DIY Dresser

Here's to the DIY-ers and Pinterest-born crafters! My boyfriend just moved into a new apartment, which means very little because he's at my place all the time. Why? Because boys cannot nest. Or prioritize. His surround sound system is fully installed, yet he has no dresser for his clothes. PS3 hooked up? Yep. Walls completely bare? Ditto. Don't let me misrepresent him - he is, despite this behavior, a responsible and fully functioning, often much more mature than me, man in his late 20's. And a wonderful guy. But he has also, in earnest, asked me to explain why people hang anything on their walls.

So, his apartment has become my project. It now houses the various and sundry things I wasn't presently using, including a rug, small kitchen table, chairs, extra dishes and pans, and a shower curtain. We found this basic but well-made little dresser on Craigslist last weekend for $30, and I needed to make it attractive but still man-room appropriate. Aside from a fun project, the whole situation also gave me an excuse to go to Home Depot and play with paint and wander around for a couple hours. A favorite pastime of mine. Let it be noted that I did not sand this thing first and it totally didn't matter. I was careful to use the fancy seal-it-up-so-everything-doesn't-stick-to-the-dresser-and-ruin-the-paint spray after the two coats of paint had dried.

Here's the before (basically...I forgot to take a photo, but here's what it looked like):

In progress (after first coat of paint):


And those are his weights to the left. He is a boy. Can you tell the white mirrored wall piece is also from me? Not exactly manly, but he didn't complain. And the dresser will look much more impressive with, ya know, actual items on it. Like a lamp. But look at it now, anyway! Red and everything. 


Garlic Rosemary Chicken

My mama, the tall blond sparkplug I spoke of in my mother's day post, cooked some delish dinner last night. I'm back home for a few days and taking full advantage of the big 'ol stocked kitchen, of course. Now mama is a nearly 30 year vegetarian, but makes the good stuff for her entirely carnivorous family. With what she had in the kitchen, mama roasted chicken. Here's what it looked like before going in the oven:

Couldn't you just blow that picture up and hang it over your fireplace?

In a chicken-drunk haze, we were all too blissfully stuffed to bother with an "after" photo. So make this yo' own self and you'll find out.

Recipe (no precision here, eyeball it. trust your instincts, wise chef.):

- Chicken thighs and breasts, bone in
- Rosemary twigs
- Smashed garlic pods, tossed in pan
- Chunks and slices of lemons and limes
- Stubbs Chicken Marinade

Throw the raw chicken and a bottle of Stubbs' Marinade in a ziploc in the fridge 1-3 hours before cooking. Then mix all this good stuff up in a roasting pan and cover it in the oven at 350 for about an hour, then take off the cover and let it cook on for another half an hour. Bon appetit, yall!


Free Slurpee Day!

Today is free slurpee day! 7-11 is giving away free 7.11 oz. slurpees from 11am - 7pm today. Yum!

Photo credit: 7-eleven.com


DIY Kitchen Towels

On the hunt for a simple, spring DIY project this weekend I grabbed the following at Walmart:

Flour Sack Towels: $1.97 for two
Acrylic Paint: $0.97
Paint Brush Set: $3.97 for eight brushes
Stencils (not pictured, those things don't lend themselves to photography): $2.50

Total cost: $9.41 (and really much less per project, because I bought a bunch of brushes and have stencils and paint to spare!)

I returned home, got a diet coke on ice, and made this:

Fun to mix it up in the kitchen and I'm thinking of making these as personalized hostess gifts! How about a monogram??

I also sprayed a little finish when the paint dried, and time will tell if these towels need a gentle cycle treatment or handwashing to keep the design. Hopefully that dragonfly will hold on tight. And if not, they're so easy and fun - I'll make more!


A cold drink on a hot day

I don't know about you, but we are well into the 90+ degrees here! Got me thinking about what ice cold drinks I can make to cool down. These are looking pretty delish, and the captions link to the recipes. Enjoy the top three! And I'm sure adding prosecco to these won't hurt anyone...


The best blog post I've ever read.

