Hello Home Shoppe

Mast Brothers Brew Bar


This past weekend while visiting friends and family in Brooklyn, Erick and I caught wind that Mast Brothers had just opened a brand new "brew bar" a few doors down from their original Williamsburg location. Despite only having a faint guess of what the brew bar entailed (artisanal chocolate milks? drinking chocolate? egg creams?!), we knew this was for us. Just for some context here, the two of us are Mast Brothers superfans. Not in the tried-it-before-and-really-liked-it way either, like serious fans. You see, admittedly we are food snobs for two things in this world: good coffee and craft chocolate. Given the choice between some soulless sous-vide modernist cooking and a plate of poached eggs and home fries at the local greasy spoon, we would undoubtably choose the ladder. However, when it comes to chocolate and coffee, there's no compromising--the good stuff has ruined us and we can't look back. Although we are equally fond of other craft chocolate brands like Woodblock Chocolate, Dandelion, and Patric, Mast Brothers was our first love in the craft chocolate world and remains our favorite today. For reference, Erick's birthday was also this weekend and he received 10 Mast Brothers chocolate bars and their 24oz Chocolate Chef's Tablet, sooooo yeah in that kind of fans.


Anyway, we digress! We headed to the new space with our friends Brandon and Jay not really sure of what to expect. Unsurprisingly, their new space is beautiful. It reminds us a lot of their chocolate store with big, airy windows, lovely white interiors, and minimalist decor. 

Menu wise, this Eater article suggested they had items like chocolate soda, however when we got there the menu was pared down to offer just hot pour overs and cold brewed cacao beans. Basically, it's the same concept as pour over and cold brew coffee, except with roasted cacao nibs instead of beans. When ordering, you can get your drink "red" (their equivalent to black coffee) or slightly sweetened with syrup and milk. Since it was hot out, Erick and I both ordered cold brews--me, the Brooklyn Blend (my favorite!) and him, the Brew of The Day (Madagascar). At first, we were kind of thrown off by the consistency, which was really watery (duh, not sure what we expected?!) kind of like an iced tea. I think our brains were confused because it literally tasted like drinking the Brooklyn Blend bar, but without the satisfying creaminess of biting into a bar? It was strange and delicious. Erick's cold brew tasted really juicy and fruity, almost not like chocolate at all, but in a good way! ~PROFESSIONAL FOOD CRITIC REVIEW THAT WE'RE TOTALLY QUALIFIED TO GIVE~: Our drinks were really tasty, but slightly unsatisfying in a puzzling way. Maybe subconsciously we just really wanted some rich drinking chocolate, or was confused if this drink should be thirst quenching like iced tea, or amiss that it didn't give me a jolt like iced coffee. Either way, we're going to try this again (and maybe when I'm less hungry)! 

Have a great weekend!

Emily + Erick

Summer's End + Poppytalk Post

Although we just got back from working remotely in the Adirondacks this past weekend, the mountains are still calling our name. Only a day after our return home by way of Long Island (our car broke down leaving us stranded so Erick's parents collected us!) we were sitting around this crackling campfire on the Appalachian Trail. Summer is ebbing away and we feel like we're swimming upstream trying to take it all in before its last gasp. Not that we mind the changing of the seasons--fall is our favorite--but it's more about being hyper aware of all the fleeting joys of summer: eating tomatoes off the vine, impromptu beach picnics with friends, swimming in the lake, country drives to get ice cream, rooftops at sunset. We created this DIY Campfire Cooking Station for Poppytalk as both as a goodbye to summer and a warm welcome to the coming fall months. We've got some big plans for this cooking station in the fall: did someone say fall harvest stew dinner party in the woods? I guess we don't mind fall afterall ;)

What are you going to do with your remaining summer days? We'd love to hear!

Emily + Erick

Cuttalossa's Eternal Summer Giveaway

To celebrate the last fleeting days of summer, our friends at Cuttalossa are giving away their Baklava Style Pestemal. Though we'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite item from her collection (we'll take one of each please!), this beautiful turkish textile would probably be it! 

