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Ikea Hack: Mod Storage + Litter Closet

When you live in a very small apartment, it can be difficult to find a place for everything, including the cat’s litter box. I used to hide it in a small closet with a forward-facing entry hole, but ever since we got Hudson, it just proved to be non dog-proof. And when a dog gets into the cat litter box, the repercussions can be very ugly. If you are both a cat and dog owner like us, you know what I mean.

I was inspired by the Catteux cabinet by London-based Elips Design, and went on a mission to find an inexpensive piece of Ikea furniture that we could modify. The Besta seemed to be the perfect solution. It has a nice minimal design, customizable modules and different veneers to choose from. We bought three modules, 2 singles and 1 pair. The first cabinet is used for storing our serveware, the middle cabinet stores our living room crap, and the third has Sumo’s litter box in it. Since the cabinets are 3 separate pieces, the litter closet can easily be removed or replaced if it gets damaged by his cat paws.

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Using a jig saw we cut a hole at the side of the cabinet (tip: do this before you put the cabinet together!). I had also purchased a thin sheet of wood veneer at an art store and used it to trim the rough opening with industrial-grade glue. Wait til it gets tacky before gluing it down, otherwise it won’t stick!

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Having the entry at the side of the cabinet allows us to conceal the litter closet. It also allows us to put an obstruction (in this case, a guitar), to prevent Hudson from sticking her head in the hole. For some reason, she is super terrified of the guitar, which works well in our favor.

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There even is ample room to store all of Sumo’s supplies!

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And there you have it. Our living room is back in order and everyone is happy!

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What pet-inspired solutions have you done around your house? Do share!

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Well I’m obviously a day late but, Happy Valentines Day from our kitchen to yours! Brian and I don’t typically celebrate this holiday, but it was a great excuse to make sugar cookies. It’s been a new obsession of mine, ever since we got a new Kitchenaid mixer. Someday I hope to master the art of “flooding“. We made about two dozen of these cookie hearts last night, then hunkered down and watched a movie. No big plans for this weekend except dinner with friends tonight, and maybe a day of snowboarding tomorrow (it’s finally snowing in our neck of the woods!).

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Super Bowl Fare

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So we’re all pretty excited here in Seattle that the Seahawks have made it to the Super Bowl (woo hoo!). I’m looking forward to an awesome game , some great commercials and seriously good eats. Today Brian made his version of corndogs to take to a party: enter the Corn-Wurst! Instead of hotdogs he used bratwursts and battered them in beer and cornmeal. I sampled it this morning and they were dee-licious. Below is the recipe adapted from Chow:

Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil for frying
  • wooden toothpicks/skewers
  • bratwurst sausages, cut crosswise into 3 pieces
  • 1 cup fine- or medium-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup cold Newcastle Brown Ale
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey

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Thoroughly cook the sausages. Cut each sausage crosswise into 3 pieces. Insert 2 toothpicks into the cut side and set aside.

Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk the beer, eggs, honey, and sugar together in a separate bowl until combined and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cornmeal mixture to the beer mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until combined.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer.

When the oil is ready, evenly dip the sausages into the batter until completely covered. Immediately place them in the hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until light golden brown all over, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the sausages to a cooling rack.

Serve immediately with mustard or your favorite dipping sauce.

And lastly– what is a Super Bowl Party without some cookies of your favorite team? This is something that you can do well beforehand with your kids or friends. Of course, I’m rooting for the Hawks so my friend Ashley and I made some 12th man shirts and Seahawks logos. For the cookie base, we used this recipe from AllRecipes.

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What awesome recipes are you making today? Happy Super Bowl Day and have a great time at your party!

Free Printable: Drink Flags

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Give your signature drinks the proper accessory with these easy to make drink flags. Just print these out on card stock, fold around paper straws and secure with double sided tape. You can also attach these to toothpicks for hors d’oeuvres, to drink stirrers, swizzle sticks or anything else you’d like to add a touch of fanfare to. I’ve seen drink flags used at weddings (including my own), parties, baby showers, and they are all over Etsy and lifestyle blogs. Some people may think that this idea is slightly overused, but not I. I still think they are adorable and very festive. Take it up a notch and use some glitter paper!

You can download my editable Illustrator file here.

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Enjoy and have a great time at your next party!

Breezy’s Rad Stockings

Brian had the holiday fever last week and decided he wanted to make some Christmas stockings, much to my amusement. I gave him a crash course on how to use the sewing machine, and went with him to the fabric store to get a bunch of fat quarters. He made the stockings below in a single night. Not bad for a first time sewer! Santa would be proud.

