July 31, 2012

Taking it to the Streets

The Olympics are in full swing, and taking over our evenings (and maybe your days, if you are streaming at work). Meanwhile, street artists are taking over the streets of London, showcasing their talent (and opinions) in the form of graffiti.

Authorities are cracking down on street art, and have even made several arrests. This hasn't stopped some street artists, like Criminal Chalkist, Mau Mau and Banksy from expressing their opinions. The locations of Banksy's two pieces (seen below) have been kept a secret for the fear of being painted over.

Criminal Chalkist- "100 Meter Dash"

Banksy- Javelin Missile Thrower



Mau Mau- "Clown Town Olympics"


Mr. Moustache

Pretty impressive work, controversial or not.


July 27, 2012

DIY Headboard

One Sunday I decided to play handy man in stead of lay out at the pool. I went to the local hardware store and browsed their scrap wood section. I have a queen bed in the guest room up against a blank wall, so it needed some headboard love! I measured the width of the bed according to the frame, for the wood and the height that I wanted.
Below is a list of the materials I used:
  • 4 pieces of scrap wood- 60 inches wide x 4 inches tall
  • 2- 2x4 pieces of wood measured at 54 inches tall
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Your favorite stain or paint (I used Mini-Wax Jaco Mean Stain because I had it left over from my floors)
All I did was lay out the 2x4's and screw the planks into them using the drill. I used 4 screws per plank.

Once done, I did one round of sanding to smooth out the scrap wood. I only applied one coat of stain because I didn't want the headboard to match my floors. Let it dry for about 24 hours.

And about 30 minutes and $45 later, you have a new headboard!


July 25, 2012

DIY Necklace Holder

I was getting sick of my T Bar necklace holder, and always having to take half of them off to get to the necklace I want. I wanted a more practical and visually appealing holder, and I wanted to clear up some space on my dresser, so a hanging holder was what I was going for. I've seen some DIY necklace holders that looked fairly easy. Well I found out it took a little more work than I thought, and I'm glad I had some help.

I found this interesting shaped piece of cedar wood at my mom's new house, and thought it would be perfect for a necklace holder with some fun knobs.

A while back, I bought some knobs at Anthropologie for my dresser, and knew I didn't want to spend that much money on this project. I checked out Hobby Lobby's knob selection and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did they have a great selection and were cheaper than Anthro's,  but they were all 50% off! So I got each knob for about $3.

What you will need:
*A piece of wood- if you don't have one, you can have them cut you one at pretty much any hardware store.
*Stain or paint if you don't want the natural wood color
*Measuring Tape and pen or pencil
*Regular Drill bit
*Paddle bit
*Needle nose pliers
*Hack Saw
*Sawtooth picture hangers

See the full instructions after the break

Roasted Potatoes with Lemon and Arugula

We love everything that comes from our garden and this year we have the peppery-ist (if that's a word) arugula of all time! It is just like nothing you can find in the store.  It is growing like wild so we have been coming up with all kinds of ideas of how to get arugula into each meal.  Roasted Potatoes are my weakness and this dish is so fresh and clean tasting. 

fresh arugula from our garden

Ingredients :
1/2 lb. Fingerling Potatoes sliced in half
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (fresh or from the lemon bottle)
1 cup Arugula 

Directions : 
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss the Potatoes with Olive Oil and Salt & Pepper.
3. Spread onto cookie sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile wash arugula and julienne.
5. When potatoes come out of the hot oven toss with lemon juice and arugula, arugula will wilt from the steam. 
6. Enjoy! 

julienned arugula 



July 24, 2012

Worldly Walls

I absolutely love maps as art and interior decoration. It can be used to remember a trip you've been on, a place you lived, or just a reminder of how big our world is. I think that maps make great conversation pieces too. I've seen some really amazing uses of maps on a large scale. Covering walls, creating headboards, and large framed pieces in every different room of the house. Here are some of my favorites:

Behind the bed

covering an entryway wall

a DIY map on a collage of canvases

a dining room backdrop

a bathroom escape

in a playroom

conversation piece in a dining room (buy it here)

I really would like to find a way to encorporate a large map into our house. I might have to pull the trigger and order the Schoolhouse Electric Map (above). 


July 20, 2012

Weekend Getaway

I think Nikki Minaj says it best "let's go to the beach, each, let's go get away"

I hope each one of you can find a little getaway for the weekend, and it should probably include water, it is the only way to beat this heat!

How amazing are these photos taken from a helicopter but not just any helicopter, a "doorless" helicopter?  Talk about a dream job.   From the Hampton's to St. Tropez.


Hampton's Beach Surfers

Secret Beach St. Tropez

Malibu Beach

St. Tropez

All photographs taken by Gray Malin

-Enjoy your weekend! Megan 

July 18, 2012

Freebirds World Burrito

I don't know if you have ever heard of Freebirds World Burritos, but they just opened their first location in Kansas City this past weekend. We waited 25 minutes in line to see what this California-based, Chipotle competitor was all about!

It is very similar to Chipotle, but with a lot more choices (meat, tortillas, beans, rice, sizes etc.), they're  all about freedom of choice.

The interior is bright and colorful, with this Statue of Liberty on a motorcycle, supposedly named "Libby", hanging above the ordering line.

You walk through the line, as the employees takes your meal down the assembly line of ingredients, choosing your entree first (burrito, salad, burrito bowl, or nachos). You then have many options as far as burrito size, tortilla (flour, wheat, cayenne, or spinach), meat (chicken- white or dark, steak, or carnitas), rice (cilantro lime or spanish), beans (pinto, black or refried), and toppings (veggies, salsas, queso, cheese, sour cream, guac, etc.)

