Does anyone have a clue what this yellow post is in my yard, let alone what I should do with it?

Does anyone have a clue what this yellow post is in my yard, let alone what I should do with it? submitted by /u/normanthedog
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5 Easy Cocktails for Holiday Entertaining

Let me start by saying that I love a good drink! Making and trying new things is always so much fun. One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting together with family and friends to celebrate. I love entertaining and that is why it’s always a good idea to have a cocktail recipe handy to offer guests.

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Photo by Home & Fabulous

These five cocktails are easy to make and will be perfect for any upcoming holiday party!

1. The North Pole

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Photo by Home & Fabulous

Ingredients
-4 oz vodka
-4 tbsp chocolate syrup
-2 oz Kahlúa
-3 tsp molasses
-1/8 tsp ginger
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
-Whipped cream, gingerbread cookies, candy canes, for serving (optional)

Instructions
In a cocktail  shaker filled with ice, combine the Kahlúa, vodka, vanilla, chocolate syrup, molasses and ginger. Shake until combined well. Strain into a glass and top off each glass with heavy cream. Dollop with whipped cream and garnish as desired.

2. White Chocolate Snowflake Martini

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Photo by Home & Fabulous

Ingredients
-2 oz vanilla vodka
-2 oz white chocolate liqueur
-1 oz white creme cacao
-1 oz half and half
-lemon wedge
-sanding sugar
-1 oz white creme cacao

Instructions
Cut lemon into a wedge and rub it around the rim of the glass. Pour sanding sugar into a shallow dish and then dip the rim into the sugar to coat evenly. Gently shake off excess sugar. Add the vodka, chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao and half and half into a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain mixture into glass.

3. Vanilla Cranberry Mimosa

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Photo by Home & Fabulous

Ingredients
-1 1/2 oz of vanilla flavored vodka
-1 1/2 oz of cranberry juice
-sparkling wine
-fresh cranberries

Instructions
In a cocktail shaker, combine the vanilla, vodka, cranberry juice and ice. Shake well, then strain into a champagne flute. Fill the glass to the top with sparkling wine and fresh cranberries.

4. Coquito

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Photo by Home & Fabulous

Ingredients
-1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
-1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
-1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
-1 can sweetened cream of coconut (15 oz)
-1 1/2 cup white rum
-3 egg yolks
-1 tsp pure vanilla extract
-1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
In a blender, combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, coconut cream and coconut milk. Blend until well combined. Add egg yolks and blend. Add white rum, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend until combined. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serve in a glass with ice and sprinkle cinnamon on top for garnish.

5. Cranberry Pineapple Punch

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Photo by Home & Fabulous

Ingredients
-4 cups cranberry juice
-4 cups pineapple juice
-1 cup coconut rum
-1 cup silver rum
-2 liter ginger ale
-juice of 2 limes

For Garnish
-1 cup fresh cranberries, frozen
-2 limes, sliced

Instructions
Combine pineapple juice, cranberry juice, coconut, silver rum and lime juice in a pitcher. Top off with ginger ale. Just add directly to glass when serving.

I’m so grateful for you all and I hope you enjoy these holiday cocktails as much as I do!

Portfolio: East Meets West

Emily Henderson put a lot of thought into the five-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot home she and her husband purchased in 2012. The couple and their two daughters, who had recently relocated to DC from Denver, were transitioning from an historic Craftsman house to a 1930s colonial-style home. “The challenge,” Henderson recalls, “was to transform the décor using furnishings from our old house in our new home.”

First, she made some simple updates throughout the residence. She had the wood floors stained dark ebony, replaced the hardware with unlacquered brass and covered the sunroom’s brick walls with drywall and fresh millwork. In the kitchen, double islands were removed to create an open dining space.

Initially, Henderson worked with her Denver-based interior designer, Mikhail Dantes, to establish a neutral palette of black, gray and gold in the Washington home. But she soon decided that working with a local design team would be more practical and tapped Julia Overton, a senior designer at Kathryn Ivey Interiors, and Lenore Winters, a decorative painter and paint specialist, to complete the project.

“My job was to figure out how to merge the Hendersons’ Western backgrounds with an East Coast sensibility via furniture, fabrics and accessories,” says Overton. “I quickly learned that because they come from the West, they wanted a comfortable, relaxed décor.” In helping to furnish and decorate the home, she integrated favorite Denver pieces with new furnishings to create the fresh, eclectic vibe her clients envisioned.

Meanwhile, Winters oversaw all of the paintwork. As Henderson explains, “Getting the right gray was really important to me. It had to be a true neutral—nothing too green, too blue or too purple.” In addition to achieving the right shade of gray, Winters painted doors throughout the home a deep black and added a faux bois finish to the chimney breast and fireplace surround in the living room.

Overton started her work in the family room, located just off the kitchen. “It’s the heart of the home where everyone lives,” she says. The designer furnished the space with a large Duralee sectional in a cotton-linen blend and a square-shaped ottoman. “It instantly became a focal point with the family gathered around it,” she adds of the Hickory Chair piece.

