I Want it Now: New Moto Boots

A Feteful Life: I Want it Now: Moto Boots

 

I had the best pair of moto boots in college — just the right balance of height and “toughness,” without being overly embellished. And I haven’t found a good pair since. I just bought some for my daughter and decided it was time to start looking for a pair myself. And I love this Rag + Bone pair – I want them now!

Fete Local: Off the Beaten Track Warehouse

A Feteful Life: Off The Beaten Track

I had the good fortune of stumbling across Off the Beaten Track Warehouse while reading about the office makeover of another DC local business (Cherry Blossom Creative), who incorporated a vintage farm table into their otherwise very modern design office. And it was that move that caught my eye. I’m much more of a mid-century modern gal than a lover of rustic vintage, but I like the idea of incorporating vintage decor and furniture in a modern space to help add some balance, depth, and personalization. Then I read more about the concept behind Off the Beaten Track and I knew we had to go visit.

The 36,000 square foot warehouse not only houses a huge showroom full of vintage pieces placed in cleverly helpful vignettes, but also offers a large amount of affordable workspace to DC artists. Supporting the arts and small businesses? Well, that was our whole idea behind starting the Fete Local series in the first place! And Greg Kimball and Wendy Hauenstein, the husband-and-wife owners, clearly spent some time selecting a variety of artisans who could help support them in turn. Off the Beaten Track includes the workspaces of an iron worker, a wooden furniture designer, and a coffee roaster, just to name a few.

Wendy graciously showed us around the entire warehouse a few weeks ago, introducing us to the various artists as we poked around. On top of all the love for local artists, Off the Beaten Track has an amazing selection of reasonably-priced vintage decor and furniture. Every few steps I discovered something that I would love to use in my home or workspace. And I love how they use vintage photos as price tags — it’s always the little details that standout. I highly recommend hightailing it over to the warehouse to check it our yourself. It is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am – 4 pm and the first and last Saturday of the month from 12 – 6 pm.

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

A Feteful Life: Off the Beaten Track

 

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes

A Feteful Life: Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes

My husband is not a big sweets person. It drives me nuts! I have a super sweet tooth, so whenever I make a dessert at home, he’ll have just a taste (to humor me) and I end up eating or tossing out the rest of it. But it was his birthday yesterday and, despite his general ambivalence towards sweets, he does love a good peanut butter chocolate combo. So I wanted to make him something sweet to celebrate and came across a super easy (as in, my kids made most of it) no bake recipe for peanut butter cup cheesecake. To help keep those servings small, I mini-sized them. It was delicious and just the right serving size. I see a good use of excess Halloween candy in our future ….

Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes (slightly adapted from Beyond Frosting)
makes 10 servings (3.6″ ramekins)

Ingredients
For the crust
- 2 cups sandwich cookie crumbs
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling
- 1 package (8oz) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
-1 package (8oz) whipped topping (thawed)
- 10 peanut butter cups (chopped)

For the garnish
- 6 peanut butter cups (chopped)
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce

Directions
1. Remove the filling from the sandwich cookies and discard. Use a food processor to crush the cookies into a fine crumb. Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl and our over cookie crumbs. Still well until combined.

2. Place a large spoonful into the bottom of each ramekin, using a spoon to compress into crust. Set aside.

3. Whip cream cheese using a mixer set on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add peanut butter and continue to beat until well mixed.

4. Add vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream, increasing mixing speed to medium high and whip for 2-3 minutes. Once combined, add whipped topping and beat into batter. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as you mix.

5. Chop peanut buter cups into small pieces and mix into batter by hand. Spoon filling into prepared ramekins and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

6. Top with additional peanut butter cup pieces and caramel drizzle.

Cocktail Hour: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

I wanted to make a sweet (but not too sweet) cocktail to help celebrate Rosh Hashana using festive holiday flavors. I love, love this drink and the added fun of the pomegranate ice cubes. Moreover, it’s incredibly easy (and still delicious) to make as a mocktail for those who are abstaining from alcohol. Happy New Year, all!

Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail (adapted from Honestly Yum)

Ingredients
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1 – 1/2 oz pomegranate sparkling soda (or plain pomegranate juice)
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz vanilla cardamom syrup
- dash of bitters
- pomegranate ice cubes* and sprig of fresh mint for garnish

Vanilla Cardamom Syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 cardamom pods, cracked open and ground with mortar + pestle

Directions
1. To make vanilla cardamom syrup, add water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Add vanilla extract and ground cardamom and let simmer two minutes before removing from heat. Cool to room temperature and strain through a fine mesh strainer.

2. Fill a glass with pomegranate ice cubes and add vodka, pomegranate sparkling soda, lime juice, vanilla cardamom syrup and dash of bitters. Stir and then garnish with fresh mint.

3. To make this a mocktail, leave out vodka and bitters and add either more pomegranate sparkling soda or sparkling water.

*fill ice cube trays with pomegranate seeds and then with water. freeze overnight.

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Spiced Pomegranate Cocktail

99 Bottles of Beer…

Oktoberfest is in full swing and in honor of this beer-loving time of year I’m rounding up some of my favorite ideas of how to throw an awesome beer tasting party. Who wouldn’t love to celebrate with good food and good beer? It’s a sure winner so get planning and start drinking!

