Thursday, August 30, 2012

Berries {& Greens} Smoothies

Leafy greens. 

Love 'em. 

Well, not entirely. I love how good they are for my body. I love their natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Kale). Kale is crazy high in vitamins A, C, K, and B6, and the minerals potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Spinach is a powerhouse of its own, as its high in magnesium, folate, calcium, and iron. Awesome! Still, is there anyone who can drink Kale/Spinach juice straight? Doubtful! Flavor those greens with a splash of salad dressing or bury their flavor entirely in delicious fruity sweetness? I'm in! 

Enter our household's breakfast/lunch staple of the summer: the Berries & Greens Smoothie! 

Berries & Greens Smoothies: 
Makes 1 Liter, about 4 cups

2-3 Leaves of Kale, washed and torn away from their stems (any kind of Kale works, though I prefer Dinosaur Kale (aka Lacinato Kale)
1 Heaping Cup baby Spinach leaves, washed
1/2 Cup Orange Peach Mango Juice
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
3 Heaping Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 Peach, chopped
1 Banana
1 Cup Blueberries (or 1/2 cup Blueberries and 1/2 cup other frozen berries. I use a blend of strawberries, cherries, raspberries, and pomegranate arils I found at Costco)

Note: If you'd like to reduce the sugar, this recipe is just as good without the banana - the flavor is a little more tart and less creamy.

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

This recipe can be modified all over the place and is usually not the same twice. I started making these at the end of spring, and the habit stuck. I've really noticed a difference in my skin - all those antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3's (from the flax seed) seem to be doing the trick.

I'm thinking I'll have to buy peaches in bulk and freeze them to get through the coming winter!

So tell me, are you a smoothie fan? What's your secret ingredient?



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Styled: Markus Linnenbrink Inspired Sitting Room

I am crazy about Markus Linnenbrink's photo drip paintings. They are absolutely gorgeous! I find Sudden Door into Summer (71) totally captivating, particularly as I cling to the remnants of summer that will pass too quickly for my liking. This sitting room looks like a cozy reading place that I'd make myself right at home in.

1. Superordinate Antler Pendant 12x from Design within Reach
2. Abate Mirror from Anthropologie
3. Sudden Door into Summer (71) by Markus Linnenbrink
4. Wood Gallery Oversize Mat Frame from Pottery Barn
5. Mohave Letterpress Coasters by InHaus Press on Etsy
6. Navy and Coral Tassel Pillow by BrightJuly on Etsy
7. ZigZag Throw Blanket by Jonathan Adler
8. Lido Side Table in Natural from Weylandts
9. Satara Marrakesh Trellis Rug from
10. Osman Chair from Anthropologie

I'm sorry for the shameless self-plug (Tassel Pillow). Not really.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fresh Art, First Thing

Sunday morning greetings, friends. I'm so excited to share these new art pieces with you, listed to the shop last night!

 {Blouberg 1/09, is here}

These 8x8 inch artworks are made using two different photo transfer techniques, each re-worked with colored pencil. Both of them come from photographs I took of places that are very special to me, and represent significant moments. It charges me up to share them with you, the world.

 {Swazi Field 12/08, is here}

More of these are coming. One in particular that I am thrilled about. And a little nervous about, too. Its very different for me. But enough teasing. It'll be up later today, and I'll be sure to let you know!

Enjoy your Sunday.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Styled: Ian Baguskas Inspired Office

This week, Styled is heading back to work! Its officially back-to-school for our state this week, which means back to the grindstone for students and teachers. Enter this fresh office space inspired by photographer Ian Baguskas' piece, Waiting. I wouldn't mind crunching numbers with this view. Except I rarely crunch numbers. Yes. 

