January 2014 ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Spicy Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

A spicy spin on my Cornbread Stuffing that EVERYONE loves!

Sweet Potato Souffle for Thanksgiving

One of my most popular recipes EVER, and just in time for Thanksgiving!

DIY Painted Photo Backdrops

Super easy backdrops for your photo, plus a few tips!

Golden Sweet Corn Bread Mini Muffins

A sweet spin on traditional cornbread!

Easy Sweet Potato Pie (without a crust!)

The easiest (and healthiest) pumpkin pie recipe ever!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Food & basketball!

Well, I finally have a few things to share with you again for this week's wrap-up!  Lots of food and fun again this week, so we'll just get to it.  :)


Precap:



On Saturday, I had a bunch of errands to run (for future projects that I can't wait to share!), but afterwards we took some time out to go to dinner.  My guy was recognized at work and had a gift certificate to P.F. Chang's.  Besides the desserts above, we had the dishes below.  See the whole dinner at The Episodic Eater!




On Sunday, I did a bit of work on three separate projects.  Woo!  We already had a dinner planned, which I was really looking forward to.  We went to Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktails, which was amazing!  Check out the Short Ribs below!


Weekly Wrap-Up on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Someone else had the Salmon below and there were so many great dishes such as the Poultry (roast chicken), Kale Caesar Salad, Tuna Carpaccio, Steak Tartar, Vidalia Onion Rounds, Butterscotch Pudding, Lemon Meringue dessert, and more!  Check out The Episodic Eater post here!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tip: Blend Green Smoothies without Green Leafy Bits (or an expensive blender!)

Ever since I started trying to eat healthy and promised to share my healthy recipes with you guys, I started making green smoothies!

*Update* Here is the link to my fave green smoothie recipe on this blog!

My sister likes juicing, but I prefer blending smoothies because they actually keep me full without a million trips to the restroom.  I mean, don't even get me started on the reasons why I prefer smoothies, but there was one instance in which juicing was better.  Whenever I made a smoothie with spinach, kale, or other leafy greens, I would always end chewing pieces of leaf while trying to drink my smoothie.  Ew!  I always assumed that because I don't have an expensive blender that I would have to avoid adding greens to my morning smoothie.  Boo!

However, I stumbled upon a tip that I had to share with you about how to blend a smoothie without leafy bits!




By the way, this is the difference between the two blending methods.  Pretty good, right?  Okay, so here is the tip!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mad About Plaid Challenge Round-Up!

Hello again!

Some of you might have thought to yourself... what happened to Stitch Once, Rip Twice?  I posted about our Mad About Plaid Challenge and then I shared with you the plans that I had to make a coat.

And then...




...a big fat nothing.  Yep, the holidays came around, and there was complete radio silence on the blog, at least about sewing!  Since this is the first year of my blog, I was completely unaware about how busy I would be to blog/work/shop for gifts/sew/celebrate.  It seems like I am not the only one who was short on time, because we only had four members (including myself) who had time to sew something!

Stitch Once, Rip Twice members did participate in a small holiday swap, which I posted about.  I was set to share my own project last week, but instead I had a mini rant last week when I lost my pictures. Oh well!

It's long overdue, but I really wanted to share the other projects that everyone else made for our challenge!



Mad About Plaid Challenge Round-Up!

This project from Amy at SewNBows one is completely different than what we have had before...

Monday, January 27, 2014

11 Sweet Valentine's Day DIYs!

You may have noticed after I was all gung-ho about Thanksgiving, I dropped the ball on holiday posts.  But never fear, we have TONS of awesome inspiration for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday from the amazing linkers on Do Tell Tuesdays!  I found all of these really great ideas last week that would be perfect as a Valentine's gift or something to make to celebrate the holidays on the day of!

Without further ado, check out these 11 Sweet Valentine DIYs!




This Sugar Scrub Recipe from Momdot would be a nice present or a treat for yourself on Valentine's Day!


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Isn't this a sweet Valentine's Day mantel?  The Ampersand Valentine Art from Life in Velvet is a lovely decorative touch!


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I just adore these Cute Handmade Hearts from Passion Shake.  She has so many pretty patterns that you will have to check them out yourself to find your favorite one!  :)


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This Burlap Memory Jar from My Paper Craze is perfect for keeping track of memories, but I also think it would be a perfect little present along with some chocolates stuffed inside for Valentine's Day!

