Monday, June 9, 2014

Jack Daniels Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are perfect for Fathers Day!  Delicious, chocolate-y, with a hint of Jack Daniels flavoring....Dad will love 'em!  These cupcakes were featured on Style Me Pretty - skip on over to see the whole photo shoot.

Jack Daniels Whiskey Cupcakes:  
2 Cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In separate bowl (I use a 4 or 8 cup measuring vessel) combine the eggs, coffee, whiskey, buttermilk and oil.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into prepared cupcake cups.
Bake in preheated oven about 18-20 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool completely.

6 tablespoons butter, softened
cocoa powder, see below
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For light chocolate frosting use 1/3 cup cocoa powder. For medium chocolate frosting use 1/2 cup cocoa powder. For dark chocolate frosting use 3/4 cup cocoa powder.  In mixer bowl cream the butter. Add the cocoa and powdered sugar alternately with milk. Beat to spreading consistency adding more milk if needed. Blend in vanilla.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Currently Loving...Blue Velvet and Emerald Taffeta

We've had quite the whirlwind few weeks here at Sorella Style!  Kacey had her adorable little baby girl 2 weeks ago today - Miss Stella Francesca made quite the entrance!  Kara has been travelling all over - out to California for the birth, back to Denver, then soon back out to Cali for my baby girl to be born!  2 weeks and counting down...

While I (patiently?) wait for that day to arrive, I've been catching up on my favorite websites, blogs, and pinterest are my current loves.

One day I will have a blue velvet sofa.  I'm loving this one from a Home Tour on The Everygirl.  And I'm also loving the artwork above the we think I could recreate??  Digging all the colors, especially the pops of gold.

Can we HANDLE how magical this photo is!?  I'm dying over the gorgeous ocean echoing the sunset in the clouds...and the emerald skirt!  I may have to scoop one of these up on Bel and Beau's website...a little post-pregnancy gift to myself? I could wear it this Fall when I'm back at...shall we say fighting weight!?

Cheers, dolls....happy inspiration hunting!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Container Gardening Made Easy

Container gardening is fun, therapeutic, and easy to do!  Come Spring, it's so comforting to head to the local nursery, pick out some plants, bring them home and watch them grow.  Here is a "How To" Guide to container gardening for beginners.  Start slow and pick easy to grow (aka Hard To Kill!) plants for your first container garden!

(Geraniums, Cherry Tomatoes, Rosemary, Geraniums, Basil)

1.) Head to your local home improvement store or nursery.

2.) Pick up a bag of pre-mixed potting soil (Like Miracle Gro Potting Mix).  Make sure you buy POTTING mix (not garden mix) - it is best for container gardening.

3.) Choose your herbs and flowers.
Easy to grow...

Cherry Tomatoes

4.) Choose your pots.  I have found that pots at least 12 inches wide work best for most of the flowers and herbs I'm growing.  And they also must have draining holes in the bottom to allow for proper water drainage.

5.) Fill pot 1/2 full with soil mixture (or as much soil as you need to bring the flower up as high as you'd like it to be once the pot is full of soil and flowers).  Squeeze the plastic pot that your flower came in to work it loose from the container (works best when the soil is wet).  Slowly remove the flower or herb from the plastic pot it came in.  Being mindful of the roots, gently work your fingers through the bottom roots of the herb/flower.  This allows the roots to burrow into the new soil easier.  Place flower in pot and fill up pot with more garden soil.  Gently press down to secure flower.  

6.) Repeat with the rest of your herbs/flowers.

7.) Give your new babies a good soak with water.  Most herbs and flowers like to be watered at the spot where their stem meets the dirt, not from the top of their petals.

1.) Stick your finger down in the soil about an inch to 2 inches every day to see if your plants need to be watered. Watering differs from climate to climate.  The only way to start to get a feel of how often they need to be watered is to get your hands dirty - if dirt is dry, water 'em.  You can over water however, so you have to try and wait for the soil to dry out before you douse them.  It's the hardest part (I think) about gardening.  But sooner or later you'll get a feel for it and your plants will thrive.

2.) Feed your plants every 2 weeks.  I bought 2 different fertilizers.  One that promotes BLOOM growth for my flowers (to get more color) and one that is good for herbs and veggies.

Every plant has different pruning practices. Here are the plants I have on my deck:

Geraniums: Once bloom head dies, remove entire head and stem down to where it splits from main stalk.

Petunias: Remove dead heads below the green cup that holds the bloom.

Basil: Prune basil often to promote growth.  Make sure to clip off clusters BEFORE they bloom white flowers at the top.

Rosemary: Cut stalks as needed for cooking, or more often to promote growth. Can cut anywhere.

Cherry Tomatoes: Suckers grow in the "V" of where the main stalk splits into branches.  Simply pluck those little suckers out of the v when you see them.

Lavender: Cut off dead blooms to promote more growth (Save them and dry them to make lavender sachets!)

Happy Planting!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DIY: Stenciled Water Carafes

We made these pretty, simple, and functional table numbers for a wedding photo shoot awhile back. You too can make your own water carafe table numbers!

 I also thought they would be super cute for Mother's Day.  Instead of stenciling numbers, why not stencil "Mom" or a heart?  The options are endless.  Here's your How To:

Stenciled Water Carafe
 Glass Carafe 
(buy at any home store: Sur La Table, Home Goods, Target, etc)
Craft paint
Stencils (or make your own!)*

1.) Tape stencil to outside of water jug.
*(To make your own stencil, find numbers online - google images or find a font you love - and enlarge them to the correct size to fit on the outside of the jug.  Print and cut out center to use as a stencil).

2.)  Using craft paint, paint in the stencil.

3.) Remove the stencil, and fill the jug with water....or wine!

Rachel Moore Photography

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

HGTV Brother Vs. Brother: Styling a Room 2 Different Ways!


I'm excited to finally announce my involvement with the new season of Brother Vs. Brother on HGTV!  I worked on HGTV Design Star last year, and this year HGTV hired me to work on Brother Vs. Brother.  We filmed the first couple months of this year, and the new season starts on Sunday, June 8th!

Check out this video below that we styled in partnership with Home Decor Website Wayfair.  I'll share more details of my specific role with the show as we get into airing it (Oh confidentiality agreement :).  But here is a video we made using Wayfair goods to spruce up your living room 2 different ways - A Summer Look and a Fall Look.

Here is a direct link to the video:

It's been a fun first half of the year working with HGTV!  I can't wait for you all to see the show!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The BEST Skinny Margarita!

As summertime approaches, we all start being a little more mindful of what we eat and drink. We take in more fruits and veggies and less comfort foods and cookies.  That is why this Skinny Margarita is seriously amazing, it is full of all natural, healthy ingredients (well outside of the Tequila!) and tastes fantastic.

Skinny Margarita
recipe adapted from

-Kosher Salt
-2 Ounces (1/4 cup) of Silver Tequila-I used Hornitas 100% Agave
3 Tablespoons (about 1 1/2 limes) Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
2-3 Tablespoons  Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
(about a half of a medium Orange or a quarter of a large Orange)
1 teaspoon of light Agave Nectar
Lime round or wedge for garnish

Start by prepping your margarita glasses. Pour a generous amount of salt on a small plate.  Take a small slice of lime and run around the rim of the glass.  Run the edge of your glass in a circle around the plate at an angle to get desired amount of salt.  Fill your glass with ice.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients above. Shake, shake, shake your cocktail shaker for about 20 seconds or so and then pour your tasty skinny margarita into your salt rimmed glass. 

Enjoy your Skinny Margarita, guilt free, out on the patio with a good book, in the sunshine-while your baby is napping......It's almost like being on vacation. :)

Kara, Kate and Kacey

Monday, May 5, 2014

Antipasto Kabobs

This past weekend we hosted a Kentucky Derby Party, complete with Mint Juleps, hats and smoked pulled pork sandwiches.  We had a bunch of appetizers to munch on before race time and this is seriously one of the easiest and tastiest appetizers you can bring to your next party.  

2 packages genoa salami-pre sliced or order from the deli counter
2 packages of marinated small mozzarella balls
1 container of peppadew peppers
1 large package of cheese tortellni-cooked to package instructions and then marinated in Italian dressing prior to placing on skewer
1 container of olives (I omit this ingredient-but most people LOVE olives)
1 package of skewers

Cut the salami in half so you can get "two pieces" out of each slice
Cut small Mozzarella balls in half as well
Place ingredients on skewers in whatever order is most pleasing to you!
And there you have it....Easy Antipasto Appetizer.  It's a serious crowd pleaser. These are definitely on the top of our "what to bring to a party" list!
*My son deleted my photo of my skewers from the party-soooooo I had to find an image to share with you. :) Oops!
image via
Kara, Kate and Kacey