CNN posted a great story today titled “7 Food Magicians Who’ll Melt Your Mind” and they somehow included me! I am not a fan of talking about myself (posting things like this always makes me uncomfortable), but this one has me so genuinely giddy that I wanted to share. Seeing my work alongside 6 other insanely creative talents is such an honor. And I love that my inclusion wasn’t focused around (and didn’t even mention) those CACTUS CUPCAKES that everyone has already seen! The piece included a look at my WALLPAPER CAKES, and mentioned the GEMSTONE CUPCAKES as well, which made me so incredibly happy. You can read the article HERE.

HUGE thank you to Phoebe Park at CNN for including me in her brilliant piece. I am so honored!

CNN 7 Food Magicians

I had one more DIY to share for this week, but when I went to edit the final styled photos, I realized I wasn’t too crazy about them so I’m going to have to re-shoot the finished project this weekend.  Being a perfectionist to my own work sure makes simple things harder than they should be and very time-consuming. While you’ll have to wait a few more days for another DIY, I did want to share a few things I’m loving this Friday. For this week’s installment, I’m sticking to five of my favorite Instagram accounts.

Also, just to note, I left out a few of my favorite ‘grammers that have over 100K followers; no point in mentioning those, as I’m sure you’re all already looped in there!

1. @legrandbazar: Matthieu Venot’s photos always make me do a double tap. The simplicity, the lines he captures, and the colors…it’s just all so great. Scrolling through his feed is like yoga for my eyes – stimulating but calming and very refreshing.

mv

2. @houselarsbuilt: Brittany Jepsen has been a huge source of inspiration for me for years. Brittany was the one behind that very popular #CraftTheRainbow tag and she’s recently initiated #DressTheRainbow, where for 50 days she’s camouflaging her outfit (and accessories) to the a rainbow spectrum of colorful walls and asking others to play along too! I had so much fun shooting Day #9 with her in all red. As you can imagine, her feed is filled with loads of color, great design, and perfect styling.

HouseLarsBuilt

3. @roksandailincic: I’ve mentioned my love for fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic before. Roksanda’s instagram posts of her own inspiration are what I really love to see. Getting to see what inspires someone who inspires you, well, that’s a pretty cool thing…especially when those inspirations are colorful, architectural, eye-pleasing details.

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4.@jimmymarble: Artist and photographer Jimmy Marble reminds me a little of André Courrèges, a little of Wes Anderson, and a lot like nobody else. And that is so freaking refreshing. This guy is real good, folks.

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5. @hey_jules_studio: I don’t understand how Julie doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of followers. Her attention to detail and her love of color perfectly collide in every photo, making her feed look like a well-curated, color-coded collection of an organized hoarder…and I’m so into it.

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popcorn recipes

For years I have been told that making homemade popcorn on the stove was tricky – not sure how or why that thought exists, as it really couldn’t be any easier. I wanted to give homemade popping a try because I’d recently heard just how dangerous microwave popcorn can be, and I’ve certainly enjoyed my fair share of bagged popcorn over the years. It was absolutely disturbing researching the health concerns of microwaveable popcorn, especially the fact that, according to the FDA, microwave popcorn bags are coated with a chemical that breaks down during the cooking process and is considered a likely carcinogen*. Considering the average American enjoys nearly 54 quarts of popcorn each year, I think we should all make the move to stove-top popcorn from here on out. I’ve divided the DIY into two parts – first, find out how to pop your corn, and second, follow along with the flavor combinations I’ve recommended for your popcorn that are as delicious, as they are healthy. Continue along for the how-to!
Popcorn Taco Seasoning 2

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Citrus Naked Cake

It felt so refreshing to make this minimal naked cake, especially for a July wedding. For this cake, I kept it partially naked, exposing the slightest bit of cake underneath the vanilla buttercream. Kumquats and apricot slices were added, along with that miniature yellow plum I included on top (it’s coloring was too perfect to not include!). The minimalist approach to the decor really let the cake shine, which I absolutely loved. Thought I’d share some photos, in case anyone was searching for some wedding cake inspiration.

