Monday, October 31, 2011

Jewelry Organization Inspiration

My jewelry box is too small and stuffed with necklaces to the point where I find myself wearing the same four pieces all the time. I know there is more potential for my wardrobe but I just can't see it. I have been inspired by cool jewelry organization on Pinterest. I was explaining my delimma and ideas to Mike last night. He listened and thought about it and concluded he could build me my dream jewelry organization and all we would need is some hooks. Of course there are many different materials that could be used for hanging.

While we work out the details of my soon to be jewelry organizer here are some of the ideas that inspired me. Plus you can check out others on my jewelry organization board.

Update: See how I made my own jewelry organization.




Pinned Image
Source
cork jewelry board
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jewelry organizer made with old picture frames and wine corks.
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Jewelry holder from a bamboo cutlery tray
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Cute jewelry organizer
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For bracelets cute
Source
Jewelry Board using a peg board and tool organization kit
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I aspire to be as neat and organized as this pics :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crochet Bearded Beanie

Mike found a picture of a bearded beanie on Facebook and asked if I could make him one. I did a search and found this pattern on Ravelry. I started to follow the pattern for the beanie but I ended up doing an alternation between double and single crochet because I didn't want to figure out the ribbing.

I made the beard with a strand of fun fur yarn and regular yarn to make it look fuzzy. The fun fur yarn was really hard to work with but it was worth it. It also hides any mistakes you may have made because it's so fuzzy.

I think this would be a little more practical if the beard was removable. That way the hat could also be worn by itself.


crochet bearded beanie

crochet bearded beanie


crochet bearded beanie


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time to Plant Garlic

It's towards the end of October and as the temperatures drop it's the perfect time to plant garlic. I planted it for the first time last year and it's defintely won a place in my garden. Garlic is so easy to plant and it produces great results.

 Last year I bought soft neck garlic from a garden center. I saved the biggest bulb from my harvest to plant this year. A few weeks ago I picked up a two other hardneck varieties at the farmers market, musica and extra hardy German white. I was excited to get some different varieties and they were grown organically which was a bonus for me since I grow an organic garden.

Musica, extra hardy German white, soft neck from my garden



First I separated the cloves.



Then I dug a hole about an inch deep and planted the clove pointy side up. I planted them 4 inches apart. I practice square foot gardening so this was 9 in a square foot.


I put down a layer of straw as mulch over my new plantings


I expect to see some growth this fall while the garlic is getting established. Now it's time to wait for next summer. The garlic should be ready around mid July and I can't wait.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homemade Tomato Sauce

As the summer gardening season is coming to a close it seems like all of my big Brandywine tomatoes are ripening at the same time. We just picked 18 and there are 5 or so ripening on the vine. There are a few more green ones too. We still are getting some off of our other two plants a small cherry sized Sungold and a grape tomato. We looked at all these tomatoes and thought this seems like a great time to make sauce. We can use up a lot of tomatoes at once and there is nothing like homemade sauce to liven up pasta!

Ingredients

Around 6-8 large tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
2 medium onions
1 cup mixed fresh herbs- parsley, basil, oregano, thyme (if you don't have fresh, dry will work but reduce the amount to around 2 tablespoons or to taste)
Olive oil

Chop up tomatoes and drain off excess liquid. Chop onions and herbs.
Add olive oil to the pan and preheat. We use a seasoned oil. We add dried herbs, salt and garlic to the oil in the bottle and it makes a really nice base for sauteing or as a tasting oil.
 We also cooked the sauce in a stainless steel stockpot so we could saute and cook the sauce down in the same pan. A large saucepan or deep skillet could also work.



Add onions and saute until translucent.



Add chopped tomatoes and cook on low for about 30 minutes until they turn saucy.




Add herbs and continue to cook for about 30- min to 1 hour or until it's at the desired consistency.



Serve over pasta. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Make Your Own Sushi

Mike mastered the art of rolling Sushi (Maki) around 3 years ago. Since then he has spread his knowledge amoungst our friends and made sushi loving converts out of everyone that tries his specialty. It's quite easy to do once you get the hang of it. Even better, it's a much much cheaper alternative to getting it at a restaurant. Plus you can be creative with the ingredients.

how to make sushi

We have a rice cooker to cook the rice. It's not a must but it does make cooking the rice much easier. You start with sushi rice aka short grain rice. It must be short grain rice or it won't stick together. Our grocery store sells it in the Asian section along with the other ingredients listed below for sushi. We are lucky enough to have an Asian market close by so that's where we usually pick up our ingredients. They have cheap prices and items you can't find at the regular grocery store like sushi grade tuna and certain spices.


Ingredients for the rice:


2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
4 tbl seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbl sugar
2 tsp salt
  • Heat the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan on low until just warm. Be careful not to cook to long or the sugar will burn. This is the seasoning for the rice.
  • Add rice and water to rice cooker cook until done. You can also cook in a pan on the stove per the directions on the bag.
  • Once rice is cooked add the warmed rice vinegar mixture and cool in a bowl with a damp cloth over the top to keep the rice moist.

