Lavender and Wine

lavenderandboots
I simply canNOT stop wearing this orchid merino wool sweater with gold shoulder zips from J.Crew.  It’s a bit drapey, but with fitted sleeeves and the nice side vents to give it shape. Perfect color for autumn, don’t you think? I love this orchid color with navy, wine (as my boots are), chocolate brown, olive green, deep golden yellow, and tan, like my hat. Such luscious combinations!
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I’ve said before there are about 2 days each year where the shorts-and-boots combo actually works, and this was the fall day! Wool shorts are a unique specimen in and of themselves…because they’re, well…WOOL. SHORTS. I mean…
But I did get compliments on the shorts, and I think they’re super cute with boots. 
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Fall is the absolute perfect time for all of my wool hats, including this gem from American Eagle, believe it or not. I love its curvy 70’s-style brim that highlights sunglasses just perfectly. And the bright bangles and earrings are from J.Crew, too, and add a fun pop of contrast to this outfit.

Have you ever worn shorts with boots? What do you think of the combination?
xo
Natalie

Lavender Hot Chocolate

This is a fancy, intoxicating, luxurious brew. The kind that makes you instinctively curl your knees up on the couch and let out a sigh that encompasses all of the bad things of the day. Then you breathe in the aroma of lavender and dark chocolate and the world seems new again. Winter seems wonderfully inviting. The gloomy world outside doesn’t have anything on this lovely drink’s effect on your happiness. I can’t imagine anything much better than a hot bath, followed by a cozy blanket and this hot chocolate. Go ahead, pamper yourself.
Lavender Hot Chocolate
(basic recipe from Simply Recipes; scaled for 1 mug)
1 cup milk
2 oz. dark chocolate (60% cacao), chopped or chips for easy melting
1 1/2 Tsp. powdered sugar
Splash of vanilla
Pinch of salt
Bring milk and lavender to a simmer in small pot. Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes. Strain the lavender out and return the milk to the pan. Add the dark chocolate, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until chocolate melts and incorporates. Pour into mug, top with whipped cream, and enjoy.

Weeknight Project: Tub Teas

It’s almost Mother’s Day! And that means it’s time to whip up a special treat for the beautiful women in our lives. 
This is a quick and fun project that turns out so cute! A relaxing bath is a rare luxury in just about any household, and one that is sure to be savored. Encourage a moment’s peace with these sachets of relaxing herbs for the bath; they are affectionately termed Chamomile-Lavender Tub Teas.

Gather your supplies: Fabric scraps, thread, needle, scissors, parchment tea filters, ribbon, and herbs of your choice. I used chamomile & lavender for a relaxing blend. You could also use mint & lavender, dried lemon peel, dried rose petals, etc. to create your own blend. You should be able to buy these ingredients in the bulk department of a natural foods store.
Fill the tea filters with your herb mixture. Then, carefully fold the top down by pulling the two corners in to create a point. Then tuck the point under, and fold once more, like a tea bag top (keep one out for reference, if you need it!). Quickly hand-sew a long length of ribbon (long enough that it can be tied to the faucet of the bath and be in the water) in place at the top of this fold, securing the fold as well. 
Then, cut out hearts or use your pinking shears to cut little square fabric “tags.” I did some of both. I recommend using cloth as opposed to paper, since it might get wet. Sew this tag to the other end of the ribbon. Voila! 
Time to package them up! I used my favorite little waxed paper bags and washi tape to recreate another ‘tea bag’ feel for the outer packaging. 
I’ll send these along with a few spa goodies: luscious lip balm, cucumber makeup remover wipes, lotion, and a candle. {click the linked words for my suggestions!)
You could also make a tea-themed gift, with tea to drink, a cute tea infuser, and a good book. Why not throw in a Dayspring mug, too? I love Dayspring’s cheerful, encouraging mugs, and they are only $10! 
Make sure to include a note for mom that these teabags are to infuse a lovely, luxurious bath soak. 
Call your mom, pop a letter in the mail (now so you don’t forget!), or craft up a cute little weeknight project to lavish the love on moms! They deserve it.
xo

Midsummer’s Eve

  Apricot-Lavender Crisp and Lingonberry Juice  
{to celebrate my Swedish heritage on a particularly Swedish day, Midsummer’s Eve, when the treats were served}

 
{the weather has been so horrid all week, taking pictures in my kitchen is like trying to take pictures in a dungeon. Sorry for the poor lighting}
{remember how I told you here that I loved the cookbook Organic and Chic? This is another recipe from that book}
This combination is amazing. My co-worker almost died in delight when eating this. Deeeee-licious. We decided to make jam this summer with apricots and lavender. Wonder if anyone else has ever done that before. If not, we’ll make millions, it will be so delicious. Please don’t scoop me and start selling it tomorrow 😛
Anyway, we also had this…

Because, despite the brown hair, I’m quite Swedish and yeah, sure, you betcha, I’m quite proud to be!