Tag Archives: modern

Finally, Our Own Baby Quilt!

IMG_7836After making three community baby quilts this year, I was so happy to finally be able to make our own baby quilt.  IMG_7845I decided on a chevron strippy pattern because of how many adorable vintage and new prints I had leftover from all of the other quilts, and the chevron is simple and modern looking no matter how many different prints you use.   IMG_7837I backed the quilt with a navy and red woven ikat dot print and bound it with navy cotton chambray.  The backing and the binding are really what help to make it look modern and cool.    Here’s how I pieced the strips!  Continue reading

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DIY Woodland Nursery Decor

Faux elephant, unicorn and lion taxidermy in Italian linen!

Faux elephant, unicorn and lion taxidermy in Italian linen!

My need to nest has been seriously delayed by our apartment hunting and packing to move, but I managed to squeeze out a few wonderful goodies for the nursery before I trade my gigantic studio space for a much, much smaller one.   Even before I knew it was a boy, I knew wanted a light and airy magical woodland nursery where bears play banjos and mice are pirates.   Luckily, what I wanted would have worked for either!   Continue reading


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DIY Modern Unisex Nursery

The finished hummingbird wall!

The finished hummingbird wall!

My bestie, Jeff Hinchee, and I were whisked away to San Francisco for a long weekend to help our pal Merav with her new house.   Over about 4 days, we tackled three major projects in her daughter’s nursery that completely transformed it into a perfectly playful modern space.   While Merav and Jeff sanded and painted an oak dresser we found on Craigslist, I put a stencil Merav had meant to use years back finally to good use and then we finished the room off with some molding and chalkboard paint as a canvas for Dor to express herself later on.   Obviously, as you can tell from the photos, the room still needs a lot of TLC, but I think it’s a great backdrop for Merav and Dor to work with!

*Purchase your very own hummingbird stencil here!*

Jeff with the lucky recipient of our hard work.

Jeff with the lucky recipient of our hard work.

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Christmas Party Round Up

IMG_7742Saturday marked the last party in the garage and it was a huge success!


OH Don’t worry…..it’s O’Douls!

We figured it was time to find a new place to decorate, cozy up and entertain in since we aren’t quite edgy enough to raise a baby in a garage loft.  For now, enjoy this holiday party post, use the recipes (everything was delicious!) and next year, get ready for new-apartment posts and baby nesting!

Our party had a much looser theme than last year, but we encouraged people to wear “vintage holiday” attire….any decade would do.  Jeff and I channeled the 60’s, mostly because it was the only vintage maternity dress I could find!   Here’s what we served:




  • Hot Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Toasted Baguette Slices (Martha Stewart)
  • Cheese and Meat Plate (Trader Joe’s cheeses, salamis, fig butter and hot pepper jelly)
  • Dill Dip With Veggies (recipe below)
  • Marcona Almonds (Trader Joe’s)



  • Glazed Ham with Mustard (Trader Joe’s)
  • Roasted Winter Vegetables (recipe below)
  • Butternut Squash and Turnip Gratin (Wine Garage)
  • Classic Stuffing (recipe below)
  • Touch-of-Grace Biscuits (from The Bread Bible, but these are similar)


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Dill Dip

We served this with raw veggies at the party, but traditionally, my family serves it in a rye or pumpernickel bread bowl with rye and pumpernickel bread cubes (it’s the best!).

  • 16 oz. mayonnaise
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dry dill weed

Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.

Roasted Winter VegetablesIMG_7736

  • 5 cups whole cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 6 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into hunks
  • 1 large acorn squash, seeds removed, cut in wedges along grooves, peeled and cut into hunks
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 425.  Line 2 sheet pans with foil and put the mushrooms on one and the sprouts on the other.  Drizzle both with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves.  Roast both for 15 minutes, stir and flip and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 5 minutes.  Dump both into a serving dish or casserole and toss to combine flavors.  Lower the heat to 400 and repeat the process for the parsnips and acorn squash.  These will take longer than the mushrooms and sprouts.  Toss everything together and add more salt if needed.   IMG_7732

Classic Stuffing

I made this vegetarian this year with veggie stock, but I recommend using chicken stock if you have meat eaters around…it’s a lot tastier that way!

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup butter
  • 9 cups soft bread cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)

Preheat oven to 350.  Toss bread cubes, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage in a large bowl.  In a large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter over medium heat until onion is tender.  Pour over the bread cubes and toss until coated.  Transfer mixture to a casserole dish, drizzle with stock and bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes.  Uncover, increase heat to 375 and bake until browned and crispy on top, about 10 minutes.


As promised….Our 2012 Christmas card “album” cover!


And back!




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Modern Co-ed Baby Shower

My new favorite shower activity! The guests fill out a birthday card for each year of the baby’s life, giving advice or telling a little story about that time in their own life. The new parents can give their child one each year and be just as excited to see what each one says!

This past weekend I hosted my third and final baby shower of the year, and came away with some wonderful new friends and a couple of great recipes to share with you.   I wanted this party to feel effortlessly casual and fairly un-baby-shower-ish, so I kept the food simple, decorated with bold, modern balloons and only had a few games, none of which were cheesy!   [All photographs courtesy of Aimee Almstead Photography] Continue reading


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Community Baby Quilt

Here’s a quick post to show you how the community baby quilts turned out from the April baby showers.   Giving 30 people a block regardless of artistic ability could spiral into something pretty ugly, but if you carefully control what people are allowed to use to make their block, it will turn out adorable no matter what.   (And as the putter-together of it all, you could also tweak things a bit to make it look a little better too! ;-))


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Baby Showerstravaganza!

I’ve been away in California throwing two baby showers (which is why my blog has been inactive for a bit)!   One was a casual co-ed shower for a boy and the other was a more traditional shower for a girl.   I admit that I’m far from traditional, so when I realized that I would have to come up with games for the second shower in San Francisco, I freaked out a little!    I stuck with sentimental and old-fashioned ideas instead of the cheesy stuff I found online and everything went over brilliantly.   Here’s the breakdown of each shower’s theme, menu, and activities so you can steal, borrow and re-purpose!  Continue reading


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Booze Makeover

When my good pal, Arthur, sent me this project, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it for my own bar!  Like him, I also hate looking at ugly food labels on things exposed in my kitchen (which is why I’ve transferred all of my flour and grains into matching glass containers).  Aesthetics aside, his bar-bottle-makeover-project is brilliant for another reason too.  No one will ever have to know how cheap your alcohol is!    Here are his instructions, with my own side bars (hee hee) in red.

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