DIY: All Chalked Up

During my semester very brief stint as an art student, I learned that when it comes to painting (like studio art), I have no talent whatsoever. I actually suck at various forms of art, certainly but not limited to painting and drawing. I can paint a mean wall though! And do kindergarten crafts that would make any classroom look like a dream!

About a month ago I bought a can of chalkboard paint. I am still not sure what I was intending on painting, but checked out with the blind hope that I’d find something if not anything and everything. Seriously, I love chalkboard paint so much. I really have to restrain myself when it comes to DIYing. Like a kid in a GD candy store! It’s everything it’s chalked up to be. Isn’t that a saying? Punny!

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So about a few days less than a month ago, I found something to cover in chalkboard paint. That happened real fast. I bought these shelves from Ikea 2 years ago and never hung them up. When I say shelves I really just mean unfinished and unpainted wooden boards that you attach to the wall with brackets. I got 2 that were the same size and 1 big one. Once I got home, I figured out that I would never actually hang that big boy up, so they sat in the corner of my bedroom for 2 years!

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Needless to say, he was painted. All I was really waiting for was chalk! I bought some on my way home from work with the intention of sprucing that plank up, just in time for my first wine night of the year!

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Before starting, I went to Pinterest to find help about chalking. I found a  post on Indie Parade that was super helpful, though it didn’t really work for me. They did give me some lettering inspiration! I ended up drawing freehand, as you’ll be able to tell from my “caligraphy”. It has been many moons since the days when I made super cute “Shake your Fanny & Vote for Annie” StuCo posters… Here is what you will need for your chalking endeavor:

paper towels

a small bowl of water

q-tips

chalk

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I read somewhere, sometime ago that wetting your chalk makes it easier to write with. Oh man, am I sure glad I read that somewhere, sometime ago! It really does!

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Write your little heart out! If you mess up, those q-tips and paper towels dipped in water are your magic erasers! No one will ever be able to tell that you accidentally wrote whine instead of wine! (I swear I haven’t had any yet! And we do more bitching than whining haha!)

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If not straight from the bottle, we like to drink out of mason jars…..plus, I only took 4 wine glasses when dividing the dishes before the official Pearl House split.

I hope all of y’all have a lovely Thursday evening! May it be filled with quality friends. I wish I could say the same for my wine choices!

XOXO

Friday Favorites 6.28

Can you believe July starts next week?! Though we are coming up on one of the hottest months in Texas, I am so ready for it to be here! I remember loving July as a kid because the neighborhood pool, beaches, and rivers were less crowded. I remember the cheaper Sonic slushes, no happy hour needed. And I remember our air conditioner always breaking that month. So that last one wasn’t so great, but a little or a lot of sweat never killed anyone, right?

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Now that I’m older, I thank my lucky stars for a plethora of pools to crash in Denton, for adult slushes, and an air conditioner that has yet to break after 3 years of living in the Pearl House.

Speaking of the Pearl House and July, we have a tradition of throwing a huge 4th of July day party. Lots of friends, awesome homemade food, vodka watermelons, fireworks, the whole shebang. Because the 4th falls on a Thursday and we all have to work on a Friday, and the fact that my roomies are packing their lives up, we won’t be throwing one this year. It makes me sad. July will be bittersweet. At least I have memories on top of memories of Pearl House 4ths of July, birthdays, wine & craft nights, pets, tacky sweaters, and so much more. ImageImageImageImage

Just because our house is not the designated party spot this year does not mean I’m not going to have myself a good time. Here are my some of my top ideas for this years 4th of July.

  1. Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake. I found this recipe on the Free People Blog. Isn’t it so pretty? I purchased 12 Mexican vanilla beans on Amazon for the purpose of infusing sugar, but I think I found something else to try out! I’ve never made an angel food cake from scratch! Here’s to hoping I’m not too hungover to try this! Image
  2. Patriotic Cocktails. From good ol’ Lonestar & PBR to Alcoholic Arnold Palmers and a vodka melon (always a good idea), America’s birthday wouldn’t be a party without something ice cold to sip on. I like to stray away from all the Pinteresty patriotic drinks. Blue gatorade mixed with lemonade, mixed with red koolaid? Ugh that sounds disgusting. I like using fresh fruit and homemade simple syrups for my cocktails. Think red and blue berries. I want to try this sans the basil. Pomegranate, the lesser know patriotic fruit? Image
  3. Flower Crowns. Yeah this is one trend that has yet to die in my heart. As made popular by Lana del Rey, I try to sport one for any occasion. I have a go-to sunflower crown but would like to make an obnoxious one with red roses for next week. DIY project!Image

Do you have any special plans/traditions for the 4th of July? I wanna hear them!

Happy Friday! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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Tea Party!

Oh man, moving is tough! (I helped my boyfriend and his mom carry two boxes inside to store in my back room.) I don’t move into my cute yellow house until the end of summer, but it’s beginning to drain me mentally. Time for a break!

Time for a tea party!

I may be one of those weirdos who slurps down a hot bowl of soup during the warmer months, but I am not a fan of hot drinks. In fact, I only make myself drink hot beverages when there is snow on the ground or when I have the flu, neither of which are in my life currently. Summertime in the South calls for ice cold lemonade or super sweet tea. I actually like to combine the two. Teamonade!

Blackberry Teamonade & Lemon Shortbread Cookies.Image

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Spike with vodka and I found the perfect way to break in my Ball Heritage Blue masons. What goes well with tea? Why cookies of course! In this case, I decided to make lemon shortbread cookies to match my drink. The following are my recipes for both the cookies and cocktails. 

Lemon Shortbread Cookies Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened 

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

2 tbs finely grated lemon zest

2 cups all purpose flower

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The Process

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Does it not smell like you just walked into Williams-Sonoma? ImageImage
  2. Slowly add flower in parts incorporating as you go. The final dough product should not be sticky.Image
  3. On a lightly floured surface roll out with a floured rolling pin to a 1/4 inch thickness. use a champagne glass to cut the cookies into small, uniform circles.ImageImage
  4. Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Put chocolate chips in the center and press with a fork on each side. Image
  5. Bake in a preheated over at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Look how cute!Image

Blackberry Teamonade Ingredients

4 black tea bags, brewed

zest & juice of 1 large lemon

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 cup granulated sugar

3 cups water

Sparkling soda

Vodka

The Process

  1. Brew 4 tea bags. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, muddle together 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Image
  3. Add sugar and water to a saucepan over medium-high heat stirring constantly to create a simple syrup. Add the muddle fruit to make a flavored simple syrup. Image
  4. In a chilled martini shaker halfway filled with ice, add 4 shots vodka, 1 cup sparkling soda, 1 cup brewed tea, and fruit syrup. Give a good shake. Pour into glasses over ice. Top with one more tablespoon of the simple syrup and garnish with a lemon wedge and fresh blackberries. Image

I made the cookies first so I would not get too tipsy and burn them. This beverage is as refreshing as could be! It perfectly compliments the hint of lemon in the shortbread cookies. Tuesday Boozeday done right!

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Over the weekend: Food, Fun, and Friends

It is always a great weekend when great food and even better friends are involved. It is also nice getting out of Denton for a little bit. Combine all of those aforementioned things, and you have my recipe for the last three days. Food, friends, places, and spaces.

Friday night was spent drinking two of my favorite beverages: frozen margaritas and ice cold palomas. My great friend and the other half of Casa Y Cocina lives in walking distance from so many cool places in Dallas. One of these places is Gloria’s Mexican Restaurant on Greenville Avenue. A little more upscale that your typical Mexican eatery, I normally just go for the drinks and patio camaraderie. I ended up trying one of their papusas. It was pretty good, and I am now on the search for an easy yet authentic recipe. Image

Saturday was also spent in Dallas, but before making our way south, our hangovers needed to be cured. Some people swear by a big bowl of menudo, I swear by an overstuffed carne guisada gordita. A tiny hole in the wall restaurant here in Denton specializes in both of these! I think my liberal addition of spicy salsa verde helps me to sweat out all the alcohol. Wash it all down with mango juice and *bam* your headache is gone. ***WARNING*** Taco Lady does induce naps.Image

Later that afternoon I got to patronize a Dallas establishment that’s been on my list for quite some time. The Libertine Bar, also on Greenville Avenue, has a wide selection of local beers, mouthwatering dishes that surprise you as bar food, and the kind of environment that makes you want to stay awhile. I wish I had been in the mood for beer that day. Instead I settled for a decadent Gruyere Mac & Cheese with jalapenos and Sirracha. So spicy! So creamy! Tres riche!Image

It was at the Libertine that my boyfriend brought up that it was our 11 months. I guess I had been so busy with life or maybe it was the night before, but it totally slipped my mind! Ahhh, I felt awful. 11 months of getting to know my best friend & 11 months of cooking wonderful meals together, one more to go and we’ll have a solid year!Image

In light of our 11 months together, Jonathan made me a lovely (and so deliciously amazing) brunch on Sunday. My mouth is still watering over those perfectly seasoned scrambled eggs speckled with peppers, onions, and spinach. Image

After brunch, I satisfied my craving for Mexican pastries and spent some time out in the sun. I hope you all had a lovely weekend filled with food and friends as well. This week, I am excited to share with you some new recipes I have been meaning to try as well as a back burner DIY project! It is also the last week of June! My how time flies! Image

Friday Favorites 6.21

ImageWell, it’s finally Friday again! What an exciting week this has been for me and my blog! Yesterday we reached the 1,000+ view landmark! I know this might not seem like a lot to you, but to me it means the world. I hope you enjoy what you’ve read so far. Though in Texas it’s felt like it for a few months now, today is the first official day of summer! Have a look at some of my favorite summery things.

      1. Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka. Texas is home of the ruby red grapefruit variation and God bless it for that! It is no news that I am absolutely obsessed with this fruit! When I discovered that the Austin based distillery Deep Eddy produced a RUBY RED VODKA I had to have it. Honestly, I don’t even need a mixer when drinking this, but to stay on the safe side: 4 parts Deep Eddy Ruby Red, 1 part Topo Chico mineral water, 1 part fresh lime juice, mint leaves, and a lime & grapefruit wedge. I sipped on these all last weekend and definitely plan to do it again! Celebrate summer! Celebrate Texas!Image
      2. Anthropologie’s Summer Sale. So on Wednesday, Anthro announced their summer sale. Last year I purchased their Rivulets quilt in a nice shade of marigold. Absolutely love it. Look how good it makes my room look! Unfortunately my bank account will not allow me to make such splurges right now. These are my top 3 affordable sale picks:ImageAnthro Aprons in bright summer colors, and not to mention citrus! $19.95
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        Monogrammed Note Cards. Give me an A! $9.95
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        Sombrero Sheet Set $119.95
      3. Ball Mason Jars in Heritage Blue. I ordered these babies on a whim last Sunday. Definitely one of my better impulse buys! The color is absolutely beautiful! Reminds me of the deep, clear Texas springs. I can’t wait to find uses for each and every one of them. I may have to use them as pint glasses that way I can keep them all for myself!Image
      4. Vintage Babes. Did y’all know that Martha Stewart used to model? Way, way before she spent some time in the big house! I consider her the Hilary Clinton of the house and home department (it’s probably because they have the same haircut). Anyway, she is one of my idols and just check out those cheekbones! Her street cred also adds to her babeness.Image

These are some of my favorite things this week. I hope you all enjoy your weekend! Mix a cocktail, put on some sunglasses, and go outside!

xoxo

A