Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Hang a Group of Pictures

We recently worked on hanging art in several rooms for a client.  We had five frames and we considered how to hang them in a certain space that would be interesting.  We came up with the following arrangement.  It's a riff off of the classic "four square" grid.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Introducing . . . Raskog!

Raskog is our newest best friend from IKEA! He comes in three colors - grey, green and cream and is fun, handy and extremely easy to put together! Use him the kitchen, study or kids room for storing and organizing all kinds of stuff! We love him!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Getting Back to Basics

Spring and summer is the time to start or renew the idea of eating more simply. I recently put together a dinner of slices of roast butternut squash and a crunchy lentil salad. It was healthy and satisfying and plenty of food. Good and simple.  Hopefully it will inspire you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reclaiming Your Study

I use a filing system and really like it - but sometime you want to pull things off the shelf and have them in a book or binder format. For example :: recipes. I have a huge ungainly recipe binder full of all kinds of recipes I never use. So I started over with a new binder only filled with the recipes I make over and over again. I put all the recipes into clear plastic sheets so I can read them but keep them clean and I marked the side of the binder so to make things even easier. I also have a notebook with all kinds of cleaning, organizing and decorating ideas. Once you have a place to put things it makes it so much easier to fill those places up with good accessible ideas!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pretty Flower Pots

I bought some African Violets a few weeks ago and wondered how to make them look nicer in on the ledge of my dining room window. The store-bought containers were unattractive, and I did not want to spend money on a really large planter that might accommodate all of them. And then I happened to think of all the little tins that items come with - particularly the tea tins I have in the house. I added to these some pink "buckets" I picked up at Target for $1 each - and I had a project!

  I simply nailed holes through the bottom of the tins so water could escape, then added packaging peanuts for better drainage.

Outside I added potting soil and then transferred the plants to their new dwellings!

Aren't they adorable? You could easily have them inside on a window ledge or outside in the porch or on the front steps! Happy Spring!

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Simple on-the-fly Pasta Dish

The other night, I decided that I wanted a fresh and easy pasta dish for dinner but was not really sure how to make it. I just threw some ingredients together and lucked out! I did consult my brother-in-law about the details of the sauce - and although I did not have wine, broth worked well instead. I started with lots of chopped garlic sautéing in olive oil. When golden but not too brown I added defrosted and shelled edamame along with strips of roasted red pepper. As I was cooking this, I made a pot of whole wheat spaghetti. After the vegetables were cooked a bit, I added some chicken broth - although white wine was preferable. This adds some needed sauce without actually making a separate sauce. Then I added the pasta to the vegetables and shredded parmesan cheese on top! It was delicious and quick - and just what I had envisioned for dinner!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Organizing your Batteries

 The other day, I finally had it with the crazy battery situation in my house. We had loose batteries scattered throughout several drawers in the kitchen - and no one ever knew which worked and which were dead. If you found yourself in need of a fresh and charged battery - it took hours to get your gizmo working because you inevitably had one bad battery amongst the four you needed! So one day strolling though the isles at McLean Hardware I came upon a battery tester for about $11.  And all the battery pain we had experienced flashed though my mind and I said - "Never again! We're buying it!" And let me tell you it was money well spent. I went home and the kids thought it was a fabulously fun project to test all the batteries and throw out the dead ones and store the good ones in a orange shoe box. Now we know that every battery in the box works!! EFFICIENCY!