Overton also played with dashes of warm color to balance the cool neutrals. In the family room, she interjected canary yellow accents in throw pillows, artwork and a Lucite-and-leather desk chair; in the adjacent foyer, she favored touches of crisp apple green.

In the sunroom, a vintage wingback chair—white-lacquered and reupholstered—was paired with a cream linen sofa. “My clients love the natural feel of linen,” Overton observes. “They also love the fact that it looks comfortable and relaxing—again bringing in that Western ease to the décor.” Azure Murano table lamps appear to float on the sunroom’s glass side tables.

The adjacent living room balances the sunroom’s lightness and brightness with a moodier, sophisticated palette of layered grays, including a charcoal-hued velvet loveseat. The space is home to a curved 1930s armchair that belonged to Emily Henderson’s grandmother. Overton had the piece duplicated by Richmond-based Harrison Higgins to create a pair, then covered both in Fortuny silk, resulting in instant heirlooms. The silk’s petite geometric pattern, along with gold accents, lends the room a Deco vibe.

“I love the Deco era,” says Henderson. “All the black and gold, the glass and the curvy furniture. In a house like this, you can do a nod to Deco.”

Overton also believes that Deco works well with the home’s décor. “The style is sharp, the palette sophisticated and there’s a great mix of vintage and newer pieces,” she says.

In the dining room, an existing ebonized table and chairs from the clients’ Denver house have been integrated with recently purchased pieces, such as a low-pile, woven-wool carpet in light gray. The gauzy linen curtains are similarly pale and run on unfussy pewter rods.

“The juxtaposition of light and dark is important in the overall design,” says Overton. “We paid attention to this in our use of woods, as well as in our upholstery selections.”

In the master bedroom, Overton reupholstered existing armchairs in dove-gray linen. The new ottoman is dressed in a Chanel-like bouclé fabric. “I wanted to give the bedroom a calm, inviting feel, so we went with creamy colors and softer grays to add warmth,” she says.

By contrast, the library is filled with some of the homeowners’ darker furnishings, including a pair of antique Biedermeier armchairs in brown velvet. Still, Overton kept the space light with a pale-hued Oushak and Roman shades of sheer woven grass.

The family’s finished home is truly the best of both worlds. “Our old home was all autumnal colors, suede and clean, modern lines. Now, our décor feels transitional, lighter in palette and a bit more refined and layered,” says Henderson. “This house definitely reflects our new sense of space.”

Writer and stylist Charlotte Safavi is based in Alexandria. Emily Minton Redfield is a photographer in Denver. 

INTERIOR DESIGN: JULIA OVERTON, Kathryn Ivey Interiors, Alexandria, Virginia. INTERIOR & DECORATIVE PAINT: LENORE WINTERS, Lenore Winters Studio, Bethesda, Maryland. STYLING: CHARLOTTE SAFAVI.

The post Portfolio: East Meets West appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.

Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

This time of year, I always crave something sweet. I don’t know why, I just do! These mini pumpkin oatmeal muffins are so easy to make and are a perfect little on-the-go treat, too.

mini-pumpkin-oatmeal-muffin-recipe

Photo by Four Generations One Roof

I won’t lie, I was super excited to try my new bakeware from HomeGoods. Every now and then, I pick up a few new mixing bowls and measuring cups and I couldn’t pass these up. Something about having all of my ingredients in glass jars (all in one place) makes baking so much easier and organized.

I created a little baking station in one of our cabinets in the kitchen island and it’s so nice to have everything right there, ready to go.

mini-pumpkin-oatmeal-muffin-recipe

Photo by Four Generations One Roof

Aren’t the pink measuring cups adorable? (Yes, they are from Homegoods!)

Ingredients

1 1/4  cup white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (l used light)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate chips (optional)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (I used canned pumpkin)
1/2 cup half and half (use milk if want less calories)
2 eggs
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray (I used butter flavored).

3. Combine all of the dry ingredients together.

4. Stir in 1/2 cup  chocolate chips (optional).

5. In a different bowl, mix wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, milk) and pour mixture over dry ingredients.

6. Mix everything together with a hand mixer.

7. Spoon mixture into muffin tin, filling each one 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until toothpick is removed clean.

9. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve.

mini-pumpkin-oatmeal-muffin-recipe

Photo by Four Generations One Roof

This recipe makes about 3 dozen mini muffins. I ended up doubling the recipe to make 6 dozen. With four generations living under one roof, 3 dozen would only last half of a day!

These are perfect for special treats during the day, Sunday mornings with coffee or any special occasion. My son looks forward to these on Christmas morning.

You can find more of Jessica’s projects at Four Generations One Roof, where she shares her insane multigenerational living arrangement, DIY home renovations, projects and family recipes. 

Private Tour: In the kitchen with chef Kwame Onwuachi

Whipping up breakfast at home in Shaw, Kwame Onwuachi is focused on another kitchen nearby. The Shaw Bijou, his highly anticipated restaurant, has just opened in a row house within view of his apartment’s gleaming white kitchen, where the sleep-deprived chef is savoring a rare morning off with fiancée Mya Allen and their puppy, Clove.

