Archive | September, 2011

In over my head… and going to Round Top

30 Sep

I wonder if I have ADD? I am always racing off to work on a new project and haven’t even finished the last blog post or DIY project I’m working on.  Case in point, I am planning a trip to Round Top’s antique fair this weekend when I have yet to upload pictures and blog about our girl’s weekend in Dallas (that occurred 2 weeks ago!).   Am I crazy? Here I am trying to travel to Round Top to get more antiques when I have 4 projects that I haven’t completed in my garage.

Maybe I lack focus? Or perhaps I am just over ambitious.  Eek!  I need to figure it out because I always feel like I am running full pace yet always running behind!

I’ll try to finish up and tell you about our trip very soon.  I really do want to share it.  We did some fun stuff and even redesigned a table that is killer beautiful.  Just to give you a little teaser, it’s antique silver with a gorgeous deep chocolate top.    And just to tease you a little more… the projects I am finishing up include a silver claw foot desk (I’m kind of obsessed with silver lately), a dark orange dresser (I know it sounds scary but I think it is going to be epic!), a glossy yellow ornate chair and a huge DIY whiteboard wall for my husband’s office.   Stay tuned next week and I promise you really will see these projects finally popping up because I am determined to complete them and become the punctual blogger I know I can be!

Even though I have unfinished projects, I am justifying my trip because Round Top only occurs twice a year.  So I HAVE to go this weekend even though my garage isn’t quite ready for the inflow.  I am super excited about this antique show.  If you haven’t heard about Round Top before it is a huge antique show in Central Texas.

Carrie has actually been before (you can see pictures of Carrie’s trip last year here) but this is my first Round Top experience.  By the way, we are referring it as “Round Top” because that name is commonly known but really we are going to the antique fair called Warrenton.  According to my expert insider advice (Carrie!), Warrenton has cheaper deals. Warrenton is a large antique fair outside of Round Top and occurs at the same time.  I guess you could say Warrenton is Round Top’s evil stepchild.  All I had to hear were the terms amazing ANTIQUES and CHEAPER and I booted up my GPS.  I WILL find Warrenton and be there come rain or shine.

This antique shopping will also be monumental because it will be the first time Carrie and I have shopped for antiques together – ever.  Carrie and I share the same passion about furniture and interior design and blog about it together…but living in different states didn’t allow spending any time together. Since I moved to Texas about 7 weeks ago, I have seen Carrie 4 times already and now we will actually get to go antique hunting together.  Our idea of heaven on earth.  Sure beats the past when I lived in Los Angeles and could only see Carrie once every year and half.   Moving to Texas has had great benefits!

Carrie and I have been fantasizing over the things we want to by this weekend and here are the things on our wish lists:

1)   Carrie wants lockers.  She wants to use them in a mud room type capacity to store her children’s backpacks and raincoats.

(Image curtesy of Pinterest)

2)   Carrie also wants a magazine rack.  Preferably antique and waist high.  It will be used in her office for organization.

(Image curtesy of Pinterest)

3)   I want a ladder.  A thick chucky ladder.  I discovered this ladder in a cute boutique in San Antonio and I want to do the same with my scarves.  I’ve got lots of scarves and they are really need a home.

(Overexposed blurry photo curtesy of my iPhone)

4)   I also want an outdoor chandelier.  Or any chandelier or item that can be converted to an outdoor chandelier to hold candles.  I want to hang it from a tree above our outdoor table.

(Image curtesy of Pinterest)

5)   And we both want FRAMES and TYPOGRAPHY.  Small, large…whatever shapes and as many as we can get our grubby hands on.

 

(Image curtesy of Pinterest)

If you are headed to Warrenton/RoundTop, have fun!  But don’t you dare thinking about buying any lockers, magazine racks, ladders, chandeliers, numbers or frames.

We will beat you to them anyway because we plan to get there butt crack early :)

Heart Print {free download}

29 Sep

Hi friends!

I am finally working on my daughter’s room.  It has been long, hot summer…and honestly, I haven’t felt like tackling that project.

Some progress was made.  We painted the walls Vintage Blue, distressed an old shutter, changed her bedding to a fluffy white down comforter, and found these huge, square pillows at HomeGoods for $9.99 each.

homegoods

We are moving in the right direction…but she has a huge eye-sore in her room.  And my husband and I do not agree on what do with it.

