Hello everyone — it’s Liz here with another episode of Food In Motion, where each month Jewels and I present a quick video showing what we made recently, along with the recipe, so you can try it yourself. We alternate months, and it being my turn this month, I just had to step in my garden to pick the best apples ever.
These last days have been perfect in our part of Germany! I love waking up to clear skies and crispy-cold air. These are the days when you get on your bike in the morning and wear your scarf and hat for the first time. By noon you usually wonder why you’re wearing not only a scarf, but also your winter jacket, and you peel yourself out of layers and layers, just to soak up the sun, wishing your lunch break would never end. You can just feel how the weather changes and how your mood changes with it. I have put away my summer clothes and packed up the furniture on the terrace, and in the evening I feel like drinking mulled wine.
This week my husband, daughter and I went apple picking in our garden. We’re very fortunate because when we bought our house two years ago we also bought three old apple trees that are only 6.5 ft tall, so picking is easy. We didn’t use any pesticides in the spring either, although we had all kinds of bugs and worms, so the apples really are not perfect. But hey! Who’s perfect anyway? They are totally organic, and that’s a good feeling. We turned our harvest into something SO easy and yummy, everyone can do it in a jiffy: Apple Crumble! Since I love these kind of quick and easy recipes, it’s exactly the right thing for me!
The recipe is enough to make two of these little pans, and it’s best served warm with vanilla ice cream! Nothing says “autumn” like apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon. (Except maybe that mulled wine… cheers!)
Apple Crumble Recipe
10 little apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
butter for the baking dish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celcius. Butter a baking pan and fill it with the cut apples. Sprinkle them with sugar. For the topping combine butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix with hands until there are crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is brown. Serve warm, best with vanilla ice cream.
See you again next month! – Liz
I’m so thrilled that Domino magazine has been relaunched and my hope is that it’s better than ever before! It already looks quite promising based on the website alone (love this gift guide!) — with their first print issue returning to newsstands October 8. I’m certain it will perform amazingly well given that no other magazine was able to successfully replace it since its demise four years ago. So many of us missed this publication!
I was once an online columnist for Domino and for several years I helped produce trend reports and round ups under my editor, Cathy Halley. I was at a loss for words when my job was cut and they folded which was during, at least I thought, a time when they were the most popular ever. To this day, it remains a mystery why Conde Nast made that decision but I’m so glad that things have turned around for the better and that Domino is back to show us what the next face of the mag will look like.
Under the lead of editor-in-chief Michelle Adams, who will fill the shoes of the former EIC Deborah Needleman, Michelle has some great ideas on how to merge new media with print by taking the magazine in a fresh direction — including the ability to shop directly from its pages. That was always something that I felt was sorely lacking with the original Domino because I wanted to buy so many things that I saw yet it was extremely challenging to source them. Michelle was the former founding editor of Lonny, a successful digital decorating magazine that is still going strong, but left Lonny to pursue a new direction – to lead Domino!
Here’s to a successful relaunch of Domino and I wish Michelle the absolute best with her magazine – and hope so badly that some of the original staffers return, too. I would simply love the return of Tori Mellot (who has since had twin daughters and is the design editor for Traditional Home magazine) because I adored her trend reports.
What do YOU think? Are you happy with this news? What would you like the NEW Domino to include?
(photos: domino mag)
I love reading the vtwonen blog, a Dutch magazine that I’ve been subscribing to for eons now, because I always find some fresh interpretations of trends and themes that I thought had long faded. I also love how the Dutch use lots of older things in very modern interiors – like these oil paintings and this antique cabinet, for instance…
They really seem to have a thing for revitalizing what’s old and grandmotherly and transforming it into a very youthful, energetic new look that often becomes part of a trend movement. Take beige for example. So often disregarded or dubbed BORING. Such a shame! It is a warm and versatile neutral that has loads of potential. If you are really creative, you can work with all colors and create something beautiful I believe. I often wonder why some put beige in the corner with a cone hat on, it’s not naughty in the least. If anything, outside of gray, it’s a perfect neutral. At least that’s my belief. These photos below are such a fitting visual example of what I’m trying to say. Beige can be so warm, relaxed and when paired with various tones of brown and white, can create a most soothing space to find comfort and peace.
I always encourage venturing outside of your own comfort zone, even if it means visiting websites that you think you’d have no interest in, because suddenly you can see something and BOOM, a new world appears before you. It’s super important to go beyond what you know, isn’t it? Your creative ideas can begin to stagnant otherwise.
All of these lovely rooms were shot for vtwonen and now appear in back issues and on their website. Looking to different cultures to see what inspires them can help us all to see our interior world a little differently. I love the style in each of these places and hope that you’ll refer to vtwonen for more inspiration because they certainly have tons of it packed onto their gorgeous site. I love these felted ivory beads shown below. Or perhaps they are wooden? I have the felted version hanging in my living room in a similar fashion, you may have spotted them in my most recent book. I’ve been looking for a new way to use them and this image below gave me a few good ideas. That’s what I mean, keep your eyes OPEN and see what you can find in rooms from magazines that look similar to your current stuff at home – perhaps you’ll discover a new direction for the things that you own. I always do.
What draws me to each of these homes is the naturalness. What draws you? I love the harmony in both palette and material – both are soothing and easy to change up and the natural materials make me feel at one with nature. I can imagine feeling peace and joy in these spaces. Are you attracted to this natural style?
(images: vtwonen magazine)
Hello dear readers. I want to talk to you about something that I wonder if others out there battle with that I’ve been battling with A LOT lately. It has to do with blogging and my career as a “pro” blogger and deciding just where I’m at with it all. And I need to share this because it comes from the heart and I’ve always prided myself on being as completely transparent as possible because I think you deserve it as my friends and readers.
You may not have seen me a lot on my blog this summer. I was sick for months during my first trimester (thankfully that’s over!) and had a book to produce, then write. During my quiet pause, I’ve been blogging weekly but also mix in posts from some wonderful columnists whom I’ve hired to write on decor8, and they’ve been doing a beautiful job providing quality content covering everything from trend reports to home tours. And I love them so much because they are the best bunch of women ever. I feel so blessed!
But I miss blogging full-time, daily, tremendously. In fact I feel concerned over my lack of full-time presence here, not because I’m trying to be the queen of some popularity contest because frankly, my blog is still receiving amazing press coverage each month from magazines, newspapers and television networks all over the world. I’m not worried about advertisers or numbers or anything at all related to income. It has to do with JOY. You can ask my husband, I am one of those rare people whom success and money does nothing to contribute to my joy. I was as joyful before blogging as I am today, just in different ways, and I’m happy to report that I had little monetarily in my life ten years ago – I went from zero to financial hero thanks to starting my own business and I’m proud of that but it only makes me proud in the sense that I like doing what makes me, and others, happy. If it ever becomes miserable, or dishonest, or “selling out”, I will quit immediately and become a full-time interior designer or shop owner or whatever else – anything to avoid doing something that isn’t genuine and meaningful. JOY MATTERS PEOPLE. Really.
I’ve seen a lot of blogs go pro and those blog authors change. Their blogs are like infomercials and peppered with links and sponsored everything (without bothering to disclose it) and while that works for them, I don’t read blogs like that because their voices have changed. I prefer to earn money through books, teaching, consulting and the many other ways that help me to personally monetize my brand without feeling like my advertisers own me. Lots of bloggers are doing very honest and lovely things to monetize their blogs and I’m super proud of them, some have great videos and gorgeous photos and work with sponsors to produce wonderful things but others are completely forgetting the values that made blogging successful in the first place – which is not only going to damage them in the long run but could ultimately damage all of us if we don’t fight hard to stay true to our own vision and voice. It’s okay to have ads, and sponsors and whatever else you can do to drive your business forward – I do it – and so do the best of the best on the web who write on their blogs. But we have to remember why blogging became so successful in the first place…
Bloggers became popular for ONE reason. Sincere, honest reviews.
Before bloggers were deemed cool and lonnnng before sponsored posts, ads and affiliate links, we just wrote stuff from the heart and sometimes, we even bitched and moaned about things we didn’t like which then motivated a lot of large companies to stop playing around with the little guy and to listen more to their consumers. Now that companies see the ENORMOUS income potential by working with bloggers, because frankly our audiences come to us FOR our honest reviews, they’ve entered our space and often try to change us to become more like them – a bit sly, thinking about our bottom line despite whether or not we feel good about it. And though I love working with companies that respect where I draw the line, and have partnered with some amazing companies on advertorials for magazines, etc. many of my own blogger friends have stepped wayyyy over their line of comfort to a zone that they cannot return from once going over “there”. But this blog post isn’t really about all of this. It’s about ME and where I’m personally at as a blogger. It’s about whether I’m blogging for money or blogging for me.
I’m blogging for me. Then for my brand, because blogging has given me a way to grow it out and reach more lovely people. Then for money because I need to earn a certain amount of money to survive – my husband and I both freelance, it’s not an easy life. So I wanted to level with everyone and tell you where I’m at.
So here’s where I’m at.
I will take a year off from book writing and from accepting a million projects that don’t fuel me and traveling a ton for the sake of booking speaking engagements – some of which I feel no personal connection to. I want FOCUS. If I get on a plane, it will be to connect with you or to teach, not to stand before an audience at a trade show where I often feel incredibly uncomfortable. In 2014, I’m not going to write a single book. I’ve been writing a book-a-year for the past 3 years and I’ve loved every second of it, and I can’t WAIT for you to see my next title set to release next Spring – we’re throwing a big party in London in May and hopefully a few more in America – and I’d love to see you. But you won’t see anymore books or book launch parties or book tours from me after that for at least another 1-2 years.
I want my focus to go back to where my heart really is which is RIGHT HERE with all of you and in my e-classes and teaching live workshops as time (and my new baby on the way!) permits. I have so much to give to you all, especially as I get older and just see MORE at this age than I did when I started 8 years ago, and I want to do that on decor8 more and through Blogging Your Way… And I have learned through all of the other wonderful jobs that I’ve taken over the years as a blogger, that blogging is my absolute joy. It’s where I can always be spontaneous, where I can be me, and where I have never cared what advertisers or sponsors wanted from me – and this will never change.
So that’s where I’m at. I’ve been quiet around here lately but I’m planning to be here a lot more the moment my book is finished, which will be in October, then I’m back daily to share with you along with my columnists at least until the baby comes, then I may be blogging with baby on my lap as he merrily taps on the keys along with me.
Remember friends and fellow bloggers – finding balance and joy trumps ALL other things.
(image of me by thorsten becker, outtakes from my upcoming book)