Thursday, June 30, 2011

Canning with Kumquats

I knew what a kumquat was.  I never knew what to do with them...until now!!  A very sweet skin, and a very tart fruit.  I eat them whole, enjoying the adult-level of citrus complexity.  But, I am aware that the rest of the world may give me a squishy-nosed face while I tell them this.  Alas, I needed to find a way to make everyone happy.

After purchasing a basket at the farmer's market this weekend, I was tempted to put them in a salad or sauce.  The boy immediately expressed his disdain for their taste.  Great.
Then, I came across this blog, and it encouraged me to make a marmalade.  I've never canned before.  I've always been intrigued to try, but never quite made the leap.  But, if you'd like to try this with me, I can assure you, the finished marmalade was worth the 12-hour soak period.
(full recipe and photos after the jump)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Soft Reveal

So, this past week I had the pleasure of decorating an apartment.  Super-short time crunch, and a budget of $500 or less (yikes!).  But with a lot of thrifting, re-purposing and creativity, I was able to make a major dent to this rental.  While we are not one-hundred-percent to where I'd like to end up - we are far closer than an empty apartment with a borrowed couch.

Client knew he wanted a bar.  Period.  Between his love for whiskey and his spontaneous house-guests, we knew that was a priority.  Grabbed the old cabinet from the bathroom and a few accessories from the flea market, dollar store and Goodwill.

This bar tray was actually an old soda crate found at the Rose Bowl Flea market for under $30.  The glass hurricane (Goodwill find for $3) was a perfect place to store his collection of belts (vintage and ones in current rotation).  The apartment was a compromise for this client, with its small square-footage but perfect location to walk to everything. 

Having grown up in California, beach culture was well within this clients' design aesthetic.  A vintage Endless Summer poster created a great splash of color, while also punctuating the design scheme with a laidback, kid-at-heart reference.  The desk was a magical Craigslist find; stored Crate&Barrel desk (of my dreams, really) that we snagged for $100.  The entire thing slides open to reveal a workspace without disrupting the shelves or drawers underneath.
(more photos after the jump)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

But it's Only a Dollar

This is a new segment I think should pop up every week or so.  I tend to love the idea of dollar-store bargains.  Here's to hoping you do too!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Farmer's Market Salad

After 48 hours of doing nothing but picking up fabric swatches, picking up furniture, and picking out home decor, I decided a break was needed.  Quick walk to the local farmer's market was just the break I needed.

If you've never had a chance to hit The Venice Grind (website, here), be glad to know that they have a mobile coffee cart.  Individually-poured cups of very rich, bold coffee, but slowly steeped in each cup.  Just the kick I needed in the morning.

Maybe it was the great cup of coffee, but my taste buds were dancing, and itching for more exotic flavors that morning.  I discovered these shortbread lemongrass cookies...they even had an orange glaze on the top.  So perfect with an early AM cup of beans.

Now we were rolling.  On the way to pick up the usual strawberries (so sweet this time of year), the vendor told us about her golden white cherry tomatoes.  Just as sweet as standard tomatoes, but with a great tang.  They do look a lot like grapes, though.

I also couldn't pass up a vendor whose farm is right next to my grandfather's in San Diego.  After discussing his macadamia nuts, cherimoyas, and kumquats, I discovered garlic chives.  Just like they sound - the crunch of chives, but they smell and taste like a mild garlic.  Done and done.

A quick baggie of arugula, and pit stop at the flower stand.  Finally - shoulder stressed from the load - I was ready to head home.  While this salad we made was amazing, just consider it a guide.  Almost any seasonal fruit and veggies can be tossed in a balsamic dressing to help your meal feel like summer.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Current Corkboard

A lot is happening this weekend, so I'll be sure to update you all on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Diva Drop Cookies

This week I traded work on my truck for cookies.  Best barter ever.  So, I needed to make a cookie that was cheap, man-friendly and really quick (I'm the queen at procrastinating...this last batch was literally with hours to spare!).  My girlfriend, Soseh is not a baker, but she created this recipe that I felt I needed to share.  Super simple, really quick, and tastes so yummy.

