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17 Best Pretzel Recipes for National Pretzel Day

Oh pretzel, how we love thee! Soft and smothered in mustard or baked to a crisp, this old-time snack was introduced to the States by German immigrants in the late 18th century and is now enjoyed all across the country, from stadiums to the street corners of New York City. Celebrate National Pretzel Day on April 26 with 17 tasty twists on the pretzel, from cheesy pretzel dogs to chocolate pretzel bark!

17 Best Pretzel Recipes for National Pretzel Day
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17 Best Pretzel Recipes for National Pretzel Day
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10 Tips for Your Best Fake Tan Ever

A fake tan is always a smart idea to get sun-kissed skin without the sun damage, but horror stories about Oompa Loompa orange skin, splotches and streaks make us wary of a bad fake-bake. Good thing Hello Natural has come to the rescue with these 10 essential tips for the best fake tan ever—it’s a must-read for every wanna-be bronzed beauty, just in time for the warmer months!

From Hello Natural

1. Plan Ahead
Self tanning is never something you want to do spur of the moment. This is one area of life where spontaneity will not be your friend. Dry brushing is a great step to prep the skin. You will want to dry brush two days prior to your self-tanner application. Dry brush from soles of your feet to the top of your torso.

2. Exfoliate
The day before, use this scrub to remove dry, flaky dead skin cells. If you fail to exfoliate properly, then you will end up with streaks and dark patches. You can add a handful of sugar to your body wash or you can try this homemade pre-tan scrub recipe:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Take your time to scrub your entire body, taking extra time at your knees, elbows, ankles and any other areas with dry patches.

3. Moisturize
Before apply self tanner you’ll want to shower, towel dry and apply a light moisturizer or lotion to your elbows and knees since they tend to grab more color than other areas. Avoid applying lotion all over the body as the oils don’t mix well with self-tanner.

4. Gloves!
Gloves are crucial so you don’t end up with orange palms. You can find latex or vinyl gloves that end at the wrist.

5. Ample Time
Give yourself plenty of time. Applying self-tanner is never something you want to rush. Be sure you apply during the daytime, in natural light and with a full length mirror if possible.

6. Circular Motions
Apply small amounts of the self-tanner in circular motions. Do not jump around to different areas of the body but work slowly and gradually down one leg, on to the next, up one arm, and so on.

7. Avoid!
Avoid applying self-tanner to the bottoms of your feet and to the palms of your hands. It’ll never end well. Mix tanner with a little bit of lotion to apply on to the tops of your hands once your body is finished and you remove your gloves.

8. Less is More
If you are using a gradual tanner then you won’t see results for hours. You can always apply more two to three days later instead of going overboard all at once.

9. Blend
If you need to remove any self tanner, use a non-oil based scrub and gently blend the scrub on the area you’d like to lighten and then remove with a damp wash cloth.

10. Wait
Try not to shower for at least 10 hours. Wear loose fitting clothes and avoid exercising/sweating. By the next day you should have a beautiful sun-kissed glow without the damaging effects of the sun!

Want to know which natural tanners Hello Natural recommends? Check out the full post to see all the picks!

Photography: Hello Natural

Royal-Worthy Nurseries for Kate Middleton

The official Royal Baby Countdown has begun! While we don’t know if Kate Middleton is expecting a little brother or sister for Prince George (fingers crossed for a baby girl!), we do know that when Mommy and Baby come home, they’ll need a nursery worthy of royalty. So, as our baby present to the Duchess of Cambridge, we rounded up the most beautiful nurseries fit for a little prince or princess.

Royal-Worthy Nurseries for Kate Middleton
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Royal-Worthy Nurseries for Kate Middleton
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Garden Harvest Supper Club

The minute I sat down with these gorgeous images from Lisa Zeising, I was immediately searching for a way to join Chef Jakubiec’s Garden Harvest Supper Club. Infused with local talent from the likes of Wit Weddings,  Meant To Be Calligraphy, and Silk And Willow - this garden-to-table styled dinner party is basically my dream come true. Devour it all here.

From Laura Long, of Wit Weddings…Chef Chris Jakubiec’s growing garden inspired a Garden Harvest Supper Club event, in which local vendors and guests joined together to experience his garden-to-table concept. The event focused on capturing the essence of Jakubiec’s culinary philosophies: sustainability, consciousness, responsibility, balance, focus, discipline, patience, courage, imagination, and fun. 

We wanted the event to be a direct representation of Chef Jackubiec’s philosophies, so that guests would feel completely immersed in the experience. It was important to Jakubiec that his ingredients for the five-course menu were either sourced directly from his garden, or sourced through local vendors – including the wine! We used his “source local” mindset as a guide for sourcing local vendors for the event. For example, Virginia-based florist, Wild Green Yonder, created arrangements for the event that included greens, flowers, and vegetables sourced directly from Jakubiec’s garden.

In addition, we worked with Silk and Willow, a sustainability-focused company that produces plant-dyed products, to create custom table runners, favor bags, and ribbon for the event. We had these custom products created in a dark plum color, to imitate the colors of the seasonal foods – purple cabbage, beets, and the like – being served to guests that evening.

From the ears of the kitchen, the atmosphere at the dining table was lively and energetic, with nonstop laughter. Immediately following the dinner, guests lit sparklers to celebrate the conclusion of the first of many Garden Harvest Supper Clubs, as well as the beginning of Chef Jakubiec’s inspiring new venture. Guests were given two farewell favors. The first farewell favor, pumpkin spice caramel popcorn, was the perfect balance, hitting on one of his philosophies, between sweet and salty. The second farewell favor, was a bag of assorted seeded herbs, such as thyme and rosemary, for guests to start their own garden.

Photography: Lisa Zeising For Abby Jiu Photography | Event Design: Wit Weddings | Calligraphy: Meant To Be Calligraphy | Chef: Chris Jakubiec | Flatware: 12th Table | Rentals: DC Rental | Table Runners, Favor Bags, And Ribbon: Silk And Willow

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Fresh Picked Strawberry Bread with Balsamic Strawberry Butter

Fresh picked strawberries can be used in so many ways. We have a few good ideas here, here and here, but this recipe from Libbie Summers might be our most favorite yet. Strawberry Bread hot out of the oven, made even more delicious if you can believe it, with a balsamic strawberry butter. It’s a winning combo that is begging to be made this Spring. Psst… get tips for picking and storing strawberries too!

Fresh Picked Strawberry Bread

Makes: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups quartered fresh strawberries, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest from one Meyer lemon (may substitute any fresh lemon zest)
Balsamic Strawberry Butter (recipe to follow)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Prepare 2 loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper (allowing the long sides to over hang by 3-inches on each side). Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

4. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and oil until fully combined.

5. Puree 1 cup of the quartered strawberries in a blender until not quite smooth (you may need to add a couple of tablespoons of the egg/oil mixture into the blender if the strawberries are too dry).

6. Stir the pureed strawberries and vanilla into the egg mixture.

7. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Fold in the remaining strawberries and lemon zest.

8. Bake until golden brown and set in the center (approximately 60 minutes). Slice and serve warm or room temperature.

…….

Balsamic Strawberry Butter

yields approximately ¾ cup

Ingredients:

½ cup Irish butter, room temperature
6 fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed, chopped and mashed
1 teaspoon balsamic glaze

Directions:


1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients until well combined.

Photography: Chia Chong For Salted And Styled | Recipe And Styling: Libbie Summers