I’ll Be In My Bunk

Steve and I used to watch Firefly, a great show from Joss Whedon that didn’t do so well in ratings but is, to this day, much beloved by fans. It was a sci-fi show with the twist that it had a western theme to it. It had good characters, good stories, and eventually a movie was made, called Serenity.

Imagine my delight when my favorite indie makeup shop, Sweet Libertine, launched a line of eyeshadows based on Firefly – woot!!!

I’ve purchased from Sweet Libertine before and been very happy with the products and customer service. My eyes are uber sensitive and I’ve never had any problems with their eyeshadows. I recently ordered three from the Firefly collection, which has names that refer to all sorts of moments in the show: This Food is Problematic, Captain Tight Pants, and I’ll Be In My Bunk. I also ordered a couple of blush samples, Cosmopolitan, and Glowing, which btw, is a pretty darn good dupe for NARS’ Orgasm.

Glowing blush

I’ll share my new pretties with you all when I receive them – no one has paid me or given me product for this post, I am happy to support a company that remains dedicated to quality control, NO animal testing, superior quality and that makes products that I can actually wear 😀 If you’ve been looking for some pretty spring or summer makeup, go check out Sweet Libertine!

* Oh, and about “I’ll Be in My Bunk”, it’s my favorite quote from the show. Let me try to explain it: The crew includes a Companion who entertains various men as the crew travel from place to place. When it is revealed her latest client is a woman, one of the others in the crew takes in this information, pauses for a second, and mutters “I’ll be in my bunk.”

Yummy doughy goodness

My husband sent me a recipe he found online, a couple of weeks ago, to make pretzels just like the ones sold at the Auntie Anne’s stores. We had everything at hand and gave it a try:

Steve kneads the dough:

The lovely things in the oven

The lovely things out of the oven:

The lovely things ready to be eaten

I have to say this is one of the rare copycat recipes that I have tried, that actually gives you a product resembling the original. These pretzels are DE-LI-CIOUS!!! This is actually the second time we have made them in the past month because they turned out so yummy the first time. The biggest “tip” we can offer is the one in the recipe itself, to roll out the dough super thin because after you shape it into a pretzel, it will puff back up, but either way the pretzels taste so good.

Given that neither of us is a baking or a breadmaking expert, and that we’ve made this twice with delicious results both times, I’m going to vouch for this recipe as a good one, so if you’ve been wanting to make pretzels at home, I’d give this one a try.

Garden Update – April 2013

Our lovely plants are budding and blooming and we are already enjoying some of the produce, like our chard and lettuces.

Yellow roses are my favorite and the rose bush is going gangbusters – every two or three days I bring a couple of blooms inside to enjoy.

Yummy lettuces and onions. I had a scallion omelette for lunch today, so good!!

Of course, tomatoes are the stars of our summer garden, there are quite a few baby ones growing:

The boys’ favorite fruit from our backyard are the blueberries – they run past it and grab a few to pop in their mouths as they play.

One of my husband’s favorite harvests is this vine – our Concord grapes. He made a delicious batch of grape jam last year and we are looking forward to another one in a few months!

Swiss chard – I treat it like spinach, sauteed with garlic and butter it’s just delicious. We planted it like 4 years ago and it just comes back each year.

Our lavender is just starting to bud – I’ve made wreaths, sachets, stuck a bunch here and there. I just love lavender.

We also have tons of little pears and plums that will ripen in due time, and of course our avocado tree, much beloved by us, and our family and friends 😀

Are you growing anything this year?

Sweet and Simple Storage Solution

Our garage houses many things, except our cars. Most of our “stuff” is stored in large bins, but as always, it is the little things that are always bouncing from place to place, unless they have a permanent home.

We recently inherited, among other things, a few bins from Steve’s parents, who closed their catering business after thirty years. Given the unused space next to Steve’s desk and the new-to-us bins, he decided to build something to store small things like cables, computer parts, etc.

This idea is similar to Ana White’s Laundry Basket Dresser.

