Two things Today.

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The built-in shelving in this hometour over in The Marion House Book blog is major. In a big way./This shirt gives me the giggles. And such a great project for Inkodye inspirations. Every Day A Shirt is so good.
Posted by : Kelcey

Some Weekend

Just a few shots of moments that made my Saturday afternoon so sweet. 

These kids, who had really tasty sneakers (and some sweet dance moves).

These friends, who came out to sit in the sunshine and listen to music (and play with puppies).

This band, who looked like they would sound good (and did).

These new buddies, who had matching dance moves (and got us all up and dancing). 
Posted by : Kelcey

Cinnamon Coconut Rice Pudding

I first discovered the whole world of food blogging when I was in college. If I remember correctly, my mother sent me a link to one of The Wednesday Chef's recipes,  and from there I bounced around the web as if fired by a slingshot. I found The Smitten Kitchen, and Tea and Cookes, and Orangette. These people were clearly kindred spirits, who cooked because it made the rest of the world a little quieter, if only for a little while.

Since then, I've had the pleasure of reading hundreds of posts and several books by these talented ladies. I've tried many of their recipes and often been bowled over by how much better my day gets after sitting down to a bowl something warm and homemade, like stewed tomatoes, peppers, and onions, topped with a poached egg and crusty bread, or jalapeño cheddar scones on a cold morning. A lot of these recipes were recreated time and time again in my little apartment kitchen, and those recipes inspired my own creations.

Last year, Jeanette from Everybody Likes Sandwiches posted her recipe for a coconut and lime rice pudding over on Poppytalk, right in the dead of winter. Made with arborio rice and coconut milk, with grated lime zest through the whole thing, it was the perfect thing to brighten up a dreary evening (I was unemployed at the time, and all the ingredients were already in the cupboards. Double win!) I made it once that winters evening, and we ate it warm, and it was comforting and fragrant and did all the things a warm pudding should do for your soul--namely make it bright and shiny all over again, instead of kind of tired and in hibernation mode. 

But then I made it again last spring, and chilled it before serving it. This time it was the perfect light dessert at the end of a dinner party, and again we were all bright and shiny by the end of the bowl (though that may have also been partially due to the wine...).

And today, I wanted it again. But alas, alack, no limes to be found in the cupboards.

So I got all fancy, and decided to try making my own variation.

A holy trinity of pudding-making. Trust me.

The recipe itself is incredibly simple. Canned coconut milk, and a few cups of the regular dairy variety go in a medium saucepan with a bit of arborio rice, a scatter of sugar and a little vanilla. From there, you can add whatever you like! Today I tried cinnamon, for an horchata-like flavor (Side note: best drink ever on a clear spring day. Am I right?). Next time, I might throw some dried berries in the mix. It's pretty much no fail, as long as you're a patient cook and stick near the stove to stir. Even if you let it go a few seconds too long between stirs and it starts to stick: never fear. Scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir and it'll all be fine. 

The best thing is, the rice does all the work here. Arborio rice (what you use for risotto) has a ton of starch in each grain, so they all work together to get nice and fat in the easiest possible way.  

Cinnamon Coconut Rice Pudding 

(adapted from a recipe byJeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches, originally posted on Poppytalk)

2/3 cup arborio rice
14 oz (1 can) of light coconut milk
4 1/2 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a medium sized pot or saucepan, and whisk thoroughly so that the cinnamon is distributed evenly. Bring everything to a boil, then turn down heat to low and let simmer uncovered for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when mixture thickens and rice is soft.

Pour into a bowl and let pudding cool for a few minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic into the top of the pudding, so that no air remains. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight. 

Posted by : Kelcey

Monday Etsy Love // 1

I found the work of German artist Catherina Turk from Hamburg, Germany a few weeks ago, and couldn't stop thinking about the gorgeous watercolors she does of moths, foxes, raindrops, and (my favorite!) deer.

I finally broke down and ordered a set of four note cards. At least one of them will be framed for me, we'll see what becomes of the rest of them!

Posted by : Kelcey

Oh Craigslist.

Dudes, can I be really honest here for a second? (Ha! Like you could stop me!)

I have a problem. And it's name is Craigslist. When some people get home from work, they pour themselves a drink, put their feet up, and watch the game. Or watch soaps they got sucked into while unemployed and now religiously DVR. Or maybe they go for a walk.

Whatever. Those are all perfectly valid ways to spend the 6 hours of daily free time our work schedules allow. We all escape in our own ways.

