Friday, January 31, 2014

DIY Heart Garland

Hi guys! Can you believe it's February tomorrow? Where did January even go??????? Well, with the arrival of February, it's probably due time to start thinking about Valentine's Day, huh. Today I'm here to share a super easy, super adorable DIY heart garland!
To get started, you'll need:

- A selection of cute paper
- A pencil
- Scissors
- A sewing machine that's threaded up and ready to go
Begin by cutting out 2 heart shapes. You'll want a big one and a small one! I had one that was about 2" tall and one that was about 1 1/2" tall. These will be your templates.
Next, trace an even amount of big and small hearts on to the back of your cute paper. You can vary the colors and patterns as much you like. Once they're traced, cut 'em out!
Voila! A lovely array of pretty hearts. Now, the number you need will vary based on how big you'd like your garland to be, but for reference, I had about 20 of each size.
Once you've got your hearts, make your life a little easier by pre-arranging them. I found it easiest to stack them up alternating between the big and little ones and was sure to have the patterns and papers alternate so I wouldn't end up with two in a row.
Now, bring your stack of hearts over to your sewing machine. To start, just run your machine so you can get a chain of stitches a few inches long. Then, start sewing through your hearts. I found it easiest to try to stitch through them just below the top point, and left 3-5 stitches between each heart so it would have nice spacing. If you're lucky, your cat might help you.
Since these can get tangled, I kept a jar next to my sewing machine that I could wind the garland onto as I sewed it. This made it super easy to get everything hung up when I was done!
Once you've sewn through your last heart, keep sewing so you can make another chain of a few inches.
All you have to do now is hang up your garland and admire your handiwork! I created this specifically as a Valentine's Day project, but I love it so much I think I might keep it up year round!

Have you guys been working on any fun Valentine's Day projects?

Til next time!

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tomatillo Pork Stew

Hi guys! Today you can find me over at Kristina's blog, Eccentric Owl, sharing my recipe for Tomatillo Pork Stew. It's super flavorful and really simple to make, so it's a good one to add to your recipe box. Be sure to stop by Eccentric Owl to check out the recipe!


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Trip to Portland

Hotel Art || Endless Bucket of Dice || Mt St Helens || The Best Espresso Stand Name Ever 
|| Goodie Bag Contents || Portland is for Lovers || Hotel Art || Apple Stamp ||

This last weekend I headed down to Portland for a fun weekend away with my friends Katilin and Nicole! The sun was out when we left Seattle so our drive down was gorgeous as could be. The drive was full of games of 20 Questions, junk food pit stops, gorgeous scenery, and one awesomely named espresso stand.

Upon arriving in Portland, we headed straight to West Elm for a textile stamping workshop hosted by Heather of Aspen Summit and Andrea of The Girls Fort. Both Heather and Andrea were sweet as could be, and we all had a blast following their tutorials to make our own homemade stamps! I ended up making a cute little apple stamp, which I used to make a tea towel, and a bow stamp that I used on my tote! To top the whole lovely event off, we all received a goodie bag filled with the prettiest little things. It was a blast!

We spent the rest of the day wandering around, shopping, eating awesome food, and then, admittedly, getting some much needed rest.
The next day was all about the cat show. Seriously. We went to the Portland International Cat Show and it was one of the cutest, most hilarious experiences I had ever had. My heart was so bursting with cuteness that I wasn't sure I would make it out alive! 

After an hour or two squealing, we left the cat show, hit up a darling gluten free bakery and headed home. Our ride home was just as gorgeous as the ride down, and filled with just as much junk food. We stopped for more (obvs) somewhere in southern Washington and happened upon the prettiest gas station ever with an amazing view of Mt. St. Helens. We spent the rest of the trip playing 20 Questions and Six Degrees of Separation, and making ourselves sick on cheddar popcorn and gummy bears.

It was an awesome weekend spent with wonderful people, and I was so happy to have the adventure.

Did you guys get up to anything over the weekend?


