Monday, August 30, 2010

Vintage Monday: Ceramic Quails

This little trio of ceramic quail birds is one of my first and favorite buys from etsy.  You can usually find them perched on a cake stand on our dining room table.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Flowers of the month: August

Bright pink asters to celebrate August!

I was inspired by designsponge's post on arranging flowers in unexpected containers.  A few favorite examples here:


Friday, August 27, 2010

Favorite Friday Recipe: Simple Sesame Noodles

Another great Pioneer Woman recipe!  B loves sesame oil so he definitely gave it a thumbs up!  I was planning on using soba noodles but had thin spaghetti on hand and surprisingly they worked well.  I added shrimp, mushrooms and edamame to make it a full meal.  Next time I'll try chicken and broccoli, and maybe pork and another vegetable too!

Simple Sesame Noodles

  • 12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar (I may have added more here)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil (I think I used 2 tbsp)
  • ½ teaspoons Hot Chili Oil (didn't have so I left it out)
  • 4 Tablespoons Canola Oil (left this out too)
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Water
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

  • Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  • Stir fry  meat and vegetables of your choosing along with some garlic
  • Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat
  • Add your meat/vegetables
  • Sprinkle with green onions and toss
  • Serve and prepare to eat your weight in pasta!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: John Derian for Target

A few great Target designer collaborations are coming out in the next month or so and I am looking forward to John Derian's third housewares collaboration.  Here are a few things I'll be checking out on Sept 5:

Trays trays trays

Cute tumblers that would be cute as a pencil cup or organizing odds and ends

And of course a lovely cake plate and 3 tier plate (I'm obsessed!)

*pics from Gilt*

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vintage Monday: Westclox Clocks

After my wishlist post a few weeks ago, I started scouring ebay and etsy for Westclox clocks and now these little guys have a new home!

I'll try to get some pictures soon of them in their natural habitat, if I can make it home before daylight is gone!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Favorite Friday Recipe: French Breakfast Puffs

Today's recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman again but unfortunately is not quite a favorite of mine.  I did however take pictures so I figured I might as well post!

I had high hopes for these but for some reason mine came out kind of dry and too nutmeg-y and no amount of melted butter and cinnamon sugar coating could save them.  Guess I'll be going to Dunkin Donuts for some Munchkin holes!  If you'd like to try the recipe, you can find it here.

This is probably a good time to discuss my lack of photography skills.  At first I thought my pictures could be greatly improved by getting a better camera, but I've since realized I probably wouldn't know what to do with a better camera anyway.  I hate messing with fancy settings and really just want good pictures without all the work!  I can never figure out which settings are best--so I'm curious to know what you guys think...

With flash?

Or without flash?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Half Price Books: Dallas Edition

Half Price Books is a great used book store chain and there are a ton around Austin that B and I always go to once in a while to scour the 99 cent racks.  When we were in Dallas, we drove by a ginormous Half Price Books and decided to stop in that evening to check it out.  Not only was it 3 to 4 times bigger than any HPB we have ever been in, it was also really evident that a lot of time had been spent into making this store a place where you could actually browse and sit down and relax and read.   There was a cute little cafe attached and lots of seating everywhere (unlike our small HPB where you will find me crouched in a corner thumbing through a book).   And...they had some of the best visual merchandising that I've ever seen.  (I might be partial because they used all vintage items!)

Love these old stained glass window panels hung from the ceiling

Decorating with vintage suitcases and cameras

Shelves were filled with books and various vintage keepsakes like
wooden blocks, microscopes and sewing machines.
Check out the old cash register in the center!

Love this old film projector

Be still my beating heart, an old General Electric refrigerator!

We went on a Saturday night and it was packed full of families, couples and people working on their laptops.  The store really had a great vibe and there was even an outdoor movie showing in the parking lot that evening.

