Sunday, 31 March 2013

Finding Fabric for Cheap

So you may have noticed, I'm getting more and more into sewing lately. Which is AWESOME! I feel so creative and oddly domestic when I'm sewing, I think it's a great hobby to have. The downside is, fabric can cost a lot of money. Ugh. Especially when you're on a budget and probably don't want to spend your entire months worth of personal spending money on it.

I helped my friend Katherine out at a craft show a few weeks back and talked to one of the vendors there. She makes really neat dresses and bags all out of "found" material. I asked her what that meant and she says she looks through thrift stores and vintage shops for fabric. Usually she finds interesting patterned sheets, curtains, large sweaters etc that she can use for fabric. What a cool idea right?

Since I've talked with her, I've been keeping my eyes open at thrift stores for different garments or linens that I can use for sewing projects. Here are a few of the unconventional supplies I've found.

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I've found this to be a cheaper and more creative way to supplement my current sewing addiction, especially when on a tight budget. So next time you go thrifting, have a look at the patterns and material you see, rather than what the garment actually is. (That's how I scored those men's boxers hahaha, the print was too good to pass up!) You'd be surprised what you can find.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Adventures in Thrifting

This week my craft night friends and I headed out to get some thrifting in before the long weekend. Here of a few of the cool finds I picked up.IMG_1789

Mexican Piggy Bank $3
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Folky Hoop Art $4 each (Dave HATES these but they instantly reminded me of Charlotte's Web which I loved as a kid)IMG_1794Some shirts to refashion/ be creative with $1-5 each


Oh, how I love thrift stores!


Friday, 29 March 2013

The Best Breakfast I've Ever Eaten

IMG_1788So there's this running joke in my family that I always say "This is the best so-and-so I've ever eaten!" And that I say it so often that they are starting to doubt when something is actually as good as I say it is, since everything I seem to make /eat is the best ever.

Well I really do hate to say it, but this actually is the best breakfast I've ever eaten. So good in fact I've eaten it everyday for breakfast and twice for lunch/a snack last week. It's really simple to make too: Toast your bread, spread a little bit of mayo on it, top with half a chopped avocado, a soft boiled egg, and salt & pepper. Done! 

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Try it out, see if I'm right ;)

Monday, 25 March 2013

DIY Pillowcase to Top

pillowshirt

Here's an easy sewing project I did the other day. I found the retro pillowcase at Goodwill for $1 and at the time wasn't sure what I would do with it. Later I found this tutorial and decided to give it a go. As I've said before I am by no means a sewing expert. BUT I do have a few tips/things I did differently than the tutorial that may help you out if you're as clueless as I am with a sewing machine.

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1) I have read countless times in tutorials to serge the raw edges of your fabric before you sew, as this will prevent fraying. Well I don't have a serger so I just used a zigzag stitch along the edges instead. It took a while but is (probably) worth it.

2) The tutorial makes a really simple boxy shirt. Which is great if you're super thin, but on me, it just looked, well, boxy. So after I had "finished" it, I flipped it inside out, placed a form fitting shirt I already had over top, traced the sides, and sewed it. Then it fit a little better in the sides.

I'm pretty pumped at how this turned out. Sure if you look closely you could probably guess it's homemade, but for a buck you can't go wrong!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Pesto Zucchini Goat Cheese on Puff Pastry

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Everything tastes better on puff pastry. This was a super easy lunch I made today and man does it look legit or what? Like something right out of a cookbook right?!

Pesto Zucchini Goat Cheese on Puff Pastry


Pesto



  • 2 cups basil leaves

  • 1/3 cup walnuts (cheaper than pine nuts and tastes better in pesto in my opinion)

  • 1/3 -1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • juice of half a lemon

  • salt & pepper


The Rest



  • box of desfrosted puff pastry

  • 2 zucchini

  • goat cheese

  • arugula


Make It



  1. Preheat oven to 400. Make your pesto. Throw all of the pesto ingredients into a magic bullet/blender until its spreadable

  2. Roast your zucchini. Thickly slice them, toss in olive oil and place on a pan with salt & pepper and bake them until they smell amazing and have caramelized a bit (around 10-15 minutes)

  3. Roll out your puff pastry (I only used 1 of the 2 bricks in the box) until its pretty thin. remember it's called puff pastry so its going to rise a lot.

  4. Spread the pesto over the whole thing, top with roasted zucchini and crumble some goat cheese on top. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until its puffed and the pastry is a little brown.

  5. Take it out, throw some arugula on top and you have one fancy lunch pastry!


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Sunday, 17 March 2013

I Could Probably Make That: Hoop Art





(click on pictures for links to etsy page)


I'm jonesing for some new art on my walls but can't justify paying $40+ dollars on something neat from Etsy. The little old lady in me is really drawn to these hoop art pieces.  Especially the ones that are just filled with pieces of vintage fabric. I do seem to have an excess of that lately. I could probably make these myself. 


Also, is it bad that I get a lot of my craft ideas from Etsy? I feel guilty about this sometimes...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Homebody Adventures

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Dave and I are through and through homebodies. We have never really had that urge to live abroad, visit all the continents to find ourselves. At first this fact used to make feel boring and disappointed. But I think I'm slowly coming to terms with it, that even though we may not live the conventional early-20's lifestyle, I love how we live! We'd rather spend time at home with family and close friends and explore what we have right in our backyard, and that's ok.

