Monday, August 23, 2010

Rainy Days & Mondays

I wish I had some awesome recipe to post about... or maybe about something new I just added to my home... like toile curtains. But I don't have anything on this quiet, rainy Monday.

Today marks week 8 of living like a barbarian:

Okay... so it doesn't really look that bad anymore, but it really is close enough! I know the end result will be amazing. How many people get to design their home from scratch?! 

 Soon enough  I will be able to cook again... paint again... even relax again.

Until then, I will keep dreaming of the things I love oh-so-much, that are currently packed away in boxes:

like my teacups & pretty plates!

and my books too!


I bid you farewell with this quote for now: 

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet" - Jean Jacques Rosseau

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rothko on My Mind

I have been thinking about Mark Rothko a lot lately. It all began when somebody brought in an old poster into the local arts society where I work. 

It reminded me of how much I enjoyed learning about Rothko in college, and how breathtaking his late period works are in real-life.

As I start to make inspiration boards for our new kitchen and living room, I was drawn to this painting:

Mark Rothko
Red, Orange, Tan, and Purple,
Oil on canvas 84 1/2 x 68 1/2 inches (214.5 x 174 cm)
Private collection

How amazing would this look on our exposed brick walls with a black leather couch across the room?

As nice as that would be, I don't think we'll be able to afford an original anytime soon.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Somewhere Only We Know

So this is our new house! (Excuse me for looking so... blah in the photo). We spotted this place in February, took a peek inside & knew we found a charmer.  

YES, it needs a lot of work... inside & out! But this is what me & the boy do-  I'm visual and he's technical... together, we will flip this house into a home.

Eewww that lattice make me cringe!  

Enough on the house for today though...

I want to tell you about the hidden treasure I found across the street!

It doesn't look like anything special, I know... but look a little closer and you will find these! 


and some of these too...

A once manicured garden, now hidden by overgrown grass and weeds. It's too bad I do not have the time to landscape.

I did however, take a few minutes to make this -

 Thank you secret garden for adding your vibrant colors to my sun-room!  

(and thank you local consignment shop for selling me that adorable pitcher for $2.49)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Last Minute Easter Basket

Have you ever gone to the store and attempted to buy one of those tacky Easter basket's simply because that was your last option? Why do that to yourself? Why do that to your child? Or in my case, my precious, little niece?!

Here are a few tips to help you create a last minute Easter basket with a personal touch:

Find a bare basket & fill with paper Easter grass...
Don't forget a chocolate bunny!
building a basket - I

Fresh flowers always add a nice touch...
building a basket - III

Add a silk bow & finish up with peeps...
Even if you aren't a big fan of them, you cannot deny how cute they are!  
I also  like to throw in pastel colored Easter eggs...
This basket took me 10 minutes to create. Better get started, Easter's tomorrow! 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Do You Have Time to Cook a Corned Beef?!

A show of hands please...

Do you have time to cook a corned beef on Saint Patty's day?   
Do not feel bad! 

Here's what you do: 

Call a few friends & ask if they would like to meet you at a pub for a Guinness & some corned beef sandwiches

When they ever so kindly oblige, tell them to save room for dessert because you have prepared a nice little Irish spread at your home.  

On your way home from work pick up the following items & ingredients (that of which you don't already have in your pantry):
Bailey's Irish Cream 
Whipped Cream
Green Food Coloring
Chocolate Syrup
Dessert (I chose a pecan pie)
Seasonal Flowers

Nothing screams Spring is on it's way like a beautiful bunch of white tulips this time of year!

I placed my flowers in a kelly green pail that I found at Target for $2.50...

After you enjoy your meal & head back home:

Brew a fresh pot of coffee

Once finished, add a shot of baileys to each cup & top with whipped cream
Don't feel like drinking? Just use a festive flavored coffee, such as Irish Chocolate Mint!

Add some green food coloring to look like a leprechauns foot prints & some chocolate syrup 

Take out your delicious dessert & prepare your spread!

Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! 


THANK YOU faithful fans & friendly readers for staying by my side through my hiatus. I have missed blogging so much & promise you that many fun posts are in store! 

I guess even a Jane of All Trades can burn out sometimes... Trying to juggle 3 jobs, school & life in general has not been easy, but throughout it all, I have somehow remembered to not lose sight of what truly makes me happy... Cooking! Art! Design! Living!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

 Let's face it- my financial status is at an all time low. So with my 2010 #1 goal in tact: turning adversity into prosperity, I will be making homemade gifts well into 2011.

Cookie Jar with Paisley Cookies
Cookie Jar! 
My cookie jar concept arrived when I found an adorable jar for $2.49. I knew I needed the perfect birthday present for a friend with a sweet tooth & a fantastic eye, so I snagged it!  P.S. she loves paisley...

Frost & Decorate
So paisley cookies it is!

Next, I ran to Joann Fabrics for some decorating ideas & hopefully some cheap finds! This is what I found:

Small polka-dot ribbon - 25 cents
Larger blueish/cyan colored ribbon - 2.99 (she loves this color)
Set of 10 Gift Tags - 1.00 (yes, I found that adorable pink tag in a set for a buck)

If you have the ingredients in your home to make sugar cookies and royal icing, this adorable gift will cost you about 7 dollars!!!

If you do not have the ingredients purchase the following:

Food coloring - 2.99
A roll of  Pillsbury sugar cookies - 3.99
Wilton brand cookie icing (in white) - 4.99

This project will now cost you about 19 dollars!!!

Cookie Jar!
JOAT Advice:
  1.  Sometimes, time is money. Choosing to purchase cookie dough rather than bake cookies from scratch is absolutely acceptable. Pillsbury sugar cookies are delicious!
  2. Making royal icing from scratch is s-i-m-p-l-e & comes out much better than store bought icing. It requires confectioners sugar & egg whites. 
  3. Food coloring is cheap & a little goes a long way.
  4. Always hand write your message.
  5. Cookie cutters not required. Print a stencil off the internet, place it on top of the flattened cookie dough and cut around it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Penne For Your Thoughts

Cooking (especially baking) can be extremely intimidating when starting out. From the minute you enter the grocery store... "Oh gosh! What's the difference between a flank steak & a round eye roast?! How am I supposed to know that feta cheese & goat cheese are different?! Arrrrgh!

Jane of all Trades Advice: Practice makes perfect and if you don't use it, ya lose it. So get cookin'! Here is a delicious recipe (created by yours truly) to get you started.  

Penne Romano

Penne 2

  Recipe serves 4 - 6 

You Will Need:
1 box penne
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups spinach
6 cloves garlic
1 lb. seasoned turkey sausage 
1 cup grated fresh Romano cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
dash of cayenne pepper

Cut sausage in 4 parts & cook on medium heat
In separate pan, pour 1/2 cup of olive oil on high heat
Once oil starts to smoke, reduce heat and add mushrooms, spinach & garlic
...Cook through

Then add:
cooked sausage (cut up into 1 inch pieces)
diced tomatoes
1/2 cup Romano cheese
 ...and cook until hot & bubbling

Serve with a dusting of Romano cheese & basil