turning your partner into a vegetarian (without him noticing) vol. 2

20130218-063247.jpg
I’m all about making food from scratch. But, sometimes it’s Wednesday. During the week I just want food, and I want it now! So, I’m always on the look out for new ideas that are fast and delicious. I made this the other day and Rick and I both really enjoyed it – and I only spent about 15 minutes in the kitchen – success! Whip up a salad to go with this and you’re good to go!

Crispy Gnocchi with Pesto, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

ingredients
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 package (16 oz.) gnocchi
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3 tbsp. pesto
1 package (3.5 oz.) goat cheese, crumbled
(all measurements can be adjusted to taste)

directions
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the gnocchi in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes; turn and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden all over, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pesto. Top with the goat cheese.

Claire xo

Recipe adapted from original, found here

trimming your own bangs

Talking about hair makes me sad these days. Post pregnancy (ahhh pregnancy, a glorious time of full, lush hair!) mine has been falling out, and fast! I know this is just temporary (right? RIGHT?!) but it’s still annoying. But that’s not really what I’m meant to be talking about. I want to talk about the wonderful world of trimming your own bangs! Is it just me, or does it always feel to you like your bangs grow at twice the speed of the rest of hair? Forcing you to make a trip to the hairdresser before you’re really ready? Well, no more, my dear!

Trimming your own bangs is super easy. The key is to take your time. And remember, bobby pins and a pretty scarf can hide pretty much any mistake, so don’t stress!

(Note: sorry the pictures aren’t great, I was home alone when I did this had a hard time capturing everything with only two hands!)

20130215-094143.jpg
Here is my before – too long!

20130215-094230.jpg
Step 1: Tie back the rest of your hair so you just have to deal with the bangs. If you have short layers that you don’t plan to cut, be sure to pin them back.

20130215-094354.jpg
Step 2: Comb your bangs forward. If you want to make your bangs thicker, simpler bring more hair forward. You want to have a triangle shaped part at the crown of your head.

20130215-094617.jpg
Step 3: Either use a fine tooth comb or your fingers to hold your bangs away from your face. The key is to make sure you don’t pull the hair tight – keep it loose! This will help to make sure you don’t cut your hair too short. As soon as you let go those bangs are going to boing up! You can now start cutting. I cut mine on an angle. Work slowly!! Cut only a little bit at a time and take off less than you think you need to – you can always go back and take off more.

20130215-095027.jpg
Step 4: I had a hard time taking a picture of this. You need to use your scissors to cut straight up into the ends of your bangs. This will break up the ends for a more natural look.

20130215-095340.jpg
Step 5: If you’re planning to sweep your bangs to the side, leave some extra length. I keep mine long enough to cover my eye.

20130215-095505.jpg
Sweep to the side, and that’s it!

Happy Friday!

Claire xo

card box mad love

Greeting cards are my jam. Few things make me more excited than finding a unique card that matches my sense of humor, and when I do stumble upon these precious gems I pretty much always buy them. As such, I was starting to find small piles throughout my apartment:

Image

ImageImage

Clearly it was time to figure out a solution where I could keep all these little beauties in one place. It was as simple as picking up an inexpensive box. Here is the process of what I did:

Image

Image

Image

Then, I put the cards in starting with the tallest in the back and working down to the smallest.

Image

Image

Image

I put some adorable reusable gift bags on the left side, and some equally adorable gift tags (purchased on sale from Anthropologie) in front, and finally tossed in some ribbon that I had kicking around.

Image

And there you have it! One little box filled with cards that I love so much I find difficult to part with. Hairy Beardday everyone!

Image

a new friend

I am so excited to have a new co-blogger! My darling friend Robyn is going to be joining me here.

20130214-091251.jpg

Robyn and I have been friends for many years. We met through our love of horses and quickly realized we had so much more in common. Robyn is gorgeous, has epic style, and is absolutely hilarious (like I said, we have a lot in common).

You can read her first post here

Robyn is one of my very favourite people and I’m so glad she’s here!

Claire xo

a healthy treat

20130213-194353.jpg
I’m not really a churchy person, but I am a tradition person. This year for lent I’ve decided to give up junk food! I’ve left it pretty general to allow for cheating. Lately I’ve gotten into the habit of having yummy baked goods around the house…the thought of quitting cold turkey is a little scary. I’ve decided to ease myself into this by baking a somewhat healthy treat. I think these are delicious…Rick thinks they need sugar…

Recipe:
3 large, very ripe bananas
1/2 cup peanut butter, preferably all-natural (just peanuts), or almond butter
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned (large flake) or quick oats
1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 – 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

In a large bowl mash the bananas with the peanut butter, oil and vanilla. In another bowl stir together the oats, coconut, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients along with the chocolate and stir until combined.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until just set. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

(Recipe from here)

I had a little help with the baking 🙂

20130213-194306.jpg

Claire xo

groundhog day bouquet-remastered

Image

Groundhog day is a pretty big deal around this house, so when I came home to find a big bouquet of fresh lowers waiting for me, I wasn’t too surprised. Whenever I get a bouquet like this (pictured above), I am always thinking forward to the various ways that I can re-make it, and get the most life out of each flower. For the first arrangement, I just did a simple cut of the stems and put them in fresh warm water in a tall glass vase. Straightforward.

After 5 days, I broke the bouquet up, and created these:

IMG_4124

 

IMG_4123

 

I displayed them around the house in the dining room, kitchen and living room (colour coded books are so hot right now) and they added a lot of life and made it feel fresh and spring-like. Win.

Five days later, I decided it was time to created new arrangements. Please note that these flowers were by now 10 days old, which is a really good life span for any fleur. The reason that I have been able to make them last so long, is that I have regularly recut the stems and given them fresh, warm water. This is the magic elixir for almost-eternal flower life.

IMG_4131

 

I gathered up all of the flowers, and culled out the ones that were no longer good. For carnations, this is when the edges start to curl. My lily was also at the end of its days-the petals had gone paper-like.

IMG_4132

 

I decided to try something I have never done before and use tape to create a grid on one of my vases. This is a great trick if you are new to flowers or feel intimidated about putting something together.

IMG_4135

 

In the end, I was able to make 3 new arrangements. A tiny one for the washroom, a tall one for the living room, and a center piece for the dining room.

IMG_4136

 

IMG_4146

IMG_4148

IMG_4147

 

The golden rule in floral design is that the proportion of the whole arrangement should be 1/3 vase to 2/3 flowers. I don’t necessarily ascribe to this rule, because I like things to be tiny and a bit different. You can probably also notice that I always try to create vignettes with my arrangements-how adorable is that little ceramic fawn in front of the centerpiece?

In total, using 1 big bouquet I was able to create 7 different arrangements, which have lasted me 11 days and are still going strong. Happy flowering!

more diy: braided infinity scarf

If you’ve been within 100 yards of Pinterest you’ve seen a braided infinity scarf. I saw quite a few examples and different methods for doing this, then ignored them all and winged it.

You can use any measurements you like to make your scarf and braids as thick or thin as you want. You can also add more or less braids, or add different colour materials…it’s up to you!

What you’ll need:

  • Material (I used a jersey, which worked well but can be tricky to cut in a straight line, as you will see in the pictures below…no need for perfect lines in this project though so don’t worry too much about that). The amount you need will depend on how thick you want your scarf and braids to be.
  • Scissors
  • 2 elastics
  • Needle and thread

First, I cut strips for my braids, I made 2. I cut the strips 3 3/4 inches thick, and then cut that into 3 strips of equal size. Don’t cut all the way through.

IMG_0232

Next, I pinned the uncut end of the first strip to a pillow and braided. Secure the braid with a hair elastic and set aside. Repeat with second strip.

scarf 2

Next, cut the material form the main scarf section. I bought my material from my local fabric store off a bolt, so the material was already in a loop. I cut a section 15 inches wide…and tada! There’s an infinity scarf. If your material doesn’t form a loop, simply sew the ends together to for one.

scarf 3

To attach the braids to the main scarf section, I simply placed one end of the braid at the edge of the scarf, folded the scarf over the braid, and sewed into place. Be sure to sew through all three pieces of the braid. Repeat with the other end of the braid (remove the elastic first). Do the same thing with the second braid. I sewed my braids in side-by-side, but you could offset them if you like.

scarf 4

And there you have it! Easy pea-sy!

scarf6