Tag Archives: decorating

self-fulfilling prophecy. . .

Well, It’s been approximately forever since I’ve posted.  I sort of knew that would happen when I started, just because I have a long history of empty journals and diaries in my past.  I’m a terrible photographer for the same reason. . . I’m too busy actually doing the thing that I’m doing to stop and take pictures/write about it/whatever.  Case in point, I had a Halloween party last weekend, and it was really fun, but I didn’t think to take ONE picture the whole time. You’ll all just have to imagine what me in an owl costume must have looked like.  🙂

My DIY owl headband for my Halloween costume. It was a “hoot”! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!)

However,  I’m determined not to let the embarrassment of failing to be a “good blogger” get me down, so here we go again.

Lest you think I’ve been a total flake, I can offer some proof to the contrary:

I finally found and purchased dining room furniture

I halfway refinished and built a dresser (details and the finished product to come!)

. . . and I made a fall wreath for my front door for about 12 bucks!

Before I go, I thought I’d share one of my absolute favorite recipes.  I discovered 5 (five!) bananas in the back of my freezer.  Pretty often, I can’t get through all the bananas I purchase before that last one goes over the edge into the “too ripe” category.  Not wanting to be wasteful, I usually throw it in the freezer to save for making banana bread (too ripe, mushy bananas make the BEST bread!)  I’ve tried a lot of recipes since I moved out of my parents’ house, since I made the mistake of not writing down the one my mother uses. However, nothing comes close, in my humble opinion, so I finally had her email me the real deal just a few months ago.  It’s actually a recipe for zucchini bread from an old church recipe book she’s had for ages, but substituting bananas for the zucchini works just fine.  I usually just take the bananas out of the freezer and put them in a bowl to thaw.  Once they’re mostly defrosted, you can just sort of just squish them right out of the peel, and finish mashing them with a fork.  Also, I love it with walnuts, but it’s good without, too. Seriously, try it!

1 1/2 c flour
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 c nuts (optional)
1/2  c oil
1 medium zucchini (or two mashed bananas)
2 eggs
Mix dry ingredients. Add eggs, nuts and oil.  Add bananas and pour into greased and lightly floured pan; bake for one hour @ 350.


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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Bookshelf Inspiration

One of the things I’m most focused on doing before grad school starts is making sure I have a quiet, cohesive organized space to do work.  If I wait until the work has started, it will never get done ( I know this from experience).  Since I didn’t take my desk with me when I moved, I’m starting with a totally blank slate, which is pretty exciting.  After searching through photos on the internet of beautiful home offices, one of the things I was continually drawn to was very simple lines with walls of built-in bookcases.  Since this is a little bit (read way) out of my budget or the scope of my know-how, I really loved how this space has some of the same atmosphere.


After a quick bit of searching, I found a desk and bookcases that would help me get a similar look at Target. I chose this desk and these bookcases to go with it.  I like that they’re not as narrow as the ones pictured above.

The Carson 5-Shelf Bookcase in White

The Carson Anywhere Desk in White


Let me just tell you that after they were delivered and I took the time to put all three pieces together, I didn’t want to look at them for about three days or so.  I was so sick of wrangling tiny little screws!

Now comes the fun part: I didn’t know that there were so many ways to decorate (or “style”) a bookcase, but I wasted a good bit of time investigating all the different suggestions. This article from Centsational Girl made lots of really great points.  Here are some ideas that I loved.

What a cool backdrop, and it looks really nice to use horizontal books as a bookend.

Picture frames and interesting accessories break up the monotony of only book spines

Love the bright, geometric backdrop on this one from Eddie Ross.

This article from The Art of Doing Stuff shows seven (7!) different ways to stack books.

I think this one is my favorite!

I haven’t gotten very far yet, but I decided that I for sure wanted to cover the back panel of the cases with an interesting and cheerful pattern.  The comforter in the extra bedroom is a cool gray and yellow graphic pattern and so I wanted to stick with something that would go with that.  Once I found this contact paper on Amazon, I was sold.  (also, it was only $5.50 since I added to an order of things I had already decided on. . . can’t beat that!)


