via on Pinterest
As you may have noticed throughout my site, I love crowns. I like how vintage they are, I like how “Old World” they are and they make the “royal” in me smile. Here are a few crowns I’ve spotted lately:
I have plans to make something similar to this. I just adore the size, the modern combined with vintage. It’s very me.
What a cute idea for little ones! This particular one is adjustable in the back so it will grow with them.
This is a great way to incorporate a little royal in your garden or tabletop. I like the combo of metal and foliage, great texture and color.
I am doing this! Rhinestone crowns are pretty easy to find these days. Just super glue a little magnet and voila!
I might need this.
I can’t find these online but I want, I want, I want!!!
You can follow my discoveries on Pinterest here.
Sometimes I feel like I’m late to the party. You know when you discover something terrific like a new restaurant or chic clothing store and then you realize everyone else has known about it for a long time? And you feel left out.
That’s how I felt when I discovered Tip Junkie. In typical Carey-fashion, I was blog hopping one day and I got about 5 blogs deep when I discovered a great tutorial from Tip Junkie. So I went to the website and LOVED it and from that point forward I recognized how often articles from Tip Junkie are passed on by other sites that I read regularly. You know like when you find a car you like and suddenly you see them everywhere? Admit it, you know what I’m talking about. I love Hummers. Watch, now you’re suddenly going to be abnormally aware of Hummers. I bet tomorrow you see a Hummer and think of me.
Anyway… I was late to the Tip Junkie party but that’s ok because I’m catching up! Hardly a day goes by that my Google Reader isn’t full of great tips and tutorials from Tip Junkie. Here are a few examples:
Fun With Shrinky Dinks (yes, it still exists!)
Some posts are Tip Junkie originals, some are gleaned from other DIY/Craft sites and contributors but it is a ton of fun and a great resource if you are looking for a creative idea, especially for the holidays. Visit them and let me know how you like it!
Are you as infatuated with the Barefoot Contessa as I am? I seriously doubt it.
I watched this morning’s episode, Sweet Charity, all about how she contributed a fully catered meal at her house, cooked by her, to a charity auction. It sold for $100,000.
I was jealous. Oh yes, I was jealous.
To counteract my envy, here’s a link to one of the yummy recipes she made. Eaton Mess by Ina Garten
It’s also featured on the cover of her new cookbook, How Easy Is That?
<sigh…>… I just know if she met me she would want to adopt me.
This is me, sitting in my pink flannel Christmas pajamas and fuzzy Christmas socks, enjoying a steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup with dumplings. And the best part is, it only took about 30 minutes to make. That’s right, you heard me, 30 minutes.
Naturally, when the weather cools I begin to crave soup. Soup every day. Bowls and bowls of soup! Now, I’m not going to lie… I occasionally like to eat soup from a can, Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle specifically. And when I am sick I crave Chicken Top Ramen. I think it must be all the salt.
But nothing, I mean NOTHING beats homemade chicken soup. So when I read this article at The Kitchn for a quick chicken soup I just had to try it. And I am here to report, I have made it nearly every week so far this winter. Or at least my version of it. I highly, highly recommend the “less than an hour” version for weeknights or even a weekend when you don’t want to spend a ton of time slaving in the kitchen.
I’m not going to go over the whole recipe; how silly would that be since they’ve done such a fine job already. But I will share with you a few tweaks I have made:
I have made this enough times now that I can guess approximately how much of the carrot-onion-celery mixture I want, so I don’t measure. And so far, I have used whatever onions I had in the house which have always been white. I’m sure it’s great with the suggested green onions, I just haven’t given it shot yet. My point is, if all you have are yellow onions use ‘em, it will turn out great.
You should also know that I do things a teensy bit out of order according to the recipe, but I think it’s easier. I saute’ my mirepoix (just a fancy French term for carrot, celery & onion) until slightly softened and add the liquid to it, not the other way around as they do at The Kitchn. Feel free to do it your way, it IS your kitchen after all.
Now, a word about stock. Like most people I often use store-bought stock in a box. It’s great in a pinch and it has decent flavor if you add some fresh veg to it like they do in this recipe. BUT I don’t always have it on hand. Wanna know what I do usually have on hand? Chicken Soup Base from Sunflower Natural Foods here in Yuba City. It is organic, it is versatile, it is inexpensive, it’s easy to store and it’s easy to prepare. And the people at Sunflower are very special to me. Shop at Sunflower!
What were we doing?? Oh right, cooking soup!
So…. I take about 4-5 heaping spoonfuls of the chicken soup base and add it plus 4-5 cups of water to the mirepoix (the carrot-celery-onion!) and ta-dah… yummy broth!
This is also your opportunity to reach into your spice cabinet and throw in anything else you might like. I love this spice blend from Napa Style here in CA. It has a perfectly balanced blend of garlic, fennel, etc. so I throw a generous pinch in my soup.
(Why does my hand look like a Shar Pei here? Weird.)
Also at this point I throw in shredded or chopped chicken or turkey breast. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but it really makes this soup a meal. Let it all simmer away for 10-15 minutes just to make sure the flavors are combined and well developed.
It is at this point you have to make a decision: plain, dumplings or pasta. Plain is… well…. easy. Pasta is really pretty easy also. Just grab a handful of small pasta such as ditalini (tiny tubes) or acini de pepe (tiny balls) and simmer for just 5 more minutes. Or…..
… you can take the flavor all the way to top and add dumplings. I really like the flavor of the dumplings suggested by The Kitchn, but to be perfectly frank, I have not yet mastered the Art of the Dumpling. I don’t know if it’s the recipe or just my inexperience but I am still working on the perfect dumpling. My dumpling challenges aside, they add such a wonderful richness to the broth that you just won’t get with the pasta. They do take a little longer, but very much worth the effort if you have time.
So there you have it. It’s so satisfying and quite good for you. It’s almost worth getting sick just to have this healthy yummy soup. I said almost!!
There’s something you need to know about me, I love squirrels!
Oh my goodness, how cute are these?! See Jane Run is one of the websites I check into regularly. You see, in addition to being an Info-Nerd, I like to buy office supplies and organizational products… I’m a hopeless geek. Folders, binders, boxes, containers of all shapes, sizes, colors… I’m a complete sucker for ‘em.
If you are like me, you have, oh… I don’t know… a thousand cookbooks. And I curl up on the couch and read them like some people read those trashy romance novels in the check out aisle. I digress.
I will often find a recipe that I want to remember for an upcoming event and I will sometimes mark them with a post-it note. While effective, it’s not very attractive to have a bunch of yellow notes poking out of your cookbooks. But these are so cute and would be so fun and helpful since I could easily see on the note what type of entree’ I had marked.
I have only just stumbled on this blog and I am IN LOVE! Knock Off Decor isn’t just a DIY site, they show you how to replicate some of your favorite looks from stores such as Pottery Barn, Anthropolgie and others. If I could afford to fill my spaces with items purchased from these stores, I would do it BUT I do not have unlimited resources so the tips from this site are just ingenious.
Here’s a knock off from Pottery Barn:
And here’s one from Anthropologie:
This one from Restoration Hardware is one of my favorites because I love how simple yet stylish it is. I have some old house plans from my childhood home that I want to transform like this.
Jump over to Knock Off Decor and see what beautiful projects await you!
Ok, remember this post about labeling your glass serving dishes? Well…. I gave it a shot this weekend and it worked!
And it wasn’t all that difficult either! I printed my name on a piece of Contact paper. Keep in mind, I had to print it as a “mirrored” image so that once it was transferred it read the right way. Then I used an Exacto knife to cut out the letter template. It was at this point that really wished I had one of those Silhouette Vinyl Cutter’s because my Exacto-skills aren’t all that great. But it only took a minute or two to cut out my name, so I should stop whining. Side note: if you are cutting out letters that have “islands”, like my “e”s and “a”s, you should save them and apply them so your letters look normal, unless being abnormal doesn’t bother you. It’s ok, I won’t make fun of you.
Next I peeled off the backing of the contact paper and applied the adhesive template to the back of my baking dish. Bring on the etching cream!
I got mine at Michael’s along with a small spongy paint brush. The instructions are pretty straightforward. I applied a thick layer to my template and let it set for about 5 minutes.
I rinsed off the etching cream, peeled off the template and voila! My name permanently etched in glass! I was so happy with the results, I did another smaller baking dish and two glass pie dishes.
It all began with this little guy:
Hudson came to greet us all in December of 2009. His mommy is Bree, my buddy and co-instigator. It was right about this time that we started planning his first birthday party, because we are crazy like that. And if one of us is planning a party, the other is by default included. This makes for some exciting adventures!
When Bree and I plan a party we begin with Brainstorming phase. During the Brainstorming phase, we are allowed to throw out any idea, no matter how crazy or bizarre. Laughter is the hallmark of this phase, we can both come up with some wild ideas! After we have tossed around all of the brilliant, mediocre and hilarious ideas in our brain, we move on to the next phase, Research. We scour through websites, blogs, magazines, cookbooks, etc., looking for that perfect party-theme.
That’s what lead us to this article: Mr. Man Party from Hostess with the Mostess. I am going to stop and do a little shameless name dropping here. The Hostess with the Mostess website is the creative goldmine of Jenn Sbranti, formerly of my hometown, alumnus of my alma-mater Faith Christian High School and in fact, I was her JV Volleyball coach, the poor girl. Anyway, HWTM had featured an article on a party by Christiana Brian, a Mr. Man Party. At that point, Bree and I knew we just had found the theme for Hudson’s 1st birthday party, except we changed it to a Little Man Party, since their last name is “Little”, it was just too good to resist!
With inspiration from HWTM and our own ideas thrown in for good measure, we started 2011 off with one fun party. That of course required a custom designed invitation from Wedding Tulle, which handily is owned by Bree. Bree came up with this quirky and fun invitation that let everyone in on the party theme right off the bat.
BTW: All of Hudson’s photos were taken by the amazingly talented Jessica Cole.
We tried to fit in as many “manly” props, foods, and decorations as we could. That’s where these came in:
Chocolate Mustaches! We could have bought them, but like I’ve said before, homemade is better. And cheaper. I made them with melted down Dove chocolates. And they were yummy. And I was bathed head to toe in chocolate by the end of the day. Not a bad day.
Next came the ties! Bree and Brandy (another party conspirator!) picked out a bunch of beautiful patterned papers and made ever so many ties for banners, gift bags, etc. Aren’t they adoreable?!
Then there was the food! Bree and Dan created a menu of “mini man food” such as mini sliders, popcorn chicken, hot dogs in a blanket and for the littlest of men, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Our good friend Ashley Park of Wooden Spoon Catering made the lovely cookies, mimicked after the patterns on the ties. Thank you Ashley!!
Then of course, there was the birthday cake and matching mini cake by Mickey’s Cake Creations, again modeled after the patterned papers used throughout the party.
As for entertainment, what’s more entertaining than a photo booth for your party? Bree printed out a variety of mustaches and glued them onto sticks for props along with signs of good wishes and happy birthday for Hudson. Here you see LeiLani and I sporting our cool ‘staches.
And the birthday boy… well, I think he liked it!
We had so much fun, and we hope the guests did too. Thank you to everyone who helped with planning, constructing, cooking and cleanup (Bree’s Kitchen Crew, you know who you are!). Hudson-buddy, your Auntie loves you and can’t wait to see what kind of party-craziness your mommy has planned for me next year!
http://bravegirlsclub.com/blog/?p=903. Read the rest of this amazing article at:
Baby, it’s cold outside! OK, out here in the Sunshine State of California it may not be as cold as it is in say, Michigan, but for us Best-Coast-ers, a low of 28* and a high of 52* is BRRRRRRR! And that is why I am craving soup.
Lately, I have been making a lot of quick-weeknight chicken soup, I’ll share more about that hopefully next week. But tonight I was looking through my archive of soup recipes on my Google Reader (if you don’t use Google Reader you should!), and I was reminded of these two soups and I can’t decide which one I want to make first!
This first one is Chipotle Pumpkin Soup from Simply Recipes and it sounds yummy and easy. I think the chipotle would help warm me down to my frozen toes and a swirl of Mexican crema to top it off….oh yum! I bought extra canned pumpkin during the holidays that needs to be used up so I’m halfway there. I think it would be easier if I had one of these:
But enough dreaming of kitchen equipment we don’t have room for, on to the 2nd soup.
This one is a Nutty Sweet Potato Soup by Ellie Krieger. It has warming cayenne and ginger and the thing that has me really curious is this ingredient: peanut butter! I’m not sure if it’s Thai inspired or maybe Moroccan…. I don’t know but I think it could be really good on a cold winter day.
Ohhhhh, which to make??!!