One of the many quirks of our house was the doorway going from the main room to the second bedroom, which we use for an office.
We really didn’t have another option of where to set up our living room besides putting the sofa right in front of the door. Therefore, we had the pleasure of having to tackle covering up a large door (with gnarly molding). Twice!
Our door in the living room sat awkwardly behind our small-scale sofa. We spent weeks brainstorming and finally decided to get a large scale stretched canvas (70x. We removed the molding and stored it in the garage (we rent.)
Had we used an unstretched canvas like this, I think we would have had an easier time driving it home.
Yuck. We hung the canvas and left it white for months before finding the time to do a collaborative painting.
It only took us a day to throw the painting together. I did the sky, my boyfriend Gideon did the iceberg.
And the door is gone! Well, the first door we had to worry about.
This batch of mussels was particularly beardy. Not cool, the process of de-bearding is pretty foul. I think. While we debearded and scrubbed like crazy, we were a little uneasy about how gross the batch was, chucking them at the littlest sign of too gross. But our meal turned out perfect.
Moules à la Marinière
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 cup dry white vermouth
½ cup minced shallots or green onions
8 italian parsley sprigs (I only use Italian!)
½ bay leaf (oops. I used a full one)
¼ teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons of butter
2 pounds scrubbed, soaked, and de-bearded; if necessary (!!!!); mussels
½ cup roughly chopped parsley
*optional – a pinch of saffron
Bring all of the ingredients but the last two to a boil in a kettle (I just used a large stock pot). I added a pinch of saffron to the broth to please my boyfriends tastes. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol and to reduce its volume a tiny bit.
Add the mussels to the pot. Cover and boil over high heat. Frequently grasp the kettle with both hands with your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the kettle and an up and down jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly. In about 5 minutes, the shells will swing open and the mussels are ready.
With a slotted spoon, pour the mussels into bowls. Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a moment so any sand will sink to the bottom. Then ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Because I am usually lazy, especially on a weeknight, I skipped making my own fries and went with this frozen bag of Ore Ida Extra Crispy. Came perfectly crispy out of the oven and I sprinkled with a bunch of kosher salt. A little too easy peasy.
1. Savon de Marseille Handsoap – Instant bathroom makeover.
2. Extra Long Matches – Nothing looks nicer displayed next to a fireplace that is never used.
3. Ikea’s Tekla Dish Towels – $0.49. Come on. Every time we’re at Ikea, I impulsively buy at least 20. I use them as dishtowels (they’re not the most absorbent or soft when washed), but they’re basically disposable! I also keep a ton of new ones on hand to use as cloth napkins for dinner parties.
4. West Elm’s Mercury Glass Votive Holders – In love with these. They look good scattered everywhere or in a bundle on the table. Target also had $0.99 versions around the holidays, which they don’t seem to anymore. I got 6 and went back for more the same week.
5. Widemouth Ball Jars – I drink water all day long out of them. And you can buy at the grocery store. Easy.
6. Cavender’s Greek Seasoning – My boyfriend turned me onto it, it adds the perfect hint of flavor to pastas, meats, and brussel sprouts.
7. Caldrea Dish Soap – For some reason, they seem to have stopped making my favorite fragrance, Olive Oil! They’re all nice, but the Olive Oil smells insanely good and makes you actually enjoy doing dishes. For a minute or so.
8. Chock Full O Nuts Coffee – Not only is it my go-store brand for coffee, but it totally indulges me in my hoarding. I keep the empty canisters and spray paint them white for makeshift vases. You can never have enough coffee canister vases. Right? Right.
9. Martha Wrap – Parchment paper and tin foil in one?! So genius.
Mainly the reason I started this blog, I tend to look at inspirational DIYs and hacks and try to copy them, this was one of the first cases of me just knowing what I wanted to make and doing it. And people on the internet liked it as much as I did!
After scouring flea markets and craigslist for campaign furniture, I gave up. It is so pretty! Am I the only person that can’t find the pieces in person? So I made my own from the Ikea Rast tiny little dresser.
So here is the step-by-step (well, somewhat.)
I picked up one of these guys for $35, not really positive of what I was going to do with it. So I scoured the internet for the best deals and most attractive brass hardware. Not the easiest thing. I bought three of these corner pieces, which conveniently came in 4 pack. Then purchased the pulls in polished brass. A long time was spent debating paint colors, but I ended up choosing a blue-ish slate color.
I assembled the body of the dresser, and kept the drawer fronts on their own while I patched up the original knob holes.
After patching the holes, I drilled the holes for the corner pieces and pulls. (Sorry! No photos of these steps) A lot of pencil markings. Then painted each drawer front before actually attaching the hardware.
Once the drawer fronts were done, I assembled the drawers and VOILA!
hey – see my rast on Apartment Therapy and Little Green Notebook!
*** AND IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW THE HARDWARE GOES ON – i’ve done a little follow up update post here!
My boyfriend and best friend say I need a blog. I’m a graphic designer/motion graphics artist/editor living in a little craftsman bungalow in Los Angeles with my boyfriend and our future would-be dog that we haven’t gotten yet. Adopting a dog is hard!
I am fairly obsessed with home decorating (no actual experience or education) and cooking extravagant meals that I sometimes tend to screw up.
And that explains the name of this blog!
And here are my two favoriteeeeee hotels ever:
The Parker – Palm Springs
Lafayette House – NYC