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clash act – cerulean + sorciere

Clash Act - Natalie Cerulean Wallpaper + Miroire Sorciere

do you love it or hate it?

And just like that, with this + that, a new blog series is launched. Introducing my new series – clash act – where I’ll be picking two objects of home decor and putting them together, for better or worse.

Wallpaper from abc carpet and home, mirror from bakelita via 1st Dibs.




Bellocq rocks

As with many things, it was the packaging that drew me in. Happily though, in this case, what lies within is equally enticing. Behind the signature yellow, silver, and black tins is Bellocq, the award-winning tea company and purveyor of evocative artisan blends.

Following the success of their Kings Road, London shop, Bellocq packed up and moved to the states, opening their new tea atelier in Greenpoint, NY. (Brooklyn) The luxury tea company takes their inspiration from British and Parisian tea culture, infusing it with an adventurous and modern spirit. The story of Bellocq is one of passion and discovery. Bellocq’s founders, Heidi Johannsen Stewart, Michael Shannon and Scott Stewart joined creative forces with a desire to collaborate on a shared aesthetic vision that captures their appreciation of traditional artisan work and a love of fine tea.

And fine it is.

No. 5 Ali Shan

No. 21 Matcha

No. 15 Lao Pu-erh Tea Cake

They offer black, green, white, oolong, herbal, single estate, pu-erh teas, as well as their award-winning signature blends. Notable among these are No. 45 White Wolf – a blend of white peony, cedar, juniper, and mint, No. 20 Kikuya – named after the first geisha, it is a blend of Japanese sencha and Bulgarian rose petals, No. 42 Little Dickens – a chocolate kissed children’s blend of South African rooibus, mint, and cinnamon, and finally, that which I will be starting with…

No. 22 Noble Savage

No. 22 Noble Savage – a handcrafted blend of Indian and Chinese black teas, juniper berries, Douglas fir tips, and wild blue cornflowers. Embodying the rugged soulfulness of the American Northwest this brew is earthy and reflective, producing an amber-hued liquor with a lingering, mellow finish. Yes please.

Thank you Bellocq for your exquisite work, inside and out.




whimsy & spice & all things nice

For me it started with this cookie. The Hazelnut Whiskey Sandwich cookie. I’m not sure how I happened upon it, but I did, and as we know I like all things whiskey – so I investigated further. These brilliant creations are made by Whimsy & Spice, a confection shop in Brooklyn. Husband and wife team, Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park pair to create their distinctive line of handmade sweets. And distinctive they are – I am intrigued and inspired by their masterful use of flavors and their genius pairings…

Like the Massaman Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookie… spectacular.  Also notable in their sandwich cookie line are Pink Peppercorn, Earl Grey, and Pumpkin Ginger. But it doesn’t stop there. There are things like…

The Coconut Five Spice White Chocolate Drop cookie, Rose and Black Peppercorn Thumbprints, and Chocolate Gingersnaps. If you like shortbread, they have it. Biscotti, that too. And, oh yes…

They have Brownies and Bars.

But what really intrigued me were the marshmallows – and I’m not even a marshmallow person. Rose Vanilla, amazing (and pink to boot.) But there’s also Cardamon, Maple, Caramel, and Chocolate. Who’da thunk? Well, Whimsy & Spice did. How do they do all this you ask?

That’s how.

So you should give yourself a treat and try them, and if you want to really make someone’s holiday send them a gift box.

Like the Herbs & Spices Gift Box, (ahem.) Bravo Whimsy & Spice, and thank you!




give it a go – Brooklyn Brew Shop

Over the past year I have been avidly and, bordering on obsessively, baking bread and making cheese (yogurt and ice cream included) and it has been a fabulous and fastidious time. So I was really excited when I saw the truly inspired beer making kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, started by Stephen Valand and Erica Shea after finding an old fermenter in her parents’ basement. The duo decided to open Brooklyn Brew Shop to bring small-batch, craft brewing to, well, you and me.

And they do it in such an easy, appealing, and manageable way. After the ingredients are cooked the beer needs to ferment (become beer) for a few weeks, which means that it needs to sit around the house. You’d think this would be problematic for those short on space or with a certain aesthetic – but not with these kits. They are offered in one and five gallon sizes which can easily and attractively fit into the corner of a tiny apartment. And as far as the contraption… this is pretty much what you’re looking at.

Besides the fact that it looks cool and you can make your own beer in a matter of weeks (did you catch that part?) the mixes which they offer are truly inspired and quite exploratory – with unique pairings and intriguing flavor profiles.

Their mixes include:

Everyday IPA
A Well Made Tripel
Chocolate Maple Porter
Grapefruit Honey Ale
Rose-cheeked Blonde (yes, with roses)
Tea & Toast
Peanut Butter Porter
Mustard Brown Ale
Honey Sage Seasonal

…and seasonal offerings are added all the time! I kinda want to try each one… Thank you Brooklyn Brew Shop for dispelling the mystique of brewing (see below) and for giving us our next great project! To learn more about Brooklyn Brew Shop and to buy their wares visit them here. A few of their kits are also available at your local Williams-Sonoma store. And if you find yourself in Brooklyn they are at the Brooklyn Flea on the weekends.

How to Brew Beer from Brooklyn Brew Shop on Vimeo.

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