Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Beautiful Boudoir

Remember a few months ago when I announced that I was working on a bedroom/studio project with a photographer friend? Well, I finally have some photos to show of the project! Yep, we finished up a couple of weeks ago and Sherry did her first boudoir shoot in the space. 
The room turned out beautiful and so did the shoot!

Here's a closer look at the project:

The bed is a bit large for this small room, but we worked it out in the end. The rust color frame didn't go with our black and white design, so we painted it black.
The space has two windows that bring in a lot of natural light, but the nook across from the bed was too small to really do anything functional with. There is also a doorway into the living room that we needed to address for privacy reasons especially during shoots.
Of the two mood boards that I did, this is the one that spoke to Sherry the most and so we used it as the design inspiration.
We decided to install a textured wall using ceiling tiles and a custom bed canopy with drapes. We selected a pretty teal color that would be soothing for Sherry in her day to day, but also compliment many different colors of lingerie when she uses the room for shoots. As I mentioned above, we painted the bed frame black as well as reupholstered the headboard.

In the final design, we opted to turn the bed around and float it in front of the nook. This allowed for natural light to shine in through the side window and eliminated the other window being directly behind the bed. We blocked the doorway with a pretty black and white damask drape and hung one on the opposite window to balance out the room.
The canopy and drapes create a romantic feel in the room, ideal for boudoir photography.
We plan to install a lamp or chandelier behind the bed to provide lighting at night, but that will come in phase two.
We installed the textured wall behind the bed, but opted to paint it all black rather than black and white. The texture is subtle, but I love the contrast of the bold teal against the dark black.

We have a few other details that we'd like to add and later plan to create vignettes in other areas of the house for the shoots. This is the first e-design completed since I've started decorating again and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It's been fun and challenging to consider how each part of the design would photograph and be used during a shoot. I'm looking forward to phase two when we can put together some of the other ideas that we've been working on and see the full project come to life!

If you'd like to see more of Sherry's work, you can check her out on her website at http://www.sherrymartinphotography.com

Happy almost New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Roy's Tamale Pie

One of my all-time favorite meals to make is Tamale Pie. It's one of those comfort foods that you can make in about thirty minutes and eat for a couple of days. Kind of like lasagna, it's better as leftovers!

I learned this dish from a friends dad who used to make it in an old cast iron skillet, with full fat beans and ground beef. Yum! Needless to say, I've altered this recipe quite a bit to be a healthier version of my own.

1lb lean ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning (try to find one with reduced sodium if possible - or make your own with ground cumin, garlic powder, paprika, hot sauce and a little salt!)
2 tbls olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups chopped kale
1 can fat free re-fried or low sodium black beans 
1 medium or 2 small tomatoes diced
1 cup frozen corn
4 sliced green onions
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
fat free sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, prepare Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix as per package directions and set aside to rise. In a large skillet brown 1 lb lean ground turkey over medium heat and season with taco seasoning. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towel. Add 2 tbls olive oil to pan over medium heat, saute chopped onion and peppers 1-2 minutes and then add minced garlic. Let cook for 1 more minute and add the chopped kale to the pan. Let veggies saute for 1-3 minutes or until onions are translucent and kale begins to wilt down. 

Reduce heat to low and mix in 1 can beans, 3/4 diced tomatoes (reserve 1/4 tomatoes for later), corn and cooked turkey to the veggie mixture. Cook 1 minute until the beans loosen and everything is evenly mixed together. Turn heat off and scoop mixture into a deep baking dish. Mix in 1/2 cup shredded cheese and 3/4 sliced green onions. Pour prepared corn muffin mix over top and sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out of the corn bread mixture clean. Let sit for two minutes, then scoop into bowls or plates and top with fresh diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, a dollop of sour cream and a little more cheese.


I like this recipe because you can change up the veggies to match whatever you have in the fridge and it still comes out tasty. I've used zucchini, squash and even broccoli before and they all tasted great!

MMMmmmm...Happy leftovers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Countdown

5 days until Christmas! This year we are heading east to good 'ole Las Vegas, Nevada for the holiday. I know what you're thinking; eloping? Nope, actually Kevin's dad's side of the family live in Henderson, NV and every couple years we go there to spend the holidays with them.
Wondering what Christmas in Las Vegas would be like? Here are a few of the things that are usually included in our Sin City Christmas:
Lots and lots of Pepperidge Farms cookies - a Donnelly tradition!

A visit to the Bellagio Hotel atrium Christmas display.
Ethel M Chocolates
A friendly game of Quarters.
A movie at the Green Valley Ranch District shops.

And pending weather, a trip to Red Rock Canyon.
This year, I think I'll see if we can get to the Ethel M Cactus Garden to see the holiday lights display in person. From this photo it looks pretty spectacular.

Wishing everyone a very happy and special Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Organize Your Accessories

One of my favorite sections in the blog Adventures in Renovating a Brooklyn Limestone, is the section called "Steal This Idea". Part of why we read design blogs is to get inspiration for our own homes, projects, cooking, etc, right? (Well, at least that's why I read them anyway.)

A while back I was visiting my good friend Brittany from "For The Love of Gold" and she had the best DIY solution for organizing her jewelry hanging in her room. Needless to say, I went home and stole that idea! It's a super simple idea really, yet so functional and totally easy to do.

All you need is a cork board and some thumb tacks and you're on your way to an accessory organizing solution that I think you'll love.

Check it out:
You can hang earrings, necklaces and even bracelets on the thumb tacks and they stay organized in pairs and don't get tangled up the way they do in the typical jewelry boxes you find in stores. Plus it's kind of a cool way to create a little vanity area in your bedroom and have your accessories out on display.

I hung mine above my dresser, added a small mirror, candle and grandma's jewelry box for rings, watches and post earrings. The whole project cost me less than $20!

What do you think?

(Oh, and BTW, if you  aren't already reading the two blogs I mentioned above, you should be! Check them out.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Entry Dilemma

In small spaces it is so important that we utilize every inch as functional space rather than just decorative. I've learned this over the years in the various small spaces where I've lived.

Our current home is situated in such a way that the back door leading into the kitchen acts as the main door for the home. Because of that, I've been working on creating an inviting, stylish and functional entryway in this awkward little space. Here's a shot of the entry "before", right after we moved in; not-so-inviting!

I'm working on it though and think it's coming along nicely. I started the project the same way I would if I were designing for anyone else, with research. Take a look at some of the beautiful entries that I've found for inspiration.

Stay tuned for our soon to be finished entryway! I can only hope it turns out half as gorgeous as the ones above.

I'm Back!

Pardon my brief absence, but I've been really busy (and just slightly distracted) since Thanksgiving. Kevin, my boyfriend of seven years, proposed to me on Thanksgiving Day up in my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA in my mom's secret garden! It was so sweet and romantic and we've been enjoying the fun of being newly engaged for the past week.

I'm happy to report, our holiday cards and engagement announcements are almost complete as well as a couple of projects that I've been working on, so I'll have lots to share in the coming weeks.

I'm back and I'm ready to refocus (even if I now have a shiny distraction on my left hand!) on my blog, design and soon wedding planning! Woo-hoo!

Happy Monday to all.