Monday, March 26, 2012

My life has been packed full of exciting new twists in the road lately. I am now a proud aunt. We have bought our first home. And my blog has been redesigned by none other than my incredible cousin Kate from Undeniable Style.

Needless to say, life has been crazy, but I am back and more inspired than ever. After crawling out of the pit of paperwork and packing that is moving, I am now busy unloading cardboard boxes, planting seeds in the garden, riding BART to work, and writing all about it.

Come visit me at my new home!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

{from scratch} butternut squash soup

When cool weather reaches the bay I love the idea of soup. Soup + squash, how much better does it get on a foggy day.

Good ol' Martha Stewart provided the original recipe and her readers offered some suggestions that I incorporated. The results were delicious and I will definitely be making it again. The recipe below includes the alterations that I tried, yummy.

The ingredients: 
2 tbls butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 piece fresh ginger (3 inches), peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into cubes
2 3/4 pounds butternut squash, cut in 3/4 inch cubes
A pinch of nutmeg, cumin, turmeric, coriander, red chili powder
4 cups chicken broth 
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Sour cream (optional)
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

The steps: 

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, parsnips, squash, and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup in two batches. To allow the heat to escape while blending, remove the cap from the lid and cover the top with a dish towel. Stir in juice and season with salt and pepper.

The seeds:

1 cup raw green pumpkin seeds
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, chili powder, cayenne pepper, coarse salt, and fresh lime juice; toss to coat. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until puffed and browned, about 10 minutes.

Top warm soup with sour cream and pumpkin seeds and serve with toasted baguette.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

{dreaming of}

 {my photo}

... starting my own etsy shop. I took a trip to the Renegade Craft Fair and was so inspired by the incredible artists there. Early in the season I participated in a small, backyard craft fair and really enjoyed the experience. I hope to write a post about Renegade very soon. It is a trip I will definitely be taking again.

... warm socks like these.

... taking any class from Workshop. Riding in the car, jamming to NPR, I heard a woman being interviewed. Her commitment to diy and design caught my attention and when I looked her up online I found that all of her classes allign with my many dream activities. I think it is a sign. Screen printing has been an art that I have wanted to master for awhile, I think I will start there.

... Christmas decorations. The mister and I just got out all the boxes last night. We again took part in our urban adventure, walking our tree home from the Depot through the streets of Emeryville. This might be that last year if we are successful in buying a house in the coming year.

... making soup. Squash has eluded me up to this point, but I am ready with a pot, a soup recipe, and a blender. We'll see how it goes.

... finding more time to blog and create. Ahhh time, when will there ever be enough.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{over the weekend}


What a beautiful weekend to spend with friends and family! The mister and I always pack our holidays to the brim with celebrations. This year was no different. Started with a Thanksgiving morning football game with the boys and continued through the weekend. On Saturday we even made it down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We got to see the little ones, read stories, and eat delicious food.

I love traditions and holidays and am so excited that the season has officially begun. Good-bye pumpkins, here comes Christmas!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{dreaming of}

...baking ginger bread. Why does it sound so good when the weather turns cold and the leaves start to drop.

...on a similar note, homemade marshmallows. I have to admit I have not tried these before, but I have a recipe from the Miette book. One of those bad boys floating in a cup of hot cocoa, that has got to whisk worries away.

...finding a fabulous home. One of the things tying up my mind and my time right now is house hunting. The mister and I are pretty close to being ready to buy our own little spot. The process is tricky though, I'm trying to be sure to add a little whimsy and romance to it. We are looking in the city of San Francisco and last weekend, between wandering around unfamiliar neighborhood, we made sure to stop by Bi-Rite Creamery for the first time. It definitely added to the sweetness of the day.

...projects, projects, projects. I am busy making a couple cute things for a local Artsy Holiday Gift Party. I have ideas and patterns for hand-painted mugs floating around my head. It is quite inspiring. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

...learning to surf. Crazy to come up with this one in November, but I just found out that a fellow hockey player also surfs and has invited me to learn. This is the second person who has recently been ready and willing to give me lessons, it must be a sign. Cross one of the bucket list!

Hope you are having a great week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

{diy} officially refurbished wicker

 The mismatched set of $150 wicker furniture (with cushions) has been a work in progress for quite awhile. Gotta love craigslist. It all started with the ideas, then the paint, and finally I have finished the pillows. The end result has made me really happy. It took some convincing, but the mister finally went for the Shock Red Montana Gold spray paint.


It is a favorite spot. Few things are better than being in the backyard with a book sitting in some wicker furniture...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

{decor} pillow love

I feel like every magazine I have ever read has mentioned the ability to makeover a room by changing the accents. In a living room pillows are often a topic of discussion. The living room has been a focus of my new found desire to spruce up our home and it is definitely coming together. I created a bird pillow not too long ago that I posted about here. Now I went a little crazy and ordered a pillow... or two... or three... to add to the mix. Here are the recent arrivals!

I was inspired by Emily Henderson's Secrets of a Stylist. One episode in particular really lit my fire :) I have to admit that I have bought more than one item from the etsy shop owners featured in this redesign. The California pillow is from Plumed, an adorable handmade shop that will custom embroider a pillow just for you. I wanted to reflect my love for the East Bay. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. The grey chevron stripe also caught my eye. It is from a fabulous store called Moxie Mandie. I heart her prints and she also was willing to make a custom size to meet my needs (and the pillow insert I already owned...). I can't wait to have the couch restyled and to share it with you!

Happy Sunday!