Entries Tagged as 'Living'

DIY Valentine Art + Lucite Frames

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

DIY Valentine Art + Lucite Frames

Here is a simple project for diy Valentine art using lucite frames. I love these Lucite frames from Crate & Barrel.  For the large piece I cut the watercolor paper to the right size (6 x 8) and then painted stripes.  I usually paint and then cut the paper, but I wanted it to look like it was for this specific piece.  For the small frame, I used a heart punch and cut out hearts creating tiny abstract hearts as you move around the paper.  I’ve saved “love notes” from my kids over the years.  These of course were from when they were tiny—and they make me so happy.  So why not preserve them and frame them?  Together they create a little Valentine art.

DIY Valentine Art

Paint stripes or an abstract on paper cut to fit the frame.

DIY Valentine Art

With the leftover scraps, cut out hearts using the punch.  As you cut one row, cut the paper and start again moving and rotating the punch in different directions to create unique painted hearts like these.

DIY Valentine Art + Lucite Frames

These Lucite Frames come in several sizes and it takes about 2 seconds to frame a piece of art, notes, cards or photos.  It’s easy to change them out and mix things up.

DIY Valentine Art + Lucite Frames

DIY Valentine Art + Painted Stone Fireplace

Having a black and white house makes it especially easy to decorate for any holiday.  I always use Cloud White Paint by Benjamin Moore and you can read more about our painted stone fireplace here and here.

 

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7 ingredient healthy cookies

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

7 ingredient healthy cookies

When Madeline was home over the holidays she was baking and cooking up a storm–and using things I typically don’t have on hand.  Nothing fancy, but not stuff I generally use–almond butter was one of those items.  I’m always reading labels and trying to use less processed foods.  So when we first started using Almond butter we bought it.  It’s expensive and processed, so I thought, why not make it?  Have you tried making it? It’s super easy, but takes a lot of waiting time.  I looked at quite a few recipes and then decided to trust this recipe from  The Pioneer Woman.   She soaks hers overnight and then gives them a quick rinse.  She then instructs you to bake them overnight at a really low temperature.  Once you have your dried out almonds, you’re all set to make almond butter.  Everyone says you don’t have to use a food processor–yes, you do.  I’ve never had a blender that could do this job.  When you first pulse the almonds, it will give you a fright, it’s so loud!   It takes several minutes and a few times scraping down the sides with a spatula, but then it starts to come together and before you know it, you have a ball of almond butter.  See below.

7 ingredient healthy cookies

To make 12 Healthy Cookies:

1 cup of almond butter

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

2 ripe bananas mashed with a fork

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup fresh blueberries

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the blueberries.  Once everything is mixed, fold in the blueberries.  Use a large ice cream scoop with a release to make 12 same size cookies.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  They do not spread out so they can be fairly close together.  You may want to press down with the bottom of a glass to flatten slightly.  Bake at 275º for at least 15-18 minutes.  It seems long, but they need extra time at a lower temperature so they do not burn.  They are pretty dense.  Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a rack.  When completely cool, wrap individually and store in refrigerator.  They are so good with a little scoop of vanilla yogurt.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

7 ingredient healthy cookies and greek yogurt

Almond Butter:  We used a large bag of Almonds from Costco.  We soaked them overnight and then in the morning we rinsed them and baked them at 150º for at least 8 hours.  Once you have soaked, rinsed and baked, you’re all set to make almond butter.

How to make almond butter

How to make almond butter

How to make almond butter

How to make almond butter

How to make almond butter

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DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I grew up where every holiday meant a Hallmark greeting card.  There is nothing wrong with a store bought card, but why not make them?  This year I saw that Dunkin Donuts has new premium teas and one called Hibiscus Kiss.   I purchased a box and then got out my watercolor paints.

DIY Valentine Cards + Dunkin Donuts Premium Teas

DIY Valentine's Day Card

Using inexpensive watercolors and watercolor paper, I quickly painted messy stripes in shades of pink on both sides of the paper.

DIY Valentine's Day Card

Once the paper was dry I went back and in some blank spaces added the Happy Valentine’s Day message.  I used this pen in a very narrow tip kind of like I did here.

