I'm not sure if it's the colder weather or something else, but I've been getting moodier in my decor lately. While I'm still a firm believer that white paint fixes everything, I've been seeing beautiful kitchens, living rooms, and offices painted black and have been getting the itch to paint a room in my house black.
My master bedroom has been in flux since we moved in. It was the first room that I removed the wall paper in and painted, but then I did nothing else with it. It has sat for three years. No headboard, no design, no cohesive furniture.
I finally had enough and decided to give it a little love, starting with a geometric feature wall. This project was super easy to do and cost me less than $50 in supplies.
There's less than a week until Christmas, which means that any semblance of healthy eating is suspended until January. I woke up this morning and had a hankering for doughnuts. Although I'm more of a "savory" person, once in a while a good doughnut is just what you want.
What I didn't want to do was put on pants and go to a coffee shop, but oh wait...I have a coffee shop in my house! So we undertook "homemade" doughnuts using our Air Fryer. They were SO easy to make, with endless topping possibilities. In 6 minutes you can have yummy homemade doughnuts. You probably already have what you need in your fridge. Here's how to do it!
I've been under the weather this week and everyone told me I just had to try a Medicine Ball or Cold Buster from Starbucks. I guess it used to be on their "secret menu" but now it's available as Honey Citrus Tea on the actual menu.
Let me tell you, it's no hot toddy but it did make me feel a lot better. So much better that I wanted to make them at home. So here's my version.
Get that fancy new Samsung Picture TV for $35 bucks! Okay...so you can't actually do that, but you can kinda, sorta, almost have your TV do what it does.
If you're having a party and want to display a painting or picture on your TV instead of it being a giant black square, I have a quick hack for you using FireTv (although I'm sure other aircast programs have a similar option).
I think one of the loveliest exchanges during this time of year is the hostess gift. It's usually unexpected, a social norm from days gone by, but I can assure you that the recipient
I think the go-to hostess gift is a bottle of wine. If you go this route just be sure you are bringing a bottle for your host or hostess to consume at a later date. I'm never against wine, but if you're looking for something a little different, here are 5 affordable hostess gift ideas. You can stock up now and be set for the holidays.
I hate my fireplace. I don't think that's a secret. Well, let me clarify. I love that we have a fireplace (it was one of my "must haves" when buying a house). I love that it's a central fireplace. I don't love that it's red 50's scored brick. Or that the grout is dingy.
My husband loves our fireplace. As in he won't let me paint it. He also would not let me attach a mantle to it. I'm not sure why, this has been one of those "line drawn in the sand things."
So after walking by it for three years and pretending that I don't hate it, and trying to hide it behind decor as much as possible, I finally did something about it. I know we will be fixing it up in the future when we remodel, but I didn't want to wait.
I made a freestanding "surround" and I kinda love it. It was super easy and you could use this same technique to make a faux fireplace for the holidays if you wish. The best part? I can take it off and move it or change it whenever I want. For $50 and one afternoon's work you can have one too. Here's how I did it...
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that it's a day to simply be thankful for all of the good in our lives. Even during tough years, the day has brought solace. I also love that it kicks off a season of celebration. I'm usually able to see friends that live out of state, catch up with coworkers outside of work, and enjoy the music and decor that accompany trips to the store. I love hosting parties, and this is the season of parties.
We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, and are having more people than our dining table could hold. We, like most people, have resorted to abutting a folding table to the dining table. The problem is I just hated the look of it. I was hoping to avoid table cloths, and didn't like the idea of some people eating at a real table and some at a plastic table.
Short of making my actual table larger, I needed a solution, I did a deep dive on Pinterest for some solutions found some things that sort of worked, but nothing that was quite what I wanted. Finally, I decided to wing it and made a topper for our folding table to transform it into a farmhouse table. To put it bluntly, I'm in love. In case you are in the same situation, I'm going to share how I did it.
If you followed along with my cookbook review series, you know that I recommended Cold-Weather Cooking (one of my all time favorite cookbooks) a while back to you. You may not know that Sarah Leah Chase herself shared my review on Facebook and message me on Instagram. I think I now know what "fangirling" is. I mentioned that I came across Chase's book from an Ina Garten recommendation, and this week's book choice comes from the same list.
The Union Square Cafe cookbook has been a fantastic addition to my cookbook collection. I tend to gravitate toward books meant for the home cook that produce wow worthy but approachable meals. The Union Square Cafe Cookbook includes favorite recipes from their storied establishment. I have made several recipes from the book and each time the result has been something truly restaurant quality.
If you want sophisticated restaurant dishes that you are able to recreate at home, this is an excellent starting place. It also includes two recipes that have become an annual tradition for me!
With Thanksgiving just over a month away, I know many are starting to think about their menu. While there are traditions and family recipes passed down, it's always nice to explore new recipes. I've decided to test out some recipes over the next few weeks and thought I would take you along with me. In some cases I follow the recipe exactly as written and in some cases I tweak it to make it my own. I'll tell you where I got the recipe from, how to make it, and what the results were so that you can put out the best Thanksgiving menu possible!
I thought for the first recipe I would change up my carrot game. Carrots are a wonderful side, but I almost always make them the same way. I've been making the mustard creamed onions from Sarah Leah Chase's Cold Weather Cooking for just over a year now to rave reviews each time. I figured her mustard carrots must be worth trying as well. I already make my carrots with brown sugar, but sometimes they are too sweet. I was curious if the mustard would improve that (spoiler, it did). I also found the best hack for getting food out on time!
I have so many of Ina's cookbooks, and for the same reason. They are good. They are easy to follow, the photography is lovely and helps me to understand what the finished product should resemble, and I know if I go to the store and spend money on ingredients, it will be worth it. The recipe will turn out as it should. There's a wonderful confidence to be gained from that. It's like having a secret trick up my sleeve. Whatever the occasion, I know I can produce just the right dish to share. I could review any of her books and come to the same conclusion, that you need to have them. I thought though, I would start with her first book, Barefoot Contessa. It's the "OG Ina" if you will, and I return to it again and again when I need some inspiration in the kitchen.
It contains recipes from her specialty food store of the same name. These are crowd pleasing recipes that teeter the line between high and low in the most delicious and perfect way. The recipes are dishes that are familiar, you've made them before, but Ina's added a twist that takes the flavor and luxuriousness up a notch.