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To make this kind of Christmas stocking you will need:

assorted fabric
interfacing
a sewing machine
an iron

First, cut a piece of interfacing using a stocking template. Or you can easily draw one yourself. Brian made his own template and gave it a modern twist. Cut out two shapes, one a mirror image of the other. Then, cut all your fabric into thin strips and randomly arrange them on the interfacing.

Once you’re happy with the pattern, fold all the unfinished edges down about 1/4 inch and press with an iron. Arrange them back on the interfacing. Overlap each fabric strip about 1/4 inch. Iron onto the interfacing, and then cut the ends to follow the shape of the stocking. The interfacing helps stiffen up the fabric, which helps the stocking hold its shape.

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Using a zigzag stitch, sew along the seams.

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Next, arrange two stocking shapes so that the front sides are facing each other and the interfacing is out. Sew along the sides leaving the top open. You can use a straight stitch for this part, instead of the zigzag stitch shown in the photo below. Brian had left a bit of fabric at the top so he could fold it down and have a finished edge at the opening.

When done sewing all around, turn your stocking inside out.

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Next, fold a small strip of fabric and attach to one end of the opening.

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And you’re done! Wash, rinse and repeat.

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These stockings are awesome, if I may say so!

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Happy Holidays!

Loose Leaf Tea Favors

When the weather outside is frightful, what better way to spend the day than curling up under a warm blanket and sipping something hot? Brian and I got married late in September, which is pretty much the beginning of fall in Seattle. I stumbled upon this idea on HGTV and sure enough these tea favors were a hit with the guests. But beyond weddings, I think these would also be perfect as holiday favors or any occasion for that matter. Create several flavors and package them in threes in a pretty box and you’ve got a wonderful hostess gift, or a stocking stuffer for the tea lover!

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We put up these mini chalkboard signs for our tea favor display, and you can do the same too if you want to assemble them on a table and let guests mill around them. These can easily be cut out of balsa wood, but you could also purchase ready made ones on Etsy. We got ours from this Etsy shop.

Tip: Use a chalk marker instead of regular chalk. It’s cleaner and your letters appear more crisp!

chalkboard signs

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Happy concocting!

We used:
Tazo loose leaf teas
1.25 oz clear glass vials from Specialty Bottle

Our September Wedding

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend and are now gearing up for Christmas. After five months and a major life event I am finally back in the blogosphere. Brian and I got hitched in September, on a typical rainy Seattle day. The last final weeks leading up to the day were crazy busy! But after all the hard work and help from our awesome friends and family members, we were able to pull off a fantastic wedding. We decided to hold off on the honeymoon since we had a bunch of family fly in from out of state. Plus shortly after that I started a new job. So it’ll probably have to wait til next year!

In the next few posts, I’ll be sharing some of the DIY stuff that we did. Weddings are expensive no doubt. But I believe you can set a realistic budget for yourselves, look for creative ways to stick to that budget (and there are tons!) and still have a wedding that best represents you as a couple. In the meantime here are some of my favorite photos:

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Dress: BHLDN
Headpiece: handmade with a flower applique from my dress, faux feathers and birdcage veil netting purchased on Etsy
Jewelry: Anthropologie & J Crew
Brian’s ‘Bill Fucking Murray’ cuff links: the Chivery
Flowers: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Photographer: Kevin from Alex Studio

We had the pleasure of working with some very awesome people, most especially Stacy Kvam (former manager of Melrose Market Studios), Beckie McCann of Vintage Ambiance, Jessica and Lee of Skillet Street Food, and Danny and Matt from WaSound. These people were so great to work with and have made the entire wedding planning process virtually painless and stress-free. These guys rock!

Happy holidays everyone!

Wedding Invitations

So Brian and I were on a mission to get our invitations out before August. We have been behind on a bunch of things and I was starting to panic when it hit me that the wedding is only two months away. Gah! But now that we got the invitations out the door I certainly feel a lot better. It took us about a week to finalize the graphics and I had initially wanted these to be letterpressed, but since we dragged our feet for way too long there just wasn’t enough time. So we proceeded to do all the printing and cutting ourselves. At the end of it all I am glad we did it this way. There was a greater sense of accomplishment, the teamwork was flawless (no meltdowns or murder plots whatsoever), and we get to high five each other for a job well done. High five, sweetie. Although let’s not procrastinate this much anymore in the future.

This invitation suite looks nothing like our save-the-dates, but that’s because 5 months ago we didn’t have an idea of what our wedding would look like. For the graphics I wanted to incorporate elements that we’ll potentially have at the wedding: bare bulb lights, dahlias, an airstream trailer (our caterer will be arriving in one), and geometric patterns. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Below are some behind-the-scenes-type photos that I wanted to share. Pardon the bad lighting on most of these. Cheers!

announcement cardFINAL.ai

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