Friday, April 29, 2011

Sneak Peek - Living Room

The fate of my living room decor is still uncertain, but for two things. 1) This sign will be displayed in a prominent place. I adore it. Thanks, Stef!

 2) This rug will be greeting guests in the foyer. I stumbled upon a shop on Main Street in Franklin that sells Dash and Albert rugs. I love, love, love them. They're so colorful and cheerful. The one I chose is called Kitchen Sink. You can guess why. :) The best part is they're indoor/outdoor rugs. This baby can be hosed down, thrown in the washing machine, or even bleached, which is awesome, because I already spy a dog hair!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Apple Cake

I made this for a party last night. It was wonderful! Here's how to make your own...

Fresh Apple Cake
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 lb. Granny Smith apples (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
Browned-Butter frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.

2. Stir together butter and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl until blended.

3. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apples and 1 cup pecans. (Batter will be very thick, similar to cookie dough.) Spread batter into a lightly greased 13- by 9-inch pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 45 minutes). Spread browned-butter frosting over cake; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.

Browned-Butter Frosting
1 cup butter
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Cook butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove pan from heat immediately, and pour butter into a small bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour or until butter is cool and begins to solidify.

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add powdered sugar alternately with milk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar. Beat mixture at low speed until well blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Both recipes courtesy Southern Living Magazine.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Color Conundrum

My living room. Right now, it is brown on brown on brown - brown floor, brown paint, brown couches - with white trim. It really needs an infusion of color. My problem lies in choosing which one(s) to use. I may end up using them all! Everything I like right now is bright. I've been looking at throw pillows on Etsy, and these are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.

So you see, they all have one thing in common. They are LOUD! I'm so preoccupied with pillows, that I've hardly even addressed the issue of what to do over my mantle, now that I actually have one. I really love this marquee ampersand by tomtoupin, but I don't think it's very practical. And it's definitely not in my budget.

I also like this giclee print called "A Forest of Three" by inaluxe.

If I could find some lamps that even vaguely resemble the Anthropologie Undersea Lamp, for a fraction of the price, I'd be a happy girl. So sorry, Anthro. That is way too much for one lamp, much less two! I may just have to spray paint my boring off-white lamps aqua. That would be mucho cheaper. 

Anyway, that's where I am on the whole decorating debacle. I am stumped by my living room and can't seem to move on to another area of the house. It'll get there. I haven't forgotten that I promised to share pictures. I just haven't taken any, because I'm not happy with it yet. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cheap Thrills

This is the last of the empty boxes. I think any child that can play with a boring, brown box for as long as these two have been at it must have a wonderful imagination. 

 This box is big enough for me to get inside!
 I think I'll try it.
 Can I get in, too?
 If I can't get in, you can't get out.
Anybody ever seen a box with legs?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Flower Headband

Who loves flower headbands? I do! I do! However, I'm super picky and hardly ever find one in the store that I like.

My friend Lisa started posting links to her new Magneblooms (she's trademarking that, by the way) on Facebook the other night, and I about died. They're gorgeous! The best part? I can have eleventy-billion flowers, and I only need one headband. They're interchangeable using, you guessed it, a magnet. Brilliant! I wish I'd thought of it. ;)

Here she is, disassembled.

The back. Please ignore my yucky, chippy fingernail polish.

I'm a sucker for details. I love her label inside the headband.

So how do you get one? Visit Lehla Shop on Etsy. Fall in love with Lisa's Magneblooms! :D

Also, do you know how difficult it is to try and take a photo of something on your own head? Crazy hard. I now have lots of pictures that look like this:

Friday, April 1, 2011

Delicious Chicken Recipe

 I don't know about you, but when the weather begins turning warm, the thought of all those heavy comfort foods we've been enjoying all winter starts to turn my stomach. I love to try lighter recipes out in the spring.  ValSoCal posted this recipe a couple weeks ago, and I had to try it. I can't remember how I stumbled across her blog in the first place, but reading it always makes me hungry! This chicken is my new favorite. I served it alongside some roasted asparagus. Yum!

Anyway, the recipe...

The rub.

The meal.

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken With Avocado Salsa - Everyday Food

      salt and pepper
      1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      1 medium red onion, finely diced
      2 tablespoons lime juice
      1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks

      1) In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne
      rub all over chicken.
      2) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cooked until
      browned on the outside and cooked throughout, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
      3) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice, set aside.
      Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture. Season with
      salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa.