Recipe: Cucumber-Rosemary Gin and Tonic

Please welcome the lovely Brandy Brown of  Marabou Design, a longtime Minted community member and our newest contributor to Julep! Brandy, who lives in Seattle, will be sharing her favorite recipes, DIY projects, and styling ideas. Welcome, Brandy! 

A delicious cocktail begins and ends with its ingredients, which is why I always recommend quality over quantity. This new spin on a classic gin and tonic combines rosemary sprigs hand-picked from my garden and locally grown cucumbers—the flavors capture the Northwest in a glass! This cocktail is herbal, refreshing, and effortlessly chic, making it the perfect beverage to enjoy all year-round. Get the recipe after the jump…

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Currently Loving: Luxurious Bathrooms

At the end of a long day, one of my favorite ways to unwind and reset is to pamper myself with a bathroom full of candles, a nice long bath, and yummy-smelling products. Take a peek into some of my dream bathrooms—I’m longing to have one of these gorgeous, luxe spaces (all with vintage claw-foot bathtubs!) of my own.

Featured in Inside Out magazine, interior designer Kali Cavanagh turned her weekend home’s bathroom into a luxe, light-filled sitting room by including a vintage dresser as a vanity and big barn doors to create privacy when needed.


Design to Dish: The Best Red-Velvet Cupcakes

By Melissa of  Lulu the Baker

birthday party bridal shower girls night out theme

While I was browsing Minted a few months ago, I found this darling invitation for something called a “Red Velvet Revelry.” I love the idea of building a whole party around such a rich, decadent dessert! Everything about red-velvet cake is show-stopping, from the deep color to the delicious, tangy flavor. It’s the perfect centerpiece for a luxe birthday party, bridal shower, or girls’ night out, and it’s a great party theme that works any time of year.

After having a few not-so-stellar red-velvet cake experiences, I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about. The cakes and cupcakes I ate were always dry and a little lacking in flavor. Then, I found a recipe for red-velvet cake that was tangy and rich, with subtle chocolate and buttermilk flavors, and everything changed! The cake baked up light and fluffy and moist—it changed my mind forever about red velvet cake! I’ve modified the recipe a little over the years and now have a go-to red-velvet cupcake recipe that is always a big hit! Read on for the recipe…

1. Red Velvet Revelry Invitations from Minted
2. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries from The Savage Feast
3. Gorgeous red and pink flowers via Style Me Pretty
4. Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below
5. Red and pink balloons via Snippet & Ink
6. Red Velvet Revelry party decor suite from Minted

red velvet birthday party bridal shower girls night out theme

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

For the frosting:
1 brick cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
a pinch of salt
cream or half-and-half

Line 30 cupcake tins with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and food coloring, and beat the mixture into the main bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated, then add 1/2 of the buttermilk, again beating until just incorporated. Repeat until all of the flour and buttermilk have been added. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar, then fold the mixture into the main bowl. Divide the batter evenly among all of the baking cups (I use my ice cream scoop!). Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat until smooth. Beat in cream or half-and-half as necessary to reach desired consistency. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them. You can either pipe on a thin layer of frosting, or spread it on with a frosting spreader.


Party Inspiration: Planning a Birthday Camping Trip

simple camping trip birthday ideas

camping trip birthday inspirationMy little guy’s 3rd birthday is coming up, and we’re planning an overnight family camping trip to celebrate. Inspired by Paper and Parcel’s Pow Wow invite, the party vibe I’ve pulled together is a little bit Wilderness Explorer, a little bit Boy Scout, and a lot of simplicity. We’re foregoing the fuss, leaving the extras at home, and making an escape into the wild (well… sort of—a toddler still needs a bathroom nearby!). Take a peek at my inspiration for our wilderness getaway, along with some of the fun details that we’ll pack along to keep things in the birthday spirit.

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Minted Home Tour: Nautical Playroom

We love seeing how our customers incorporate Minted pieces into their lives and homes, and today we have a real treat: a beautiful-yet-functional playroom with a fun nautical theme. Interior designer Kirsten Krason of House of Jade Interiors, who masterminded this airy space, share her best ideas, tips and tricks, and shopping resources.

If you’ve worked Minted pieces into your home, we’d love to see it! Please email a brief description and a link to photos of your space to

Above: Vintage Schoolhouse Play Table and Vintage Steel Play Chairs

The project: Create a whimsical play space for the couple’s three young children
Location: Utah
Interior designers: Erin Morgan and Kirsten Krason of House of Jade Interiors
Photographer: Jylare Smith Photography

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Halloween Puppy Chow Recipe

By Ashley of  Sugar & Cloth

Oh yes, the beloved puppy-chow snack we all know and love gets a ghoulish twist in my monster-themed version! The kids will flip for this stuff, especially since this spooky version has Jack-o-Lantern and bone sprinkles mixed right in…

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Domino & At Home With a Minted Artist: Kelli Hall

Domino magazine’s monthly tour of a Minted artist’s home just went live and September’s cover girl is none other than our very own Kelli Hall. It’s no big surprise that we’re huge fans of Kelli’s work, from her abstract paintings to her modern-minimalist stationery designs. Head on over to Domino for a sneak peek into Kelli’s clean, bright-white home (those pristine white floors!) and read her Q&A with the editor to find out what’s inspiring her these days and what she counts as her most-prized possession. While you’re at it, check out all of the previous Art Home With a Minted Artist features.

Featured Minted art (above, clockwise from top left): Opus by Katie Craig; St. Paul’s Cathedral, London by 45wall design; Looking Forward by Hannah Perrine Mode; Artisan by Marabou Design; and Sleepy Kitty by Tyler Tea


DIY Stamped Leather Escort Cards

By Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete

Escort Cards

It’s pretty much impossible to avoid all of the fall inspiration floating around the web, even if it’s still unseasonably hot outside where you live. But one thing I love about this time of the year is the fact that leather makes its comeback. The warm colors and buttery-soft textures have a luxurious and rustic vibe, all at the same time. Keep reading to see how you can incorporate a little leather into your wedding day—this DIY escort-card idea is perfect for a fall or winter celebration.

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Currently Loving: Pretty in Pink

By Amy Ehmann of  Design Lotus

There’s something special about the color pink. Whether the shade you love is bold or more subdued, pink never fails to capture your attention and trigger emotions. Case study #1: Neon pink. You can go from ordinary to extraordinary with a pop of bright, neon pink. Use it sparingly though, because it is so bright and can quickly overwhelm.

Clockwise from top left // Hot Pink Doors in Spain via pinterest // Cute Neon Pink Skirt by LuLus via Hello Fashion // DIY Spray Painted Flatware by Sania Pell via Creature Comforts // DIY Neon Pinecone Placecard Holder by Camille Styles

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Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Guest Judges’ Picks

It is with great pleasure that we announce our Guest Judges’ Picks for the this year’s Let it Snow! Holiday + New Year’s Photo Card Challenge. A big thank you to our guest judges Oma Blaise Ford of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Jeffrey Alan Marks of Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, blogger Stephanie Morgan of Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Elaina Sullivan of Domino magazine for their stellar selections and for taking the time to comb through the thousands of photo-card entries that were submitted this year. In addition to being included in Minted’s 2014 holiday assortment, all of the winning designers will also receive an additional $500 prize. Congratulations! 

Oma Blaise Ford
Oma Blaise Ford is the Executive Editor for Better Homes and Gardens. Prior to taking up that post in 2011, she headed up the magazine’s Home Design department for nine years. When not busy wielding her editor’s pen and keyboard, she’s an inveterate dinner party host and can usually be found in the kitchen mixing up a casual meal and a great cocktail for friends.

“What can I say, I’m a sucker for that tag shape and I love the unexpected dark background for a holiday card,” says Ford of Snow & Ivy‘s Chalk & Holly card. “The design nicely frames the photo—I suspect it could even elevate a less than fabulous shot—and I love that it could be used as an oversize gift tag as well as traditional card. And the hole at the top just begs to be pinned to your bulletin board or strung on the tree, and not tossed in the recycle bin.”