Monday, April 30, 2012

What came first...



Look at these fresh eggs. They are beautiful. We picked them up at the farmer's market on Saturday and I just can't get over the colors. They are gorgeous.

We have family friends that raise chickens in their backyard. They have had them for years and I've always been a little wary of them but my husband admires them. He tried to convince me years ago that we should get some and I've never really been interested. But now here we are years later with a serious egg addict in our house and a renewed appreciation for locally and sustainably grown food. Our city has a new ordinance allowing chickens so now the question may be, should we get chickens?! We probably won't but it sure would be cool.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Snippets of Life

Starting this blog has given me a place to keep track of my creative endeavors and also inspired me to take  that extra second to admire the beauty around me. As I mentioned the other day, I love to take photos all day long. Inspired by Miss James over at Bleubird Vintage, I gathered up some of my favorite shots from the week. I hope you enjoy my little snippets of life. Happy Friday!

A happy visit to Half Price Books.


My favorite kitchen shelf featuring a home grown (not from my home) Meyer lemon.


Discovering the beauty of a dandelion.


The alumni pancake breakfast at Cleveland Heights High School, class of '97!




Abundant light in the babe's room.


New shirt and favorite boots.

Toddler shoes are too much.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

On the Table: Vegan Quinoa Bowl



Lunch is that meal in the day that I constantly struggle with. Almost everyday at 11:00 I start rummaging around looking for a healthy, fast, and filling meal. More often than not I do not end up with something that fits all three of those stipulations. Scrambled eggs and grilled cheese are my go to and I've honestly had enough.

My mother-in-law is visiting and she mentioned how she likes to make a big batch of quinoa on a Sunday and then each day throw together a hearty salad and that seemed like something I could handle. So I present my version, and I do not mean to scare anyone away with the word vegan, trust me, it's good!

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
S&P

Avocado
Cucumber
Red pepper
Arugula, spinach, kale (whatever you have on hand)
Baked tofu

Now this does require some prep time but I swear it's easy. Combine the quinoa and water with a dash of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Toss with vinegar and a little oil while still hot. Then set aside until you need it. You can just stick it in the fridge and portion it out each day.

I also diced and baked the tofu ahead of time in a 425 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes and had it on hand for later. You really can add whatever you want; beans, vegetables, pineapple, feta cheese, whatever sounds good to you! Dice up your vegetables, mix in a bowl together and add your greens. Then toss with a little vinegar (or lemon juice), olive oil, and salt and pepper. Enjoy your very healthy lunch. So far this week I've had the exact same salad each day, but I'm a creature of habit. Tell me, what are you going to make?


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Well Crafted: Personalized Wine Labels


















This is an older project from my husband's 30th birthday party. I wanted to make the party extra special for my main man, so I was busy crafting labels, menu cards, and cooking away. I think that the personalized wine labels really made the night feel festive and they were quite a hit! I still have one hanging out in our office to this day.

Materials
Wine bottles
White/Ivory card stock
Double sided tape
Sponge
Razor blade

To begin you have to soak the wine bottles in warm soapy water and in order to not ruin the wine, you can open it up and pour it into a separate container, or if you don't have the time, use cooler water and just let it soak for awhile. While the bottles are soaking select your images and print them out onto the card stock and trim them to the appropriate size, mine measure 3 x 4 1/2". Scrape off the original label and glue with a sponge or a razor blade. Dry the bottles off and attach the labels with double sided tape. It's such a simple task but can really add a nice touch to a party. I also made them once for a small bachlorette party using images of the bride-to-be. Or bring them as a host/hostess gift. And then enjoy the party!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Magnetic






I am a photo addict. I am constantly snapping photos of everyone and everything. While I dream of having a fancy camera, at this point my iPhone is my bff and does the job for me. When Instagram came along I quickly started using the app to alter my photos. I'll be honest, I just counted and I have eight different photo apps. Money well spent. So here's what I want to know, have you heard of StickyGram? It's a website that turns your Instagram photos into magnets! And they are totally awesome. I got a set last week and love them. I think they would make the perfect gift!


Monday, April 23, 2012

On the Table: Flax Seed Waffles


Baby boy loves some waffles. While his usual breakfast is scrambled eggs with spinach and a banana, lately, he (ok, we) have really been enjoying a quick frozen waffle. No big deal, right? Well some of the store bought ones are full of sodium and sometimes pricey. I suppose that's all relative depending on how you value your time. Me? I like to make things easy complicated. Enter the idea of just making a bunch of waffles and sticking them in the freezer for later. No biggie.


At first I found this recipe. As I was wandering the aisles at the store wondering where to find malted milk powder, I came across the waffle mix and decided to cut myself a little bit of a break. So I just bought the mix and some flax seeds and called it a day.

