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Friday, March 18, 2016

Window Boxes | DIY Easy Flower Boxes



Window Boxes | DIY Easy Flower Boxes



Window boxes are transformative for a house, instantly giving charm and character.  We fell in love with flower boxes in Massachusetts, where they are standard on most homes and especially businesses.  They were elaborate and packed full.  I especially remember them in spring - full of pansies, daffodils, hyacinth and muscari.

I'm not sure why we didn't tackle this project last year when we built the house, considering how simple it was, but at that point I couldn't make one more decision.  We had a flower box in this spot before the renovation, but since we added a window on the other side of the front door, we needed the two boxes to match.  The original box was a little more flourishy than what I had in mind, so we decided to start from scratch.

I keep it classic in our yard and garden, and like lush greens with a little bit of structure, so naturally I love boxwoods.  They are a great bright green (versus dark green like a yew), grow fast and are easy to shape.  I love small boxwoods in planters and boxes - they automatically give height, structure and lushness, then I fill in with softer, more flowing flowers around the base for each season.  As you can see, for Spring I filled with pansies + hyacinth.  In the Summer I will find a white annual that will spill over the sides.  For Fall, I can layer in small gourds and pumpkins.  For Christmas, I can add red berries and greens to the boxwood boxes.  


Mike and Emma put the boxes together in about 30 minutes.  We used 1x12" pine boards.  The boxes were 6ft long, 1ft deep, and 1ft tall.  Mike put a 2"x1" trim piece on top, then I added a trim moulding piece underneath the top trim later that week before painting.



He put the slats in the bottom so the boxes would drain easily.  I bought plastic box liners that sit down into the boxes.



Later that week Emma and I primed and painted to match the house.


She was concentrating so hard on covering every inch!  I love that we can do real projects together - she loves to "work" and help.





You can see the hyacinth bulbs poking through!  They add a wonderful perfume to the front steps.















These planters will be coming to the store early next week - as so many of you have requested!  Be forewarned, they are expensive to ship, which is why I have hesitated for so long, but you all are demanding : )


Our daffodils are blooming!  I'll take you on a tour of the rest of the yard next week - when everything should be in full bloom.




 

When I first started my catering business I wrote all of my favorite recipes in a little blue journal book so I'd have them with me all of the time.  Over the years I've shared a couple of recipes from this little journal, but not all.  Truthfully, when I started this blog (forever ago...?) I was a burnt out on all of those recipes I'd made hundreds of times.

Now, after a four year break from the catering business, I am ready to dive back in to some of those old favorites, because after all, they were really great recipes for entertaining.  This Chocolate Molten Cake recipe was one of my first and best go-to's as a caterer.  I always served it at dinner parties - with great success.  The ingredients and supplies are humble - chocolate chips and a cupcake pan!  They work great for parties because the batter is made in advance, then baked right before dessert and served warm.

I made these last year for a friends dinner.  While the recipe makes 6-12, they work great in the freezer.  Just bake all of them together, then freeze the leftovers.  You can reheat in the microwave for just 30-60 seconds.


Now, onto the recipe, perfect for any celebration....

Chocolate Molten Cakes
makes 6 medium cakes or 12 small individual cakes

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2 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of cocoa
......

3/4 cup of butter
12 ounce of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream 
5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup of flour

Prepare cupcake pans by coating the inside of each with melted butter by swirling it around.  Then sprinkle the insides with cocoa, coating completely. 

To make the batter, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, then top it with butter and cream.  Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth.  When chocolate has cooled slightly, stir in eggs, sugar and flour.  Pour into prepared cupcake pans.  Refrigerate for 1 hour (at least) and up to a couple of days.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes for regular 12/pan size and 15-18 for jumbo 6/pan size, just until the outsides and most of the top have set, and the centers are still slightly runny.  You can insert the tip of a knife to test.   You just want a bit of the very center to be a thick pudding like texture.   Let them cool for 5 minutes, then place a sheet pan on top of the muffin pan and invert them.  

Serve with whipped cream, ice cream and dusted with chocolate or cinnamon.

 

Melting chocolate with the butter and cream this way is so easy - microwave! 



The pans buttered and cocoa-ed while the chocolate is in the microwave.



Perfectly melted. 







You can fill them almost all the way to the top - they don't puff too much. 



Cooling for 5 minutes to help them continue to set. 



Top with a sheet pan... 


Ready for the flip... 



Mid-Flip 











So, so good.  You really must try them. 



10 seconds later...


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Here is the easy-to-pin strip!

