It kind of all started with gestational diabetes. Before week 28, pregnancy was a breeze for me. After a miscarriage in July, we spent the first twelve weeks of this pregnancy kind of pretending that it wasn’t happening.  We were cautiously optimistic, but I was fairly sure that this pregnancy would end the same way the previous one had.  Eight and a half weeks came and went and at twelve weeks, we started to consider the fact that this could be a real thing.  From 12 to 28 weeks, I felt amazing!  I had no morning sickness, no aches, no pains.  It was pretty lovely!

At 28 weeks, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  I was really down about.  I felt that I’d failed my body and that my body was failing me.  My hands & feet were so swollen even my watch wouldn’t fit onto my wrist and I was gaining weight super rapidly.  By week 31 I couldn’t feel the first three fingers on my right hand.  Figuring out what foods would work for me and which ones wouldn’t was a five week process full of experimentation… at one point I stood in front of our fridge at 3 am eating a chicken breast.  I felt like a crazy person.  Eventually, I ended up on nightly insulin injections to control my fasting blood sugars.  It was a long and frustrating process, and I mostly just wanted to eat doughnuts.  So.Many.Doughnuts.  (The day after she was born, I did.  So.Many.Doughnuts.)

McCarty Birth 1 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

Since I was taking nightly insulin injections, I had to start bi-weekly Non-Stress Tests at my doctors office.  I’d go in twice a week to be hooked up to monitors for about 45 minutes.  I’d listen to her heartbeat, count her movements and read a book.  It was a nice way to force some sitting and relaxing time!  Once a week, after the NST, I’d have an ultrasound to make sure she was growing well and that the amniotic fluid levels were good.  At our Week 34 appointment, we discovered that this little girl, once in a nice head down position, had flipped over and was breech.  I spent three weeks doing everything I could think of to flip her back around… inversions, chiropractors, acupuncture, moxibustion, diving into swimming pools, handstands, ice packs and heating pads.  All of it.  If anyone anywhere credited anything with flipping a breech baby, I tried it.

The last ditch effort was an External Cephalic Version.  I was admitted to the hospital and my doctor attempted to push her into position through my abdomen.  I was so disappointed that it didn’t work.  Even when I was on the fence about having children, I knew I wanted to be pregnant and give birth.  It felt like a rite of passage, something that I should do as a woman.  I was so sad to get through so much of pregnancy to have it all end by passively lying on a table while someone else did the work to bring her in to this world.  I spent a day in bed feeling sorry for myself, then remembered that all that mattered was a healthy me and a healthy her.  So I bought some C-Section clothes that would be comfortable on the incision, went back to work editing the wedding I’d shot on Friday and decided to double my efforts to turn this stubborn baby. I had time to do it and this stubborn baby was no match for me.  I have 32 years of digging my heels in on her.

McCarty Birth 5 McCarty Rhone: The Birth StoryOn Thursday morning I went in for my biweekly Non-Stress Test and thought about how ridiculous I was for even going because I was leaving at 11 am to attend a wedding in Santa Ynez.  I did my hair & makeup for the wedding and ate a small breakfast because I was running late.  I almost called in to reschedule because they usually take so long and I didn’t want to be late meeting my girlfriends.  It was all pretty standard and my doctor came in to check the readings.  The conversations went like this…“Are you not feeling these contractions?”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’re having contractions every five minutes.”

“No”

“If you’re dilating, you’re going to have this baby today.”

“No.  I’m going to Santa Ynez today.”

“I’m going to give you twenty more minutes, then we’ll check you.  If you’re progressing, you need to go to the hospital.”

“Um, we’ll talk about it”

I called Chris, told him he definitely needed to meet me before heading in to the office. Turns out, I was progressing and my doctor wanted me to go directly to the hospital.  There was a solid round of blank stares from Chris & I.  We hadn’t installed a carseat.  We didn’t have hospital bags.  I didn’t have an out of office reply.  We were totally unprepared.  I negotiated with our doctor… I needed to go home for a few hours at the very least and she gave in. If a foot started to dangle, we’d drop everything and get to the hospital.

