Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday's Treat: Blackberry Mini Pies & The Darling

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest meant heaping bounties of blackberries in the summer months. While the Himalayan Blackberry is actually an invasive plant, which can grow to be bigger than a house, it does provide some pretty tasty treats.

I shelled out for a bunch of fancy Whole Food berries when Christine came into town, but I has a tiny pint leftover. Too little to make a real pie, but too many to justify eating with whip-cream and sugar (don't judge). So I made this:

Blackberry Mini Pies

This is all you need:
  • 1/8 cups white sugar
  • Single pie crust (from here), or get lazy and buy a frozen pie crust (the rolled up kind - not the already in a pan kind)
  • 6 ounces of fresh blackberries
  • Butter (just a sliver, and don't try to subsitute this for anything else, just leave it out if you need to)
  • Tart pans (I use these) or a muffin pan

Hedgehog measuring cups help out the process a lot.

1) Wash the berries and let them air dry while you create/defrost (frozen) dough.
2) Mix the berries with the sugar and leave to mix together
3) Roll the dough out, and create mini pie crusts by tracing around the edge of the tart pan + 1 inch.

3) Press the dough gently into the tart pans, and trim the excess off. Chill in the fridge for 2 - 3 minutes
4) Roll the edge of the dough over, tucking into the tart pan to make things pretty

5) Butter the bottom of the crust
6) Dump in some sugared blackberries
7) Top the mini pies with the extra dough in a lattice work pattern
8) Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, or until the lattice work looks almost brown. Kill the heat and let sit in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

9) Enjoy with ice cream, whipped cream, or a trashy magazine.

According to Caroline, I can't be a true yuppie because I don't have a cake stand.

P.S. Christine got me this Cupcake Royale plate for Christmas!

The Darling

I've been spending a lot of down time on porches and balconies lately, grilling, drinking, and people watching....
and last weekend Grant created this concotion:

1.5 ounces of Bourbon (he uses a bottle from Breckenridge Distillery)
1-2 ounce Schweppes Bitter Lemon soda
and 2-3 wedges of clementine
1) Muddle the clementine at the bottom of the glass
2) Pour in the bourbon, followed by the soda to taste
3) Mix and enjoy!
P.S. I totally helped him name it, that counts, right?! I thought of the song my Grandpa used to sing Oh My Darling, Clementine....which is actually a really sad song.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up - Memorial Mountains


Outlook Mountain, mountains, mountainview, mountain vistas, scenic, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Rockies, landscape
Outlook Mountain, CO
 My best friend from college came for a quick pit stop between Vermont and Seattle. We had "big" plans for the weekend: wedding talk, shopping, mountain views and mimosas. Miss her already!
Outlook Mountain, mountains, mountainview, mountain vistas, scenic, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Rockies, landscape

Outlook Mountain, mountains, mountainview, mountain vistas, scenic, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Rockies, landscape, Buffalo Bill


Once she left for the PacNW, Grant and I got up to trouble.

The Darling [Clementine + Bourbon + Soda]

Including pinball and gaming at 2up.

And a friendly shooting contest after a very long sidetrip for ammo....and chocolate covered pretzels... and chocolate milk... and a giant fish.

Giant fish, fish

And we ended it with the new Star Trek movie.


Friday, May 24, 2013

Heading to the Mountains

Real mountains. Not the wimpy "mounts" and "loafs" that make up the backbone of the Pioneer Valley. They are cute, and endearing, but nothing like this:

Image via

My wifey/best friend is flying in from Vermont for a weekend getaway. I haven't seen her in about a year.

Things I'm excited about:
            • Wedding planning
            • Gossip
            • Eating copious amounts of food
            • Mountain meadow walks
            • Drinks by a fireplace
            • Curvy mountain roads

Our goal is to make the 3 hour drive up to Aspen...

Image via

Image via

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And back on Saturday.

Wish us luck!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday's Treat: Fauxbucks

Remember how I told you my coffee obssesion started young? Well I'm not proud to admit it, but I often toted those pre-made Starbucks frapp drinks around in addition to my short vanilla lattes.

Starbucks Frappuccino drinks, Cheap, Starbucks cheatStarbucks Frappuccino drinks, Cheap, Starbucks cheat

At nearly $3 for a short bottle, and $4-5 for a big bottle, you are paying a lot for convenience.

But floating around the internet was a cheat recipe to make 10 cups of the stuff for a lot less:

In fact I've made roughly 10 cups. I already had the white and brown sugar on hand (since I'm an adult, Grant). I had to go out and buy coffee ($6.77 on sale) and the creamer ($3). Since I have enough coffee grounds leftover to probably make another 30+ cups and enough creamer left over for another 10 cup batch, I figured it came out to about $3.25 per batch.


Ingredients for 10 cups:
  • 10 cups hot water (it doesn't need to be boiling)
  • 10 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vanilla creamer

  • Coffee maker + filter, french press, pour over filter (what I use)
  • Contianer to hold it all (I use giant mason jars)


1) Use a coffee pot (or other method) to make 10 cups of coffee (you may need to do this in batches)
2) While coffee is brewing, put the sugar (white & brown) in the bottom of your container.
3) Pour the ready coffee into the container, disolving the sugar by stirring ever so gently as you go.
4) Let cool, pour in creamer and stir well.
5) Refrigerate overnight, pour*, enjoy.

*The ingredients sometime settle at the bottom, so you may want to shake things up before you pour... another reason I use the mason jars.

Iced fauxbucks goes really well with this healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe:

Which is found on an amazing vegan treats blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. I made this dip in October and while Grant didn't really like it, I did - so yay more for me! I've been thinking about it ever since, and just might need to make it again this weekend.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Hermes Orange

I love all shades of orange, and I am trying to incorporate more of it in my spaces.

There is nothing like the Hermes Orange.


Image via.

Image via.

Real Deal

$630, via Hermes

$470 via Hermes

$710 via Hermes


$110 via Le Creuset


$58 via C Wonder

$48 via C Wonder

$20 via Nordstrom.

$20 via Nordstrom.

$28 via C Wonder

$78 via C Wonder

$58 via C Wonder

$48 via C Wonder

I think it goes without saying I wouldn't add all of this, but maybe one or two :) 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Everyday Luxe: Sunglasses

Now that the weather is more Summer, less Winter (I wouldn't exactly call it Spring), my focus has been on finding the perfect pair on sunglasses.

Since I was curious I tried to find the most expensive one money can buy....


1) Bentley teamed up with luxury eyewear company Estede to create a pair of pure platinum shades.

These retail for just under $46,000 USD. I actually kinda like them, even though I could get a matching pair from a gas station for $10.

2) CliC has created a pair of 18-carat solid gold sunglasses that retail for roughly $75,000.

More information, by which I mean here is the website to contact them through, can be found here.

3) In celebration of the Wizard of Oz, Shiels Jewellers in Australia created a pair of EMERALD Sunglasses.

The lenses are actual emeralds, that took five years to source the gems, and 3 months to shape, polish and cut. The frames are 18-carat gold and diamonds.

They are estimated at $200,000, and you can find more info here.

4) The Dolce & Gabbana Elite sunglasses are framed in gold, with the D&G logo spelled out in diamonds on each arm.

They retail for $386,609.

5) And last, Chopard paired with De Rigo Vision to create a pair of sunglasses with 51 fully cut river diamonds, set in 24-carat gold.

The price is estimated at $1.5 million USD, and the unusual tint is obtained from burning the glass four times. The sunglasses were available only in one shop in Dubai - no word on whether or not the pair ever sold.

And For Everyday People:

In case you want to put your money towards a house.... or fancy cars... or anything but sunglasses, don't worry- you have options, too!

The most expensive pair you can find at Nordstrom are the Rimless Shield sunglasses by BVLGARI.

These ugly sunnies will set you back $650, worth it? Not for me.

In fact, I'm eyeing these:
The Baroque sunglasses by Prada. Which seem totally reasonable at $290, right?

xx Charlotte

P.S. you probably (maybe?) noticed I didn't include links for where to buy a bunch of these sunglasses (because I know you're really anxious to do just that...) ANYHOW I have no idea where you can buy some of these... it is like they were made once as a dare and are now stored away in the respective company's vault.