Decorating, Cooking, Party Ideas, Travel, and a Halloween addiction

Monday, August 30, 2010

Purely Paradise Soaps

I went here to buy a little Thank - you gift for my sweet mother-in -law for watching our kitties while we we out of town.
Everything in the shop is all natural as well as all made in the USA even the mesh baggies that hold the soap, and the embroidered towels! Alot harder to accomplish than you might think.
Definately check out this soap crafter, not only are they making quality products for people, they make a special doggie shampoo, that some if not all [ I honestly don't remember], the proceeds benefit animal charity. Please show your support by visiting his site

Friday, August 27, 2010

Green Parrot Bar - a fun and funky place

This is a super mellow place to hang out. It is a drinks only establishment, so you need to bring your own snacks with you - which they're totally cool with. We spent a pleasant 3-4 hours there on a Sunday afternoon, just listening to some awesome live jazz and soaking in the Key West vibe. A favorite hang out with the locals, it is refreshingly unpretentious. It is also the oldest bar in Key West dating from 1890.
My favorite piece of art in the bar
One of the Best bars in the U.S. by Playboy magazine

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An exciting Giveaway over at EHAG Emporium

If any of you readers are trying to stock up on some quality art.... Now is your chance!!!
The ultra talented folk over at EHAG Emporium are hosting their monthly giveaway, and I am super excited for it. Just enter a comment on THIS page for your chance to win
Even if you are not the chosen winner, I am sure you will all find something that just begs to come home with you!

Halloween crafting

I had a sample cabinet door laying around the house leftover from a work project- so I made this little seasonal sign-
I made a template for the lettering, and free-handed the rest.
I already had the black craft paint, and the sample door, so this whole project was free!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Croissants de France

This adorable bakery/ bistro is directly across the street from the guesthouse we stay in . Coincidence??? I think not. Eveything they serve is scrumptious. My personal favorite, and probably the most decadent item from the bakery is the nutella filled beignets. talk about pure gluttony!
This is a apricot and cheese danish and tea from our second morning there. Beacuse the bakery prides itself on the freshness of it's product, everything is fresh made that day. However if you want to get a deal, they sell all of yesterdays leftovers in the morning for a dollar a piece!!!! What a deal! I can tell you quite honestly that anything with that much sugar and fat in it will taste delicious a day or two later- ;p

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's going to be a Vintage Party!

I have decided! I am going with a vintage theme.
Idea Round-up

This is not the actual menu, just my current list of what-if's for the party

deviled eggs
stuffed dates [looks like cockroaches]
toasted pumpkin seeds
tray of cheese -black grapes, figs, aged chedder with black wax rind, stilton  sesame crisps etc
home-made pretzel twists with rosemary sprig "hairs" [man toes]
mini mozzarella  "eyeballs"

entree's -
Will probably just do appetizers and treats, but just in case...

spinach vermicelli  with some sort of sauce
FYI vermicelli is Italian for little worms, creepy enough for Halloween I think
assorted hand pies with harvest veggies or apples and ginger or pumpkin
"All Hallows Cheese" sammys with tomato  "blood " soup
bowtie pasta = bats


witches fingers cookies
tombstone cookies with funny names like Ted M. Bahreed
pumpkin roll
halloween candy- homemade
pumpkin pie
old fashioned doughnuts and cider
carmel corn balls-homemade
carmel apples

Beer and wine only???

Fun and games

Pin the tail on the cat
the halloween version of pin the tail on the donkey
bobbing for apples
I forget what it's called, but theres a game where doughnuts are tied onto a sting hanging down from a door frame, and you have to try and eat the whole thing with out it falling on the ground or using your hands.
Pumpkin carving
Halloween trivia
viewing of a good Halloweeen movie, maybe sleepy Hallow or Salems Lot or Nightmare before xmas

Decor and Party Favors will remain a mystery.....
I gotta keep something back so It'll be a surprise for those of you who are attending and read my blog!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Better than Sex

Better than sex is a hidden gem of Key West. It is a dessert only restaurant, and it has some very cheeky names for it's items like

We visited a few times and have sampled the Peanut butter perversion- which is divine. a whipped peannut beutter mousse-like pie with a cookie dough crust. The missionary apple crisp. also super good. and the cookie nookie pie- not for the faint of heart- it is super rich cookie pie with chocolate chunks, and pecans with a cripsy crusty shell and  vanilla ice cream
I definately think this is a perfect spot for a romantic late night snack or a place to celebrate a milestone with your partner. Also a fun spot for a girls night out. The interior is very romantic with red velvet cushions, nudes in black and white photos, as well as many chandeliers. Boudoir style at its finest!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Awesome Art

I forgot what gallery this was in . Key West has like 200 of them by the way, but I really loved this art. Very steam-punk-y
I wish I could hang this painting in my bedroom.....sigh

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tapas at Santiago's Bodega

Whenever we head to Key West, we always make it a point to visit this spot.
It is a tapas resturant, so you get several small plates to share with the table.
Here is my dish, Prince Edward Island Mussels in white wine
Camembert wedge with marinated onions and sweet peppers, served with crostini
Mini quesadillas with mango salsa
Croissant Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise.... To Die For!!!

Usually I get the filet with blue cheese butter, but since I have stopped eating meat, I just ordered the dessert to console myself.
Honestly, I have never been disappointed at this restaurant, and we have gone around a dozen times. Also,  they have plenty of vegetarian options. The prices are not to bad for this type of white table cloth restaurant. Generally, 7-13 per plate, and each person gets 2-3 plates. The food is always perfectly cooked, and the atmosphere is well worth the extra dollar or two more than your chain-type eaterys. I recommend the Cheese plate, the Saganaki, a greek Haloumi cheese flambeed with brandy and the filet.  Also, the pear and avocado salad-enough for two is great. And all the dishes shown here. You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Key West Vibes

We went to Key West last weekend and had a blast. Besides being only a few hours away, KW is a ton of fun because of the hip-arty scene and trendy restaurants. I will be posting a bunch of pics this week, but here are some snapshots of odds and ends that are all about KW.
Some totem art in the Bahama Village quarter
The symbol of Key West....
A fun little robot at our favorite restaurant, The Cafe, a mostly veggie place

fun alcohol art
I couldn't get a clear shot, but this guy has a tricycle that is totally tricked out with laser lights. He just rides around playing techno/dancehall/old school hip hop and gives everyone a light show. SOOO Key West

Hope you enjoy the fun with me.... More to come this week.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

peach cobbler-ish pie

This little concoction was made of pure necessity. I had a bag of peaches that were so ripe, the juices were bursting out. {purchased for $1 at the fruit stand because of their over-ripe state}Whoo-hoo savin' money!
The crust was nothing spectacular, but good enough to hold up the peachy filling. Basically biscuit dough with a whiff of sugar.
 filling-8 peaches/nectarines blanched and skins removes, sliced  and sprinkled liberally with sugar.
For something that only took 30 min to make it was well worth the effort.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Halloween menu ideas

Becuase I am still trying to decide on what party format I am going to go with I cannot compleatly decide on the menu. But, I have so many options rolling around my head right now,  My head might BURST!!!!
Pumpkin Carving Feast

bruchetta with apple butter and pumpkin butter
toasted pumpkin seeds
pumpkin chedder cheese ball with apple slices
Roasted squash and pumpkin bisque with white beans and sage
pumpkin raviolis in browned butter
pumpkin pie
pumpkin roll

Super Spooky Snacks

Crab dip moulded to look like a brain
fruit carved to look like body parts with chocolate dip
Eyeball platter -deviled eggs w/ green olive slices on top , baby mozzarella balls with black olve slices, slice of potato with a dollop of green chive sour cream and a black bean in the center, etc
Blackberry BBQ Bat wings {chicken}
Compost Salad -purple potato and yam salad
gravestone cookies
cheesecake ball eyeballs
witch finger shaped cookies

Apple orchard feast

mulled apple cider,
apple chips
Apple bread w/ honey butter
apple slices with caramel
roasted apples, onion, yams, potatoes and garlic
apple pie
apple fritters

More to come later, I don't want to burn you guys out on Halloween

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More fun with spray paint

I was going to spray all of these items, but I think that pottery pitcher might be a collectable piece, so I held off. It's marked "Stingl colonial rose since 1805 trenton NJ". But I'm pretty sure it's from the 70's.
That other angel vase was still dirty, so back to the sink it went.
These 4 little cutie lanterns however got the full treatment. cleaning, painting and pics.  PLUS they were only 50 cents each from Target's 4th of July clearence  -whoo-hoo!
A few coats of black spray paint, and voila-
Aren't they just  A-door-bell?

I know these will be super cute once they have some orange candles inside. ;p 
Oh, wait, I just happen to have some orange candles on hand.....

Honestly, they will be out all year, not just the orange and black season.

I am also envisioning using them as curtain tie back somehow.... hmmm

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fun with Pitas or Pitas 2 ways , I can't decide

I prefer the non-pocket pitas for these items, but if that's all you've got, jump right in.

1. rub pitas with garlic oil and sprinkle with herbs. chop into quarters then toast them in the oven until crispy. Add a schmear of hummas,feta, and fresh chopped parsley, and enjoy
2. Lightly toast pitas. spread with marinara, sprinkle with cheese, add chopped garlic and onions. enjoy!
No matter what kind of pizza I am eating I always sprinkle with my version of pizza seasoning... oregano, basil, margoram, and crushed red pepper...delish

Margoram is so under-rated as a spice. I personally really think it adds alot to any spice combo for Italian food.
This is also great in the summer because it's really not "cooking" just toasting and assembling. Perfect for the heat wave we've been getting. Seriously, at 8 pm it should not be 90 degrees . Hope you all are surviving the heat and maybe sitting someplace by the water.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recycling at it's best

okay maybe not best, but pretty good at least.
This was a gift from Christmas last year that has been cluttering up the closet.

After a little spray paint from my trusty can of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze, and a dab of craft paint, it is now morphed into a stylish little caddy to hold my crafting beads. Sorry about this picture, It was so sunny outside and so dark inside I just snapped this real quick.