may wrap-up.

may was a beautiful month. the weather was absolutely dreamy! we spent a lot of time outside working on our garden and flower beds, relaxing in the hammock, grilling and eating on the back porch and playing with the pups.

here’s what may looked like according to my iTouch/instagram feed.

gardening is my favorite. i absolutely love the garden mike made for me and i am quite proud of the work i have put into it! it’s growing like crazy and i can’t wait to enjoy more and more food that i’ve grown! i will share more (real) pictures really soon!

i was feeling bored with out old flower pots but they still work just fine, so i decided on a little diy facelift.

1. i spray painted the bottom section of the pot with leftover yellow spray paint from a project last summer, then used our green door paint to finish off the top rim.

2. i cut a triangle stencil from a small piece of cardboard and traced triangles around the pot (somewhat randomly)

3. i painted the triangles with extra paint we had sitting around

4. and TA-DA! i have a fresh and new pot that i can’t stop smiling about!

lucky us! we got to spend a little time in our friends pool recently. it was glorious!

{thanks angela & matt!}

as i mentioned, the weather in may was perfection!

(and will you just look at those gorgeous peonies!)

i love letting the pups run around the soccer field down the road- it makes them SO happy! this is a special treat for them, and they are exhausted every time!

the lovely weather has had me inspired to grill, eat lots of fresh veggies, try new recipes and enjoy ice pops!

(lettuce & snap peas are from our own garden!)

i’ll leave you with a yummy summer recipe:

quinoa salad.

4 cups water

2 cups quinoa

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon, squeezed

(i used a whole lemon!)

garlic, chopped

(i used one fresh clove from our garden, but will use more next time)

salt & pepper, to taste

whatever veggies you have on hand, chopped

{there are as many combinations as you can think of for this salad! be creative!}

i used:

snap peas, carrot peels, and green onions, parsley, and mint

1. in a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. add quinoa and a pinch of salt. reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.

(this is meant to be served cool/cold, so i recommend making this early in the day if you plan on having if for dinner, or the day before if you plan on taking it to a cook out or picnic. it takes a long time for the cooked quinoa to cool down, so plan ahead!)

2. meanwhile in a large bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, veggies, herbs. stir into cooled quinoa. add salt & pepper to taste.

enjoy!

*the recipe says it serves 4-6 people, but it goes much further than that, the two of us enjoyed this salad for a few days and it stayed fresh & delicious!*

*also, after a couple days, we added some grilled steak (cut into small pieces) and sesame ginger lemon dressing which really added a lot of flavor*

{this recipe was adapted from a recipe from farm bloomington}

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keep me going.

iced coffee is a wonderful thing.

i’m a chai girl, typically, but i just can’t afford starbucks every day! i realized i can still get my caffeine (and sugar) fix without going broke or even leaving my house. which is a big plus, since i am usually stuck at home all day anyway. here’s how i do it. so very simple.

brew coffee. (i have to brew several pots since ours is a single cup pot)

put hot coffee in a container. (i use a glass pitcher)

put container in fridge until cool/cold. (cold-cold is best, but you can use  your brewed coffee immediately if you don’t mind your ice melting)

grab your favorite glass.

pour milk & sugar into your favorite, however much you like. (i use about 3/4 cup milk and 1 tbsp or so of sugar- i like my coffee sweet & milky, not too coffee-y)

mix that milk & sugar really well so the sugar dissolves. (i use a straw to stir because i like to drink my iced coffee with a straw)

add ice cubes. (i like 3)

top off you glass with your cooled/cold coffee. (i do it in this order because i really enjoy watching the colors mix.)

enjoy. (preferably with a chocolatey snack or breakfast)
you can do this in any order, with any combination of milk, sugar and coffee. i love having a pitcher of cold coffee in the fridge so i can make iced coffee for days! my pitcher is currently empty, so i’ll be making more tomorrow!
and in case you would prefer trying a fancier approach, here is the pioneer woman’s perfect iced coffee recipe, which i’m sure is much better than my measly aldi brand one cup coffee maker coffee. but mine way is easier. 🙂

 

 

 

yum. yum. yum.

i don’t usually share recipes here, but i am so excited about this latest epicurean delight!

vanilla coconut rice pudding

i didn’t even know i liked rice pudding until a few years ago while in nyc with friends. we enjoyed rice pudding of all flavors at a little place called rice to riches.  lately i have been thinking a lot about rice pudding and started craving it for breakfast. it sounded all warm & cozy but better than oatmeal, so i decided to try a recipe. and man-oh-man, was it delicious!

this recipe is very simple, here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups milk

(whole, or reduced fat- it doesn’t seem to matter)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

(i actually used the whole can)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (risotto rice)

it calls for cooked rice, but i did not cook my rice before hand

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

sweetened coconut, toasted

(i used tons of coconut, you can use as much as you like..or skip it!)

Simmer rice, milk, coconut milk, sugar, and salt, uncovered, in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 40 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Stir in coconut. Serve warm.

original recipe here

mix milk & rice, place on medium heat, and stir constantly until thick

(i recommend using a bigger pot than this one)

place coconut on a baking sheet, bake at 250 until browned, add to the rice along with vanilla extract

serve warm, or cold- whatever you prefer.

i love it warm.

if you feel like it gets too thick in the fridge, add a little milk when you heat it up so it is more pudding like.

it is so yum! i have been enjoying it every morning this week. i hope you like it too!

