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  • HOWDY.

    Thanks for stopping by sweetfrenchtoast!

    I'm Sabrina, and I love to make pretty things, visit inspiring places, and eat really good food. Whether I'm sewing a new dress, baking a fresh twist on a classic dessert, or visiting a far-flung destination, I'll share it all with you right here on my sweet little blog. Enjoy!

nina garcia quarterly box: #ngq02

I recently subscribed to Quarterly, which is billed as “curated packages from people you care about.” My decision to subscribe to Nina Garcia’s box was an easy one — as the creative director of Marie Claire magazine, she is a tastemaker and style expert beyond compare.

Once I subscribed, I excitedly tweeted about it, and Ms. Garcia replied:

I was thrilled when the package finally arrived a few days ago. And man oh man, it’s amazing!

Nina Garcia Quarterly box

Nina has curated a “celebration box” in honor of her fifth anniversary as Creative Director at Marie Claire. It includes several lovely items, including some full-sized products and special edition creations just for subscribers.

Nina Garcia Quarterly box

Nina Garcia Quarterly box

The contents and their estimated retail value include:
March issue of Marie Claire – $4.99
Special edition oversized tee by SPƎNGLISH (ñ) with Nina’s signature on the tag – similar tee here for $55
Sara Beltran sterling silver shark tooth necklace – $100
Special edition Greenade by #NG O.P.I. nail polish created just for subscribers – $9
C Wonder bangle – $34 (I am obsessed with this piece!!)
Revive’s Moisturizing Renewal Serum (6ml) – $47 based on full-size product here for $235
Charming Charlie wallet – similar wallet here for $15
LAFCO soap – $17
Sample of Tom Ford’s latest perfume, Jasmine Rouge
philosophy’s time in a bottle serum – $74
Laura Mercier Bonne Mine compact – $48
Special edition Donkey Co. Prêt-A-Porter Nina tea – similar tea bags here for about $7
X-Pen ballpoint pen with Nina’s signature – $20
Graphic Image Pocket Notes “Fashion Notes” notebook – $36
Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler chevron picture frame – $15
Illustrated Fausto Puglisi collage

That’s nearly $500 value in this $100 box, plus all the unique touches like Nina’s special edition items. And you’ll find several of the items in the pages of the March issue of Marie Claire!

If you’ve been considering a Quarterly subscription, I highly recommend checking it out. They’ve recently launched a single box option too, which is great if you don’t want to subscribe or want to test out a curator first.

This is my first time subscribing to a box like this. I think I picked well! Have you tried a subscription before, like Birchbox or the Popsugar box? If so, what did you think?

March 24, 2014 - 9:54 am

Bianca Buckridee - Holy curation above all other curations! I will be testing this out for sure, thanks for the write-up.

kiss me, I’m sweetfrenchtoast

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I actually remembered to wear green today. This calls for celebration!

I’m also reliving the St. Patrick’s Day photobooth my coworkers and I did a couple of years ago.

So. Much. Fun.

St. Patrick

I even wore green yesterday, when LS and I went to the mall to visit Sephora and Sprinkles Cupcakes.

Um, can we take a minute to acknowledge the fact that Sprinkles has a CUPCAKE ATM? Brilliant!

at the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM

Did you remember to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day?

March 18, 2014 - 12:02 pm

Diane @ Vintage Zest - I heard about but have never seen the cupcake ATM. I imagine there are tiny elves baking away inside it, you know Keebler-style!

chocolate therapy

It’s been forever since I’ve spent an afternoon in the kitchen having fun, so when I found the time to do just that this weekend, I was in heaven.

I baked one of my favorite treats: brown butter madeleines. And I tempered chocolate for the first time! I used Valrhona bittersweet chocolate fèves and a variation on Alton Brown’s food processor method for tempering chocolate. Yes, I tempered chocolate in the food processor! I didn’t use the stove at all. It was much easier than I thought it would be, although it was a little messy.

I dipped long stem strawberries and some of the madeleines in the chocolate and set them on wax paper while the chocolate hardened. I sprinkled some sea salt flakes on a few of the strawberries too.

chocolate covered strawberries and madeleines

I’m not sure if I did the tempering exactly right as the chocolate had some streaks in it once it cooled, but everything tasted delicious. And the chocolate had such a wonderful snap when biting into it! I’m looking forward to trying my hand at tempering chocolate again. Until then, I’ve set the wallpaper on my iPhone to a photo of the strawberries and madeleines. It makes me happy every time I see it.:)

February 20, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Diane @ Vintage Zest - How pretty! Did the sea salted chocolate strawberries taste good? At first, I thought it was sprinkled with white chocolate shavings!

February 21, 2014 - 11:34 am

Sabrina - Thanks, Diane! While I really liked the chocolate-covered strawberries with sea salt, RH did not. I guess it’s a matter of personal taste!

happy birthday, sweetfrenchtoast

Fuji x100s

My little home in this amazing and mysterious world of the internet is 10 years old.

Whoa.

TEN YEARS OLD.

I think this calls for some cake and ice cream!

Thank you for helping me make this spot of my own.

November 27, 2013 - 3:11 am

Diane @ Vintage Zest - Happy blogiversary! It’s always time for cake and ice cream. Special days like today deserve candles and wishes!

handmade: diy wax paper lanterns at west elm

diy wax paper lantern

Tonight my friend Gabi and I went to a holiday DIY workshop at our local West Elm, the land of adorable midcentury modern-inspired goods for your home. Our host for the evening was Dayle, who guided us through an easy peasey wax paper lantern diy developed in collaboration with Camille Styles.

diy wax paper lantern at West Elm

Gabi and I partnered up to create a one-of-a-kind wax paper lantern. We used tiny doilies to stamp “snowflakes” and a pencil eraser to create dots. West Elm provided all the materials—from the wax paper to the craft paint and foam brushes.

diy wax paper lantern at West Elm

This is us with Dayle, our friendly host!

craft party at West Elm

This was such an easy project, and the payoff is beautiful! As soon as I got home, I used a tealight to illuminate and admire our handiwork. It’s lovely!

diy wax paper lantern

diy wax paper lantern

I’m a big fan of West Elm, and I really appreciate their fondness of handmade/DIY and local makers. This was my second DIY workshop at my local store, and I’m already looking forward to attending my next crafty event there!

November 14, 2013 - 11:55 pm

Diane @ Vintage Zest - How lucky are you to have a West Elm that has fun events like this! The wax paper looks so pretty illuminated with a simple tealight. Great work!

November 15, 2013 - 5:41 pm

Sabrina - Thanks, Diane! It was really easy and fun. And yes, I’m really lucky to have a West Elm nearby. They have really wonderful events and parties. It’s brilliant marketing! They know their target audience. :)