A Perfect Day of Recipes! :: 10 Yummy Features from Do Tell Tuesday

I can't believe how many awesome recipes were linked up last week.  It totally inspired me to make a round-up post!  It's my first one people!  Woo hoo for that!

Anyways, let's get to all of the eye candy for what I am calling a perfect day of recipes from Breakfast to Dinner...  let's be real, from Breakfast to Midnight Snack!

A Perfect Day of Recipes!


Breakfast

I would definitely start of my day with these Strawberry Muffins from Something Sweet!

A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


To drink with my muffin, this Low Calorie Green Smoothie from Carrie This Home would be amazing!  I already make a green smoothie at home, but I just love finding more recipes.  :)


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Morning Snack

These Cranberry Pistachio No Bake Energy Bites  from Sweet Bella Roos would be amazing for a quick "pick me up" to get me to lunch.


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Speaking of...

Lunch

I already have a tomato soup recipe myself, but this Homemade Tomato Soup from Cats on the Homestead looks like one I gotta try!


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


A perfect accompaniment for the soup would be these Easy Cheese Twists from Lovely and Loving!


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


For a sweet treat at the end of lunch, I would LOVE this Coconut Milk Whipped Cream over blueberries just like One Little Project photographed!


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Afternoon (and Midnight) Snack

Gal on a Mission's Pizza Dip looks deeelicious!  That would definitely hold me over until...


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Dinner!

I LOVE chicken noodle soup, and the Chicken Noodle Soup from Captain America & His English Rose looks so perfect for a cold day!


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


This Sherry & Mustard Braised Chicken with Confit Potato from Anyonita Nibbles looks über fancy and delicious, right?  Yum!


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


And for dessert, I could sink my teeth into this Sour Cream Chocolate Cake from Madly Wish!


A Perfect Day of Recipes on Diane's Vintage Zest!


And then I would dig into that Pizza Dip just one more time for a midnight snack...  :)

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That's a pretty delicious day of recipes, don't you agree?  Thanks to the ladies for linking up to Do Tell Tuesday and feel free to grab a button!

What would you include in your perfect day of recipes?




Do Tell Tuesday #8 with Features & Co-Host!

I am so excited that you can be here my favorite day of the week!  Click here for the full rundown on how to participate and...


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!




Today is exciting because we have a guest co-host today!  Say hello to Katie!


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Hello!  I'm Katie from View From The Fridge where I blog about my latest craft, home, and kiddo projects (and some other random thoughts along the way).  I am mom to two sweet little boys with another baby on the way ... eta mid-May.  I usually have half a dozen projects in the works at various stages (and in various places around the house).  We have a lot of big home projects going on right now, so 2014 should be a busy and {hopefully} productive year!  I'd love for you to stop by and say "hello" when you have a minute!


Visit Katie & say hello!

Blog  //  Google+  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest  //  Bloglovin'




Recently seen on Vintage Zest...


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Easy & Healthy Minestrone Soup

Venting about First World Problems...

How to: Back Up Your Blogger Posts & Template!



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Weekly Wrap-Up: Retro Row, Honduran food & Raw Chocolate!

Rewind Jewelry Feature

And a sneak peek from The Episodic Eater: Honduras Kitchen!



All of us hosts and guest host pick our own features, and we all share the most viewed link too.  Last week's party was so great!  In fact, I had to do something special...  You'll see at the end of the post.  :)  If you are all ready to see the features, here we go!


Easy Veggie "Pasta"

Continuing with this month of healthy recipes, I have a fun way to get TONS of veggies into your diet!  It is super easy and quick, which I love on those nights that I don't want to chop a bunch of veggies and wash a boatload of knives/cutting boards/pots/pans/dishes.

There are so many ways to prepare this dish, and I will share a few of my favorite versions.  :)

Here is my "recipe" for easy Veggie "Pasta!"




Disclaimer:  This cannot completely replace or mimic pasta noodles, especially because I am a carbolic.  However, considering the amount of nutrition it packs versus the higher calorie amount in pasta, it is a good swap to make every so once in a while.


