Not Martha

daily photo: Feb. 28th

cookie dough scooped and ready to freeze

I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from the NY Times recipe that everybody was going crazy over a few years ago, myself included. Despite weighing all the ingredients I appear to have halved the flour or doubled the butter or something because this batch spreads like crazy. Is there a way to add more flour to cookie dough once the chocolate chips are are mixed in? I’m assuming not since the new flour wouldn’t be coated in butter the way it’s supposed to, and there would be a lot of overmixing of the flour. Oh well, these are yummy but not very pretty. Here I’ve scooped them onto a cookie sheet to freeze individually so I can bake one or two at a time.

· comments [22] · 02-28-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · food · recipes ·

links: the home

Stylish Outdoor Lighting: Solar Soji Lanterns | Apartment Therapy Unplggd. Solar!

Museum of Useful Things – 24″ Order Rail. I wish I had found this when I was putting together my kitchen wall stuff.

The top air scrubbing indoor plants from a NASA study. | Apartment Therapy Re-Nest.

Best Vacuum Roundup: Dyson, Miele, Electrolux, Airider… | Apartment Therapy.

Cool Tools: Window Alert. UV window clings that are almost invisible to humans but birds can see clearly, they help stop birds from flying into windows and hurting themselves. Wish we had these when I was a kid, I grew up in a house with giant plate glass windows and birds flew into them often.

swissmiss | Componibili Laundry Basket. A wall mounted flip out bin that would work as toy storage or recycling. We have three Ikea Trones shoe bins that we spray painted white and use as wall mounted recycling bins, they work well, but these Componibili look nicer.

Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day!: Removable Wallpaper: The Final Report. Did the wallpaper come down easily? The suspense! Actually, I’m all up on considering removable wallpaper for an entryway now.

Home Projects for Renters: Reversible Wall Decor | Apartment Therapy New York.

Design Happens » Archive » A DIY Grandfather Clock For Under $50. So smart! Seeing great uses of wall decals like this makes me want to throw back my head and curse my orange peel walls. Curses!

· comments [3] · 02-28-2011 · categories:links · the home ·

daily photo: Feb. 27th

pistachio chorizo cake with sesame seeds on top

Today was Cookbook Club, our focus was any recipe from David Lebovitz‘s books or website. We had a perfect mix (short ribs, celery root soup, artichoke tapenade, and a spread of desserts) and everything was superb. I made the Pistachio and Chorizo Cake which was easy and looks really impressive when you cut into it. Turns out the recipe is from another Paris food blogger, Clotilde Dusoulier who does Chocolate & Zucchini, it’s in her book also titled Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen (disclosure: that’s an Amazon Affiliate link). Right, I’m off to watch the Oscars.

· comments [4] · 02-27-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · food ·

daily photo: Feb. 26th

a bottle of $6 wine

This is a bottle inexpensive go to wine for nights like this one where I’m doing nothing much more complicated than baking the Pistachio and Chorizo Cake from David Lebovitz. (It’s cooling now and smells amazing.) But I’m not here to tell you about the cake, I’m here to tell you about this silly situation I find myself in at my local market that involves the buying of said wine. We’re lucky enough to live really close to a happy natural foods grocery that I end up in most every day picking up ingredients for one thing or another. We tend to buy wine one bottle at a time when we know we’ll want it with dinner and happily the market has a small but reliable selection. I don’t buy wine every day, but it seems that when I am buying wine I get the same checkout girl. Every single time. If I’m in for some emergency butter she’s nowhere to be seen, but if I have a cart full of groceries and a bottle of wine it’s hilariously inevitable that I’ll end up in her line. I’ve become hyper aware of this and it’s made my Raised Catholic Shame kick into overdrive. She’s lovely and friendly and I’m sure completely unaware of me, but still I cringe a bit when I find myself once again buying booze in her checkout aisle. I have not seen her in the store in weeks but tonight my haul of no-preservatives chorizo, unsalted pistachios, organic dried tomatoes and sesame seeds from the bulk aisle included some table wine and guess whose checkout line I found myself in?

Also seen in the frame are my iPhone and the trusty Jambox speaker that I’ve come to adore because it lets me hear things over the noise of washing dishes. It’s sturdy and has rubberized top and bottom surfaces, it’s wireless and connects to your music source with Bluetooth, and has a recharegable battery. I carry it around the kitchen with me and couldn’t like it more. We have Gray Hex but I sort of wanted the Red Dot, except our kitchen is filled with orange accents and I fear I’m not the sort that can pull together orange and red.

(disclosure: Just above are some Amazon Affiliate links, which means a small percentage is sent my way if you just happen to buy the speaker after checking it out. The money helps cover hosting costs for this here website. No pressure, you know.)

· comments [13] · 02-26-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · misc ·

daily photo: Feb. 25th

fried chicken, pepper gravy and a fried egg on a biscuit, aka yum

Today started with fried chicken and gravy on a biscuit at Dahlia Workshop. Yum.

· comments [10] · 02-25-2011 · categories:uncategorized ·

links: travel

Cool Tools: Along Interstate 75.

What to see in Key West? – keywest | Ask MetaFilter.

Wife and I are heading to Boston for a week in May. What to do? | Ask MetaFilter.

Quirky little places of inspiration in Seattle | Ask MetaFilter.

Design*Sponge » cleveland design guide. I would also like to add One Sydney Road as a shopping destination.

· comments [4] · 02-25-2011 · categories:links · travel ·

daily photo: Feb 24th

teeny tiny Lincoln Log cabin

Seattle got snow last night and though we don’t have cabin fever yet I thought it was a great time to open my latest impulse purchase, itty bitty Lincoln Logs. I found these at the drugstore and they came as a set of four canisters meant as party favors, each one holding the bits needed to make one teensy weensy log cabin. That there is a quarter in the picture for some scale. I was hoping to take one outside and put it on a little mound of snow to grab a picture, but the slightest movements caused the cabin to fall apart. I’m going to open all the canisters and see if I can build a really tall mini Lincoln Log tower to knock down.

· comments [9] · 02-24-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · misc ·

my bedside stack of books

[ stack of books by my bedside ]

Here is the current stack of books next to my bed. I have to admit it’s easier for me to read using the Kindle app on my iPhone because it disturbs Scott less so I find myself reading paper books less, I’ll have to fix this.

Things We Love, by Kate Spade. I got this in a gift bag at the Altitude Design Summit, and you can view it online right here.

99 Drams of Whiskey: The Accidental Hedonist’s Quest for the Perfect Shot and the History of the Drink by Kate Hopkins. This was a Christmas gift and I have yet to really get into it but I think I have a crush on the author already.

The Beauty of Different by Karen Walrond (Chookooloonks). Karen came to Seattle to do a very unique reading. I’m highly enjoying the photos and stories.

Crafting a Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco. I’m in love with the projects in this book.

Prudent Advice by Jaime Morrison Curtis (Prudent Baby). Such good advice dispensed with a bit of humor, I occasionally find myself reading these aloud while Scott cooks dinner.

Home from the Hardware Store: Transform Everyday Materials into Fabulous Home Furnishings by Kathleen Hackett and Stephen Antonson. There is this brilliant thing they did using molds for cement pathways.

I Felt Awesome: Tips and Tricks for 35+ Needle-Poked Projects by Moxie, who will be teaching a needle felting course on March 5th in NYC while she’s there for the Needle Felting Extravaganza. If you live nearby I insist you attend, she’s awesome.

Coralie: The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by P. Craig Russell. I’ve been waiting for the images from the movie to fade in my head before reading this. Nearly there.

Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon. I still miss this series. Reminds me that I also have yet to get into the graphic novels that make up Buffy Season 8.

More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. Small knitting projects are the best sort of knitting projects.

Handmade Living by Lotta Jansotter. Food, decorations and inspiration, it’s been so nice to page through this bright book after a gloomy day.

disclosure: Each of the links above is an affiliate link with Amazon. If you should happen to buy a book after clicking on that link I get a little bit of money that helps cover cost of hosting for this website.

· comments [19] · 02-24-2011 · categories:books · shopping ·

daily photo: Feb. 23rd

shoes with insoles printed with a grass pattern

Seattle is bracing itself for snow (even a little brings our city to a halt) and it’s been overcast and gray most of the day. I slipped out to grab some emergency food supplies (you know – sour cream, beer, chips) and the only green I saw was on the insides of Scott’s new shoes.

· comments [7] · 02-23-2011 · categories:food ·

links: craft

paradiso designs: Method Monday, a tutorial on Pleather/Vinyl straps. Via Craftzine.

T-Shirt Mod: Boxy to Foxy blog. Turning a t-shirt meant for a man into one flattering on a woman.

Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day!: Fringey Streamers DIY. Easy and so festive!

DIY: Oilcloth Zippered Pencil Case | Momtastic. Simple and satisfying project. Via Craftzine.

workplace | unechambre. Huge plastic flowers to adorn a wall, similar to my felt dahlia and completely amazing. » Monster Tooth Pillow, for holding money from the Tooth Fairy. So vicious! Via Craftzine.

· comments [8] · 02-23-2011 · categories:craft · links ·

daily photo: Feb. 22nd

five eyeshadow compacts

I’ve decided it’s time I learned how to use eyeshadow properly. On my last trip to the drug store I found these Rimmel palettes on sale for under $3 each and decided to grab a range of colors to see if I could find which ones work best on me. I remain skeptical that color will make a big difference but I’ve recently started using concealer under my eyes (pale skin + a very visible blue vein = help!) and figure I might as well take on eyeshadow while I’m at it. I’ll report back about undereye concealer, I still have little idea how to make it work. In the mean time I’ll point you towards the concealer reviews at Musings of a Muse, she’s dedicated to the search. She’s also a geek girl, within minutes of first browsing her site I knew it was love.

Related note: I suck at putting on eyeliner and have instead taken to using an angled flat brush (I have #266 from MAC) to smudge black eyeshadow (I use Carbon black eyeshadow, also from MAC) into the lash line on my upper lids. If you’re similarly frustrated by eyeliner I recommend trying this out. I’m too pale (daughter of a redhead) to put eyeliner on my lower lashes without looking rather strange, but I’m going to try the smoky eye technique that Busywork linked to recently so see how it works out. A few of the Rimmel palettes I bought are made for smoky eyes so I might do one eye in browns and one eye in blues to see how they compare. That reminds me, the other week I decided to compare my former (discontinued) favorite foundation to my current favorite foundation (Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse). Then I forgot my face was half and half and went grocery shopping. Let’s hope I don’t do the same with the sample eyes, I suspect it would be far more noticeable.

One last note on eye makeup, a friend of mine who knows her stuff reports that her favorite eyeshadow primer is Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I have not tried it yet but I plan on making the investment soon (eyeshadow on these lids of mine is prone to extreme creasing, I can use all the help I can get). Thanks Sarah!

· comments [44] · 02-22-2011 · categories:beauty · dailyphoto ·

photos from the Altitude Design Summit

Oops, I put together these pictures ages ago and completely forgot to post them. I didn’t manage to get many photos from the Altitude Design Summit, but here they are anyhow.

[ Design Mom wearing my flower pin while introducing Project Runway alums! ]

Here is Gabrielle Blair wearing on of my felt dahlia pins while introducing Mondo and Seth Aaron from Project Runway. Thrilling! I can hardly believe she was one of the organizers for this conference, a tremendous amount of work, and weeks later moved her whole family to France. Her tour of the amazing house that they’ve rented have been fantastic.

[ Seth Aaron and Mondo ]

Project Runway’s Seth Aaron (a WA resident!) and Mondo. Awesome.

[ shiny red keyboard with a double happiness symbol on the Enter key ]

HP was showing off some of their computer designs and I loved this double happiness symbol on a netbook designed by Vivienne Tam.

[ my feet in my sort-of Victorian boots ]

My feet while sitting on the floor at a panel (I crept in late and all the seats were taken).

[ blazing orange pink sunset ]

Amazing sunset #1.

[ shots of tequila with tall cold beers ]

Tequila and beers!

