Friday, August 26, 2011

Foodie Friday! A special birthday treat!

Birthdays are really special to me. I always feel like people should be treated really well on their birthday with special surprises, gifts, and king/queen for a day attitudes. Some of us celebrate our birthdays for a week, while others choose not to celebrate much at all. Well, if you know me...I want your birthday to be special so we're gonna celebrate! 

For my husbands birthday I decided to make him hamburgers. The cutest little cupcake hamburgers EVER. I can't even remember where I found out how to make them, but I decided I was going to try it and they turned out great. I'll show you some pictures and then I'll explain to you how I made them!

Here they are!

Aren't they fun? I will tell you that they are not hard to make. The only thing required here is some time. So this is what I did...step by step.

First I made a pan of brownies. Be sure to line the pan with foil or parchment paper so you can take the brownies out of the pan to cut them. I did not do this. Let me tell you it was a HUGE pain trying to cut them into circles after they cooled. That said, I made them the night before. Let them cool all the way and cut them into circles. I made the circles by pressing a small jelly jar into the brownie and it worked great!

Now grease a muffin tin REALLY well and bake some cupcakes from a white cake mix. Before you put them into the oven sprinkle some sesame seeds on the top. DO NOT use muffin liners for this. Put them right in the muffin tins that you have greased well. Again, I am telling you to grease them well, multiple times, because I did not. I lost some cupcakes because they stuck to the bottom of the muffin tin. Not so cool.

Okay while those are in the oven make some cream cheese frosting. We all have our own recipes for this so get yours out, look one up, or buy it already made. I made my recipe up that day and can't tell you exact measurements. Divide the frosting in half in two bowls. Die one bowl of frosting red and the other bowl yellow. You will be in shock when you see how much red food coloring it takes to die the frosting a true red. I was in a bit of a panic thinking that I was going to end up with pink "ketchup" but it turned out okay. I must have used at least 30 drops of red food coloring. Be prepared!

Now grab a cup or so of shredded coconut and die it green. Obviously, this is the lettuce!

Let your cupcakes cool all the way. I put mine in the fridge so they would firm up so I could cut them in half. 

Now cut all of your cupcakes in half and spread one side with red frosting and one with yellow frosting. Stick the brownie "hamburger" on the bottom "bun" and press the died coconut onto the top bun where the frosting is. Put it all together and BAM! You've got cute little hamburger cupcakes.

WARNING: If you make these for a kids party, send the kids home with these or have them eat them at the end of the party. They are so sweet that the kids will be bouncing off the walls after eating them. Let their parents deal with the hyperactivity that will follow. If you don't like their parents, all the better since they may never speak to you again.

When my husband got home and I showed these to him, he had a huge smile on his face. I think the cupcakes, alone, were the best present ever. He kept asking me if I took pictures. Yes, honey, I have a blog! Of course I took pictures!

I hope you'll try these yourself! 
Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A cute little Etsy find that I just had to post!

I found this cute little necklace while I was looking at Etsy and I just had to share it. I think it would be the cutest little gift for a friend, a daughter, a mother...or perhaps all three since it costs just $12!

I LOVE starfish!

Now get shopping!

Cute for a cottage!

I see these all over the place in the blogs that I follow and I really like them. They wouldn't look right in my urban home, but I can picture them in a cozy beach cottage or cabin! I'm curious what you think about canning jar lighting.

This one would be cute in the hallway of the cozy cottage by the ocean that I don't have...

I can picture this one over a big shabby dining table!

I would like to use two or three of these as pendant lights over a rustic island...

I'm not sure why I find these so charming, but I do. What do you think about them? Are you crafty, and maybe you could make them yourself? I might be tempted to try...if I wanted to level my house by way of explosion. I think I'll just keep dreaming of owning that beachy cottage and, in my dream, I will buy these lights off of Etsy.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A french song for today.

Carla Bruni. One of my favorites. This song will make everything in life better it's so pretty. And to think she's married to the President of France....



Autumn is in the air...

After a really hot Minnesota summer, I'm looking forward to Fall. There have been a couple of nights that have had a chill in the air that is, unmistakably, telling me that Fall is coming. It's always bittersweet for me because it means Summer is over and Winter is coming...and I'm not looking forward to Winter. For now, though, I will live with my head in the clouds and just continue to look forward to Fall!

A drive up North to Duluth in the Fall is beautiful. The colors will pop right out at you if you time it just right. I love having a chilly picnic in the Fall with sandwiches and a glass of wine.

I look forward to mums and pumpkins on the front steps. Look at this beautiful porch! I wish I had a huge front porch and could do a display like this. I'm so jealous!

Take a look at these cute pumpkins too! I love them! Have you made pumpkins into flower pots before? I have, and it's easy. The easiest way to do it is to hollow out the pumpkin and stick in a little mum that is still in the pot. It makes a great hostess gift!

And what is Fall without having a group of good friends over for a big bowl of chili? I found this recipe and will have to try it in the next couple of weeks.There's no way I could use chicken legs so I will substitute chicken breast for that. Make some guacamole and get out the corn chips and that's all you need for a party! Well, a couple of beers would be good too!

