Thursday, April 28, 2011

DIY fabric wall art

We've been in our apartment for a few years now, and while it feels very lived in, there are still so many things we could do to make it home-y. For instance, we could fill the big white space above the television. Our open concept living/dining area is pretty awesome. It's rectangularly-shaped with windows along one of the long sides and one of the short sides. We get tons of natural light! The third wall is our photo wall, my pride and joy. The photo and window walls are also accent walls that are painted a rich and toasty tan {we were too lazy to paint the entire apt}. So three of our walls are covered and one is naked as a jaybird. 

After scouring the interwebs for some inspiration, I finally decided on DIY fabric art {and yeah, that should NOT have taken three years to settle on}. One type of DIY fabric art is simply stretching fabric over a canvas and slapping it up on the wall. This is the method I chose, and here's how it all went down:

Four 12x30 canvasses from JoAnn Fabric. They have a pretty decent teacher discount. 

2 yards of Kajsastina fabric from Ikea. I'm on a dandelion kick lately-- so I just went with it. I originally bought some fabric from Joann, but realized the next day it wasn't for me. {Word to the wise, do not shop for fabric after a couple glasses of vino.}

I laid the panel over my canvasses and cut enough to wrap around the back edges.

Hospital corners worked best for me... and they weren't too tough at all. I figured the mister {who spent some time at West Point} would have been able to bust them all out pretty easily, but he was too busy watching MacGyver on Netflix. 

After lots of pulling, folding and stapling, I had the first panel! 

Had a little mishap after the fourth panel... unfortunately, the staple gun was a casualty. 

I was totally OK with the original color when I bought the fabric, but once all the panels were done, something seemed a little off. I went back to one of the fabrics I purchased a couple days earlier, draped it over the panels and it looked like...

...this! I can dig it. {btw, this isn't the fabric that wouldn't work. That couple yards is still chilling out under our coffee table.}

So I had to drape panels all over again. Sheer fabric is a little more finicky to deal with— thus stretching this project over a few more days than I was hoping for. 

Thankfully, I had a little help.

And we finally got them done today.

Here are the panels on the wall. I promise, they're not crooked—I used a level and everything. {apparently I just don't know how to hold a camera}. 

So, I'm enjoying the covered wall, but now I'm thinking I'd like a shelf or mantle right below the canvasses. We actually have a few shelves we haven't put up yet, but THAT's a project for another day!


Somewhat Simple

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Follow that {lobster} truck!

I love lobstah. Particularly when it's delivered to my belly in the form of a Maine lobster roll. Lordy— I cannot get enough. 

My obsession with these delicious little sandwiches started a few years ago on a trip to Cape Cod... and {thankfully} continues in the DC area all because of Red Hook Lobster Pound, a restaurant serving up authentic New England goodies. Last summer, RHLP brilliantly unleashed a food truck on DC... and seriously stepped up the city's food truck game. 

The truck tweets its lunchtime spots to thousands of lunch-going followers hoping it'll be parked within walking distance. Of course, they're more than prepared to spend a decent amount of their breaks waiting in line. Such is life. 

I've been fortunate enough to stalk run into the lobster truck a few times now, and it never disappoints. Yesterday was the mister's first foray into the stalkery... pretty sure he's on the bandwagon now. 

Sorry, blue crab. 
Where I started in line... 

15 minutes later... {still not at the front}

 10 minutes after that... completely worth it. 

 Yeahhh, that's a whole lobster in there ::drool::

Mm mm mmm... sadly, the chicken I have out for dinner has just completely lost its appeal. Oops.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photo Friday {Week 16}

Week 16: Spring Break... 

4.16 - JC's bachelorette {10 points if you know where you can regularly spot that label}

4.17 - Perfect spring day.

4.18 - Little pick-me-up {iced cappuccino, slurrrp}.

 4.21 - Tutti Frutti 

 4.22 - Why thank you, Bethenny... don't mind if I do. 

Well look who's on time this week! Pretty proud of myself, not gonna lie. I'm nowhere near an everyday blog-poster, but this break gave me a little taste of what blog-productivity feels like... and I'm definitely looking forward to this summer.

Happy weekend! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Meal: Salsa Chicken

I have yet to meet a slow cooker meal I don't like. This little ditty is no exception. One of my teammates has been singing the praises of her very favorite salsa chicken for quite some time now, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. She told me the basics:
  • boneless chicken breasts
  • packet of taco seasoning
  • salsa
I started with those then added:
  • 1 can of low sodium cream of chicken soup
  • 1 small can of green chiles
  • 1 can of black beans {normally I'd go with dry beans, but I forgot to soak them}
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt {aka MY Frank's Red Hot—I put that *bleep* on everything}

The procedure is pretty no fuss from here... as long as the chicken is covered, it doesn't really matter what order all the other ingredients get in the pot. 

This did not look very appealing... assured, it will look pretty darn delicious by the time you get home.

I set my slow cooker on low for 8 hours.  I shredded the chicken, then rinsed and added the beans during the last hour of cooking. I couldn't find those fun taco salad shells, so I made my own... 

I situated the tortillas into a muffin pan and weighed them down with the beans I use for my pastry crusts {yay for more than one use!} I think this method would have worked much better in an oversize muffin pan. The tortillas were in a 400ยบ oven for about 15 minutes.

And here's the fully assembled salsa chicken, with lettuce shreds and some greek yogurt on top {it's a fantastic substitute for sour cream}.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken - ✩✩✩✩
1 package of boneless chicken breasts
1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning
1 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1 cup of low sodium cream of chicken soup
1 can of chopped green chiles
2 cups of black beans
1/2 cup of greek yogurt {more for garnish}
Iceberg lettuce shreds {or your favorite lettuce}

This is a super simple meal you can easily mold to your tastebuds. It can be mild or as spicy as you'd like depending on your ingredients. The chicken is great in a salad, but would also make for a fantastic taco, burrito or quesadilla filling. It would also make a yummy dip—basically, the possibilities are endless. If you're looking for a way to jazz up boneless chicken breasts, this is the perfect recipe to stick in the rotation!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Breakfast: Blue Moon Cafe

Who doesn't love mid-week breakfast dates? Even more enjoyable when we finally get to try a place I've been wanting to since the first season of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. 

Quick tip about yours truly—Food Network, Travel Channel, and James Beard highly influence my "must-eat" list. 

Blue Moon Cafe is a teeny tiny little spot in the Fells Point area of Baltimore city. It's in a converted rowhouse and has about 10 tables {along with four seats at the "bar"}. It's oozing personality—which I wish I'd gotten more photos of, but my mind was squarely on the food. 

Speaking of food... 

Hers-- Country Omelet: sausage and cheddar, topped with sausage gravy. Served with a side of crispy hash browns. nom. 

His-- Sweet Baby Jesus: hash browns, lump crabmeat, cheese, and eggs smothered in hollandaise. 

Ours-- Cinnamon rolls {we actually had one a piece, don't judge.} Do you eat yours with a knife and fork or tackle with sticky fingers? 

Full belly = happiness {and that face, swoon}. 

Oh yeah-- here's some of that personality I mentioned before...

...and another shot of a cinnamon roll just for good measure!

Blue Moon Cafe was WELL worth the wait! I'm excited to get back to Baltimore for our next feast :)