McCarty Birth 3 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

So, we went home.  I called the girls to tell them I couldn’t drive to Santa Ynez.  I called my mom to let her know what was going on.  I emailed out the gallery for the wedding I shot on Friday and set out of office replies for email. I cancelled massage appointments, waxing appointments and family shoots for the following week. I shot the last image for my maternity series.  The girls stopped by on their way to the wedding for hugs and good lucks!  Chris & I wandered around the house with blank looks on our faces and complete shock that this was actually happening.  This couldn’t be real.

We checked in at the hospital, and then we sat.  And we waited.  For hours.  Nothing happened.  I never felt a contraction.   I did feel exhausted and so hungry!  A light breakfast and no coffee had been a really poor choice nine hours ago.

McCarty Birth 4 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

At 5:00 pm they were ready for us.  I walked, ass out and boobs bared in those terrible maternity hospital gowns, past the nurses station where everyone waved at me, into the  freezing cold OR.  From there, everything gets a little blurry, and I’m so happy Chris had the foresight to video everything.  I remember being so tired and thinking that I should really be awake for the birth of my daughter.  I remember staring at the bright overhead lights thinking that this couldn’t really be happening.  And I remember wishing that everyone would stop asking me if I was OK, because I just wanted to take a nap.  I yawned.  A lot.

McCarty Birth 6 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

Chris came in and sat next to me and I saw my doctor walk in.  Some time passed where I mostly tried to fight sleep.  Chris stood up, holding my hand and then looked down at me with tears in his eyes and said “She has so much hair!” and I replied “They started?”

She was 6 lbs 6 oz, 18 inches with a full head of hair.  After some resuscitation to get her breathing, she was placed into my arms and I could only stare at her, trying to convince myself that this was real.  That not only had I grown a person but that she was here, in my arms, and she was perfect.

 

McCarty Birth 8 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

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McCarty Birth 14 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

McCarty Stomp 1428 McCarty Rhone: The Birth Story

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I’ve been doing a lot of entertaining lately, and I really enjoy it!   But I want it to be fairly easy, and I want to be able to prep it all ahead of time so that I can spend time with my friends as opposed to working while everyone else is relaxing.  It’s more fun to sip rosé with them than cooking!

That Ina Garten again… she makes it so easy for me.  I pulled two recipes from her How Easy Is That? book, which has a whole separate chapter for lunch options. They’re lighter, simpler and absolutely perfect for a quick lunch.  I sliced up some bread, sprinkled on salt, pepper & olive oil and then broiled it for a few minutes.  Chicken salad on a bit of arugala and served it.  Easy, delicious and because I was able to prep it all in advance, I could enjoy the time with friends.

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Healthy Lunch 1 Easy Casual Lunch: Mustard Chicken Salad & French String Bean Salad

 

This chicken salad was so good, and I was able to make it the day before!   I’d never thought to roast the chicken, but it was so good and so easy… just takes a little bit more time.

Mustard Chicken Salad

Ingredients

2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (3 pounds)

Good Olive Oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 cups small broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups good mayonnaise

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar

2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Discard the skin and bones and dice the chicken in large bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook fro 1 minute only, until crisp-tender.  Drain, and place the broccoli into the bowl of ice water until cool.  This will stop the cooking and set the bright green color. Drain well.

For the dressing, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.  Add enough dressing to the warm chicken to moisten well.  Add the tarragon, broccoli and cherry tomatoes and mix gently to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve at room temperature.

 

French String Bean Salad

Ingredients

Kosher Salt

1 1/2 pounds French string beans (haricots verts), both ends trimmed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup good olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Directions

Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.  Add the beans and cook for 1 minute only.  Time it carefully!  You want the beans to be crisp-tender.  Drain the beans and put them in the ice water until completely cool.  Drain the beans again, dry on paper towels, and place them in a large bowl.

IN a small bowl, whack together the mustard, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper.  While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion.

Pour enough dressing over the beans to moisten them well, reserving the rest for another use.  Toss with the dill, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.  (If the beans aren’t served immediately, refrigerate them and add a little extra vinaigrette and a sprinkle of salt before serving.)

