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CHARMING ATLANTA HOME TOUR of Ayla Gurganus

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

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

Absolutely it’s the kitchen.

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WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

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.

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HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO ARRIVE AT SUCH A COHESIVE STYLE? WE ARE OBSESSED!

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.

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YOU SEEM LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING HOSTESS. WHAT IS YOUR SECRET FOR GOOD HOSPITALITY?

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

WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ANY UP YOUR SLEEVE?

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

DESCRIBE YOUR INTERIORS STYLE & WHO INFLUENCED IT:

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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THE RODEO HONEY

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
 
Ingredients
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 oz quality gin
  • 1 oz honey
  • Optional: Lemon LaCroix
Instructions
  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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RHUBARB ROSE MEZCAL MARGARITA the prettiest drink you ever did see

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Are y’all ready for the most stunning twist on the classic margarita? Swap out your tequila for mezcal & switch things up with rhubarb and rose & prepare to be sipping pretty poolside all season. This drink is out of this world & we can’t wait to make it our new staple! xoxo, LK

Hello, Camille here! Last spring I spent time in London and Paris with my best friend for a work and leisure trip. Eating at local classics and hotspots is also a favorite part of my travels as I come home with a lot of inspiration for new recipes to try at home. This trip was no exception! My food highlight of the trip was all the dishes and drinks featuring rhubarb, including a rhubarb mezcal margarita at Wahaca, a fun and colorful Mexican restaurant in London.
Rhubarb is in season from late spring through summer, making a rhubarb margarita a delicious spring cocktail to enjoy all season! I’m also loving adding floral flavors and edible flowers to just about anything I can right now. They are an easy and delicious addition to lots of recipes. Plus they look absolutely stunning! I added a touch of rosewater to the margarita to give an extra feminine and spring touch. This recipe is delicious without the rosewater for anyone that isn’t a fan of floral flavors.LB-9886

RHUBARB ROSE MEZCAL MARGARITA
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Rhubarb Simple Syrup
  • ¼ - ½ tsp Rosewater (optional)
  • 4 Large Limes
  • 4 Shots of Mezcal (1 to 1.5 oz per shot)
  • Dried rose petals (optional)
  • Coarse salt
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Make rhubarb simple syrup in advance, allowing time for it to cool. I used
  2. this simple recipe
  3. and added some lemon zest (optional). The extra simple syrup is great on ice cream, yogurt, tea cake, or in sparkling water/seltzer.
  4. Rim glasses with coarse salt. Run a lime wedge along the rim of the glass first to help the salt stick!
  5. Juice the limes and add the fresh juice, mezcal, 4 ounces of rhubarb simple syrup, rosewater if you're using (if you're unsure if you like the flavor of rose, start with less and add more to taste), and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and chill.
  6. Pour into 4 glasses. To dress up your drinks, add a lime wedge or my favorite, a sprinkle of dried rose petals (available at Whole Foods or usually any local grocery or specialty food shop that has dried lavender). Enjoy!

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recipe creation by Camille Wynn | photography by Lindsay Brown| styling by Alana Stipech

THE IMPORTANCE OF MORNING ROUTINE make today awesome

IMG_4440Does your morning routine look like this: wake up, reach for your phone, check your email & texts, and maybe look at Instagram if you’ve got the extra minute? There is nothing wrong with picking up your phone first thing (hey, we are guilty of it), but sometimes a pesky email from a boss or a rude text can dictate the tone of your day & no one wants to wake up stressed out.

This month we’ve been challenging ourselves to spend ten minutes, first thing in the morning, to wake up with an easy, phone-free morning routine. Taking just ten minutes to breathe, stretch, set intention, and have a little alone time before the rush of the day kicks in is an amazing way to take back your morning & set yourself up for a healthy day.

IMG_4365SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS:

If your phone is normally plugged in to your nightstand or right next to your bed, try moving it across the room. This forces you to get up & out of bed when your alarm goes off. Normally, we would all run back to our warm, cozy bed, but this week you are going to move to the living room and spend the next 10 minutes in your new daily routine.

