If the Pumpkin Spice Latte is the drink of fall, then this Gingerbread Latte is absolutely the winter version. Nice and cozy with all the spices and fragrances of the season and perfect to serve warm or over ice (and easy to adapt for a happy hour twist) – what could be better? If you are looking to spice up your morning coffee order, this is absolutely it!
Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelpAs much as I love spend $6 every time I walk into a coffee shop (said no one ever….), it’s nice to keep your wallet tucked away and play living room barista. This sassy little coffee order totally plays into my fantasy of being a rockstar barista. I get to play with spices, froth some milk (okay, it’s totally unnecessary for the recipe, but it’s fun, so I do it), and serve it up in a fun glass. Plus, you know how much I love when things can get a little boozy & this is an adorable drink to serve at your next home happy hour. Everyone will be like, oohmygosh, you are such a rockstar barista slash mixologist, what do I even bring to this friendship cause you are so cool and good at everything awesome.

I mean, what could be better?!

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Cup
  • 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee
  1. In a small pan, heat your almond milk over medium heat. Once warm (just under boiling), add spices, brewed coffee, and honey & mix well
  2. Serve in a fun mug & top off with a little ground cinnamon, or for a happy hour twist, add a shot of your favorite libation!

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp Well, snow bunnies, what do you think? Ready to cozy up by the fire with one of these delicious Gingerbread Lattes? I mean, let’s be real, what’s not to like! Can’t wait to hear what you think! xo, LK

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.


host a friendsgiving dinner | lauren kelpHello, hello you amazing holiday hostess! How are you feeling? The holidays are officially here – Thanksgiving is like, tomorrow, and Christmas is right around the corner. You are tempted to let holiday anxiety sneak in and mess up your killer girl-boss-ness, but you won’t let it. Here’s why – we got you. We are going to help make this holiday season off the freaking chain. Don’t worry about the turkey, the presents, the holiday dynamics. You know why? Because, life is messy and weird and that’s okay. There is beauty in the mess. There is joy in imperfections. And, change starts at the dinner table, so let’s make this season one of big bear hugs instead of worrying about the perfect pot roast – shall we?host a friendsgiving dinner | lauren kelp

Okay, so real talk. Now that everyone is freaking out that Thanksgiving is right around the corner (which means Christmas is basically here in the blink of an eye), your calendar is about to get a whole lot more jam packed. How is that possible, you ask? Well, your friends love you & they want to get together to celebrate. Not to mention all of the work outings, parent/significant others parents commitments, and all the other normal busy stuff that is going on – you are about to  be one busy gal.
host a friendsgiving dinner | lauren kelp

We propose HOSTING YOUR OWN FRIENDSGIVING! I know, I know, it’s not some revolutionary new idea, but it is awesome nonetheless. Gather your friends, work besties, neighbors, and whoever else you want to invite over & have one big low-key, super fun bash.

So, friends, here is our step-by-step, fool proof plan on how to host the most delicious, stress-free Friendsgiving of all time! Interested? I thought so! Keep scrolling…. host a friendsgiving dinner | lauren kelp


As you know by know, we are all about the attainable dinner party. We choose friends over fancy table settings any day of the week, but Thanksgiving is a special time, so we are going to do a bit of both.

If you are like me, and live in a small apartment, there is temptation to not have a lot of people over due to space. Ignore this temptation because it’s silly. We totally rearrange our furniture to fit in as many people as possible. I mean, who cares? It’s just furniture! You won’t hurt it’s feelings.

Figure out the largest room in your house & take it over. Push those sofas back, hide that coffee table in the backyard, or do whatever you need to do to clear it out & move a big table in (yes, folding tables from Ikea or Costco totally count as big tables). Round up some chairs & set the table however fits you.

You like pumpkins, great – do that! Going for more of a moody jewel tone theme – fantastic! I am not going to tell you how to decorate your table because you already know how. My goal is to encourage you to be the catalyst that gets everyone together. How am I doing? Pretty good so far, right?!

host a friendsgiving dinner | lauren kelp


Everyone knows that a rule of thumb for a killer Friendsgiving is to make it a potluck. It’s the best because everyone gets to make their favorite dish, it takes the pressure of the host, and it’s so fun to try everyone’s favorites! That being said, it’s important (you know, as the host) to have a few dishes to get the party started.

