Turtle Shell Make-Over

Hello again! I'm going to try and catch up on posts this week! In no particular order (just going through drafts and old photos). Today I wanted to show you what I ended up doing to my Nate Berkus Turtle Shell. You might remember I had the mellow yellow one.

Well after sometime hanging up on the wall... 


I was becoming more and more annoyed at the high gloss reflection it was giving out. In person when you are looking at in from any given direction other than straight on - it looked like it had an iridescent coat. So I thought about spray painting it a matte mustard yellow color but then I thought "if I'm going to spray paint it, I want to try a different color!"
Except I didn't want a "color" per say. I was hoping for a more natural, petrified, or fossil-like look. White was the obvious choice but eh, that didn't inspire me much. So I looked up other turtle shells on Pinterest for some ideas and I came upon this photo from the lovely blog All About Vignettes! 

image from: All About Vignettes

Oooohh yeah that's it!

So I grabbed a can of  spray paint - in Dark Walnut (such a great shade of black-brown, just like my favorite mascara) and gave it a few coats. 

paint: Rust-Oleum Painters Touch (Ultra Cover, Paint and Primer) in Dark Walnut, satin finish

paint: Rust-Oleum Painters Touch (Ultra Cover, Paint and Primer) in Dark Walnut, satin finish


A few hours later I brought it in and let it dry overnight. Then the next day I hung it up!

Before and After

Before and After

I like this black-brown much better! The satin finish is great too - not too glossy, but it has enough of a sheen to give it some depth and softness.

Adding Life to a Tree Trunk Vase

Heyooo! I know it's been a while but I'm happy my blogging/sharing bug is back! I didn't meant to take such a long break but life happens! But instead of getting overwhelmed with "where do I start?!" and not writing anything at all -- I'm going to go through my draft posts and take it from there in an effort to catch up! I've been updating via Instagram so some pictures may look familiar but I still wanted to give them a proper post in case anyone wanted more details. 

Ok, so I've had this beautiful white tree trunk vase floating around the house ever since I bought it (probably since we've moved into the house).

I love it. I found it at Ross for $15. I've wanted to find it a permanent place but it didn't play well in a group and it didn't really stand out all on his own either. I tried adding faux flowers / decor branches to it but it looked goofy. I felt it really needed to carry something though, like the vase that it was, so I looked around my plants for something I could fit inside.

planter from Big Lots $8 (I love the matte and gloss)

planter from Big Lots $8 (I love the matte and gloss)

This is just one of those inexpensive plants Ikea sells. I mentioned it once when I was looking for an easy plant to keep in a kitchen with no natural light. It's a good indoor plant that doesn't like direct sunlight. I'd planted it in this sexy black planter weeks prior because I liked the way the bright green leaf looked with the black. And by looking at the size of the container I had a feeling it would fit inside the vase.

I love it when my hunches are right!

I did use some packing paper (just random paper material for shipping - I keep all that stuff) to wrap around the bottom half of the planter before laying it inside - just to prevent any friction between them. You could use a plastic container though! Oh, and watering is no problem since the planter has an attached drainage plate. Make sure yours does too! But I usually just drop a couple ice-cubes every other week so there's no over watering.

plant: syngonium podophyllum

plant: syngonium podophyllum

I really love the bright green color of the leaves and the way they grow up and out giving the top of the vase a pretty tree-like canopy. Perfect, just perfect!

Green Dragon

Did everyone enjoy their holiday break? I had lots of great food and got lots of nice gifts...

This one was my favorite from my mom

This one was my favorite from my mom

And then I got sick. Thanks mom! J/k

So I want to wish everyone a happy new year before I pass out for the next few days...



Yeah, I'll be riding the green dragon for New Years. But I can't wait to update! I'm excited about some plans I have for our Den and one of the spare bedrooms!

So here's to a brand new year! Have a great one everybody!

5-Cheese Lasagna

The only good thing about this Monday...  

Anyone else having a bad Monday?

It's been one of those days for me and I really really needed a win. Ten minutes before pulling this out of the oven I'd accidentally closed a door on my finger (the last straw on an already bad day), and I was limping because earlier I'd twisted my knee. I couldn't handle any more fuckups.

And I was starving. I wanted to cut into it immediately but I waited the recommended 15 minutes before serving. It was worth it.

It's was so good. A total win!

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen, S8 E23

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen, S8 E23

I even made the bitter greens salad! That was excellent too. The only changes I made to the recipe was use Spinach Lasagna noodles.

I can't say I've ever used the word magical about lasagna but this one was. It's so beautiful, creamy, and cheesy. The béchamel poured over the top at the end-- definitely using that trick in future lasagnas! Not a single dry layer! 

But my husband was not a fan of the blue cheese so maybe next time I'll try it without, or maybe make a smaller batch!


Pesto Lasagna Verde

I was looking for a tomato-free lasagna and came across this video of Giada de Laurentiis talking about her favorite lasagna: Lasagna Verde by Angelini Osteria (it's his grandmother's recipe). It looked amazing! A little googling around led me to this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/member/views/nona-elviras-lasagna-verde-50003658

The only things I changed was using pesto instead of tomato paste (because I'm allergic to tomatoes), and I used ground pork instead of veal, oh and I omitted the chicken livers (because I'm allergic to chicken, too). Also, I used no-need-to-boil spinach lasagna noodles. It was beautiful and it smelled delicious but it tasted even better - creamy and cheesy and oh soooo good! Try it.

Oh man, it's going to taste even better tomorrow...