One of my favorite things is that we have four distinct seasons to enjoy. I adore the heat and sunshine of summer but I’m just as happy to be slipping into fall with shorter hours of daylight, trees turning brilliant colors, and a briskness to the air. I also love the flowers and branches at the flowers market with the changes of color and varieties. Natalie has created an arrangement of flowers that makes me tickled with excitement. I find the mix of soft blush colors and the vivid colors of the leaves and branches to be a perfect mix to chime in the new season.
“Cafe Aux Lait” Dahlias
I love these berries. What are they?
These are rose hips. I love that this variety is so delicate and not as large as the type I normally see. Rose hips are the fruit from the rose plant and we see them in early Autumn after the summer roses have stopped blooming. Rose hips have medicinal powers and many uses. I often drink tea with rose hips as they are very high in Vitamin C.
These Dahlias are to die for!
These are called “Cafe aux lait” dahlias and they have become really common in the last couple of years. I see them more and more but they are still such a beautiful color. I love that they bridge other colors and in this case of this arrangement they soften the Autumnal colors and make the arrangement seem more appropriate for September when we aren’t quite yet in the full swing of Fall.
With the seasons changing what foliage branches do you recommend for interior arrangements?
I love to use fall foliage such as this Maple. However, in my home I am always most drawn to the longest lasting blooms and branches so that I get the maximum enjoyment without having the change them often. Fall foliage can last anywhere from three days to over a week, but these rose hips last for a month! I love them for this reason. As the season changes, I look for lichen and moss covered branches that have very few leaves on them. This way I can enjoy them as we transition from Fall to Winter.
A new season brings new blooms, what can we expect to start to see in season that you are excited about?
I love Fall. It is my favorite season and I am so excited to see the leaves change color. At this time of year I start to focus more on non-floral elements of the season. I love Liquid Amber, Pistache and Gingko. I also love heirloom pumpkins and usually get mine as soon as I seem them and don’t throw them out until the day I bring the Christmas tree in.
When Pottery Barn Kids asked me to design a nursery for their fall catalog, I was thrilled! I couldn’t wait to create a nursery using their products and was excited to get my creative juices flowing. After having a baby last December, this became a project that was near and dear to my heart. As a child, my life was spent traveling and living abroad with my family. I knew I wanted to create a room that evoked the spirit of travel.
Recently, I traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico and this is where I drew my inspiration for the room. I started with the quote above the crib: “Let everyday be an adventure.” From there, my goal was a room that had an adventurous spirit with a neutral palate. The tepee is a place I can see kids playing in for hours on end. I had originally wanted to use wallpaper but couldn’t find a design I was satisfied with for the aesthetic I was envisioning. Instead, I decided to stencil the walls with a pattern I had seen on a tapestry in New Mexico. This was a much less expensive solution and turned out perfectly. I wanted to share with all of you the step by step instructions on how we went about painting the stencil – thank goodness we had help from a professional!
For Stencil –
Clear laminate sheet
Printed design drawn out
Rubber cutting mat
For Wall –
For Creating Stencil –
1.) When selecting an image or design, make sure that it will only need two paint colors.
2.) Trace the design by hand onto the clear plastic laminate sheet. Use a marker for this.
3.) Now it’s time to cut the stencil – set your piece of laminate on the rubber cutting mat. Using a X-Acto knife to cut out the area you will be painting. Be sure to take your time with this. Once you’ve cut out all of the pieces, voila!
For Painting Stencil on the Wall –
1.) Determine the starting point. Once this is determined, attach the stencil using painter’s tape.
2.) Paint stencil design on the wall with a paint brush. Make sure the bristles don’t have any excess paint on them. If so, use a paper towel to take off the paint.
3.) Apply paint – make sure you don’t brush paint over stencil openings, this will lead to paint seeping under the stencil. Make sure you hold the stencil in place and apply pressure where you are painting.
4.) Once you are done painting, measure the distance you would like between each stencil. Mark that point with a pencil. Do this for the entire wall before painting the rest of the stencils.
5.) Continue painting the stencil design. Move the stencil across the wall until the entire wall is covered in the design.
Here is a time-lapse video from start to finish of the stencil going up. It’s pretty incredible to see it come to life.
A huge thank you to the Pottery Barn Kids team for having me be part of this fall catalog. It was a true honor to work with such an incredible team. Now, pop over to the Pottery Barn Kids blog to learn more about the inspiration behind the nursery.
I never really became a coffee drinker, which is surprising since I grew up in a home where both of my parents took coffee drinking seriously. I have memories of my mom saving to buy a illy Francis Francis and loved waking up each morning to her illy espresso coffee. Years later, I’ve slowly come to appreciate coffee – especially when trying to juggle a baby and a career.
