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Ingredients:

2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Condensed Milk
1 oz (normal jigger) King’s County Bourbon
1 Tsp of Bourbon Vanilla
1 Pinch of Salt

Yield: 1 Quart

Instructions:

1. Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a large bowl and coat with a small amount of the sugar. Gently muddle the mint macerating it slightly. Add the heavy cream and whole milk to the bowl and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the mint steep in the cream mixture overnight. [Alternative: If you want a quicker way to extract the mint you can heat this mixture over the stove for 5 minutes and then move to the next step; however, steeping the mint provides a unique and superior flavor.]

2. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a 4-quart saucepan and discard the mint leaves. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining sugar, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. Heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add the bourbon, and then place the mixture in an ice bath and let cool for approximately 30 minutes.

3. Add the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We have used a KitchenAid stand mixer with their ice cream attachment here. Setup KitchenAid stand mixer with ice cream attachment (Note: you must leave the ice cream attachment in the freezer overnight for the product to freeze properly). Turn the KitchenAid to the “Stir” setting and pour the cold mixture into the ice cream attachment. The product should begin to thicken within 20-30 minutes and once the attachment begins to slip is when the product is ready to be removed.

4. Remove the product from the mixer into a storage container. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about four hours. The flavor contains bourbon so the consistency will naturally be slightly softer than a normal vanilla homemade ice cream, but it should be firm and hold shape when scooped.

**Recipe by Steve’s Ice Cream

More on Derby Week:

Kentucky Derby Cookies
Derby-Inspired Mood Board
Jockey Table Lamp
Danni’s Orange Derby Cocktail

Antler decor makes any place feel a little more like home to me. (What can I say? I’m originally from Pennsylvania and my dad’s side of the family counts a long line of hunters and outdoorsmen.) If you live near a wooded area where deer, moose or elk roam, you can find shed antlers in the winter through the early spring. Urban dwellers, you may be able to pick them up at flea markets or online. But whether you spot a single “shed” or a few matched pairs, there are so many interesting ways to accent your home with antlers, as you can see below. (Not feeling real antlers? Go faux, like Erin Loechner did in her laundry room.)

5 Unexpected Antler Crafts and Decor Ideas

We’ve basically exhausted the crafting possibilities around wine (see: corks, bottles, glasses, crates AND barrels), but this ingenious antler wine rack from Meg Caswell is a cool way to store and display your wine before you’re ready to sip it/craft with it.

UNUSUAL BUT ATTRACTIVE IDEAS FOR ANTLERS

BRIANA: What about monograms/initials for this week? I was cleaning out some of my email folders and remembered this newsletter from C. Wonder. It was actually an April Fool’s joke that redirected here (ha!), but they totally do have tons of monogrammed decor stuff

Do you like the monogram trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

C. Wonder April Fool’s newsletter

LIZ: Bring it on! I think people monogram things far too often. No one needs their initials embroidered on socks, toilet paper holders or underwear. And yet

BRIANA: Haha, oh, it is so on! Opening this thread wide right now. Folks, are monograms and initials a capital (letter) idea or just excessive branding?

JESSICA: When I was still in school, my friend’s mom sent him monogrammed sheets, and to this day, we are still making fun of him for it. They’re cute and make sense for weddings, though.

Do you like the monogram and initial trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: Ruth Meharg/HGTVGardens

DO YOU LIKE THE MONOGRAM TREND? VOTE NOW!

There’s not a single hue that makes me think of Easter more than robin’s egg blue (or eggshell blue). The name itself is so synonymous with spring and post-winter rejuvenation. What’s your favorite way to use this sweet shade of blue?

Mood Board Monday: Robin's Egg BlueTop, L to R: BHG, Dustjacket (both) | Middle, L to R: Etsy, Green Wedding Shoes, The Paper Mulberry | Bottom, L to R: Etsy, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Soel Boutique

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

Robin’s-egg blue inspiration from HGTV.com:

Spring is officially here as of last week, but unofficially here according to my local weather report. This means we still have time to prep our homes for the upcoming seasons. I think we can all agree it was a less than enjoyable winter (thank you, polar vortex!), and my energy bill certainly saw the effects of that.

There are simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient both inside and outside to lower your bill. How? By outfitting your home with the proper window treatments. Choosing the right ones can help reduce heat loss from your home in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Here are some top picks and their benefits:

Window Awnings

Window Awnings

© Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman; Photography by Edward Addeo

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77 percent. They’re not only beneficial to your outdoor space, but they’re stylish, too. For even more protection, choose a light-colored canvas to reflect more sunlight in the coming months.

Blinds

Shutters

Design by Susan Anthony

Window blinds are better at reducing summer heat than keeping out the cold. When interior blinds are completely closed, they can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Not bad!

More Money-Saving Tips

Oh lowly trash can, where would we be without you? We would be surrounded by piles of trash, that’s where.

Silly odes to the waste bin aside, this kitchen necessity is often overlooked as an accessory that is deserving of good design. Understandably, many trash cans are made of hard plastic, straight-lined and completely unadorned (all the easier for cleaning). But for those of us who are looking for a more — dare I say? — classy trash can that you can proudly display out in the open, there are some real beauties out there:

I’ve coveted the classic Wesco Kickboy for some time, but it’s a bit of an investment piece. That hot pink (radiant orchid?) Premier Housewares bin, which I could only find available in the UK, would look dynamite in an all-white kitchen. So what do you guys think? Do these trash cans make your “want” list?

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Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, March 4, so now’s the time to make your way to the Big Easy to catch the most popular parades before Fat Tuesday. And if you can’t make it down to New Orleans this year, then I can almost guarantee your city will have a sampling of Bourbon Street in celebration. Joyeux Mardi Gras!

Mood Board Monday: Mardi Gras 2014From left: Costume | Masks | Beads in Tree | King Cake | Entrance | Print | Balcony | Float | Shots | Dog

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

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When I get my home to myself for an extended period of time — no kids, no husband — I tend to go on the sort of cleaning and organizing binge that a normal working mom would think was…well, excessive. Instead of lazily reading books, or going out to brunch with girlfriends, I revel in the chance to fix my apartment knowing that no one but me will mess it up.

I was telling Briana that I could see the surface of my desk for the first time in ages and that led us to searching for a filing cabinet for her that would inspire her to file her piles of papers. She’s been looking for just the right at-home desk storage for a while and she indulged my current organizing mania by letting me window shop for her.

Here’s what I found in the way of cute, modern filing cabinets to fit her bill. The only downside? Now I want new office organizers, too:

Browsing for these filing cabinets got me thinking there are loads of high-function everyday objects with less-than-high style. What everyday item or household necessities do you wish you could find prettier versions of?

It’s Palm Springs Modernism Week, so that means my Instagram feed is full of amazing midcentury modern houses perched atop desert landscapes. One of my favorites is the low-slung Edris House, designed in 1954 by architect E. Stewart Williams.

Palm Springs-Inspired Neutral Bedroom Color Palette on HGTV Design Happens

The rainbow-hued Saguaro Hotel aside, I love the classic midcentury Palm Springs look: stark, minimalist exteriors that blend seamlessly into the desert landscape. Even if you don’t live in a historic 1950s masterpiece,  you can bring the desert minimalism inside. I love how designer Lori Dennis created this hotel-inspired master suite that features bright white walls, dark wood furniture and trim and blue and green accents. There’s even a bedside cactus!

We’ll, I’ve admitted my midcentury modern design obsession. Do you go for the minimalist look, too?

BRIANA: Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Let’s discuss Cupid’s weapon of choice, the arrow. Seems like they’re equally popular as a motif and actual styling item these days. What do you think? Are you in love with arrows or do they miss the mark?

Do you like arrows in design? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: Jeff Romaniuk

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: Best example:

Do you like arrow motifs? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

I think they’re a fun way to direct the eye and give a design an overt focal point.

MORE TAKING AIM AT ARROWS

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