May
13
2015
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon

It has been way too long since I finished sharing the details of our much needed family vacation last month! I am already wishing desperately for a repeat of the week which means that it has obviously been long enough for me to forget how awful my babies were for the entire trip. For me to see only the good stuff in my mind when I think about the trip might be something akin to child birth. We gals forget just enough of the bad stuff to think it's a good idea, nay a great idea, to do it over and over again. 

When last we left off, we decided to leave a day early for our Southern California trip and head down to the Central Coast. Our plan was to split up the drive a bit and check an item off my personal bucket list. After a glorious night on the beach we set off bright and early to spend the day touring Hearst Castle, that big house on the hill. 

The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon

This adorable babe, demonic as he was for the majority of the day, was virtually reverent on his very first bus ride ever. We take Blake to the bus stop each morning for school so he has a natural curiosity toward busses in general. To ride on a bus himself was definitely the highlight of his trip. 

The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon

My big boy was actually an angel for most of this tour which isn't all that shocking when I stop to think about the fact that he loves to see pretty things. 

As a gal who loves to take pictures, this little jaunt was an absolute dream for me. Since they don't allow strollers, we rented a child carrier backpack and the mister got to tote the babe around and it left me relatively hands free, which might have been a first. So with millions of photos taken in this amazing place each year, I thought I would share some of my favorite moments and some of the under appreciated details that can be found at every turn in this architectural relic. Even the waiting terminal was filled with beauty... and don't even get me started on the pool entrance and ladders.

The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon
The Design Confidential Bi-Coastal Vacay and A House on the Hill in Central California Cambria and Hearst Castle in San Simeon

To follow along with our adventures from the beginning check out the articles below!

On Holiday...

Our Bi-Coastal Getaway // The Road Ahead is Paved with Ocean Views

There is so much more to share so stay tuned...

Design 
May
09
2015

If you need a fun way to round out the amazing food spread you have planned to celebrate Mom this weekend, or any fabulous day this summer, I have just the thing for you with this modern twist on an old classic – a Tropical Tequila Sunrise Poptail! For the 21 and over crowd this seemingly complex treat is actually super simple to make - no culinary skills required.

Have you gathered up your bottles for The Art of Patron contest yet? If you plan to try your hand at creating something unique from their iconic bottles (check out the prize and the details here), you will need a few good reasons to empty them out and so I thought it only prudent of me to share this fun series of cocktails to help you put that artisanal tequila to good use.

The other recipes in this series //

The Art of Patron // Coconut Mint Margarita Recipe

Without further ado… I give you an easy, semi-DIY recipe that will have your guests oohing and aahing over your culinary prowess, without hardly lifting a finger.

TROPICAL TEQUILA SUNRISE POPTAILS // Serves 6

To make this recipe as a drink rather than a poptail, the same directions and ingredients apply, simply fill each glass in the same manner you would fill your popsicle mold. // Serves 3

 

INGREDIENTS //

16 oz or 2 cups Passion Fruit Juice

4 ½ oz or 3 Jiggers of Patrón Tequila

1 Crystal Light On the Go Stick – Raspberry Ice

1 - 20 oz Bottled Water

Popsicle Mold with Sticks

 

DIRECTIONS //

Note // Passion fruit juice sounds like a specialty juice (and it is), but Welch’s makes it in a carton or individual bottles that can be found in the refrigerated juice section (near the orange juice), so it should be easy to find. If you aren’t able to find the On the Go packs of Crystal Light, you can use a standard 2 quart mix container of Raspberry Ice as well. You will simply skip the water bottle step and prepare as outlined on the package.

// Open your 20 oz water bottle and empty out just a tiny bit of the water. You need to create room for your raspberry ice packet and give yourself room to shake, shake, shake. Go ahead and do this now and set it aside for just a bit.

// Add 2 cups (16 oz) of Passion Fruit Juice to a shaker or your blender if you prefer. Then add 3 jiggers of Patron Tequila (4.5 oz) and shake, shake, shake. Pour this mixture into your Popsicle mold and fill ¾ of the way full. Now give your Raspberry Ice a quick shake and fill the remainder of each Popsicle mold with it. Try not to shake things around too much if you want to get that separation of color. Place your lid or lids on your mold and place your sticks in through the openings in the lid. Place the whole thing in the freezer near the coldest part and let the magic happen. Because we are trying to freeze alcohol, the colder the better. If you have trouble getting your sticks to stand up as much as you would like them too, try letting your popsicles set up for a couple of hours before you put them in.

