Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the Table: Backyard Pesto

Yesterday my son took a monster nap after a very fun morning at the splash park, I'll share more about that later. So while he slept I took full advantage of my down time by doing glamorous things like laundry, showering and cooking. We picked up some roasted red pepper linguini from Ohio City Pasta the other day and it was calling my name. But I needed a sauce. Then it dawned on me that the basil was really filling in, so out I went to pick some. Then I decided to get crazy and pick parsley too. Here's how I made it.

2 handfuls of fresh herbs, basil and parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
Juice of about half a lemon
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup roasted almonds
Olive oil

I made my pesto for linguini with broccoli but you can use whatever you'd like or use it as a spread or dip. I know the ingredients for a traditional pesto but I didn't have them all so I used what I had on hand. Any nuts can work, take the extra few minutes to toast them, it's worth it. Put everything but the olive oil into a food processor and pulse. My processor is a little hinky so I had add some extra liquid to help it along so I used about a tablespoon of pasta water to get it going. Then drizzle in the olive oil until smooth. Toss with hot pasta and serve!

Baby boy was quite the fan of it too.

Here's a truthful representation of what dinner actually looks like. He insists on eating out of my bowl too to be sure we are in fact eating the same thing. Maybe he thinks I'm holding out on him or something. Needless to say it's a habit I wouldn't mind breaking. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Glorious Gardens

Last weekend we had the pleasure of checking out the 2nd annual Garden Walk Cleveland. It was a scorcher to say the least but we made due. We checked out two of the many neighborhoods featured and were beyond impressed with some of these gardens! This kind of work takes dedication and patience beyond measure. It's such an impressive way to feature everyday people at their best! So many people had a chance to showcase their talents to anyone that wanted to see. Bravo to all the of the hard work of the gardeners and the committee that puts this amazing event on! 

Everyone's cherry tomatoes in Slavic Village put ours to shame! Their backyards have full on sun all day.

The backyards were all connected through little gates on each fence. Talk about close neighbors! This man's vegetable was ridiculous! I can't even being to guess how many plants he had in there. The back of the garden was lined with four or five rain barrels to water the raised beds. And he showed us an eight foot zucchini plant. It was no joke.

Oliver spied the cat hiding in this garden and didn't want to leave it's side. He just kept pointing and meowing at it. He wanted him to know he wasn't alone in this heat.

I know it's hard to tell just how tall this 18 year old bamboo is but it was towering over our heads. This man's yard had ponds, koi fish, bridges and a rock garden. All of it was built by him and the previous owners. It was so lovely.

Next week ventured over to the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood where almost everyone on the featured streets was on the tour. This neighborhood takes pride in their yards and I could see why.


This was Oliver's favorite backyard, hands down! This enormous train set has taken the owner 10 years to build. The miniatures were so fun and Oliver even got to take a little dinosaur home with him. But where's the garden you ask?

Well, the vegetable garden was enormous and I saw my very first fig tree! Here's a close up of this beast of a tree. When I rounded the corner, you could smell it's scent. All in all it was a fun, free, and family friendly event. And ours ended with a trip to get ice cream and popcorn at Sweet Moses, have you been? Have a happy Monday, friends!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Working Guilt

It has been my pleasure to return to work. It's part time and the hours spent there go by quickly. It's nice to be around adults and feel like my "old" self for a bit. But here's the thing, it's tough to leave my babe. I know without a doubt that he's in good hands and that he has a ton of fun with my parents and his buddies but it's still tough! This week we have been met with whiny mornings on the days that I work, full blown crying fits when papa leaves, and just some plain old irritability. I know that it will take some time to work itself out. I know that he's usually fine once we drop him off too so there's that in the back of my mind. But I sure do feel guilty when he's crying on the way to the car or needing lots of extra hugs to get through breakfast. I know this will pass, he's a tough little dude and I was lucky enough to be home for a long time! Here's to happy mornings and fun family weekends!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Something Old, Something New

Yesterday I shared photos from the wedding we attended last weekend. I had the pleasure of making the bride a clip for her hair from an old pendant that belonged to her grandmother. This simple idea turned out to be really very elegant. Here's how you do it!

Alligator clip

I removed the ring that was in place to attach the pendant to a chain with needle nose pliers. I used sand paper to rough up the surface of the clip and the back of the pendant to help with proper adhesion.

Once you are ready, open the epoxy and follow the mixing instructions. Once you open the epoxy you've got to use it so be ready to go! I used a small stick to get the glue on and positioned the clip in place. I had to prop the clip open to be sure that it didn't dry closed! Then leave it alone for a full 24 hours. It was attached very firmly and was ready for use the next day! I was honored to make it for her and it looked amazing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Lifetime of Happiness

Last Saturday night we had the honor of attending a beautiful wedding at a winery in Aurora. The sun was shining bright and love was in the air.

