Casual Fridays Part 3

The weekend is here! I’m always excited when Friday arrives, but some Fridays bring that extra bit of excitement/relief, you know? November has been an absolutely insane month so far, so I’m hoping the rest of it calms down a bit. It seems that everyone is talking about the holidays so much earlier this year, so I definitely have that on my mind. Next week I’m going to start putting together my holiday posts, starting with a DIY/handmade gift guide! But until then, here are some of my current favorite things:


1. Duchess Bake Shop cookbook $45. My favorite bakery, Duchess Bake Shop, just put out their first cookbook and I cannot be more excited for it. The Duchess is probably the only bakery I would ever make an hour detour for on a road trip because it is that good (and yes, I have made that detour).

2. I’m on the hunt for a new wool coat and while I’m going to scour the thrift store first, I do have my eye on this lovely from GAP, $178. 

3. Knitted elbow patches via Purl Bee. My favorite sweater, which is now too shameful to even wear outside of the house, had massive elbow holes. So I whipped up some of these elbow patches and I’m thankful that my sweater will have a bit more time on this earth with me.

4. Caramelized onion & potato hand pies, via Beekman 1802. Cold weather + pies = perfection, especially if they happen to be hand pies. This recipe looks so easy and making a large batch seems like the perfect plan (I love freezing things for eating at a time that you don’t feel like cooking, but also don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your home). I’m definitely trying this recipe out on the weekend!

5. Twinkle lights, Crate & Barrel $14.95 – I’m absolutely loving these battery powered twinkle lights. I bought a string last year from Restoration Hardware, but I see other stores offering similar strings for a little bit less dough (the Crate & Barrel version is $10 cheaper for the same length of string!). I love that the strings are metallic – much prettier than the typical plastic! I am going to put these lights on everything.

6. Cat cross stitch pattern – DMC $FREE – With the cold weather and not wanting to leave the house unless absolutely necessary, I’m really into cross stitching right now. I’m currently working on a holiday project (hopefully it will be finished soon and I can share it!), but I came across this cat pattern that I’m dying to make – I’ll probably just do the actual cat and then design my own background. Now the real challenge will be finishing my current project before starting on this one.

7. I’m thinking about lighting again (while I am in love with the string lights above, they are more decorative than functional).  This seems to be a common theme around this time of year – there never seems to be sufficient lighting in my living room, which becomes a problem when I’m knitting or cross stitching in front of the television. I have always thought it was a bit bizarre that our living room does not have any hardwired lighting (our old rental didn’t either!). I think two more table lamps might do the trick and I’ve got my eye on this really pretty and inexpensive option from Target for $50. I have seen more expensive and nicer versions from Schoolhouse Electric and Rejuvenation, so if Target does not pull through for me, I will probably hold off and buy the more expensive option.

I don’t have a ton of stuff planned for the weekend – I just picked up season 4 of Boardwalk Empire so I’m hoping to binge watch that (we don’t have cable or satellite television so all the episodes are brand new to us!). Otherwise, I was planning to do a bit of cooking (obviously those hand pies above but I’m also craving hearty stews with fresh baked bread!), work on some projects around the house and do some work on my holiday gift knitting. I hope your weekend is full of rest, food and whatever else makes you happy!

An End to The Week From Hell

Things are starting to get back to normal after my terrible week of broken dishwashers (the verdict is in, it is dead forever), a migraine that wouldn’t end, and an emergency basement clean up & reorganization! I couldn’t be happier that the week from hell is over. We spent every week night cleaning, moving things around, making a big expensive trip to Ikea (with the help of my favorite little brother!), then building said Ikea, and finally putting the whole space back together in a much more organized manner. Saturday night was spent vegetating in front of the television before falling asleep about 45 minutes later (it could also have had something to do with the leftover Halloween candy binge I’d gone on earlier).

Through all the crap this week, I have been able to find some positives:

1. Yesterday morning we met some friends for an early lunch and then stopped at my favorite store in historic Inglewood, Plant, where I picked up a couple of new air plants as well as a few little vessels for my ever growing collection of cacti and succulents (if you’re ever in the area stop by my favorite knitting store too, Stash). Fall is a weird time for me because I think I start to get a bit of indoor plant fever – I’ve just gone from caring for a million plants in my garden to only caring for a few in my house so I always feel the urge to increase the indoor plant population around this time. There are truly worse things I could be doing.


2. I’ve also been trying to make some headway on a few knitting projects. I’m officially 1/2 way through my first Xmas gift and about 1/10 of the way through my first sweater (actually a shrug, but whatever), and about 30 minutes away from finishing a pair of slippers for myself (the jury is still out on whether or not that project was a success… I think I’ll need to make some adjustments to the pattern for next time). I’m also trying to finish up a cross-stitch project I started almost a year ago (a year!!! Really Megan?!!) and I’m so close. Maybe today will be the day? I really like to take on too many projects.


3. And then I decided to “save” another discarded item. This chair was in pretty rough shape (dirty and very rusty!) when I picked it up but I figured there was no harm in trying to bring some life back in to it – and also, I was looking for another chair! I spent a couple of hours scrubbing using some steel wool and some Barkeeper’s Friend and it is looking much better – the chrome base shined up really nice! I’m still waffling on replacing the upholstery – it is faux leather so I think adding real leather would be much nicer, as well as fairly inexpensive and would require very little time. Thoughts? It is a nice chair so I’m glad I was able to clean it up.


Other than that, it started snowing yesterday afternoon and hasn’t really let up since (maybe not a positive thing but it is pretty!). So I haven’t had any time to work on finishing re-finishing my little sewing table (although I have no idea where I would have found time anyway). I’ve also been looking at the powder room all week dreaming about finishing sanding the drywall, so I’m hoping to get that finished by the end of the week.


And somewhere in between all of that I’m going to work every day, eating and sleeping. I’m feeling much more optimistic about this week though, maybe next post I’ll have a finished project to share – fingers crossed!