Friday, April 30, 2010

wedding update

rifle design

Coming home from work yesterday and opening this box of thank you notes that I ordered from rifle design put a smile on my face, I love that I will be sending out Thank Yous that I find to be so endearing. (though, then we biked to yoga, and then did yoga, and then biked home along the waterfront, which put an even bigger smile on my face.)

And, we have been working with these awesome {etsy} {sellers} to create our Old Town-themed wedding invitations.  It's so exciting to be able to work with designers one-on-one to create the perfect invitation.  And it makes me really happy to work with small businesses.  I am also finding that you end up saving money too!

Oh, and have you checked out this totally awesome and inspiring collection of terrariums compiled by Lauren?  I love it!

Also, this wall garden rocks (in my humble opinion).

As do these vegetable totes.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

screen printing strawberries

I'm not sure that I mentioned that I am taking a screen printing class. I am really enjoying it! It feels so nice to have an artistic outlet after work once a week. The past two weeks, we have been working with photo emulsion. So, I decided to focus on my garden as my muse.  In particular, my much adored strawberry plant.  I began with this photo:


After playing around with photoshop elements for an hour (not knowing AT ALL what I am doing with this monster of an application) - I came up with this image to be printed on a transparency:


Then, once I transferred the image to my screen in class, along with a torn paper background, I printed two images:

sunrise strawberries

This one I call California surfer.

pop strawberries

This one I call pop strawberry.

Now that I am done with this project, I have tons of thoughts for the next one.  And, our teacher gave us handy instructions on how to screen print at home.  Oh, the possibilities!

Have you guys ventured into screen printing?  Do you know of inspiring prints that I could take a look at?  I would love to hear your thoughts, trials, and tribulations! 


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Video #1

I hope you all have had a very lovely weekend!  We enjoyed watching a Nationals game at the new stadium (I now have a crush on Dunn! He's dreamy ... )

Anyway, here is the first video in a series of 'what's doin in the garden,' where I will take you on a tour of my balcony garden once a month.  I think it's alot easier to show you what is going on out there with video, rather than solely with photos, though I will continue to photograph the progress each week.  I hope you like it!  And please, be kind to my amateur video skills!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

today's highlights

chive flowers

the chives are already flowering - are they on crack, I wonder?  It's only April!  They say you should clip your herbs before they flower, or they will be bitter.


Can you believe a juicy red strawberry is growing on MY balcony?  I certainly never expected this to occur.  I planted this for "funzies" as my dear friend terms it.  I can't wait to slice it in half and share it with Jesse.

Here we have a handy diagram - the beets are growing really well. They are obviously hearty plants, which is good to know. The tiny tiny little buds in the middle are the radishes I planted last weekend. And the carrots are growing - slowly, mind you - but surely.

Tonight I am going to attempt to make cherry almond nougat.  Yum!  (all to divert myself from watching the last three episodes of season 3 of Mad Men without Jesse.  The suspense is overwhelming!)


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

mint cow

mint cow

Today I was feeling a tad down in the dumps - so after taking a little rest after work, I jumped up and made these mint cows from this month's Martha.  I have such a crazy amount of mint growing, it was nice to put it to use.  These cows are made of a mint simple syrup, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and some seltza! 


Monday, April 19, 2010

fresh greens and practical gardening

mesculan, strawberry, blue chees

I decided to cut the salad greens already, after only one month, because although they were still quite small - they seemed to be wilting a little.  And so by cutting them, I hope the next batch will grow and be bigger.

I decided to make a little aperitif for Jesse and I - a "greens, strawberry, and blue cheese" salad with olive oil, sea salt, and aged balsamic.  Yum!


A practical gardening tip:  How does one water a balcony garden with no outdoor water spout?  A quick on-line search landed me with this little contraption, hooking the bathroom faucet with my hose.  Perfect!

(Stay tuned this weekend for the first in a series of videos entitled "what's doin in the garden?" - where, each month, I will take you on a tour of my balcony garden.)

Happy Monday night! And ...