Are you in the middle of cooking dinner and poking around for 30 seconds online while the fish cooks? Let it burn. Click through and read now: Giant Metal Chickens, in the style of The Bloggess.

In truth, I first read this about a year ago when it was posted. But The Bloggess just came out with a book that is surely hilarious, and it made me recall the giant metal chicken. Pure joy.

Surprise Site Sale at Kate Spade

Surprise! Kate Spade has a pop sale of sorts online today. You can check out the discounted merch here. Some of my faves:


New outfit love

I reluctantly picked up this seemingly shapeless (but adorable) Webster dress from Target the other day. My policy with Target is to buy, try on at home, and return if needed. Well, this dress was adorable, (obviously) comfortable, and even got an unsolicited compliment from my boyfriend. The trick: belt it. And accessorize, of course. Success!


Graduation Gift Ideas

Tis the season! Here are some ideas for what to give your grad.
to fit lunch, phone, wallet, laptop, and heels on the weekdays...

to help adjust to waking up before 10am...

for the long subway rides ahead...

for use at the new job...

because the beat up spiral notebook won't cut it anymore...

because their camera didn't survive the frat parties...

to help adapt to life, spending, and home care as a non-student...

for, oh, the places they'll go!

And, let's be honest, you'll never go wrong with cash in a pretty envelope. Trust me, they need it.


Mama love

Happy Mother's Day! Call yo mamas, write them, and if they're close - drive over there and give the big 'ol hug. Alas, my mother is 1,500 miles away, but from here (and via the flowers that arrived yesterday) I give her my thanks and love. I was blessed with quite the mama. 

My mother commands a room. Armed with red lipstick, blond hair, sharp wit, and standing 5'8" she is a force to be reckoned with. Which of course means that we've butt heads from time to time when I was growing up (I recently saw a movie that started with the line "Hell is a teenage girl..."). But she is strong and supportive. She is a natural leader, and happy to wear 4" heels and officially be the tallest woman in the room. 

My mother has a bit of magic to her. My sister, who was named after my mother, recently said that we were given a very romantic childhood. I'd never thought of it that way, but she was right. Every holiday had traditions, its own food and books and patterns. I was served homemade strawberry cake each birthday until I left home. We made snow ice cream in the winter. Mommy was always organizing the next activity, off to a meeting for a nonprofit or huge event she chaired, working on an essay, redecorating an entire floor, while making enough food for the entire neighborhood of kids to eat at our house. She taught us to try, explore, go, do. Join the team, take the trip, go well outside your comfort zone. Because of that, I have always felt capable of anything. Will it be hard? Sure. But thinking I *cannot* do something is a ridiculous concept. And that applies to all of us. 

My mother is a whole person. She isn't perfect, no one is. And so I know that I can make mistakes, and I certainly do, and all told still be a kind and good person. My mother and I are both passionate and impatient. We both have quirky humor. We are writers. And I hope that when I have children, they will absorb from me the same appetite for life, and love, that I got from my mother. 

Here's best advice I ever got from my mother, and this should come as no surprise now:

"Honey, if you don't have a good reason not to go somewhere, go." 

What's the best advice you ever got from your mother?


25% Off at Brooks Brothers

It's Brooks Brothers Friends & Family discount time! From now through Saturday, May 12 you can get 25% off in stores and online (or by phone, if that's your thing). Code: FNFBB1

Happy shopping!


He let the wild rumpus start

Maurice Sendak, beloved children's author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are and, thus, influential figure in most of our childhoods, died this morning at the age of 83. Let us think of him today and run around in footie pajamas and crowns and celebrate a slightly darker take on children's lit. Farewell, Maurice. I promise your books will inspire the imagination of my kiddos just as it did mine.


Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Especially if you're planning to order online, it's time to prepare for Mother's Day! Here are a few ideas:

This card from Etsy

Diamond Print Scarf now on sale at Banana Republic

Bundled Drops Earrings from Anthropologie

Grain Sack Frames from Pottery Barn

Don't forget Dad's Day will be right behind: