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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Cookies!

  Things have been pretty hectic around here between wrapping up the boutique, work, school, Christmas shopping, and trying to get the house back together after the sale. So while we don't have time to bake cookies, we DO have the opportunity to decorate (and eat) them!
  I picked up this box of freshly baked cookies from the cafeteria at my work - complete with 2 dozen cookie (trees, bells, stars, and gingerbread-peeps), 3 frosting colors, and a fun variety of glitters and sprinkles - for $11.95 - what a deal!    
  ** Getting them home on the bus was.....interesting.....

So! We've invited Riley and Mad over to help us decorate them!

Ta da!!
Elisa's Cookies! (I ate the yellow star first...)
Mad's Cookies! - So I guess my photo-skills removed the heads of Mad's gingerbread peeps
- but check out the 'junk tree', Patrick the Starfish from Sponge Bob, and a very patriotic bell.
Riley's Cookies! Mario Star + Two-Face. Very nice.
Kevin's Cookies! Featuring a very busted Gingy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On the Go - On the Run - 2011 Boutique = Done

  Greetings! You may remember us from previous posts such as Nov. 4th - Pictures of Pumpkins - that's right it's been over a month since our last post - THE REASON! = we've been focused on our OTHER blog http://finchsboutique.blogspot.com/ and creating a 2-day Boutique in the new house.
  After a few weeks of preparing the house, collecting fab product from over 50 participating artists and designers, we put on a pretty darn good boutique.
  - We were visited by over 130 shoppers - that's a lot of traffic for our place!
  - Sales = over $7k
  - Over $500 raised for The American Cancer Society through out participant donations
  -...and spent most of our earnings on cool stuff at the boutique (some for gifts...but mostly for us and the house...)
  Even though I promised to share photos of the product projects we were working on for the sale - and failed - I will attempt to make it up to you by sharing pics of our transformed living room/dining room:
Kitchen, Table Linens, Sweet Treats Area - View #1
Printed and embellished kitchen towels, aprons, coasters & trivets, pot holders, artwork, recipe cards, cake pops, truffles, table runners, napkins, wooden wine stoppers, candles, mulling spices, etc.
Kitchen, Table Linens, Sweet Treats Area - View #2
Baby & Kids Area
Plush Toys, Finger Puppets, Children's Books, Printed Tees, Headbands + Barrettes, Burp Cloths, Quilting and Embroidery Kits, Crayon Totes, Hand Painted Step Stools, Wash Mitts, etc. 
a look at the artwork and photography displayed on our lovely new mantle + Christmas tree and gift area featuring ornaments, holiday cards and activity books, ceramic gifts, tree skirts + more
on the other side of the room =  our jewelry and accessories area complete with necklaces, bracelets, earrings, fabric belts, headbands, purses, wallets, zipper pouches, screen tees, hats, scarves, and yoga bags
TJ Brecht Original provided some of the fabulous furniture created from reclaimed materials like the large cabinet on the left, whose face is made from a cool, old screen door. We used it to display artwork, wooden crates, fairy houses and then some. To the right = soaps, lotions, candles, tissue covers, and more
our couch all covered up with quilts, pillows, and pillow covers
The photos shown are just the tip of of the details captured by Amber Engfer Photography the morning of the event. For more photos, visit the boutique blog :) http://finchsboutique.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 4, 2011

Spooky Scary! Halloween Recap

OoooooooooooooooOOOoooooooooo! Spooky! Well not SUPER spooky...

  Trick-or-Treaters Count:.... 18. Only 18?! Disappointing. We're used to 80 something in Mpls - we have a lot of leftover candy...
  For the 18 Trick-or-Treaters that DID stop by, here is what they saw:

Owen and Brooke broke out their Halloween finest - the safari theme was NOT coordinated up front - just kind of worked out that way.

and Finch got in on the fun too...
And here was my spooky surprise for Kym! Halloween Nugget Trio!

..they could be lurking ANYWHERE!
Who is scarier? That Ghost Nugget? or the vertical blinds he's hiding behind?