This bookcase:

It’s sentimental because it was in her nursery and was so precious at the time…and now it just collects junk, dust, and more junk.

And it drives me to drink wine coolers at 2 in the afternoon.  (kidding!)

I want to take it down completely.  The husband does not.

I want to replace with bookcase with a huge wall of vintage guitars, metal letter P’s, photographs of her ballet and her horse, and artwork…special to her…and I know it would be gorgeous above the white beadboard in her room.

Very vintage.  Very girly.

While we duke out if the bookcase stays or goes in the attic, I created this print to frame for my daughter’s room.

A verse that is special to me, for a number a reasons I’ll share soon.

And I’d love to share it with you.

Feel free to download it here:  Heart Print

And print and share for personal use.

Happy Thursday, friends!  I’ll keep you updated on the bookcase debate…and feel free to give me your thoughts on how to convince the husband the bookcase needs to go!!

xoxo,

Carrie

What’s for Dinner – Goat Cheese & Butternut Squash

28 Sep

It’s baaaaaaaaccck!!

Recipes.  Dinner.  Good food.  Good for the soul.

Sometimes bad for the hips.

But still good, yummy, healthy food for your sweet family.

This recipe is my sister’s, adapted from the gorgeous Giada.

My sister first told me about and I thought there was no way my kids or husband would eat that.

I would…because I love goat cheese and roasted butternut squash is like heaven on a plate.

She kept asking if I’d made the pasta and finally, I caved…but made a separate bowl of pasta for the rest of my family just in case.  I shouldn’t have because…

They loved it.  Absolutely loved it.  My kids asked for seconds…and thirds.

And I ate my weight in delicious butternut squash.

Words cannot describe how incredible this dish is…and easy beyond belief.

Easy…easy…easy to make on busy school night.

So, kudos to my baby sister to introducing this dish to my family…and I’m paying it forward to you.

Penne Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 (2-pound) butternut or kombucha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Put an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the squash and onion together and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes until the vegetables are golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce. Add the squash andonion mixture, the walnuts and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

giada penne butternut squash goat cheese

To toast the walnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Enjoy, friends!!

Do you have any favorite meals you like to share with us?  We’d love to know!

xoxo,

Carrie

Cousins.

27 Sep

Thank God for technology.

Otherwise, my children and my sweet nieces and nephew would never see each other.

Enter Skype.

 

And Mater.  And Lightning ”the Queen”.  And Aliens.  And Barbies.

So much fun and such a blessing.

I miss your little faces all the way up in New York….

Love,

Auntie Carrie

 

 

Work in Progress.

26 Sep

Angie and I are really working…working hard to make this a place to come for beautiful things, heartfelt inspiration, and lots of laughs…even if no one cares.

As our husbands say…we are working for a not-for-profit organization.

Who cares, right?

Happy Monday, friends!!

xoxo,
Carrie & Angie

ps…like our new logo???

Infinity Scarf

23 Sep

Infinity Scarf

Where are you there Fall?  Hello??

Knock, knock…

I love scarves…and I am really loving infinity scarves this season.

Chunky.  Soft.  Warm.

 

And you can tell what colors I am drawn to right now…camels, oranges, and chocolates.

With jeans, a plain tee, and ballet flats…or boots…perfect outfit for the fall.

Here’s were you can find these scarves…one is on Etsy too!

1.  Chocolate Popcorn

2. Camel Fringe

3. Orange

4. Camel Ruffle

What are you loving right now?

Happy fall, ya’ll!!

xoxo,

Carrie

Burlap Pillow {tutorial}

22 Sep

Burlap Pillow {tutorial}

“A ma vie de coer entier” translates to “My Whole Heart For My Whole Life”

I love anything french…french fries, french toast, french wine…

I’ve seen these pillows here and I’ve loved them…

But at $120 there is absolutely no way I could justify spending that for a pillow.

And you know how much Angie and I love burlap these days and my heart has been aching for a pillow.

So what’s a girl to do?

Make it herself…in less than 30 minutes while Little Man was napping:

1/4 yard of burlap: $2.99 less 40% = $1.18 at Hobby Lobby
Pillow stuffing: already owned from my baby bedding making days
Brown paint: from my paint stash
Stencils: $2.99 less 40% = $1.18 at Hobby Lobby

Since I was not using a pillow form, I decided on a 15″ square pillow. I measured about 15.5″ to allow for 1/2 inch seam:

Pin it:

my whole heart for my whole life pillow

Sew 4 straight lines…leaving the last side half open to allow for stuffing or a pillow insert:

Turn the newly created pillow right-side out (is that how you say it?) and press the edges.  You especially want to do this when working with burlap because it is a denser material.

