Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gratitude in Photos

Sometimes life just gets too hard and there are days like today. And the only thing you can do is try your best to focus on the good you experience and the things you love.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pho Friday in DC

We had another yummy Pho Friday in Washington DC yesterday. In between checking out our reception venue and meeting with the caterer, we had a late lunch at Four Sisters, a Vietnamese restaurant in Falls Church. Their spring rolls weren't our favorite, but the pho was dyn-o-mite. Also, after innumerable previous attempts, I finally succeeded in eating a whole meal with chopsticks!

Well, after two bites with chopsticks Joey took my fork away, so I didn't have much of a choice if I wanted that beef and noodle goodness.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Engagement Photos Are Here!

Remember the little sneak peek of our engagement session? Well, our photos are hot off the press from Brinn Willis of BMW Photography! Here are some of our favorites. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

UO Jewelry Stand Knock-Off

Friends, I am beyond excited about this post and the little project I did this afternoon...!

Last spring I saw this jewelry stand at Urban Outfitters...

...and I simply adored it. But my wallet didn't adore the $70 price tag! Though its now on clearance for a meager $35, I still can't justify spending more on a container for my jewelry that probably doesn't cost that much combined.

And then it hit me--why don't I just make my own tea cup inspired piece?!

After delivering some pumpkin cranberry muffins to my sweet Joey, I hit up the Goodwill on the way home to find some charming cups.

I decided upon an arrangement in my mind and then got to glue-ing! Because I'm impatient and wanted to have my new piece immediately, I only used a hot glue gun instead of super glue, but it actually held up really well and is pretty secure. Though to avoid the pain of trying to get all of the glue strings off (which, no matter how hard I try, some sneak past me) and having to work super quickly, I recommend a stronger glue, if you can stand the drying time wait.

Then it was outside to the patio with some newspaper and the left over white spray paint from my DIY chandelier project. I lacquered that puppy with a couple good coats of paint, and did my best to wait for it to dry.

I love how much the white paint brought out the etching in the glass cups!

I brought it inside and filled it with pretty bobbles--which also allowed me to clean out old jewelry that I haven't touched in ages, and purging clutter and old things always makes me feel good.

The break down:
  • six glass tea cups and two glass saucers (1 of which I didn't use): $2
  • white spray paint and glue gun: already had

Total: $2.00. That's right, just two buckeroos for a jewelry stand I now love more than the original Urban Outfitters one, which again, was $70. Talk about savings!

So you see, with a little spray paint, a glue gun, and some Goodwill finds, you can create just about anything. Happy crafting!

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

These muffins are a delicious bite of heaven - if heaven is perpetual autumn and all things fall.

You may think 'ok, here's just another pumpkin recipe, amidst dozens of other pumpkin recipes that pop up every fall'.

Well hold the phone. Because these are so fantastic. The cranberries become soft and full of flavor when they're baked, which is also complimented by the tang of the cream cheese frosting. They're also not too sweet - just enough to balance the tart cranberries - which may or may not be my downfall because it means I could eat entirely too many and never feel sick from too much sugar. Luckily I've given all of them away to dear friends, so I'm safe this time!

And because I'm so wonderful, I'm sharing my recipe for these little delights (muffin recipe adapted from smitten kitchen).

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
heaping 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups fresh cranberries
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a splash of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put liners in muffin cups (and I like to spray them with cooking spray so the muffin comes out of the muffin cup perfectly).

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

Wash and dry cranberries. Slice larger ones in half; toss the cranberries with 2 teaspoons of sugar to coat (I did this to cut down the sourness of the berry and it didn't make the muffins too sweet). Fold the coated cranberries into the batter.

Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 22-27 minutes.

Remove muffins from pan and cool on a wire rack.

For the Frosting:

Place softened cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla and lemon juice and stir to combine.

Cover the muffins with cream cheese frosting and enjoy this oh so yummy autumn treat!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...