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March 18, 2015 The Dining Room

 

The front of our house was originally built in 1929 and ironically, needed the least amount of work.  The additions and renovations done in the 70s, 80s and 90s were the most terrible.   But, the original work was pretty incredible.  The dining room didn’t need much work at all, just some paint and it was good to go!   Originally we painted it eggplant, and Chris hated it.  So a few years ago, we just continued on the Urban Sunrise from the studio into the dining room.  It’s a smaller room and doesn’t get much light at all.  Lightening up the walls made such a big difference!

The dining room is the connector for my studio and the kitchen.  This archway was one of the originals, and Chris has duplicated it throughout the house.  It’s one of my favorite features of the house.
Dining Room Renovation 0001 The Dining Room

The table is a floor sample from Crate & Barrel, we got an amazing deal on it!  The plan had always been to replace the plain white top with a piece of marble.  The plan had also been to replace the chairs, a Craigslist find from our condo.  The chairs are actually different now, it took two years to find a set that I liked!  The wall sconces are from Circa Lighting and the painting is a flea market find.   I liked it, knew it looked familiar, but couldn’t quite place it.  The seller went on and on about how it was signed by the artist and a unique piece.  I looked closer.  It’s signed by Renoir.  HA!

Eventually we’ll replace the door above with one of the originals we have, maybe even on barn door hardware so that we can have full use of the swinging area.
Dining Room Renovation 0002 The Dining Room

Most of the glassware and flower vessels I use are vintage, found at flea markets over the years.  But the plates are from our wedding china collection from Crate & Barrel and the silverware was my grandmothers!  The rug is from Rugs USA.
Dining Room Renovation 0003 The Dining Room
Dining Room Renovation 0004 The Dining Room

The bar was one of the first renovations we made.  It was originally an entrance into a porch we think.  But it was a really weird room off of the dining room, with no real use. Chris dropped the floor down to the original placement and built a bar… so much more useful!  It’s been so great for storage, I don’t know where we’d store all of my finds if we hadn’t built the bar.  Now that we have the kitchen all finished, we don’t really use the bar for entertaining anymore, but it’s real pretty to look at icon smile The Dining Room
Dining Room Renovation 0005 The Dining Room

 

Photography: Heather Kincaid

Florals: Floral Crush

Hair & Makeup: Moira Taylor Paris

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I love cookbooks.  I love the weight of them and I love the pictures.  I love flipping through them and I love the way they look on a shelf.  This pretty one, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi was a birthday gift and I couldn’t be more obsessed with it.  I love Dorie Greenspans books… The ease, the writing, the pictures.  They’re all great and this one is going tobet a whole lot of good use!
JH2 1234 1024x681 Dorie Greenspans Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake

 

I needed a little dessert for a lunch I hosted last week, and I was so thrilled to pull out this book.  I started at the beginning, and pulled the very first recipe, a weekend cake.  I love this concept… a simple but versatile cake that should last you through the weekend.   You can eat it for dessert or with your morning coffee.  It’s even better on the second day actually.  And I imagine if it makes it to day 3, it would be really delicious toasted, with a little butter.  Ahh, those French, they get me.

I served it with a little marscarpone & strawberries, because that’s what I happened to have in my fridge.  But plain, it was so good.  Or with vanilla ice cream.  Or with creme fraîche and any berry.  I don’t think you can go wrong at all!

JH2 11651 1024x681 Dorie Greenspans Brown Butter and Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake

 

Brown Butter & Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake

Ingredients

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 moist, fragrant vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped or 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons dark rum or amaretto

Directions

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Pull out an insulated baking sheet or stack two regular baking sheets one on top of the other.  Line the (top) sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Butter a 9-x-5-inch loaf pan, dust with flour and tap out the excess (or use baker’s spray).  I suggest preparing the pan this way even if it’s nonstick.  Set the loaf pan on the baking sheet(s).

Put the butter in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally.  Allow the butter to bubble away until it turns a deep honey brown, 5 to 10 minutes.  Don’t’ turn your back on the pan – the difference between brown and black is measured in seconds.  And don’t worry about the little brown flecks in the bottom of the pan – they’re a delicious part of the process.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and the vanilla-bean pulp in a large bowl and rub them together until the sugar is moist and fragrant.  If you’re using vanilla extract, you’ll add it in later.  Whisk the eggs into the sugar, beating for about 1 minute, or until they’re throughly incorporated.  Still working with the whisk, beat in the extract, if you’re using it, then the heavy cream, followed by the rum.   Continuing to whisk or switching to a large flexible spatula, gently and gradually store in the dry ingredients until you have a thick, smooth batter.  Fold in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Take a look at the cake after it’s been in the oven for about 30 minutes; if it looks as if it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent.  When the cake tests done, transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then unmold it and let cool right side up.

