sweetfrenchtoast » for a modern handmade life

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  • HOWDY.

    Thanks for stopping by sweetfrenchtoast!

    I'm Sabrina, and I love to make pretty things, visit inspiring places, eat really good food, and take lots of photos along the way. Though I live with my husband in Atlanta, GA, I consider the world my home, and I can't wait to see more of it.

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. :)

falling for fall

I can’t believe it’s already November. Wow! It feels like Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

My thoughts on fall 2013: so far, so good. I tried something new this year! RH and I took a road trip to the North Georgia mountains to Mercier Orchards to pick apples.

pick your own apples

guide at Mercier Orchards

pick your own apples

apple picking at Mercier Orchards

apple picking at Mercier Orchards

Our trip to the apple orchard was a success. I came home with several pounds of fresh-picked apples, which I turned into delicious homemade apple butter!

I’m trying to enjoy fall as much as possible, and I’m finding myself drawn to the vibrant colors of the changing leaves and longing for a warm mug of spiced cider.

Yep…I’ve fallen for fall.

November 7, 2013 - 8:39 pm

Diane @ Vintage Zest - Your pictures are wonderful! It looks so fun to apple pick and then enjoy the fruits of labor. :)

November 7, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Sabrina - Thanks, Diane! It was incredibly fun! It was so peaceful in the orchard, and it was awesome eating the fruit right off the trees!

November 18, 2013 - 4:18 am

Robin - Love the pics from Merciers!! The guide in the picture is my son……Thanks for sharing!!

I met rachel roy!

A few weeks ago, as RH came in from checking the mail, he sang “I’m about to make someone really happy!”

I, having had a pretty rough day and being incredibly skeptical that a piece of mail could reverse my grumpy mood, asked, “Did someone send us a check for a million dollars?”

He handed over a postcard, which looked like another sales flier from Macy’s. Except this one was different. It said “Look who’s here!” and had a photo of my absolute favorite designer, Rachel Roy.

RACHEL ROY!!

I squealed like a 12-year-old girl who’d just been given front row seats One Direction.

And backstage passes.

I swoon over every piece in her collections when they debut, and about 80% of my closet is from the RACHEL Rachel Roy collection. Seriously. See for yourself on “my closet” Pinterest board.

I guess that’s why I got the postcard inviting me to see her launch the RACHEL Rachel Roy fall collection at my local Macy’s store.

Rachel Roy event at Macy's

The evening of the event, I showed up in one of my favorite RACHEL Rachel Roy dresses, along with some of my favorite jewelry from the collection. I nibbled on hors d’oeuvres and listened to the cute DJ spin some tunes while I waited in line for my turn to meet Rachel.

DJ at Rachel Roy event

When I finally got to chat with her and tell her how much I adore her, she was so very humble, kind and down-to-earth. She signed a postcard for me and took some photos. I proceeded to buy a couple of pieces from the fall collection to wear to work. I’ve already received compliments on them!

Rachel Roy

me with Rachel Roy

And to top off my dreamy Rachel Roy experience, just a few days later, I snagged one of the dresses from her Resort 2013 collection using a Rue La La credit I’d been hanging onto. Score!

Here’s a photo of Rachel wearing the dress on Project Runway. Bella!

Rachel Roy on Project Runway

Check out this post with more photos from the evening’s host, Mattie of Mattieologie. If you look closely, you will see me — and RH, in his usual stance. (Hint: there’s a smartphone involved.)

If you had a chance to meet one of your fashion or style icons, who would it be?

October 7, 2013 - 3:29 pm

Diane @ Vintage Zest - That’s so amazing! If I had the chance to meet a fashion or style icon, I would have a hard time deciding. I definitely waver in my styles from vintage to modern and in between.

Maybe I would pick Michael Kors only because I feel like I know him from Project Runway! He’s just hilarious, and the few pieces (and many purses) that I own of his always get tons of compliments. :)

October 7, 2013 - 11:56 pm

Sabrina - Meeting Michael Kors would be awesome! One of my favorite dresses is a Michael Kors dress. I love Project Runway, and I think Tim Gunn is also way up there on my list of fashion/style celebs I’d like to meet.