Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Post 6: Cinnamon Sugar is Awesome

Hi Bloggies!  Tonight I thought I would pass along a recipe that I just tried (and by "just tried" I mean I literally pulled these out of the oven 30 minutes ago).  I found the recipe on Velvet Lava Cafe and I am already a huge fan!  These French Breakfast Muffins (or as I like to call them, French Toast Muffins...I don't know why...)  are incredible!  They are delightfully sugary without being super sweet...make sense?  No?  OK well get off my blog then.

These muffins are really easy and you probably have all of these ingredients in your house already.  That being said, I of course, did not have any nutmeg so I  substituted cinnamon.  Just for funsies.  They still turned out good.  And here is a mediocre photo of said muffins taken by my phone.

Yes, they are covered in cinnamon sugar!

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (I substituted cinnamon)
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Don't overmix. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. It was recommended that I use a large ice cream scoop but I don't own one of those bad boys.  So instead, I used a measuring cup and just eyeballed the amount of batter I used. Using this method I produced 10 muffins (notice in the picture there are only 9...).  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Post 5: I Heart Chocolate

Today is just a mini post due to the fact that yesterday I quite possibly broke the world record for longest blog post.  It's no secret that I love me some chocolate.  So when my friend Julie asked me if I wanted to try out Extraordinary Desserts in downtown San Diego I couldn't help but say yes!  As we walked in the front door we were greeted by the most amazing desserts I've ever seen.  And, be still my beating heart, they had a macadamia nut chocolate cake that was to. die. for.  If any of you are ever in San Diego you definitely need to try it!

This piece was big enough to feed a small country.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


It's done!  It's DONE!  ITTTT'SSS DOOONNNEEEEE!!!  After a very VERY long week Andrew and I have finally finished the geometric pattern wall that we've been working on!  I am so excited you guys.  It looks so much better than I even thought it would!  I'm so excited about my fab-o new wall and I want to show you guys how we did it so you can try it.  I originally got this pattern from a blog that I L-O-V-E called Before and After.  She got the pattern from another blog, which got it from another blog, and so on and so forth, yadda yadda yadda.  Anyway, I love this pattern.  It sort of reminds me of the Hollywood Squares of the Hollywood Regency look.  I'm totally into Hollywood Regency so this look works really well for me.  Now all I need is a funky Klismos and I'm set!  So here is how I went about getting this look: (WARNING: This post contains and ungodly amount of photos.)

Step 1: Paint the Wall
We chose to paint our living room Fountain Spout by Behr in order to lighten it up (See Post 3).  Therefore, Fountain Spout became our base color for the pattern, which turns out to be the color of your stripes.

It's OK Andrew, just sit back and relax.  I'll take care of the painting.

Step 2:  Calculate
This is the part of the project where it would be good if you have a personal accountant or engineer or something.  You need to measure your wall and try to calculate your measurements.  After sketching this out several times I decided to do 14.5" squares and space them 3" apart.  This didn't end up working out perfectly as my wall is not entirely symmetrical but I don't really care.  It's close enough for a flakey-non-mathematical designer.

Step 3:  Tape, Tape, Tape
OK Bloggettes.  Before you start this step you are going to want to take several moments to mentally prepare yourself for the mission you are about to embark on.  Maybe turn the lights low, light some incense and pray to whatever diety you see fit.  (You may also want to gather some friends and participate in a drum couldn't hurt.)  After you feel substantially prepared you are going to start taping straight lines according to the measurements that you have determined in Step 2.  From my experience, you are going to have the best results if you try to keep your pieces of tape as long as possible.  The more pieces of tape you use the more likely it is that you are going to have wavey, non-straight lines.  Oh and I also used Frog Tape instead of the regular blue painter's tape.  Frog Tape is sold at most hardware stores, I got mine from Home Depot.  I think it works a little better than the blue tape.

You may want to invest in a laser level for this step...$20 at Home Depot.  It literally saved my life.

