With a happy belly, waving from the bandwagon,
So, I recently jumped on board the chia seed bandwagon after a long haul of ignoring the plethora of chia pudding pins on Pinterest (you guys didn't tell me what comfy seats you have!). You were right, and I'm a convert. Not only can you make pudding and breakfast bowls, you can put them in juice! you can bake with them! you get anti-oxidized with them! (that's what's happening, right?). But in all seriousness, chia seeds are chock full of stuff you should have in your diet, like fiber, omega-3s, phosphorous, and calcium (as well as slowing down digestion, so you stay fuller, longer!).
Pretty great, huh? Just in case you haven't joined the wagon (do it) or are looking for a non dessert/drink way of adding chia seeds to your diet, this chicken salad is a great option!
2 shredded/chopped chicken breasts
Handful of red grapes, halved
3 celery stalks, halved and chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 teaspoons chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Sprinkle of celery salt
I find it easiest to chop my chicken, grapes, and celery, stir in the mayo, and then add the seasonings.
The curry powder adds a really great, bold flavor that sets off the sweetness of the grapes. I think the chia seeds have a crunch and taste comparable to poppy seeds; you can keep this up to 5 days (if it lasts that long), though the chia seeds won't remain crunchy (but don't worry, it won't turn into chicken salad pudding!). My favorite way to eat this is open-faced on toasted gluten free sandwich bread, though I usually just end up eating it straight from the bowl while hovering over the sink. This would also be great served in romaine heart boats!
With a happy belly, waving from the bandwagon,
Especially after this holiday weekend, my inspiration is definitely sporting some bright, picnic laden, straw hat bedecked, canvas satchel toting, summery vibes! All I want to do is frolic in bucolic meadows beside sandy beaches, but I'll settle for these nice pictures.
1. I'm all about a sink full of flowers (there's something about film grain that I just love).
2. These sassy ladies are my style icons of the summer. Please direct me to where I can get those shorts (and one of those tiny waists, too).
3. A coral and citrus ombre honeycomb wall? My trendy sensors are on overload #putabirdonit
4. I love the color, print, cut, and fullness of this dress (#putanotherbirdonit). In short, I find it to be quite perfect (and of course, the Pinterest link doesn't work. Anyone know where this is from?).
1. First off, the Little Den is really in need of some sort of coat/bag rack. And I want it to look basically identical to kardemomme1's.
2. Margoandme is in France, and there are so many doors. SO MANY. Why is it that every week without fail, Instagram makes me want to fly to Paris to take pictures with doors, of all things.
3. I want to be in Vegas wearing a big hat and floral bikini with a big fruity beverage in a pool just like northern_daisy. She clearly had this Memorial Day weekend thing down.
4. And in this edition of blaireadiebee wearing stripes and being adorable... In all seriousness though, I really do think I need a croquet set (well, I think my mother needs one, given that she's the one with an actual yard).
5. Okay, can we talk about how one of my major dreams in life is to go in a cross county roadtrip in a VW van with a string of vintage clothes tied across the backseat? Sara_libby is sitting in a mint one. W.A.N.T.
1. Love Emilee Anne's outfit; I really need find some lighter weight full midi skirts (mine are all for colder weather!).
2. If you've spent much time around here, you might have noticed that I'm a big fan of floral crowns, but these ones are particularly cool... because they're fruity! Golden Swank has provided a really beautifully shot DIY for these bad boys, too.
3. Mint and peach is one of my absolute favorite color combos, and all of the intricate details on this table setting are fabulous.
4. Using 3-D printing technology, there are now pens that allow you to draw in 3-D! This Lix model is the smallest, and most lightweight. This is the last day for their Kickstarter campaign; the project is already funded (yay!) but you still have the chance to nab the first pens produced for $155!
5. Oh So Beautiful Paper shared a really awesome DIY for acrylic signs. Their suggested use is for menus, but I'm thinking they would good for absolutely everything.
Stay inspired out there!