To help get things going, I drink a small glass of water & turn on the coffee pot. By the time the coffee is brewed and cooled down a bit, my morning routine is wrapping up and the coffee is already made. This is a great start to a morning already.

pure delight 1MEDITATE FOR 2 MINUTES

Despite what you might think about meditating, there are lots of different ways & a mass of health reasons why meditating, even a few times a week, is incredibly beneficial. I’ve been starting off my mornings by setting a timer for 2 minutes and sitting in a quiet place, with our eyes closed, focusing on our breath.

I increased those two minutes to four the next week & then again in two-minute increments as the weeks roll on. So far I am up to eight minutes & it’s the best part of my morning. Sitting in my office with a candle lit, the smell of coffee coming in through the kitchen, and eight glorious minutes to just wake up, check in with how I am feeling, and set personal intentions for my day. It’s insane how much better I feel & how my reactions have changed when met with stressful situations.

IMG_4432CELEBRATE YOUR MORNING

You did it! You woke up a few minutes early & chose to spend a little time on yourself this morning instead of jumping right into the work day grind. How do you feel? Sure, a little sleepy maybe, but hopefully you feel more grounded and prepared to take on the day.

Our days are filled with people needing things from us –  that email,  your attention, your input – and while that might just be part of the daily grind, taking a few minutes out of the morning to give yourself a little love, a good pep talk, and a great cup of coffee will help make the grind a little better.

If you are looking for a little extra love, try some Simply Pure clean coffee creamer. Only five simple ingredients & your morning cup of coffee just got seriously upgraded. I am partial to the French Vanilla, but I hear the Hazelnut is pretty divine as well.

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lauren and sylvia

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

MAKE YOUR OWN MARGARITA TABLE always be fiesta ready with this easy DIY

IMG_4512Maybe it’s because we live in Austin & Arizona, but I have found that our house is always fiesta-ready. If we ever find ourselves needing to make margaritas for 20 friends who just happen to drop by unannounced, we are prepared! Think what you will, but as an entertaining blogger, I feel like that is a mark of success 😉

Margaritas are kind of like a cup of coffee, in the sense that everyone likes theirs a little different. Salt, no salt, extra lime, with a spicy kick, the list goes on – it’s all based on preference. That is why we are showing you how to set-up the perfect “make your own” margarita table . This is fantastic for summer get-togethers and is insanely easy to reproduce. Whether your festivities are inside or out on the porch, this little entertaining trick will get you out of the kitchen and keep you mingling like that entertaining maven that you are.
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STEP ONE: the set-up

No matter the occasion, it’s important for the bar to be easily accessible but not the center of attention. Depending on where you want your guests to spend their time (outside in the yard, on a shaded porch off the kitchen, etc.) find a little spot that will allow your guests to mix up their perfect marg with ease.

A dining table works perfectly as a DIY margarita table or if you are tight on space, an entryway table or even pushing a few end tables together to create a designated margarita area will do the trick perfectly.

diy marg oneSTEP TWO: the mixings

Margaritas are having a serious moment on the cocktail stage & we couldn’t be more excited. While we aren’t knocking the classic margarita mix angle (hey, Trader Joe’s has a great one!) we are encouraging you to let your hair down and go wild with your mixings!

Grab some fresh grapefruit juice, squeeze up some blood orange juice, or even go super nuts and try out watermelon juice! Need some inspiration? We’ve got ten (10!) of the best margarita recipes that are serious crowd-pleasers, plus (per usual) they are easy to whip up!

IMG_4543STEP THREE: the fixings

Now it’s time for the decoration! Make sure to cut up little lime wedges & have a few salt dishes out, for your pro-salt rim friends. I love adding wedges of grapefruit, jars of honey or agave, and sparkling mineral water to top things off. Maybe throw some hot sauce on the table to really spice things up! Just have fun with it. Found some stir sticks you think are fantastic – add those too!

The best part is decorating a table so your guests feel encouraged to try something new & have fun!

Writing a recipe on a card and having it sit up on the table is another fun tip. Or, for your guests who don’t like to get their hands dirty, I always have a pitcher of pre-made margarita to help ease people into the make your own concept. Above all else, have fun!

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lauren and sylvia

PALOMA my favorite summer cocktail

IMG_2918Well, happy Friday, friends! I don’t know about you but I am ready for summer to make her grand entrance because these little beauties have been calling my name. Festive, delicious, and wildly easy to make, the Paloma has become a warm-weather staple in our house. I discovered this little babes when living in Austin and have happily brought them with me wherever we’ve moved.

For all my grapefruit lovers, this is for you. Love margs but hate the sugar? This is for you! Searching for the perfect “go-to” cocktail this summer – oh, yeah, this is absolutely for you! Give her a try & tell us what you think!

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INGREDIENTS:

– 1/2 cup Tequila
– 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods has some great ones!)
– 1/2 cup Topo Chico (if you can’t find that, use Club Soda)
– 1 tablespoon lime juice
– OPTIONAL: Salt or sugar for rim
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INGREDIENTS:

1. If you like a salted rim, go ahead and fill a shallow plate with salt, run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass, & rim it with salt. I like my Paloma’s without salt, but it’s totally up to you!

2. Fill two glasses with a few ice cubes & add in your ingredients. Stir gently & serve, sip, repeat!

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lauren and sylvia

EDIBLE FLOWER SPRING SALAD basically, magic

This might just be the salad to end all salads & we are absolutely okay with that. Meet Alana Stipech, master stylist & art director, and your new girl crush/best friend goal. Her and her husband love to entertain & this is one of their go-to recipes for warm weather & we have to say, we totally get it! Easy, delicious, and absolutely stunning – this is absolutely the way to go this summer. Plus, when was the last time you got to use edible flowers?! Happy reading! 


Hi friends, Alana here! My husband and I love throwing together salads when it’s warm out and we don’t feel like spending a ton of time cooking, or turning on the oven! We almost always have a cheese board and white wine on the side, sometimes we even start snacking on that while we chop veggies 🙂 The magical thing about salads is that you can’t mess them up- use anything you have on hand or whatever is freshest at your local farmers market!

Processed with VSCO with a9 presetINGREDIENTS:

– Mixed greens
– Handful of edible flowers
– 1 bunch of radishes
– 4 carrots
– 2 green onions
– Half a radicchio
– Olive oil and vinegar (for dressing)
– Optional: Cooked lentils, pear, apples, and/ or pepitas for additional toppings

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Thinly slice all veggies, and use vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons.
2. Toss all ingredients into a large bowl and add a touch of olive oil + vinegar on top for dressing!


 by Alana Stipech & photography by Kristopher Stipech

SIMPLE BRAIDED UPSTYLE perfect for spring

image6.JPGHi friends! Breann here. Are you as excited about Spring finally being here as much as I am? There’s just something about the welcoming of warmer weather that has me itching for cold drinks, throwing the windows open, and enjoying meals on the porch. It also has me embracing loose, romantic hairstyles to accompany said outdoor meals that hopefully include candles and some slow John Mayer tunes. (Hint, hint husband!) This simple French braid upstyle is perfect for those second day curls that have fallen a bit loose and messy.
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STEP ONE:

Start with curled hair that’s been prepped with a texturizing spray, and tease just slightly at the back of the crown. Make sure to smooth the top.
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STEP TWO:

Begin a French braid just an inch or so south of where you teased the hair. Leave a few loose pieces surrounding your face for some soft framing.
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STEP THREE:

Tie off with a clear elastic, then gently pull the braided strands for the braid to appear more full.
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STEP FOUR:

Lastly, take the end of the braid and tuck it under to the nape of your neck. Secure with a few bobby pins as necessary, then finish off with a firm hold hairspray.

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COCONUT GRILLED PINEAPPLE with mint from your garden

Well, howdy friends! Did you know that April is sustainability month? Well, I totally forgot and felt bad about it (because, hey, we all need to care about caring for our planet, know what I mean?) so we decided to get a little more earth-friendly on LaurenKelp.com today.

