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Behind the Blog: Hello Natural

Stephanie from Hello Natural is the kind of person I feel like I would click with immediately. Completely real and down to earth, her interview is like a lovely breath of fresh air. A believer in the power of pink, a good bath, and the power of delegating, there is a lot I feel like I could learn from this lovely lady (starting with how to menu plan each week – why is that so hard?!).

SMP: Some words you live by?

Quit thinking about it and just do it! I have a tendency to overthink and over plan, and I have to remind myself to get out of my head and get on with it. Because if you wait for everything to be perfect nothing will ever get done.

SMP: Any guilty pleasures?

In a lot of ways, blogging has been my guilty pleasure. I always say ‘oh, it’s for the blog!’ to justify doing or trying things that I feel a little guilty about – that was especially true when I started out and was a stay-at-home mom. Right now, buying kombucha – when I know I should learn how to make it myself – is another guilty pleasure. And I totally just binge-watched the show Awkward.

SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?

I was in brand marketing before I stopped working after my second child was born. I thought when I went back to work I would go into consumer research because I loved that aspect of marketing – figuring out what people liked and why. Instead I started the blog when he turned 1!

Now I’m trying to figure out the next evolution of the blog and what other fun things we can do. My dream job right now would be creating my own skincare line because I’m fascinated with natural ingredients and being able to make your own products.

SMP: What is your favorite item in your home?

Hmm, that’s tough. I really, really like having space for my own office (along with cabinets to hide all my DIY supplies) but I also love my bathtub. One of my goals this year is to spend more time there.

SMP: What’s your best tip for balancing work and personal life?

Focus. My phone now stays in my purse because the kids love to grab it to play games, which drives me crazy. And if they aren’t allowed the tech distraction then neither am I. And not being able to check email or social media is actually a relief. I can focus on them instead of constantly trying to do two things at once.

SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?

That sometimes you just aren’t going to be good at something, no matter how much you want to be. I knew I wanted good photos on my blog, but I just didn’t know how to do it. I took classes and read books, but it just never clicked. When I accepted that I wasn’t good at it and found someone who could help me it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. It’s hard to not be good at something but sometimes it’s just not going to happen – and no one is awarding medals for struggling. Find people who have skills that you don’t.

SMP: What color do you think will stand the test of trend time?

Pink. It’s funny, my daughter’s room is the typical 8-year-old Pepto-Bismol explosion with pink walls, pink canopy, pink everything. I laughed at her obsession with pink, until I realized that I’m really drawn to splashes on hot pink when I decorate.

SMP: One thing every style savvy homeowner should have?

Plants! I think everyone needs a plethora of houseplants. Not only are they amazing air detoxifiers but having something alive and green makes a house welcoming and cozy.

SMP: What’s a typical work day for you like?

I’m embarrassed to admit that the first thing I do when I get up is check email and the blog. A terrible habit, right?! After the school bus picks up my daughter I take my 2 sons to Montessori and then go for a morning walk/jog. That does wonders for my energy level and productivity for the rest the day. When I get home I work on making and testing a DIY project or writing a post. Every couple of weeks my photographer comes over to shoot the projects, and those days are both fun and exhausting. I try to have at least one day of the week to shop for supplies and get out of the house so I don’t go stir crazy. Then I put the computer away and get the kiddos at 2:45 – it feels like I never have enough time to get everything done! I used to work more on the computer at night but now I’m just too pooped.


Blogger: Hello Natural

DIY Halloween Costume: Baby Deer

Do we have any late to the Halloween costume gamers? I certainly am falling firmly in that crowd. Two toddlers in Boston are very much without a halloween costume as of yet. So baby deer, we’re looking at you. Half-bought, half-DIY; it’s perfect for the uber busy or the DIY challenged or for anyone that likes a cute woodland creature. And really, who doesn’t like deer? Click here for more costume ideas.



