Friday, March 23, 2012

Starbucks concept store in Amsterdam

A large beautiful store inspired by Dutch culture and tradition is now open in the popular Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam. This is the 9th Starbucks concept store to open in the last three years across the globe, but the first shop they referred to as a "laboratory". Designed by  Liz Muller with assistance of more than 35 artists and craftsmen, 'the bank' is situated in a 430 square meter (4,500 sqf) subterranean space in the vault of a historic bank.

 This new concept will function as a testing center for innovative coffee brewing methods taking place in its ‘Slow’ Coffee Theater as well as offering small batch reserve coffees not available anywhere else on the continent. It will also premiere Starbucks first ever Clover® brewing system in Europe, as well as feature a bakery in the back of  the store, while raised platforms will provide stages for live music performances. The shop has been built to meet LEED sustainable building guidelines, respecting the architecture of the historic bank and featuring a unique local design style and sustainable materials.   

Photos via dezeen, by Rien Muelman

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Underwater Ink

Italian photographer and graphic designer Alberto Seveso creates a new series title a due Colori. Astonishing underwater shapes full of bold colors and incredible details.  These images were created by taking high-speed photographs of ink mixing with water. The fluidity of the material is almost unrecognizable and it makes every piece of this collection insanely beautiful.

Photos via Colossal 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

St Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday. In the US it is a celebration of the Irish culture in America and is celebrated with numerous parades. The Irish pubs get crowded and everyone wears something green and drink Guinness beer (my hubby's favorite).

I would love to share these amazing photographs from Sydney-based commercial photographer Katie Quinn Davies of her trip to Dublin. She photographed three of her favorite Dublin pubs: Keoghs on South Anne Street; O'Donoghues on Merrion Row; and McDaids on Harry Street. Each photograph captured the essence of original local pubs where you can get the feel of the old world and the coziness of the space.

 I absolutely adore her photographs; If you want to see more check out her blog What Katie Ate.

Photos via What Katie Ate

And, if you're planning a trip to Ireland. The Doonbeg Hotel is a luxurious seaside resort offering everything from a private golf course and the world-class White Horse Spa to exceptional gourmet dining, on-site fishing, horseback riding, surfing, and even a team of genealogists on staff to help you discover your personal Irish heritage.

Photos via justluxe

Happy St Patrick's Day and good luck finding a leprechaun!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Irish Coffee.. A delight!!

Enjoyable on a cold night or to entertain your guest, this cocktail is rich, sweet and so delicious that you will be preparing this everyday in your home.

Ingredients to make one cup of coffee
  • six ounces of hot, fresh brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar for sweetness
  • 1  ounces of your favorite Irish whiskey
  • 1/4 lightly sweetened whipped cream



 Using the heavy cream, whip it until it becomes whipped cream. You can add sugar to sweeten. Place into the refrigerator to chill. Once your fresh coffee is brewed, combine it with the whiskey and sugar. Mix it well until the sugar dissolves. Take the whipped cream out and place it on top of the Irish coffee mixture. And voilá, you have in your hands your first homemade Irish coffee recipe.


Helpful tips

  • Make sure that the whipped cream does not break the surface of the coffee. This may take some time to accomplish but with practice, you will get there.
  • Try using a warm spoon to add the whipped cream.
  • Try pouring the whip cream over the back of a spoon to help the cream float rather sink into the coffee mixture.

If you want a sweeter twist on your coffee try adding a  1/4 cup of Bailey's. It will give you a more rich sophisticated flavor.


If you're feeling the "Irish spirit" this week, you can enjoy your coffee with a dark chocolate and Irish cream cupcake from Sprinkles... My favorites!  

Off course, I had an amazing dessert after the photo shoot! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Goat cheese stuffed dates

Stuffed dates are the perfect appetizer for a "Moroccan" night. These chewy, cold treats can be served as a snack, hors d’oeuvre, or dessert. They are easy to make and ridiculously testy. The sweetness of the dates and the savory flavor of the goat cheese make a perfect combination of flavors in your mouth.

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 16 Medjool dried dates, each cut in half, pits removed


    1. Combine goat cheese, garlic, parsley and salt in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until blended.
    2. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture into each split date.
    3.  Serve dates immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 hours, then bring to room temperature and serve.


    Dates cut in half - Great appetizers
    Large dates - Great for dessert

      Monday, March 5, 2012

      Colorful Inspiration

      Moroccan style is all about bold colors, detailed  patterns and extravagant textures. From traditional Riad ( traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard) to modern residences; you can find exotic textiles, vintage accessories and a handful of great inspiration.

        Photos via Elle Decor. Photographer: Simon Upton

      Photos via Riad Kniza  and La Sultana Hotel 

      Photos via Riad Kniza

      For my pleasant surprise, today I received the West Elm catalog..and guess what? Morocco is their inspirations for the new collection. I love the new accessories & bold colors !!