Monthly Archives: July 2016


Spiced Stout Pancakes

July 26, 2016

Spiced Stout Pancakes

Sometimes the best recipes come from desperation. Each Sunday we do Big Breakfast. We usually make eggs, pancakes, bacon, the whole nine yards. One weekend though, we didn’t realize we were out of milk. Noooooo! That meant no pancakes! That is until our brilliant roommate mentioned stout pancakes.

Stout pancakes? Why not. If mimosas are a brunch staple, let’s invite the darker side to the table. And because of a well intentioned Costco run, our stout to milk supply was heavily favoring the Guinness.

Spiced Stout Pancakes

And in the name of simplicity (I, Sailor Moon!! Nope, wrong post.) and using less measuring cups, we stick to using Aunt Jemima’s Original pancake mix. Either from scratch or boxed, use whatever go-to pancake mix you like!

Spiced Stout Pancakes
1 cup go-to base pancake mix
1 T oil
1 egg
1 cup stout beer
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 tsp cinnamon

Spiced Stout Pancakes

If you’re using boxed mix, start by combining all the ingredients the box calls for minus the milk. Instead, wherever it calls for milk, add the cup of stout.

With the base mix ready, whisk in the cheddar cheese and cinnamon. If you find the batter to be runny you can always add a bit more dry mix or cheese. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes for the perfectly fluffy pancakes, then cook as usual.

Spiced Stout Pancakes

Serve hot and with lots of syrup! The blend of stout, cinnamon, & cheddar makes a surprisingly light pancake with none of the flavors overpowering each other. Pair with a citrus breakfast bowl to really bring it together.

Add this one to your home brunch rotation list and tell me what you guys think!

Create - Explore

Modern Planters | To Buy & DIY

July 21, 2016

modern planters roundup

So Tuesday was the first post in The Dirt series. You got your spray bottle, the right soil, and are feeling pretty good about starting. Butttttttt your planter options are less than thrilling. Hopefully the first post drove home the importance of planters with drainage.

And while there is a certain appeal to a sill of terracotta (and ease), sometimes a garden needs something a little more. All the planters featured here for buying or diy-ing have drainage or can be easily adapted for drainage! You don’t have to sacrifice function or form. Links below followed by drainage adaptation suggestions.

1 | Concrete Planter (Paper & Stitch, DIY)
These are more of a planter cover. You can keep your plants in the plastic pot they came in and house it in these cute concrete homes.

2 | Self Watering Spun Copper Planter – Second Quality (Yield Design Co., $196)
One of my favorite design companies, and they’re from my home area! Huge shoutout to the beautiful work from Yield Design Co. In setting the ‘new American standard’, they occasionally sell second quality pieces at discounted rates.  This planter has built in drainage!

3 | Floating PVC Pipe Window Planter (A Beautiful Mess, DIY)
When drilling the main holes, just flip the pvc over and add a few, smaller drills to the bottom. You can add a colorful towel underneath as a drainage dish alternative!

4 | Small Freya Plant Hanger (Urban Outfitters, $29)
This hanger works as a hanging drainge dish. Add any pot on top for an interesting hanging piece.

5 | Grid Planter (Recreation Center, $70)
Another US made planter with built in drainage.  Josephine knocks it out of the park with her thoughtful and clever ceramics.

6 | Agave Planter Cozy (POPBYTS, $19)
This cozy keeps any 4″ planter extra adorable. All for adding different patterns & textures to collections, and the agave cozy does just that.


The Dirt on: Tools of the Trade

July 19, 2016

beginner gardening tools

Part of the appeal of apartment gardening to me was all the pretty accessories. Copper clipping shears on top of kraft paper with carefully chosen watering cans as cozy backdrops. While I still love those things, I’ve learned that plants do. not. care. They will grow much better if you pay more attention to the soil than what your putting the soil in (I feel a life lesson in here).

