Friday, December 21, 2012

TGIF: Happy Holidays!

If you haven't seen the photo blog Maddie On Things, you need to check it out right now. That's where the above photo is from, I love it and I think Maddie is the most darling, patient dog. Plus I love the message owner Theron Humphrey is spreading about adopting shelter animals.

In other news, Becky and I will be taking a bit of a blog break after today. We're taking some time to relax, be with friends and family and travel over the holidays, but we'll be back with new posts Monday, January 14. We hope you and your families have the happiest of holidays!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Last Minute Gift: Homemade Sauces

In keeping with our unplanned gift theme this week, here are a couple DIY gifts I made in the kitchen with my dad this past weekend . . .

I found the recipes for these two sauces - hot and sweet mustard and ambrosia (a teriyaki-like sauce) - in the December issue of Bon Appetit, and I knew it would be a great gift for my office gift exchange. Both were really fun to make because they were so different from anything I've done in the kitchen before, and because they were so different from each other.

And talk about equally amazing in different ways. I'm obsessed with the mustard - it definitely packs a punch when you first taste it, just so you're warned, but then it fades into such a deliciously sweet taste. I love that the heat doesn't burn out your taste buds. I haven't cooked with the ambrosia yet (I plan to do that very soon, especially now that I'm on break) but I did taste it after we finished cooking it, and it was divine.

The recipes were easy to follow, which was great for a beginner with this kind of cooking like me. You will have to make sure you have an afternoon to block off to make these though because they are a little time consuming (especially the ambrosia, it has to simmer for about an hour). Other than that, my only tip is if you're looking for the Colman's mustard powder check Giant Eagle, that's where my dad found it.

I highly, highly recommend making these - they'll impress your friends and family, and they make enough that you can keep some too! I color blocked two wooden basting brushes to throw in with the sauces (see this post from A Cozy Kitchen) and add some color, and it was a simple, inexpensive gift.

Here are the links to the recipes again: Hirsheimer's Hot and Sweet Mustard and Ambrosia Sauce. Happy cooking!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Perfect gift — Lookbook

Ever have a moment where you find the perfect gift for someone right after you bought a different gift? That is what happened the moment I saw these Lookbooks.
From Photographer's Toolkit, these little books will hold 250 little photos from your everyday life.
So cute ... and sadly the perfect gift.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gift Guide: Cat Mom

Last week I got one of my birthday presents early - an adorable calico kitten adopted from our local Humane Society. Needless to say, I have been thinking of little else so I thought I'd do a post on what to get the cat mom in your life for Christmas . . .

Liberty Floral French Bow Collar for Cats
Liberty Floral French Bow Collar by cheridogdesign ($30)

Coffee Cat Stationery Cards
Coffee Cat Stationery Cards by Boots ($12)

CAT TOY JELLYFISH catnip crocheted organic pet cat toys
Crocheted Jellyfish Cat Toy by meowadays ($18)

Image 1 of ASOS Oversize T-Shirt with Sketchy Cat
Oversize T-Shirt with Sketchy Cat by ASOS ($24.63)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Infinite Love

It's getting colder here in the O-H-I-O and one of my favorite cold-weather accessories is the infinity scarf. Here are some picks that I love. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Weekly Tune-Up: Imagine Dragons

I love when Pandora hits my musical tastes right on the head, and they nailed it a month or so ago when the band Imagine Dragons started showing up on my Mumford & Sons station. By now you may have heard their single "It's Time" on the radio - I hope you love it as much as I do. If you haven't heard the track yet, check it out below. And if you fall in love with them like I seem to have, give their entire album "Night Visions" a listen. It won't let you down.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Suds

If you're looking for a little holiday accent to your normal shower routine check out Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap. Just a little drop of this soap lathered up brings the scent of peppermint to the air.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

TGIF: Send a little love

Who doesn't love mail? Letters from friends overseas, surprise gifts from your sister and back in college, cookies from your aunt - getting mail that isn't junk or bills is always exciting. If you're looking to send someone a nice surprise through the postal service, or if you have someone on your gift list who loves to send mail then you need to check out my friend Kelly's Etsy shop, sendcuriosity.

set of five dark red fashion envelopes
Dark red fashion envelopes ($1.50 for a set of 5)

set of five chipotle bag envelopes
Chipotle bag envelopes ($1.50 for a set of 5)

set of five map envelopes
Map envelopes ($1.00 for a set of 5)

Kelly makes her envelopes with recycled papers, which I love (I mean, how awesome are those Chipotle ones?). She has a variety of envelopes available, so be sure to visit her shop and check them all out. I think these are the perfect way to make mail even more fun to send and receive. I can't wait to place my order soon!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Weekly tuneup: The Head and the Heart

Thanks to my buddy Alissa, who shared the app Shazam, I have been Shazam-ing every song I like whether its at a bar or on the mixed CDs at basketball games. My most recent discovery — in line to get bagels — is The Head in the Heart. Now the album cover is super creepy to me but I love their music. 
Check them out here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bright colors & foreign places

I've been having a lot of dreams lately where I'm in Spain, and one of the things that stands out to me is how vivid the colors are in my Spain dreams. It's no wonder I've been eyeing some Bernard Villemot designs in my waking hours, especially after seeing his Spain one.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cloudy day pick-me-up

It's wildly cloudy here in the O-H-I-O, and I am not ready to be without the sun for the next few months. I have, however, found some resources to help stop the winter blues from creeping in too quickly. My most recent discovery is Trader Joe's mango butter. It's like a tropical island in a jar, and goes really well on pancakes, english muffins or on a spoon, which is exactly how I made it through a quarter of the jar yesterday. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Party Apparel at Francesca's

With the holidays right around the corner, you may be on the hunt for that perfect party dress. One of my favorite places to look for a one-of-a-kind dress is Francesca's boutique - here are a few of their dresses I think would be perfect for any party.

Claire Sparkly Lace Dress
Claire Sparkly Lace Dress ($48)
Lace Shimmer Dress ($48)
Memphis Party Dress ($48)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Newest addition to my Christmas list

I'm really digging these throw pillows by David Schwen that can be purchased for $20 on society6.

Hipster Beer Throw Pillow
Hipster beer
S'more Throw Pillow
BLT Throw Pillow
And my personal favorite - the BLT

You really need to take a look at the rest of his collection, they're too good. I really, really love the sandwich ones and I'm definitely putting the BLT one on my Christmas list.

I also love that society6 will let you put a print on just about any item you want - throw pillows, T-shirts, totes, iPhone skins, laptop skins. Not to mention you can buy the prints, too, if you'd like so go crazy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ohio — the heart of it all

You know how much we love us some maps here at OH is 4 Lovers. Here is my most recent find on Etsy. This is by far one of my favorites. 

It's just wood, nails and string. Pretty cute, right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Potatoes

Hopefully you're like me and can never reach your fill of sweet potatoes. If not, you may have to skip this post since Thanksgiving probably wore you out on them. I found this recipe on spoon fork bacon for mashed purple sweet potatoes and was immediately intrigued. At first because I never knew purple sweet potatoes existed, but then because it sounded delicious.

I adapted the recipe - obvious statement since my potatoes are clearly not purple - but other than using normal sweet potatoes, I mostly just tried to simplify it a little bit to avoid buying too many items at the grocery store. Here's a tip to possibly help your grocery store budget with these too - yams are the same thing, so if there's a price difference (there was a $1 per pound price difference at my store) yams work too.

I didn't add the maple butter listed in the original recipe, so if you do let me know how you like it. It sounds amazing and I would like to try that the next time I make these.

The hardest part of this recipe is the time it takes to peel and chop the potatoes (they're much harder than normal potatoes), the rest of it is extremely simple and most definitely worth it because they're one of, if not the, most delicious things I've ever made and eaten. My favorite compliment on the potatoes came from my boyfriend's dad who said it was like eating ice cream. I'll take it.

(Adapted from spoon fork bacon)

What You Need
2-3 large yams (serves two people, increase accordingly for more people)
1/3 cup of heavy cream, warmed
1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter, melted (I just softened mine which worked too)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

How You Make It
-Peel and chop the sweet potatoes 
-Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water
-Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil, boil until they're fork tender (this took me about 20 minutes)
-Drain potatoes and place back in pot
-Add heavy cream, butter and salt
-Mash, with a potato masher or electric hand mixer, until creamy
-Stir in maple syrup and cinnamon
-Scoop into a large bowl, serve and enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sister shopping

There is nothing that I enjoy more around the holiday season than my sister's Christmas list. This year the theme is "things that go with my room." My sister can be really tricky to shop for so it's important to follow directions.

This her room, which is newly painted. She really likes the red and her signature animal print.

She really likes inspirational art projects. She's 20, I let it go.

So I've chosen some pretty nice additions ... 

Some slippers I think go very nicely with her room  from American Eagle.

Or this nice zebra comforter from Target.

I don't know, she is so hard to but for maybe I'll just get her something for her new puppy. Maybe a leopard print bow tie collars. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday shopping: kate spade

I received the kate spade holiday gift guide email in my inbox recently and while a lot of items are a little out of my price range, they did have some really cute gifts in their "Under $75" section. I collected my favorites below.

I can't get over those matchbox bobby pins - too adorable, and not too pricey. You can view the rest of the "Under $75" gifts right here, and see the entire kate spade holiday gift guide right here

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weekly Tuneup: Mumford and Sons

I recently bought the new Mumford & Sons album for my boyfriend because he loves them , which kills me with laughter. I like their last album but I tend to feel like each song sounds the same. 
I have recently taken to listening to the new album Bable on the way to work.
I really enjoy it, it's great for thinking. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Comfort food weather

Cold weather makes me reach for the nearest scarf and blanket. And I love it. I also love the food that comes along with colder temperatures. Last week I thought I would go ahead and embrace the change in the air with open arms, and chicken pot pies. Very easy, very delicious and very warming.

