Friday, April 27, 2012
A few fun things to get done this weekend:
BAKE: Chocolate chip cookies via Cupcakes & Cashmere - These are supposed to be the best chocolate chip cookies ever. The recipe calls for chilling the dough for 36 hours before baking. I'm hosting my book club next Wednesday, so these will make the perfect Sunday project.
DREAM: Polka dot sheets - There's nothing like a freshly made bed, particularly one with new sheets. I love these classic white ones with gold polka dots for fun.
WATCH: Charade - If you haven't seen this Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant gem, please do. It's classic '60s Audrey at her stylish best.
LOUNGE: Ballard Designs umbrella - I'm dreaming that this weekend will be warm and sunny enough to warrant a black and white striped beach umbrella.
STROLL: H&M shoes - Definitely not boot weather anymore, but not quite time for flip-flops, this is the time of year for slip-on flats.
SERVE: West Elm bubble margarita glass - Our most recent weekend cocktail was Grapefruit Margaritas (I'll share the recipe soon). I plan to make the margaritas over and over again this summer (if only to justify the purchase of classic margarita glasses).
BRIGHTEN: Nate Berkus lamp - I have home decorating on the brain and one of the biggest things my home is lacking is proper lighting. I heart this lamp, but alas, it's sold out. The lighting search continues.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
April's bouquet comes in the form of mason jars full of cheery yellow tulips.
I have to say that buying myself a bunch of flowers each month is such a treat. It has not stopped being special. I highly recommend it.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
These past few weeks have flown by in a blur of puppy training. When you have a new puppy, you spend a lot of time outside, both day and night. I'm not complaining, though. I view the constant trips to the backyard as excuses to spend some concentrated time admiring the cuteness of my little Vivi. Being outside so much, you can't help but pay attention to all of the little ways spring is rushing in. This morning I noticed that the buds on the tree in our yard have become full leaves. I wouldn't have noticed without standing next to it waiting and waiting for Vivi's potty.
I've also started a few new books. The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz was a present from my mom last week. It's an ice cream, custard and sorbet cookbook. Some of the recipes seem challenging, but the fun kind of challenge involving double boilers and lots of sugar. I attempted an easy recipe to start with: chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls. It tasted like a melted chocolate bar. Delicious!
The other book I'm reading is my book club selection, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. I first read it a couple of years ago, but I'm still finding it laugh-out-loud funny. The first chapter, an excerpt from Zippy's baby book, is worth the price of the book (as well as the price of the book you'll buy after reading this one).
In these chock-full weeks, I've also managed to start something of a tradition: the weekend cocktail. The weekend cocktail tradition is nothing more than me blending a new mixed drink for my boyfriend and I (and whoever else is around) during the weekend. I'm so happy to have an excuse to try some new cocktail recipes and to get our cocktail shaker out of storage. Two weekends ago I mixed up French 75s and last weekend I made Moroccos. The photo above is of my Morocco in a martini glass. I assure you, my pinkie was extended with each sip.
Life lately has been busy and great. I cannot wait to see what else spring has in store.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I feel like spring is the time for all things color and pattern. Here are a few things that fit the bill--all of which are high on my wishlist.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I've completed one more (awesome) item on my life list: I adopted a puppy! Her name is Vivian and she is a miniature bulldog. Vivi loves romping through the backyard, belly rubs and taking naps on the couch. Her hobbies include chewing, sitting and shaking hands. She has the softest ears and the best puppy breath around. I love having a little companion to care for and cuddle with and it is with great pleasure that I cross 'dog owner' off of my list.
Monday, April 16, 2012
When your relationship is older than a year or two (like mine), you and your mate naturally settle into a routine. While there is nothing wrong with routine--it's certainly easy and comfortable--I sometimes miss the early days of dating where every date is an attempt to try something new and romantic. I'd never want give up our good ol' dinner and a movie at home routine, but lately I've been trying to come up with some fresh date ideas to mix things up. I thought I'd share a few:
Picnic Dinner - Pack a few sandwiches, some fruit, a bottle of wine and a blanket. Find a grassy spot. Enjoy the setting sun. Nibble a little, cuddle a little. My favorite part of this date is the chance to enjoy the spring weather (and each other) far away from the distracations of TV, mail and computers.
