Wednesday, December 4, 2013
To make your own snow globe all you need is a jar (I use old mason jars or cool martini olive jars), epoxy glue, glitter and a fun plastic object. A stroll through Michaels arts and crafts found many for me and even Target had cool little plastic Christmas trees…I've also used old ornaments, etc. Once you find a fun object, sand the inside of the jar cover so epoxy will stick. Glue object to it and let sit for at least an hour. Fill jar with distilled water and glitter (not too much or glitter will clump) then screw on top and THERE YOU GO!!!
Monday, December 2, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
REUSE/RECYCLE: Because it's been so frigidly cold in the northeast, I popped my pumpkins outside after Halloween (the ones I didn't carve) so they'd stay nice and hard while we roast away by the fire inside. Next week they'll be ready for their close up when I carve them in half and use them for various things..smaller gourds get filled with dips, medium sized ones are used as vases for dry arrangements and I love to cut a pumpkin in half, carve it out and use it to serve beverages near our bar…
CLEANIE AFTER YOUR WEENIE: A clients ten year old walked into the kitchen I had just completed designing this week and plopped a dozen stinky hot dogs into the microwave and walked away letting them pop and sizzle (and stink up) the microwave! To clean up after this little lovely person, I placed a measuring glass filled with water in the microwave and ran it for five minutes. Use extreme caution when taking out as the water will be boiling (duh), but any baked on chunks will fall right off and your turkey left overs next week won't taste like wiener!
OY VEY THE DUVET! Ever lost your favorite t-shirt then you find it hidden in your duvet cover months later?? This is a common problem many have when washing a duvet with open ends…other laundry items tend to sneak their way right in! Here's how I avoid that problem..by adding an extra step to the washing process, after removing the comforter I snap or button the duvet back up..seems pretty simple, right? It keeps outside objects from coming in!
LIGHTEN UP BUDDY! Someone emailed me the other day after watching clip from a show I was on a few years ago. She was having major problems in her bedroom…don't go there, folks..it's a family show! At any rate, the lighting was awful because she had an awkwardly placed window that let very little light into the room. To balance out the space she followed one of my tips..of creating a fake window by hanging a store bought shutter on the wall, framing it out and placing rope lighting behind it. A few simple steps for a bright idea!
Monday, November 18, 2013
**while we use some pots to clear ashes from our fireplace, we dump them everyday outside in a protected area. We also use fire-safe galvanized trash cans for gathering hot coals..whatever you do by the fire, make sure safety is always first on the list!**
Thursday, November 14, 2013
An Interior Designer that hates curtains is about as rare as a race car driver who hates driving, but here's the deal, I just don't like them! I've always thought windows were great opportunities to frame the beauty outside your window, so when people cover them with heavy, funeral-parlor-like curtains, it just makes me squirm. However, there are often times where curtains perform an important role, like keeping a room warm in the winter, cool in the summer or protecting the inhabitants from wandering eyes outside. A dear friend of mine called me to help cover her solarium windows and after taking a look at them, I knew it would far exceed her budget to install custom, motorized blinds (roughly $1,200/window panel) so I told her to just enjoy the great outdoors and embrace the view. As fall arrived this year so did her privacy as leaves jumped off neighboring trees to reveal..guess who…the neighbors! To find an inexpensive alternative to expensive blinds or tacky curtains, Abbie jumped on www.etsy.com and found a fantastic seamstress in Maine who custom sewed four panels of gorgeous linen fabric for only $100! (Abbie sent dimensions and chatted back and forth a bit about fabric choices, but the entire process took less than three weeks www.leightonpointlinen.etsy.com). While I'm not a huge fan of curtains, I love privacy…so this solution was priceless!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Friday, November 8, 2013
TURKEYS ON TURKEY DAY:
When the kids get itchy about five minutes after arriving, I like to get them involved in the process. While I will have the paper already set up on the table, I have a section in the kitchen with unbreakable dishes waiting for them to set the table as they wish. I might have a "pretend" pie crust with fillings or other easy-to-make appetizers to keep little hands busy, I'll have an already hallowed out pumpkin and decorations so they can decorate their little hearts out. If parents don't mind (I always ask ahead of time) I have miniature Christmas trees waiting in the wings for each little guest to decorate after dinner and take home (small trees at the dollar store are perfect..and, guess what..they're a DOLLAR..and little collections of ornaments are also a dollar). This year sit back, relax and enjoy the fun spirit of the holiday and the little guests swirling around it.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION:
I've used stair treads all over houses (actually everywhere BUT on staircases lately). In a small bathroom with zero storage space I've used them for shelving (most already have trim and are painted and, believe it or not, cost far less than store-bought shelves), I've used them as floating night stands, shelving in a bar for bottles and, yep, in an entry way as a key catch and eye-catching design moment. In this case I used extra molding to hide the legs and simply asked an employee at Home Depot to cut them for me as I was in a rush that day. With wood glue and a little patience, I glued it all together then attached to the wall with two L brackets.
