The best kind of leftovers from Thanksgiving have nothing to do with turkeys. They do have everything to do with an extra Tupperware of vanilla butter-creams though. Stick around for the recipe for those beauties because they are the best thing that ever came from Thanksgiving recipe-trials. This year we tried a few little twists for the dessert table. Not so many pies and more things that don’t have to be formally served, but can be swiped sneakily off the buffet again, and again, and…
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m so looking forward to the official beginning of Christmas-month. I wasn’t expecting to take such a blog-break this past week but somehow vacation-days fill faster than work-days and breaking out the Christmas boxes, learning how to use my new cappuccino machine, and watching Sandra Dee/Bobby Darin movies became a swift priority. I did finish planning out my December posts though so at least that’s something. There’s the cutest DIY’s comin’ up and I’ve officially decided to let you all in on my secret this coming week. Eek!
If only I baked as well as Sabrina learned how to in Paris, I wouldn’t need to cheat a bit with those dough stamps, that adorable cake mold, and that super-simplifying silicon crust cover. Nor would I have to dazzle anyone’s eyes with that pink mixer, those gold cheese knives, or those vintage pie servers. As it is though, those things couldn’t really hurt…If I could only ask Sabrina one question, I would ask if she ever baked in anything not cinched at the waist and adorable. I was thinking something more resembling my baking attire: slippered feet, sweatshirt, and sweats that somehow end up every year with flour hand-prints on them no matter what I do. You probably never did that either, did you Sabrina?
Strangely enough, I like my traditions of preparing for holidays better than the actual thing. Wednesday I will stay all day in my slippers and bake until the entire kitchen gets toasty cozy from baking for Thanksgiving. And this year? I have a new pre-Thanksgiving tradition: home-made cappuccinos from my new espresso machine that I can’t wait to figure out. Who knew coffee grounds + milk could be so complicated? I’m willing to struggle and figure it out for that goodness though. Today is my birthday *eek* and that espresso machine was a certain someone’s brilliant insight into the fact that coffee is a certain way to securing my love. Since my birthday landed on a Monday this year, I was absolutely forced to begin celebrating last Friday. I had no choice. Honestly. So today will mark my third “birthday dinner” and my third day seeing how much people love me and how many wonderful things they do to make me feel special. So far, it’s been quite off the charts and I’m pretty certain this next year will be wonderful with all of them filling it.
Draw out whatever pattern you want on a piece of paper so you have a concrete image to recreate on the wall.
Using twine, copy your pattern onto the wall and secure each corner with masking tape (the tape will be replaced by cup-hooks once you like your pattern).
Once you like the pattern you’ve made, screw small cup-hooks into every place you have secured with tape. Don’t cut your twine yet though!
Tie a knotted loop onto the beginning end of the twine and loop it over your hook. For all the other “corners,” a knot isn’t necessary, just pull it tight and the hooks will keep it in place. Make sure your twine is pretty taut before cutting and making another knotted loop for the other end of the twine.
Tie small pieces of the twine through the holes in each bullnose clip and then around the lines on your wall…wherever you like. The clips will be able to slide along whatever line you put it on so you can constantly (and easily) change it up!
I’m so excited at how well it turned out! It’s perfect for apartments, offices, or anywhere you need big impact for a few teeny tiny dollars. This is pretty much the perfect wall installation for the hopelessly indecisive too. In two seconds you can clip and unclip your art selections, slide the position of the entire picture, or add/remove an entire piece of art and get a whole new look…however modern or vintage you want it to be!
Happy Friday everyone! It’s finally chilly enough to wear a sweater for the first time in five months and I’m going to try making greek yogurt pumpkin bread to celebrate. Hope everyone has a great, last-of-September weekend!