Friday, April 13, 2012
HANG: Jess LC poster / CARRY: J. Crew Edie bag / DINE: Williams-Sonoma plate / LISTEN: How Do You Do by Mayer Hawthorne / CLIP: Madewell paperclips / WRAP: Pretty Penny scarf
Some fun to-dos for the weekend. Have a great one!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
: : I'm loving the My Better Half series on Amanda Jane Jones' site. The series features such sweet stories of coupledom with matching photos and illustrations. It's all so good. I keep thinking of what three facts my guy and I would share about ourselves. Mine would all have something to do with peanut butter. His would have something to do with music. Maybe that he knows every single song on the radio. Every one. I don't even know how it's possible.
: : Instagram is finally available for androids! You better believe I joined as soon as I found out. A few of my longtime favorites to Insta-stalk are: Wit & Delight, designlovefest and Bonnie Tsang.
: : I'm pretty sure Roost is everyone's new favorite food blog and I am no exception. First of all, the photography and food styling is great. It's the type that makes me want to drizzle food all over the counter while I'm cooking just because it's pretty. It's really my favorite kind of photography. Also, Roost features the kind of diet I aspire to have, you know? Natural, really good food. Food that is fresh and homey (and sprinkled all over the counter).
What are you enjoying lately?
Friday, April 6, 2012
Some recent happenings:
> I made a batch of Easter eggs, because why not? I poked a hole in each end and hollowed them out (rather than using hard boiled). The insides of the eggs became a delicious bacon and spinach quiche and the outsides became satisfyingly saturated with color. I'm hoping this weekend will involve a different kind of egg whose insides are made of chocolate and peanut butter (with emphasis on the peanut butter).
> A new lens has made its way into my heart. It is a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens and I am in love. I'm taking pictures of anything and everything (including some mirror portraits, embarrassingly enough).
> As the days get longer and sunnier, I've been inspired to eat more and more healthy green things. Lunch one day was a big bowl of edamame (with a chai tea latte on the side). Dinner another night was maple-syrup glazed roasted eggplant, sweet potato and tempeh with feta and cilantro sprinkled on top. The recipe was from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. Heidi's site, 101 Cookbooks, is chock full of other inspiring recipes for spring (and every other season, for that matter).
This weekend is shaping up to be full of fun. I can't wait!
Have a good one!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
So, here's the truth about the red velvet cupcakes I made for my sister's birthday last week: the only reason I made them was because I needed something to prop up these golden animal candle holders.
To start from the beginning, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this tutorial to transform plastic toy animals into cheeky party decorations. They were too cute not to try them myself and since my sister had a birthday looming, I had a perfect reason to give them a try.
One cannot present one's sister with just birthday candle holders and nothing else, however. Birthday candle holders have to sit on something and that something is best when it looks and tastes like red velvet. I was being forced into a red velvet corner, really. Well, friends, I sucked it up and I made those sinfully delicious cupcakes on which to nestle the adorable golden animal kingdom.
That is the story of how the red velvet cupcakes came to be and here are some of my notes on turning plastic into solid gold (-en colored animals). My notes might help a little, but check out the original tutorial to create your own.
Step No. 1
Purchase a package of small plastic animals from the craft store. The ones I found were 'pets.' The little hedgehog was my very favorite . 'Dinosaurs' or 'jungle animals' have the potential of being equally as cute.
Step No. 2
Drill a small hole into the back of each animal. This step is little traumatic, I have to say.
Step No. 3
A plastic birthday candle holder fits snugly into the hole. These plastic candle holders were so hard to find! I looked at Target, Michael's and two grocery stores. I finally found them on Amazon. Take it from me, plan ahead. Prime the animals and holders with plastic primer. I found that it was more than okay not to be perfect with this process.
Step No. 4
Spray the animals with shiny gold spray paint. Next time I think I would try a neon pink for fun. As soon as I started spraying the animals with gold, they looked great, like little gold statues.
Step No. 5
As a little food safety precaution I dabbed some salad bowl varnish on the bottom of each of the candle holders (then wiped them dry). And voila! The finished product!
Step No. 6
I made a batch of red velvet cupcakes and plopped one of these cuties on each. They were a huge hit!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
My dream has always been to live in an old church converted into a living space. I'm not sure why - maybe it's the tall, tall ceilings or the stained glass windows or just the novelty of it. Check out these beauties. Tempting, aren't they?