Monday, February 28, 2011

Oxford Cloth Napkins

Martha Stewart's Body+Soul magazine had a great idea for recycling old worn-out men's shirts--cut them up and turn them into cloth napkins! I wish I had some on hand as cute as THEIR shirts! The day after I saw this idea, I told my grandma about it, and she gave me some of my granddad's old plaid button-down shirts to make into sets of cloth napkins, one for her and one for us.

Ellis (and my mom!) have me on a pretty tight leash right now where projects and crafts are concerned--they keep reminding me that we're moving in 2 months and not to accumulate any more craft supplies, but I think this should be pretty much perfect!

Check out some more of Body+Soul's great ideas--25 Eco-Chic Ideas for Your Home!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baked Bree Valentine's

This Valentine's Day was pretty much all about was up there with Christmas with tempting treats and candy. I'd never thought about Valentine's Day that way before, so I'm not sure if this year was more food-centered in and of itself or if I'm just way more into food than ever before (I can't believe I used to be a picky eater!).

But at any rate, all day we feasted on recipes from my new favorite food blog, Baked Bree!We started on Sunday with her AMAZING peanut butter cookies! I'm so excited to now have a go-to peanut butter cookie recipe...the best part is that she adds butterscotch and chocolate chips!

I'm not generally a fan of sugar cookies, but these were just so PRETTY. So I just made them and didn't eat any. And I learned a valuable lesson about icing--you can't just wing it with a Ziploc bag and a random icing tip or you will end up with a HUGE mess all over your kitchen.

Ellis and I are HUGE Asian food fans....Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Indian...anything we can get our hands on! So we had to try Bree's Indian Butter chicken.

I have to admit I TOTALLY cheated on this. The recipe calls for garam masala, which I couldn't find at the grocery store, so I totally just grabbed Trader Joe's premade Masala Simmering Sauce and added some additional ginger, garlic, and onion. Regardless of the cheating, Ellis LOVED it and I did too--I think this is gonna be one of those recipes like Soy Chicken that makes it into the menu cycle every 2 weeks! Hope you enjoy Baked Bree as much as we are!

{all photos from Baked Bree}

Friday, February 11, 2011

some weekend V-Day ideas

I love Valentine's. I mean, it's always been fun, but our first year in VA Beach, my friend Jenna got me totally HOOKED on it! She mails out Valentines to all her friends and family every year, so the last 2 years I hopped on that train too!

Last year, I did the Purl Bee's Fabric Window Valentines. Definitely took a while, but I loved how they turned out! Halfway through, my fingers were hurting so bad that I got the brilliant idea to draw "sewing marks" with a pen and not actually sew around the "fabric." (for me, it was leftover wrapping paper instead of fabric) MUCH less painful--and faster!-- after that.

Here are some fun ideas for Valentine's this year! (You have 3 whole days--or more, if you do the belated thing, which is totally legit in my book!)

Valentine Tea Bags from Design Sponge
so doing this next year

And you would not believe how many places I've seen these--everybody's into these free adorable fruit stickers from Twig and Thistle

I'm probably going to end up doing something simple inspired by this below, also from Armelle. I love things that don't take much in the way of supplies!

our one measly holiday tradition

Before we actually get to Valentines Day, I have one more thing to say about the Christmassy holidays. Since Christmas is always in the midst of finals and travel for us, we haven't done much in the way of traditions--even though I come from a long line of tradition police.

We aimed high this year, asking Ellis' dad to email us their advent liturgy so we could do it every day. That liturgy got as far as our inbox and so we're hoping next year to take that leap and maybe print it out, haha! In the midst of the traveling we were determined to have our own family Christmas, so we managed stockings and wrapping gifts this year, but no wonderfully starchy Christmas breakfast.

However, we DID establish one tradition which we loved. A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, one of my FAVORITE blogs, Young House Love, posted about the Thankful Jar they had etched.

Kinda like the Thankful Tree, where you write what you're thankful for on leaves every day and put them up on the tree (did anyone else besides us do that growing up, haha?), they wrote what they were thankful for on scrapbook paper every day and didn't tell each other what they wrote until they opened the jar on Thanksgiving Day and read their cards to each other.

So we STARTED our Thankful Jar on Thanksgiving Day. I'd love to etch a jar just for this like they did, but this year we kept it simple and used a pretty glass vase a friend gave us just for this purpose. Every day from Thanksgiving till our private Christmas, Ellis and I wrote down something we were thankful for.

