A Garden Giveaway!

28 May 2013

I have been so excited to garden lately & I really wanted to share that excitement with all of you!  I put together a little gardening prize pack that I think would be perfect introduction for the beginning gardener to start their own container garden or a great addition to any master gardener's toolbox!

Garden Giveaway at New Wave Domesticity!  Enter to win some neat garden tools!

I recently came across these adorable double-sided hanging planters called Splanties.  They are perfect for small spaces, patios, or even fire escapes.  It has a cute faux wicker look and and would be excellent to add some colorful flowers or start a little herb garden in your space.  You can win a pack of 3 to get your garden started or add to your existing space!

This awesome garden prize pack includes:

Pack of 3 XL double-sided Splanties Planters
Cute heavy-duty garden gloves
Bond Soil Moisture Meter (Easily see just how thirsty your plants are to ensure accurate watering every time!)
A pack of Jobes Organic Fertilizer Spikes 
A collection of 10 herb, veggie, & flower seeds

Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you all so very much for participating & for following along! Happy gardening!

Arrested Development Party : Bluth's Cornballs with Spicy Remoulade Sauce!

26 May 2013

"New episodes of Arrested Development: the Super Bowl for nerds." - Heather Q

So true.

The waiting is over!  I've been looking forward to the new episodes for over a year!

Just for a bit of nerdy fun, my friend Heather invited me over to celebrate the new season debut with a party!  Some people celebrate the Super Bowl with parties and by making little football shaped cheese dips...I, on the other hand, celebrate TV shows with parties and by making corny (ha! get it?!) food references to the show - I'm ok with that!

I decided the perfect thing to bring was obviously some Cornballs - a Bluth family favorite!  In case you aren't familiar, here's a clip...

My party host was vegan, so of course I wanted to make this recipe vegan. The cornballs are based on the idea of a fried polenta and they are really versatile, so you can add some different flavors and spices to the mix or you could also try it with different sauces.  I think 1/2 cup or so of cheese would be an amazing addition - goat, cheddar, or queso would be lovely.

Cornballs with Roasted Jalapeños (vegan & gluten-free)
makes about 18 balls

2 cups water
1 can creamed corn
1-2 jalapeños
1 1/4 cups corn meal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon butter (I used vegan Earth Balance)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Start by roasting your jalapeños to give them a more mild flavor. Set your oven broiler to high and lay your jalapeno on a baking sheet. Broil for about 5-10 minutes until the skin is bubbling and blackened. You could also heat them on the grill or over a gas burner. Let them cool, remove the skin, mince, and set aside.
Heat oil to 375 degrees.
Combine water, creamed corn, jalapenos, sugar, butter, salt, & hot sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Whisk in corn meal and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool before rolling into 1" balls. 
Work in small batches (no more than 5 at a time) and fry for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels & serve immediately.

Quick Spicy Remoulade Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise (or vegenaise)
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2-1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared jarred horseradish
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

Give all your ingredients a mix and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Heather also set up a really cute DIY frozen banana making station for dessert with molten chocolate, nuts, and sprinkles for dessert!  It was perfect!

Are you watching? What do you think?  No spoilers! ;)

An Easy DIY Outdoor Bunting!

24 May 2013

Earlier this week, I shared a bit of my colorful outdoor space.  I am really pleased with the simplicity of it and how much it all feels like summer to me when I'm out there.  As promised, I have a few projects to share!

One little element that I wanted to add was a little something to spruce up the wall.  I decided on a simple darling pennant banner.  It's made with oilcloth, so it's weatherproof & doesn't require a bit of sewing.  If you aren't familiar with oilcloth, it is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns online or in large rolls at your local fabric store.  The banner is super easy to put together and you can make one too!  Here's how..

All you need is:

oil cloth in a variety of colors (at least 1/8 yard strips)
rotary cutter or scissors
a hole punch
twine that is the length of the space you'd like the banner to go
heavy duty glue (I like E6000, but Gorilla Glue or SuperGlue would be just fine too)

1. Start by making a template for your triangles.  I do this by cutting a piece of paper to be the length of the top of the triangles (in this case, I bought 1/8 yard strips of oil cloth, so I did 4.5", but feel free to make it wider if you'd like).  Fold the paper in half & use your ruler to create an angle that you like.  Cut the paper out, unfold it, and you have your template!

2. Cut a whole bunch of triangles from your template in all of your different colors.  A quilting type rotary cutter makes this step much easier (and it is a great investment for future projects!), but scissors will work just fine.

3. Punch holes in your oil cloth triangles.  You want them to be even and in about the same place on each one.  No worries if you are a couple millimeters off, it's not going to be noticeable when it's hung up.

4. String your triangles together.  Mix up the patterns and colors randomly or create a pretty repeating pattern of your own.  Once they are all strung, you probably want to add a couple of dabs of glue to the back where the string sits.  The glue will just ensure that they lay flat when you hang them up since they are made of a thin flexible material and tend to bow in the middle when hung.

5. Hang your pretty creation up & enjoy!

Be sure to save your leftover oilcloth because I have another darling outdoor craft to share soon! ;)

52 Lists: Summer Goals

22 May 2013

I've been getting really excited about summer lately!  Portland becomes so vibrant and alive in the summertime and my day planner is already starting to fill up with wonderful events and things to look forward to! 

I can't wait to go on some wonderful day trips and adventures with friends - this summer I hope to be able to go camping for the first time since I was a child, swim in the Sandy River, explore Tacoma (I hear there is a cute zoo & an amazing bridge of glass there), bungee jump, and just say yes to as many adventures as I can!  There may even be a visit with a a baby sloth in my future!!

Of course summer is also the perfect season for canning, gardening, and yard sales - 3 of my very favorite things.   The kitchen is a hard place to be in the heat, but I plan on using the heck out of the grill & I breaking out that new ice cream maker that I picked up last year.  

A lot of these goals of course correspond with my 30 before 30 list - 6 months to make it all happen!  I think I am well on my way!

This list totally has me amped for the next few months!   What are you looking forward to this summer?

My Colorful Patio!

21 May 2013

My deck is one of favorite places in my house.  We use it every chance we get in the summer!   From big BBQs to quiet morning coffee in the sunshine...I feel really lucky to have such a cute outdoor oasis.       I thought it might be fun to share it with you all!

Because I love the space so much, it was really important to be to make it feel really joyful with every design and color is my favorite way to do that.   I also have a super tight budget, so I found a lot of really simple and inexpensive ways to add some pops of color.  I chose some vibrant colored panters, a pair of turquoise adirondack chairs for lounging, and a really simple outdoor table with a fun bright tablecloth.

I've been working on some really cute & easy outdoor project tutorials (including that adorable pennant banner below!) - so stay tuned for those later this week!

For some reason, this old bike was tucked away up on the roof of our storage shed when we moved in, so we decided to embrace it and stand it up for a fun display.
A rainbow of container gardening!  Carrots, zucchini, peppers, cucumber, tomato, and peas.  Amazing bonus: our  metal lattice works as a perfect support trellis for peas and cucumbers to vine up!  

New pennant banner - tutorial tomorrow!
Vertical gardening using some great planters from Target & awesome Bygel containers from Ikea.
A bright lemon yellow tablecloth is the perfect place for some cold lemonade
Pretty turquoise chairs for lounging and hanging out with the pup.

Just beyond the deck, we have some gorgeous rose bushes...they don't call this place Rose City for nothin!

Getting the deck ready makes me really excited for the summertime!  Do you have an outdoor space that you love?  I'd love to hear about it!

52 Lists : Things I Want to Be Known For

14 May 2013

What do I want to be known for?

What a huge question, but I guess at the core of it this is something that sort of impacts every single action we take.  

Everyone that meets me has an impression and that is how that individual will know me.  I spent a lot of years obsessing over this idea that I needed to shape every person's view of me.  I struggle a bit each time I write a blog post to try to craft the way I want to represent myself to you.  I would like to do a little less worrying about this.  This is a lovely list because it is a nice reminder that these are things that I already have inside me and I just need to work on living my life more authentically rather than meticulously worrying about others views.  I may not be known like this by every single person I meet, but I just want to try to have as many positive interactions as I can and I want to always be working hard to be myself and live my values for the people that I love most.

What is on your list this week?

Crafty Wonderland : A Local Crafter Spotlight

12 May 2013

Living in Portland, I feel so unbelievably lucky to be surrounded by such amazingly creative and talented people.  It is a huge part of what made me fall in love with this city 12 years ago.  Yesterday was the bi-annual Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Sale, so of course I couldn't resist the chance to go shop and get inspired.  Crafty Wonderland hosts over 225 artists, crafters, chefs, and vendors under one roof & it is one of my favorite regular events.

Though there were SO many amazingly talented people there, but I thought I would just share a few of the favorites that stood out & inspired me yesterday...

Lisa makes beautiful prints & notecards.  Her art has a sense of beauty and whimsey that reminds me of candy & childhood dreams.  It just made me really happy to look through her work.

This year, I got to meet a lot of amazing local confectionary shops & Rose City Sweets was probably my favorite. Their darling branding + amazing smoked almond toffee + brown sugar fleur de sel caramels kind of blew my mind & I will probably crave more of them all week.

I met Chelsey through the Portland Preservation Society (a monthly canning meetup & swap) and I've been following her adorable blog and instagram for a few months now and they are always full of adorable inspiration.  She makes these darling little handmade wooden pins of cute animals & they just melt my heart.

I am so impressed with the amazing crochet sculpture art that Jennifer makes!  She turns iconic Portland Bridges into amazing sculpture.

I've loved this crafter for awhile.  Every single time I go to Crafty Wonderland, her art just stands out in the room.  I just cannot get enough of her brightly colored art and witty ridiculousness.
S'Morrissey pillow? Amazing.

I was pretty excited to find this vendor.  I've been struggling with my allergies big time for the past few weeks and I've been thinking about trying out local honey as a solution.   Imagine my delight to find an awesome honey tonic made with local honey, local bee pollen, and nettles all in one that taste amazing!  They make awesome products, but it turns out they have an awesome mission of sustainability and bee stewardship as well!   

