Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1/2 birthday

John's birthday is the day after Christmas, so it has sort of been lumped in with the holidays for a long time. For John's half birthday this year I threw him a little party. It was a complete surprise, and a ton of fun.

Early that day (a Sunday) I made a big chocolate cake with yummy ganache frosting under the pretense it was going to a woman I visit teach. John kept saying... "Kristin, I am not sure if we should give away this cake. Can we maybe just give her a slice and eat the rest?". Then I started dinner (and my sweet John didnt notice I was cooking for way more than 2 people), when our friend Abe called needing help with moving some furniture. It couldnt wait until after dinner, so John left and came home about 25 minutes later to find a some friends, birthday decor and a big spaghetti dinner to celebrate his 28.5 years of life. It was wonderful to celebrate the man who means so much to me :)

I am bummed I don't have more pictures... I will just have to remember to take some on his next half birthday (ha!). I am feeling an "over the hill" theme coming on...

Pretty fabric flowers...

Cute, right? These flowers are made from old tshirts. I saved all the scraps from my tshirt quilt so I can't wait to try these out, I am thinking about a bouquet for my kitchen table (that won't wilt!!) You can see the tutorial to make these pretty babies here.

Monday, July 26, 2010

organizing my apartment

Little by little, I have been trying to create a space that is more sustainable to maintain. A space where almost everything has a place, is in its place, and if it isnt it won't take me too long to get it there. Consistency in housework is not exactly my forte, so working on this has been a goal of mine for a while. Here are a few of the my recent "apartment revamps".

My lovely spice rack was taking up prime real estate on my kitchen counters, so the spices are on my stove now. Hanging above are some bulky utensils and measuring cups, which are cramping the style of my limited drawers.

John built me (YES! BUILT ME!) this nifty pots and pans rack. We were inspired by Martha Stewart's "Good Things For Organizing". We had looked for pots and pan racks online and in stores, but most were around $100-250. John did this little baby for about $20 :) The best part is, now my cabinets are clear to hold my small kitchen appliances!

So this might be silly and simple to all of you-- but my fridge was out of control cluttery. I kept anything everything that was mailed to me in the previous 6 months and most recipes I used. My magnets were a random assortment, so I used felt and buttons to add cute flowers that matched my dishes, and voila! I was inspired to create and sustain a new process to govern how long things last on the fridge...

Another simple fix-- I needed a place for my dish towels! I dont have any handles on my fridge or oven so they had all been stuffed in a drawer or sprawled on the counter. Now with a few command strips and hooks, they can dry and have a nice place to live.

Finally, I made this cute valence tonight. It was super easy, required NO pinning and no pattern. And it ties my little apartment together :) It's the cute stuff (and making the cute stuff) that motivates me to get everything more organized :)

How do you stay organized?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fruits of thy labor...

Picked from my garden yesterday :)

Yummy lettuce.

Tasty basil.

This is my first year gardening, sorry you have to bear with my excitement. It is king of like crafting-- I have created something and it is so fun to see it develop! It is gonna be bad when I have children...

Pretty DIY Cake Plates

With wedding season in full swing, I have been exploring new and cute gift ideas that works with my "let's get out of student loan debt ASAP" budget.

Recently for bridal showers, I have made cake plates. All you need is a small vase, a pretty plate and epoxy (available at most hardware stores). My friend Becky inspired me to try this and I loved it-- it was a super quick and easy project.

Here are my recent cake plate renditions.

And if you are feeling really adventurous, you can gift it with a towel cake .

Have a great day!

<3 Kristin

p.s. If you want more detailed instructions to make cake plates, this tutorial is pretty spiffy.

Apartment REVAMP: The Beginning

Lately I am in a REVAMP my apartment mood. We have lived there for over 6 months and still really haven't decorated.

I am thinking of using this super cute fabric by Michael Miller to make some valences.

What do you think? They will be pretty small valences, nothing too big. I am also thinking of doing some pillows in these prints to tie the colors in.

We have a green couch (the color in the first few fabrics), and lots of bright accents/art (mostly red). John thinks these might be too retro. What do you think? Can I pull it off?

More posts to come soon on our other decorating adventures. John made me a hanging pots and pans rack that I am very excited to share!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?

a little better than last time, eh? Hopefully another post is forthcoming with a month to month view of my green thumbery.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Salad Dressing Recipes

Lately one of my many interests has been experimenting in the kitchen. I never really cooked growing up, so in the last year and a half I have really exploring. We didnt often make food from scratch at my home. So the idea that I can make bread, cakes, sauces, dressings or really anything else from scratch has been fairly new. I guess I always knew people did those things... I just didn't know I would enjoy it so much. Anyway, I thought I might start sharing some of my cooking adventures. Hope you enjoy!

Pesto Salad Dressing (made this tonight, so tasty!!)
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves or fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves, lightly crushed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. In bowl of food processor, pulse the dried basil with the fresh basil (preferred) or parley.
2. Add garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese, snd pulse 4-5 times.
3. Add olive oil and and process for about 10 seconds, until mixture is finely chopped but not pureed.

Blackberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsmaic vinegar
2 TBSP Blackberry Preserves
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

This can be mixed in a sealed plastic container, or done in a food processor. Mix the vinegar and preserves first for a smoother mixture. This is also a great marinade, and feel free to subsitute with other preserves of your choice! (I can't wait to try raspberry...)
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