We recommend this amazing sauteed green bean recipe & the most ahhhhmazing browned maple butter sweet potato recipe. Pair them with a glass (or two…) of Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir & you’ve got the fixings for one heck of a party!

host a friendsgiving dinner | lauren kelp

photography by Constance Higley

This post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.



In our transition to all things ‘thoughtful living,’ we are making an effort to ditch our normal beauty products that for a regime that is much more friendly. Out with the weird ingredients, in with natural ingredients, stuff we can pronounce, and things that help repair our skin. Ya dig?First up – charcoal…okay, okay, and a little bit of coffee.

I have been on the charcoal train for a few months now & I am obsessed with every single on of these products. The Clinique gel & scrub are a part of my daily routine and every Sunday, during my little me-time pamper session, I bust out the mask & coffee scrub. All totally affordable & products that don’t break me out..and I don’t say that lightly because we all know what shit skin I used to have. So, party people, pour that glass of wine and let’s get to at-home spa-ing!

FRANK BODY SCRUB – i.e. the most amazing scrub ever

This is, and I mean it, the best body scrub around. It’s totally affordable, lasts forever, and smells amazing. I use this every other day (I even pack a little pouch of it in my gym bag) and my skin is constantly baby’s butt smooth. Plus, it cuts down on cellulite and eczema and a bunch of other beneficial stuff. I use it because it smells amazing and does wonders for my sluffy Chicago skin. Get it, you won’t regret it!

BOSCIA CHARCOAL MASK – basically magic

Again, another product I can’t live without. While it does make you look like Darth Vader when it’s on, it’s amazing and leaves your skin feeling all silky smooth. For $8 a pop, these are a totally affordable treat once or twice a month. Boscia has a bunch of different treatments – like sake or green tea – but the charcoal is my favorite.


This is a new addition to the bunch, but I am really liking it. It cleanses my skin without drying it out, gets rid of the makeup & city grim, and leaves my face feeling fresh and comfortable. Clinique is a brand I keep coming back to because their products are gentle and way less harmful then other cleansers.


Sister, if you are looking for a good mud mask, this is it. I love it, I love it, I love it. It’s a scrub and a mask and it’s so good. It is great for a weekly mask, won’t dry your skin out, and has a nice little scrub at the end. I use this puppy once a week and my skin has never felt better. Plus, the natural bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay help remove pollution and impurities, while natural silica beads gently refine texture. Pretty nifty!



get your business stuff together with lauren kelp

Friends! Let me introduce you to the fabulous Bianca Sansosti of Bianca Sansosti Artistry. She is here to help us kick off our latest series – Get Your Sh*t Together. If you are like me, constantly running around with a never ending to-do list, this series is all about helping you get your life together from business to beauty to health to career, it’s all in there & it’s going to be awesome!

After 10 years of working for other companies, both as a traditional employee and then management, and now starting & owning my own company, I’ve learned a ton about running a small business. I’m also a firm believer in learning from others’ mistakes, so I’ve also learned a lot of what NOT to do. I find that so many small business owners really have no idea what they are doing and are working blindly. Most don’t come from a business background, and that’s totally OK! So many don’t even know where to start, so I’m here to let you know that it’s time to Get Your Sh*t Together so you can start your journey to success.


You are the president of your company, and every president needs their cabinet & trusted advisers. I’m talking about your lawyer and your accountant. These are imperative people in your business, especially if you don’t have a business background (and even if you do). Your lawyer is going to help you decide how to organize your business (sole proprietor, LLC, corporation) and draw up any documents you will use, like client contracts, and can go over your policies & procedures to ensure they’re legal in the state you’re operating. Your accountant is going to help you through the financial process of bookkeeping and filing your taxes. Don’t know which accounts to use to classify different expenses? Don’t know what a chart of accounts or a balance sheet is? Your accountant will tell you. It may not seem at first that these things matter when your business is small and operated solely by you, but they are crucial, no matter the size of your company, to protect you and your assets & success, especially as your company grows.