Me? I head to Craigslist and start shopping for an apartment that I hope to soon have, but in truth, do not yet live in. My theory is as follows: When I finally get a place (sweet Jeebus, let it be sooner rather than later!), I'm gonna be all wrapped up in paying, you know, actual rent, and utilities, and all that delightful stuff that is the tradeoff for not having to be a 24 year old person who still has dinner with Mom and Dad most nights. And then I'm not going to have a lot of spare cash to drop on things like furniture and art and houseplants (a more recent obsession, but an obsession nonetheless) and all the things that make your super awesome, parent-free apartment actually resemble those awesome spaces that you've been pinning in the time that you haven't been obsessively Craigslisting.

So a while ago, I made a short list of things I'd like to snag from the clutches of weird neighbors. Things that I was in no rush to find, but if I saw what I wanted, and the price was right, I would bring home and squirrel away. Luckily, my childhood bedroom (yes, the one I'm currently calling home-sweet-home) is ridiculously large. Like, bigger than some apartments large. So I'm doing my best not to fill up every corner of the house with stuff.

Want to see this magical list? Too bad, here's a picture of it anyways.

Yeah--I already had a couch. Sorta. It only had one arm though, so it wasn't comfortable for more than one person to hang on. As in, one person (usually a guest) could snuggle up in the corner of the couch, comfy as can be and turn to address the person (usually me) sitting on the awkward arm-less end, who would usually be awkwardly trying to find that fine line between A. NOT falling off the end of this stupid couch and B. NOT sitting on my neighbor's lap. I mean, once in a while, there was someone on the couch who didn't mind getting snuggly--bestfriends, boyfriend, sisters, whatever, but sometimes you just want to sit casually next to someone while they tell you all about their day and NOT be thinking most about how you can avoid inappropriately snuggling.

Long story short--awkward chaise/couch is headed to a new home (courtesy of Craigslist! It's not all bad, kids!) and I'm hopeful that it's new home will appreciate it and love it, and come get it off my front porch very very soon because it's supposed to rain and I don't really want to try to give away a fungi-fest couch, even for free.

As usual, I digress.

The good news is, I've made serious progress on my list.
The bad news is, I'm the most unfortunate overachiever. Possibly ever.

Because not only did I find a great dresser with fabulous (yes, fabulous) midcentury lines that totally makes up for all the posts that I find that look like this:

OH LORD the pistachio. Who does this shit? It's like the people that live in the Eichler houses in the next neighborhood over who change out the doors so and paint it blue and plant roses and just hope that no one who knows about the history of these houses finds out what they've done. Because really, it kills me. I digress again. (But really!! Who does this?!!! If you want a traditional house with a white picket fence, please don't buy a piece of classic mid-century architecture and attempt to wipe out every interesting detail. It's just wrong. Just buy a different house.)

Anyways. My dresser. Well not only did the Craigslist gods bring me a super sexy vintage dresser, but they (as the gods are want to do) heaped the bounty of Craigslist upon me. The original owners of this dresser were a tiny old couple who had recently passed away, and their son or grandson was remodeling the house. The dresser just "wasn't their taste"--fair enough, so they were selling it. But it was part of a whole bedroom set, and they didn't want to break it up. So I ended up with a dresser, a headboard (also pretty freaking sweet, but not the right size for my current bed, so it's in the garage for now) and two night stands. All in great condition with groovy lines and built of actual wood. Instead of that laminate malarkey. Praise thee, Craigslist gods. That was back in January. My Christmas cashola was well spent, methinks.

Then last weekend, I was just casually browsing CL (by the way, we've all switched to using Grid view, yes? I just learned about this, and it's magic. Magic Magic. Much more efficient!) It was one of those evenings where I'm sitting in the family room with Mom, and we're both on CL (wonder where I got it from?? She's even worse than me.) mocking listings and wondering why people think they're going to get $500 for a hideous 80's pleather couch with busted seams and holes in the cushions, when I stumbled upon a poorly lit image of a nicely shaped yellow/gold armchair. And lo! A matching sofa! And the sofa's really good! Straight arms! No fussy flaps over the legs! Nothing overstuffed! And a cool color that's not quite neutral, but not totally crazy either!

And now they're in my bedroom. Thy work is good, CL gods! They're a bit large for the space, but so comfy, and they'll look great once I get some big white or black and white pillows instead of these crazy things I made in college. And the guy I bought them from grew up down the street, and used to date the girl who lived in my room before we moved in. It's a mad, mad world kids. He even had a truck and delivered them for me, which was bomb, because I don't have a truck and I don't like begging my FWLV (friends with large vehicles) to help me move my purchases.

