trying to style a bookcase with… books!


Whenever I look up inspiration for styling bookcases and shelves, it always seems like there are more tchockies and decorative items than there are books! The problem is, we have two built in bookshelves when you walk into the house. So when we settled in, I used all the prettier books for those shelves. All that’s left for the expedit are the COLORFUL ones. Yuck.

I’m happy with the way these ones turned out. I think I can do the expedit. Maybe. While looking for inspiration for our office expedit, I managed to find images with some books…


Oooo here is one with books!


First thing I decided to do was give the shelf a white back. I got some white butcher paper from the closet and my favorite white duct tape to cover it. The taping is pretty bad up close but it’s on the back. I’ll never see it.

Okay. So much better.  Next, I emptied it. That includes taking out the LPs and putting them next to the shelf. No idea where I’ll put these, but they’re taking up too much space.

Next, I removed all of the dust jackets. Something I’ve meant to do for a while. That helped a little.

Next, I gathered shit. Tchockies and such.

Then, I just kept trying. Playing around with what looked good. Putting things in, taking them out, and leaving them when they looked decent. The problem is trying to stuff all the books in while still trying to make them look good.

Feeling okay about these setups. I’ll leave them like this for now. Lotta books.

Alright! So it’s not the prettiest bookshelf styling ever, but it’s better than it was! I think!



open shelving is TOUGH.


Basically all of the storage space we have in our kitchen is what you see here, on this large wall of open shelving. You move into a place with a wall of open shelving and think it’s fantastic, but when you’re trying to store everything in the open, it really is hard. Besides this wall, we have two large drawers which we use for food and tupperware. What our house has in charm, it lacks in storage.

We painted our kitchen this sage color and decided to not paint the shelving since it would be such a nightmare. I’m still considering painting it.

My plan is to take everything out, rearrange, re-accessorize, and make it look like the kitchen shelving I dreamt about prior to having it. The problem is when your storage isn’t just staged or styled, but it’s all you have.


Should I fill jars with things? Just put EVERYTHING we have in A MILLION JARS? (left image) (right image)

Examples of cluttered white. Working. White shelving. Ugh. (left image) (right image)

Or maybe we should stain ours darker?! UGH! (via)

Oh, and this is awesome.


Ok. So the next post about my kitchen shelving will be a before and after. The after looking like these. Yeah, totally.

interiors / internet shopping

decorative busts


Driving by the 7-11 this past weekend, we decided to stop at the guy who sells decorative busts outside. And we picked up Beethoven for 20 bucks! Now he’s sitting on our empty built-in, but we’re considering painting him or doing something fun, like dripping paint? Or a clown face? Okay, maybe no clown face.

So I’ve been looking at inspiration. I said to Gideon “let’s paint him chartreuse!” he said “no.” And then I see a bust painted chartreuse! Our house is really really white so if we paint him brightly, he might stand out way too much.

[ images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 ]

entertaining / holiday / recipes

making this: easter deviled eggs


I have a strong bond with eggs. In all forms. Unfortunately, my boyfriend is not big on the “sulfur” taste/smell of hard boiled eggs. So any chance I have to make deviled eggs for someone besides myself is very exciting. These are for his family!

Easter pastels? Eggs? Yes. Totally.

I try to use this egg timer thing I have, but by the time I’m positive they’re done, with or without the timer, I look at it and I’m all “what’s it say? oh well”. But I stick it in there when I remember.

I filled four cups with water, three drops of food coloring, and a dash of apple cider vinegar.

Peeling eggs is so therapeutic.

Easter Deviled Eggs

Eggs (the more the merrier)
For the filling I use:
Worcestershire sauce
Paprika to Garnish

Place the eggs on one layer in a large pot and fill with cold water, filling about an inch or two above them. Put on stove and turn heat to high. Once they reach a boil, take off heat and cover for 12 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water. Let them get as cold as you can.

I use a butter knife to crack all along the middle. Then I crack the opposite way and peel off the shell easily. Cut in half, remove the yolk and place in a large bowl. Once all of the eggs are halved and the yolks are removed, it’s time to dye!

I was very, very, very weary of these looking disgusting. So I wanted them to be pretty pale, therefore hopefully still appetizing. I could have soaked each egg for a minute to get them super saturated, but I only kept them in the food coloring for about 20-30 seconds each.

