Tales From A Land Called Half Ass

Oh boy. I know what your thinking. Really? We’re going to try and start doing this…again?  And the answer is yes, after well over a year I am giving it another try.  My entire life is built around inconsistency, and I’m not sure I had any doubts that blogging was going to be different.  Suffice it to say, its a pattern-woven with a delicate thread of procrastination, laziness, and insecurity.  It’s just part of who I am.  I’m not saying I’m happy about it-but listen, for right now, and for a very long time before this, I was never really an all in, all the time kinda girl, I’m all in part time. I eat super healthy for two months and then I buy fruit loops and Hawaiian rolls, I work out 5 months out of the year in one week intervals, I leave partially read books lying all around our house. I know a certain amount of this is normal, we aren’t perfect beings, were going to miss work outs, were going to eat french fries occasionally, and if your like me, your going to stop writing your blog for over a year and continue that pattern for the rest of your life. Nah, I’m kidding.  Well, I’m trying to joke about it, but the truth is that If I don’t start making some changes that’s exactly whats going to happen. It’s almost like I’m the star in my own version of Groundhog Day. If I’m being honest I guess I’m only ever really putting in half the effort with most things, and whatever effort I do put in quickly fizzles, until I arrive back to my previous destination of not giving a shit.  I want to be different, truly I do.  I want to blog, find a healthy balance between eating brussels sprouts and donuts, be consistent with exercise, and I’d like to finish some of those books I’ve been taking 8 months to read.  So look, this is me trying again. You might only hear from me for a few months before I take another six month sabbatical, or I just might figure this whole consistency thing out, blog everydamnday, and then become super famous and rich.  Either way, I hope you stick around.

I know your all probably grief stricken at the amount of interior awesomeness I’ve kept you from. One of the biggest changes we made was painting the exterior of our bungalow, by ourselves I might add.  It was labor intensive but cost effective, and only one person (my dear dad) broke their wrist during the whole process, so were calling it a win. Blog post to come soon.

We’ve also painted a mural on our living room wall, swtiched up lighting, zhuzhed up the mantle approximately 100 times , got a mid century sofa that I named Lillian, started an Etsy shop, kept lots of plants alive, and loads of other super fun stuff that I will shove into various blog posts that thousands upon thousands of you will flock here to read.

In the meantime here’s some sneak peaks lazily borrowed from my Instagram:

11-2-15 069 11-2-15 064 11-2-15 078

Xo-Tara

Thrifty DIY Votive Holders

Hello lovers!

Per the usual, it’s been a while since I’ve talked to you all.  I’m ashamed to say it’s been about five months since I was last here jabbering on and on about everything and nothing all at once.  I have a reputation to uphold,  and I can’t have you expecting too much out of me since I’ve set the standard for inconsistent blogging.  But in all honesty, I’m pretty ashamed of myself.  I got sucked up in the vortex of life ya’ll.  Never the less, I’m here again, giving it another go, at least for another month or so until I get distracted and ditch you guys again.  

I’ve had this DIY up my sleeve for a while.   It’s a super cheap and easy votive holder.  While perusing the trim section at Jo-Ann Fabrics I came across this edgy faceted trim.  I instantly thought of votive holders.  I grabbed some cheap (70 cents a piece) clear glass votive holders from Wal-Mart, and my trusty Fabri-Tac.  The trim isn’t wide enough to cover the holders in one shot, so they are Frankensteined together.  I just dabbed glue sporadically on the trim and applied it to the holder.

paintingvotives

trim

votivesandtrim

049

 

This is a project that can be altered with fabric, different trim, and embellishments.

I hope you enjoy!  Go make something!

Xo-Tara

Plotter Poster Obsessions

Happy hump day ya’ll!

Before I get into my latest obsession, I kind of need to have a talk with you.  It’s not you, it’s me.  No, really.  When I started this blog I intended it to be entirely my own projects, recipes, DIY’s, etc.  The problem is that I’m realizing that it’s not entirely realistic, and also I feel like it holds me back from posting more frequently.  I didn’t don’t want to be one of those bloggers who shares snippets of other peoples shit all the time.  I feel like so often I read blogs and all the content is just sort of volleyed from one blogger to another.  That is not, and nor was it ever ok with me.  I want this blog to focus on original content, not relying on other’s for tossed around home tours, round-ups, and DIY’s.  BUT, I also realize that it’s ok to share things I find inspiring, or to create my own round-up of products or shops that I love, or dare I say share photos of someone elses home.  I guess I’m starting to understand that I have more to offer than just sharing my own interior projects.  It’s time to branch out, friends.  Get ready for a wider range of content, cause it’s coming at-cha.  