If you're anything like me, you probably have about 8 recipes you're currently thinking of trying out, and they're each in a different place. There's that one on Pinterest, your favorite food blogger just published a new smoothie you want to try, you want to recreate Nana's famous pot roast, and there's that whole new book you just bought (what page was that salad dressing on again?)... I'm not a real OCD person, but it makes me totally batty when I have things spread out like that. My other neuroticism is my intense desire to have things organized in rainbow order. I had a major meltdown when my mother informed me that it was impolite to use military police style tactics to make my friends put the crayons back in the right order. Fortunately, my hostessing skills have improved considerably since then (even though my bookshelf is still color coded).
Got a little off track there. Anyways, I was looking for a way that I could easily save all of my favorite recipes in one easy place, whether they be printed from blogs, torn from magazines, on recipe cards, or written down from a cooking program. With a few supplies, I made myself an easy to use organizer that catered to all of those needs!
I bought a basic 1 inch three ring binder and used some scrapbooking paper to make it pretty (had to add a Julia Child quote, of course!). I didn't like any of the dividers at the office supply store, so I decided to make my own. I broke my categories down as appetizers, veggies/sides, soups/salads, breads, main dishes, dressings/sauces/rubs, breakfast, desserts, and drinks (pick, choose, and add whatever categories work for you!)
I also added cooking quotes along the way (I'm big on quotes!). And it gave me a chance to use some of the handlettering I've been practicing!
I bought these untabbed dividers to use as bases for the recipes I printed or pulled from magazines. I usually have a couple stuck in folders, on the fridge, or hanging out on the counter, but this makes it much easier to find the one I'm looking for (and less likely to spill something on them!). And really, I just love any excuse to use washi tape. You can also use them to make your category dividers my adding your own tabs if you're feeling especially DIY.
I absolutely love recipe cards, particularly ones penned it a loved one's handwriting. Unfortunately, I often find that recipe cards don't work in my ill-fated recipe card box, whether they be too big/tall/small. The last thing I want to do is rewrite them (for reasons of sentimentality and laziness), so again I was faced with the dilemma of cards all over the place. The perfect answer was 5" x 7" photograph sleeves. Large enough to fit any recipe card (and clear on both sides if the recipe is long), it means I don't have to remove the card while in use, so they won't face batter spills, grease splatters, or fire risk (phew!). When you look to purchase, do make sure that the holes are lined up for standard 3-ring binders!
I also added some sheets of re-enforced notebook paper, so I could jot down recipe ideas or have a place to copy them from cooking shows! This paper is definitely more expensive than your standard college rule, but the heavier weight and the coated holes keep the pages from tearing out while you flip through sections.
Since I'm really bad at remembering which of my favorite recipes come from which book, I cut a half page for each section so I could write in book recipes with their page numbers. So the next time I can't remember where the barbeque wings recipe is, I can just flip to the 'main dish' section of my organizer and consult my notes!
Hope that gives you some ideas to get organized! I really like it because it makes it much easier for me to get those recipes off of Pinterest and into my belly. Now I need to go over to my mom's house and make photocopies of all the old family recipes.
With a recipe book in one hand, and a spatula in the other
(and probably some flour in my hair),
If you remember from a post a few weeks ago, I tried a really awesome drink at the O Hotel's Bar+Kitchen in Downtown LA. The drink was so good, in fact, that I returned for one (but ended up having two. And french fries). Boy were those drinks pricey off the happy hour menu. So I decided to go home and try it out. If I do say so myself, I totally nailed it.
Fernet Branca was developed as a digestive aid in 1845 in Italy, and continues to be consumed in cocktails (the Italians sure seem to like medicinal inspired alcohols). Fernet is hard to describe, but is perhaps best done by Imbibe: " Most liqueurs are gentle, sweet and eager to please, like helpful Boy Scouts. Fernet Branca is no Boy Scout." It is reported to be a blend of around 40 herbs and spices, including things like myrrh, saffron, chamomile, but perhaps most noticeable are the aromas of menthol and eucalyptus. While made for sipping, I think Fernet Branca is much more pleasurable when mixed.
