Gold and Glitter Sprayed Pine Cones

Monday, December 23, 2013

Well hello there! It's been awhile hasn't it? Sorry to have neglected the blog for so long, but real life has been a little crazy and how did it become Christmas already? Isn't it still October? In any case, I have a super easy DIY project to share to add some shine to rustic holiday decor. 

You need 3 things - mini pine cones, spray adhesive, and glitter. 
Spray the pine cones with the adhesive
Dump the glitter on the pine cones and shake off the excess 
Put in a pretty bowl and mix with some gold spray painted pine cones for more color

Pretty simple, right? There going to continue to be radio silence for the rest of 2013 but I'll be back with lots to catch up on in January. Merry Christmas and have a great rest of the year! 

Wild Wild West

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

About two weekend the hubs and I visited Cave Creek, one of my favorite towns in the Phoenix area. We went for their "Western Days" weekend, so our trip was full of cowboys, horses, and awesomeness. We went to the flea market, various antique shops (where Kace scored both a Stetson and some cowboy boots for $50 due to his crazy bargaining skills), and some outdoor patios for dinner and drinks. Places like this remind me just how much I love the southwest and how stoked I am to live here. Also, can we talk about these desert sunsets? Because they are freaking amazing. 

Spinach Bianca Lasagna

Friday, November 8, 2013

So apparently it's cold in the rest of the country? It's finally beautiful here, mid 80s during the day and 60s at night (and this, my friends, is why I moved to Arizona). It's finally cold enough to start thinking about warm comfort foods. For a somewhat healthier take on casseroles and lasagna, I like making a white lasagna so I can feel healthy eating spinach and chicken, while really I'm in it for the 3 cups of cheese. Whatever. 

2-3 chicken breasts
1 package of no boil lasagna noodles 
1 small bunch of green onions
1 bunch of spinach 
6 cups chicken broth 
3 cups of grated mozzarella 
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Start by cooking up the chicken in a frying and shredding it. 

Put a layer of lasagna noodles on the bottom of a 9x13" pan. Then layer, layer layer. Start with a layer of chicken and sliced green onions, then add a layer of spinach, and then mozzarella. Top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then add 3 cups of chicken broth.

Then repeat - chicken and onions, spinach, mozzarella, 3 cups of broth. You may not use all the broth. You want the broth to completely cover the upper layer of noodles or they'll get hard and crispy/chewy which isn't what we're going for.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes covered with tinfoil. Remove tinfoil for the last 10 minutes to make sure the cheese is a melty golden brown.

Remove from the oven, spoon into a bowl, and eat your heart out. Mmmmm, cheesy goodness. 

Bathroom Redo Stage 1 - Stressful to Serene

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oh hey, remember that house we moved into and I was so excited about redoing? And then I never really ever said anything about it again? Well we have been (sloooowly) changing things to personalize our home. And one room is finally complete and I'm so excited to share it! Go figure that the first room we decorated was the bathroom. But I LOVE the difference! That ugly brownish tan completely covers the entire house. The gross tan sheen was irrationally stressing me out and I desperately wanted something calming and serene for the bathroom. Luckily Kacey was on board with the gray color. But let's take a closer look at the before pictures, shall we? 

She's a really beauty, isn't she? Nice shiny tan walls, half of a towel rack since the bar fell off (gotta love builder grade hardware), and ugly cabinets. Ok, so the cabinets are still ugly brown, but I have plans to eventually paint them white and add knobs.

The thing is, this bathroom has pretty good bones. Nice tile floors, white countertops and tub, and silver fixtures. But everything else needed to change. We started with Benjamin Moore paint in Stonington Gray in a flat sheen. (No more shiny walls here!!) Then I ripped out the remaining towel rack fixtures and the toilet paper holder. We added hooks from Target instead of a towel rack since you can fit more and it looks pretty. We also added a prettier toilet paper holder from Homegoods because why not? And the old one fell off anyway. Figures.

Did I ever mention that this house doesn't have a linen closet? Ok it does, but it's tiny. Like a hobbit couldn't even fit towels in it. Remind me to show you it sometime. Anyway, we added a shelf above the toilet to hold extra towels since there's nowhere else to put them. We finished with some decorations and called it a day!

So you might be wondering about the "Stage 1" part of the title. Or not, but I'm going to tell you anyway. We have more plans for this room, but lack of time (and money) caused us to break it into 2 parts. The second half is pushed off until late 2014/early 2015 but I'd like to paint the cabinets white, add silver hardware, possibly frame in the mirror, get a new light fixture, and get some fancy shutters for window coverings. Yeah, about that money thing.