Friday, April 16, 2010


When I saw this terrarium on jennifer's blog, my eyes grew wide! wow! how much i would love a terrarium just like this one in our apartment. (more photos here.)


engagement photos

Our engagement photos arrived!  How exciting it was to open the link and gaze at all of the photos.  Here are a few of my favorites...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

mint fizz


mint 2

We have so much mint growing - the supply seems to double every day!  So when I came home from a long days work today, I knew that a mint fizz was calling my name.  Luckily, I still had a container full of orange-infused simple syrup in the fridge.  (the remnants of making candied oranges).  I simply combined carbonated water, the simple syrup, and the mint - muddled around a bit.  with ice.  Cheers!

Then, for dinner, we enjoyed a delicious homemade Ethiopian 'lentil wat.'  A 'wat' is an Ethiopian stew, made with lentils, onions, garlic, chili powder, ginger, lemon juice, and nutmeg.  Not that I am an Ethiopian chef, by any means.  Really, I am just super duper enjoying an amazing cook book entitled The World of Street Food.  A cook book that captures authentic, tried-and-true recipes from all around the world, and westernizes them.  Meaning, you can read a recipe, and go to your local food store, and purchase the ingredients with ease.  Seriously, I have already made at least six recipes from this book, and each one has been really lovely.  I highly recommend it! 


Monday, April 12, 2010


This past weekend, we had our engagement photos taken - and boy was that exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time! we traipsed around Old Town, kissing and hugging, under trees and cherry blossoms, and leaning against doors and brick walls.  I can't wait to see the photos! Though, I forgot to use one prop that I had prepared - the fallen purple blossoms from a bouquet of flowers sitting on our kitchen table.  So, I gave them a photo shoot of my own, this morning.






goodbye petals!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

simplicity grows

Blue painted cans act as a wall container, Toronto, Canada

image: source via gardeninginheels

lesvos red planters

image: source

Can o' Cloves

image: source

flowers in tin cans

image: source

How amazing is it that beautiful nature will grow in even the most simplistic circumstances?


Friday, April 9, 2010

what's doin in the garden

i think fridays might be a good day to post the progress of the garden ... atleast in the beginning, when things are just beginning to grow.

April 9 #2

i was so surprised to see that the strawberries had already started to grow! i hope the ridiculously warm week that we just had didn't trick them into thinking it was already July ...

April 9 #3

the mint is, of course, flourishing. when does this weed not do well? i adore tearing off leaves everynow and then and chewing on them while I work outside. i think mojitos are in my future.
the lettuce, on the right, is beginning to come up... maybe that mojito will accompany a mesculan salad?

April 9 #4

oh my fragile little beets! so red, and so small. i love watching these hearty plants grow.

April 9 #5

the sugar snap peas are doing well - they tend to in the early summer months. when i was growing up, sugar snap peas were my favorite early summer treat, and my mom would often surprise me with a large bag of them when i came home from school at the end of the term. yum!

April 9 #6

my two yellow pepper plants have adapted well outside too ... i hope the chillier weather we are expecting doesn't deter them from their course. same with the cucumbers below... i cross my fingers for them!

April 9

and, lastly, we've got the herbs.  there is curly parley, Italian parsley, rosemary, thyme, dill, chives.  and way down there in that other pot? basil. i like to keep basil by itself, as it tends to takeover where ever it is planted.

i'm curious, what other herbs do you suggest that i grow? any particular favorites out there?

well thanks for taking a look at my garden with me this morning!

this weekend i look forward to lots of warm, sunny weather.  and ...
joining the public library here (why has it taken me so long?) - maybe taking out the help
a long bike ride and brunch in shirlington village
and having our engagement photos taken! as always ...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

vanilla sugar


Last week, I tried out Molly's recipe (by way of Canal House Cooking) for Roasted Rhubarb.  It was utterly delicious, of course - the red wine and vanilla really gave the rhubarb a robust flavor.  As soon as it came out of the oven, my mom arrived at our apartment, and the three of us immediately devoured the stuff atop thick and creamy greek yogurt.  It was heavenly!  and sure to become a regular recipe for me, as I am a huge rhubarb fan.  (I like all things tart).

Though, I just hated the thought of throwing away a perfectly good (and expensive) vanilla bean.  And so, vanilla-sugar I made.

vanilla bean sugar

According to this lovely cookbook - First, dry out the vanilla bean by hanging it from a cabinet knob for two days.  Then, plop it into a jar of sugar and muss it around.  Yum!  I can't wait to bake with it!