weekend: fall

Here are a few shots from my second roll of film (all of these photos are scanned) ... it's so fun to take pictures outside.

We took Emily to the restaurant festival in West Chester. It was super crowded, but we had lots of fun. We were missing Kaitlin though ...

We've been craving falafel ever since (@ The Mediterranean) ...

dinner: zucchini and black bean tacos

This is my idea of the perfect weeknight dinner. Nothing fancy, really quick, and good for you. The recipe is from Appetite for Reduction, the cookbook I've mentioned before. It's really one of the best vegan (although I do add some dairy to her recipes) cookbooks I've come across.

Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos (with my variations ... don't blame the cookbook if you don't like it!):

Heat a Tbs of olive oil in a large skillet. Saute two zucchinis (sliced and quartered) and two jalapeno peppers (minced ... or just very small) until the zucchini is lightly browned. Add 4 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 tsp of coriander, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute.
Add 1/3 cup (or however much you like) of any kind of salsa you have on hand. Add a can of black beans (rinsed and drained), and 1/3 cup of kalamata olives (chopped). Cook for another 5 minutes.

Spoon onto warmed tortillas, sprinkle with scallions and limed-up greek yogurt.

*My favorite substitute to sour cream is greek yogurt. Mix one container of FACE greek yogurt with the juice of one lime, salt, and pepper. It's so good!



This is a little reminder to my future self ... in the year 2012. In the month of September.

Don't be so hard on yourself. It is always crazy getting settled in at school and starting a new grad course. Put the home stuff on the back burner. You're still in a renovation, but just on a little break. You're not a slacker.

And besides ... would Wayne Coyne be worrying about dusty baseboards?
No, he'd be outside ... catching bugs. Like it's his job.


spoon wreath

I'm going to make one of these plastic spoon wreaths. It will go well with our toilet paper wall art!

But which color?

Photo from here.


dinner: polenta and eggplant

This one's from my Aunt Karen ... who doesn't mess around in the kitchen. So good.

We ended up with leftovers of the eggplant/tomatoes and threw it on some spaghetti squash for lunch!

Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in large pan. Cook 1 onion and 5 cloves of garlic. Remove when softened.
Heat 6 Tbs of olive oil in same pan. Saute 1 large eggplant (cut into cubes) until golden. Add onion/garlic, 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes, a few fresh tomatoes chopped, a few Tbs of fresh parsley, tsp of salt.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Add some black pepper.

Cook polenta (corse or medium corn meal) according to package directions. Whisk in a few Tbs of olive oil and stir in lots of parmesan (obviously).


Thanks Aunt Karen!


BAGGU lunch bag

Kind of obsessed with these BAGGU lunch bags... so cute! I like that they can fit pretty much everything -- coffee mug, water bottle, lunch, and snacks. And best of all... machine washable.


living room: rug

The living room rug was our trickiest purchase yet. The gray in the couch and the multi-colored ottoman were really difficult to work with. We could have chosen a bold color but thought it would make this room appear even smaller or drown out the ottoman. So we finally found this guy. It makes the room feel that much more like home.

*The two frames above the couch are next ...


dad's manual film camera

Let me just start out by saying that I know nothing about photography. And I really don't want to get too deep into it. I like the idea of knowing a few basic rules, taking a bunch of shots for fun, and a few of them coming out looking okay.

There are a few blogs I read that use film cameras and I always love this look the best. There's little you can do to screw around with a film picture after taking it. Pictures that look real, without crazy added colors and effects, look the best to me.

So my Dad has this manual Nikon that he hasn't used in awhile and brought it over last weekend. Out of 24 pictures, 6 came out okay. Not bad for my first try? Thanks for letting me borrow your camera, Dad.

My beautiful sister Emily:

Gross avocado pits (soon-to-be-trees?) that Josh insists on incubating on our window sill. This is love.

Had to get at least one flower picture. It could be much better, I know.

Well that's that. Much more to come.



We spent Saturday running errands, cleaning, and organizing a few things around the house. Our life is so hectic during the week that it's kind of nice to play "catch up" on the weekend. At our own pace... with several extra cups of coffee.

Josh put up these hooks in the "black hole" (sorry for the bad photo -- so dark in there). We also found a rug for the living room ... finally! It was really hard to find something that worked with the gray in the couch and the patterned ottoman.

Finished the spice racks ...

A $3 IKEA organizer goes a long way in a junk drawer (yes, that's a rasta pencil. Thanks Grandma) ...

And a house filled with family on Sunday.

kitchen: spices

I can't tell you how much time I wasted looking for spices while cooking. It drove me crazy. I even had them categorized -- but I still had to pick up so many to get the right one. So when I saw Anna's spice jars from IKEA, I needed them. Right down to the Martha Stewart labels.

Anna's spice jars

Our new spice jars ...

Now the spice shelf is so much less cluttered:


dinner: grilled eggplant with tomato-basil relish

We've never tried a Bobby Flay recipe we didn't like. Let's face it, the man is a genius. This recipe has become one of our favorites -- especially in the summer.


dining room: progress

We are currently working on this little black hole in the dining room...

The vision:
Add some functionality to a wasted space -- coat hooks?
Paint that door
Give the door a cute knob
Trim out the door
Paint the radiator... white! (surprised?)
Paint the stairs
Add some paint on the wall behind the radiator -- chalkboard maybe?
Finish caulking the floor molding

*By the way... that's just a screen door we forgot to store ...

We thought last winter might be a good time to spray paint it... then realized all the windows had to be opened. Not the brightest DIY moment...


the pillow of our dreams

Josh and I are both really picky. I'm posting this because it's a big moment: this is the only throw pillow we have liked in three years (that was reasonably priced). I think that's post-worthy.


<3 you.


dressed up clothespins

Young House Love dressed up clothespins for a playroom. I gave it a try and it was super easy!

All you have to do is find some cute paper, trace a clothespin on card stock to make a "model", trace and cut the pieces from the cute paper, brush a little glue on the the clothespin, lightly press the paper on, and done!

wire organization

We had wires everywhere. Laying on the coach, in the basket next to the couch, on the kitchen counter, on the console. Obviously driving me crazy...

We used this old coke crate to hold some party favors a few weeks ago and realized it would be the perfect place to store the wires because of the individual compartments. I don't even mind it staying out in the open in the living room...

It's not the most genius idea in the world, but looking at it makes me happy. And I'm trying to stay happy (and not lose it) because I accidentally spray painted our hardwood floor. Yeah...


georgetown: CB2

We were screaming/running down the street in Georgetown when we spotted someone walking with a CB2 bag. It was so overwhelming when we actually got there... too many perfect things to look at.

Here are some of the things we love:

Check out this hamper -- it's so simple and clean looking...

This chair is amazing... if only it wasn't leather! Please, CB2, make a fabric one!

Floating nightstands...

How cool are these shelves?

Beam mugs -- so cheerful.

Everyone needs a creamer carton...

This push-pin board would look great in the office... I love that it's a metal material...

Cute trash bin...

And we came home with...

The Beam Mug!