OK, so onto my plotter poster obsession.  Plotter posters are generally used for design purposes, architectural, engineering and so on, but also serve as low cost options for large format art.  In most cases you can find posters that are 24×30 or larger for around $50, and anyone who’s ever priced large scale art knows that’s a steal.  Large format art posters are great because A. They make a statement and B. Also take up a lot of surface area, so often just one large scale print is all you need to make an impact.  

Another great thing about these plotter prints is the diverse subject matter.  My favorites include landscapes and animals.

il_570xN.382913178_ee9x{Via Steven Beckly, Etsy} 

il_570xN.244410299{Image via Debbie Carlos, Etsy}

il_570xN.441765196_9yxm{Via, Wannanea, Etsy}

il_570xN.442515585_jp3g (1){Via, Wannanea, Etsy}

P.S. I probably am most definitely purchasing the floral one for the living room.

XO-Tara

Shit Just Got Glamorous Around Here…

Has it been nearly three weeks already? I’d apologize, but for the whopping five people that read this blog their really not all that surprised.  Things have been totes cray.  My mom and her twin sis celebrated their 50th birthday, we’ve been working on a living room spruce up (shocker) and I’ve been working on some design consulting. Andplusalso-life shit, like attempting to work out, eating better, managing time more efficiently, keeping 3lbs of dog hair off the floor everyday.  Oy vey.  

I recently (via another blogger) discovered these beautiful goal card printables.  You should know by now how much I love to set goals and make lists.  These pretties make me even more over zealous about my goal making.  And I’ll have you know, that so far I have been able to cross everything off of my lists, so I’m pretty sure these are magical goal cards.

xSeven-Swans_Goal-Cards_0002.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jgxT3SBvEv {Image via The Pretty Blog}

I thought I’d share some snippets of my life right now with you. On the decorating forefront I have to share these ahhhhmazing brass lamps I got for a friggin steal at the the thrift store.  I had been eyeing one for almost a year, but $25 was pushing it for a thrift store lamp.  I don’t usually lean toward holding out on purchases, I am more of a see it-love it-pounce on it kinda gal, but I lucked out because this bad boy was on clearance for $5! I’ve seen the same lamp selling for $40 at an antiques mall, and on Etsy I found lamps like these (some identical) for upwards of $160/pair! Holy Hollywood Regency deliciousness.  I added gold lined lampshades from Target for a little extra glitz.  

{Decorating}brass lamp 1

brass lamp entry

I’m not sure if you noticed, but we painted the living room (again).  With the dining room being so glamorous it was time to chic up living room.  The paint color is Marilyn’s dress by Benjamin Moore.  It’s a lovely gray with a subtle hint of blue.  I bought the Sanela gray velvet drapes from ikea.  They are lovely for the price, though I do wish they were lined and had a little more weight to them.  I’ll probably line them in the future, and maybe add an extra set of panels for fullness.  They come as a grommet panel, but that shit had to go.  Being the lazy ass that I am, I simply snipped off the grommet tab, and hung them with brass curtain rings.

 {Currently reading}currently reading

{Growing} *fingers crossedfiddle figIkea finally had fiddle leaf figs in stock, so naturally I bought one. I’m obsessed, and want my entire house filled with plants now.  Plants add such a lovely organic element to a room.  I also made new roman shades for the fireplace bookcases, it’s a cheap polka dottie fabric-the photos don’t do it justice.  It’s rich, but also fun with a side order of sophisticated.  I’ll be sure to share more photos of the updated living room soon.

Ohhh, and one last thing:

{Listening & Loving}Lorde_Pure_HeroineIf you haven’t purchased this yet, GET ON IT. It’s sooooo good. It makes dinner prep much more enjoyable.  

Xo-Tara

Caramelized Onion Pasta with Gruyere Cheese Sauce

Finally! I promised I’d share this recipe long ago, and lucky for you I am finally getting around to it.

As with any recipe I’ll share, this one is vegetarian.  I could go into a whole spiel about why I became a vegetarian, but I’ll spare you the deets and get on with this sophisticated batch of awesome-ness.

Let’s talk for a quick minute about Deborah Madison.  A vegetarian that doesn’t know who Deborah Madison is, is like a Greek who doesn’t know about tzatziki.  Yeah, it’s that bad.  I think some people have the assumption that vegetarian food can be bland, fussy, labor intensive, and quite frankly-expensive.  Deborah Madison busts through those myths with dishes that are intricate yet simple, affordable, and delicious.  What I love most about her cookbooks is the fact that the she lets the quality and simplicity of the ingredients shine.  These are not dishes with twenty spices, and a billion ingredients that take four hours to prepare.  One of my my most favorite meals from the book Vegetarian Cooking for everyone, is a caramelized onion pasta with Gruyere.  Gruyere is hands down my most favorite cheese.  I cannot eat a piece of Gruyere with my eyes open.  The nuttiness, the texture, the subtle undertones and complexities of this cheese, can only be realized in the absence of sight.  I know, I’m very serious about my cheese.

The recipe I’m going to share with you is an adaptation of Deborah Madison’s.  Rather than topping the pasta with shredded Gruyere, I went a step further and created a Gruyere cheese sauce.  Hold the phone-did she just say Gruyere cheese sauce? Whoop Whoop, yes I did! Now slow your roll, and get a pen handy to jot down these ingredients:

Caramelized Onion Pasta with Gruyere Cheese Sauce:

  • 3-4 large sweet onions-sliced or diced whichever you prefer
  • a tbs or more of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2tbs butter
  • 2tbs flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8oz Gruyere-shredded
  • Pasta of your choice-I used about a 1 lb of egg noodles
  • Parsely for garnish

002

saltpig1

I wanted to show you my “salt cellar” it’s a sea urchin candle holder turned kosher salt vessel. Yo ho ho matey.

Ok, so quite simply add 2tbs olive oil to a pan, add your sliced onions, 2 bay leaves, thyme, and cook low and slow until their brown caramelized bits of goodness. Then set the onions aside in a small bowl, you will make your sauce in the same pan.

gruyerebest You can put your pasta on to boil while your making the sauce.  In the same pan that you caramelized your onions, melt 2tbs butter, add 2tbs flour and cook for a minute to remove the raw flour taste.  Slowly whisk in your milk, and let simmer for a few minutes until bubbly and thickened.  Add salt and pepper here, and a dash of nutmeg if your feeling adventurous!  That is bechemel sauce in a nutshell, it’s the basis for most cheese sauces.  Pat yourself on the back, and gently add in the shredded Gruyere, and a handful of chopped parsley, and you my friend just made a delicious gourmet cheese sauce. BOOM.

yum yum

Toss your pasta with your caramelized onions, add your creamy Gruyere sauce, and top each portion with a generous pinch of flat leaf parsely.  TA DA!

012

pastaplate

Please comment below if you try this recipe, I’d love to hear to how it turned out!

XO-Tara

Advent Calendar DIY

Hello lovies! 

I know it’s technically late, but I wanted to share our DIY Advent Calender with you.  It’s totes fun! Here is a glimpse of a few we have made in the past:

http://instagr.am/p/WrAM-/

http://instagr.am/p/S2zvhYBFJv/

This year we decided to do simple white envelopes made out of card-stock, and embellished with washi tape, photos, scrapbooksupplies, and anything we had lying around the house.  This years calendar is strung up on the mantle with mini glittered clothespins from American Crafts-because you can never have to too much glitter! 

AC 6 Pile of stuff

I used scrapbook supplies from BasicGrey, K&Company, and American Crafts.  I cut the numbers out with my trusty Cricut.  For those of you not familiar with the Cricut devices, its basically a machine that cuts numbers, letters, and images out of paper.  There are tons of different cartridges that you can buy, and even markers that will draw the characters on paper.  I used a sheet of adhesive backed vinyl, and it was super easy to just peel off the backing and place them on the paper.  I highly recommend it! 

AC 1

AC 2

AC 3

AC 4

AC 5

AC craftermathThis is what my husband commonly refers to as the “craftermath.”

And here is the final product.  It is not very traditional, but it is very feminine, and kitschy which suits my girls perfectly.  Some of the envelopes are filled with candy, and others have activities like going to the movies, ice skating, camp out nights, and so on.  

AC whole view

I hope you enjoyed our cute DIY Advent! 

XO-Tara

Ikea does it again…

You know that ever popular hash tag #targetdoesitagain?  Well, Ikea needs one of its own, and hasn’t it for some time? 

I took an impromptu trip today with my mama, and came home with some delicious goods.  

DSC02101

I’m not sure why it took me so long to nab one of these black & white striped blankets, but I finally caved.  I also got a couple books, one is on entertaining, and the other about outdoor spaces.  At $8 a pop, they were steal.  And lets talk about those plates.  I mean, come on! Under that stack of stuff is a HUGE cutting board that was practically a gift with purchase at just $10! 

DSC02093

Pictured below is the most perfect light fixture, that will replace the one I’m tired of in the kitchen.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It has a vintage feel, and is much larger than it appears.  They also have this fixture in a slightly smaller accent lamp style.  

light

So basically this whole post was a public service announcement to get your asses to Ikea, and pick up some cool shit at reasonable prices.  Your welcome. 

This week I’ll be sharing a holiday wreath DIY that is nothing short of amazeballs, and a recipe for pasta with caramelized onions, and a Gruyere cheese sauce.  

XO-Tara