A true Fernet Buck is simply a mixture of the liqueur and ginger beer, but upon trying that, I found it lackluster in comparison to the cocktail that had inspired this foray into mixology. I remembered that the drink listing mentioned thyme, so I added the herb in syrup form to my round two attempt. Voila! That was what I had been looking for!
The thyme syrup is simple... simple syrup! Combine a half cup sugar and a half cup of water with 4 fresh thyme sprigs in a small saucepan over medium low heart. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture clouds, then clears. Bring off the heat and allow it to sit in the pot with the thyme until the mixture is room temperature. Then strain into a glass bottle, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
I really like the nice golden hue that it comes out! I would come up with some other drinks to use it in, but for now I'm kinda stuck on the buck (hah).
How To Make a Fernet Buck
1 ounce Fernet Branca
5 ounces ginger beer (I used an alcoholic version, but you can use non-alcoholic as well)
2 teaspoons thyme syrup
Garnish: large lemon wedge
Add all ingredients to an iced filled glass a stir to mix, and squeeze that nice chunk of lemon on top!
I love the frothiness on this drink! If you prefer the ginger-y-ness of the beer to the herbal-y-ness of the Fernet Branca, add more beer. And don't forget the lemon and lots of ice, they're essential (this is not a good beverage to let sit... not as good at room temp)!
Happy Friday! And happy almost three day weekend!
Got any awesome plans (or cocktails) coming up?
May is National Get Caught Reading Month! As an avid lover of books and all things literate (thank your Mrs. Ball, my 1st grade teacher), there's a part of me that couldn't help but be totally gleeful at the thought of this holiday. To celebrate, I'm sharing a short list of some of my favorites in a few different categories!
Because you're never too old to be reading Young Adult fiction. Unless it's about vampires. Or werewolves.
Hope you get caught reading sometime soon!
With my nose in a book, Rachel
That's right, it's Hump Day, and I'm feeling pretty good! This week's inspiration post is full of things I've been loving over the past two weeks, and it's all unabashedly bright. Let's get (sorta) raucous, shall we?
1. These stairs! Can you just imagine the photo opportunities?!
2. I can't decide which I like more, the pink garden hose or the antler holder!
3. That star spangled get-up is a vintage circus costume, and I really really want to wear it basically everywhere I go.
4. That's right, and I'm damn proud, too. I think this Joy of Ex print should be in my future (separate from the rest of the house) kitchen, along with its "My Kitchen is for Dancing" counterpart.
5. I've been in such a mood lately to go to a Farmer's Market and wander around. I used to go a lot back in college when I had Fridays off, but apparently that's less of thing once you're employed.
1. Umm, want to have an entirely color coordinated picnic just like millayvintage.
2. So now annariflebond is making wallpaper? I'm going to need to buy a house ASAP and make every room floral themed.
3. I completely adore this outfit from georgiazogopoulos, especially the pairing of stripes and cheetah. I wish I new how to pattern mix, it scares me!
4. The "My thermos runneth over" backdrop featured on ruffledblog is so epic... combines my love of photo booths and vintage camping gear!
5. This is a Frenchie named Alfie, and he was hanging out at the blushshop. The real question is, why isn't he hanging out at my house?
6. My love for sibylline_m's deliriously good art and my obsession with Twin Peaks combines in this dreamy piece. Please make prints (and draw the diner girls next!)!
1. This Australian yacht club wedding was adorable and quirky, but I so loved that the bride went with a traditional veil, but made it red to match the dress! Plus, the look on her face in this photo is priceless.
2. I'm seeing peonies all over the place now! Just in time, Mint Loves Social Club wrote a post all about how to make them last longer.
3. Totally obsessed with Jessica Harrison's tattooed porcelain figurines.
4. Been jamming to this track that Darling Magazine highlighted; it's called "Circles" by machineheart, and I can't wait to see where these guys are headed.
5. HOLY MOLY IT'S PAPER! Layers and layers of colorful cut paper make up Maud Vantours sculptures (sculptures? Not sure what else to call them!), and they're all definitely worth a look (or two, I can't stop).
It's Wednesday and I'm wearing pink, so really, what could go wrong?
