Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinterest Duel Updates

We had our party last weekend, which was totally fun. Nothing got broken even though copious amounts of wine was consumed. Although I did knock over a small plant when I was "Paul Abdul-ing" in the breakfast nook...only a little dirt spilled though.

The party gave me an excellent opportunity to make a few more things from my recipe boards and get me further on my way to achieving my goal.

First up: The Appetizers

This came out awesome. I specifically looked for a recipe that used balsamic vinegar because I just love the flavor. I made it early in the morning so it would have plenty of time to soak up the flavor before the party, which I highly recommend doing.

It made quite a bit of topping. Everyone liked it so much that we ran out of bread and I had to send Scott to the store to get more. Some of which was promptly put in the toaster and forgotten about by the drunkards. They ate ALL of it!

I'm posting this again because, being my second time making it, I have a few more tips. I made it a bit spicier this time around, which I preferred. I also sliced it a lot thinner to make smaller bites. I thought it would make them more of a finger food, I could either way on this. I did not make nearly enough though. It was gone in a mere half hour and late guests didn't get a chance to try them. Perhaps double up if you are making this for a group because people love them!

Now for Desserts!

I'll admit, I used a box mix to make the cupcake pat of it. I didn't have a lot of time and making a chocolate cupcake from scratch is nothing new for me. I was more interesting in the peppermint frosting. Which came out amazing! I didn't do the fancy red stripe because I don't pipe my cupcakes. There was a lot of extra frosting. So if you make this you might want to have a game plan of what to do with the extra! Super easy to make and delicious.

I definitely had a theme to my desserts! This was also easy to make. You spread the chocolate layer on after its been in the freezer. This made the chocolate cool a bit too quickly to be spread around properly. If I made it again I might let it warm up before putting that layer on.

I didn't use a cookie cutter to cut mine but just sliced it with a knife instead. When I sliced it the chocolate layer on top crumbled a bit and broke apart. I might use a cookie cutter next time so if it might remedy that problem. They still tasted great!

So that is 11 out of 35 things made. I'm almost a third of the way there! I plan to make a few more dinner things over my break next week.

Have you brought anything on your pinterest boards to life lately?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Call to Action

I'm going to do something I have never done on this blog before, get political. Before you scoff, hear me out. You may think this doesn't effect you but if you are reading this blog, it will. Which is why I'm talking about it.

I'm not sure how many of you have heard about SOPA, the stop online piracy act. Now on the surface, this may seem like a good idea but as usual, the devil is in the details, or the wording rather.

I know that as bloggers we think it's important to credit or link back to original sources, credit independent artists, we hate counterfeit items, or people who copy another artist's work. But this bill takes it a step further than copyright infringement.

The SOPA bill states that any website that is even accused of infringement is subject to immediate shut down. What does this mean for you? Not only could your personal blog be shut down on just an accusation but all of blogger could be as well. No more blogs, period. Blogger is held responsible for all user submitted content. Sites like Pinterest? Gone. You tube, Reddit, Grooveshark, Pandora? All gone.

EtsyFlickr and Vimeo all seem likely to shut down if the bill becomes law, the EFF warned.[39] YouTube is online today because it adheres to precisely the takedown provisions that the bill would alter.[52] According to critics, the bill would ban linking to sites deemed offending, even in search results[53] and on services such as Twitter.[54]

                                                                        Source: via Baca on Pinterest

So even the people who follow the rules get punished and the internet is censored for everyone. Search engines like Google would be permitted by law from linking to any site that possibly contains copyright infringements. This would require a host of lawyers, legal experts and programmers to do the impossible. How would they possibly be able to pinpoint the legality of every site on the web?

Center for Democracy and Technology lawyers David Sohn and Andrew McDiarmid, in an article for The Atlantic, wrote, "In addition to domain-name filtering, SOPA would impose an open-ended obligation on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to prevent access to infringing sites...Preventing access to specific sites would require ISPs to inspect all the Internet traffic of its entire user base—the kind of privacy-invasive monitoring that has come under fire in the context of 'deep packet inspection' for advertising purposes."[33]

This also hurts small and new businesses.

Booz & Company on November 16 released a study finding that almost all of the 200 venture capitalists and angel investors interviewed would stop funding digital media intermediaries if the House bill becomes law. More than 80 percent said they would rather invest in a risky, weak economy with the current laws than a strong economy with the proposed law in effect.

So my call to action is that you write or email your representatives about this bill. This does effect you and things you most likely use and love on a daily basis. There is still an opportunity to stop this. Here is a website to find your state representative and how to contact them. We can make a difference together!

