Thursday, December 27, 2012

CHRISTMAS BRUNCH


For Christmas my sister requested a Christmas Brunch! So Christmas Eve as I did some last minute present shopping, I Googled some recipes and found a Goat Cheese and Caramelized Balsamic Onion Quiche and a Starfruit and Spinach Salad.  I got the original recipe for the Quiche here but made a few minor changes. 

Ingredients
2 pie crust (I used a store bought crust)
2 Onions 
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 
3 tablespoon sugar
1/4  cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
8 large eggs
5 ounces goat cheese
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tomato, sliced into ¼ inch slices

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. lay the pie crust into your baking dish
3.Bake the pie crust according to the instruction. While it bakes begin caramelizing your onions.
4. Slice onions and cook on the stove with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt/pepper, and sugar.
5.Take the crust out when it is done and let it cool
6.spread onions in the baking dish and crumble in goat cheese
7. In a bowl mix together buttermilk, milk, eggs, salt, nutmeg, pepper
8. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake until egg is set and golden. for about 40-45 minutes



My uncle has an amazing fruit garden and always send us tons of fruit. This time he sent us a huge box of start fruit. More than what we know to do with! So I threw some in with some spinach and almonds for a salad. For the dressing I mixed together some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, lime juice, minced garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. I didn't really measure it out exactly just poured and mixed until it tasted right! 
-Amy-

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY FOX PILLOW


Foxes are all the rage right now. And I am quite alright with that! This makes a great DIY christmas gift if you have still been procrastinating! I don't have a sewing machine so mine were all hand sewn, and one fox took me a bit less than an hour. There are a lot of fox pillow variations right now on Pinterest so this is a mix of several versions I saw around. Here's the low down..

MATERIALS
White fabric ( I used an old white sheet from the thrift store)
Fabric scraps
Fabric paints
Paint Brushes
Sewing needle and thread (or sewing machine)
Cotton (I used Poly-Fil from hobby lobby)

DIRECTIONS

1. Use a pencil to draw your design on the white fabric! I free-handed mine for the first fox, then painted all the lines in black paint. I placed this underneath white fabric to use it as a stencil to trace all the other foxes. You can use different shapes for the chest/belly or for the tail. 

 2. Cut out the drawing, staying about an 1 1/2 inches away from it so there is extra fabric to sew.

3. Paint the base color of your fox. It is okay if your lines aren't perfect because you will then use a fine tip paint brush to paint the black border. You can go thick or thin here.

4. Once dry, place a sheet of white paper over the ears and trace the inner ear triangle. Cut out the paper triangle and use it as a template to cut out a piece of fabric scrap that looks good with your paint choice. Sew these to the ears.





 5. Go back to your white fabric and place your fox up-side down onto a new piece of fabric. Cut along the outline, creating a piece of fabric that is a mirror image. This will be the back of the pillow.

 6. Take a picture of  your attention-hog dog sitting on your fox. This step is CRUCIAL.

7. Place the two cut outs on top of each other ( still with the fox facing down) and get to sewing! Leave a few inches un-sewn for a place to put the stuffing in.

8. Turn inside out, and fill with stuffing! Hand sew up the remaining area and you're done! Easyyy.
-Jerica-



Sunday, December 16, 2012

DIY PICTURE FRAME JEWELRY HOLDER




     
I have seen a few variations of these jewelry displays on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. I love jewelry and accessories but always seem to lose them. Probably because my idea of storing them is tossing them in a little pile on my desk, floor, purse.. basically anywhere. As you can assume this results in me losing or breaking everything. So this project is right up my ally- something I could use to help organize my jewelry. Now this was not all for me- this was actually a project I did for work. I created these displays ( the big one is for me) for displaying the beautiful and really cool jewelry from my work for our retailers. You can read my other blog here.

Materials:

¼ inch square Wire Mesh Screen
Wire Cutter
Pliers
Scissors
Saw Tooth Hangers
Vintage Frames
Twine
Scissors 

I did two variations of this jewelry display frame- one with a mesh back and another with twine. All you do is remove the glass and backing from the frame, and staple the material you want and how you want it to the back of the frame. Use your staple gun to secure it on. Cut off excess material. DONE!

So simple. I am a big fan of quick and easy projects. Especially ones that do not require too much clean up. If you're interested in more jewelry holders, check out the animal jewelry holder we made here!

For this Vintage Frame DIY Jewelry Display photo shoot I got to raid our inventory and pick some of my favorite pieces to photograph! You can check out more of the jewelry pictured below at www.Nina-Nguyen.com.

Top Left: Seafoam Stalactite Necklace
Bottom Left: Petal Amethyst Druzy Necklace, Bella Geode Earrings, Bella Ammonite Earrings
Bottom Right: Bella Ammonite Earrings  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

THRIFT FINDS: PART I


Thought I would share some of my favorite thrift finds! These were all found at either Salvation Army or Arc, none of those fancy-schmancy thrift storesss. I think the shoes were the most expensive thing at 5 dollars. Check out some thrifting tips from Amy!