I just received it this morning, and couldn’t wait to get work!  I’ve only done one bookcase so far, but I loved the results so much that I really wanted to share my progress.

The first bookcase with contact paper finished. . . I still have another one to do.


I put the contact paper onto the front side of the back panels before I screwed the panels onto the bookcases to that it would be easier to get the edges exact and not have to worry about cutting the corners inside the bookcase.













What do you think?  I love how cheerful they look now that they’re not just plain white.  Have you ever done something simple like this to make a pretty big change in the way something looks?


Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Decorating, DIY projects


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Paint It Black

I just wanted to share my first foray into the world of spray paint since I’m so proud of myself.  One of the only pieces of furniture I moved (besides my bed) was a bakers rack.  It started out a funny speckled green color.

The baker’s rack before

Since I had to take the dang thing totally apart to get it to fit in the trailer, I decided to take the opportunity to give it a facelift.  I used a primer made for metal that’s already been painted, and a glossy black spraypaint.  After taping every single space on my little porch over with a plastic dropcloth, I got to work.  After two days of painting and a whole day of letting it dry and putting it back together, let me introduce you to my very first spraypainting beauty:

The after

(forgive the not so great photography, I never claimed that was a skill of mine)  🙂

For now, its living in the corner of the dining room, and I’m thrilled that i was able to remember how to put it back together correctly.  

Also, since I had some paint leftover, I got to work on this little picture frame as well:

Now it’s a much better match for this long and skinny print I bought when I was studying abroad in India.  I’m pretty happy with the results of my experimentation so far.  Also, I thought I’d share this list of spray-painting tips first brought to my attention by a friend of mine (Thanks Britt!). It was helpful to have someone who does it a lot explain the basics (especially since I had no idea what I was doing).

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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in DIY projects


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Culture Shock

I’m officially living in the South, and it feels a little bit different.  Nothing very dramatic, but I’ve certainly noticed a drawl, and the fact that okra is readily available in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store.  Also, I stopped in a little local hardware store and the man behind the counter gave me my total in Spanish.  He laughed and apologized, and said he’s not used to having to speak English in the store (I’m sure all of his other customers are Spanish speakers).  We laughed because I so clearly don’t speak it, but I’m surrounded by it, so I’m sure I’ll pick up the basics before too long.

I’ve been spending most of my time shopping for things to fill in my empty apartment since I jettisoned all of my furniture before leaving Pittsburgh.

After much deliberation, I chose this couch for the living room, and this chair to go with it.  They should arrive sometime next week, and until then I’m making do with set of folding chairs 🙂

I’ve also found Marshall’s, Homegoods and TJ Maxx all in the same plaza right around the corner from my house, which I love.  I’ve been browsing a lot and picked up some fun things without spending too much:

A bright rug for $30 for the kitchen floor

Canisters for pasta, flour, sugar, and brown sugar from Target. I liked these because they were simple, and the stainless lids match my appliances.

Bright orange ramekins, from Pier 1

A cute wind chime for my porch also from Pier 1 Imports

A white ceramic owl vase from TJ Maxx, just because. 🙂

I finally cooked an actual meal in my new kitchen; one of my standby faves: spicy italian sausage with peppers and onions over pasta. You can’t really call it a recipe, it’s basically just cook things separately and add them all together at the end:

cook some sausage (I love the spicy kind)

Then cook one onion and one bell pepper in the same pan

Add the sausage back to the pan, and then add your favorite jar of sauce ( I like the chunky one with extra veggies)

Toss it together with any pasta you like ( I did angel hair only b/c it’s so quick to make)

Add parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Here’s the recipe card if you want it, though like I said you could probably make it up as you go along and it would be fine, it’s pretty hard to do wrong.  🙂   What are some of your favorite go-to comfort food recipes?

sausage pepper and onion pasta recipe card

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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Cooking, Decorating


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