Friday, February 18, 2011

Inspired By: Organized Clutter

I'm going frame shopping....

Via Abbey Goes Design Scouting

Via Mustard and Sage

I love the use of items placed between frames. Via Apartment #412

Via Swoonworthy

Via Alicia B. Designs

Via Style Court

I hope you're all as inspired as I am!



Monday, February 14, 2011

Operation: Valentine's Day & Cornish Hens

This past Friday night I decided to put together a little Valentine's day dinner for my boyfriend at my house. I wanted it to be perfect, so the planning of an evening of this caliber was key. I started by mapping out my ambitious menu of...

1. Stuffed Cornish Hens: which... I've never made before!
2. Mashed Potatoes: a classic
3. Green Beans
4. Chocolate Mousse
5. Of course... Some bubbly!

Second step... a little lovely decoration

I got in the latest mailer magazine from Free People and I decided it was the perfect subject for a simple heart garland that I put together. Take a look....

I cut each page into for sections, then just like our 2nd grade teacher taught us, folded each square down the middle to create a nice little heart. The Free People mailer was perfect because of their romantic and nature-oriented pictures. I have to say, I was impressed! It was a great and cost-friendly way to turn my kitchen into a romantic spot for my dinner date. Cute huh? Please ignore my ugly lamp (another home project to improve!)

Next I tackled dessert since it needed to chill over a few hours. I took this Chocolate Mousse recipe from Martha Stewart and it was really easy. I had never made mousse before but it complimented the sufficiently filling meal we had. 

Now it came to the real challenge of this whole evening: two little cornish hens. Given that I'm in my early 20's, I like to say that I'm fairly skilled in the kitchen, but never have I ever handled poultry like this before (I have yet to take Thanksgiving off my mother's hands). I have to admit I was a little squeamish at the thought of putting my hands inside a dead chicken but I muscled through it....

Two little hens all washed off and ready to be stuffed

I LOVE mushrooms so I added mushrooms into my stuffing and ended up getting great flavor

I carefully stuffed each hen then tied their legs up with a little string to hold everything in

Before shot: ready to go in the oven!

All nice, crispy and juicy
I based my recipe off this recipe from Ina Garten. I used regular boxed stuffing and if you decide to do this, use a bit extra butter and chicken stock for added moisture. Also these plumped up quite a bit so if you are cooking for 2, you definitely don't need two hens! I have tons of leftover food. What's for dinner tonight? 



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bathrooms on my mind...

In home improvement projects I've quickly discovered that starting small is the way to go. Therefore, I've chosen my master bathroom and my powder room as contenders for some little updates. I've been searching high and low for new towel hooks and simple, but useful shelving. Where are the two places I seem to search? Yes - CB2 and my never-failing, West Elm. Do any of you know where else I can find affordable but modern hardware? Here is what I've found so far....
Coat Rack from CB2

Textured Hooks from West Elm

Right now in my master bathroom I have one single towel bar (not so effective) so I'm looking into removing it and adding about 4 hooks instead of the bar (2 for me and 2 for... my guy if need be). I found the hooks from West Elm and I'm not sure if I should go with something smaller or a longer hook for a bath towel. I also found a coat rack which, from the reviews from CB2, serves as a very nice towel rack as well. Decisions... decisions....

What I have my eye on for my downstairs powder room is this little beauty.....

I found this online at Barn Light Electric. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical searching a website that is truly the opposite of my style, but this lamp adds the perfect punch of color while being equally feminine. The metal finish creates a modern industrial feel. I can't wait to buy it but sadly it's a whopping $255.00 so that one will have to wait a little longer. For the walls of my powder room (because it's so tiny) I want to do small glass or ceramic tiles half way up the wall... similar to the tiles you would use for the backsplash of a kitchen. Here are some that I particularly liked.

This is definitely too bright of a color but I really like the odd shapes of the tiles that make it look similar to a honeycomb

I love how classically simple this is. I feel like a nice horizontal sleek tile like this might match better with the brightness of the lamp. I'd probably lean towards a more sea foam color palette of tiles so my lamp doesn't look to bright next to these cool and subdued tiles. What do you think? I can't wait to save up and get these projects started!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Airport Etiquette

Here I go, right up on my soapbox to tell the citizens of the USA:


You'll have to excuse my absence the last week as I travelled to New York City for the first time to reunite with my best friend for her birthday. A side note: Arizona girl in New York City during the dead of Winter? Yes, I might be a saint and a damn good friend I must say.

Anyway, during my travel there, I became utterly appalled at the terrible etiquette my fellow passengers displayed and let's not forget the terrible flight attendants. Where do I begin?

Here are some rules (in no particular order of importance)....

1. Let's just say that yanking the seat in front of you as an attempt to stand up is not acceptable. How about using the armrest provided? Because unlike you,  I AM SLEEPING and prefer not to be yanked violently because you need to use the restroom.

2. Do you need to crowd when entering the plane? The zone is clearly labeled on your ticket and blocking the entrance isn't helping anyone people.

3. Even though I am already sitting in my seat, I still do exist and I'm 5'9".  Getting hit by your obnoxiously large carry-on luggage isn't really my cup of tea.

4. NEVER wear cheap cologne. I guess these goes to say for all forms of etiquette. Spare us please. I was practically choked to death for the two hours I had to endure with the greasy looking man next to me who seemed to have spilled the entire bottle all over his cheap, poorly tailored suit. Did I mention he loved Mariah Carey?

5. This brings me to my next point. Just because you love Mariah Carey and she gets you through the flight doesn't mean that all of us want to hear her, especially the muffled version because your iPod is blasting. Because you know what happens? When others get annoyed with your loud music selection, they decide to blare their favorite music on their respectable iPods to drown out your choice. Where does that leave us innocent bystanders who just want to nap? In muffled musical agony. I experienced a war between Mariah and Usher than not even E! could get their hands on.

6. Last, but surely not least, this is for all you flight attendants. That fake smile plastered to your face doesn't do much justice to masking the fact that you hate your job. Running into your passengers with your butt isn't really professional or appropriate. That is all.

To conclude my rant, I know we all hate the airlines. They charge us obscene fees for luggage and every time I fly the planes seem to be smaller and fuller.  But when it comes down to it we should not succumb to our misery - we need to work together to make sure our encounters with the airlines are as short and stress-free as possible. I know you all agree.

Until Next Time....