Tuesday, December 31, 2013

happy confetti and bubbly day!

Hope everyone has a fun and festive New Years Eve and I'll catch you on the flip side!

Monday, December 30, 2013


It was very cold this morning and it made me wish I could just crawl back into bed. And though I have to be at work I can dream of cups of decadent hot chocolate and the softest fur coats (vintage!) and feel a bit warmer.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Surprisingly this isn't a photo from September or October. This was taken two days ago...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry and happy

I hope that you and yours had a most excellent holiday (and are hopefully still enjoying some family time and didn't have to go back to work today) full of warm cozies and some tasty treats. I loved having my family descend upon my city apartment this year (thank you for coming!!!) and while it was all wonderful, the food was incredibly good. It helped that I had my mother as my co-chef. So here is just a few snippets of our food adventures; I tried my hand at mixing up some Moscow Mules (drunk on the roof as they should be), on Christmas Eve we all stacked on various appetizers while we played games, and then last night was the most amazing dinner of braciole and meatballs with polenta and a pear, pomegranate salad. Oh and strawberry chocolate tart for dessert. Needless to say we were all very happy and full.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy holidays

The house is (almost) all clean for my guests who arrive tomorrow morning. I have got a massive list for my post work stop at the grocery store and the cooking and baking commences tonight. Bring on the good smells!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Clearly I'm into this red and white holiday color scheme as I was dressed to match my gifts for hte white elephant this year. At least I'm consistent!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

quick snaps

Just a few quick snaps from Instagram as I'm currently up to my elbows in holiday cards and wrapping at work and haven't been able to get photos together of real projects!

Monday, December 16, 2013


It was a crazy busy weekend and I haven't been around much so for now all I have to show for myself is some messy (but delicious) french toast, and Meyer lemon Italian soda. I will return with more soon.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Leftovers part three

I cooked down the leftover fruit from the holiday party last night, to make some more flavored simple syrups. Another batch of persimmon (which was excellent last time) and also Meyer lemon (which smells incredible). It's crazy easy to do and a wonderful thing to add to various cocktails or even some sparkling water for a fresh Italian Soda style drink.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Leftovers part two

I made some little squash risotto and Parmesan toasts for dinner. It seems these party leftovers might last me all week?!


The upside and the downside of being the host of the dinner party is that you tend to end up with a lot of leftovers. I will be attempting to rework these leftovers for the next week, turn them into something new and tasty. First I remade the broccoli soup, added a bit of cream and the turkey meatballs. I also had some goat cheese crostini with it. Very cozy cold night dinner.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

holiday dinner party

I have learned that holiday parties, and dinner parties in general, while a lot of work, are so much fun. I guess I am going to have to make this a thing. I wanted to keep my decorations simple, and to use mostly materials that I already had to keep the cost as minimal as possible. I also didn't want to purchase a lot of expensive stuff that could only be used for one month out of the year. I made a bunch of white paper chains and also red pom pom garlands and then just looped them around the living room and also throughout the entry hallway. I attached all my white twinkle lights together as well to outline the bay windows in the living room. (It was surprisingly difficult to photograph the window decorations!)
For the dinner party I made a tablecloth out of a few yards of red floral fabric (also found while cleaning out my parents house) and used the dishes I painted almost a year ago (more on that here) my rediscovered vintage silverware and some white linen napkins I sewed up real quick while I was making the tablecloth. I tied the napkins with some red and white twine and added a clementine to each setting (It was fun to pick out all the one with pretty leaves at the store though it did earn me some odd looks). The centerpiece was just some tea candles in mason jars and folded paper gemstones. 
Since I wanted my guests to be able to chose where they sat, but I still like personalizing things, I decided to make little named tags for the wine glasses which I set out on the bar. This actually proved very helpful in not getting the wine mixed up!
The appetizers were set out on trays painted with chalkboard paint and. There were prosciutto cups filled with pear and goat cheese, and crostini topped with zucchini pesto, or hummus and roasted peppers. I was a bit nervous to be doing so many new to me recipes of this party but they all turned out to be excellent so I guess my gamble paid off.

That picture of the appitizer trays snapped with my phone no less was the last I managed to take before guests arrived and we were busy making cocktails, pouring wine, catching up and of course finishing up all the cooking. Dinner was a delicous success though and everyone had a good time. I managed to get one quick picture of the dessert because my co-host and co-chef made it so beautiful (apple tart with maple glaze). I was very proud of us for managing to pull this off. We did have the oven on from 3pm until about 7 and at one point every surface of my tiny kitchen was covered and we had at least four open sticks of butter (!!!) but it was so satisfying to make such a nice sit down dinner for friends. It was just sad I couldn't invite more people due to the limitations of my tiny table (I guess I will just have to start looking into (making?) a bigger one?!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday party sneak peek

I had a holiday dinner party yesterday for a few friends. I was very excited but also a bit intimidated as it's a lot of work and expectation and I wanted it to be wonderful. I will share some more photos tomorrow but for now I wanted to just give a peak of what the table looked like (it's in the living room which I tried to decorate the heck out of!) Hopefully I got some good shots but I didn't spend to much time taking photos of as I was busy hanging out with my friends (as one should) and of course, doing a lot of cooking! More soon and happy Monday!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

More spectacular finds

Just a few other things I found in the big parents-house-clean-out. Vintage glass animal cocktail stirrers and a set of silverware (missing a few forks and a knife but still totally perfect for my holiday dinner this weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Decorating up a storm

Since I am hosting Christmas for my family this year (mostly due to me being the one who gets the least time off) I knew this was not the year to skimp on decorating (let alone skip in entirely!) but I didn't want to spend a bunch of money and I don't really have a lot of space to store decorations for the eleven months of the year they are not in use. So I decided to make an effort to make most or all of the decorations and to use supplies that I already had on hand.
Challenge accepted!
While I was cleaning out the barn back home last week I found these rolls of paper which I got a the Depot for Creative Reuse probably at least eight years ago. They are 1" wide beautiful print weight paper and I knew someday I would want to do something with them so I had been hording them. Turns out, they make the most perfect paper chains ever as they are are perfectly uniform size and more substantial than using recycled book pages as I usually do.

Here is an (albeit grainy i-phone snap) of one in progress corner. I also made a bunch of red pom pom garlands for color. Other supplies I have to use, white felt, red polka dot wrapping paper, a bunch of small rubber animals, various fabric and TONS of paper! Its a fun challenge (though I decided early on to stick to red and white so it isn't TOO crazy!) and I do need to figure out a tree for somewhere in there..... 


Oh and of course, the rabbit in the hallway niche is getting spruced up for the holiday. Right now I am trying out this fluffy fir background. Possibly needs some berry branches? Right now just hoping it all looks cohesive and that it comes together in time for the dinner party I'm hosting this Sunday. Fingers crossed...

Monday, December 2, 2013


It was a wonderful (if over too soon) long holiday weekend, with some time back home with family and some good relaxing time back in the city. While I was home I went through my childhood room and all the boxes that had piled up in the barn to unburden my parents of the crazy amount of my stuff that's been accumulating in their home over the years (possibly it's been multiplying while no one was looking?) It was a grueling slog through boxes of memories, and junk, but among it all I found many treasures. Like this vintage beaded bag. (I also had to share this photo of the mummified cat skeleton they've been saving for the last 20 something years, it was found under our old house and is just fascinating to look at!)