Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Recipe Review: Peach Margherita Pizza

For a while now, I've been posting my weekly meal plans (inconsistently, I know) and when I'm using a recipe I've found online I link to the recipe. When I meal plan, I often try to include at least one new recipe per week and if it's a hit I'll use it again. I make some notes on my Pinterest pins (when I remember to) but I thought it would be nice to start reviewing some of the online recipes I've been trying lately. This way I can keep my thoughts in one place, and hopefully it will be helpful for you as well!

The first one I'll share is the Peach Margherita Pizza from Bright Bold and Beautiful.

We tried this recipe a couple weeks ago. It's a great, easy, light pizza that uses store-bought pitas instead of pizza crust. I liked this twist because then I had pitas for lunches later! The flavor was great, perfectly seasonal.

Sean did feel that a single pita pizza was a little light of a meal for dinner, so he found some leftover veggies that he heated up that night in addition to the peach pizza. I'm typically a lighter eater, but I did have some of the extra veggies too. I think the peach pizza may work better as a lunch, or alongside a salad -- something with a bit more fiber to keep you feeling full longer than an hour.

All in all, while we decided that the peach pizza wasn't enough on its own to be a full meal, we really enjoyed it and I think we would be happy to make it again!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 8.23.15

It's been a busy few weeks, with friends visiting from out of state and game nights with other friends. As I often end up doing when life is busy, I let the meal planning slip by. But I'm back to make a plan and stick to it!

Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Sunday: leftovers

Monday: Tomato and Tarragon Bread Soup

Tuesday: chicken and Corn Salad with Cheddar and Tomatoes

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Baked Penne with Chicken and Sundried Tomatoes

Friday: fish and salad (I'll have to see what kind of fish looks good at the store this week)

Saturday: leftovers

I'll also be making these Ham Cheddar and Chive Scones for some breakfasts this week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

August Garden Progress

After a fairly rainy July, it's been hot and dry so far this August. In addition to using the drip sprinklers, I've been going out with the hose in the evenings to make sure the veggies get enough water -- and a chance to cool down after the very hot days!

I wouldn't say this is the most productive garden I've had, since our balcony container gardens were always extremely productive per square foot. But I've had a steep learning curve with gardening in CO, plus far more inconsistent weather patterns! We have had some gorgeous tomatoes though, and I'm looking forward to seeing what else is a success in the garden this year.

Living Design August Garden Progress

Melons on the outside of the breakfast nook. We've had lots of little flowers, but I can't tell if any melons are actually growing yet.

Living Design August Garden Progress

Corn and pumpkins growing along the back fence. I tried beans too, but so far they've all fried in the hot afternoon sun.

Living Design August Garden Progress

Baby pumpkin!

Living Design August Garden Progress

One set of potted tomatoes and marigolds. The marigolds help attract pollinators and make it pretty!

Living Design August Garden Progress

I had a bunch of volunteer sunflowers in one corner of the yard.

Living Design August Garden Progress

Our row of marigolds, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants along the side fence.

Living Design August Garden Progress

Black tomatoes

Living Design August Garden Progress

The eggplants had a very slow start, but suddenly they're growing and some have these little purple flowers. Maybe I'll have some successful eggplants after all?

Living Design August Garden Progress

I don't know what this perennial bush is, but it attracts a lot of bees so I like it!

Living Design August Garden Progress

We had some volunteer plants in the sandbox, and it turns out they're tomatillos! Since my current plan is to turn the sandbox into a raised bed anyway, I'm letting them grow where they are. We'll see if they're any good.

That's where we are with our garden. If you garden, what's growing well for you? And if any readers have advice for gardening on the Front Range I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan 7.26.15

Between travel and house guests I've really fallen behind on my meal planning again! The summer craziness isn't over yet, but let's see if I can get back into some semblance of routine. Here's what we're eating/have eaten this week:

Sunday: grilled lamb chops and corn on the cob

Tuesday: dinner out

Wednesday: slow cooker chili using ground Tibetan yak from our co-op and fresh chili peppers from the farmer's market

Thursday: leftover chicken in a Thai simmer sauce with vegetables and rice

Friday: leftovers

Rocket Ship Baby Gifts

Last weekend I went to a friend's baby shower. Since both she and her husband are aerospace engineers, when I found this adorable rocket ship fabric I knew I had to make something special for their baby with it! Here are all of the baby items I made with it:

The trickiest was the bib, since I made that from scratch, while the other gifts were just embellished. I used the rocket ship fabric for the back, and some sturdy upcycled denim for the front -- with a rocket sunburst embellishment of course!