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Before I get to the magic ingredient, I should explain a couple of things.  I have a serious pasta addiction.  When I was a child, I brought spaghetti sandwiches in my bag lunch.  Yes, that's two slices of white Wonder bread wrapped around as much spaghetti as I could possibly eat, without it falling apart.  I became REALLY good at making them.  :)

Anyways, I have tried all kinds of pasta substitutes:

  • Spaghetti squash:
    • Texture: a bit crunchy
    • Taste: good, but can be a bit on the watery side
    • Prep time: lots of time needed
  • Shirataki noodles:
    • Texture: can be odd & squishy
    • Taste:  sometimes fishy, depending on the brand
    • Prep: very little!
  • Homemade zucchini noodles
    • Texture: best by far, unless you don't remove the seeds
    • Taste:  awesome!
    • Prep:  a bit of time to use the spiral veggie cutter and more time to cook;  lots of clean-up  :(

So for me, the best of the three is the zucchini noodles, which do take a bit of time.  However, it was my lucky day at the store because I found this on sale.  I fell in love.  :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Synopsis / Stumped on Sunday #3!

Happy Sunday!

For today's Stumped on Sunday, I was going to ask you all a question on how to put clickable social media icons into a blog header because I had no idea how.  Coincidentally, I found a tutorial last week in my Bloglovin' feed and whipped up with my banner above!  Yay!

P.S. - It looks like this picture below, but you can actually click on the buttons to get to my social media.  Woo hoo!



Lastly, here are last week's posts in case you missed any.  :)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rewind Jewelry Feature!

I am absolutely ecstatic to share one of my favorite shops today!  Remember, I bought only a couple of items from Patchwork Long Beach and one of them was a pretty watch-gear ring from Rewind Jewelry.  Obviously, I love the whole watch gear aesthetic... I mean look at my logo!  Anyways, here is their long-awaited feature and I hope you love their gorgeous pieces as much as I do!



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Tell me a little bit about yourself!

My name is Carlos Montanaro, and I opened REWIND in 2009.  Now, I use antique time pieces to create edgy jewelry with timeless beauty.  Being exposed to art at an early age, I have been an artist my entire life & have used all mediums in my work - designing everything from jewelry to stained glass to fashion.


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Obviously not Carlos, but Crystal was happy show me around!


Where did the name of your store come from?

Sitting around with friends throwing out one-word names for a repurposed watch business.  Once the name REWIND was tossed around, it became the instant winner.


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Why did you start making goods for Rewind Jewelry?

I always have loved mechanical, industrial & vintage objects. I wanted to show people beauty they may have been missing in this world by showcasing the amazing craftsmanship of these vintage time pieces. Most of the jewelry I create features the inner-workings – the guts, the story- of a time piece.


What is your favorite item?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Retro Row, Honduran food & Raw Chocolate!

The weekly wrap-up for today is basically centered around our plans on Saturday.  As I mentioned in my venting post, I have been super busy.  Still, we took some time out to have some fun in the fun little neighborhood of Retro Row in Long Beach.  There was some serious eating, followed by lots of window shopping and design inspiration!  :)


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Design inspiration galore!


On Saturday, I was determined to use a Groupon to Honduras Kitchen before it expired.  I was hoping it would be good since I had never eaten Honduran food before...  OMG, I have a new favorite restaurant to add to the list!  If you have never clicked over to The Episodic Eater to read one of my wrap-up posts, you will want to see this one.  Click here to read more about our yellow cherry/passionfruit/guanabana/tamarindo juice choice, our tasting of baleadas, and the amazing fried chicken below!

From my Instagram feed.  Follow me if you want to see more!


Afterwards, we went to Anandamide just down the street and spied all of the treats that the "psychedelic delicatessen" had to offer.  No really, they call it that!  Check it out on The Episodic Eater.


Another Instagram pic!


Then, we were headed off to check out Retro Row!  Fourth Street in Long Beach has some pretty awesome vintage stores, restaurants, and furniture shops.  Let's take a quick peek down the street into the couple of shops that I dragged my fella into!

First of all, this is a pretty awesome way to welcome people to the corner of 4th & Cherry, right?  Check out the headlights.  :)


Welcome to Retro Row!
Do you think my mom would consider planting her succulents in a rusted out car?  Hmmm...


Here are a couple of awesome vintage shops just across the street!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How to: Back Up Your Blogger Posts & Template!


Hi again!