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Boutique is Back On!

   Have you heard? Finch's Holiday Time Boutique
is back in action!
After taking a year off to get married, move and try to settle in, we are back!
Mark your calendars for Dec. 3rd and 4th - Come and shop and you'll get to see some of our lovely home updates in person - if that isn't enough motivation!! Plan to complete a TON of your holiday shopping early because there are going to be really great stuff made available by over 50 local artists/designers/crafters, + 1 designer from Philly and 1 designer from Denmark (just bc you move, doesn't mean you can't participate from afar - we love you Lynn & Vân!)

Have a peek at the Boutique Blog: http://finchsboutique.blogspot.com/

So that means I am also full speed ahead making cute little items for the sale and getting ready to transform the new place into a 2-day boutique. So! Now I get to share some of what I'm working on along the way :)

I've been making little Nugget Finger Puppets!


and these little "Tea-For-Two" sets
(2 tea bags + 3 sugar cubes - ready for the fanciest of tea parties...)




I have lots more in the works - I'll be sure to share more as I go :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Front Entry Way Progress

So we have begun to address some of our wish list for the front entry way.

Wish List Item #1: Table to stash keys and mail or notes or...
  After some looking (lazy looking, only online and Ikea) we came up with this table on Target.com:
Things we like about the table: Size: it's pretty small, but it IS 12" deep, so it will fit in there without snagging your pocket on the way by + I like the little drawer. Sturdy/Well made.
Things we don't like about the table: natural wood, ugly wooden knob, kind of boring.




Luckily, we are able to remedy the things we DON'T like pretty easily: With the help of (you may have already guessed) our trusty friend SPRAY PAINT!, a trip to Anthropologie for a cute, new knob, and two little decorative wooden scroll details (that I glued on before we painted), we were able to get this table looking better in no time.




Voila!

Wish List Item #2: Mirror - We dug out the round mirror from the Mpls house - I think it's just the right size. This one is easy.



Wish List Items #3: Something to sit on to help get on/off shoes, etc. - something light weight though and small...
  Well for now, one of our little Ikea ottomans will do the trick - I like the pop of green with all of our gray.
and it fits right under our new little table too!
Finch approved!

Okay. More to come.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thanks for the Soup, Food Network Magazine!

Kevin made a tasty Broccoli-Cheddar soup last night for dinner - from the cover of Oct. Food Network Magazine. It was pretty darn good, although Kevin made a few tweaks and would prob do a few more next time too - just to add a little more flavor. It was a really quick meal - good for weeknights.


looks even better than in the magazine

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets  + we had fresh cauliflower from our crop share box, so we added that too
  • 1/3 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • Croutons, for topping (optional) - shouldn't be 'optional', should be a 'must add' - we use garlic croutons & they were SO good in there.
  • + we added fresh garlic
  • + we added yummy bacon bits for topping

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. (Kevin says next time he would saute the onions + some garlic and add them at the end with the broccoli so there would be some more chunks of veggies) Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, both potatoes, bay leaf, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add 3 tablespoons water and season with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain.
When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf from the soup and transfer the soup to a blender. Puree until smooth, leaving the filler cap slightly open to let steam escape (or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender). Return the soup to the pot and thin with water, if necessary. Return to a simmer over medium-low heat; stir in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.
Add the cheese and stir until melted. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons, if desired.
Over all it was really tasty - I added extra salt and garlic salt - but I like things pretty salty. We made some garlic toast for dunking - yum!
Per serving: Calories 589; Fat 34 g (Saturated 18 g); Cholesterol 97 mg; Sodium 931 mg; Carbohydrate 50 g; Fiber 8 g; Protein 22 g


+ a special thanks to Kym Martin for giving Kevin us the first year subscription of Food Network Mag. for our wedding!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Master Bedroom Plan + Mykea = Cool

  We've been planning what we want to do with out new master bedroom. The master bath is complete (with exception of a light fixture and mirror still...), so it would be nice to move into the room soon. We are still living out of the guest room next door - it would be sweet to have a permanent bed (+ I have this new duvet that I've been waiting to use until we are for the fresh-start in the new room).