 









Our home is officially freshened for spring.  This season, I am embracing blues and fresh greens with plenty of pots full of lush plants.  I have vases full of daffodils and pitchers with tulips, buckets of blooming branches and planters planted with topiary.  Most importantly, the windows are open, the sprinklers are running (we need some rain!), the mornings and evenings are chilly, but the afternoons are warm.  We are ready for time in the garden, hosting friends for casual dinners and family for spring holidays.  Welcome, Spring!



This collection features new custom block prints for Spring with my favorites, blues and greens.  There are pillow covers, table runners, napkin sets, tea towels and fabric yardage for your special projects.  


This table is set with a row of potted tete a tete (mini daffodils) in Small Rustic Pots down a Green Lily Runner.  I love the aged finish these pots have, they truly look like weathered antiques.  Creamware Platters hang in the background - one of my reasonless favorites.


The front door is holds a Hanging Basket full of forsythia for now.  In a couple of weeks, it will change to cherry blossoms.  Our front steps are set with two Planters from the Large Medallion Set (that comes with one this size, and one larger).  The larger two are on our back porch.  


The Rattan Baskets (set of 2, nesting) are back in stock.  The larger of the set is a permanent fixture on our ottoman, always filled with various reads and toys ; )




Now onto the pillow covers.  The pillow covers!  Here, the Privot Berry 22" square cover is paired with the Light Blue Leaf Rectangle cushion cover.























Privot Berry Pillow Cover Collection, $32-42





Cupcakes on the smallest of the Bread Board Set.






This green color turned out a little brighter than I had intended, but I think it feels fresh and springy!


















Planter Boxes

 I am so thrilled with these.  The smaller (Petite Medallion Planter, $45) is an 8x8x8" cube, and holds a 6" potted plant perfectly.  The larger (Petite Orchard Planter, $80) is a 12x14x12" cube that holds an 8-10" potted plant.  I am using these indoors right now for topiary, but will likely move them outdoors with boxwood and some sort of trailing flower in a couple of weeks.


I love how they add a stateliness to any area, like our entry.



Potted Gardenia Topiary in the Orchard Planter that will move outside once summer is here, with a large watering can... to help me remember to keep it watered ; )





I love these "short" flower buckets.  They are the perfect size to plop in a potted herb from the grocery store, or in which to keep my cleaning supplies or packets of seeds.  I've even used them to keep a bottle of wine chilled for an outside party.


You might remember seeing these Tall Floral Buckets in the photos of my Workshop/Pop-up Shop.  They come as a set of 3 for $84 (various sizes, this being the largest).  I have a lot of plans for them - umbrella stand, hanging on pegs to hold gardening tools, blooming branches, and, of course, flowers.


Here, Mr. poses for his picture with the set of all three of the Tall Buckets (that come as a set) are pictured together.



I have three new colors of wraps for this season, beginning with an all-time favorite, Chatham Blue Wrap.  This goes with everything, including my signature dark jeans with white shirt.  I wear it with workout clothes and a puffer vest during the week and throw it over my shoulders with a blouse for every other occasion.  I love these!



I can't wait to pair this with white jeans.  It would look great with white on white, a bight coral top or a light blue shirt (another favorite of mine).  This is definitely going to become a staple.



This is my springy wrap.  I've mentioned that I don't own too many colors in my wardrobe.  This pale yellow brings a springy feel to any outfit.  I'm picturing it with a navy pencil skirt and cream silk blouse for Easter.





I've added a new collection of ribbon this spring.  I love the simple, stitched look of this ribbon.  The colors are beautiful, and it will add a homemade touch to any gift, napkin or bundle of flowers.






Lemon Cupcakes topped with Swiss Buttercream, recipe coming later today.



Striped Cupcake Wrappers in fun spring colors.  I have used the blue and yellow for the cupcakes above, and will save the other colors for other occasions.



All of the supplies can be found, here, in the Baking Supplies Collection.










 









Le Pens + Tablets Collection














I'll be sharing some step-by-step blog posts for some of the projects featured in this collection today and tomorrow.  In the meantime, enjoy browsing the Spring Collection : )


Shop the Spring Home Collection >






7 comments:

  1. They are beautiful, Jenny and I am inspired! How did you (or Mike...) affix them to the house?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Heather! We just screwed them into the house with wood screws. I'm sure there is a much more official way to do it.... : )

      Delete
  2. These are gorgeous! They complement your house perfectly. Where did you get your box liners?

    ReplyDelete
  3. How beautiful they look. So classic. I too was wondering where to buy the box liners that would fit, your window box looks deeper than the liners I can purchase at home depot. Thank you for posting this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so excited about this post! I've been wanting wood window boxes for years. Such an easy project that looks pricey. Thank you! I love box woods also they have a classic/timeless look.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I forgot to ask what color your door and shutters are, so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love your front entrance!

    ReplyDelete

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