Between all of the awful customer service calls this week, I was making a few changes to my blog.  Just little tweaks here and there, including the floating social media bar when you scroll down and my header with built-in social media buttons!  Fancy!

Anyways, in between all of the changes, I needed to back up my template.  It always takes me a couple of minutes to remember how to do it, as well as how to back up my blog posts.  While doing it, I decided to take a few screencaps for anyone who wants to know how to do it, plain and simple!




One note about this tutorial, is that it is written for the Blogger platform, because that is what I use.  Sorry Wordpress, tumblr, etc. users!


By the way, there are two parts to this tutorial:

  1. Backing up your blog posts means saving the content that you publish every day.  I try to do this weekly, just in case.
  2. The Template refers to a bunch of items in your blog, including the font choices, widgets, and other customizations you may have made.  If you make a mistake while editing your template HTML, it can be a nightmare to repair.  I usually just save an HTML before making any changes, such as when I added the floating social media bar.

So without further ado, here is Part 1 of backing up your blog!


Backing Up Your Blog Posts

1.  Click on the name of the blog you want to back up to go do the dashboard.

Note:  I will include a red oval that shows where you need to click for each step.


How to: Back Up Your Blogger Posts and  Template on Diane's Vintage Zest!
Step 1


2.  On the left sidebar, click Settings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Venting about First World Problems...

So this is the day that I promised to share my Mad About Plaid Challenge, but it has been a crazy week lately and you will see why soon...

I just need to vent quickly about the silly things that have been happening in my life lately.  However, in the spirit of positivity and putting things in perspective, I'm going to try to come up with at least one good event for every poopy item on my list...


#1

Bad #1:  I lost some pictures in the move to my new computer, including the ones for the Mad About Plaid Challenge.


Good #1a:  I have a new computer!  It's faster, lighter, and not 5 years out of date.  :)

Good #1b:  I still have the jacket and the camera, so all is not last.  Yay!


Venting about First World Problems on Diane's Vintage Zest!
#2

Bad #2:  I spent a ton of time on phones this week with customer service representatives, two of which were really, really rude!

  • In one instance, a website made a mistake in not applying a credit to a gift order.  My options were to cancel or be overcharged, according to one lady.  She then put me on hold for 13 minutes and hung up.
  • In another instance, I was supposed to be refunded a partial amount for a workshop that was cancelled, but the lady interrogated me when I could not produce all of the confirmation numbers that she needed within 5 seconds.  I had them soon after, but she already accused me of being a liar and wondered why I even cared about being refunded such a small amount.  Ugh!


Good #2a:  I eventually spoke with other people in the respective companies, who were so much nicer!

  • The second customer representative fixed the problem after admitting the mistake.  Also, I did not wait for the first lady to come back from putting me on hold, so I did not waste 13 minutes waiting for her on my home phone.  I made a second call from my cell phone and had the problem fixed in less time than it took for Ms. Rude to hang up on me.
  • I was not refunded, but I spoke with the manager in charge of Ms. Super-Rude and she admitted that the employee had an ongoing problem.

Good #2b: I could afford to not get refunds from these people at all, so I am lucky to not be hard-pressed financially.  Perspective!


Venting about First World Problems on Diane's Vintage Zest!
#3

Monday, January 20, 2014

Do Tell Tuesday #7 with Features & Co-Host!

I am so excited that you can be here my favorite day of the week!  Click here for the full rundown on how to participate and...


Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!




Today is exciting because we have our very first co-host today!  Say hello to Jenna!

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Hi, I'm Jenna from A Savory Feast! I am joining the party from sunny Florida.  Stop by my blog for lots of delicious recipes, from easy dinner ideas to creative desserts and much more.  I love experimenting with new ideas and sharing them with my readers.


Visit Jenna & say hello!

A Savory Feast  //  Google+  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest




Recently seen on Vintage Zest...

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Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna

Stitch Once, Rip Twice's Holiday Swap Round-up!

What is Your Fitness Age? & My Health Story


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Weekly wrap-up: Coincidences & Funny Links  :)

Be Featured on Shop Small Saturday Showcase!

Stumped on Sunday #2



I knew that numbers would be higher after the holidays, but wow it really picked up last week!  There were so many amazing features to pick from so I'm glad we have one more guest co-host to feature more of you.  :)  Each one of us hosts pick our own features but we all share the most viewed link too!  So, if you are all ready, here we go!


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