Thursday, December 26, 2013

DIY Jewelry Tray/Ring Holder

You have probably seen a few versions of these Anthropologie Hacks popping up around on Pinterest.  I thought making my own would be perfect for holiday gifts.


  • Plates (I bought ones at good will and put them through the dishwasher)
  • Spray Paint (I like Rust Oleum - Satin Heirloom White)
  • Gorilla Glue (made for ceramic/paint)
  • Small animals from Michael's - I picked the Jungle collection
  • Gold Spray Paint (Rust Oleum is my fav brand)
  • Metallic Pen (optional)

Buy some inexpensive plates - I picked mine up for $1-$3 dollars each at Goodwill. Wash them in the dishwasher and let them dry.

Spray paint the plates with your white spray paint, do one side and once its fully dry, do the other.
It has been really chilly so I had to let mine sit overnight. It took a few days to get the plates coated to my liking.

In the meantime spray paint your small animals, I opted to go with gold. I bought the jungle pack, but there were a ton to choose from.

Once your plates and animals are dry its time to get gluing. Use the gorilla glue, and use a very small amount - place the animal on the tray and secure it with a rubber band or hair tie. The gorilla glue expands while it dries.

I made a number of these and after they were all dry I decided to dress them up a little bit with the metallic pen.

I loved them so much I made one for myself.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Winter Pot Roast

With the cow share we recently purchased we have many different cuts of meat and since Portland has been gifted this beautiful crisp and chilly weather (did I mention DRY) it is the perfect time of year for pot roast.

1 bag frozen trader joes Pearl onions (or about 3 cups roughly cut onions, you want big chunks)
1 bag frozen trader joes parisian Carrots (or about 3 cups chopped carrots)
4 sprigs fresh Rosemary
4-5 sprigs fresh Thyme
1/2 c Bourbon
1 large can peeled tomatoes (I like the San Marazano from Trader Joes)
8 cloves Garlic (crushed or minced)
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh ground pepper

Brown the pot roast on all sides, don’t cook it through, just let it get a little caramelization going on.
Place the pot roast in the Crockpot; add the pearl onions, carrots, and garlic. Add the rosemary, thyme and tomatoes. Add the bourbon and just enough water to cover the meat.
Cook on high 6-8 hrs until meat is tender.

We served ours over mashed potatoes, but I bet a root vegetable mash would be even better!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Natural Deodorant


3 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp cornstarch
10 drops tangerine essential oil

Lightly melt the coconut oil in a glass container in the microwave, or in a saucepan on low heat if you prefer - I put it in my pyrex and melted it for 20 seconds in the microwave, when I took it out and stirred it the rest of it melted on its own.

Mix in the cornstarch and baking soda - I started with 2 tablespoons at a time until each one was incorporated.

Mix in essential oil (I picked tangerine - but really any kind you like would work)

Place in a container - I put mine in a small mason jar. Just put a small dab under each arm and you are good to go.

                    I wore this all day and although my armpits got wet,  there was no smell. Success!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Underground Herbal Spirit

Today I am reviewing Underground Herbal Spirit

Underground is manufactured in Utah by Ogden’s Own Distillery. I was honestly a bit surprised to hear about this company, I think because Utah immediately conjured images of Prohibition.  

The bottle is unique, it has that old timey vibe to it,  it looks like something I might order in a saloon. And if you know me, I am a sucker for interesting bottles. 

It’s a  blend of cassia (cinnamon), angostura (bitters), anise, cardamom, a couple flowering plants: gentian & yarrow , wormwood (used to make absinthe) , mate (like the tea), guarana, ginseng, molasses, orange oil, lemon oil, spearmint, pure cane sugar, agave and plum.

I wasn’t really sure how to use it at first, I know Brix Tavern here in PDX uses it in one of their cocktails.

Generally I am not a fan of anything with guarana, don’t even get me started on energy drinks… but since in this case its for flavor and not part of an energy drink I can make an exception.

The spirit is similar to something akin to Jagermesiter I suppose.  My husband said it reminded him of a digestif – something drank after dinner in France to help with digestion. 

The things I liked about it :
very low sugar content compared to similar liqueurs
the flavor (Its very licorice, which if you like licorice is a good thing)
its 80 proof
its gluten free

My hesitations about it:
I am just not that sure what I would use it for other then as a digestif (either served alone, or mixed with club soda, but I did enjoy it in this medium)
It could be interesting in a blood mary though.

All in all I thought it was tasty, if you are interested in trying it you can purchase it here 

This post is brought to you by the makers of Underground but all the thoughts/opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Things I am Loving

I am obsessed with plants lately, it remains to be seen if I can keep them alive. This diamond shaped terririum one is super cute.

I have been seeing these prints all over, I love the red and creme together on this cardigan.  

I have been looking for a plant holder for our dining room for a few months, my plants are taking over the dining room table! This one holds 6 and its very mid century modern.

I really love this moonrise kingdom print - because it is probably what my husband thinks all the time! One might say I am a bit of a talker, and if you know me in real life you probably know that to be true.

Also this dry shampoo looks awesome, and I have heard rave reviews about it.

What is on your holiday wish list? 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bourbon Bacon Jam

This year I am making a bunch of holiday gifts, one of which is going to be bacon jam. Cat is out of the bag I guess if I am posting about it but I think my friends and family won't mind I spoiled the surprise.

I have been wanting to make bacon jam for a few years and after perusing a few recipes I decided to just dive in.

Adapted from SpoonForkBacon

4 lbs Applewood smoked bacon
3 onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
salt to taste (depending on how salty your bacon is you will want to adjust this to your preference)
4 tsp ground pepper
2 cups bourbon (I used Bulleit Bourbon)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
12 tbsp apple cider vinegar
7 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp ground mustard
10 oz brewed coffee

Brown up all your bacon first until crispy - I like to use my oven for this step.  (Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 - keep an eye on it, it might take more time or it might take less depending on how thick the bacon is) Then set bacon aside.

On the stove in a saucepan,  mix together  about 4 tbsp of the bacon fat, onions, garlic and spices. Once the onion is translucent add the bourbon and reduce slightly.

Now this is where your crockpot comes in handy.  Break up the bacon into chunks. Put everything into the crockpot, salt it to taste and cook on high until the liquid is reduced by a lot, you want it mostly evaporated.  It took about four hours in the crockpot. I then used my stick blender and blended it together in short bursts. If you have a food processor you could put everything into that and blend it up until it is a texture you like, somewhere between having medium/small chunks and a paste.

I put it into the fridge to cool and then put them in jars the following day.  It is really yummy, I highly recommend you make it.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Girlfriends

Now I am sure everyone already knows what they are getting their besties, but in case you need a few ideas I think the following four items would go over really well. 

I haven't watched Girls yet (I know I am probably the only one) however I have heard great things and think this would be a great show to share with your girlfriends. 

Wine, the Red Velvet by Cupcake is a favorite. 

This herringbone scarf from target is cozy and gorgeous.

And a spa day - but not the usual facials and massages,  why not try something new and check out this Portland steam and sauna with a Scandinavian vibe. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Super Cute and Billigt Garlands

So you are probably wondering what the heck Billigt means…. well its the Swedish word for cheap. And these garlands are super easy, super cheap and super cute.

For materials:
Ikea (see this is where the Swedish comes in) paper coasters
Embroidery thread (the kind you use to make friendship bracelets)

Thread your needle with the embroidery thread. Then thread them through the coasters.

Once threaded I spaced them out how far apart I wanted them and then I made a knot in the thread so they would stay in place.  From one 10 pack of coasters I made two garlands.

The needle and thread I had on hand and the coasters were $1.00, I put them together and strung them up in less then 20 minutes.
Leia managed to sneak into this shot. 

A cute fast and festive way to prepare for the holidays!