Entertaining

Eat

An Instant Pot Trial By Fire

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I have been dying for an Instant Pot. But only because everyone on the Internets told me I should be dying for an Instant Pot; I didn't even know what these things do, exactly. Aren't they just...crockpots? ...Sort of?

Apparently Instant Pots cook meals in a fraction of the time you'd expect...but, as I completely do not understand the science behind pressure-cooking, it is very hard for me to believe that a meal that should ordinarily take eight hours to cook can take half an hour. That's some magic shit right there.

Entertaining

Just A Few Lovely Fall Fragrances

Ulli x Kahina Giving Beauty Candle

A friend of mine once stopped by without warning, and entered my house only to point at the candle I had burning on my desk. "You," she said, "are the only person I know who actually lights candles when you're just sitting at home by yourself."

That cannot be true. ...Doesn't everybody keep candles lit at all times?

Eat

The Spooky Black Geode Cake

This cake was, shall we say, a freewheeling design. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my son's annual Halloween-themed birthday party - an all-black cake (inside and out) with bugs somehow involved (because eight-year-old boys, et cetera), and I thought maybe it'd be cool to have the bugs sort of coming out of the cake as if they'd been inside, but when I got to the part where I'd actually do that, I was stumped.

I wanted a crack in the cake of some sort, but didn't want it to look like, you know...a mistake.

And then I remembered the geode cake. It's all over Pinterest these days, and I've been dying to try one, and you know what geodes have?! CRACKS. (Sort of; you know what I mean.)

Decor

A ‘Fall Florals’ Tablescape…For People Who Aren’t Into Fall Florals

I am not a "fall colors" person - orange is not my jam. But the fall tablescape I put together to shoot Noritake's new Charlotta Gold dinnerware collection (featuring gold edges that are microwave! safe! YES) turned out to be one of my all-time favorites.

I started with my go-to palette (gold and white, pale pinks, texture and texture and texture), then added in autumnal elements with the eucalyptus, tall grasses, wintry berries, and wheat. One styling trick I've returned to again and again over the years (dating wayyyyy back to the flowers-in-a-teacup years, #memories): I love placing florals in unexpected containers, like the vintage tea light holders you see up there, and even laying them directly on the table (as I did with the wheat). It just feels so casual and light and easy.

Related: How To Make Candles In Your Mismatched Teacups

Crafts for the Uncrafty

“Cave Of Wonders” Birthday Cake (With Rainbow Interior)

I want to be humble about this one, but it took me five hours, so I'm not going to be. (Granted, the creation process might have been slowed down ever-so-slightly by the fact that I was catching up on the 2-part season finale of The Bachelorette while fondant-ing, but STILL.)

So. To recap, the make-an-impossibly-fancy-birthday-cake-for-my-child tradition started with the Mermaid Cake (a process that began with my friend Alisa taking pity on me and teaching me how to make a cake that did not turn out like this).

Then came the Spooky Ghost Cake, the Moana Cake, the Bloodshot Eyeball Cake, and the Tie-Dye Rainbow Cake. This year my daughter suggested a "Moana Rainbow Unicorn Mermaid Cake," but I gently steered her in the direction of something a) new, and b) not that, because the chances of me executing that extremely specific vision were zero, and?


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