Go to local networking events for your industry, and even the networking events that aren’t specific to your industry (you never know who you will meet). 85% of my business comes from referrals, they are GOLD. The more people begin to know you, the more credibility you have. Credibility = Trust, Trust = $$$. There are also many events geared towards women entrepreneurs & women owned small businesses – women supporting women is a key to our success.


Your brand is more than just your logo. Your brand needs to be cohesive amongst everything you do and needs to be reflected in every way you run your business. It also needs to reflect your clientele and your mission. It is what you will be known by and associated with. Your branding needs to flow in every tiny corner of your business. The Ritz-Carlton is known for their chocolate chip cookies which welcome guests. This is all part of their branding and how branding applies to every facet of your business. A branding consultant can be an investment, but finding the right one will give you a large return in the end. I know I keep repeating the word “branding” a lot – because it’s really, really, important. When you have to make a decision about something, ask yourself which option reflects your branding best.


This was the most important principle they ingrained in us in design school. When we were designing rooms & buildings & furniture in school, it meant that the functionality of our design needed to come first before the aesthetic, basically. If it doesn’t work or make sense, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, because it’s useless. Guess what? That’s true for business, too. If you don’t have your internal systems, processes, and policies figured out, it doesn’t matter how good your product or service is. Those are the foundations of your business and what make up customer service. You don’t have to have it all figured out at first – it’s going to take some trial & error, and learning from mistakes that will happen. Have a beginning game plan, and go from there. It’s always going to be a work in progress, especially as your business grows and evolves. I still make changes to my policies and processes and contracts as new things happen. It’s never going to be 100% complete.


Not to sound too much like Mr. Tim McGraw here, but it’s true. Your professionalism and the way you carry yourself leave a lasting impression on everyone you meet. Remember your manners, be gracious and nice to people. So many people I know in the creative world are amazing at what they do, but have egos bigger than they can manage, and just aren’t nice people to be around or work with. So guess what? I don’t refer clients to them, no matter how good their work is. Show your gratitude to clients and referral sources. An email is nice as an immediate follow up, but you’re a business owner now. Invest in beautiful stationary, with your branding, and take the time to write someone a thank you note and send it in the mail. That person took the time to think of you & your business. It will be remembered. Every time I see one of my biggest referral sources, she always brings up to me how much she loved the beautiful thank you card I sent her after our first meeting, a year later, and how she has it sitting on her desk. It left a lasting impression on her. Start with baby steps in your business. You don’t have to be perfect, and you won’t be. This advice doesn’t have to just apply to new businesses – if you already have your business, use it as guidance to re-evaluate what you’re doing, which we all need to do every so often. Like Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”


CLEAN UP YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE 4 simple steps to a healthier you

Healthy living- we all strive to do it on the regular and for the most part, you’re getting pretty good at choosing whole foods and cutting the junk and you’ve got the yoga thing down, but if you’re still not feeling like a million bucks, you may be missing a piece of the puzzle. A big piece!

Healthy living is about far more than just nourishing your body with nutrients and movement – it’s about cultivating healthy relationships, joyful and mindful living, plenty of good sleep and in today’s world, creating a less toxic living environment.

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

As woman, we may slather a handful or more pricey beauty products all over our bodies before we even leave the house in the morning, many of which may contain toxic ingredients that have been linked to serious health issues like hormonal imbalances, fertility issues, and even cancer. Yah, I went there.

Cleansing your beauty routine can be just as important as cleansing that beautiful bod. In fact, think about it this way- what’s the point of detoxing if you continue to put the junk in?

Here are a few simple ways to cleanse your beauty routine and really rock out the healthy life…

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp


Just like when you’re grocery shopping, reading the labels on your skin care products can tell you a lot about what’s inside. Watch out for pthalates, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, fragrance, and parabens, to name a few. Primally Pure is a great example of label purity. Their Deodorant, Lavender + Sage Body Butter and Fancy Face Serum are the real deal. Let’s just say you could literally eat your deodorant if it came down to it.

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp


Choosing a non-toxic option doesn’t mean you can only use crushed rose petals and coconut oil. Beautycounter, one of my favs, has banned over 1,500 ingredients from their makeup and skin care line and are leading the safe skincare movement. The best part- their products actually perform. Their Lip Sheer, Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Balancing Face Oil are must-haves!

Clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp


A super simple and affordable way to cleanse your beauty routine is by making a few products on your own (think mouthwash, body butter and deodorant for the brave!). Adding pure essential oils like lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca can up your DIY beauty game big time! They have natural cleansing and beautifying properties and smell a-mazing! Hello home spa!


 Depending on your current beauty routine, switching over to safe skincare products can be pricey. An easy way to make the transition more affordable is to stock up on products as you run out, one by one. But if you’re ready to take the non-toxic plunge, dive right in girl!

One of my favorite ways to check out how my current products are ranking in terms of purity is through the Environmental Working Group. Plug your fav products into their new app, “Healthy Living”, to see their safety ratings



Written by Justine Campbell, RD, NTP & Photography by Caroline Potter, NTP


three ways to stay well besides a busy schedule via lauren kelp
It’s easy to dream about keeping a schedule that’s perfectly balanced between self-care and being productive on a calm Sunday afternoon. However, as soon as the work week starts and things get a little crazy, all of that self-care and balance usually tends to go out the window. Most of us almost always fall back into old habits as soon as things become a little bit challenging. So how do you combat that? How do you set yourself up for a successful week even when you’re super busy? Here are three simple tips that can make a world of difference.



Instead of waking up and immediately checking your email, pause and take a few deep breaths. This small change will make such a big difference in the way you feel throughout the day. If you want to take it a step further, try not to check your phone until you’ve gotten out of bed and stepped into the other room. Giving yourself space from the outside world and all of your responsibilities will help you feel more calm and grounded as you begin your day.



Eating well when you’re really busy can be challenging. That’s why it’s so important to have a little bit of foresight and to plan ahead, especially when you know you’re going to have a crazy week. Have your desk or bag stocked with a couple of healthy snack options at all times. This could be anything from fresh fruit to your favorite nut (preferably unsalted), or a minimally processed protein bar. Making sure you have healthy snacks allows you to make better choices when you get hungry in the middle of the day and you’re pressed for time. A little bit of planning can really go a long way here.



Amidst your busy schedule it can be really easy to forget the value of downtime, but don’t be mistaken, it’s incredibly important! Carving out a little bit of intentional downtime every night (yes, every night!) will absolutely help you be well and stay well. I say intentional downtime because it’s very different from mindlessly falling down an internet rabbit hole and staring at your phone for 30 minutes. When your resting time is intentional it allows your mind and body to get on board with one another which will help you really chill out. You can read, listen to music, even just spend time drinking a cup of tea and chatting with your partner or friend- the sky’s the limit as long as you feel relaxed.


There you have it! Three ways to be well even with a busy schedule. No matter how much you have going on, I’m confident you can make the time to take a deep breath in the morning, buy some healthy snacks, and take a few minutes to rest in the evening. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

A LOVELY GIRLS RETREAT wine tasting, brunching, & gal pals!

Hello, hello my lovely little autumnal goddesses! How is your October shaping up? If you are like me, you’ve got travel on the brain. I am just itching to get the gals together and host a little girls retreat – apple picking, wine tasting, brunching – the works! Luckily our dear friends Claiborne & Lime are feeling the travel bug too and threw the most beautiful girls retreat.

Check out their weekend of fun and get inspired to host your own! Don’t have a local vineyard near you? Who cares! Do a little wine tasting in your backyard. If that gang is together, nothing else really matters 🙂
The perfect fall girls weekend via Lauren Kelp

“I wanted to escape myself. I wanted to feel overwhelmed and disrupted. I wanted something- an event- to happen to me, to sweep me up and change my life.” –Sue Miller

To us, September represents a fresh start- back to school, seasons changing, and a time for new beginnings. We decided to gather a small group of girlfriends together- all on different creative paths with the intention of escaping… Out of that came an idea- to have a retreat of sorts. A safe haven away from our lives to let go of fear and perfection. A place to brainstorm, inspire, and set goals. We didn’t need to go far, we just needed to get unstuck. So we set off to Los Olivos, in Santa Barbara wine country.

