Friday, April 29, 2011

[HOH Glorious Friday]: Glorious Indeed

It's Friday.
That news alone is good enough to bring a smile to my face. But today, my friends, is a very, very special Friday.

The space shuttle Endeavor will be launching today for its final flight. What's more, Ms. Gabrielle Giffords is there to watch her husband fly off into the abyss. Remarkable, indeed.

My best friend's younger brother will likely be drafted into the NFL this weekend. I remember when we used to beat him up on the front lawn - I guess those days are long over. HOH is wishing you luck, Mr. Hurd.

Today marks the near end of my second year of studies at UConn Law - the end of what I hope to be the hard part - smooth sailing from here on out. I plan to celebrate by administering some swift justice in my final role as State's Attorney legal intern. Watch out bad guys, here I come.

And lastly, my boyfriend got married today. My boyfriend, and your boyfriend too in all likelihood. I remember swooning for Prince William as a young girl - he was so darn cute, just my age, and a [PRINCE] for goodness sake. What little girl doesn't dream of being a princess one day? And so for Kate Middleton this dream has been realized, and from where I sit across the pond, it couldn't have happened for a better girl - she's elegant, certainly stylish, and looks quite comfortable on the arm of HRH.
Congratulations to the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; thank you for letting the world share in your fairy tale happiness on this most [Glorious Friday].

Thursday, April 28, 2011

[House Favorite]: ONE.

Well, here we are, at numero uno. Hope the suspense hasn't been killing you too much!
I guess you could say that we really just wanted to find a way to get these particular items up on the blog, and concocted the whole 'countdown' idea as a way of covering up our unabashed show-off-iness. Nevertheless, we hope you have enjoyed these mini house tours - we are working on a few more ideas for the near future.


Here is my farm table [yes, I know, D beat me to it].

I had been longing for one of these for quite some time. I looked high and low, here and there, and most of it just wasn't quite right, and if it was quite right it was waaaay too expensive.

[Set by husband for Valentine's]

And so, there I was, casually browsing through posts of similar style tables on craigslist in class one night when my friend Elisabeth looked over and the following conversation occurred;
'oh, you're in the market for one of those tables? my father-in-law builds them.'
'...builds them?'
'yes, builds them - from reclaimed antique wood - custom - to your liking'.

[Assorted chairs - no more than $15/each purchased from the flea market, recovered in fabric also bought at the flea market]

A few easy-breezy emails later and the rest is history... We had 12 for Thanksgiving dinner and it was as if all of my wildest dreams were being realized at once. Heaven.

My turn [boldly says Dena]

I'm so excited. My favorite item [this week, anyway] is a GORGEOUS GOLD mid-century modern lamp. Originally located in the corner of my in-law's living room, I've had my eye on this gem for quite a while. 

It's always been one of those items that I've had an unreasonable attraction to, but have never quite come to terms with this attraction. With a fairly newfound affinity to mid-century modern decor, one day I finally came to terms with my undying love. And I got up the gall to start a casual conversation about the lamp [knowing, in the back of my mind, that if I told my mother-in-law I loved it, there was a VERY big chance she'd offer it up]. The conversation went something like this, 

ME: You know, I REALLY love that gold lamp.
MIL [Mother-in-law]: Oh, really? My husband hates it. He calls it the octupus. 
ME: I've decided that I really think it's super cool.
MIL: That's great! Do you want it? 
ME: Oh, no, I couldn't take it [really, though, I could].
MIL: Of course!!
ME: Okay! I'll trade you a lamp for it [it didn't take much convincing]. 

Now, it's mine. All mine. 

So, there it sits, behind my love seat, where I occasionally bump my head on it [but that's completely fine with me]. The love remains and I'm certain it always will. 

We hope you enjoyed our little countdown. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

[HOH Recipe Box]: Turkey Burgers

It is SO NICE OUT TODAY in good ol' CT. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the breeze is blowing softly - the perfect combination for some evening grilling. Since I pretty much think about food from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed, thoughts of 'what to make for dinner' are never too far from me.

[Tonight's Menu]: Turkey Burgers + Salad

Here's what I'm thinking:

For Burgers:
  • 1 Package [just over a pound] of Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
  • 1/2 a finely chopped Red Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • Breadcrumbs as needed [?]
  • 1/4 cup Mayo - [keeps it moist] - I'm thinking I'll spice the mayo up with some good stuff - garlic powder, coriander, paprika, maybe a touch of lemon juice... oh the possibilities.
With the Burgers:
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Sliced Beefsteak Tomato [hope the grocery store gods are with me today and there are some ripe 'maters available]
  • a couple of strips of crispy Bacon
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Poppyseed Rolls [from the bakery counter]
  • Baby Spinach
  • toasted, sliced Almonds
  • Blackberries
  • maybe a little Goat Cheese for Tim
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette [minced garlic, a bit of honey mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt+pepper]

My mouth is watering already...
What are you grilling tonight?

Monday, April 25, 2011

[House Favorite]: Two.

There is something just so iconic about a cherry-red front door.
[Here's mine]

This little project took no more than 1 hour and cost less than $10 for a small can of paint.
Maybe red's not your thing; navy blue, limey green, and butter yellow are other great options. A bold front door adds just a little bit of oomph and polish to your curbside appeal, and since it's so super-easy to do yourself, I can't recommend it enough.


Shutter headboard.

One day, I meandered around in the New London Antique Center, where all of the wood-chipped, falling apart items seem to catch my eye. At the time, with no purpose in mind, I bought these three shutters [navy blue at the time]. I knew I'd find something to do with them. 

And now, who would have thought: I'd have a [guest-proclaimed] boutique hotel suite as my second bedroom. I feel so cool! It was very simple, actually. I sanded them down, spray painted them [and half my driveway - but who sees it anyways?], and drilled a few holes. And VOILA!

Friday, April 22, 2011

[HOH Glorious Friday]: Taking out the Old Sewing Machine.

This is what I'll be playing with this weekend.

No, it's not a desk, silly.

It's a sewing machine! And it found its way to my house last weekend, in my father's pickup truck. And I'm going to put it to work tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Memory of an Easter Past: Italian Easter Bread

For most it may be ham. Or lamb [I guess I'm feeling poetic today]. But for me, the most prominent food in my memories of Easter is Italian Easter Bread. 

As a child, I remember thinking that it was quite silly to put hard-boiled eggs in a loaf of bread. Forget COLORFUL EASTER EGGS - that was just plain bizarre. I suppose, though, that I've come a long way in my appreciation of all things bizarre and so, it is with no further adieu, that I present you with a ROSATA FAMILY CLASSIC - Easter is right around the corner, so get out your pretty apron and bake a loaf of this bread. You won't be disappointed. And, if there are children around, they will be rather amused. 

I don't think my grandmother every followed a recipe, even when baking. I guess she was just THAT GOOD. Unfortunately, when baking, I NEED TO FOLLOW RECIPES, so I found this one at The Italian Dish (slightly condensed). 

1 package Rapid Rise yeast
1.25 cups scalded milk, cooled to room temperature
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar

 3.5 cups flour (approximate)
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
6 dyed Easter eggs
Rainbow sprinkles
tip: the Easter eggs do not need to be hard boiled. They cook when the bread bakes. I usually just dye the eggs right out of the fridge, without hardboiling them. Saves time. Just be careful they don't crack!
In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, warm (not hot) milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook. Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough - until it is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inches long and, taking two pieces, twist to form a "braid", pinching the ends,  and loop into a circle.
Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour again. Brush each bread with beaten egg wash. Put on the sprinkles. In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg. Bake at 350 degrees until golden - about 20 - 25 minutes. Cool on rack.
Giggle at how amazingly silly they look [but awesome at the same time]. 


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

[HOH Recipe Box]: Super-Easy Side Dish

[Forgot to take my own pictures of this recipe, so Martha's swoon-worthy renditions of Tomatoes and Corn will just have to do...]

We made the mistake of hitting up a little 'happy hour' action the other day, thus delaying our dinner plans to an abnormally late hour. I put the [planned upon] pork roast in the oven and was just feeling uninspired as to what would accompany it, not wanting to peel potatoes or think too hard about making a pasta side dish.

