what a week! (and a HUGE thank you!)

It's been an interesting week here in the Northeast, as many of you already know! I was missing yesterday due to a power outage that we're experiencing here. We actually still don't have power but we have a generator so I have a place to plug in my computer and some spotty internet so here I am! We're getting cabin fever BAD from being cooped up since Sunday night. Luckily, we could get out for a little bit yesterday to assess the damage here in Lower Makefield. Before the storm, the county drained the Delaware Canal (which runs right through the middle of my town) so that prevented a LOT of flooding. Some smaller ponds were overflowing and the Delaware River didn't look so kind but we were blessed to come through with minimal damage, as you'll see in the pictures.

In this picture, I'm standing in the middle of a main road in my town. Looks like the middle of a forest, doesn't it?

As thankful as I am that we made it out with minimal damage to our home, a generator, and nice warm fireplace, my heart is breaking for The Jersey Shore and New York City. It's eerie to see places where I grew up and become very familiar with (Ocean City, NJ and Battery Park in NYC particularly!) being completely destroyed. I also want to thank all of my readers/friends from other parts of the country and abroad for checking in on me! 

A lot of you have been asking how you can help. Prayers are much appreciated and needed for those effected in parts of the Jersey Shore, North Jersey, and New York City. Local friends can find a place to volunteer here, and anybody who wants to can donate can do so by clicking here

xo, e.m.

easy vegan borscht

Today, here on the east coast, we're in the middle of a Hurricane. On days like this, I like to lay low, enjoy the time with my family, and take the excuse to make (and eat!) some comfort food. Borscht is a delicious and nutritious traditional dish, here's my spin on it!

What you'll need: Borscht broth (found in the Kosher section of my local grocery store), two medium potatoes, three carrots, 3 cups of lentils, salt and red pepper seeds to taste, and two vegetable bouillon cubes.

Start out by pouring the broth into your pot. Fill up the empty glass with water and add it. Bring broth to a boil and add salt, red pepper seeds, and vegetable bouillon cubes. Once at a boil, add the lentils. Cover on high heat and cook for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots and reduce to medium heat. Check back often, once the potatoes begin to get soft, cover and reduce to a simmer until the soup reaches your desired consistency. I let mine simmer for a little longer so the soup will be thicker and less broth'y!

I had a friend who sat next to me the entire time I was making my borscht. Isn't she just the cutest? Serve your soup hot with a side of rye toast and a pickle. SO delicious! Borscht is traditionally served with a generous dollop of sour cream, which I left out but you can feel free to add! Perfect hurricane weather dinner.

xo, e.m.

this week in instagrams

working from home

Lately, a lot of you have been asking me what it's like to be self-employed with a creative job. It's extremely rewarding but sometimes it can be difficult to stay organized and motivated when it's only me. I've been taking a few notes along the way and here are a few of the things that help me the most:

1. Writing everything down and keeping it where I see it every day: I make lots of lists and have books full of them but I've found that the best way for me to keep track of everything that needs to be done in a week/month along with long term goals, a chalkboard works best. I keep it right on my desk, which is in my office, which I'm in every day so there's no way that I can't see it. Getting to erase things off of the board is also quite rewarding!

2. Make your bed every day: This sounds silly but seriously, do it. Starting off the day with a routine that involves something like this is a good idea because in a small way, it gets you ready for a day of productivity. Plus it looks a lot nicer and less cluttered. Clutter is TERRIBLE for getting stuff done! I can't think straight when things are a mess.

3. Have inspiration all around you: It's so easy to fall into a rut when you're working a creative job. If you work from home, you have the power to control your environment and fill it with lots of things that inspire. My nightstand is one example of that. I keep a journal with a pen in so many places in my home so that I'll always have a spot to jot down ideas and never lose them in the search for a pen and paper. One of my favorite things now is to work outside or in my solarium. Having the entire house to work from is great for that reason: you don't have to stay in one place! If you start to get a little bored and uninspired, just pick up and get to a more inspiring place. 

4. Music, and lots of it: I don't know about you but I can't work without music. I didn't realize this until a few weeks ago though. Making lots of playlists of songs that you love along with a few new ones will help you get in the zone. 

xo, e.m.

how to brew kombucha:

kombucha, home, DIYKombucha is sort of a miracle beverage, although I think it's actually technically a food. A lot of people think that it's a mushroom but it's actually a fermented symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Delicious, right? Don't let that fact scare you though, it's good for you! There are various health benefits attributed to Kombucha such as preventing cancer and helping out your digestive system. Interested? Here's some more information as well as where to order a culture. A friend came over a few weekends ago and showed me how to brew my own, which I'm excited to share with you guys!

To brew your own kombucha at home, you will need about a gallon of filtered water, 6-8 tea bags steeped in 6 cups of water overnight, (black tea works really well) a heaping cup of sugar, (essential to the fermentation process) a large glass pot, (one with a spigot works amazingly, if not, you'll have to use a ladle to get the tea into a cup) a piece of cloth to place over the top, a strong rubber band, a ribbon (if you wanna make it look pretty) and some kombucha culture. (See the link above!)

kombucha, home, DIYTwenty-four hours before you prepare your kombucha, place your filtered water into a glass vase and let it sit. This will evaporate the chlorine out of it. The night before, steep 6 or so bags of tea overnight in a separate vase. In the morning (or whenever you want to start making your tea) mix both the water and the tea in a larger glass pot.

Add your sugar and stir! It's pretty self-explainaory. So much easier than you ever thought, right?

After mixing the sugar in the best you can, add your culture. We used a culture from my friend's own brew at home.

Cover your kombucha with the cloth and place out of direct sunlight. I keep mine in an empty space under my counter to keep it out of the sunlight. Because the culture that I used wasn't as far along in the growing process, I let mine ferment for two weeks. Depending on your culture, it could take as little as one week. Check on it often. You'll see this weird mushroom-looking thing growing on the top of it. That's good! It means that your tea is ready. Start but drinking about 2oz a day to get your body used to it and work your way up to 8oz. All that you need to do to replenish your kombucha supply is add more sweet tea. If you do this, one culture can last you a lifetime! Cheers!

xo, e.m.

mustard, denim, & velvet

redhead, fall fashion, short bangs, tribal, liquid eyelinerJeffrey Campbell Pointe, black, velvetJeffrey Campbell Pointe, black, velvet, redhead, fall fashion, liquid eyeliner, Hebrew TattooIt's no secret that mustard is one of my favorite colors to wear, that I think denim is the greatest fabric there ever was and I like (okay, love.) tall shoes. Put all that together and you get this; an E.M. super outfit. If you have red hair, you should consider making this lovely shade of yellow a staple in your wardrobe, especially for the fall. Actually, you don't even need to have red hair. Just do it.

xo, e.m.

shirt/ thrifted, cardi & necklace/ F21, jeggings/ Juicy Couture, bag/ TJ Maxx, ring/ H&M, shoes/ Jeffrey Campbell 

vintage wedding on an october night: previews

This wedding, although it was challenging at times (lighting and such), was so much fun. M&M are such a funny couple and a joy to be around, there were times when I couldn't stop laughing! I'm getting a little sad because this one was my last wedding until late November, and then there are no more after that until the Spring. My first wedding season is winding down and although it's crazy every day, I'm going to miss it so much! What am I going to do to keep me busy for the winter? Oh that's right, I'm going to China! At least I have something else to look forward to, right?

xo, e.m.

p.s. this wedding was full of the cutest Harry Potter details. Look at that cake! Hubba hubba!