 

a week ago.

i spent last weekend in DC with this girl

we had fun.

we rode bikes.

we shopped.

we walked. a lot.

we ate. a lot.

the perfect scarf for allison…at eastern market.

(and i found the perfect coat, which i will share later!)

more eastern market finds.

fresh fish at eastern market.

we laughed. a lot.

we talked. a lot.

we enjoyed afternoon lattes. and a cookie.

then i had to go home.

it’s good to have a best friend. it’s good to spend 4 day weekends with that best friend.

day 19: sweet.

my sweet friend elizabeth gave us a sweet gift of yummy & sweet apple butter!

Can you get any sweeter?

i was so concerned with getting these shots, then properly putting my camera away that…

i dropped my breakfast face down onto the dirty kitchen floor.

this is when dogs come in handy…they did the clean up for me!

{notice milo’s face is blurred….that’s because she also loves elizabeth’s homemade apple butter and is licking the floor as quickly as possible so as not to miss a single morsel of tastiness!}

oh, and yes, i did make myself another english muffin slathered in apple butter, how could i not?!

’round here.

as you may know, i have been a super busy girl lately- cutting, sewing, packaging, and sending up a storm! i am still reeling because it all happened so fast- last friday night i decided it was time to post the masks…and by the end of the weekend i had more orders than i knew what to do with! i have found my rhythm, my balance, and my happiness in success this week, though it has been a challenge-  and i still find & collect stress here and there like it’s my JOB, but that ugly bugger will never leave me alone, i just have to deal!

half- HALF of today’s shipment:

frankie is impressed

so impressed, she could eat the tablecloth!

do you see my new banner up there? well, my very talented friend callie designed that for me! she also designed my new business cards (which i should have by the end of the month), my new etsy banner, my new link button, and my facebook photo! i LOVE the work callie has done for me! if you are interested in contacting callie to design a unique logo, business card, or other goodies for your business e-mail her at: schlemmermediadesigns@gmail.com

thank you callie!

i took another lola break on saturday. actually i took most of the day off to catch up on stuff around the house- boring stuff like laundry, dishes, tidying up…and not so boring stuff like baking, cooking, cleaning up the yard, and planting garlic! the lola part was the best though! mike and i took her out to dinner and had a blast! we sure feel lucky to be “auntie” and “uncle” to that little lady!

highlights of our evening with lola:

lola singing a “money song” after dinner, lola seeing herself in the mirror with the owl mask on, and lola insisting on trying the salsa “mone”, and “mone” and “mone” even though she  was burning her little mouth!

(the money song goes like this (so you can sing along): “money, money, mo, mo, mo, ma, ma, money, money, ma, ma, mo!” <repeat>

saturday night mike and i had a mini-date in our backyard. we had a fire in our new-to-us chiminea. (thanks gretchen & ken!) we love having fires- we find it so relaxing. it makes us slow down. we chat and we also sit in perfectly comfortable silence. it feels so nice to be close, snuggling by the fire and just together-without distraction.

mike loves playing in the fire! he kept adding dry leaves to get this effect!

yesterday i worked my butt off! i have some pretty cool orders to send out today- 8 of my fox masks will soon be seen around…LONDON! and another little fox will be found in ALASKA in a few days! i have also sent masks to: california, south carolina, west virginia, indiana!, boston, new york, connecticut, georgia, texas, pennsylvania, alabama, north carolina, chicago, ohio, oklahoma, oregon, and tennessee!

i love the thought of my masks bringing smiles to peoples faces all over the country (and in europe too!) they have been ordered by entire families so they can all be foxes for halloween! so cute! i hope i get some photos!

so…this morning i am taking it slow to catch up a little here and remember the importance of simple things like- breathing, eating, sipping tea, and enjoying a moment. i have a LOT of work to do today, so i need to fuel up so i can get through it all without knocking myself out. tomorrow allison comes to town again (we are SO lucky!) and i want to be able to enjoy her time here!

my delicious breakfast: hot tea in my favorite mug, red grapes, and my homemade pumpkin turnover!

okay…back to the grind! at least my days are filled with doing what i love! stay tuned for stuffed fox dolls- my new addition to the *opposite of far* family! (i was planning him in my head this morning while waiting for mike to wake up! he’s gonna be GREAT!)

see all those masks? (20, to be exact) they will ALL be sewn, trimmed, and shipped out TODAY! yikes…better get to work!

anniversary weekend.

we had a wonderful anniversary weekend{despite me getting us “lost” twice in the same day!}

thanks to everyone who wished us a happy anniversary! we felt loved!

mostly, we celebrated by eating!

el ranchero, buffalo wild wings, donuts, domo {sushi}, pizza, wine, movie theater popcorn, european cooking school…it was AMAZING!

{full of sushi}

{full of european delights}

we did other stuff, besides eating, but that was definitely the highlight!

here’s to year 2!