View Posts By:




DIY Hanging Rope Planters

I am so excited to share these DIY Hanging Rope Planters with you guys! Think fringe, tassels, and metallic gold coupled with greenery – need I say more? Sure, you could spend hours basket weaving your own, or you can try it my way! I promise it’s ten times easier. xoxo Alexis of  The Shift Creative


Rope (cotton rope)
Gold Ribbon
Hot glue
Yarn Needle


step-1 After measuring out the amount of rope needed to cover your pot, begin wrapping your rope with raffia; adhering with hot glue under you’ve reached the end (the same method goes for wrapping the gold ribbon).

step-2 To add fringe to portions of your hanging: 1. cut desired length of yarn, 2. fold in half, 3. place the loop on top of the rope, 3. pull the legs of the yarn under the rope and through the loop at the top. 4. repeat as many times as needed for desired amounts of fringe.

step-3 Once you have completed the necessary wrapping and added desired fringe, begin wrapping the rope around the base of the pot in a secure fashion and adhering with glue as you go.

step-4 After you have finished wrapping, take your yarn needle and desired length of yarn for hanging and go under the top piece of rope. Repeat at the other side. Join the loose ends at the top and make a knot.

step-5 Add plant & hang with hook!

Design: The Shift Creative


Contributing Editor: Party DIY
Black Forest Chocolate Cake

If I could only eat one cake for the rest of my days, I think I would choose this one. A Black Forest Chocolate Cake dripping in cherries and belgian dark chocolate crafted by T Bakes with photography by Branco Prata. If these images are any inducation of the yumminess, I think it’s well worth the effort. Find instructions below and if you missed it, check out the evolution of a seasonal cake menu here.

Black Forest Cake


Chocolate Cake
1/2 stick butter
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup boiling water

Cherry Filling
20 oz fresh cherries
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kirsch

Belgian Dark Chocolate Cream
7 oz belgian dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp of butter

Madagascar Vanilla Cream
2 cups heavy cream (chilled)
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 madagascar vanilla pod

fresh cherries
red currants
belgian dark chocolate shavings


Chocolate Cake
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
2. Prepare two 8 inch cake pans.
3. Melt the butter and let it cool.
4. Mix together all dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
5. Incorporate the egg, sour cream and melted butter. Add the boiling water and beat on low-medium speed until smooth.
4. Divide batter between the cake pans.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean (around 25 minutes). Let the cakes cool completely before using.

Cherry Filling
1. Save a few cherries for decoration. Pit and halve the remaining into a small saucepan.
2. Juice the lemon and add to the cherries with the sugar and kirsch.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let simmer, stirring occasionally, until it reduces and comes to a jam-like texture. Set aside and let cool completely.

Belgian Dark Chocolate Cream
1. Chop the chocolate finely and reserve in a bowl.
2. In a saucepan heat the heavy cream just below boiling point and then pour over the chocolate. Slowly stir the mixture until smooth.
3. Incorporate the butter and stir until completely melted.
4. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium-high speed until fluffy.

Madagascar Vanilla Cream
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the sugar, cream of tartar, the seeds of one vanilla pod and the chilled heavy cream. Whisk on medium-high speed until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Use immediately.

1. Cut both cakes in half so that you have 4 identical layers. Using a brush soak each layer with a kirsch syrup.
2. Place the first layer on a cake stand and using a piping bag, pipe a border of vanilla cream. Continue piping in a circular motion alternating between the vanilla cream and the cherry filling, as to secure the cherries.
3. Place the second layer on top and again pipe a border of vanilla cream. Fill the rest with the chocolate cream.
4. Place the third layer of cake and repeat step 2.
5. Place the fourth and final layer of cake and top with a generous coating of vanilla cream.
6. To decorate pipe little stars of chocolate cream all around the cake and top each one with a fresh cherry. Fill the remaining space with dark chocolate shavings and red currants.

Photography: André Teixeira, Branco Prata | Styling: Sofia Ferreira, Branco Prata | Cake: T Bakes

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
T Bakes
View Portfolio
Cake Crafting and Seasonal Flavors

T Bakes stands for Purveyors of Delicious Cake Finery. True story. They take cake crafting to another level and when they get in the kitchen with Sophia and André of Branco Prata, it becomes an art form. Today they are sharing with us the crafting of their 2015 menu and some seasonal flavors to try. Oh and up next? A recipe for Black Forest Chocolate Cake that will surely make your mouth shvitz.

From T Bakes For me baking always takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen while growing up. Most of my childhood was spent in this historic manor between the luscious and ever-­so-­cared-for gardens and the main kitchen – I cannot smell vanilla without instantly going back to my grandmother’s kitchen with me sitting at the table while she lovingly stirs warm vanilla pudding on the stove. I also remember being mesmerized by her hand-­beating eggs into flour and the combination of the two always brings back that image!

Each year I take a couple of weeks to construct a new menu for the following seasons. This usually takes place in late October/ November when the hectic schedule of weddings allows for some time off when I devote myself entirely to the kitchen. During this time I play around with flavors, explore new textures and techniques always respecting the ingredient’s origin, both organic and emotional. 

­ Spring
Almond Cake
Raspberry Coulis & Rose Petal Cream

­ Summer
Lime Chiffon
Lime curd & Coconut Cream with Coconut Slivers

­ Fall
Pear Cake
Peach Preserves & Maple Whisky Buttercream

­ Winter
Black Forest
Chocolate Cake soaked in Kirsch, Sour Cherries with Madagascar Vanilla Cream & Belgian Dark Chocolate Cream

In today’s day and age it’s almost impossible to create something completely original, there is no cake without a past or a culture ­ and to me the memory is the most important element! Everyone has memories related to taste and smell and that’s my main source of inspiration while baking, because emotions are closely tied to major life events and all it takes is a known flavor to trigger the senses and the memories!

Photography: André Teixeira, Branco Prata | Styling: Sofia Ferreira, Branco Prata | Cake: T Bakes

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
T Bakes
View Portfolio