Friday, May 31, 2013

A Search for Glass Doorknobs

We purchased our curtains a few months ago for our living room and our bedroom from Ikea. They are extremely long (made to fit most windows) and need to be hemmed. They also came with simple fabric tie-backs that are currently barely holding the curtains to the side as place holders until we find tie-backs we really like. And honestly, I'm getting pretty sick of looking at them all crumpled.

Over the past few months since we bought the curtains I've been searching for unique ways to hold them back instead of just using the ties they came with. And I saw these two photos:

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

I love the idea of using antique looking glass doorknobs! I especially like the idea of colored glass like in the first photo--I'd love to find blue for our living room and a similar sea glass colored green for our bedroom.

So, a few weekends ago Frank and I went to visit our friends Holly and Tim and their adorable son Levi in Lancaster, PA. I grew up in Massachusetts going to the same church as Holly and her family, she was in our wedding, and we are still close today! 

Photo via Kara Loomis Photography

We all decided to head into the town of Lancaster City, yes, Lancaster has an actual city! While we were there, Holly took us to a great antique shop with all sorts of bits and parts of old homes that were for sale--I loved that store!

However, I did not love the prices. It was definitely not the sort of place I'd buy something old. But! They did have tons and tons of doorknobs and dresser knobs. Even glass ones! I just wish they were not selling them for $50-$75 per doorknob...even when they were 20% off. 

Unfortunately I did not go home with any pretty curtain tie-backs during that trip, but I will certainly be searching flea markets and garage sales for something we can use. 

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all enjoy the weekend ahead! I personally cannot believe how quickly this week flew by (and I'm not complaining). This weekend is my sister's college graduation party and I'm so excited to celebrate with her! 

Come back next week for some updates on my {fitness} {journey} and hopefully Part 2 of the {Ugly Green Bathroom }series!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Salmon with Balsamic Avocado Salsa

There was a sale this week on avocados, so Frank and I picked up a bunch. We made some guacamole, but had a few avocados left over and needed to use them. I've seen several recipes making "salsa" using avocado for the top of chicken or fish so we decided to create our own recipe.

Salsa (serves 2):
2 avocados
1/2 cucumber
mozzarella cheese
grape tomatoes 
1/3 red onion
fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
pinch salt 
pinch pepper

1// cut open avocados and remove pit. Dice avocado into small cubes.   2// cube 1/2 cucumber, 1/3 red onion, and 1/2 small block of mozzarella cheese.   3// halve a handful of grape tomatoes.   4// put all ingredients into a small bowl and stir gently with a spoon.   5// add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp olive oil and salt & pepper to taste.    8// top the mixture with a handful of sliced fresh basil leaves for extra flavor.   7// stir and serve on top of chicken or fish. 

We served our "salsa" over quinoa and salmon, but you can serve on top of grilled chicken, tilapia, or any other mild fish like mahi mahi. You can also replace the quinoa with any other grain, but we like quinoa for the extra protein it provides. 

We enjoyed our delicious light meal outside on our porch with our new pillows and twinkle lights on our railing.

We are getting so much use out of our porch sitting area! I am so happy we took the time to work on it to make it a cozy spot to hang out. We've been eating dinner out here most nights it's nice out.

I just love having the pillows on the chairs--it makes it so much more comfortable to sit. The Christmas lights we strung across the railing adds an extra cozy-factor at night.

I will definitely re-create this recipe again! It was surprisingly filling though with quinoa and avocado, but it was refreshing with the simple seasonings of the balsamic vinegar, basil and salt/pepper. Give it a try!

Question of the Day: Have you ever made up your own recipe using things you had on hand at the time? I'd love to hear your recipe ideas!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Carnival Fun

We're never too old to have fun at a carnival! Frank and I went with some friends to a carnival in the next county over and had such a good time! Most of the rides were super retro.

We went on a few rides, but my favorite was the classic Fun Slide! When I was very young there used to be a carnival down the street from us every summer. My dad and I would always go on the slide together. Brought back lots of memories--so I had to go on it again!

I have to admit that once I climbed to the top it was much higher than it looked from the ground! But it was so much fun! So much fun that I convinced Frank and our friends to take a ride on the slide too!

It was a gorgeous day and so much fun just walking around with our friends and laughing at the old rides. 

And the best part...they had the most delicious dessert I've ever seen in my life--like, really life-changing.

Fried Dough with an Ice Cream Sundae on top...

It was so yummy! All four of us grabbed forks and spoons and dug into it. The carnival was worth it even just for that! It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with a couple of great friends. 