The onesies were fairly simple -- I just bought a pack of white onesies and used iron on paper to get the rocket ship and star on. Since my iron on paper is pretty old, I did have to do some stitching around the edges of each piece so that it will hold up. I like how it looks with the red stitching, but I'm glad I started with the iron on paper since that made it much easier than a million pins!

One of the easiest ways to personalize a baby present without going crazy is by adding a strip of fabric to a receiving blanket. I couldn't find plain white ones at Target, and wasn't willing to drive all over just for a simple receiving blanket, but I thought these light blue stripes would look nice with the space fabric. They also made it easy for me to make sure I was stitching in straight lines!

To add the strip of fabric, I measured a piece 3.5 inches wide, and 2 inches longer than the blanket. This gave me room to tuck the raw ends inside and have a clean look.

I pinned the strip, right side down, to the blanket following the lines that were already there. Then I sewed it on, and ironed it right side out. I then ironed the ends and the top hem in, so I could topstich those.

I went back over all of the edges with a decorative stitch to jazz it all up. In all, I'd say this blanket project only took about 20 minutes from start to finish.

And I still have some more rocket ship fabric left -- I wonder what the rest will become?


Linked up to:

Creative Jewish Mom

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

We got the guest bedroom set up fairly quickly after moving in, since my parents were coming out mid-November to visit and help with house stuff. So, even though we didn't get to paint the walls at that point, we made it a pretty comfortable place for our overnight guests.

As a reminder, this is what the room looked like when we moved in:

Living Design Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

Our most recent guests were one of my best friends and her husband, plus their puppy who was road tripping with them, so we actually moved everything except the bed out of the room before they visited. Pup is still in the teething stage, and since we have antiques in the guest room, we thought it better to just remove temptation!

So, with most of the furniture out of the room, it was the perfect time to paint it. It was a bit slow going, since I was also painting for a play and then I traveled to Prague for the Quadrennial. But we wanted to get this room done/livable before today, when my sister arrives for a visit. That means painting finished, blinds and (new) curtains back up, and furniture back in place. And we got everything done earlier this week, just in time for it to air out and not smell like fresh paint!

I'm also in the middle of sewing a quilt for this room (more on that later) so I spread the part-way done quilt over the mattress for some pictures to get a feel for the color.

Living Design Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

Living Design Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

Nothing like going through photos of a room to remind one to peel up the blue tape around the ceiling fan! You can also see Fleck lurking in this picture -- for some reason that has become one of her favorite napping spots lately.

Living Design Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

And here is the bed actually made up and ready to sleep in:

Living Design Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

We've started a silly little tradition of putting out differently themed groupings of Beanie Babies on the bed for each guest. My parents got "Canada" (Canadian goose, a moose, etc), my aunt got birds. For my sister: cats!

Living Design Guest Bedroom: A Work in Progress

It's such a change to have a serene grey instead of the bright pink and blue. I will admit, my inner 6 year old was a little sad to paint over the pink, But grown-up me is very happy with the new look!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Design Finds of the Week #8

For the next few weeks, I'll be sharing different inspirational designs and projects that I came across during my trip to the Prague Quadrennial. They will be fairly diverse, as were all of the presenters at PQ, but they are all worth sharing!

Today I want to share an interesting new project called VIPA: The Viral Institute of Performance Architecture.

On their website you can see the transcript of the lecture they presented at the Prague Quadrennial here.

They describe performance architecture as "a continuum of performance and art." They have an active-body-centric view of architecture, rather than seeing the human user as a passive element.

As you can probably guess from my background, I love the confluence of architecture and performance. I'm very curious to see where this project will go in the future!