Wednesday Wishlist 7.31

Just because I haven’t posted any new kitchen creations or DIY attemps does not mean I plan on leaving y’all hangin’! I swear, These days my life has been consumed with cardboard, basically the new floor covering in my room.

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Here are the more recent things I have been wanting/wishing for:

1. July to be over with. Come on August 1st! Good thing this wish will actually be coming true, and much sooner rather than later. 16 more hours to go! Then only 34 more days til my birthday and the -er months!

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2. A fancy shmancy juicer that won’t break on me. So in an attempt to eat better, my cousin and her husband have embarked on a 15 day juicing cleanse detox journey. I know I know, She’s jumping on the whole #juice4life #eatingclean #organicordie bandwagon. I can hear myself making fun of me now, but after all the pizza and takeout I have eaten over the past week (it must be an unwritten rule of moving) a 15 day lifestyle of eating only fruits & veggies and other good things sounds really nice.

Oh yeah, Brandon decided to start up a blog. His sense of humor may be dry, but his posts will leave your taste buds feeling otherwise! Everything they make sounds really good! I just wish there were more pictures.

Beside the point. I want this juicer.

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But with my budget, I should probably go for the 850 Watt juicer instead.

3. A Dream Work Space. One of TxSC’s sponsors this year is Squarespace, a website design company. So of course with any creative conference, there is going to be a contest hosted by the sponsor.

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This contest calls for an Instagram or Tweet of your workspace…. Sadly this made me realize that I do not have an actual work space! And my surplus desk at my real job is in no way pleasing to the eye.

I started a Pinterest Inspiration Board yesterday to gather ideas and visualize how I would like my space to look (though much of my work is done in the kitchen). I can’t wait to slowly piece together this dream! The following are the just a few from my board.

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Man, I really love chalkboards!

Only a few more days til Austin! So excited!!

Over the Weekend: This is the End

And I am not talking about the movie currently in theaters. ( I always type theatre. Thanks almost French degree!)

This weekend, we moved almost everything out of the Pearl House. All that remains are our beds, some dishes, a dog, and 2 ladies. I will apologize once more for the lack of posting frequency this week. Hopefully on Monday I will return with some great Texas Style Council and moving stories!

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I am excited to share all the information I will learn with you guys, as well as pictures of my new space as it comes together.

Hope you all have a lovely week!

Friday Favorites 7.26

I know I always say this, but I am so happy it is finally Friday! This will be my last weekend to live in the Pearl House. I almost have 3 years of memories packed into boxes. Bitter. Sweet.

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Ah, but my future is so bright I gotta wear shades! Excitement is really starting to take precedence over worry. I feel like that is a good way to live you life, right? Stop and smell the roses. Try not to sweat the little things….though even that is pretty hard to do during the Texas summer. August is the hottest month of the year! Speaking of roses, here are some of my favorite things:

1. Flower Camera Strap from Etsy. I bought a DSLR camera from my little sister the last time I went home figuring I would use it to take pictures for my blog. I have only used it for one post! As I am a sucker for anything floral, grandma chic, and/or relating to ‘shabby chic’, I had to to have this strap. It poses my camera as an accessory as well as a tool! If I had a sewing machine I totally could have made this. I’ll just add that to the list of things for my future craft room.

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I can’t wait to carry it around and snap some cool pics in ATX & NOLA!

2. Vista Print. Speaking of ATX, I head down south in one week’s time! Still not sure if I will make it in time for the happy hour and clothing swap, but I am gonna try my best! I don’t really want to toot my own horn (I guess that is the point of having a personal blog?) but my business cards came in the mail yesterday and THEY ARE SO CUTE! Good idea wearing those glasses, Annie! I will definitely be using Vistaprint in the future!

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3. While we are still remotely on the topic of floral print, I can’t wait to try that Pinteresty DIY project where you apply vintage wall paper to wood and then go over it with sand paper to make it look shabby and distressed. I have some bookshelves that will be guinea pigs once I am settled into the new place. On the back burner for now.