Ingredients
1 cup of waffle mix
2/3 cup + 1 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup flax seeds
2 Tbsp melted butter

Mix all the ingredients together until the lumps just disappear and cook! My biggest issue with this was my waffle iron sticking. My plan was to slightly under cook them so I could freeze them and then pop the in the toaster later, but the waffle iron was not agreeing with me. So they are pretty much cooked and then I'll just be sure not to crisp them up too much in the toaster.


They ended up looking really good and tasting delicious. Some of our favorite toppings are blackberry jam, butter with cinnamon and agave, and the old stand-by maple syrup. Eat 'em up!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Stocking Up



I've been falling in love with some pretty amazing packaging and supplies lately. This little collection highlights some things that I think would really add something special to my collection of crafting goodness. I didn't even know I needed these things until now. It's a daydreamy kind of morning over here. Have a great weekend and a very happy Friday!


Image and Product Source: divine twine, knot and bow-heartsknot and bow-tags, pretty tape-washi stack, pretty tape-animal stampspretty tape-chevron bags, happy tape, fringe scissors

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Found a Locket


I was looking through an old jewelry box recently and found a locket. I know that I've seen it before but I honestly have no idea where it came from. I opened it up and didn't recognize the people inside and neither did my mother. Who are these strangers in my jewelry box? I don't know but I did decide that I'd just go ahead and swap out the pictures for ones of my favorite fellas. I didn't have the heart to just toss the pictures so I just kept them inside too.



Materials
Photo paper
Scissors
Double-sided tape
Locket & chain


I used Photoshop to shrink down a few of my favorite images to about 1/2"x1/2" and used the tiny piece of plastic inside the locket as a guide for cutting. I fooled around with a few images because there is something weird about a floating head so I wanted to be sure that I cropped it to my liking. Here's what I came up with. I was being impatient and messed around with the images before the ink was totally dry but I like that it made the photos look aged. Now they match the locket. I think this would make a very sweet baby shower gift or even a wedding present. Do you have any antique jewelry laying around? Go take a look!




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the Table: Pizza Night!




Let me begin by saying that last night's dinner preempted my planned post for today. It was that good. My husband took a half day yesterday and that meant that not only did he plan dinner, he also cooked it! How glorious.

                           

A few weeks ago I picked up a Bon App├ętit on a whim mostly because of the cover image, a delicious looking pizza, and it featured recipes from Jim Lahey of Sullivan St. Bakery in New York. The article said that his recipes were fun and easy but we've had bad luck in the past making pizza dough so I wasn't buying it. Then yesterday, unbeknownst to me, my husband added one of his recipes to the shopping list! I have to admit that I did buy the already made dough from Whole Foods, but I was pressed for time and I already said we had bad luck, give me a break.


So I give you Jim Lahey's Popeye Pie. A deliciously simple spinach pizza with gruyere and fresh mozzarella. Check it out and report back.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Study in Yellow


The sun has been shining in Cleveland lately and we have been busy walking the neighborhood. The bright yellow flowers (yes even the dandelions) have got me smiling. We chased a big yellow ball, counted flowers, and got inspired for some new DIY projects.




We've got some tasty recipes coming up and hopefully a new project or two brought to you by these fabulous shades of yellow. What's your favorite color this spring?


Monday, April 16, 2012

On the Table: At Bonbon Pastry & Cafe


Last Friday we had some celebrating to do so a friend and I took the kiddies down to check out Bonbon Pastry & Cafe, a cute little place in Ohio City. It's just a block west of the Westside Market, see it in the background?


They feature some delicious looking pastries, breakfast/brunch, and some lunch too later in the day. I even noticed some happy hour drinks and meals too! The place was brightly lit and sits on a busy corner so there is some decent people watching to do through the floor to ceiling windows (not that we could do much of that with three children in tow). 


Here's my little guy patiently waiting for his cinnamon pancakes with caramel apple topping. He split them with his date and I think they both really enjoyed them. The apples were pretty amazing!


I got the black bean and avocado slider special that was vegan and totally delicious. If you are in the neighborhood, I'd stop by and check it out if I were you. It was a serious venture for us with all the kids but it was a sunny day and we got serenaded there and back by my friend's daughter so that was pretty great. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Indoor Rainbow


This post is brought to you by happy toddlers everywhere. And hopefully is makes you smile, 'cause I haven't seen a smile that pretty in awhile. I hope you have a great weekend and something fun planned for yourselves. We are actually headed out on the town for a little dinner and dancing tomorrow night! Happy Friday, friends!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chasing Sunset


Last night I was driving home at sunset with the sun in my eyes. It was kind of blinding but completely beautiful and it felt poetic. Almost as if I could just keep driving and chase it. I wanted to grab my boys and drive to the water and watch it set. And for a minute, I was able to pretend that I was driving to this beautiful place. I went on home instead, but it was a nice thought.




