Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good thoughts for Link

If you have some time today, please send a good thought or two Link's way.  He's at the vet right now and we hope he'll be better enough to come home tonight!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Vintage Monday: Tea towels

These tea towels came as a set at an estate sale and I had a good chuckle over the varying themes.

A Mexican themed towel complete with sombreros and burros

This one had traditional Scottish recipes including an intriguing "Scotch Broth"

And I love this one that gives calorie counts of different foods, esp the "danger" sign for cupcakes

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Long weekend

In Dallas for the weekend and got to see the Royals play the Rangers.  Hope you're having a great weekend where you are!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favorite Friday Treat: Stay Puft S'more

This picture is kind of mean but the Stay Puft man looks so cute
when he's disgruntled, I can't help but laugh

Hope everyone has great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

DIY: A new (to us) mirror!

We found this mirror dated from the 50's at an auction and repainted it a yellow gold.  It's a pretty hefty weight so B reinforced the back with screws and bolts and wires using calculations of dimensions and weight (it's mysterious to me all what that involves) and then put it up in the living room.  I'm a bit undecided on the placement, it feels too high, but our ceilings are high as well and it's such a large space to fill.  We'll leave it there for now but won't have much trouble finding another place for it in the house if we do change our minds.  It's a great piece and I especially adore the curved details!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday: Fresh produce!

Our first cherry tomato harvest from our garden--hope to have some every week!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

May Foodzie tasting box

There's nothing better than getting a package in the mail, especially if it contains lots of yummy snacks!  Foodzie describes themselves as "an online marketplace where you can discover and buy food directly from small passionate food producers and growers".  They offer a monthly subscription box filled with tastings of newly found products.  Then if you like the items, you can go on their website where you can purchase the full size products.

I was fortunate enough to receive a free tasting box and I must say, I'm hooked!  
Here's the May box filled with goodies...

Dried pineapple nibbles and my favorite roasted seaweed snacks

Southern tea, delicious biscotti and to die for alfajor cookies
(seriously how have I lived all these years without knowing about these?)

Gourmet sea salts with a suggested recipe (the black truffle salt is fabulous!)

Every single item was a hit!  Now I just have to figure out a way to work this 
monthly Foodzie subscription into our grocery budget!

If you love food, definitely check out the Foodzie site for their unique products such as...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vintage Monday: 8mm Film Projector

An old film projector has been on B's list each time we head to an estate or garage sale and he finally lucked out this past weekend!  A little bit of research found that this projector is from the 40s and it's in great shape.

We just need to get some bulbs and film to test it out!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Austin Renegade this weekend!

I'm excited to be able to make Austin Renegade this year.  I was at the Chicago one last year and it was amazing--I'm sure our homegrown one will be awesome as well!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Favorite Friday Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Crackers

This is one of B's favorite snacks ever.  Simple and easy to make--the original step by step recipe can be found here

Chocolate Caramel Crackers

  • 1 sleeve of saltines
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • A big pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1.5 cups milk chocolate chips 
  • Extra sea salt or chopped nuts for sprinkling (optional)

  • Melt butter in a saucepan and add sugar
  • Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes and stir occasionally
  • While waiting, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil and spraying with nonstick cooking spray
  • Arrange crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet
  • Take the butter/sugar, now caramel! mixture off stove and mix in salt and vanilla
  • Pour the caramel over the crackers and spread evenly
  • Bake for 350 degrees for 5 minutes
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and put it back in the (now turned off) oven for a minute
  • Use spatula or knife to spread melted chocolate evenly over the crackers
  • Sprinkle chopped nuts or sea salt on top
  • Cool and then break into pieces and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The luckiest penguin

 The crazy bird lady in me adores penguins and I had to share this heartwarming story as soon as I read it.

To summarize:  Lucky is a Humboldt penguin who lives at the Santa Barbara zoo.  Humboldt penguins originate in the Pacific coast of South America and are considered "vulnerable", one stage before "endangered".  When Lucky began walking, the zookeepers noticed that he had splayed legs which did not respond to treatment.  When he walked, he would put pressure on the wrong parts of his foot, resulting in sores.  They contacted Teva, the popular outdoor shoe company, who had helped out with an elephant in a previous incident and they created a special boot for Lucky!  It is lightweight, water resistant, comfortable and provides traction so he won't slip when he goes in and out of the water.  The boots are changed out daily to be washed and Teva has promised a lifetime supply.

Just when I thought penguins couldn't get any cuter...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Around the garden this May

Our hydrangeas are doing well!

 Snap peas in the garden

The cucumbers have some catching up to do

Cherry tomatoes almost ripe enough to pick!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vintage Monday: Wooden hangers

I scored a box of old wooden hangers at an estate sale yesterday.  While most of them are plain, a few are imprinted with hotel names and cities.  I'm thinking these will be perfect for a project that I'm working on with my friends Grechen and Sydney!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Paris in a Day: Part 2

After spending most of the day sightseeing, it was on to the good stuff--shopping and food!

We had lunch at Fauchon and were mesmerized at their selection of gourmet desserts, caviar, jams, candies and chocolates. 

We also window shopped at Galeries Lafayette where I sadly left behind a pair of Chanel flats.  We had our evening meal at the cafe on the upper floor with a lovely view of the Eiffel tower in the distance.

One of my favorite vacation purchases from the Longchamp store--a nice little reminder of Paris.

And last but not least, despite the long line, we made it to the famed Laduree bakery for some macarons.

Delicate flavors like blackcurrent, rose water, piscachio, hazelnut, sea salt caramel and lavender.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Paris in a Day: Part 1

We took a day trip to Paris and boarded the Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Paris Nord du Gard.  The trip took about two and a half hours and 35 miles of it is underwater.  I slept through most of the train ride but from what I can remember it was comfortable and a really easy process to get through immigration etc.  There's something really old world and romantic about traveling by train.

We took the first train out of London which meant we reached Paris at about 9 in the morning.

We quickly located an ATM to get some euros (we'd been told by many travelers that this is the easiest method and you get a decent conversion rate) and then not so quickly found the metro station.  The Nord du Gard station is huge with various levels and of course most signs are in French so it took us a while to orient ourselves.

The metro was easy to navigate once we figured it out and we headed straight for the Lourve (along with hundreds of other tourists and school tours it seems!).  We made a beeline to see the Mona Lisa and B really liked the Egyptian artifacts.

After that it was on to the catacombs which was really incredible but not for the faint of heart.  Or for children or those with a nervous disposition as the sign suggests.

The catacombs are in a nondescript neighborhood area of Paris and if it weren't for the huge line around the block we probably would not have found it.  Since they only let in 150-200 people at a time, we stood in line for around an hour and a half before finally getting to the front.

There were about 100 steps going down and back up and the whole walk through the caves took about 45 minutes.  It was a cool and damp 55 degrees down there, the pathways were sandy/rocky at times and with the minimal lighting, we really didn't encounter anyone else down there.  It felt like we were in a cave all by ourselves.  Which made the last third of the tour especially creepy for me when we reached the area where the bones were displayed.  Evidently the Paris cemeteries were excavated in the 1700s and the remains were carried back to these caves at night complete with chanting and ceremonies to honor the dead.  Then for some reason, the bones were stacked according to size and type and arranged in an artistic but macabre way.  The tunnels were less than 5 feet wide and bones were stacked from floor to ceiling on each side.  There was an erie beauty to it all but it was really overwhelming to take in at once.  Needless to say, I was hustling out of there as fast as I could (it was a good 15 min brisk walk to get out of that section) and B says that he's never seen me climb stairs that quickly!

After the catacombs, it was on to the Eiffel Tower.  We chose not to go directly to the site but instead took the suggestion of a friend to head to the Trocadero metro stop instead where you can get a great view of the tower from a distance.  It was really neat and a bit surreal to see this iconic landmark and a definite highlight of the day.

Next post: Paris in a Day: Part 2