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First Weekend of Fall

8 Oct

This weekend, it finally felt like fall!

The air was crisp enough to pull out an extra quilt for the bed, break out a scarf and swing by Starbucks for an oh-so-delicious hot apple cider.

I also had a few lazy mornings of magazine reading over breakfast.

catalogs

The first of the holiday catalogs arrived!

apple cinnamon oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal – yummy and makes the house smell amazing!

Friday night after a great dinner with a dear friend, I returned home to a power outage. A freak storm had brought crazy winds and rain to the area, and it took our power along with it. The result? Candle burning, blankets and reading by flashlight…I can’t say I was so disappointed…

blackout

I did get out and about Saturday though, and cherished the opportunity to wear some of my fall clothes (I had to restrain myself from piling on too many layers in excitement).

I hit up one of my favorite antique stores, South Front Antiques, and almost squealed (ok, so I kind of did) when I found myself all alone in a room – a whole room! – of antique shutters.

I didn’t take a picture of this wonderful room because of the previously mentioned squealing, but here’s a picture of the almost-as-cool elevator shaft from the third floor. This building is itself an antique and so fun to explore.

elevator

Just one of the cool things at South Front Antiques

Back to the shutters…after a while of perusing, and talking to the owner about the origins of several, I settled upon two very different styles that caught my eye when I first entered the room.

shutter

Here’s one…it’s from the 1890s, probably from a house on either Pontiac or Vance in downtown Memphis. The old wood has aged beautifully.

I’ll share this week how I’m going to incorporate both shutters in at home. And yes, staring at them smiling is part of how they will be incorporated.

How was your weekend? What did you do that felt like fall?

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Pretty Plates

22 Aug

You know how you know you’re a grown up?

You’re a grown up when new plates make you a little giddy. Oh, and you don’t know what channel MTV is.

But this is about the plate thing.

Look! Pretty!
plate stack

See those lovely scalloped edges peeking out in that stack o’plates? Those were an early birthday gift for myself, purchased this weekend at anthropologie.

Here’s a closeup:

plate closeup

They remind me of doilies, but the gray color keeps them from being too precious.

I snagged them on sale (don’t you just want to live in that little sale room at the back of the store?) and used my 15 percent off birthday savings card for even more of a discount.

Note: I tend to use the “birthday gift” excuse for anything pretty I purchase in the month of August. Does anyone else do that?

Here’s a shot of dinner on the new plate:

goat cheese asparagus pizza

It’s a goat cheese, spinach and asparagus flatbread on naan bread. I know I should leave the food photography to my talented friend Amanda, but I wanted you to see the plate in action (and also know that naan bread pizza is Ah-Mazing).

So that’s the story  of the new pretty plates. What have you bought lately that puts a smile on your face?

Currently Making Me Happy…

6 Apr

It’s Friday, it’s Easter weekend, it’s pretty outside (at least in Memphis)…these things make me a happy girl!

Here’s what else is currently making me happy:

coffee table

This coffee table: It’s my white whale. I snapped this picture from an old issue of Domino that sadly didn’t list the shopping information. It’s exactly the kind of table I want for my living room, so I’m on the hunt. I’m even toying with the idea of using a mirror or frame as the base and connecting some legs….we’ll see. (If you know who made this table, let me know!)

Source: 1stdibs.com via Katie on Pinterest

This rug. I know, it’s like $5,000 dollars, so not this rug exactly, but one with its essence, its feel, its mojo, if you will. Moroccan rugs are all over design blogs right now, so maybe this thing is destined to go the way of ikat and that ubiquitous Keep Calm and Carry On madness, but for now, I’m feeling it. Feeling its much cheaper, off-brand cousin, actually.

Peanut Butter Granola

DIY Food: I’ve been on a kick lately to make the foods I can, instead of buying their fatty, over-processed doppelgangers from the grocery store. It was one of my New Year’s Resolutions to continue to find ways to eat cleaner (cutting out processing when possible) and these two recipes make it SO easy.

My first success: this amazing, can’t-stop-eating-it peanut butter granola (pictured above) from one of my favorite bloggers, Peanut Butter Fingers. This girl has a website full of healthy recipes that usually take under 20 minutes to prepare. This granola is not only a healthy snack (grind your own peanut butter at Whole Foods for the ultimate DIY), but it also takes about 10 minutes to put together. Trust me, you’re welcome.

My second success: Pomegranate Vinaigrette Salad Dressing! This one had me slapping my head…why did I ever buy salad dressing? It might be the simplest thing to make next to toast, and making your own means you know exactly what is in it. This dressing is all of three ingredients and tastes great on spinach salads. I keep mine in a mason jar for a couple of days in the fridge. Google around for all sorts of variations, or just start playing with ingredients you have on hand!

Haven Conference 2012

Haven Conference: I’ve registered to attend my first blogging conference! I’m so happy about it, but also nervous too. I’ve never been to a blogging conference before and I have no idea what to expect. But, I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to try to make this little blog better, so it’s the place to do it! Plus, Sherry and John from Young House Love are the keynote speakers. Um, is there such a thing as a home decor groupie? Perhaps I can have them sign a spray paint can? I’m so excited! If you’re going, let me know!

And, just to round things out, one thing that is not making me happy:

Boxes

This is the current state of my back room. I did a lot of packing last weekend, and decided to start grouping together everything that that was coming with me to my new place. This is only a small fraction, so it’s going to get way messy before it gets better. And see those lamps? They are all getting reworked in some form or fashion. They are only three of 8 (!) lamps I am taking with me…to a one bedroom apartment. I’m a hoarder. Of lamps.

I’ve got about four weeks until the move, so you can add “box hunting” to my list of obsessions.

So what are you thinking about this Friday?

How to Make a Pretty Pancake

2 Mar

Source: southwingveranda.tumblr.com via Katie on Pinterest

How about a special breakfast this weekend?

I don’t know about you, but every time I make pancakes, they turn out kind of, well, special. They’re yummy, but they wouldn’t win any beauty contests.

Until now. I’ve learned the secret. And it’s probably not that much of a secret, but bear with me.

Take an old ketchup bottle (or any squeezable bottle), rinse it well and fill it with your preferred pancake batter. I like this one from the Food Network cookbook How to Boil Water. (Funny name, but there are some great basic recipes inside!)

The squeeze bottle will help you control the amount of batter you’re using, making it easier to make perfect little rounds.

Want to get super creative and try heart-shaped pancakes like the ones pictured? Spray a heart-shaped cookie cutter with cooking spray and place it on your griddle. Fill it with the batter. Let it cook up enough to hold the shape before you remove it and flip the pancake.

Happy weekend!

It’s (Almost) Valentine’s Day!

1 Feb

Happy February!

February means it’s Valentine’s season. I’ve always loved this time of year.

Whether you’re into the lovey-dovey or not, there’s one thing on which we can all agree: pink and red and sparkles and hearts and flowers and candy – all very good things, yes?

Yes.

If you’re looking to add a little sweetness to your surroundings this month, look no further.

This preppy argyle heart wreath is a subtle way to decorate for Valentine’s season – and it’s sweet enough to leave up well into March. Here’s my tutorial for making a yarn wreath. It’d be easy to cut heart shapes out of felt and hot glue them to the base.

This one is old-school, but I think old-school is the charm of Valentine’s Day. Get out the pretty paper and the stapler and have at it. How cute would this garland be draped over a kitchen window or in a kid’s room?

And, last but certainly not least, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a sweet treat (at least not for me).

Brilliant. Add a marble into cupcake tins for heart-shaped cupcakes or muffins. YUM.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Are you adding a little red and pink into your decor?

Smoothies: An Ode

30 Jan

This weekend, I bought a blender.

blender

How’s that for a killer opening line?

The blender I was using wasn’t, well, blending. When I tried to use frozen strawberries and blueberries to make smoothies, Old Blender just kind of moved them around. We weren’t working out.

But New Blender? New Blender has a lot more power, so that frozen fruit is toast. Or smoothie, as the case may be.

It’s not one of those $300 juicer/blenders (yes, those exist); just a plain ‘ole Black and Decker. But it’s shiny and new and does what I need, so New Blender will take Old Blender’s space in the Closet O’ Wonder, ready for fruits, veggies and all things blended.

In it’s honor, here is my favorite classic smoothie recipe (easily adaptable to whatever you have on hand).

Ingredients

1 cup frozen fruit (can be bought frozen or you can freeze fresh fruit)

1 ripe banana

6 oz. yogurt (I like to use plain, but you can also use vanilla or any flavor you like)

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1 tbs. honey

1/2 cup orange juice

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Depending on the power of your blender, you may want to blend the frozen fruit first before adding the additional ingredients. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

And, here are two more smoothie recipes I’m excited to try:

Source: chiquitabananas.com via Katie on Pinterest

I love the idea of a protein packed liquid breakfast for those mornings spent running to meetings.

Source: penniesonaplatter.com via Katie on Pinterest

This Green Monster is a perfect way to pack in some veggies. I can’t wait to try it.

As always, any smoothie is made better with a pretty cup and fun straw.

Source: twopeasandtheirpod.com via Stephanie on Pinterest

Is there anything mason jars can’t do?

How about you? Do you have a favorite smoothie? Are you a dork like me who gets excited about new kitchen appliances?