  We've selected a light gray for the walls of the bedroom (Sherwin Williams "Aloof Gray"), but recently decided that we need to choose an accent color to add some warmth. I'd been planning for all this gray and white, and according to Kevin it's going to "start feeling like a hospital" soon. And I agree - we don't want things getting too sterile and too 'cold' when we'd def prefer a cozy space. Accent of yellow? orange? green?

  So! the PLAN = sticking with some gray and white, but adding in some color and transforming furniture where we can, to make it unique and comfy - WHILE still being functional and with lots of storage!

 
Bedroom To-Do List:
- Paint Walls Gray + New Accent color (the color we still need to select)
- Order new window treatments - I think we're going super simple with fabric honey-comb blinds. Maybe later we'll add a window panel - we'll see.
- Furniture: you know how much we love Ikea (yes, Ian, we ARE aware that there ARE other stores beside Ikea and Target...), we'd like to get a new bed frame and dresser, etc. and 'do stuff to them'. Spray Paint? Maybe. We'll see.
- Find a cool dresser for me - but NOT a dresser that is too matchy-match with the other furniture...
- Accessorize: artwork on walls, lighting, new duvet + we can't forget Finch's bed - perhaps he should get a new duvet too? hmmm..... I think I see ANOTHER new project looming...


  We have already purchased a big 'ole MALM dresser (the one with 6 drawers) to serve as Kevin's main dresser storage and holder of the bedroom TV. The main problem = that it's stark white. A big white rectangle.
 
  My first thought is to add some fun drawer pulls to alter the flat drawer fronts (although the drawers don't require them to open) - but then I found Mykea on a blog the other day. Mykea is a site, based in Amsterdam, that sells decorative decals SPECFICALLY to fit your Ikea furniture - beds, dressers, wardrobes, coffee tables, side tables, etc.

  Kevin and I have selected our favorite design, and we've ordered it up to fit the new dresser. Guess what? Big surprise: it's gray and white. Clouds!
This SHOULD be what it will look -  Before & After"

We will keep you posted on whether this turns out or not...

Plus! Here are some other pretty cool decal ideas from Mykea - would be great for transitioning kid's rooms.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Owen's Big Day!

Happy 1st Birthday to our nephew Owen! Hooray! So glad we could celebrate with the Birthday Boy today at the park :) The weather cooperated and it was a really nice day to be out.

Owen loves his Grandma Bonnie!
...almost as he loves his birthday cake. Anna made this super cute blue/green cake for Owen, and yummy raspberry mousse filled or peanut butter cream filled cupcakes for us! SO good!
We gave Owen his Birthday Crown (Target of course...) and I made him his very own Jimmy Doll!
The party was super fun - and when you get Owen and his cousin Brooke together - silliness ensues...


video


That Brooke makes the silliest - and cutest - faces...

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Bright Idea? or.....

   So all of the lighting in our home are these big glass globes - very 70's - We call them "Glenda" like the Good-Witch who travels via floating, glowing, bubble-globe in The Wizard of Oz.
   Anyway! The globes cast a not-so-pleasant orange glow - not good for ACTUALLY lighting the room + not really our style...
   
   Out of 3 big "Glendas" - we decided to tackle the dining room first. We just bought a new dining room table (chairs are coming soon...) so we are really looking forward to starting on this room in general.
   Not wanting to spend a lot, we ended up at Home Depot, hoping to come up with something that wasn't super genaric. We found this fixture, originally $200 something, clearanced 5 times down to $34.99 - so we say "why the heck not?" The finish on the box says "Antique Brass" - RED FLAG! for brushed nickel/stainless steel folks like ourselves. But the display in store looked like a slightly warmed brushed nickel. + At that price = Let's do it.

   So! Out of the box, in our house, the finish = super gold/brass. REALLY not pleasant just off the kitchen with all the gray and stainless.

