Posts Tagged inspiration

Weekly Roundup: Creativity, Star Trek Chic, and Cheap Booze

Living Room

This is what happens when I make time to be creative - utter domestic chaos! But it was so much fun . . .

Happy Friday Modern Domestic readers, and welcome to the new Friday weekly roundup!

  • I’ve really been digging the weekly creativity series on Decor8. It’s inspired me to take on projects like Peeptown Cupcake, and to make more time for my creative endeavors. The series was only supposed to be 10 weeks long, but Holly’s thinking about extending it, and I think she should!
  • I’m not watching The Chopping Block because I’m afraid that I’ll get sucked into yet another reality show, and then feel the need to recap it. And believe me, The Real Housewives of New York City and Millionaire Matchmaker are already fulfilling my quota of stupid TV. However, the first two contestants to leave the show were DCites: Vidalia events coordinator Khoa Nguyen and his cousin Denise Nguyen. But they weren’t kicked off – they left because they realized that the cruel insanity of reality TV just wasn’t worth it. Best Bites has an interview with the pair.
  • It’s a new frontier in geeky decorating!  I couldn’t resist this New York Times article about original series Star Trek fans who spent months creating the perfect replica of Captain Kirk’s chair for their living rooms. It’s so geeky, and yet kind of endearing – I guess I have a soft spot in my hear for The Trek since Wonk the Plank is a big Next Generation fan. Although if I were going to replicate a chair (don’t get any ideas, Wonk!), I’d much rather do Captain Picard’s – it looks much more comfortable!
  • Are you looking to take an art class in DC this summer. Apartment Therapy DC has a roundup of local area art classes.
  • I am forever in need of cheap booze. Thank goodness for the latest recommendation from DC Foodies: Castillo de Monjardin Tintico that’s less than $10 a bottle!

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Failure In the Pastry Supply Chain

I have a problem. It’s a supply-chain problem. And it’s currently taking the form of a plate of uneaten peach tartlets sitting in my refrigerator.

As you know, I really like to bake. There’s nothing better than spending the bulk of a Saturday working on a really complicated recipe (puff pastry is a particularly satisfying weekend baking activity). But sometimes I tend to, ahem, overindulge this passion, and I end up with baked goods that I really have no intention of eating.

Hence the tray of peach tartlets sitting in my refrigerator. Who knows if they will actually be eaten, given that I doubt I have the stamina or metabolism to consume them all, and wonktheplank is going on a bit of a detox after an epic camping trip he went on this weekend. Of course, my health-conscious coworkers would kill me for bringing them in, and wonktheplank has become a teensy-tiny bit less tolerant of my attempts to foist my baking efforts off on his coworkers.

I must admit-I never really meant to eat them. I went up to visit a friend in Philadelphia this weekend, and spent most of Saturday and Sunday reading the collection of cookbooks at the house where we were staying. I read though recipe after recipe — from homemade spaghetti to chicken livers in aspic—and came away rather inspired. And my “inspiration” took the form of a Labor Day cooking extravaganza, complete with chicken and lentil stew, homemade bread, and, of course, those uneaten peach tartlets.

It’s at times like these that I envy people with large broods of children or extended family members in the area, who can just foist their baked goods off onto the community (Although I suppose that, for some parents feeding their children cookies is no longer acceptable).

Sometimes I think that I need a part-time job at a bakery or something, just so I can get this overwhelming urge to bake out of my system. In the meantime, does anyone know of a DC-area bake sale in need of extra tartlets?

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Wine-Themed Wedding Cake

A couple of weeks ago, Wonktheplank and I attended the lovely wedding of his cousin-in-law. I was excited to go to the wedding, but not only because it was a chance to see friends and because I had heard that it was going to be quite the shin-dig. No, I was excited about the wedding cake.


(I only wish I had gotten a photo before they took the little bride and groom figure off!)

Wedding cakes are one of those fantasy items that I just love to drool over, but since I haven’t been to many weddings, I haven’t often had the opportunity. As you can see, this cake was just lovely—the yellow cake layers were covered in simple white frosting and decorated with grape leaves (the wedding had a wine theme, hence the grape leaves). The only thing I would have changed was the cherry-flavored filling, as I am not a fan of cherry fillings in general. However, that is entirely a matter of personal taste and doesn’t reflect on the cake one bit.

I have to say, after spending so much time and effort making my last two cakes, it was nice to sit down to a piece of cake that I didn’t have a deep emotional/financial investment in. Of course, it was far prettier and polished than anything I could make on my own, but sometimes it’s nice to be around a cake that’s so far out of your league. If anything, it serves as an inspiration to aspiring cake-bakers like myself.

More photos of the illustrious Wine-Themed Wedding Cake.

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August Book Review: Apartment Therapy Presents

These days, it seems you can’t turn on the TV or pick up a magazine without being bombarded with decorating advice—often involving things like “Tuscan” wall treatments, “French country” stencils, “zen” water features, or something else that makes me wonder if the secret goal of the TV decorating industry is to turn our homes into themed hotel rooms.

In a world run amuck with questionable decorating advice, it does the soul good to stop by the Apartment Therapy blog,
one of my very favorite online interior decorating and design resources. Unlike the decorating TV shows with their teams of carpenters, or magazine articles featuring million-dollar lofts, Apartment Therapy focuses on design and decorating solutions for real people in real homes, on real budgets.

So when I found out that the Apartment Therapy team had a new book out called Apartment Therapy Presents, I had to pick it up. The book is a compendium of one of the blogs’ best features—virtual “house tours.” The tours consist of photos of well-designed, but real homes, as well as a short interview with the home owners.

For avid readers of Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy Presents won’t give you a lot of new information
—as far as I could tell, all the homes featured in the book were also featured as house tours or contest entries on the blog. But for people like me, who have only been reading the blog for the last year or so, it’s nice to have the house tours collected into one volume, especially as it includes some homes that I hadn’t seen before.
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