Memorial Day Weekend Recipe

I hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. We spent the majority of the weekend relaxing and enjoying family time. We saw a movie, spent time with friends, made a quick shopping trip to the city, enjoyed brunch and dinner with our families and of course had the All-American Memorial Day BBQ.
For the BBQ, I decided to bring a simple tomato salad. Seriously, this salad took maybe 10 minutes to throw together.
5-6 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup basil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove of garlic
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
4 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved

I combined the cheese and tomatoes in a bowl. In a food processor, I combined the basil, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic to make a thick "dressing." I poured the dressing over the tomato mixture, coated everything, garnished it with a few more basil leaves and called it a day.
Although we had some sunny days, the weather this weekend was a bit un-summer like, with rain showers populating our Saturday. However, we were lucky enough to catch this beautiful, vibrant rainbow (and the beginnings of another one) after the stormy weather.

All in all, this was the perfect weekend to end a happy month and we certainly did celebrate May, as my mom's calendar page indicated.


A Fast Favorite

This recipe is quickly becoming one of our favorite dishes (we've eaten it on three occasions in the last 2 weeks). It's really easy to whip up and has great flavors. It's a bit on the spicy side, so fair warning for those who prefer milder dishes.

Here's what you need:

3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (seeded if you want to make the dish less spicy)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 an onion
1 bell pepper
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. oregano
6 oz. feta cheese
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tequila
1 bag of pasta (again we usually use brown rice pasta, but any pasta will do)
Here's what you do:

Cook the pasta.
Heat up the olive oil and add the onions and bell pepper. Next add the tequila, the jalapeno, and the garlic. After 2 minutes, add the tomatoes, cilantro, and oregano. Cook for maybe 3 minutes.
When your pasta is finished add it to the veggie mixture and then top with feta cheese.
This is one of those dishes that you can substitute things here and there and it won't make a huge difference. For example, we've used a different type of cheese, added less tomatoes, or no cilantro and it always comes out tasty.


Summer Lovin'

My favorite season is almost here. I can feel it; the days are getting longer, the school year is winding down, and Memorial Day is just around the corner (hello four-day weekend!). In light of these summery vibes, I took it upon myself to brighten up our entryway with a fun summer vignette (we all know Nick was itching to be the one to arrange and rearrange random objects, but alas it had to be me.)
I created my vignette upon our fresh new console cabinet, since it was the perfect neutral backdrop for all things summery.
My love of pink is clear in this little set-up, but I also brought in a few other summery colors, like cool blues, bright greens and a touch of yellow. I centered the 'scape around a vase full of beautiful pink tulips  (when they pass, I'll probably switch them out for a vase of lemons and play up the yellow). 
Above the tulips, I hung a string of  homemade flags, which I made out of scrapbook paper and ribbon. 
To the left, we have a large letter R (since we like to remind ourselves often that we are Reisfelts...) grouped with a framed picture from several summers ago (to bring back sweet summer memories), and a beautiful little canister gifted to me at my bridal shower.  I love the simple flower pattern on it and the pale colors definitely speak of summer. 
Over on the right, I created another little grouping of things found around the apartment. I used two books to create some height on this end and added a little white ceramic bird for whimsy. You may remember this candle tin from Pier One. I love the pattern on it, even though the candle has long since burned out. 
I also added a white vase with some simple plant clippings on top of the books. I love the combination of green and white! 
I'm drawen colors and freshness of this vignette- it's like a little spring-almost-summer party right when you walk in the front door. It makes me oh-so-excited for the upcoming summer months! 

The Lettered Cottage


tickled pink

It's no secret that I love the color pink. I have pink accents all over my home. Pink (and black) were our wedding colors. My dog has a pink leash and collar. There are many pink items to be found in my closet (in fact, I'm wearing pink shoes as I type this!).
Pink, pink, pink!

Now that I joined pinterest, I can get a daily dose of pink. Here are a few of my favorite (random!) pink images:
Have a pink-tastic day, my friends! 


shots, teeth, and whales

It's been awhile since I talked about my sweet little class of boys, but I have a few more amusing stories to share with you today...

One student came in this morning and immediately rolled up his sleeve to show me a bandaid on upper arm. The other kids wanted to know what happened to him and he said, "I got it because I had to take shots."

Another student complained that his nose was hurting. When I asked him if he needed to blow it, his friend kindly said, "Let me see!" He bent down and looked at the other student's nose and said, "I know why it hurts, I see teeth in there...."

Lastly, we've been learning all about the ocean and our speech therapist taught us the song "Slippery Fish" a couple weeks ago. If you aren't familiar, you can take a little listen here:

Anyway, the last lyric describes a whale as "humongous," which has turned into my student's favorite word. Unfortunately one of my students didn't quite catch the word whale after humongous and now every time he sees a picture of a whale, he just calls it "a humongous". As in, "Look Reisfelt, I see a humongous!"

Don't my stories make you want to be a special ed Kindergarten teacher too?!


home tour updated!

After five months of living in our apartment, we finally decided to update the home tour page of our site. (It's about time, right?!) Of course there's still a lot that we want to do so we'll call this an "in progress" look at our apartment. So click on the page above and check out our detailed home tour!


Oh Happy Day

Yesterday my sweet husband 
had this:
and this:
waiting for me when I got home from a very long Open House at work last night! The car had been in the shop for a month, now thanks to some squabbling between our warranty company and dealership about who had pay for repairs. I've been driving a dinky little rental for a month and missing my car sorely! I was so so happy when Nick told me that it was actually finished once and for all!

