I love sharing with you all of the companies that I shop at over here in Europe. I know that it may be frustrating for those of you living stateside who do not have access to buying these products, however I remember when I lived in Boston and read blogs based in Europe – I loved seeing what was going on in foreign markets and also catching what was on trend there. It gave me excellent and interesting decorating ideas that I felt no one else had in my local area. That is why I was living in Boston decorating with European touches since the 90s, I was locked into international magazines that I would buy at Barnes & Noble and then later, I started reading European blogs. This all broadened my view and definitely helped me to not only sharpen my eye for design but also to find my personal style. I’m hoping posts like this, now that I’m living in Europe, do the same for those of you who don’t have exposure to the same things in your part of the world. Remember, keep an open mind. You may also find similar products where you live and a post like this can help you see how to put things together a little differently than what magazines are showing where you live. It’s fun to try new ideas and to stand out from the pack. At least, I always liked it.
So there’s this company, Bloomingville, that is based in Denmark but is a huge name in Germany… And I really like many of their products. I don’t own many, just a few ceramic cups and two pendant lamps in my hallway, but I’m very pleased with what I do have so I can vouch for their quality and style. In this post, I’m giving you a glimpse of their A/W 2014-15 catalog. You can see more online here. For the upcoming season you’ll spot lots of pastel blue and violet, gold, copper, marble, natural wood and shots of gray and black. Not your traditional Autumn/Winter colors in North America, I know, but in Scandinavia and Northern Germany, even in the Netherlands, this palette is much more common since we have less light during the cold months so these colors keep our rooms light and bright as it can feel really heavy and depressing otherwise.
Do you see any products that you’re dreaming of? My wish list: Gold skull, marble gemstone candle holders, plywood and blue side tables for my bedroom, rattan seating for my wintergarten and an organic-shaped marble cutting board to serve cheese and some plant pots.
What color schemes are you seeing in interiors where you live? Are pastels big at all?
Ready to bake some cupcakes with me? Hi everyone this is Jillian with some pretty cupcakes for you to make on Delicious Bites for August. Although I bake regularly, I’m not much of a cake decorator so I turned to the internet for some inspiration. I found lots of pretty images and decided to decorate my cupcakes with petal decorations made from coloured marshmallows. The base is a classic vanilla butter cake recipe and I decided to include some plain flour in the mix to prevent the cakes from peaking too much.The icing is my all time favourite cream cheese icing (frosting) which I whipped for 5 minutes until it was very light and fluffy. I refrigerated the icing for about 20 minutes until it was firm enough to pipe.
I topped each cake with a rosette of the icing then decorated the cakes with a chocolate button and 4 marshmallow petals. The petals are easily made by snipping a marshmallow horizontally and like magic, the marshmallow forms the shape of a petal. You can let your imagination run wild while decorating the cupcakes. I tried out a few designs and combinations using different coloured marshmallows and different coloured chocolate buttons but decided I liked a single colour petal topped with the same coloured chocolate button grouped together en masse. Here’s the recipe and instructions for you.
PETAL CUPCAKES (makes 12)
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup plain flour
100 gm (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
CREAM CHEESE ICING
30 gm (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 gm (2 oz) cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoons milk
24 coloured marshmallows
Coloured chocolate buttons or Smarties
Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners. Preheat a conventional oven to 180C/350F. Sift the self raising flour and the plain flour together into a small bowl and set to one side. In a large bowl cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Gradually mix in the beaten egg, adding a tablespoon or so of flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Add the remaining flour and sufficient milk to form a soft cake batter. Spoon tablespoons of the cake batter into the cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and cooked when tested with a fine skewer. Allow the cupcakes to cool a little before removing to a wire cake rack. When completely cool decorate or store undecorated in an airtight container. To make the icing, cream the butter, cream cheese and the vanilla extract together in a small bowl until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar and sufficient milk to make a soft icing. Whip for 5 minutes until the icing becomes very pale and refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to pipe.
To decorate, pipe a swirl of cream cheese icing over the top of one of the cupcakes. Cut 2 marshmallows in half horizontally. Pinch the ends to make petals. Place a chocolate button in the centre of the icing, then arrange 4 of the marshmallow petals on top. Put the cupcake to one side and decorate the remaining cupcakes. Set the cupcakes to one side to set before serving.
Today is my final Delicious Bites column for decor8. I’ve been contributing to decor8 for 5 years now, initially contributing with photos to Holly’s blog posts (since 2009) then with my own column shooting shops for the Shopgirl Visits (May 2012 – December 2012) before turning to writing about my great love, food, in February 2013 and wrapping up the column here today. So after all these years on decor8 I will miss you all. I’ll still be baking and photographing for my own blog though, so please drop by to see what I’m up to. Wishing you all the best, Jillian.
(images/text: Jillian Leifboff)
Hi friends, it’s Monday! A brand new week of inspiration and ideas, plans and dreams and hopefully progress! Let’s get started with a quick bite of inspiration. Are you familiar with nani IRO fabrics? These gorgeous fabrics are like paintings and really make me smile. I found out about this Japanese label designed by Naomi Ito a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. Here is a lovely photo showing her more popular patterns that I found on HI(NY) below. I have so many ideas for my home when I see these. I’m currently redecorating my work studio – I’ll show you the before and after on my blog this Autumn, so I’ve been mood boarding like a man woman! These are definitely part of my scheme.
You can buy these fabrics here: If you’re in Europe at Mondays Milk, Or buy directly from Tokyo at the etsy store of Miss Matatabi for US, Europe, etc. I just threw down a chunk ‘o change for some of these beauties from Miss Matatabi, I can’t wait to get them in my hot little hands and turn them into something pretty.
Please note: All products in this post are decor8 tested and approved.
How are you today?
Hey Hey Peeps! And no, you’re not reading the post title wrong, it’s totally Saturday here where I live too despite this being called Instagram Fave Friday. But I’m a little late and I still wanted the post to go up so I could show you guys that consistency means something to me despite how crazy upside down my schedule is since becoming a mom! I wake up not knowing what day of the week it is. I feel a bit like I’m in a dream, on vacation, on a roller coaster and moving in slow motion – all at once and I love it but man, I’m so glad I work from home because I don’t know how working moms who have to leave each day do it. Props. But back to the point of this post — Today let’s
drool look at another Instagramer I adore. An inspirational instagramer, so perhaps this is an Inspirgramer? Let’s look at The Doctors Closet or @doctorscloset on IG and you tell me if this is the stuff inspiration is made of or what. About this lady: Monika Hibbs, a Vancouver-blogger who talks about everything home and fashion related with a huge focus on her home. She also has an online shop (I want everything!). Here is a glimpse of her IG world. As I was putting this post together, I saw that she’s a fan of Decorate With Flowers. Makes me proud and happy to see Canadian fans! Isn’t this all just so pretty? Have a nice weekend everyone. xo (images: monika hibbs)