ENJOY!

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I hate the word mocktail.  It’s terrible, and kind of defeats the purpose, because it sounds like something children should drink.  I’ll come up with something better and let you know.

So, theres no alcohol in this cocktail.  And I don’t even care.   I can guzzle this all day long.

It’s blackberry & blood orange & mint & heaven.  All together.   I bet if you add some vodka or gin, that would be pretty delicious too.   Let me know!
Blood Orange Mint Mocktail 0001 Blood Orange & Mint Mocktail

 

My dear friend Jen is on maternity leave after having her second baby and I’m doing a little filling in for her!  Head over to her blog Sun + Daughter for the recipe and the cutest pictures of her little ones!

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March 6, 2015 Its My Birthday!

 

Birthdays aren’t a super big deal around here.   We’re pretty boring about them… maybe dinner out or drinks with friends.  If we’re really going to do something, it’ll be a trip somewhere or some kind of experience.  Our birthdays are just a few weeks apart, so if we do it, we do it well.  And if we don’t, we don’t really do it at all!

I think because getting older hasn’t been such a big deal for me, the celebration of it didn’t need to be a big deal.  Thirty was hard.  And weird, because I’d never really cared how old I was.  But thirty seemed, well, like a clear mark in time.   Thirty was big.  And I was torn on what to do, I never figured it out, so we did nothing.  But 32 feels like just another day.  Although, 32 does feel big in that it will be a big year for us, the year our family grows into three.  And that feels enormous.  Perhaps we’ll spend it building shelves in her room icon smile Its My Birthday!

This year will be pretty low-key… a quiet weekend since Chris has been on the road for the last week.  A little socializing, a little sleeping in, maybe some cake (because what’s a birthday without a little cake!) and taking in our final celebrations before it’s no longer just about us anymore.  Before we’re going to start celebrating birthdays hard… with parties and bounce houses and super amazing fun times.

In other news, my friend Heidi Ryder and I took a little photo field trip out to see the almond blossoms.  She snapped a few photos of me and I’m really hard in love with them.   That girl, she’s the best.

Almond 1 Its My Birthday!

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March 4, 2015 The Studio

 

The front room of our house has undergone many a little renovation.   Minor things, nothing too major as its bones were in pretty good shape when we bought the house.  It was yellow, but it wasn’t terrible.  I actually made it more terrible by painting it fluorescent blue.  When I say terrible, I mean, it felt like you were walking around in an upside down swimming pool.  It was hideous.

This is the room you walk into from the front door, I guess a formal living room.  We had no need for it, so for nearly it year, it was blue and empty.  Terrible.  But then I needed a meeting space for clients.  I hated meeting in cramped corners of loud coffee shops, squeezing albums on to tiny tables.  So I built out this space to meet with clients in a quiet environment.  It made an incredible difference and I’m so happy with it!  Now, it’s also my office space, it’s been rearranged (again) and I’m so happy spending even more time in this beautiful room!

So, it looked like this on the day we closed escrow…
Studio Tour 0001 The Studio

And now, it looks like this!
Studio Tour 0002 The Studio

That chandelier was a score on Chris’ part.  He went up to the Habitat for Humanity store one day not too long after we bought the house without me.  He spotted this ENORMOUS chandelier in the corner.  It was brand new, from a store that had gone out of business and still had the $2,500 price tag.  But it had been sitting around there for a while,  I imagine because it is so gargantuan.  So they sold it to him for $100.  WHAT!?  He installed it before I even got home from work that day!

