Jul
01
2015

Things are moving and shaking in the TDC World Headquarters... other wise known as my home office slash the shipping and receiving department slash the craft workshop. This poor space has gone through a lot over the years and for longer than I care to admit has been a bit neglected. This is the year of minimizing and reducing in any and every area of my life and with this site and my work being such a huge part of my everyday, it only seems fitting that the place I call my office gets a bit of a refresh - which is actually more of a major overhaul.

So let's take a walk down memory lane... shall we? The last time this space had any semblance of organization and decency was way back in 2013 when I installed Crown Molding. Take a gander, because the next image you see will terrify you.. though not as much as the before shots of my closet, am I right? Eek!

Ok, I guess it isn't quite as scary as I made it sound, but it's definitely devoid of anything good and was slowly becoming the dumping ground for all of the millions of shipments that roll through these doors. And don't get me started on the craft supplies, parts, and pieces that all inevitably need to be kept for future projects. To say it is overwhelming is the understatement of the year. This image above is of course the 'good side' of this space but I will share the rest of the crazy with you as I work it over, a little at a time! It's becoming desperate...

A bit of an improvement, no? That gorgeous over sized art print from Minted is the crown jewel of this space and with the new extra large size they offer, you can get your faves in a 54"x40" format and rock out your space in a big, bold way. This beauty, by artist Max Harris, has set the tone for transforming this space into something that inspires me, rather than bringing me down. Let's hope that translates to more productivity and amazing, inspired projects! If there is one thing I have learned about myself it is that I tend to be happier when my surroundings are beautiful and reflect my style. I am glad to bring that stylistic touch to this area and can't wait to finish out the entire space.

Everything aside from the art in this space is either a DIY project, something I already owned, or a recent and wonderful addition to my life and I am excited to share all the projects and details with you - especially as it relates to staying organized in all the crazy that comes along with being a DIY + Design Blogger! Stay tuned... and in the meantime, feel free to gaze with loving adoration at my newly transformed office space and get excited because there is so much more to come.

I am considering moving in, or perhaps setting up a lovely spot for taking a nap in between all of my creative pursuits... hard work makes mama tired and so do those boys of mine.

// The gorgeous print was provided by Minted but naturally all ramblings and thoughts are 100% my own! 

Jun
24
2015
The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

If you haven’t already begun to amass your collection of artisanal Patrón bottles for the Art of Patrón contest, not to worry there is still plenty of time. But certainly don’t delay because come July 17th, the contest will close and the judging will begin with a total of $19,000 in prizes at stake - one grand prize winner will walk away with an enormous $10,000 grand prize and each of 9 runners up will win a $1000 prize! So put your maker hats on and create something special using those gorgeous handmade Patrón bottles because you just might find yourself a bit richer from the experience… literally. Details for entry and all pertinent contest info can be found on the Art of Patrón contest page.

To give you a bit of a creative kick in the pants and spark your imagination, I will share with you all of the steps and helpful tidbits I discovered while making what I consider to be one of my favorite projects to date. Perhaps I feel this way about every project, but this one is indeed particularly special because even the Mister loves it, it is exceptionally functional, it’s absolutely gorgeous and best of all… completely customizable. All of my favorite things…

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Before I let you loose at the hardware store to round up your supplies, here is a little recap on two of the tastiest tequila based cocktails this side of the Mississippi! You know… so you have an excuse to empty those bottles without wasting the deliciousness inside. I think a summer soiree and crafter-hours get together is in order to help you collect some of the most important pieces for recreating this project - or for your very own masterpiece to enter into the Art of Patrón contest!

Coconut Mint Margarita Recipe

Tropical Tequila Sunrise Poptail Recipe

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Alright, let’s get to it…

MATERIALS //

Supplies are for 1 sconce – Double all supplies except: ¾” Copper Pipe, Candelabra Base, Pipe Cutter, and Copper Pipe Straps to make 2 sconces.

½” Copper Pipe – 2 Feet

¾” Copper Pipe – 2 Feet

1 – ½” 90 Degree Copper Elbow

1 – ¾” x ½” x ½” Reducer Tee

1 – Candelabra Base (2 Pack)

1 – Candelabra Socket with Switched Cord and Plug

1 – Pipe Cutter

2 – ½” Copper Pipe Straps

1 – LED Exit Sign Light or Night Light with Candelabra Base

1 – Patrón Bottle

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Before we can begin to assemble your sconce, we need to do some prep work which means a bit of cutting and some deconstructing.

Copper Cut List //

Feel free to get creative with your arrangement here, but there are a few pieces at the top of this list that need to remain short in order to accommodate the switched cord. You will see what I mean in just a minute.

1 – ½” Copper Pipe at 2”

1 – ½” Copper Pipe at 1 ½”

1 – ½” Copper Pipe at 16” (this is subjective and can be cut to desired length)

1 – ¾” Copper Pipe at 2”

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Now this (in my opinion) is where the magic happens… aside from the actual magic that happens when you plug this puppy in and she warms your heart and soul with a job well done.

So you are going to cut your switched cord, right up underneath the black socket and clip. Ok, now you want to cut this as close as possible since you need all the extra cord between your switch and the ends of the wires as you can possibly get. This might seem counter-intuitive since technically the switched cord would work as it is, just fine. But you guys, it’s not cute, so keep on keeping on and you get to play electrician (kind of) for a hot minute, which is soooo fun.

Once you cut off the socket portion, you are going to pull the two sections of cord apart at the top, for about 2 inches. Once they are separated and look a bit like a snake tongue, you can strip the top ¼” or so of the rubberized coating from each section of your cord.

// Now set all these pieces aside for a second since you will actually rewire this after you thread everything through the pipes. Yep, found this out the hard way, maybe it’s true what they say about blondes after all? Duh… that they have more fun? Because doing the same thing over and over again is so fun? Yes, truly.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

These two beauties up above are the Reducer Tee and your 2” piece of ¾” pipe and they will fit together to form what we are going to use to make our own amazing looking socket cover. Now isn’t this so much better looking than the base and clip from your cord a few minutes ago? Yes, I totally agree.

Now we get to thread our cord through as we attach our ½” copper pipe pieces. Each piece is labeled below so you can see where everything connects and I will outline the threading order just in case it’s difficult to see or read! You can do this portion laying everything out flat on a surface, it was simply easier for me to strap it to the wall to show you, without trying to juggle the camera and all of the pieces.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Start by threading your cord through your 2 inch section and then up through your elbow piece. Fit each pipe fitting together tight and pull your cord through carefully, but firmly so there is no slack in the line. You will truly need every last inch of this thing. Next, thread your cord through the 1 ½” section and then into and up through your reducer tee. Your reducer tee should have the largest opening at the top. You can attach the lower 16 inch section now if you like, or wait till the end, it really doesn’t make much of a difference just yet. Once your cord is sticking up and out the top of your reducer tee, you will tie the two split sections of it in an underwriters knot. This image below via, is a great diagram of what this will look like and what it’s for!

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Once you are all tied up you can attach your ¾” piece of pipe to the reducer tee and get ready to wire your socket.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Thread the cords up through the metal portion of your socket and then the cord with the ribbed edge will be attached to the silver screw and the smooth cord will attach to the gold screw. The easiest way to do this is to twist all of the teeny tiny wires together for each of your cords into something of a point so they are easier to wrap around their respective screws. Then simply use a leftover piece of your ½” pipe if you need a bit of help taming any of the flyaways and gently place it over your screw to let it help you wrap those stray pieces down and back under your screw as you gently tighten in place. The instructions on your package will reiterate which wire to connect where so don’t worry if you forget or feel nervous.

