Friday, August 31, 2012

Mixed Greens Pesto

I'm calling this Mixed Greens Pesto because it sounds so much better than "Every Green Thing I Could Find In My Kitchen Pesto".  But the truth is you can make pesto with pretty much any green, leafy vegetable that you can get your hands on, with the exception of maybe lettuce.  Depending on what you use, you'll get slightly different flavors - but it's fun to experiment and I haven't had a batch that's turned out bad yet.  And on that theme, I don't measure anything so this recipe isn't going to be super specific.  But really, it's pretty hard to screw up.

To begin, I gathered up all of the greens that I had on hand (most via our CSA).  I'm using spinach, chard, 2 kinds of basil, and parsley.

You will also need olive oil (mine is basil infused but regular works just fine), garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and nuts of some sort.  Pine nuts are traditional for pesto but I didn't have any on hand so I'm using walnuts.  I think almonds would probably work well too.
Oh, and a food processor.

Wash the greens and remove any big, tough, stalks.  Place in a food processor.

Chop.  The greens will "shrink" and give you room to add the remaining ingredients.  Add your garlic, parmesan, nuts, and a little sprinkling of lemon juice.  Now, while the food processor is running, drizzle the olive oil in until it reaches the consistency you would like.  Taste, adjust flavors if needed.  You can also add a little salt and pepper if you want.

I leave mine a little thicker to use as a dip or spread and then if I want to put it on pasta, thin with some chicken broth.
And this stuff freezes well.  I make a bunch in the summer when we have a lot of leafy vegetables and freeze to use all winter.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

So I finally decided I had to find out for myself what all the fuss was about.  And my verdict is a bit mixed.  The scenario is pretty implausible.  The writing is really not very good.  The main characters kind of get on my nerves.  And the sex scenes . . . well, I'm not sure what to say about those.  Although fairly steamy at first, by the end I was kind of like, really, again??

If you haven't yet jumped on this bandwagon, here's the basic  plot (don't worry no spoilers) - awkward, innocent, college girl, Ana, meets Christian, a 27 year old multi-billionaire (we're talking Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg rich) who looks like a movie star - because we all know those are just floating around everywhere.  They proceed with all sorts of kinky sexcapades.  If you're at all modest, don't read this book!

Yet, despite the fact that I'm not sure I really "liked" the book, I think I am going to have to read the next one in the series.  It does kind of draw you in.  Not to mention the ending of the first book totally leaves you hanging - and I can't stand not to have everything neatly tied up!

If you've read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

And apparently, there's talk of making the book into a movie - a regular old movie - not quite sure how they're going to manage that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Exposed Zipper To Let Out A Dress

This little vintage dress, which I thrifted for $1 then hemmed to above the knee, was just a tad snug on me.  I could zip it up, but barely.  So to give myself just a little extra breathing room, I unpicked the zipper, opened up the fold.  And restitched the zipper in place, exposed.  This ended up giving me an extra 1/2 inch on each side of the zipper, just enough to actually allow me to breath when I wear it.  While this trick won't work if you have a dress that is way too small, it is a great way to just let it out a touch.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Anthropologie Inspired: The Silken Jabot Pullover

Inspired by Anthropologie's Silken Jabot Pullover:

My version cost under $5 - thrift store pullover + thrift store "silk" fabric

And here's a quick how-to:

1.  Cut a long length of silk/silk-esque fabric, 6 1/2 inches wide.  You want it long enough that it will go around the neckline and still have plenty to tie.  It's better to cut it longer than necessary and then adjust later.

2. Sew right sides together lengthwise.
Then turn, so your seam is now to the inside.  

3.  Find the midpoint of your strip of fabric and start pinning it to the back, inner, mid-point of the pullover.

Pin around the neckline to approx. 1 inch of front midpoint.

4.  Stitch in place.

5.  Tie and adjust length of ties (mine were a bit too long).  Flip raw edge of fabric to the inside, pin and stitch down close to the edge.

6.  Wear and enjoy, especially knowing how much money you just saved yourself!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pinterest Successes

As we all by now know, Pinterest is full of inspiring ideas, projects, tips, and tricks.  Some of which work out better than others.  
Here are a few of my recent pinterest-inspired successes:

1.  A Natural Fruit Fly Trap (made with items found in most homes)

We had a rapidly expanding horde of fruit flies living in the kitchen, most likely due to the large quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables we have sitting on the counters in the summer.  
I tried this trick and it worked like a charm!!  Absolutely no more fruit flies!

2.  Happy Hangers

This photo was actually from a post about photography tips and tricks (see full post here).
But I liked the bright, colorful hangers.

Thrift store wooden hangers + spray paint =

my happy hangers.

3.  Food
My largest pin board by far is my Food board.  And I really do make a lot of the stuff that I pin.  These were a few recipes I've tried out lately have turned out well:

Delicious!!  I've made this twice now.  The only modification I made was to make my own chocolate frosting rather than use the canned stuff.  Find the full recipe here.

Pizza Quesadillas - I "adultified" these for my husband and I by using some good salami, fresh mushrooms, and fresh basil.  The kids loved them with pepperoni.

An easy crock pot meal that turned out great.  Recipe

And finally, a less than success.  This looks and sounds so good in theory:

I'm not willing to call this a complete failure because it wasn't unedible.  The problem was that the raspberry jam just kind of melted and turned the bread into a soggy mess.  But in the recipe's defense, that may have been my fault - I substituted flat bread for the rye bread called for in the recipe which may have contributed to the problem.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Anthropologie Inspired: The Stripe-Moss Cardigan

My version:  total spent - 99 cents

Made from a 99 cent thrifted cardigan and some left-over variegated yarn that I had laying around.
If you don't have the right variegated yarn, try holding two strands of different colored yarn together.
The flowers are made using lazy daisy stitches and french knots in the center.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Anthropologie Inspired: The Collection Necklace

From one pile of broken jewelry . . . 

. . . to one Anthropologie inspired eclectic necklace . . . 

This is so easy to make.  Gather beads and charms in your color choice and attach to lengths of chain using jump rings and head pins.  
Hint:  I used nail polish (again) to paint the blue center "stone".  You can see more nail polish painted jewelry ideas here and here and here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hand-painted Confetti Glasses

I picked up these 4 glasses (which I wanted for use as stemless wineglasses) for cheap, cheap, cheap from the thrift store.  But they were a bit dull.

And here after a jazzy little make-over:

I found this idea on Radical Possibility, her glasses were originally inspired by Anthropologie's Settled Confetti glasses.
This easy technique uses regular old craft store acrylic paint - the kind you can pick up for around 99 cents.  I have to admit I had my doubts about whether or not the paint would actually adhere well but it seems to be holding up.  I even ran one through the dishwasher and the paint came through unscathed.

After a bit of research on painting glass, I did do a couple of things differently from the original tutorial:
1.  I cleaned the outside of the glass with rubbing alcohol before painting - this is supposed to remove any residual oils and dirt and allow the paint to adhere better.
2.  After painting, I put the glasses in a cold oven.  Turned on to 350 degrees and baked for 30 minutes.  Because I did this, I skipped applying any sealant.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How To Download And Install A Font

For an upcoming project, I needed to install a new font into my Word program.  Being pretty clueless when it comes to computers though, I had no idea how to do this.  Luckily, through the magic of Google, I was able to find several instructions on how to do it.  The only problem, none of them seemed to work completely with my computer/programs so I ended up combining bits of several tutorials and finally got it to work.  
I thought I would share how I did it.

1.  First you need to download the font that you want to install.  I ended up using Internet Explorer to do this as I never could figure out how to do it in Google Chrome (although I'm sure there's a way). has loads of free downloadable fonts to choose from.  Choose the font that you want and click "download" on the right hand of the screen.

This window will pop up.  Click on "Open".

2.  Now you need to save the font to a file that you will have access to.

When you clicked on the "Open" button.  This window should pop up.
Click on "Extract To"

I saved my file in my "Downloads" file.  Click on the file you want to save it in.  Then Click "OK" at the bottom of the screen.

3.  The final step is to install the new font into Word.  Go to Start>Control Panel>Fonts

Go to File>Install New Font

Select the location where you saved the font from the lower left hand box.  And the font should show up in the top box.  Select "Install".

4.  And the final step is to check that your font has been installed into Word.  Open Word.  Go to your font list and check for the new font.

There's mine - ready to use!

I hope this makes sense.  Like I said, I'm definitely no computer genius.  If you have trouble with my tutorial, check out this one, which I also found helpful.
And stay tuned for a couple of  upcoming project using a downloaded font!