This past weekend, my mom and I had a yard sale combining things that both of us were looking to pass along to a new home. The idea of this yard sale had been in the works for awhile, and there was a lot of stuff... just so much stuff... it made our heads spin!
This is what our whole driveway, plus garage, looked like! It was really easy to become overwhelmed and want to say forget it, but we ended up making over five hundred dollars, so I would say it was well worth the effort. Along the way, we figured out a few things which I'm going to share, just in case you're thinking about having your own sale this summer!
Tip #1: Advertise! If you want lots of people, you have to tell lots of people! Post an ad on Craigslist or in the PennySaver (or whatever local ad publication your neighborhood has) and put up signs that are all the same color, so people can easily find you. Check your city website to see if you need to have a permit to have a sale.
Tip #2: Set Goals. Are you hoping to get rid of a bunch of stuff and have some extra cash, or do you want to make good money on some nice items? We were really just looking to quickly get some stuff out of our lives and garage, so we priced cheap and donated everything that was left after our 2 day sale. If you're looking to make more serious money, you may want to take more time and individually listing things on Craigslist, Ebay, or Etsy.
Tip #3: Price Everything! I know you don't want to, and I know it's tedious, but people don't want to ask how much things are. If there are few things at the end that don't get priced, it's okay, since your other prices will give an idea of what to expect. We brought bins of stuff into the living room and priced in the evenings while binge watching episodes of Say Yes to the Dress. Even though you've set prices, always be willing to haggle with customers, or offer a deal if they're buying a lot!
Tip #4: Merchandise to tell a story. Group similar things together, since if someone is interested in one item, they will probably enjoy other items like that. Do you have lots of Christmas decorations? Group them all together! Lots of vintage items? Make a section! Take a moment to look how displays are set up when you go into stores, and see how they group items to get some ideas. While it seems like a good idea to multi-task and use any furniture you want to sell as display tables too, it doesn't work. If you want it to sell, leave it empty. We learned this the hard way!
Tip #5: "Nothing in your yard sale is ten cents." This is a direct quote from my aunt, as she was re-pricing all of our 10 cent items. She was right; if there's an item that you can't imagine selling for at least a quarter, throw it in the trash. By allowing junky items to sit among the nicer things, it brings everything down. So the only place your stained shirts, half missing boxes of crayons, chipped dishes, and gross flip flops should be going is the trash.
Tip #6: Watch your Money! Unfortunately, there are unsavory characters who drive around preying on yard sales that have left their cash boxes unattended! If you're having a checkout table, someone needs to be there all the time with the money. We chose to each wear aprons with pockets, and we kept the money ourselves. If you do this, don't take the aprons off and lay them down! Also, be wary of people who buy one small, easy to carry item but then ask for a bag. Sometimes this is a ploy to lose your attention, and then fill the bag with other items as they leave. We didn't offer bags, unless it was someone who purchased a lot of items and really did need help carrying them out.
Tip #7: Keep your sense of humor. When you've been sitting outside in the sun all day selling your possessions for less than a dollar, it's easy to get grumpy, but keeping up a nice attitude and sense of humor makes it more likely that your customers will stay and shop around. My aunt has been known to write tags on beat-up old hats and toasters with statements like "Never worn!" or "High-tech!". Even if those items don't sell, you're likely to sell more stuff, just because you've provided a fun atmosphere. I went with a hipster section on the second day, which most people didn't get, but it was worth it to see the laughs from younger customers! (Please note the 2 buck Chuck boxes. I think I'm hilarious.)
And lastly, if having a yard sale just seems like too much work and you're not looking for some extra cash, donating your items to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Savers is a great way to support your community and you can also get a tax write off. There are also places that are in need of specialized items; donate used bedding to your local animal shelter, and youth programs are often in need of craft or office supplies.
Does anyone else have good yard sale tips to share?
For the first time, about a month ago, I wrote down my bucket list! I wanted to share a few of my dreams with you guys, so here goes!
This has been a big one for awhile now. It's really daunting to think about leaving my job (which I don't particularly love, but it provides me with a steady income and full medical benefits) and launching into the financially unknown of small business ownership, but I'm trying to save up money to make the leap a little less shaky.