Step 4:  Keep Taping
You may feel faint.  You may want to quit, but you can't.  You started this and you, my friend, have GOT TO FINISH IT.  Remember that drum circle you did before you started?  Remember that incense you lit and all of those prayers you prayed?  THAT WAS TO HELP YOU IN A TIME LIKE THIS.  NOW KEEP TAPING.

This is such a satisfying point to reach...until you realize you are only halfway done.

Step 5: Beer
Alright Bloggies, I understand that sometimes prayer and incense and drum circles can only get you so far.  So when you feel like you are on you breaking point.  When you feel like you may have made the biggest mistake of your life by starting this project.  When you feel like you just might rip it all down and live with a plain, old, boring wall.  GRAB A BEER.  Beer gives you perspective.  Trust me.  Take a break, enjoy a cold one, and look at all the progress you have made so far!  YOU CAN DO THIS.

Please notice the paint and frog tape behind the beer.  This project consumed my life.  Oh and by the way, I highly recommend The Stone Brewing Company's Stone IPA.  Very effective.

Step 6:  Tape Squares, Not Lines
At this point you are going to set your beer down and start taping squares.  The squares are going in the middle of the criss-crosses that you already taped.  You want to put a square on every other criss-cross, alternating rows.  At this point you will also need to take an exacto knife or box cutter and cut the centers out of each criss-cross.

Clancy was so helpful with this step.  Moral support is important.

It's starting to look so cool!

Step 7: Paint the Wall (Different from Step 1...but not so much.)
YOU ARE DONE TAPING!  Congrats!  The hard part is over!  Now you just get to paint over your beautiful tape art.  This may be difficult to do but trust me, the paint will look SO much better than the tape.

We used Rain Storm by Behr as our secondary color.

Your Frog Tape may bubble up but don't let that discourage you, it will still seal the paint out for the most part.

Step 8:  Remove that Tape!
And here it is, here is the point we've all been waiting for.  Slowly and carefully pull the tape off!  This is so exciting!  I'm so happy for you!  I told you that you could do this!

Go Andrew, go!

It's important to have friends witness this momentous occasion.  Thanks for helping Austin and Jasmin!

Almost there!

Can you see the spot that Andrew messed up?  It's OK, I will fix it today :)

I'm so happy with how our wall turned out.  After all of the work I think it was totally worth it.  What do you guys think of it?  I think everyone should have a fun, funky wall in their house!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Post 3: It's Hard to Write a Blog

Listen up Bloggies!  It's time to dry those tears and blow those runny schnozzes 'cause I'M BACK!  I know you all missed me while I was gone but believe me when I say that I missed you too!  I do recognize that I need to apologize for my absence.  I had really good intentions, I swear.  I meant to write... but there was this little problem that I had.  This problem called "I lead a pathetically boring life."  I've started about a bajillion household projects in the last week and I have yet to finish any of them.  So guess what you get to hear about today?  That's right!  Those lame, half finished projects!  WOO HOO!!!

Project Numero Uno: Brighten Up the Living Room
OK so we last left off with my rambling about selecting neurotically cheerful paint colors for my living room makeover.  As I mentioned, I went with a lovely selection by the name of Fountain Spout (by Behr). Let me tell you my little Blogaritas, it really does not get more jovial than Fountain Spout.  I'm tellin' ya.  Just look at this color and you're going to have a perma smile plastered on your face.  Check it out!

Before...How gloomy...

During...Look at Andrew go!  I think Fountain Spout is really motivating him!

After!  Fountain Spout has really lifted Clancy's spirits!

So what do you guys think?  Is Fountain Spout your color of choice?  It's OK if it's not...everyone that's seen it so far has said, "Wow.  That'"  But I don't care because I LOVE IT!  And I will love it even more once I finish the geometric pattern that we are painting on one of the walls!  Here is a sneak peek:

Pattern Wall!  More to come on this topic in following blog posts...

Well, that's all I've got for now.  Stay tuned for more posts on my other half finished projects and step by step How To's!  Sleep tight Bloggies!