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4. Tilapia Burgers! Once again, browsing Pinterest lead me to a recipe that was no less than amazing. I love black bean and salmon burgers. Why did I never think to make tilapia ones? I always have the frozen version of that fish on hand!  month or so ago, Kate and I made them (with some adjustments to the recipe). Not only were they photogenic, but they were damn tasty.

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I think I should make my version again this weekend. Recipe coming soon? Some of my lady friends + Kate will be in Denton this weekend. Our last Pearl House meal. Again, bittersweet.

So these are a few of my favorite things. I apologize for the lack of frequency in my posts this week. Moving & packing are real bitches! Once I am settled into my new place, my routine will catch up. (Hopefully!)

I hope you all have a lovely weekend & happy Friday!

Wednesday Wishlist 7.24

These days packing is just about the only thing on my mind. We finally got out storage unit today. Friday I will transfer all of my larger pieces and boxes to the temporary space and live out of a suitcase for the next week and a half! Fun times! At least my homeless days will be spent in Austin! The Texas Style Council conference is right around the corner! My nervousness is finally starting to turn into pure excitement! My boss also told me yesterday that I can count one of my days there as work time. Talk about elated! This means I will have enough vacation time to still go to New Orleans with my dad and sisters. My dad also bought me a plane ticket there!

Ya know, the above reads like wishes and dreams do come true! The following are a few more things I’d like to have in my life. If only wishes were fishes! (I would still probably need a fishing lesson or two.)

1. School is starting up really soon. Even though I am no longer taking classes, I work on a college campus. That being said, I still get the first day of class jitters. And that being said, I still love those classic inspired carry all bags. My friend Erin has a few from the Cambridge Satchel Co. I love the two tone look of their Designer bag. I could fit lots of things from notebooks to my camera in here! I think this would be absolutely perfect to carry around TxSC and the French Quarter!

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2. Speaking of going back to school, the beginning of the academic year is the perfect time to start getting organized. I love all the bright colors Moleskin is using now for their academic planners and notebooks. I only really like the color red when it is an accessory. The kelly green and yellow are my other favorite shades.

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3. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Washed Out. Their new album will be coming out in August. I wish I had the expendable cash to pre-order their record! I love the album artwork.

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4.  And last but not least, what would this blog be without anything pertaining to the house and/or kitchen? Last summer I was able to score my dream bedding from Anthropologie on the cheap during their summer sale.That’s right, I got their Rivulets quilt. Now that I have slept on a piece of heaven, I want more! I want the mint color. The color is so refreshing and makes me smile every time I see it. If it goes on sale then maybe it is mint to be!

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(Though mint doesn’t really go with anything I own.)

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These are some of the things I am wishing for. What do you have your eye on?

Black and Blue Banana Bread Bunt

Whooooa, talk about alliteration! I think my I will credit my baking/cooking inspiration over the next week to my upcoming move. I want to quickly but surely get rid of a lot of the items in my freezer, fridge, and pantry. I hate wasting food, so expect some creativity with my upcoming recipes! Kamikaze pastas dishes, probably a few more tarts, and quinoa salads/stuffed peppers galore! Oh yeah, and more than likely a tilapia overload.

Today’s post is brought to you by all the fruit I had stashed in my freezer! If I know something is going to go bad, I normally stick it in the freezer as a last change of saving grace. I had a plethora of blue and blackberries as well as a few bananas, and wanted to try subbing coconut oil for butter.

By now you should know I am a fan of subbing things. In this particular instance, I subbed butter with coconut oil and buttermilk with Greek yogurt (that one was a given). This batter. Oh my Lawwwwwwwd! I could have eaten this batter straight up in a mug. If it were not for the raw eggs, there may not have been enough for my bunt pan.

Black and blue normally makes me think of bruises, not berries. I added these little pops of color for the sole purpose of getting rid of them. Turns out they added to the sweetness and alliteration!

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Ingredients

2 eggs

1/2 coconut oil, slightly melted

1 tbs 2% milk

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbs vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

a dash of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

4 rip bananas, mashed (I used frozen)

1 cup frozen black and blueberries (totally optional, nuts would also be a nice sub)

1 tbs large sugar sprinkles (optional)

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The Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut oil, milk,  Greek yogurt, sugars, and vanilla. ImageImageImage
  3. In a separate bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Incorporate your dry ingredients into your batter. Be sure to not beat the two together. Incorporating evenly distributes all ingredients and will make the final product lighter and less tough. ImageImage
  4. Stir in your mashed bananas and your frozen fruit. ImageImageImage
  5. As a final touch, I stirred in about 1 tbs of large sugar sprinkle. Just something extra! Image
  6. Pour your finished batter into a greased pan. I used a bunt. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees until an inserted toothpick or butter knife comes out mostly clean. ImageImageImageImage
  7. Once finished baking, let your bread cool for about 20 minutes before flipping out of your bunt pan. Image See ya on the flipside! Image

I think I can honestly say this is the best banana bread I have ever made, Is credit due to using coconut oil instead? Or do I owe it all to using Greek yogurt in everything? Who knows! This was some damn good bread! I can’t wait to enjoy it for breakfast tomorrow!

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Ah, the joy of baking. Hope you all had a lovely Monday!

Over the Weekend: Technicolor Adventures

I am really starting to enjoy spending half of my weekend in Dallas. I feel like Dallas has been a constant in my life since Erin moved there last year. The good friends keep migrating, bringing with them good times and new experiences! After an afternoon surrounded by librarians, I made my way to Dallas with Kate Friday evening. The conference we attended was actually really fun as well a great networking opportunity. I even dropped my blog’s name a couple of times. All I could really think about on the way from Arlington to Dallas was how badly I wanted a margarita. After talking what seemed like all afternoon, my throat was parched! Of course we went to Gloria’s, where three margaritas is becoming one too many for me!

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After dinner and an after dinner glass of wine, we made our way downtown to check out the Katharina Gross exhibit at the Nasher. The museum was hosting their Til Midnight event so we got in for free! An abundance of alcohol + mountains and trails of rainbow rocks and dirt made for quite the technicolor adventure!

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Goodness! I felt like I was walking in a dream! We explored the rest of the Nasher and then decided to say goodnight to downtown Dallas.

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On Saturday, Kate and I headed back to Denton. Before beginning the process of packing up the rest of her stuff, she specifically requested soda and eggs. Haha. A sunny, outside brunch happened at 7 Mile that included soda and eggs of the poached variety & some shameless eavesdropping. We decided to put off packing just a little bit longer by attending an Estate Sale.

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This one took credit cards, yay! Sadly the vintage fans I was eyeing from their add had already been scooped up. I did make it home with a small milk glass vase and two records: Ella Fitzgerald sings Christmas and a Judy Collins album. Kate found some Garden Ridge bowls, a fan, and a few records, too! As always, it was nice to take a peek into someone’s house. This one was real interesting!

We only have one more weekend in the Pearl House. My my how time is flying! I still have so much to do and am beginning to feel overwhelmed. Kate went back to Dallas that afternoon, and Erin came down from Fort Worth. It was so nice to drink champagne and hang outside during a nice July night with Erin and Julie. Girl talk is something that is definitely being called for more and more in my life, especially after this rather rough week.

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I ended the weekend with a little too much time outside. I will not complain about this sunburn because it will more than likely turn into a tan over the next few days. After a rainy week, the sun’s rays felt really nice. The clouds were doing some cool things too!

Today was National Ice Cream Day!  Did you celebrate?

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I did twice! : )

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! I am looking forward to sharing more with you on top of tackling this week!

Friday Favorites 7.19

Thank goodness it is finally Friday! I didn’t think this week would ever end! I am finally getting to see the Katharina Grosse exhibit at the Nasher tonight! But before that I am going to a conference. Librarian shit, wut wut! Here are my favorite things….errr….well, my favorite person.

