Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I hope all my friends out on the East Coast get a reprieve from Hurricane Sandy and enjoy some trick or treating tonight.  

Be safe everyone and have fun!

Thanks for checking it out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's For Dinner? Seared Wasabi Glazed Salmon

I've used this Salmon recipe for years that I got from Sunset 2004.  

We all know we're supposed to eat more fish to get those essential fatty acids into our diet.   Here's some more info. on why essential fatty acids are important to the body. 

Most of you have probably heard why you want to choose wild salmon over farm raised, but if you haven't read this great article, Seven Reasons to Avoid Farm Raised Salmon.  
 Get Off The Farm And Go WILD!

I love the mango sauce the recipe calls for drizzled over the salmon.
It's nice because you can make it ahead of time and heat it in the microwave right before serving.

I quickly heat chopped mango with a little sesame oil.

Put it in a food processor or blender and add the vinegar and white wine.
Sometimes if it taste a little too tart I add a little honey to sweeten it up.

Blend till smooth

I put it in a gravy boat and serve it with the meal so everyone can add extra to their fish it's so goood!

I make a few modifications to the recipe. 
1) The recipe calls for wasabi powder, you can also use wasabi paste, no biggie.

2)  THE BEST change I made is to mix the wasabi paste and the honey with a half a stick of melted butter because the salmon came out to dry when I followed the recipe directions.  Just brush it on while it's cooking.   
You could also substitute the butter for coconut oil if you want to make it healthier.  

3)  I cook the salmon on the grill instead of the oven.  I just prefer grilled fish to oven baked fish.
Medium heat for about ten minutes, skin side down.

4)  The recipe calls for black rice, but I usually just use brown.

I love the warm spice of the wasabi glaze combined with the tart sweet mango sauce.
my family loves it too and it's good enough to serve to special guest. 

Go here for the recipe.

Thanks for checking it out.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vintage Suitcase Makeover

I did this fun little project a couple of months ago.
I originally made it for my husband's Man Cave, but I ended up not using it for the space. 
The room just got too crowded.

I picked up an old suitcase on the same day I bought the steamer trunk back in April.  It was marked for $20, but since I was buying several items, I got them down to $15.
To see the steamer trunk makeover go here

I found an old World Atlas and a Jacques Cousteau whale book at another thrift store several months later.
The books were 50% off and I paid under $5 for the pair. 
I didn't know at the time that I bought the books what I was going to do with them, I just liked them.

I used four new unfinished furniture legs from Home Depot. 
They were about $20 for all four.
The legs come in several lengths so measure the height of your suitcase before you buy your legs to determine the finished height of the table you want.

I started by cutting pages out of the Atlas. 
At this point of the project I felt VERY guilty.
 I have never ruined a book in my life. 

I expected the Librarian Police to show up on my doorstep and revoke my Library card at any moment.

I found this map of Martha's Vineyard and at a garage sale for $2.
This map became the base of the suitcase.
I  cut it to fit all the sides and the top and Mod Podged it on.

I had so many pictures to work with from the two books that I have extras for other projects.
Don't know what I'll make next with them?
Any ideas?

I love seeing California Gray Whales migrating south in the winter and back up the coast with their babies in the late summer from the beach I play volleyball at.

I glued the pictures on top of the map base with more Mod Podge.

I added a couple more thick coats of Mod Podge to the top for extra durability.

"Thar she blows!"

I used vinegar and steel wool to stain the legs. 
It's the same technique I used on my DIY industrial shelves.

I screwed four leg bracket holders to the bottom of the luggage.
They cost under $2 a piece at Home Depot.

The maps looked a little too new for me. 
I antiqued them with an old toothbrush and some shoe polish.

 Just rub it on and buff it out with a soft cloth.
The shoe polish gives it a protective coating as well as some instant aging.

I have been using shoes polish for antiquing for as long as I can remember.
  It's inexpensive and it works great.
I used it to add some antiquing to this Craig's List dresser I painted.
To see how I did it go here.

Shoe polish is always handy in our house since my husband uses it to polish his dress shoes for work. 
Shh, don't tell him I steal his shoe polish for my DIY projects.
I added some shoe polish to darken up the legs too.
Here's the table with the legs attached.

Piper, I know you are cuter than whales, but I'm not taking your picture today.

Every panel is different.

Ok Piper, just one picture since you are such a good little project helper.

I'm not the first to decoupage old maps onto vintage luggage.
There are many projects out there using old maps.


Nor am I the first to add furniture legs to one.

But I haven't seen any whale, map combos with legs yet?
Maybe because I'm the only one that likes it.
Oh well, it's definitely a "unique" piece and I had fun making it.
What's the saying?
"Art is in the eye of the beholder."

Here it is in it's new home.
It's perfect to place a drink or a book on and it provides a little extra added storage.

Have you tried using old suitcases or maps to create interesting pieces for your home yet?
If you can cut and paste, this is a totally easy, fun, DIY project. 
Keep your eyes open for old suitcases and interesting books next time you're in your favorite thrift store.
Just be on the lookout for the Librarian Police.

Thanks for checking it out.

From My Front Porch To Yours

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Roundup 2012

The temperature is working it's way up to the 90's today here in beautiful San Diego. 
I decorated my house last month as if we were enjoying cooler Fall temperatures, but they have yet to show up and I'm tempted to turn on the air conditioner again.

I showed you my Fall mantle in a previous posts.

and my Fall entryway in the last post.

Here is the roundup of the rest of the house. 
These are the cabinets you see when you come in the front door.
I'm not a big orange person, so I use it sparingly in my Halloween decor.
I group most of the orange I have here.   

Here's how my DIY industrial shelves are decorated for Fall. 
I am reusing the same Fall decor I've had for years, mostly white and metallics. 
I still try and change it up a little each year by arranging things differently.  

Here is how I used the blue pumpkins last year.

 The crows are perching above the fireplace this year.

I painted the pumpkins blue and gold last year. 

You can go here and check out how I did it and see other blogger's blue pumpkins that inspired me

Here is one of my velvet pumpkins surrounded by coral, shells, starfish and my painted gourds
I love a good cloche and put EVERYTHING in them. 
If my dog would stay still I'd probably put her in a cloche, I love them. 
Just kidding, Piper is too big to fit in a cloche.
A cloche makes everything a little more special.

Here are some of my velvet pumpkins that I made last year. 
To see the tutorial I used go here.
I combined them with some starfish and put them in a cornucopia basket.

I added some of my magnetic skeleton and crystal drops to the candle holders. 
To see how to make these go here.

I changed out my glass bubbles for Fall with miniature frosted pumpkins.

And a few to this glass vase. 
I like to keep the beach out year round so the seahorse stays.

I hope you are enjoying cooler Fall weather where you live.
Thanks for checking it out.

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