Not only is this towel handwoven by artisan weavers and made of 100% organic cotton and natural dyes, we love it for its versatility. It's great used as a luxurious bath towel, spread as a picnic blanket, or stashed in beach bag for one last summer hurrah! What are you waiting for? Head over HERE to Cuttalossa's blog to enter! 


Good luck everyone!

Emily + Erick

#FoodPornIndex InstaMeet at Brooklyn Grange

This past weekend, we were thrilled to attend Bolthouse Farms and Mobile Media Lab's #foodpornindex InstaMeet at The Brooklyn Grange. Our lovely host for the evening was one of our favorite still life photographers, Sharon Radisch who gave us a lesson in food photography after we toured the beautiful Navy Yard location of the farm. As lovers of both food photography and gardening, we were pretty much imploding with joy over the evening's itinerary.

As many of you know, we are huge organic gardening fans, so touring the rooftop farm of the Brooklyn Grange was truly a big check off our bucket list. I can't believe we never made it there when we lived in NYC--if you ever visit, make it a priority to stop there--they even have summer movie nights and dinners. Sounds dreamy right? I don't think we've ever scribbled down so many notes before--so many gardening tips!  Note to self: must plant fairytale eggplants! To cap off the evening, Erick and I worked as a team as I styled our just-picked veggies and he shot them. If only we always had a 360 view of New York and that much light when we shot all our posts...as opposed to the tiny corner of our porch that gets light for maybe two hours a day. Hey, we can dream! Here are some photos from the event!

Thanks to everyone who made the evening magical! 

Emily + Erick

Happy S'mores Day!

Hey! Did you know that today is National 'Smores Day today? Well, consider yourself educated! Although this has been the summer of epic 'smores for us, we took extra liberties today! You see, today also happens to be Erick's birthday, which we both find particularly fitting since he is an exceptional 'smores aficionado. When we were first dating, we would split giant bowls of gooey 'smores sundaes from Max Brenners so the dessert intrinsically brings up warm and fuzzy memories. I mean, really what's not to love? To celebrate Erick's birthday, I whipped up this pretty intense 'smores cake and we plan to devour it soon with family and friends. Hope everyone has fun celebrating! Oh, and if you need a fun recipe, check out our 'smores popsicles!

Happy Monday?! + Poppytalk Post

Although we took a pledge never to begrudge Mondays when we stopped working corporate jobs, let's be real: most weeks, we're still dreaming of the weekend. No matter how much we love what we do, brunching, obscene amounts of pie baking, walks with the pup etc. will always beat out spreadsheets.

That said, we're big believers of scheming about our next big weekend plans/next project/new recipe to make and we've got the perfect beginning-of-the-week-pick-me-up-project: this DIY Outdoor Heated Shower we made for Poppytalk.com. We had so much fun making this project and we hope you do too---weekend here we come! Check out the post on Poppytalk HERE.


Emily + Erick

Mason Shaker Cocktail Workshop

Philly friends! We are excited to announce that we will be leading this fun cocktail workshop on behalf of our friends at Meadowsweet Mercantile! Join us on Saturday, August 23rd for this three hour workshop where we will mix (and taste!) our way through the book Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails. After the workshop, we're sending you home with your own Mason Shaker Cocktail Kit ($50 value) that includes the classic Mason Shaker, jigger, and muddler. Tickets are available at the door or on Eventbrite page HERE.

We hope you can join us!

Emily + Erick

Apartment Picks From Uncommon Goods

Now that we’re rapidly approaching mid-summer, Erick and I have turned our thoughts to planning our move this fall. At the moment, we’re sorting through details like where we want to live (we love our town 45 mins outside of Philadelphia, but the commute in for work is getting old), whether we want to rent an apartment or house, what we can afford…the list goes on!

