Hello Home Shoppe

#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. Here are some photos from the event!

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?

If we still lived in NYC, I would most certainly belong to The Brooklyn Grange's flower CSA! These local wildflowers make me weak in the knees. 

These bee hives come with a great story. To our horror, there were a ton of dead bees on the ground outside the hives. However to our relief this is totally normal! Apparently, towards the end of the season, all the lady bees kick out the men from the hive. Talk about female-dominated societies ;)

 I don't think we've ever scribbled down so many notes before--so many gardening tips!  Note to self: must plant fairytale eggplants! These sunflowers we scattered everywhere around the farm. They make us happy! 

These heirloom tomatoes are the envy of fair weather gardeners everywhere! 

We were treated to these sweeping views overlooking the navy yard and into lower Manhattan. 

How cute is this Brooklyn Grange hideout overlooking the farm? Oh, and the view at sunset--swoon!

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!

Thanks to everyone who made the evening magical! 

Emily + Erick

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.

Enjoy!

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

Enjoy!

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.

Wild Maine Blueberry Scones

Lately, Erick and I have been reminiscing about a trip we took to Maine almost exactly a year ago. We were happily remembering drives up the coast, lobster rolls at roadside stands, and of course, blueberry everything. Thoughts of our trip combined with the fact that we're aching for the long, lazy days of summer ahead gave us the worst blueberry pang. (There's something so quintessentially New-England-in-the-summer about freshly picked wild blueberries, isn't there? Some of our happiest memories involve lying on top of a mountain, eating our fill from wild blueberry bushes.) The cure to our blueberry ails? Blueberry scones of course! Read below for our recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Stick of Butter, chopped
  • 1 Cup Dried Wild Maine Blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Large Egg, divided into yolk and white

*While wild blueberries aren't in season where we live just yet, dried versions will do in a pinch.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a medium bowl.

3. Cut in butter with a pastry knife or use your fingers to gently massage until mixture looks sandy.

4. Add blueberries and sugar to mixture.

5. Add egg yolk to buttermilk and whisk to blend. Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and gently stir until soft dough forms.

6. Turn dough onto floured countertop and knead a few times. Cut dough in half and form into two mounds approx. 6" in diameter each.

7. Score dough with knife to make 6 wedges, being careful not to cut all the way through. 

8. Brush remaining egg white on the tops of the scones. Sprinkle with extra sugar if desired and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!

Emily + Erick

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs w/ Honest Alchemy

When our friend and (natural-dye authority) Beth of Honest Alchemy invited us over to her studio to try our hand at naturally dyeing Easter eggs, we jumped at the chance. We had read about dyeing Easter eggs naturally before (the store kits have some pretty nasty synethetic dyes in them--red dye #3 anyone?) but it wasn't Beth asked that we got our opportunity. Having done a quick Google search before hand, I had assumed we'd find cauldrons of bubbling onion skins or blueberries, but instead we found ground up insect shells. Well, technically cochineal shells if we're getting into specifics. Beth, who works primarily with organic natural indigo dye, has been experimenting with other natural dyes and low and behold, these insects made the most beautiful shade of pinkish purple.

In all, we created a subtle pallet by using the following natural dyes: ground turmeric from a local spice shop which produced a pretty ocher color, organic natural indigo (ranged from sea blue to royal blue depending on saturation time), boiled madder root (ranged from soft blush to rosy rouge), and cochineal which produced a luscious raspberry tone.

Read below for directions!

Things You Will Need

  • Madder Root, ground
  • Cochineal
  • Tumeric
  • Natural Indigo 
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Wax and Paint Brush (optional)
  • Large pot for boiling water
  • Glass containers large enough to fit an egg

Directions

1.) Put a large pot of water on to boil and melt wax if desired. 

2.) Meanwhile, grind up cochineal and madder root with mortar and pestle. 

3.) Put two tables spoons of ground up cochineal, madder root, and turmeric in glass jars. Fill up with water and stir to mix. Make natural indigo dye according to directions and put in a jar

4.) Now that you have your natural dye baths, you are ready to dye! Before you dye, try using a paintbrush to draw patterns on eggs with melted wax.

5.) Dunk in your eggs and let sit for desired amount of time. Try experimenting by mixing different colors.

Enjoy!

Emily + Erick + Beth

Ginger Beer with Lavender + Honey

Anyone who follows food trends knows that ginger beer is enjoying its moment in the spotlight right now. Whether holding its own in a fancy cocktail, or cropping up on the menu of some of the hottest restaurants, the spicy allure of ginger beer is undeniable. That said, when we happened upon a bottle of Fentimans at the market, we knew we had to turn it into a fancy drink.

We love the combination of lavender and honey and think it pairs well with the snappy notes of the ginger in this drink. It's the perfect thirst quencher for the warm months ahead--bubbly, bright, and refreshing. Make a pitcher of this drink and serve it at brunch, or make a solo glass and sip it on your stoop--either way, we know what we'll be sipping all summer!

Ingredients

Makes about two cups

  • 1 Bottle of Ginger Beer
  • 1 tsp Lavender Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp of Meyer Lemon Juice + Wedge for garnish

Lavender Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2 cups sugar

Bring water, lavender, and sugar to boil. Simmer for about five minutes. Cool and strain lavender flowers from syrup. Store for up to a week.

Directions

1.) Mix ginger beer, lavender syrup, honey, and lemon in a glass.

2.) Garnish with lemon wedge + enjoy!

Emily + Erick