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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Speedy Chicken Enchiladas

My husband taught me this recipe when we were first married!  It is extremely quick and easy - once again perfect for a week night.  If he can do it, so can you :) (Love ya, honey!)

Speedy Chicken Enchiladas
*Makes 1 9x13 pan of enchiladas - serves 4-5
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 can Red Enchilada Sauce (14 oz can is plenty, I use Medium heat)
10 Corn Tortillas
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Canned or Frozen Corn
Black Beans
Garlic Salt
Shredded Lettuce
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS: salsa, sour cream, taco sauce, etc.

1.) Shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken and place in a bowl.

2.) Spray your 9x13 pan. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

3.) Create your assembly line: line up a bowl of shredded cheese, 
a bowl chicken, and a bowl of enchilada sauce.  Dip a tortilla in enchilada sauce.  
Add chicken and cheese, and roll up the tortilla placing it seam side down in oven pan.

4.) Continue dipping, filling, and rolling tortillas until pan is full (about 10 enchiladas).

5.) Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the rolled tortillas.  
Sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top.

6.) Cover pan with tin foil and bake for 10 minutes.  Take off foil, and continue to bake 
for another 10 minutes - or until the tortillas and cheese get a little crispy.

7.)  While tortillas are warming, heat up the black beans (sprinkled with garlic salt and ground cumin to taste) and the corn.  Shred the lettuce.

8.) Serve enchiladas with corn, beans, and lettuce on top.  Add any extras - sour cream, salsa, taco sauce, your pick!

Happy Wednesday!

Our DIY Painted Shelves were featured on We Like To Learn As We Go!

Check it out!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY Kitchen Chalkboard

I love an easy craft project that makes a big difference :)  And let's be honest, chalkboard paint could not be easier to work with.   Especially the spray paint version!  For quite awhile now I've been meaning to buy a magnet pad of paper to put on my refrigerator so I can jot down those grocery store items I need to buy that I think about in the moment of cooking but ALWAYS forget once I get to the store.  Does that ever happen to you?  

However, I've had this empty wall in my kitchen since we moved in.  I thought I'd get around to finding art or something to fill the hole eventually, but then I came across this old tray that I got at the flea market a hundred years ago.  Boom! Let's make a chalkboard, hang it in the empty space, and now I can add items to buy as I think of them.  Ahhhh I love efficiency.

DIY Kitchen Chalkboard
Old Tray
Painters Tape

1.) Tape off edges of tray with painters tape.

2.) Spray chalkboard paint on face of tray.  
I sprayed 3 coats, taking about a 2 minute break between coats.

3.) Wait 24 hours. (Hardest part! Ah patience!)

4.) Cure chalkboard by covering the entire area with chalk.  
Wipe off chalk and voila!

5.) List away!

I had to add a small sawtooth picture hanger to the back of my chalkboard.  You can buy these at any hardware store - I happened to have some in my tool box.  They come with tiny screws, you just grab a screw driver and screw them into the back of your tray.  Then I attached some kitchen twine to the back, and hung the tray on the wall.

The Painters tape actually pulled off a little of the old paint from the original tray.  But it ended up making the sign look even better! Unintentional distressing :)

I love how it fills up that empty wall and lets me remember what I actually need from the store!  Win, win.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Kate's Nursery Inspiration: A Bohemian Baby Room

It's time.  Kacey has officially shamed me into starting on my nursery :)  Hers is SO CUTE! Check out her progress here, here, and here.  I've decided to go colorful and bohemian in our nursery.  I want it to be comfy, cozy, and inspiring for baby Bean!  You can see some of my inspiration photos below...lots of jewel tones, pattern...indigo, magenta, gold, turquoise....whimsical and fun!

Images clockwise from left 1 | 2 | 3

And here is my inspiration board...These are the images that are driving me creatively now.  I've linked to the below photos, but I plan to DIY some of these items, flea market find others, and re-purpose pieces we already have in our home.  Updates on real progress to come!