With so much up in the air, I’ve been distracting myself by focusing on the fun parts of the move: decorating the apartment! Now that we’re out of college, Erick and I have made a point to try to phase out our old Ikea wares in favor of more lasting, quality goods. That's why I've recently been smitten with Uncommon Goods: they have a great selection of home decor and handmade gifts that are made by artisans around the world and built to last. Click here to see more from their home decor collection! Here's a roundup of our favorite apartment picks:

1. Office: since we spend so much time in our office, we want it to be light airy, and fun. White walls and big windows are a must so that Erick can take photos and build out a mini studio, but we also need space for a big shared desk. We'd put this Gilded Amethyst Paperweight on our desk to liven up boring paperwork and hang up fun prints above our desk to add color to the room. 

2. Bedroom: Our current room is inspired by the book "Bringing The Outdoors In" by Shane Powers. We try to emulate Power's design mantra by incorporating as much of the outdoor world inside--this means lots of plants, natural elements, and homemade specimen boxes from our favorite places. This Terrra Table Lamp would fit in perfectly with our style perched on a bedside table. We also want to invest in beautiful planters (aka not the cheap plastic ones that fall apart!)

3. Bathroom: Although our dream bathroom would include tile floors and claw foot tub, we still want to make our actual bathroom as much as an oasis as possible. We love filing our home with candles and these Beach Rock Candles are perfect for a relaxing soak in the tub. Also, never underestimate the power of some quality bath products--we love picking up finds from the health food store, or mixing our own. 

4. Living Area: We're not really big TV people so our living area (which will most likely be the other half of the "office") will be a comfy nook devoted to reading and relaxing. This Bubble Wall Clock would remind us to put the book down and get some zzz's when we're up late binging on Game of Thrones books. 

5. Kitchen: Since we love cooking (obvious if you read our blog!), we'd like our kitchen to be good balance of form and function. We love growing our own vegetables (we have 20 heirloom tomato plants at the moment), but know that we can only winter over a few select plants like our hardiest herbs. How cute would potted herbs look on this Fire Escape Shelf in the kitchen? We also need to invest in some good serve ware--lately were loving anything ceramic and organic shaped! 

Check out more fun handmade gifts for your apartment from Uncommon Goods here

*Sponsored post note: We were compensated for this post by Uncommon Goods. All ideas expressed are our own. 

Emily + Erick


Psst..We're on Poppytalk!

For this month's Poppytalk contribution, we were inspired to create a project for outdoor summer entertaining. Lately, we've been eating outside pretty much every night that it isn't raining, but we needed to find a solution for the mosquitos that were eating us alive (eek!). We came up with this DIY Natural Citronella Candle and it has worked wonders! Check out the tutorial in Poppytalk here. 

DIY Citronella Candle


Emily + Erick

Arugula Harvest

What is it about the changing of the seasons that compels us to take a step back and reflect? For us, I think it's the fact that this year speeding by while we flounder around trying to dig in our heels and slow down time.

Lately, (as you may or may not have noticed) it's been pretty quite around here on Hello Home Shoppe. Between joining a creative agency with friends (and re-launching it into a totally new concept!), catering jobs in Philly, a trip to the West Coast, a bad hand injury that left Emily unable to type, and just taking time for our sanity, we've had to concentrate a lot of our energy elsewhere these past few months. That said, we admit that this year has totally gotten away from us. Just last week, we were trying to wrap our heads around the fact that it was already half way through the year. Now, summer is nearly upon us--and seemingly every weekend is accounted for with work or personal commitments--we just want to scream "waaaaiiiiit nooo slow down!!" 

Despite the chaos, one thing that does help us take a moment to reflect is working on our tiny garden. There's something so therapeutic about getting your hands in the dirt that melts away stress. We cherish every moment spent outside: the smell of wet earth after rain, the taught green skin on your first tiny tomato, watching something grow. A few days ago, as if to herald the end of spring, we harvested our arugula. A seemingly simple task that seriously flipped a switch in our mindset: it's no longer spring anymore. Although we have done a lackluster job of tending to this blog this spring, like any garden, it just needs some love and it will bounce back in no time.