Question: So do we:
A - Return the Light Fixture?
B - Make Do and hang it anyway?
C - Bust out the silver spray paint and have at it?

The answer of course is C - Why not? If it turns out crappy, we're out $40, but if it looks good, we got a super good deal on a chandelier right? This cheap girl is willing to gamble. (If you remember my mirror project from back in May/June or so, you'll know that we're kind of on this spray paint kick) 
In Progress:
Here's how it turned out!

Hooray! We think it looks pretty darn good
$40 + $2 or so for spray paint = not too shabby!
BRIGHT IDEA!!


* NOW AVAILABLE: 1 Glass Globe Light Fixture perfect for you retro style - FREE + 2 more to be available soon!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Just Married

So yesterday morning, after the big party that was Kyle and Heidi's Wedding reception Friday night Kevin and I snuck out of the hotel to write on the newlyweds car windows. With our glass/window marker, we located the silver Nissan Xterra in the parking lot, complete with car seat in back and set to work...


Then Kevin and I drove down the street to Target to take advantage of their Starbucks and upon re-entering the hotel parking lot, we noticed ANOTHER silver Nissan Xterra complete with car seat in back


After further inspection (window peeping) we found evidence that THIS vehicle was indeed Kyle and Heidi's car - SO! The photo above is NOT actually of the newlywed's car. We DID get our marker back out and write on the correct vehicle...


Looks like one lucky hotel guest got a little surprise when they went to their car that day....
Whoops!

A Gift Only a Brother Could Love

MY brother, Kyle, to be exact. As SOON as he and Heidi completed their registry at Target, we were online scoping it out - I like to buy off registries right away so I can get what I want to get and not just what is leftover.
  Since Kyle and Heidi recently moved into a new house, they had registered for all sorts of new home stuff - including a toilet seat. This struck me as particularly amusing since Kyle is pretty much the king of bathroom humor. Hey, there is nothing wrong with a good fart joke every now and then! (It just happens a bit more frequently in my family...)
  So I came up with a themed idea for Kyle and Heidi's wedding gift - and yes, it includes the toilet seat.

Step 1 of Operation Toilet Gift: Find the right box + buy the right gifts
This large high chair box will do the trick (leftover from moving...) - the toilet seat fits right on top nicely.
In addition to the toilet seat, we bought the crock pot (you know, for beans...), toilet paper holder, and corn on the cob holders from off their registry. + then we added a few more fun items...


















some room refreshers for Kyle
and a potty book for Brooke (for when she ready to start training) complete with flush sounds.
Step 2 of Operation Toilet Gift: Wrap it all up in Wedding White
All wrapped up!
We used a 6pk of TP for the tank in back, reinforced that box, and bolted the seat on top.
Step 3 of Operation Toilet Gift: Add the finishing touches
a little "Just Married" TP taped to come in between the seats
open up and reach on in to pull out the gifts!
(The crock pot is in there too - they'll have to rip the big box open to get in there at the end.)
and a lovely TP card signed with love from Elisa and Kevin on top!
perfect!

Although it was kind of tricky to get in the back of the car and into the hotel reception,
it was totally worth it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kyle & Heidi's Wedding!

It's finally here! My brother, Kyle, and Heidi are getting married! Hooray!
Rehearsal and Groom's Dinner last night went well - fun! - now for the big show.

Kevin and I are about to jump into action:
- drop of Finch at Kevin's mom's
- get my 'hair did' (10am)
- pack up the cooler to take with us on the limo-bus later
- grab Kevin's tux, my dress, our overnight stuff, and GIFT! heh heh heh - we'll show you that later...
- to the hotel by 12noon to get ready

Here's a look at the invites, etc. I designed for the event




+ Here's a little something I've prepared for our niece Brooke - it's not every day that your mom and dad get married! so - Bride + Groom Love-Bird Nuggets! (in the wedding colors: Black, White + Pink)




Okay: Wedding photos to follow soon!