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All of the content and images featured on The Garden of Eden are © Darcy Eden 2011-2014 unless otherwise stated.  If you post an image of mine on your blog/website, please link back to The Garden of Eden and credit me accordingly.  Thanks! 

Images that are not my own are credited as such.  If I have either failed to credit accurately or someone wishes an image to be removed from this blog, I will gladly comply.

Saturday
Nov092013

Print Smitten

Are you all sick of my posts about stationery?  I'll never get enough of cute paper goods, and Print Smitten is no exception.  There are adorable options for every day, lovely customized cards for couples (perfect for wedding thank you notes), and funny cards to send when you've messed up (I can particularly relate to "I'm Sorry for what I said when I was hungry").  And I know it seems a bit early for holiday paper, but Starbucks has released holiday cups, so why not?  There are some clever gift card options - I love "Naughty or Nice!"

 
 

How cute is this advent calendar? And it is only $30!  All images credit to Print Smitten.

Friday
Nov082013

Statement Earrings

On most days, you'll find me wearing the same earrings - my Grandmother's pearl with diamond studs.  I absolutely love them and since they are classic, they work with any outfit and I don't have to think about what I'm wearing each day.  That said, I've been making a concerted effort lately to wear my "fun" earrings.  I have a few pairs that I love, but below are some bright, funky (but still classy) options.  What do you think?  A few of these are from Loren Hope, a designer I love, and a few others are from Pomander Place - I can't find a website for the brand, but you can buy them at Tuckernuck (a go-to site for preppy everything).

Thursday
Oct312013

Nutella & Sea Salt Fudge

It’s been a wonderful fall for us here in Colorado.  Aside from work travel, we spent the entire month of October in Colorado and were treated with stunning fall foliage (I think our house might look its best in fall - see below), gorgeous weather, and the first two snows of the coming winter (a bit earlier than normal).  The first snow was on my 33rd birthday (gasp).

I absolutely love birthdays, even if I might prefer the numbers 28 or 29 to 33.  This one was particularly special for reasons I’ll get into in another post, but we celebrated with friends and Rob treated me to a day in Boulder doing things that I love (having brunch, visiting the farmer’s market, going for a trail run, having lunch at one of my favorite restaurants’s, the Kitchen, and even making a stop at Whole Foods).  What a guy!
My birthday weekend was followed by a visit from our dear friends from Boston and their two kiddos (one of whom is my Goddaughter).  We left Boston just before my Goddaughter, E, was born, and this was the first time I was able to spend a long amount of time with her.  It was so fun to do things in Denver that we would otherwise not do and to see the world through her eyes where things I take for granted are new and exciting (e.g., a corn hole board and bags (although not played the normal way), a pumpkin, a slide, our poor cat, making macaroni and cheese, and band-aids).  If you are ever in Denver with kids in the fall, you should check out the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and visit their pumpkin patch and corn maze.  It was quite a scene and E loved it.
The simplicity of things that kept E entertained reminded me that often, simple is best.  Whether it’s entertaining kiddos or in the kitchen, life doesn’t always have to be complicated or a big production.  I love embarking on huge projects from time to time, but lately I’m making a concerted effort not to overcomplicate life and to spend the “extra” time doing something I love.  
In that vein, I threw this fudge together on a whim with delicious results.  You dirty only one bowl making it and because it is extremely rich, you can serve many people with one batch (25 to 36 pieces of fudge depending on how small you cut the squares).  It would have been perfect for a Halloween party (next year!).

Nutella & Sea Salt Fudge
Recipe from Tasty Kitchen 
Yield = 25-36 pieces depending on how you slice the fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (for greasing the dish)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces bittersweet (60%) chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup Nutella 
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter (softened to room temperature), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • ½ tsp (approximately) Sea Salt

Preparation

1. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.

2. In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter.

3. Form a double-boiler by setting the bowl over a medium pot of gently simmering water. The water level should be low enough that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, spread the top smooth with a spatula, and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.

5. Once the fudge is chilled, run a knife under hot water, dry it off, and run it around the edges of the pan to loosen the fudge. Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the fudge out. Peel off the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.

Tuesday
Oct292013

Spoonflower

You've probably already heard of Spoonflower, but in case you haven't they are an online company that allows you to design your own wallpaper, fabric, and now wrapping paper! If the idea of creating your own design is terrifying or daunting, you can select from thousands of designs created by members of the Spoonflower community (Holli Zolinger is my current favorite). I've never ordered the wallpaper or wrapping paper, but I have ordered fabric before and was really pleased with the quality and the print. The website suggests other designs that match or blend with the one you are considering, which is really helpful if you are buying fabric for something like throw pillows.

What got me thinking about Spoonflower is the impending holiday season, which means there will be a need for wrapping paper. I found a few designs that I liked and wanted to share. Has anyone ordered wrapping paper from Spoonflower? Has anyone ever designed anything on Spoonflower? I'm so curious! You can choose between satin and matte and upload your own designs (including kids' drawings or designs, which would be so fun for giving family gifts).

All images credit to Spoonflower.

Monday
Oct282013

Addressing Letters to Women

For someone who writes and addresses many letters, most of which are to women, I have been woefully ignorant about the proper etiquette for letter-addressing. A new favorite blog of mine, Annie Dean, addressed this recently. You may consider these "rules" silly or archaic, but I can set my feminist tendencies aside and enjoy receiving mail addressed to Mrs. Robert Levy from time to time.  Following these rules might be overkill for everyday correspondence, but certainly they are appropriate for formal occasions (e.g., a wedding invitation). What are your thoughts? Is it anachronistic to follow these rules in 2013? Or do you think more people should observe them?

To quote Annie Dean:

An unmarried woman is a Miss. Miss Jane Longfellow

A married woman who keeps her maiden name is Ms. Ms. Jane Longfellow

A married woman who takes her husband's name or who uses her husband's name socially is Mrs. Mrs. John Parker

A widowed woman is a Mrs. Mrs. John Parker

You'll note that when the 'Mrs.' honorific is used, it is always used with the husband's name. Never with the woman's name. A woman is not ever Mrs. Jane Parker. She is Ms. Jane Parker or Mrs. John Parker. If they're the traditional sort, send your wedding invitation to Mr. and Mrs. John Parker and escort them to dinner with place cards that read Mr. John Parker and Mrs. John Parker.

You can see Annie's original post here.

Image credit to Moglea.

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