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Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking Back - A Monthly Recap

As the year comes to an end, my friend sent me an email with a monthly recap of her year.  It was pretty funny to hear what she thought of 2010.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

DIY – Wine Bottle Sweater, Wine Cork Trivet & Gift Tags

This is a little late in terms of giving people quick and easy gift ideas, but I’m going to share this year anyway.  And you should start drinking up now to save wine corks for the trivet.  Read on for zero dollar, non time consuming DIY projects: a wine bottle sweater, wine cork trivet, and gift tags. 

Warning: this is a long post, including a trip to Napa.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food + Foto Week 6: Under 10 minutes and Under $10

This last post for the Food + Foto series is a bit late, oh well. After running around to gather last minute necessities on Christmas Eve Eve, I was hungry and in the mood for a glass of wine by our Little Tree.  Dinner under 10 minutes and under $10 – a box of couscous and a rotisserie chicken from Jewel.

So that’s it for the Food + Foto series.  My submissions weren’t very cohesive or consistent, but I put lots of thought into it, learned a lot, came out with good shots (I think) and loved seeing what beautiful things other people can come up with. I hope there’s another class with a new theme!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meatballs Recipe

Last night I had a holiday dinner with my grade school friends. Love a night of good friends, food, laughs and good times J We had Graziano’s house salad, foccacia, stinky Italian cheese on little toasts, mostacolli, meatballs, Red Velvet cake, and Blackberry Cheesecake.  We were stuffed.  I made the meatballs, read on for the recipe.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wreath Update

I only have time for a quick post today.  Remember those wreaths I was telling you about?   On the crummy rainy day?  Well here they are on a white Christmas J *aaaaah* I love a white Christmas. And this house. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Winter Wonderland

Not to be confused with Mia’s Winter One-derland coming in February J If you’re a loyal reader (or friend), you know by now that I love this time of year. And I love when I can transform my home into a cozy Winter Wonderland with all the little details that the season has to offer.  And I love that Doug loves it too. Little Tree is his project now J  I can’t wait for Mia to love this time of year too.  She already waves and says hiiiiiiiiiiiii when Halmani turns on Little Tree’s lights for her.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DIY - Gift Bows

I’ve mentioned how much I love this time of year.  I also love wrapping presents. J  And I love admiring all the pretty gifts under our little tree.  I get SO sad when Christmas Eve and Day comes when there’s no more gifts under the tree and it looks so empty L

Monday, December 20, 2010

DIY Three Panel Wall Art

The timing of this post is a little off considering it's the holidays.  But I wanted to cross this art project off my to-do list.  I struggle to find ways to decorate all the walls in my home, even after 2+ years. I am totally going to freak out when I actually get a house when we decide to move out of the condo. When I’m finally satisfied with the decorating, I bet it’ll be time to move out! Anyway, we have a pretty large bathroom, with a big blank wall.  A guy friend of ours wanted some design inspiration for his bathroom so he walked into ours (I was honored!) and said “Oh, that’s boring.” Wah wah. I knew I had to get moving and fix that.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Indian in Uptown - Marigold

To catch up with my world traveler, we decided to try another Indian place.  I bought the $22 Groupon for a prix fixe dinner at Marigold in Uptown, which turned out to be a great deal! Similar to the first Indian restaurant we tried, we were delightfully stuffed - except this time we didn’t smell like curry! J Here's my review...

Marigold is very cozy with warm tones on the walls, jewel lanterns hanging from high ceilings, and banquette seating along the length of the space.  It was obvious that we liked the décor.  As we were looking around, taking it all in, our waiter came over thinking we needed something.  When really, we were just admiring the ambience! J Marigold already succeeded in two important aspects of my dining experience (ambience/décor and attentive wait staff). The only thing left was the food…

I love going out to eat with people who have the same tastes.  It was a cinch to pick out what we wanted for each course. We started with a buttery and flaky samosa filled with spiced potatoes and peas.  The inside was a little too mushy for my liking, but the outside was nice and crispy and the filling definitely had a good kick to it.  Similar to Cumin, we were served a basket of papadum chips and chutneys. SO addicting, like chips and salsa. Next we had a plate of the Murg Makhni (boneless spiced chicken tikkas simmered in a rich fenugreek spiced tomato cream sauce) and lamb vindaloo (tender and spicy), all served with fresh tandoori naan bread and basmati rice.  These were both tasty.  To accompany our meal we had some Maharajas (Indian Pilsner).  That name reminds me of Moulin Rouge ;) We finished off the night with sweet rice pudding kheer.  Eh, I didn’t like this at all.  It was cold, had a taste that I couldn’t place (which I still don't know what it was), and had a weird texture. 

