Feb
04
2016
The Design Confidential x Bernzomatic | The Smoking Gun Cocktail Recipe

If you have ever wanted to turn up the heat on your cocktail game, with a few safety precautions... just in case... it is much easier than you might think. It will definitely take your mixology to the next level.

I give you my latest cocktail creation, made specifically for the use of my fave Bernzomatic Micro Torch and a fabulous intro into the world of Flammable Cocktails. For a Bourbon based cocktail, see my Damrell's Fire recipe.

INGREDIENTS + MATERIALS //

Bernzomatic 3-in1- Multi Torch + Butane

1 Oz Coffee Liqueur

1 Oz Vodka

2 Oz Half + Half

6 Oz Club Soda

1 Tbsp Amaretto Liqueur

Dash of Cinnamon

The Design Confidential x Bernzomatic | The Smoking Gun Cocktail Recipe

DIRECTIONS //

Fill a Double Old Fashioned glass with ice.

Pour in 1 oz Coffee Liqueur, 1 oz Vodka, and 2 oz Half + Half. Fill most of the remainder of your glass with club soda, leaving ¼ inch to spare. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on top but do not mix.

Slowly add a float of Amaretto by pouring ½-1oz of Amaretto over the back of a spoon near the edge of your glass. This will help spread the Amaretto and keep it light which will help it remain near the top of your drink.

Using your Bernzomatic Torch, carefully light your Amaretto float and run your flame over the cinnamon to lightly toast. Watch it become your smoking gun.

TIP // Ensure your work area is free of excess alcohol and any other potentially flammable items before you ignite your torch. Take all safety precautions when playing with fire. Burning down your house, for the sake of a fabulous drink experience, would be a terrible idea.

Note

This recipe was created in partnership with Bernzomatic and is part of an ongoing series of projects here on 'le blog'. Thank you for supporting the awesome-sauce brands that help bring fresh and fun new projects like this to The Design Confidential. I heart you guys!

Feb
01
2016
The Design Confidential DIY // Neon Acrylic Lucite Typography Art Installation

As I have been slowly chipping away at my office space, and stripping away most of the chaos, clutter, and consequently much of the color, I am realizing just how much I still need a jolt of happy bright color here and there to stay inspired and creative. It's funny what you learn about yourself when you remove things from your life. I am working on a very special side project at the moment and it is fast moving from beginning to end so organization is absolutely crucial for my sanity right now. This means keeping everything I need at arms length and yet completely out of site so it isn't distracting. Last month for the Michael's Makers Challenge it was all about containing the chaos and curbing the stress. The storage solutions I created have been absolutely life saving these days, so when we were given the challenge of personalizing some of the items from the MAKE Market line, it seemed only fitting that I continue on that path of good looking storage solutions and organizational items, and yet instead I thought it would be mighty nice to create something that is fun and pretty to enjoy while I am slaving away in the hamster wheel of a DIY life.

The Design Confidential DIY // Neon Acrylic Lucite Typography Art Installation

The MAKE Market line is literally bursting at the seams with letters and decorative pieces that you can put your own personal stamp on. In true to me fashion... amongst all of the black, white, gold and neutral that surrounds me on a daily basis- I chose to add a little neon to my world. This project can really be done with any color under the sun, so if neon isn't your thing - go for gold, or blue.

MATERIALS //

  • Acrylic Letters
  • All Surface Craft Paint, Spray Paint, or Chalk Paint
  • Sealant - optional for delicate or thin paint. Mod Podge would work beautifully.
  • Foam Brush - if using acrylic paint
  • Epoxy - optional for securing the letters together for each word
The Design Confidential DIY // Neon Acrylic Lucite Typography Art Installation

Spray or paint the backside of each letter. This will mean choosing a side for letters that aren't directional (like O or T) and flipping the directional letters over so they are facing the wrong way (like C or P). Build up the color with thin layers of paint. Let dry completely, and if your paint is delicate, consider giving it a bit of a sealer coat.

The Design Confidential DIY // Neon Acrylic Lucite Typography Art Installation

When you are finished adding color to your letters, you can set, hang or fasten together to form words. If you choose to secure together the letters for a word (helpful when you have roundy letters like O or C), use a heavy duty glue that states it will work with plastic.

I haven't decided if I will hang these pieces or let them lie on a nearby surface. Either would make me happy and I love how these look exactly as if they were made from neon acrylic. 

Note

This collection of surfaces, letters, frames and more come in modern, eclectic or rustic styles. From natural and finished woods, to a variety of metals, resin and patterned styles, the possibilities are endless.

