mini_kitchen_update

The kitchen in my apartment is tiny, and obviously hasn’t been updated since the seventies. There’s no natural light, and it was just kind of depressing and dingy. I had seen this idea on pinterest awhile ago to use contact paper to transform a counter-top with contact paper, so when I saw this granite contact paper at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago, I decided to try it out.

Here you can see the old yellow countertop, and some of the spots where the finish has worn off, with a roll of the contact paper I used:

before

I used 5 rolls to cover my countertops, and have some large pieces left over. It’s certainly not perfect, as I did get some wrinkles in a few spots, but since I have a tiny kitchen, the countertops are mostly covered with all the things I can’t fit in drawers and cabinets anyway. Most of the counterspace you see below is normally occupied with a dish rack.

after

I decided to hang up my measuring cups and spoons on this rack (also from the Dollar Tree, in the closet organizing aisle) so they’re easier to find and grab (though only the ones with pretty big holes fit – my other set of measuring spoons doesn’t work on this). It’s not the cutest solution, but it works and was quick and easy!

chalk_labels

I also added some Dollar Tree chalk labels to my canisters and used a circle punch to get the small round one for my cinnamon simple syrup (I love this stuff in tea lattes!). I was super excited to find a chalk pen in the Target Dollar Spot (They tend to be kind of expensive and hard to find). In case you’re interested, the canisters are from Bed, Bath and Beyond, and the oil/vinegar bottle I use for the simple syrup is from Walmart.

So, $8 later, my kitchen is a much brighter, happier place to be! It’s really amazing how much of a difference the cool-toned contact paper made! So far, it’s holding up great, and it is removable, so I’ll be able to take it off when I move out.
Christa

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It’s been awhile. Here’s what I’ve been working on lately: setting up a new etsy shop with printable designs. Here are a few:

take me to the mountains

it's a beautiful day

hello sweetie

let it snow

You can see the rest of the listings at zoviedesign.etsy.com. I’m working on getting some more designs up soon, so check back if you’re interested. I’ve been enjoying doing some fun graphic design for this, as well as using calligraphy (a new hobby) in some of the designs.

I also have a couple of blog posts in the works, so hopefully it won’t be too long before you see me here again!
Christa

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chocolate_pumpkin_muffins

A few weeks ago, I was planning on making some of my regular pumpkin muffins, when I thought, hey, I wonder if they would be good with lots of chocolate? Answer: why yes, of course they are! The pumpkin taste isn’t very noticeable, but it does bring a little more depth to the chocolate flavor, and makes the texture more muffin-like than cupcake-like. Not that chocolate cake isn’t a perfectly acceptable breakfast sometimes, but these make you feel like you’re being a little healthier while eating your chocolate for breakfast.

I’ve made these several times, and finally got around to taking pictures so I can share them with you! The recipe is based on my Allergy-Friendly Pumpkin Muffins, and is still adaptable to be allergy friendly. I did add an egg to this version, but an egg substitute should work just fine if you need to avoid those. By the way, that recipe is also good as banana muffins (use mashed bananas in place of the pumpkin, and I like to use ground ginger instead of the cinnamon) or bread (pumpkin or banana; bake in a loaf pan instead of muffin tins, for about an hour). I’m sure this recipe below would also be good using bananas in place of the pumpkin, if you have some that need to be used, or just feel like experimenting! Let me know if you come up with any yummy variations of your own!

{GF} Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Gluten-free, dairy-free, double chocolate pumpkin muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 c sugar
  • ¾ c white rice flour
  • ¼ c potato starch
  • ¼ c tapioca flour
  • ⅓ c cocoa powder
  • ¼ t xanthan gum
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c oil (any kind)
  • ¼ c milk (dairy or non-dairy, any kind)
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ c mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is allergy-friendly)
Instructions
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, stirring well to get out any lumps.
  2. Add egg, oil, milk, vanilla and pumpkin, and fold in until everything is combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop into greased muffin tin, evenly dividing the batter between the 12 cups.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Notes
Substitutions: Flour: Use 1¼ c of your favorite all-purpose gluten-free baking mix, or regular all-purpose flour if not avoiding gluten. Omit xanthan gum. Egg: A flax egg, or your favorite egg substitute should work in this recipe.

Enjoy!
Christa

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cestlavie3

I’m not totally sure what inspired this project… probably a bunch of different things on Pinterest, including graphic tees and sharpie projects. I was originally planning on trying this with a regular sharpie, but after a bit of research, decided I’d be better off getting an actual fabric marker. JoAnn’s had a pretty big selection. I just got a black chisel tip marker like this.

I found this sweatshirt at Target (it’s actually sleepwear) and liked the cut. After washing it, I stuck my cardboard cutting board (covered in a plastic bag) inside, and measured across the front. I found a font I liked and set up a page in Illustrator to the size I’d measured to get the right font size. I printed it out, cut out the letters, and roughly traced around them with the fabric marker. I filled in all the letters, and then went back over some of the areas that were a little lighter. Here’s an in-progress shot to show the steps (The printed letters are on the right. My printer was low on ink, hence the ombre effect):

cestlavie1

I let it dry overnight, and wore it the next day! The paint is nice and flexible, and the little odor it had wet disappeared once it was dry.

I have since (after I took these pics) washed it again, and the paint faded a little to more of a dark grey than black, and looks more like part of the fabric, though you can still feel the painted area. I am curious to see how it would work on a thinner material, so one of these days I might try that out, and I’ll let you know how it works.

cestlavie2
Christa

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