Happy Friday! It's nice and "chilly" and rainy today. This sort of weather is rare here in San Diego so I love when we have an occasional rainy day.
I am excited for the Oscars this weekend and True Detective. Such a good show.
And a few links from the week ~
This post on Style Me Pretty about decorating a rental was a good one.
How to have a great life without spending - such a great post on Oh Dear Drea. Lots of great tips - many I already do myself and many that I need to incorporate into my life.
Pitt bull smiles! They are the cutest, smiliest dogs.
How to always have a guest ready home. I need to utilize some of these tips. I hate when someone unexpectedly stops by and my house is a disaster.
My fave - Sarah Jessica Parker has a new line for Nordstrom. Everything is way too expensive (and let's face it, fancy) for me but I do love to look.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I have no plans and if it continues to rain, I doubt I will do much at all but "around the house" sort of stuff. I am working on making a new tv stand so hopefully that can be completed this weekend. Have a good one!
I am a huge fan of the Oscars. I love to make a bunch of snacks and a good dinner and enjoy the show. Hmm, I guess I just like to eat or at least, an excuse for fun snacks.
Anyways, the nice thing about living on the west coast is that the show ends by 9pm. I remember living in the eastern time zone and staying awake and feeling like crap the next day because the show was on way past my bedtime. Or maybe it was because of all the food and wine consumed, but who knows?
I attempted to see all the best picture nominees but fell short. I saw over half of them , so I think that makes me kind of an expert. I still want to see Captain Phillips and might watch it on Friday or Saturday night.
From what I did see - here are my thoughts:
12 Years a Slave - Period pieces are my favorite type of movies, tv shows, and books. Even better when the story is true. This movie was, at times, hard to watch but it was so well done. The performances were fantastic. That Michael Fassbender is such an amazing actor. He was SO mean it was scary. I would not be at all surprised (or mad) if this movie cleaned up this SUnday.
American Hustle - I guess I was supposed to love it, but I didn't really like it. I thought it was ok. Like I just said, I love period pieces so I think American Hustle just isn't my type of movie. Despite this, I thought the performances were amazing (Jennifer Lawrence - hello, so good!) and I can see some the movie winning some awards but in my little opinion, it wasn't the best picture.
Dallas Buyers Club - I loved this movie. Matthew McConaughey has come a long way, hasn't he? So has Jared Leto. Such an interesting story and two of the best performances I saw all year.
Philomena - Oh this movie really stole my heart. The story was so sweet and so heartbreaking. If you haven't seen this movie, do. You will laugh and cry and shake your head at what a powerful religious organization is capable of doing to the innocent. (I don't mean that statement to be "anti-Catholic." I was raised Catholic and get it but they screwed up big time in Ireland. Like, huge.)
Gravity - Blah. I could only watch a little bit of this because I was so scared and bored. The special effects were amazing but I am terrified of outer space so I had to leave to walk my dogs while my husband watched this movie.
The Wolf of Wall Street - This was a really entertaining movie. And Leo stole the show, per usual. I am a huge Leo fan. I would have hated the latest Gatsby movie if Leo wasn't cast. He made that movie better and he played the part of the wolf of wall street so, so well.
So what do you think will win? I am rooting for 12 Years a Slave (a likely winner) or Philomena (a likely non-winner). I am also mentally planning a menu of apps, a good dinner, and a special dessert. One of these days I will stop eating like it's Christmas. Maybe in April ;).
I love dutch baby pancakes. They are SO simple and quick to make and usually consist of just eggs, a little flour, a little butter, and some fruit. Basically they are like a huge souffle and I love a souffle (you might remember my souffle obsession from last year).
I made one last Saturday with blueberries because that's what I had in my kitchen. Other berries or pears or apples would work well in this recipe. If you want a slightly sweeter version, just add a few tablespoons of honey or powdered sugar to the batter.
I typically see dutch baby recipes made in cast iron skillets. I don't have one so I just used a plain glass pie dish. A cast iron skillet is on my kitchen wish list but I need to get rid of some kitchen items before I bring in any other new things!
blueberry dutch baby pancake (serves about three)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
powdered sugar (for dusting)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a 10 inch pie dish (or 10 inch cast iron skillet) in the oven with a tablespoon of butter in it. The butter will melt while the oven preheats.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until well combined. Add in the flour, salt and two remaining tablespoons of butter (melt these two tablespoons first) and continue to whisk until the batter is lump free.
3. Remove the heated dish from the oven and swirl around the melted butter until it coats the bottom and the sides and the dish. Pour in the batter and top with blueberries.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for about ten minutes (until puffed and golden), then reduce the heat to 350 and continue to cook for another ten minutes (until the pancake is set).
Remove from the oven and dust with powdered sugar.
I hope you guys all had a great weekend! Mine was spent mostly being productive (cleaning, working, organizing my studio, etc) at home. This dish made for the perfect Saturday morning treat.
I was all set to write a "happy weekend/friday links" post when about half way through, I realized it was Thursday. Vegas will do that to you. Every day feels like a Friday and three days here feels like a week.
I considered saving this post for tomorrow but it's done now so here you go:
I am still loving the Olympics. The women's figure skating finals are happening right about now and I am going to try to avoid social media, etc in order to watch them tonight. I should be saying USA USA USA but the little Russian is insane and I want her to win.
This makes me want to make a trip to Ikea to stock up! Not really, but you know, any excuse for a cinnamon roll and a walk around Ikea. And the shelves are really handy.
Sales tax is such a pain when you're a small business owner. This article on Design Sponge gives some helpful tips.
Speaking of taxes, I am sure I am the only person in the world who loves tax season, but I do!
I purposefully have my husband over pay in taxes so that we always get a decent refund come late February. I know, I know, you're probably not "supposed" to do that but whatever. It's like a forced savings account. We used our 2013 refund to start an IRA (so responsible) and book a trip to Ireland. I wanted to stop in Barcelona for a few days but we just don't have the time. My MIL has been in and out of the hospital, so we are just going straight to Ireland for about nine days. Family first :).
25 things you need to know about sugar - so interesting. It kiiiind of make me want to cut out sugar, but I am a total addict. I definitely need to cut down and keep most of my sugar consumption to natural sweetness - like fruit. Sounds so boring, right?
I am obsessed with this anti-clutter closet makeover. I plan on doing something similar with our hall closet this weekend. It's scary in there.
I hope you all had a great week and that your weekend is fun or relaxing or productive - whatever you need.