I am such a baby when it comes to April Fools jokes. As in, I hands down, 100%, no exceptions, hate them. Here’s the thing. My birthday is April 1st, which for some reason plasters you with a big huge sign on your back that screams, “Please play all the April Fools jokes on me!” As a kid I couldn’t stand it. I had no concept of the fact that everyone plays jokes and pranks on April Fools Day, I just perceived it as people being mean to me on my birthday. Are you rolling your eyes yet? Because I seriously am. While I’ve lightened up about the whole thing over the last three decades, I still generally hate April Fools pranks. That said I’ve seen a few ideas floating around lately that definitely qualify more as cute than cruel so I thought I’d share them! An alternate title to this post would be “Three April Fools Jokes that Don’t Suck.” Because, again, April Fools jokes and I have a long, complicated past and I can’t deal with the suck.
Ok, guys. Things are about to get weird around here. Your resident vegetarian is about to break down a bacon recipe for you. It’s whatever. This is real life and in real life I share my house with meat-loving boys who graciously accommodate my veggie-eating ways so long as they get the occasional big fat dose of meat. Truth be told, this one isn’t an original. B and I saw this so-called Million Dollar Bacon on one of those shows we watch religiously. Was it Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? Probably. At any rate, that was months ago and this weekend the inspiration struck to recreate it for our Sunday morning brunch.
- 1lb thick cut bacon
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Begin by preheating your oven to 350° and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. (You can sub aluminum foil if you don’t have any parchment paper lying around.) Then sprinkle the bacon with about half of the brown sugar.
Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes, cayenne and cracked black pepper. One of the things that’s great about this recipe is how easy it is, so you don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen and it’s also kid-friendly. The little guys had so much fun helping out with this one!
Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar on the top and then give it a good pat all over. Think of it as a rub that’s going to coat your bacon in candy-like goodness. You don’t really have to worry about coating the reverse side because as the bacon cooks, the sugary coating will run under it and coat the other side of the bacon, too. Then just pop it in the oven and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until it reaches your desired crispiness. Done and done!
And there you have it! Served up alongside homemade Belgian waffles and poached eggs this bacon was a hit. The heat of all the peppers tempers out the brown sugar and makes for a really yummy brunch treat. Also, just as a side note I’ve been on a serious poached egg kick lately. It’s the only way I like to eat my eggs! So stay tuned and I promise to share my super easy method for making poached eggs sometime soon.
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]
Any day now I’m going to stop complaining about the snow. Seriously. I promise. Any day now. In an effort to make today that day, can we talk about these gorgeous DIY planters? They’re cropping up everywhere and I’ve seen so many that I absolutely love. From hanging planters to pretty little gems that will dress up your desk or bookshelf with just the right amount of sparkle and greenery, these planters are simple enough for even the most novice crafter and will save you big bucks over pricey planters from your favorite retailers. And besides. They’re just pretty and they scream spring in the best darn way possible. Yup, happy spring, indeed!
[DIY Planters | 1: Gilded succulent pots | 2: Indoor herb garden | 3: Leather and brass hanging planter | 4: Painted air plant bell cups | 5: Handmade clay pots | 6: Colorblock succulent pots | 7: Gold foil lettered flower pots | 8: Clothespin herb planters | 9: Modern copper hanging planter.]
It’s the first day of spring – hooray! As excited as I am that winter is at least technically out the door, I have to admit that today isn’t feeling spring-like around these parts. It’s cold, gray and spitting snow. So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that spring dresses are still a ways off, but that doesn’t mean I can’t welcome spring with hopes of sunshine and pretty floral-printed scarves and cute flats in the meantime. If it’s feeling like spring in your neck of the woods, here’s what to wear while welcoming spring! Absolutely the brighter the better.
With a few hiccups last week, progress in the painting department has slowed dramatically around here. I’m definitely anxious to start knocking things off the to-do list left and right, but in the meantime we’re officially in limbo land. I’ve got a busy month coming up with projects and work-related obligations, so I’m feeling the itch to get the house feeling much more comfortable before all of that happens. Also, as of April 1 I’ll be in the new studio when I’ll need to get to work on getting all of that stuff unpacked and organized so needless to say I’m not super enthusiastic about the thought of having two completely unsettled spaces. So today I thought I’d share a few snippets from the moving diaries. Namely, a few of the things we have gotten unpacked and settled that are keeping me sane in an otherwise crazy house.
