Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another week of pins. Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...

[How great is this kitchen? Between the tall ceilings, the industrial appliances and that fantastic rustic loft/shelf above, I'm not sure what I love most about this room! Oh, and of course you can't forget about the retro checkered floor!]

Painted radiators add bright pops color.
[We don't have an exposed radiator in our house, but you can bet your buttons if we did I'd run home right now and paint it a bright color! I absolutely love turning an otherwise-ugly feature into a statement piece. Very cool idea.]

pancakes made in muffin/cupcake tins.  Only fill the tin 1/2 full and it will create the crater when it bakes. Fill with fresh berries! Genius.
[These mini German pancakes (made in muffin tins) are almost too cute to eat. As they bake, they form little cups, perfect for spooning in fresh fruit, jam or any other topping!]

Grilled Tropical Chicken with Spicy Strawberry Salsa
[Now, I love plain, old barbecue just fine, but every once in a while you've got to mix things up a bit. This tropical grilled chicken with spicy-strawberry salsa would be perfect for any cookout for a healthy, flavor-packed option!]

Homemade Graham Crackers
[Normally when I see recipes for homemade crackers I don't pay much attention. But these homemade graham crackers look absolutely delicious. I picture them being slightly softer than a typical graham, which suits me just fine. Now all I need is a homemade marshmallow and I'll be 2/3 of the way to one delectable, from-scratch s'more.]

Get fancy with these 9 recipes for great, surprising grilled cheese combos.
[Grilled cheese is one of those foods I don't know that anyone hates. It's easy, quick and perfect on any kind of day - hot or cold. If you fancy yourself a gourmet and can't bring yourself to chomp down on white bread and Kraft singles, check out these fancified versions of the classic sandwich. They all look amazing!]

so beautiful
[I know I've said I can't pull off the long-dress look, but this yellow one just screamed out at me at the get go. You could dress it up or wear it casually - just gorgeous!] 

Oh, that's purdy.
[At this point you've come to learn just how much I love lace. This pretty dress incorporates two kinds of lace into one frilly, feminine piece. Adorable!]

Handpainted Taika Flats #anthropologie
[I've been loving all the toe-tipped, color-blocked flats popping up all over the place lately. But these hand-painted ballet flats totally stand out. I love how soft the lines of color are on them - very classy.]

the beatles
[What a classic shot of the Beatles running through a train station. This was taken at the height of Beatlemania and gives a great glimpse into the hysteria that surrounded the band.]

Einstein's 70th birthday party (c) Magnum Photos, 1949 by Philippe Halsman
[This is just about the sweetest photo in the world. Albert Einstein, at his 70th birthday party. The children all look enamored with him!]

Ummm... hi, totally awesome paint-by-numbers guestbook!
[I'm a little light on the wedding pins this week, but this one make up for it. How awesome is this paint-by-numbers guest book? It's something the bride and groom and keep in their house forever, and is pretty and meaningful at the same time!]

"No one looks stupid when they're having fun." - Amy Poehler
["No one looks stupid when they're having fun." - Amy Poehler. This is one phenomenal quote, one that I need to remind myself of more often! And on top of that, how incredible is this photo? What I would give to be in this room with these hilarious women...]

There are plenty more where these came from! To see everything I pin, all week long, follow me on Pinterest.


A Garden Update

Now that the garden has been planted for over a month, I thought I'd fill you in on how it's been progressing in the past weeks.

If you remember, this is what the garden looked like just after I planted everything:
Aside from some started tomatoes, peppers and cilantro and mint popping up from last year, there wasn't too much going on back on May 15th.

But check out how quickly things have come in just six short weeks!

Thanks to the crazy hot weather and some diligent watering on my part (thanks to the crazy drought we've been experiencing so far this summer), there's some pretty good growth going on already in the garden.

In fact, I've already harvested some of my first crop!
I was noticing the radishes starting to pop out from the ground last week, so I pulled a couple and they looked good enough to eat to me! Then, right on cue two days later, SmartGardener e-mailed me saying the radishes were probably ready to begin being harvested. Awesome! Since then, I've picked about 12 radishes, which have been delectable in my lunchtime salads.

