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Friday, December 18, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like a living room

Today, I'd like to share my apartment-in-development with you. It's not anywhere near fully decorated - it's bare bones with some lovely tealights thrown in to mask the fact that absolutely NOTHING is hanging from my walls yet.

Please take a look around my humble abode and let me know your ideas! In a few weeks, I'll be painting so I'm especially interested in your color ideas for scheme and paint choices. I'm kind of tired of the whole brown/light blue thing so it's definitely time for something new.









So yes, please chime in with your design ideas and inspiration! PS - How lovely is my Pottery Barn duvet? Looooove it.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Morning all

Good morning everyone! Not feeling too great today so my post will be brief. Please check back tomorrow for an exciting look at my Apartment Design plan of attack :)

Today, Slashfilm is featuring a lovely graphic detailing the "Morgan Freeman Chain of Command." Check it out if you have a few minutes - wonderfully clever.

Have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thinking of You - Puzzle Photo Postcards

During the holidays this year, I’ve realized how tough it is to be away from family and friends. Currently, I’m living thousands of miles away from many people I love and this year is the first that I won’t be home for Christmas with them.

Even though I’m far away, I still want them to know I’m thinking about them. This got me thinking about a great project to share with all of you that I did in college when my friend Chrissy studied abroad in Scotland for a semester.

This is a wonderful, creative way to share some love across the miles (and oceans) if you are separated from anyone. Heck, it’s a pretty fun idea even if you live down the street from the person.

“Thinking of You” Puzzle Photo Postcards

Send your friend or family member a secret message, spelled out only when they’ve received all the postcards you’ve sent.


1)   Friend who is of some distance away from you
2)  3 additional friends who are somewhat flexible and have some time on their hands
3)  A camera (preferably digital)
4)  A way to print photographs
5)  4x6” cut piece of white cardstock (enough for every letter of your message)
6)  White glue or your preferred method of durable adhesive
7)  Appropriate amount of postage


1)   You will be forming letters out your and your friends’ bodies to form the entire alphabet (now you see why I said flexible!). We used three people to make letters. You’ll also need an additional person to stand from a high elevation (like a 2nd story of a building) to take photos of each letter as you form them.
2)  Carefully pose as each letter of the alphabet, making sure you have all 26. If you are daring, make a few punctuation marks. We made an exclamation mark and quotations. This process is extremely fun, btw.
3)  Choose what message you would like to send via postcards – we did, “We love you Chrissy!” Therefore, we had to print three 4x6” photos of the “O”, one of the “W,” etc. so we had enough to spell the message. You can print via your preferred method- we used Target.
4)  Using glue, attach each photo to a 4x6” piece of white cardstock.
5)  Draw a line on the white cardstock to indicate the space for your postcard message vis-à-vis the address you are sending it to/area for postage.
6)  Divide up the postcards between your group of friends or fill them all out yourself. Some of us wrote funny song lyrics, etc. – anything to let your recipient know you are thinking of them.
7)  Stagger when you mail out your postcards and make sure through the post office that you are using the right amount of postage. You may want to send your recipient one postcard first that explains you are sending a secret message and how many postcards to expect!

You can find a whole post on other DIY Photo Gifts here.

By the way, I'm entering this post in Today's Creative Blog Give-away...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel - I made you out of chocolate

Martha Stewart is without a doubt incredibly inspirational. While winging our way back from NC over Thanksgiving, I found this great idea of making dreidels from marshmallows and Hershey kisses.

I took a chance and surprised my group of 20-something friends with the dessert activity of making them. Would this group take to making the dreidels as a silly, more 6 year-old appropriate, dessert craft? You betcha.

And I quote one party-goer,
“the most fun I’ve ever had making dessert.”

Here’s how you can get your own Martha on this Hanukkah:

Ingredients –

1 can of chocolate frosting (your preference, I chose Milk Chocolate Whipped since it’s easy to spread and delish)
1 package of large marshmallows
1 package of pretzel sticks
1 package of Hershey Kisses (your preference, I went with the classic milk chocolate variety)
Strawberries (optional)

Directions – 

1) TAKE one marshmallow and apply frosting to the bottom of it.

2) ATTACH one Hershey kiss and attach its bottom to the frosting.

3) INSERT a pretzel stick down into the center of the marshmallow (to be the dreidel top).

4) EAT! Or…

5) COVER the entire thing in chocolate frosting. Then EAT!

6) Or… (you’re seeing now why this is a fun activity, right?) Instead of the Hershey kiss, attach a fresh strawberry, cover in chocolate, then EAT!

Ah, sweetness and something to do. That’s what I call a great craft. Thanks Martha. Happy fifth night of Hanukkah to all!

Check out my spiffy impromptu tealight menorah below. Not being able to find my real menorah was definitely a big inspiration here.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Potato Pancake Perfection

Happy 4th night of Hanukkah tonight to everyone!

This weekend, Gus and I made delicious latkes (potato pancakes) for brunch and they were mucho yummy. I dare to say that they are perhaps the best latkes I've ever made or eaten! I'm especially proud because I concocted my own recipe AND managed to make them gluten-free. Huzzah, I am officially the coolest Hanukkah chef ever.

Anyway, without further adieu, here is how you can master amazing latkes with my official recipe! 

One short warning before you get started - frying these will make your house smell intensely like a restaurant and oil will penetrate everything! Literally, my bathroom towel smelled like latkes. I recommend keeping your windows open, running the fan, and saying a prayer or two. 

The best remedy for the smell ironically seemed to be cooking something different - in my case, ordering pizza soaked up everything well. I also think some vanilla candles helped. :)

- 2 cups frozen shredded potatoes (defrosted/thawed to room temp)
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of Gluten-free baking mix OR all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup of chopped yellow onions
- Vegetable oil
- Your seasoning preference amount of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
- Scallions (optional)


COMBINE the potatoes, eggs, baking mix (or flour), onions, and your desired amounts of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. I used a small sprinkling of each seasoning. 

HEAT a medium-sized skillet on medium-high heat with about 1/2 - 1 cup of oil. Use enough so there's is 1/4inch of oil covering the bottom of the skillet.

Once the oil is sufficiently hot enough, DROP a small spoonful of your potato mixture into the oil. Use a fork to press down on the patty and let it sit for 1-2 minutes (or until the side in the oil turns golden brown). FLIP the patty when ready and allow it to get golden on the other side.

REMOVE the potato pancake from the oil and allow to drain on paper towels.

TOP with a sprinkling of salt, a few chopped scallions, and serve warm. Nom!

Tune in tomorrow for a Hanukkah treat that has been deemed by a friend, "the most fun I've ever had making dessert!"

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