Let them freeze overnight if possible and enjoy.

This article was created in partnership with Patron. Thank you for supporting the amazing companies that help bring fresh new content like this to The Design Confidential! I heart you guys!

May
04
2015

Despite the title of this article, this is not actually going to be all about my feelings or personal reflections. Unless you count gazing at my full length reflection in the mirror a personal reflection (which you totally could). Nope, just a bit of decorating goodness, progress on my closet makeover, and a super handy tool, especially if you are working on a project by yourself. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten creative (and completely irritated) when I am trying to measure something larger than my personal wingspan and I am by myself. Let's not even reflect on how this scenario plays out when I need to measure both height and width then need to mark my point... multiple times. Forget it... So frustrating. I have developed some tricks over the years, but there are circumstances where those tricks don't precisely work, like when you are working in the middle of an empty wall and you need to calculate relatively precise distances between objects... And then do some math that hurts your brain... 

My tricks have nothing whatsoever to do with measuring, more like for hanging things and making sure they are level without having to climb up and down the ladder 87 times. But these smarty little Intel Tablets can actually give you exactly the kind of measurements you need when you are trying to figure out how many mirrors you can fit between two dressers and if you have enough space to hang a shelf above those cute dressers. Imagine if you were planning a gallery wall... you could snap a picture of the wall, tap the two points you want to gauge the distance between, both horizontally and vertically, then use a stylus to draw frame positions directly on your picture. You can even measure your frame size to get a true to life representation of how things will look. But, I digress down the rabbit hole of possibilities.

Armed with all my numbers I set out to add a bit of reflection to this space and some small storage solutions that are big on style, not on size. Visually, I didn't want to add bulk or weight to the space, prefering instead to keep things light with a round metal wire shelf and wire shelf brackets for hanging my heels.

To create the high heel storage unit I simply installed the two of these shelf brackets side by side and wrapped them at the ends with Mason Twine (similar to the stuff I used for the closet rods) to keep them close enough together that my heels sit and stay perfectly, regardless of the height (or lack thereof) of the heel. They hook over the spot where the shelves would go if I were using these as shelves, and fit nicely in the space between the brackets.

Now that I am virtually done with my side of this closet project (I still have a few other things to address), I am about to embark on the other half... otherwise known as mister TDC's side of the closet, but shhhh, don't tell him. He is resistant to change and fights me every step of the way until everything is finished... then he usually loves it.

To view all projects in this closet case series, in order, check out the articles below to see how far we have come!

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light // Easy Lighting Update

DIY // From Wiry Slobs to Sleek Hanging Rods

Just Add Shelves // Easy DIY Shelving for Stylish Shoe Storage

Closet Case // Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Closet Case // Measuring Up and A Bit of Reflection

IMAGES // Rayan Turner for The Design Confidential

 

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Apr
30
2015
The Design Confidential Room Envy Walking On Water and 5 Things

I have always thought that a vacation home that is not stationary and is actually more like a boat of some sort, would be a much more flexible vacation home. You wouldn't be confined to one place and could essentially take that vacation home with you as you travel and explore.

Obviously I know absolutely nothing of the actual people who own this gorgeous thing, but their space gives me a serious case of Room Envy. This boat is filled with spaces that seem to simplify and streamline, only catering to the essential things that are necessary for maximizing their R and ;R. I imagine the people who inhabit this vessel are very much a 'work hard, play hard' kind of family and I can appreciate that to no end.

If this is your first Room Envy + 5 Things here at the House of TDC, you can read past articles here, and they are basically my chance to share a room or space that seems to represent a life or lifestyle worthy of envy and 5 things about me that you likely don't know. A little up close and personal with a bit of pretty inspiration thrown in, so here goes...

The Design Confidential Room Envy Walking On Water and 5 Things

5 THINGS //

One / My adorable little bird baby, at the ripe age of 2 1/2 has officially gone to the dark side. He has passed successfully into the realm of toddler-hood and is well on his way to becoming the crazed dramatic teenager-type my 7 year old is. The terrible two's doesn't even begin to describe some of our recent adventures, though I know for certain this is simply his version of them. Extreme and tenacious, it seems as though that sweet and mild tempered little guy is gone for now, and has been replaced by a demanding, dominating, alpha slash a-type personality. As if our little group needed another... eek, it certainly did not, and this change makes for loud and large conflict that seemingly erupts out of nowhere and any moment, but most particularly when you least want it to.

Two / I have been ridding my life and our household of excess. It feels amazing to let things go and get rid of things that I have carried with me for years, even when those things don't bring me happiness or have any current use for me. It bogs down my creativity and forces me to 'make things work' when I would be well suited to simply go without rather than settle for something that isn't perfect. This is a great book if you are looking to simplify and unburden.

The Design Confidential Room Envy Walking On Water and 5 Things

Three / My infection is still very much present and accounted for and I think the forced respite from work and regular activities has given me a chance to seriously reevaluate how I spend my time and the type of time I give to and spend with my family. I need to live life, now. It doesn't cost a single thing to make a memory that will last a lifetime and it's those memories that I hope my boys hold close as they grow older and eventually move on to have their own lives and families.

Four / I have been wanting to share more of my life here with all of you and expand the topics we chat about to include more of those raw everyday moments, both beautiful and not so beautiful perhaps. Each of us travels on a special and unique journey through our lives and I have felt for some time that the story I tell here is only a very small part of my whole and actual story. I am hoping to fill that gap and make this space more representative of who I am and all that I love. It's a tricky path to travel as I have such an amazing group of you who have been part of this community from the start and I honestly don't know if this is something you will enjoy. But, I think with blogger burnout becoming such a prevalent thing (and something I experience often), and the internet going the way of tumblr and pinterest with words that are few and far between... that rather than trying to ease my workload by growing this brand and bringing on contributors to expand into the world of mass blogging, that perhaps I do the opposite and simplify, round out, and get more personal. If I have a space where I can share those things I love, whatever they may be, then I will love that space in a more honest and wholehearted way and hopefully this will resonate with you too. At least that is the idea... what do you think? I promise it won't mean the end of this site or the death of anything we currently do, it will just be more and more can certainly be better.

The Design Confidential Room Envy Walking On Water and 5 Things

Five / I mentioned one of my goals for this year right here, and I am so excited to say that I have set those wheels in motion and I am completely immersed in making those dreams a reality, in the present. No more waiting... only doing. I am also seriously considering rolling up my sleeves and doing more client based design work. It seems I am happiest when I am making and decorating and so I should be trying to fill my life with more of those things, don't you think? I have the most wonderful group of you who spend your time with me here and put your faith in all that I do, but as a group of fellow DIY'ers I am not sure if hiring a Designer is the type of thing you would be inclined to do... but I am eager to find out!

The Design Confidential Room Envy Walking On Water and 5 Things

Images Via / Project by Pipkorn + Kilpatric

Design 
Apr
29
2015
The Design Confidential and The Art of Patrón Coconut Mint Margarita Recipe

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner and hot weather right on the heels of that, the timing of this fabulous cocktail recipe couldn't be better, if I do say so myself... which I definitely do, since I had the distinct pleasure of creating and then testing this recipe. And a pleasure it was, since I had reason to celebrate the start of a new partnership between The Design Confidential and Patrón Tequila for the launch of The Art of Patrón, a contest for Makers and Creatives alike.

This contest celebrates the story behind the craft and the making of their bottles. Created with heart by skilled artisans, no two are alike and each has its own individual beauty and character. It is a very special thing indeed when a product produced en masse is still made by hand and not by machine. And so we should celebrate the beauty of this artisanal tequila and the gorgeous bottles that house it and in turn see how you might be inspired to use these bottles to create something unique and handmade of your own. If you craft something amazing from the bottles and help us celebrate the Art of Patron, you just might win $10,000.

I am also excited and honored to tell you that I have the privilege and pleasure of being one of the judges for this contest and I will be creating a project of my own to get in the spirit of things and mark the occasion. I hope you will join me and put some of those DIY skills to good use… maybe win yourself an amazing prize… In the meantime, I thought it only considerate of me to help you put that tequila to good use with this fine specimen of a margarita!

The Design Confidential and The Art of Patrón Coconut Mint Margarita Recipe

COCONUT MINT MARGARITA RECIPE // Serves 2 - 3

 

INGREDIENTS //

16 oz or 2 cups Coconut Sorbet / Ice Cream (5 of these will also work)

1/2 Cup of Patrón Tequila

1/4 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

4 - 5 Mint Leaves

4 Tablespoons Simple Syrup

GARNISH //

2 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 Tablespoon Shredded Coconut or Flakes

1 Mint Leaf

 

DIRECTIONS //

Make the Rimming Sugar /

To do this you will want to add a couple of Tablespoons of shredded coconut to a plastic bag (can also use a paper towel or napkin folded in half). Add a mint leaf and gently rub or muddle the mint leaf and shredded coconut together until the mint infuses the coconut just a bit. This will generally take just a minute or so. Once you can tell there is a hint of mint mixed with the coconut, add your sugar and stir to mix, you can do this right in the bag or you can pour your mixture into a bowl at this point. You simply need to be sure that the bowl is relatively shallow and has a base that is large enough for your glass to sit with the rim sitting slightly down into your rimming sugar mixture and set aside.

Make the Drink /

Add Tequila, Lime and Mint Leaves to your blender and pulse or grate to mix and chop the mint leaves. Keep your juiced limes on hand for rimming later. If you are using a Coconut Ice Cream or the Coconut Helado Paletas, you can add a cup of ice to the blender along with your ice cream. If you are using a Coconut Sorbet, you can most likely skip the ice but this will be a judgement call. Blend thoroughly to mix well.

Put it all Together /

Use a juiced lime remnant to wet the rim of your glass, then turn upside down and set your glass in your rimming sugar mixture until the rim is well coated. Pour your coconut mint margarita into your glass and garnish with a mint leaf or sprig. Enjoy!

DIY 
Apr
14
2015
The Design Confidential A Dell-iriously Easy Way to Keep Track of Digital Online Photos

If you don't happen to be a blogger or photographer or anything in a similar line of work, it might truly be a bit hard to fully explain the sheer number of images those of us in these professions take in a given week or month. Don't even get me started on how this number multiplies over the course of a year, let alone several. It's staggering. But if you happen to be a parent, then you get a very sincere taste of this because you very likely take meellions of pictures of your babes, and I guarantee those pictures, over time, have gotten smeared all over the place between social media postings, computers that croak, and however many phones you have worked your way through during the last 5 or 10 years.

The Design Confidential A Dell-iriously Easy Way to Keep Track of Online Photos

Some of your photos are on Facebook, hundreds of your favorites are on Instagram, and maybe you even store or back up your images to an online site like flikr, icloud, photobucket, etc. One thing I can say for certain is that no one I have ever known does not have digital photos in more than one place. And not generally in the I'm so smart I have backups of my backups kind of way, but the normal my last 3 phones croaked and then I found Instagram, meanwhile my family is on FB so I can't deprive those people of my children over there... and voila... pictures scattered across miles upon end of digital wilderness.

The Design Confidential A Dell-iriously Easy Way to Keep Track of Online Photos

When the cool folks over at Intel sent me a Dell Venue to check out, I think one of the things I was most excited about was discovering that this cute and ultra thin (the world's thinnest) Intel Tablet has a nifty little gallery app that links all of your various accounts from all around the digital world and instantly makes them accessible in one single spot. Genius - problem solved. I definitely feel a lot less guilty about having my older boy's baby pictures so digitally spread out.  I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see all of the images I lost long ago due to tech croakage (totally a word) but that I posted to social media or were sent to me via dropbox, are now just as easy to find and access as my latest design project images. Those past years of digitally irresponsible image storing weigh on me and I feel that mom guilt over not having backups of my backups and often for having lost them altogether. Do you experience this?

The Design Confidential A Dell-iriously Easy Way to Keep Track of Online Photos

This nifty feature helps put my anxious mind at ease and makes it so much easier to access my images for sharing on this blog and for sharing with friends and family. Now if it can physically force me to make yearbooks for the past several years, we will seriously be in business. The gallery app places your images in timeline order and you can view by the date the image was taken, but I am a little bit more excited for the mapped version of my timeline, than a normal person probably should be. It essentially groups your images by location and shows you a visual of where your memories took place. I don't currently have all of my pictures geo-tagged, but suddenly I want them to be so I can see how they spread across the country for the last several years of my life. I definitely want to at least be sure to add the locations for some of the more special albums I have on FB because... I don't know why... but I do! This app will also pull in images that your friends have posted that you are tagged in. That is just the most fabulous thing ever.

The Design Confidential A Dell-iriously Easy Way to Keep Track of Online Photos

How far do your pictures stray? How many images have you lost from digital deaths? Don't you think this type of gallery gathering app is so helpful? No more jumping from social media site to social media site to round up your faves, just sort your timeline however you wish and enjoy... love that. The Intel RealSense technology can do some amazing things and I can't wait to share them with you! I gave this baby a tech test drive for one of my recent projects and some of the tasks this tablet helped me accomplish, with the mere flick of a finger, are mind blowing and really simplify things for me. I know you will think so too, especially if you build like we occasionally do around these parts! Stay tuned for more details...

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

 

 

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