Friday, July 30, 2010

Displaying frames on a wall

Pardon my interuption in blogging lately! I've been so busy with life in general, but mostly with...Moving! Moving-in can feel like an eternity. Especially when you move during summer when your kids are out of school and you're an at home mom. I have found this process is taking a little longer than usual this time around. We are moving into more square footage, so maybe that's contributing to the lengthy stage of unpacking and decorating the new place.

I'm at the stage where I need to get some of our family pictures up on the wall in the foyer, master bedroom, and the two kids' bedrooms. My husband and I picked out 4 frames to group together from Aaron Brothers. Can't beat their PENNY SALE! ;) I anticipated hanging these 4 frames on the wall in the foyer area. Only, after figuring out which photos I want to display and which frame they should go in, I have found myself re-thinking the original design layout. We decided to go with two rustic, dark wood frames, a more cottage style, white-washed one, and a silver toned one. Looking at these all together with the pictures in them is driving me nuts! I need some inspiration!!

It's so hard for me to commit to a design idea, but I find that when I finally do, I'm very happy with the outcome.

Here are a couple ideas and inspiration I have found surfing the net.

Not only do I love the design of all these frames together, I especially love the bead board wall behind them. I think this design element adds the perfect touch.

Lettered Cottage Guest room traditional bedroom

This I like! I like the idea of the shelf holding all the frames, that way you can rearrange them without putting more holes in the walls! I really like the way that the mat boards bring unity to the display.

CrystalTech - [ Roger Hirsch Architect ] eclectic living room

I think I will do something like this and use a combination of picture frames and some other wall decor for the foyer area.

bed eclectic bedroom

Some wall decor ideas are: a metal letter of the first letter in our last name, an array of vintage keys such as these:

From Pottery Barn

a framed picture of coral or sea life like these from Pier 1

and an earthy decorative mirror from World Market

Whatever I decide to do, I will post pics when it's finished! (Hopefully by the weekend).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yummy Lentil Soup Recipe

Nuggets of sausage give a little meatball action to this hearty, no-fuss soup chock-full of healthy escarole and lentils.

Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Escarole
1 2/3 cups lentils (11 ounces), rinsed well
5 cups water
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 pound escarole, chopped (4 cups packed)
1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1. Chop up all of your vegetables

2. Simmer lentils, water, broth, bay leaf, and half of garlic in a 4-quart pot, uncovered, 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wide heavy 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown sausage, about 7 minutes. Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, carrots, celery, remaining garlic,
1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add sausage and lentils with cooking liquid and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender,
3 to 5 minutes.

5. Stir in escarole and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar to taste and season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

Top with croutons for some crunch! And I recommend adding some Maggi Seasoning, something I learned from my German Grandmother. I think you can find it in the hispanic section in the grocery store. Otherwise, if you want to order the Authentic German bottle, click on the picture.

My husband suggested that next time we make this, we should chop the sausage up smaller instead of cutting bite sized pieces, so the consistency would be more like chopped meat in chili. This is a good recipe to make for dinner on a Sunday because there is a good amount left over for lunch the next day!

I hope you enjoy!

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to edit your precious photos in Photoshop

I found this amazing tutorial on Amanda's Blog and boy has it come in handy. I did a photoshoot with my daughter, Jayme one day for some images to put on her model card. She wants to be a model, and who am I to stop her!? Anyway, I'm not the best photographer, I guess I did ok with my ideas and composition, but I have a point and shoot Canon digital Rebel and for the most part, I just aim and click, nothing fancy about it. Sometimes the picture doesn't turn out quite how I want it. It can be too dark or end up a slightly out of focus. This tutorial helps you lighten your photos, warm up the tone, and make your image crisp & sharp. Check out the difference, all thanks to this Tutorial

To get this result, I followed each step of the tutorial up until Amanda adds the B&W action. I hope you will get as much use out of this tutorial as I do! :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vintage Jars Giveaway

Well, Monday is almost over. Jayme had all last week off of school, that's how they do it West Coast style! I don't remember ever being so lucky to have a whole week off of school in the middle of February growing up in NJ. I just had to wear my pj's inside out every night & hope for lots of snow in the morning so that school would be canceled! Anyone else ever do that?! :)
It's always a little tough for me to get back into the groove and back on schedule with the little ones, but today wasn't so bad, thank goodness! Now if I can only get to the gym at some point today, it would be a great Monday!
I was browsing one of my favorite blogs Shabby Nest and stumbled upon a giveaway going on over at her blog! All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog post to be entered in the contest to win this set of 3 gorgeous Blue Vintage Jars. You have until 11:59pm Tuesday, February 23rd to enter.

GOOD LUCK! If I don't win, I hope that I helped someone else win them!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Gift idea for Your Man

There's nothing like a barber shop shave, or so I've heard :p Word on the street is that this way of shaving helps put a stop to razor burn, irritation, and gives a closer shave. Looking at the total cost of the products may seem like quite a bit all at once, but just think about how much disposable blades cost! The blades for a safety razor are way cheaper to replace, $16 gets you 60 blades. The shaving cream is about $22-$25 a tub, but it will last a lot longer than the brands that you buy at your grocery store or Target & Walmart. One tub should last 6 months easily because when you shave with a badger hair brush, you don't need as much cream to get a lather going. Why do I know so much about shaving you ask!? Well, this Christmas I bought my husband the complete set up for a barber shop shave at home, also called a wet shave, and I found all of these products at Before you read on, or purchase anything, I strongly suggest you read this article to get some additional background information. Reading this article is what gave me the idea to transition my husband into this new wet shaving routine.

Here are the items that I purchased:

A safety razor: Merkur 1904 Gillette Pattern Safety Razor #41 + 10 blades $30

100% Badger Shaving Brush: Tweezerman Men's Shaving Brush $13.50

Razor& Brush Stand: Colonel Conk Evernice Model 775 Chrome Safety Razor Stand $27.25

Shaving Cream: The Art of Shaving Essential Oil Shaving Cream in Lavender 5.3 oz $19.80

Pre-Shave Oil: The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil in Lavender $14-22

Razor Blades: 60 Assorted Double Edge Razor Blades $16.00

Along with all the items, I printed some directions. Here are the directions for Wet Shaving 101 ready to print.

I printed it on 2 pieces of standard size cardstock cut in half equalling 4 half pages. I punched a hole in the corner and tied a bow out of ribbon to make a little book.

If you have any questions, or if you are pressed for time as far as shipping goes, go visit The Art of Shaving store near you. They can answer all your questions and carry a complete kit to get your man started. I purchased everything you see here except for the pre-shave oil (all on Amazon).

After the first couple months of wetshaving, my husband was still getting razor burn on his neck, so we stopped into The Art of Shaving store and the man there pointed us in the direction of the pre shave oil. He gave my husband a sample, and low and behold, the razor burn began to heal. So this shave oil is on the top of my list for gifts for him :) Such a great gift for Valentine's Day or any holiday. Who wouldn't want their man to start their day off in luxury!?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Craft

Moms, are you looking for a "snow day" craft? This is the perfect idea for valentine's for the girls in your child's class, and for your little princess too! Who doesn't LOVE a homemade valentine?! A princess who likes to read as much as Belle does can always use a pretty bookmark. With long pipe cleaner stems that tuck neatly between the pages, these bookmark roses are made out of pretty paper hearts.

You'll need:

Heart Template
Scrapbook paper
Glue dots
Green pipe cleaners


1. Print out the Heart Template and cut out the heart.

2. For each rose, cut out four hearts from scrapbook paper using the heart template.

3. Turn one of the hearts upside down to resemble one of the center petals of a rose bud, and use a glue dot to stick the top of a pipe cleaner stem in place, as shown. Place a second heart on top of the first, matching up all the edges and pressing down firmly to adhere it to the glue dot. Use your fingertips to curl the tips of the hearts.

4. Fold each of the remaining two hearts in half vertically. Fold back the rounded sides of the hearts, as shown, and then fold down the tips.

5. Sandwich the sides of the center petals between the folded hearts, using glue dots to hold them in place.

6. Take the ribbon and tie it around the stem right under the rose with a bow, or just a double knot to let the ribbon hang down like streamers.

Brandtastic Sale

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Awesome Calligraphy

Head over to Etsy to see Primele for your next important event invitiations. So whimsical and breath taking. This Calligraphy style would look amazing on pretty much any envelope with anything inside it!! How special would wedding invitations be if they came looking like this!? I only wish I discovered Primele when I was planning my wedding 5 1/2 years ago! Gosh, if only I could write like that, I would write on everything I own, including the walls!

80's Barbies

Some good friends of mine, who happen to be twins, just passed down all of their old Barbie dolls to my daughter. I have no idea where mine are (I'm going to have to ask my mom about that one!) So seeing all of theirs made me reminisce, some look pretty familiar. As my daughter and I unpacked the box *full* of Barbies, we noticed that some of the legs had gotten a little sticky. So, I went ahead and washed them with some soap and water with a regular kitchen sponge. I dried a couple with a towel and noticed they are still sticky! So I got in touch with the google gods...where else would I turn!? And this is what I found.

This experience is totally normal with some dolls from the 70s & 80s – some even develop splotching (especially on their legs) depending on the composition of the plastic/vinyl.

Wash the dolls in a mild soapy water then lightly dust the effected area with talcolm powder to limit the sticky effect.

One of the most important things is to try and keep the dolls separate from each other when stored – the plastics can actually interact off each other.

I dusted some powder on all the legs, and it worked like a charm! My daughter is having a blast with alllll these Barbies. I think we are going to need some more Barbie clothes ASAP! :o)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Scrapping a Desktop Wallpaper

I just love downloading Shabby Princess Blog's monthly desktop AND for FREE! I think February's is my all time favorite so far. As soon as the beginning of the new month comes, I excitedly pop over to this blog and download the new design for the new month. Basically it's a calendar background image that you can use as your desktop wallpaper. You open it up in a program like Photoshop after you download it. Then all you do is insert your favorite pictures and write in a font of your choice in the blank spaces. VoilĂ ! Save it as a JPG and your all set!

Here is what mine looks like!

I think tomorrow morning I will be making these awesome looking Cinnamon Nutmeg Waffles.

I'm going to make the pancake version because I have *yet* to buy a waffle maker! While you're over at Amanada's blog, I know you will be clicking on those waffles because they sound sooo delish, check out her free fonts! They will work well with your free monthly desktop from Shabby Princess. Did I mention it's all free?! :o)
Happy Scrapping and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New logo for a new Website Company

I designed this custom logo today for Lynked Marketing!! The website is still in the works, so you can't visit it yet, but I'll be posting a new blog for the big unveil!
What do you think?

Necklace Giveaway

There is an *amazingly* charming necklace made by
Lisa Leonard Designs being given away over at Our Suburban Cottage Head over there and leave a comment for a chance to win. Lisa Leonard's jewelry would make the perfect gift for someone special.

This one makes a lovely gift for a new mother, wife, grandmother, sister, or BFF that has or is having a child :o) The design has names engraved along the edge.

And if you have someone in mind who doesn't have children, this example of the same design is beautful. It says "Sparkle"

Good luck!!