PS I dedicate this post to the lovely Karina Brazas...thank you for pestering me until I put a new post up. Maybe next time you go on a jaunt to Europe you will take me so I actually have something to write about!  (Just a thought...)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BligBlog: Post 2

OK so you read one post and now you're coming back for more.  I get it, I really do.  People love me, they just can't get enough, and neither can YOU.  Admit it my little Bloggies, you loooovvveee meeeee!  Alright, that's enough ego boosting for one post.

So this weekend I caught redecorating bug.  (Hide the children!  Run for your liiivveess!!!)  So now I've got these plans, these grand plans, and my poor house is not going to know what hit it.  First on the list is painting.  We painted over a year ago when we first moved into our house but come on, that was OVER a year ago!  Definitely time to spruce the old place up.  It is currently painted various shades of gray, which I normally love, but our house receives very little natural light.  This makes some of the rooms feel really dark.  I don't like dark.  I like bright.  Bright and sunny.  Just like my disposition.  So I decided to try out some bright and cheerful blues as showcased in the picture below.  Both Andrew and I are leaning towards sample F (Fountain Spout I believe...)  Any thoughts?

Sirf...Firs...Rifs... No, actually I just labeled each paint sample with the first letter of their name.

Well, today was not very eventful (obviously) and that is all I have to share.  Oh, but wait!  One quick painting tip before I call it a night.  When you are using a paint can wrap a rubber band around it and use it to eliminate inappropriate dripping (tee hee hee).  If this explanation sounds confusing, which I'm sure it does, just look at the picture below.  Oh and disclaimer *I got this idea from some random website.  I did not make this up.  I'm a genius but I'm not that genius.*  Goodnight Blogsters!

Monday, July 11, 2011

1st Post Full of Super Interesting Stuff

So I finally took the plunge and entered the blogging world.  I will now pause for the applause of my adoring fans and supporters.  ...  ...  ...  Thank you, thank you, you're all really too kind.  Now on to more important matters.

So you're probably wondering what's with the whole self deprecating blog title thing?  And what I say to you, oh naysayer, is what exactly is so wrong with being ordinary?  (I'll let that marinate awhile...)

In the deep, soul searching process of deciding upon a blog title I cruised around our friend Google asking it things like "How do I pick a blog title?" and "What makes a good blog title?"  I found several helpful sites that told me such stellar tips as "Google and Feedster are popular domain names, so try adding 'le' or 'ster' to the end of your name."  Yeah. Right.  I am not about to call my blog 'Brittle' or 'Brittster'.  No thank you.  With that in mind, I began the process of thesaurusizing (yes, it's a word...) words that describe me.  All of that thesaurusizing must have really gotten to my head because before I knew it I was constructing all sorts of titles that made me sound like I was Mother Teresa.  (My family and friends can assure you, I am nothing like the woman.)  Plus when I tested all of these domain names out all of them were already taken...shoot dang.  Apparently there are a lot of thrify, creative, Mother Teresa types running amuck out there in the blogosphere.  So I starting thinking about a title no blogger would choose.  I have to admit, it seems like a lot of people out there blog because they think their life is just so amazing and interesting that people really care to read about it.  Slightly narcissistic, no?  (Hi Kettle, my name is're lookin' a little black there.)  They all must think they're super unique and any of them consider themselves, oh say, ORDINARY? (Buh buh buuuhhhh...)  Apparently not because obviously that domain was up for grabs.  Nailed it.

So there.  That's my first post.  I'm glad that you could all learn so much about the inner workings of my soul.  Before I go, I really do need to give credit to the person that pushed me to start blogging, Alisha Taniguchi.  Without her degrading comments and lack of support I never would have started this outstanding documentation of my life.  Thank you my friend.  And to the rest of you, my little Bloggies, thanks for reading even though the only reason you are is because I told you to on facebook.  As a reward for finishing, here is a super attractive picture of me and my pup Clancy!  (You know you're excited.)

The only legit picture that is actually saved to my computer.