Baby snowsuit
Black facepaint crayon
1 9×12 sheet of brown felt
2 9×12 sheets of tan felt
Faux fur fabric
Pliers with wire cutters
Safety pins
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Antler template
Ear template


step-1 Print out the antler and ear templates and cut out each piece.

step-1 Trace 2 copies of each antler on the tan felt. Trace 2 outer ears on the brown felt, 2 ears on the tan felt, and 2 inner ears on the faux fur. Cut out each shape.

step-2 Hot glue the faux fur inner ears on the tan ears. Hot glue the tan ears onto the brown outer ears on two sides, leaving the bottom edge open. Slip the ears over the existing ears on the snowsuit and safety pin in place.

step-3 Cut (2) 5 ½” long pieces of wire. Bend them slightly to match the shape of the center stem of the antler. Place a wire between the two felt layers of each antler. Hot glue the two layers of the antler together. If you want to get extra fancy, you can sew the antler layers together like I did- but I’ll be honest, it took me a million years, so it miiiight not have been worth it.

step-4 Center the antlers between the ears on the outside of the hood. Reach your fingers inside the hood and pinch one antler between your fingers. Put a safety pin through the hood and antler sandwich. Repeat for the other antler.

step-4 Cut a large 10” long oval from the faux fur. Put baby in the suit, zip up, and quickly safety pin the oval onto the tummy of the suit. I just did small pins in four spots around the oval. Pull up the hood, quickly scribble on a black nose with the facepaint crayon, and you’ve got yourself a baby deer!


For more Halloween Costume ideas…

The Cutest Donut Ever | The Lion, The Ringmaster and the Circus Wagon | A Stormy Raincloud

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: Jess Blazejewski For SMP Living

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
The Secret Behind a Classic Red Lip

Sometimes all you need to switch up a beauty rut is a bold pop of color. And here at SMP, we are inclined towards the classics. Enter: the red lip. This all-time favorite is a must-have for women of any age, but it’s important to get it right. Thankfully, the pros at TEAM Hair & Makeup are showing us how to get the red lip perfect every single time!


Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | Film: Elysium Productions

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Six Degrees of Pie Dough

The season of apple picking, pumpkin pureeing and pies (lots of pies) is upon us. But every good recipe deserves a little change up. Even pie! Have a look at this collection of pie dough using gems that are taking our beloved dessert and giving it a scrumptious twist. It’s like pie, but way better.

6 Degrees of Pie Dough
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6 Degrees of Pie Dough
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And if you’re a die-hard classics lover…

The Yummiest Apple Pie | The Perfect Pumpkin Pie | 18 Creative Pie Toppers

Spiced Honey Cake with Gingersnap Frosting

I associate fall with spices like cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg—cozy and warm. And this recipe for a spiced honey cake with gingersnap frosting practically screams fall.  So, the only thing on my to-do list this weekend? Bake this scrumptious treat from Jessica at A Happy Food Dance. Get the recipe below!

From Jessica of A Happy Food Dance… Ginger, spices, sugar, cake – POW! POW! POW!  The cake was moist and a little sticky from the honey (that description make your squirm a bit too?!) and the frosting was just, well, the icing on the cake.  Frosting can sometimes be a little lackluster, but this one had another level of flavor, it just elevated everything.

Spiced Honey Cake with Gingersnap Frosting
prep time
20 Minute/s
cook time
55 Minute/s
total time
1 Hour/s 15 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • spiced honey cake
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • rosemary, for garnish if desired
  • gingersnap buttercream frosting
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup ground gingersnap cookies, passed through a fine mesh sieve
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. spiced honey cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9" pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, fresh ginger, and nutmeg to combine.
  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, honey, egg and egg yolk. Beat on medium speed until mixture is pale and thickened, about 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed and gradually add vanilla, orange juice and buttermilk.
  6. Beat until frothy, about 2 minutes.
  7. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Beat until just combine. The batter will be thin, similar to pancake batter.
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown and the center springs back when touched, about 45-55 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen and invert onto rack; let cool completely.
  10. gingersnap buttercream frosting
  11. While the cake is baking, combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, slowly add the ground gingersnap cookies.
  12. Add the milk and vanilla and beat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust consistency as needed by adding more confectioners' sugar or milk as needed.
  13. Frost cooled cake and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Craving more sweet treats? Head to THE VAULT!

Photography: A Happy Food Dance | Recipe + Styling: A Happy Food Dance