Monday, May 31, 2010

"Sew" Much Better

My mom came over on Saturday morning and gave me a much needed drape making tutorial. The window is 128" wide so we had to cut one panel in half and sew one half to each of the other two panels to make them wide enough. Then, all the sides got serged, the gold band added, and then hem stitched. Voila! Actually, it took quite awhile to get them done, but I love it. It makes it look so much better in there. Here are the before and after pics:

BEFORE:
AFTER:


Yes, we have large dead animals on the wall. I'll apologize to anyone in advance that it may offend. Fair warning, our house has quite a few so I'm sure they will make it into other pictures. This is Frank who hangs over our bed. This is actually one of my shots! (can you tell I'm from the country?)
Memorial Day weekend was great. Drape making, Sex and the City 2, and UFC fight on Saturday, Lake Travis outing yesterday, and getting everything back in order today. Good thing it will be a short week, I'm ready to go out on the lake again!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Seriously?

I saw this over on The Quilting Bee Blog in regards to sewing. This was taken from the 1949 Singer Sewing Manual:

"Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do...never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates. Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing.
...When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on...(If) you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should..."

I don't think I'll be getting dolled up to sew drapes tomorrow!

First Sewing Project this Weekend

Not the first one ever, just the first for the new house. Our neighbors moved in this week and Clay thinks they can see in our bedroom. The only way this would be possible is if they were standing at the very back corner of their backyard and we just happen to be hanging out in the front corner of our bedroom. Anywhoo, he thinks fully functional drapes are a must. The tough part is that our ceilings are 12 feet tall and the window is probably 120" across. That is a lot of fabric! I've been in quite the pickle trying to find the fabric we like in 11 consecutive yards. I found one that is close and they have it at the Jo Anne Fabrics close to my office, so I'm going to run and get it at lunch. Mom is coming over in the morning to help me with this daunting task. Clay is going today to try and find a curtain rod that is long enough which may not be so easy either. I'll post pics of them this weekend.
Our other project is getting my craft room in order. We will have two guests staying with us next month so it has to be a functioning guest room. We picked up this bookcase and armoire on Craigslist this week so I would have something to put in the closet for organizing all my art and sewing supplies as well as something to put the tv and all my craft books on in the bedroom.
Its a little too "shabby" the way it is. It was overally distressed for my taste. I'm not going to worry about the bookshelf since its in the closet, but the armoire will get a coat of brighter white paint and then lightly sanded, the door and hardware taken off the front, and a bright graphic print painted on the inside along the back for some pop. Clay is going to drill some holes for the cable cords to go through so they won't be a jumbled mess. Now I just have to decide on a wall color. Thats a whole other can of worms!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Carroll Creek Glassware

I found this little shop on Etsy a couple of weeks ago and got this great set of glasses as a wedding gift for my friend, Montana. I think these would be appropriate for 99% of the women in my life.

Made from old wine bottles, they are the perfect size for a little cocktail. Maybe a summer sangria? When I showed my mom and Aunt Diane, we all agreed that we could figure out how to execute the idea (with a little help from my grandpa). I am REALLY klutzy when it comes to glass and sharp objects so I must admit, the idea of cut glass freaks me out. I mean, I did receive cutting gloves and ov gloves from a co-worker because he sees all my wounds from the kitchen.
The link to Carroll Creek's Etsy page can be found here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Heart Emerson Made

I am completely inspired by Emerson Made. I've checked in on her website every now and then and she is gaining popularity by leaps and bounds. I am determined to figure out how to master these flowers. The colors, the patterns, the whole look of her line is heaven. Ugh...I die.
1. Stylish Clutch with crazy cute prints...check


2. Adorable packaging making for a great gift...check
3. Biggest, pinkest flower I would rock every day if I could get away with it...BIG CHECK!!

Refashion Made Easy

On Made By Lex, you can find several tutorials on how to change up your old wardrobe and revamp things you might have in the ole Goodwill pile into new pieces. This is one of my favs. Clay better watch out or I'm going to start "assuming" that some of his shirts are wayyy to small and would be thrown out anyway :)

Link to the tutorial can be found here. The finished product looks something like this:

The great thing is that the hubs is really tall so if I used any of his old dress shirts, they would come out as cute shirt dresses on me. Score! Now I just have to convince him to give up some of them that he hasn't worn in years...

How Cute is This?

I saw this post over on Sunday Suppers. What a great idea to have a martini bar at your next cocktail party. I knew I loved this look for a reason, this is from the photo shoot she did for Martha Stewart Living. It looks so clean and simple. Since its summer, I'd shy away from dirty martinis and do something lighter with fresh fruit. I just love the setup!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Baby Time

No, I'm not pregnant... but plenty of those around me are. This weekend was the baby shower for my best friend Tressa that I helped host. My mom, Aunt Diane, and cousin Abby all came over to my house on Saturday to help me cook. This was also a test run for my kitchen to see if I'm well equipped for Thanksgiving this year. I did figure out what I'm missing and what I need more of (like mixing bowls!). Clay was amazed that we managed to cover ever inch of our huge island with food. Thank goodness for the island, I think that is my saving grace. It makes it so much easier to cook for the masses with that much counter space. So, since the shower was only from 1-3p, I thought heavy appetizers would work best. The menu consisted of the following:
*Mashed potato stuffed mushrooms (these were okay, but not a keeper...too hard to keep warm)
*Spinach dip and veggie tray with pita chips (spinach dip recipe from the back of the Knorr vegetable soup mix pack, delicious)
*Deviled eggs from the other hostess
*Goat cheese and pesto on water table crackers (huge hit and probably the easiest of all the food I made)
*Honey-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta (recipe here)
*Chicken Salad on Flower Shaped Bread (courtesy of my mom's Pampered Chef bread mold)
*Mini cupcakes
*Mini cherry cheesecake pies (recipe is on my wedding blog here) This time I used individual graham cracker pie crusts that I found at the grocery store. If you use cupcake liners, they don't stand up as well.
Everything turned out great. I was able to make it to Austin Floral Co. on Saturday to get the flowers. They have such a great selection for walk ins. I had to just keep walking when I came to the peonies. They are so beautiful, but sooo expensive! Heavy apps are good for showers like this, but I always forget that you have to keep the trays filled! Tressa got lots of cute clothes in different sizes. Baby Lily will be fashionably dressed for months!








The Cupcake Table: the butterflies were cut out of heavy two sided scrapbook paper, the template is on Martha's website. I didn't realize how many I had cut out, but turned the extra into confetti to fill in the table and counter.


The Flowers


The food:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grandma Mee Mee's Fat Cake

Being a health fanatic, I hate the name of this cake. However, this is my friend Paige's Mee Mee's recipe. My cousin Ashley graduated from the University of Texas this weekend (she doesn't read this, but her mom does...Hook Em Horns!!) and I was going to bring dessert for the party at my grandpa's house on Friday night. Dinner was going to be Salt Lick Barbeque (I grew up not far from this joint, literally the meat melts in your mouth) so I thought a summery kind of dessert would be good. Then, I remembered Fat Cake. I don't know how I remembered this being that Mee Mee taught how to make it once and that was about twelve years ago. Like I told my Aunt Diane on Friday night, its like a tropical vacation on a fork. Easy schmeezie...

Fat Cake
1 box of butter yellow cake (plus ingredients it calls for)
1 can of pina colada mix (thawed)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of crushed pineapple chunks
1 container of Cool Whip

Bake the cake in a 9x13 pan according the directions on the box. After its baked, let it cool. Poke about twelve holes in it using the end of a wooden spoon. Poor the condensed milk over the top of the cake. I couldn't bring myself to use the whole can so I used a little more than half. Then pour the pina colada mix over the top of that spreading it over the whole cake. Then, put the crushed pineapples over all of that. Cover and let it soak overnight for the best result. When you are ready to serve, serve it cold and with a dollop of Cool Whip or pineapple serbert. Ahh, so good.

Here's Mee Mee and Papa from this spring. Sweetest couple...EVER.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Swoon

I think I've come across this website before but I saw it again when some friends of mine became fans of it on Facebook. Layla Grace has everything from home decor to jewelry to bedding. You can also setup a gift registry on their website. I have linked their blog to mine. On it, you can find great decorating ideas, new arrivals, and info about their designers. I love it. There is so much that ooozes girliness.

Who can go wrong with a half apron and a martini?

Oooh wee, I love me some Amy Butler. Just a side note, you can by patterns and her fabric on most fabric websites to recreate her look for much less. I LOVE her prints and uber bright colors.