1.) Dresser

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hand Down Best "Made From Scratch Pancakes" Recipe!

Why not treat yourself this weekend and make these can't miss pancakes? They are just as easy as using a pre-made batter mix, but infinitely more tasty.  Serve them classic style with butter and syrup OR eat them like we do up at the lake - butter and a layer of sugar.  

So. Worth. It.

Hand Down Best "Made From Scratch Pancakes" Recipe
Makes 8 pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
blueberries Optional

1.) In a large bowl, sift together the flour, 
baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. 

2.) Make a well in the center of dry mix, and pour in the milk, egg, 
vanilla and melted butter.  Mix until smooth.

2. Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium high heat. 
Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using 
approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.  If using blueberries
add a couple to each pancake before you flip.
Let both sides of the pancake get golden brown, and serve hot.

Mmm Mmm Mmm,

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Baby Room Update! DIY Shelves for Kacey's Nursery

Ok kids! Here are the fun shelves Kate and I ended up painting for the Baby's room! They turned out so cute and pretty, and I just had to share them with you!

Step 1: Buy these $7.99 shelves from Ikea.  They come with metal hinges and are super easy to drill into the wall.

Step 2: Dry brush an antique white paint onto all sides of the shelves.  Use a large dry paint brush and dip a small amount of paint onto it.  Then brush it on to the shelf in a coarse, carefree manner.  It creates a lovely farmhouse feel to the shelves. Let dry (doesn't take long!).

Step 3:  Decide what shapes you want to paint onto the shelves so you can tape off the patterns.  We used painters tape. You need to paint on all sides of shelf because you'll be able to see the bottom as well as the top.  This was the fun creative part! We went with some simple stripes on one, and got funky and whimsical on the third!

Step 4:  Paint! We chose 4 different colors from Michaels, but the world is your oyster on this one. 

You need to go slow and really plan out which color should go where.  The paint dries fairly quickly though, so this project can be accomplished in one afternoon!

And before you know it...the tape comes off and.....voila!!

3 fun, different, whimsical shelves!

This baby hasn't even arrived yet, and I've already managed to fill up all available space:)

Enjoy crafting!! I know I did...this one was a fun one!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Free Online Meditation Conference


It's very trendy these days.  Gaining popularity in mainstream media and medical circles - while being a mainstay in yoga and spiritual communities for as long as yoga and spirit have existed.  From the Mayo Clinic to MindBodyGreen to Russell Simmons to even the Harvard Business Review, everyone is touting the benefits of incorporating a meditation practice into your daily life.

...Relieve Stress
alleviate illness...
.....promote spiritual connection...
....improve relationships
enhance mental performance....

and more.

I came across this free online Meditation conference on Entheos.  Led by Yoga and Meditation teacher Ashley Turner, the conference is available to be streamed on your computer for free from April 21st through April 25th.  

Check out the Conference Overview from the En*Theos website:

Ashley interviewed 30+ world-class experts ranging on topics from the neuroscience of meditation, mindfulness based stress-reduction, Positive Psychology, Transcendental Meditation, the Mind-Body connection, Buddhism and Tantra. 

Demystify meditation, discover a wide-range of tools from many different traditions so you can choose which practice fits your personality and lifestyle and start meditating today. 

As yogis have known for centuries and scientists have more recently discovered, the benefits of meditation are profound! This conference breaks down meditation in an accessible and practical way - so even if you only have 5 minutes, you can begin a daily meditation practice.

Amazing yoga teachers, spiritual leaders, and pop culture icons are speaking during the online global conference.  Even if you can only listen to 1 or 2, it's worth it! And free!

Namaste :)

1 | 2 | 3

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ginger Beef and Kale Stir Fry

Healthy, quick, delicious!  Make this Stir fry tonight, you won't be sorry.