And it was SO awesome! Instead of focusing on what we want (like a job!), it helped us focus on what we already have, and not only remember what we had to be thankful for, but when we dwelt on it, it made us enjoy it all the more!

Revealing them to each other was really fun too! It helped us get to relive some of the events of the past month--like getting into Friday Night Lights together (favorite show EVER--you need to watch this), finals, Papa's funeral, me finally starting to cut Ellis' hair at home so we could save the $15 each month, my new camera!

It was funny to see the differences in the way we thought too--a lot of Ellis' were general--like "hurricanes" and "art," whereas mine tended to be really specific, like "for my camera" or "for thoughtful friends that give unexpected gifts like recipe cards."

So yeah, even though this is sorta a Thanksgiving post, it can really be used any time of year. I mean, we did it more as would also be fun for Valentine's--every day writing down a new favorite thing about your favorite person! Or the quirky unique things they do that are kind of annoying, but mostly endearing--like the fact that despite being the cleanest, most trash-taking-out hubby around, Ellis always leaves empty packages in the fridge/pantry, so I am thinking all day about the granola bar I'm going to eat, only to find out....there is no granola bar!

Oh, well, it's just a granola bar--it doesn't matter. It only matters when it's the heavy whipping cream for the coffee! Having to switch to milk is a huge downgrade, but hey, I guess if it's a choice between heavy whipping cream or Ellis, I'll take Ellis. ;)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Loretta's Baby Shower

One of my best friends from Regent, Loretta (in the middle), is having a baby girl in the next couple weeks, so my friend Grace (on the right) and I threw her a baby shower! It was my first attempt at shower-throwing, so I was a little nervous, but thankfully Grace was a seasoned veteran!

Lindsay, Adeline, Loretta, me, Grace

Briane, Loretta, Shea, and Victoria

My friend Kathryn threw Brody and me a fabulous baby shower in Moscow back in May, which we used as a jumping point and inspiration for Loretta's. I loved her "It's a Boy" paper garland she did for Brody, so we did "It's a Girl" for Loretta's baby girl!
We even copied one of the recipes Kathryn used, Cheddar Scallion Muffins! YUM! Thanks for letting us copy you, Kathryn! :)

Grace also made Rachael Ray's Rosemary Potato Frittata, which was amazing!

Instead of games, we decided to have everyone decorate onesies for baby Arianna! It was so much fun and everyone had super cute ideas!

Congrats Robert and Loretta!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nathan and Julie

Congrats to my sister, Julie and her fiance Nathan! They just got engaged almost exactly a month ago, and the big day is May 20. We Littlejohn girls like our engagements quick, I guess! Anyway, they were nice enough to be guinea pigs for me and let me take some pics of them.

The next several pics were taken at a little walk-up espresso airstream called Retro Espresso. We thought it was kinda fun, but hopefully it doesn't look too trailer trashy!

What's romance without a little coffee?

the Brody face

(oops, didn't really want this to turn into a "baby blog," but all my last several posts have been baby!)

Just thought everyone deserved to see the sniff. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

for manly babes

Today marks a red-letter day on Brody's and my vacation out West to see our families:
1) it is the first day I've been running this whole trip--and the ONLY reason it happened was because I didn't want to have taken up the space in my suitcase for no reason. The shoes must be used!
2) the first day I've blogged.

You know what that means? Super restful! I am LOVING all this time to get to see fam and friends--and the free, eager babysitters!! Can't wait to put up pics when I get home!

But for now, check out this manly nursery from Bower Power. Most baby rooms are either girly or pretty androgynous--hardly ever do you come across something this straight-up BOY. I love it!

I LOVE their totally boy wooden accent wall (here's how they did it). Tied for favorite with the accent wall is the Watson Creek sign they made for over the bed--she stenciled it on some planks and then sanded it down. And I've never considered animal heads my style, but good to know if you want them, ebay's got 'em all ready to be painted white!

Owls are a big theme in the other side of the nursery, so she also has this print hanging in there, which I would love to get one day! Taken from one of my FAVORITE baby books Love You Forever. I'd love to tell you I sing this song to Brody, but I don't. I just kiss his little face so hard that he starts crying. (Seriously)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...