I am a sucker for Portland themed art and I think this artist does some of my favorites.  Not only does she make adorable clay magnets & Portland themed cards and artwork, she also made this gem of a card.  To be loved even more than all the adorable internet cats? Priceless.

I have been a fan of this letter press studio for awhile now and I just am always so happy to see what new prints and cards they've created for the Crafty Wonderland shows.  I have this amazing canning themed print in my kitchen and I just absolutely adore it.

52 Lists : Ways that I am energized

09 May 2013

This week is all about getting energized!

I admit, a few weeks ago I was in a really weird funk...like I couldn't seem to focus or get things done the way I needed to.  I was lacking motivation and feeling a kind of blue & stagnate, but it's amazing what a little bit of sunshine & some great friends can do for me!

Spring is finally really in full bloom in Portland - the sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom, the farmers markets are filling with beautiful fresh produce, and the city is coming out of hibernation and coming back to life.  I absolutely love this time of year.  It fills me with a lot of energy and excitement & it seems to have kicked my funk!  The past few weeks have been full of amazing times with friends out in the sunshine and we are making plans for all of our summertime adventures & looking forward with hopeful anticipation.  It reminds me a lot of why I moved to Portland in the first place with all of it's limitless potential. 

Here are a few things that energize me and keep me feeling this way!

What energizes you?  What do you do when you are in a funk to get yourself out of it?

52 Lists: People I Admire

01 May 2013

When I sat down to write this week's list, I realized it was much harder than I thought it would be.  The world is packed full of people that I admire.

I tend to surround myself with people that I admire in some way or another.  That is why I choose my friendships, why I read the things I read, go the the service providers that I go to.  How could I possibly make a quantitative list of people that I admire?  The answer kind of is...everyone (Well maybe not everyone, if you are a total jerk, I might not find reason to admire you).  I admire anyone who can make their passion a career, anyone who has a skill worth sharing, anyone who lives their life by their own terms, anyone who has struggled and moved past the struggle, anyone who has passion for life  - these qualities in people are the things that make me befriend them, hire them, follow their blog, etc.  How can I really even try to list all these people?

This is a very incomplete list, but here are just a few people I admire.

my parents... have struggled a lot in their lives, but they still push on and they have always tried their best & sacrificed to care for my sister & I.
my husband... is the most patient person I know.  He is creative and undyingly supportive no matter what and I am lucky to be married to him.
Annie... is one of the most courageous & positive people I know.  She had a dream of starting a resale store to help make plus sized clothing more accessible and joyful & she has worked her tail off to make that dream a reality.  She is also an all around amazing friend.  I admire her passion & commitment.
Heather... is not only a really great friend who supports me through a lot of dark times and celebrates our friendship with cute thoughtful notecards out of the blue, but she also has dedicated her life to help support children as a youth therapist.
Kelly... is the former foster care coordinator at the shelter I volunteer for.  She is also one of the most positive and perky people I've ever met...which is extra amazing considering her job centers around baring witness to some heartbreaking instances of animal cruelty.
Cristina... is an amazing therapist that has given me so much insight and helped me grow tremendously.
HQ... is talented is so many areas from screen printing to film making, and she is always working on amazing projects that inspire me.
Kaci... is a total go-getter and is always striving to achieve more in her life.  She is also super organized & rational.
Katy... has an eye for special things and a wonderful appreciation for nature and adventure.
Nicole... has made a life for herself from her art and gets involved in the community to share her passion.
Janel... is so wholeheartedly committed to being a mom & she seems to have just absolutely found her true passion in that.
Whitney... is a cancer survivor, but she never for a moment let's that hold her back or take away one ounce of her positive, bubbly outlook on life.
Beth Ditto... is a total fat fashion icon who has inspired me since the first time I saw her play when I was 18.  She is unapologetically fat and absolutely glamorous and talented.
Felicia Day... gets paid to live out her nerdy & creative dreams via youtube & makes some really rad content.
Tina Fey... is so talented & creative.  She has made her living as force to be reckoned with in a male dominated industry.
Margret Cho... is hilarious & also lives her life on her own terms with no apologies.
Kathleen Hanna... was one of the voices of Riot Grrrl that started a spark inside of me and inspired me to own my femininity, be proud of who I am, and seek out the community of amazing women that changed my life.

Just a few of the amazing bloggers that inspire me all the time:
Jules @ The Life of a Cupcake
Sarah @ Yes & Yes
Krissy @ Ponyboy PressPlain Language Marketing
Elizabeth @ The Young Retiree
Jen & Brian @ That Long Yellow Line
Shell @ Kitty and Buck
Katherine @ Of Corgis & Cocktails
Rachel @ One Pretty Thing
Jessica @ How About Orange
Bonnie @ Going Home to Roost & Roost Tribe
....and so many more!

If we are friends, if I follow your blog, if you are living a life that you want to be living...I probably admire you too.
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