DIY Valentines's Day Cards

I use a fiskar’s paper cutter to trim the card and a heart punch to make watercolor hearts.  Each one is unique.  You can move the heart punch around the paper to create your little abstract painted heart.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards

Put a packet of Dunkin Donuts Hibiscus Kiss Tea, a watercolor note and some hearts in an envelope and send to your Valentine.  I used envelopes that I already had and so each “card” was less than a dollar.  Way less than a store bought card and you really put your heart into making them!  Add an address label from tinyprints and a love stamp and pop them in the mail.

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Friday Link Love

Friday, January 27, 2017

It’s time for Friday Link Love.  I cannot believe how fast the weeks are going by.  It’s almost February and we’ve barely had Winter.  This weeks cover of The New Yorker makes me want snow!

The New Yorker and Coffee

1. I was intrigued (as I often am) with the cover art of The New Yorker.  It has this wonderful timeless feel to it.  And here’s an animated version which is utterly charming.  When I researched the artist, Gayle Kabaker, I discovered her collaborative Women’s March poster which is so cool.

Most Lovely Things Kitchen Banquette

2. Brooke from Nesting with Grace wrote about Banquettes and was kind of enough to include ours in her roundup of favorites. What I love about having a banquette is that there’s always room for a couple more.  Especially when kids are little, you can really pack them in!  Our kitchen in California was open under it and I liked that feel to it.  In our current kitchen it’s more like a box.  Brooke is designing hers with storage which makes a lot of sense.  Read more here.

3. I adore this sweet original art from Holly Addi.  It’s perfect for a nursery or really anywhere.  Like maybe my kitchen.

4. My sister told me about a recipe from Food52 that uses leftovers.  Everyone needs a recipe like that once in awhile.  You can find it right here.

Gallery Wall by Small Acorns Amanda

via

5. You know those instagram accounts that as soon as you land on their feed, you know it has to be them?  For me that account is Small Acorns Amanda.  Amanda has a shop in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shows snippets of her home, shop, foraged finds and the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand.  She’s warm, funny and has the most incredible eye for lovely things.  If you don’t already follow her, may I suggest that you do? For your daily dose of lovely?  You can find Amanda here, here and here!

Ludlow Coffee Supply NYC

6. A favorite coffee shop this week is Ludlow Coffee Supply, Lower East Side, New York, NY

A few Sprigs from an olive tree in Tuscany

7. On Trend–Olive Trees.  Jen from City Farmhouse has an interesting post on Design Trends.  Apparently the fig tree is out and olive trees are in.  I love olive trees.  The silvery green slender leaf is always recognizable.  I tried to find one at Terrain this week, but my memory from last August in Tuscany will have to do until I can track one down.  Have a great weekend and stay cozy!  xo annie

 

 

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Favorite Dining Room Chandeliers

Thursday, January 26, 2017

When it comes to dining room chandeliers, less is more is my approach.  I’ve learned my lesson with glass chandeliers.  We have a very simple one in our entry and it takes a lot of work to keep it sparkling.  I love the look of lanterns for the kitchen and dining room, but keeping them clean would drive me crazy.  For the dining room I wanted something big, but super simple.  Serena & Lily has a few of my favorites.  The best part is that they range in price from about $250 to $500.

Serena & Lily Chandeliers

  1. Hermosa Pendant 2.  Capiz Scalloped Chandelier  3.  Capiz Honeycomb Chandelier  4.  Santa Barbara Pendant  5.  Yountville Woven Abaca Pendant

I like natural rattan, but the black Santa Barbara pendant was what we chose. Our house is old and the dining room is fairly small.  This pendant fills the space and makes it a little modern.  Having a small pendant in a small room makes the room look—well, small.  A big pendant calls for a big light bulb like this one from west elm.  And of course on a dimmer.  The Santa Barbara Pendant gives a laid back look which is perfect for our house and family.  The Yountville is quite large and would fill a two story entry or stairway in beach house in the best possible way.  I have my eye on the small Capiz Chandelier for above our white Saarinen table.  The light from a globe like the Capiz fills the room with nice soft lighting.  So what do you think of woven pendants for the dining room?  Too casual?  Or just right?

Most Lovely Things Dining Room

Yesterday I went to Terrain to look for a small olive tree or something for the dining room table.  I ended up with one tiny Maidenhair fern and then stopped at Trader Joe’s to fill a bowl with winter citrus.