A Feteful Life: Beer tasting party 1. I am OBSESSED with this invitation set from Mint Love Social Club. The fonts, the paper, the design. I love it all!

2. Soft pretzels are one of my all time favorite foods – plus they pair perfectly with beer.

3. Beer is clearly a necessity. I suggest picking a local brewery (like these from DC area Flying Dog Brewery) and sampling their different varieties OR sampling a variety of your local breweries.

4. A chalkboard runner (like this DIY one we did last year) would be a perfect way to set up the tasting.

5. Keep notes on the beers you taste with these awesome coasters.

6. Since the aim is to taste several beers, keep the glasses small. These half pint glasses from Crate & Barrel are perfect.

7. German apple cake is delicious for any occasion but especially after a few beers.

 

 

I Want it Now: Coat Rack

A Feteful Life: I want it now - Ikea Coat Stand

Fall is in the air and that means jackets and backpacks are becoming a part of our daily routine again. We don’t have a coat closet near our front door so all of those things tend to wind up cluttering our banister. But, I’m hoping that this year will be different because I’m getting a coat rack! I’ve been shopping around for them for a while and I think this simple birch one from Ikea is perfection! I want it now! A Feteful Life: I want it now - Ikea Coat Stand

Ask AFL: Fall Handbags

So we’ve had an unofficial “Ask AFL” request. A friend of mine in need of a new fall bag asked when we were going to put up our favorite fall everyday bags (like we did for summer). And even though it didn’t come through official “Ask AFL” channels, I happened to be in the mood for virtual shopping and love my friend C’s sense of style, so I pulled together my favorites (shocking I’m so willing to flaunt the rules, I know). I’m in love with rich colors and jewel tones, and a few black + white bags as well (particularly the animal-inspired polka dots – I really, really want to figure out a way to work that print into Cam’s big girl room — jungle spot wallpaper perhaps?). Have a favorite?!

A Feteful Life: Fall Handbags

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DIY Watercolor Art

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorDuring the summer my son came home from camp with a simple scribbled drawing in crayon that was covered with watercolor paint. I adored it and it gave me some great inspiration for this easy DIY project. I always have a hard time finding art for my home. I’m well past the point in my life where I’m hanging movie posters on the wall but still can’t really afford a one of kind piece of art from a gallery. So, what’s a girl to do? Make her own art of course. And, it’s so simple that you should do it as well. Here’s how to do it.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorI decided to keep my design simple and graphic so it was easy to sketch out on a piece of graph paper.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorOnce I finalized my design, I went over with with a dark black pen so it would be easy to trace onto the watercolor paper.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorNo light table? No problem. I just taped my graph paper to a glass door (or window would work) and placed the watercolor paper over it. Instant light table! I also used masking tape to tape a border for my painting. This isn’t necessary but helps create nice clean lines if you want them.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorOnce I had the watercolor paper all taped up, I used a white crayon to trace over the design. Please do not use a washable crayon if you are using watercolors as the crayon will wash away as you start to add the color. You want a nice waxy crayon to repel the water.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorIt’s a bit hard to see but you can see the white crayon lines on the paper.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorYou don’t need fancy supplies to make art! I’m using the kid’s watercolor palate from IKEA along with their paintbrushes.

A Feteful Life: DIY Watercolor

A Feteful Life: DIY Watercolor

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorNow, just start painting… whatever colors your little heart desires. I usually do a wash of my base color first and then add some little variations of colors once that base is down.

A Feteful Life: DIY WatercolorOnce the paint has dried remove the masking tape boarders and then trim the paper down to whatever size you want. Voila. Easy DIY art that anyone can do. Fete on!

Cocktail Hour: Hemingway Daiquiri

A Feteful Life: Hemingway Daiquiri

While I usually make the mental shift from summer to fall after Labor Day, the actual change of season doesn’t happen until September 22nd. So, in honor of this last week of summer I’m making one last “tropical” cocktail. And, I say that in quotes because most tropical cocktails (and daiquiris for that matter) are super sweet. But this daiquiri is very different — there’s not even an ounce of simple syrup in there!

This cocktail was created at El Floridita in Havana, Cuba whose claim to fame is their creation of the classic daiquiri along with their most famous regular customer, Ernest Hemingway. Apparently, he spent a lot of time there drinking lots of daiquiris and this particular variation became his favorite. And, I have to agree with Hemingway, it’s definitely my favorite daiquiri as well.

So, here’s to summer! Cheers, it was fun. Now bring on the apple picking, pumpkin patch visiting, and turkey roasting. I’m ready for you fall!

The Hemingway Daiquiri (from El Floridita via the kitchn)

Ingredients

2 ounces light rum, such as Flor de Caña Extra Dry 4 Year
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Rosh Hashanah Hostess Gifts

I can’t believe the Jewish New Year starts in just a week! It always sneaks up on me as I’m finally getting into the groove of school. So I tried to plan ahead just a bit this year and pull together a few useful hostess gift ideas incorporating the traditional holiday food customs. L’Shanah Tovah!

A Feteful Life: Rosh Hashanah Hostess Gifts

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