Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Knitted Comfort

I mentioned previously that I got onto a knitting kick.


I've made about a dozen scarves, infinity and traditional using a standard stitch pattern. After testing them out, the infinity scarf is my new favorite. I used acrylic yarn that I found in my stash of supplies while setting up my 'shop' in our garage. I wouldn't have expected this yarn (Lion & Homespun brands) to be so so soft! They've definitely brightened and chased away any winter & rainy day blues!

I've also fallen in love with wearing hats. Since I'm now home alot, I'm walking to run errands. A little extra head warmth is essential for January walks! Any new favorite accessories for you all out there?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Pigs Fly...

Christmas decorations are all safely packed away and I'm enjoyining the 'plain-ness' of our home right now. I couldn't bear to leave the china cabinet bare though. So I picked & pulled and relocated a few items from around the house and my closet stash.

Nature books: thrifted//Ceramic pig: gardening store//Chalk-like art: Marshall's//
Kissing Boxers: gifted

Really drawn to pigs with wings lately. Katy bought this one for me as a Christmas gift last year. It sat on my desk at work to remind me of life outside work (!) and now its a fun accent at home.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Drab to Cheery

We received this file cabinet from Cody's dad a few weeks ago. I was going back and forth over the thousands of ideas to pretty it up on Pinterest. But after reading this post, I decided to use my rejected color of 'oops-paint' we purchased for my workbench in the garage. I used a spraycan for primer (in gray) and then brushed on two coats of a non-name paint in satin finish. While painting it I kept thinking of school busses, so its pretty yellow. A deep golden-rod yellow. I'm excited to get it next to my lemon souffle bench. I promise this room will not be all yellow, but its such a cheerful color this time of year.

I didn't bother to paint inside the label holders since I will be putting in labels. Now to get it into my chic shop so I can start organizing in there! What have you prettied up with paint lately? I think I'm on the verge of painting everything I own, I have colors picked out for a few more projects. So if you don't hear from me for a few days, I'm alive and well and singing 'painting the roses red'!

Five points if you can name that movie!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Clearance Couture & Family Heirlooms

This sweater dress was one of those I grabbed last minute--off the go-backs rack at the thrift store. Sometimes that is the best rack to look through, the sifting for good stuff was done already for you! It just didn't quite make the cut for whoever held it last. Honestly, I didn't even try this one on. It looked cozy and had a great shape to it, so I just snatched it!

Sweater dress: thrifted//Belt: My grandmothers//Jewelry: Lia Sophia//Boots: Donald Pliner

This belt is one I used to play dress up with at my grandmothers house. She had a drawer in the guest bedroom of snazzy belts, and I took every oppurtunity to steal away and try them on. It is all the more special now as she lays in a nursing home suffering from alzheimers disease. While her own memories are fading, my memory of her lives on through this belt (& her fabulous recipes!). Hoping that this will somehow, someway allow some of her character to rub off on me. Through her home-daycare and large family, she had many children and was a servant to the neighborhood. In my memory, she was always sure to have a full cookie jar, and at least one cheesecake in the freezer. Dessert was a required fourth meal in her home. "It will help you sleep", as she scooped an extra spoonful of ice-cream into your root beer float. Quite a lot of sentimental weight to this belt, but I can use a good strong reminder of how to love now & then.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tamale Time

I made my first tamale in highschool as part of a creative literature pnroject. And since then, the requests from the family keep coming! So here is my easy, lard-free ritual, enjoy!

Masa flour (about 3 cups)
Water (about 3 cups)
Shredded meat (cooked chicken, pork, or beef--about 3cups)
Salsa (about 1 cup)
Shredded mexican blend cheese (about 3 cups)
Can of corn and/or creamed corn
Chopped olives (about 1 cup)
Cumin (about 2 tablespoons)
Mexican blend seasoning (about 1/2 cup)

Mix it all together and start rolling it up!


It's best to boil the corn husks the night prior to tamale assembly. Allow them to sit out overnight to drain off excess liquid. You could also cook the meat the day before, we had left over carnitas from Christmas to use this time around. Saved.So.Much.Time. Once assembled, steam the tamales for about thirty minutes then package (or eat!) and freeze. For better texture, I prefer baking the tamales prior to eating (350' until heated through). When I get my hands on the carnitas recipe, I will add that in for ya!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Clearance Couture: Denim on Denim

I've long admired and wanted to take a shot at the denim-on-denim trend. This experiment has been over a year in the making! Sad, I know. I purchased this distressed denim button up last Christmas from UO's clearance rack. I kept 'himming and hawing' over how to perfectly wear it. Yesterday I decided to just have at it. So here it is!

The button up & sweater are both a bit wide on me, wide enough that this belt couldn't completely correct it. But after waiting a year to wear this thing, that wasn't going to stop me!

Hoping I'm not the only one who has stalled on a style..What's in your closet that's keeping you up at night? Clothing, talking about clothing...

Denim blouse: $9.99 from UO// Sweater: thrifted// Belt: clothing swap// Jeans: Target// Boots: Justin// Jewelry: thifted

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ins & Outs

I've got backyard plans on the brain big time right now. I think its these freezing temperatures lately, I'm dying for summer. And yes, it actually has gotten to below freezing at night here so I can actually say Califonria is having a cold weather spell. One thing this wet winter has convinced me of: a low-maintenance backyard. We have quite a bit of plain old dirt in the back. And cleaning eight dog feet each day is one chore I would welcome getting rid of. Since our yard is big, we are toying with the idea of a smaller area designated for grass and expanding the patio/hard surface area. Where is Jamie Durie's 'Outdoor Room' at a time like this??

Hooked on this thought for around the avocado tree.

Pinned Image

On the other hand, our lemons are just about ripe. I picked the rest of the persimmons and will need to make more bread. I have my grandmother's persimmon cookie recipe that I'm thinking I should also give a try. And those avocados are being stubborn. I am aching for them to be ripe. But at least the persimmons will keep me busy for another week or so.

Another thing keeping me busy is knitting! I found my yarn stash. Last week it was a scarf a day! A bit much, I know. Currently, I am experimenting with an infinity neck scarf. Cody thinks its all very strange, but he at least appreciates seeing me actually use up some of the things I've hoarded! I also painted the workbench he made for me 'Lemon Souffle'. And we've marked where the ideal outlet and light sources will be in my chic shop. Coming along!!!!

And I have a new favorite pinterest board. Dreamland, I tell you. Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grilled Cheese Buffet

I am a cheese fan. I like cheesy romance, cheesy jokes and cheese in my food. And so, cheese became the centerpiece to our new years celebration. A make-your-own grilled cheese bar! We had a great mix of options for our grilled gooey wonders: brie, provolone, swiss & cheddar cheese, sliced pears & apples, bacon, sliced ham, pesto, sourdough & onion-rye bread.

It was a close one, but I think the swiss, apple & ham on rye was my favorite! Close second: brie & pear with a sprinkle of black pepper. The combinations were endless. And next time I will remember to slice up onion & tomato too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Clearance Couture: Leather Edition

On my last day of full-time employment one of  the thrift shops in walking distance from my office was having their annual 50% store-wide event (American Cancer Society).  I had been visiting this skirt for a few weeks and decided that if it was still there on 50% day, then I could have it. Originally priced at $29, I scooped up this mid-length Tracy Ellis leather skirt for $14.50! It was a happy last day of work!

Jewelry: Lia Sophia, from my sample sale days// Black long sleeve and tights: Target, $15//Boots: Thrift Town $9
(photo by Cody)