Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We've Moved

Hi everyone! Just a quick note that this blog will be moving to a new address! I've been meaning to do this for a while and have finally completed the process. The full archive will continue to exist here, but all content has also been imported to the new site. I have wanted a more integrated home for the Shore Society brand, and hosting the blog on my main site will make it easier to follow along with the shop and the blog. You will also be seeing more studio-oriented content as I expand the blog — with design tips and behind-the-scenes peeks.

For those that follow with Bloglovin', the blog address should be automatically updated without you having to do anything. All new postings will take place over on the new page, so be sure to head there for everything new!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Recipe: Toasted S'mores Brownies

As if the leftover Halloween candy wasn't enough, I made these brownies this past weekend while craving the toasty flavor of s'mores. I love making s'mores in the summer, but there's something about this warm fall weather that's keeping me in the mood for bonfires and toasting marshmallows. This is hardly a recipe (which is why it's awesome) but it's a super tasty way to upgrade a batch of brownies.


A box of brownie mix (my fave is Ghirardelli Double Chocolate, or you can make from scratch)
1/2 bag of mini marshmallows
4 graham crackers, broken into pieces
3 Hersey's chocolate bars, broken into pieces

Prepare and bake your brownies according to the instructions on the box. As soon as you remove them from the oven, sprinkle the mini marshmallows evenly on top, allowing them to warm a bit when they make contact with the brownie pan.

Turn on the broiler in your oven to the high setting.

Sprinkle the graham pieces on top of the marshmallows. Once the broiler is ready, pop the pan back into the oven (with the rack positioned a notch or two from the broiler) and allow the marshmallows to toast for about 30-60 seconds. The timing depends on the heat from the broiler – keep an eye on them to make sure the graham crackers don't start to burn. You'll want to leave the pan in until the marshmallows are golden brown and melty, so it could take longer than 60 seconds.

Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully place the chocolate pieces on top of the marshmallows. Allow the chocolate to melt a bit, and cool the brownies entirely before serving (mine usually take a few hours, my stoneware pan retains heat for a while). Cut and serve once cool. Campfire stories and plaid shirts not included ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Make It: Red Velvet Skull Cakes

Every year, I find myself browsing the Williams-Sonoma fall catalog and lusting after their awesome seasonal products. I couldn't pass on this super cool mini skull cake pan this time around — they're the perfect serving size for a Halloween party, and can be decorated differently for an impressive display.
I used a boxed red velvet mix for the cake, and whipped up a batch of buttercream for piping the details on – this is the recipe I follow. I would also love to try filling the cakes next time – maybe from the bottom – to add a bit to the frosting/cake ratio (in my opinion you can never have too much frosting)! These would also be great as a molten cake with a ganache filling, as seen here. It's like chocolate cool for Halloween.
I was going for a linework/doodle look, so I used a #3 round piping tip to create fine lines—you could also use a rose tip to create flowers or roses as accents, or tint your frosting with food coloring. Their website also suggests doing a light glaze or just dusting them with confectioner's sugar. Lots of possibilities! I'm definitely going to have a lot of fun with these, beyond Halloween—skulls are always a good idea ;)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Our Honeymoon: Turks & Caicos

It's been a month since our honeymoon and wedding celebrations, and although I'm sad it's over, we're really happy to be back to our normal routine. No stress, no planning, no wedding nightmares (seriously!) – just enjoying our lives together as we did before. Our honeymoon helped us hit the reset button, and now we're back to business as usual. This means I'll be back on the blog more often and taking on more creative projects, which I'm really looking forward to!

After the wedding, we waited until Wednesday before taking off on our trip. So glad we did. We needed that time to decompress when the wedding ended, and it allowed us to spend the days leading up to the wedding doing last minute preparations, instead of packing for the trip. We deliberated for a while about where to go, but Turks and Caicos had been on our radar for a while (and how can you say no to Grace Bay Beach? You just can't). 
We stayed at the Gansevoort — a chic, modern paradise with basically the coolest pool I've ever seen.   The location on Grace Bay was perfect and private, tucked away at the end of a string of resorts, with no crowds in sight. It was almost like having the beach to ourselves. 
Isn't this water insane? I just can't get over it. It was basically a pool (except with starfish)! There are a ton of reefs right off the beach, so we were able to just swim out and snorkel without needing a boat trip or a plan (I hate a vacation with an itinerary). 

