Thursday, February 26, 2009

Would it be so bad?

We live in a really old house (100+ years), and it has tons of lovely woodwork. Well, sort of lovely. The downstairs is stained and finished, but a little beat up (a maple-y color, I think..I'm not good with colors of wood), and the upstairs is painted white (was that way when we got here). We were pretty committed to not painting the downstairs trim when we moved in, but lately I really have a bug to do it, especially the stairs. It just feels so dark downstairs; the floor plan is not really an "open" one, and since we live in the city, we are REALLY close to the neighbors on either side and don't get a ton of natural light. I just feel like it would brighten things up a little bit.
I am inspired by the two pics above: first from Domino Mag and second from Pottery Barn. I really like the mix of the white and the natural wood for the stairs. I know in theory it's a shame to paint over wood, but I also feel like it is not as "wrong" as it used to be. Dan is warming up to the idea, so we'll see. :-) Hopefully no one else is gasping in horror.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Amy Butler

In more than one etsy shop I have come across the name "Amy Butler" when referring to fabric. It's always beautiful fabric, so I decided to look her up today and now have a new obsession. This only adds to my fantasy of being able to back to getting a sewing machine for Christmas THREE years ago, making a new year's resolution to do it last year, and amassing a large box of miscellaneous fabrics that I like, but don't know how to use. Her fabrics are absolutely beautiful - below are just a few samples taken from her website. I love that she also includes "inspiration pieces" that give you ideas of what to do with the fabric.
She also sells tons of adorable patterns, and also has some free sewing patterns. There's also a shop with cute things like pillows and dishes...
I realize I don't need to recreate her entire site here, but two more things that caught my eye were these awesome books on sewing as well as these free craft patterns. And it looks like you can find her products in these places. I feel like I might be the last person to discover her, but just though I'd case I'm not. :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I really need spring....

....we've been battling never-ending illnesses in our house lately; they just keep getting passed from one to another. I really just want to open up the windows and air this place out...apparently Clorox wipes aren't cutting it. We need a top-to-bottom spring cleaning.
Here are some more pics from San Francisco that give me hope for spring. I LOVE cherry blossoms...has anyone ever seen real ones you can buy? I guess if I had a cherry tree in my yard I would just snip a few!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crown & Crumpet

If you are ever in San Francisco, you have to make a point of visiting Crown & Crumpet. We came across it while we were at Ghirardelli Square, and it is quite possibly the cutest little shop I've ever seen. It's a tea room and shop and the decor is, well, I want it...all. There was Cath Kidston fabric everywhere and a perfect mix of whimsy and pretty in the way things were put together.
It was just before closing time when we visited, so the shop was empty and the owner was just working on restocking some things, so we had a nice chat. She was super sweet and down to earth. Then I read her bio on the website and saw she was recruited and worked for Ralph Lauren himself for several years! She obviously knows style. :-) She said the shop is scheduled to be on the cover of Romantic Homes magazine, so I'll have to keep an eye out for that. I picked up a little pink bird decoration in her shop that I'm going to hang in the kitchen window.
My pics didn't turn out as well as the ones above from the website (be sure to view the photo gallery under "About"), but here are a few, as well as a couple from another adorable nearby shop, Kara's Cupcakes (BEST cupcakes I've ever had). And we couldn't leave Ghirardelli Square without some chocolate - drinking chocolate, to be exact (and some to take home).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Basic Crepes

When I was young, I remember my mom using her little crepe maker to make chicken crepes pretty regularly for dinner. I always loved them, and then when I went to France and tried authentic crepes, I loved them even more. When I tried them there I had the ever-popular and standard Nutella crepe, and had been craving another ever since. On the way to San Francisco I purchased the latest Martha Stewart Living magazing for the flight and they had a basic crepe recipe that peaked my interest. Then, while in Frisco, we had brunch at a creperie - part of our order being a crepe with Nutella. So, when I got home, I was anxious to try my hand and see how they turned out.
I'm happy to say they turned out pretty well! I'm interested in trying other varieties as well, but the Nutella was a hit around here, especially with Caleb...he couldn't get enough! I'll definitely make them again. Here's a link to the recipe, if your interested. I would recommend reading the "how to" link as well. I didn't strain the batter as it suggests, but I did follow the other instructions pretty closely.