It will look a little something like this:

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

Now slide your cardboard socket cover over the top as indicated on your package, and you would be ready to give your wiring a little test run with your bulb!

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

If everything works as expected, unplug and secure in your desired location using two straps and appropriate wall anchor screws for your particular type of wall. If you can secure to a stud, all the better. Once it is all secured tightly in place, add your gorgeous bottle shade and watch the stars come out at night… it’s quite a special show that I will let you experience for yourself. This gorgeous little secret makes this project worth doing all on its own.

The Design Confidential Celebrates The Art of Patrón to Find Your Inner Light with a DIY Copper + Handmade Glass Sconce

This project brought to you in partnership with Patrón Tequila in honor of the Art of Patrón, a contest for makers and a celebration of the handmade. I hope you take a chance and see where your imagination takes you. The prize alone makes it worthwhile, but the satisfaction of making something special using very special materials is priceless.

Design 
Jun
11
2015
The Design Confidential In The Garden // Lush Lean Green + A Privacy Screen

I mentioned a few months back that one of my goals this year is to add year round color and interest to my backyard with evergreen plants and flowering vines and shrubs. One thing I have discovered over the last two years is that once those leaves begin to turn each fall and then remain to be unseen through the winter months, that there is in fact another fabulous thing we get to experience along with our sea of beige in suburbia... and that would be our neighbors. Now, it's not that I dislike my neighbors.. in fact I truly do... but our house happens to back up to a wonderfully landscaped and well maintained pedestrian path. This means of course that everyone in the neighborhood makes wonderful use of this wonderful space and once those trees are bare, well it feels just a bit like we are on display.

Did I mention my boys, and my dogs, and my husband... all of whom truly dislike to keep a tidy backyard space? Ya... so privacy all the live long year is a critical component for this round of plantings. I mean, we should all be able to choose when we want to entertain and when we don't, if you get my drift.

The Design Confidential In The Garden // Lush Lean Green + A Privacy Screen

Now a girl can't live surrounded by nothing other than a sea of green, especially when she is coming straight off the heels of such a spectacular sea of beige... so naturally the perfect solution is to add an evergreen privacy screen that is both fast growing and grows quite tall, then pepper that with gorgeous flowering plants that also stick around through the colder days of the year.

For this round of plantings I kept it simple and focused on several English Laurel for privacy and that lush leafy feel and a few of the most gorgeous Orange King Bougainvillea to provide color and interest to that boring beige stone wall. The Laurel will get nearly 30 feet tall and apparently can grow to 30 feet in width too! Can I get a yahoo? When the bougainvillea isn't in bloom, the leafy vines will still give me that organic something extra to grow along my fence line and provide something special to my vertical space. Oh that Monrovia always does it for me. I have such amazing success with their plants regardless of where I purchase them. The minute I stray, I start to kill things and it's very, very sad.

I am more than excited to stare lovingly at my lean leafy green privacy screen and can't tell you how happy I am that I won't have to watch my neighbors walk by all day long during the winter months... you know, since we haven't had any rain and are in the midst of a drought, it seems getting outside for fresh air and excersize is fair game all year round. At least now I don't have to participate... unless I choose to.

So how does your garden grow? Any new faves at your local nursery? Let's swap ideas! I love a good garden suggestion!!

May
31
2015
The Design Confidential Travel Guide and Necessities for Stress Free Summertime Travel with Kids via @thedesconf

As a family with young kiddos, we do quite a bit of travel by car. From day-cations to longer vacations - one thing is certain - we generally have a wide variety of activites on the itenerary and anything that can go wrong... will. I have found in my moderately short time as mom that the key to stress free travel with kids is packing well and planning for both comfort and convenience. Sacrificing one for the other usually only results in an unhappy camper and I will be damned if that unhappy camper is going to be me. I have rounded up my tried and true list of things that I don't leave home without when we hit the road. Whether you are planning on adventuring to a theme park or spending hours on end at the beach this summer, or both, this list will come in handy.