Winter Citrus on the dining room table

 

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Friday Link Love

Friday, January 20, 2017

Most Lovely Things Kitchen

Friday Link Love – Here are a few of my favorite new things I discovered this week or have been meaning to share for a while now.  And when I say new, I mean like I discovered it on instagram a few hours ago.

Vampyrex – Esther Lee collects and sells vintage Pyrex and displays it beautifully in her Brooklyn home.  I asked her if it would be okay if I stopped by for a visit to see it in person.  She said yes!

I love The Little Book of HYGGE.  It describes perfectly every feeling I have about home and living.  Madeline has been talking about it for a while and I have to admit I had never even heard the word until last year when she came home from Study Abroad.  I’m big on cozy lighting, candle light and a roaring fire all the while a storm is raging outside.  I had no idea that this is what they call Hygee.  When Madeline went back to school after winter break I sent her a Salt Lamp to get her through the long winter.  Candles, twinkle lights and a salt lamp all seem very Hygge to me.

The Little Book of HYGGE

Homesick Candles – Everyone knows that scent is one of the most important elements in connecting to a memory.  Homesick Candles has managed to do that very well with their Southern California candle.  It smells of orange, a hint of cactus and of course, the ocean.  They are so lovely.

Homesick Candles - Southern California

Last week we were making our way to The Laundress on Prince Street to pick up a bottle of Wool & Cashmere Shampoo when we came upon The Little Prince.  It was about 5 o’clock when everything looks magical in the late afternoon light.  It was that warm day last week that felt like Spring.  We ducked into The Little Prince for a quick bite before heading home.  How could we not?  I mean, could a little bistro be more inviting?

The Little Prince - NYC

One of our favorite coffee shops last week was AP Cafe or AP A Place Creative in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  We came upon it completely by accident.  Don’t you love when that happens?  It’s a light filled cafe where you can meet with friends or get some work done while noshing on the most delicious breakfast burrito.  Are you following us @coffeeshopsofnewyork ? Where should we go next?  We love suggestions!  Have a beautiful weekend! xo annie

AP Cafe + Bushwick, Brooklyn

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Outdoor Lighting + Creating Curb Appeal

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Outdoor lighting is one of the first things I address when we move into a new house.  My feeling is that lighting indoors and out is one of the most important features you can add to your home.  Are you are getting your house ready for the Spring real estate market or just updating your nest?  Here are my favorite outdoor light fixtures from Barn Light Electric.  I’ve talked about them before in this post.  What I love about Barn Light Electric is their commitment to quality.  There are a lot of similar products on the market, but there is no comparison in my opinion.  We used the Atomic Industrial Guard Sconce on the side of our garage.  As I mentioned in the previous post, our detached garage is in our backyard.  We added a portico and the sconce to give it more of a guest cottage look.

 

Barn Light Electric

1.Goodrich® Marathon Shade Gooseneck Wall Light  2.Goodrich® Wilcox Porcelain Deep Bowl Gooseneck  3. Atomic Industrial Guard Wall Sconce 4. Bowie Wall Sconce, Mini Barn Light Shade 5.Goodrich® Esso Porcelain Gooseneck Wall Light

Lighting creates a “feeling” about your home.  There’s a reason they call it “mood” lighting. I can’t say what that means exactly, but I do know I want to create a warm and cozy feeling about our home.

The Atomic Industrial Sconce from Barn Light Electric

Lanterns from Barn Light Electric

1. The Andover Lantern  2.  Charleston Barn Lantern  3.  Old Town Barn Lantern  4.  Gables Barn Lantern

When we purchased our home it already had copper lanterns.  It’s maybe the first home that came with porch lights we love.  Our home was built in 1900 and the lanterns are very old.  Had we not been fortunate to have existing lanterns, I would have been happy with Old Town Barn Lantern or the Andover Lnatern.  Depending on the architecture of your home, all of these are so beautiful.  And they can be ordered in different sizes and finishes.

