Loft Tour: Twinklelight City

I feel so thankful to live in such a creative space. I get to work somewhere that constantly inspires and surprises me (sometimes those surprises are spiders, but let's overlook that!). We've taken a glorified basement style loft and transformed it into a place we call home. Twinklelights everywhere, because why not right?! Sometimes it almost feels like we live in a planetarium.

I can't wait to have a normal sized hot water heater and a bath tub, but for now I'm happy with our concrete floors and "everything is dusty within 15 minutes of wiping it down" home sweet home. It fits our current situation and we're happy to have a roof over our heads.

The lighting is far from ideal so it's almost impossible to get decent photos but these will serve as a little taste of our home. Excuse the random boxes, giant softbox, and plentiful Honeybean shoes... our home is our office and our storage shed! We've got an always-stocked bar, wicker furniture perfect for a garden party, and an antique pink couch that I can't seem to get rid of. (It's kind of like the girls' couch [obviously!] but I'm hoping to have it reupholstered eventually!) Home sweet home, here you have it! xo

Are you decorating for the holidays?

Wedding Wednesday: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie

Mike and I are getting really excited about putting our plans into motion for our October 2012 wedding. We made the decision several months ago to do a multitude of pies rather than cakes or cupcakes for the reception. We've been having fun playing with pie recipes ever since. While the Blueberry + Peach is still by far my favorite (yum!), we've also made apple pie and Blackberry+Pear! This one is our most recent attempt though! I baked one for my family on Thanksgiving (and we kept one at our home, too!). Mmmm! It's rich and gooey and positively divine when still warm! Of course all pie tastes better with ice cream in my opinion but this one hits a homerun!

I originally stumbled upon this recipe from Our Best Bites (which originated from Nestle) and they have the best pictures, too! I didn't manage to snap any while I was baking away (aside from the 3 which are obviously from my phone!) but I've included a few from OBB and you can always pop on over to see step-by-step photos if needed! I got to use my new baby KitchenAid mixer for this recipe and boy oh boy, it's a dream machine! 

Let me preface this recipe with this: It is so simple! I made a second one without even looking at the recipe and I clocked myself and five and a half minutes! Of course you need to bake it for an hour, but really, it's such a simple recipe! (I changed a tiny thing here or there, but not too much!)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust, homemade or store-bought.
2 large eggs
1/2 C flour
1/2 C white granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C real butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 C chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark works best, you might find milk too sweet)
1 C candied pecans (you are welcome to make it without nuts)
Vanilla ice cream, or sweetened whipped cream for serving (a must!  I prefer ice cream)
optional: chocolate sauce (honestly, doesn’t really need chocolate sauce, but it looks pretty!)
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack or serve slightly warmed.  Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Okay, so mine doesn't look all that delicious out of the oven, but I assure you it is! OBB makes a good point that it takes a lot less rich when it's cooled, but you can't really beat the oogey gooey goodness of a fresh-from-the-oven pie! iPhone photos and poor kitchen lighting do not do it justice. It's a super simple recipe with things you might already have in your house so you simply must give this a shot! Even if you don't like overly sweet things, this might tickle your fancy! (Mike even liked it!)

* Additional photos courtesy of Our Best Bites

Bohemian Gift Guide

I thought it'd be fun to put together some gift guides based on certain personality and style traits, but I waited a little late in the game! This is still one I already had mocked up so I'll go ahead with it and see what I can't post in the next week or so! If you've got someone in your life that has an Earthy, bohemian style, these might be some rad gifts to give! 

Clockwise from top left: 

If you're looking to make a difference by buying fair trade items, Ten Thousand Villages is a wonderful one-stop shop for apparel, accessories, and home goods sourced from all corners of the world. 

You could also get crafty and make a batch of sugar or salt scrub to give as gifts! It's on my list of things to do!

What would you gift to a boho princess?

Shop Honeybean Mobile Boutique Online!