Today was the first day where it actually felt like spring, it was a little cloudy but felt wonderful to be outside. So Dave and I grabbed Gus and went for a walk around town with our camera and discovered a whole bunch of buildings we had driven by for years and never noticed, cute side street restaurants, and a cool mustard door. Being a tourist in your own town is actually quite fun! Here are some of the things we discovered this morning. 

IMG_1703 IMG_1705 IMG_1708 IMG_1709 IMG_1711 IMG_1713 IMG_1714 IMG_1715 IMG_1716 IMG_1718 IMG_1720 IMG_1726 IMG_1729 IMG_1731

Enjoy your Sunday :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

(50% off) Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

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 Yesterday Dave and I had to stop at the grocery store after work and we were both starving. Bad idea for grocery shopping. So naturally we bought some 50% off chocolate croissants for a snack. Well needless to say they were 50% off for a reason. Rats. So instead of ditching them I whipped up some chocolate bread pudding. Which I have never actually had before, so I have no idea if I made it right, but it tasted amazing.

(50% off) Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding


Ingredients



  • 3-4 old stale chocolate croissants cut up into chunks

  • 1 1/2 cups of milk

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • vanilla

  • 4 tbsp sugar

  • a bar of chocolate chopped (I had milk chocolate on hand)

  • 2 eggs


Make It


1) Preheat your oven to 350 and butter an 8x8 dish and dump the croissant pieces into it.

2) In a little pot heat up the milk, butter, and chocolate until the chocolate has melted

3) In a small bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together.

4) Whisk the egg mixture into the warmed milk mixture, and pour over the croissant pieces. Make sure all of the bread is soaked.

5) Bake for about 20-30 minutes until the custard part is puffy and set. This tastes best with vanilla ice cream.

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Enjoy!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Easy Udon Noodles

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Udon noodles kind of weird me out. They're pretty much precooked noodles that come in a  bag and last forever. Right? Anyway we had a bag in our pantry and it was time to use those babies up.  We had a recipe to try out but when I realized it was super easy, I just winged it. It probably took 15 minutes to make. Suck on that, Jamie Oliver!

Easy Udon Noodles


Ingredients

  • udon noodles

  • package of baby spinach

  • 1/2 cup green onion

  • package of firm tofu

  • Chicken broth

  • sesame oil

  • vegetable oil

  • hoison sauce

  • sriracha 

  • soy sauce


 

Make It

  1. Slice up the tofu into bite size pieces and seaon it with salt and pepper. In one pan heat up some sesame and vegetable oil (about a tablespoon of each) on high heat and fry up the tofu until it's seared. Shake the pan frequently so it doesn't burn. Set aside

  2. In another pan heat up some more sesame and vegetable oil (about a tablespoon of each) and fry up the udon noodles until they loosen up a bit. Add the whole box of baby spinach and green onions and cook on medium heat until the spinach wilts down. Add some hoison, soy, and sriracha (as much as you like).  Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth and stir everything together.


IMG_1654Enjoy!

 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Odd Combo Pasta



(I forgot to take photos of ours so I stole this photo off the Food Network website)

So I am stressed out. A LOT. It's gonna be one of those months. Anyway this pasta that Dave and his friend cooked tonight (along with a large bottle of pink wine they bought and amazing chocolate macaroons his friend made) definitely helped bring the stress levels down a bit. I love men who cook!

So I'll be the first to admit, when you look at this recipe you may think twice about making it: ham, mint, zucchini and goat cheese? But I am here to assure you IT'S AMAZING.

Pasta with Zucchini and Ham adapted from this book


Ingredients
sea salt
spaghettini (or whatever pasta you have)
1 medium zucchini
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/4 pound thinly sliced Black Forest ham, cut into strips
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup crumbled goat
6 fresh mint leaves, torn
Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water.

Trim the zucchini, then coarsely grate into a colander set in the sink. Toss the zucchini with 1/4 teaspoon salt and let sit 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze any excess moisture from the zucchini, then add to the skillet. Add the pasta, ham and the reserved cooking water and toss until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and fold in the cheese and mint.

Enjoy!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Apartment Upgrade: Gallery

So you know how I was lusting after a house? With stairs? And a backyard? Yeah. Well I have now come to terms with the fact that we will probably be in our current basement apartment for at least another year. But this is ok! Our apartment is kinda awesome  plus it's super cheap which is always a plus. Lately Dave and I have been doing little upgrades here and there to keep that apartment spark alive. Mostly I've been making art or finding cool things at thrift stores. I'm currently loving the gallery look.

8d1fddb40bfac212ca8de88f9ffce01e a42cf89323dc899c4c6ac276a241164b be866d24ffa35711e208528f2bbc4d2bPretty neat huh? I think I'll be saving up some dollars to buy a few prints off etsy and fill up any bare walls we have.

What do you think of the gallery look? Too cluttered or really really cool?

 

Monday Music

I've been listening to a lot of CBC Radio 3 online lately and they play so many awesome bands I've never heard of. Here's one of them, have a listen.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/bmxObTKlE6Y]

Gold- Wake Owl

Happy Monday!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Re-spawn Your Green Onions

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Have you ever re-spawned your green onions before? It's so so so easy, you'd be crazy not to do it. Pretty much after you've chopped off most of the green onion for your meal, you just put the roots in a cup of water and it literally grows back again in a matter of days! Science! I put these guys in some water about 4 days ago and they're ready to use again. We tried to keep re-spawning them but after the second time they were growing pretty limp and light green, so we had to cave and spend $.99 to buy some more. I wonder what else we could re-spawn? I think cilantro is sold with the roots still attached...IMG_1637Try this baby out for yourself, it's pretty awesome!

 
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