We painted the walls Urban Sunrise from Valspar at Lowes and it’s the perfect grey.  Not too blue or too red, it’s light and reflects the natural light in the room so beautifully!  I painted the ceiling the same color, but left a white border to accent the coved ceilings.
Studio Tour 0003 The Studio

Almost all of the furniture here was found at estate sales (the white & black chairs) or Craigslist (the console table).  But the sofa is from Custom Sofa Design and the coffee table is from Overstock. The “merde” pillow is Alexandra Ferguson.
Studio Tour 0004 The Studio
Studio Tour 0005 The Studio
Studio Tour 0006 The Studio
Studio Tour 0007 The Studio

And now that it’s pulling double duty as my daily office, it’s undergone another round of changes!   But I’ll save those for another day icon smile The Studio

 

Photos: Heather Kincaid

Hair & Makeup: Moira Taylor Paris

Florals: Floral Crush

1 Comment »

 

We had a party a few months ago, and someone brought muffins for us.  Not for the party, but for Chris & I to eat the next day.  Eating those muffins with coffee in bed, the day after a huge party… it was heaven!  It was such a morning treat, that I didn’t have to think about.  We reminisced about how amazing the party was, how lovely our friends are… it was just a really beautiful morning spent with my love.   So now, everyone who throws a party gets muffins.   And I get to eat more muffins.  And if there are a lot of muffins, I freeze them so I get to eat A LOT of muffins!  It’s a win-win-win for everyone all around!

I’ve been trying my hand at a few different kinds, but these from Ina Garten are pretty incredible.  Whenever I need a delicious easy recipe, I turn to Ina.  How Easy Is That? is my go-to book for super easy entertaining!  I made a few changes that were pretty delicious (mostly because I dislike coconut and I’m also not a fan of nuts INSIDE the muffins.)  But I added some sugar coated walnuts on top of half of the muffins… nuts in sweets, it’s a polarizing thing y’all!  Make these, take them to people, freeze them for later… Everyone will love you icon smile The Most Delicious Hostess Gifts
Banana Muffins Hostess Gifts 2 The Most Delicious Hostess Gifts

 

 

Banana Crunch Muffins (adapted from Ina Gartens’ recipe)

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted & cooled

2 extra-large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)

1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)

1 cup granola

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

brown sugar & vanilla extract (for sprinkling)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 18 large muffins cups with paper liners.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the melted butter and blend.  Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla and mashed bananas and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture.  Scrape the bowl and blend well.  Don’t over mix.

Fold the diced bananas and granola into the batter.  Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top.

In a small bowl, mix the chopped walnuts with as much brown sugar as you please.  Add a teaspoon or two of vanilla, enough to make sure that the brown sugar sticks to the walnuts.  Sprinkle the coated nuts onto the muffins.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly, remove from the pan and serve.

 

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I really hate spending a lot of money on furniture, but I also really hate cheap furniture.  Catch 22, eh?

But I do love a good hunt and I’ve been so lucky with Craigslist over the years.  You have to dig through all kinds of junk, and sometimes it takes forever, but if you can really see through the ripped fabric and the terrible paint jobs, you can score some really beautiful pieces!

These are a few iPhone pictures of some ugly furniture I’ve bought over the years.   The blue chair was one of the priciest, I think it was about $100, but I’d never seen anything like it.  The design was so lovely and the wood was in excellent condition.  The wood credenza was probably $50, and it was so brown and so ugly with terrible hardware.   Then that red chair, you guys know my love for that chair, that was around $20.  It was ugly, but the wood was in excellent condition and the shape was just divine.
How to Find Treasures on Craigslist 0001 Finding Treasures on Craigslist

Those ugly ones are now some of my favorite pieces in the house!

Now, I spend a lot of money at the upholsterer, but it’s significantly less than buying something of this quality new.  AND I get to make it exactly what I want it to be.  This chair was spray painted with automotive paint (my husband is fantastic, and sprays everything for me with some kind of sprayer thing attached to the air compressor.  It’s lovely.)  The paint is super thick and shiny and has never chipped.   The fabric is from Micheal Levine downtown.
How to Find Treasures on Craigslist 0005 Finding Treasures on Craigslist

A random side table I picked up, probably $25.  It was beige I think, a terrible beige.  So Chris sprayed it, and I was able to switch out the beige granite top for a marble top when we were doing our countertops.  I switched out all of the table tops I didn’t like at the time and it was a great way to use all of the material we’d purchased.  If you don’t happen to be renovating a kitchen at the moment, you can have scraps cut at any marble yard, usually fairly inexpensively.
How to Find Treasures on Craigslist 0002 Finding Treasures on Craigslist