{Toasting to our one-week anniversary!}
Ah, breakfast! I don't think Jim missed a single day of made-to-order western omelettes at our resort. We spent the majority of our trip stuffing our faces, and there were tons of local restaurants that are not to be missed. Fresh seafood, conch and cocktails are everywhere. If you ever find yourself out in Providenciales, head to Coco Bistro, Somewhere Cafe, Bugaloo's, and Infiniti at Grace Bay Club (below). Those were our favorites spots for amazing food and atmosphere. 
Riding horseback through the ocean was one of the coolest things I've ever done. It was hard to peel ourselves off our beach chairs, but I'm so glad we did it! We ended up being the only people in our group (gotta love the offseason) so we had a private ride with our instructor. 

We took our GoPro along with us, knowing we'd want some snorkeling footage, and we decided to make a little highlight reel of our trip – you can check it out below. I'll be back to post our wedding photos as soon as they arrive!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Our Wedding: Nautical Copper Invitations

Well, our big day is rapidly approaching (7 more weeks!) and the to-do list is finally getting shorter. We've moved from the stress mode to ahhhhh excitement mode and I'm relieved that we've reached that point. The biggest hurdle that was looming over my head was designing our invitations. Any designer will tell you that creating something for yourself is a torturous process, so it was tough for me to nail down a final idea and run with it. However, I had a few requirements for the invites that narrowed it down: copper foil, nautical elements, and whimsical styling—each reflecting the look and feel of our wedding day.

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Envelopes: Paper Source Foil Stamping: StationeryHQ, Custom Stamps:, Navy Silk Ribbon: May Arts

Lettering all of the pieces myself took a lot of time, but it was so satisfying to see the entire suite come together at the end. It also ensured that everything looked cohesive because it came from the same hand. I started by assembling a palette of colors and paper stocks, and sketched out a few options until the combination felt right. I fell in love with this navy silk ribbon, which balanced out the femininity of the shell peach envelopes.

I was super impressed with the quality of the foil stamping from Stationery HQ—even the finest lines and details in the design produced perfectly, on a textured paper stock no less.

I used copper metallic ink for the outer envelope calligraphy, with a matching color ink pad for the custom stamps. I highly recommend stamps as a solution in areas where printing can become a nuisance (like on envelope flaps). We used a custom anchor seal with our return address for the back of our outer envelopes, and another stamp for our RSVP envelopes.

The only downside of stamping is making a few mistakes – lining up the stamp perfectly, applying the right amount of're bound to mess some up, so order a few extra envelopes! 

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Everything came out exactly as I pictured and I'm definitely relieved that they're signed, sealed, and delivered. This was a huge task on my to-do list and we've been able to move on to the other day-of details, which are slightly less daunting. Now it's been fun to get our RSVPs back in the mail – it's like getting a little note from a friend every day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Shore Society | New Look

I launched the new SS site last week and wanted to share some of the inspiration that went into the new look and branding. As any designer will tell you, designing for yourself is sort of a torturous process—you're trying to balance your vision with all of the possibilities, and nothing ever seems to be finished. You'll tweak everything over and over until you've lost the message, so knowing when to STOP noodling is key. 

I began the process by collecting some inspirational images that spoke to me through texture, color, pattern and mood, and matched the aesthetic direction that felt right for Shore Society. I wanted the look to be true to the brand's nautical roots, but to avoid appearing clean and preppy – the local Cleveland influence required something a little more textured and timeworn. Something more akin to iron ore ships than sailboats and Sperrys. The overall look developed into a mix of modern and cottage, which stayed true to my own tastes as well as the existing feel of the brand.

Most of the inspiration I drew from had a limited color palette of warm black and bone ivory, with washes of gray-blue, drawn from the sea. Small doses of nude/shell peach gives a dose of femininity to such a neutral palette. 

Developing the logo took the most time, by far. I went through countless ideas and revisions (should be hand lettered? Type? Clean, rough, sweet, or whimsical?) and those were all approaches I considered. In the end, I fell in love with this perfectly hand-done typeface that ticked all the boxes on my list. I expanded the design into my business cards, order insert, stickers, and packaging and hope that all of these elements create a gift-quality experience for my customers. 

