A tiny autumn treat

A Few of My Favorite Things and The Dish

Hello! I hope you all had a splendid Halloween and are not paying for it too bad today. The babies and I ended up home by ourselves, and though I had big ideas of jovially passing out Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to the neighborhood kids, it didn't quite go down like that. 

Let's just say that trying to feed two hungry infants while people keep ringing the bless-ed doorbell (and you live on the second floor) which makes the dog bark like crazy which makes the babies cry if they were not already sucked the fun right out it. Now I have two huge bags of Reese's Cups that must be buried in the back yard unless I want to be in maternity pants for the rest of my life. Sad story, I know.

But you didn't come here to hear me whine. I want to share one of my favorite fall treats with you! It has absolutely no additional calories and if you are like me and would eat a football if it were pumpkin flavored you are in for a treat (and a major upgrade)!

A few years ago, I traveled to Morocco and stayed at this magical place and each morning would be treated to the most delicious coffee. At first, I thought it was the Willy Wonka effect of everything being so beautiful and fragrant and luxurious making everything seem like it was extra delicious. And it was, but it was also because they were adding fresh Moroccan cinnamon to the coffee beans before they brewed it.

This tiny delicious detail was a revelation to me and I brought back as much Moroccan cinnamon as was legal and have added it to my morning coffee ever since. Every time I so much as smell the coffee in the morning I have a beautiful flash back to my mornings in Marrakesh. It is the best sensory-memory feeling ever!

This fall, since I have not had a mule to bring me my fix of Moroccan cinnamon in quite awhile, I fumbled around my spice cabinet looking for regular, lets be honest, common cinnamon and I found a jar of pumpkin pie spice . This may not be the revelation of culinary creativity that I think it is, but I don't leave the house much these days, so cut me some slack. It's dang good. That's all I am here to say.

So, if you are out of your fancy cinnamon, give it a try... just add one tablespoon to your beans before you grind them (for about 8 cups... increase to taste) or for ground coffee add them right to the grounds and brew as you normally would. You can thank me when that fall-ish aroma hits your nose while it's still dark out and you are not quite ready to face the day. You will also thank me when you taste it. Perfectly flavored without syrup or sweeteners. You will wonder how you ever drank coffee before. Then you will book your flight to Marrakesh. 

Maybe I have an active imagination. 

Either way, Enjoy!
xo

By Leigh 11.01.2013 – 2:00 pm

6 Comments

Beautiful Book Giveaway!

A Few of My Favorite Things and Sweetheart Sponsors

Hello! Happy Giveaway Day!!!

One of our darling Sweetheart Sponsors and dear friends Jo Packham of Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, and Where Women Create: Business magazines has an incredibly beautiful new book out. She has sent me a couple of copies to give away to incredibly beautiful YOU!

This book; the Book of Organization - The Art of Creating Order, which I have been lucky enough, as a contributor, to have had on my coffee table for a few months now, is cover to cover visual eye candy. It is like having personal tours of all the best creative studios and getting a private peek at how people 'stack their stuff'!  You will be impressed, intrigued and inspired to go find clever drawers to put things in!

You will even get to see a really old photo of me in 'Little Marmalade" with a really bad haircut! Wins all around!

I can't wait to send two of you this lovely. So! To enter, just leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite tip or trick for organization! I love to hear this stuff! You had better hurry though, my Mom is trying to stick a copy in her suitcase as we speak!

Winners will be chosen Friday March 1st at 12noon EST.

Good Luck!!

xo

By Leigh 02.27.2013 – 12:33 pm

99 Comments

Photos © 2012 Curly Girl Design, Inc./Leigh Standley. all rights reserved.

A few of my favorite things - Atlanta

A Few of My Favorite Things and Photos and Gypsy Soul and Brick & Mortar

Well hello there! Just thought I would pop in and say hello before you head out to a beautiful summer weekend! I am back from a week at the Atlanta Gift Show and heading out to the first annual Curly Girl Design Pool Party! (sorry, there will be no photographic evidence of this fun event...I love my staff and respect their rights to be lovely and freely in their skivvies without me lurking around with a camera). Now, if only the sun would come out!

Because we spend so much time on the road at tradeshows (2-3 weeks a year each in Atlanta and New York alone!) we try to get out and about and do things while we are there... over time we develop favorites and spots that we return to time after time. This last trip was no different, in fact, I had our dinner reservations all mapped out before we set foot on the plane! Surprised? I didn't think so. Recently we have discovered a few gems that I thought I would share.

Cacao, Virginia Highlands

This is not a place we went for dinner, but we stumbled upon it while poking around one of our favorite neighborhoods: Virginia Highlands. We were drawn in by the rich smell of chocolate and the sparkly confections and were lulled into a swoon by the beautiful interior and the perfect packaging of the most delicious delicacies we had ever laid eyes on. It was like walking into Paris and being greeted by the "Candy Man" scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory...."Who can make the sunriiiiiisse...." (only sung in french by Gene Kelley instead of that other guy....ok you get the drift).

The darling girl working behind the counter explained to us that they were a local-to-Atlanta bean to bar company focused on hand-crafted chocolates with the hightest quality sustainable ingredients.

And then I ate the head off of a buddha. A dark chocolate creme ginger buddha. I nearly cried it was so good.

Everything about this place was lovely. We boxed up some buddhas for the road and promised to return.

If you go: Stay awhile. Sit with a cup of their Azteca Aphrodesiac Drinking Chocolate and pretend you are in the movies.

Be neighborly: Don't miss Bella Cucina's flagship store and sandwich shop, Porta Via, right nextdoor!

Sun in My Belly, Kirkwood (Decatur Area)

This is an honest-to-goodness "a friend of a friend of a friend told me about this place..." recommendation. (The best kind - thanks Margo!)

A tiny bit off the beaten path, but not but 5 miles out of downtown, this is an absolute gem. Packed to the gills with hand-made decorations and farm to table amazingness, you will not leave here hungry or uninspired.

Sun in My Belly (best name ever right?) began as a catering company specializing in "unique dining affairs" featuring real, good food. They opened their neighborhood cafe (in an old hardware store!) for brunch and take-away at first and were just opening up for dinner when we went for the first time. We have been back twice now and will be back again! Every single thing on the menu looks delicious and everything we have tried has been. Make a reservation (or heck, have a party there...they do special events!) and prepare to enjoy!
 

If you go: They always have a few dazzling options on the dessert menu, but do yourself a favor and ask if they have coconut cream pie. You won't be sorry.

Be neighborly: There is not much in the way of neighbors where they are, but you can BYOB if you want (they now have a wine list also) and if it's nice...sit outside under the twinkle lights!

So, there you go, those are my current Atlanta faves...though there are more! Hope you enjoy and let me know if you get to one!

xoxo

By Leigh 07.20.2012 – 9:36 am

2 Comments
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