So, what do you need to start your apartment gardening dreams? Let’s start with the basics and build from there. You’ll need:

beginner gardening tools

Potting Soil
Did you know there are more types of soil and soil mixes than Jeni’s ice cream flavors? You don’t have to be paralyzed by information overload though. Because this series is focusing on apartment herb gardening, you can use normal potting soil for most indoor, potted herbs. Some of the Mediterranean herbs, like Rosemary & Sage, will need sandier soil. I like using Herb Gardening’s articles to learn soil requirements.

Do not swap out for garden soil or with dirt from outside! Potting soil is much lighter and mixed to promote water control in potted plants. This is especially important to prevent root rot down the line. Using any old dirt from outside can introduce diseases that will make quick work out of your baby transplants or seeds.

beginner gardening tools

For my first lemon balm I tried being creative and using a glass bowl as a planter. Lemon balm needs to be kept moist and the glass element rounded out my planting shelf. Well, moist doesn’t mean wet, and wet roots does mean dead plant. I learned that any planter without drainage holes is not suited for healthy plant growth. Even that mid-century modern planter on sale from West Elm that’s been in your cart for months. It won’t look as cute with a dead plant anyways.

What should you be using? Look for ones with good drainage that are deep enough for root growth. Terracotta is an exceptionally popular choice because the clay breathes and helps with moisture control. The minimum size you should get for starter plants is one you can comfortably fit the starter in with extra soil on all sides. If you go with pots, make sure to get the draining dishes for underneath to protect wherever you set up your garden from water.

beginner gardening tools

I didn’t forget this is an apartment gardening series!  Maybe you live in a carpeted studio with no vacuum or a 6th story flat with no access to an outdoor space. Cardboard will be your friend. Use a shallow, cardboard box or flat sheet as a gardening work space to easily trash extra dirt all at once, no sweeping required!

Old Towels
Another easily overlooked tool that helps tremendously with indoor gardening are towels. Use them to carry plant babies to and from the sink for a deep watering and as a cute alternative to drainage dishes. For my plants that don’t need a lot of water, I like using the striped towel to add some color and texture to the plant shelf.

Spray Bottle
For deep waterings, you’ll most likely water in your sink to prevent water overflow around the house. Instead of a watering can, I use a spray bottle for dry day mistings. I’ve found that overwatering is very easy with big watering cans, and you can’t directly get to the base soil. Most edible plants & succulents really don’t like their leaves getting wet.

beginner gardening tools

Plant Log
Last but not least! A log isn’t really a necessity, but it’s still helpful. Each plant comes with their own water, soil, & lighting needs, and growing more than a few babies can be hard to keep track of.  Right now I use a small journal, but I saw Steph’s (from Make & Tell) outdoor garden planner and was inspired to start creating a printable one for indoor herb growing. Hope to have that up by next week, so keep coming back!

Hope you got all the dirt you need to get your own beginner gardening tools. Got any questions/comments? Leave them below! There’s still a lot I’m learning and I’d love to hear from you guys too. See you next week!


Introducing New Series: The Dirt, Your Guide to Apartment Gardening

July 12, 2016

New Series: Apartment Garden

Hey everyone! That hiatus took a bit longer than expected. New laptop all set up, completely moved into the new place, and settled in at the new job. Phew! Now it’s solidly into summer and I can dive right into the series I’ve been most excited about bringing you guys: Apartment Gardening.

I’m sure you’ve seen all the gorgeous windowsill setups, modern plant stand diy’s, and adorable pots all over Pinterest. And when there’s so many, it gives you a sense of ‘If everyone can, I can’ right? Well, turns out gardening, especially indoors, is not as easy as picking out swoon worthy planters & popping in any plant. Some poor plants *might* have been sacrificed to the learning curves of this series.

Let’s all learn from my mistakes shall we? I’ll be dishing The Dirt on what I’ve learned and walk you through setting up a real, functional, indoor garden.

What’s to come?:
Find out what tools you really need
How to choosing the right pot
Harvest, Prune, & Propagate
Cocktail Garden
Tea Garden

And we won’t just leaf it there, we’ll through in some diy’s and bring the herbs into the kitchen for cocktails, teas, butters & salts! So put down some roots and get cozy. Lots more to come!