Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Vintage Easter postcard from my mom’s collection. I have always loved these illustrations so much. I hope everyone has a lovely day! More after the jump…
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5 Things

I’m laughing at myself. This post demonstrates loud and clear that unless its delivered right to my door (hello Bon Appetit) I’m about a year behind on all things pop culture. But this week the public library has come through big for me. Music. Books. Movies. I’m excited, even if most of you are way ahead of me.

{ dying to try: the new Bon Appetit is out, and boy oh boy do I want this sandwich }

{ watching: Drive. for the first time. i already want to see it again. why did i wait so long? }

{ reading: what a book. getting me very excited for spring produce! }

{ craving: bold geometric prints. these are the perfect flats for spring }

{ listening: I may be late to the party, but I’m loving Grizzly Bear’s Shields. thank you public library }

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Before & After: Reupholsted Chair

Apropos: This song was stuck in my head during the entire project: enjoy!chairbefore

This Louis XVI chair is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. My mom found it in New York when she was pregnant with me. It was very paisley. She reupholstered it in a simple cream brocade, which today looked every bit its 22+ years. You could say it has some history.  The ornate carving on the legs and back made it tricky for me to decide on a fabric. I finally went with this outdoor cotton canvas — the pattern is large enough that it becomes graphic rather than ornate, and the clean colors appealed to me. Continue reading

Built: Un-plumbed with Aplomb

I am fascinated by furniture and decor that transforms ordinary objects and materials in unexpected ways. Plumbing pipe is a natural exoskeleton. Below are projects which utilize the pipe to create storage and furniture solutions. I love the industrial texture these pieces add to a room.

Via HGTV

Via HGTV

A few more images after the jump…

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Hazelnut, Flax & Red Currant Granola

label granola

Breakfast is the hardest meal for me. I am definitely not a morning person, and if I have to wake up early I can hardly bring myself to eat. I naturally gravitate toward a piece of toast with marmalade… which isn’t bad, but isn’t something I should eat every morning.

I’ve come to rely on two easy breakfasts to eat on weekdays. Come the weekend, I give myself a license to eat as much toast as I like. Granola like this is the first of those staples.

I tend to throw together a batch on the weekend and it lasts me through the week. Its really dense stuff, so I usually only eat about 1/3 of a cup portion. This batch makes enough for a couple of people to munch on through the week. And the best part is, this recipe takes all of 5 minutes of active time to put together. Full recipe after the jump… Continue reading

Cocktail: The Basil-Gin Fizz

basil gin fizz

The calendar might suggest it is Spring, but here in the Mid-Atlantic, winter is hanging on. It snowed yesterday.

I’m not letting the grey skies keep me down, no sir. I’m eating and drinking like its spring. Here’s a perfect cocktail to welcome the weekend. Taking advantage of the last of winter’s beautiful citrus, this drink combines the juice of cara cara oranges and lime with a basil simple syrup, the herbaceous depth of gin and a splash of sparkling water to bring it all home. Continue reading

Olive Oil Tasting

Have you ever done an olive oil tasting? Its fascinating and delicious! I had my first olive oil Imagetasting last summer, when my mom and I were deciding on finishing oils for my wedding dinner. We went to an imported food warehouse, and when we asked for advice on picking the best olive oils, the guy started opening bottles for us. He poured the oil into little cups, and we sipped it straight! I would have never thought this would be an enjoyable experience, but good olive oil is outrageously delicious and complex. Now, whenever I try a new olive oil, before I cook with it I’ll give it a taste and compare it to others I’ve tried.

Nancy Ash, of Strictly Olive Oil instructs how to conduct a tasting of your own. Its a lot like tasting wine:

Swirl: Begin by pouring the olive oil into a small glass; a colored, tapered glass similar to a wine glass is best. Cup the bottom of the glass in your hand to warm the oil; cover the top with your other hand and swirl gently to release the aromas.

Smell: Bring the glass to your nose and smell the oil. Take a note of the aromas.

Slurp: Next, take a slurp. As you do so, touch your tongue to the back of your teeth and inhale. This spreads the oil in your mouth and helps release the flavors of the olive oil. You’ll make a funny noise, which is normal!

Swallow: Finally, swallow the oil and take note of the flavors you experience.

With a new understanding of how to really taste olive oil, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying new brands. But I think I’ve found my favorite. California Olive Ranch’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made only from California olives, and has an extraordinarily mild buttery profile. It is delicious in aioli, because the flavor of the oil isn’t overpowering or particularly bitter. And unlike many European oils, which despite claiming Spanish or Italian origin often contain oil from several countries, all the olives are from California.

If you’ve never tried your olive oil straight, pull out the bottles in your kitchen and give it a go. What do you think?

this is not a sponsored post, just a product I love

Before & After: Salvaged File Drawer

I found this file drawer at my favorite store in the world. The Goodwill Outlet in Seattle. Clothes, shoes, housewares — $1.29 a pound. That’s right. Its almost impossible to spend more than $20 at a time. They also have a smattering of furnishings that, thankfully, are not weighed; I snatched this up for just .99 cents. Image

I was drawn to its unique size — I don’t see many single drawer filing cabinets — and the great patina on the handle. But the color — a really dingy olive green — just wasn’t working for me. So I decided to spruce it up…

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The Weekend, Briefly

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A weekend full of family birthdays, a delicious mimosa brunch with these scones and a leek and artichoke frittata. We watched Easy A with Emma Stone — Have you seen it? — hilarious. And  a week where we got (hopefully) the last snow of the season finished warm and sunny. Everyone, including Bagel, seemed very pleased.

the neighborhood hangout for cardinals, finches and chickadees

the neighborhood hangout for cardinals, finches and chickadees

the most beautiful cat. Her name is Bagel

Bagel: the most beautiful cat