No joke, I ate my breakfast while making these cookies.  True testament to how easy they are.

1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup White Chocolate Morsels
1 Egg
1 Tb Vanilla Extract

Combine all in a bowl.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees (seriously, you're only 3 minutes away from baking).

Drop tablespoon sized amounts onto a cookie sheet (for me, this made about 16 cookies).  Look, I still had some coffee left.

Bake on center rack for about 12-14 minutes.  Cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a rack to stop the cooking process.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh, Hello Friend

Aside from a warm and inviting salutation, this is also my new favorite CA-based jewelry line.  Delicately balancing masculine scale and finishes with dainty, sweet themes.

Antique charms, lockets and watches; paired with a modern twist.

Oh, Hello Friend can be purchased through (or, quick link here).  There's also a great blog, that highlights all their current inspirations (seen here).  And the best bit...they are all under $30.  Get to getting!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When in Doubt, Paint it

I am trying to get an apartment decorated by the end of the week, and on the smallest budget possible.  This has led to a lot of thrifting, a lot of imagination, and crazy levels of crafty.

I found this tutorial (full article, here) and resonated with the aesthetic.  Will it work for this apartment?  Maybe, maybe not.  But I have to at least try, noting that the supplies came from the dollar store.  Be sure to check back later this week to see how i faired.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sparkle & Shine....and Sweat

I've mentioned this before: I love to mix very high-end, extravagant fabrics with casual, everyday pieces.  I love the look of layering sequins with knits, sweats, and fleece.  I've rocked my sequin shorts with a hoodie and flip-flops on numerous occasions.

So I was very happy when I discovered some of my favorite photographers, Corrie Bond and Travis Grace, shared this love.  Both are represented by 2C, and both of these amazing photographers can be viewed, here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Danger Pie

When I think back to the desserts I ate as a kid, I only remember the taste.  I was never a snob about ingredients or "made from scratch".  I just wanted something to taste rich, sweet and creamy.  When I discovered this recipe, I knew this was next on my list to share.

I knew my crust was not going to be graham crackers.  I grew up with icebox pies having vanilla cookie crusts, and I wasn't going to stray from their magical taste.

Learning how to make toffee by boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk for hours.  I'm fairly certain this is where the "danger" bit in the name comes from.

 Whipping cream and vanilla sugar (okay, maybe not store-bought...but I had to put my spin on it).

I will apologize in advance.  I didn't ever get a final shot of the pie.  Straight to the fridge, and then it was off to its happy mouths.  But just know, it's good.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Trompe L'oeil

I love art that's a little clever, a little cheeky, and executed with great skill.

Well, hey there Mary Temple.  

She creates amazing installations that mimic the way landscapes are reflected through glass.  The catch?  Windows, skylights and doorways don't exist within her installations - it's simply the brilliance of paint application and color mixing.  Dang.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When, Where...Shoes, Please

Waiting for new shoe collections is my version of waiting for the NFL draft.  Giddiness, ranking my favorites, hoping they will end up somewhere near my town.  Sigh...Soon, my babies, soon.
I discovered MiCapri shoes, only to immediately discover that the line is not in any stores...yet!  Hand-carved from alder wood, and swathed in lambskin.  With names that even reference Imelda Marcos...I can get behind this brand.  Here's to hoping they're as comfortable as they are sculptural.  Start ramping your level of anticipation, here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Decor Without a Trace of Lady

So, the BF just moved.  He's got a pretty sweet pad (manly fixtures, finishes and such).  My task: decorate without the presence of my hand in the mix.  This means, no white spray paint, no flora or fauna, and no dusting off the sewing machine.

However, this does mean: bust out the power tools, invest in chalkboard paint, and give thanks for a two-week long design project to keep me busy.  Current musings to keep me inspired.  Feel free to weigh in (unless, of course, you are the BF...we all know you get very little say in all this).