October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!
We had our 3rd annual Halloween Bash last night - Eric was Alan from The Hangover and I was Lucille Ball! That's baby Carlos in the Camelback.
And Jade & Dr. Stu showed up too - right after their nuptials of course.
Trick or Treat!

October 28, 2010

Lemme borrow that top.

I am way late to hopping on the Glee wagon. I am strangely drawn to show choir. I can't help it, I'm from the Midwest.

I have a serious style crush on Emma though. I really want to have her wardrobe - its the perfect mix of J.Crew, Anthropologie, vintage and Hawleywood jewelry.

Serious crave worthy outfits comin' at ya.
Photos from Glee

PS - if you got the title reference - "Lemme Borrow that Top". Good for you, you win 10,000 bonus points. If not, go here. It may or may not be funny.

October 27, 2010

The one where I embarrass myself.

Allow myself to introduce myself. I am not above making a fool of myself (especially when it comes to costume). I had planned on writing a post on how to DIY our Bunsen & Beaker Costumes from last Halloween, but I got distracted by all the crazy photos of myself in iPhoto. Without further ado.
This one's from New Year's several years back. I'm super classy here - especially with the wine cooler and whiteboard in the background.

I call this "Gangsta Martha [Stewart]".

80's party - "I'm a little bit disco death rattle, he's a little bit preppy..."

Notice the theme of alcohol in combo with the dress up.

Finally, a dress up shot from an actual Halloween party.

and another non-dress up holiday - St. Pat's in Chicago!

Even Eric has a thing for making a fool of himself. (sorry honey, I owe you for letting me share this).

October 17, 2010

Need to know...

How do you all like the new blog look/layout?

I was feeling a little frisky and changed everything up a bit - what do you think?

Recipe Swap: Chocolate Chippers

In the search for the BEST chocolate chip cookies I've tried a lot of recipes. I subjected Eric, my faithful taste tester to Tollhouse, Neiman Marcus, Martha Stewart's, the ones on the Crisco box label, everything from recipes.com and beyond...

All that to say, I think I have successfully found my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. In no way are they healthy or a cure all for cancer but I've made 2 batches now and they are great. I know everyone has their own opinion of the perfect cookie. For me, they must be a little bit cakey, a touch gooey, not puffy and have a little bit of "chew" to them. Is that scientific enough for you?

This recipe is from Midwest Living, April 2010 (i know, don't judge). It is a prize winning - county fair approved recipe from the heartland - can it get any better? Without further ado, I give you...
Marjorie's Chocolate Chippers
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
.5 cup backed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
12-ounce semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

In bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. In another large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer for 30 sec. Add sugars. Beat on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can then mix in the rest with a spoon manually until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop dough by rounded tsp. on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 9 to 11 minutes until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet or transfer to wire racks. Makes 60 cookies
Nutrition facts (straight from the magazine) per cookie: 109 cal, 6g fat, 15mg chol, 85mg sodium, 13g carb, 1g protein, 1g fiber. Ouch - forget that you just read that.

Cook's notes: I really like this recipe for the flavor, texture and ease of recipe but I really like this recipe cause they are really pretty cookies. I think its really nice when the presentation is just as good as the present.

PS - this is from a great article that features another 5 cookie recipes that I have yet to try - if they are anywhere close to as good as this one is then it is work checking this feature out.

October 16, 2010

The Betty Draper Kitchen - After

You remember what it looked like before right?....
Well, no more. We promptly (as in less than a month after closing on this puppy - which was about a year ago now. Man I am late in sharing these pics) painted them.

Lets just say that this little guy and I are BFFs now.
We primed with Kilz and primed and primed... and my hand almost fell off. All the doors lived in our sunroom for a few days.
And our kitchen looked straight out of an episode of Hoarders for awhile.
We decided we were going to replace the hardware since it was a nice dated "copper" hammered look. BUT... the problem was the doors have this little beveled edge and there is not a hinge out there that would sit right. Without either trimming all sides of the doors or changing the doors so the hinges would sit inside the cabinets and re-drilling everything, we were SOL. So we kept the hardware BUT we did give it a coat of gloss black spray paint and updated the drawer pulls to the half circle looking kind. Not a major improvement but it when you pair it with the new paint job it looked cute and modern and still a little bit cottage/country. Finally... the after shot - the color is "Coastal Jeddy" which is an old Sherwin Williams color - but we had it mixed in Valspar.
The counter tops were here when we moved in as well as the black dishwasher but they work so much better now... eventually I would love to put Carerra (sp?) marble in but for now the gleaming white Formica is just fine. We also upgraded the faucet when my brother-in-law...you're never going to believe this...decided to stab our old one while washing knives. Literally he cut our old faucet right at the place where the water comes out so whenever you turned the water on you got sprayed right in the face. Hilarity ensued and my father-in-law and brother-in-law wrestled with the old one for about an our before this beauty finally went into place. I've always loved the scalloped detail but I really love it in grey. swoon. They just don't make that kind of detail anymore. Suck it new construction.

October 7, 2010

Outdoor Farm Table

I am so very late in sharing this... It's cold in most parts of the country already and here I am talking about patio furniture.

Eric and I built a farm table with (modified) plans from Knock Off Wood back in May. Remember this post about inspiration for our extra large patio way back when? Well, I am finally getting around to showing you the finished product.
Gorgeous huh? This was our second piece of furniture made from plans on Knock Off Wood and though this is considered a "beginner" piece we modified it a bit after our first attempt was not so pretty.

We changed a few things right off the bat. I wanted to have a full apron all the way around the table and the legs tucked behind the apron in the corners instead of having the legs built into the apron corners. We also changed the legs from cut wood pieces to spindle legs. This was our inspiration photo.
See, we started out making the frame to go underneath first and then planned to lay that on top of the "top" of the table. The frame was basically a large rectangle (the apron) and then small horizontal supports where we would fasten the planked top into. Well... you see, our frame turned out not so "sqaure" as in it was wonky. FAIL. See this next photo - we have it lined up the best that it can be on one end of the top of the table and as you can tell on the other end... it wasn't happening.
ok, grunt and move on to plan B. We either had wonky boards or our cuts and line up was not so straight (the latter is most likely the case). We took apart all the boards and decided that we would screw the apron and support to the top as we went, making any necessary adjustments or cuts.MUCH BETTER. See how there is now equal distance from the apron to the edge of the table all the way down? We also added "corner pieces" to help keep it square and supported. We thought we were smooth sailing... I had picked up some turned table legs at either the orange or blue big box stores - I can't remember which one and we attached them in the corner with some brackets for support.
and then we turned the table over proclaiming it was finally time to sand and finish this baby. Do you see what I see? Reminds me of that dinosaur movie from Disney where the T-Rex says, "I have a big head and little arms" except this goes, "I have a big top and little legs".

Ooops, we hadn't thought about that. Not only did it look silly but setting a cup of coffee on this thing let alone the table dancing I had planned was out of the question.

Off came the legs and I went on the hunt for something more substantial. I searched high and low to no avail when I finally found some porch posts at Shinola in Greenville, SC. I bought 2 that were about 8' long each and then cut 'em down to size. Here they are attached to the table. They came in this grey/blue paint color that was just perfectly "antiqued".
I also grabbed a few finials from Lowes to make it look more finished - they just happened to be the perfect circumference to screw onto the bottom of the freshly cut porch posts - now legs. Finally, we started finishing the piece.
We stained the top planks and I mixed a custom paint color for the legs and apron in a mason jar. Finally we topped the whole thing off with Helmsman® Spar Urethane.
This stuff is marine grade so it should hold up well. We've been pleased with the results so far though we did have a few "blisters" in the finish when it got really hot. We attributed it to moisture in the wood expanding - it should be fixed by next summer as the wood will have dried out and we plan on sanding and resealing before next spring.

Voila! Our rustic farmhouse patio table.
Phew, sorry for the super long post. We LOVE this table, it is so well suited for our decor vibe and also the size of the patio. It comfortably seats 8 and is super sturdy without being ridiculously heavy. The best part is that we built it ourselves for around $175 (including the finishing materials). If I had purchased an outdoor table this big metal or wood I would have spent at least 5 times that.

So we saved on the table and splurged on the chairs but that story did not have a happy ending... I'll share the deets with you soon.

October 4, 2010

Welcome to the Morgue

We're gearing up for the 3rd Annual Halloween Bash over here! Usually I just e-vite the invitation but inspired by Mrs. Limestone of Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone, we're stepping it up this year. Granted it's a small step to actual paper (gasp) invites, but its a step.

For a little background, Mrs. Limestone is big - I mean way big - on Halloween and goes all out. Check out her decorations and her Halloween Party invite from last year. So when she shared this great download for Halloween Party invites last year I bookmarked it to use in 2010.

Fast forward to now and ta-da.... aren't they creepy.... TOE TAGS!
Go get this great download!

I know I'm all up in Mrs. Limestone's grill tonight - go feast your eyes on all her projects and you'll see why!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...