                                                                       Source: via Baca on Pinterest

Ok, end of my rant. I promise we will back to pretty things tomorrow. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

All quotes and information is from Wikipedia.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Before & After: Bamboo Dresser

Remember this dresser I bought a few months ago?

I got it at Canton for only $45. Luckily Sarah was there to convince me to buy it, as I was hesitant on how easily it could be painted.

"You can paint ANYTHING!", she said. And she was right...

Boo-ya! Pink bamboo dresser with shiny gold hardware!

I'm thinking a large painting needs to go over this.

I got the hardware at a local hardware store called Elliot's. It was about $60 total.

I quickly gathered some pretties from around the house and put them up. I think a larger statement lamp needs to go here.

And there's more surprises on the inside!

The pink is Ballet Slipper from Krylon. The sides are apricot by Valspar.

So with $45 for the dresser, $60 for the hardware and about $30 for all the paint, primer and poly. The total is only $135, not too bad!

I also started taking this stool apart on a whim to recover it.

I. Have. No. Idea. What. I'm. Doing.

Wish me luck into my upholstery foray.

I continued my stealing with this chair and side table from the living room. It's perfect in here!

Happy Friday Lovers!


PS. Yesterday was the day to send out your gift for the gift swap. Mine is late. I suck. It's going out monday. My giftee doesn't know who they are but I'm saying I'm sorry in advance!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Wing Chairs are done! Oh Joy!


A year in the making and our chairs are finally done.

That's right, a year. 

It took several months of craigslist stalking to find the chairs. I wanted a wing back but not the usual wingback you know. I also didn't want to pay very much for them. After months I found these guys for only $100 for the pair.

Then I searched FOR MONTHS to find fabric I liked. When I found this suzani I knew this was it. But it was $$$. I needed 14 yards which cost about $500 smackers. 

I patiently waited more months to save up the dough. A miracle happened when I answered a little survey for High Fashion Home (where the fabric is from). They drew my name and I won a gift card for $200! It was meant to be.

More saving happened. Then I had to order the fabric and wait for it to come in for 4 weeks. While that happened we saved yet again. This time for the upholstery. More months...

But now they're dunzo.

And I couldn't be happier. I seriously was inside my house looking out the front window when the upholsterer pulled up and started unloading them. I squealed, I jumped up and down. Luckily no one else was home to witness my crazy.

With the new chairs the gray rug didn't work anymore. I put it in our master and moved the seagrass in here. I HATE the seagrass in here. It's too small, the color is not right for the room. It sucks. Have you ever updated something only for it to highlight how shitty something else is? That's me now. 

Oh wells, I'll console myself with our new chairs.

In other news we finally have presents under the tree and an empty bank account to show for it. More are on the way and this baby is going to be full and happy. 

I also got some pretty gold candlesticks. Shiny...

And I got a pic of our new pendant in the daytime. I freaking love it!

Happy hump day!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pinterest: I Challenge you to a Duel!

This is sort of like the Pinterest Challenge that Young House Love did a while back but a little different. I'm taking on two of my 18 pin boards and I thought i would share it with you (mostly to hold myself accountable) and invite you to join.

The Duel

To make everything on my board about desserts and everything on my board about other foods.

That's a total of 35 items!

I know, I'm stoopid.

This is sort of an unofficial challenge to myself and there are no deadlines to complete this, so it's not very stressful. Stress is not the goal here people! I gave myself this challenge before thanksgiving. This is the perfect time of year to do something like this too. So many parties, potlucks, shindigs and hootenannies to attend.

So here's how its going:

I have made a total of 8 things. Not too bad!

First up, desserts.

Double chocolate loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread

This. is. retarded. good.

I've made it twice now and both times it has surprised and delighted guests. The directions say to bake for an hour but I only needed about 40 minutes. Not sure if I used a bigger pan or my oven is just shitty so if you make this keep an eye on it. It's pretty easy to make too and not too messy.

Another super easy one. I took this to a game night and everyone loved it. It's made with golden grahams cereal, no baking and stayed fresh for a few days aka just long enough for me to eat too many and get sick of them.

So  many favorite things in one muffin. I didn't make the spread to go on top. I just didn't feel it needed it. I also added dark chocolate chips to mine. It DID need that, at least I thought it did ;)

This was my dish for thanksgiving. They turned out awesome. I didn't read the directions very well and put the cream cheese mixture in the fridge instead of the freezer, oops. It was fine, i just had to scoop it out with a spoon as opposed to slicing off a nice frozen circle to put in the center. Otherwise, a great recipe. These are really sweet so I think they're more of a dessert than a breakfast item, which can be interchangeable if you ask me!