Living in a big urban city can make becoming more earth-friendly slightly more difficult. We take the train, recycle in our building, try to buy locally whenever possible, and try to be conscious about our water use – pretty good right? Well, I was at the store the other day & realized that I was buying spending $5 to buy herbs that I could I could easily grow in my own windowsill. So, with a little dirt and a pot, I started our urban herb garden. I was so pleased at our first bundle of mint, we whipped up these insanely delicious grilled pineapples. Craving warm weather – these are for you. Don’t have a grill – these are easily made in a grill pan. Want an excuse to eat something sweet without reaching for chocolate – eat a million of these, they are amazing. Earth friendly & well-fed, not bad for one recipe!

IMG_3537INGREDIENTS:

– 1 ripe pineapple

– 2 cups of Silk Original Coconut Milk

– Handful of mint leaves

– 1 cup of  granulated sugar

– 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

IMG_3639INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Cut off the top & the base of your pineapple so it stands up flat on a cutting board. Slice the fruit into 1/2 – 1 inch thick disks.

2. Grab two shallow dishes. In one, mix in your sugar & cinnamon and in the other pour in your Silk Coconut Milk.

3. Place one side of your pineapple slice in the coconut milk & then place that same side in your cinnamon-sugar mix. Flip & repeat so both sides are dredged. Once a slice is fully dredged, place over a grill pan (on medium heat) until golden brown & flip (about 5 minutes per side).

4. When ready to serve, chop up your mint leaves (maybe save a few for garnish, if you want!) and mix in to remaining coconut milk. Drizzle the mixture on top of your slices & sprinkle on some crushed nuts if desired. Or just serve it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream – either works!

5. PRO TIP: I like to keep the sides of my pineapple uncut until I am ready to serve them up. The handle better on the grill & keep the slices from breaking or falling apart. Once you are ready to serve, slice of the sides & either eat around the tough center part, or cut that out as well. It’s really a matter of preference!

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lauren and sylvia

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

THE MOST LOVELY SPRING LUNCH

View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertableWell, hi friends! Remember that home tour that you were in love with? Well, it’s back & it’s hosting the most beautiful spring lunch we ever did see. Say “hello” to one of our favorite lifestyle bloggers, Katelyn from Katalina Girl, as she shows us how to throw a lovely spring brunch using the items you already have! Prepare to get inspired. – xoxo, LK
katalina_2Hello! Katelyn here from Katalina Girl. There’s nothing like a little spring soirée after a cold winter of hibernating.  The flowers are officially blooming, the birds are chirping and the sun is shining. What better way to welcome this cheerful season than a springtime party? So grab some stationary or shoot your besties an email. It’s time to celebrate the sunshine!View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertableThere’s nothing I love more than a sweet spring tablescape—the bright color palette, vintage décor, a rustic farm table (I made this one with Milk Paint), fresh greenery, beautiful blossoms and of course the crisp light from your kitchen windows. A new season doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to shop for new entertaining pieces.

I threw together a ton of items I already had to create the perfect blend of a mix-to-match table setting. I spent hardly any money on décor, just flowers, food and a few fresh serving ware pieces.

Most items are borrowed from Grandma’s kitchen while others are new from Anthropolgie. It’s the perfect mix of old and new. kataline_1If you don’t have access to your Grandmother’s kitchen I suggest searching for a few must-have entertaining items at Goodwill, flea markets and vintage stores.

 milk vases, jadeite plates or a cake stand, mason jars, patterned bowls, printed plates and tea cups, ornate drinking glasses and silverware.

You’d be surprised how much you’ll end up using those pieces year round. View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertableNow whip up your favorite snacks, pop open the wine and give yourself an excuse for a girl’s night of fun.

Cheers to spring!View More: http://laurenkonradphotography.pass.us/kgeastertable


Copy by Katelyn Cheek | Photography by Lauren Konrad