3.30.2011

Let me introduce you to Karl...



The Hubby and I are getting a new couch for our Bmore apartment. The couch we have now is a hand-me-down from my parents and it has seen some better days. We want to put the old couch in the second bedroom/office to create a comfortable study zone for the Hubby.

We inititally talked about getting a standard sofa for the living room. However, the space is pretty large and we could use additional seating for when we have friends and family over. Then the idea for a sofa and love seat combo came to be. But then we couldn't find any combos that we both loved and that met all of our guidelines. We need our future sofa to be dog friendly since Bleu will think it's fair game to sleep on. Therefore, a washable slip cover would be preferable (no more worrying about spills); especially since we plan to start a family someday. We also don't want to spend an arm and a leg considering there are other aspects of the apartment that will need to get furnished as well. So we decided a trip to IKEA was in order to check out the sofas and sectionals available. Ultimately we decided the new apartment could handle a sectional in the spacious living room and maybe even a chair or two. Which brings us to Karl...

We fell in love with the Karlstad Corner Sofa (shown above) in the "Linneryd natural" fabric. The Karl is approximately $999 and comes with a ten year warranty. Replacement slip covers are available for Karl - Score! Karl's only downfall is that I'm not a big fan of his birch colored feet. IKEA offers aluminum leg replacements but that is a bit too modern for our style. So we are thinking of either sanding Karl's feet down and staining them or spray painting them a dark brown. By we, I mean my handsome handyman Hubby. Check out the post from Young House Love on what they did with the feet on their Karl. I love it!

Now I just need to save up for the Pottery Barn Decorative Pillows I've been eyeing up...

3.29.2011

Covet Garden Magazine




It's a design magazine (available online and on iPad) and blog with plenty of eye candy for people who love pretty decor and house crashing (like me). Issue 8 features Tomi and Karim and their Toronto nest. Enjoy!

3.18.2011

Dinner Last Night


We had Bangers and Mash with Guinness while watching Boondock Saints. A classic St. Patrick's Day! This recipe from the Food Network was what the Hubby used as guidance. Enjoy!

Bangers and Mash

Recipe Courtesy of Suzanne Schecter
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 8 links Cumberland sausage (Italian sausage may substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard, plus mustard for dipping
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Peel and dice potatoes. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prick sausages with a fork, heat a skillet and brown the sausage in 1 tablespoon oil. Slice the onion. Remove the sausage to a plate and add the onion to the pan. Cook onions until soft, then add 2 tablespoons flour, cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and return the sausage to the pan, cooking it through for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and run them through a food mill into a saucepan. Add the cream, butter, creme fraiche and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with side of grainy mustard for dipping.

Friday Favorite Quote

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.”

Audrey Hepburn

3.17.2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.

If you fight, may you fight for your brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with us!


Cheers!


3.14.2011

Dinner Last Night


I made Ina Garten's Ham and Cheese in Puff Pastry recipe last night. It was so easy and delicious! I was trying to find a recipe to use the leftover puff pastry I had in the freezer from making Alton Brown's Curry Chicken Pot Pie when I found this one searching with "puff pastry" on Food Network. The small ingredient list sold me on it. My local deli had a smoked Gruyere cheese available so I used that in the recipe and it added a subtle smokey flavor to the simple dish. We used it as our main dish (instead of an appetizer) and served it with steamed broccoli. The Hubby and I both loved it and I'm excited to eat the leftovers later this week. I will definitely be making this again. Here's the recipe:

Prep Time:  25 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 pound black forest ham, sliced
  • 1/2 pound Swiss Gruyere cheese, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
Lay 1 sheet of puff pastry on a floured board and carefully roll it out to 10 by 12 inches. Place it on the sheet pan and brush the center with the mustard, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Place a layer first of ham and then cheese, also leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.
Place the second sheet of puff pastry on the floured board and roll it out to 10 by 12 inches. Place the second sheet on top of the filled pastry, lining up the edges. Cut the edges straight with a small, sharp knife and press together lightly. Brush the top with egg wash and cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve hot or warm. Enjoy!

3.11.2011

3.10.2011

Coffee Table Book Lust

The Home Within Us: Romantic Houses, Evocative Rooms by Bobby McAlpine with Susan Sully was recommended by the blog, Pure Style Home by Lauren Leiss.  I am adding this to my "Must Read" list!

3.09.2011

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget


Just took this quiz over at Stylish Home!

Results: You most resemble a "Park Avenue Cocktail".
Details...
Details of craftsmanship with natural materials surround you. Your kitchen is your prize. Decorative, finished… elegant. The Bedroom exudes a sensuous tranquility. Tempo and technical accumen give a smooth flow to you. Modern subtleties extend to your table. A lithe and agreeable cab - no meal required. Pre-war, upper east side attitude. At the end of the day… you don't take things too seriously..


Suspected "Park Avenue Cocktail"

- Marlene Dietrich
- Audrey Hepburn
- Frank Sinatra



A big thanks to Young House Love for introducing me to the quiz. What are your results?

3.07.2011

Let's Get Our Move On!

That's right, We are...


We get the keys to our new 2b/2b apartment in Baltimore on April 15th! I can't wait to unpack and organize our new place. Designing the lay out and decorating the different rooms is going to be so much fun. It will be a slow and budget conscience process but I'm really looking forward to creating a style of our own.

On a related note, have you seen the Hyperbole and a Half blog by Allie Brosh yet?  It's pretty hilarious. If you read any of her posts while you're at work, just know that you will actually laugh out loud and draw attention to yourself. You have been warned. Her post, Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving, is exactly how I imagine our dog will react to moving. Fingers crossed I'm wrong.

We definitely have our work cut out for us as we prepare for the big move. I have only freaked out once so far. Okay twice. Wish us luck!

3.04.2011

Fun Find


I have the toughest time hard boiling eggs. The yolk is either not cooked all the way or grey. Hopefully I found my solution in the cutest egg timer website ever: http://www.eggwatcher.com/. It's fun and just plain cute. I can't wait to try it and see if it works!

Friday Favorite Quote

Source

“Funny Doesn’t Sag.”
Reese Witherspoon