Braking for Spring . . . Easter Baskets!

Life has been moving at warp speed lately (kind of like the gusts of wind outside my house today — yikes!).  And I really want to take a few minutes to celebrate spring . . . but I have yet to do one decorative spring thing.

So while we will be on our spring break next week hiking in Zion National Park, I’ve got big plans for when I return.  Spring will still be unfolding, and I’m committed to putting on the brakes a bit and making time for  some spring flings.  First up:  an Easter basket something like one of these:

0407-easter-eggs-flower-nest-xlGood Housekeeping

MS-moss-basket-with-bunny-499comp-mld110852_vertMartha Stewart

southern living easter-arrangement-lSouthern Living

Heather Christo centerpieceHeather Christo

Terrain plant basket shopterrain

Terrain daffodil and egg basketshopterrain

I love the mossy, twiggy, spring-floral look these have.  Add a little nest, maybe a tiny bunny — these make me spring-happy! I saved my favorite for last:

twiggy Easter basketshopterrain

I already found a basket to use at Target:

Threshold Easter Basket

So until we return, whether you are spring breaking or spring braking, happy start of spring!

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Creating a Gallery Wall with Travel Photos

 

Although you wouldn’t know it from my blog posts (or lack thereof!!), I’ve been cranking out projects at home lately — including expanding the gallery wall of photos in my office.

I really wanted to get some of the gorgeous pictures that were stuck on my hard drive out in the open where they could be enjoyed.  By me.  After all, what’s the point of taking all of those pictures if I don’t get to look at them!?

There are lots of reasonable framing options out there — IKEA, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Target all have some amazing choices.  But for this project, I wanted a clean look that highlighted the pictures themselves rather than the frames.   Also, I had a ton of photos from our trip to Europe last summer — I wanted to display as many as I could, which also meant $$$.

So for this project, I went with simple, inexpensive, glass clip frames from Hobby Lobby.  And here’s my trick to making them really stand out — I print the pictures outlined with a thin black line, and leave a white border, like this:

homecrush lavender photo

It’s like a self-matted piece of art.

home crush travel photo gallery

These frames come in several sizes (5×7, 8×10, 8 1/2 x 11, 11×14).  I went with 8×10″.  Setting up the photos to print at home was simple:  I set my printer to print the photos as 5×7″, bordered with a .5 point black line, centered on 8 1/2 x 11″ glossy photo paper.  After the prints had dried completely, I trimmed each photo to 8×10″ to fit the frames, which left a 1 1/2″ white border on each one.

 

Here’s what the wall looks like now:

homecrush office gallery wall

home crush travel photo gallery wall

clip frame gallery wall

I love that when I’m working at my desk, I can look up and daydream for a minute about the memories these photos evoke.  I also love that it’ll be so easy to change the photos out some time for new ones.

 

By the way, did you happen to notice my new wall color in here? As promised, I painted over the old yellow walls and I’m loving the clean and bright look.  I’ve made a few other changes to my office lately too — I’m going to try to get some decent shots this weekend so I can share them with you next week.

 

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying the first days of spring!

 

Sharing at Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesdays

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Four Fabulous Quinoa Recipes

 

It’s been two years and my crush on quinoa is still going strong.

 

Honestly, I thought I was more fickle than that.

 

But when you find something good, you stick with it.  Plus, it’s hard to get bored with something so versatile.

And good for you.

Recently I needed a quick recipe for a lunch dish using what I had on hand (in other words, I forgot I was supposed to bring something to a tennis lunch and had no time to run to the store).  I did a quick pantry inventory, spied the quinoa and some dried cranberries, googled recipes, and this popped up on the Williams-Sonoma website:

quinoa dried cranberriesQuinoa with Toasted Pecans and Dried Cranberries

 Score! With only five ingredients, I had everything I needed.  I whipped it up, took it to the lunch, and it was a hit.  I’ve since made it for another lunch, and as a side dish for dinner — it’s just such a simple, clean dish, I’ve found myself craving it.

One important note:  I read several reviews of this recipe before I made it, and they all suggested replacing the water (used for cooking the quinoa) with chicken or vegetable broth.  When you have as few ingredients as this recipe calls for, you want to coax out as much flavor as you can from each thing, so using chicken or veggie broth is a MUST.

Anyway, while I was frantically searching for the first recipe, I came across a few others I’m dying to try.  Quinoa is like rice — it goes with just about anything — so here are three other recipes I want to try soon:

ss_warm-quinoa-salad-with-edamame-tarragon-4708-ssWarm Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Tarragon

 

breakfast-quinoa-ck-lBreakfast quinoa

 

greek-quinoa-and-avocado-salad-R107156-ssGreek quinoa salad with avocado

 

And, just in case you forgot, or you’re new to homecrush, here are two quinoa recipes I posted previously — one for a spring quinoa with roasted vegetables and honey/white balsamic dressing (I can’t wait to make this again this spring), and the other for a fall quinoa with roasted root vegetables.  Both are totally delicious, I promise.

Let me know if you try any of these — I’d love to hear what you think!

 

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