Yes, I know this is the last week of August. Don’t push the idea summer is over, Lisa. Well, it is. Over, done, gone-ski. (Yep, there is a smidge of Polish in here.) I was a busy little design bee all summer, running from a design show, to design events, to planning and hosting an epic blogging retreat. Oh and I have a day job as an interior designer too. Thank you God for sending me clients who appreciate someone who likes to be well versed in the latest design trends and materials.
I LEARN, YOU LEARN and YOU GET!
Part of my visit to the Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles was the invitation to participate in the Battle of The Bloggers cook-off challenge sponsored by Capital Cooking Equipment. Here I am with Stacy Garcia, owner of Garcia Cabinetmakers in Huntington Beach, California. (Her hubby Michael was kind enough to be our photographer.)
- If you love to cook, really cook, like a pro – a Capital Range must be on your list!
- Practice helps, but if given too large of pan – roasting garlic on the stove will not work.
We knew ahead of time we’d be making marinara so I practiced. No, I totally perfected it – at home. I was able to make marinara in less than 15 minutes infused with flavor! My two secrets: toasting the garlic, in a small skillet with a top and a zip-top bag.
Above is a side by side test of marinara using the exact same ingredients, one is cooked in a saucepan the other in a sous-vide type method in a plastic bag. OMG, the baggie version was flippin awesomeness! Bursting with garlic and basil flavors, a major tastebud explosion and fast. At home.
At the competition, not so much. A large skillet to toast a small amount of garlic and only foil as a cover – does not work. My garlic didn’t have enough flavor to make the sous-vide method work. I lost. But these are your cooking tips.
Aside from numerous interior and kitchen and bath products found at Dwell, I also learned about creating fabrics for interior design from Trina Turk (post coming soon).
Next it was off to Memphis, TN for the Brizo Blogger 19 Reunion. What did I learn here? A lot.
A lot about kitchen and bath faucets and bathroom shower sprays – how they are manufactured and why you want one. To begin with, who doesn’t like a shower with power and feels like it is making and impact on the cleanliness one is seeking?My oh my, our visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Target House, where families and patients stay while children are being treated at St. Jude, was life changing. I learned good things, miracles, happen at St. Jude.
Four days later I was driving to the backwoods of Canada, well more like farmland in the middle of nowhere Canada for the Blogger Retreat.
Back story: Blogger Retreat began with an internal tug to get to know the people I’d met from the Twitter-verse and online in the design blog community. I wanted more. All it took was a casual mention of this desire to my pal Lynne of Design The Life You Want To Live, my soul sister whom I’d only met once before, and we were bursting with ideas of creating a retreat. In the middle of an ice storm in April, we had the makings of something we weren’t sure what would happen or where it might go, the first annual Blogger Retreat was born – without any pain.
If you ever wondered how and why things occur, know this… the energy of a group of women with no real connection can produce one of the most elevating and epic experiences of a lifetime.
Who knew? We harnessed the power to create, to elevate one another, to grow, to learn and to build. Keep watching for what the next 12 months brings!
Wanna be inspired? Take a peek at what some our attendees wrote:
- Courtney from Courtney Price Design
- Norma from My Beautiful Paris
- Janet from House Four
- Kathy from Live The Fine Life
All are wonderful women who offer a personal yet different take on our retreat. Take a few minutes and enjoy Kathy’s slide show as she offers a very moving viewpoint.
Now we arrive at the get, I referred to. Your get.
Next month at Decor Girl we’ll be announcing a photo contest so you can win this:
A full size Discovery WineStation® from Dacor. How is this for a get?
Next week I’ll introduce you to the WineStation® through an interview with Steve Joseph, President of Dacor and the grandson of the Founder. Stay tuned, my summer harvest might be your fall bounty.
Photo credit: 1, 5 & 8 – Courtney M. Price; 4 – Brizo; 7 – Lynne Knowlton; 9- Dacor.