When asked to try the brand new illy Francis Francis iperEspresso – Y5 Milk Coffee and Espresso Machine, I was thrilled because of the memories I had of the aroma each morning as a child. The great thing about this new Y5 Milk Coffee and Espresso machine is that it has the ability to prepare your milk for a cappuccino – the way I prefer my coffee. The capsules make it so easy to prepare a delicious cup of jo each morning – no fuss and a guaranteed delicious cup of Italian espresso each time. Many folks are such devotee’s of illy coffee that they also collect the different cups that have been made through the years. They remind me so much of the espresso cups you get at cafes in Italy.
As I prep my coffee corner each evening before bed – I take sweet joy in knowing that in the morning I’ll be in pure bliss with a delicious cup of coffee. Whether it’s with Jackson in my arms or having a peaceful moment alone – the thing that remains the same is that perfect first sip in the morning.
Since we are officially in fall (although you wouldn’t know it here in the Bay Area with this brutal heat wave we are experiencing right now) it is time to start eating apples! I love apple desserts but sometimes I feel like they are a little one color, especially apple pies and crisps. Berries are still floating around the market and I thought apples and blackberries could be the perfect combo – a little tartness from the blackberries to balance the sweetness from the apples, not to mention the gorgeous red color that the crisp turns when baked. Top the apple-blackberry mixture with a crisp topping that is made with oat flour, toasted hazelnuts and butter and a delicious and gorgeous apple dessert it born.
There are a couple reasons this recipe is one of my favorites. I love recipes that work better gluten-free. I find that by using different types of flours that are naturally gluten-free you can actually make recipes taste better. This crisp is the perfect example. I swapped out regular all-purpose flour for gluten-free oat flour – I like even better. The oat flour adds a hint of nuttiness to this crisp that makes me forget the need for regular all-purpose flour. I’m not saying it is healthy, I wish it was because I am pretty sure I could eat the entire crisp myself, but I am saying it is one delicious gluten-free dessert.
I also love this recipe because it makes a lot of crisp topping – in my opinion that is the best part of a crisp. Apples and blackberries are great and all, but give me that crispy buttery hazelnut goodness any day of the year. Am I right? If you like a crisp that has a lighter amount of crisp topping, just halve the crisp recipe or save it in your freezer in an airtight container until you bake your next crisp.
Lastly, I love this recipe because you do not need any special equipment to make the crisp other than two bowls, an oven and your hands, which makes clean up the easiest darn thing ever.
Enjoy! ~ Amanda
Apple & Blackberry Crisp
3 lbs apples peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1 pint blackberries
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp. lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
½ cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. corn starch
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup oat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ sticks butter
½ cup oats (make sure they are gluten–free if you want this to be a gluten-free recipe)
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
pinch of salt
1.) Pre-heat an oven to 350F. Butter a large baking dish (approximately 8 x 8 ).
2.) In a large bowl, combine the apples, blackberries, orange zest, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir well to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
3.) In another bowl combine the oat flour, brown sugar, butter, oats, hazelnuts and large pinch of salt. Using your hands mix well making sure the butter is incorporated.
4.) Spread the topping over the apple and blackberry mixture and bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the apples are tender and the fruit juices in the crisp are bubbling around the edges. Cover with foil if the crisp topping becomes too dark.
5.) Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with a large scoop of ice cream or crème fraiche.
Every year I always look forward to fall arriving. Don’t get me wrong – I love every minute of the long days of summer, but as the days get shorter and there is a crispness in the air, I start turning my focus inward to our home.
Most Sunday mornings my family and I walk to our local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables. With the change of season we started to see apples making it to the market. A few weekends ago we decided to switch it up a bit and go to an apple orchard instead. Bringing home a crate of apples motivated me to create a new tabletop for my dining room that celebrates the arrival of the new season.
I teamed up with Target Style to use their new collection of fall inspired items for the table. When I think of fall I have images of richer tones, more texture, and definitely delicious baking from the bounty of apples. I knew I wanted to find copper and metal tones along with wicker and wood to warm up my dining room. I found more than I could ever have hoped for – pounded metal bowls and vases, plates and bowls with a muted copper rim, a wooden bowl to display the apple crisp, and gold votives to light up the table. I usually love all-white flowers, but in the spirit of autumn I chose deep maroon flowers, hops, branches with small red berries and a few white flowers.
The result had me giddy for the season that is upon us in a few short days. In our On the Menupost tomorrow Amanda will share her delicious apple crisp recipe that was inspired by this tabletop. It will definitely help you to bring in the new fall season.
This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Home collection in stores and online.