Now for the entrees and apps:

Ok these were good. But they were really hard to make and time consuming and they didn't look pretty. So I probably won't be making them again. There were a lot of steps and it was really messy. One of the steps is to, duh, make the mashed potato mixture into balls. Well, it's fucking mashed potatoes so it's totally not going to form into a nice little ball in your hand. They ended up being more like mashed potato splats but they still tasted good.

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Poppers

These are so so easy to make. If you need something quick to bring to a party, this is it. They are very tasty and you can make them ahead of time and just bake the day of. Can't get any easier. And only needs a few ingredients.

Spaghetti Casserole

This is probably one of the favorite things I've made (non dessert, of course). I substituted the beef for fake meat crumbles, which took out a cooking step. It's very spicy, which can be adjusted to taste. I seriously ate this for lunch and dinner for three days, it reheats well and I didn't get sick of it. The french onion is perfection.

Gluten Free Mexican Casserole

I made this for a lunch celebration for a co-worker who is gluten free. I enjoyed it but my husband did not. The main ingredient in it is cabbage, a flavor that is not for everyone. There's a tomato mixture as one of the layers, I didn't feel there was enough of it so if I made this again I might double that. This recipe was a bit time consuming, there is a lot of chopping, simmering on the stove, and then baking. It took a bit too long for my taste. Also, because of the layer of corn chips on top, it didn't reheat very well which was a shame.

So that's all I've made so far. I will be making several more things for our party this weekend. The only problem with this challenge is that I keep finding more things to add to the boards, and that's ok.

Do you have a board challenge you would like to do? Perhaps a DIY board or a recipe board of your own. Join me!

See all my boards here.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Quick Change Friday

I think perhaps we should host a party once a month maybe. It's an amazing motivator for getting things done around the house. I have about 8 days to finish things up. In a perfect world lots of things would be done before then but I'm trying to be realistic.

I got the second coat done in my new office.

It's looks black in photos but it's really not. The color is "Gray" by BM. 

I will be adding some molding to these doors, and possibly painting said molding black.

I got some vintage fashion prints my mom gave me forever ago framed and hung finally. The frames from Ikea of course and I just mounted the art onto some gray paper to fill in the gap since the mat wasn't big enough. I think the gray adds some nice dimension to it.

The article on the top piece is funny. It was written in 1927 and the first line of it is "Collars are back!".

This wall is begging for something. I'm going to make a large painting for this room but I'm not sure if it will go here or not. Lots of details still to figure out.

This is my temporary solution to not having curtains.

Ghetto fabulous, no?

I am considering ordering this fabric for the curtains. I fell in love with it a long time ago and came across the swatch and thought it might work in here. It's a nice off white silk base with velvet flocking and a sort of painted on color. 

What do you think about it for curtains? Yes or no?

I hung this awesome vintage light up in my breakfast nook. I saw it at an antique store a few months ago. I snapped a pic and could not stop thinking about it. It was $200 which I thought was too expensive. Finally I decided I would go and see if they would let me put it on lay away and the whole booth was 30% off. Score! I bought then and there.

It's not really long enough but I decided to hang it as is for now. When we get our built in banquet it will be off center so I plan to put it on a chain and swag it lower over the table. Can't wait!

Have you finished any projects lately?

Happy Friday!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

House Tour: Two Artist's Holiday Horseplay

I saw this house tour in this month's issue of D Home and I had to share with you all! It's such a cute place with so much color and personality. I'm happy the magazine broke out of their usual comfort zone of expensive chic and stuffy Highland Park homes, not that I don't enjoy them. It's just nice to see some colorful people around conservative Dallas!

The couple bought the home in Vickery Park earlier this year.

Alicia and Adam Rico both have backgrounds in art and now run the amazing floral and event design company Bows and Arrows.

The map above the hearth is an homage to where they met in Brooklyn, NY. 

I really love the built-ins and the fabric on the chair on the left.

In love with this tree!

They handpainted a tree trunk to act as a side table.

A perfect holiday table, and so easy to replicate! I love attainable design.

The walls are a hand painted mural done by Adam.

They added the bathroom, doesn't it look like it always belonged in this house? Perfection.

One of the cutest child's rooms I've seen in a while. The prize ribbons and yarn mobile are such an unusual touch.

Another mural painted by Adam. The Ricos balk at the typical term "eclectic" to describe their style. They prefer the term "horseplay". Suits this to a T right?

Read more about them and their house here.

All images courtesy of D Home.

I hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I did. I literally squealed when I first saw it. So cute!