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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nesting Instinct & New Vintage Finds

Okay, so Steven & I have both had a mini-meltdown about how bare the renovated rooms in our house are. When we finished the downstairs rooms last December, we figured that we'd find and accumulate accessories, wall decor, etc. bit-by-bit as time went by.

So here it is, 4 months later, and the rooms are still a barren tundra of emptiness! (Save the china cabinet, the wave painting from my mom, and Steven's heirloom wall clock.) We like a clean, crisp, not-too-busy look...but this is ridiculous. And it's not that we haven't been trying...we've hit a couple estate sales (duds), I regularly peruse vintage housewares on Etsy, and Steven...well, let's just say he logs in a lot of time trolling Craigslist for goodies.

Since there's been quite a drought, we decided to turn up the heat a little bit and make it a point to go shopping for house stuff.

On our excursion last weekend, we checked out Wrentham Country Store, as well as a couple of other antique shops in Wrentham. I did not hesitate to scoop scoop scoop when I saw this milk glass compote on clearance for $12 at Wrentham Antiques (which otherwise, was not our type of shopping establishment. Read: furniture costing thousands of dollars).
I just love it, and decided to put it to use immediately as part of a little Spring-inspired centerpiece.
I just picked up some paper mache eggs at Micheal's and painted them with a leftover paint sample from the bathroom renovation. (Santorini Blue by Benjamin Moore. And yes, we did just pick that color for the name of it! ;) It was too dark for the bathroom, but makes for lovely little Easter eggs, which I nestled in some shredded chestnut, also picked up at Michael's.

During our visit to the country store, I picked up this vintage milk glass nesting hen for $15. Another LOVE. How cute and springy is she?
And she's got quite a clutch under there, too! :)
We also picked up some other goodies, which I'll share in a future post. Hopefully this successful shopping trip turns the tides and we can actually decorate a bit in the upcoming months!

Happy Spring!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ricotta Tart with Dried Fruit Compote

Steven and I had fantastic date night in Boston's North End a couple weeks ago to celebrate my 30th (!!!) birthday. After a cozy dinner at my favorite Hanover Street restaurant, we stopped for gelati, and after that grabbed some sweet treats from Modern Pastry to bring home. (Yes, we were going full tilt. I hadn't been to the North End in ages!)

At the bakery, Steven was a lucky ducky and managed to get the second to last piece of one of his favorite North End staples, ricotta pie. All of his ooohing and aaahing got me thinking...why not try and make it at home?

Alas, before I came across a recipe for a traditional ricotta pie, I was distracted by this ricotta tart recipe from Epicurious.

The tart itself was super yummy (though the inclusion of cream cheese in the recipe made the texture a little more "cheesecake" than "ricotta tart") and while I appreciated the dried fruit compote, Steven did not love the wine flavor nor the seeds. So, being the clever hubby that he is, he decided to forgo the compote and opted for butterscotch caramel sauce instead. (As in, the one intended for ice cream sundaes.)

Call me a plebeian...but it did taste even better. :)