A Cozy, Colorful Reading + Work Nook at the HQ

Cozy and Colorful Reading Nook

I did a little rearranging at the studio over the weekend! Target gave me the challenge of giving a cozy fall update to my colorful headquarters. I feel a little silly calling this a reading nook when, well, the only books I’ve made the time to read recently are cookbooks! In fact one of the things I’m looking forward to most after our wedding is a few days where I can just sit by the pool and read a real book! What a luxury! But, this little nook I’ve created also doubles perfectly as a work nook. I’ve had to do some sketching for a few projects recently and most days you’ll find me working from the couch! I layered up two gorgeous side tables so I could bring in a pop of color with some greenery (all snuggled up for fall in this basket!), and still have room for a disco ball filled bowl… a total necessity here at the HQ. Playing around with the furniture at the studio is kind of like playing dress up as a kid… crazy fun and I still can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have a space to let my ideas run wild in!

Wood, Gold + White for Fall
Cozy and Colorful Reading Nook

Cozy and Colorful Reading Nook

All Photos by Jeff Mindell

So tell me, who’s read a great book recently!? I need a recommendation or two for next month. I’m open to anything fiction, non-fiction, biz books… lay it on me in the comments below! In the meantime, you’ll catch me sketchin’ (ermmm… napping!?) in my new little nook! Sources for my new Target pieces are below!!

Gold Table / Wood Table / Rope Basket / White + Gold Bowl / White + Gold Pillow

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

How to Frost the Best Birthday Cake Ever

How to Frost the Best Birthday Cake Ever

For two years now, I’ve been wanting to do a post or series on how to properly frost a cake. This is largely selfish, as… it’s a skill I personally am dying to improve. I love baking but I have just never taken the time to really make it look good. Like professional good. So when Craftsy asked if I wanted to try out some of their creative classes and test my skills… I saw there was a (FREE!) buttercream class and JUMPED! My chance to prove to myself that I can, in fact, frost a cake. So I signed up for Modern Buttercream with Joshua John Russell and I am pretty DARN proud of what I learned. Let’s chat.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake
The Best Birthday Cake Ever

First, let me illustrate. An example of my cake assembling and decorating before (Don’t judge!!) and after:

Before and After Cake Class

YOWZA! Big difference, huh? *Pats self on back.*

In the class, Joshua takes you through the basics of making buttercream, preparing cake layers for frosting, assembling a cake (a three-tiered cake no less! I stuck to one… for now!), frosting that cake and adding texture and decor elements to it. The class is FULL of quick little tips that kind of blew my mind. Like using butter wrappers as parchment paper in the bottom of your cake tins. WHY has nobody told me this before!? Genius. I stuck to the basics for this cake, simple frosted and clean… figured that didn’t leave me any room for covering up my mistakes with texture! If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that having the proper tools is really what makes the difference in frosting the perfect cake. His method of leveling layers was brilliant (better then my “eyeball and saw the top off” method, for sure) and he taught me the importance of making sure the layers are chilled inbetween most steps. I always only kinda did that part. Turns out, when you take the time to learn the right way… frosting a cake isn’t all that hard!

Line Cake Pans with Butter Wrappers! Sprinkles
Funfetti All Day
How To Frost a Cake The Tools
Above are some of the tools Joshua recommends for decorating. That decorating turntable is a GAME CHANGER for frosting cakes. I don’t know why I resisted buying one for so long. It also never occurred to me to use cake boards for regular old cakes and not just fancy wedding cakes.

For my attempt, I used this funfetti cake recipe and Joshua’s buttercream recipe you get in the class. This was also my very first time making funfetti cake from scratch. And I can guarantee it won’t be my last.

The Best Birthday Cake Ever
Funfetti Birthday Cake

Birthday Funfetti
All Photos by Studio DIY

Now, I know I’m not the only one who wanted to learn how to frost a cake! (In fact, in my past reader surveys, it was a skill many of you wanted to aquire!) So, let me invite you all to take Craftsy’s Modern Buttercream class by clicking right HERE! Remember, it’s totally free!!! It’s well organized so you can move through lessons easily and really soak everything in before gettin’ to work on your cake! If that before and after up there doesn’t prove that this class is worth it, I don’t know what does. Who’s ready to learn how to frost!?


This post was created in partnership with Craftsy. All content and opinions are that of my own! Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep the Studio DIY party going! Read more about my editorial policies here.

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