1. Limited Edition Let it Go Print by ppck on Etsy
2. Waiting by Ian Baguskas, via 20x200
3. Metallic Cork Pencil Cup by ShopEyelet on Etsy
4. Valise Journal from Anthropologie
5. Vintage Alarm Clock from WWVintage on Etsy
6. TRĂ…L Work Lamp from Ikea
7. Sunburst on the Scene Mirror from Wisteria
8. Jones Natural Office Chair from CB2
9. Spotlight Desk from Crate and Barrel



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Homemade Marinara {with Garden Fresh Tomatoes}

I am so thrilled about this recipe, I can hardly stand it. Its a little embarrassing how enthused I am over tomatoes - but I enjoyed everything about making this homemade, from scratch marinara sauce!

{witness the glory of these little babies!}

It came from tomatoes from my very own tomato plant - my first ever attempt. I purchased a small, slightly leggy roma plant from my local nursery a few months ago, and watched it go from lanky and lean to bushy and wild with dozens of tomatoes all over it. What a thrill! Granted, my first batch of tomatoes had blossom end rot. Apparently my love (watering enthusiasm) was a little too much for it in June. 

The next round looked much better. I think I might have gone a little overboard with fertilizer, but since I chose a liquid organic fertilizer I don't feel too bad about it.

Last week it looked like I had enough to make marinara. I counted 12 ripe tomatoes, but when I actually went to harvest, I had 20. Twenty! They are definitely smaller than grocery store romas (about two thirds the size by my estimation), but hey, who's counting? 

So without further ado, the recipe: 

Homemade Marinara from Garden Fresh Tomatoes 
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Makes 4-5 servings

20 or so garden fresh Roma Tomatoes (if using larger tomatoes, cut this down to about 15)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup wine (I used white wine since I had an open bottle, red would be even better)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasoning (Herbs de Provence is fantastic for this)
Fresh basil, about 6-8 large leaves, finely chopped
Fresh oregano, about 2 Tablespoons finely chopped
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Before beginning, peel your tomatoes and remove the seeds. Here's how to do it: 

After washing your tomatoes, use a sharp knife to remove the stems. If you have any sunburned or imperfect tomatoes, remove the blemished parts. With the knife, cut an "x" on the bottom of the tomato. Prepare a pot of boiling water and a large bowl with ice and cold water. Working in batches, gently lower 7-10 tomatoes into the boiling water. A slotted spoon works well for this. Leave each batch of tomatoes in the boiling water for 15-30 seconds before removing them and placing them directly into the cold water. You'll notice the skin wrinkling. The idea here is to use heat to loosen the skin of the tomato, but not cook it. The ice water stops the tomato from cooking. Here is my batch in their ice bath: 

After all your tomatoes are blanched and shocked, getting the skin off is easy. Simply grasp the skin by a loose section and peel. It should slip right off. Next, you'll want to remove the seeds. Pull or cut the tomatoes apart over a strainer, catching the seeds and reserving the juice. Its impossible to remove all the seeds, but this way will get most of them out. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. They will break down a lot while cooking, so no need to chop too finely. 

{Tomatoes, ready to party}

Alright, now you're ready to make the sauce. 

In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook slowly, stirring often, until they soften and brown. Add the garlic and dried herbs and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, grated carrots, and tomato juice saved from de-seeding. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours. As your liquid begins to evaporate, add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock, 2 tablespoons tomato paste and a splash of wine. Add the fresh basil, oregano, and parsley, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 30 minutes on a low simmer. 

{make sure you are busy with something important so as not to be tempted to eat all your sauce before company arrives} 

Cook and drain the pasta during the last 12 minutes or so before the marinara is ready. Serve and enjoy! 

This recipe started from this one and took a wild turn at the carrots and stock. It was totally divine. So divine that I swore to plant 3 times as many tomatoes next year so I can make at least 3 times as much marinara! 

If you make it, I'd love to hear how it turns out. 



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nautical Sunday Night - Whale Pillows!

New to Bright July this evening - Norman the Narwhal and Harold the Humpback Whale! 

These friends have pompom trim in cream and saffron orange, as well as aqua, sea foam, and chartreuse seed bead detailing.

They'd make great accent pillows in a entryway, living room, or bedroom. They are 13 x 17 inch rectangles.

You can check them out here:

Harold the Humpback Whale:
Norman the Narwhal:

New pillows are the perfect way to end this day. It was an eventful one - Jeremy ran his first half marathon today and I beat my personal best in the 10K by 3 minutes. It was pretty great. More on that later.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Love you, Colorado

This was the view from a recent Sunday morning long run (for the locals, its just west of Coalton trail). Amazing, isn't it?

Every time I drive to work I crest a hill with a gorgeous view of those flatirons. Most days I don't really notice how stunning they are. Today, I'm really appreciating them.

What is the view from your town?



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Styled: Marco Suarez Inspired Dining Room

This week's Styled post comes from an artist I've drawn a good deal of inspiration from lately - Marco Suarez. His photography is just stunning. Cali Coast 1 is on my wish list! I had fun creating this dining room inspired by it. 

1. Wishbone Chair from Design within Reach
2. Cali Coast 1 by Marco Suarez
3. Antique Silver 3-Light Hanging Lamp from Weylandts
4. Pincushion Napkins by SkinnyLaminx on Etsy
5. Gone Rural Woven Placemats via John Lewis
6. Silver Sapling Spoon by LEIF
7. Lappljung Rug from Ikea
8. Oslo Extension Dining Table from Crate and Barrel



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peaches & Cream Cupcakes {with Strawberries}

Peaches are in season these days in Colorado (and by in season I mean perfectly sweet, ripe, and juicy- heaven!). It seemed very fitting to choose a peachy recipe for cupcakes - so feast your eyes on these gorgeous babies! I'd like you to meet the best Peaches-and-Cream (and Strawberries) Cupcake recipe on earth. Best of all, its a high-altitude recipe - meaning the cupcakes actually come out moist and soft and light. Like my Mom, I'm a bake-from-scratch person. I definitely enjoy the satisfaction of starting with basic ingredients and ending up with something spectacular and delicious. The trouble is, I live in Denver - the Mile High City - meaning baking isn't so straightforward. This recipe really delivered. So, without further ado, the recipe: 

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes (with Strawberries) - High Altitude Recipe
Makes 30 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon strawberry extract (optional - use 2 teaspoons vanilla extract if you prefer)
3 eggs + 1 egg white
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped peaches, skins removed
1/2 cup chopped strawberries

For the whipped cream frosting:

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare two cupcake pans with liners.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add vanilla extract. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Add and blend half of the dry ingredients, the milk, and then the other half of the dry ingredients. Try not to over blend at this stage, as it can over work the flour and make your cupcakes dense. Once everything is mixed together, fold in the peeled, chopped peaches and chopped strawberries.

Fill each cupcake wrapper three-quarters full with batter. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the whipped cream frosting, whip together the cream and maple syrup in a large bowl on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form, about 1-3 minutes. While whipping, taste your cream. Add more maple syrup if you feel it should be sweeter. Refrigerate until cupcakes are cool.

These babies are piped using the ziploc bag method. Easy, cheap, and available. Works for me!

{recipe adapted from She Makes and Bakes}

This recipe is definitely a keeper.



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Styled - Isca Greenfield-Sanders Inspired Sitting Room

This week's Styled post is inspired by an amazing painting by Isca Greenfield-Sanders, titled Film Edge (Yellow Tree, Pink Sky). I adore it. The blended yellow pink and indigo combination is just lovely. I thought it would be the perfect centerpiece for a sitting room with some eclectic details and welcoming vibe. 

1. Constantinople Chandelier by Anthropologie
2. Small Repurposed Frame by Anthropologie
3. Film Edge, (Yellow Tree, Pink Sky) by Isca Greenfield Sanders
4. Yellow Pillow by Festive Home Decor on Etsy
5. Fiddleback Frame by Anthropologie
6. Beckman Chair by School House Electric & Supply Co.
7. Messenger Leather Journal by LovetoJournaldotcom on Etsy
8. Turned Pedestal Side Table by West Elm
9. Plymoth Marfil Ivory Rug by




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