Friday, July 29, 2011

July Craft: Canvas Picnic Blanket

So back in April we were staying at a hotel in Palm Springs and they had these beautiful canvas throw/picnic blankets for sale for $150.00. I loved them but refused to pay that much for something I could very well make on my own for half of that price. Well let me tell you, I made 2 blankets and 6 pillows for under $30. So here we have it, July's craft! Perfect for a cozy picnic at the park or cuddled next to a bonfire at the beach. If you can sew a straight line you can make this! So go, do it and enjoy all summer long!

You will need:
-A painters canvas (9ft x 12ft)
-Thread/ a sewing machine
-A washer and dryer

Step1: Cut off all edges of painters canvas and cut to desired size

Step 2: Sewing 1 inch in, sew a stich around all edges of the blanket. I did a double stich but whatever you prefer.

Step 3: After sewing around edges, throw in the washing machine and then dry on high to frey the edge.

Step 4: Remove from dryer and cut off any loose or extra strings (there will be a lot)

Step 5: Go have a picnic! Yes it is seriously that easy! And if you are ambitious make a couple of pillows to match, you will have plenty of material left over!

Dilly Beans

No not jelly beans, Dilly Beans! These beloved southern favorite are delicious! You have to try them if you haven't.  I love them by themselves on a hot summer day or my favorite is in Bloddy Mary's. Even if you are not into canning you should definitely try making these.

Makes About 5 Pint Jars

4 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
3 tablespoons pure kosher salt
5 sprigs fresh dill
5 cloves of garlic
5 or 10 dried red chiles
2 1/2 to 5 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
2 pounds crisp green beans, ends trimmed, 4 1/2 inches long

In a large 6 to 8 quart pot, combine vinegar, 4 cups of water, and the salt. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt.

Working quickly, put a sprig of dill, a clove of garlic, 1 or 2 dried chillies, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (if using) into each hot and sterilized jar. Pack the beans in to jars, standing them upright. Ladle in the hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top.  Use a chopstick to remove any air bubbles. Place on lid and screw finger tight. Return jars to water bath and process for 10 minutes.

Recipe via Canning for a New Generation 

I learned to can on my own via The Joy of Cooking. If you have questions about the canning process, or want to learn more I highly recommend The Joy of Cooking because of the detail they go into.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Turks and Caicos



St. Thomas
Lately I have been majorly vacation dreaming.  Don't they all look so wonderful and relaxing! Trying to convince Brad to go between Christmas and New Years. Can you imagine having to convince someone of this (love you babe)! For now I will just dream!

Pretty Nails!

image via
What an awesome new technique for painting pretty nails! Find out how to do it here! 

And I keep meaning to pick up some of this nail polish...
image via vestis
And to try this technique...
image via google

See how to here...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Movies

Have you seen the new Harry Potter yet? We did opening weekend and it was AWESOME! I love summer movies and I can't wait to see these ones soon!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This is why I love Tilt-Shift!

The Village from Pedro Sousa | visuals on Vimeo.

It's Magic!

July Recipe: Sausage, chard, and lemon lasagna

image via Martha

Sounds weird right? Thats kind of how I felt about it until I made it.  So I've had swiss chard tons of times, steamed, sautéed, but when I think about it I dont think I had ever had it cooked in a dish. That was a huge reason I wanted to try this recipe.  Im kinda famous for my lasagnas (kidding) and would never think about making one in the summer time, especially not on a 90' day.  This lasagna called for no cook noodles, which I had never used, but assumed would cut down on prep time tremendously, and something about the lemon made it sound light and fresh.  So I gave it a whirl, and it was incredible!  I don't even know how to describe it? When I sat it down in front of Brad and told him what it was he had that look of "okay (puzzlement)" and the moment he took the first bite and proclaimed, "WOW", it was a hit! Try it, it is a surprising delight and I can't wait to make it again and again!


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced
  • 6 no-boil lasagna noodles, preferably Barilla


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in 3/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in chard.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in a skillet over high heat, breaking up pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
  3. Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-inch square nonreactive baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, half the sausage, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat. Top with a layer of lemons, 2 noodles, then remaining sauce and lemons. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 27 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.
    Recipe via Martha Stewart 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Music to my ears

Can't stop listening to this album right now, I looped it at least 20 times today while I was doing stuff around the house.  Check it out if you haven't, definitely a great summer album!

German Pancakes

instagram for the iphone
I stayed the night at my folks house on Saturday night while my carpets were drying after being cleaned. We spent the evening watching TV and I was catching up on my blog reading when I ran across this recipe for German pancakes.  Why have I never made these? They are so easy and taste amazing! I covered mine with beautiful berries I had bought that morning at the Farmer's Market and a dusting of powdered sugar. Make these now, you will not be sorry!

- 6 eggs
- 1 cup of flour
- 1cup of milk
-  1/2 tsp of salt
- 2 tbs of butter, melted

Mix eggs, flour, milk, and salt in blender and blend till smooth. Melt butter and pour into 9x13 pan. Pour in batter and bake at 400' for 20 minutes.

iphone pics from last week

 Syncing my phone and ran across theses few pictures from last week.  This year is just going by so fast I can't believe it!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Word Installations

I have a thing with words, letters, text of all sorts really. I love these installations by Robert Montgomery, these three are my favorite! Check out his other stuff here...

Happy Sunday!

Oh Charlie Day, how you make me laugh!
Just got back from the Farmer's Market and I am looking forward to making some dilly beans, strawberry jam, and a few other goodies while Brad is gone for the weekend and I have the house to myself. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday whatever you do!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Laughing through the tough times

This has been a crazy year for us, really I should say the last 4 years have been crazy, but more than ever this year we have had a very long winter.  We have learned a lot, and grow even more. Through it all I have truly learned the importance of laughter even in the darkest of times. I am so lucky also to have a teammate for life that shares the same attitude.  Today I hope this brings you a laugh and brightens your day!

And if you don't like that check out the Honey Badger! "The Honey Badgers don't care, Honey badger dont give a shit it just takes what he wants"!

You now know my sense of humor!


via etsy
Cause you know I love a bearded man!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beet Cake

beet cake from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Who knew a recipe could be so beautiful!

A Summer must!

Did I tell you we got a ZOKU popsicle maker a couple of weeks ago and have been totally obsessed ever since. Pudding pops, fruit juice pops, strawberry/nutella/bananna pops (that was Brad's creation), they are so yummy! And you can make and eat in about 20 mins total! This is how we are staying cool this summer!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Weekends

 We had such a fun busy summer weekend! We spent Saturday up in LA museum hopping, went to Silver Lake for dinner, and watched the sunset at a beautiful installation at the LACMA.  Sunday we lounged around and it was much needed! A yummy breakfast, pool all afternoon, and a sushi date night to finish the day. And last night we had a delicious laugh filled dinner with our very dear friends. It was lovely! What a fun summer we are having already and it's only July!
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