Friday, February 28, 2014

NOMS: White Chicken Chili and Bean Soup

Like I've mentioned before, we are having some Weather (capital W) here in Maryland.  Which means it has been time to break out the stew and soup recipes.  I raided my Pinterest and found this recipe, which sounded and looked great so I figured- why not.

Mine doesn't look like hers.  But, it is delicious.  DELICIOUS.  Now, we all know I have a weird and crippling THING about textures in my food.  So I had to blend the chilies.  I threw them in the blender and had at it until they were as pureed as possible- which still ended up not being enough for me- but that's okay.  Because next time, it will be glorious.  Also next time, we are going to get some tortilla strips and toss them in.  This soup tastes like the inside of a burrito.

Other changes I made: I used about half as many beans, which made mine more soupy than the original. 

Also, check out my fantastic new table and placemats.  Isn't that color to die for?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Displaying Wedding Photos

I might have gone a little bit wedding-photo wacky after I got them back from our photographer.  But I mean, really- can you blame me?  I don't know about other couples, but aside from our engagement photos, we have never had great, quality photos of just the two of us.  Believe me, I've looked.  I'm getting tot he point where I'm actively trying to find something- anything- that isn't a wedding photo to fill the empty frames I still have around the house.

But anyway.  The point of this post is not "I have too many wedding photos," but "here are some ideas for how to display them- because believe me, I've tried it all."  Let's break it down:

I have two framed tabletop setups.  One on the console table, and one in my favorite nook.

Yes, that is a pot of dirt.

Sticking with the frame theme, I also have one wedding portrait in the china cabinet along with our cake topper.  This setup will possibly relocate into my curio cabinet- once I locate and purchase said curio cabinet.  For now, I think it looks rather nice in the fancy frame with the fancy dishes- and it makes a sweet parallel to the topper.

Pretty adorable, right?

Buttt of course, frames aren't just for standing.  Oh no.  They are also for hanging on walls.  So.  Here I have a trio of "first dance" portraits.  The middle one has our wedding song lyrics printed as a backdrop.

And then OF COURSE, there's gallery walls.  This one is "mixed media" and has been growing and changing since we moved into the house.  

There's five wedding photos in here.

And then, last but not least- I made a gallery wall that is only wedding photos.  Because I didn't think there were enough displayed around our home to begin with, I needed an entire wall.

But wait, there's more!  What's another great way to display wedding photos without actually displaying them?  Coffee table books!  Or, um... albums.  We had a photobooth at our wedding, and the attendants put a copy of each strip into an album for us, which doubled as our guestbook.  Additionally, I created a wedding photo album with our pro photos.  Together, they sit on the coffee table in the living room (or on a shelf on the end table if I don't want them out).

"But wait, Alissa," you're probably thinking right now, "what did you do with your copies from the photobooth?"  Great question.  Remember this?  Yea you guessed it:

Boom.  And there you have it.  I am extremely vain, and there's proof of it all over my house.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Evolution of a Table

This hand-made table has become a staple of our home.  I knew I wanted a little table to add some "welcome to our home" feelings, but I really didn't know how FUN it would end up being!  Now that we've had a few holidays and seasons with it, I thought I would put together a little photo tour of how it has grown and changed since we've had it.


Here's what we had right after it was built.  We hung our canvas portrait- a wedding gift from a photographer friend- and then eventually added the silhouettes we had done in Disney World on our honeymoon.  I found these perfect little baskets to collect keys and other small things.  The yellow vase is hand made and was one of our wedding centerpieces.  The owl and blue/gold vase were clearance buys from Michael's.  And on the bottom of the shelf are my two autographed Neil Gaiman novels- prized possessions!  

This is what the table looked like for Halloween- my favorite holiday (10 months of the year).  Ooo-eee-ooo!  Eventually I will do a master post on my Halloween decorations and you can get some close-ups of what's on there.

Fall!  Handmade pressed-leaf decorations that I couldn't resist showing off, handmade leaf roses, and lots of reds, orange, and yellows.  This was one of my favorites, even though it is so simple.

Unfortunately, I either didn't take or just can't find any photos of the Christmas decorations I did.  It was a technicolor dream, though.  We went with a "merry and bright" theme upstairs, so it really was a bright splash of color as soon as you entered the house.

And here it is, currently.  The regular, everyday look that we have going.  Still displaying some of my leaf projects, a few wedding photos, and the most important thing of all- a candy dish.  Filled with candy.  Nothing says "Welcome to our home" like a fistful of free candy as soon as you enter.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Photos- Snowtos?

We have had an absurd amount of snow since the beginning of 2014.  In fact, while I'm writing this, I'm currently on my- I think- seventh snow day from school.  The whole state of Maryland is under a state of emergency.  I have to say, I'm starting to get completely sick of it.  But you know who isn't?

This girl.

Abby is obsessed with snow.  She loves it.  She loves shoving her entire face in the snow, she loves trying to find her snow covered toys, she loves trying to eat icicles, she loves trying to catch snowballs.  And I love watching her have a blast.  So here's a few photos I've taken this winter with the snow and my delightful snow-mutt.

Something was creeping on our front porch- something with tiny feet

This icicle came off our gutter- we broke it off so it wouldn't fall and hurt someone!

And Babs got to enjoy it!