Minimal Naked Cake Summer Naked Cake

After finishing a week filled with work (and two large cakes!), I headed down south for four days with a group of my childhood best friends. We will all be turning (or have turned) 30 this year, so we wanted to all get together in one place to celebrate. We wanted to go somewhere new that was still in the US (two of the girls are pregnant) and the majority of the girls hadn’t been down south, so we picked Charleston. I’d only spent 36 hours there for a wedding, and had flown straight from Africa (major jetlag!), so I was excited to be able to experience Charleston again (and without the jetlag). Four days in Charleston was certainly not enough, I could photograph all of the colors in that charming city for weeks on end. I’ve included just some of the colors, beautiful sights, and places I saw below. Continue on after the jump for more photos, as well as a few of my favorite experiences.

Emanuel AME Church CharlestonSaint AlbanResort Morning Little GuyParasailBeachside ColorColorful DoorMinty BuildingOn Rainbow RowColorful WallsPlants on Pink 2Rainbow Row

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gray malin_miami beach chairs

I am headed to Charleston to relax for a few days with a group of my childhood girlfriends. After a very stressful week of work, I am desperate for a few days of doing nothing and cannot wait to do exactly that. I’ll be checking back in here on Wednesday, but until then, I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty of pics from my visit over on Instagram. See you in a few! [photo: Gray Malin]

Pineapple Juice Slushie

Wednesday’s tiki-inspired post had me whipping up some slushies to fill my Tiki Tumbler Glasses on the fly. While what I made was simple, I thought I’d still share the recipe – and shoot it in clear glasses – so you too can experience the healthy deliciousness, if you’re interested.

Pineapple Slushie RecipePineapple Slushie DIY

Blend Together:

  • 2.5 cups ice cubes
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Once blended, pour into a glass and with some garnish and a cherry…or whipped cream if you feel like getting crazy!

Cherry and PineapplePineapple Slushie

Tom Fruin 2

Tom Fruin’s colorful plexiglass house – titled Kolonihavehus – was installed last Fall into Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s been cloudy each time I’ve found myself in the park since the installation, but last week I had a delivery in Dumbo and decided to take a walk afterwards because it was such a beautiful day. I finally got to see the house in the sun, which was so colorful in all its sun-drenched glory. It looked spectacular and couldn’t have a better backdrop from this viewpoint with the Brooklyn Bridge, that Frank Gehry tower, and the Freedom tower. New York summers can be a little tough on me (I’m from San Diego, remember?!), but it’s days like this one that make up for a lot of those humid and stormy dog days of summer.

Tom Fruin 3Tom Fruin 4Tom Fruin 5Tom Fruin

With just a few supplies you can make these fun tiki-inspired tumblers and drink umbrellas for your summer cocktails and mocktails. Click through after the photos for the DIY.

DIY Tiki TumblerTiki Bar DIYTiki Tumbler DIYREAD MORE

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Soy Paper Flower Power Cake

Don’t be fooled by the name. As you may agree – soy paper – at least when paired with the word “dessert” sounds, well, pretty gross. But, good news folks – it’s not what it sounds to be. Soy paper, which you can find on Amazon (or Asian grocery stores) is sold in thin, gluten free sheets – and best of all, those sheets also come in fun colors. While these wrappers are typically used with rice for sushi and vegetable wraps, they can also just as easily be used with desserts. The soy has little flavor and when placed on buttercream, the flavors of the buttercream mask the soy flavor. Decorating with soy paper is an easy and fun way to add colorful touches to cakes and cupcakes. And since the colors of the wrappers are made from natural extracts (i.e. paprika, turmeric, and spinach extracts), the sheets don’t contain any preservatives and are a much healthier, safer alternative for adding color to cakes.

Soy Paper Wrappers

For the DIY portion of this post all you will need are some small scissors, a few soy wrapper sheets, and a buttercream coated cake or cupcakes. Once you have your dessert of choice frosted (and the buttercream is still soft), cut out shapes from the soy paper. Next, place each cutout on your cake, using your fingertip to firmly press the soy paper into the buttercream. [Note: You may find some wrinkles in the paper after a few minutes on the buttercream – if so, just go over the soy paper a second time with your fingertip.] Once all of the cutouts have been added to the cake, it’s ready to serve. If you plan on sticking the cake back in the refrigerator for a while, make sure there are no edges of the cutouts sticking out from the buttercream, as any piece of the paper that isn’t adhered to the buttercream will harden once the cake is placed back into the refrigerator.

Soy Paper FlowersFlower Power Cake