I don’t care what season it is, give me a tropical cocktail and I’m set. Perhaps it’s the flavorful garnishes, usually consisting of pineapple or coconut. Maybe it’s that it reminds me of sitting on the beach, no matter what temperature it actually is outside. Or it could even be that distinct tiki feel, even if it’s not in a tiki glass.

Either way, tropical cocktails are my JAM. So, when I spotted ‘Coco-Lada’ by The Owl’s Brew, I knew exactly what I had to make. The team over at The Owl’s Brew is BRILLIANT. They’ve crafted teas specifically for cocktails. Major ‘aha!’ moment, am I right?

The tea I made this Tropical Rum Coco-Lada with is a blend of black tea, chai spices, coconut pieces, and pineapple juice. SO much yum in one bottle.

– A post in collaboration with by Gabriella

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Naturally, I needed to go the tropical route with this one and so here we find ourselves with another cocktail on another glorious Friday. The weekend is so close I can taste it and it tastes a lot like this tropical humdinger of a cocktail. Grab the recipe below!

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INGREDIENTS

2 parts Coco-Lada

2 parts coconut milk

1 part rum

1 part Falernum

4 sprigs thai basil

Juice from 1 lime

Shredded coconut, for garnish

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Add thai basil to your shaker with the Falernum and lime juice.

Muddle for 15 seconds.

Add rum, coconut milk, Coco-Lada and ice.

Shake until cold, about 15 seconds.

Strain into glass over ice.

Add crushed ice on top and garnish with a lime wheel and shredded coconut.

 


 

How are you kicking off the weekend?

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2016 felt like it was the year of mezcal. It took the spotlight and held on tight. And I sure am thrilled. But, just because it appeared to be the shining star of 2016 doesn’t mean I’m letting it sneak away that easily. In fact, mezcal’s become my go-to all-weather spirit. It’s refreshing in the summer in some strange way (like tequila! So, mostly when paired with fresh fruit…), and warming in the winter thanks to its intense smoky flavor. Now add in a touch of sweetness and you’ve got me hooked

Sweet and spicy is a favorite duo that I’ll simple never tire of, and this Honey & Smoke cocktail is like a new, richer, take on that. Chipotle chocolate? Uhm, yes please. Grapefruit Jalapeño popsicles? I’m in. I think you get the picture.

– A post in collaboration with by Gabriella

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Honey & Smoke Recipe

 

Mezcal can be quite harsh, so pairing it with the honey simple syrup and lime juice help tame it the right amount. It doesn’t lose its flavor, but rather it’s enhanced with the slight sweetness of the honey. In fact, if you can get your hands on some floral or fruity honey, give it a go! I bet it’d be downright delicious.

What are some of your other favorite sweet & spicy, or dare I say smoky, snacks and cocktails?

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Ingredients

For the cocktail:

1 part honey simple syrup

2 parts mezcal

2 parts ginger beer

Juice from 1/2 lime

For the honey simple syrup:

1 part honey

1 part water

 

Instructions

 

Make the honey simple syrup:

Boil water and pour over honey. Whisk to combine.

Make the cocktail:

Combine simple syrup, mezcal, and lime juice in tumbler.

 Shake for 10 seconds.

Pour over ice and top with ginger beer.

Garnish with lime slice.

*Optional glass garnish: Salt rim of glass with Jalapeño salt or sea salt.

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Hi, y’all! I’m Gabi and I’m the blogger over at By Gabriella, a space where I like to share entertaining tips, DIY projects, and most importantly – tasty cocktail recipes. You can imagine my excitement when Corina asked me to contribute to her blog, it essentially resulted in me jumping around with actual joy. Really, though. Well, now that you’ve heard enough about how easily I get excited, let’s get to the good part. The boozy part.

There’s nothing more magical to me than a cold snowy day, cozied up at home devouring a new book – or perhaps even watching a holiday movie. Those movies never get old, especially the ‘bad’ ones. You know what I’m talking about, those scrumptiously terrible Hallmark and Lifetime movies that all end the exact same way. Though, I still love them. It’s the cozy winter vibes and decked halls that make Boston’s frigid winter so tolerable.

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Now, take that perfect cozy day, and add a tasty winter cocktail. It’s somehow even better. Is there a word for better than perfect? Whether or not that exists, this bourbon cocktail does and it’s my new favorite wintery drink. I’ve recently become much more of a bourbon fan than I ever thought I could or would be. I find myself gravitating to the bourbon cocktails on menus when we’re dining out, or electing to make cocktails featuring bourbon for friends when we’re hosting them right here in our home.

