Monday, August 31, 2009

Crown & Crumpet

If you do not have even the tiniest bit of 'girly-girl' in you, this is probably going to hit you hard. I just couldn't resist posting about Crown & Crumpet in San Francisco. I'm not a tea drinker, but that doesn't stop me from loving this place for how it looks. If it was closer I'd walk in just to say Wow. I'll start this off easy and work up to the Wow level. Take a deep breath......See what I mean about Wow? I would have loved to be there before they opened shop to see this all come together. I know it's a bit much to look at just once, so scroll back through at least once more. You'll start to notice little things like the wonderful polka dot lamps that I'd love to have, and the stuffed mushrooms guarding the fireplace. My little dude would be all over those. I love all of the little collections and the mix of patterns on the furniture. It's all my place looking empty. I've got a great semi-blank slate, but it's time to fill it up, and Crown & Crumpet is wonderful motivation. What do you think? What do you see that you'd love to have?

Making Some Room For Sprinkles

Well my organizational skills are being put to work. How do you completely rearrange an already stuffed kitchen to make a separate area for all your cute baking supplies? Well, this is what I did. I moved tupperware, put some Dylan-proof tabs on drawers(well really Andrew did that), transferred random utensils to the silverware drawer, scrunched everything together in their respective cabinet/drawer and tried to not drive myself insane along the way. It all paid off though. Ta-daaa!Ok, I know, it's not as if I have a ton of stuff that really needs it's own area, but trust me, this little collection is growing. All of that is from just two trips to Little Bits Shop, and one side trip to another place(never going back there). So I've got all of my Merckens candy melts, baking cups in the pink bowls next to them, sprinkles up next, with specialty ones in the Stuff jar, and up top in that awesome striped box are my cookie cutters, pop sticks, food coloring, and other such junk. I think I'm gonna throw the stick in that blue jar though. I love it, but it serves no purpose right now. I'll fix that!

Doing the wish list post got me thinking. I'd love all of those incredible things, but they won't exactly fit on these little shelves. So now I have a kitchen wish list. Of course none of these are in any way realistic given the apartment living, but some day maybe. For now I'll dream. Here are some alternative options to the cabinet setup. Imagine all of the dishes replaced with polka dot baking cups and oodles of brightly colored sprinkles.

My only fear with shelving right now is that the cats with jump on it. That last one seems like a good option, I'd just love to find a wall mounted version, KitchenAid mixer included of course :o) Now this could solve all of my space problems......

Doesn't look like much right? Well this would just be my side of the kitchen! I know, 'Keep Dreaming' but I think it's perfect. I can have this side for the baking madness, and my guy can have his own macho manly side for the cooking, stocked full of shiny knives and such. I'm good with my own little sink, and an area for Dylan or random others to sit and watch me get eggs all over the counter/floor. It's now my official ideal situation. Until that magical setup is mine, I'm still mulling over colors and styles. Here are some other cute kitchens I've got in my collection.

{Purple & Pink, Blue & White, Pastel Cups, Cubby Storage, My Ideal, Yellow Tulips, White & Green, White & White, Green & Green. Sorry for the photos without sources. Can't remember where I found them. Please let me know if you recognize them!}

Saturday, August 29, 2009

*Cupcake Saturday*

There's nothing better than showing actual cupcakes on Cupcake Saturday, so try not to let your mouth water as you stare at these babies....

I love the color combinations! I think it makes them extra yummy.

Ok, I just had to post about these sprinkles. I don't know how well you can see them, but those little orange ones are goldfish! I think they rock. I've found a cake/candy supply place that's nearby that I absolutely love. It's call Little Bits Shop and it's crammed full of awesome things, including these goldfish. They've got all kinds of other sprinkles too. Dinosaurs, tree leaves, dog bones, blue bears(I bought those yesterday), holiday themes, plus the basic everyday kinds. It's cupcake heaven in there. They've got tons of other supplies, so if anyone wants to go with me next time I head out there, let me know! I'll be running back soon for more sprinkles!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday Wish List