Ginger Beef and Kale Stir Fry
Serves 4-6
2/3 cup low sodium Soy Sauce (Green lid!)
1 cup broth (chicken, vegetable - your choice)
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp corn starch
4 tsp ground ginger
fresh ground black pepper
Stir Fry
1 lb. flank steak, cut into thin slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz (1 small box) white button mushrooms
1 bunch organic Kale
1 organic red pepper, thinly sliced
Garlic Salt

1.) Whisk together all marinade ingredients and pour in a plastic bag with sliced steak. 
Let marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to a few hours.

2.)  Pour olive oil into a large saute pan. 
Add garlic and saute at med-hi for a minute.  
Using a slotted spoon, remove steak from plastic bag and put in pan (Save marinade).  
Saute for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

3.)  Remove steak from pan, and set aside.  Toss in kale, mushrooms, 
red pepper, and the rest of the marinade plus a sprinkle of garlic salt.  
Stir often until kale begins to wilt and the sauce thickens.  Add steak back in 
and stir for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve stir-fry over a big pot of brown rice.


Friday, April 18, 2014

DIY Glitter Filled Easter Egg Place Cards

DIY Glitter Filled Easter Eggs
Clear Easter eggs from Michaels ($.99 each!)

1.) Take off top of clear egg and fill up with glitter.
I filled each egg about 1/4 of the way full.

2.)  Pop top back on egg.

3.) Using a glue ballpoint pen, write down names 
for place cards on a thin strip of white paper.

4.) Sprinkle glitter over glue.

5.) Brush off glitter (funnel back into tube to re-use).

6.) Roll both ends of paper for a fancier look.

Each place setting has a slightly different look...
Kara: old wine corks add a festive feel
Kate: dried lavender from the garden
Kacey: small white stones and mini purple carnations
Sorella: A beautiful pink flower

You could also scoop up a whole bunch of these eggs, fill them with coordinating glitter and hang them  together all at random lengths with flowers behind it as a spring wreath.  Or even hang them at various heights from your chandelier over your Easter table.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Simple, Glittery Easter Table

Welcome to our Easter table!

For some reason, the Easter holiday always sneaks up on me.  Thanksgiving, Christmas - we have major build up for those guys.  But all of a sudden, spring has sprung, and Easter is here.  For that reason, I like to create really simple but festive tables for the spring holiday set up.  I actually had all of the items for this table - I just rummaged around all of my "hiding spots"....don't tell my husband how many hiding spots I actually have :)

This year we incorporated:

The DIY project for this year are these glitter filled easter eggs!

DIY Glitter Filled Easter Eggs
Clear Easter eggs from Michaels ($.99 each!)

1.) Take off top of clear egg and fill up with glitter.
I filled each egg about 1/4 of the way full.

2.)  Pop top back on egg.

3.) Using a glue ballpoint pen, write down names 
for place cards on a thin strip of white paper.

4.) Sprinkle glitter over glue.

5.) Brush off glitter (funnel back into tube to re-use).

6.) Roll both ends of paper for a fancier look.

 Each place setting has a slightly different look...
Kara: old wine corks add a festive feel
Kate: dried lavender from the garden
Kacey: small white stones and mini purple carnations
Sorella: A beautiful pink flower

You could also scoop up a whole bunch of these eggs, fill them with coordinating glitter and hang them  together all at random lengths with flowers behind it as a spring wreath.  Or even hang them at various heights from your chandelier over your Easter table.  A kind of grown-up mobile!

 We actually re-used the gorgeous flower arrangement from our Baby Shower last weekend! Our dear friend Alyson created the most stunning floral arrangements - and Kacey and I got to take a few home with us.   This was perfect for the table.

Aren't they beautiful? She is so talented!  And these flowers are still fresh almost a week later.  More pictures to come from the Baby Shower, I promise. We have a whole post dedicated to it.  Our friends and family did such an amazing job on the event...can't wait to share!

Happy Easter everyone - don't forget to light some candles and use whatcha got!  Get creative, but keep it every time!

Kara, Kate, and Kacey