Although I was your typical ‘girl’ growing up, I always had a thing for wooden train sets. I remember as a kid going over to my neighbour’s house and spending hours playing with his train set. We would set up all kinds of track configurations and come up with stories for what our trains were picking up and dropping off. It was a blast!!! This Christmas, hoping that Nugget shared his mother’s love for trains, I made him a train board for all of the trains and tracks that I knew Santa would be bringing. ;)
The idea came from Lindsay’s blog, and I have noticed that even more recently she has added some very cute mini trees and snow covering .
Here’s the link to Lindsay’s instructions on how to put together your own train board.
You will note that Lindsay did attach some of her little guy’s tracks to the board, but I chose to leave Nugget’s tracks unattached so that he could arrange them however he pleases. As it turned out, ‘how he pleases’ was reminiscent of a Godzilla movie with the tracks being tossed every which way, but the overall reaction was pretty positive. Looks like Nugget is a bit of a chip off the ol’ block. :)
I have some truly wonderful co-workers (friends) who have been so wonderfully supportive of my blog. One of these fabulous ladies recently brought me a newspaper clipping that reminded her of something that I would do. The clipping showcased a Christmas tabletop floral display where the florist had assembled a grouping of various sized ornaments and filled them with winter flowers.
Here’s my version of this idea:
I used glue to adhere the ornaments to eachother. Then I popped off the tops of the ornaments and filled them with sprigs of ‘winter vase filler’ from my local florist, faux cranberries and spruce & cedar branches.
This little gem is currently displayed on my fireplace mantle.
Merry Christmas friends. :)
I am not sure how everyone else is feeling about cooking these days, but I am personally avoiding it like the plague in order to save my sweet culinary skills for the ‘big day’ as it were. Tired of Subway, I finally broke tonight and put together a meal that was not only ridiculously quick, it was super easy, cheap AND…are you ready for this???? It was pretty darned healthy. Happy cooking friends!
Lazy Tuna Casserole
- 4 cups of egg noodles
- 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (I used low-fat)
- 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese (low-fat definitely works)
- 6 white button mushrooms cut into large chunks
- 1 can of drained flaked white tuna (I prefer stored in water)
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- Salt & Pepper (to season)
Cook the egg noodles according to package directions. Heat up the condensed mushroom soup in a glass dish in the microwave. In order to achieve a thicker sauce, do not thin out the soup per the package directions. In a glass dish, heat the frozen mixed vegetables until warm. In a small frying pan, sautee the mushrooms in the oil until softened. Combine the egg noodles, soup, mixed vegetables, cheese, mushrooms and tuna. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
In the event you haven’t finished shopping for me, here’s a couple of things that I certainly wouldn’t say no to if they were found under my tree on Christmas morning…..hint hint. :)
Two Pugs and a Nugget
Sable Ankle Booties
The Perfect Work Dress
Pave Layering Bracelet
Adorable Clock for Nugget’s Room
Marble Pastry Board
Last year I was putting the finishing touches on my dining room when I came across a great little idea to create series art by using calendars. I was tasked with filling a rather large and empty wall which is visible as soon as you walk in the front door of my house. Rather than finding a single large piece of art to fill the space, I used six frames with similar images to do the job.
No surprise, I used a calendar from Anthropologie showcasing my fine feathered friends, but I was just looking at Anthro’s 2013 calendars and stumbled across these great city ‘maps’ which would look fantastic if framed together as a series.
Here’s how I created my series.
Step 1: Find a calendar which features a series of images that you love.
Step 2: Pick up some cheap frames. I used identical Ikea frames, but you could also use different shaped and textured frames (so long as they can showcase the images).
Step 3: Spray your frames a complimentary color to the art. Tip: I took the glass right out of the frame and sprayed the frames on their own to avoid the annoying task of taping to paint.
Step 4: Crop the artwork to fit the frames and display to your heart’s content.
I have a lot of hair, so washing and drying it can be a good 30 plus minute chore in the morning. As a matter of keeping my sanity and my schedule, I have mastered what I think is a pretty cute second day hair up-do which works well for workdays and weekends alike. I have had a couple of requests to do a tutorial as to how I do my hair like this, so here it is. :)
Step 1: Start with second day hair (at a minimum). Despite whatever amount of straightening or styling I have done the night before, I ALWAYS wake up bearing a striking resemblance to Dog the Bounty Hunter. It’s something I have come to accept as a fact of life.
Step 2: Straighten your bangs, top portion of your hair (back and sides) and then backcomb the heck out of the top and sides to create oodles of volume.
Step 3: Gather 1/2 inch pieces from either side of our your head and twist (or braid).
Step 4: Secure at the back of your head at the crown. Use the connected sections to push up the back combed portion of your hair.
Step 5: Using a slip-proof hair tie, pull hair into a messy looped bun. The messier the better. The crazier my hair is, the bigger the bun will be in Step 6 and the easier it will be to secure with pins.
Step 6: Arm yourself with a ton of hair pins. Start pinning your looped hair to the base of your head, working the loop around into a doughnut/bun shape.
Step 7: At this point I will pull some of the backcombed portion of my hair higher to ensure it is even all over the sides and the top. Smooth your crown and sides with a comb and set with hairspray.
I picked up a loaf of San Francisco sourdough bread at my local bakery this weekend. It looked so amazingly, amazing (is that even possible?!?) that I picked it up and figured I would come up with some recipe to use it in. Instead, I came up with two. :)
Sourdough French Toast
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 6 slices of thick sliced sourdough bread
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup of whole milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg (I prefer fresh whole nutmeg which I zest into the egg mix)
- pinch of salt
- spreadable butter or margarine
- maple syrup
In a medium size bowl, mix together eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Using a large frying pan, set the heat to med-high and melt the 1/2 stick of butter. Dip the slices of bread into the egg mixture ensuring the bread is covered evenly on both slides. Add to frying pan and cook on each side until golden brown. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.
Pesto, Olive and Tomato Grilled Mozzarella Cheese Sandwiches on Sourdough Bread
I lived in London after I graduated from university. I used to order a similar sandwich from a deli around the corner from where I worked, so this is my attempt to replicate it. If I may say so, my sandwich is pretty darn close. :)
- 2 thick slices of sourdough bread
- 1/4 stick of butter
- spreadable butter/margarine
- 1 Tbsp of basil pesto
- 2 slices of tomato
- 2 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
- 4 marinated deli green olives, cut in half
Melt the 1/4 stick of butter in a small frying pan. Butter one side of each of the sourdough bread slices. Place a slice of sourdough bread, buttered side down into the pan. Stack the cheese slices, sliced green olives and tomato slices onto the frying bread. Spread the basil pesto onto the remaining slice of bread and place pesto side down on to the tomato slices. Once browned flip the sandwich and cook until browned on the other side. Serve immediately.