Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Searching for Pretty Pumpkins

I was of course ecstatic to see a huge display of pumpkins at our grocery store over the weekend. I started to imagine all the places I could meticulously pile squash, corn, pumpkins and other harvest-y decor, when, to my dismay, I walked closer and saw this:

A bunch of wart-covered pumpkins was not exactly what I had in mind for my cozy and warm fall vignette....

Thankfully, there were more options than the wart pumpkins. I'm loving the faded orange pumpkins and the cool looking green squash.

Now that, I can handle.

Has anyone purchased said wart pumpkins before? Am I being too critical? Perhaps they are prettier amidst a garden, or interspersed among other, more smooth pumpkin and squash varieties. Please share :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

KAKI designs

My lovely and talented friend, Kaki, of KAKI designs has submitted a necklace design to the 2010 People's Choice Awards show competition and is now one of three nationwide finalists.

Yahoo, Kaki!

However, the fun doesn't end there.

You can help her win by voting for this necklace:

at this website once daily through Oct. 4. 

The necklace with the most votes from the people wins and is manufactured to become part of designer Kendra Scott's collection. The necklace will also be worn at the People's Choice Awards red carpet event in LA this January.

So don't forget your homework... vote for the gorgeous turqouise and orange necklace once daily through Oct. 4 at this website, and keep your eyes peeled on the red carpet!

Good luck, Kaki!

PS-- The girl has tons of amazing jewelry, so visit her website to shop around. If you live in Austin, you're in luck! Swing over to the adorable C.Jane boutique to see Kaki's designs in person.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just Because

Some weekend floral arrangements:

Hubby's mother hosted a lovey joint birthday party (the two of us share mid-September dates) over the weekend. Since graciously sent us away with the flowers from the occasion which I promptly divided amongst my favorite vases (well, and pitchers/sugars/creamers/decanters/candelabras too!) around the house. I found that the cohesive floral theme/color allowed me to use several styles of vases, even though they weren't all part of the same set or made in the same style:

Some special birthday treats du jour were some gorgeous Fenton glass pieces. The stunning blue vase below is one of the four,

and I also received two small Fenton hobnail dishes and a  hobnail bell that match our everyday glassware perfectly.

The glassware we already had is a nice interpretation of the fancy stuff by Villeroy and Boch. The V&B set is completely dishwasher and microwave safe, making it only look like fragile antique glassware--it's really very durable and perfect for daily use. It also comes in blue, green, red and clear... just in case you need to know!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wifey Wednesday

 I like to have a little snack ready for Hubby when he comes home from work... especially if dinner is not quite ready. Whip up this simple salty-but-sweet treat to curb after-work or after-school stomach growls.

"2-minute Savory Spread"

  • chopped basil
  • cream cheese (I like it to be whipped)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • a little dash of pepper for color/balance
Most ingredients will be in your pantry already (note the Saltine crackers!), so this recipe is easy and quick! And it gives you a little more time to round up your main dish in the kitchen :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Not to be too herby...

...but, we've started a (tiny!) little herb garden.


from L to R, we have Lavender, Basil and Rosemary.
Especially for the lavender, does anyone have some great ideas for actually using it? I love the idea that we have it on hand, but so far, it has not been too practical. Tea recipes? Sachets? Scented icings or ice creams?

Please let me know if you have any creative ideas up your sleeve.

 Likewise, I'll make sure to share my herbiest recipes in the future :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rooting Mint

As you may remember, my sweet mother-in-law graced me with a lovely mint plant a while ago, and since then, I cannot believe how large it has grown!

Not too long ago:


To my happy surprise, the plant is now a small bush, and provides our household with a bountiful mint supply.

Hubby's got quite a mean mojito recipe going, and I've been enjoying using it as a garnish on dinners, tea, drinks, and--my favorite-- to refresh my bedtime glass of water (oh-so-refreshing! put a little mint, water and ice in your cocktail shaker for the perfect relaxing sip).

All that to say, with all our minty bounty, I'd like to share the wealth! Let us officially begin our first project in rooting. The simple process of growing another plant, using your existing plant as a starter.

I've done some research to find that mint is especially easy to root. First, I snipped off two 8" pieces (doubling-up for good luck) of mint, cleaned it thoroughly, and placed it in water.

Soon enough, I'm told, roots will develop and the plant will be strong enough to pot. Good or bad, I'll report back with results.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Homemade Lemon Gelato

Here's our big Labor Day experiment: Homemade Lemon Gelato.

Using a lovely Kitchenaid ice cream maker attachment for the first time (!)--this gelato recipe called for ordinary pantry ingredients so we were able to get to work without a trip to the store. Miraculous!

Making gelato was worlds easier than I imagined. A little scalded milk with lemon peel and coffee beans...

a little egg yolk and sugar...

strain out the aromatics:

Pop in the freezer bowl to mix for 20 minutes,

and done!

We're hooked and looking forward to making new flavors and recipes to add to our repertoire.

As the Italiano's say, "Moto bene!"

More ice cream treats to come :)


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