 You can make a meal out of your entree by adding chips and guac or queso, and a drink. They even have a margarita bar, where they make fresh squeezed margaritas, and offer other adult beverages.

Now for our orders: A burrito bowl with steak, spanish rice, black beans, shredded jack cheese, corn salsa, pico de gallo, grilled veggies, lettuce and queso. 
Consensus: AMAZING! The spanish rice is key, I don't like Chipotle's cilantro rice, so this gives Freebirds a huge leg up for me. The grilled veggies (peppers and onions) were too big of pieces, so I think I would skip them next time. I wasn't sure of what sauce/dressing to choose, but I had to go with the queso and it was a great decision!

We also got the freebird white chicken burrito meal in cayenne tortilla with spanish rice, black beans, corn salsa, mixed cheese, queso, tomatillo sauce and their infamous Death Sauce. Consensus: Again, the Spanish rice was a great change from Chipotle's rice; the Death sauce added just the right amount of kick, not overbearing whatsoever; the cayenne tortilla really added a nice subtle flavor to the burrito; and finally, the queso is always a good addition. The guac gets an A, and chips, standard goodness.

We wanted to try their famous "pot brownie", but unfortunately they were all out. Definitely will have to try one next time. 

Overall, I would highly recommend that you give Freebirds a try, I don't think you will be disappointed. I can't wait to see more of these open up throughout Kansas City, hopefully in my neighborhood. Their next location in Westport, is scheduled to open in the Fall.


Freebird's World Burrito on Urbanspoon

Grilled Portabella Pitas

This entree is great for both lunch and dinner.  The flavor from the grill is so summery and although you are missing the meat its still so filling.  This pita goes perfectly with the Balsamic Quinoa Salad and completes the perfect meatless meal.  

4 large Portabella Mushroom Caps
4 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
1 1/2 teaspoons Minced Garlic 
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 large (home-grown) Tomato
1/3 cup Honey Goat Cheese 
1/2 cup Fresh Basil 

1. Turn on BBQ grill to medium heat.
2. Combine the garlic and the olive oil and brush onto the mushroom caps and the whole wheat pitas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Place the mushrooms on the grill (after spraying with cooking spray) and cook for eight minutes, about four minutes each side.  During the last four minutes throw on the pitas and toast them alongside the Portabellas. 
4. Spread the honey goat cheese over the tops of the mushrooms letting the heat melt the cheese. 

5. Top with a fresh slice of tomato and garnish with the basil.  

6. Enjoy with sides, Balsamic Quinoa Salad seen here



July 17, 2012

Balsamic Quinoa Salad

We are always looking for new ways to spice up quinoa, and this sounded like a perfect way to incorporate our home grown tomatoes and basil. If you like basil and balsamic vinegar (if you don't, you're crazy), then you will love this recipe. 

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well
3 cups vegetable/chicken broth (sometimes this is too salty, so we did 2 cups water, 1 cup chicken broth)
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn or julienned
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup edamame, cooked and shelled (most grocery store salad bars have these if you need a small amount like this)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 large tomato diced (or you can halve a 1/2 cup of grape/cherry tomatoes)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa and broth (or broth/water mixture) and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed.  Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes, add julienned basil and fluff.

In a small skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic and onion. Saute 10-15 minutes, until caramelized. Set aside to cool.

Combine the quinoa/basil mixture, onions and garlic, pine nuts, edamame, tomatoes, salt and vinegar. Serve and garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!

This dish paired perfectly with our Grilled Portabella Pitas!

Recipe adapted from Epicurean Mom

July 13, 2012

Run Shorts Run

Shorts are a must during the summer and I love the idea of a fancy running short.  Its a great trend that can transform from day to evening in a flash. 

Torn Margie Scarf Short - shopplanetblue.com
Cute Color Block Short - lulus.com
Aztec Sequin Running Short - topshop.com
Ganni Tile Print Running Short - asos.com
Resistance Dyed Short - tobi.com
Bold and Wild Short - tobi.com
Ikat Running Short - urbanoutfitters.com
Orissa Running Short - piperlime.com

This style is a must this summer! So don't walk but RUN to get a pair of your own. 


July 12, 2012


Need an easy and inexpensive way to hang art?? How about using pant hangers? It gives your art a different look, and you can switch out your prints easily as often as you want.

We found these pant hangers on sale for just $2, for a set of 2. We knew they would work perfectly for the fern prints that we printed off of the the NYPL Digital Gallery for free! They had been collecting dust because we hadn't taken them to get framed at matted. This method was way easier, and cheaper, and I think it adds a little character to the prints.  

We had a narrow wall that was really in need of some artwork, and these pant-hanging ferns worked perfectly!

They hang right on a regular nail.

You could even stain or paint your hangers if you wanted to add a personal touch to them.

Bottle Fish

I am blown away by this fish installation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These fish are made of discarded plastic bottles!!

The installation on Botafogo Beach, is part of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. (Rio+20). At night, the fish are illuminated from the inside. I really wish I could see this work of art in person.


July 5, 2012

May 28th...The Brand

Watches are one of my favorite accessories, especially awesome and inexpensive ones! When I came across these bright and fun watches from May 28th, that were also affordable, I knew I had to share! They have 5 pages full of different colors and patterns, all with different band options as well. At just $39 apiece, you don't have to pick just one. Here are a few watches that caught my eye.

Shop around at May 28th, and find yourself a bright colorful summer accessory!