Monday, January 16, 2012

I Love to Cook

I asked for cook books for Christmas, and have friends over usually at least once a week. I have dinner leftovers for lunch most days, and I'm know in the office for my awesome lunches. In addition to DIY craft blogs I've been reading recipe and cooking blogs recently which has helped me with some new and fun ideas.

I was also able recently to combine two of my favorite things, and using a great deal on Groupon, I got myself a one year subscription to Bon Appetite magazine a couple months ago.

All of that goes to prove my love for cooking is true!

It also doesn't hurt that I have an awesome kitchen in my condo that can accommodate my every cooking whim.

One night this week I put pizza on the menu. My Man isn't at all into cooking, but he sure does like to eat :) I set out to make a pizza that was featured on one of my very favorite recipe blogs.

Her creative ingredient pizza was made with whole wheat dough, so it's a healthy pizza, and it turned these measly ingredients from this: This:

And it was Deeelish!!

Another night this week I went to the store and picked up a really nice piece of salmon on sale at Roche Brother's. It was really big, and looked so good, I couldn't wait to cook it in my favorite mustard glaze.

But... I opened up the wax paper wrapping to find that this salmon piece had a bunch of bones in it! Sorry, Dad, hopefully the rest of my story will make you forgive me for bringing up the fact that there were bones in my fish.

I've seen on some of my cooking shows how they use these special tweezers to get the bones out of fish, and it works in about 2 seconds and they never find any other bones. Well, I'm not that talented, and I don't own special fish tweezers, so I had to improvise Magiver-like.

I used my Leatherman! And let me tell you, it worked like a charm.

It worked like a charm, and we ate the whole thing without any bone-in-mouth issues.
I certainly love that recipe! It's worth a shot if you ever need a quick and easy fish dinner.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Projects 2012

In order to not disappoint, and to continue the happy productive vibe in Casa de Condo, I'm here telling you about more projects that Mr. Man & I have put together these past few days.

The most noticeable is right here in the living room. We had discussed some changes that we wanted to make, so one ambitious Tuesday, I came home and found this:

Our TV was mounted on the wall, the end tables switched places to open up the corner of the room, candles were everywhere!, and the panels that my mom made for me 6 years ago to hide my scary dorm-room walls were lifted to heighten the room.
We have been enjoying this new view for over a week now, and love it more each day.

Anyone savvy enough to notice those 3 candles in the middle? This was my lucky winning pick from the Yankee Swap at work this Christmas. They are vases/candle holders, which means I can put anything in these and any candle on top of them and make it a beautiful focal point.

My first attempt at something interesting for these beauties was to strategically hang blue ribbon all around the edge and place bright candles on top.

It's not the most coordinated or interesting thing I've ever put together in my life, but hell, it's just the first phase, I'm sure there will be many more adaptations posted here in the future.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday Night Blues

To say that I had a horrible day at work Friday would be a huge understatement. My mission for this long weekend is definitely to put that day out of my head!

Step one was of course a glass of wine...but unfortunately, considering that I haven't been feeling well the past couple days, that was not an option :(

Instead, I popped an entire bag of Boy Scout popcorn for just me, and I took out a project!

I started with a plain picture frame, took out the backing and the glass, and sanded the wood to get rid of the glossy finish (thanks babe, worked like a charm).

I painted it black to get the uniformity to everything else we hang on the walls around here, and then began with a couple bright colors with shapes that pop.

At this point I was about half way through my batch of popcorn, and glass of coca-cola, and I started in with my pin-point brush for a second coat of paint.

I ended up using another DIY blog inspiration to use the frame, so instead of a photo in it, there's a blank piece of card-stock paper (it's a bit small for the frame, so don't mind the cardboard peaking out from the bottom, and turned it into a dry-erase board to be used for cute notes to be sent between Mr. Man and me.

He'll call me corny when he comes home and sees this... but I don't care :)

I like it a lot, how 'bout you?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Random Inspiration

In 2011, which is now "last year," I started reading a lot of DIY inspired crafty blogs and got lots of great inspiration for things to do around my house. Let me tell you that reading all those blogs make me want more wall space so that I can make more things that hang.

As the title of this post suggests, I ended up finding my own inspiration from a 99cent store. Seriously, I was walking around the Chinese 99cent store around the corner from my grandparents' house in Brooklyn over Christmas break. Hanging on the wall was hot-plate, and I honestly didn't even realize what it was, all I saw was the small & large wooden pieces that could be used towards a project.

