Weekend Edition : The Best Carrot Cake

I try to only post recipes that I think are truly amazing because really, pinterest is the best resource for a billion cooking ideas. I'm sharing this one because it's so delicious, easy to make from scratch, easy to make vegan, and gluten free if you choose. Today I'm sharing my mom's recipe with you guys. It's perfect if you enjoy a cake that's not overly sweet, and still manages to stay light and easy on the stomach. She made this cake when I was little, and I have since then revised it a tad to make it my own (healthier). I will include any vegan/gluten free substitutions beneath the recipe below. Enjoy!
I've successfully substituted rice flour for regular flour to make this cake gluten free. I've also substituted applesauce and bananas for the oil and eggs. We recently tried the icing with vegan margarine and vegan cream cheese with great results!


Design Staples : 6 Things To Update Your Home

There's no better feeling than investing in something for your home, and feeling like you're going to love it for a long time. Let's face it, many of the things we want and/or need for our homes aren't inexpensive, and we've all had times that we look back and regret the sweeping trend that we hopped on... only to have to part with the purchase we no longer like. It's nice to think some things are here to stay. I've made up a list of the staples that don't seem to be going anywhere (I've roughly based it on the photo below) and I've included some great sources to find them.

1. The Moroccan Pouf These are just practical, can be moved around the house and typically look great anywhere. I've moved mine from my little guy's nursery to the front door, and now it's in the living room.
I'm slightly obsessed with this blush one (here) and there are even faux options for vegan homes (here and here)

2. Antique Bench Weathered and worn, if you're lucky enough to find one of these vintage Chinese alter styles they're a good investment (here). For a larger entrance or dining area this one (here) is great too.

3. Juju Hat A tribal headdress made of feathers. They are the most versatile art piece. I love them just about anywhere. I have a white one (below) and the prettiest cherry pink red shade. Order one here, here or here.

4. The Beni Ourain These simply styled wool shag rugs (here and here) are soft under foot and work well with any decor style.

5. The Potted Cactus If someone had said to me at one point that plant trends would stick I'd have been surprised. We've seen the fiddle leaf fig take off and show up in homes everywhere inspiring posts about how to keep them alive, and even spin off production of amazing faux figs. I think we all still love a fig, but the ease of cactus care and their variety of shapes and sizes has made them a hit too.

6. Diptyque Baies This candle (here) shows up in just about every editorial and post of a curated space. Why? Simply put... people love the label and know the brand is synonymous with quality, plus they just smell fantastic. Baies, the brands best seller world wide smells fresh of blackberry and quince and will gently scent any space and impart it with a feeling that is fresh, invigorated and clean.  (here)

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On Trend : 5 Great Options for Adding Marble to Your Space

I love marble. I'd have it everywhere if I could. I'm assuming this goes for a lot of you given the amount of feedback I receive whenever I post it on Instagram. I'd love to have marble counters, but it's just not in the budget right now, so I find other ways to add it in my home.
As a design staple, marble has made its way mainstream into plenty of inexpensive, yet amazing and easy to incorporate accessories. I'm sharing 5 great options below, and even if you were to purchase every single one you'd still come in at under $375, versus the average marble counter price at a minimum of 10k.

1. Probably my favourite addition to any room is a marble tray. There are several options available out there that work well in a kitchen, bathroom, bedside table, dresser top, entrance for mail and keys, office to corral paperclips and stapler, etc... The one shown is available (here) but other similar options are available (here) and (here)
2. Marble Utensil Holder and Wine Chiller. I have put this combo in several kitchens. For special occasions, I've packed the spoons and whisks in the drawer, and have used both marble containers as the perfect vase to hold peonies or hydrangeas. Utensil holder (here) Wine chiller (here)
3. Bathroom Accessories. These will breathe life into any dated or dull bathroom with zero effort. This set (here) another good option (here)
4. Marble Pastry Board. This one is so easy too and useful for a multitude of purposes... serve cheese or charcuterie, roll out pastry dough, etc Then it just looks pretty sitting on your counter the rest of the time. (here)
5. Marble Lamp. I have a serious crush on this lamp and it's reasonable price point. (here)
These are just some of the easiest options to incorporate in a quick and easy manner. Included below are some other great accessories. Be sure to tag me (erica.cook) in your instagram pics of your marble goods! :) 

Additional Marble Goods


Seasonal Decor : 6 Easy Home Changes To Welcome Spring

Spring has arrived! I'm embracing the season change with a decor switch up. Taking the time to edit winter interiors and incorporate spring elements is easier than you'd think. It's as simple as swapping out heavier accessories for those with a lighter, airier, fresh aesthetic. 
(1) One of my favourite ways to create a sense of spring, and perhaps the most literal, is with the introduction of live elements, such as fresh flowers or bulbs. If you don't usually buy yourself flowers it doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. Grocer's tulips are cheerful and abundant. Forcing bulbs is also an inexpensive and thoroughly enjoyable way to breathe spring into a space. Bulbs are typically very aromatic and can last for much longer than cut flowers and add a pop of colour to otherwise dull interiors. 
(2) Scents have a tremendous impact as well. I have several rich, spicy candles that I get out in the fall. I pack them up and swap out new ones at this time of year. Treating yourself to a fresh floral, or bright citrusy candle is such an easy way to ring in spring. In the kitchen and bathrooms, a fresh new liquid soap does wonders too. 

(3) Another quick change is to edit out heavy textures and dark elements like faux furs, velvets and woolly throws in favour of brighter, lighter weight textiles. Switching cushion covers and blankets is perhaps one of the easiest ways to visually lighten up a space.

(4) Area rugs are a consideration too. Something thick, warm, and plush brings comfort underfoot when it's cold outside. I look forward to rolling up the winter area rug in favour of a sisal or sea grass one every year. It feels reminiscent of the beach and more tropical interiors.

(5) Many of my favourite winter accessories are heavy and opaque porcelains and metals… things such as vases, candle holders, etc. Incorporating elements such as clear glass vases, and lighter semi opaque glass touches will also lighten a space. It all works together when there's a common tying visual cue, like the layering of gold elements. 
(6) Last but not least, you can take a look around your house and switch out any darker colour tones for lighter shades. I was amazed at how many things I found to switch out... black kitchen towels in favour of white striped turkish hand towels. I swapped a dark grey shower curtain and bath matt in favour of white ones. 
Do you have a tried and true way to usher spring into your home? 

1. Make organization of seasonal accessories easy by storing out of use elements in a labelled plastic bin. This will aid in the ease of switching decor up when the seasons change.
2. Keep a photo journal of your favourite decor set ups stored on your phone or iPad. Recreating vignettes will be easy with a visual prompt. 
3. Always properly clean and repair decor elements before storing. There's nothing worse than going to get your favourite throw blanket and realizing that it has a stain from last spring. 
4. Clean the dust off fall candles with dampened soft cloth and trim the wick. This will make unpacking a breeze in the fall.
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Spring Cleaning : 5 Tips For A Fresh Home

Historically and culturally, people around the world welcome spring with a deep home cleaning. In times before furnaces and vacuums, the first months of spring were typically the earliest possible time to crack open windows and doors. You would let the wind in to help carry away dust, and air out the stagnant smell from an open fire or hearth. 
It was also common to white wash (a thin paint like mixture consisting of lime and chalk) to coat interior walls that had blackened with soot over winter months. This practise obviously became obsolete, and now with innovation home cleaning has never been easier.

Our homes still gather a layer of dust when they're sealed up for the winter months. A thorough cleaning refreshes our interiors, and significantly alters our mood by washing away any residual sign of winter gloom and welcoming spring. With the right tools, tips, and cleaning product the job is actually very pleasant. 

I think many of us learn our "cleaning styles" from our parents. As a child my mom was a dedicated user of Pine-Sol. I warmly associate the smell with Saturday mornings. I was delighted to discover that Pine-Sol had worked with the International Federation of Fragrance to develop a delightful new scent called Spring Blossom that still embodies the powerful clean it's known for. The timing couldn't be more perfect, and I was excited to give it a try. 