SO, I avoided it all together, and made this handy little concoction:

Cherry/Grape Tomatoes
Bag of Frozen Corn (obviously fresh corn would be better, but it's not so good this time of year)
Salt + Pepper
Olive Oil

What to Do:
1. In a small baking dish, toss tomatoes with salt, pepper, olive oil (maybe a little dried basil if you're feeling frisky) and pop them in the oven. [Shouldn't take any more than 20 minutes on a medium-high oven for them to prune up and look 'roasted'].
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute the corn [no need to defrost] with butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper until slightly browned on the edges - when the sugars have developed the kernels will start to caramelize.
3. Combine the two and voilà! Excellent, season-less side dish that goes with just about any protein you're cooking up that night.

[Side Note]: Once Summer finally arrives, and corn is far better, I would totally recommend serving a version of this dish cold - roast the tomatoes, cool them, and then add thawed corn. A quick chiffonade of basil, a swirl of olive oil, and you're good to go].

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

[House Favorite]: Three.


I've mentioned before my philosophy on buying art for your house: when you see something and just have to have it, you totally should. Two years ago we were visiting my bestest buddy in Boston when she and I stumbled into the sale section at Urban Outfitters. I saw this print, and there was no turning back.

It spoke to me. There was no hesitation - Will Tim like it? WHO CARES. Price tag? Doesn't matter. It was absolutely, positively love at first sight.

I choose this as my 3rd favorite item in my house not only as an homage to my long, sordid history with Moby Dick [dating back to a tyrannical High School English teacher], but mostly because I have such a fond memory of the day I bought it and the way I felt bringing it home - like it belonged. It's modern but classic too, and with a touch of whimsy that entices me to just stare at it a little longer, even to this day.



My open shelving.

Last winter, I had a lot of time on my hands. And, I took it upon myself to drive down to Ikea, purchase shelves and install them. I was determined to have it completed before my husband got home from work one day. I had to do it alone because he would have dragged his feet and we probably wouldn't have lasted the night. These shelves are HEAVY [not sure why that is reason to do it alone, but what I do know is that the last time we put something together, side by side, it ended in tears]. If he knew what I was up to, he would have thought I was crazy. And, I wouldn't have disagreed. I was completely nuts.

This ended in a lot of tears anyway. There were tears in the beginning, the middle and the end, in fact. But, after a lot of tears, annoying grunts and yells, a cool-down walk with the dogs and many, MANY unnecessary holes in the wall, I am happy to say that I love my open shelving. It's brighter and more modern and I'm able to display my love for interesting glassware.


Stay tuned for more kitchen makeover photos. I had my hands deep in paint this past weekend and I have some fabulous photos to show for it!

Friday, April 15, 2011

[HOH Glorious Friday]: Planning Sunday Dinner

Happy Friday y'all.

We're so excited for this day, let us tell you. For one, work is over, DUH [well in a few hours]. And for two, we've got some plans up our sleeves, yessiree we do.

Plans for a FABULOUS SUNDAY DINNER. It's what you should do in TWO DAYS. We had a fabulous dinner last Sunday, so take notes.

We set the table up nicely [on Victoria's AWESOME farmtable, for which details will soon be released], with her gorgeous china.

We used this pretty flower to decorate the table [it's lasted since Valentine's Day].

I made homemade rosemary focaccia.

And this photo was so nice, we thought we'd share it TWICE.

We hope this inspires you to have a Sunday dinner, just as fab.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

[House Favorite]: Four.


Here is my numero cuatro.

Sure, it's a simple white chandelier. But oh, my dearies, it's way more than that. You see, when we moved into our house, it was sage green and hung above our dining room table. It wasn't ugly, but it wasn't anything more than ordinary, either. 

I didn't want it hanging over the dining room table. BUT, I was certain I could find a purpose for it. So, one troublesome removal later [a snapped cord, a shattered dining room table - no one ever said I wasn't a total CLUTZ], and it was no longer attached to the ceiling. One can of white spray paint later, it had a new identity. And with a little creativity and imagination, it has a new home:

above my couch.

Once a drab dining room chandelier, now a gleaming FOCAL POINT.


Tim and I have this wood stove. He bought it from some guy on Craigslist for $200, without my knowledge and came home assuring me it was awesome. It is a 1977 Vermont Casting, which I guess means it's pretty serious stuff. I mostly just like the way it looks. [Not to mention it provides me with yet another showcase for decorating pieces - note totally rockin lounging mermaid on top].