Now that you know the radishes are all ready and rarin' to go, let's check up on some of the other veggies.
 On your left you'll see the first row of spinach I've planted. It's growing fine enough, but I'd like to have it a bit more plentiful. Plus, it looks as though some critters have been nibbling just a bit on one the front spinach bunch. Dirty varmints. 

To the right of that are my green pepper plants. The one up front has already produced two nice-sized green bell peppers!

And to the right of the bell peppers is the jalapeno plant. 
 Sadly, this little guy isn't doing so hot. Last year, I had a great amount of jalapenos growing, and this year it looks as though this plant (which I bought and planted as a start) won't be as bountiful.
This tiny little jalapeno has kept this size for quite some time.

Next to the jalapeno plant are bush beans. These fellas are growing quite nicely, especially coming up from seeds. They're currently flowering, and pretty soon I bet I'll see tiny little beanlings starting to grow!

My star of the garden, so far, is the squash. It is growing like crazy! Although no little squashes are growing yet, the plant itself is creeping across the garden.

 It's making a run for the right side of the garden!

Beyond the squash plants are the radishes (left) and Kohlrabi (right). As I mentioned before, the radish is mostly ready to go! I've been keeping an eye on it and picking what looks large enough for slicing and adding to salads as I go. And to the right of the Kohlrabi is another line of spinach.

Over on the right side of the garden, things look just a bit more sparse now, but that's because I've allowed plenty of room for the cucumber plant to run amok the larger it gets. Remember how crazy my cucumbers grew last year?? It's already spreading out nicely this season!

Next to the cucumber I've got some basil that took a while to pop up, but I have a feeling pretty soon it's going to burst with sweet basil leaves.

And next to the basil are my tomato plants. I've got five out there (started and donated to our garden by our across-the-street neighbors), and I'm keeping especially close eye on them, seeing as how they're a totally new plant to grow for me. I hope those cages are soon overflowing with tomatoes! 

So that's the rundown of how the garden's looking, six weeks in. I'm hoping in six more weeks I'll have plenty to report about - hopefully I'll be feasting on most of what is just shooting up right now!

Do you have a garden this season? What have you planted? Are you seeing good progress?


Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another week of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...

Cute, creative storage.
[Stylish and functional, this coffee table has me thinking it's time to start the hunt for some old crates to put to use!]

Eclectic, cozy (and check out that lighted bike installment over the fireplace!)
[I love this room's design - the mix of patterns works well in such a large space. And how cool is that light-strung bicycle on the mantel?]

Baking pan drawer.... WANT.
[Between my tupperware and baking sheet cabinets, I don't know which frustrates me more. This genius baking-sheet drawer keeps things organized, in place and simple to grab!]

Grilled Chicken, Peach, Blackberry + Basil Pizza
[By this time of year I'm usually craving berries, peaches and all sweet summery fruits. This summer pizza tops standard dough, mozzarella and chicken with sweet peaches and blackberries. Drool....]

Double Berry Puff Pancake from @RecipeGirl Lori
[While we're on the berry train, let's keep it rolling with this tasty-looking double-berry puff pancakes. It looks incredible! I'm fairly certain I could polish off that whole skillet-sized pancake all by myself.]

Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel Creme Filling
[I'm not sure how I've gone three days after pinning these brownie sandwich cookies with salted caramel-creme filling without making them myself. They sound absolutely amazing, decadent and are a fun twist on a standard whoopie pie.]

One of those girls I wish I could hate but she just seems so genuine...
[Do you ever just want to hate someone based on how perfect they seem? That's the way I feel about Blake Lively.... she's too pretty, to glamorous and her stylish is always on point....but I can't hate her. She seems down-to-Earth, genuine and the girl is apparently a talented baker. What's not to love?]

mint & coral
[I'm crazy over the mint and coral combo in this outfit. It's adorable from head to toe!]