The next day at a totally different store, though also with a price of 99cents, I found mirror coasters with easily removable rubber feet, so for $3.96 my mom and I had a Brooklyn craft in our immediate future.

We set up on grandma's table and after cutting apart the hot-plate to get the small and large sticks apart, 30 minutes of painting, an hour of drying, and several different glue attempts, our partly Brooklyn/partly DIY-Blog inspired Starburst mirrors were born.

As you can see, mine is currently sported proudly on our new gallery wall.

So far, I think I'm doing well in the "2012 crafts" category.

Have you crafted anything fun lately?

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I know that it's probably really nice for Santa when Christmas is over. He gets to sleep in, spend time with Mrs. Clause, and play with the elves instead of supervising them making more and more toys.
But for me, the week after Christmas/New Year's is always sad because you have to take down all of the cheer that you installed throughout the house to gear Up for Christmas.

While our Tree was taken out last weekend, and the stockings are back in their Christmas bin in storage, the one thing I'm really upset about having to put away are the cards. The nice thoughts and well wishes that we get from family and friends around Christmas.
The fun family photos that people take throughout the year are my favorite. And why should I have to miss out on looking at these pictures all year long just because they came in a Christmas envelope?

Maybe I'll hold out just a bit longer and be grateful that so many people were thinking of us during their busy Christmas season.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Recap

As promised, I'm back with a sneak peak into our NY Christmas escapades.

Christmas is always very special to me, because it means Brooklyn food and family in the same place, but this year was especially special because Mr. Man came with me to celebrate the holiday. We didn't waste any time showing good ole NYC what we're about.

Our first few minutes on the train held a squinty-eyed/pushing match. I won't bore you with the detail of who won that one....

As with the Family tradition we had to take a picture of "The OutLaws"

Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family was a little confused, we couldn't quite figure out if we were celebrating Christmas, Mom's Uncle's Birthday, or New Year's...

And then of course you have to include some quality baby-time with my little cousin. Just looks at that can you not fall in love?

I hope all those reading this blog had as much fun with their Christmas celebrations as we did with pushing matches, Outlaws, Girlie holiday confusion, and baby-smooches.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Year

So much has happened in the past 2 weeks, between the holidays with Family, traveling to NY, visiting with friends, and projects around the house, this was not a "sleep-in-every-day" time of year.
I promise to have all kinds of updates for you as I get the photos going and organized, but I thought that for the new year's first post, I'd share a new project.

As some of you know, my Man and I are just now settling in to the idea of living together after 7-ish years of doing the weekend-only thing somewhat long distance. These past few weeks of being together in the house have sparked some "what can we do to make this 'Ours'" conversations.
This first thing that came up was apparently something that we'd both been thinking about and hadn't said out loud yet...
A Gallery Wall

It's no secret that I'm quite obsessed with photos, taking them, printing them, sharing them, and now with this blog, posting them. The secret in our household is that the Man does too! He's more into the candid and nature shots, while I like those with people in them, but we have a pretty good mix of both and appreciation for all photos around here.

There were a couple of steps to this Gallery Wall idea before it could totally come to fruition, like buying a couple of frames, black, to frame art & photos that we already had around the house, and laying out the spacing for all these frames before putting a bunch of holes in the wall. but in the end I think we ended up with something pretty special.
I'm sure this gallery of ours will evolve over time, but for now, we're loving it.

First we started with a pile of frames, all in the "black" family to give the gallery a sense of belonging.

Then came the newspaper cut-outs taped to the wall with holes in them where the nails needed to go for each frame to get the spacing right.

And last but not least, actually hanging each frame on the wall.
This was a very fun project!!

left to right top:
  • 4 Disney figures purchased over Christmas at Amazing Savings in Brooklyn that I mounted in a shadow box
  • Greeting card from a friend, framed
  • Frame we received for Christmas has a picture of us on the beach from the fall with quote on the frame that says "live for love"
  • Art Frame with the letters LOVE
  • Mirror from IKEA, of which there used to be 5 hanging on this wall
  • (all the way to the right) a photo of the moment Mr. Man proposed, and signatures and well-wishes from all those that attended our engagement party
left to right bottom:
  • Flyer for the play Wicked (my all-time favorite)
  • 4 Photos of Mr. Man's Family and Friends from growing up
  • Another greeting card, 3 flowers
  • Photo from my Dad's birthday a few years ago
So...What do you think?

This isn't the only project we've undertaken since 2012 has begun, and hopefully this year will be full of fun projects. I'll be back soon with posts about our holiday escapades.
Happy 2012 Everyone!