Wednesday, November 16, 2011

lasagna soup

soup is one of my absolute favorite dinners in the fall and winter.  everything about it makes me happy.  however, I seem to just do the same recipes again and again.  so when my fabulous mother in law sent me a new soup recipe I was more than excited to try it out!  this is a great, hearty meal of a soup.  it held up great for reheating too.  I am thrilled to have it in my stash for the winter months to come


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb. Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 ½ oz) can petite diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 oz. broken whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 4 noodles)
½ cup chopped fresh basil
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Top with: Parmesan cheese
Serve with: Bread sticks or garlic bread


In a large nonstick sauce pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium- high heat. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10
minutes. Drain.

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes.
Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes for the whole-wheat noodles. 

*I thickened the broth with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch mix with 2 Tbsp cold water. (I did not need to do this as it was already thick when cooking)* 

Stir in the fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. Serve with parmesan cheese and bread.

Yields 6 to 8 servings

Friday, November 11, 2011

faves on friday

here we go again.  I've had a pretty busy week, but it's been good.  here are some of my favorite parts...

scones and coffee with my hubs before work

waking up to fresh snow in the mountains

a quick mid-week road trip to SLC including In-N-Out and amazing parking!

the Design*Sponge at Home book signing!
champagne and cupcakes, who could complain?

my beautiful new book, that I'm reading like I do cookbooks (like a novel) and pouring over for days

my two cuddlies that I've missed while being away over the weekend and during my quick trip

the week has been great, I am so ready for the weekend though!  have a blessed friday!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

faves on friday

 in deciding where I wanted to go with this little blog and what I want to post I decided I want to be sure that a few regular posts begin each week.  one of these posts is little things in my week that make me happy.  life has had some hard moments in the past few months and my mind has been on some heavy topics.  I never want to forget that through everything joy can be found.  my joy and peace is found in One who is greater than me or my life's circumstances... because of that I am thankful.  I am filled with joy and can rest in how great the little things can be.

here are some moments that make me smile from the lens of my camera phone

a pumpkin pie shake from my favorite, fanci freez, is a great fall treat

sewing a twirly skirt for a 5 year old on her birthday week... with an adorable zipper flower

I made a "no knit" scarf

new riding boots from anthro that are a perfect taupe-y gray and were hugely on sale!

kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch.  have I ever told you I LOVE my job??

when requesting a pennant from my alma mater I was pleasantly surprised with an entire 
goody package... it was amazing, to say the least!

and my week has ended on the couch, sick.  sipping tea, cuddling puppies, and surrounded by tissues.

that was my week, how has yours been??  I am focusing on remembering the blessings in my life this week.  what about you, what is your focus this week?

Monday, October 17, 2011

a fresh start

my blog has been down for a little while now.  I guess for about a week.  I think that technology is my friend most days, but then some days I really mess it all up.  I upgraded my phone and in the process of changing the phone over it synced up with my google account... I saw this little folder in the photo gallery that had all of the photos from my blog in it.  I didn't think that it was necessary that I have those photos on a gallery on my phone... so delete them I did!

I didn't realize what happened until a few days later.  I saw the big black boxes with exclamation points in them where my photos used to be, but I just blamed it on blogger and thought she was having a hard day.  I mean, my header was even gone too... so it's only obvious, right??

a couple days passed and I received a comment... I realized that it was only me that was having this problem, not all blogger users, and it was a big problem.  

I have spent some time trying to decide what I was going to do.  at one point I wanted to be done with blogging all together.  I've thought about that before.  then I wanted to start a new blog and delete this one. then I wanted to just get everything going again. --- I settled on a compromise.  I went through all of my posts and kept the ones I really like.  I have been working on uploading photos to those posts again.  I may have to delete a few more though because I can't find the original photos.  

I have a fresh perspective on this blog, what I want to do with it, what I want to share, and what type of posts I want to have.  please stick with me on the journey... hopefully it will only get better!

Monday, October 10, 2011

an office update

the school year is off to a great start!  I cannot believe the first quarter is going to be done in just a few short weeks.  I had fun putting together my office last year, but I really wanted to do more this year.  the husband and I spent a weekend painting the walls a neutral beige... I wanted anything other than the white it was!  We moved around the furniture and brought in the projects I had worked on over the summer (lamp, owl), as well as some new pillows, painted bird cages, colored baskets, and more fabric.  I like how it turned out a lot.  I am happy to be there every day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

wise owl

this summer, while my best friend was visiting, we took on a little project.  I had seen this adorable owl artwork on pinterest and put it on the top of my must do list.  rachel has done a lot of little painting projects and I have done NONE.  so I hoped that she could maybe help me out when she came to visit.... thankfully she was willing!

we started at the craft store to purchase a canvas and some paint.  I used a wall color I had at home already as the base.  I painted the entire canvas in this muted aqua/teal color.

while the base coat was drying we created a template out of tissue paper.  we first measured and cut the tissue paper to the exact size of the canvas.  we then folded it in half and looking at the photos from the original post rachel drew the owl on the paper. we folded the paper in half to be sure to have a symmetrical owl.

