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Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 | 0 comments

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

One year ago, my son Henry was born.  He was 3 months early and had a loooong road to recovery.  Now he’s a healthy little baby whom we’re so proud of. Saturday we hosted an open house for his 1st birthday to show our appreciation for the many people who helped us through those difficult months.  I also used it as an excuse to hone  my DIY party skills using a blue, teal and orange color palette.  Below are shots of the party.  Enjoy! Balloon walkway — so easy and fun to do! After the party the kids had a great time with them. Birthday banner and first glimpse of the food stations: Our fun balloon garland. We took a needle and threaded string through the balloons — so easy! The food mecca. It’s hard to find orange and blue food so of course I had to rely on goldfish, cheese balls and other fantastically terrible food for this party. The cupcakes are compliments of our fantastic friend, Jill Agudelo....

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Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 | 0 comments

Making the Most of Small Space Dining Rooms

Making the Most of Small Space Dining Rooms

We’ve featured several fabulous kitchens on the blog since we launched in July, but the dining rooms have gotten the short end of the stick. So this post is all about the room that, in many houses, plays multiple roles — a place for meals, a place to play games, a place to work on projects and school assignments. Del Ray’s dining rooms are notoriously small. And if you’ve renovated your kitchen, you may have sacrificed dining room space to add much-needed kitchen square footage. Take, for example, Amy’s house — the peninsula is so wide it leaves little space for a table. She opted for a banquette style table, pushed to the corner, but with ample seating for six. Similarly, Sara and Paul pushed their table to the side after adding a large peninsula. The table seats four, but there is room for two more at the barstool-height counter. Peter and Elin really wanted a large peninsula to house their Italian espresso maker, but that left no room for a...

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Posted by on Oct 26, 2011 | 0 comments

Making Yeast Bread by Hand in a Small Kitchen

Making Yeast Bread by Hand in a Small Kitchen

I don’t have room in my tiny kitchen for a bread maker, not on the counter, not in a cabinet. I had a juicer for a while and got rid of it because of space issues. I use the blender to make smoothies instead. But, the lack of space doesn’t mean I can’t make delicious whole-wheat yeast bread by hand. And so can you. I know, it sounds crazy to imagine finding the time to let bread rise and to knead it, especially when there’s the very real risk it won’t even rise. Bread is thought to be finicky. Or so I thought until I tried the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Feeding the Whole Family. You can find the author’s recipe for the whole grain bread here as well. What I love about this recipe and what got me to try it is that you start with leftover hot cereal. In my house, we make oat or multi-grain hot cereal at least once a week and...

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Posted by on Oct 24, 2011 | 3 comments

Halloween Party DIY Style

Halloween Party DIY Style

On Saturday we hosted our son’s second annual Halloween Party.  Very important to note: no girls were allowed, unless his long time best friend, Nadja could come.  This year, my husband and I remembered only the good times had by all last year, and decided to up the ante a bit and go all out with the decorations. Since I’m now soley focused on what I can DIY instead of buy, I decided to take on the project of decorating the inside of our house with DIY projects.  There are a TON of ideas that I sifted through to come up with our theme.  Spiders, bats and rats, oh my!!!!!  Can you tell we were decorating for a three year old? Below are some snapshots of our DIY projects.  All pretty easy to make, though some took longer than others. This is a snapshot of the house walking into the front door I think these pumpkins and monsters were the hit of the party. So easy to make: Mason jars,...

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Posted by on Sep 22, 2011 | 1 comment

How to Make the Perfect Backyard BBQ: Interview with a Local Aficionado

How to Make the Perfect Backyard BBQ: Interview with a Local Aficionado

My husband Matt makes a mean BBQ. On Labor Day, while enjoying a pulled pork sandwich hot off the grill, DIY Del Ray editor Katie urged Matt to share his backyard BBQ knowledge with our readers. (Much more exciting, I think, than the post I was contemplating on Matt’s DIY handiness in the house with regard to hemming drapes, sewing buttons, and ironing.) DIY Del Ray: What ingredients are needed? Where’s the best place to buy in the area? Matt: Good quality meat and hardwood charcoal are the basic ingredients. Del Ray’s Let’s Meat On The Avenue butcher shop is great; they’ve got great, fresh local meats, and can order whatever they don’t have in stock. Whole Foods’ meat counter is also pretty good. Everyone should make friends with the guys at their local Whole Foods meat counter. You can get hardwood charcoal almost anywhere they sell charcoal. Avoid charcoal briquettes, as the binding agents tend to impart a bad taste in a long cooking process. DIY Del Ray: Can...

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