Friday, August 21, 2009

Living Room Re-Do

If you've been reading my blog, you know I've been struggling with my awkward little living room. It had an identity crisis for quite a while, since I just could not seem to stick with a theme. However, I think I finally got it! I had a mild painting disaster a few weeks ago - in a brave stupid moment, I bought two gallons of paint thinking FOR SURE this is the right shade of blue I'm looking for. Instead, I ended up with a hideous shade of minty-aqua highlighter blue that would have looked great in any 10 year old girl's bedroom in the 60's. After painting half the wall that color trying to convince myself it wasn't that bad and 6 other sample shades later, I finally found the right shade! Well actually, my boyfriend picked it out. I think the actual conversation went something like this:

BF: "Well... since everything is coming out too dark or too bright, why don't you just get a white with a blue tint to it?"

ME: "Oh... Yeah... Well, let me think about it. That might work, but I'm not sure..."

Because the LAST thing I wanted was for him to have that bullet on me! "Don't you remember when I had to pick the wall color because you couldn't figure it out??" Ugh! Eventually I conceded though, and I hate to say it, but he was right. It was exactly what I was looking for. So, yes, I'm a professional graphic designer and my boyfriend had to pick out paint colors for me... I am highly ashamed.

After the painting, I retired my old couches and brought these brown super comfy microfiber couches out of my boyfriend's storage. I bought a few pillows, moved my desk to the back corner, and voila! :) I have a few finishing touches to make (I need something over the sofa & some other decorations), but I think it's finally getting there!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Transition Pieces for Fall

Even though it is roughly 93 degrees here today, I have already started thinking about the fall! Here in the Deep South, we know fall is coming because there's a tropical depression in the Pacific and football season is right around the corner, but everywhere else in the country you can spot the impending season change at the stores who have begun bringing in their "transition" pieces. Let me tell you, I LOVE transition pieces! Mostly because they will actually become my winter pieces as well, since it doesn't get all that cold here - but also because they are so versatile and fun to play with! Mixing, matching, and finding new ways to incorporate these pieces can be like a fun little game every morning from here until the cold sets in! So here are some of my favorite new transition pieces and fall trends I've spotted - as always, let me know what you think!

  • 1. The Stitched Bomber Jacket from Charlotte Russe ($32.99) would be a perfect transitional jacket to throw over any top as the evenings get cooler. Comes in Matte Faux Leather in Brown with a mock neck and 3/4 sleeves. So cute!
  • 2. Throw that Bomber Jacket over a cute sleeveless top in jewel toned colors or patterns, like this Chain Strap Top for only $17.80 at Forever21!
  • 3. Strappy caged heels are the perfect sexy way to transition your footwear into fall! Check out these great Python Gladiator Platforms at Charlotte Russe for $32.99
  • 4. & 5. A skinny belt in a fun, eye catching color is a great way to hold an open cardigan together! Try this awesome Pleat Trim Sweater Cardigan in Black or Coral from Forever21 for $24.80 paired with this Teal belt on sale now at The Limited for only $9.99!
  • 6. I think scarves are my absolute favorite accessory! Try one in bold, bright colors worn over a solid top to keep the summer alive a little longer! Here's a great Bold Paisley Scarf for $8.80 at Forever21
  • Friday, August 7, 2009

    Quick & Easy Chicken Pad Thai

    Last night for some reason I got this crazy craving for Chicken Pad Thai. Of course, I didn't have any of the ingredients lying around, nor did I have any idea how to make Chicken Pad Thai, so I started Googling. I found a recipe and made a list and headed to the grocery store. I was prepared to make my own Pad Thai sauce with Tamarind Paste, Fish Sauce, Chili Sauce, & Brown Sugar, but I found this amazing little concoction in the International section at Whole Foods:

    It was much cheaper than buying all of those ingredients that I probably wouldn't use very often, and I made sure to check the ingredient list to compare it to the authentic Pad Thai recipes I found on the internet (they're all there!), so I decided to try it out. I was so impressed! My Pad Thai dish turned out just as delicious as any Thai restaurant I've ever been to! It was quick and easy, and it made a perfect 2-serving dish. I mostly followed the recipe on the back of the jar, but I added my own twist. Check out my recipe below, with my very scientific measurements. NOTE: I like my Pad Thai with a peanut-y flavor, so feel free to exclude the Peanut Sauce or Chopped Peanuts if you don't.

    Quick & Easy Chicken Pad Thai (Serves 2)

  • 1/3 Package (14 oz.) Stir-Fry Rice Noodles
  • 6 Tbs. Pad Thai Sauce
  • About 4 oz. Cubed Chicken (feel free to substitute shrimp, pork, beef, or tofu)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbs. Peanut Sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Chopped Peanuts
  • Bean Sprouts (to your liking - I put about a handful)
  • Chives, chopped (to your liking)
  • Cilantro (to your liking)
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (to your liking)
  • A few slices of lime for garnish

    Start out by bringing about 4 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pan or small pot. Once water reaches boiling, remove from heat and immerse your noodles. You don't want to over cook the noodles - remember, you will be stir frying them later! Let noodles sit in hot water for 8-10 minutes. When they're done, drain and rinse with cool water. While noodles are sitting, Heat 1 Tbs. Vegetable Oil in a large non-stick pan or wok. Scramble egg and put to the side for later. Meanwhile, I chopped my Garlic, Chives, Cilantro, & Peanuts so all of my ingredients were ready to go for the quick stir-frying process. Once the egg is removed from the pan, add 2 Tbs Vegetable Oil and Chopped Garlic and heat on high until fragrant. Add Chicken and cook thoroughly. By the time the chicken is done, so should your noodles. Add the drained and rinsed noodles to the pan. Stir in 6 Tbs. of Stir Fry Sauce, and 1 Tbs. Peanut Sauce (if desired) and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add in Bean Sprouts, Chives & Chopped Peanuts to your liking and stir fry for another minute. If you like your Pad Thai with a little kick (I do!), add in some Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (the Pad Thai sauce is pretty mild). Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro and lime. Serve and enjoy!
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