[ yellow balls of butter next to a menu decorated with yellow balls ]

I like how the butter matches the menu. This is just before getting to hear DJ Spooky speak.

[ blazing sunset #2 ]

Amazing sunset #2.

[ balloons floating at the ceiling with paper glasses silhouette cutouts hanging from them ]

The entrance to the Girls With Glasses and Kate Spade party.


The Girls With Glasses and Kate Spade party bag, we got fun fake glasses and a Tassi and a sample of Kate Spade’s new fragrance Twirl.

For some travel and behind the scenes photos, click more. [Read more →]

· comments [13] · 02-22-2011 · categories:events · mumbling ·

daily photo: Feb. 21st

I’ve decided to start a daily photo project. I always like these on other sites and I could use the reason to use my camera more often (and hopefully learn more about how to use it without needing to take a few hundred photographs in order to get one I will use). Mostly, though, I need to rediscover a rhythm while using my new-ish laptop. I got it earlier this year and find myself dragging my heels on learning how to most efficiently use the shiny new software. I’ll do my best to make the photos pretty, but no promises. Ok, here we go.

chip in the edge of my Bonmac cone coffee dripper

Scott and I long ago gave up on making good coffee using a coffee maker and instead have been using a cone-over-the-mug setup for years. Recently we decided to upgrade from a plastic cone to a ceramic one. It only took me four days to chip it. I am the reason we cannot have nice things.

I am a fan of the cone dripper (aka pour over method) and highly recommend you try it sometime. I find that it’s easier to make good coffee, and it’s very convenient if you just want one cup. It’s also easier to wash than a coffee maker or a french press, which I highly appreciate as a lazy person. The one above is made by Bonmac and I bought it at Sweet Maria’s, who reports that “this humble Melitta-type cone beat all our other drippers in 2 different double-blind pour-over brewing tests”. Yay! And in a moment of synchronicity Ugly Green Chair pointed me towards this Cilio Porcelain coffee cone which does not have any branding on it, available over at Amazon*. Both of the coffee cones above hold a #2 filter, I prefer the brown paper ones, or a mesh filter.

* That link to Amazon is an affiliate link, meaning that should you choose to buy it I get a small percentage which I use to help cover my hosting costs. No pressure.

· comments [26] · 02-21-2011 · categories:dailyphoto · food ·

links: food

Whisk Kid: How to Frost a Cake, a step by step tutorial. Via Edible Crafts.

The Secret Ingredient (Black Pepper): Multigrain Cacio e Pepe with Arugula | Serious Eats. I like this so much we made this three times last week.

Easy Party Appetizer: Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn.

Everything Old: How To: Make Chocolate Butterfly Cake Decorations, they perch on cupcakes very fetchingly. Via Edible Crafts.

What homemade or “real food” ingredient can I substitute in recipes that call for Cream Of Whatever soup? | Ask MetaFilter. Lots of suggestions on ways to make and keep your own bechamel sauce.

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies | Picky Palate and the Serious Eats follow up Nutter Butter stuffed chocolate cookies. Yum.

Tasty and dependable egg casserole | HJEntertains.

Diamonds for Dessert: Penguin Icebox Cookies. Adorable.

How to cook perfect long grain rice | The Guardian. The author works through lots of techniques by famous cookbook authors and comes up with her favorite. Via Busywork.

· comments [8] · 02-21-2011 · categories:food · links ·

thing I like: MAC Lipglass

MAC Lipglass lip glosses

I recently got some MAC Lipglass and I like it. I had ignored it up until this point for, well, I don’t know why, but I had six empty Blot Powder compacts to recycle and it was the prefect time to try it out. It has a lot of staying power and has no taste or scent (I’m ridiculously sensitive to that). The downside? It is a bit sticky and if your hair is blown around in the breeze it will stick to it. I got a natural pink called Cultured and it quickly became my go to for an ‘everyday but slightly more polished than chapstick’ look.

One note: Various MAC cosmetics stores will trade in different things for empty containers, one place I was only able to trade me a lipstick and others exchanged Lipglass and a few other items, so call ahead if you have something specific in mind.

· comments [13] · 02-18-2011 · categories:beauty ·