Mast Brothers Factory Tour

by Anh-Minh on June 16, 2014

mb1I’ve been in New York the past few days with my nephew, and when I was planning this trip, I was a bit nervous about figuring out things that a 13-year-old would enjoy. One thing that turned out to be a great activity for both of us: a tour of the Mast Brothers factory in Williamsburg. Not only was it informative, but you get to sample some of their delicious dark chocolates—a pretty good way to kick off a morning!

You can read more about the tour in this Saveur piece, and book a spot via Eventbrite (just search for “Mast Brothers”). If you’re in the area and have 45 minutes to spare, I highly recommend it.

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Bea B&B

by Alexis on April 2, 2014

When traveling, I love staying with friends or family. While hotels provide their own little luxuries, they almost always end up feeling cold and impersonal to me. On the other hand, a friend’s or relative’s home is full of stories, beloved objects, and warmth (not to mention good company). So I was thrilled to discover interior designer Bea Mombaers’ Belgium-based bed and breakfast, Bea B&B, which offers the best of both worlds.

Furnished with goods from her online webshop Items (Bea has a knack for choosing apt names for her endeavors—in addition to her shop Items, her blog goes by World of Bea), Bea B&B looks quite possibly like the most charming and inviting place to visit. Located in the coastal town of Knokke-Le-Zoute, the bed and breakfast consists of three stylish rooms, each designed and furnished by Bea. While a trip to Belgium isn’t on my list for the next few years, I’ll have to settle for drawing inspiration from these gorgeous spaces.

{ Images from Bea B&B }


Revolucion del Sueno

by Anh-Minh on January 16, 2014

Last month, while wandering the charming streets of Sayulita, Mexico, I came across Revolucion del Sueño. The shop and brand has been around for about seven years, and is currently located on Calle Manuel Navarrete. Visually, the store is a collage of bold colors and graphics. The couple behind the business, Nico and Léa Del Sueño, specialize in limited-edition pieces—from apparel and jewelry to art and textile goods. Many of the designs incorporate traditional techniques; for example, A Mano Project (By Hand Project) features the embroidery, weaving, and beading techniques of indigenous groups throughout Mexico. (This write-up provides great information on Nico, Léa, and their approach to design, as well as more interior shots of Revolucion del Sueño.)

During my trip to Sayulita, I didn’t have a lot of extra room in my suitcase and was limited in what I could bring back. So I was happy to see that Revolucion del Sueño sells its wares online and ships worldwide. Since they have more goods in store, though, if you’re in the area, definitely consider adding it to your itinerary!

Flores and Amor are among the many digitally printed pillow designs.

The Frida poster is a limited edition of 50.

The San Miguel blanket and Tulum bag are part of the A Mano Project collection.

{ All product imgaes via Revolucion del Sueño }



by Alexis on January 2, 2014

A month ago, we shared a glimpse of Iceland through the travel photos and time lapses of graphic designer Nikki Will and Pocket-founder Nate Weiner. We were thrilled they agreed to send us images from another trip they took—this time to Bali. In the doldrums of winter, the idea of a tropical getaway is certainly appealing. If you can’t drop everything and jump on a plane, scrolling through these images is enough to carry you away, even for just a few minutes. Thanks, Nate and Nikki! —Alexis

While researching destinations for our honeymoon, my husband Nate and I had heard that Bali was as close as one could get to paradise. After visiting the small island in the Indonesian archipelago ourselves in September 2011, we could not agree more. Bali was incredible—beautiful, relaxing and jam-packed with culture.

When traveling somewhere, Nate and I like staying in different places throughout the region to get a good taste of the culture and varying landscapes. Our trip to Bali was no different. We stayed in three different areas: along the beach in bustling Seminyak; in a breathtaking villa on the cliffs of Uluwatu; and tucked away in the jungle of central Ubud, Bali’s cultural heart.

Our honeymoon was full of monkey forests, ancient temples, lush rice paddies, amazing landscapes, street markets, colorful and fragrant offerings on every surface imaginable, sunset walks along the beach, and even a traditional Balinese fire dance.

Bali is an incredibly picturesque, calming, and spiritual place. If you are looking for paradise, I would highly recommend putting a trip to Bali on your list.

{ Photos by Nikki Will and Nate Weiner }


Recipes from Rockport

by Alexis on December 6, 2013

When photographer Beth Flatley showed us her pictures from her travels to Rockport, Maine, we were immediately drawn into the cozy, inviting scene. Part of what captivated us were the meals she and her family shared. We were excited when she offered to let us include a few of the recipes here. The Carrot Ginger Soup with a fresh loaf of Peasant Bread would make a perfect December lunch on a cold day, and I’m pretty sure a batch of the drool-inducing chocolate chip cookies would be well received anytime of year. Thanks for sharing, Beth!

Carrot Ginger Soup
Yields 4 servings

For ginger oil

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the oil, ginger, and turmeric. Warm to a simmer over medium-high heat. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to infuse the oil with the flavor.
  2. The next day, carefully ladle off yellow ginger oil and store in airtight container. Discard the solids. The oil will keep almost indefinitely.

For the soup

  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger oil (see recipe above)
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove, mince
  • 1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 lb carrots, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and ginger oil. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Do not let onions brown. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes more. Add 3 cups of the broth, increase to medium heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  2. Remove soup form heat and using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth.
  3. Return the soup to medium heat and adjust to desired consistency with remaining 1 cup broth. Season to taste. To serve, drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon of the ginger oil and 1 tablespoon of sour cream.

Multi Grain Peasant Bread
Yields 2 loaves

  • 2 envelopes dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 5-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup cracked wheat or bulgur
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • 5 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 tbsp. water (glaze)
  1. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over 1/2 cup warm water in small bowl. Stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes.
  2. Combine 5 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats, cracked wheat, 1/4 cup cornmeal, 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, and salt in bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with dough hook. Combine 2 1/2 cups warm water, honey, and oil in small bowl. Slowly add water honey mixture to mixer bowl. Beat until well combined.
  3. Mix in dissolved yeast and whole-wheat flour, and beat 1 minute. Beat in enough of remaining all-purpose flour, half a cup at a time, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Continue beating 3 minutes (dough will be slightly sticky). Let dough rest in bowl several minutes.
  4. Turn dough onto heavily floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, kneading in additional all-purpose flour if very sticky, about 10 minutes. Lightly oil large bowl. Add dough, turning to coat entire surface. Cover with towel. Let rise in draft free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Sprinkle remaining tablespoon of cornmeal on heavy large cookie sheet. Punch dough down. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead 1 minute (dough will be slightly sticky). With well-floured hands, divide dough in half. Pat one piece into 9-inch wide rectangle. Starting at one 9-inch side, roll up tightly jelly roll fashion and shape into 9-x-4 1/2-inch oval loaf. Repeat with remaining dough and place loaves seam-side down in greased loaf pans. Cover with towel and let rise 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a sharp knife, make a couple of inch-deep slashes in the tops of loaves. Bake 20 minutes. Brush top with glaze and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. Continue baking until loaves brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 25 minutes more.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields about 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat on medium-high until creamy. With mixer on low, add vanilla, and then the eggs, one at a time. Increase to medium and beat until well combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Chill dough for about 30 minutes. Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes, do not overcook.

{ Photos and Recipes from Beth Flatley }