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges

So, uh, should we start off by just taking a moment to drool? I mean look at this! Creamy Panna Cotta flecked with vanilla bean and blush colored orange zest, draped in tart, vibrant blood oranges. This Panna Cottta with Blood Oranges is one seriously tasty, seriously pretty dessert

By the way, have we talked yet about my obsession with blood oranges yet? Ya'll I think I've got a thing for produce you can only get for a few months a year. Blood oranges are not only stunning, but they taste amazing. The flavor is like a hybrid of oranges and raspberries and I just can't get enough. Their season also happens to run through Valentine's Day, so it's a pretty perfect opportunity to make a dessert, like this one, that capitalizes on their pretty hue!

Now I know this dessert looks fancy, but you can EASILY whip up this dessert at home. All you need is 6 ingredients and some know-how!
Panna Cotta with Blood Oranges: Makes 4 servings


For the Panna Cotta:
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp orange zest from 1 small blood orange
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin

For the Oranges:
- 2 whole blood oranges
- The juice of 1 blood orange
- 1/8 cup of sugar
1. Begin by making your Panna Cotta! Bring the half and half, sugar, blood orange zest, and vanilla bean together in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Be sure to stir the mixture as it's heating to avoid scorching the cream.

2. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes while the flavors infuse.
3. After 20 minutes remove the vanilla bean pod and add the gelatin, being sure to whisk constantly until the mixture is well combined.
4. Once the gelatin is incorporated, pour the mixture into four ramekins or small cups. If they don't have a particularly smooth surface, you may want to spray them with cooking spray to make for easier release.

5. Put your Panna Cotta in the fridge and let set for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
6. Once your Panna Cotta is set, start in on those Blood Oranges! You'll want to slice the two oranges into really pretty pieces. To do this, begin by slicing off the ends of your oranges. Then, stand them on their sides and slice off the rind in strips, following the shape of the orange and being sure to remove all the pith. Then turn the oranges on their sides and slice into pretty slices! Once that's done, you can remove the little circle of pith in the middle and you're good to go!
7. Ok, now that the whole oranges are taken care of, combine your blood orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and darkens slightly. Once that's happened, remove from the heat!
8. Next, add your blood oranges to your syrup (you can keep it all in the pan!) and flip them to coat them in the syrup. Then, put the pan in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes, or until the oranges and the syrup are cool to the touch.
9. Last, but not least, pop your Panna Cotta out of the cup and onto a plate. Top it with one of your prettiest blood orange slices, add smaller slices around the edges and spoon some of the syrup over the top to complete your dessert.
Seriously, guys, is that gorgeous or what?

I hope you get a chance to try this delicious dessert and can utilize these pretty blood oranges while they're in season!

Til next time!
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Wardrobe- The Cutest Dress of All Time!

Glasses: BonLook 
Sweater: J. Crew/Similar
Dress: ModCloth
Belt: Anthropologie/Similar
Tights: Nordstrom
Shoes: J. Crew/Similar

Ok, first things first, how cute is this dress???? My mama got it for me for Christmas and I just can't get enough! The polka dots! The color! The collar! It's just the best. I've been wearing it at least once a week since I got it and couldn't love it more. Moving on!

Ya'll,  I tell ya, January has been the month of failed craft projects! This is like, 3 weeks in a row I've tried and failed. But ya know what? It happens. We all have off months! Fortunately, my cooking projects have been going well, so I've got that going for me!

I had a lazy/productive weekend where I got nothing but some waffles and a couple of games of cribbage done on Saturday, but then did all sorts of stuff on Sunday! This weekend was a pretty seriously delicious one, and I'm excited to share some of the things I made in the coming weeks! I've also been digging simple home-cooked meals, like the pasta with mushrooms, broccolini, and fried egg I whipped up on Saturday night. SO good.

While there was a lot of delicious, one of the things I cooked this weekend called for like, 3 onions. Between chopping them and food processing them, I was crying my eyes out! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that the cats weren't too happy either. Poor Buddy the Cat walked around squinting for a good hour or two! I ended up having to air out the kitchen and lit a couple of matches to dissipate all the onion. Much to my (and the cats') relief, it cleared out within the next hour or so. Poor cats.

