May 30, 2012

Cues for a Clean Closet

Posted by Kristin

Laura's recent spring cleaning post inspired me to take a look around my own home, mainly for things to get rid of. The first area I tackled was my closet. Its a tiny space that it chock full of tight storage. Double-decker hanging bars on both sides paired with two levels of shelves, a hat and belt rack, and hanging shoe rack offer alot of storage in a very small space. But even with all that storage, it felt like things were closing in on me every time I opened the door. Therefore, some serious de-cluttering ensued.



Lots of tight storage. Everything has a place and must be in its place or chaos ensues.



Double-decker storage is a must in this tight space.



Work pants and boots....boots that I never really wear.



A basket holding a ton of scarves.....scarves I never really wear.



More bags and boxes of items I never really wear. Are you noticing a pattern here?



It took me about ten minutes to end up with this big pile of stuff I never really wear.



And lots of extra hangers, also taking up valuable space.



I ended up with a decent pile of clothes, shoes, hats and scarves ready to be donated.



One little trick I picked up from Real Simple magazine: if you're not sure if you
 wear certain clothes often enough to keep them, turn the hangers
with the right side facing towards the back. If they're still in that position in
six months you probably don't need the clothes.


Its been about six weeks since I got rid of all those clothes and I gotta say, I don't miss them one bit. I also don't miss the chaos that once existed in my now slightly roomier closet!

May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Posted by PEC

Warm wishes to you and yours for a sunshine-rich, bbq-filled Memorial Day. Take some time to make some new memories and remember the old and all who served.

And now some fun pics to inspire us all:

memorial day treats
Via


memorial day printables
Via

Memorial day
Via

memorial day fun
Via

Memorial Day food
Via

Happy Memorial Day!
Via

May 26, 2012

Quinn Popcorn: The New Wave in Microwave Popcorn

Posted by Kristin

I love popcorn. Not too long ago, I shared my love of popcorn and how I stumbled across a way to diy microwave popcorn. Continuing on with my love of these curious little kernels, I recently stumbled upon a new indie popcorn company called Quinn Popcorn while reading the Edible Boston food blog.

Quinn Popcorn was started by the Kristy and Coulter Lewis, a young couple who loves popcorn but not the nasty chemicals or artificial ingrediants you're exposed to with traditional microwave popcorn. Just a month after their son Quinn was born they started their company, also named Quinn. And as they put it in this article in my favorite quote of the week, "Any similarity between the two names is purely intentional."


quin_popcorn
Quinn Popcorn Founders: Coulter and Kristy Lewis. via



The Lewises know their product best, so I'll let them explain their philosophy:

Taken from their About Page:

Quinn Pop­corn is microwave pop­corn reinvented!

Our pop­corn ker­nels are organic and non-gmo. On top of that, we are ditch­ing the plas­tic and Teflon patched bags, hydro­genated oils, arti­fi­cial flavorings, and replac­ing them with recy­cled and com­postable paper, expeller pressed oils, and simple, mouth-watering ingredients.

Quinn Pop­corn is nat­ural and cul­ti­vated, our ingre­di­ents clean and pure, and the fla­vors dis­tinc­tively sweet, savory, and salty.

Plain and sim­ple, our mis­sion is to pro­vide you with the best bag of microwave pop­corn. A bag that you will feel good about shar­ing with your fam­ily and friends!


Their microwave popcorn packets are available in number of flavors, both online and in Boston-area Whole Foods stores.


Flavors
via 

I don't know about you guys, but that Vermont Maple and Sea Salt flavor sounds right up my ally. Happy Munching!

May 24, 2012

Did You Read It?

Posted by Laura



We LOVE us some Portlandia here at PEC! Wait, have you heard of Portlandia? It is a show based in Portland, Oregon that makes fun of all things hipster. It takes slightly odd characters (played by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein) who seem tolerable and justified, and then pushes them over into the weirdo zone. We ALL know the characters who are played in these clips, some of us are even these people (I see myself in many of them). That's what makes it so great. Here are my favorite Portlandia clips.




















Oh there are so many more videos I could post. The list is endless! For more Portlandia fun, go to www.ifc.com/shows/portlandia

May 22, 2012

Mom's Buttermilk Pancakes

Posted by Kristin

I grew up regularly eating these light and airy buttermilk pancakes on Saturday mornings. Since my childhood bedroom was right above the kitchen, I would hear my mom using the blender and that was my cue to get up since I knew a steaming pile of pancakes would soon be ready. They're super easy to make and alot lighter than traditional pancakes. Sometimes I'll add in blueberries, strawberries or bananas but they're still just as good even on their own.