If you don’t know where to begin, you can always take a look at some of the fun projects on Michaels.com or the other 49 Makers’ ideas on The Glue String for to see how they personalized their crafts!

An InLinkz Link-up

Feb
01
2016
The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

This post is brought to you by Bertolli. Don't just eat, Mangia!

 

Life with young children can be exceptionally wild, completely untamed and altogether unfiltered - ninety nine percent of the time. Parenting breeds uncertainty and a certain amount of insanity that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Though our journeys may be different, we will all eventually arrive at the same conclusion in our lives. At some point along the way, when no one was looking, the days, months and years began to fly by at the speed of light. Those difficult parenting moments and struggles that seem so big at the time begin to melt away and what remains are the memories from many of life’s little moments. The moments we hardly consider important as they unfold, we only later realize just how special they truly were.

 

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

As parents who are both entrepreneurs and business owners in completely different fields, the time we have to spend unplugged and focused on our family is often limited and frequently conflicting. To say that those moments are more valuable than gold would be an understatement. It is important to us that we celebrate life’s little moments every chance we get and help create those special memories for our babies to cherish later on.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

Having two boys who thoroughly dislike having to take time out of their day for eating, means that mealtime is often a struggle and can be time consuming, to put it mildly. There are very few foods that everyone agrees on at any given time and one or both are typically resigned to simply not eat if given the chance. Pasta is truly one of the only things that both boys adore and that happens to be easy to add protein and vegetables to without it being so obviously detestable. But this can be a bit of an undertaking and with limited time to enjoy these beautiful wild animals of mine… let’s just say it is a great day indeed when someone makes this easy for me, with a meal that is easy to prep, in no time at all and that happens to be absolutely fabulous. Because life should be spent making memories and not slaving away in the kitchen or arguing over what to eat.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

When dinner begins to feel like a chore and I start to dread the entire endeavor, it helps to switch things up and do something different. I love to sit and eat a proper meal with these cute boys, and nothing says excitement like getting to do the things we normally don’t. Drinking out of real glasses, eating on real plates and buttering our own bread are the most exciting things to happen to a toddler and an eight year old who adores eating at fancy restaurants. We do these things on holidays and special events, but it isn’t the same when it requires hours of prep beforehand. With the Bertolli Skillet Meals, I can toss it into a pan and in ten minutes it is ready to eat. It takes less than a minute to get it started which leaves me free to fill the remaining 9 minutes with a few other special touches to make our time more enjoyable.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

Warm bread with butter and Himalayan sea salt are a new family fave, and a balsamic dipping sauce comes together faster than you can say, ‘pass me the bread, please’! We are all lovers of olives and brussel sprouts so I take any chance I can to add those to the mix. Our favorite Chicken Florentine and Farfalle pairs well with a Pinot Grigio which is a lovely and light treat for the over 21 crowd – making it perfect for our somewhat early dinnertime and to help provide distraction from the chaotic but fun and funny process of trying actually accomplish sitting at a table with little boys.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

We linger and chat when we sit down to eat. There is never any rush, and yet still there is much in the way of commotion and movement. The boys are generally abuzz and love to tell stories about things that happened during their day. I love listening to them talk with their wildly creative and interesting minds. They are each so different and yet they find an amazing amount of common ground despite their age difference. Oh how they adore each other, the greatest gift of all. It is so easy to slip out of the habit of slowing down and taking the time to have these adorable conversations. Before long their words will change from things they saw and ideas they have to what they are rushing off to do and who they have plans with later on. But for now, there is no end to the imagination that unfolds during something as simple as sharing a meal.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

If only I could slow things down and freeze time for just a bit. I suppose I wouldn’t get half the workout I currently do, since we spend 80 percent of our time chasing one or more children out from under the table and one or more dogs away from the table.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

I think life is meant to be lived and loved and there is no one on earth I would rather laugh and linger with than these crazies. I choose to enjoy it now and let them be kids. To live in the moment and cherish the crazy and the chaos as it comes… which is currently on rotation about every 4 minutes or so.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

I am seriously grateful for such a fabulous and simple solution for a delicious meal that my boys will willingly eat. Bertolli Skillet Meals are truly one of the few meals they will eat anyhow, so while the convenience alone puts this at the top of my list, the fact that it’s a family favorite makes it idyllic. Because I would rather spend my time listening to these little beauties any day of the week than attempting to prepare an over the top meal that they won’t actually like. A home cooked meal with no interruption aside from the commotion of these young boys is always my favorite way to spend an evening.

The Design Confidential x Bertolli with Life's Little Moments Make the Most Special Memories

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