I already have an exhaustive list of places I want to see, hostels to stay in, diners to eat in, flea markets to hit, and bizarre road side attractions to photograph. Now, I just need to save up the vacation time and gas money.
I mentioned this one in the post I wrote for Shakespeare's 450th birthday; it's 35 plays, and I've seen 11 so far. That post includes a hand written checklist, if you're interested in adding this one to your bucket list!
This seemed like an appropriate one with Mothers' Day this weekend! As much as I would like to be a perfect mom, I do realize that's impossible, so I'll settle for raising good kids (who hopefully will forgive me for my failings and like me at a few points along the way!).
I would really like to do this for someone besides myself; I'm interested in seeing how well I could produce someone else's vision! I think it would be challenging but also a fun process (depending on the bride, of course! Hah.).
I've kept this item, well, perhaps a touch vague? As much as I would like to write a novel (I have a couple started, just floundering about on my hard drive), I've decided that maybe I should have a few less ambitious publishing goals as well (just in case). With so many new ways to self-publish, I think something on this list should be attainable!
Every time that Death Cab for Cutie has played in Southern California in the past 5 years, I have either been in another state or on another continent. If they break up before I get to see them play live, the level of my despondency will be unrivaled. Next time, I'm cancelling my travel plans.
This is probably the longest running item on my bucket list. Don't care where it happens, it just has to happen!
While these things (and many more!) have been floating around in my brain for awhile now, it definitely seemed more definitive and motivating to physically write them down. One of the other things I wanted to achieve was to learn how to swing dance; since making the list, I've started taking classes (and I love it!). If you haven't taken the time to actually write down your bucket list, take the time this weekend, and see how it changes the way you approach your goals!
Happy weekend, with the best of luck and the best of dreams,
With work drama swirling about my office, I was definitely ready for some inspiration this week. It came in many forms, but there's a heavy dose of escapist whimsy and bright colors floating in my brain right now!
1. OOOH this black lacy fringey kimono-esque detailed jacket thingy is almost too wonderful for me to describe (clearly).
2. I adore the illustration on this vintage cake decorating book, that frumpy coconut cat is awesome.
3. The color of this door is perfection. I have an overwhelming desire to go to Paris and take pictures in front of all the pretty doors. All of them.
4. I'm not one for beauty tutorials, but this speaks to me. Plus, I'm in the market for a new concealer.
1. I want everything in pullya's flatlay, but especially that bralette with fluffy feather pom poms. Swoon. Definitely too sexy for a shirt.
2. I wanna go run around in a field with a mountain in a cool hat like britynndavis. Looks like a lot more fun than I'm having at my desk...
3. I'm obsessed with seperates, especially when it involves a pencil skirt and a crop top, and stylebyeldh has a SPARKLY one. Too good.
4. Dolly's #sadcinco was everything to me. She's clearly not a big fan of tequila.
1. Illustrator Gemma Green-Hope created a stop motion homage to her deceased grandmother using her possessions, resulting in a neurotically endearing mini movie.
2. Absolutely loved this hand-lettered envelope addressing tutorial from Ladyfingers Letterpress on Oh So Beautiful Paper. Great pen recommendations, too!
3. This whole Brooklyn wedding featured on Ruffled was gorgeous, but THIS SHOT. I melt. Please someone get me a pint of Ben & Jerry's ASAP.
4. I really enjoyed the post on A Beautiful Mess about was results you get from different prime lenses. I want an 85mm so bad it burns.
Bonus Material: An entire tumblr of cats that look like Pin-up illustrations. It's as good as it sounds (NSFW due to extreme kitty sexiness).
Hope this helps you over the hump!
With love, daydreams, and a great desire for it to be 5 o'clock already,
I love holidays. I'm fairly unabashed in my exuberance, and quite happy to be almost childlike in my non-jaded-ness of basically all celebrations (except Halloween, I'm kinda over that one). I think some of this comes from the fact that I really just love gift giving. I love shopping, I love creating, I love wrapping...the whole thing is right up my alley.