1. Frame from thrift store, not picture
2. Shoes from The Leather Collection
3. Vintage pitcher
-Jerica-

Monday, December 10, 2012

MINTED

Over at Minted there is an awesome design contest going on! They are giving away weekly $200 gift cards and a grand prize of $1000! The site takes submissions for all kinds of independent artists for things like invitations, stationaries, photos, cards, envelopes, artwork; you name it. You can look through hundreds of professionally designed invitation prints, with most averaging at about $2 an invitation. Not too bad! Its a way to support smaller artists and get invitations and cards that you actually like. Here is a little collage I put together for the design contestfrom one of the wedding invitations on the site, with a neutral/pale palette.


wedding2 by Jerica, see more Minted.com
wedding2 board by Jerica. See more Minted.com

Sunday, December 9, 2012

COCA COLA CUPCAKES WITH BUTTERCREAM FROSTING


My friend has this odd obsession with Coke. It's kinda ridiculous- maybe obsession is the wrong word... more like addiction. Well I am only fueling the fire with these Coca Cola Cupcakes. Since it is finals week he has been under some stress with studying so I decided to make him a treat to help him cope. I think it may just be a girl thing to want sweets, chocolate, and tons of food when under stress but maybe a guy might appreciate it as well! Either way I know he can't turn these down. I included 4 Coca Colas in the pretty glass bottles- the ones from Mexico that are made with real sugar! (I am not a soda fan but all my soda drinking friends tell me it is a lot better than American coke).

I got this recipe from an Australian blog, Grab Your Fork and made a few adjustments.

Ingredients:
1 1/3 c  flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/3 c Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c unsalted butter
4 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola icing:
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
2 c  powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp Coca-Cola
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese

Decorations (optional):
gummy cola bottles

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees .

2. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, egg, yogurt, vanilla .

3. Heat butter, cocoa, Coca-Cola on low heat and mix.

4. Mix everything together and then fill each muffin tin 2/3 way full. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

5. For the icing- beat the softened butter with coca cola, cream cheese and powdered sugar.

6. Once the cupcakes have cooled, top with icing and gummy cola bottles.

-Amy-

DIY VINTAGE BOOK FRAMES


This project was floating around Pinterest some time ago and I can't seem to find where I pinned it but it is a really fun project. All you need are some old books (got mine from the thrift store of course) and to cut out the pages. 

MATERIALS:

Vintage books
Exacto Knife
Glue
Ruler


The easiest way to do this is to run your exacto knife down the pages on each side, at the beginning of the book and the end, as close to the spine as you can get, and it will make the pages fall out in one nice chunk. After that, use the ruler to help you keep a straight edge and cut out whatever part of the cover that you would want a picture to go and in what ever size. Do whatever feels right to you! Go with the flow! Just be yourself! The sky is the limit! (I hope that helps your decision).

Shown above, I used the book pages that were cut out to create a little display of a brooch (also from thrift store). Just glue the pages together to make sure they stay together when you hang them up! 
-Amy-

Saturday, December 8, 2012

LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES

I was looking for a recipe that called for ricotta to use mine up, and a way to procrastinate from studying for finals, and I found this! Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Who knew? The ricotta makes the pancakes extra moist inside and you whip the egg whites before adding, which adds so much volume and fluff. The end result is a pancake that melts in your mouth. Stop drooling!


LEMON RICOTTA PANCAKES 

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon canola oil

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest, and canola oil. Gently fold this mixture into the dry ingredients until flour disappears. Don't over mix. The batter will be thick.
3. Heat a griddle or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.  Drop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot griddle or skillet. Cook the pancakes until browned on the underside and beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the pancakes on the other side, about two minutes longer. Serve warm with maple syrup or fruit topping!

 -Jerica-

Friday, December 7, 2012

CABINET UPCYCLE

Like I say in every DIY, this is super easy. Because it really issssss. And I get so many compliments on it! It adds a lot of interest to any pieces of furniture you might have that just aren't doing it for ya, in my case it was a thrifted tv stand that a roommate had left. I ended up using just regular black old acrylic paint because I had a huge bottle, and I always figure that paint can't be thaaat different. And I was right! This had a nice gloss to it as well. 

Unscrew the handles and sand the wood if needed. I sanded down the cabinet doors a bit so that the little varnish it had wouldn't repel the paint. Let the paint dry and apply more layers as needed. Then simply take your paint marker (mine was from hobby lobby, except silver and not 'extra fine') and have at it! I'm curious to see how a different color combination would look!

-Jerica-

Thursday, December 6, 2012

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO AND SO SHOULD YOU!

The Shrine/ An Argument by Fleet Foxes
I know this isn't newwww, but that's okay! This is one of my all time favorite songs.
-Jerica-

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FONTS TO KILL FOR: PART I

1
3
5
7

Not to mention, freeee! Now go murder people over these fonts.
If you aren't sure how to install fonts, there is a guide here!

-Jerica-

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

VINTAGE COOKBOOK UPCYCLE


Well this project was quite tough to name...it's a cookbook upcycle to well... a cookbook! Jerica and I both love to try new recipes and cook for our friends. Inspired by a post from one of our favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess, we both started our own cookbooks. This is a fun alternative to store and archive all of our favorite recipes so it is quick and accessible in the kitchen as we cook (instead of having our laptops in the kitchen- can't tell you how many times I have almost spilled on my laptop)! This if a fun, easy and progressive project you can always be working on. It also gives a lot of room for creativity. As you can see there is no one way to do it and each and every book will be unique and one of a kind.


All you need to do is find a old cookbook that you do not really care for (Jerica and I both picked ours up at the thrift store) and paste in your recipes however you like! Jerica (bottom of image) used different types of scrap paper and magazine pictures for a border around recipes that she edited with cool fonts and printed out on the computer. She also added category tags to section off her recipes in her cook book!

For mine ( image top) I hand wrote my recipes and titles on lined paper and pasted them in. You can really do whatever you want with it! I followed the original book's sections and categories and pasted each of my recipes under the right section.  We both left parts of the original pages visible to preserve the look and feel of the original cookbook. Another cool idea is to add in your own pictures the recipes as well! My book was a little too small for that but maybe for another book! 

-Amy-