Monday, January 30, 2012

before + after: vintage vanity

I wanted to share my mom's latest diy makeover. she found this 60s vanity at a garage sale for $25. the piece was in good shape, minus the fact that it was pretty hideous. with a little light sanding, some primer, spray paint & cute fabric, she totally transformed it. right now it sits in the guest room, which is decorated in lots of silver, black & white. this pop of bright color really livens the space & adds a lot of warmth. nice job, mom!

  {lovely pink cushion}
  {fabric by amy butler}
 {I found these handles at anthropologie for $6 each}

Thursday, January 26, 2012

butternut squash tortellini

robert made me the most delicious meal last weekend: giada's roasted butternut squash tortellini with cranberry sage walnut sauce. in case you're feeling up for a challenge, you should totally try this. it was amazing.

giada de laurentiis' butternut squash tortellini with brown butter sauce recipe: 
squash tortellini

  • 1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package small wonton wrappers
brown butter sauce:

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
to make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees f. on a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de provence, salt, and pepper. bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
in a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. add the crushed amaretti cookies, the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. pulse until smooth. the tortellini filling can be made one day ahead (I would highly recommend this).
to make the tortellini, lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure. place the formed tortellini on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. before laying out another 6 wonton sheets, be careful to dry the work surface. this will help keep tortellini from sticking to the baking sheet. continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used. there should be approximately 36 tortellini. (the tortellini can be formed, frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months. to cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)
to make the sauce and serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.
stir to combine. then, gently place the tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. when they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter, top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

30th birthday party

and as part of "treat yo self 2012", robert threw me the sweetest dinner party with some of my favorite people at a local wood fire pizza restaurant. it made me feel awfully blessed to have so many special people in my life to celebrate with. I'm a lucky girl.

 {invite designed by robert. a compilation of all my birthday pics. in case you didn't notice, I'm kinda into birthdays}
 {robert surprised me with these cute buttons he designed with fun quotes on the sides}
 {vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream frosting}
 {robert ordered a bunch of different wood fired pizzas for everyone}
 {bob + reba}
{bill + debbie}
{troy + jenny}
{my parents}
{my amazing husband. thanks for an incredible 30th}

Monday, January 23, 2012

treat yo self

in honor of my birthday, my amazing husband made the theme of the weekend "treat yo self" (and in case you aren't familiar, watch this video). all my favorite things in one day. it really was "the best day of the year."

  {flowers made by mom: treat yo self}
 {mimosas: treat yo self}
  {birthday sign: treat yo self}
  {gifts: treat yo self}
  {the best donuts in the city: treat yo self}
  {a flash dance card: treat yo self}
{fried zeppole with chocolate-espresso dipping sauce: treat yo self}
  {flowers from hubby: treat yo self}

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

tassel garland

so. bad news. this is my last week as a twenty-something-year-old; on saturday I turn the big 3-0. I feel like I should be excited, but I'm not. to be quite frank, thirty sounds kinda old (no offense to those of you reading this who are older) & I'm not quite ready to be an official "grown up".

in order to lift my spirits a bit, I made this adorable tassel garland based off this tutorial. it was a little time consuming cutting all the strips, but really easy to make. I may have to make this decoration a permanent fixture in the house. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

in bruges

it's hard to pick a "favorite" anything. I've been to a lot of beautiful cities, but none quite compare to bruges. it quickly became my favorite city on the very night we arrived (back in may when we visited for our 5th anniversary. I'm a wee bit delayed in writing this post).

we arrived in the city at night, coming by train from london. we made it to our b&b & were greeted by the sweet owner, who gave us late a night snack & showed us our room. it was an adorable space, with high ceilings, wooden beams & modern art on the wall, created by the owner.

we decided we'd have a very late dinner & walked to the most amazing bar/restaurant right around the corner. it was almost midnight, but this dimly-lit local hangout was packed. we grabbed a high top table in the corner & perused the giant beer menu (see first photo). it was an amazingly romantic first night in a new city. and the rest of our time there only continued to impress us.

walking the streets of bruges is like stepping into a storybook. it's almost medieval-looking, with cobblestone streets & little bridges over canals that are filled with swans. it is certainly the most beautiful & friendliest city I have ever visited. and if you haven't seen the film "in bruges," you must! not only is it a wonderful film, but it really captures the magic that is bruges.

 {check out that beer menu- seriously insane!}
  {the bell tower}
  {366 narrow, squeaky steps to the top}
{and the view from the top was worth it}
 {47 bells in the tower, weighing from 2 pounds to 11,000 pounds}
{frites with mayo. seriously delicious- if you like mayo!}
 {we stumbled across a carnival in bruges}
 {there are swans in the canals}
 {sugared waffles = amazing}
 {the market}
 {a freshly baked meringue}
 {basilica of the holy blood}
 {procession of the holy blood, which only happens once a year}
    {we did a tour of the half moon brewery}
 {you might recognize this from a scene in "in bruges"}
 {I told ya it's romantic here}
  {the best chocolates in bruges are at dumon!}
 {we rode bikes to another adorable city, dame}
 {cafe vissinghe - the oldest pub in bruges - est. 1515}


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