Archive for September 2011

Red Lentil Dal

Fall brings on a need for all things warm... abundant amounts of coffee and tea are consumed, the sweatpants make their nightly appearance, and dinners are meant to defrost you from the inside out. Whether it's soup (like we had last night) or a spicy dish, I love cooking during the fall.  Tonight, I wanted my version of comfort food - some kind of rice dish. I've been drooling over all of Happy Herbivore's recipes and knew I wanted to try the Red Lentil Dal! The spices and aromas of this dish are delectable and I loved how easy it was to make... a new staple dinner dish! 

Red Lentil Dal 
(adapted from Happy Herbivore)

1 cup water
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
2 cups red lentils 
4 cups vegetable broth
3 ounces tomato paste
1 tbsp coriander
2 tsp garam masala

Saute onions and garlic in a large pot with 1 cup of water until tender. 
More water can be added if this mixture becomes dry or sticky. 
Add all spices except for coriander and garam masala and cook for a few minutes. 
Add broth, lentils, tomato paste, and coriander. Turn heat up and cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes. Once lentils are tender, add garam masala. Cover and set aside for a few more minutes, then it's ready to serve!  

I chose to serve my lentils on a bed of brown basmati rice, but it can be accompanied with naan bread or ate by itself as well.  I made the rice using 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of water ratio... I wanted leftovers and this makes plenty for two people! 

What is your favorite Fall food that warms you up? 


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One Lonely Couch

Keys to our apartment were turned in today...we are officially out of the apartment complex! 
Oh how heavenly it is to have been living in one place with all our belongings this past week. 
We've been working on organizing and building storage since that is something our house seriously lacks. 
So as promised, I wanted to give a little update to the finished floors and overall progress. 
See for yourself the view of the living room! 

Pre-close (6/2/11)

After days of sanding, spackling, & priming (9/3/11)

Refinished "Spanish Walnut" floors & paint (9/24/11)

Besides our bistro table and a bench, this is the only piece of furniture downstairs. 
Our lonely couch...that has a stain that doesn't seem to be budging. 
I'm hoping to fit a trip to IKEA in sometime to clean the store out and outfit some of the other rooms.

The floors are something we are so glad we budgeted for. Without a doubt it transformed our house and made it feel so much more cleaner. If you are in the Grand Rapids area, talk to Barb from Phoenix Floor Finishing if you are interested in having your floors refinished or new ones put in. They pretty much rock. 

Hope you are enjoying Fall thus far! 
I'm thriving in this layering, cider drinking, scarf wearing season. 


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Junebug Feature

Today is our three month anniversary! Woot!
Not to keep bombarding you with photos and posts from our wedding...but we were recently featured on Junebug Wedding! I wrote a little ditty about the wedding day to accompany Bryan and Mae's wedding photos of us...feel free to hop over to Junebug to get more insight on our "tying the knot." 

Thanks Bryan and Mae for submitting our wedding and a big thanks to Junebug for the feature!
It was a great reminder of the happiest day of my life. :)


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I'm really not sure how I got wrapped up into the world of antiquing. I think it probably stems from my Mother and Grandmother's love for thrifting and garage sale shopping. There is something so precious about old items; they hold some story and at one time was very important to someone, somewhere. I'm a pretty sentimental person...and when I'm antique shopping, I sometimes feel like all the items are my Grandmother's and I want to buy them all and give them a proper home.

I try to check out my list of lovely antique shops in GR as often as my schedule allows. Since these types of shops usually get in new items on a daily basis, there is always something new to look at.
Here are some of the sweet pieces I saw on my last weekend antique trip.

Are there other sentimental "antiquers" out there? :)
What would you say is your best antique find? I love finding old vintage keys, bottles, books, and bronze animals. Probably one of my sweetest finds was a vintage dress form.

So, we are officially living in our house now! Thanks everyone for all the support and kind words.
The move went so fast and easy; thanks to my co-worker and hubby's muscles.
Things are still extremely disorganized. I have no idea where half of my stuff is, where I'm going to put it, and to top it off I've been struggling with a really nasty flu, allowing all this to continue to just pile up...but I know it won't be like this forever. I'm finally home and it feels so good.


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Lavendar & Green

Is it the weekend yet?
Things here have been beyond busy and to be honest, I haven't felt like dressing up at all, let alone do an outfit post, but I decided that it probably would cheer me up a bit. The house renovations are coming along nicely, but my biggest hurdle has been dealing with the disorganization that has come with the remodel and moving from one place to the next.  Right now, taking it one day at a time is the only way to keep my sanity. This past weekend the weather was so nice, I had to bust out the bare legs just one more time.  Lucky timing, because  Fall has officially taken over here in Grand Rapids and it's out with the tweed jackets and scarves!
Hurray for Fall!

Lately I've been really drawn towards lovely muted and light shades of green and lavender.
These pins have been inspiring me for some time to style together an outfit with these color combos.


I think these colors go lovely together. Not sure if it's my favorite mix of colors...but it's up there.
What is your favorite two colors to mix together?

Have a great weekend lovelies!
We are officially moving into our house this weekend, so stay tune for more house updates.
I just can't wait to finally be settled into one place!


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Join the Party!

It's a surprise party and you all are invited! 
to see if you can find my post and score some sweet giveaways! 


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Behind the Blog - The Fresh Exchange

Hey guys!
 If you haven't seen my tweets or Facebook today, make sure you head over to The Fresh Exchange to see my feature on "Behind the Blog." Megan of The Fresh Exchange, is an amazing designer/blogger whose blog and daily inspirations shouldn't be missed!

via Bryan and Mae

Plus, she has got some amazing stuff coming up on her blog, starting tomorrow!
Stay tuned. :)


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Chevron Chair

So do you want to know why I think I have the best mom in the world? 
Because she took this worn old chair...

And gave me this.

After scouring Pinterest for fabric inspiration, I decided that I wanted the chair painted a bright white and have a vivid yellow chevron pattern put on it. I didn't think my Mom would be able to find the exact fabric that I pinned...but I'm pretty sure she did. Mom, you rock.

Cute! Super cute!
And we had enough fabric to do a second chair that Mom got for $1.00 - giving me a chance to practice reuphostering the chair cushion...because I know I will be doing this again.  Reupholstering a chair similar to this is incredibly easy. As long as you have fabric and an electric staple gun, you can do it!

Have any of you tried to repurpose some kind of furniture? How did it turn out?
I'd love to see before and after photos!


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Drive-In Fashion Shoot - Sneak Peak

About a month ago I received a sweet email from Tieka of Selective Potential about doing a fashion shoot!  Of course I jumped at this opportunity to have a killer photo shoot with Tieka and Megan of Lime Green Photograhy there to capture it all. Both girls are lovely and so fun to work with. Megan's work is amazing so be sure to stop by her blog and check out her awesomeness!

 Here is a sneak peak of our "drive-in" fashion shoot.

Can't wait to see the rest of these photos and share them with you all!

So did you have a fun Labor Day weekend? Mine was spent working on the house with both our parents, who I'm forever indebted to. :) They helped us accomplish sooooooo much this weekend.  I've been tweeting like crazy all the updates because I've been so pumped about how everything is coming together.
It truly is worth all the work and more.


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