leah

ROOM TOUR: THE BOYS’ PLAYROOM

It only took me 2 1/2 years to organize my playroom… but it’s finally looking pretty good! All that I needed was a system. Thankfully my besties The Home Edit let me bother them over and over about what to do. They suggested I color code shelves for easy cleanup, and label bins so that everything has a home. I purchased some inexpensive solutions, all linked below! Truly hoping this makes clean up easier for my kids and me!

Board games and puzzles on the top row, books on the middle row, and baskets filled with smaller items on the bottom row. ROYGBIV everything so everyone knows where it goes!

For decor, I tried to stick to 3 colors: mint, golden yellow, and red. Keeps things easy!

CLICK FOR SOURCES:

Shelves under the TV

& Baskets (10″)

Bin clips

Removable tape for bin labels (but I wrote with a sharpie)

Round white and mint bin – Target Pillowfort, only in stores

Shelves under the window (2)

& Bins

Shelves under the artwork

Baskets (ikea, no longer available)

White fluffy chair

Yellow lamp (Target, no longer available)

Mint woven bin

Anyone feed the kids art print

Art table

Aqua chairs

ART WALL:

Pennant

Map

Man playing trumpet

Lion & people

Cow

School bus

Let me know if you have any questions!!

xo

Leah

HOLIDAY CARDS WITH MINTED.COM

Have you ever used Minted? Ok, click HERE and you’re welcome. Oh and pppssst! 20% off your holiday cards through today at noon PST with discount code: CM2015.
Minted did my holiday cards this year, and I am beyond grateful!! I could just rave about the whole process forever, but I’ll try to keep it brief. First of all, the quality is SO good. My cards have silver foil, people! The options are endless depending on your photo and the number of photos you want. It’s all tailored to you with ease. I had too many good photos to chose from (captured by the brilliant Kate Davis! Family photo shoot HERE) so I chose a backing with space for 6 more photos. My favorite part? The envelopes are pre-addressed for you! For free. Whaaaat?? And the wraparound labels with my return address just make the whole card come together like a little package. Could not be happier! You can purchase my holiday card design HERE.
Happy Everything!
xo
-L

ROOM TOUR: LIVING ROOM

I had to capture the one moment in time my house was clean by photographing it! This is my living room which opens up to the kitchen (not clean enough to photograph). It’s not particularly “styled” with design pieces and plants (I wish) since my 1.5 year old would destroy it, but it’s just enough so it feels like home. 
We love this room for two main reasons: the rug and the beams! The oriental rug was passed down to us from Jeffrey’s Nanaw (she truly was a fabulously glamorous lady), and I love every little detail on there. It makes the room warm and cozy, and we love thinking of Nanaw each time we look at it! 
This room, being a double story felt a little too open and cold, so we added beams a couple months ago. It’s changed the whole feel of the house to us- we are obsessed! The Tenneessee Barn Project found these 100-year-old hand hewn beams in an old barn. We love all the beautiful inconsistencies in these beams and the iron supports that hold them up. Industrial chic at it’s finest! I still have plans for a laundry room makeover and a new kitchen table from them eventually!
Thanks for taking a peak! Click links below for sources.
-L
SOURCES:
Fan – Lumens
TV console – Restoration Hardware
Leather club chair – Restoration Hardware
Coffee table – Crate & Barrel
Glass jugs – Haven
Couch – Havertys
All throw pillows – Ikea
Blanket – Jonathan Adler
Glass lamp – Ikea
USA map print – Alison Hardcastle
Nashville print – Rock Paper Scissors
Buffalo print – Animal Print Shop
Entry way light fixture – Joss & Main
Door wreath – Target
Kitchen bar stools – Restoration Hardware
Metal orbs (similar) – Target

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE!

It was my husband’s birthday yesterday, and every year his two requests for gifts from me are: 
1. “Don’t spend money”
2. “Bake my favorite chocolate cake”
I’d say I get off pretty easy!
Update: The picture above is the cake I made for MY birthday! It’s the same cake recipe but with peanut butter frosting (recipe below)
Not to toot my own horn… but I’m going to. This cake is the BEST. It’s super m-o-i-s-t (don’t say it out loud) and super chocolaty in a not-to-sweet way. It’s pretty easy too!
THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER EVER EVER
Cake Recipe
Adapted from Ina Garten
Ingredients:
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans (I use bread flour)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups (good!!) cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon (good) pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. 
Line with the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. I like to flour the pans with extra cocoa powder!
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. 
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. 
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. 
With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Always bake for a few minutes less if you’ve never made this recipe before, so you don’t over-bake the cakes. You can always add more time, you can’t take away! 
Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
CHOCOLATE FROSTING RECIPE
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery
Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
2 tablespoons whole milk, room temp
12 ounces chocolate, melted and cooled (I use Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate)
1 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 teaspoon (good!!) vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Directions: 
To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain.  
Add 1 tsp of fleur de sel or kosher salt (my secret ingredient).
Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-15 minutes.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, 3 minutes. 
Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. 
Add the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes. 
Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. 
Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until a desired consistency is reached. I whip it for a couple minutes so it’s nice and fluffy!
My two cute helpers
Ari said “Happy Birthday, Daddy! Daddy, how old are you turning? Oh wow, 32? Does that mean you’re going to go bald soon?”

UPDATE: I just made this cake for my birthday but with peanut butter frosting! Recipe as follows:

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
Ina Garten
Ingredients:
1 c powdered sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp butter, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c heavy cream
Directions:
Beat all ingredients except the cream in a mixer on low until creamy. Add the cream and beat on high until fluffy and smooth. There was enough for the top and middle layer of the cake, keeping the sides bare. You may want to double the recipe if you’ll be frosting the whole cake.

You are going to LOVE this!! Enjoy!
-L