The perfect fall girls weekend via Lauren KelpFirst stop, a local vineyard for brunch. Guys… what better activity to do on a girls weekend then wine tasting?! Bring your own treats or reserve a private picnic spot overlooking the lake – you can’t go wrong! Since fancy is what we do, you know we had to create an amazing experience- complete with chocolate croissants, homemade quiche Lorraine, and a champagne bar. Lucky for you, we passed along the quiche recipe for you here!

The prefect fall girls retreat via Lauren Kelp

The perfect fall girls weekend via Lauren KelpNext up, wine tasting… Because what gets the creative juices flowing better than MORE alcohol? We sampled the sauvignon blanc, the cuvee le bec, and tasted Grenache grapes which will become a 2017 rose. We took a tour of the winery, and spent the afternoon lounging on the lawn (or passed out- whatever you wanna call it). On the ride home, we sang along (badly) to Beyonce’s Lemonade, and started planning how we would make things, collaborate and create our next adventure!

The perfect fall girls weekend via Lauren Kelp The perfect fall girls weekend via Lauren Kelp

Copy & Styling by Claiborne & Lime


Remember that amazing story on the pop-up flower shop in Atlanta? Well, we are back with more Soulflower love & this time it’s better than ever. Welcome to the stunning home of Ayla Gurganus, Soulflower owner & lead designer. Step inside this charming Atlanta home with amazing light, amazing decor, and so much love its unbelievable. She talks all about bringing a minimalist approach to design, creating a home your guests feel comfortable in, and the importance of fresh flowers. Plus some more amazing home advice.
stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpstunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpHELLO!

My name is Ayla Gurganus & I am 29 and live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and pups where I own Soulflowers (ps – remember that fabulous story on the pop-up flower shop? That was her! See it again here)

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp


Absolutely it’s the kitchen.

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp


Curating home décor that really matches my aesthetic & having to wait for the perfect piece. Sometimes I can rush into buying something just so the space is filled and in the end I am always unsatisfied.

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp


Total trial & error. I am a big fan of purchasing and selling pieces if they aren’t working out for the space or if you aren’t as in love with it as you thought.

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp


Creating a space that is really authentic to us makes hosting that much easier. When you are comfortable in your home & get excited about the space, it’s fun and special to share with others.

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpstunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp


Always set the table. Buy linens & use them. Today it’s much easier to buy paper plates and just toss them when you are finished, but there is something really nice in preparing for a dinner…even down to the silverware. And, always, always, always have fresh florals J

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp


I wouldn’t say that I have a particular style that I have been influenced by. I am a big fan of white. Many people steer clear of white because it supposedly shows imperfections or dirt, but I find other colors to be just the same. I recently have become a huge fan of minimalism in the home – if you don’t need it or use it, give it away. The coffee table doesn’t need a book on it, it can be bare and I think there is beauty in that.

I also love ceramics, brass, and raw wood. I try and use meaningful pieces that we’ve been given or have found and incorporate them with modern accents. Our bathroom mirror was actually part of my husband’s grandmother’s vanity set! We took it apart and attached two out sides to make our work for the space. It’s sister hands in our hallway. It’s an older piece but with a modern brass light fixture from Schoolhouse Eclectic, it fits right into our aesthetic & is so special to see every day.

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp

Photography by Sarah Ingram
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Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpHappy Fall, my fabulous entertainers! Are you ready for cozy sweaters, reading by the fireplaces, and lots of other deliciously autumnal things? I know I am! See ya later humidity, hello scarf weather! Here is the best part about fall – entertaining! Call me crazy, but it’s my favorite time to gather a bunch of friends, drink good wine, eat great food, and hang out all night. Gone are the hectic days of summer and the mania of holiday season hasn’t hit yet, it’s a sweet spot where schedules are free, the weather is great, and the stars align!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpToday we are talking all about why you should host a fall picnic (yes, outside) and what to serve at it! I mean, come on, just look at that spread above – who wouldn’t want to spend the evening with friends noshing on that? Guess what – it’s totally attainable, easier than you think, and won’t take up your whole Saturday prepping. Interested? Of course you are! Well pour yourself a glass of wine, scroll down, and let’s get this party started! Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpWe are talking all about my love for outdoor entertaining in the fall over here, but it deserves to be re-enforced. Having a bunch of friends over and dining outside with the crisp fall air in the trees, drinking wine, and catching up is just about as magical as the Midwest can get. So, now that we’ve convinced you that a) you need to host a dinner party this weekend and b) it has to be outside, it’s time to talk about the menu!

