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Friday, December 4, 2009

Easy-peasy Framed Art Project

Hey everybody,

Quick poll? In your house, do you have the following items:
  • A brown paper grocery bag (or just brown craft paper)
  • Scissors
  • A black Sharpie
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Newspaper
  • Computer paper/computer/means of printing something
  • A frame
Then you have the ability to make this lovely craft I made for my own apartment last night! Jump for joy - a scott-free gorgeous craft project and it's Friday to boot.

Gather the items above together and follow me, step by step - eta timewise for this project is only 20 minutes!

Pick your text and print it out on computer paper to the desired size

I chose "just one person" printed in Courier Final Draft font size 72 on a 8.5x11" sheet of paper. "Just one person" hails from a Muppets song that is widely regarded as Jim Henson's favorite. To learn more about it and listen to the song, please click here

Set aside your printed design and get your paper bag out. Cut out a rectangular shape large enough to accommodate your text design with a fairly large border around all sides. Don't worry about the edges being perfect.. at all.

Gently tear the edges to your desired roughness. I crumpled the paper after this step but I suggest waiting until you've done your text completely as it was difficult to color things in on a rough surface.

Layout your project in the following way. Brown paper down first, then a piece of newspaper with a lot of heavy ink (great if you can find a large black ad) face down on the brown paper, then your text design in place over top of it.

What you are about to do is use the ink on the newspaper to create a light tracing of your text design so you can easily go in and reproduce it on the brown paper. You can use this technique in all kinds of projects for text, images, and more.

Here's what the sandwich of papers should look like:


Set up where you'd like your first word in the design to go (again, by eyeing it). When you are ready to trace to the brown paper - use a ballpoint pen and press down HARD on your white text design- carefully outlining your text. If you press hard enough, when you lift up the newspaper, you will see a faint tracing ready for you to fill in.

Continue this process until your entire design is traced completely.

Using a black sharpie or paint (but hey, what's easier than a black sharpie!) carefully color in your text design on the brown paper.

Crumple to your desire crumpliness!


Frame and enjoy!


LwA on Apartment Therapy today

Hi everyone! I'm delighted to announce that Living with Annie is featured again today on Apartment Therapy- one of my all-time favorite home decorating sites!

As you may notice, some comments on my Hanukkah post were not all positive and had a lot to do with my inclusion of a Holiday wreath project. To anyone interested in my thoughts about it - I offer them below:

I've always associated wreaths with my mother. She had a keen eye for home design and at every home we had, she always had a wreath hanging on our front door. Sometimes it had a purple bow, or pink, or red, with flowers, or berries, etc. It was always lovely, elegant, and welcoming. We are a Jewish family and I grew up associating wreaths with a welcoming front door- whether that be at Christmas time, or any other time really. 

I apologize to anyone I may have inadvertently offended by suggesting a Holiday wreath as an appropriate Hanukkah decoration. My post was solely meant to offer some entertaining counter-programming to Christmas decorating and share my personally chosen picks for an underrepresented holiday in the home decor world. Any offensive meaning derived from it is completely unintentional.

To all who enjoyed my post, thanks also for your lovely comments!



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Who are your favorite Disney characters?

I've been thinking lately about Disney and how much I enjoy where I work now. I've started to wonder what do my friends and family think of when they think of Disney? Who are your favorite characters? Here are the ones I love and why...

Favorite Disney Dog:
Dug the Golden Retriever from Up 

How can you not love Dug? "I have just met you and I love you." I broke down and bought a plush of him that speaks. Note: this was a present to myself and I am old enough to have graduated college. Dug is that awesome to me.

Favorite Disney Ensemble:
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and generally all of the Muppets

Disney owns the Muppets so I gotta include this ragtag group of birds, chickens, frogs, bears, and pigs! I'm totally in love with the vision of Jim Henson and there's no bigger embodiment of his dreams than Kermit. I've written much more about my passion for these guys - here and here.

Favorite Disney Alien:
Stitch from Lilo and Stitch

Cute and fluffy! This furry little genetic monster is hilarious and oddly lovable. I have a stuffed animal of him too. I also give him props because I once conned a literature professor into writing a paper about him since our class was about literature and genetics. Score one for me!

Favorite Disney Princess:
Megara from Hercules

Here's a heroine with some gusto and sexy way about her. Her song, "I Won't Say I'm in Love" is one of my all-time favorites. So much so that I staged an entire production of "Hercules" in 10th grade. Evidence and awesomely dorky embarassment below.

Yeah, that's me in the purple, circa 2002. Check out my awesome co-star Harper in his overly muscular tunic. Huzzah.

Favorite Disney Prince:
Prince Naveen from Princess and the Frog

Go scope out Naveen on Dec. 11 when Princess and the Frog opens nationwide! Naveen is by far my favorite Prince- smooth, handsome, and wildly out of touch with reality at times - he works it even as a frog. Don't miss it.

Favorite Duo:
Buzz and Woody from Toy Story

There are a lot of dynamic duos I love between Disney and Pixar, but none is so pitch perfect as Buzz and Woody. The perfection in voice casting is unrivaled - Tom Hanks and Tim Allen nail their relationship completely. I can't wait for Toy Story 3 this summer.

So how bout you? Who are your faves? Share below with a comment!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There's No Place like Home for Hanukkah

As I've poured through my dozens of home decorating blogs, I've noticed a huge influx of Christmas decorating posts crop up. How to make a wreath, how to decorate a tree, etc. and Christmas is weeks away!

Where are the tips for us home-decorating-loving Jews? Hanukkah is swiftly approaching on Dec. 11 and I need some inspiration. Here's some great fodder that I dug up around the web:

Better Homes & Gardens
This is a great way to spruce up Goodwill glasses!

Got a spare Hurricane vase lying around? With some glitter and some glam, instant Hanukkah Dreidel centerpiece.
Martha Stewart

Can't figure out where you stashed your menorah from last year? Martha's on it with this elegant and super easy project.
Martha Stewart


Use some spray paint to create a Hanukkah-friendly Holiday wreath
Real Simple

Finally, I'm not a huge fan of personalized frames but everyone is allowed a little bit of this kind of stuff around the holidays.
Available from

I'll post next week with some scrumptious Hanukkah recipes :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Thanksgiving Marathon

Ah Turkey Day - complete with a cornucopia of flowers. We can just relax- after all - most of the food is catered!

Wait- relax? Not possible! Too much to prepare! This is the scenario Gus and I found ourselves in this Thanksgiving when my very generous and kind Aunt decided we should make copious amounts of food for our guests. 

For today's post I'm going to give you the rundown of everything we made between 2-5pm on Thanksgiving Day plus all the food that was brought in and then I want you to guess how many attendees we were planning for!

Everything in italics is food we made from beginning to end. Those with asterisks involved us heating things up between 2-5pm.

Cheese Tray
Cream Cheese with Pepper Jelly + Crackers
Cream Cheese with Blackberry Jelly + Crackers
Baked brie

(We apparently like cheese in this family)

Turkey and gravy*
Beef Tenderloin*
Cranberry Sauce
Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole*
Squash Casserole*
Cornbread Dressing*
Sweet Potato Casserole*
Fried Corn
Green beans with almonds
Bacon-wrapped and regular asparagus
Mashed Potatoes

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Chocolate Pie (super nom)
Edible arrangement of fruit
Assorted berry bars
Ice Cream

Okay. Now it's your time to guess, based on the amount of food,  how many attendees were we expecting? The entire Native American population, perhaps?

 Eleven. Eleven people total. Yes, I know you're doing the math in your head - that's like a side per person. Oh well, it was delicious and there were surprisingly not all that many leftovers when all is said in done. I am thankful for my family's healthy appetites!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks for Bacon

I haven't quite gotten all my Thanksgiving photos ready for the blog. What you should be excited to know is that Gus and I ran an unexpected Turkey Day marathon of cooking! I hope to share a complete rundown of that craziness this week on LwA. 

In the meantime, I'd like to share with you a little treat we managed to make amidst the chaos - Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus! So easy, you'll wonder why you ever ate your veggie without bacon to begin with. 

6 stalks of fresh thin stalk asparagus for every bundle you'd like to make (I used 36 total)
1 strip of bacon for every bundle you'd like to make (I used 6 total)
Garlic Powder
Olive oil (enough for a drizzle of all the bundles)

1) Preheat the oven to 400F.
2) Using your preferred method, cook the bacon half-way. I used a cooling rack sitting in a cake pan (so the fat dripped away from the bacon) and let it cook for about 8 minutes in the oven. Don't cook it completely - just half-way.
3) Now it's time to make the bundles. Line a baking sheet with foil.
4) Drizzle olive oil over all of the asparagus stalks. Sprinkle with a light coat (to your taste) of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
5) Gather six stalks together with your hands. Using one strip of the half-cooked bacon, begin to wrap the stalks together. I usually tuck the top roll under itself to hold things more in place. You can also use a toothpick to keep things really secure.
6) Repeat with all your stalks until you have something that resembles this beauty...

7) Throw the baking sheet in the oven and cook for at least 10 minutes. Once the bacon has crisped up and the asparagus looks about done, you are ready to go. Serve immediately.

8) If you'd like your bundles to go farther, split them in half like I did (though I should have used a toothpick).

Go forth, and give thanks, for the bacon in your life...

and stay posted for more awesomeness du Thanksgiving.

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