I love this idea. Honestly though, I could definitely do this myself. There is shop here in Austin owned by a very eclectic lady. I went there a lot before the wedding for all my odds and ends. She has an entire bookcase full of old pieces of china. I think using a collection of ones with different prints would be cooler than all white.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dinner Tonight

Tonight's dinner was based around a potato salad I found on the Food Network website. I wanted something different than just baked sweet potatoes and this salad was it. I also love watermelon and couldn't wait any longer to buy some. I figured since its gotten so dang hot here already, it would make for a great light pair to steak. I just cubed up a little watermelon, put it on a bed of spinach, and sprinkled a little reduced fat feta and balsamic dressing over the top. Clay marinated some New York strip steaks this morning so they were awesome after a few minutes on the grill the evening. I LOVE summer cooking! Here is how it turned out:
(My actual plate. Clay looked at me weird when I started taking pictures of my dinner. He can't figure out why I continue blogging.).


Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad
Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds new red potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup Basil Pesto, recipe follows
Note from me: Just buy pesto already made in the deli, it a lot of messin' around to make it from scratch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Place the potatoes in a large steamer basket fitted over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Add the green beans to the potatoes in the steamer and continue to cook, covered, for another 4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into an ice bath to cool.
Transfer the vegetables to a large serving bowl. Add the pesto and stir to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Basil Pesto:
Make a big batch of this pesto in the summer when the basil is fresh and plentiful. You can freeze it in ice cube trays, bag up the cubes, and have it year-round to use as a pasta sauce or to enhance the flavor of one. It is also excellent as a sandwich spread.
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and golden brown, shaking the pan frequently, about 3 minutes.
In a food processor, process the pine nuts and garlic together until minced. Add the basil, Parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and process until finely minced. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until well blended.
Yield: 3/4 cup, serving size: 3 tablespoons

OCD tip for the day

I have a really bad habit of printing out recipes for the week and then leaving them in my car, on my desk, or anywhere that is not where they should be. So, before making my grocery list yesterday, I printed out all the new ones I wanted to try this week. I then made my list on a plain white envelope, folded the recipes up, and put them inside. I wrote what I had planned for dinner each night on the other side of it. When I got back from the store last night, I tacked the envelope with the menu list on the fridge so that each night I will know what I had planned and can pull the recipe out from inside. All together in a nice little pouch!

Dinner Last Night

I love trying new recipes. Clay and I have an agreement when it comes to new food. If he tells me he likes it, he'll see it again so he'd better mean it. Otherwise, he can just say "its not my favorite" and I know that its not a keeper. This one from last night was a keeper.

Seafood Marinara with Linguine


Ingredients
1 (14.5 ounce) can CONTADINA® Diced Tomatoes
12 ounces CONTADINA® Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1/2 cup dry red wine or water
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces shrimp, fresh or frozen, peeled and deveined
8 ounces scallops, fresh or frozen
1 pound whole wheat linguine, cooked, drained and kept warm
Directions
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice, chicken broth, tomato paste, wine, basil, oregano and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat remaining oil in small skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and scallops; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and scallops are opaque. (*Note from me: I heated the skillet pretty hot with the oil to make sure I'd get a nice sear on the scallops. The shrimp will also cook quicker than the scallops so you may want to cook them separately) Add to sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over pasta.

I also cut up some lemon wedges and put them on the plate so we could squirt them over the top of the whole dish. A nice addition!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Little Introduction

Some of you may be new readers to my blog. For some reason, after blogging about my jaw surgery about two years, I have this new desire to blog about everything! I just finished my wedding blog and couldn't let go of it. So, I started this one.
Here's a little background. I am a newlywed (just got married on 4/24/10). I married my boyfriend of almost seven years. We bought a new house in February and live right outside of Austin. We have two kids, but it just happens to be that they are of the four legged variety. There is Bruiser, our four year old Boston Terrier (a mama's boy) and Ruby Tuesday, an almost two year old French Bulldog (stubborn daddy's girl). We love anything outdoors, especially being on Lake Travis in the summer. I love to cook and Clay loves to eat, so that's always been a good combination for us. As for myself, I have a inherited gift of craftiness from my mother, a brain full of ideas for sewing but not all the skills yet to carry them out, and a passion for cooking. I love anything that is artsy. After planning a wedding, I have acquired the desire to entertain (just need the time to do it). If it makes sense, I am an OCD scatterbrain. I think I have to be overally organized in order to manage all the random things flying through my mind all day. This blog will be dedicated to all my new recipes (which will all be healthy for the most part), my attempts at sewing (this could be quite comical), party planning ideas, decorating, and any other way I can mold myself into a young Martha Stewart (minus a stint in the pen).
Thanks for reading!