Front Porch for Winter

For me curb appeal starts with lighting.  No matter what time of year it is, I want our porch to look and feel inviting.  We added Edison style bulbs in our lanterns on the front porch and on the garage.  I keep it clean by using a battery operated leaf blower.  Keeping the porch clean helps keep the house clean.  I use a mat from Home Depot that I cut to size.  I only use it in the winter months when the porch gets slippery.  I keep a bucket of ice-melt right outside the front and back doors.  We found our house numbers here, but I’m loving these from Barn Light Electric and will be using them on our next house!  I can hardly wait to get started on our next project!

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honeycrisp hasselback apples

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Honeycrisp Hasselback apples.  Need I say more?  Hasselback potaotes were my favorite, but now it’s Hasselback apples. We used Honeycrisp apples because we LOVE them.  Granny Smith apples would be good too. We made individual ones in these cute Anchor Hocking mini pie dishes because everything is better when it’s in its own dish, right?  Super easy to make and not so much of a recipe as much as a combination of ingredients.   The amount of course depends on how many apples and how healthy you want them to be.  So we took a less is more approach with the syrup, brown sugar and butter.

Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples

To make 4 medium Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples:

Peel 4 apples and use a melon baller to scoop out the core.

Place apples flat side down and carefully slice from side to side but not all the way through.  You want the apples to stay intact.  Your slices should not be too thin.  You just want them to fan out a bit.

Place each in a dish flat side down.  If using individual dishes, place dishes on a cookie sheet.

Prepare the glaze by combining 2-3 tablespoons of Maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.  Whisk together and brush over each apple with a pastry brush.  (Save any remaining to drizzle on after). Bake at 400º for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile make the streusel topping by combining 3 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces.  Add in 3 tablespoons of oats and about the same of dark brown sugar. Combine using a fork and sprinkle over each apple.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a little vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of the syrup mixture.  They are really just baked apples, but on a snow day to have your house smelling like baked apples–pretty nice!

Honeycsisp Hasselback Apples

Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples

Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples

Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples

Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples

Honeycrisp Hasselback Apples

 

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National Shortbread Day

Friday, January 6, 2017

National Shortbread Day?  Who knew that was a thing?  I only know because I saw it on World Market’s Social Media this morning.  We were hoping for a snow day or at least a delay, but no luck.  Not enough snow.

National Shortbread Day

Shortbread cookies are the easiest thing to make with just a few ingredients.  Butter (obviously), sugar, flour, vanilla and a tiny bit of salt.  I call these Lorna’s Shortbread cookies because my friend Lorna would always make the dough and shape it into long rectangles and carefully wrap in plastic wrap and then leave them in our freezer.  Whenever someone came over I could take one out and slice and bake.  They are perfect with a cup of tea.  I think I’ll make these for my friends at Valentine’s Day, but instead of baking them I’ll give them just like Lorna left them in our freezer.  That way they can make them whenever they feel like having a treat.  They save for months if placed in a freezer bag.  Here’s an old post that you can find here. You can also find the recipe here.

National Shortbread Day

Since shortbread cookies only have a few ingredients, I use the best and freshest like King Arthur Flour, Nielsen-Massey Vanilla and French Butter.

Waveny Park New Canaan, Connecticut

A walk in the woods after baking and consuming a few shortbread cookies is just what we needed! It’s Friday—have a great weekend!  xo annie

 

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DIY Pomegranate Bird Feeder

Monday, January 2, 2017

Make a DIY pomegranate bird feeder in just a few minutes.  Madeline and I made ours with a few bruised pomegranates we had left over from the holidays.  We see quite a few cardinals in our yard and I thought a bird feeder might make them stick around a little while longer.  Now I realize we are probably feeding more squirrels than birds—but we are going to give it a try.

DIY Pomegranate Bird Feeder

DIY Pomegranate Bird Feeder

DIY Pomegranate Bird Feeder

DIY Pomegranate Bird Feeder

DIY Pomegranate Bird Feeder

Slice the pomegranate in half and scoop out the flesh leaving a thick edge to support the cord or twine.  Then pierce four holes about 1/2″ from the top with a sharp object.  (we used the tip of a meat thermometer).  String the cord through one hole to another and tie at the top.  Repeat with the second two holes.  Fill with bird seed, hang from a branch and wait for the birds to discover it.  This post inspired by the Orange Bird Feeder my friend Sheri Silver made a few years ago.  Thanks Sheri, you always inspire me!

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