I could wax on and on about this chair.  But you know her story and I’ll leave it at that.
How to Find Treasures on Craigslist 0003 Finding Treasures on Craigslist

I am obsessed with this bar cart, and didn’t do a single thing to it.  It just happened to fill that space absolutely perfectly and was in pretty good shape.  It could use a little touching up, and a little strengthening (it wobbles a bit), but we’ve never gotten around to it and it hasn’t fallen apart.

And that credenza.  I bought it for my office, but it’s in my studio now.  It’s a dining room credenza, and has velvet slots to hold all of your silver in one drawer.  But it’s full of office supplies and paperwork now.   Chris painted this too, and we switched out the ugly hardware.   It is always so shocking what a coat of white paint can do!

How to Find Treasures on Craigslist 0004 Finding Treasures on Craigslist

So, how do you dig through and find this among all the junk?

1. Use Craigs Easy.  It’s a program that will show you only the title and full size images on a separate page.  No more staring at the tiniest thumbnail images and clicking through all kinds of links.  It makes it so easy!

2. If you don’t really know what you want, but need all kinds of things, do random searches.  I like “antique French” or “vintage French”.  You’ll come back with all kinds of things!  If you like more modern lines, search for “danish modern”.  Or if you are really into a Spanish style, search for those key terms!  Also, I always click “Search Titles Only”, it limit the amount of crap you have to filter.

3. Ignore the paint job and the hardware and the fabric… it’s all changeable!  Look at the condition of the parts that you’ll be keeping… ripped fabric is a great detail if you’re going to be replacing it anyway!  Notice the lines, and what the piece could really look like with the right accessories.  And look for pieces that are really unique!

And should I be in a purchasing mood today, I might pick up these guys.

Brass Twin Bed Frames

Secretary Desk

Industrial Chairs 

Upholstered Arm Chair

And if you’re feeling REALLY crafty… antique baby crib ends for FREE!   Would make such a cool twin bed frame if you could repurpose these ends!

Good luck & happy hunting!

 

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February 23, 2015 Coconut Whipped Cream

 

I’m really in to sweets these days.  I would blame it on the pregnancy, but I kind of always want to eat a cake.  I keep it in check, because I don’t want to gain 75 pounds, but I’m definitely indulging a bit more regularly.

And then my friend Amanda went to vegan culinary school.  And she made this coconut whipped cream for me.  And it’s ridiculous.  So amazing, and I don’t even like coconut!   You guys, it’s just whipped coconut milk, a little bit of sugar and a hint of vanilla.  That’s it.  So I feel like I can eat it by the spoonful (and sometimes I do).

It’s super easy to make, but be forewarned, the can of milk will need to be refrigerated for about 24 hours, so you do need some time.  See, when it’s cold, the milk hardens and you can whip the crap out of it.  Apparently some brands don’t harden as well as others, but this Golden Star from Ralphs has worked perfectly for me, so I’ll stick with it.

I’ve been spooning it on top of fresh fruit, but you could put it all over anything and I’m sure it would be super tasty.  Seriously, try it.
Coconut Whipped Cream 0001 Coconut Whipped Cream
Coconut Whipped Cream 0002 Coconut Whipped Cream

 

Coconut Whipped Cream

Ingredients

1 can coconut milk

2 Tbs powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Refrigerate the can of milk for at at least 24 hours.  Scoop the hardened coconut milk into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, being careful to avoid any liquid milk (there may be some on the bottom of the can).   Whip for a few minutes, then add sugar and vanilla.  Continue to beat until fluffy, not too much longer.

Enjoy!   I’ve spooned it over fruit the last few times I’ve made it, and served with a wafer cookie.  So good!  If for some crazy reason you have leftovers, just be sure to refrigerate in an airtight container.

As for the extra liquid at the bottom of the can, Amanda suggested I freeze it in ice cubes and drop in to a glass of bourbon.  That sounds amazing and I will do that as soon as I can get back to straight bourbon.  Or, add to a morning smoothie!

 

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