Wednesday, November 30, 2011

chevron wrapping paper from a potato

one of my favorite parts of christmas is buying & wrapping gifts. each year I try to do a little somethin' fun to beautify the gift (see last year's wrapping here). not only is it fun to receive a pretty package, but it also looks nice sitting under the tree all month.

this year I decided to stick with simple kraft paper & then stamp some sort of design onto it. I don't know if any of you have ever checked out michael's or joann's craft stores for stamps, but they really suck. they all look like microsoft office clip art from 1999. and I knew I didn't want to wait to order a stamp from etsy, so my next thought was to buy a carving block to make my own, but neither store carried those either.

so I regretfully returned home, feeling defeated, & decided to rid my sorrows over some comfort food in the form of thanksgiving leftovers. and then it hit me- potatoes! duh! why didn't I think of that earlier? I grabbed a small knife (an exacto would work well too) & cut a shape out of the potato (I went with the zig zag pattern). I dapped the "stamp" onto a paper towel to get out some of the moisture & then dipped it in gold ink & then onto the kraft paper, over & over again. it dried all shiny & pretty and looks just as cute as this expensive anthropologie wrapping paper, if I do say so myself. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like...

christmas! I know, I know - I just posted about thanksgiving. but I'm one of those annoying people who starts listening to christmas music the second the weather turns chilly (chilly being like 60 degrees here in florida). of course, I don't do it in front of others (in fact, when people make comments like "it's the second week of november & they're already playing christmas music! can you believe that?!?!" I'm all like, "gosh, I know! is nothing scared anymore?" and then I hop into my car & secretly turn on lite 96.1 - "all christmas music, all the time").

so by the weekend after thanksgiving, I am totally antsy to go get the tree & start decorating the house.  we got an awesome tree this year (as well a second little mini tree so we can have one in each of the rooms that we hang out in). I swear the house smells just like one of those pine-scented tree-shaped air-freshners... but better!

{there's something not right about picking out a tree while wearing shorts}
{a bus full 'o trees}
{and it was so hot, we had to stop for ice cream on the way home}

Saturday, November 26, 2011


it was, yet again, a wonderful thanksgiving. it was on the small side this year, as some of the family was traveling. and my sis works in retail, so therefore she couldn't make it into town (thanks, black friday!). but other than that, it was a beautiful day at the lakehouse, with lots of super-delicious food. I am reminded all the time how incredibly grateful I am for the countless blessings in my life. god is good! 
{prepping to smoke the ham}
{grammie is still the world's best thanksgiving cook}
{we are thankful for the lazy susan}
{post-meal walk around the lake -  to help make room for dessert}
{too chilly to swim}
{robert trekking through the weeds}
{the lake at sunset is a beautiful thing}

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

november cake: sour cream chocolate cake with cream cheese peanut butter frosting & chocolate peanut butter ganache

phew. that was a long title. but I didn't want to leave out any of the goodness. this three-layer november cake was really really good. I mean, what's not to like about the chocolate + peanut butter combination? It sounds a little complicated, but this cake was actually pretty simple to make. you should totally try it (recipe here). the chocolate cake was really moist. and that peanut butter icing was just heavenly (I even saved some to dip my bananas in for breakfast!). and the ganache on to top is really what threw it over the top. a reese's peanut butter cup in cake form. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

boys weekend

last weekend robert had a little male bonding time with all of his vw buddies. they all caravanned over to tampa for the annual vw bus show. they camped out in tents & some in their buses & cooked all their meals over a fire. how cute is that?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

marisco's taco truck

before we travel to new places, I love getting on the computer & doing tons of research on the location. what to do, what to see, how to get around & most importantly, what to eat. a bunch of people on several different websites had mentioned marisco's taco truck for the most authentic fish tacos in town. so we headed there for lunch on the first day of our visit. I was not prepared for the all-spanish menu (or the fact that the person at the window didn't speak much english), but we managed & got some really delicious, fresh, hot food in return. I love this food truck rage! 

 {there was quite a line}
{fresh fish tacos}
{this is what we got when we ordered a coke}
{the fanciest thing on the menu}

Monday, November 14, 2011

vintage finds: glass cake plate

I have a wee bit of an obsession with collecting cake plates. I have... well, let's just say... a lot. they are so pretty & delicate & hold cake, which also happens to be one of my favorite thing ever. when I find a cake stand that is different than anything I already own, I feel like I have to have it. robert spotted this one for me at an estate sale we went to a few weeks ago. I like it because it's simple & taller than any of the other cake stands I own. it has a few little scratches on the top, which just means it's been loved with a lot of cake over the years. and it was just $6.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

music poster show

a few months ago robert designed a poster for a local poster show. the rules were simple: choose a song that inspires you & then design a poster around it. he chose m83's "midnight city" (so envious that my sister got to go see them last week in concert!). listen to the song here (oh, and just for the record- this was before victoria secret started using the song in their commercial!) then check out his poster. pretty clever, huh? he's good. ;)

{music inspiration}

{see the city in the keys??}
 {there were over 75 posters in the show!}
 {loved these simple cotton clouds hanging from the ceiling}
{tons of great designers}
 {see the tv reference in this one?}
{bryant in front of robert's poster & robert in front of bryant's winning poster: sergeant pepper's lonely hearts club band!}

Monday, November 7, 2011

ricotta pancakes

it was a cold & dreary saturday, so I brightened it a tad by making a (rather larger) stack of ricotta pancakes (after eating them at the ace hotel, I'd been craving them). they are easy to make & so delicious. they also freeze well, if you want to save them for another weekend (not that we had a single one leftover). I used this recipe and just added a little vanilla. hot cakes always make for a good start to the weekend.

{I took a melon ball scooper to the butter to make these little discs - it reminds me of "cloudy with a chance of meatballs"}

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

happy november

to welcome november, I made some of of these pumpkin whoopie pies with a maple marshmallow cream filling. here's the recipe if you're interested (or check out the chocolate peanut butter ones I made last november). the recipe is from the two fat cats bakery in portland, maine. robert & I were lucky enough to get to visit the bakery last summer while visiting some friends (see photos here). their whoopie pies are delicious & I was really happy with how these turned out. they were really moist & delicious, with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor. happy fall, ya'll!


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