The "white" on all of my print pieces is actually a tint of the shale gray in my palette, to provide a warmer, scrimshaw-inspired tone. 
My favorite purchase so far has to be this striped tissue paper for wrapping my shirts—it's so cute and makes me happy when I'm packing orders!

All of my printing was done by StationeryHQ and they did an awesome (and fast) job with each of the pieces. In the future I would also love to see have the business cards letterpressed. Completing the rebrand and website was a major task on this year's to-do list, and I'm so happy to check it off and move on to other things (like planning our wedding...oops). You can continue to follow the blog here, but I am hoping to move it over to to keep everything in one place. Hang in there if you notice anything is missing or not working – I'm on it!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Recipe: The Perfect Carrot Cake

Well, another week has begun – I hope you guys had a great Easter! It was so nice to have Friday off, it was a much-needed long weekend and I spent the day tying up loose ends with wedding stuff and working on the new website, which is coming soon! On Easter Sunday we had a little brunch at our house, just the two of us, then visited family for dinner. One of my favorite cakes EVER is carrot cake, so it felt appropriate to bring along for the Easter Bunny feast.

I prefer nuts and raisins in my carrot cake, but I left them out in case those weren't crowd pleasers. The cake was still awesome and didn't feel lacking, so it's just personal preference! I've adapted this from various recipes, and this is what works for me. I hope you try it and's delicious!


1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
6 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose instead, this is just my variation)
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 lb. finely-grated fresh carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional but YES)
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional but also YES)


3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp. clear vanilla extract (regular will yield more ivory frosting)
6 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl, combine flour and dry ingredients (spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and set aside. 

Mix oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla slowly and continue mixing. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until combined. 

Fold carrots into batter with a spatula just until combined, then add in nuts and raisins. Be careful not to over work the batter, just fold until combined.

Grease and flour two 9" cake pans, and pour batter evenly between the two. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Place pans on a wire rack and cool completely – this usually takes a couple hours, so now's the time to make your frosting. Before I frost the cake, though, I like to pop it in the fridge to chill down – a cold cake will be much easier to frost.


In your stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, adding or subtracting based on desired thickness. You can add milk to thin the frosting, or add more powdered sugar to thicken it up.


Carefully run a table knife between the cake and the pan to loosen the cake, then flip the pans upside down to release the cake. Using a sharp serrated bread knife, level off the rounded tops of the cake layers. Place your first layer on the plate or cake stand, followed with a big dollop of frosting in the center. Spread the frosting thickly and evenly across the layer – don't worry about it being perfectly smooth, just try to get it even. Spread from the middle of the layer out to the edges and slightly down the side. 

Add your second layer, centered on top of the first. Repeat the frosting process by starting with a large dollop on the top and work your way down the sides, filling and smoothing with an offset spatula. Check out this helpful video with instructions on how to achieve a smooth finish with your frosting. Carrot cake doesn't demand a lot of embellishment with the icing, so I made a few calligraphy flags to jazz up the cake for the holiday.

You can serve the cake right away or pop it in the fridge to cool down and set, which I like to do with cream cheese frosting. You'll want to store your cake in the fridge when you're not devouring it. And that's it! Pure carrot bliss.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Giveaway: Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo

By now I'm sure you're all aware that in our household, we don't mind getting our hands a little dirty. Home projects and DIY take up a good bit of our time and we love figuring things out along the way. However, it's always great to have resources in your back pocket (and of course, YouTube tutorials) — which is why we're excited to check out the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo next weekend. I'm offering a special discount to Shore Society readers as well as a giveaway for two tickets to attend the event. With spring approaching, it's the perfect time to get inspired and learn a trick or two for any upcoming projects!

The show runs from Friday, March 27th through Sunday, March 29th. There are going to be plenty of demos and speakers to suit any project—whether you're designing in a small studio space or planning the perfect outdoor patio for summer drinking. Our kitchen remodel is on the long term to-do list, so we'll be checking out ideas and finishings for when that time comes! 

To enter, leave a comment below telling me what your DIY dreams are made of — what would you love to do to your home? Or what cute decor are you looking to make yourself? The giveaway starts today and will end on Friday, March 20th. A random winner will be chosen from the comments below and the winner will be notified via email. 

If you're anxious to get your tickets, you can use the code SHOREHR at checkout to save $1 on admission. Good luck, and hope to see you there!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Links + Sephora Giveaway Winner

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you're all staying warm in these arctic temperatures. It's bitter cold outside so we definitely don't have any major plans this weekend (although Cleveland Restaurant Week starts today, so I might be tempted into attending)!

Most importantly, I'd like to announce the results from the Sephora gift card giveaway—the winner is Kayla Kelsey (@kaylaincle)! You'll be receiving an email from me shortly with the details of your prize. And it appears she's also a bride-to-be, so double congrats to you, Kayla!

Thank you all for entering and commenting about your skincare routines—I am such a product junkie and loved all of your recommendations. I've had a few questions about daily-use products, so I plan to do a follow-up post on that as well. In the meantime, I rounded up some tasty detox water recipes for anyone who's looking to spice up their water game. Enjoy!

1 | Raspberry Lemon water (Eat Drink Love)
2 | Lime Raspberry Mint water (Sammy and Bella) - I'd love to try this with basil!
3 | Cucumber Lemon Mint water (Sweet and Savory)
4 | Pineapple Sugarcane Spa water (A Spicy Perspective
5 | Cranberry Juice Detox drinks (Bembu)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Wedding Prep Skincare + Sephora Giveaway

 photo Wedding_Skincare_Philosophy_MicroPeel_zpsnx4eyjgq.jpg With our wedding slowly creeping up on us, I've been paying extra attention to keeping my skin healthy and happy. Besides my usual everyday products, I've been adding in some spa-worthy home treatments to up my game (and save me money on facials)! I definitely want to put my best face forward on our wedding day, so having a long-term, consistent routine will help me keep things balanced. I also try to get off on the right foot by drinking plenty of water—but hey, if all else fails, that's what makeup artists are for!

The products I use vary with the seasons (my winter skin and summer skin are nothing alike) but these are some of my consistent favorites for both face and body. Check 'em out below and be sure to enter my giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Sephora gift card!
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Left to right:

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel | This is a quick, two-step treatment that exfoliates and resurfaces, but isn't too harsh. My face feels baby soft when I'm done using it. I especially love it in the winter when my skin is dry, flaky, and dull. Plus, the Vitamin C in it smells deliciously orangey and fresh! It's a bit pricey but a little goes a long way – when used twice a month, one set lasts me almost a year.

Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub | Exfoliating your body is just as important as treating your face—this is especially true if you use self-tanner or plan on getting a spray tan for your wedding. This scrub makes my skin silky smooth and gets bonus points for smelling like a beach vacation (although it comes in many other scents if that's not your thing). Another winter staple, but also perfect for the spring and summer when you actually start showing some skin. I reach for this at least once a week and follow with...

Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter | I bought this for the first time when I was drunk and watching QVC (don't ask...I blame Shark Tank) and I am so, so in love with it. I use Argan Oil on my hair so I was curious to try this body butter version, and it's wonderful. It's super creamy, yet light and fluffy, and moisturizes for hours without being gross or heavy. It's a luxurious upgrade to your daily body lotion.

Kiehl's Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment | Finding the right eye cream can be difficult, especially when the anti-aging results aren't instantly visible. I've cycled through a few and my favorite by far has been this one. It absorbs well and fight dryness. I've also found my eyes are less puffy when I wake up, which is sort of a miracle considering all of the bizarre wedding nightmares that interrupt my sleep.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask | Last but not least, my personal favorite—this is the mother of all facials. This stuff will purge your pores and smooth fine lines, all while making your face pulse (for real). It comes as a dry clay, which you can either mix with water or organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is my preferred method. When mixed with the vinegar, the clay fizzes and bubbles and makes the mask easier to apply, when I've found water doesn't quite mix up as smoothly. Plus, you get the added cleansing benefits of the Apple Cider Vinegar to really make this a powerhouse treatment. I spread it on and let it sit until it's dry (about 15-20 minutes, or until you literally can't move your face). I love that it's cheap ($9!), lasts forever (I've had the same tub for over a year) and makes your pores disappear. My skin looks fresh and awake and it's super addicting—it's definitely a little intense so I try not to overdo it, once every other week seems to work for me.