It's going to be 82 degrees in Minneapolis today. I will get some weeding done, enjoy the sunshine, get a little tan and think of Fall.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not with a guy in the house!

I'd like to give a shout out to all of the single ladies out there. Why, you ask? Because you can still have things like this...

It's from Urban Outfitters, and it's quite fancy. If I had this in my room, half of the ruffles would be torn off in one night of tossing and turning.

You can have white rooms like this too. Never would you worry about coffee being spilled on it, or cereal slipping out of the bowl and making a big spot that makes you flip the cushion for the rest of the life of your couch. NOT that I'm saying this has happened to me...Mmmmm Hmmmm, it SO has!

Let us not forget about the single girl's kitchen! NEVER would you be harassed for your love of pink in a room like this if you were single!

So if you're bummed out about being single, go be a girl until you aren't! When you get married the girly house stuff will disappear and you will have to decorate more combined-gender-friendly! I just invented that term now. Pretty fancy, huh?


My beautiful new chandelier!

Well, the boob light is gone. It had to be done, I couldn't stand looking at it for one more day!

Remember this? This 1980's style light with the lovely brass? It is no longer to be! Well, actually I saved it in case we move since I'm not leaving my chandelier behind!

So here's what I found! After a friend of mine saw our blog, she sent me an email telling me she had this wonderful chandelier that she was selling. And's mine all mine!

Isn't it lovely? It's an 8 arm chandelier that is from (I'm thinking) the 1930's. I love, love, love it! I think it would be so cute with little shades on it too, but right now I will just enjoy it as is.

A huge thank you to my friend. Oh, and a small plug to the coffee shop she is part owner of...The Coffee Shop Northeast. Remember I featured them a while back? If you have yet to go for a visit, please do! You will not be disappointed. You will go for coffee and stay for lunch. This I can guarantee!

Oh how I love replacing out of style light fixtures!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Let's hang some pictures!

I have an abundance of pictures in my house...okay, okay...maybe and over-abundance!  I love hanging pictures in groups because I find that it looks really cozy. As a matter of fact, I find it to be a huge compliment to me when people walk in my house and call it "cozy." Even if cozy means small, it doesn't matter to me. Sit down, relax, take a load off...I'm happy to have you over for a visit!

All of that said, the number one mistake that I see when I go into friend's homes, or homes that I've staged is their picture arrangement. Most of the time the pictures are WAY too high. I mean, no one that I know is 8 feet tall when they are sitting down! Lower your pictures, my friends! LOWER YOUR PICTURES! If you are sitting in a room, your pictures should be hung at eye level...not 3 inches down from the ceiling! A good rule of thumb is to hang your pictures 57" at the center. That means 57" from the floor to the center of the picture when it's hanging. THAT, my friends and followers, is the perfect height. In the living room (where you sit most of the time) I would go three to four inches lower than that. 

I will warn you now...if you are hanging your pictures like you are Jolly the Green Giant right now, your pictures are going to feel really low to you when you bring them down a bit. I promise you will get used to it, and it will even allow you to enjoy your art more! After all, if you chose it, you want to enjoy it right?

Now onto the next picture hanging tip. Let's try hanging your pictures in groupings. A picture here and a picture there is very boring in my opinion. Please don't say goodbye to me just yet! I'm not judging you for not knowing how to hang pictures, and if you like them that all means keep it that way! I'm just suggesting you try something a bit different! 

Let me show you what I mean! Here are some groupings that I have in my house and I love them! Maybe you will too!

This one is a favorite. It's hanging in my kitchen. I have had these little prints for at least ten years. I put them away and take them out when I change things up.

Yes, this was 8:30 in the morning! I was up, I promise!

This is a very small wall. In all honesty, I'd probably do three pictures here if I had another one that I liked with these two. 

Here is the red room. I love these two pictures with these two mirrors. I did this on a whim one day when I was bored and sick of a bare wall. 

This grouping is above a section of my couch. It almost looks to small for the wall, but it is really quite perfect. Some people that I know would have hung just ONE of these pictures and it would've felt like something was missing! Not a good look. 

This is above the big section of my couch. The picture is relatively big, and can you see how low it is? My couch is just 6 inches or so underneath the picture. 

These are hanging in the "hallway" to my kitchen. They are higher because none of my guests will be sitting in this hallway anytime soon. I use the term hallway loosely. This house is too small for a hallway, really.

Here is my daughter's room. We have hung black and white prints in the corner. I love them en masse like this. They are perfect. I bet some of you are thinking, "WOW, that is too many pictures!" I invite you to come to my house and see how well this works!

These two are right outside my bathroom on a tiny wall. If I had one large picture that would have fit this wall I would have hung just one. I didn't have that so I hung two smaller ones and they work well here!

I'm sure you remember this wall from my house pictures. It's a wall of collections. A picture of our cat Sophie who we lost years ago, the card I got at my grandma's funeral, a few gifts, and a few that I got at antique stores. Each thing on this wall has a special meaning to me. I love it, and it feels cozy.

I hope this has helped you with ideas for picture hanging and encouraged you to try hanging your pictures a bit lower if you haven't already! I don't feel like these pictures of my pictures (get that?) do them justice. The lighting in my house is odd and I think it's time for a new camera!

Happy Monday!

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