chai tea shortbread

 

so the weather this past long weekend felt very (dare i say it).. FALL. it made me SO happy, sorry summer lovers! i know we aren't even halfway into august yet but i can't help but be excited for my favourite season to arrive next month. because this weekend gave me a little touch of fall outdoors (i even wore a knit sweater), i decided to bring fall indoors too! these cookies taste and smell like everything you love about fall. to get a very strong chai tea flavour i used lorann oils amazing new chai tea flavouring! a little goes a long way as it is VERY concentrated. it has a blend of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon & vanilla. a.k.a the cozy flavours that make up fall! these will warm you from the inside out. while i thought cookies would be the perfect place to start with the chai tea flavouring, i think frosting will have to be next! chai tea latte buttercream anyone?!

ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon lorann oils chai tea flavouring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons water (optional)
  • 1/2 cup quality white chocolate, melted

directions

  • in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter & brown sugar until combined.
  • add in chai tea flavouring & vanilla extract.
  • sift in the flour & sea salt. beat until dough comes together.
  • if dough is crumbly, add the water one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency.
  • turn dough onto a floured surface & shape into a disk. wrap in cling wrap & refrigerate for one hour.
  • once dough has chilled, roll out on a heavily floured surface to ΒΌ inch thick. use desired cookie cutter to create the cookie shape.
  • bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the edges JUST begin to brown. let cool to room temperature.
  • drizzle with melted white chocolate & pop in the freezer for 60 seconds so the chocolate fully hardens.
  • serve with a freshly brewed cup of chai tea!

this post was created in partnership with lorann oils! i am seriously *obsessed* with the new chai tea flavouring. fall is going to get even more cozier now!

hygge guest bedroom

 

it is finally guest bedroom reveal day!!!! you may have seen a little sneak peak over on rue magazine in july, but today i am sharing ALL the design details! this room sat empty for the first year as our focus was on finishing the main living areas of modest house. once those were complete it was time to design the ultimate retreat for future guests. my focus was on keeping the design minimal, monochromatic & cozy a.k.a HYGGE! ok, now let's get into those details..

step one: the bedroom set

the first thing we decided on was the furniture for the space. when i came across asher bedroom set from rove concepts, it was everything i had envisioned for the space. i designed the rest of the space around these gorgeous pieces of furniture. the asher line has a modern mid century flair complete with rose gold pulls on the dresser & night stands! rove concepts makes such simple & clean pieces that it caters to just about any style. i opted for the asher wide dresser as our old home lacks closet space so this is the perfect piece of furniture to store some of our extra clothing pieces as well. the asher nightstands come in two styles; one drawer or two drawer. to keep clutter to a minimum i opted for the two drawer design as i think it is always best to maxamize storage space! the furniture quality is everything i could have hoped for & more. the asher bed is low to the ground making it easy for anyone to get into, even buddy holly who is looking right at home in this space. wait a minute, is this the guest room or buddy holly's room?!

step two: paint

when it came to deciding the wall colour for the guest room space white was the obvious choice giving the hygge scandanavian vibes i was aiming for! but WHAT SHADE OF WHITE?! literally, picking white is the most stressful colour of paint to choose. you don't realize how many options there are & each shade seriously looks so different when you put them next to each other. because i absolutely loved the way farrow & ball's all white turned out in the bathroom & ceilings, we decided to stick with it for this room too. all white is exactly what it says, no other tones in it but white! we painted both the ceilings & walls in the all white to give it a seamless look, especially when old plaster walls are anything but seamless. we went with a grey white for the trim and used farrow & ball's wevet. lastly, like every other interior door in the house, we stuck to farrow & ball's mole's breath.

step three: the rug

this braided ivory wool rug was the best budget friendly find! it is 100% wool making it so inexpensive compared to all the other wool rugs online. i was a little worried about the quality since it was an online order, but it is actually perfect. it is my first piece from RUGS USA & now i want the same one for the master bedroom too. the braied wool looks so cozy & really helped tie together those hygge vibes.

step four: the details

i kept the decor very simple and versatile given that it is a guest room. i want the space to feel relaxing without being cluttered with things or looking empty. the grey linen bedding is from crate & barrel (it is on clearence right now FYI), as well as the variety of vases that grace the dresser. i decorated the bed with linen pillows in various shades of grey made by my mom & filled the wicker baskets (also from crate & barrel) with extra pendleton wool blankets incase guests get cold at night! the gorgeous grey wool throw on the bed came all the way from ireland. my parents brought it back for me on their trip to ireland this past spring knowing my obsession with wool everything.

lastly, instead of hanging a ton of wall art i kept the walls clean with the exception of the hand made ivory hanging weave over the bed frame. i purchased it from the local shop oliver & rust. if you haven't noticed through my instagram feed i love this store & am so happy to be steps away from it! i found the ivy planter & the concrete planter for each night stand there too. PLUS that cute little ceramic pear! i am obsessed with it & got one for the mantel as well.

anyways, that is everything you need to know about the guest bedroom in modest house! our dream is to one day own a bed & breakfast, so having the perfect guest retreat is a nice way to start.

artichoke + spinach dip

 

who doesn't love a classic artichoke & spinach dip!?! i am partnering with vitamix today to share the ultimate holiday starter. i thought something warmy & cheesy would make for the perfect dish to serve at any gathering! this one earns bonus points because you can prepare it in advance & bake it when you are ready to serve. anything that involves minimal prep the day of christmas dinner earns a gold star in my books! the presentation of this dip looks so inviting & rustic when served in a cast iron pot. the little twist i did from the classic version was use an aged cheddar cheese over parmesan. i love the flavour it adds & the gooey melt factor. while i served mine with freshly toasted baguette slices, you can serve it with just about anything you like! tortilla chips, pita, nann bread & so on.

NOW..i have made two versions of this in my vitamix, a hot dip (which you see here) & a cold dip (which turns out a vibrant green colour). while the hot dip is much more indulgent, the cold dip is perfect for serving along side raw vegetables. it involves the exact same ingredients below but everything gets pureed in the vitamix & served as is. no heating involved! because of the green colour the spinach turns it, we call this one the grinch's dip:) as for the hot one, everything but the spinach, artichoke hearts & cheese gets pureed in the blender. then i fold those ingredients into the mix to add texture & depth to the final dish.

now let's get blending!!!

ingredients

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup spinach, freshly steamed, strained & roughly chopped
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, strained & roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated old cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 baguette, thinly sliced & toasted

directions

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, shallots, garlic, salt & pepper into the vitamix. pulse until ingredients are well blended.
  • pour into a mixing bowl. fold in the strained spinach, artichokes & cheddar cheese.
  • transfer to an oven safe skillet or baking dish & top with additional cheddar cheese.
  • bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted & browned (broil for a minute or two to crisp the cheese).
  • serve immediately with toasted baguette or warm pita.