. This little gem is one of Minneapolis’ best kept secrets, flawlessly balancing refined with approachable, and serving up European-inspired dishes made with local, interesting ingredients. The atmosphere was lovely and our service superb. I can’t wait to return, but this time for weekend brunch. I hear it’s not to be missed! Recommended Dish: Black Trumpet Mushroom Tart, Creamed Spinach, Pecorino & Duck Egg. The Kenwood. 2115  W. 21st St.

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10 Packing Tips for European Travel

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Marcy Russ, perpetual explorer, beauty seeker, and owner of Blended Blue, a Minneapolis-based rep group,  has been all over this globe and has learned a thing or two along the way as to how to make the most of one’s travel experience. With my Euro trip just three weeks away,  I asked her to share some of her tips for packing and preparing for travel abroad. Check out her killer advice below. Thank you Marcy!

  1. Adjust for the season, but packing light is golden.
  2. Always a carry-on. Always!  You want your luggage to arrive with you, especially in a foreign country.  Leave behind the extra weight and edit.
  3. The cardinal rule to packing light is to choose versatile pieces that you can easily mix, match and layer to create several different ensembles.
  4. Bring only minimal makeup (This will help you look European).
  5. Before you leave, pick up $300 in currency of where you’re going (unless you’re going somewhere silly expensive, then $400).  Most everything will go on your credit card, so make sure to call your credit card company ahead of time, and tell them when and where you’ll be traveling. Otherwise, they may put a hold on your card, and it can take a some time to resolve.
  6. Don’t forget an electrical outlet adapter for the country you’re going to. (Europe as a whole usually just requires one adapter).
  7. For daily exploring, bring a small bag you can wear diagonally across your body (most safe) for carrying your camera, lip gloss, etc.
  8. Keep your currency, photo ID, and credit card close to your body, rather than in your camera bag. I have this tiny little Asian silk “wallet” that I bring with me (weightless and thin). I keep it in my front jeans pocket (as far down inside the pocket as possible), and usually I wear a top that is more like a tunic, so it covers the top of my jeans well.  This way, it’s not easy to grab, and doesn’t look like anything.  Then I sling my camera bag across from one shoulder to the opposite hip, and walk with one hand on the strap.
  9. If you pack light, everything fits in a carry-on roller bag.  Be sure to invest in one with good wheels that can stand up to cobblestone streets, and MAKE SURE you get one that is International Carry-on Standard.  If you’re traveling on smaller planes in Europe, they can be very strict about carry-on-size.  And it’s just so great to know your bag will arrive with you.
  10. And lastly, e-mail a copy of your passport to yourself, on a Yahoo or G-mail address.  This way, you can access your passport number from any country if need be.  It’s a good idea to carry a photocopy and e-mail a copy to a friend as well.  I’ve never needed this back-up, but peace of mind is, well, peaceful.

Base photo via Fine Art America.

Claire & Jeffrey’s Inspiring Kitchen Reno

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Since Ken and I started seriously talking about buying/renovating in Minneapolis, I’ve developed a heightened sense of awareness for home renovation stories, especially those with impeccable style!

In April 2013, fellow Minneapolites, Claire and Jeffrey shared their DIY Kitchen renovation with Apartment Therapy, and not only was I brimming with Minneapolis pride to see these two local creatives featured on one of the original lifestyle and design blogs, but also super inspired by their kitchen’s massive overhaul and transformation. Check out their entire reno process, budget! and more before/after shots here!

Before:

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After:

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I love that they committed to saving and restoring many of the home’s original elements. The hardwood floors, mouldings, and backdoor are beautiful details that nod to the home’s history while the modern details keep it feeling light and fresh.

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My favorite details are the Tandem Made live edge walnut shelf, the DIY concrete countertops, and the Schoolhouse Electric Sconce (shown in the first image). A truly inspiring transformation; hats off to Claire and Jeffrey!

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Photos via Apartment Therapy.