Monday, January 24, 2011

meatless monday: margherita pizza!

I can give up meat, for the most part, but I can never, EVER, give up pizza.
{Don't even ask.}

Lately, I have discovered the joy of making my own pizza.  I like the crust to be thick.  I like the cheese to be plentiful.  I like the toppings to be fresh.

One of my favorite pizzas is margherita pizza.  This is my go-to when I am out and have to order something that does not involve meat.  So many restaurants have amazing flatbread versions that are so amazingly delish!

Last night I made my own, simple, thick crust version, using these four ingredients:

can of pizza dough
basil pesto
mozzarella cheese
thinly sliced tomato

I simply rolled out the dough on a pizza stone (seasoned with cornmeal), spread on a layer of basil, sprinkle as much mozzarella as desired, and add my slices of tomato.  Season with salt and pepper...

 Bake for 12-15 minutes at 425F.

Slice and indulge...while watching The Bachelor!  
  {Won't give that one up either.}


PS: Do you have a good homemade pizza recipe?  I'd love to hear!

Friday, January 14, 2011

baby bump alert

I will confess...
I have always been pretty obsessive about working out.
I love the gym.  Running is a passion.
I used to do an uncountable amount of crunches per day.

Then I got pregnant.

Now the thought of crunches makes me tired...and a little nauseous.
Now my jeans don't fit.
Now I realize why flowing, loose-fitting shirts are so dang great.
Now I have people staring strangely at my tummy in wonder.
Now I get asked if I'm having twins.
Now I'm lucky if I can muster the required thirty minutes daily of exercise.
Now my stomach growls every two hours.

And reader,
I have never been happier.

(I also used to tan a lot.)  



{anthro dishtowel art!}

I love to wander through the store Anthropologie.

I write "wander through" and not "shop at" because I cannot realistically afford to shop there.  Occasionally I buy a book.  Or a candle.  Or a dishtowel.

I write "dishtowel" because that is what I bought today.  I couldn't resist!  As soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to do with it.  {No, not dry dishes.  Definitely not.}

I wanted to frame it, and put it in our {future, beautiful, re-done} master bedroom!  

Sounds weird, maybe.  But with a very excited burst of inspiration I plunked down $18 and felt like I was committing robbery!  $18 - expensive for a mere dishtowel, scandalously cheap for art!

Here is the towel, listing the traditional gifts for wedding anniversaries:

I immediately felt it might make a cute little bedroom art piece.  The Tiffany-blue and black on white linen color scheme is chic, the design is pretty, and I found the concept rather romantic.  {Plus...nice reminder for hubby as to what he might shop for each year...}

Now I needed a 16x20 frame.  I envisioned simple and black, to go with our modern bedroom style.  However, frames can be pricey (even at Target I would end up paying $30) so I was off to Goodwill.

Here is what I came out with, for $3:

Yes, this is very ugly, goose print, circa 1986; however,  is a sturdy, simple 16x20 wood frame!  So I removed the horrendous print, washed the glass, wiped down the frame and sanded it...

...painted it black - using paint I already had...

...ironed the dishtowel {shhhh...don't tell my loving hubby I can iron!}...
Even the dog looks amazed I can iron!

...and voila!

um, might have to re-iron 

Lovely little art for only $21!  This will go in our new master bedroom suite (not on the hamper, like in this photograph)...whenever the master suite actually gets done.  The walls will be a pale gray...and can you guess what my accent colors will be?

Well, my creativity is sapped for the day!  
Time for a nap.


Happy Friday, blogosphere!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

{top five: weird cravings!}

"Have you had any weird cravings?"
This has to be one of my top-asked questions since becoming pregnant.  (Well, lately it has been: "Are you having twins?") So to answer this very pressing questions, I have compiled this handy list of five food items that have been crossing my mind a lot.  No ice cream and pickles.  Mostly just really fatty, really greasy foods...which I suspect is my bad karma for eating annoyingly healthy for the past 2 years.  
The things I used to love (salmon, veggies, rice, coffee) have been replaced with more, um, high calorie grindage.  So without further ado...

1. Corn dogs
This is weird, considering I avoid meat and corn dogs contain God-only-knows-what kind of meat.  However, I have ate corn dogs for dinner at least 4 times in the last month...because {right now} they are just darn delicious.

2. Rainbow sherbert
Ice cream really isn't doing it for me.  Nope.  But rainbow sherbert?  OH YES.  That perfect combo of lime, orange and raspberry...e-gad gimme a bowl right now.
{so good}

3. Sugary chinese donuts
Okay, so this was an instance where I forced hubby to get me some -- asap!  I usually only eat these on rare occasion at super-unhealthy chinese buffets, but one night we were ordering Chinese and I had to have some.  So that was all I ordered:  one box, containing 10 sweet, sugary donuts.  Ate every one.


4. ANY donuts!
I had all but given up on these sweet treasures!  But one day, while driving home from work, I just had to have one frosted, sprinkled cake donut.  There is still frosting on the steering wheel to prove it.

{happy things}
5. Blueberry pancakes
Okay, this one required a special trip to the grocery store last Saturday morning for a carton of yummy blueberries {healthy, right?} and some real butter {not the calorie-free spray stuff I usually use!}  Then my Hubby, who happens to make THE best ginormous pancakes ever made me a plate of yummy, juicy blueberry pancakes.  Mmmmmm just writing about them makes me crave more.... {cue Homer Simpson-like drooling.}

So those are my top-most crave-worthy items for the moment.  I am really hoping to start craving some veggies soon!

So Mamas...what did you crave while preggo???


Sunday, January 9, 2011

kitchen re-do: {a room to cook in}

Considering that before I got married I did not cook at all, it may seem strange that three years later I feel the most important room in a home is the kitchen.  The fact is...
 I fell in love with cooking
{and I'm trying my best to like baking as well.}  

Therefore, when we moved into our current home a year and a half ago I pushed pretty hard for a kitchen makeover!  Our shotgun-style home has pretty small rooms, but even so, the space in the kitchen was NOT being maximized.  I knew we could design better.

Here is a look at the {BEFORE}

I wasn't a big fan of the mustard-colored walls, white countertops, white appliances, white floor we ripped it all out!

 And here is the {AFTER}

Pretty much we replaced everything: dark cherry, more visually interesting cabinets, granite countertops, natural stone floor tiles, stainless appliances...oooooh and do you spy my potfiller???  Yes, I do actually use it. :)

{BEFORE} : a strangely-placed refrigerator (you had to walk sideways to get between it and the tiny center island.

 {AFTER} : We instead did a peninsula, allowing for more counter space, and put the sink in a spot where I could look in on the dining room...instead of facing a corner full of cabinets!

Uh, the TV above the Ikea metal shelf (aka pot rack, $15) was completely my husband's idea.
I never always watch it. Hey, I spend a lot of time in there.

So that is my kitchen...a place I love to cook in - or at least spend a lot of time trying!

Happy Monday!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

{attempting to focus} : my new camera!

For Christmas I received a gift that I have longed for, wished for, dreamed of for quite a while...
...a digital SLR camera!

My husband's parents gifted me the fabulous Canon Rebel XSi (which my wedding photographer had recommended to me as being her pick for a humble beginner, such as myself.) I just might possibly have the best in-laws EVER.

I love it and feel incredibly blessed!

Sadly, for the past two weeks I have had a awful flu/cold, so actually figuring out how to use the camera has been low on the priority list.   Not that I didn't try.  
One day, lying on the couch in a Tylenol stupor, I was reading a book I bought at Barnes and Noble (B&N to the those who know) that revolves around how to use the Rebel.  I was seriously geeking over this book!

Then my dog came over...

He was curious about what I could possibly be doing besides playing with him???
{Please forgive his nasty mouth. We bath him, really.}

Well, I was reading about focus...

...and then, being unable to, um, focus I was obliged to pet my precious pup...

...and his nasty snout.


Monday, January 3, 2011

{decor dreams} two thousand eleven

I like to dream big.

Now that I'm pregnant and spend a ridiculous delicious amount of time napping {I completely adore you Baby for this!} I also spend a lot of time dreaming and planning various home design projects...

Here are my Decor Dreams of 2011:

1.  Baby's Nursery!

It will go in this space...

This is one of the Jack and Jill bedrooms on one side of our 2nd floor.  We currently sleep here.  I have so many cute plans...but we will have to wait and see if we are having a boy or a girl. 

So, when Baby sleeps here, where will we sleep?  That brings us to #2...

2.  Master Bedroom Suite Redo!

This is the room we will one day sleep in...
currently the guest suite.
Pretty boring!

  • Going to revamp with:   New wall color! 
  • Our modern bedroom furniture, adding a few pieces.  
  • Rip out carpet and refinish hardwoods underneath
  • California-style closet design
  • New window treatments.  Thinking bamboo shades...bliss!
  • Dual vanity -- I we need more counter space!
  • New tiled shower.  With rain shower fixure.  Uber -bliss!
  • Updated floor tiles.  Something more spa-like and less, well, white.  Yech.
  • I better stop dreaming there...that already sounds like more than we can handle!
3. Finish my photo wall!

You can't really tell, but these three photos take up a very small portion of a very large wall as you ascend our steps.  These same three photos have been all by their lonesome for the past year.  Honestly I have more pictures and frames...why is it so hard to get them up there?!?!  Oh yeah...I have a beautiful little being sucking the energy out of me sharing all the nutrients I lovingly scarf down. :o)

Okay, enough dreaming for me...for now!  

What are your decor dreams for 2011?