The area before:

Measuring (twice) and cutting (once)

The finished – and oh so useful! – storage area with bins in place.

As always, I have to thank my sweet husband for always looking for ways to make our lives more efficient. Less time spent spent searching for things means more time spent having fun. Yesterday I sat at his desk, while he measured and cut, working on a little project of my own, while our boys had fun in the front yard. But for now we are loving the orderly look and more streamlined area. Woot!!

Redwood flower frames

We love our backyard, no question about it. It is a pretty decent size, it allows our boys to play hard and it allows us to entertain and grow fruits and veggies for our family.

THAT said . . .

Sometimes things out back get kind of, well, boring.

True, we will have lots of lavender and tomatoes bringing in the reds and purples of summer, and there will be fresh corn and plums, too, but we wanted some instant gratification and my husband decided to put together some frames for nature’s works of art.

The frames are made from redwood planks – we painted them using leftover spray paint and some mistints that cost $5/gallon.

I love looking outside the playroom/office window and seeing these bright pops of color!

We are very happy with how this project turned out, and it has been featured at:
Visit thecsiproject.comFeatured At Serenity Now

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Stencils + Sharpies = Lovely Dish Towels

A few weeks ago I bought a set of stencils for super cheap. I think it was $3 or so. Mainly because the front stencil was of a fleur-de-lis, of course. I started on a flour sack towel I had leftover from another project.

I was pretty happy with my first effort and since our new range has a handle for towels on the oven door, that’s where this pretty towel went:

I also love the look of Moroccan tiles, so I chose the stencil that looked most like a similar tile to me:

I did these in the dark red color and really like them:

I just eyeballed it and didn’t measure the spacing or center, it was my first try and I just wanted to see how this went — and I’m really happy with the results. A super easy craft, under $5 per towel. Incidentally, I saw a deal on Tuesday of two towels for $35, with the same image as I used on my first flour sack towel project. Pretty crazy, huh?

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

DVD storage solution

We didn’t use to own many DVDs. Then we had kids. Then we got chubby. So now we have ton of kids’ DVDs and, since we got our XBox, games and workout DVDs. There were DVDs everywhere, a couple even got damaged because they would be thrown into a drawer with no sleeve or case, so I started to look for a system that would work for us. I wanted things to be organized and for our boys to be able to see where their own DVDs went.

I ended up going with these mini binders from Atlantic:

I bought two – with 4 binders each – and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. Plain old grown-up movies are labeled alphabetically, with room for more should we purchase DVDs in the future. The rest are labeled “misc.”, “kids”, “workout”, and “xbox”. There is room for almost 200 DVDs in these binders and they are all neat and organized.

As you can see, we do save cases for movie collections like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but all the cases from the movies stored in the binders are up in our attic storage, lessening the bulk and frustration of finding a case only to open it and see that the DVD is not inside.

Above the DVD shelf live our votives and wax melts.

I made the little boxes out of chevron tape and one mini-corn dog box (my oldest is addicted!), because, again, the wax melts were all over the place, and the burner is to the left of this cabinet.

Now I need to tackle the CDs. Holy crackers, that is going to be a huge job – I’ll report back in a year or two.

katherines corner

Bringing spring color inside

A few months ago I made some embellished kitchen towels using Sharpies, in a craft inspired by Heather from Setting for Four. This time I decided to use a bunch of different colors for a very colorful accent to our dining room table.

I had lots of fabric left over from some old curtains and I decided to make some colorful flowers using Sharpies:

Then I cut out the shapes I wanted – even though my “G” ended up looking like a “6”, grr – and appliqued them onto a length of the same fabric. I chose a contrasting color for the stitching so the letters would stand out:

I might also hang it above one of our hutches as a banner when we have friends over. I love that it was such a simple craft and is bringing so much color into our neutral dining room.

We had a few adventures during the boys’ week off, I will share some this week and some Top Secret goings on will have to wait to be revealed next week ;D I will tell you that I just finished a wonderful debut novel by a local author and I can’t wait to tell you all about that, too!