I got my handy new stencils:

stencils

Penciled “my whole heart for my whole life”….it was completely free handed.  I don’t have much time or patience for measuring and like things to look messy vintage:

I used a sponge brush, diluted the brown paint with water on plain paper plate (I am fancy!):

Looking good…

The cluster stuff can be found at Walmart or Hobby Lobby and it is super soft and fluffy:

Be sure to push the stuffing into each corner:

Pin the opening closed and sew either by hand, which takes too long, or back to your machine:

burlap pillow

And find your pillow a new home where everyone can it!

And that is it.  A french burlap pillow made in less than 30 minutes for less than $3….that is a happy day!

We {heart} you friends!

xoxo,

Carrie

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberryToday’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with KHome Stories A2Z

 

What’s for Dinner :: Zucchini Carpaccio

21 Sep

What’s for Dinner :: Zucchini Carpaccio

Last weekend with the girls was perfect.  I love hanging out with my husband and family but sometimes I just need a little time with my girlfriends…know what I mean?  Cory, Carrie and I drank lots of beverages filled with sugar and alcohol, ate yummy food (including figs and goat cheese) all while chatting and giggling by the pool.  It was so relaxing and loads of fun — so much so that I am still trying to get back into the swing of things.

Carrie and I did lots of fun things we want to share with you.  Somehow we  even found the time to help restore a dining table for Cory!   It’s gorgeous and silver!!  I need to download all the pictures and get started on all that …but for now I wanted to share this quick recipe we learned from Dominic…otherwise affectionately known as “The Dom”.

Dom is Cory’s husband and along with Cory was our gracious host last weekend.  Dom and Cory went all out and really made Carrie and I feel special. Dom even put up with all our babbling and let us control the TV :) Thanks Dom and Cory – We love you!

Dom made us this appetizer Saturday before we had goat cheese quiche.  It tasted so fresh and light. I can’t wait to make this myself next time I have company visiting.  It will be sure to impress!

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (1 oz)
  • 1 (3-oz) piece Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano (shaved)

Dom recommends using very high end olive oil if possible.  The olive oil plays a big part in the delicious taste of this dish and using a high quality olive oil will intensify that. Dom used a french extra virgin olive oil and he also used freshly shaved Parmesan and squeezed lemon juice (no bottled lemon juice).

To Make:

Cut zucchini diagonally into paper-thin slices with slicer or knife. Arrange slices, overlapping slightly, in 1 layer on 2 plates.

Whisk together oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then drizzle over zucchini. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste, cheese and pine nuts. Let stand 10 minutes to soften zucchini and allow flavors to develop.

That’s it – so simple!

Change is Good

20 Sep

Angie and I truly love blogging.  It has been one the best adventures for our friendship and for us personally.  We’ve met so many other bloggers who think the way we think.  It’s been empowering…to write the words we want, to share the things we adore, and to be as creative as we can be without limitations.

As our year anniversary of blogging approached, Angie and I both looked back over the year of posts, comments, and new friends and really took a step back to look at TwoFriendsTwoCities aka 221vision.

Yes, we are two friends who still live in two different cities with the same vision for what we hope our lives to be but we felt like something was missing.  Without comparing our little blog to other blogs who started around the same time, we (honestly) felt discouraged…beat down…and wanted more for our little blog.

How can we do it all?  We are wives, friends, mothers, daughters, sisters and bloggers.  Trying to find that balance is hard…a lot harder than one might think.

During one of our late night text conversations several months ago, the idea for an online store was brought up.  An online store related to our blog where we can offer to our e-friends home décor pieces and flea market finds to fit any budget.  We also talked about offering e-design services at extremely affordable rates.

The more we talked, the more ideas we had about the direction of TwoFriendsTwoCities.  We looked back a year ago and jumped in feet first and decided on our blog name without looking deeper into the meaning behind a name.

Where I am going with this??

After much thought about our new store and our blog, we want to make it more personal by opening up to everyone the story behind Angie and Carrie.