We did it! Many many hours/days/weeks of work finally put to good use! We knew we wanted Honeybean to go live before Cyber Monday but man are we cutting it close! We only managed to get about 25% of inventory shot, edited and listed before we finally agreed to cut it there. We'll be adding more inventory (skirts, dresses, feather goods, consignment pieces) throughout the entire week (and continuing!), but feast your eyes on 149 products up for grabs!

We're offering today's (thru Monday at midnight!) customers a 15% off coupon with the code CYBER. Swing by and pick up a thing or two! They're priced very moderately, and there's tons of new Hive + Honey pieces up for grabs! I'll be working on more this week, too! It's a never ending adventure and I'm so tickled to have y'all be a part of it! xo

Psst... you can also get my ebook at 15% off for one day only! Drop by the shop to pick it up!

Honest To Blog -- Clocking Out

This week's Honest To Blog is probably going to do nothing but make me sound a bit neurotic to be quite frank. I tend to have a handful of HTB topics lined up (or even written) but this one is something that sort of reared it's head this week and I felt compelled to talk about it (in hopes that I can fix it!). Being that i'm about 90% self-employed (lacking the 5-10 hours a week I bartend), I've found that I simply can't stop working. I don't know how to just "hang out" at home. I can't lay on the couch and watch tv or go get coffee with Mike without constantly feeling the need to work. I chock it up to the instability of freelance work and self employment. I think it terrifies me that I'm not relying on a set paycheck or salary every single week. My bank account is simply what I make it. Lately I've found myself diving into fifteen projects at once just to make sure we're comfortable and we can save for our wedding and store. Even at the City and Colour show last week I was answering emails on my phone! It's a habit that I just can't quit.

I guess working too much is slightly better than feeling too lazy to work at all, right? At this exact moment I'm working on fulfilling ebook orders, Kaelah's Closet orders, getting ready to launch Honeybean's online shoppe (tonight!), 2 website designs, 3 blog redesigns (with a 4th just being finished!), and my own personal projects and blogging. But I love that feeling. I love being busy. I love the feeling of crossing things off of my to do list and marking another project done. It's almost like it's an addiction.

After a few nights of 15 hour days on the ebook, Mike started to notice that I really just couldn't stop. It was 11pm and I was still on the computer, typing away, responding to emails while a document loaded or saved. At one point he came and physically removed me from my computer and sat me down on the couch. The other day he took me for a an hour and a half coffee date just so that I wouldn't come home and work on design projects.The good thing about our little date was that it ended up being one of the most inspiring talks we've ever had. I'm so grateful to have someone in my life that understands my incessant need to work or be doing something. But at the same time, I need to learn that it's okay to step away. It's okay to take a break or take a day off. (I actually started writing this for Sunday, November 20th, but then decided to take the day "off" to go with Mike to a photoshoot. So now I'm picking it back up!)

A lot of it too has to be the product of my computer/work station being smack in the middle of our house, and our house has no walls therefore I can see my computer from every single corner of our loft. It's almost as if it taunts me. "You could be kerning that text! You could be coding that layout! You could be answering your emails as soon as you receive them!" Plus, when your blog is so personally driven, it's hard not to think about it at all times when you're out doing things!

I'm not complaining in the slightest. I love my job. I love that "work" doesn't really feel like "work". I love the ability to make a living doing things I'm passionate about and being able to share it with all of y'all. I just wish I had a better "schedule". I even have to schedule in ukulele practice or an episode of Dexter. I'll work right up to it and most likely after. I know I need to find a balance, however, simply to avoid getting burnt out and abandoning everything at once. It's an exciting time in our household and we're taking great measures to ensure we get to share the Honeybean Dream with you. It just happens to be exhausting in the process (which makes for better sleep! :P) 

With that being said, I have to ask... How many of you work from home or have found yourself in a similar position? How do you delegate what will happen today vs. tomorrow, and how do you know when it's time to walk away for the evening? I've tried working "set hours" but I always find myself in front of the tv looking at my computer and thinking "I could just go answer 10 emails..." How do you decide to clock out for the day? If you've never experienced this before, maybe you still have an idea you could share? Let me hear it! I'm all ears! 