In addition to cooking, I also worked on a fun Valentine's Day craft (which was actually a success, thank god!), and put together the baker's rack I got for my kitchen. It's going to be so nice having some more storage and counter space in there!

Anyway, not a super exciting weekend, but a good one no less!

How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything fun?

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weekly Wishlist: Dreamy Home Goods

Hey guys! Since I've got updating my house on my mind, I decided to share a wishlist today for some real pretty home goods. Some of these are super reasonable and will likely make their way into my home shortly, whereas some of them are a litttttttle bit out of my price range and may just stay in the house of my dreams.

First, up, guys, I have a hall. It's kinda cool. I think it would be super fun to jazz up that hallway with this gorgeous hall runner from Anthropologie. My hall is decorated with embroidery so I think this pretty rug would look perfect in there! And hey, ya know, why not pair a fancy rug with embroidery pieces you spent less than $5 on at the thrift store. It's more fun that way, I think!

In other rug news, while I certainly don't need a rug for my living room, this fox rug from Anthropologie is too dreamy for words and I would positively die every time I saw it if it were in my house. Seriously. So. Damn. Pretty.

I'm also really antsy to switch out the curtains in my living room. The place came with these green monstrosities (they're actually not that bad) that collect cat hair like nobody's business and really darken up the room. I'd love to make the switch to a combination of pretty wood blinds, like these affordable ones from IKEA, and some pretty sheers. I actually already have a couple of sets of these sheers in my bedroom since my neighbor was nice enough to give them to me, and I'd love to put them up in the living room, too. They give things a nice airy feel and really brighten up and tie together the room.

Storage in my place, while certainly not nonexistent, is less available than I'd like. I love the idea of this wall organizer from Urban Outfitters and think it would be a dreamy way to store craft supplies like spools of thread and paint. I've got some decent wall space so it might be a good way to go!

Last, but not least, I'd love to get a pretty new bathmat and probably some matching towels. Some certain cats of mine have totally destroyed the ones I have and I'd love to replace them with something pretty. Admittedly, while this is the easiest and most practical thing I'd like to replace, I'll probably wait another year or so and see if the cats get a little less kitten-like by the time they reach 3 years old. 

Anyway, that's what I'm wishing for this week! Is there anything you're after to liven up your living space?

Til next time!

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekly Wardrobe- Out of the Blue

 Glasses: BonLook
Scarf: Nordstrom
Blazer: Vintage/Similar
Sweater: H&M
T-shirt: J. Crew
Shoes: J. Crew/Similar

Holy moly, you guys. I am SO glad Katie helped me take a couple of rounds of outfit photos last weekend. This weekend it POURED! Like, the cats got so scared they hid under the bed, poured. If I had to try to go take outfit photos over the weekend they pretty much would have been of a puddle that looked kind of like me, wearing soggy clothes.

In other news, sorry I was so light on posts last week! I had some stuff come up that kept me very busy and unable to keep up with my posting schedule. A month ago I would have been majorly stressing my lack of posts last week, but I'm really making an effort to let things go and it has been helping a lot with my anxiety, which is great! Going forward, three to four posts a week will likely be the norm.

Other than hanging out with a friend for a while on Saturday night, it was a pretty low-key weekend! Just lots of cleaning, organizing, etc. I was able to finally hang some art in my living room and got my new set of drawers put together, so that was pretty nice! I also finally hung up all of my clothes, which has been long overdue (I swear, I'm a real adult. Really. Promise.). So, it was productive if nothing else!

Outfit-wise, this has been my go-to lately for running errands, etc. I'm totally in love with this polka dot top I got on sale from J. Crew a few weeks ago, and am also pretty obsessed with this royal blue scarf and matching royal blue flats. Hey, sometimes a gal likes to match! I've been having fun trying out some new outfit pairings recently, so I should have some fun outfits to share with you guys for the next few weeks!

Well I hope you guys all had a great weekend! Did you do anything particularly fun?

Til next time!


P.S. Thank you SO MUCH for all of your kind and encouraging words about my goals for the new year! I appreciate your support more than I can possibly say and have literally teared up over many of your sweet comments. Ya'll are the best ever.

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