lemongrass and elderflower martini {mom et moi}

lemongrass and elderflower martini

lemongrass and elderflower martini

My love of elderflower was discovered suddenly upon first sip of a cocktail they were calling a French 76 or 77 or something other awesome number at Rembrandt’s restaurant in the Art Museum area of Philadelphia. It was a superbly delightful blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Gin, and St. Germain.  More recently, we fell in love again over St. Germain, lime, and this Absolut wild tea that I couldn’t seem to find anywhere in our local Alcohol Control Board stores.

Enter my mother. Gourmande extraordinaire and just awesome mom, period. She found this coveted vodka in a store while she was traveling out of state.  But what happened next was a stroke of sheer mom-genius. She made a lemongrass simple syrup.  I don’t know where she got the recipe, but here’s one from Saveur.  Now the rest is delicious history.


Lemongrass Elderflower Martini

2 parts Absolut Wild Tea vodka

1 part St. Germain elderflower liquer

juice of half a lime (or more or less to taste)

1 part (more or less to taste) lemongrass simple syrup

crushed ice, martini shaker. shake shake shake. pour.



brilliant pantry makeover {house of smiths}

kitchen pantry finished | house of smiths

In our post about wallpaper, we talked about how a pattern could really add interest to otherwise boring shelving. Well, check out this pantry makeover from House of Smiths.  What we love about this is that using this super awesome quatrefoil technique, you can choose any base color to work with to get a truly amazing look.  The original post is from 2010, but we’re thinking that’s a good thing because we still love it. Classic! Check out the project and others on the blog, and while you’re at it, read up on Creating With the Stars which promises to be a pretty fab and creative competition with help from the team at Martha Stewart. House of Smiths’ Shelly will be one of the stars that contestants will be paired up with to work on dazzling design projects for great exposure and prizes.  If you’re a DIY blogger, you might want to check it out–entry via link-up starts March 3.

kitchen pantry in process

sketchbook crafts

The Felt Tote

Amber Jensen designs and makes all of  Sketchbook Crafts’ products by hand.  Sketchbook has struck the elusive balance between urban and woodsy, sophisticated and effortless.  Take a gander at Sketchbook’s simple, complicated, stunning designs on the website and also at various stockists about town.

The Felt Tote

Rust Convertible Clutch


Cocoa and Honey wonderment….

Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate Bars Artisan Made in Small Batche

Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate Bars Artisan Made in Small Batches


We cannot stop staring at these stunningly beautiful artisanal chocolates.  Anything that looks this amazing has to just be too delicious to eat. But we’re all willing to try, aren’t we?  Heather Oliveira’s career as a professional cook and pastry chef took a sweet turn to Chococatier and we’re thinking she should never look back.

Here’s an excerpt from her etsy shop profile. We’re getting the camera ready…

I joke with my regulars about having a candid camera around when people try my chocolates for the first time. A lot of double takes, a lot of amazing smiles and sometimes embarrassed laughter. It’s amazing how one bite can create so many emotions.

read more….

Based in Halifax, Cocoa and Honey currently ships to Canada and the United States.

Chocolate Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Gift Box | etsy

Chocolate Organic Fair Trade Chocolate Gift Box | etsy

Organic and Fair Trade Chocolate Bars Artisan Made in Small Batches

Handmade in Philadelphia: Chanee Vijay Textiles

Aya pillow cover

Aya pillow cover. Hand printed, metallic ink, organic hemp.

Great talent is always a click away on etsy ever since community features were added to let us all share our favorites and treasures. So here in our feed today is this great work from Chanee Vijay’s etsy shop, Chanee Vijay Textiles. Her work is stunning, well edited, classic, modern but not so chic as to be untouchable. We want these pillows for art and cuddles.  Not to be missed are her other textile work (napkins, table runners, and the like) available also in select dazzling brick-and-mortars.

Lumbar pillow

Lumbar pillow. hand printed, metallic gold, slate blue, organic hemp | etsy

feather block print, white organic hemp | etsy

From Chanee’s website:

“Specializing in surface pattern design, she developed her signature style of painting her designs on screens and hand printing them with water-based metallic inks on sustainably grown fabrics with rich natural textures. Her pillow covers are removable and washable, and made in small batches. Chanee subscribes to a slow design philosophy, so each hand-pulled screenprint and blockprint is created with regard for our health, the environment and longevity.”

read more… 

As sold in Terrain | Glenn Mills, PA


Repeating Pattern | BHG January 2014




Wallpaper Revival from Mini Moderns UK

Darjeeling Wallpaper - Welsh Slate

Darjeeling Wallpaper | mini moderns

There’s a wallpaper revival going on. We all know that when you try to sell your house one day, your realtor will winge and wail, but, whatever! Enjoy the pop of fun in your home a striking pattern can make.  And if you’re feeling a bit skiddish about the commitment (and if you’re renting, you should feel more than skiddish) you can find other ways to incorporate patterns into your walls like lining the inside of a focal bookshelf, armoire, entertainment center, etc.  Sidepoint: this would be crazy easy BEFORE you put an otherwise boring big-box unit together.

Mini Moderns Logo

Mini Moderns is an online store that fashions its prints with water-based inks on sustainable paper. They also carry textiles, bedding, and lovely mugs. Free wallpaper delivery within the UK. There is a lovely interview with Mini Moderns co-founder Keith Stephens in the always delighting Simple Things magazine and, also uk-based, The Design Sheppard.

Paisley Crescent Wallpaper - Tangerine Dream

Paisley Crescent Wallpaper | mini moderns


Alice Wallpaper

Alice Wallpaper | mini moderns

Tickets Please Cushion

Tickets Please Cushion | mini moderns

Happy Girls Events

happy girl events

intimate weddings, stylish elopements. happy girl events


I cannot tell a lie. I know Happy Girls Events. And they are amazing.  When I first found out that my newly minted bestie styled weddings for a living I couldn’t wait to see her work. We’re talking about top-notch people here–and Happy is an understatement. Who wouldn’t want delightfully joyful style mavens to sculpt their perfect once-in-a-lifetime elopement? And their mission statement?

Intimate Weddings, Stylish Elopements.

Everything your wedding should be…nothing it shouldn’t.

I mean, seriously.

Hire them and get married already.

taftyli: little factory of things

Dark denim "plait" pillowcase - dyed, decorative, handmade cushions.

How amazing is this?  Dorota and Sylwia are two sisters from Poland creating these luscious hand-dyed, hand-braided, hand-stitched pillows and blankets that are out of this world!  Their etsy shop is brimming with these oversized plaits of goodness–as well as some random sheep skin items we don’t totally get–but the braids! Oh, so lovely.  Check it out.

fotoapparat and other fun words

Old cameras

photo by Olga Filonenko

Check out this awesome blog of practical Russian vocabulary. This is an excerpt from the lesson on photography but there are plenty more parsed out by subject/situation. Love it!

“Whether you shoot selfies by the bathroom mirror, take snapshots of your family at picnics, or do professional photoshoots, chances are you deal with photography in your life. When learning languages, we often chase the practical, “everyday” vocabulary, so arts and crafts tend to fall by the wayside. Let us go over some phrases that will let you talk about your photography!” 

read more…