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Behind the Scenes: Sugarcomb Studio

If you ever wondered what happens when two talented women with an eye for style team up, Sugarcomb Studio is it. As Seattle based paper good gurus, wedding and event designers, as far as we’re concerned there’s absolutely nothing these two can’t do.  With photos from our darling O’Malley Photographers, there’s more pretty to be had over here. 

SMP: Tell us a little about Sugarcomb studio!
SUGARCOMB: Sugarcomb is a wedding and event design, coordination and paper goods company in Seattle. Last year we made the transition from a commercial studio space to a tranquil home-office retreat and we’re thrilled to share it with you.

SMP: Your office is just beautiful. Can you share a bit of your inspiration behind the design?
SUGARCOMB: We designed our new workspace to be more functional, still reflect our style and incorporate everything we need to work efficiently and comfortably. The vintage textured damask wallpaper was pre-existing and is the perfect soft touch for our office walls. We chose a conference-style desk setup which works great for getting work done together and individually, laying out large projects, and setting up reception table mock-ups. What really brings the room together for us are the wedding decor and prop pieces that hold special memories, as well as our framed publications and inspiration that help us stay in a zone of creating fresh ideas and keep us striving to give each of our clients our best work.

SMP: How’d you get your start in the wedding and event planning industry?
KELSEY: I came from a retail design background and became intrigued by the event industry because I knew it could offer an ideal combination of creative design, extreme organization and fun clients. I started the business 2008 and was hooked.
TARA: I’ve always loved creating beautiful things, which is probably what drew me to a career in visual communication design. During my spare time, I would design wedding invitations and day-of paper goods for friends and family, host bridal showers and be their wedding day coordinator. I realized that there was something fulfilling and joyful about being involved in these most special moments. That even though it was a lot of work, I loved every minute of it.

SMP: What’s one tip you always share with your clients when planning an event?
SUGARCOMB: We always tell our clients to take moments to relax and really enjoy the special time leading up to their event.

SMP: Could you share one thing that really made your business thrive?
SUGARCOMB: What has helped us greatly is refining how we reach our target market – we’re very visual people in a visual business so we focus our reach in those arenas, through our website, Pinterest and Instagram.

SMP: What’s the greatest lesson in business you ever learnt?
KELSEY: I learned early on through a workshop with Sage Wedding Pros how important a business plan is. Tara and I are dedicated to reevaluating our goals, numbers, and what has changed in the industry regularly to help keep us at the top of our game.

SMP: What’s the best piece of advice that anyone has ever given to you?
SUGARCOMB: Take risks, because whether you succeed or not, you grow.

SMP: In your experience, what’s the biggest mistake people make when planning their event?
SUGARCOMB: We commonly meet couples who planned a few key details once setting a date and then took a break because they feel they had accomplished a lot. It results in having to dive back into planning in the stressful months and weeks leading up to the event.

SMP: Do you have any predictions in upcoming party trends?
SUGARCOMB: We love the idea of florals in more than just centerpieces, by creating flower walls, chandeliers, vertical garlands, and living structures.

SMP: And lastly, could you name 5 things that everyone must have for any and every event?
SUGARCOMB: A planning and day-of checklist, a solid guest list, decor to fit the occasion, delicious eats and a fun favor!

Photography: O'Malley Photographers | Styling And Design: Sugarcomb

O'Malley Photographers is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
O'Malley Photographers

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Passionfruit Ice Cream

If there’s one thing I know for certainty it’s that Have A Yummy Day‘s recipes in general are delicious enough to give even the most famous chef a run for their money. And though this passion fruit cream cheese ice cream (with homemade meringue and passionfruit syrup, obviously) is involved, the results are so. dang. worth any additional time spent creating it.

Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Ice Cream with Meringue and Passion Fruit SyrupAn intensely delicious dessert that's sure to please a crowd.
prep time
cook time
total time
Serves 8Ingredients
  • FOR THE MERINGUE
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • FOR THE HOMEMADE CREAM CHEESE
  • 1 litre processed sour milk
  • 1 ⅓ cup sour cream
  • salt
  • FOR THE PASSION FRUIT CREAM CHEESE ICE CREAM
  • 3 egg yolks + 2 egg whites
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar or a few drops of liquid vanilla essence
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup passion fruit purée
  • 1 passion fruit
  • FOR THE PASSION FRUIT SYRUP
  • 5 passion fruits
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cane sugar
Instructions
  1. FOR THE MERINGUE
  2. Set the oven to 210˚F. Whisk egg whites, sugar and vinegar in a stainless bowl. Put the bowl over a warm water bath and keep whisking until the paste is around 130˚F. Take the bowl off the heat and keep whisking until the meringue cools. Fill the meringue into a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and pipe pieces of meringue, about 2 inches wide, onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 1 h. When the pieces of meringue are loose from the baking paper and their bottoms are dry, they are done. Otherwise, you can turn off the oven and let the pieces be in the remaining heat for about 10 minutes. Let the meringue cool. Store in an airtight jar in room temperature.
  3. FOR THE HOMEMADE CREAM CHEESE
  4. Heat the sour milk and sour cream to 120˚F (slightly warmer than lukewarm). Stir the mass for a couple of minutes until its texture starts to change. Pour it into a sieve with a coffee filter and let the cheese mass sift for 5-6 h in cool room temperature. Add a pinch of salt.
  5. FOR THE PASSION FRUIT CREAM CHEESE ICE CREAM
  6. Whisk together cream cheese, yolks and sugar. Add vanilla sugar and salt. Whisk the cream and egg white separately and then add the cream first, then the egg white. Mix the mass with the passion fruit purée and the pulp of the passion fruit. Pour the ice cream mass into a mold. Put the mold in the freezer for at least 5 h.
  7. FOR THE PASSION FRUIT SYRUP
  8. Split the fruits in half and scrape out the pulp and seeds. Boil the contents with water and sugar to a thin sauce. Let it cool and serve with the ice cream.
  9. TO ASSEMBLE
  10. Put ice cream between the pieces of meringue and serve with the passion fruit sauce.