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I grew up in a family of 6 kids. Actually, I’ll clarify even more: I grew up in a family of 3 sets of twins. Four girls and two boys. You betcha my mother is crazy and my dad….well my dad is quiet. Of course having any number of siblings will constitute sibling rivalry. But out of all of them, I fought with Sarah the least. We shared a room, clothes, a love for Heath Ledger and much more, though we were not even twins!

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I guess you could say, off the record, she is my favorite sister? Naw I love all of them, just in different ways haha. Anyway, Sarah is a blogger. She used to regale the internet with her hilarious nanny diary anecdotes. Those kids were such crazy brats! Then she archived all of her new clothes from when she worked at a cute San Antonio boutique, Anniegogglyn. Now she just blogs about everything. If you like foul mouthed, well dressed, southern humor you should totally read her blog! She makes me laugh. Check out these adorable & punny cards she makes! I would totally hang some of these on my wall of not already in the mail heading to those far away friends!

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sew happy

 

Oh yeah, something else that is pretty cool. SIX DEGREES OF BLOGGER SEPARATION! Sarah is in a long distance relationship with a Pennsylvania boy named Joel Blumer. They met as members of my cousin’s wedding party and have practically been together ever since.

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Joel’s sister is a blogger for The Bandwife and she also works for A Beautiful Mess!  Elsie & Emma, It’s like i practically know them, recently had a post about naming cocktails after people. They named one after Joel’s parents Ron and Sheila called The Late Blumer!

Well I thought it was cool.

Sidenote: I forgot to mention in last night’s post how much I love mushrooms. I used to hate them, but now! Oh me oh my! I did eat my first raw mushroom yesterday! Look at these fun guys that were hanging in my front yard this morning.

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Well there you have it. Some of my favorite things: Sisters, blogs, bloggers, cards, and mushrooms!

Hope you all have a great start to your weekend!

A Thursday Tart: Changing Things Up!

I think I bought too much produce at the grocery store yesterday. I keep forgetting that I will be moving out of my house in less than 2 weeks. After buying a tub of fresh basil and an even bigger tub of baby spinach, I figured I’d better put all that green to use. I also may or may not have gone off the deep end when it comes to puff pastry dough. Is there a Grey Gardens for the culinary type? Send me away! It would probably be much more interesting than cooking school.

I really like tarts now, probs because they are so easy. (Can I still make that joke?) (Haha?) I normally end up making them on Tuesdays for the sole sake of alliteration. Today also starts with a T so I figured I’d change up the game.

Anyway, back to basil. Omg, i bought so much! Right off the bat I knew I wanted to include Goat cheese, mushrooms, and basil in this tart. My love of garlic and olive oil led me to pesto. You can totally make pesto without those pesky and EXPENSIVE pine nuts! P.S. I am also obsessed with goat cheese.

And so it happened, I created a mushroom & goat cheese tart with a simple spinach basil pesto. That was a mouthful. And a tasty one at that!

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Ingredients

2 cups baby spinach

4 cloves garlic, peeled

about 8-10 basil leaves

the juice of 1 small lemon

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbs feta cheese

1/3 cup goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

1/4th tsp paprika for some zing!

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

about 1 cup ~7 brown mushrooms , thinly sliced

1 sheet puff pastry dough thawed

1 beaten egg for brushing dough

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The Process

  1. Add feta, baby spinach, basil leaves, garlic cloves, spices, and olive oil to a blender and pulse until smooth! Who said you you need nuts to make a pesto! Green & smooth!Image
  2. Beat egg in a small cup and brush around the corners of your defrosted pastry dough. Add pesto to the center, like you are spreading sauce on a pizza! ImageImage
  3. Thinly slice your mushrooms and onions. Begin to layer them all on top of your pesto.              ImageImage
  4. Fold over the corners of your pastry dough and brush with your egg. Image
  5. Crumble or chop up your goat cheese and sprinkle on top. This week I used a different brand of goat cheese. It was so much better than the last brand yet cheaper? I feel like that is not how it normally goes… Still, goat cheese. Yum!
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  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until golden and flakey.
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Perfecto! I will probably make tarts a few more time between now and TxSC because I have tons of produce and puff pastry to be devoured.