But in the meantime, can I just say how much I love our bathroom? It makes me so happy that I want to hug kittens and dance on rainbows with unicorns through the power of fairy dust. Or, you know, take a nice long bubble bath while reading a good book.

Girl's Best Friend

Friday, October 18, 2013

Let me introduce Sitka, the newest member of our little family! We adopted this little (or big!) girl two weeks ago and have absolutely fallen in love. She's a 3 year old rescue who is the sweetest girl I've ever met. She was beaten, abandoned, and starved when they found her (which make me so freaking angry that a person or people mistreated this wonderful girl) and came to us incredibly timid and unsure of herself. All she wanted to do was please people, but she didn't quite know how. It took her a few days to even look at us. Her ears were always down and she slinked around as if she had just gotten in trouble.

After a week and a half she's started to come out of her shell. She's still a little unsure and shy, but she's starting to show her personality. She dances when we get up in the morning. She tosses her head like a horse when she's happy. She loves belly rubs. If she could do backflips I'm pretty sure she would bust those out at mealtimes. I've never even heard her bark because she's so chill. Every time one of us talks her tail starts wagging. She sits by our feet while we watch TV and just likes being in the same room as us. I was a bit unsure about owning g a dog. They're a lot of work, don't get me wrong, but my heart is just growing because of this sweetie's love and devotion to us. I think she and I are kindred spirits. I can't wait until she's truly comfortable in her forever home and we really get to see her personality. So expect to see her a bit more on here - if she'll stay still long enough for me to capture her!

Review: Shutterfly Canvas Prints

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I was so excited when Shutterfly contacted me about reviewing one of their new products. I've used them in the past for Christmas cards and our wedding guest book and have always been pleased with the results.

After our wedding I wanted to take some of our photos and have them turned into a canvas print as a different way to display them. I was not disappointed with Shutterfly's options! They have tons of cute layouts, including a great selection of wedding themed styles that include different wording and typographical elements. I decided to go the more traditional route and get a plain photo gallery wrap canvas.

They had several sizes and framing options. This one was a 10x14 with no frame since I like the wrapped canvas look. The whole ordering process was super easy and the shipping time was pretty quick.

I absolutely love the look of the canvas! In fact, I went back and bought 2 more so I can create a little gallery in my bathroom above the tub. But until I finish the master bath redo, this little beauty will be propped up on my nightstand.

Disclaimer: I received the above product for free in exchange for my honest opinion about their product/services. 

Living Room Inspiration

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

{1, 2, 3, 4}

Now that I'm almost done with the bathroom redo (pictures to come soon, as soon as I finish!) I'm turning my thoughts toward the living room. I'm glad I started painting a small room, because these vaulted ceilings have made things interesting. I've also never painted anything without the help of my painting guru mom. Mistakes were definitely made and lessons were learned. But that will make the living room redo much easier and (hopefully!) smoother. Right? RIGHT?!

We're finally getting a new big girl/boy couch with some of our leftover wedding money and I am SO FREAKING EXCITED! This is the first piece of nice furniture that I've ever bought. Any furniture pieces we own that are even halfway nice are hand me downs, and the rest is cheap Ikea/Target  stuff from the college and immediate post college years. The one exception to that is the awesome coffee and side table that my uncle and cousin custom made for us as a wedding gift.  So my first adult home purchase (ok well second, but the fridge just wasn't as fun to pick out) is sort of a huge deal.

We know we want a gray couch, and we're planning on painting the walls from the current builder's tan to a nice creamy beige or greige. Maybe even lighter. I'm loving the pops of color and the rustic elements with the gray couches in these photos.  Also, can we talk about the forest view out the window in the first photo? How amazing would that be to see out of your living room?

Home Decor Upcycling

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Remember this picture from the last post about gold tipped deer antlers?

Well, I got so excited about the gold spray paint that I DIYed the picture frame as well! asked if I wanted to contribute to their "upcycling" page, and since I had already broken out the gold spray paint, I added a little bit of an art deco look to a plain black frame. You can check out the whole process here and the other upcycling projects that are featured!

I Miss My Autumm

Monday, September 16, 2013

Phoenix is amazing, but I'm about to cry that there's no autumn here. Fall is my favorite season, and while the rest of the country is going toward 50 degree weather and sweaters and boots and pumpkins, I'm still sweating in over 100 degrees. The hubs and I are planning a drive to Flagstaff in a few weeks to actually see some fall colors and get my cider and sweaters on. So here's some fall inspiration make me wistful for cooler temps.

{1, 2, 3, 4}


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A few weekends ago the hubs and I went hiking in Sedona for the first time. Can I just say how incredible it is up there? Our trail had gorgeous colors, a good mix of desert and tree cover, and great trails. I'm looking forward to the weather cooling down here so hiking can be a more frequent adventure. Mostly because it gets me off the couch and actually doing something active. Oh yeah and there's the whole beauty of the outdoors thing, because incredible views definitely make working out easier!

Summer Decorating Inspiration

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm in the middle of my next DIY house project (pics to come next week, or whenever I finish it), so I have a bit of summery home decor inspiration for you today. One of the best things about moving into a new place are the new decorating opportunities. Of course, we haven't actually gotten to that stage yet and are still trying to figure out where the charger to the electric drill is, but that's another story. I've been pinning and saving pictures of inspiration, but I'm having trouble narrowing down exactly what I'd like to do. I definitely want to add some fresh flowers to brighten things up and add some pictures to the walls. Now that we're finally settled I want to get some of our wedding photos blown up and printed so I can have a bit more personalization than we've been able to have in rented apartments. (Finally, no one cares how many holes you put into the walls, and I can actually paint them whatever colors I want! Victory!!!) But aside from that, I've never put much thought or money into decorating my apartments since I knew I'd be moving in a year. Now I'm finally able to take my time and think everything out. It might be a slow process, but I'm so excited to turn this house into a place that completely reflects us! Now where on earth is that charger? I have pictures to hang!

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spring rolls have always intimidated me. Well, making them - eating them has never been a problem. Something about actually having to roll various ingredients together just scared me away. And rice paper, that stuff is just a disaster waiting to happen. Or so I wrongly thought. After trying these, I'm not sure why I was so afraid. They're ridiculously easy to make once you get past all the vegetable chopping. (So. Much. Chopping.) And they're completely customizable, leaving you free to put in whatever veggies you like. I made these vegetarian, but shrimp or chicken is fantastic in here as well. 

Vegetarian Spring Rolls:

rice papaer 
1 large carrot
1 large cucumber
 green onions
1 cup bean sprouts
sprigs of: cilantro, basil, and mint
optional - rice vinegar or sesame oil 

First things first - cut up all the veggies. I used a vegetable peeler to create long strips of the carrot and cucumber (easier to fit in the wrapping), and just cut the radishes and green onions. Wash the raw bean sprouts and leave as is. 

Now the slightly tricky part. Take a frying pan and fill it with lukewarm water. Working with one sheet at a time, dip the rice paper into the pan until it is completely submerged. You only want to leave it in for a few seconds. The paper will still feel pliable and thick, but it will become soft and more gelatinous as it sits while you put in the filling. Once it's been dipped in the water, lay it on a flat working surface. I used a clean kitchen towel since apparently the rice paper will stick to wooden cutting boards. 

 Then add the vegetables and herbs to one half of the paper. Gently fold over the paper, tuck the sides in, and continue rolling. The rice paper will be sticky and should stay rolled if you press it together gently. This is actually way easier than I thought it would be. 

For a bit of extra flavor, you can put a few drops of rice vinegar or sesame oil on the vegetables before you roll them up, but these are fantastic on their own. I'd recommend a dipping sauce though - either peanut sauce or plum sauce is amazing. 

So there you go, a bit labor intensive, but ultimately waaaay easier than they look! 

I like to call this the official "before" photos post

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I already showed a sneak peak of the kitchen last week, but I couldn't resist posting a few more photos of our home (and my purse, which I apparently forgot to move before I took all these pictures). I luuuuv it.  The house was completely move in ready, so anything we're going to do is purely cosmetic. For example, I love me some tan, but that specific paint color is on every wall in the entire house. All the bathrooms, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, halls, everything. And while I do like the color, it's just a little much. So I have plans to paint, make a little office, do some things here and there and turn the garage into a man station with tools and brewing equipment and such for the Camp Cook. I especially can't wait to work on the awesome backyard that may have been one of the main reasons we bought this particular home...

But until then, it's all about unpacking the mounds of boxes which are now taking over all the rooms pictured.
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