So for Mothers' Day, of course I was all over it. I mean, my mom did give me life, and she's been pretty rad along the way; plus, she likes awesome stuff and is really easy to shop for. So easy in fact, I actually started months ago collecting all sorts of fun tags, tapes, pens, paper straws, plastic bows, etc. I really loved all the goodies I had collected, but I wasn't really looking forward to wrapping up everything individually (yikes), nor did I relish the idea of dumping them all in a bag (seemed a little lackluster for the co-captain of Team Raise Rachel).
The solution came from an unlikely source: The Dollar Tree. Yes, you're reading that right, I went to the dollar store and decided to wrap my lovely mother's gift in a 99 cent tupperware container.
I didn't leave it in it's original form though, instead transforming it into a container of goodies inspired by bento boxes!
By far the most difficult part of this whole project is actually obtaining the tupperware. Why? Because The Dollar Tree has some dark magic voodoo that puts you into a buying frenzy fugue state as soon as you step through the door (IT'S ONLY A DOLLAR!!!). Many a time I have wandered into its dark clutches for one thing and emerged into the sunlight about twenty-five dollars poorer and not really certain what had taken place over the past 20 minutes. To help you avoid this pitfall, here's a handy guide of what to try to avoid while inside the belly of the whale:
1. First thing you're gonna see is holiday stuff. Right now, it's all 4th of July, my favorite holiday. Whelp. I had about 6 glitterly/metallic/fringed items in my hand before I even realized what I was doing. At this point, you need to embrace your holiday spirit but limit yourself to ONE ITEM ONLY. Trust me, seven firework taple top decorations are going to look a lot tackier in your home than you think.
2. By no means should you go into the party aisle. If you end up there by accident, and retreat is impossible, stay strong in your belief that you are a grown woman who doesn't need Lisa Frank stickers and notepads or a princess button. It's hard to grow up, but I have faith in you.
3. Do not buy the wrapping paper, it is thin and it will rip each and every time you try and wrap something. Do not buy the candles, they never burn properly. Do not buy the socks, they will not fit right and will be unrecognizable after the first wash. I know all this for a fact from very sad real world experiences (I really liked those socks. And that donut candle).
4. Do not buy any food you wouldn't normally buy at the grocery store (I'm looking at you, one dollar knock off Oreos). Always check the expiration dates.
Once you've emerged from the lions' den, it's time to embark on the far easier portion of this project. First step is to spray paint the bottom of your tupperware. I chose gold because gold is awesome, and that's also the only spray paint I own. Since spray paint can be a bit finicky with plastic, I recommend trying a small spray first to get a sense of how it covers. While that's drying, you can start on the lid.
Pick a container with a flat lid to make it easy to decorate. I used my fingernail to trace the size of my lid, and then cut it out and glued it on. The glue is really just to temporarily hold it in place while you cover the remainder of plastic lid with washi tape. Place long strips of washi tape along each side, leaving about an inch at each rounded corner. Use smaller pieces to cover the round parts, since it's much easier to handle. Repeat on the outer edge so the entire lip is covered, like this:
Next, it's time to make the dividers for the inside of the box. I found it best to get an idea of where your largest items need to be first, and then work in the smaller objects.
Measure for the length and the depth of the container. Double the depth and add an inch, so when folded it will make strong divider with little stabilizer feet. Use cardstock since it will be firm enough to hold everything in place.
My container was 2.5 inches deep with about an 8 inch length, so I cut an 8 x 6 piece of cardstock and folded it lengthwise. Then I folded a half inch up on each side for the stabilizer feet. As you continue to sub-divide, tape the dividers together so they stand up.
Arrange all of your cute gifts in there and boom! You have one really fun looking gift! This is great for giving crafty things, since your wrapping becomes a nice storage container.
All that's left to do is put a bow on it and add a nice note! You could wrap it up traditionally or stick on one of those fun already made curly-q bows (or this one, upcycled from vintage story books!); I chose this amazing Scout + Whistle "You are the Bee's Knees" prize ribbon and an Oh! Hello Friend card
Happy gift giving!
With mucho love, Rachel