So that brings the count of pieces of furniture in my room up to:

1 couch
1 arm chair
1 thrift store Burke chair (there's a great story involving my mother and some very unwise driving decisions and this chair, but that's for another day.)
1 thrifted Ikea Stockholm chair--lovingly recovered by one amateur reupholster-er.
1 wooden desk chair (nabbed from Dad)
1 midcentury very industrial chair, snagged from a former mental hospital-rumored inspiration for the Eagles song "Hotel California"-turned art center-turned University basement.
1  dresser
2 nightstands
1 rather large desk that needs a repositioning
1 long white table (snagged from Grandma and Grandpa's storage unit when they were cleaning out)
2 tall bookcases (these were the best Christmas gift ever when I was a kid. So many books.)
1 small bookcase (Also a childhood Christmas gift. Also pretty awesome. It's from Pottery Barn Kids, but's its pretty legit. No bunnies or anything)
1 king sized bed.

IT'S BONKERS. And it's time all my stuff found a better home. Preferably a two bedroom, affordably priced apartment in San Diego's Little Italy. As long as the employment gods are as friendly to me as the Craigslist gods, that's the plan.

Anyways, all these developments make me as happy as little Kai Kai here (half of Takashi Murakami's studio Mascot team--Kai Kai and KiKi), and it's gonna be a fun few months. It'll be especially fun when we have to get this couch OUT of my room again, because getting it in here was quite an adventure (as in we had to take the feet off of it, and we only scratched the door frame once! ...grumble).

Posted by : Kelcey


When I was little, on of my favorite people in the world was my great grandfather, Clarence. To me, he
was always Poppy Pat. 

He passed away at the age of 99, and left me a stack of books. Somewhere along the way, I also got his hat. 

Tonight, I'm hanging out with Poppy, the only way I can these days. Reading his book and wearing his hat. And missing his stories.

Posted by : Kelcey

Restyled Jewelry Box

We all have one. All creative types too. They're burrowed into our closets, tucked beneath our beds, and stashed away in rarely used drawers. They are...unfinished projects. There are three ways to soothe the guilt that comes hand in hand with these projects:
  1. Finish them.
  2. Throw them away, once and for all.
  3. Find a way to use them in their partially finished state. 
Usually, I fall into team 2. It's not that I want to be wasteful, but the reality that I am going to count all those stitches, find the appropriate needles, etc. just seems too far off. But yesterday...Yesterday was different. 

For those who don't know, I got some new furniture last week! It's gorgeous, it's solid wood, and we got it all home with the help of a friend and her minivan. My favorite piece is the dresser. I'm in love. And since I'm making my bed every day (hells yeah, New Years Resolutions actually work?) I'm finding myself more motivated to keep the rest of my lil world a little tidier too. And the dresser has great drawers that aren't too big and deep, which means that you don't have to dig through so much stuff to get that one-green-sweater-that-I-think-is-in-this-drawer-but-damn-it's-actually-sitting-on-that-chair.

But I digress. I set aside one of the drawers for the lovely baubles I've collected. Most of my jewelry has been gifted by people who I love very much, so the fact that much of it has been haphazardly stored in various small bowls/ old plates was all the more egregious. And so, solutions!

I browsed Etsy and Ebay, looking for a vintage jewelry box. No luck. I headed to Target to browse their jewelry boxes or drawer trays: either expensive and kinda "meh, that's alright I guess" or cheap and hideous.
When I got home, I ordered this organizer for earrings and such, and then I started browsing the almighty Pintrest for some solutions. Most ideas seemed to be based on a pegboard/hanging things on walls. Not an option. And so, as usual, the almighty Momma came to the rescue with a link to this cigar box + felt delight. The best part is, I knew I had a big, holey rumply piece of orange knit wool monstrosity in my closet. just waiting to be felted. My first ever attempt at a knitting project. From the beginning, it was meant to be shrunk, then stitched up into a messenger bag. It never got there. It sat in my closet for 5 years. Until last night. 

Last night it was thrown in the washing machine with super hot water, lots of soap, and a pair of running shoes. After two rounds of washing and a few hours drying, I cut it to fit the width of one of the cigar boxes I had around. I followed the instructions from the original DIY pretty closely, but instead of making individual sections of felt, I simply pleated a single piece of felt until it filled the box. No glue, no mess.

I've taught a few people how to knit in the past few months, and I find myself talking about this piece of ratty orange fabric every time. Learning to knit (and knit well) is a process. Your first project will likely be a catastrophe. So maybe consider making your first project 100% wool. And if it's really that bad, well, you can always felt it.

Posted by : Kelcey