 

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Ingredients

3 parts bourbon

1 part maple syrup

1 cinnamon stick

1 lemon

Sprinkle of cinnamon (for garnish)

 

Instructions

Fill glass halfway with ice.

Add bourbon and maple syrup.

Add cinnamon stick.

Slice lemon into rounds.

Garnish with one lemon slice & a sprinkle of cinnamon.

 

 


 

Are you a fan of bourbon or do you tend to avoid it? I started out the latter, and have become the former. I’m constantly experimenting with bourbon and would love to know your favorite way to enjoy the spirit

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I don’t know about you, but a lot of my favourite Christmas memories always include delicious festive drinks. Cinnamon, orange and apple and the warm feeling in your belly. I started these illustrated recipes a few years ago, so i could share my favourite, easiest ones i would find around the web. This year, i’m back in the game and excited to illustrate some delicious looking ones!

Now with the pregnancy however, the closest i’m getting to alcohol is by drinking nonalcoholic beer – which i’m starting to hate already. So i might illustrate i a few nonalcoholic ones for those who don’t drink alcohol!

– Hedgerow Royal – Original recipe by Good Food

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You guys, i’m so extremely thrilled to present you our very first contributor Natascha, from The Doozy Food. We’re making history here! I know i’ve been talking about contributors and a couple new topics about freelancing and here i am taking the first steps.

So a huge hello to the very talented Natascha, with whom Instagram i fell deeply in love over this summer. Her style and skills are simply out of this world. She has that unique warm cozy atmosphere of comfort food, that just clicked in me right away. Thanks so much Natascha for joining my little space here. I’m over the moon to have you!

About Natascha:

Website – The Doozy Food

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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INGREDIENTS

150 gr Belgian Butter-Waffles, crushed

60 gr Unsalted butter, melted

90 gr Unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 Cup Flour

1/3 Cup Raw cacao

1 Tsp Baking powder

1 Cup Granulated sugar

60 gr Unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 Egg

1 Egg yolk

½ Cup Sour cream or Greek yogurt

½ Cup Boiling water

2 Cups Heavy whipping cream, cooled

74gr Instant vanilla pudding powder

250 gr Powder sugar

1 Vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Salt

Maple syrup and Waffles for topping

Instructions

 

01. Preheat oven to 180c.

02. Line a 12 cup cupcakes tin with paper liners.

03. Melt the chopped chocolate in a bain-marie (or in the microwave). Set aside

04. Combine the crushed waffle with the melted butter and a pinch of salt. Press a tablespoon of mixture into the bottom of each liner. Bake for 5min and allow to slightly cool. Set aside.

05. In a big bowl, whisk the flour together with the cacao, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside

06. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until soft.

07. Mix in egg, egg yolk and half of the vanilla paste until combined.

08. Add melted chocolate and sour cream. Beat for few seconds.

09. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Add the remaining half and then quickly stir in the boiling water. (Just stir until evenly combined)

10. Spoon the butter onto the waffle-crust. Bake for about 30 min., or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

11. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 2 min., then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling. Meanwhile, let’s make the frosting.

12. In the bowl of the stand mixer, whip on medium speed the heavy cream with the sugar, instant pudding powder and the remaining vanilla paste until stiff peaks form.

13. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of each cupcake.

14. Drizzle some maple syrup and garnish with mini waffles.

DIY WALL CANDLE HOLDER Last christmas i became obsessed with Air Dry Clay, and discovered, I could make just about anything I wanted out of this miracle little product. See last years post here. But this year I tried something new. Since we were sprucing up our bedroom and candle lighting adds so much ambiance to… Read more »

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DIY WALL CANDLE HOLDER

Last christmas i became obsessed with Air Dry Clay, and discovered, I could make just about anything I wanted out of this miracle little product. See last years post here.
But this year I tried something new. Since we were sprucing up our bedroom and candle lighting adds so much ambiance to any room, I thought, why not make one to hang from the wall. (this was incredibly easy) I ordered this 5lb bucket off Amazon for $8.00 and I’s lasted me throughout numerous projects.

