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)