Oh and I almost forgot--one of the best things about our trip was that I got to finally try Pinkberry yogurt! I got a little size of the tart plain yogurt with mochi and mangoes.  Yum!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Retro Glider and Chairs

It feels strange to have patio furniture on my wishlist because if you know me, you know that I'm an inside person.  Most weekends you will find me inside working in the house and B outside working in the yard.  However, our patio is covered, so perhaps when the weather gets cooler I might just be persuaded to sit out on the deck armed with bottles of bug spray.  I could also be easily persuaded if we had this awesome retro glider and chairs.

They are from Lowes of all places and I first spotted them on designsponge.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vintage Monday: Vera towel

Another fun towel to add to my Vera collection.  I love the deep purples and the concentric circles!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On the road again: Dallas

We're having a fun filled weekend in Dallas with the family.  Highlights so far include Link and Kirby swimming for the first time!

A little Texas housewarming present we brought up filled with Texas bbq sauce, salsa, Texas shaped crackers and cookie cutter, etc. 

To continue the Texas theme, I got this cool old fashioned personalized wooden address stamp from Notetrunk--a wonderful seller on etsy.  We got one of our own and love it--I highly recommend them! (and they're from Houston!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Favorite Friday Recipe: Crispy Peanut Butter Cup Bars

If you're a fan of peanut butter, this is the recipe for you!  From Tasty Kitchen:

  • 3-½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1-½ stick Butter, Melted
  • 2 cups Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies
  • 16 ounces, weight Semi-sweet Chocolate

Mix the powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter, and Rice Krispies together in a large bowl. Lightly butter a 9×13 baking dish, then spoon in the peanut butter mixture. Use a spatula to spread evenly. Melt the chocolate, then layer evenly on top. Refrigerate for an hour or two, then cut into bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Note: If using processed peanut butter (Jif, Peter Pan, etc.), decrease sugar by at least 1/2 cup. Also, use whatever chocolate you like best—anything from milk to bittersweet to something in between! 

My personal favorite chocolate to use when baking is Guittard milk chocolate.  Here's the finished product served up on my new (to me) Riviera plate!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Reading: Catalog Living Part 2

I first discovered this blog a few months ago and posted about it here.  Today I needed a pick me up from work and these pictures and captions especially made me laugh, probably because sometimes I feel like I could be Elaine and B could be Gary.

Elaine still can’t understand why Gary keeps having nightmares about being smothered by birds.

Yes Elaine, I did get the hint that you want to go to the ocean. Why don’t you address my hint first and get me some coffee.

I keep this on the hall table almost exclusively for the occasions when Gary tells me to shut my clam.

Gary, the next time I ask you to “hang the lanterns,” would you please just do it like a normal person?

You can read more at CatalogLiving!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Tick Tock Clocks

I love clocks, especially vintage ones like the baby Ben here by Westclox.

And of course, you know my philosophy, if you like one item, it's even better with multiples!  Here are a couple of great clock collection pictures from google images:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DIY Before and After: Half Bathroom

A few weeks ago, B and I spent a weekend redoing our guest half bathroom.  It is probably the only room in the house that hadn't been previously remodeled so we were happy to put our stamp on it.

Here it is in all its glory, complete with 70s fixtures.  We couldn't change out the sink because space-wise the door is just able to clear it when open:

We removed all the hardware, including the medicine cabinet, towel rack, toilet paper holder, etc.

Then the taping and painting began.  Note to self: always choose the lightest shade on the paint color chip.  The first blue we chose was blinding so we went back and got a lighter color which turned out a bit more soothing and beach-like.

The finished product which consisted of:
  • new paint
  • mother of pearl mirror which replaced the medicine cabinet
  • new glass shelf above the sink
  • new faucet
  • spray painted toilet paper holder 
  • new toilet seat
  • new octopus towel hook
  • new light switch
  • little decorations sourced from around the house

 The new lightswitch that B put in--yay that he could put that EE degree to use:

And this octopus hook is probably one of my favorite details: