We got these lovely tea towels from the VIVA SWEET LOVE shop on Etsy. I love the light and airy feel, modern yet simple design and the touch of color, which adds some life to the mostly neutral color palette in our kitchen.
Each towel (this is a set of two) measures 29″x29″ so I use them to dry dishes, wipe down counter tops and also my hands while cooking. I’ve been using them for pretty much everything except for blowing my nose!
What? They’re machine washable obvi.
Shop owner Amy makes all her stuff in New York (yay for made in the USA!) and uses water-based non-toxic inks on her fabrics. You can find more of her dish/tea towel designs here!
Unpacking and setting up a new place is equal parts tedious and exciting. Oh, and have I mentioned? We’re having a party here on Saturday. I was the genius that came up with that idea.
My plan of attack so far has been to get everything off the floor because any space immediately looks less messy when the floor is clean even if the mess has just been moved to the couch or the bed. Next, I’ve set up large garbage bags in several areas so I don’t have to waste time re-tracing my last five steps to throw away a dryer sheet. BECAUSE THAT WOULD WASTE TIME.
While unpacking on a deadline helps me stay focused it also creates a little too much room for the “for now.” You know what the for now is, right? It’s when you end every sentence out loud and in your head with “for now.”
I’ll just put this bag in this closet for now.
These books can just stay on my desk for now.
We can leave this giant box in this room for now.
The FOR NOW is the best-worst because it helps you get organized, but also reminds you that you will have more work to do later because in about six days you’re going to find a box of Plum Amazins in your linen closet and get annoyed that they’re not in their proper place (in the kitchen cabinet for dry foods, obviously) and then remember that you left them there for now because you were on a deadline to unpack and set up your entire place because a few weeks earlier you thought it would be a GREAT IDEA! to have a party at your house TWO WEEKS AFTER YOU MOVE.
Today’s decoration inspiration: a beautiful entryway via I Love Ugly
So after a month of packing, a week of eating off of paper plates and almost 20 hours of moving help from my dad and brother-in-law, The Boss and I are in our new place.
The week has been filled with unpacking, organizing and making several trips to the dumpsters while trying to avoid getting run over by the dozen 10-year-old kids on bikes whizzing up and down the sidewalks who were obviously biting their thumbs at the NO RIDING BIKES sign.
The night we moved in The Boss and I were talking about how incredibly blessed we feel and were reminiscing on our first place together — a 330-square foot studio apartment in Los Angeles. Our first night here it rained, which believe is a sign of God’s mercy, and we fell asleep to the sound of rain drops bouncing off our open windows and the smell of the lush green forest outside being invigorated with new life and beauty.
It’s already starting to feel like home.
I happened upon Ina Garten’s recipe for mustard chicken salad recently and thought I’d give it a whirl. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but this is now one of The Boss’s and my favorite weekend lunch ideas!
Here’s what I used!
- 1 lb. chicken bone and thigh (bone-in) cut up. We didn’t have chicken breast (which the recipe calls for) so I used what we had. And I’m glad I did because I always find that bone-in chicken gives it a better flavor. And of course you can always remove the meat from the bones once the chicken has cooled. I’ll get to that in a minute!
- olive oil (ours came from Costco)
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- head of broccoli florets (you can find this without the stems at the grocery store)
- light mayo
- Greek yogurt
- Dijon mustard
- whole-grain mustard
- cherry tomatoes; If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can use grape tomatoes. If you have a whole tomato, I say just cut it up into small squares and you’re good to go!
- vegetable stock; this is optional. We had some organic vegetable stock in the fridge, which I wanted to finish since we’re packing our fridge to move and stock only has a 7-ish day shelf life and I hate waste!
- bread of your choice; I think a crusty bread is best with this. We got sliced Bronx bread (baked locally in, you guess it! The Bronx!) and crisped it up in the oven for a few minutes!
Here’s what I did!
- Put chicken in a bowl and add olive oil, Kosher salt and black pepper. Mix it up with your hands!
- Line a baking sheet with foil and pour chicken (with the oil/salt/pepper drippings) onto the baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until chicken smells/looks like it’s ready! Basically, if you cut into the chicken it shouldn’t be pink!
- Time to cook the broccoli! Start by tearing apart the heads. Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt the water. In another bowl add cold water and ice. Add all your broccoli to the pot with boiling water and let cook for LESS THAN 2 MINUTES! Pull the broccoli out of the pot with whatever tool you have (I used a hand-held strainer) and then quickly immerse in ice cold water. This process is called poaching. I think. No, I think it’s called flash freeze. No, that’s not right. Oh yes! It’s called flash drive! Man, that cooking jargon always gets me!
- In a separate bowl mix up the mayo, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard and some of the vegetable stock if you’re using it.Regarding the measurements, I think I did something like: 1 cup Greek yogurt, a few spoonfuls of the mayo, a few tablespoons of whole-grain mustard and maybe 1/4 cup of the Dijon. I added the veggie stock as I whisked everything together, but I think I must have used about 1/4 cup of the stock in total. You want this mixture to be like a creamy dressing, not a vinaigrette.
- Wash your cherry tomatoes (or whatever tomatoes you’re using) and slice into halves. Cutting the little guys is optional, but it’ll make life much easier. It’s no fun biting into a whole cherry tomato resulting in the juice squirting into your water glass and then somehow ricocheting into your eye. Trust me.
- Add broccoli and tomatoes into the dressing you made and gently mix.
- Hopefully by now your chicken has cooled. Since I used bone-in The Boss and I used our fingers to break the meat off the bone in little chunks and added it to the bowl with the dressing. If you’re not using chicken with bones you should probably still let it cool before you try to handle it.
This meal has got a crazy kick (because of all the mustard!) so just be prepared — a few bites in will really open up your sinuses! Also, a note about the mustard. Since The Boss and I don’t use alcohol in any food in our home because of our religious beliefs we did have to spend some time reading mustard labels at the store since a lot of good-quality mustard is made with white wine. And when I say “good-quality” I mean: INVEST IN A GOOD MUSTARD. Trust me, pick up something boot leg in an effort to say $1.50 and it’ll be your bowels that open up after a meal like this…NOT your sinuses.