An Elegant Evening Out


Lace Esme Dress // Tart Deco Essie Polish // Pleated Slingback // Earrings

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Little Wing Garland


Last week I went to the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse and came across some very delicate and lovely origami butterflies. I was intrigued so I decided to make some for myself. I found a great tutorial over on Go Origami that you can follow along with. 

You can use anything from traditional origami paper to an old watercolor painting that I never wanted to toss, or even pages from all of those relentless catalogs that come in the mail. While the origami paper is much easier to work with than the thicker watercolor paper, I was pretty pleased with my results. I am particularly fond of the ones I made out of the magazine pages.

And this is all you will need to make a origami butterfly garland. I made two different sizes for my strand of butterflies.

Materials
Square paper
Small hole punch
String or fishing line





Once you've mastered the instructions you can punch holes in each wing, string them up and decorate. This would look lovely at a baby shower, birthday, or just to spruce up an ordinary room! Or you could even turn it into a mobile to hang over the changing table to keep that wiggly baby distracted.

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On the Table: Ramp Pesto


It's springtime in Ohio, so that means it's time for ramps! What is this mysterious thing, you ask? Well it's a wild onion that grows in the spring in clusters in the forrest and has broad bright green leaves. I had never heard of it until last year at the farmer's market. It's flavor is like a garlicky onion but spicier. It makes an incredibly green pesto that is delicious on pasta with vegetables. So let's make it!

Pesto
A bunch of wild ramps, ends trimmed
1/2 c toasted nuts
Olive oil
1/4 c Parmesan
Fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Pasta
1 box of Penne
2 potatoes cut into long batons
1/2 bag of frozen peas

For the pesto, toss all of the ingredients into a food processor and slowly drizzle olive in until it reaches your desired consistency. Cook pasta according to box directions and add the potatoes to it when there are 5 or 6 minutes left, then add the peas when there are about 2 minutes left. Drain it all and stir in the pesto. You can top each plate with a little more Parmesan too.




Dinner was pretty simple and delicious, just like we like it over here. Do a little happy dance, if you want because it's pretty good! Next week, I think I'll pick up a bunch of ramps and use them in a soup or something if they are still around. Also if you want a little more info on foraging for them and their history in Ohio, pick up the latest copy (actually the very first copy) of Edible Cleveland!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Style From The Archives


It was an exciting Friday night at our house and we were cleaning out the basement. I found a bag of things from my Granny, lots of old crotchet pattern books and this wonderful Simplicity magazine from the seventies. It's too good not to share. 





My sewing skills are not top notch but I'd be willing to practice if that meant my husband and the babe could have fly gear like this. Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, April 6, 2012

To Market, To Market


Tomorrow is the first day of the outside season of the North Union Farmer's Market at Shaker Square! This is by far our favorite place to go, there is nothing better! We have a routine that goes like this: Up and out early, fill our mugs with coffee at Dewey's, and grab a scone from Lucy's Sweet Surrender, then we hit up the rest of the stands. Or if it's a special day there might be a food truck there so we treat ourselves to that!

I love the market because it's inspiring! It makes me want to learn how to cook with all these fresh, new ingredients. I love to talk to the vendors and ask their opinion on cooking techniques too. I want to support local growers and do my best to buy what they have to offer. This week I'll be on the look out for ramps and mushrooms!




Now with the babe in tow, the mornings are even more adventurous! Last summer was all about finding new foods for him to try. Making his food was easy when we started with fresh, local ingredients. 


We buy our plants for our little garden there too. These beautiful tomatoes plants came from Ridge Bridge Farm







When we travel we always try to check out local farmer's markets. While in Seattle everyone is sure to make a stop here. We were there for a week and I think we went 5 times!

                                 Image Source

The Santa Monica Farmer's Market is huge! We went on a sunny Wednesday morning and ogled the amazing produce! There were things there that I have never seen before! I can't find any of the photos that I took while there but imagine a busy street packed with vendors and fresh produce! Oh, and did I mention that you can see the ocean!

And I can't forget to mention the amazing Green City Market in Lincoln Park in Chicago. This place is inspiring! It's huge and has great food to get on the spot, freshly made smoothies from the fruit farmers, and fried cheese curd! We have also gone to Independence Park Market in Irving Park where our lovely friends live. It also has some pretty awesome food on the spot and a good variety of fresh produce too!

So here's a good growing season and a very Happy Friday!