You know those house tours? The “at home with” posts and “design files” circulating blogworld? I love them, but everytime–everytime–I see one that I think I absolutely have to repost and share with my own lovelies, it ends up being a kids room. I’m not completely sure what that says about me: A lack of maturity? A love of the occasional stuffed creature I just can’t shake? An undeniable attraction to pink, or a devotion to childhood that just won’t fade…In my defense though, take out the tiny, tiny skirts, replace the bears on the cabinet with some stacked sweaters and this room could definitely be adult-worthy. Either this girl’s got style or her mum just took over, but either way they got to this design–I’m in love. That wallpaper is gorgeous. An all-over small print like this is usually too much, but in this room it totally works; and the pops of neon pink and whimsical bobbles on the curtains keep those metallic hydrangeas from sending out old-lady vibes. Virginia Woolf said it’s ok to have illusions–even as a grown-up–so I’m coming to terms with my kids-room attraction as something I’ll never lose….I’d just “acquire others” anyway, and I kinda like this one.
Amy Vanderbilt, author of the famous etiquette books Dear Miss Vanderbilt and later a cookbook illustrated by the famous pop artist Andy Warhol, is considered the go-to girl on all questions about etiquette since she published her first edition in 1952. Some of the questions her readers wrote in are absolutely hilarious, hilarious to think that some of these social rules were actually mainstream. Yet, in all their hilarity, there is a tinge of sadness to see how quickly her etiquette rules have been ignored–or all but dismissed– in pretty much one generation.
These quotes are some of Amy’s responses to a few “Dear Miss Vanderbilt” letters written to her about table manners. I found them irresistible and had to share. My favorite? “Ladies no longer have to pretend a disinterest in food,” when asked by a young woman whether it was proper for a lady to admire the food, rave about a recipe, or cheer over a morsel of dinner that a hostess provided. Apparently, before the 1950’s, ladies just pretended not to eat…because, you know, eating is sooooo vulgar. For overturning THAT myth, Dear Miss Vanderbilt, I am eternally grateful.
portrait via / quote via vmmv / wall via / chairs via / bio info via
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and professor, and, despite having a rather tumultuous personal life where he endured many of his own dreary days (his first wife died after childbirth and his second from severe burns in an accident), he was able to overcome them through a lifelong study of what he loved most: writing. Probably most famous for his epic poem Evangeline, Longfellow was a prolific poet, penning many of our most famous poems and giving us many words of wisdom for when we’re faced with our own showers–whether they be in April or not:
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Do you know how impossibly impossible it is to inexpensively decorate a man’s apartment? It’s impossibly impossible. Really. For us ladies, adorn the ceilings and walls with bunting, giant paper flowers, twinkle lights, cut outs from magazines arranged in a framed collage, and you’ve got wall-art for pennies. But a guy? Nope. To be masculine is really rather expensive. You have to have real wood, and metal, and other horrid things that make lots and lots of dollar signs…Untilllll I found this fabulous fabric that looks like architectural plans. I decided once framed it would look so sleek, classy, and masculine and I could deck a sad, blank, white wall in inexpensive fabulous, manly glory. I didn’t have a chance to hang all the frames up because I was anxiously wanting to do this post, but you get the idea from this single guy, and I promise to send an update this way once they’re gracing the wall in full splendor:
Goodwill is a mecca for inexpensive frames, I bought 12, 8″ by 10″ wooden frames at $2.00 each. With matting cut from $0.69 a sheet scrapbook paper, spray-paint, spray-adhesive, and half a yard of my fabric, I’m going to end up spending $3.90 per frame ($47 total) for each of the 12 frames andddd I get an entire wall of super chic, masculine wall art.
Framing is so absurdly expensive and it’s so easy to do it yourself I don’t know why more people don’t. I’m really happy with how they turned out. You’d never guess they had some rather humble beginnings in the fabric store and Goodwill. Now, they just look simply vintage and manly chic. That’s some pretty great framin’ for the man:
This week I’m starting a new blog-post-theme, or more like a new goodwill quest: giving vintage muses the opportunity to become part of the Pinterest world by pinning (in their honor of course) things I am certain they would adore. What would Grace Kelly’s Pinterest look like I wonder? Hepburn? Monroe? What about Virginia Woolf? Perhaps a little dreary, ok…what if Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice were given a username? Gertrude Stein? Are you intrigued yet? To start things off and in honor of Easter peeking around the corner, today’s “guest” pinner is the brilliant and lovely Beatrix Potter.
Besides publishing twenty-three books during her lifetime and being perhaps one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time, Potter was also a conservationist, purchasing “Hill Top Farm” in the English countryside and successfully preserving almost all of what we now know as the gorgeous “Lake District” of Britain. The scientific community during her era was also very interested in her work and illustrations in mycology, as well as her sheep breeding. During a time when women weren’t really welcome in the education and work-world, Potter successfully created her own illustration and print business with her adorable and now universally well-known creature characters and was respected in many spheres for her devotion to nature, articism, and creativity. If Beatrix Potter pinned, I’m pretty sure I’d be a devoted follower.
Once you’ve reached the age where trundling baskets around the backyard to search for hard-boiled eggs hidden just out of reach so your parents can get a hearty laugh at the impossible scramble every year has grown a bit too youthful of a sport, the egg decorating tradition still retains some nostalgia that can’t be outgrown. This is where hand-painted eggs enter the tradition-story: I love these little eggs so much. They have such a sweet, vintage look and are absurdly simple yet look super chic and precise–perfect for the *slightly* grown-up egg decorator.
The original DIY blogger before “blogger” was even a catchphrase, Martha Stewart, did a project much like these Beatrix Potter-esque eggs a few years ago, but her version seemed too complicated for my if-it-takes-more-than-an-hour-that-DIY-is-too-difficult-for-my-brain rule so I did it my own way and it turned out absolutely perfect.
You will need
Beatrix Potter cut-outs (download the template here).
Paint and a brush
A wet cloth and a dry towel
After you blow-out your egg, cut a design from the template and place it on the egg. Completely soak the design with the wet cloth and then pat dry with the dry towel, making sure the edges of the design are adhered flat to the egg. It may wrinkle a bit but it’s ok as long as there’s no gaps for the paint to get under.
Paint around the design with whatever color you desire. Stroke away from the design so the paint isn’t pushed under the paper.
Allow to dry and then carefully peel off the paper.
You may need to do a little touch up work but unless I chose a design with a lot of intricate edges, all of my eggs turned out clean and perfect!
Aren’t they adorable? The whole project seriously takes about twenty minutes and I think they looks so expensive and un-homemade in the best of ways. Plus, if you’re careful, these guys can be re-used year after year:
I’m obsessed with these eggs, I think I’ve used almost every design from the template…in just as many colors…in every room of the house. Happy new traditions this Easter! You never can quite outgrow the egg-phase.
There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about handwritten recipes. Complete with jam stains, a coffee cup ring, embedded crumbs and fading ink, handwritten recipe cards can instantly transport you to another time and another kitchen. Of course, we now have a sort of digital recipe book with the wonderful world of endless online recipes and the Food Network’s monopoly on thousands if not millions of recipes available for almost any meal you’re craving at the click of a search button. Yet, after spending a recent Saturday afternoon clicking through 1036 Google results for a recipe I recently liked, made, and promptly forgot where I found the directions, I decided I was going to bring handwritten recipes back to my kitchen and end these ridiculous, time-sucking searches.
Of course keeping it simple is the whole point of this project. Modern options of endless creativity are fabulous but don’t you ever get sick of them? Don’t you ever just want to do it the old-fashioned plain way? In honor of simplicity, I was going to just use index cards but I remembered my Vintage Tea Party book had beautiful, free printables available (print them here) that were perfect to feature the title of whatever recipe I was working on, so I decided to get just a little fancy and use them as my template: A very wonderful friend gave me a vintage writing set complete with dipping ink and a fountain pen that I finally found a worthy enough project for, but of course that isn’t essential, a regular pen would be just grand. Write your title on the front of your card, add the ingredients and directions to the reverse, and you’ve instantly made your own memory that you’ll never have to Google again.
After I wrote my recipe cards, I reaffirmed to myself that I needed to keep doing this, I was rather saddened by my hideous modern handwriting compared to the old recipes in my box. Oh well, it’s a step in the right direction.
Etsy has hundreds of super cheap, vintage recipe boxes, both sophisticated and fun ones in case you’re searching for your own. They also have some great options for organizing your recipe box with handmade dividers in case you’re a bit organization obsessed. Whatever you desire though, simple, plain, fancy, or cute, write your recipes down! This generation is dangerously veering towards leaving nothing tangible behind when we take our laptops and go, and this is just a tiny way of changing that.