Photography: Have A Yummy Day | Recipe: Have A Yummy Day

Tulum Mini-Guide

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Tulum myself on numerous occasions. But if I’m being totally honest, those visits typically involve me plunking myself on the beach and calling it a day. But after reading through Courtney‘s mini-guide to Tulum, I’m feeling the urge to head back and seriously explore! Chock full of dreamy photos, the gallery is the only place you’ll need to be this morning.

From Courtney Perkins Ryan… For our one year anniversary, I surprised my husband with a trip to Tulum. I think I now have brownie points for a year! Since the traditional one year anniversary gift is paper, I revealed the surprise to him by giving him a travel guide/itinerary I had made for our trip (printed through Artifact Uprising). I did a bunch of research on best restaurants, activities and what unique things Tulum has to offer. I planned lots of adventures, as well as scheduled a healthy amount of time for doing nothing on the beach.


For the first half of our trip, we stayed at Zen Serenity, a gorgeous resort on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was beyond stunning and the staff was the nicest out of any hotel I’ve ever stayed in, not exaggerating. They found out it was our anniversary and arranged a private four-course dinner for us in a gazebo overlooking the ocean, complete with unlimited wine service and the sweetest waiter who sang his favorite Mayan songs to us. It was one of the most memorable dinners we’ve had together.

 

The rooms in the hotel were beautiful and every meal we had was fresh and delicious. We quickly became big fans of this place, not to mention them having yoga classes every morning and a spa that was gorgeous. I would definitely recommend splurging on the couple’s massage. We did it, and it was so worth it.

For the last four days of our trip, we stayed at Coqui Coqui, an eco-friendly boutique hotel on the beach which had a total of eight rooms. We went with the beach suite which had a great little patio overlooking the ocean. The hotel didn’t have any AC, so at night we would open all the windows and balcony door and fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Living in the city, it was so different from what we were used to that it took a night or two to get used to, but then we fell in love with it.


The hotel has a small food/drink selection with limited hours, but all of the good restaurants in Tulum are walking distance from the hotel. Steps from the lobby, is their perfumery where they sell the most delicious massage oils, room scents and perfumes. I couldn’t leave without taking home a bottle of my favorite scent, the coconut. It smells like the beach and reminds me of Tulum every time I put it on.

My husband and I travel a lot but have never been to a place where the sand was so soft and the water so warm and clean. I would do anything to be back there right now. We spent a lot of time just lounging by the ocean and taking it all in. Oh, and eating. We’re big fans of that. Here were our favorites, in order.

Casa Jaguar: Our favorite of the jungle restaurants and probably our favorite in Tulum. The decor had a very bohemian feel. The scene was a super-chill garden with chandlers and dreamcatchers hanging above the mismatched wooden tables. The food was all cooked by an open fire. We had the grilled whole fish with goat cheese, pine nuts and passion fruit. Drinks were equally as good. I’d recommend getting a mezcal drink or a michelada. Wait staff were super friendly and happy to explain the whole menu (displayed on a huge chalk board which the waiter brings to your table). Our last night In Tulum, we went back for drinks and discovered the little restaurant had turned into a Mayan jungle club lit by hanging candles. It was like stepping into a foreign Mayan world full of twirling Mexican hipsters. So. Much. Fun. If you’re there on a Thursday, check it out after the restaurant closes at 11pm.

Hartwood: This place is a must-go-to. Owned by two former New York chefs who made the move to Tulum to open Hartwood. They operate using only electricity generated by their solar panels. The place is just off the main road on the jungle side of Tulum and is lit primarily by candle light. Like many of the other Tulum eateries, they cook everything over a wood-fire oven. We ordered the whole fish for two, and it was amazing and huge, big enough to feed four people. Menu changes daily depending on what they sourced locally that day. Drinks were great and larger than most in Tulum.

Posada Margherita: Our favorite of the beach restaurants. Best ambience/view with a lovely breeze throughout the restaurant offering a much needed reprieve from the heat and bugs of the jungle restaurants. Fresh pastas and fishes and the best margaritas in Tulum. They also have gluten free options, score.

We also loved Be Tulum for lunch and beach side drinks. They had amazing pina coladas. It’s also a hotel that looked pretty rad. If you’re looking for a good late night spot, go to Gitano. Great bartenders and unique cocktails.

THE JIST

WHERE TO STAY | Zen Serenity or Coqui Coqui

WHERE TO EAT | Casa Jaguar, Hartwood and Posada Margherita

WHAT TO EAT | Whole fish, wherever and whenever!

WHAT TO DRINK |A mezcal or michalada, for sure!

WHAT TO DO | Splurge on a couples massage on the beach

FOR THE EVENING CROWD | Gitano

Photography: Courtney Perkins Ryan | Bar: Gitano | Boutique Hotel : Coqui Coqui | Hotel/Restaurant/Bar: Be Tulum | Resort : Zen Serenity | Restaurant: Casa Jaguar | Restaurant : Posada Margarita | Restaurant : Hartwood | Travel Book Printing : Artifact Uprising