On to the iPhone...This was a little surprise from my thoughtful husband- not that I've told him I wanted it like 10 million times or anything... Knowing my love of all things neutral, he selected the white iPhone. Look how it already fits in with the decor!
Nick busily set it up last night and downloaded apps that he thought I'd like. I downloaded the Pinterest app, so I can continue my obsession with my new favorite website on the go.
Needless to say, yesterday was a happy happy day for me : )

PS: Doesn't he look adorable in his scarf?! 


A little grilling

Recipe time! Would you be surprised to know that this one again involves tomatoes? I thought not. Last week, when the weather was much more May-like in sunny gloomy California, Nick and I enjoyed grilled tri-tip and peppered corn. Our meat had a little something-something extra to set it apart from a typical grilled steak. While my mister was busy grilling out on the patio, I prepared a little bruschetta to top our steak.

4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

I basically mixed all these ingredients together in a small bowl and when the time came, I spooned the mixture onto the meat.

Peppered corn:
Place husked corn onto a piece of foil with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Add 1 clove minced garlic, sea salt and ground pepper to the corn (however peppery you prefer your corn- Nick is very liberal with the pepper so I'm not sure what a normal amount would be!)
Roll up the corn tightly in the foil and place on the grill along with the meat. The corn took about 15 minutes to cook through.
Now if we ever get our summer weather, we'll have another easy grilled meal to add to our repertoire .. Sadly, I'm off to find a hearty soup recipe to match our winter weather...


some lovin'

Today's post is short and sweet... I just wanted to share some beautiful outdoor images that I discovered via Pinterest. We love our balcony and the view it offers, but the is space is, shall we say, "underdeveloped." Nick and I would love to tackle it soon but for now I'll just have to rely on these pictures for my lovely outdoors fix.

Oh how I would love one of these beautiful spaces...


do you pinterest?

Raise your hand if you've heard of Pinterest? Since I can't see you, let's just assume you're not raising your hand and you want to read a post all about it.
Pinterest is a "virtual pin board" where you can keep track of multiple pictures/ideas that you like from the internet. The greatest thing is that you can pin anything! Of course, most of the pictures I pin are home decor related but there are people out there pinning anything and everything. Once you are part of Pinterest, you can add a "Pin It" app to your bookmark bar which allows you to pin any picture on any website. It's super duper easy, and credits the pin automatically, so you remember where the picture came from.
Another awesome thing about Pinterest is that you can have multiple pin boards so that you keep pictures categorized neatly. I have several boards already; one to keep all my "Dream House" inspiration, another for clothes I love, and one for anything pink that I find and heart. Pre-pinterest, I would just save a picture I liked to an iphoto folder titled "things I like." (pretty lame...) Obviously, this system takes organization to a whole new level.
You can also follow other people who have fabulous taste via Pinterest, thus getting even more great ideas! As you can see, I'm an enthusiastic Pinterest user and I totally think you should become one too! And then you should probably follow me, so we can be Pinterest BFFs! : )


Quick Spaghetti

It's that time of the week again- when I once again tell you all about the delicious meal we had last night for dinner that likely involves some sort of tomato/basil combination- because that's how we roll... Last night after a (hilly) two hour dog walk, we were looking for something easy to make for din-din, so that we could settle down in front of the TV- just in time for Glee's Prom Night... My latest issue of Real Simple came to the rescue again, this time in the form of quick pasta.

Here's what you need:
Spaghetti (we modified with brown rice pasta)
3 large tomatoes, cut into thick slices
3 tbsp olive oil
Enough mozzarella slices for each of your tomatoes
1/4 c. Parmesan
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves

Here's what you do:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange a single layer of tomato slices and brush a little olive oil on top. Layer with mozzarella and parmesan. Add a little salt and pepper. Broil tomatoes until the cheese looks bubbly. 
  2. Next, saute the garlic and red pepper in olive oil for a couple minutes.
  3. Toss the pasta with the olive oil mixture and the basil leaves.
  4. Top with cheesy tomatoes. 
  5. Enjoy! 
This recipe is super easy and we've actually made the tomatoes twice in the last week because they are so tasty. Plus it's is gluten-free (if you use rice pasta) and vegetarian, if you're into that sort of thing...


house crush

Long before I wrote this blog, decorated my apartments, or even cared about decorating at all, I had a serious crush... on a house. I remember watching Father of the Bride, falling in love with the whole movie, especially the gorgeous house in which the Banks family resided. 
I vowed (at age 8) that I would one day live in a house as beautiful as that one. 

Although this remains my favorite, times change. As I grew up, I watched movies with an eye on the architecture and decor, mentally filing away pictures of my favorite homes. Some of my other favorites included the houses in The Parent Trap, which I saw when I was 13. 
I was especially enamored with the Napa house set in the middle of gorgeous wine country.
Another house caught my eye, this time at age 17... This next crush was the amazing beach house of Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give. I love, love, loved the exterior, the white kitchen, and the beachy, yet sophisticated vibe of this house.

Then during college, I saw The Holiday, and loved both houses featured in that movie. Cameron Diaz's contemporary white LA home and Kate Winslet's English cottage were both beautiful in their own unique ways. 

Most recently, I have become obsessed with Meryl Streep's Santa Barbara house in It's Complicated. I've probably watched the movie four times now and am completely in love with the rustic, casual decor of the beautiful house (along with the amazing SB scenery!). 

My favorite part of this house is the kitchen, with it's pale pallet and enormous workspaces.
{all It's Complicated photos via: hookedonhouses.net}
So what do all these houses have in common? Nancy Meyers wrote and directed every single one of these movies. I read that as a director, she feels that the houses and their interiors play as much a role in the movies as the characters do. No wonder myself, and so many others have come to know and love these romantic comedies. Not only do they provide a lovely light story; they provide tons of decor eye candy! 

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