All in all, for fifty bucks (Groupon + drinks + tax + tip) instead of ninety, we were stuffed and satisfied J  I bet we'll be back, try it out!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DIY - Christmas Wreaths

The wreath making doesn’t stop there! I made three more for the family. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I Said a Brrrr Chika Brrrrr!

While Mia was at home doing this…

Mom and Dad were out doing this… 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Food + Foto Week 5: Chocolate Chip Pancakes & Fresh Whip

Here’s my fifth Food + Foto submission…Semi-Homemade Chocolate Chip Pancakes with fresh whip cream J

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No More New Baby Smell - 10 months

Mia just turned 10 months old!  We are realizing that she is starting to become a real person and isn't a baby anymore. L And the fact that her birthday party is less than 10 weeks away freaks me out. So much crafting and planning to do!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Picture Frame Wall - Holiday Redo

The set of black picture frames on my wall has been bothering me. It was supposed to be a wall filled with pictures of all the wonderful places we traveled, since we did a lot trips when we first started working. But now, who knows when our next trip will be!  And lately the plain black frames and the pictures have been boring me.  With the holidays, I knew the perfect way to spruce it up!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DIY - Flower Wreath

Whenever I look through catalogs, I rip out pages of things that I like and put the idea in a box for a rainy day.  A few months ago, this Crate & Barrel wreath caught my eye.  (You should be able to figure out my favorite color by now.)  As with most things, I thought to myself, that’s expensive and I can SO make that!  $100 for a wreath!? That’s just absurd for my frugal and crafty wallet.  I decided to make this recently as a cute little housewarming gift.  

Foam wreath - $4 w/coupon
Silk flowers - $3/each on sale (I used 2 red hydrangea bunches and white flowers to accent)
Hot glue gun and a package of glue sticks – already had on hand
Wire (for hanging, stolen from my dad’s stash of hardware/tools)
Wire cutter (also stolen from my craftsman father)
  1. Lay out newspapers.  My flowers had glitter.  And glitter drives Doug insane.
  2. Make a place to hang the wreath. I used some wire to bend/wrap around the wreath to make a hook. 
  3. Snip the flowers off the long stem, leaving a little nub to stick into the wreath.
  4. Glue the late night away!  For each flower, I took my glue gun (I hate glue guns by the way, as you can see by my scar/burn from this project)  and would let the heat make a hole in the foam wreath. 
That way I had a hole to stick the nub of the flower in and the flower could lay better.  SamsterMommy has a good illustration.  I let some flowers overlap so you don’t see the foam wreath.  You could leave the wreath one color, like this one from Target, but I wanted to break it up a bit. 

So I took little white flowers and stuck them wherever there was a gap or I could see the foam wreath.  Just keep filling/gluing until you feel it looks right. 

For less than $15, I made a much prettier (and cheaper) wreath than those in the stores J  Granted it’s not as large, but still, even if I did make it way bigger, it’d be cheaper and better, right!? I also added the leaves from my hydrangea stems so it wouldn't be a dinky little circle. Kinda reminds me of angel wings.
Yep that's my bathroom. It was late night crafting again and I didn't think to remove my Christmas wreath from its hanger, put the hanger on a prettier door and then take pictures of this new wreath. I also plan on making little Christmas trees with the leftover flowers.  Come back next week for those and more wreaths!
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Ahhh, thanksgiving leftovers…how we love them until we get sick of that fourth plate.  Here’s what I served up so we didn’t have to eat plates of turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes for lunch and dinner everyday for the next week.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

Now that the leftovers are almost gone (just one plate left), here’s my Thanksgiving recap…

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Umma's Birthday!

Sorry I’ve been gone for a few days, but you know how the holidays get busy like that! Don’t you worry though, I’m back with plenty of food, crafts and family pictures to share J

We usually keep it low key for family birthdays, so for Umma's birthday last week we ordered in some Pork Shoppe and picked up a pumpkin cake from Rolf’s. But first, Lil Mama Stuart had to bake something.  Because something home made is always a go-to gift for me.