Ingredients for the Maki:

cooked rice
Nori (seaweed sheets)
filling of your choice which can include (but not limited too)
imitation crab
shrimp
smoked salmon
sushi grade tuna
lump crab meat
cucumber
carrot
green onion
green pepper
asparagus
avacado
cream cheese
sesame seeds
Just about anything you like!
Other items for the roll:
soy sauce
wasabi (optional for those who like it really hot)
spicy mayo (see recipe below)
pickled ginger

Ingredients for spicy mayo:


1/4 cup mayo (you can buy the japanese kind but in our opinion regular mayo tastes the same.  If you want to use and can't find it at the here is a link to buy it on Amazon.)

1 tsp sesame oil

Siracha (this is pretty easy to find in the Asian section)

Ichimi Togarashi (this is a hot chili pepper spice. If you can't find it at the store here is a link to buy it on Amazon or you can just omit it.)

Put the mayo in a small dish. Add a tsp of the Ichimi Togarashi and a few squirts of Siracha stir. Taste the mayo and add a little more Siracha and Ichimi Togarshi until you reach the amount of spice for your liking. It should be a nice orange color the same as the sauce at the restarant.



Popular combos for Maki
Philadelphia roll = smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucmuber or avacodo
California roll= imitaion crab, cucumber, avacado
Cream cheese California roll= imitaion crab, cucumber, avacado , cream cheese
Spicy tuna/salmon roll = Tuna/salmon and spicy mayo
Alaska roll= smoked salmon, aspargus, avacado
Tuna avacado= tuna, avacado
Of course the options are infinite when you are in control of the fillings.

Utensils:

sushi rolling mat (to keep it clean you can wrap it in plastic wrap)
bowl of water (to keep your fingers from sticking to the rice)
sharp knife (for cutting)
  • Chop your fillings into long strips around the size of the nori sheet or smaller. We kept it simple this time with imitaion crab and cucumber.

  • Place a the nori sheet onto your sushi mat. Dip your fingers in the water and grab a small ball of rice.
  • Press the rice onto the nori and smooth it over the surface in a thin layer.

  • Add your filling.
  • Take one end of the mat and start rolling the nori. Squeeze the roll into a cylinder and tuck in edges. Take your time to get it right.



  • Slice by finding the half way point. Then slice at the half way point of the smaller piece. And repeat for even pieces.


Serve with soy sauce and spicy mayo.



For another visual here is a video of Mike making the roll.



If you can't view it here is the you tube link

I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Wow, what an honor. I've been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award!


Thanks to Patricia at Cropa Cabana who gave me the award. Patricia does scrapbooking and makes awesome fondant cakes including this one that looks like a wine bottle. I need this at my next party! Thanks again Patricia!


As a recipient of The Verstile Blogger Award, there are 3 rules to follow...
1. Thank the person who awarded you.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself that your readers may not know.
3. Award 7 other bloggers with this award.


So here are 7 things you may not know about me:
1. I was born in New York City
2. I have two sisters
3. Mike and I have been married for six years
4. We met while working at Ruby Tuesday
5. In addition to our two dogs we have a cat and a fish tank
6. I love wine
7. I love funny movies and sitcoms on tv. Anything that makes me laugh

Here are the seven new recipients of the Versatile Blogger award. Congratulations!

Jennifer @ Two Butterflies

Donatella @ Inspiration and Realisation

Tricia @ Mama Marchand's Musings

Keight @ Putapuredukes

Hannah @ Rubies and Pearls

Jamie @ The DIY Home Sweet Home Project

Natasha @ 5 Minutes Just For Me

Congratulations again ladies!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Our New Puppy

Mike and I adopted a new puppy this past weekend. Her name is Abby and she is a black lab mix. She is nine months and will probably only be 15 lbs so she won't get much bigger.




She is going to be a great playmate for our labradoodle Rufus.  They are already best friends!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Blooms in the Garden

The temps were really cool last week and it really started feeling like fall. It's been warmer this week so I have started working on fall cleanup. My gardening philopshpy in my front bed is to have something blooming all season long. I think I have been doing a pretty good job this year. I have been practicing close ups with my camera so I thought it would be a great chance to capture some of my fall blooms.




Autumn joy and Chrysanthemum


Chrysanthemum


Chrysanthmum



Hydrangea


Random Hydrangea bloom that is still blue


Royal Candles

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Easy Ribbon Necklace

I saw this ribbon and pearls necklace on Pinterest from J Crew. I pinned it and thought it would be easy to make. Then Disney at Ruffles and Stuff did a tutorial on super simple necklaces. It was the same concept and it inspired me to try it myself.

Here is my version


easy ribbon necklace


I found this pearl necklace at a garage sale for 75 cents. I got with this project in mind.


First I took of this clasps with pliers. I saved the pieces in case I ever want to put it back together.

Then I cut 6 pieces of white and 6 pieces of black of this skinny ribbon.


I made a knot at the end of each side of the pearl necklace and knotted the other end to keep the strands together. Then I ran a flame from a lighter on each end to keep the ribbon from fraying.

Here is the finished product

easy ribbon necklace


The first one was so easy I started looking through my jewelery box for another necklace. I picked out this one. Every time I put it on I wish it was a little longer so I knew it would work.



I doubled it up and used one strand of this thicker ribbon.


I knotted the necklace on each side and placed the knot over the clasp to hide it. I also ran the lighter over the ends of the ribbon again.

Here is the finished product

easy ribbon necklace

I love how they are adjustable to make them longer or really long. This project was so easy I am still eyeing up my other necklaces to see if I want to transform another.


I may be linking up to one of these fabulous parties.

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