Thrill Murray – The Bill Murray Coloring Book
[There's not a person I know who doesn't like Bill Murray. He's one of my favorite actors of all time, and he's got such a loyal fan base. So loyal, in fact, there's a coloring book in his name featuring renderings of scenes from some of his movies. I'd definitely break out a new box of Crayolas for this one!]

Cloth Extension Cord, for those cords that have no choice but to be in plain sight.
[Ah, extension cords... an ugly necessity in our lives. But  if you've got cords that simply can't be hidden, you might as well make sure they're pretty! With these cloth-covered extension cords you won't have to work so hard trying to find a way to hide them.]

yes yes yes
[I pinned this because the space reminds me of our venue - brick walls, high, beamed ceilings and beautiful arched windows. Now, if I want to recreate this look, I better get busy making yards and yards of colorful bunting!]

pretty ceremony chair decor
[I really like this idea of spelling something out on the back row of ceremony chairs. The burlap bags give it a nice rustic touch and breaks up all that white.]

Little Borrowed Dress - bridesmaid dresses to rent!
[Little Borrowed Dress just may be the most ingenious idea in the wedding world - a site where bridesmaids can rent their dresses for just $50! And the dresses are all incredibly cute and come in a great variety of colors. So smart!]

peony-inspired cupcakes
[The bride at this wedding wanted her cupcakes to be peony-inspired. I love these soft, beautiful-looking cupcakes - like an edible bouquet!]

Wedding Flowers Worksheet – Free Download
[Speaking of flowers, if you're doing your own arranging (as I plan to do), this handy worksheet helps you learn just how many of each flower, filler and greenery you'll need to order to have enough to work with at your venue. So helpful!]

There are plenty more where these came from! to see everything I pin all week long, follow me on Pinterest.


Make Your Own Giant Jenga Board

As you may recall, Eric and I really enjoyed playing "Giant Jenga" while we were in Denver a couple of weeks ago. I'm a big fan of regular Jenga, and it turns out the larger you make it, the more fun it is. I don't know of any bars in Milwaukee that have Giant Jenga, and I certainly wouldn't wait around to discover a place that has it, so Eric and I decided to make our own Giant Jenga to play in the backyard. It's so incredibly easy I don't know why we didn't think of doing this before!

What you'll need:
Eight 2x4s, measuring 8ft long
A saw (we used a circular, but a miter would be even better)
Tape measure
Damp towel

We bought eight untreated 2x4x8 boards from Home Depot in order to have enough wood for 19 rows.

Then, Eric took the boards and measured and marked off every 10.5" to cut.

Our neighbor, Andy, was kind enough to let us borrow his circular saw to cut our boards. So Eric got to work on that after measuring and marking.

Then, after all 57 boards were cut (19 rows of three 10.5" long boards), we sanded them down to smooth things out, then wiped each board down with a wet towel to clear away any sawdust and residue. 

And that's it! Easiest project EVER. We finished (or, Eric did...) it in one short night after work.

And the total cost? About $16 just to buy the lumber.

I'd suggest, as you're playing, to keep a permanent market nearby so you can write down quotes, funny expressions or inside jokes on each of the boards. Whenever we've played Jenga at a bar, one of my favorite things is reading all the random (usually suggestive) things people have written all over the boards. When we played on Saturday, I (sadly) was the first-ever loser in our backyard giant Jenga. So Eric wrote "Rachel is the first loser: 6/16/2012." So now everyone will know how much of a loser I am in the years to come. How delightful.

If you're playing outside, find a sturdy table to take outdoors (one you wouldn't care if it got a little dinged up). We brought out on old coffee table that we keep in our basement. We also provided an old Brewers hard hat for head protection in case the boards topple over on you if you're bent over, pulling a board from the bottom row. That hard hat got used quite a few times on Saturday!

This game is perfect for just passing time on a beautiful day outside. It's cheap, fun, and everyone already knows how to play! Bonus points for the ability to hold a drink while maneuvering the boards.



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