October 23, 2014

INSPIRATION: dainty gold jewelry


We're all about that dainty gold jewelry.  Less is more and simple is always better in our book.  And the kicker with all these pieces - the price is RIGHT!

personalized nameplate bracelet // shopLUCA, $46+

mini linear earrings, small // byboe, $30

cusp studs // byboe, $20

personalized skinny nameplate necklace // shopLUCA, $45+

October 21, 2014

EAT: crispy eggplant fries with honey




I love fried chicken, fried shrimp, and fried sliced potatoes - infamously known as french fries.  There I said it.  I shouldn't but I do. So to balance this love for fried goodness, I'm always looking for alternatives for a low(er) carb meal.  Or you can think of it as, I'm always looking for something to fry! haha. Enter the eggplant fries. Healthier than regular fries? Probably just by a smidgen because it's still fried, but I'll take it.  You can try baking them as well, but I wanted to keep them in "fry" form as much as possible.  This idea of frying lower carb veggies such as zucchinis and eggplant is not a new idea,  you can find various forms of this simple recipe all over the internet as I did! But I've never had an eggplant fry,  let alone try to make it,  so its new enough to me.  


Ingredients: serving size 4 
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1-2 eggs to coat
  • oil for frying
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • salt for seasoning
  • honey


October 15, 2014

DIY: chalkboard painted pumpkins



HHS (Happy Holiday Season)!  October surely did creep up on us!  Hope you all are enjoying the cool, crisp weather.  This year we wanted to do a fun spin on the traditional pumpkin decor by using a more neutral color palette via chalkboard paint.  Painting pumpkins is a game changer and takes much less time (and less mess) than carving a pumpkin.  From there, you can add lettering, decorations/embellishments and even turn it into a vase to add some character to your pumpkins.

We went with a classic dark gray and lighter gray for our color scheme.  There are a ton of colors to choose from - I'm eying some of those beautiful pastels for next time.  Whatever you go with, remember to have FUN with it! 



Materials:

- pumpkins
- chalkboard or matte paint (Michaels, $9 each)
- paintbrushes
- chalkboard marker (Amazon, $6.39) or white paint if lettering
- jewels or other embellishments (rhinestones, gold tacks - Michaels or other craft stores)
- craft glue or super glue


Instructions:

- Rinse your pumpkins with water to remove any dirt or debris that might be stuck on the outside.  If you're using a pumpkin as a vase for florals, cut the top off and clean out the inside before painting.

- Paint away!  You can tape off the stem at the top or just paint around the edges carefully (that's what I did).  For the larger pumpkins, I painted the top portions first and let them dry before turning them over to paint the bottoms.  I painted two coats on each pumpkin. After the pumpkins are dry you can add lettering or other embellishments.


- For the lettering, I used a pencil to lightly trace the outline of the letters.  Then I used a chalkboard marker to paint the letters on.


- For the embellished pumpkins, I used glue to adhere rhinestones to the top of one pumpkin.  For the other, I used gold tacks to line the creases of the pumpkin.


- For the pumpkin vase, I used a gallon sized ziplock bag to line the inside of the pumpkin in order to pour water in it.  I didnt know how the inside of the pumpkin might fare if I poured the water directly in (possible mold?!).




PUMP(kin) IT UP!
xoxo, NB

October 7, 2014

EAT: ahi tuna poke



HOKEY POKEY!  If you've never had ahi tuna poke before, it's basically heavenly seasoned tuna that can be served atop crispy wontons, crackers or rice.  I've been craving this for a while and decided to whip up my own version with big chunks of avocado and scallions with plenty of sesame oil (kind of obsessed lately) and sesame seeds.  

The beauty is that it's so easy to make and after the tuna is thawed (if you're buying frozen), you're literally just tossing the ingredients together and serving it.  My version is served with rice for a heartier meal.  You can also try serving it on top of crispy wontons or crackers as an appetizer.  Make sure to pick up sushi-grade tuna at the store to avoid any possible mishaps with your stomach (you know what I'm talking about).  ENJOY!


Ingredients:

- 1 lb. sushi grade ahi/yellowfin tuna (you can find this in the frozen seafood section at Central Market or Whole Foods)
- white rice
- 3 scallions, washed and sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (optional)
- toasted sesame seeds
- sea salt
- seaweed (optional)


Instructions:

- Cook the rice and set it aside.  Follow the directions on the package and make as much as you'd like to serve with the poke.  I made about 2 cups.

- If you're using fresh sushi-grade tuna, cut the tuna into 1/2 inch cubes.  If your tuna is frozen, follow the instructions on the tuna package to thaw the tuna.  Note that this usually takes several hours.  After thawing, cut the tuna into 1/2 inch cubes.

- Mix the tuna, avocado, scallions, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice and ginger together making sure everything gets coated well.  Add in any additional seasonings if you'd like - I love sesame oil so I added an extra tablespoon in.  Mix in the sesame seeds and salt to taste.  

- Serve the poke on top of hot steamed rice with a side of seaweed (optional).  Yummmmmmay.


xoxo, NB

September 29, 2014

DIY: orange citrus soy candles



It's candles - PART DEUX!  I'm a bit of a candle junkie.  You can always find me rummaging through the sale section at Anthropologie looking for pretty and aromatic candles.  I have them in almost every room in my house and they make any hanging out/chillin/snuggling/cozying up moment even better.  Books are better, movies are better, a cup of tea is better, conversations are better with a lit candle nearby!  You get the point.

Homemade candles are actually pretty easy to make.  Sure, they're no luxury Diptyque or Voluspa candles but they surely do the job for everyday lighting.  

I had some leftover soy wax and essential oils from our DIY mosquito repellent so I decided with fall coming fast and furious it was time for some more candle-makin fun.  I'm a fruity scent kinda gal (versus heavy floral scents that make me dizzy) so I used this sweet orange essential oil to add to the wax.  It's light and citrusy and perfect.  For containers, I mixed things up by using a floral printed mug, a decorative drinking glass and vintage jar.




You can find all the supplies and instructions here at our Part Uno Lavender Soy Candles post.  Here's a little tip to reuse all your cool containers.  After the candle has burned to the bottom, simply reheat the ceramic/jar in a pot of simmering water until the leftover wax melts down.  Using an oven mitt or towel to handle, pour the remaining wax into a plastic sack or other container that you can throw away.  Wash the ceramic/jar in hot soapy water.  Viola!  Use again.


xoxo, NB