Our last kitchen was so teensy weensy that my much loved vintage canisters (scored on Etsy a zillion years ago) were tucked out of sight and out of use for over a year. Here one of the first things I did was wash them up and put them into use. The flour and sugar canisters hold extra partial bags of flour and brown sugar, while the coffee and tea canisters are loaded up with my Nespresso pods and a selection of favorite tea bags. (The rest are tucked in the cupboard above.)
In the cabinet that serves as the pantry, I’ve been working on getting all of our various grains, sugars, flours and seeds into mason jars and canisters. You know, instead of spilling and dumping all over the cupboards and onto the floor. In the front here we’ve got steel cut oats, chia seeds and flax seeds which we use on the regular. Behind and above there are canisters of quinoa, brown rice, barley and lentils. Even though I hate lentils. I keep trying to like them. Eventually I’ll give up.
One of the things I like to do whenever I move is make the place smell like home immediately. This candle by the Fleur Collection (in their Figure fragrance) is one of my current favorites and it was lit within minutes of us walking in the door to start dropping boxes. A big cylinder vase holds clementines. We eat tons of them so I just fill up the vase every week so they’re in easy reach and we can grab and snack at will. Plus it just looks pretty. I like pretty.
While these salt and pepper shakers look vintage, they’re actually reproductions that I picked up while in Portsmouth, New Hampshire a few summers ago. If you’re new around here you may not know that New Hampshire and Maine are my favorite road trip destinations. I snagged these babies at LeRoux and have been carting them with me from home to home ever since.
Elsewhere, this is going on just about everywhere you turn. Paint chips. Taped to everything. Seen here, I’m trying to make up my mind on a cabinet and/or wall color in the kitchen. Sometimes I think with the right paint color I can convince myself to deal with the 80s oak cabinets and other times I’m sure it’s a lost cause and they’ll need to be painted. Stay tuned on that one! To the right, I’m pretty close to deciding on a color for the front door, but what do you think? Any suggestions? The door opens up into the dining room so I think a fun hit of color could be really great in that room.
The painting that has gone on has definitely already made a big improvement! The walls of the living room are Sherwin Williams Aloof Gray 6197 and soon the dining room walls will be, too. It’s a cool, mid-tone gray with a slight green undertone to it, so it avoids looking too blue. It’s soft and moody and changes throughout the day which I really like – during the day it’s crisper and cleaner, at night it reads darker and cozier. Such a fun color.
More paint chips! The second from the top on the left strip is the aforementioned Aloof Gray. I’m debating the lighter shade above it (Sherwin Williams Frosty White 6196) for our bedroom or possibly the laundry room. Maybe the bathroom? I don’t know. Clearly there aren’t a lot of answers here. These moody teal and navy colors on the right are currently contending for a place in the little bedroom with the built-in desk as well as possibly to cover up the cheap faux wood paneling that runs up the stairs. Although maybe that’d be a good spot for the Frosty White? Again. I’m still sorting this all out. There’s lots of taping up paint chips and moving them throughout the house a few times a day. Then pausing, scrunching up my nose, tilting my head and then having two-sided conversations with myself about what’s working and what isn’t working so much. At least I’ve been able to scratch some options off the list entirely. That certainly helps!
And finally, this is Sassy! B’s parents have been in Hawaii on an amazing cruise for the last couple of weeks so Sassy has been hanging out with us while her mom and dad are off touring waterfalls and volcanoes and trying to avoid the last bit of winter. This is pretty much what she does all day. Follows me around, perches someplace comfy and stares at me, trying to figure out what I’m doing when I’m fussing with paint chips for the 96th time in a day. So stinkin’ cute.
Fingers crossed that pretty soon I’ve got something closer resembling real progress around here to share! In the meantime, I’m just trying not to drive myself crazy. It’s a constant battle, friends. Constant battle.
[Photos by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion.]