Sometimes, dealing with the wood stove is a huge pain in the ass. You have to make sure the intake is clear, build your fire exactly the right way [which, by the by, I have become the expert at], constantly clean up the ashy mess it inevitably creates, blah blah blah. Plus, our wood pile is in the backyard, and is just far enough away to make it hellish to have to go out there and replenish our indoor supply [which we keep handy in this primo box I bought at the Jewett City Flea Market for $20!]

But there have been a few choice moments where I've found myself lounging on the couch, cat Bella curled up on my lap, puppy Levi passed out in front of us, happy husband snoozing next to me and the roar of the wood stove keeping us nice and warm as the unsavory weather blows outside. Overall, not a bad gig if you can get it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

[House Favorite]: Five.

Miss Victoria:

This is my China Cabinet.
[I love it.]

It was the first piece of furniture my husband and I bought for our new house, which we closed on only 3 short weeks after our wedding. Having a china cabinet makes you feel grown up. My mom had one, and I remember ever-so-delicately opening it up to set the table for Thanksgiving dinner - when we were allowed to break out the good stuff.

When it came time to register for wedding gifts, I received some sage advice from a good friend - register for things you wouldn't buy yourself. So, I stuck with my gut and we registered for formal china - 18 place settings to be exact! People told me I was crazy, but I just couldn't help myself! And, of course, our fabulous friends and family did not disappoint - all in all we ended up with 16 place settings and all the accessories. Now we just had to store it! And so, my new hubs and I looked here and there, and finally found this beauty at a local antique shop [for less than $200].

I regularly switch out the inventory, featuring my grandmother's wedding china one month, those awesome mercury glass goblets I totally scored at Brimfield last summer the next month, and an endless array of seasonal knickknacks that probably go unnoticed to most, but make me smile nonetheless. It's the perfect medium to display the fruits of my tableware obsession, and I couldn't love it more.

And Dena:

This is my handmade farm table.

After endless searching online, at antique stores, yadda yadda yadda, I commissioned my father: good ole' Chuck, Charlie, Chaz Lampman.

I found the plans at Knock Off Wood, a blog dedicated to delivering construction plans for fan favorites, like pieces at Restoration Hardware and stores of the like [aka simple furniture at unreasonable prices]. These plans, found here, were fairly simple and I was sure my handy father could tackle the challenge.

And he did, 268 screws later. And then I stained it.

And I couldn't be happier. We sat 12 people at the table for Christmas Dinner. It was divine.

[HOH Feature]: House Tours

We're embarking on a new adventure!!!

We love decorating our houses and so, we obviously spend a lot of time doing so [generally over and over and over again]. Since our first joint post [just under 2 months ago], we've been hard at work, thinking of creative ways to share our favorite home design elements with you, our fab readers. 

Over some homemade pizza last week, we had a revelation [you know, like when a light goes off in your head]. This revelation, though, was a joint one. It was pretty awesome...and pretty annoying for our husbands [Tim and Tom - how fitting] to listen to, I'm sure. Here's how it went:

D: We need to find a way to do a sort of, ya know... house tour?
V: So we can show off our favorite pieces...
D: Yeah, like a countdown?
V: YES [we actually high-fived at this point]... and then we can list what we like from each OTHER'S houses!?
D: YES - we'll do a countdown over a series of a few days [I was stuck on this countdown thing, obvi]
V: YES! We are so awesome. [More high-fiving, a bit of jumping up and down - we're such losers].

So, over the next few weeks, you'll be seeing a series of posts counting down our top 5 favorite things in our homes, and our 5 favorite things in each other's homes - mostly because you'd be surprised at what other people love best about your place.

We're hoping that by sharing our most favorite finds, we can inspire you in finding that unique element you've been missing to give your space that little extra oomph.


Monday, April 11, 2011

[HOH Mishap]: Threading the Needle

So, we left you last week in a rush of excitement at the possibility of me finally learning how to sew. And, as promised, Dena and I got together with every intention of creating the most fabulous pillow slipcovers you've EVER SEEN with aforementioned new sewing machine and gorgeous fabric from Philly.