I then cut out the template and traced it onto the canvas.

then we painted the owl on to the canvas.  the more paint in your brush the better because it goes on more smoothly.  a good brush and quality paint is key... I always use toll paint type paint and have to go over it again and again.  this time I bought a high quality acrylic paint and it worked much better!

and here is the finished painting hanging in my office at school... next to some of my favorite photos and, of course, mr. potato head!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

an inspired lamp

a few months ago I helped my dad move some furniture out of my great grandparents' house.  in the process there were two lamps that I spotted... they were pretty fabulous, but I didn't know just what to do with them.  after pondering it for a few months, buying a few different fabrics, and googling how to recover a lampshade I finally figured out what to do.  I did a search at my favorite store, anthropologie, for some lamp shade inspiration.  my lampshade went from this... to this!

first, I had the original lamp.  I knew I was going to repaint the base, simple, right?  well, then after looking at paint I decided, I'm going to paint the shade too!  so to the hardware store I went and found two paint colors that would work.  

then, I scoured my fabric pile, and the bags of clothes I had ready to donate to the thrift store.  I love using fabric from clothing for projects because it has so much texture and more character than craft store fabrics for a fraction of the cost (especially if I'm just planning on donating it anyway!).  I put together 3 patterns--- 1 wide fabric, 1 in between width fabric, and 1 narrow fabric.  I measured the diameter of the shade, divided it by the number of strips I wanted to have (I wanted 12) and then cut my widest strip to that width.  I think mine ended up being 3.5 inches, 2 inches, and 1 inch wide.  I did four of each pattern and repeated them around the shade-- I first sewed the three fabric strips together (optional) to make one big strip-- then hot glued them to the top and bottom of the shade.

after all the strips were on the shade, I used hemp jewelry twine to cinch the fabric strips at different heights around the shade.  there was somewhat of a pattern to this, but no measuring.

I then hot glued grosgrain ribbon along the top and bottom of the shade to hide my unfinished edges of fabric.

from my button collection I pulled 12 mismatched buttons that I liked and hot glued one on top of each knot of twine on the fabric strips.

I put the shade back on to the lamp base, and that's it. this was a pretty huge lamp.  the hardest part was deciding what to do.  once I had decided it wasn't as difficult as I thought it was-- it ended up pretty straight forward actually.  I still have one more lamp in it's original condition... should I try a second?

I'm linking up to Tatertots and Jello

Thursday, July 14, 2011

le pouf

the past few months I have found a new household item that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!  I have seen the pouf trend for quite some time now, but most have been too "middle eastern" looking for a lack of any other term-- you know what I mean-- I picture them in jasmine and aladdin's palace.  but, I have started seeing them on design shows I watch regularly and finally fell in love when my design crush, genevieve gorder, was doing a eco friendly room and used a knit pouf-- it was perfect cozy and functional, my fave.

the pouf is the perfect room accessory--it is an ottoman, floor pillow, and aesthetically pleasing comfy-ness all rolled into one knitted beauty!  I had seen them on etsy, but didn't know how to pull the trigger.  Then one weekend afternoon the hubs and I rode our bikes downtown to a favorite local indie artists' shop, indie made, planning to drool over the hand made goodness.  once inside I found an artist's merchandise that I ALWAYS love, pepperberry knits little did I know that she'd begun making poufs herself!

one of pepperberry knits 'le poufs' has made its way into my home and is nestled into a corner where I can see it each day and love the coziness that it is!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

meet bruno

a few weeks ago... in a moment of great joy for me... we got a puppy!  I have been wanting one for months and months, but the hubs hasn't been into it.  don't ask me how it happened because I'm not quite sure... but it did!

so here he is, our boston terrior, bruno!

he's much more active than sophie and I didn't fully realize how much work puppies are.  but we're workin' it out... and he's helping me have something to do throughout the summer.  I just love the little guy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

happy belated

sometimes the calendar moves more quickly than my schedule can handle.  may was a perfect example of this.  now, quite a few weeks after mother's day I have finally finished making the gift I had in mind for my mother-in-law.  hopefully this fun apron will make its way to summer barbeques soon.

  linking up here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

hemming jeans while keeping the original hem

do you ever buy jeans that need hemmed, but don't want to lose the original hem?  you know, the factory finish... so that they don't look like they are "home hemmmed"?  well, I have tried a few different ways.  here is one way, that yes, is fabulous --link to hemming tutorial--, but what happens when you have 3-4 inches of that "left over hang" inside of your pant leg??  if I cut it off I have fray to worry about.  and what if I want to roll up my pants? I can't do it if I hem them this way.  so, when I was asked to hem 3 pair of jeans in a new way I was a bit hesitant, but excited to learn something new.

here's how I did it:

measure the length that you need the inseam to be.  
using a straight edge cut the jeans AT THIS EXACT LENGTH.

cut off the excess from the original hem so that you have just a half inch of the "pant leg" extra and the hem.

using a seam ripper remove all the old stitching

open the seam and fold and iron the raw edge in to the hem.  
this is quite easy because the original stitching has created a fold.

you now have a "finished" unfinished hem.

sandwich the original hem back on to the now shortened jeans lining up the side seams, pin in place.

sew the hem back on being careful where the fabric is extra thick to ensure not breaking the needle.  find a matching thread color, and if possible thickness.  my thread was thinner than the original so I sewed over the same area twice to make the stitching more prominent.  I also used a basting, or long, stitch because that is how the original stitching was.

tada! the finished product, good as new!

linking up to tatertots & jello