Now, I've got some designs to tend to! ;) Happy Sunday, honeybees!

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Honest To Blog is a weekly free-writing feature where I talk about things that are silly, frustrating, or whatever else. Sometimes they don't make sense, and sometimes they're controversial. But they're honest!

Shop Hive + Honey for Small Biz Saturday!

After a nice little hiatus so we could focus our efforts on Honeybean, Hive + Honey on Etsy is reopen! We stocked it full of fascinators, bows and barrettes, and you can get your hands on them while saving 15% with the code SMALLBIZ! Brace yourselves, Honeybean's online shoppe just might be open for Cyber Monday! ;) CLICK HERE to shop Hive + Honey handmade hair pieces! (With lower prices, too!)

It's important to remember the small businesses that are putting their lives on the line by opening up shop this year. The economy isn't in the best state and we could all help by contributing to the little guys! Mike and I have decided that all gifts this year will be handmade and/or from independent shops. I'm excited to see what we come up with! xo

PS; The coupon code is already live, so feel free to shop away! You don't have to wait until midnight! ;)

[Vegan] Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today I thought it would be fun to have one of my closest friends (and bridesmaids!) do a guest post on vegan baking. Shannon just started her blog in the past week or so and we decided to trade a blog design for some awesome vegan baking guest posts! If you've got any last minute time to kill, maybe you could whip some of these bad boys up for your Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow! Enjoy!
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Hi! My name is Shannon. I recently started my blog, Leaves & Flours, because I wanted to show people that neither baking nor veganism were too difficult. When I went vegan I had to learn how to bake all the treats that I knew I would miss otherwise. And really, nothing makes me happier than sharing treats with people.

There's a DC based bakery named Sticky Fingers (you may have seen them on Cupcake Wars) that makes a sweet and salty chocolate chip cookie that I love. Since I appreciate it so much, I thought I would share with y'all my own recipe that was inspired by their creation. If you have any questions about vegan baking, don't hesitate to ask!

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
yeilds approximately one dozen

½ cup vegan butter*
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Ener-G egg or other egg replacement**
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
½ tsp baking sode
1/3 tsp salt & extra salt for sprinkling
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Allow butter to soften at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. Cream butter & sugar. This may take some arm strength. Add vanilla & egg replacer, mix again. Mix in dry ingredients, aside from chocolate. Gently fold in chips. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop approximately 1" balls of dough spaced at least an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Slightly flatten balls of dough with palm of hand. Bake 10-12 minutes, rotating tray once during baking. After removing cookies from oven, sprinkle with extra salt to taste. I prefer sea salt, but any should work.

* I use Earth Balance
** You can find Ener-G in most grocery stores, and one box has lasted me 3 years. As a different egg replacer, I recommending mixing 1 tbsp ground flax seeds with 2 tbsp water.

Bar Etiquette 101

I tend to write these silly "etiquette" posts following a really poor experience with someone who probably just didn't know better, and I know they sometimes come off as a rant (my Tattoo Etiquette one sure did!), but I genuinely mean well with them! I've worked as a bartender for over 5 and a half years now and I've seen the likes of everything you could imagine. I've been tipped $100 on a $2 beer (on purpose!), and I've been almost physically assaulted by a middle aged man (and woman. and a few people my age.) I've seen people be shocked with a tazer gun, jumped, arrested, etc. And I've seen plenty of people just have a wonderful time. Bars can be a great place to socialize and let your hair down a little. My bar is a karaoke bar and the clientele is a little different from who I'd normally spend my Friday and Saturday nights with, and as much as I may "hate" my job from time to time, I also find myself having a lot of fun there! If you've worked in the food or beverage industry then you probably know exactly what I mean. It can be great money, or it can be awful. It can be awesome to come in contact with so many people during one shift, or it can be excruciating. 

I made an offhanded comment on Twitter a few weeks ago about writing a bar etiquette post and I had so many people say that they'd love to read it. Honestly I'm biased and I tend to be a bit cynical about it, but I promise I'm a fun bartender! I'm no master bar manager or anything, but here is what I've learned in my 5+ years:

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TIP! In the US, it'd very likely that your bartender or server is only making roughly $2 an hour and she relies heavily on tips. I can't stress this enough. I always tipped appropriately when I went places, but after starting to bartend I realized just how tough it could be to do that job daily, so I always tend to over-tip if the service is really good. And I'm going to be perfectly honest here: If you're at my bar and I know you don't tip, I'm going to overlook you and serve the person who does tip before because this girl has bills to pay. I've had people chime in before to say "But tipping is optional!" It's not optional when your server makes $2 an hour. It's not optional when I could work 40 hours a week and still not clear $100. Nope, not optional. I've also had people say they couldn't afford to tip. Wha?! You're in a bar... where the beer is marked up 300%, and the liquor 700%! I realize everyone wants to have a good time but how about you head to the convenience store and then take the party to your house! Start playing babysitter to a bunch of drunk people and then ask yourself if you deserve some payment. 

The amount of the tip will vary. It's polite to always tip 15% in the food service industry and a standard tip in a bar is simply your change if you were to get a $2.50 beer and have 50 cents left over. If you get multiple drinks, a standard tip would be 50 cents per beer and 50 cents to $1 for each cocktail. That's such wishful thinking though! If that were to happen just one night a month then I wouldn't have to work again for 3 weeks! There have definitely been nights where I don't make enough in tips to even cover my gas to get there (hence why I've been working less and less at the bar lately. No sense driving that far!) Don't let the math or anything get in the way. I'm happy to even get 25 cents on certain orders because anything is better than nothing. It's really hard to work in an industry where you rely solely on the generosity of other people. It's not fun to think about! Some people assume all servers and bartenders make bank so they don't need to tip them, but that's not true. One night could be absolutely amazing and then the next 4 or 5 could be horrible. Just keep in mind that they're working hard for your money, too!

Being nice to your bartender/server goes a long way! I have some customers that I've known for all of the 5+ years I've been at my bar and they've never once tipped me so much as a nickel. But here's the kicker: They're so nice. Granted I'd rather pay my bills than just have a lot of nice people at my bar, but I actually enjoy serving them. They make it seem a little less like work. They're polite. They don't jump line. They don't holler or bang their glasses on the bar. I like those people. If you can't afford to tip (then get the heck out of the bar!), at least be one of those nice people!

Do not, under any circumstance, grab/touch a bartender or server. Ever. Do not ever put your hands on me. I've had everything from someone moving my cardigan from my chest so he could read my tattoo (!!!), to a girl coming back behind the bar to pull my hair to "see if it was real". I can't even begin to tell you the rage that ensued. I've had patrons grab my arm and pull me over to the bar when I was trying to walk away simply so they could tell me what they wanted to drink (and it wasn't their order). I've only thrown 2 drinks at customers in my 5 years and believe me, grabbing me will put you on the fast track.

Don't be one of those guys. And what I mean by those guys is the guy who: tries to cut line at the bar (is this 2nd grade?!), the guy who bangs his beer bottle or glass on the bar to get the bartenders attention (we're ignoring you!), the guy who yells "Hey I need a Bud Light!" from the other end of the bar when you're nowhere near him (still ignoring you!). No one likes those guys. I have one or two customers who do this every single time they're in my bar and it finally came down to me just having to say "NO. It is not your turn, you are being rude, and every time you yell at me I make a conscious decision to ignore you for 5 more minutes. Pick your battle!" Usually they'll realize they're being a douche and they'll apologize and wait their turn. Until the next time. 

Bars are like oversized daycares. There are people who just want their sippy cup. There are people who just want to cry and tell everyone what's wrong. There are people who want to be the bully of the playground, etc. The difference is that adults have reasoning capability, and all of that goes out the window after they've been drinking. On a typical Saturday night I play babysitter to 200 drunk overgrown toddlers. You can probably understand why my patience is at an all-time low when I'm working! ;)

Don't be afraid to ask for drink recommendations. Bartenders love to suggest their favorite drinks to other customers (Hence my Cocktail Hour feature!). Don't ask us to name every beer or every mixed drink we have though. We couldn't do that if we tried. (Beer, maybe. Drinks, never). If you're unsure of what you would like, tell the bartender your favorite liquor(s) and if you specifically dislike anything. If you say you want a fruity mixed drink, it's highly likely your bartender will give you a Sex on the Beach. I never suggest that one because it's so overdone! She won't think you're a jerk for saying "I like vodka and peach schnapps but I don't want a Sex on the Beach!" She'll probably be happy that you know that much! 

Don't be pregnant and chain smoking/downing whiskey and cokes in my bar. It's illegal in the state of Tennessee for me to refuse service to a pregnant woman in a bar on the basis that she is with child. That does not stop me. I will never knowingly serve a pregnant woman alcohol. I don't care what the law says, I don't care what her reaction is, I won't do it. Granted I don't say "Um no, you're pregnant. Are you dumb?!?!" (Even though that's exactly what I want to say!). I simply walk away, ignore them or say "I would rather not serve you right now." And if they ask why, I just say "Because I don't want to". Luckily I can do that at my job without getting fired! haha The other bartender/manager knows how I feel about the issue and it's completely against my morals to serve someone. I've had a woman come in and down 6 whiskey and cokes in an hour and a half and she was 7 months pregnant. No thanks. That's on you.

If you start fights, you'll probably be barred. Fights make me so nervous at my bar because us two bartenders/manager are female. We're capable of holding our own and we've both jumped over the bar at times, but we don't get taken as seriously as a big burly bouncer. Luckily we have one of those! If you start crap with anyone, you're out. If you start crap with one of us, you're out for life. Pick your battles wisely! 

Don't tick off your bartender. This kind of goes along with "Don't tick off your waiter" at a restaurant. I'm handling your alcohol. I'm not saying I'm going to go spit in it, but it may make it to your shirt before it makes it to your mouth. ;) I'm kidding, sort of.

Don't ask me to "hook it up", "make it good", "make it stout", or any other variation of "Pour more alcohol in there!" unless you want to pay for a double. This blows my mind. This is a bar, not a soup kitchen. If you want more alcohol, you pay for more alcohol. I get this every night I work. My response is always the same (very politely!): "Do you want a double? That'll be $9" then undoubtedly they all respond "What? $9? That's insane! No I don't want to pay $9! Can't you just hook it up?" "In case you missed the sign on the door, we're a bar. Not a soup kitchen. If you want extra liquor, you pay for extra liquor. If you want less mixer, that's fine, but that's less drink." Usually the ones that argue with you are the ones who aren't going to tip you anyway so you don't really have much to worry about there!

Be responsible enough to know when to cut yourself off. Nothing makes me appreciate a customer more than when he knows enough is enough. He'll come tell us bartenders and the waitress. No more for him. None for him if he orders them, and none for him if anyone else does. I like that. When you've got 200 people in a bar and only 2 bartenders, it can get hard to keep up with the drinks everyone has had. If you start looking sleepy or show any signs of being too drunk, you're done. You're cut off for the rest of the night. We have to protect ourselves and you.

Make eye contact with your bartender. Speak to her face. Put the money in her hand. This makes me rage so hard! I get so many dismissive customers who just waltz up, look around and sort of speak in a general direction all the while I'm standing not two feet away, looking directly at their face, waiting on their order. Girls do this a lot (not to generalize, but it's true!). They'll come up with their boyfriend and I'll ask what she'd like and she won't tell me, but she'll tell her boyfriend who will then have to tell me. Order for yourself! What is this, 1900?!? And of course when people go to pay you for their beers and they just throw the money onto the bar maybe in your direction, but probably not. I'm not playing fetch for your cash/coins. If you throw your money at me, that's how I give you your change.

Don't drive home drunk! I've called the cops on my own customers before. If you get in your car and you show any signs of intoxication and I happen to see it, I don't hesitate to call the police. 1) You shouldn't be driving. 2) You could hit me, or any other innocent driver. 3) If you hurt someone and you've just left my bar, I can be liable. So don't think that other bartenders won't rat you out just as quickly. It's all about staying safe and staying alive. Don't be afraid to ask the bartender for a cab! 

Go out with friends to bars to have a good time. Don't go when you're mopey or depressed. Not only does alcohol metabolize differently in your stomach when you're all worked up/stressed out, but it sets the mood for everyone around you. Drinking won't solve anything or make it better. Don't do it for the wrong reasons!

Don't be afraid to go out to bars and order a coke or water. If you don't drink, that's totally cool! No one minds. I was a bartender for several years and I didn't drink alcohol at all. I have plenty of customers who don't drink. No one will think less of you!

Don't get irritated at the waitress if she takes a little bit of extra time to get you your order. She's busy. She has dozens of people to account for. If you want quicker service, get off of your butt and go to the bar yourself. Don't be lazy.

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I know these are so generalized and totally saturated with sarcasm, bitterness, and the like, but half a decade of bartending will do that to ya! (The other bartender has been there 11 years! And she works 40-50 hours a week there! I work 10 and I want to pull my hair out!) I think the situation has made it so that I'm a lot less likely to be the "nice one" and I'm the one who just calls it like I see it. I'm not as tied to that bar as she is so I tend to get away with a little bit more. These are just things I've noticed from MY bar. Obviously not all bars are equal! You may bartend at the coolest bar ever and it may be all fun and games. In that case, give me your job! ;) haha So there you have it. My bitter Bar Etiquette post that I promised a few weeks ago! 

Have you ever worked as a bartender/server/waitress? Got any fun/horror stories? What's the craziest thing you've ever seen in a bar (even as a bar patron)?

Edit: Please note that this was written with American customs in mind! I know it's not standard to tip in Europe (and I had the hardest time while there!), and various other parts of the world. But in the US, it is and I've never worked anywhere other than America so this is based solely on my experience here! Not worldwide. Though rude customers aren't limited to just the USA!

Instant Replay: Instagram Edition

I am constantly sharing little sneak peeks of my day/life via Instagram, and I forget that side doesn't always make it over here to the blog. They post to my Twitter and Tumblr every time, but I thought it'd be nice to go back through my phone for the past 2 weeks and share things that I've been up to! Here you go! xo

1-4: My new morning routine over the past few weeks. Wake up, make breakfast or venture out for coffee with Mike, write to do lists for ourselves, and start the day off with fresh air and sunshine. 5: Treated myself to my all time favorite perfume from Anthropologie (I always switch back and forth between Oceane and Rose)

1: New Jeffrey Campbells (!!!) 2: Ukulele practice. 3. Learning a sweet song with Mike. 4. Pretty new home things. 5. Yummiest lunch ever.

1. Killing time at work. 2. Peached Whale + Yuengling. 3. Painting my nails. 4. New perfume (smells like grapefruit!) 5. Playing a pretty (heavy!) deer-neh-neer at Guitar Center.

1. GLO teeth whitening device from Sephora. 2. Me playing with my GLO haha! 3. City and Colour on this past Thursday. 4. Lazy Georgia. 5. Lazy Pipkin.

1-5: Silly and sweet pups. Always.

Are you on Instagram? What's your username?! (Mine's just KaelahBee!)