Here is the best part about a fall picnic – the spread! The small plate spread is totally undervalued and is a total show stopper. Pick a theme (for this we did mediterranean mezze) and if your guests ask what to bring, you can tell them something on theme.

When our guests asked, we had them bring olives, a few cucumbers, a bunch of carrots, or a packet of pitas. We put the olives into a cute little dish, sliced the carrots & cucumbers up (for dipping in the spreads), and voila! A fun spread that your guests helped curate!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpNow, it’s important to pair the menu with the perfect accompanying wine & let me tell you, nothing is more delicious than a cold glass of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon-Blanc on a fall day with a delicious spread. Typically, a Sauvignon-Blanc is thought of as a summer wine, but with the rich flavors of the Mediterranean seasonings, the crispness of the white wines cools everything down a bit and makes for a really delicious pairing.  I love pairing foods with complex flavors or unique spices with K-J’s Sauvignon-Blanc because it doesn’t wash out the spices but almost enhances them.  Warm up those pitas, put out some spreads & accouterments, pour those glasses of wine & hop to it!

Looking for some good spreads to whip up? How about a batch of homemade hummus! Super easy, delicious, and everyone loves a good homemade spread. Five minutes in the kitchen and a small stockpile of hummus later & you’ve got yourself a party!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren Kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • ½ cup tahini (sesame paste), optional, with some of its oil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often find I like to add much more lemon juice). Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit more cumin or paprika and some parsley.

Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpSo, what are you waiting for?! Let’s get this party started! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren Kelp

photography by Constance Higley & recipe by Brendan McCaskey
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Hi LK readers! My name is Chloe Mackintosh, you can usually find me at Boxwood Avenue where I share my journey as a girl relocated from Miu Miu to moo moo. I live on a ranch in a dusty old cow town of 99 people, with nothing more than a general store and a whole lot of cowboy hats. I started Boxwood Avenue as a way to share old-world traditions that have been forgotten in modern day life – things like preserving, sewing, and gardening.

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpOver the past year, I have become friends with Lauren, and she was kind enough to invite me over to share a little bit of Boxwood Avenue with all of you! I am so very excited to meet you all!

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpEvery Friday, I share a cocktail recipe and call it #ToastingFromAfar, since I am literally toasting from afar, usually with a goat in my lap. I like to get inspired by seasonal ingredients depending on what can be found around the ranch, but I almost always stay away from gin. The strong flavor of a gin and tonic makes my stomach turn, I’ve only ever had one gin & tonic, but it was enough to turn me away from them forever.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

But, it was a Friday, and I was out of vodka, wine, rum, and tequila, and the gin was calling my name. So I gave it a shot; skipping the tonic (which, in my opinion, has a terrible flavor) and opting for fresh honey from our hives. As I took my first cautious sip, I thought, “I hope I don’t have to chug this,” but dare I say, the gin was good.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpI could taste a prominent flavor of honey – one of my favorites – whose sweetness was cut with the lemon juice. The faint flavors of gin lingered only in the background, and didn’t overpower the cocktail. I guess you can say I am now a fan of gin, but then again, anything mixed with honey is sure to be a hit. This is one of my new favorite cocktails, and with only three ingredients, it’s just as easy to make, as it is to drink.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 oz quality gin
  • 1 oz honey
  • Optional: Lemon LaCroix
  1. Warm honey in a saucepan or microwave.
  2. Pour the honey into a cocktail shaker and shake very well with the gin. Do not add ice yet!
  3. Use a spoon or wire whisk to scrape any honey that may have settled at the bottom of the shaker. Stir until all of the honey is dissolved.
  4. Finally, add the lemon juice and a few ice cubes, and re-shake.
  5. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve. Top with lemon LaCroix if desired.

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

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