The Design Confidential Travel Guide and Necessities for Stress Free Summertime Travel with Kids via @thedesconf

1 // Ergo Baby Carrier - My baby is now 2 1/2, so essentially not a baby at all. I still carry him in my Ergo, all... the... time... It is perfect following those sleepy car ride naps, when I am ducking into a thrift shop or antique trove, or when we are traipsing down to the beach carrying no less than one million things. When a stroller simply won't do and I need to free up my hands while I load myself up like a pack mule, or when I need to convert the stroller into a shopping cart, or my toddler with busy hands and a tendency towards an impromptu sprint happens to be along for the ride, a carrier like this is a must have. I can wear it for hours without feeling fatigue or discomfort even at this age and stage with Penn.

2 // Sun Shelter Umbrella - We layer two umbrellas when we head to the beach, for maximum shade canopy creation and so that the kids have some shade to play under while the adults lounge in comfort and watch.

3 // Waterproof / Shockproof iPad Case - We are a tech driven kind of family. The number of tablets we have is embarrassing but the kids use them for so many things. We have never purchased a tablet for one of the kids, but they often gravitate toward and eventually seem to take over and slime up one of our tablets, so it helps to protect those babies with cases that prevent many kinds of disaster. And indeed I am constantly shocked by the type of disasters that occur. Many of them are freak accidents that you wouldn't even think to prepare for.

4 // Seat Protector - With one kiddo who gets carsick and both that we tend to take with us in the car and then eat and get covered with sand, a seat protector is just another barrier between the disaster makers and your seats.

5 // Battery Pack - See item number three above. Need I say more. This battery pack is powerful and can charge two items at a time. That is super helpful when you have kids that fight over stuff.

6 // Rolling Cooler - Part cooler for extra water and small snack items, part luggage cart. Perfect for those times when you could really benefit from an extra hand or three.

7 // Director's Chair with Tray - A chair with a tray and cupholder has turned out to be the more durable type of folding chair when it comes to the beach of camping variety of chair. We have gone through more chairs than I care to admit, and most of our casualties seem to be those that have the fabric strip as the armrest with a cup holder net on the end of one or both arms. We are not actually that hard on our chairs, yet... so I feel like this is definitely saying something. You would think this variety would last the longest, since they are flexible, but somehow they just don't. Not to mention, it's awfully nice to have a bit of a surface to work with when you aren't bringing along a large solid cooler that would otherwise double as extra seating or a surface when you need it.

The Design Confidential Travel Guide and Necessities for Stress Free Summertime Travel with Kids via @thedesconf

1 // Parent Console - If you have young children you already know that your stroller is an extension of your home and your car once you leave the house. Having a decent parent console for your stroller is crucial. If you stroll along for any period of time, you will need easy access pockets for things like your phone or your water / coffee / flask (kidding... kind of) and anything else you will need frequently and don't want to dig for in your stroller basket. I have had some horrible consoles and some great ones, so if you find your precious stroller doesn't come with one that works for you, get a universal one that does. Deep cup holders are critical for avoiding those nagging little spills when you are traversing bumpy terrain and easy access pockets that are separate from these cup holders are extremely helpful when you have 7 drinks to store, 3 of which don't have screw tops and you still want to put your phone somewhere other than your pocket.

2 // Snack Tray - Many strollers come with these but once you enter the arena of modular strollers with a variety of accessory options, they don't. Skip the belly bar and do yourself a solid by choosing the snack tray right out of the gate. If you are going someplace and plan to use your stroller, chances are your kids will be in them for longer than 5 minutes. A cup holder for drinks and even small toys will go a long way toward keeping them content with being in a fixed position. I can't count the number of times my kids have eaten in their strollers when they are at that awkward age of being too little to sit in a chair and not so little that they don't eat actual food. Lifesaver for so many reasons.