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Sorry if this post is kind of rambly. I took a 3 hour break between typing for some wine and girl talk. So glad tomorrow is finally Friday!

XOXOXO

DIY: Give a Little Color

As you all may know by now, one of my old roommates and a few friends have settled into their new homes. In my most recent Friday Favorites post I talked about DIY housewarming gifts. Inspired by House of Earnest’s dipped kitchen utensils, I decided to try out her cute color blocking technique. Image

This is such an easy DIY project, and perfect for the weekend! If you start early, it will only take you a day. You just need to factor in drying time. For my paint, I used Valspar samples. It would take me so long to go through an entire can! Lowes had a few colors available, emerald green (the color of the year!) and a butter yellow. It must have been serendipity that these were two shades in mind. I can’t wait to give these away as gifts!

What You’ll Need:

wooden kitchen utensils (mine were purchased from Amazon)

blue painters tape

sponge paint brushes

paint samples, Valspar works great!

food-safe & non-toxic clear shellac spray ( I used Zinsser)

The Process

  1. Rinse your wooden kitchen utensils before starting this project. Even if they are new, you want to start with an extra clean slate! Image
  2. Using painters tape, mark off where you would like your color to end. I places my tape roughly 1 1/2 – 2 in. above the paddle part of each utensil. Make sure your tape is even when wrapping around. Straight, even lines!ImageDo the same for each utensil in the set. Mine had 6 pieces.Image
  3. Using you samples, or whichever kind of paint of your choosing, paint upwards in long, even strokes to the tip of the handle. Be sure to not forget about the tops and sides. Set out to dry for about 6-8 hours. If you are working with a lighter color, you may want to do one more coat just to be safe. ImageImageImage
  4. Once fully dry, remove the tape and spray the entire utensil with shellac. This will seal the color and also give it a smooth, enamel-like texture! Look how shiny and clean! Image*Note I am not a magician, this is a different shade of paint 😉 ImageImage
  5. Let these babies dry for about 2 more hours to avoid any smudges. And you are finished!

I used sting and gold yarn to tie the utensils together like a bouquet! Rosemary was just a little extra inspiration to cook up something real savory! (I am still “borrowing” rosemary from my neighbors.)

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Along with these, I am going to include some home colored tea towels that are to-dye-for! Expect a dip dye tutorial later!

Yay for useful & fun DIYing! Give a little color!

XOXOXO

Wednesday Wishlist 7.17

A lot of the time I find my wishes tend to be on opposite sides of the want spectrum. I have those outlandish “if I won the lottery” wishes as well as a hankering for those intangible, non-material things. Eyelash extensions and a Benz vs. peace of mind and a whole lotta love in my life. The latter are things that money can’t buy, no matter how many times over you win the lottery. You have to find them within yourself first, and once you do, they sure as hell last longer than falsies or a German engineered engine.

Those are things I wish for everyday. Wow, this post is not going as intended this morning. I feel like I need to do some yoga now! Cleanse my soul! It would probably really do me some good! Anyway, here are a few of this week’s material wishes.

1. It’s been unseasonably rainy here in Texas. I’m not going to be one to complain about this Portland like weather, but I feel like these would come in handy. Love that classic Hunter green!

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2. Speaking of Portland, this dress reminds me of a Northwest naturescape! Have any of you ever ordered anything from Modcloth before?

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3. Because I live in Texas, I cannot expect this rainy weather to last. “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 5 minutes.” <<- So true! Pretty soon we will be back to muggy 100+ temps, why not cool off in style with a vintage/retro fan replica? No rewiring required!

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4. I recently made an in my best interest decision to live by myself. Now that I can truly make my place my own, I have been lusting over this IKEA bed frame. It sorta reminds me of the iron rod bed at my grandma’s house. I’ve always wanted it!

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Hope you are all having a good week! Happy Hump Day!

XOXOXO