The couple’s spice collection, which ranges from Calabrian chilis to Ethiopian berbere, hints at Onwuachi’s global approach to cooking. “My mother is Creole and my dad is Nigerian and Jamaican. I grew up in the Bronx, a melting pot of all different cuisines,” he says. “I tell my story with food.”

So far, his crowd-pleasers include Alaskan king crab in garlic sauce with grated uni bottarga, and a play on steak and eggs combining wagyu beef with soubise and a pickled quail egg. “Flavor and spices translate over different continents,” he says.

Before moving to DC in 2015, Onwuachi launched a catering company, studied at The Culinary Institute of America and survived 12 episodes on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Later, he created a series of  pop-up restaurants around the country, Washington investors came calling and The Shaw Bijou was born.

The couple hasn’t set a wedding date yet, but Onwuachi has a wish list for his dream kitchen in a future home: an island with refrigerator and freezer drawers, a French-top range with gas burners and a combination oven (heat and steam).

For now, his sights are set on The Shaw Bijou, where a 13-course meal starts at $185 per person and where, Onwuachi says, he wants guests to feel as though they’re dining in “a very nice house.”

ALWAYS ON HAND: “Chilis, garlic, ginger, lime and sambal for something spicy and acidic. And leftover Chinese food.”

MUST HAVES: “My Vita-Prep blender so I can make a sauce on the fly. And my handmade Japanese knives.”

DINNER AFTER HOURS:  “After a long day, I’d probably sear a piece of steak, straight up. That’s it.”

 

The post Private Tour: In the kitchen with chef Kwame Onwuachi appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.

Private Tour: Jamie Leeds

The last two years have been very good to chef Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar. Following a whirlwind romance, she and then-girlfriend Tina McDaniel purchased a house together in Chevy Chase. They married last spring and on November 30 welcomed their newborn daughter, Hazel, who joins half-brother Hayden, Leeds’s 16-year-old son.

At home, Leeds and McDaniel, a marketing consultant, share cooking duties. “Tina is not intimidated by cooking for a chef,” Leeds remarks. “She’s a pescetarian, so we eat a lot of fish and vegetables.” On the stove during our photo shoot: a colorful fall vegetable medley.

For Leeds, the kitchen was one of the home’s draws. “I like the openness,” she says. “It’s the perfect size kitchen. You don’t want to have to make a lot of movements when you cook. Everything is within arm’s reach.”

Indeed, the kitchen gets a workout, as the couple enjoys entertaining around an adjacent farmhouse table that seats 12. Recent dinner-party menus featured  squid ink paella with shrimp, calamari, scallops, clams and mussels; and a bouillabaisse of lobster and shrimp in saffron-tomato broth. “I tend to make too much food when I’m cooking at home because I’m used to making such large batches,” Leeds laughs. “There’s always leftovers.”

Named for her late father, the Hank’s brand includes Hank’s Oyster Bar—with locations in Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill and Old Town Alexandria. During the past year, Leeds launched Hank’s Pasta Bar, also in Old Town, and Hank’s Cocktail Bar, a casual outpost in DC’s Petworth neighborhood serving burgers and small bites. Another Hank’s Oyster Bar will open in The Wharf on Maine Avenue in 2017.

ALWAYS ON HAND:  “Potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, pasta, tomatoes, prosciutto, lots of cheeses.”

MUST HAVES:  “Good knives are key. Wooden spoons, a zester and a garlic press. And I have to have a couple of copper pots.”

DINNER AFTER HOURS:  “A baked potato with all the toppings—broccoli, cheese, tofu, sausage. We have Baked Potato Night once a week.”

 

The post Private Tour: Jamie Leeds appeared first on Home & Design Magazine.

Paver patio advice

Good morning, I'm in a bit of a pickle on day three of my project that I've been working on. I had originally made a paver deck with only using dirt as a base. I quickly realized that I did it wrong and it wouldn't stand through time so I'm working on redoing it.

I've dug out the dirt, and added gravel and sand as a base. Now I'm at the point where I am attempting to level the last top layer so I can lay the stone back down.

Which leads me to my dilemma. I'm already quite a bit more money in then I wanted after added the materials of sand and gravel. While I know I have no where near the standard amount, I'm going to go with it and see if I can make it work. Right now I have a sloppy mix of multipurpose sand, gravel, and leveling sand.

It's sloppy and its wrong, but at this point I just need to figure out how to make it work. I need advice on leveling this horrible mixture I've created. The leveling sand is very hard to spread evenly, and it's fairly well covering my entire area at this point. The options of a screed just don't seem plausible to me, as nothing seems to move the sand evenly.

Any advice to get this surface flat without adding any more material. All I have is my dirt left that I started with, not sure if using any of it is an option. I live in Florida so it's not the world's worst dirt.

submitted by /u/Palani716
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