Question of the Day: Do you have carnivals close to where you live? What's your favorite carnival ride or food?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ugly Green Bathroom: Part 1

My sister Megan just moved into a new apartment with two of her closest friends and approached me for help with making their bathroom work. The girls need help with two things:

1. The bathroom is tiny. There is no cabinet space and very little wall space to store all of their items. 
2. The bathroom is adorned in an awkward 70's green tile that is difficult for them to decorate with. 

So for the next few weeks I will be brainstorming ways for them to make the space functional and cute.

First, take a look at this piece of work: 

Yep. I know. Many older apartments that have not been updated tend to have colorful tiles, such as pink, blue and green. So, basically you can either go with it or go against it. I've seen both work.

Go against it.
If you want a challenge. Try to go against the color by trying to camouflage it. 

If your landlord allows it, you can paint over your tile.

Instructions from for painting your bathroom tile
how to paint over ceramic tile

You can also choose to purchase a large indoor-outdoor area rug to cover up the tile, but this would only work if your tile wasn't also in your shower and on half of your walls. 

However, it seems much more easy to just,
Go with it. 

Choose a color palette that works with the color. 

1. Use varying shades of the color (green in this case) to tone down the shade that is plastered all over your floors and walls. Go with a shade darker, a shade lighter, and a a neutral like white, tan, gray, or black. 

The trick is to make sure that the shades have a similar tint. So, if the green has a yellow tint, stick with other shades that have a tint of yellow or if the green has a hint of blue, stick with greens that have a blueish tint. That way they won't clash.

2. Use shades of a complimentary color to camouflage the intensity of your 70's tile and make it look put together.

The trick here is to make the complimentary color the main focus and just add bits and pieces of the tile color throughout the decor to make it flow and look intentional.

An example is this bathroom that has blue tile. The complimentary color is green and becomes the main color when it is used on a shower curtain and accessories. 

Here's a great rug from Target as an example of the blue/green example. Here, the blues overpower the green, but still incorporates the green making it flower, which is Megan's goal.

This rug would also work if you incorporated shades of blue and green.

3. Use multiple colors using a pattern as a focal point in either a shower curtain or fun throw rug to distract from the tile color. Adding more colors that work well with the tile color will draw attention to the pattern and the flow of the colors working together rather than the eyesore tile. 

Here is an example of a rug that would work in Megan's bathroom. It has green in it, but it's working alongside all the other bright colors and easily fades into the background.


4. You can just embrace the color and match it with a neutral. Get neutral or matching linens and play as if you love the color. Who knows, matched with neutrals it could tone it down and work beautifully. Just stick with one or two neutrals to give it a monochromatic feel. 

Use linens, wall art, and accessories to achieve this look. 

You'd want to use neutral rugs here. You can absolutely keep a pattern as long as it is subdued and neutral. 

Once you have an idea for a color palette, it's time to decorate and find storage solutions that work with the space and color scheme. 

Come back for Part 2 and Part 3 of this series later this week and next week to see my storage solutions and decorating ideas for Megan's 1970's Ugly Green bathroom.

Follow La Vita DiBella on facebook for daily updates. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Breakfast for Dinner

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Frank and I spent the weekend visiting family and friends and enjoying time together. On Friday we had a date night using mostly things we already had at home. We made crepes for dinner and had cheese, chocolate and wine while we watched a movie.

I used a very basic recipe that I found on Pinterest to make the crepes. To make them you'll need:

3 eggs 
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cold milk
2/3 cup cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter

{click on the picture below to see the full recipe and directions}

1. Mix all the ingredients with a whisk until mostly smooth.

2. Fill a greased pan with about 1/2 cup of the mix and tilt your pan until the mixture coats the pan in a thin layer. Watch the crepe for a few minutes until it starts to bubble from underneath. Using a wide spatula, flip the crepe and wait until it is lightly browned and bubbling underneath on the opposite side.

**The amount of time the crepes take to cook decreases as you go along, so be careful towards the end.

3. Put finished crepes between foil to make sure they stay warm until all of the mixture is used.

Then, we put out different toppings we already had in our fridge and pantry out on the table and tried different combinations. We used nutella, peanut butter, fresh fruit and a smidge of syrup for ours.

You can use:

powdered sugar
peanut butter
fresh fruit
hazelnuts or sliced almonds
whipped cream

or anything else you have on hand

Then, we opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed pepper-jack cheese, crackers and Ghirardelli chocolate in two different flavors: mint and dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. So good!!

Having breakfast for dinner can be a delicious treat once in a while and paired with some wine, cheese and chocolate made it the perfect Friday night date for Frank and I!

Question of the Day: Have you ever had breakfast for dinner? What breakfast food do you eat? 

Have a Happy Memorial Day!