August 30, 2009

I love salmon.  I love avocado.  And most of all, I love corn!  I found a great recipe for grilled salmon with a corn, avocado, tomato relish, so I wanted to try it out while my brother-in-law Jesse was in town.  Jesse is a highly talented photographer, who luckily enough for me, decided to document the whole event.

The first step in cooking fish well is buying GOOD fish.  In my opinion, fish doesn’t really need that much preparation.  You can jazz it up with some spices & lemon, but it is most important to let the fish speak for itself.

The recipe I used was from the Food Network recipe archives.

Following dinner, Jesse, mom, & I all watched Apache with Burt Lancaster.  Definitely worth seeing!

The relish was, in my opinion, what made this dish.  I am a little biased, considering that two of the ingredients included are two of my favorites on the planet.  Avocado & corn.  Mm-mm!

When cooking salmon in a grill pan like this, you want enough oil so that it doesn’t stick, but you also don’t want the salmon swimming in it.  It’s a very delicate balance that I did not get right the first time!

Here’s a photograph of the salmon on top of the asparagus and topped with the relish.  I did the asparagus in the oven for about five to seven minutes til it was golden brown, but still crunchy.  It tastes really good if you brush it with a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil before you cook it.  James’ mom cooks it this way and it is my absolute favorite way to eat it!

Everything was finished off with a little pot of wild rice.

I’m not a seasoned chef, but I really enjoyed making this.  I think that any dish can taste good AND be really beautiful.  I also think that the way things look on a plate makes such a difference in the overall meal.  Aesthetics and creativity in cuisine take an ordinary meal that tastes great and turns it into an exceptional one.

Happy cooking!


Back in June, I was re-decorating our outdoor studio into a craft-friendly environment and I needed two chairs to go with the table that was in there.  Well, let me tell you . . . I have found the greatest chair ever! It is produced by Ikea, which means it is very cute and very affordable.  Granted, I know that their furniture is not meant for “long-term” usage, but I have never found a chair that is so ergonomic and classy at such a great price.  It’s form fits your lower back and bottom with slight curves and provides great lumbar support. It also has a bit of bend to it, rather than a totally stiff chair, because of the opening in the back.  I bought the two chairs for the studio in lime-green, but the other one I bought for my room was in white.  Here’s what it looks like :

It is called the Snille Chair and is available here.  They do not have it available in lime-green any longer, but it is available in white, blue, red, pink & yellow.  It is also available with swivel feet, but I prefer the chair frame pictured.  It is really easy to assemble too.

The cost?  A whopping $6.00 for the seat shell and $13.99 for the chair frame.  That is a total of $19.99 for one good looking & very comfortable chair.  What do you think?

Cooks & Books

August 27, 2009

The latest window I installed at Urban Indigo was centered around “cooks & books”. The recent cooking craze has everyone scrambling to see what they can come up with next (you can include me in that!).  So, why not have part of the window be focused on cooking?  That’s just what we did.  Tami helped a lot with this window in the brainstorming process on how to make a Julie & Julia themed window and this is what came out of it . . .

There were a lot of things I really loved incorporating into this window . . . my mom’s old recipe cards, cookie sheets, pie tins, et cetera!  It was so much fun.

The other side of the window had a wall of Tin Tin books and was very kid-oriented.  Here are some photographs from the other side . . .

Some of my favorite books that went into this window were Big Rabbit’s Bad Mood, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and the Indie Rock Coloring Book.

The next window will be installed this coming Monday, August 31 and will be the back-to-school window.  It should be fantastic!  I will try and post some photographs the following Tuesday or Thursday.

My apologies.  I have been on quite the hiatus lately in my blogging.

I have so much to share and tell you!  Since my last post I have :

-Painted my room!

-Installed a new window, which features many books and a Julie & Julia tribute.

-Spent a fantastic day in Monterey with James.

If anyone is reading this . . . photographs and details coming soon!


August 16, 2009

I love beautiful things!  My dear friend, Katy, recently showed me a post she made awhile back about giving gifts.  I love what she says . .

“I let the wrapping and the presentation be a gift in itself… crafting it to embellish and enhance the object it contains.”

So true!  I recently wrapped this for a very special friend of mine.  I picked up the paper from Papyrus and the ribbon from Paper Source.  I immediately fell in love with the double-faced satin ribbon and the way it played off the colors in the floral patterned paper.  Many thanks to beautiful Katy for an inspiring friendship!


August 14, 2009

Here are some photographs of my dear friend, Nikki.  Last week, we took a picnic lunch up to the Fairmont Hills near Lake Chabot and soaked in the glorious sunshine.  It was fantastic to be together again after a long year of schooling and travels.  The weather and the hills were stunning, so I decided to take some photographs.  However, the surroundings paled in comparison to my beautiful friend!

Nikki is not only photogenic, but absolutely gorgeous!  She emanates so much warmth when she smiles and her eyes always reveal her genial personality.  The best kinds of friends are the ones that are genuine and transparent.  And that is just what she is.  Golden.

I enjoyed the day thoroughly and will always cherish this friendship.

Having a tendency to lean towards minimalism, I have always disliked the way cluttered bookshelves look.  However, I have found a simple solution.

Take your longest book (the book that goes out the farthest from the back of the shelf) and pull all your other books out to be level with that book.  This will create a more streamline appearance and automatically make things look neater in the surrounding area.

Before :

After :

It’s amazing how much this little change can improve the way your room looks! Ta-da!


August 8, 2009

Typewriters, once a thing of the past, have become more and more popular over the years as modern technology pushes further and further away from them.  I, myself, have grown more and more fond of my little black Royal.

He entered my life about a year ago for sixty dollars and let me tell you . . . he has been worth every penny!  There is something invigorating and satisfying about the clicking of typewriter keys that cannot be attained through any other mechanism.

All this to say, one of my favorite things to give as gifts are these necklaces.

We sell them at the place I work : Urban Indigo.  They are locally made in Oakland, California by The Weekend Store & they make the best gifts!

I can only begin to imagine the stories behind them and the letters they have written.

Here’s to great design!


August 4, 2009

The newest window installation at my work centers around travel.  For the first time in awhile, I really had no set plan or design drawn up before I began this window – only a few basic ideas to begin.  I knew that I definitely wanted to include this “Vacationland” tablecloth from Red & White Kitchen, so I strung it up on one side of the window.  It’s really cute – it features all fifty states with vintage looking illustrations.  I apologize in advance for the small size of the photographs and for any glare.  (I really need a polarized lens!)

From there on, it was just a matter of assembling things that looked good together in the window and were travel-themed, as well as giving the products different heights for a more interesting view.

I just loved the old suitcase with the matching “Vacationland” pillow & the sock monkey sitting close by!

For the other side, I brought in some old atlas pages I cut out to tack on the wall and a ton of my dad’s old foreign currency.



August 2, 2009

In the past I have always shied away from this color.  However, I recently decided that I would like to give my own room a makeover (more to come on that later!).  After two long years with my current room colors (avacado green, dark brown and white), I have decided to try something new!

No . . . I am not painting my room orange!

I will, however, be incorporating soft, warm oranges into my new color palette.  I think that when orange is integrated tastefully, it can come off as bright and fun in a room that is mostly made up of calm and relaxing blues & greys.  That’s the effect I hope to give off in mine, anyway.  Bright, sunny spots amongst some cooler colors.

Here are some old photographs of mine to help get the ideas flowing.  Enjoy!