Ingredients:

Basic ingredients for the batter.

In a blender, combine:
1 cup milk
3 tbsp lemon juice

Let sit for a minute or two.

Then add in:
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Blend until combined. Lastly, add in:
1 cup flour

Add the flour a little bit at a time (1/4 cup or so) and blend until thoroughly mixed. I used all whole wheat flour but white flour works as well.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. I prefer non-stick but my mom always used cast iron.





Ladle in some batter and cook until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake. Then flip and cook another minute. They only take 2-3 minutes total to cook.





Sometimes I vary the sizes. This day I wanted to try making two big pancakes. The only problem was- could I flip it without it falling apart?





Success! This is the color the top of the pancake should be- at this point, it only needs another minute to cook the bottom.





Get in my belly!





Breakfast for two. Bon Appetit!



May 20, 2012

Craft Fair


Posted by Laura

A while back, I received an email invite through my very humble etsy shop to be a vendor at a local craft fair. After I sorted out my judgements about fanny packs and cat quilts, I decided to jump in with a few friends and take this craft fair for a spin. Since I have very little inventory, I needed my very talented friends to help me out. We pooled our resources together (which I still don't know if that's allowed in the vendor etiquette book, eh?) and had enough to outfit an entire 6 foot table.

The location was at the Boys and Girls Club in Ludlow, MA. Here's the table, right in front of the ice cream machine:



If you take away all of the clutter, here's what it looks like in it's raw form :)



One side of the table had onesies, barrettes, wine bottle bags, dog bandanas, baby wash cloths, fresh lavender and sachets



Lauren Gray from lcgray made these sweet barrettes.



She also made these onesies.



My Dog Bandanas.




Fresh lavender that I put together for people to buy.



The other side of the table was full of Lauren Hebda's goodies. She was a total rockstar and made tons of things including these burp cloths, baby blankets, aprons, tshirts and onesies.






Jennifer Holloway from Ugly House Diaries made these stellar coasters.



A few other things from me included a half apron and reusable bags.



I also met some great woman at neighboring tables - Anita from Olimax Soap and Amanda from Colour Jewelry. Check out their etsy shops:

Olimax Soap, via etsy 
Colour Jewelry, via etsy

All-in-all it was fun and I'm glad I did it, however it was a LOT of work and unfortunately we didn't have many sales. I think I'm happy with etsy, for now.

May 18, 2012

Kitchen Reveal

Posted by Kristin

Alrightly folks- here's the final room in my apartment tour I've been doing recently. The kitchen is probably the room that received the most work but is also where I spend alot of my time. Just to review, here are some befores, originally shared here.


Before:
The island came with the kitchen, and while functional, wasn't really my style.


It was just a stove in a corner in desperate need of storage.


The cabinets used to be plain wood and received a coat of white paint.
The back-splash, a dated faux marble pattern, got covered in a gray laminate-safe paint.



After:

The view from the deck outside.

A beautiful, new island, custom built by my dad. I also repurposed an old window into a
chalkboard., a convenient spot to write grocery lists and other fun messages.

The window received 3 coats of chalkboard spray
paint and some red paint on the trim.

The island adds much needed storage and a broad work space to cook.


Opposite the chalkboard wall is more storage.


Ikea stainless steel shelves and hanging racks offer alot of convenient storage and a
hanging basket holds  frequently used produce.

A large white frame holds a torn out magazine page of an apple. Free art!


With no cabinet or counter next to the stove, we really needed something.
I purchased a narrow cabinet from a salvage store and painted it white.
It got topped with a wood counter that matches the island.


$20 got me this solid wood cabinet. It just needed some white paint and a countertop and was good to go.


More Ikea shelves and puck lights under the cabinets add storage and good task lighting.


Space above the cabinets offers storage for white
 platters and a plant cozies up the corner.

I will never go back to a knife block again.
This was the best $8 I've spent so far at Ikea.

Its nice to be able to keep soap, sponges and towels clear from the sink area.


One of my favorite spots in the kitchen. I love pantries.


The view from the dining room. A bright and happy space.