Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Green Coat!

After five years, my white winter coat was looking a little worse for wear. Dry cleaning wasn't doing the trick anymore and it just looked dingy. In a panic, I searched eBay and found the same coat in black for a steal and bought it. And then I found it in white and bought that! But what to do with the dingy one? Here's a good shot of the coat when we visited Meat in Louisville, KY:

With my collection in place, I figured I had nothing to lose, so why not dye it green?! I bought two bottles of liquid Rit Dye in kelly green. The directions online were pretty easy. My aunt, MaryLee, generously offered up the services of her washer and we got to work. I used about 1.5 of the bottles, but wished I had just used both. When it first started running through it looked like a very dark, forest green!

This is how the individual pieces turned out, though. It's still wet in these photos and a little splotchy. Batman is helping it dry. 

It's a little hard to tell, but the lining turned into a lovely shade of pale blue! How perfect!

Now Batman and Lenny are helping it dry. 

Detail of the wrist straps with new buttons.

I didn't like the look of the original white buttons on the now-green coat, so I replaced them with navy buttons. The final product turned out to be the perfect spring coat!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sequin dress

A few years ago I wanted to get a fancy sequin dress for New Year's Eve. I found this one on Etsy. I totally love it, but it's very short AND very low-cut and I'm an either/or sort of gal. This year, I had the brilliant idea to get some feather trim to add some length. Etsy again came to the rescue for feathers. The adorable shop, Plumule, has tons of different styles and colors. 

The shop owner helped me decide on a yard of goose nagorie feathers. The emerald color seemed to be a great match. Best of all, the feathers come attached to a ribbon, which made it easy to attach. 

Amy helped me pin it to the inside and I hand-sewed it on. It was the exact perfect length! Sewing was a little slow going because there's glue securing the feathers to the ribbon, but it worked out fine. A blanket stitch kept everything secure. 

I'm really happy with the result! I think this will be fun to wear in the summer, too.

It created the prettiest reflection, too.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Refrigerator Pickles

I have been a fan of my friend, Kim's, homemade pickles for a couple of years now. Recently, I got the urge to emulate her and try my hand at them. She was kind enough to give me her recipe and it couldn't be easier. They're refrigerator pickles, which is great because you don't have to worry about sealing or canning them. 

3 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
4 T. salt

Let the brine sit at room temperature for about two hours, until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Fixins (per jar - enough for 2 quart sized or 4 pint sized mason jars):
4-5 small pickle cucumbers, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 cloves (optional)
2-3 T. chopped dill

I'm lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that has a Sunday Farmer's Market only a half a block away. I got my veggies there for super cheap, enjoyed a little walk, and supported my green-thumbed neighbors! 

These babies will sit in the fridge for two days and then be ready for devouring!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easy and Healthy Kale Chips!

Hey, stranger! It's been a while, but things are great and I'm still trying to be crafty, just not as much as before. It kind of comes in waves for me. But I am knitting a scarf and I'm definitely going to need it soon because winter has definitely hit Wisconsin.

Tonight I experimented with a new recipe: kale chips! I've heard that kale is very good for you, but I find it bitter tasting and I'm not a fan. But turning them into chips takes that bitterness away and they're freakin' delightful!

Start by tearing the kale into big pieces, leaving the stem out. I lined a couple baking sheets with parchment paper to make clean-up easier. Spray with olive oil. Do you guys have one of these Misto things? They're great and I highly recommend them.

Here it is, ready to be seasoned. 
KitchenAid Misto Aluminum Olive Oil Sprayer Bottle

My aunt got me these amazing salts for Christmas and I was so excited to use them. 

After putting on the oil and whatever seasoning you want, bake them at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. They shrink down a lot!

I could barely wait until they had cooled and you definitely can't eat just one!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

San Diego

It's about 2 hours from our hotel in Pasadena to San Diego so we planned on getting there by lunch time. I found Cafe Chloe through Yelp and it was really delicious.

How cute is my lavender lemonade?

 I got a small cheese plate and pomme frites with dipping sauces.

 Next up was the San Diego Zoo! It was AMAZING. Dan's first stop was the most important:

I have a lot more zoo pictures on my regular phone, but here's a nice one of the flamingos.

My friend Erin used to live in SD and recommended Pokez for Mexican food. We met up with our friend Jimmy for dinner and it was good! I got potato flautas and they were ginormous.

I'm going to try to hit the hay early tonight. We have an early start and it's a full day of traveling to get back home. I'm sad it's over!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Los Angeles 3

Oh, man, brunch at Gjelina was amazing. It's in Venice, which I found to be a really cute area. At Gjelina I got the lemon ricotta pancakes with fresh raspberries on top. They were the best pancakes I have ever eaten. They don't look like anything particularly special, but they are incredibly light and also moist - you can see flecks of lemon and ricotta and they add the most delightful, fresh flavor. It didn't even really need maple syrup but I poured a little bit on. 

Dan got the Morrocan fried eggs and those were great, too. 

I couldn't resist getting dessert; butterscotch pudding with fresh whipped cream, a little caramel drizzle and sea salt. I love salty and sweet!

Then we walked around Venice and checked out shops. Dan tried on hats. 

We took a nice long walk on the beach in Santa Monica. The waves were gorgeous and there were quite a few surfers. A bit chilly, though.

 Windswept, but happy.

We didn't really need more food, but I just had to try out this place, Harajuku Crepe. It's a cute place in Beverly Hills - isn't the chandelier pretty?
 We shared the American Usual crepe - Earl Grey batter for the crepe itself, vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream, strawberries, bananas, nutella, and Pocky!
 This is serious.

After this we chilled at our hotel for a bit until dinner at Take A Bao. So, technically, this place is in a mall food court. But it was really good and kind of a crazy fun time. Also, it is a very fancy mall. I got the sweet soy grilled tofu bao and some crispy wonton chips. 

Now I'm going to have some jacuzzi time at the hotel! We have a big day planned in San Diego tomorrow. 

Los Angeles 2

Today one of the highlights was lunch at Food + Lab. It's an adorable little sandwich, salad, and coffee shop. I got the gorgonzola dolce sandwich, which has fig compote, honey and pear on toasted raisin walnut bread. It was so, so amazing. I think I should try to recreate it at home.

Dan's chorizo sandwich. Not sure what else is on it.

Dan's coffee drink was served in the same style bowl we have at home for cereal! My mint lemonade was great, too.

After lunch we were ready to hit the Griffith Observatory. This place had spectacular views and some cool things to see inside.

We also went to the Getty Museum. I was sort of iffy on the artwork but the building and grounds themselves are really spectacular.

After all of that walking we had worked up an appetite for dinner. This time it was my friend Vanessa's pick. A vegan Vietnamese place called Vinh Loi. This place was totally cute and the food was amazing. Even Dan was impressed and he's usually really wary of vegan and even vegetarian places. Another great food day!