I loved cooking the pot pies in the ramekins I bought at Target about a month ago - it was so nice having a personal dish of chicken goodness. If you don't have ramekins, I don't see why you couldn't just make one large pot pie. The Pillsbury website also recommended using foil tart pans that you can buy at the grocery store.

The crescent roll on top was perfect, I liked how light it is compared with a usual biscuit topping. Plus you can just throw the extra rolls on the cookie sheet to bake along with the pies. So here's the recipe for you try, I adapted it slightly from Pillsbury

What You Need
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas, carrots, corn and green beans (don't worry, it comes as a bagged mix)
1 large chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup of milk
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) of cream of chicken soup
1 can of Pillsbury crescent rolls

How You Make It
-Heat the oven to 400 degrees
-In a saucepan mix the frozen veggies, chicken, milk and soup
-Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stir occassionally
-Divide mixture evenly among ramekins
-Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into triangles
-Place one triangle over each of the ramekins
-Place ramekins on a cookie sheet, along with the extra crescent rolls
-Bake in the oven for 11-13 minutes, until the crescent roll tops are golden brown

Friday, November 9, 2012

TGIF — Football-free Friday

This is my first Friday in 11 weeks, where I am not in some way covering football. Praise the Lord! Now I can enjoy the fall for what it is — AWESOME.
So as I was thinking about all the fall things that I feel have suffered due to football season I remember the Leaves candle I got and never burned.
Yes, I will enjoy this football-free Friday with sweet smell of what fall should smell like, not popcorn and mud. Please find one for yourself at your local Bath and Body Works

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weekly Tune-Up: Erin McCarley

My sister mentioned to me the other week that she had been listening to Erin McCarley lately, and I couldn't put my finger on why that name sounded familiar. But then I listened to one of the songs my sister recommended ("Re-Arrange Again") and I recognized the voice instantly. Remember her song, "Love, Save the Empty" from a few years back?

I forgot how much I enjoy her voice, and her most recent album My Stadium Electric brings it all back. Definitely give it a listen, it's perfect for unwinding after a long week. Here's the track "Amber Waves" to get you started . . .

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ohio is BLUE

Ohio went blue last night and helped choose our president for the next four years.
While I was watching the states turn colors, I decided that I really love that color CNN uses for the democratic states. 
Here are some of my finds for your wardrobe. 

wrap dress from Old Navy

sweater dress from Old Navy

turtleneck from Gap

T-shirt from American Apparel 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

I love Election Day. I love living in a swing state and I already can't wait for the nonstop election coverage when the polls close. Here are two of my favorite election-day designs I saw today that are making the election that much more exciting to follow. I hope you all voted today!

#1 - Get this on your phone if you can't be glued to your TV like I will be . . .

iPhone Screenshot 4
Presidential Election Race 2012 app

The first one is the Presidential Election Race 2012 app available for your iPhone or iPad. This app lets you follow the electoral vote scoreboard and state-by-state poll results, check out a map of how each state is trending, see the history of how each state has voted since 1940 and keep an eye on swing states like Ohio, among other things. Check out everything this app has to offer and download it from the Apple store here for 99 cents.

#2 - Take a look at how many ways this election could go . . .

Embedded image permalink
Photo via Jim Roberts' Twitter (@nytjim)

I spent a while playing with this interactive from The New York Times this morning, it's so fun! There are 512 different paths to the White House and this lets you see each and every one of those outcomes. Also, The New York Times will be offering free access to Web and mobile (they have an app as well!) election night coverage, so be sure to check that out.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Conquering the poached egg

I have been learning how to poach an egg for awhile. Let me tell you, I have failed like a 100 times. We have gone through a lot of eggs. Now, while I try to perfect the perfect poach, my mom got this egg poacher that I've been using.

It's pretty awesome and she got it really cheap so I guess it will hold me over. 
from the prepared pantry

Friday, November 2, 2012

TGIF: If I Didn't Know Better

This song has been on repeat in my car, at work and at home all week. I love the Civil Wars and this song, so I was really excited to see it covered on Nashville a few episodes back. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pass the pumpkin

There's nothing I love more than a good themed party. All the details really get me excited, so for our Halloween party this year I wanted everything to go well together from the decorations to the food. One of the fall-themed food dishes I can't wait to try is pumpkin pie dip. I included a similar recipe below so you can wow your friends too if you have a Halloween get together to hit up this weekend.

Pumpkin Pie Dip Recipe
Taste of Home

Recipe from Taste of Home.

What You Need
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of confectioners' sugar
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

How You Make It
-In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until it's smooth.
-Beat in the pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger until blended.
-Serve with ginger snaps or shortbread (really anything you want).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keeping it Cozy

With superstorm Sandy wreaking havoc across the country, I thought I would share one of my cold, rainy weather staples. Woodwick candles — they're normal wax candles with wicks made of wood — make you feel like you're sitting next to the fireplace as it cracks and pops. 
I love these so much. It makes any space so cozy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Modern adornments

I'm loving the jewelry from shopAHC on Etsy. Simple, elegant and modern - the perfect compliment to any outfit.

Little Blue Necklace

Canyon Bracelet

Little Cube