Friday, November 1, 2013
While I love the way the temp paper looks in my trailer, it's also a fabulous tool to use in staging a home OR if you aren't sure you'll love wallpaper forever. Temp paper comes right off without leaving messy glue on the walls behind it. And you'll find just about any pattern you could imagine, from stripes to stars and everything in between, for about $60/roll (covers about 100 square feet) you can transform a space from bleak to chic!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
MAKE IT CLEAN:
One quick tip I have when using a pumpkin or gourd as a serving dish (depending on temperature of item you're serving) is to line the pumpkin with saran wrap. This helps especially when filling it with something like guacamole to keep the remnants of pumpkin taste away (I use dark food coloring to make it look black and ghoulish and stick red tortilla chips in the top for drama).
Monday, October 28, 2013
ONE, TWO AND YOUR FREE!
Peppermint oil can be found at most health food stores and grocery stores like Whole Foods or on Amazon. I paid $6 for a small jar and the cotton balls sucked it right up. What I soon discovered, however, is that it doesn't take a lot to cover a small space. To keep mice out of the little nooks and cranny's of your space, dip cotton balls in the oil and drop them in areas that might see little ones sneaking in. Believe it or not, as much as you might like the fresh scent rodents to NOT. And it's a humane way to keep them away!
Friday, October 25, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Prices on FLOR tiles range from $8/square to you don't want to know what, but average out at about $15/each and come in 20" squares. You can alternate the patterns, wash most off with a hose and never live in fear again about ruining your precious clean carpets. www.flor.com
Monday, October 21, 2013
What you need to grab:
20 ounces frozen diced potatoes
1 (11 ounce) can of condensed cream of celery soup
1 (8 ounce) bottle of clam juice
1 cup water
4 slices of bacon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 (6.5 ounce) cans of minced clams
Salt and pepper
Then..Combine potatoes, soup, clam juice, water, bacon and thyme in slow cooker. Cover and cook until the flavors meld and potatoes are tender, 4 to 5 hours on low. Discard bacon (or give to deserving dog). Stir clams and their juice into chowder and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
**one of the keys to this recipes success is the frozen diced potatoes, and the chefs at Cooks Illustrated got the best results when using cubed hash browns, often labeled "Southern Style". If the culinary expert in you is turning up your nose to that, just trust those who know and stick with the recipe!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Force your kids to put down those dang phones and focus on making a fun meal together. Here are your ingredients (don't substitute for fat free or low cal as that totally changes the taste..roll with this one now and substitute later). This is for a cooker of 1 quart to 7 quarts in size.
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
18 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, patted dry and chopped
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
SO, here goes. First mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, water, garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper together in a large bowl. Fold in artichokes and spinach until well combined. Transfer to slow cooker, cover and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 hours on high. Stir to combine and serve. Depending on the occasion, I like to serve in individual ramekins for each guest or, especially during the holidays, carve out small pumpkins or gourds and fill with dip.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Friday, October 4, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
I got art paint from the craft store (ask for glue you can paint with that won't ruin a brush in 30 seconds) and painted the glue onto the skulls I purchased at Home Goods for $3.99-$9.99. Instead of the expected black or orange, I went for a mossy green. I've also glittered my pumpkins in the past because, at least in my house, nothing is ever safe!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
IF YOU CAN'T, DO!
You've most likely heard the saying as many times as I've talked about it here...moving and divorce are two of the most stressful things a person can do. If you're planning on moving take a look around your place and if you don't need everything, google local charities, women's shelters, churches, etc and give those items that are stressing you out the most to people who need them more! Believe me, it will come back to you tenfold!
And, by the way, that annoying actress who thought the world (and entire airplane) revolved around her? Well, the show was cancelled shortly after we touched down in New York. Yup, she was a bitch, and so is karma!
Monday, September 23, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
DON'T SHEET ON MY PARADE:
Before you roll your eyes, just stay with me a second. I am not proficient in sewing whatsoever, so kinda rigged this one on my own, but you sewers out there can perfect my look and send me pictures. I found a few sheets I loved on sale and draped the flat sheets over the headboard and foot board (by cutting one king sheet in half). Because the frame I was working with was NOT flat, I cut a seam on the inside of the sheet so they would lay flat then marked with an ink pen where I wanted them to fall. I dropped them off at my dry cleaner (I know, I cheated) and for $20 they sewed them to fit. Now when I want a fresh look for fall, I simply slip the sheets right over the frame. Dirty guest spill something on it, then it goes right in the washer! Easy, breezy, cheap and beautiful!
Friday, September 13, 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS:
If you have kids I'm sure they are still slowly getting back into the swing of school, but once they've settled in make dinner easier on you and fun for them by involving the little ones. Jason gets to make Tuesday's meal, Sarah can make Thursdays and we'll all help! Buy the ingredients on Sunday for the week and let the kids show off their stuff (and learn something at the same time)! Email me your slow cooker recipes and I'll share them here!
UPDATE: Well, it's Thursday and I have yet another slow cooker meal in the, well, SLOW COOKER. Tonight I'm making Chicken Pomodoro. The first night I made a delicious Penne with Chicken, Alfredo sauce, spinach and sun dried tomatoes and the following night I made a yummy dish called Mexican Lasagna (ground beef, corn tortillas, spices, jalapeños and fresh mozzarella). I also discovered a simple, easy salad dressing to add to my portfolio (obviously not made in the slow cooker)...white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mayo, grey poupon, minced garlic and salt and pepper. All of the meals I've prepared this week have been met with ooohhhs and ahhhhhs from the snotty cook in our house. Each took two hours in the slow cooker, cost less than $15 and made more than enough for left overs the following day. SO, this household highly recommends the Slow Cooker REVOLUTION!
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
CHECK IT OUT at www.jcpenny.com
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
SWEATING LITTLE DETAILS:
Whether a thirty room mansion, studio apartment, trailer or cottage, no matter the size of the space, it just takes a little creativity to make it special. Devins locker design (and love of turquoise) is a great example of marrying big design ideas with small spaces. In designing a space, while focussed on the bigger picture, I always try to zero in on one key element that speaks to the person (or people) occupying the space. That item might be an actual object, like a favorite piece from a relative, or it can be color, an overall theme, etc. The idea is that each space, no matter how big or small, speaks to the client who inevitably will exist inside it. Just like a tiny New York apartment, designer Devin squeezed a lot of love into that little locker, proving you don't need a mansion to feel like a million bucks!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
RED TAG SALES:
I love finding a great deal, especially in someones attic or back yard! A few inexpensive accessories went a long way in this refresh. The hanging pendant light I grabbed at Ikea for $1.99, the mirror I gobbled up at a tag sale for $5, the floor vase came from Home Goods for $9 and the bright red coral benches in the foreground??? I found those bits of wood in her backyard, primed them with latex primer and covered them with five layers of fire engine red paint. While I wasn't in love with the coral theme in this beach house, I do love a pop of hot red!
Monday, August 26, 2013
BALMY SUMMER BALSAMIC:
This is so easy to make and much, much more healthy than store bought alternatives. The key to any good pantry is to have staples on hand you can use over and over for many different cooking applications. So, grab those and here goes:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry, red or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I do both salt and pepper to taste, actually)
2/3 cup olive oil
Whisk the above ingredients together (think about the jerks from the day as you whip that whisk) then pour on your salad and enjoy! Tomorrow is a new day!!