The couple, Sara and Justin looked amazing and their families seemed so happy! I was touched by some of their very sweet vows that talked about loving one another faithfully and completely. Promising to give their lives to one another to keep, and fearlessly loving one another as they grew together as a couple. It's always nice as a married couple to hear things like that again to remind yourself of your commitment to your partner. Also, one of her maids of honor sang Crazy Love during the ceremony. It was a so beautiful and a real tear-jerker!

The bride collected an amazing amount of driftwood and tree stumps to decorate each table and provide a rustic quality to the night. The flowers that the bridesmaids carried were gorgeous! Each maid picked out their own dress based on a soft color palette in flowing materials.

We spent the cocktail hour sitting on colorful picnic tables enjoying the sun. Then we had a chance to wander the grounds and check out the patios, covered seating areas, and this really cool table that had chairs made from tree stumps. JJ couldn't resist sitting in one.

Here I am with one of the lovely bridesmaids, Judy. We wanted to take a photo on this hill and to our surprise, the other side was a slate construction site with a barn filled with stuff!

We had a great time celebrating and dancing the night away! We were sent home with tiny succulents that she potted on her own. Thanks for the amazing night, Sara and Justin! I wish you a lifetime of happiness! Stay tuned tomorrow when I show you how I made her something old, her grandmother's pendant, into something new, her hair piece!

Images: top photo by Judy, picnic table by Jeff

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another Man's Treasure

A few years ago my husband scavenged a half dozen or so shutters. They have been lying in wait for some time until now. I needed to have a set up for the show last week and I didn't really want it to just be on a table. We were checking out another craft show and with a few extra brains in the mix we came up with a plan. Here's what we did!

2 large shutters
2 hinges

We sanded and prepped the shutters and primed them awhile back when we had no idea what we were doing with them. And by "we" I mean the husband. Then I bought some spray paint to do my part and he took over. 

He attached two hinges at the top and bottom for easy assembly. I figured that I'd need some flat surface so I used this amazing handmade table that was a gift from our wedding.

I put in six nails and tied some twine to make it easy to display the bow ties. I say this as if it were my first thought, but it wasn't. There was some trial and error for sure! I used tacks for the headbands the night of the show and I was good to go! Set up and tear down was really simple and the shutters flow up flat quickly and fit right into my hatch back! And if you aren't in the market for a display, I think these would make a pretty cool room divider too!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Merci Cleveland!

Art in the Petit Parc was a wonderful event! I cannot thank the ladies of Chartreuse enough for hosting such a fun night for so many local artists! I hope that everyone had a great time and I want to thank you all for the major support!

My baby models did a great job running around and looking cute! Little Lily was a special guest and she was very happy to show off her new wares for the crowd. Oliver did a great job himself model his bow tie and being a major spokesperson for the kettle corn! I think he ate an entire bag on his own, whoops!

Grey Cardigan and I were set up on the patio area in the park. His beautiful and colorful prints were a nice compliment to the colorful ties 

Neon paper chains and fun popcorn bags decorated the patio and studio.

Erica of On the Lookout had an amazing display that was crowded round with people all night! Yay, Erica! I was able to snag a beautiful long, beaded necklace that I seriously have not taken off all weekend!

Erin Schechtman's display of beautiful illustrations as you entered the patio were a nice compliment to the floating paper doves that Oliver was so fond of.

It was a great night and I had a lot of fun meeting the other artists and seeing some familiar faces in the crowd. Thanks for supporting local artists, Cleveland!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Adventure Day

Yesterday morning was deemed Adventure Day, by me, so Oliver and I headed to Euclid Creek Park to hike and check out the creek. As I imagined, he was enthralled with all the rocks to pick up and gather and the creek, which unfortunately is not for wading. 

We walked around the paths and checked out the creek from above on a wooden platform that was perfect for stomping on.

He spotted a giant plane overhead and was so excited he had to sit down. Planes are quickly becoming one of his favorite things to talk about.

Oliver waved at every single jogger, biker, and group of people that passed us on the path. He was the unofficial greeter for the park that day.

As the skies started to quickly darkened, I decided to turn back. But of course we got caught in the rain anyway, which was fine with both of us. He thinks it's funny and I got a quick cool down.

The end.

Also, please, please joins tonight at Art in the Petit Parc from 5:00-9:00 at Chartreuse in Lakewood! And if you are looking to get out and experience some amazing Cleveland Gardens this weekend, check out the 2nd Annual Garden Walk Cleveland! Explore new neighborhoods and meet people committed to making our city beautiful!