To spread the love to all you brides and lovely ladies out there, I'm hosting a giveaway for a $25 Sephora gift card—the contest begins today and ends at midnight on Thursday 2/19. One winner will be announced here and notified by email on Friday, 2/20. You can enter through the widget below by completing any/all of the three options.

Good luck in the giveaway, drink your water, and don't forget to treat yo self!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Zero disclosure here, this contest is not sponsored, all opinions are my own.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Home Series: Before & After | Attic Home Office

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Our third floor space was always on our to-do list, and when Jim's new job required a home office, we knew the attic was the place to set it up. The problem was, it looked like THIS:
 photo Attic_Makeover_Before_title_zpspionbmob.jpg
Yeah. Not great. When we moved in, we used the attic as a dumping ground for our junk and hadn't gone through it since. Not to mention the green carpet and unpainted wood trim – not exactly the type of space you'd want to spend 8 hours a day in.

We also knew our junk wasn't going anywhere, and that we'd still need long-term storage for things like Christmas decorations and childhood items. Jim and his dad drew up a plan to include a closet, built-in cabinets, and shelving that would store our things out of sight and keep the space tidy. Painting the ceiling, walls, and raw wood trim would transform the space, and the green carpet had to GO. The floors underneath were nothing special so re-carpeting was the best option, and also would make for a cozier room. We opted for hardwood floors throughout our entire house, so we liked the idea of having something different upstairs.

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The guys started by ripping the existing closet out – then they built a new structure, which would feature four doors instead of the tiny single door we had before.
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After the closet framing was built, we ripped up the carpet and installed the cabinets. The walls on the left and right of the photo were cut away, so the cabinet units could be built in – which helped us maximize the room's square footage.

Once the structures were in, we spent WEEKS painting. Seriously. Weeks. Every cabinet door had to primed, painted, flipped...repeat. The trim had to be primed and painted (all the way down the stairs, all around the windows, all of the shelves) as well as the walls and ceiling. There was so much surface area to cover...we were having flashbacks to our first few weeks in the house!

When we finally finished, we organized all of our storage items and purchased the furnishings for Jim's office setup. It was important for the room to continue our house's modern cottage style, but to also feel a little masculine.  photo Attic_Makeover6_zpsli0lgmpn.jpg
To achieve that look, we chose Serious Gray by Sherwin Williams for the walls, and accented everything in Pure White semi-gloss. The custom shelving around the windows gives added storage to a previously useless wall – we went with contrasting metal brackets to enhance the cottage feel.
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The shelves are a perfect place for storing books and nicknacks...and a mini bar (because it's a long walk down to the kitchen, duh). We bought a few air plants to add life – they're low maintenance and enjoy all of the natural light this room gets. The plants and cute containers are from Bird and Feather Co. on Etsy.
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I LOVE that the cabinet layout allowed for a window seat, they're so charming and we knew Cooper would enjoy sitting here and looking outside. We ordered it custom through Cushion Source—it fits perfectly and came in about four weeks.
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The new closet features double doors for easy access, and there's a clothing bar and shelves for off-season clothes and shoes. The Eames lounger was a Craigslist score – Jim gets all the credit for tracking it down!
 photo Attic_Makeover2_zpstw68uh3p.jpgWe only had one TV in our living room, so adding another one up here keeps us from fighting over the remote. We chose an internet TV with apps to avoid the messy cables, and truthfully we watch most of our shows on Netflix and Hulu anyway. Jim custom built this TV cabinet with a perfectly measured shelf for a sound bar (because why not). We picked up the floor cushion at World Market to cozy up the floor space (and for Cooper to lay on, let's be serious).  photo Attic_Makeover4_zpspxk9zepb.jpgA nook for reading or watching TV. photo Attic_Makeover5_zpspqggqjgy.jpg
We added a console table in the corner to hold a lamp for more light, and it doubles as storage for my record collection. The table and lamp are both from Target.
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Overall we're SO thrilled with this complete makeover – it turned out to be more work than we anticipated, but it was worth the long process. It's done and we love it. It adds a fully-functional room to our house, where an empty, useless room existed before. All of junk is still there, you just can't see it! We've already enjoyed spending time up here, and know we'll get a lot of use out of the room. Additionally, it will add great resale value to our home. It feels great to be done! I hope you guys enjoyed our little attic tour, and please feel free to message me or comment with any questions about our process!