Category Archives: martha in the making
July 9, 2015
When you’re on the go and trying to juggle hair, make-up, breakfast, and getting out the door on time, a make-ahead smoothie is a great morning option that is both healthy and delicious!
A few of my favorites are:
All Fruit & Vitamins Galore
Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living
Puree 2 oranges (peeled), 1 cup of frozen raspberries, and 1 cup of frozen blueberries. For some extra sweetness, add in two tangerines and 1 cup of frozen strawberries.
All Red Smoothie: Raspberry, Pomegranate, and Acai
Courtesy of FoodieCrush
Puree 1 cup of acai juice, 1 cup of pomegranate juice, and 3 cups of frozen strawberries.
Strawberries Wild CopyCat
Courtesy of Food.com
Puree 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1 cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt, and ½ cup of ice.
Courtesy of MakeDrinks.org
Puree 1 cup of frozen mangos, 1 cup of passion-fruit mango juice, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks, and 1 cup of ice.
September 21, 2014
Football season is back. Not that I’m an avid football fan…because truthfully, I don’t even understand what is happening on the field when I watch. But I do love Tom Brady…and even more so, I love the delicious finger foods that come hand-in-hand with football game watching.
I know there haven’t been very many recipe and crafty posts lately – but couldn’t resist sharing one of my favorite football foods, potato skins, which are surprisingly easy to make!
Homemade Pioneer Woman Potato Skins
Makes 8 potato skins
A dash of canola oil
A dash of salt
2 strips of turkey bacon
Mild cheddar cheese
1/2 stick of melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I like to use convection bake to help crisp and cook the potatoes.
2. Thoroughly scrub the potatoes.
3. Glaze the potatoes with canola oil on a foil-covered baking sheet.
4. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 30 minutes.
5. While the potatoes are baking, prepare the toppings! Grate enough cheese to cover 8 potato skins. Wash and cut green onions. Bake two strips of bacon, and mince into small pieces to add as a topping.
6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and scoop out some of the inside potato! I prefer to keep more potato than most restaurant style potato skins you’ll find – the beauty of this recipe is that you can make them exactly how you want!
7. Coat the inside of the potatoes with melted butter. Then coat the outside of the potatoes with more canola oil, and bake on convection for another 3 to 5 minutes with the outside facing up.
8. Sprinkle with cheese, green onions, sour cream, bacon, and salt. Enjoy!
April 23, 2013
The past few weeks have been extremely busy work-wise (including some very exciting creative office space projects – for a quick snapshot, click here!), so no cooking or crafts posts just yet!
In my little bit of free time, I’ve been finishing up the last bit of online shopping for my house…some of my favorite purchases include:
This girly bathmat from Anthropologie. Stay tuned for pictures of my pink, ultra-feminine bathroom. It’s just about finished!
This bright brownie dish, also from Anthropologie.
These fake coral peonies. I LOVE flowers – and after seeing these in person, these don’t even look fake!
I’ve also had some success with those not-so-exciting purchases, like storage baskets, shower curtains, etc. It will all come together in time!
I’ve also enjoyed scouring Etsy (after rediscovering that I had made an account years ago). Here are my favorite Etsy finds of the week:
This pink and gray iPad case.
This mirrored vintage tray. I can’t wait to get this for my bathroom!
These pretty, bright stud earrings, perfect for my Kate Spade/JCrew-inspired work looks!
This turquoise vintage print. I love the colors.
Love. Such a cool design!
April 11, 2013
Last weekend was the big MOVE-IN weekend! After a day and a half’s work, my condo is almost entirely furnished. I’m still looking for a few key pieces…like this mirror, this painting for my pink bathroom, and this handpainted tray for my coffee table.
I promised a few snapshots…and I’ll post more detailed pictures, room by room, as soon as I have it a little more set-up!
A big comfy Shabby Chic chair with the softest blanket ever – an amazingly generous housewarming gift from my new neighbor!
My new favorite pillow.
The kitchen. Not set up yet…but I can’t wait to try it out!
