Thursday, February 28, 2013

Taste The Rainbow

So where the heck did February go??  St. Patty's Day is right around the corner!   It's often the "forgotten" holiday, especially out here in California.  That's not to say that our house will be decorated top to bottom with shamrocks and freaky looking leprechauns (they remind me of clowns... no thanks) but this born and bread East Coast Irish/Italian lady will be sure to take down a few frothy Guinness come March 17th.  St. Patrick's Day also marks a special day for the hubs and I because it's the anniversary of our very first date! cue the violins... 

So one or two small Irish touches around this abode... a tiny St. Patty's Day Pot of Gold.

This was a super quick and simple DIY.  All you need is a ceramic pot, gold spray paint, some painters tape and a shamrock sticker.

Carefully tape off the inner rim of the pot to avoid any spray paint from getting inside where the candy goes.  No one wants spray paint coated Skittles!  The plan was to remove the sticker after the paint dried and fill it in with a white acrylic pen but I kind of dig how this looks instead.

And fill'er up with some tasty Skittles.

Hey!  This little hand came out of no where!!

And lastly, our holiday flag.  This St. Patrick's Hat Flag is one of my favs from our collection.

I'm sharing this post at these fab blogs...
F}* Common Ground  * Happy Hour Projects * Nap Time Crafters * Serenity Now * Simply Designing * The Shabby Nest 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Incredible Edible Egg Beater

There is not a better breakfast for me than an egg sandwich to get my day going.  Especially, if I plan on going for a run or to keep the energy level up while chasing the twins around the park.  I've always known that Egg Beaters exist, I've just never cooked with them before.  Probably because I love regular eggs.  I have to say, I'm a big fan now.

Not only are they just as tasty as a regular egg but they have less calories and are lower in cholesterol.  But the clincher for me is how easy it is to whip up this breakfast before the kids wake up.  From start to finish, this breakfast sandwich can be prepared and on a plate ready to eat in 5 minutes.  AND no frying pan to clean up.  Win, win!

Sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh thyme add lots of flavor.  Consider adding turkey bacon for a salty bite.

What you'll need...
1/2 cup of egg beaters
1 slice 2% Kraft american cheese
1 whole wheat english muffin
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh thyme

1) Place slice of cheese on bottom half of the english muffin and toast in toaster oven
2) Meanwhile, pour eggbeaters in a small microwave safe bowl (or mug).  Add fresh thyme and quickly whisk.  Place bowl in the microwave and cook for 45 seconds or until egg mixture is no longer runny.  tip: choose a bowl similar in size to the english muffin so that the egg will fit nicely on top.
3) Place egg on bottom half of the cheesy english muffin, top with cherry tomatoes and other half of english muffin

Nutrition: 217 calories, 3.5g fat

Click here for printable recipe

Mmmmm.... couldn't help myself!

What's your favorite breakfast to get your day going?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Loads and loads of fun

So this will be my weekend.  Endless loads of laundry.  Our washing machine had a mechanical meltdown last weekend... probably because the poor thing gets used and abused everyday. Needless to say, the laundry piles have been growing and growing over the past 6 days.  Thankfully, the new washer was delivered this afternoon and is already filled to the brim!

Hope you have better plans than me this weekend!  See ya next week :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Decisions... Decisions...

I am totally overwhelmed... trying to decide on a look and feel for the new master bedroom decor has put me in a complete tail spin.  Initially the direction I wanted to go in was deep and bold colors for the rug, accent chair and window treatments.  Now... not so much.  I'm craving the simplicity of grays, creams and oatmeal linens.  Why do I keep flip flopping?  Is it because the deeps blue hues make me feel warm and cozy on a cold winter's night?  And now that the weather is warming up in SoCal I want a summery crisp and clean look?  Or maybe the neutral palette is more flexible should our tastes change?  hrrrrmmmm...

I'm currently crushing on these two rugs which are posted on my Pinterest Master Bedroom Board.  This is the new Vine Platinum Rug over at Dash & Albert.

And this Nourison Graphic Illusion over at

But THIS is what I was originally crushing on less than 3 months ago...
Completely different direction right?  Almost... totally opposite.  See why I'm running in circles?

These also recently caught my eye which fall under the neutral color wheel.  I'm loving the rugs, window treatments and chairs shown here.

Am I playing it safe with a neutrals palette or is it smarter to invest in items with versatility?  I suppose I can always add dramatic pops of color with accent pillows, throws and art...  hrmmm like I said, decisions, decisions...


Monday, February 18, 2013

DIY Tray and Coffee Station

Happy Monday!  Look what got a make-over this weekend!  I had been on the hunt for a tray this size for a while but everything was either too wide or too long.  This simple wooden tray was originally the packaging for a Melissa and Doug Music Instruments gift the boys received last Christmas.  It has the perfect dimensions for the purpose I envisioned for the  tray and honestly it was just too cute to be tossed away into the trash.  

A little red spray paint, fabric heat bond, a sheet of Plexyglas and some chic fabric turned this toy packaging into a charming piece of kitchen decor.  This criss cross fabric has been on my radar for a while.  It coordinates nicely with all the other fabrics in the kitchen, like the red lattice fabric used on the breakfast bar stools and the geometric gray fabric used in the glass cabinets.   

I used the same process for the fabric as the glass kitchen cabinet project - securing all the edges with heat bond to prevent the fabric from fraying.

