Despite our unseasonably warm weather (we’ve been in the lower 80’s this week – YUCK!) I’ve been getting in the Fall mood this week and thought I’d share a few scenes from our house last weekend.
Have you ever noticed the amazing smell that permeates all of the William Sonoma stores? A little while back, I stumbled upon the recipe for their secret weapon. It couldn’t be easier and makes your house smell heavenly.
The ingredients are basic and simple with lemon, fresh rosemary, vanilla and water. I added additional vanilla to make it smell more sweet than savory but either way smells wonderful. I put the extra ingredients in jars for a quick save for un-expected house guests.
I love any excuse to bake (especially when I can give it away!) A dear friend moved into her new house a few weeks ago and it gave me the perfect excuse to try out a new recipe.
CHAI SPICE BREAD
The recipe calls for a glaze drizzle – but since I was going to be wrapping it up I left the glaze off. I actually liked that it wasn’t overly sweet. It would be perfect with a little afternoon tea!
Prep time: 15 min. Total time: 3 hrs. 55 min (includes cooling time)
Makes 1 loaf or 4 mini loaves (as pictured above)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup prepared tea (I like to use Pumpkin Chai from David’s Tea)
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3-5 tsp. milk
additional ground cinnamon
1) Heat oven to 350 F. Grease loaf pan with cooking spray.
2) In large bowl, beat sugar & butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs, tea, milk, & vanilla on low speed until ingredients are well combined (will appear curdled) . Stir in remaining bread ingredients just until moistened. Spread in pan.
3) Bake 50-60 minutes for a full loaf (35 minutes for mini loaves) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean & slightly golden (do not under bake). Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool 30 minutes.
4) In small bowl, stir powdered sugar, vanilla, & 3 tsp. of the milk, adding more milk by the teaspoonfuls, until spreadable. Spread glaze over bread. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly & store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
My Fall weekend wouldn’t be complete unless I had a Linnea’s Lights Pumpkin candle burning. I feel like Fall has officially arrived the day these arrive at the store. I am extremely picky when it comes to scents – I can’t stand anything that has a fake, sweet smell. My husband even loves the scent, and he’s even pickier than I am!
It’s official. It’s been so long since we’ve blogged that I almost forgot our login and password. It’s no secret that with new social media outlets, blogging seems to have taken a little bit of a backseat for everyone.
**Speaking of social media, if you aren’t already, you can follow us on both Pinterest and Instagram. Both have become serious addictions that I may need an intervention for soon.
Just because we haven’t been around this blog, it doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! Here’s a little re-cap of what we’ve been up to.
1) In May, we partnered with San Diego Magazine for an article on bookcase styling. We designed 3 different looks for one bookcase. We did a complete re-design of Betsy’s abode last year and her new bookcases were the perfect models.
2) At the end of June we tore apart the store and loaded up our front patio for our second annual Summer Yard Sale. We’re coming into market season where we buy all of our new product and our annual Yard Sale is our way of being able to make room for new product and extend some amazing deals to our fabulous customers! **Of course the day we were prepping for the sale was the day Diane Keaton walked into the store! I stood there in my grubby clothes, red pen in hand, store not at it’s cutest, and my jaw on the floor.
3) We’ve been busy with interior design clients and this month we started shooting projects for our portfolio (finally!) This is a much longer process than it sounds. A shoot usually starts the week before, collecting accessories to stage with. Accessories that look good in person, don’t always look good through a camera lens. For example, a pair of lamps that are the perfect size in person, may shrink and get lost in the photograph.
4) Betsy and I are prepping to leave for NYC tomorrow at midnight (not really but waking up at 4:00am might as well be midnight) to go to the New York Gift Show. Even though it’s a work trip – we have a blast every year (sometimes maybe a little too much fun ; )
I have a meeting first thing in the morning to begin putting the final touches on a project we’ve been working on for the last couple of months. There are so many “layers” or steps when designing a home from the point of construction to the very last vase. In every stage, I always catch myself saying “this is my favorite part!” A lot of times people think that as soon as the furniture arrives our job as a designer is done when actually the last step is one of the most important. When we design a space for a client we want them to be able to walk in the door and every last thing is in it’s place. We don’t want to leave anyone guessing where to place books, picture frames or vases. Believe it or not – those final details, done incorrectly, can throw the design of a room completely off.
Normally I love having weekends with absolutely nothing planned but this weekend was jam packed and a ton of fun. Saturday Grace, Amy and I picked up some early morning coffees and headed out to our second annual road trip to the Pasadena Showcase House.
The 8 bedroom, Spanish style home was built in 1927. The home was designed by John Byers and was nicknamed the “House of Doors.” Each door in the house was different. Some of the doors were intricately carved, one was leather with a brass border others were more simple but just as breathtaking.
Our hands-down favorite room in the house was the sleeping porch. It was lined with 3 original murphy beds (yes, you read that right – murphy beds!)
The paintings on each of the beds are all original to the house. **Side note: Check out the turtle on the bed! : )
I fell in LOVE with this painted floor!
Taking photos is strictly prohibited but we just can’t help ourselves and have gotten quite good and being sneaky.
We loved this spin on the classic gallery wall. All of the frames were wrapped in a marble paper.
We stopped at Julienne’s in San Marino for lunch and it was absolutely to die for! If you’re ever in the area you MUST stop by. A friend of Grace’s, mother designed the restaurant. It’s styled after a french cafe and she told Grace that her mom even traveled to France to ensure that even the smallest detail was accurate.
Today it’s back to the office – but full of inspiration! Have a great rest of your week!