April 10, 2013
Last week was an exhausting work week – and the weekend was just as exhausting after moving into my new home (stay tuned for an update on the move soon)! All that I could think about was our time in Mexico – which already seems so far away! This flan definitely helped take me back. One night for dessert while in Mexico, we had the best homemade flan I’ve ever tasted. So good that I had two very large servings. And I’ve been craving it again ever since.
This version was pretty incredible – though I think it would taste better in 80 degree weather on the beach!
I combined several recipes to make this…and I hope you enjoy!
Makes one large (but thin) tray, or about 8 servings
1 and 2/3 cups of sugar
2 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of half and half
3 teaspoons of vanila extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees – ideally convection bake. Place indivdiual ramekins or a thin baking pan on a rimmed cookie sheet and fill with water, about 1/2 up the baking pan.
2. Pour 1 cup of granulated white sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. It will take about 5 minutes to start melting, so be patient! Remove the newly formed caramel from heat as soon as it turns a light golden brown. The caramel won’t taste good if it starts to burn! Immediately pour the caramel into the baking pan, as it hardens quickly.
3. Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar with the 4 eggs. Once combined, add in heavy cream, half-and-half, and vanilla. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.
4. Pour the cream mixture through a strainer into the baking plan with caramel. It’s important that the mixture is not lumpy.
5. Cover the cookie sheet with foil and place in oven. Bake for 50 minutes.
6. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the flan has set.
7. Remove from oven, and remove flan from cookie sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes and cover with plastic.
8. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, carefully flip over the baking pan with flan onto a platter. Let flan shimmy out of baking pan so that caramel portion is on top, and serve!.
April 9, 2013
I love bulletin boards. Bulletin boards, vision boards, color boards, inspiration boards, you name it. I knew that I wanted plenty of bulletin board space in my new home – but I couldn’t believe how expensive they were!
I decided to make my own boards – three actually – for a third of the price as one board at Pottery Barn. Here’s what I did!
1. Buy plain wood picture frames the size you want your boards to be. I bought these for less than $5 each!
2. Hot glue a large piece of cardboard to the back of the frame.
3. Hot glue cork onto the cardboard inside the picture frame. I recommend this cork roll from Amazon.
4. Tape the edges of the frame. Paint frame with several layers of white paint, coating thoroughly so you can’t see the wood texture through the paint. Let dry. Do you like my pink tablecloth?
5. Use sandpaper to achieve a more distressed look. Lightly rub sandpaper over the frames, focusing more on the corners of the frame.
6. Remove tape, and hang!
April 3, 2013
When I started doing some research about what to know before moving, I was surprised that there really are not too many thorough checklists to help guide first time home buyers like me! There are lots of great moving checklists that promote a specific moving company – but very few that I felt included all of the checklist items I was concerned about. We of course have this resource for our clients at Hughes Marino when they are moving their office space (click here if you’re curious), but commercial is very different from residential! It may just be my personality as an extreme planner – I LOVE to plan – but I thought it was worth sharing with you in the event you find it helpful too!
everything you need to know before moving
one month prior
- Research moving companies and get quotes from several. While of course price is very important to choosing a moving company, I recommend basing your decision off of overall value and customer ratings. During my last move, I based my decision on price – and as a result ended up with two broken lamps and one cracked vase.
- Set a date. Some communities (especially condos) ask that you notify them a week in advance before you’d like to move in to block off elevators, etc. It’s best to plan ahead!
- Thoroughly read through all of your CC&Rs and handbooks to ensure that you are fully aware of the procedures required by the building. My building gave me a large binder with everything I need to know about the move-in process, even a registration form for my dogs!
- Put together a “moving binder” to keep track of your moving quotes, receipts (remember to keep all receipts for improvements to your home for when you sell it down the road), to dos, CC&Rs, etc.
- Do a walkthrough of your home to arrange for any repairs or touch ups to be completed before you move in
- Research your new neighborhood and reach out to new doctors, bank branches, dry cleaners, and other service providers for introductions.
- Notify the post office of your future change in address.
- Call the utility companies to cut the power to your old home and connect it in your new home.
