Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We went to Greece for our 1st wedding anniversary.  That was 5 1/2 years ago, what???  Can't believe it has been so long already!  We visited Athens and Santorini and both were amazing.  To see all these things I saw in books in art school in person was mind blowing and Santorini, well, it was just beyond beautiful.  When we first arrived at our hotel in Santorini and sat next to the pool looking out over the caldera we had a conversation that went something like this...


"oh my god"

"have you ever?  I mean whoa!"

Oia in Santorini

The views were spectacular and the food was delicious.  We had tzatziki every day.  If you haven't had it before it is a yogurt dip flavored with garlic, cucumber and dill and it is delicious!  It is excellent with pita, veggies, on grilled chicken or lamb, with roasted potatoes.  With just about anything really! I've tried to make tzatziki before but I didn't follow a recipe figuring I could make it up and it came out blah and watery.  I found this recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen and it sounded great and now I see the steps I missed and why my first attempt didn't cut it.  You'll need:

3 cups Greek Yogurt (or regular plain yogurt, strained)
juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
about 1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

To strain your yogurt you can use a yogurt strainer which I did not have!  She also suggested coffee filters which I also did not have so I used some cheese cloth inside a colander and it worked pretty darn well.

clearly a very professional setup over here

look at all that liquid from the yogurt!

Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. (If you use the small seedless or European cucumbers with few seeds, you can skip this step.) Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper.
the dill and garlic all ready to go

Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. (This resting time is very important.)

That is that and it is super yummy!

 I hope we'll get back to Greece someday.  At least the tzatziki will take us back a little...

linking up to:
 The Kurtz corner
Let Birdz Fly
The Shabby Creek Cottage 
At the Picket Fence

me at the Parthenon

my husband enjoying the view from our patio in Santorini

me in the door of our hotel room in Santorini

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

garden bed

We had talked about making a raised garden bed for our yard.  My husband came up with a rough plan and off to Home Depot he went on Saturday.  He came home with this from the outdoor wood section.

 a 4"x4" and some 1"x5 1/2"s

He decided 3'x6' would be a good size and I agreed.  That way we could surround it with wire mesh to keep the plethora of bunnies who like to chill in our yard out but I could still easily access everything from the perimeter.

The 4"x4" got cut in 4 equal lengths of 14" 

and the 1"x5 1/2"s were cut so we had four pieces 3' long and 4 pieces 6" long

Then it was time to screw the boards into the 4"x4".  The plan was that there would be a few inches of the 4"x4" sticking out so that we could sink it into the ground for extra stability.

Moving right along.  Olive is overseeing the project.  She is a master carpenter.  

Here it is placed in the yard before the holes were dug for the 4"x4"s.

Dig, Dig, Dig and in it goes

and one more with my ominous shadow...

I'm so excited thinking about what to plant.  Tomatoes for sure, cucumbers, zucchini maybe?  This was a simple project even for us and we don't have the best of tools or building know how.  Just pick a size and go to it!

I had some leftover dill from a recipe I'll share with you tomorrow and I mixed it up in some tuna salad for lunch.  It was delicious!  My little one wasn't convinced but I happily ate his sandwich too.  Try it!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

weekend happenings

Did you have a good weekend?

My husband got some of this

and did this

It's a raised garden bed!  I'll be back with more info on it tomorrow and a picture of it completed in the yard!

I spent lots of time in here

and it looked more like this

but it was well worth it because my dear friend taught me how to make this

into this

Ok well she pretty much did it but she did show me how so theoretically I could do this now...  hopefully.

I also made this

and we watched some of this

I love Emma Stone, she is adorable and that dress is lovely.  I lost our annual Oscar bet which is as much a tradition as watching the awards at this point.

I'll be back this week with more details of what I did in here

and what my husband did with this

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

hanging lantern

We have some improvements planned for our porch.  It is a great space that we get a lot of use out of but it needs to be prettied up and fussed with so we can really make the most of it.  The concrete floor is dirty and stained.  We are going to power wash it and stain it in the spring.  We need a new outdoor rug and I'd love to find a lounge chair.  We like to eat lunch and dinner in the porch when the weather is nice and these sunny winter days get it really toasty too so we've been hanging in it a bunch lately.   There are no lights out there and we had some string lights up but they always looked sorta messy to me.  Yesterday at home goods I saw this on clearance for $8

It's a solar lantern but judging from the mysterious rattling in the little solar panel that part is busted.  I can easily fit a solar candle or battery operated candle inside so I wasn't bothered by that.