Once opening the cap, I was hooked.  It smells amazing. Am I in my kitchen or in a garden south of France? Also, the liquid itself is pink! The loveliest shade. It makes the cleaning process feel that much more appealing. Because really, why shouldn't cleaning be pretty and inviting too? I tackled my big spring clean over the days before Easter.... we were able to relax and enjoy a fresh home over the long weekend. 
Here's some tips on how I tackle the art of spring cleaning:  
  1. First make a list and break jobs down by room and task. I start with areas needing the deepest clean --kitchen/bathrooms and work from there. Rarely used rooms, like a formal living or dining room need a less invasive cleaning than spaces used daily. I love the idea of one cleaning product being all I need for every job along with a soft cloth, sponge and mop. I made up a solution of my new Spring Blossom Pine-Sol with hot water and divided it into four buckets. Four buckets you may ask? Yes, four, a bucket for each member in my household. Secret side tip, children and husbands are excellent at cleaning too and it speeds up the process so everyone can enjoy a fresh home!
  2. In the Kitchen, work your way from top to bottom. Wipe cobwebs at the ceiling line. With a soft cloth wipe cabinet fronts *don't forget the top surface of the door, top of fridge/hoodfan. I'm short, so I can't see the dust from below and I'm always amazed at how much there is. Use a storage bin to soak oven burners, fridge bins and anything else that needs a deeper clean (add more Pine-Sol to this solution to loosen up grime). From there, work your way down and scrub the backsplash and open wall spaces, lower cabinet fronts, toe kicks and baseboards before mopping floors. Lastly, once you're done rinsing everything in the bin you can clean the sink.
  3. Don't forget lightbulbs gather dust too. A soft dampened cloth with a bit of Pine-Sol spring blossom will loosen any baked on dust and lightly scent the bulb.
  4. Slightly dampen an old pillow case with the Pine-Sol cleaning mixture to clean fan blades. This was a trick my grandmother taught me to keep the dust from falling on your face.
  5. Sharpen and disinfect your garbage disposal with ice cubes made of a 50/50 mixture of Pine-Sol and water.

This post was sponsored by Pine-Sol. All styling, advice and opinions are my own.


Holiday Floral Reveal : How To Decorate With Greenery

Hello! This is the team from Amborella Floral Studio for our first ever post on Moth Design. Erica asked if we'd like to be contributors because we work so closely together and we loved the idea.

Today we're talking about holiday florals, but first here's what we did for Erica's home.
We started in the living room with a silver dollar and evergreen garland for the fireplace.
A mixed evergreen wreath adorns the hood fan.
We created a similar but slightly thinner garland for the headboard out of the same greens.
We added in two personalized vases (Erica's own) for the bedside tables.
Amborella Holiday Floral Guide

Outdoor Items: 
  • Garland, wreaths, swags and boughs for planters can be ordered mid December and will last until Christmas Depending on weather- it'll need to stay below zero. Avoid direct sunlight if possible or you may need to replace some bits before Christmas
  • Order garland by the foot 
Fresh Floral Table Decor:
  • Pick up Dec. 23-24th for blooms to be in optimal condition for dinner with guests
  • Order in to the florist one week prior to reserve necessary florals
  • Order by colour of decor (we will do the rest)
Fresh Interior Decor:
  • Garlands last 7-10 days indoors before drying out
  • Long lasting Foliage: Eucalyptus (many varieties- seeded, silver dollar, baby blue, and feather) this will dry out but still looks pretty and will last 1 week +/-
  • Long lasting Blooms: Skimmia, cut Amaryllis, Star of Bethlehem (longest lasting blooms in flower shops- up to 3 weeks) Ilex Berry, Disbud Chrysanthemums, Leucandendron (Safari Sunset) and Brunia  
  • Bulbs: Amaryllis and Paperwhite
  • Evergreen Boughs: Cedar, Pine, Silver Fir and Juniper (available all Dec. for under $15 a bundle)
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Gift Giving + Decor Updates : The Cross Design

I've always been a fan of The Cross Design in Vancouver. A little behind the scenes info... back in 2005, when I worked with Sarah Richardson but hadn't ever even been to Vancouver; I became aware of this gem on the west coast when many of their accessories were put in the Vancouver General Hospital Lotto home that Sarah did. Since then I have had the delight of visiting more than once in person and would have to say that the style of the store is exactly my style.
I had to share because I recently received a gift and when it arrived I was delighted with the way it was wrapped with such care. It's nice to know if ordering a gift for someone the parcel arrives ready to put under the tree and the best part...this service is complimentary. The last day to order for shipping to ensure it arrives on time is midnight Wednesday December 14! Happy shopping friends!
I love these ornaments that arrived and the moroccan pouf above is from The Cross as well. 
A mini Eiffel tower and crystal votive holder dress up this little corner.
The cutest little jingle bear ornament.
This feather Cameroon Juju hat is always a reader fave. A statement piece for any room.
I stocked up on these bubble champagne flutes in advance for New Years Eve too!

My gift pick list: 

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