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Posted by in handmade

hello dear ones! today i have a very special treat for you! since so many of you were interested in last week’s espresso post, i’ve invited the lovely ashley pahl to share with you a few of her scrumptious coffee recipes! she’s such a sweetheart and i just know that you’re going to love her (and her recipes). you can expect to see her for next the month or so as she shares one delicious recipe with you each week. to get to know her, make sure to check out her beautiful blog and etsy shop. enjoy! xo, bonnie


peppermint mocha latte

One of my favorite weekend treats is a trip to the coffee shop for a latte and some “Me time.” As enjoyable as this outing can be, those $4.50 drinks can really add up, and especially in the winter, it’s more fun to stay warm inside. Enter: the DIY latte.

Drinking lattes at home is no longer for the privileged; espresso machines are very affordable these days, and if an espresso machine isn’t in the cards, very bold, dark roasted coffee can be substituted in these recipes.

For those of you who still have a a stash of candy canes from the holidays, they’re the perfect finishing touch for this warm, wintry drink!

peppermint mocha latte
Peppermint Mocha Latte
makes two drinks


Peppermint syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

mocha “syrup”
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp warm water

- 4 ounces brewed espresso
- 4 – 5 ounces steamed milk

Optional toppings:
- whipped cream
- chocolate sprinkles
- cocoa powder
- crushed candy cane

peppermint mocha latte


Begin with the peppermint syrup. If you’ve ever made simple syrup for cocktails, it starts out with the same idea: bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil; once the boil is reached, add the peppermint extract and lower temperature to a simmer. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. This process allows the alcohol in the peppermint extract to burn off, and the end result is a very sweet, peppermint-y syrup. Don’t have peppermint extract? Here is a recipe using candy canes.

Meanwhile, add three tablespoons of cocoa powder and three tablespoons of warm water each into two mugs. Then stir into thin paste. Personally, I do not add sugar into the chocolate syrup because there is enough sugar in the peppermint syrup; however, if you like a very sweet drink, this is a good recipe for chocolate syrup.

Next, brew four ounces of espresso, and then steam four to five ounces of milk, making sure there is froth on top. Pour two ounces of brewed espresso into each mug; follow espresso with the steamed milk, holding back the froth with a spoon. If you want more information on brewing espresso or steaming milk, check out this guide from Coffee Geek!

Once the milk is poured, spoon the leftover froth onto each cup, and pour in 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup of peppermint syrup (depending on how sweet or strong you like your flavored lattes). Top off with whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or a little cocoa powder.

A little note
Do make the peppermint syrup – don’t just try adding peppermint extract to a mocha latte – the result will be unpleasantly bitter!

cofee with indie pretty projects

ashley paul indie pretty project Ashley has been coffee-crazy since college when her husband bought her an espresso machine for Christmas. Armed with a pot of dark roast, she spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her self-titled Etsy shop.

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January 17, 2011

Posted by in handmade

wendy jug ceramics
i think these ceramic night lights from wendy jug are just dreamy. for those of us without a fireplace, these would be a great alternative as they create such warmth and coziness. i can see them set back in an old fireplace well or huddled together on a mantle. placed on your nightstand for a romantic touch or an added soft light to a comfortable reading nook. no matter where, i love their glow.

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another friday, another weekend! what do you have planned? we have a friend coming to visit, so i’m sure we’ll be out and about all weekend showing him the sights there are to see. :)

diy pom poms

i love this diy pom pom project from dujour. similar to the winter pom poms i made for celebrate magazine, these use circles of fabrics rather than coffee filters. aren’t they pretty? jump on over here for the full how-to.

did you have a good week? i’ve enjoyed so much sharing with you and the discussions we’ve had. just in case you missed anything, here’s a quick recap:

- 20 reasons to go vegan

- the dos & don’ts of newsletter sign-ups

- my recipes for hummus and home fries

- and below, your take on digital readers: to nook or not?

hope to see you monday! love, bonnie

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Posted by in lifestyle

Forest - Clear Bookmark Stickers

clear forest bookmarks

today i’m looking for your insight. do you like using digital readers or prefer old fashioned hard copy books?

i’ve been tempted to explore new readers like the nook, kindle or ibook, but something about them just doesn’t settle with me. see, i like to flip through the pages of a book with my fingers, doggie ear the corners and make notes in the side columns. and to me, there’s just something about placing a well loved book on a shelf to refer back to again and again. i like to have a library, i think books are beautiful. it is for this same reason that i prefer to purchase my books rather then get them from the library, i want to call them my own and keep them forever (though, i do try to purchase used books). plus, i found this article on our health and wireless waves a bit concerning. also, if i used a digital reader, i wouldn’t be able to use cute bookmarks like these!

so what’s your opinion? do you use a digital reader? do you like it, or not? i can definitely see where there would be certain advantages. for instance, i’m sure airplane and vacation reading would be much easier (and much lighter). and it might be easier to find passages, if you can search for a specific word or phrase. i would like to hear which you prefer, and if you’ve tried a digital reader- what do you think of it?

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oven roasted home fries

January 13, 2011

i have to admit- french fries are a guilty pleasure of mine. however, it’s been years since i’ve allowed myself to eat them out, especially from a fast food joint. in fact, i think the last time i had french fries from a drive through was right after my junior prom in high school (i’m sure my date loved that). SO, i tend to make them often at home! baked, not fried. though i usually use a simpler method (nothing but olive oil, rosemary and salt), i tried something new this week and they turned out really yummy. here’s the recipe!

oven roasted home fries


  • 5-6 potatoes, halved, quartered then sliced into wedges
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika



preheat oven to 425°f. place potato wedges in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. combine flour and spices then toss with the potatoes until well covered. place in a single layer on a lightly greased pan and bake until golden brown; about 30 mins. enjoy!

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claire la faye

January 13, 2011

Posted by in indie fashion

claire la faye
claire la faye
claire la faye
claire la faye
claire la faye
claire la faye
getting married this year? have yet to pick out your dress? claire la faye has described her work as ‘red carpet, feminine frocks’, and to that i certainly agree. with the debut of her latest wedding line, her work resembles old hollywood glamour with a modern day flair of whimsy, sweetness and frill. with each piece handmade, made to order and affordable for the modern-day bride, i can’t help but be in love her entire line. visit her shop to browse, her website to learn more and her flickr to see many-a-more photos.

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Posted by in indie biz

untitled by une**

untitled by une**

hello lovelies! today i want to touch on a subject, and request your feedback. it seems like lately, i’ve been having to unsubscribe from several newsletters every day, none of which i actually signed up for. some are from large corporations, but many are from small independent businesses and blogs. are you being signed up for e-mails without your consent?

it doesn’t make me mad, get me upset or make me have ill feelings towards the businesses that do it, i just find it annoying. bloggers (and most peeps) spend so much time in our e-mail boxes already, that i find dealing with unnecessary e-mails is just an added time waster- and i’m trying to be efficient over here! so, is it out of ignorance that we get signed up for these letters? out of sneaky marketing schemes? or something else?

today i want to put out my dos and don’ts for newsletter sign-ups, and i would love to hear your feedback:


- have a newsletter

- make it easy to sign up for

- have a sign up visible on your website

- have a link to it in your e-mail signature

- promote it occasionally via social networking (twitter, facebook, etc) especially when you’re about to send out a new one


- take it upon yourself to sign someone up without their consent

end of story!

if you think someone would benefit from your newsletters, why don’t you let them know? send them a nice and personalized e-mail with what you are offering and why you think they might enjoy receiving your periodic updates. then let them decide if they would like to receive them or not. it’s not a question of whether businesses or bloggers (like myself) do or don’t like you/your biz, it’s just that with the volume of e-mails we get already, most of us need to be very selective in what we decide to receive in our inboxes. i would assume anyone does, right?

so share with me- am i missing something? what is your opinion? love, bonnie

p.s. if you’ve ever signed me up for something without my consent, no hard feelings! smooches :)

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crocheted sea creatures

January 12, 2011

Posted by in handmade

Wunderkammer croched sea creatures

a sampler of bacterial anatomy

Wunderkammer croched sea creatures

plush mollusk anatomy

Wunderkammer croched sea creatures

mushroom crochet patterns

Wunderkammer croched sea creatures

crochet patterns

Wunderkammer croched sea creatures

ecosystems of the lower balearic

Wunderkammer croched sea creatures

prawn, seahorse & coral

crocheted protein structures? octopus, algae and bacterial anatomy? oh, yes! this handmade cabinet of curiosity goes there. i love so much that jessica polka crochets the unknown, the fascinating and the scientific. she offers a number of patterns and pendants in her shop, wunderkammer and lots of help, advice and info on her blog as well. what do you think? interesting, beautiful and incredibly talented, to say the least?

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