Wednesday, December 31, 2008

fantastic flutes

whenever a new year is on the horizon I dream of having a dressy party with little hors d'oeuvres and flutes of bubbly, somehow the New Year always arrives at my doorstep without my having planned a party at all, but if I ever do get on the ball (bad pun, i'm aware) maybe I'll pick up a few of these:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

deer decor

i snagged these bronze deer at fabulous tar-jay last year on post-christmas clearance and love the way they look with our holiday decor.

Friday, December 26, 2008

service for eight.

my christmas present from timothy:
such a delight, we both love the simplicity of handle shape and this is a set we'll love to entertain with. the teeny tiny little espresso spoons are so sweet.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008


When I look a these, I can't believe how blessed I am to be married to him.
- taken at Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA on 12/15/2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

this year's

We love love love IKEA . . . so much that we themed our christmas cards on it's iconic branding.

In the way of a little backstory, you should know that our favorite date spot as teenagers was the IKEA showroom floor, where we'd stroll around pointing out which pieces we liked and didn't. We sat down for long talks in the set-up rooms like it was our own place and we endured sideways glances from employees and fellow shoppers when we flopped over the couches with our legs over the arms at either end and our heads togther in the middle. When I left for college, he'd call me up and over the phone we'd pour over our catalogs, he in Virginia and me in my dorm room in Philly. "Turn to page 87," he'd say "do you think the EKTORP chair goes with the couch that we liked?" We celebrated Valentine's day with $1.99 breakfast in Philly's IKEA my senior year of college. We know the rules of the AS IS area by heart and we've tasted all of the Market Place's swedish food offerings. In search of a much desired piece we once traveled to five IKEA stores in one day - and that's no easy feat considering there are just 37 stores in the Continental United States!

Here's the big idea for our card: flat-packed real wood tannenbaums for all our friends and family, complete with assembly instructions and a catalog-shot of us in our kitchen. We included a bit of string for hanging the assembled tree.

After moving into our Apartment and reflooring it with none other then IKEA laminate flooring we began choosing pieces for around the house. Generally refering to our furniture pieces by their original IKEA names after assembling them, the names sort of stuck, so now when Tim asks "Where did you leave the car keys?" I reply "They're right on the DIKTAD, where they belong!" and the piece where we store the dishes (you can see it in the catalog photo of us.) In the middle of prepping a tasty dinner Tim will blurt "Sweetie can you grab me two bowls off the FORHOJA*, please?" Needless to say, we're very familiar with the IKEA naming system, so ofcourse choosing the name for the card was a much anticipated task. Karte is actually swedish for card so that was an easy swap and then a tricky spelling phonetic-sounding swap-out for Christmas with obligatory umlauts, completed the name.

We usually include a picture in our card for those who haven't seen us in awhile (and for those who forgot who we are and are scratching their heads looking at the return address) so when it came to an idea for the photograph we knew it had to be inspired by the light flooded rooms gracing the pages of the catalog we so admire. After much discussion and planning we set up the shot. It took three hours and every light in the house. The couple of takes took an underwhelming 15 minutes - and most of that was spent getting paddy to jump up, so he'd be the right amount of blurry. Here's a closer look at the final photo:

so, that's a wrap.

*This is the piece that inspired the five-store trek up the East coast. I should mention that even after visiting five stores we were not able to obtain the FORHOJA that day, but had to wait until it was back in stock (no one would give up their floor model!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

they're off

after much hub-bub at the united states postal office in lorton.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

peanut butter

i'm a fan of speedy & delicious baking which is why the cupcake part is only semi-homemade. the frosting though- that's all me. after shelling out $3 a cupcake for Hello Cupcake!'s Peanut Butter Blossom several times in the past few months, I decided I needed to try and replicate their delicious peanut buttery frosting for my self.

banana cupcakes:
-white or yellow cake mix
-2 bananas (thawed if frozen)

mash up the bananas and add to the cake mix at the end. use an ice cream scoop* to place even amounts of batter into regular or mini-sized cupcake wrappers.

* i used to roll my eyes when i saw people doing this but it helps so much that i'm completely converted!
it makes all of your cupcakes even-sized

peanut butter frosting:
1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of JIF peanut butter
2 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
3 tbsp. half & half or cream

first combine the softened stick of butter and peanut butter and whip them together until the mixture is lighter in color and you can't see any chunks of butter, this takes a few minutes (3-5) but it's the most important step because if it isn't right then the frosting will be very greasy. next, add the almond extract. then begin to slowly add the confectioner's sugar and mix well - add the half & half a little at a time to thin the mixture. you can add more confectioner's sugar or more half & half to achieve a consistency that you like, i kept mine pretty thick.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

i am so watching it.

this is not the time of year to diet, but that doesn't stop me from trying. sort of. i enjoyed these earlier in the week.
and i made these peanut butter frosted banana cupcakes last night. but i have lots of helpful coworkers to help me eat them so i consider that a perk. and yet another reason to bake.