Once they’re all colored to your liking, make the yolk mixture. I glob in a ton of mayo until it gets creamy enough.  Then add a tablespoon of mustard, a teaspoon of horseradish, a teaspoon of Lea and Perrins, and some fresh ground pepper. If it’s still not creamy enough, add. more. mayo.

Many people like to put the yolk mixture in a ziploc and cut the corner to fill the whites, but I feel like I have more control with a spoon. It’s just way less pretty. Garnish with paprika.

Just close to white enough to not make you want to barf.


eating this: mushroom marsala pasta with artichokes


This is my second time making this recipe, and both times I’ve declared it’s maybe my favorite pasta recipe.

The original recipe calls for snail shaped pasta. Unfortunately, the grocery stores we go to have a limited array of pastas, last time we went with some sort of snail shaped we found, but this time we went with a trottole. We thought it would absorb the sauce well, but I’d say it was better with shells like it is supposed to be. It was still good, but go for the shells if you’re making this for company. It will look less like hamburger helper.

Mushroom Marsala Pasta with Artichokes
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
Serves 4-6

3 tb olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and chopped into small bits (I’ve tried it with creminis and baby bellas, both were great.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1 tablespoon for pasta water
1 cup dry Marsala wine
1 pound pasta, thimble-shaped or snail-shaped (or really, whatever you want)
1/2 pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for one minute. Add the mushrooms and one teaspoon of the salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until all the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms have cooked down. Both recipes say it takes 10 minutes or LESS. Maybe I have a much less powerful stove or something, but both times I’ve cooked this, it’s taken much longer! For me, it wasn’t fully evaporated for about 20 minutes.  Add the Marsala and continue cooking until almost all the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in remaining salt. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and add it into the mushrooms, Marsala and onions. Add the artichoke hearts, Parmesan and cream and cook until the artichokes are heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and pepper, then season to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.


crushing on… black bathrooms


I want sooo badly to have a black bathroom. But sadly, I think that’ll be a dream made true when we’re in our future house that we own. Gideon is probably not into the idea of painting anything else. UGH.

Until then, I can swoon and dream.

I guess it’s just because black and white looks perfect and toilets and sinks are usually white so therefore black looks best with the white? Yeah. Pretty.

(images clockwise: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 )

My temporary bathroom at my dad’s house (while I temporarily lived with him again while I had a temporary mid-century life crisis) was in desperate need of a dark coat of paint.

I went with a dark navy, but bathrooms look so much better dark! Why doesn’t everyone darken their bathroom?!


making this: diy’ed art for the kitchen


Ever since we removed our tiny tv from the kitchen counter, we have a lot more space on there. When there is space, I fill. I decided to buy this super crappy frame for $8 at CVS.

I cut the matte to make one large opening.

Then I busted out my old watercolors from the closet and painted a couple girls faces, but decided to just stick with an eye. Does it look a little Nagel-inspired?

Then I broke for lunch. Bagel with basil and tomatoes. So good.

It took me about 25 minutes to cut the matte and do the painting. And now we have a little painting our kitchen counter! YAY!



eating this: french onion soup


I really don’t make soup, but now that we own soup crocks, we gotta start making soups! I read this recipe in Bon Appetite at the hair salon and took a picture of it with my cell phone.

The recipe was for four servings. I will usually keep the recipe as is, but french onion soup leftovers sound whack. So I may have messed this up. Also, you have to caramelize the onions for 15 minutes, stirring the whole time. Longest 15 minutes of your life. I don’t know how the danger dog ladies do it at 2am.

I don’t know if you’re supposed to fill the soup crock with bread completely so that the cheese doesn’t sink to the bottom and actually bubbles on top, but the recipe didn’t have photos so who knows!

Classic French Onion Soup (serves two!)

1 medium onion, chopped (I kept them thick)
half a tbsp of unsalted butter
half a tbsp brandy
2 cups high quality, low sodium beef stock
1/2 cup grated gruyere
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4-6 1/2″ thick slices baguette, cut to fit soup crocks

Preheat oven to 450. Cook onions in a skillet over high heat, stirring constantly until soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add butter and toss with the onions to coat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the brandy.

Return to heat and cook until absorbed, about 30 seconds. Add beef stock and bring to simmer. Here is where we decided it didn’t look like enough soup so we added another 3/4 cup. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Place the crocks or ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide soup, top each with 2-3 slices of bread. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on each.

Cook for about 4 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Or in my case, not. Either way, it’ll be delish.