In case you missed it…

I always love when Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn does kitchen tours. Seeing a sneak peak of how someone else functions in their kitchen is always interesting to me, because a kitchen really is an intensely personal thing.

This past week they featured the author of one of my favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, and gave us a look inside how this popular writer makes the best of a super tiny kitchen.

It’s so refreshing to see a kitchen that doesn’t look like it walked straight out of a magazine. Is it terrible that I find her “mess” inspirational?

Check it out here. Love it.

Bag Love

I usually don’t get caught up in those special offers stores do, where if you buy $50 of merchandise you get a free bag, or some such thing.

However, I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, and spotted this bag which made every fiber of my year-long-Christmas-obsessed-self tingle with happiness.

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Requirement? Buy any two items, get the bag for $10.

And heaven help me if I didn’t buy a greeting card and a magnet so that I could have my discounted bag.

I’m still trying to figure out who is the winner here.

Before & After: Studio!

My friends, I promise my absence between posts has been well justified, as I’ve been deeply in progress of settling into our new house.

I finally have a few rooms set up and situated, but I thought it’d be appropriate to start off my Before & After series with my studio!

I will admit, this is my most very favorite room in our entire house so far. Not that I’m biased or anything.

Before, it was our guest bedroom. Here’s a very sad little photo of what the room was previously. We hadn’t bought a guest bed yet so our air mattress was filling in.

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My original studio had been upstairs in our finished attic space, but the lack of natural light and wall space for my eccentric art collection had me pretty depressed.

And so, because I can’t leave anything the same for more than 15 minutes at a time, I decided to swap rooms.

Pinterest of course gave me the inspiration I needed.

And in three days, I had the room painted, and swapped out with the guest room.

Aren’t you impressed?

I’m pretty much a beast. I know. You don’t have to tell me twice.

The only thing I haven’t completed (or started) is hanging frames on the walls. I need to ponder on that a bit more before I started gouging holes in our plaster walls. But my goal is to have it very much like this photo, with a giant bulletin board for inspiration pieces and a wall for framed artwork.

So, without further ado, here is my office. In all its messy glory. Because we’re all about honesty here, right? Also, Brinkley has to be an active part of every little thing I do, which means you will see his big pointy ears poking their way into photos that they don’t belong in.

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I also feel the need to explain my abundance of plants. I do have a small herb garden, and in an act of desperation to keep a supply of fresh herbs through the winter, I’ve moved them up to my studio, which is the sunniest room in the house on a regular basis. Whether or not they live is to be determined, however, it certainly does smell amazing in here. Although I will appreciate the extra space once I move the survivors back outside in the spring.

And we’re all about small details aren’t we here at Little Stirrings?

Here are my small details that make me extra smile-y about my new studio.

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And that’s that. I hope you love my new space as much as I do. And yes, I will post photos of my walls once I hang my artwork. Never fear!

Oh, hi!

I’m back? It’s only been…five months. Don’t let that fool you. I’ve missed you so.

And let me tell you, SO much has changed.

As you read through this list, you need to imagine yourself in one of those Southern churches where the ladies give an “MMM. Amen. Hallelujah.” after every sentence.

  • I quit my job.     (Amen.)
  • Scott graduated from dental school.     (Hallelujah!)
  • We bought a house.     (MMM.)
  • We moved far away from downtown Baltimore.     (Amen. Amen.)
  • We got a dog. You will love him.      (Hand clap of praise.)
  • I started working part-time at a local winery.      (MMM.)

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be thankful for. And a lot more to write about.

But that is still to come. Aren’t you excited?

A Girls Weekend Menu

*Side note. I was planning on posting this on Monday…and then this year’s version of the stomach flu happened. To anyone who has survived this catastrophe, I feel for you. We should form a support group.*

Since a lot of my girlfriends and I have our birthdays in February, we’ve made a tradition of throwing one big party for all of us.

This year’s version of the party wound up being a trip to a Cape May beach house with just the girls.

And it.

Was.

Fabulous.

We ate girly food.

We drank girly drinks.

We watched girly movies.

And we only left the house once.

(But WHY did you stay in the house you say? You were at the beach! … Then I suggest you go to a beach in New Jersey in February. Bring your long johns.)

Knowing that we would be staying indoors most of the weekend, I planned our menu accordingly. The goal was to not spend much money and to keep the during-weekend prep at a minimum. I had taken the prior week off so I was able to do the grocery shopping and spent the day before we left doing the majority of the cooking.

Here’s how the menu went down.

Friday Dinner:

Friday Dessert:

  • Brownies!

Saturday Breakfast:

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Orange Juice
  • Coffee
Before you get too impressed…this was a VERY modified version of Eggs Benedict. The sauce was from a packet dry mix (thank you Knorr’s!), and I baked all the eggs in a muffin pan a la Pinterest style instead of poaching. But you know what? Who can tell the difference! Delicious all the same.

Saturday Lunch:

Theresa made this bread from scratch. I’m still so impressed.

Saturday Dinner:

*Note. Due to the large quantities of sangria, we may have forgotten to take photos of anything besides sangria-related activities the rest of the evening. Photos of the main dishes are courtesy of the lovely people who developed the recipes!


Saturday Dessert

  • Sangria
  • Sangria
  • Sangria

*Also note. When you make two batches of sangria in a pitcher that is actually a large tupperware container…photos like this result.

 Don’t judge my white girl dance moves.


Sunday Breakfast:

  • Parfaits
  • Coffee (lots and lots of coffee. LOTS.)
Snacks:
  • Awesome goat cheese & spinach pizzas
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Apples
  • Undisclosed junk food

Overall it was a wonderful, wonderful weekend. I spent a lot of time on the second floor porch wrapped up in sweats watching the ocean in the distance, a lot of time laughing, and a lot of time enjoying meaningful conversations.

Thanks for a memorable weekend girls. Anyone ready to schedule next year’s??

*I couldn't resist posting this photo. My hair reminds me of Farrah Fawcett. Hello wind!

Ovens that are Dutch.

Recently I received a marvelous, very early birthday present from my sweet mother-in-law.

Something I had been drooling over for many, many months.

A Dutch Oven.

And not just any Dutch Oven, but one in the exact hue I had been searching for. It really is lovely.

I don’t have fantastic photos of it because I was too anxious to devour the two delicious dishes that it produced (like magic!) over the weekend, but I just had to share because now I’m a firm believer that everyone needs a Dutch Oven. It’s not quite as simple as a Crock Pot, but not quite as time-consuming as a stir fry. And anyone who knows me also knows that I’m a big fan of “One-Pot-Wonder” meals.

I decided to break it in with a traditional Beef Stew recipe from my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook. Which there was VERY little left of after being devoured by two hungry men (and me).

And my second recipe, which I found on one of my new favorite blogs – A Cozy Kitchen, was a tweaked version of  traditional Spanish Arroz Con Pollo.

Adrianna had me sold when she described it by saying, “it tastes like home.”

Yes please.

I was so pumped about how it tasted that I actually texted a friend of mine a photo raving about it.

Best. Recipe. Ever.

And really fairly simple to make!

I want to show you Adrianna’s photo just so you can understand the beauty of this dish, rather than base your opinion of it off my icky photo above.

Beautiful.

Tastes like home.

So yes. I was just so excited I had to share my Dutch Oven adventures.

More to come, as long as I don’t throw my back out pulling it out of the oven.

Pretty sure this is my only kitchen tool that I feel like I need to start working out so that I can use it.

Probably need to start working out after eating what it produces too.

Ahem.

Walk In Love – the Store!

I was digging around in my Drafts folder lately and discovered this post, which for some reason I never shared with you, even though I drafted it in June.

I’m more than slightly ashamed. 

But…I loved this particular post, and thus I’m willing to embarass myself a bit so that you can check this out!

While Scott and I were on our mini-vacation in Pennsylvania, one of our first stops was at the Park City Center Mall in Lancaster. Why stop at a mall on vacation? Because that is the home of the brand-spanking new Walk In Love store, recently opened by our friends and the amazing photographers of our wedding, Brooke & TJ Mousetis.

You probably remember the name of the store from my shameless promotion of their fundraising efforts earlier this year. It was absolutely fantastic to get to see where our donation went! (Not to mention being able to take a shopping spree in the store).

If you live anywhere near Lancaster – go pay them a visit. They have fantastic, disgustingly soft t-shirts with a message worth spreading, and other adorable merchandise like incredibly comfortable and cute headbands by the talented Folding Chair Designs.

If you don’t live anywhere near Lancaster…never fear – you can always order online, here!

Spread the love….walk in love!

They're on the map!! (and next to Cinnabon. Can we say deadly??)

Brooke! I'm pretty sure I have some embarassing high school memories with this girl, as her cousin just happens to be my best friend. Hmm.