Our lifestyle blog.  Our online store.  Our whole hearts in one place.

One the blog, you’ll find more about us personally, lots of guest posts, e-design, and just daily life that we all can relate to.

In the store, you’ll find amazing home décor and fashion along with antique finds from our adventures around Texas.

Stay tuned for changes coming soon.  We are working around the clock, in two different cities, in hopes of bringing our lives to you.

Xoxo,

 

Angie & Carrie

 

Oh Amy!

19 Sep

Oh Amy!

I am inherently a bold colored modern minimalist…yet somehow Amy Butler brings out the rare to be seen frilly, pastel loving girly side of me.

Look at this necklace!. Pretty pretty!

And…another great idea to use leftover scrap fabric.

Amy includes yet another free pattern here!

Survey Says!

16 Sep

Survey Says!

Some readers really let loose with their comments and criticism and we loved it!

We really appreciate the feedback we received and can’t wait to focus on the content readers are most interested in as well as implement design changes to make TwoFriendsTwoCities easier to read. There were some startling statistics also!

First of all, we had no idea our blog was being read as often as it was. We thought maybe readers checked in once a month or every so often.  Based on the survey results, 100% of readers tuned in at least once a week.  Specifically 45% read daily, 45% read a few times a week and 10% read once a week.  WOW!  Thank you!  So shocked people really checked us out that often!

Another unexpected twist was that we had quite a few male readers out there.   Since we usually only receive comments from female readers, we were quite thrilled to learn that 10% of our readers are male.  Thanks guys!!!  We love that you read and will definitely keep that in mind when we are developing content.

The blog layout got the most feedback (and criticism) in the fill in the blank sections of our survey.  Approximately 50% of our readers use Google Reader or other reader services so they weren’t even aware what our blog format looked like.  However quite a few readers that didn’t use reader tools didn’t like the blog layout.  Some commented that the category boxes were difficult to use and confusing.  Others complained that it was not easy to navigate from post to post.  Duly noted!!  We loved the design aspect of our blog but if it is not easy for readers to utilize, it makes no sense to keep it.  We made a few tweaks including removing the category boxes and are actually looking into changing our blog template completely.  So please be patient and you will see a new cleaner, easy to use design coming out in the very near future!

The results on subject matter were another amazement.   Furniture “Before &  Afters” were a top pick and DIY& Crafts and Interior Design Inspiration & Ideas were also top favorites.  BUT… most readers really loved hearing about our personal lives and requested to hear more, more, more!  Since being made aware of that, we have been sharing more about our personal lives and will certainly share more, more more!

Thanks so much for being interested in our lives.  We are still learning to open up more and not be scared to put it all out there and share our thoughts with everyone.  Sometimes it is difficult and a little scary because it’s hard to tell if people will disagree with what we think or if we will sound stupid sharing our personal thoughts.  Blogging seems so easy but once you write something and publish it, it can be a little embarrassing or regretted.  My mom in particular was not too happy with comments I made about our childhood home when the Texas fires occurred recently and I was very sad I hurt her.  I love my parents and that was never my intention.  However, I will still make the effort to learn to share more and not be so timid.  Since everyone expressed such a keen interest, I will try not to be so shy. :)

Last surprising twist on the survey was about our blog name.  Carrie and I have been considering changing it and the survey results were almost a draw!  45% said change it and 55% were for keeping it.  Hmmm…lots for us still to think about there.

This morning I am heading to Dallas to see Carrie and our friend Cory.  We have not all 3 been together in almost 1 ½ years!  We have lots to catch up on with Cory and Carrie and I will also get to chat more about TwoFriendsTwoCities and how we can grow and improve it.

Also, since Carrie and I want to provide the most and best we can for our families – and because we are both entrepreneurs at heart we have been developing an exiting business project over the last few months.  We are still working hard on it and can’t wait to share that with you as well after we iron out more details this weekend.

Here’s to figs and new changes!

Hope you have a great weekend too!

Sewing Concrete

15 Sep

Sewing Concrete

Totally in love with this furniture I stumbled upon today.  Made of concrete!

German designer Florian Schmid created these sleek concrete stools.  Florian was inspired by a material called Concrete Canvas, concrete cloth that can be molded when wet.

Seeing this really gets the creative juices flowing!  Can you imagine the things that could be made with this?  Do you have any cloth concrete ideas!?

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