3 // Clip On Fan - I have had a great many stroller experiences that involve long days and hot climates. No matter how fancy and breathable your canopy claims to be, once you cover, shield and protect your kiddo from those vicious sun rays... they are going to get hot and then they are miserable - and so are you. A clip on fan that has a guard and actually moves air will truly help keep your kids from overheating. There are hundreds of clip fans out there so navigating can be tricky but if your kids are anything like mine, and your fan doesn't have a guard, there is a high probability that your kids will not be able to stop grabbing those brightly colored foam blades. This is not really a safety issue, since the blades are soft, but if your kid is fixated and won't keep their hands off of those spinning contraptions, there won't be much cooling or air movement happening and you will have a sleep deprived squirmy kiddo and you will have to re-clip that damn thing every five seconds.

4 // Hooks - Your stroller should have a huge under carriage basket and it should be easy to access at all times. The end. But, there are many occasions where you will find yourself short on storage space even with a large basket, and this is where parent hooks come in handy. For long days where you won't be going to the car frequently, or at all, and that basket will be loaded to the brim. These extra hooks are perfect for hanging shopping bags or totes that you want easy access to, without having to dig for days through all of the stuff down below.

5 // Side Sling - A convenient mesh storage bag that doesn't hang directly over your basket. Perfect for wet bathing suits and towels, toys - especially of the sand digging and castle making variety, and anything else you want to keep from commingling with your other stuff and don't want to mildew.

6 // Sun Shade - There are very few stroller canopies out there that are large enough to fully block the sun from all or even most parts of your child. Even the articulating shades are frustrating and some part of your babe is going to be left out to fry. My kids have had some interesting tan lines over the years, depending on their attire, even with constant sun block application so an aftermarket add-on shade goes a long way toward extending their canopy and can often be used on their car seats as well.

7 // Baby Jogger Single to Double Tandem Stroller - A topic all on its own. See below for lots of words on the matter.

8 // Stroller Cooler - A cooler that attaches to your stroller without taking up precious storage space and without needing to be carried... unless you want to. In which case, this sucker comes off and converts to a diaper bag cooler of sorts. Cool, right? Anything to expand my storage and add extra functionality for those times a rolling cooler just won't do. Like at the zoo, or Disney. Also a great way to store your electronics if you don't need to store food or drinks. Just sayin'...

The Design Confidential Travel Guide and Necessities for Stress Free Summertime Travel with Kids via @thedesconf

Ahhhh, the great stroller debate. It's endless and complex and seemingly ever changing, to be sure. There are so many options that it will make your head spin. Like spreadsheet creating kind of complicated, just so you can compare and contrast all of the features and functions of the strollers within your price point. This could be an entire article on all its own merit, but I will spare you an infinite amount of words on the topic, and instead give you a mere hundreds.... Truly the condensed version - trust me. Ultimately the stroller choice is a personal one and it seems as though it has become something of a status symbol and a matter of pride when you can stroll along with ease, beaming at the level of comfort and convenience your choice provides for you and your family. Sad... but true. At least this is how I interpret the looks on other people's faces when I am out and about, so I can only assume that I must also fall prey to this.

So here is the skinny, as far as it relates to my personal needs and wants. If you have any of the same requirements or struggles, I hope this helps.

Over the last 8 years I have owned and used dozens of strollers. Dozens. This is not a joke. Just ask the Mister how he feels about strollers, he will tell you. I think finding the right stroller is like finding the perfect car or home. It needs to be comfortable, convenient, and have everything you may possibly need and more because your sanity depends on it.

When you consider the price tag on strollers, my preferred stroller of choice falls somewhere in the middle between the all-inclusive basic travel system strollers like Chicco or Graco and the high-end, high price point, luxury strollers like Bugaboo and Orbit. If I had to choose between a basic but all encompassing stroller like a Graco / Chicco and a Bugaboo / Orbit, I would probably choose the Graco / Chicco stroller 9 times out of 10. This is because those less expensive travel systems actually factor in comfort and convenience of both kids and parents much better than those luxury brands seem to, and you will pay 1/5 of the price for all the bells and whistles - the accessories and features are not add-ons.