This always happens. I have a birthday, anniversary, or gift giving holiday coming up and I'm told to 'make a list'. Movies, sure. Music, meh. New shoes, usually a yes as long as their my DC/Etnies/skater type(good luck finding them in my size). What ends up happening is a list full of fall-back items I'd like for our home. I've gotten picture frames, dishes, furniture and other things like that. I now have a new catogory to add. Bakeware of course! I've developed a new love for Williams-Sonoma. I used to go in there with my man all the time because he loved the pans and knives and other shiny cookware. I could usually find things in the kid section I liked, and sometimes I snatch them up. I'm so happy I got their ice cream sandwich molds years ago. They turn out super cute. See?So I now wander into the Bakeware section with fresh eyes. I want to try everything! There are a few basics that I'd love to get, along with things I'd like to consider basics so that I can justify getting them all today. Here are my basic basics....
The simple yet beautiful white Melamine Nesting Bowls. Perfection.
I love the Collapsible Measuring Cups & Spoons Set. I'm all for saving space. If I'm aiming more for the cute factor though, I'd have to go for these.Ganz Cupcake Measuring Spoons. Yea!!! I think I'd just display them though. They're too cute to use. Maybe not.

I honestly believe that this is little doohickey is heaven to anyone addicted to baking. The KitchenAid Mixer represents everything easy-breezy about being in the kitchen, and in cute colors too!

Now for some fun stuff!

No, that is not a tiny Oreo on a mini cake stand. That is the ginormous Goldtouch™ Sandwich Cookie Cake. I'm dying to make one. I need to find a really good reason to get it though. Any Oreo fanatics out there who really like chocolate cake with the frosting in the middle?

Ok, now this is seriously something that I'd love to have. Who doesn't love pie? And who wouldn't love their own personal mini pie? Come on. The Apple and Pumpkin Pocket Pie Molds make it look so easy! They also have a couple of other shapes. With the fall and winter months coming up, these would be a snap to whip up just for fun.

I am a definite fan of pancakes, and these take all the effort out of making them cute. Mickey Mouse ears are amateur level compared to these babies. The Jungle Pancake Molds will be the start of my pancake mold collection I think. I'm waiting for October to get closer to see if W.S. will come out with their Halloween themed ones again.

They've also got a Garden Creatures set right now. Breakfast for dinner sounds good right now!

So those are on my birthday wish list. Chances are I won't be able to resist getting a few before then though, especially those pie and pancake molds. I love Williams-Sonoma.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fun & Free

I thought it'd be good to share some of the fun programs I've found online that I like using. The first one up is from Poladroid. If you go there and download the program, this fun little guy(follow the fork) pops up on your desktop when you click on the Poladroid icon. Just open up your Pictures folder, select, and slide a picture over. After a few seconds a polaroid pops out and actually 'develops'. Above is what it looked like after about 15 seconds(follow the spoon).
Here's the view of the picture once it's fully developed(you can speed up that process if you want by double clicking on the picture). You can also save copies of all of the pictures you take with the Poladroid program. It's awesome.
Next, one of my favorites. I don't have Photoshop and as much as I like have the Kodak editing program that came with our digi camera, it just isn't much fun. I am now hooked on Picnik though, so the 'creative photo editing program' craving has been satisfied.
It's incredible and does just what I need. It's got all of the basics like cropping, red eye editing, color changing, etc. It goes a bit further when you hit the Create tab. You can add text, frames, photo effects, 'stickers' and a few other things. Here's a basic example.
From this......

To this......

I really enjoyed the 'Orton-ish' effect I used for that. There's really a ton to do on there. Definitely check out the stickers(like the fork/spoon I used for the Poladroid bit).

Ok, last but not least. Wordle is semi new to me, but I tried it out earlier today and it's a snap to do. It "Is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like." Sounds strange, but check it out. I made this one using nicknames we have for the Little Man.

Working backwards now, once you're on the main page just click on Create. You'll have a large text box to fill with whatever words you want. One note, I had to put things like 'Climber Dude' and 'Little Man' together to keep the meaning straight. Once you enter that it spits out a very generic option, which you can then alter a bit. Here's a screen shot after I'd changed the font and colors.

You can also change the layout on it. I went through all of the font/layout options before settling on this. It just worked. One glitch to the site is that when you save it, it is saved for all the world to see. To avoid this you can either print it right away, or save it on your computer using the 'Print Screen' button. In case you haven't used this, just hit that button on your keyboard, open up a program like Paint, and then Paste. Voila! I'm itching to go back and create a cheesy yet wonderful one with a love/family theme. That could be cute.

I'm always on the lookout for more fun sites, so let me know if you have any!

My Little Black Book

This is one of my favorite ongoing projects. I love looking through decorating magazines, especially ones from Better Home & Gardens. Now I don't really like their main mag, but the 'spin offs' can be amazing. Some of my favorites are 'Big Style for Small Rooms', '100 Ideas, Makeover Style', '100 Decorating Ideas under $100', 'Do It Yourself Ideas' and of course my absolute favorite, 'Storage'. I can't get enough of these. It's become a tradition for me that when I get a new one I read through it at night once my dudes are asleep. I like the silence. It helps me get lost in the beauty and organizational amazingness that they have to offer. I flip through it all once, then go through a second time and actually read the articles that I'm interested in. But the third time, now that is the real fun. I rip through that sucker like I'm on a mental shopping spree. I find those pictures, crafty projects, and the Befores and Afters that I can't live without. The ones that I can't bother to go sifting through my collection of mags later to find. And what do I do once they're sitting in a cute pile on the carpet? I grab my wonderful Black Book. Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? Same kind of thing, minus the clothing obsession. It is the mock up for my own personal magazine. Now I understand that it is not as fabulous to other people as it is to me, but go get your own book and we'll see how you feel about it. I take those newly separated pictures and articles, trim them down, and tape them in with the other decorating loves o' my life. Now this book has been gaining and losing weight for a good 3+ years. Gaining to the point where you can see a lot of the first page, which is the start of my flower collection. Now the losing part is actually really nice. Whenever I look at a picture and wonder how the heck I ever liked it, I can slip them right out and replace them with something much better. After finding a new interest in sewing projects and such I've decided to informally separate the book. Starting from the front are pictures of flower arrangements. I think my initial stint with the Home Cure made me more aware of all of the color/style options. And come on, everyone loves flowers. Andrew pointed out that my latest arrangement actually looked like an oversized cupcake from across the room. I love that bowl. Starting from the back are the new collage of smaller projects ie. sewing, stamping, painting techniques, etc. And then smack in the middle are the full room views, Befores & After, larger furniture pieces and even more goodness. When I'm needing that extra boost to get things done, I go straight for this. Wanna see why? Here's a tiny taste. And of course it comes with the disclaimer that these appeal to me, so I get it if you're not smiling as you scroll through. I hope you do though!Ok, I know that was quite a bit, but I had the hardest time trying to pick favorites. I left out a bunch. I had to throw that last one in though. I'm dying to do that pillow. I also found a great how-to about turning fabric table settings into pillows. I'm gonna have to try that. Anywho, I just wanted to share a central piece of the creative side of my life. It's what I always think of when people talk about their 'little black books', and I like my version much better!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

*Cupcake Saturday*

I don't know where my love of cupcakes came from, maybe it's just that they're a cuter version of a slice of cake, but for some reason I can't get enough. The funny thing is, I like the fake versions more than the real thing. I just end up giving away the ones I bake, and so far that's working out pretty well for everyone. Months and months ago I found a great artist on Etsy, bought a bunch of her tiny prints, and decided to start a cupcake collection. Once I figure out a design setup for my 'awkward wall', the C.C.C.(cutesy cupcake collection) is going up there, out in the open for all to drool over. I might have to have fresh cupcakes on hand whenever people come over, just to fill the craving. Anywho, I'm always on the lookout for fun postcards/pictures/cards/etc. that have the cute little snack plastered on the front. My Mom has the best eyes for the cutest things. This is my reigning favorite, a trinket box she found from Peanut Gallery......

I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. So, to keep myself on the lookout for new additions to the C.C.C., I'm officially making one day of the week sweeter. Cupcake Saturday! I'll be posting new finds from the week and hopefully get some pointers to where I can find more quirky 'pupcakes'(that was for you Mom). Until I get my cluster of cupcakes up, here are some more things I'd love to get!

Yummm, cupcakes!

{Alarm Clock-Peanut Gallery Gifts, Giant Cupcake-Jenny'sBakeShop on Etsy, Charm Necklace-TheSCOOPatBOOPS on Etsy}