 

Supplies needed:
• Airy dry clay   • Tealight candle   • 2 screws ( 1 long 1 short)    • paint    • paintbrush    • Scotch blue painters tape

 

Instructions:
Grab a handful (or 2) of clay, and roll it into a ball, then a cylinder shape. Flatten the top of the candle holder using a dab of water and a butter knife. Press your tealight  into the center of the candle holder, until it is sitting just below the top of your candle holder. Let it dry for 12 hours.

 

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At this point it’s getting close to dry, but still pliable. At this time you’ll press one short screw into the side of the candle holder, toward the top. (Be sure not to puncture through the clay into where the candle will be.) Use the long screw and insert it into the side of the candle holder, toward the bottom.
Wiggle them around and remove the excess clay from this area of the candle. Now you should have one shallow hole and one deep hole to secure your candle to the wall. Let the candle sit for 24 hours or until fully dry.

 

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Once fully dry, paint your candle holder whatever base color you’d like. Once the base color has dried, use your Scotch Blue Painters tape and make a line or design to paint around on your candle holder. (I got a little sloppy with mine and my lines aren’t very exact, but It gets the job done for being hung up on the wall)
Then add the two screw you made to create the holes in the candle holder, drill them into the wall, and hang your cute new candle holder on the wall for some added ambiance. We absolutely love the glow it creates on the wall in the evenings.

 

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Another easy item with air dry clay is a little jewelry dish. This idea would make a cute gift for a friend, because, afterall… what girl doesn’t need a cute jewelry dish. This was another simple (and even quicker) project. Roll out your clay with a rolling pin. Choose a large cup or small bowl to outline the width of your dish. Cut out the clay in a circle and round the edges. This doesn’t have to be done neatly. I think it gives it a cool – urban outfitters- vibe to leave the edges slightly crooked. Let dry for 24 hours (or until hard) and paint your base color white, and add some gold paint to the rim of the dish, and let it dry.
It makes a cute little decoration for any side table or bathroom sink, and it’s always useful to have an extra space to stash spare rings.
If you’re looking for some bigger projects to take on, check out these marble and copper bedside tables I made, along with this wooden headboard for our room. They were such fun items to make and made our room feel so clean and bright.  I found some wonderful tutorials with great instructions for the tables here and for the headboard here.
Happy Crafting to you lovers!
– Lauren Witter from Owl & Anchor

 

I don’t know about you, but this time of year, all I want to do (after I wrap my presents and bake christmas cookies) is stay inside, cozy in my house enjoying the christmas lights and do crafty things. We gave a little DIY makeover to our bedroom over the last couple weeks, so if… Read more »

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I don’t know about you, but this time of year, all I want to do (after I wrap my presents and bake christmas cookies) is stay inside, cozy in my house enjoying the christmas lights and do crafty things. We gave a little DIY makeover to our bedroom over the last couple weeks, so if you’ve got the crafting fever, or you’re just looking to spruce up little corners of your home for real cheap, I’ve got a handful of ideas for you!

DIY SHADOW BOX SHELF

Supplies needed:
• 2 pieces measuring-  9″ in length    • 2 pieces measuring 15″ in length   • 1 piece of sand paper   • 1- 1×4 cut into 4 pieces   • Wood Stain color of your choice. (i used dark chestnut to contrast well with the white)    • Clear gloss long lasting protection   • White paint   • Paintbrushes   • Rags

 

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Instructions:
I went to my local Home Depot and had them cut the wood for me, then gave each piece a light sanding. Once you’ve washed off all the dust, let your wood dry, then you can apply your stain with a rag, leaving one side blank. The thinner the layer of stain, the more the wood grains will show through. The more stain you add, the darker and more saturated it becomes. I used one layer of stain because it was a dark color stain to begin with, but I didn’t want the wood to look oversaturated.
Once the wood has been stained and is dry (leaving that one side blank) you can go ahead  and add your clear gloss. This step gives your wood a rich shine. Let it dry according to directions on the can.

 

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Your last step is to paint your accent color for the inside of the shadow box shelf on the side of the wood you have left blank. I chose white because it’s clean and gives a great pop of contrast to the dark wood. Apply the paint to one side of each piece of wood.
Once all your pieces are dry, you’re ready to assemble. Framing the wood with the 9″ pieces on the outside of the 15″ pieces, you just hammer in two small nails at each corner to secure your box in place.
Drill two long screws into the wall, leaving them sticking out about half way, so you can support the weight of any decorations on your shelf. Whala! you have yourself a shelf, now put all your cute little items on it and make it your own!
Happy Holidays!
– Lauren Witter from Owl & Anchor