I thought it would look nice suspended about the table.  A lantern chandelier.  I grabbed some leftover chain from our dining room chandelier

I played around with the lantern to figure out how low I wanted it to hang then opened up the chain with pliers so it would be the right length.

Then time to spray paint the chain black so it matches the lantern.

It is hard to spray paint chain by the way, you are always missing a spot!

After what seemed like 40 coats we were in business.

I screwed a little hook into the ceiling over the table and wrapped a little black wire along the top of the lantern and the chain to attach the two and...

I took the plastic thingy out of the inside.  I'm not sure if that was to help it illuminate with the little solar bulb or what but with a plain white pillar candle it looks much nicer.

I like it!  Looks a little more polished and as we make the other improvements out there I think it will start to feel like an extension of our home rather than the dirty porch with a mish mash of stuff.  I've got a plan for another light out there that I'll be trying to figure out.

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Delightful Order
Shabby Creek cottage
The Sasse Life
At The Picket Fence
French Country Cottage

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

movie cookies

We saw the Descendents this weekend.  It was sad and funny and touching and troubling.  A great movie and I'd highly recommend it. 

Movie snacks are expensive and not always so good.  We decided before hand that we wanted to get some popcorn but there would have to be some sweet treats too.

We had M&Ms and we are on a bit of a peanut butter cookie kick over here lately so...

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
recipe from cooking during stolen moments

Peanut Butter M & M Cookies
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine
  • 3/4 c. peanut butter (I prefer to use chunky in baked goods, but you can use your favorite.)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 3/4 t. baking soda
  • 1 c. M & M’s
1. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until creamy and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
2. Add the flour and baking soda and beat just until combined, being careful not to over mix. By hand, stir in the M & M’s.
3. Using a rounded tablespoonful of dough, drop balls of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. (15 minutes for softer cookies; 18 minutes for crunchier cookies.)

So, the hubby and I headed to the movies with homemade cookies.  We shared a small popcorn and I even remembered to bring tissues!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Before Christmas I put some of the branches we trimmed from our Christmas tree out in an urn on our front steps.  I liked the look of it and left it for a while.  Well  nearly two months to be exact.  The other day I looked at it and it looked like this.

Pretty pathetic and you might notice that 90% of the pine needles are on the ground.  Ok so clearly they had to go but what would take their place?

That afternoon I was in the back yard and noticed the tiniest little fluff of a pussy willow opening on a bush.  So tiny that when I went back later to find it I couldn't for the life of me spot it.  I've always loved pussy willows. We have a big bunch of them I love to display inside but I never thought of putting them outside.  Why not, that is where they usually live after all.  So out they went to meet the urn.

It has been such a mild winter here.  There are buds on the trees and the crocuses are poking up!

Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style
The Shady Porch

Monday, February 20, 2012

chevron pom pom pillow

So my spare chair needed something.  I had another idea which I attempted and which was deemed a failure by myself and my husband.  I'll share that with you another day.   My first instinct was to make a pillow and after my failure I got back to the pillow plan.  Isn't that always the way?

I may have mentioned I don't sew.  I can sew on a button, do a little mending here and there.  Serious sewing goes to my Mom who would have gladly crafted another pillow for me but since this would be a light use sit there and look pretty kinda pillow I figured I'd try my hand at it with minimal sewing.

I cut two pieces of fabric to the size I wanted and realized I had some pom pom trim.  Hooray!

I cut the trim to just short of the height of the pillow on either side.

I put the first piece of fabric right side up with the trim facing in.

The second piece of fabric went face down.

Then I fabric glued it to death.  I glued the fabric to the trim and the trim to the fabric.  I fabric glued this thing so thoroughly it was ridiculous.  Then I waited.  I of course tried to turn it right side out before it was dry because that is how I do things.  Then I fixed it and left it alone again for a little.

When I felt confident that it was dry I turned it right side out...

and stuffed it with fluff.

It was time to close it up.  Now my sewing skills being what they are I did an interesting combo of fabric glue and stitching to close it up.  I tried to remember how I've seen my Mom close a pillow.  I did a sorta hidden stitch over some fabric glue.   Worked out just fine.  I have no pictures of this process because I had no idea what I was doing!  I have to tell you once it was a sealed up I got a little giddy! 

Isn't she cute?

Don't look too closely at that bottom seam.

Not bad!

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