Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{Updating the Abode} - New Kitchen Color

I loved my pumpkin colored kitchen but after we added the black bead board, I was ready for a change.
I gave you a sneak peek here.
We decided on grey but that is a hard color to pick!
We finally settled on Benjamin Moore's Puritan Grey.
Here's the cut-in work.
The paint is going on.
And it's done!
It takes on different hues depending on the time of day.
Here's a side by side from the same window area and another side by side view.
The new color makes the room feel bigger and we really like it how it "feels" in there now.
The white moldings really pop against the grey too.
We also did one more project in the kitchen before Thanksgiving. I can't wait to share it with you!

One year ago Alphabet Blocks

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Monday, November 28, 2011

{Gift Idea}Dollar Bill Origami Bracelet

A thing of beauty and artistry.
 This is a fun gift idea that uses sixteen one dollar bills.  We used eighteen because it was part of a bat mitzvah gift and the number eighteen symbolizes "chai" or life in the Jewish faith.
 It was a little tricky getting started.  We followed the instructions on this fabulous blog.  I found her instructions the easiest to follow and her photos were a big help with the process.

 Once we got the hang of it, the process went quickly.
 It would make a fun Sweet 16 gift 
 or just a creative way to give cash to your favorite tween or teen.

Are you ready to try your hand at one?

One year ago...Ikea Holiday Hook Up
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Friday, November 25, 2011


Random thoughts and thankfulness.
The kitchen table all decked out for Thanksgiving.
I decorated it like the dining room table with things I already had.
 We tried out some new recipes like this stuffing from The Pioneer Woman
and this yummy Pumpkin Sangria.  I even made a non-alcoholic one for the kids.
 and old favorites like this Easy & Absolutely Fabulous Cranberry Relish(that I found in a Hallmark holiday pamphlet).  I also made the green bean casserole in the crock pot. Super easy!
 I'm so thankful that my husband does the mashed potatoes every year. This year he peeled them all the night before and kept them covered in water in the fridge (all 18 pounds of them!).
We tried a new turkey recipe from Martha.
It did make a beautifully glazed turkey.
 I love these bowls that I "commissioned" my daughters to make for me about 5 years ago.  I asked for  coordinating fall-colored bowls.   
There's a fourth one but it was being used to hold almonds on another table.
Another shot of the kitchen table.
 I had to get creative with seating and used our piano bench draped in a runner (that I won!) for the end of the table to hold two people who don't mind being cozy.
 It was so nice to have both families over for Thanksgiving.
 Of course football was on.
 Both kids were extremely helpful yesterday and leading up to the big day too!
She wanted to help mash the taters.
 The teen had prepared this delicious Grilled Vegetable Noodle-less Lasagna for the herbivores. 
 I don't mind roasting the turkey but cutting it is not my thing.  I was so thankful for help in this matter. It was juicy and delicious!  Everyone who wanted them went home with leftovers.
We served coffee and dessert in the basement which freed up a lot of space upstairs and I was able to set the dessert table up earlier in the week.   Unfortunately I didn't bring the camera down with me when we were having dessert so I don't have any pictures of our overflowing table of sweets.
We even managed to take our Christmas card photo outside yesterday (and I have a few that I like!). I was getting so good with the tripod and timer that I took a few of us right before our guests arrived. The lighting isn't great but I'm happy to have one of the four of us.

I'm most thankful for those three!!!

Check out the teen's new "do".
I'll leave you with an outtake from our Christmas card session.
How was your day?

A year ago:Clock to Cloche~Take 2
Pumpkin Pie Martini

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{Getting Crafty} Last Minute Thanksgiving Mantel

As if hosting Thanksgiving wasn't enough, I added a craft project to my 'to-do' list over the weekend.
I was inspired by this stunning mantel.
I wanted to make my own version and figured it would be thrifty and quick.
 I bought some Dollar Store pumpkins and gourds.  The pickin's were slim so I couldn't do all pumpkins and some were textured, some were smooth.
 The weather was warm on Sunday and good for spray painting so I pulled out my favorite Heirloom White and started spraying away.
 They needed a few coats.
 I had to dry them in the garage on Monday because it was getting rainy out (and time was running out!)
 I picked up these polka dot stickers at Michaels. Of course they didn't stick to the rounded shapes too well so I secured them with some hot glue.
The banner was super easy. I cut triangles out of leftover burlap and the Tween stuck the letters right on (no hot glue needed) the fabric.  I strung them together with some twine and hung them on the frame (already on my mantel) with some masking tape on the back.  It was the Tween's idea to use the star to dot the "i". 
Love it!
It's just what my mantel needed for Thanksgiving..and just in time!

Have you been inspired to recreate a project you've admired?
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{Recipe} Roasted Vegetable Stacked Enchiladas

I've been trying to expand my vegetarian repertoire and we love Mexican food so this recipe looked perfect.  The idea of stacking rather than rolling the enchiladas intrigued me.
 This recipe starts with yummy roasted veggies. Pick what you like.   I used peppers, onions, zucchini and fennel. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes in a 400 F oven.
I loosely followed the recipe. 
 I used what I had on hand like these flour tortillas and our favorite Cuban style black beans.
 In the meantime I also started some Cilantro Lime Rice.  I love this lemon/lime juicer!
 I made the rice with this handy product.
 I use it all the time when a recipe calls for vegetable broth.  Just mix it with water.
 Another life saver is frozen chopped cilantro. 
The rice is delicious. I don't have any photos of it but trust me. It's even better than than the rice at Chipotle!
 OK, so back to the enchiladas.  Once the vegetables are roasted, combine them with the black beans and spices.
Layer like lasagna starting with enchilada sauce, then tortillas to cover the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan, then a layer of the vegetable/bean mixture and some Mexican blend cheese. 
Repeat with two more layers.
 Cover the last layer with cheese and foil.
 Bake at 350 for 20 minutes then remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until it's all melty and bubbly.
Let cool for 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) then cut into squares to serve warm.
Sooo good!

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