Thursday, April 30

Cinnamon and chili pumpkin seeds

I know pumpkin seeds are usually eaten in the fall around halloween, but why not snack on these all year round? I found this recipe on The Peanut Butter Boy, a cool food blog with recipes that uses peanut butter as a main ingredient. When I saw this recipe for pumpkin seeds I knew I had to make it not only because it sounded delicious, but also because I've had a whole container of pumpkin seeds sitting in my pantry for months! I stuck to his recipe except I added some chili powder to give it a little kick.

Cinnamon and chili pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds, however many you want
Cooking spray
Ground cinnamon
Chili powder
kosher salt

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2 Spread seeds onto lined baking sheet and lightly spray them with cooking spray
3 In a separate bowl, mix cinnamon and chili powder together (I used 1 tablespoon cinnamon and maybe half a tablespoon of chili)
4 Sprinkle cinnamon/chili mix and salt onto the seeds
5 Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool completely and enjoy!

Warning: This snack may cause cinnamon to stick to your fingers so grab a spoon. And maybe some yogurt. yum!

Wednesday, April 29

Fun decorative tape

Check out these cute tapes at Just imagine the possibilities!

Crinoline Flowers

Aren't these photographs stunning? Photographed by Daryl Banks.
images via Brocade Design

Tuesday, April 28

Zucchini 3 ways — Part II

The third and final zucchini dish is a zucchini pasta bake. I used whole wheat penne pasta (shhh...don't tell adam) with fresh mozzarella and sauteed zucchini. The advantage of pasta bakes is that you can pop it in the oven right before guests arrive, but don't make it too ahead of time or else the pasta will become mushy from sitting in the sauce too long. Bon apetito!

Just look at that cheesy goodness!

Pasta Zucchini Bake
adapted via The Italian Chef
olive oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced very thin
some flour spread on a plate
salt 'n' peppa
8 oz penne pasta (or half of a 12 oz box)
2 cups marinara sauce (I used Barilla)
4 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
3 tablespoon parmesan
sliced black olives

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat.  Dredge zucchini in flour plate, shake off any excess and fry until both sides are golden. Transfer slices to a paper towel and season with salt 'n' peppa.
3 Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until almost al dente.
4 Strain pasta and transfer to a 3-4 quart casserole dish. Add 1 cup of the marinara along with the zucchini slices, parmesan, and half of the mozzarella pieces. Toss gently.
5 Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella, and throw on the olive slices
6 Place baking dish in the oven and bake until top cheese is melted and slightly golden, 8-10 minutes.

Monday, April 27

Zucchini 3 ways

I was browsing through recipes today and happened to find 3 recipes for zucchini that I had to try. I couldn't pick just one so here they are! I only had time to make 2 out of the 3 so check back tomorrow for the last zucchini dish! Enjoy!

Zucchini Ribbons with Mint
adapted from martha stewart
Serves 2
1 zucchini
kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Lemon juice of 1 lemon
Ground pepper
1/4 cup mint leaves

1 Using a vegetable peeler, peel zucchini lengthwise. After the zucchini is peeled, take your peeler and peel long wide slivers. The zucchini will eventually become flat and the ribbons will come out easier. If you need to flip the zucchini over to get more ribbons, you can certainly do that.

2 Once you peeled as many ribbons as you can from the zucchini, place the ribbons in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Wait 5-10 minutes while some of its liquid is released.  Once liquid is released at the bottom of the bowl, pour it out and lightly squeeze ribbons with a paper towel to blot the liquid.

3 Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper

4 Pour mixture over zucchini and toss gently.

5 Add mint leaves and serve

This side dish is so refreshing. Very mojito-esqe!

Zucchini Bites with Mozzarella 
recipe via life's ambrosia

2 zucchini cut into 3/4 inch slices, with peel
fresh mozzarella ball
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup grated parmesan
olive oil
non stick spray
salt 'n' peppa

1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2 Using the top of a vegetable peeler, carve out a little bowl for the mozzarella to go in.  Make sure not to carve out all the way through the slice.
3 Season the cavity with salt and pepper and a tear off a piece from your mozzarella ball and stick inside.
4 Combine panko bread crumbs with parmesan in a separate bowl
5 Dip each zucchini bite into the beaten egg mixture (both sides)
6 Coat egg'd zucchini bite in bread crumb mixture
7 Place bites on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Broil tops 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
These came out like little pockets of heaven, crispy on the outside and cheesy and juicy on the inside. Great for parties!

Friday, April 24

The Brightside Project

Have you heard of the Brightside project? It is a website that has a giveaway everyday for 28 days of the month. Thats right, 28 giveaways! AND all you have to do is answer the artist/designers question of the day for a chance to win the artists featured work. Could it get any easier??
Check it out at to enter!

Spring Friday

These gorgeous tulips are photographed by Jelly Kolobaric (aka JK). They inspired me to have a wonderful spring weekend outside! Check out the rest of her beautiful photography at and her shop at Etsy.

Thursday, April 23

Etsy Spotlight: Sycamore Street Press

The alphabet print and baroque frame were designed by Stephanie Lynne Ford, "Great job" card designed by Be a Decent Human Being, and the rest by Sycamore Street Press.

Sycamore Street Press is a lovely letterpress shop run by a husband and wife and as you can see from above, they print the sweetest stationary and paper cards! Wouldn't that mothers day card be sweet for may 10?? And that alphabet print for a nursery? And those gift tags?? The possibilities are endless! Check out their website: and blog

Is it a real leaf?

Image via
I couldn't believe it when I read that they were REAL leafs dipped in 18k gold and silver! Wow! Im not sure about it, but its still very pretty!

Wednesday, April 22

Thrift finds of the week

Porcelain short pitcher — This would be nice for iced tea, a vase for a flower bouquet, or just as is! $1.91

Leather purse — Does anyone know whose brand that is on the purse? It looked like a quality leather purse because it was leather on the inside as well as the outside. It looks almost new and had no damage. I think it's so charming. $3.00

Blue plates — I have a sweet spot for anything blue, so it was too hard for me to pass these plates up! Especially when they were $1 each

Braised beef short ribs

You see that bone in the center of the pot? You know, the one thats cleaned to the bone? (no pun intended) Ohhhhh yeaaaa...this meat came out so tender and soft that it literally fell off the bone! I was so happy when I came home to a crock pot full of tender beef...mmm.... the potatoes and carrots are under there somewhere. Don't think I forgot about the veggies!

I just bought this crock pot this weekend and wanted to do something Adam would absolutely love! He likes his ribs extra saucy so I searched for the perfect recipe. I found these short ribs at a local farmers market — I like to buy meat there because it is fresh and they clean them up really nice, so it's less work for me! Enjoy!

Braised Beef Short Ribs
3.5 lbs short ribs in-bone
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup baby carrots
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large onion sliced thin, rings separated
4-6 red-skinned potatoes, quartered

Put the potatoes and carrots in a large slow cooker; top with the onion rings then the beef. Combine the ketchup, 1/4 cup water, vinegar, paprika, chili powder, mustard, garlic powder, worcestershire sauce, and salt. Pour over the beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

Transfer the juices to a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce turned out thick enough for me, but if you want the sauce thicker, combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup water, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Pour into the simmering juices and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve the beef and vegetables with the thickened sauce. If the sauce comes out to fatty, you could put it in the fridge overnight and skim off the fat before serving.

Be sure to check out this recipe at Trade you Tuesdays!

Tuesday, April 21

Baby Grobal-The cutest self watering plant ever

Image via
Look how cute these baby plants are! AND, not only are they cute they are also self watering! is a great marketplace to find eco-friendly finds on the cheap!

Monday, April 20

Protect yo'self!

Check out these funky laptop sleeves
 as part of their Arkitip series by incase designs, who carry everything from messenger bags to ipod holders.

What's your colorstrology?

I found this cool personal birth color finder at colorstrology. It finds your zodiac based on colors rather than stars or numbers. I am coral blush — soothing, receptive, nurturing. Wow, this thing is dead on! ;) Go and discover your birthday color!

Sunday, April 19

DIY: Ribbon Frame

When I moved into my apartment, my walls were bare. And well, its been over a year...and most are still bare!  I'm slow. Verrry slow. I don't think I could ever decorate and furnish my home in one week flat like some people can. I like to take my time and find unique things as I go. This ribbon frame in my bedroom is the first DIY project I did, even before the pillows. My bedroom is black and white so I decided to add some some drama to the wall above my bed. I chose two of my favorite photographs I did from my summer semester in Italy ( I miss thee!) and hung them side by side. I found black frames with white matting and black ribbon from wal-mart. For this DIY project, any color goes! Don't be afraid to use any pops of color for your walls.

Ribbon Frame
any color ribbon
frame with hinges on the back
nail, hammer

1 Turn the frame over, back facing up. Pull one end of the ribbon through the first hinge, and then through the second, making a horizontal line across the back.
2 Turn frame over and pull the ribbon end up to desired length, leaving room for a bow (don't cut the ribbon yet)
3 Tie a bow with the other ribbon end (still attached to spool)
4 Diagonally cut second ribbon at desired length after bow is tied
5 Securely place your photograph into your frame and hang! 
You might need to adjust the bow after it is hung so the nail will not show.

Saturday, April 18

Split Green Pea Soup with caramelized onions

Mmm...doesn't that just sound divine? Thats what I thought when I saw this recipe at pink of perfection. She used red lentils, but I had some split green peas soaking already, so I decided to try it out with those. I think any type of pea or lentil would work with this soup. It is simple, delicious and so easy to make! The caramelized onion really give it a nice sweetness. I added some plain yogurt to the topping mix as well. Yum!

Split Pea Soup with lemon and caramelized onion

3 cups split green peas
2 cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1 pinch curry
salt 'n' peppa
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 onion, sliced thin1 tablespoon butter
drizzle honey

To caramelize the onions: Melt the butter over moderate heat. Throw in the onion slices and cook until beginning to brown. Drizzle honey evenly over onions and continue to cook until onions are brown, sweet, and sticky.

In a small saucepan, combine split green peas with water, stock, curry, salt 'n' peppa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until peas are soft and beginning to break down. Turn off heat, and stir in lemon juice. Serve with caramelized onions.

Friday, April 17


I stumbled upon these beautiful thank you cards that are just so lovely via wise up greetings. I love the bright colors and different prints.

Wednesday, April 15

What is this?

I don't know either. I found it at Goodwill and for some reason felt the need to have it. I loved the rose-top and the subtle design on the front of the glass.

The back had a sticker for "Lady Primrose." I had a feeling it was for the bathroom and when I looked up the name online, I was right! Lady Primrose turns out to have beautiful perfume, lotions, and powder glass bottles that have a vintage glamorous feel to them. I think im going to use it as a cotton ball jar in my bathroom. How sweet!

My first brisket!

I was watching martha one day, and she had on a guest who was promoting his "easiest brisket ever."  He was right, it sure looked easy. But I was skeptical and decided to try out his theory. And being that this is my first time making brisket, I needed the easiest recipe in the universe. His name is Arthur Schwartz and you can find his exact recipe here

This came out so delicious. Like buttuh! I know brisket can seem intimidating at first, but it really is so easy. The only drawback is that it does take a long time in the oven, but hey, thats less work for you! The oven does all the work for you.

Pot Roast Brisket
1 8-10 lbs brisket
4 lbs onioins
3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 ribs celery
4 small bay leafs
2 large cloves of garlic, halved
salt 'n' peppa

1 Preheat oven to 350 
2 Rub halved garlic clove all over the meat, on all sides.
3 Salt 'n' peppa meat on both sides
4 Brown meat on stovetop until colored on all sides
5 Throw onions in the same pan and saute until slightly wilted
6 Drain oil from onions and spread the onions, carrots, and celery on the bottom of your pan. I threw in the garlic cloves as well.
7 Place two bay leaved under the meat, and two on top
8 Place meat on top of vegetables
9 Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and cook in preheated oven for 4 hours

Tuesday, April 14

Baby Blue Part II

When I first saw this baby blue dish, it was just begging for a quiche! I got to work as soon as I got home. I took a bunch of recipes and combined them into one, taking what I liked from each. Most quiches have a basic framework — eggs, milk, cheese, veggies. I used fontina and cheddar because I needed to get rid of it before it went bad, so feel free to use any cheese you'd like. This quiche is so simple and delicious and could work as a light weekday meal.
I made a crustless quiche, but if you prefer a crust you can find one here.

Crustless Spinach Quiche
8 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3 oz softened cream cheese
3 eggs, beaten
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shredded fontina cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup milk

1 Preheat oven to 375
2 Saute shallots and garlic until softened
Lightly beat cream cheese with hand mixer and gradually add milk and eggs; beat together
4 Add shredded cheeses, spinach, softened garlic and shallot to the egg mixture and combine
5 Pour mixture into prepared dish and put in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 35-40 min.
TIP: To test if quiche is ready, insert knife into center — if knife comes out clean, it is ready!

Monday, April 13

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Thank goodness I had electricity when I came home so I could make this delicious creamy soup. It has been very stormy and dreary down here so a creamy soup is just what the doctor ordered. I love beans. All types, shapes and sizes! I found this tuscan white bean soup on by Giada De Laurentis. I like the flavor of most of her recipes except I don't use cream in my cooking. So, with this recipe I substituted a medium sized potato for the heavy cream to get the same consistency. I also found that it needed a bit of brightening so I added lemon juice at the end.

Tuscan White Bean and Garlic Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 sage leaf
2 (15 oz) cans cannelloni beans, or great northern beans
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 medium potato
1/2 teaspoon peppa

1 Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened.

2 Add the sage leaf and beans and stir to combine.

3 Add the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the garlic cloves and simmer until the garlic is softened, about 10 minutes.

4 Add a cooked potato (I microwaved one)

4 Puree the soup with either a hand blender or a regular blender. Once all the soup is blended and back in the soup pan, add peppa.

5 Keep warm, covered, over very low heat until ready to serve.

Sunday, April 12

Pretty in Pink

I came across these pretty notecards the other day and I couldn't resist taking them home. The paper is recycled, thick and very textured. The pink paisley on the front is embossed with gives it a special detail. How pretty!

Baby Blue

I was walking around Tuesday Morning the other day looking at all the gourmet jams and spices, when I spotted this porcelain dish. It had everything I love: blue, white (my favorite color combo), and a pretty wave trim. Check back later for what I used this dish for!

Friday, April 10

DIY: Before & After (without the before)

Long before I started this blog, I had bought this mirror from salvation army. I just love that place, along with goodwill and other local thrift stores or flea markets. Eddie Ross is an expert on thrift stores and flea markets so be sure to check out his awesome finds.

On my weekly rounds of thrift stores I find this starburst mirror which is exactly what I was looking for to fill that empty space on top of my tv, in between my ladder bookshelves. It was originally a faded gold/bronze color and had a lot of scuffs on it, but I knew it had potential. And for $5, who could resist a little experimentation? I headed to Home Depot and bought a can of black matte spray paint. I didn't want it to be glossy because it would cheapen it (the key is to buy cheap, not to look cheap) so I chose a matte black instead. I made sure to do several smooth coats to get every surface. After a few hours it was dry and was ready for hanging. What are some of your most proud "before and afters"?

Saturday, April 4

Pillow talk

Today I am writing my first blog post ever! So, to celebrate I am talking about one of the first pieces I designed when I moved into my apartment. I live by myself, (but not for long! more on that later..) so I wanted to make my space special and my own. I had the basics: navy leather couch, small flat screen TV, and the most comfortable bed in the whole wide world. Since I bought a dark navy couch, I wanted pillows that really popped. So, I headed to this fabric warehouse that I had heard about from a friend. It was HUGE! I could have spent all day there just looking at all the beautiful fabrics. I went in with a mission: I wanted two contrasting fabrics on each side of the pillows. One side with a yellow pattern (to pop off the blue) and the other side....? I didn't know. My missions aren't that planned out anyways.

I found my perfect yellow, and then as I kept browsing I spotted a dark blue pattern that I loved. The total was $15. Not bad! I don't know how to sew (yet) so I asked a friend to help. Here is a good how-to. I bought square filler pillows at walmart ($3 each) and whoala! two beautiful pillows that really pop. You can really change a room by just adding accent pillows, so why not custom make your own?