If you have been following this blog for any period of time, you know that I am a huge fan of all things modular because I like to have options and I hate to go without. The number one downside for 99% of the luxury strollers out there is that damned miniature basket they sport. I mean... seriously, what gives? Do they assume that if I can afford that stroller that I probably also have a butler in tow, everywhere I go? Ridiculous.

But, the thing that has made me a die hard lover of this particular stroller system is that it's the only stroller on the market that can easily adapt from a single to a double stroller with multiple seat arrangement possibilities and has a wonderful basket and adjustable everything - it's a dream come true. There are several modular strollers out there that can go between a single and a double, but none that sit tandem, that don't skimp on the second seat by making it a jump seat, that force you to sacrifice all of your storage space to house the second rider's feet and legs or that give you all of the amazing features you could possible want but set you back upwards of $1500. I mean, shucks... at that point, just get yourself the butler, or hire a nanny and leave those kids at home, am I right?

This stroller comes pretty close as far as I can tell, and has a fabulous price point. It's absolutely worth checking out and the shopping basket option in place of the second seat seriously is the bomb dot com. The only thing I'm unsure about is if when you remove the second seat, it remains just as long as if you hadn't. That is not a deal breaker necessarily, but I will say that I like that when I use mine as a single, it is truly a single and steers and rides and takes up only as much space as a single. But perhaps the extra storage space is actually a bonus and I have been missing out on something amazing (absolutely possible)... I would be very interested to hear from someone who owns one of these!

Also, a little known fact that they don't seem to advertise about this stroller is that the canopy is removable as a whole. As in... the whole thing, frame and all, actually clips and unclips. This may sound unimportant, but for those of you who have tall children or use your strollers for far longer than most (guilty!), this is fabulous because it means that you can actually clip the canopy onto the frame a bit higher up than it normally sits and give those kiddos extra headroom. This is also helpful for adventuring in hot climates, regardless of the size of your kiddo, because it allows you open up that space between the canopy and the top of the seat back, without actually opening the canopy itself. This single seemingly unimportant thing lets the air flow all the way through, front to back, which helps with the heat more than you can even imagine. Along with a clip on fan, this is the difference between a peaceful trip and a chaotic and stressful trip with the stroller. Have you ever tried to sleep when you are drenched in sweat because it's one million degrees and there is absolutely no breeze whatsoever? Ya... like that.

I could go on and on about the things I like and dislike about so many strollers, but in truth the few things I mention above are the standout items that will make or break a good stroller choice if you plan to give your stroller a serious run for its money. Aside from a personal preference for a tandem arrangement versus and side-by-side arrangement (because, I frequent places that are hard to navigate in a double wide and my boys drive me nuts when they can see, reach, or touch each other), I consider many of the previously mentioned tidbits to be somewhat universal. You may have different requirements and your kids may have different needs and wants, but at some point many of these things will factor into your general love for your stroller or lack thereof. Promise. And yes, my older boy is seemingly way too old to ride in a stroller, but for days with lots of walking, he loves to jump in and stroll. Frankly I like that he still can as well. He may be nearly 8 but he is still under the weight limit so it's just a matter of his height that isn't ideal. Since he really just uses it for brief moments throughout the day when we have much walking and exploring on the horizon, this is a non-issue and seems to work beautifully between rides at an amusement park or when we are hurrying to get from one place to the next and he is petering out.

Have you embarked on the great stroller hunt or begun to collect a vast amount of gear for travelling with your kiddos in comfort? I would LOVE to know what you found and anything that you think is crucial as a feature for a good piece of gear that will go the distance and span the ages of your children. Do tell...

Kiddos 
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!

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