BUT, our plans were put on hold when, upon taking my brand new Singer out of the box, Dena looked at me and said; 'Wait, did you buy thread?'


No I did not buy thread Dena - I mean why would I buy thread to start a sewing project?

And so goes a day in the life of the ladies of House of Her. Always well-intentioned, but sometimes lacking that crucial, last minute reality check. But, it's okay - it's kind of nice living up here in the clouds... ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

[HOH Glorious Friday]: Sewing Lessons

Unlike pretty much everyone I know, I never took sewing class in high school. I can't sew a button, fix a hem, or mend a hole - it's pathetic. So, for this past Christmas, my charming husband fulfilled all of my domestic goddess fantasies and bought me a sewing machine!

[It remains to this day in its original packing, in our basement... sigh.]

Since our fair Dena is a master of the stitch, I've conned her into giving me a lesson or two and we're finally getting around to making it happen THIS WEEKEND! First project: pillow slip covers for my living room, with some GORGEOUS fabric we found on a recent road trip to Philly.

Combined with perhaps some Chinese takeout and a beer or two, we're set for a fabulous Friday night - can't wait to share the results!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

[HOH Events]: Photos of a Baby Shower

Hi darling readers.

So, we're obviously back in our creative swing [we knew it wouldn't last forever!]. And. I'm back with photos from my sister's darling baby shower.

This is Jaclyn [and her baby bump].

She's ready to pop. Any day now. She's so cute, isn't she?

Anywho. So, you know the guest of honor [and that's me and my hysterical cousin, Diane, in the background], now let me introduce you to her incredible baby shower.

There was no specific color scheme for the day. Without knowing the sex of the baby just yet, we didn't focus on pinks and purples or blues and greens. We focused on color. With these homemade tissue paper pom poms...

We placed the pizzas at varying heights and decorated the tables with LOADS of tulips, in a sea of tulle. And when the pizza was finished, we swapped in the desserts, perfected with two AWESOME cakes...

My homemade carrot cake.

And the super-adorbs professional cake.

That's all we have for now. I'll be back with photos of our new family addition, as soon as possible!

Love yas!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

[HOH Spotlight]: Lyda82

Meet Lyda.
[and Amélie]

I've known Lyda for many, many years. [Many].
And as long as I've known her, she's had this incredibly unique personal style - one to envy for sure.

So how lucky are we that Ms. Lyda has launched her own line of super-cool, incredibly affordable handmade accessories?! With a striking marriage of old-school-feminine and goth aesthetic, her necklaces, rings, earrings, and even hair accessories lend just the right amount of unexpected BAD-ASS-ness to any outfit.

Gives me hope that I can be almost as cool as she is... almost.

By way of background, we asked her a few questions:

[HOH]: How long have you been designing?
[Lyda82]: Since 2010

[HOH]:How long does it take you to create each piece?
[Lyda82]: It all depends what piece I am making. It could take a few days, or a few minutes. Thinking about what I am going to design is the hard part, making it is easy.

[HOH]: What designers inspire you?
[Lyda82]: I draw inspiration from Tarina Tarantino and Betsey Johnson.

[HOH]:How's business in the online retail world these days?
[Lyda82]: Business in the online world is fun, but you have to work hard to get your product out there. It has its pros and cons. Pros like free marketing on social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr..etc. Also other community sites like Etsy that helps my store get a little exposure and to support handmade. The Cons are not enough exposure, and hard for people to see the quality of the work. They have to trust images, word of mouth and fan reviews. I am looking to expand and start selling in boutiques.

[HOH]: Could Amélie get any cuter?!
[Lyda82]: Amélie, no she couldn't get any cuter but she does somehow!! I have even started a little doggy collection called 'Vanity Pup,' which was inspired by her. It's a small little collection of
dog charms, but eventually it will grow. She even has her own fan page on facebook, . Everyone should check her out, she's a trip.

Here are a few of my personal favorites from Lyda82's fabulous collections:

And, as if her creations weren't swoon worthy enough on their own, Lyda82 is featuring a 10% discount on all purchases until June 1!! Just use the code [Spring].

LYDA82 is based in New York City.
Find her on the web at:, become a fan on facebook, and follow her on twitter!