- Notify your other utility providers of the move date. These include cable and satellite TV providers (very important!), Internet provider, security provider, water service provider, cell phone service, gas provider, propane provider, sewer company, trash pick-up, etc.
- Change your address for your bank accounts, insurance, government and tax forms, Netflix accounts, magazine and catalog subscriptions, order forms, newspaper subscription, etc.
- Let all of your friends, family, and coworkers know of your change of address!
one week prior
- Make arrangements to pick up your dry cleaning, pharmacy prescriptions, nearby orders, etc. before you move (primarily if you are moving far away)
- Go to the hardware store to pick up spare light bulbs, batteries, extension cords, a screwdriver, a hammer and nails, tape measure, picture hangers, flashlight, level, and duct tape for any moving day to dos. You want to be fully prepared! Any of it that goes unused can go in your junk drawer.
- Arrange for your pets to be taken care of by parents, grandparents, friends or doggy day care for the day of the move. Or, if you have small children, it’d be smart to do the same! My dogs are my children!
- Start packing up the items you won’t need in the next week before the move. For everything else, pack the day before!
- Pack up suitcases for the bare essentials should you need them during the move process. You may be so tired after moving in that you don’t have the energy to dig through boxes to find your toothbrush!
- Clean home thoroughly before you move all of your furniture in! You don’t want all of your furniture to get dusty – it makes a big difference!
- Place towels or blankets on the floor to protect against the shuffle of feet on move-in day
- Clean your old house and remove all garbage before shutting the door for the new homeowners! Make sure to leave a forwarding address if they receive any of your mail.
March 31, 2013
It’s not every day that a friend of mine gets married – so when they do I love spending a little bit of extra time to make a homemade bridal shower card. It’s such a special thing to be invited to…and the card should reflect that.
I’ve seen countless cards with tiny little garlands hand stitched or glued onto the card itself (see the card I made here for my cousin’s birthday) but I have never seen a card that is actually a garland.
For this card, I cut out 9 equally-sized white cardstock squares to spell out my message, “B-R-I-D-E-T-O-B-E”, and I cut two similarly sized pink hearts to go in between each word. These squares were about 4″ by 4″, as this size easily fits in most envelopes.
Next, in all different paper types and colors, I cut out each letter, glued that letter to a complementary colored paper (polka dots mostly!), then glued the combined sheets to each white square – some a little bit off center to add flair.
Once the cards themselves were complete, I punched holes in the top left and right corners of each piece of paper (excluding the first “B” in Bride and the last “E” in Be). Then I cut ten pieces of ribbon of equal length to string between the letters. Alternatively, you could tie all pieces with one very long piece of ribbon, but I think it looks cuter to have two bows on each letter. I used three different types of ribbons – it is a little bit more eclectic look, but I loved the mismatched colors!
The last step is to tie bows between each letter and write a note on the back of the garland. Place in envelope and deliver!
March 29, 2013
So I’ve recently made a rule to avoid sweets except for holidays and vacation…and Easter is definitely one of those exceptions. There is no avoiding it.
Last year, I made these birds nest cupcakes. This year, I added in some Peep’s to the mix!
These cupcakes are an out of the box mix…but what matters is on top. Chocolate frosting, dipped in green candy sprinkles, with a Peep bunny rabbit tucked in the center. I’m not normally a huge fan of marshmallows (unless they’re sandwiched between graham crackers and chocolate), but this was delicious.
The frosting is what makes the cupcake. It’s a secret recipe…on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate cocoa tin.
For those of you that haven’t experienced its glory, here it is again!
Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Frosting
1 stick (1/2 of a cup) of butter
2/3 cups of Hershey’s cocoa
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/3 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Melt butter, and combine!
March 24, 2013
For those of you looking for some fun, family friendly Easter crafts, I’ve shared a few of my favorite here. These were made over the past few years (though I could use one of those cupcakes right about now!) – and stay tuned for a new Easter craft this week! I just haven’t gotten to it yet! I have a feeling it will have something to do with food…In the meantime, click on the pictures above to read instructions and print up templates!
- enjoy the journey
- fifty countries and counting
- good clean living
- martha in the making
- southern california living
- working girl under thirty