Hmmm, this could potentially work as a cute place mat - a project for another day perhaps.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to snap any pics of Andy cutting the Plexiglas... he's always sneaking into the garage to use the power tools without me knowing.  I was told he used a special drill bit on the jigsaw.  Once the red spray paint was dry, I dropped the fabric in and laid the plastic sheet over.  I'm hoping the plastic will save the fabric from any coffee stains.  Only time will tell...

The coffee grinds (Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend for this fam) live in this glass canister from Ikea adorned with a cute label from Jen at The Paper Society.

Here is the simple little wooden tray BEFORE it's grand make-over....

And here it is AFTER....

Hope you all have a Happy President's Day and a great week!  

Sharing with these fab blogs....
{M} The Dedicated House *  diy home sweet home: MMM * i should be mopping the floor * Lines Across * The Girl Creative The Gunny Sack Mad In Crafts {T} Home Stories A to Z  Sugar Bee Crafts * The Blackberry Vine * The Winthrop Chronicles

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweet Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Here's a little peek at how the boys are sharing the love with their most beloved valentines.

They made heart shaped sugar cookies... don't worry, they had clean hands!  They also ate a fair share of cookie dough...

B & T were fast asleep by the time the cookies cooled for frosting application... surprising given the amount of sugar they consumed.

Packaged all cute in some glassine bags and ready to be shipped out.

Hope everyone loves the one your with today :)


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hydrangea and Rose DIY Centerpiece

There's really nothing like fresh flowers around the house to brighten things up.  They can really make a big impact on a fireplace mantel, on the guest bedroom end table or like the below arrangement I made for our Sunday Supper last weekend.  Let's call a spade a spade, by NO means am I capable of putting together elaborate wedding floral bouquets or centerpieces.  But if you keep it simple, you too, can save a buck and create your own charming arrangements.  Hey... all flowers are beautiful, so you're half way there!

I love to use low priced flowers from the Farmer's Market or Trader Joe's.  If time permits, I sometimes drive downtown to hit up the LA Flower Market... (again lets call a spade a spade, I've been twice... time never permits but it's still a really great place to get gorgeous flowers on the cheap).  In this case, I picked up a dozen roses for $6 at the Farmer's Market and Trader Joe's had this pack of 3 Hydrangeas for $4.99.  

On the rare occasion Whenever I receive flowers from a professional place, if the arrangement's container is reusable and charming I'll keep it - like this stainless steel gem!  I also keep a few of these green Oasis foam cubes from Michael's stored away in the garage.  They work perfectly for arrangements in odd shaped containers.

Start with your big blooms.  Be careful not to cut the stems too short, start long and keep trimming down until they are the height you want.  The oasis will hold the flowers in place once you stick the stem into it.  Tip: Flowers with big blooms like these hydrangeas, peonies, or sunflowers are easy to work with - just a few of them will fill a lot of space.  I feel like I could have stopped here with an all white hydrangea arrangement. 

Then start filling any holes with the smaller rose blooms. Be sure to continuously rotate the container so that one side is not heavier with flowers than another.  It has to look good from all angles if it's going to be a dining table centerpiece!

Continue filling...

Here's a view from the top...

And a shot of the whole tablescape.

Not bad for $11 spent!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Foolproof Sunday Supper

We hosted some dear friends of ours who are currently in the process of remodeling their kitchen for Sunday dinner.  I have not hosted a dinner party in quite some time - very unlike me - so I was a tad worried I was out of practice!

About mid week, I started to flip through Ina Garten's Foolproof cookbook in an effort to be prepared and not serve a horribly overcooked meal.  She offers up some great pairings for dinner party menus which can mostly be prepared in advanced.  It's not any fun for the cook to be slaving in the kitchen  while everyone enjoys some wine and cheese starters.  I want to be where the action is and have some fun, too!!!  Ms. Garten suggests to select recipes that can be cooked at the same time - one in the oven, one or two on the stove top.  I selected...

We hit up the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning to pick up some great cherry tomatoes and green beans.  About 80% of all the food was prepped on Saturday afternoon.

It's also a great time saver to set the table a day early.  I was all giddy to dust off some fancy stuff from the china cabinet but also used some rustic chargers to create a more casual table scape.  Tip: that linen runner was a recent Homegoods find for $13!

Pairing fancy crystal for wine with casual mason jars for water worked out great.

The plan was to eat dinner around 5 PM.  Keeping in mind that once the filet was cooked to the right temp it would need to rest for about 20 minutes before carving it.  Around 3:00, I seasoned the meat and tossed it in the oven at precisely 275 degrees F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The Tomato Gratin was baked in advanced at 2 in the afternoon for 40 minutes and sat covered with tin foil until served.  This is a great dish to serve at room temp.  You could tossed it in a low heat oven for 5 minutes before serving to slightly warm it up.  Right before everyone was ready to sit down at the table, I quickly sauteed the green beans that were already blanched on Saturday and sitting in an iced water bath in the fridge with the gremolata that was also prepared on Saturday in a separate bowl.

We were all very please with how dinner turned out and I was super pleased that I was able enjoy the company of my friends... and drink lots of wine :)

I can't wait for leftovers tonight!  Hope everyone has a great week and don't forget to pick up a Valentine's Day card for your special someone :)

© A Lo and Behold Life. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig