{charmed earth}

The Lifestyle blog of Katie Storms.: something simple, something sweet, something styled.

30 April 2012

{something sweet} a school shower

My seniors in my creative writing class threw a shower for me the day before my last day. It was really sweet. They baked a cake, they planned a celebrity baby game, and some of them even gave me some very sweet presents--including a handmade blanket that a mom made {from a very dear student I've had for the past two years} and a very cool autograph from one of my favorite authors, T.C. Boyle.

It was a very thoughtful class. Thank you dear seniors.


29 April 2012

{something just us} our last weekend just us

Johnny reminded me that this is our last weekend "just us" as we were driving yesterday. We wanted to make it special. We didn't plan anything out of the ordinary, but I wanted to capture and savor every moment.

We went for our 2.3 mile morning walks.

 We enjoyed lunch at Steve's on The Hill. It's great hotdog spot. Johnny had a Mac and Cheese hotdog; I had a Chili Cheese hotdog and a refreshing cream soda.

We picked up cupcakes at The Cup in the Central West End to celebrate Will's birthday with Shawn, Nicole, Gabbie, Matt, and Christopher.

I finished sewing and creating this pretty pillow doll for Gabbie. And I can't wait to create a set for Baby Jupiter this week.

We headed to Maplewood for supper with friends, but ended up just getting pizzas to go and enjoy at our place. It was the much better choice.

I took my time drying my hair and choosing a pretty outfit to wear for the day. And we survived the hail storm!

We had a Spurs Party.


27 April 2012

{something julia child} pate a choux or creme puffs

The other morning I wanted to eat creme puffs. And since I was officially on maternity leave, I could visit the grocery store at eight in the morning on a Thursday to pick up butter and eggs.

It took me a moment to find Julia's recipe in my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I found it on page 175. I ended up altering her seasonings a bit, and it wasn't the perfect first try. But I satisfied my craving with two, and Johnny ate the rest.

1 cup of water
6 Tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar *my addition (Julia uses 1/8 tsp black pepper)
pinch of cinnamon* my addition (Julia uses nutmeg, which I don't always like)
3/4 cup of flour, spooned and leveled
4 large eggs
1 egg for an egg wash
vanilla pudding for the filling
    from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Step One: Pre-heat your oven to 425-degrees. Bring your water to a boil with the butter, salt, sugar, and cinnamon. Boil slowly until the butter melts.
Step Two: Measure your flour. Remove the butter mixture from the heat, and pour in all of the flour at once. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend well. Then beat over a moderately high heat for a minute or two until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and the spoon, forms a mass, and begins to film at the bottom of the pan.
Step Three: Remove your pan from the heat and make a well in the center of the paste with your spoon. Break an egg into the well and beat it quickly until it is absorbed. Repeat this step, making sure to fully incorporate the egg after each round.
Step Four: Spoon your batter into small balls using two spoons onto a parchment lined baking pan. Leave one to two inches between each ball of batter.
Step Five: Brush each puff with an egg wash using a pastry brush, then flatten the top slightly. Avoid letting the egg drip down the sides of the puff. Julia says this will prevent the batter from rising.
Step Six: Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 20-minutes. The puffs are done when then have doubled in size. Remove the puffs from the oven, and pierce each one with a sharp knife. Then set in the turned-off oven and leave the door ajar for 10 minutes. Cool the puffs on a rack.
Step Seven: After the puffs are cooled, cut each one in half with a knife. Then fill with your favorite filling. I used a simple vanilla pudding.

Enjoy! xo, katie & julia

26 April 2012

{something romantic} a cheshire moon drive

 I love the moon. She's one of my favorite things to photograph.

The other evening, there was a beautiful Cheshire Moon that the news highlighted. I rushed outside to catch a glimpse, but it was too late in the evening to find her in the sky by our home. But no worries--Johnny grabbed his keys, I grabbed my iPhone, and we drove until we found the moon.

Isn't she beautiful?


{something banana pudding} improvised picnic snack

When I tried my first batch of creme puffs, a la my Julia Child recipe book, I opted for a simple vanilla pudding. After Johnny finished off the creme puffs, we still had about a cup or more of pudding left. And we had some bananas getting too ripe on the counter. And I remembered a small stack of cinnamon graham crackers in the freezer.
This snack was delicious during our winery picnic date. Johnny loved it. And it was so simple to make. Just layer the bottom of your bowl with large broken bits of the graham crackers. Then add a layer of pudding and a layer of banana slices. Repeat and make your final layer one more layer of graham crackers.

Enjoy! Yum!

katie scarlett

25 April 2012

{something picnic date} saturday at the winery

I finally got my good weather to snap some photos with my favorite quilt. Johnny's granny made it, and my MIL has let us borrow it for some photo shoots. I'll be returning it, sadly, in June after Cheryl snaps our family portraits.
I packed our basket with hummus, pita chips, watermelon, pesto pasta salad, and banana pudding while Johnny ran errands all morning, and we headed out to wine country with snacks and the tripod. Though I had grand visions of better photos, I was able to capture a few that I'm happy to have document my time as a mama-to-be and Johnny's time as a daddy-to-be. I can't wait for more picnics with Baby Jupiter.


{something self portrait} 40-weeks

Today marks 40-weeks. She's due Thursday. We'll see if she comes on the magical date. I snapped a few photos. They might seem a little indulgent, but I wanted to have them captured. We'll see if we add more at 41-weeks.
Oh. I found this amazing hot pink shirt at Wal-Mart of all places. I was there searching for frames and spray bottles. And this Op shirt, for under $5, spoke to me. It's one of my new favorites. I'm thinking I might get a few more other colors for nursing basics.

24 April 2012

{something craved} what we eat

One question people love to ask me is if I am craving anything, you know, if my pregnancy has made me want to eat rocks or pickles and peanut butter together. Those hits are not on my list of cravings, but I have had quite a few tastes I've had to indulge in lately.
My biggest craving has been olives. Olives. Olives. Olives. I go through about a container of olive tapenade from Trader Joe's every week. I love it on grilled cheese, egg sandwiches, pizza, just a bite alone. Oh. And I've been craving milk a lot, too, as you can see in the background of this photo:) But other than olives, this is what we've been craving.

Watermelon. I know. So typical.

Avocados. These babies are still waiting to get softer. I'm dying to eat them with corn tortillas fried and salted.
Edamame hummus (from scratch with mint and cumin) and fry bread (also from scratch).
Salted caramel ice cream. I seriously need to hit Serendipity in Webster Groves again soon.
Pesto. This recipe is inspired by Rachel of Smile and Wave. I'll post my version soon. I also threw together a great pesto pasta salad.


{something lately} life

My peonies have already bloomed.

My Saltwater Sandals arrived. I can't believe they fit my mama-to-be feet. 



23 April 2012

{something 39 weeks} self portraits

I am loving my new iPhone. When the stone tablet of one I had stopped sending photos in texts, we had to replace it. I cannot get over the beauty of the camera on this phone. Sometimes I forget that I have a DSLR.

In this photo, I am wearing one of my favorite pre-maternity cardigans from anthropologie that I found on sale in New York. I'm also wearing my pre-maternity pink tank top from The Buckle. They seriously have the best tank tops. I need to invest in a few more. And my AG maternity jeans. Oh. And my temporary wedding band, courtesy of my steady, circa 2000.
At 39-weeks, I noticed my little bump, well not-so-little-bump, looking picture perfect. I took the day to snap a few self portraits that I actually love. I used the app Phonto to add the text to the one of Johnny and me.


22 April 2012

{something pretty} makeup storage

I simplified my pretty makeup collection to the basics. What you see here is pretty much what I have with the exception of a few lip glosses that I keep in my purse and desk at work.

And what I see is what I use, so I like my makeup displayed on my vanity so I always know what I have and when I am running low on anything.
I keep my basics--foundation, blush, concealer, tinted moisturizer, and eye shadows--in this ceramic fruit basket I purchased with a gift card at anthropologie after Christmas. I love the color, and it's the perfect size for everything. I'd love to have another one for keeping photos.
When I first made my quote mugs, I made too many. I use them all over our house for small vases, pen holders, and snack holders. This one, I realized, is perfect for my brushes, mascara, eye liner, tweezers, eyelash curler {which, honestly, I rarely use}, and bobby pins.
Since my quote mug worked so perfectly, I thought that this pretty anthropologie mug that my friend Jenn gifted to me a few years ago for Christmas would be the perfect solution for my lip glosses, lip liner, lipsticks, and perfume rollers. I threw out so many lipsticks and glosses last year. And I've only purchased two since then. Whenever I run out of my daily go to since high school--Revlon's Pink Afterglow--I replace that. Plus I am a fan of the Buxom gloss in Dolly. But that's all I really need.
I keep my hair ties in these vintage avon containers that I found at a church rummage sale with my nonni a few years ago. They keep things pretty and simple.

How do you organize your makeup? Any favorite must haves?

katie scarlett

21 April 2012

{somethings found} rummage sale score

The church right around the corner from us has the best spring and autumn rummage sales. I live for it. This year, I knew I wanted a quilt. So I raced to the lines section, grabbed all three on the rack, and gave them a good look over once I found a space to process my finds.
I ended up coming home with this one. It's the perfect size for our queen bed, I adore the chevron pattern, and though it needs to have some patching, it's perfect. At $10 it was the most expensive item I came home with--and maybe the most expensive item there--but I just love it.
I also found some vintage sheets and pillowcases. Each pillowcase, 25-cents. The fitted and flat sheet, $5. I'm saving the flat sheets for a special party on of these days:)
The ladle is something I've been searching for for nearly a year or more. It's the one kitchen supply we never registered for, but I always seem to want one. Did you know they are one of the more expensive items in the stores? And they are not easy to come by without rust at my local thrifts. This one is the perfect size, I used it last night, and it was only 10-cents. I might re-paint the handle.
I also found this beautiful blue Atlas jar for $1. I almost didn't grab it, but then I realized it might just be perfect for my collection mini cupcake liners. I was right. Every single one fit just right. And it looks perfect. I am still searching for the right jar for the larger collection, but this one fits perfectly in the pantry.

I came home with a few more items--some scarves for messy bun days, some glasses for morning smoothies, and a sectioned Strawberry Shortcake plate for the little miss Jupiter. It was a great afternoon. I'm trying to stay away this morning!

katie scarlett

{something vera} create and barrel reprint towels

I could easily spend a million dollars at Crate&Barrel. It was my favorite place to register when we got married. Weekly, I dream of registering again. My eyes are on a new set of pretty nesting bowls for my bread baking adventures. Though I am also still holding out for a vintage set of catherine holm or pyrex I can's pass up. I wish some one had saved my great-grandmother's pyrex bowls for me.

When the catalog came last week, I spotted these Vera reprint towels. I adore vintage Vera. I've been lucky enough to find a few scarves and a sheet in great vintage condition. And thought these towels aren't vintage, they were too perfect to pass up. Plus they were only $6 each.

They are perfect for setting over the rising bread dough. Now I just need to convince Johnny that we need new bowls!


19 April 2012

{something watercolor} baby waiting and painting

I'm officially waiting for dear Baby Jupiter to arrive. Yesterday I decided to head over to Dick Blick in the Loop to use my 40% off coupon since it was ready to expire. I walked in wanting watercolors. I walked out with watercolors. I love the staff there--just as much as I love Art Mart's staff.

I ended up getting this 24 color set for around $10. I rushed home and painted a mermaid. And since then I haven't been able to stop painting. My sister-in-law already said she wants the one of the foxes. I'm starting to consider setting the others up for sale on etsy or at the Corner Cottage in Dexter. But if any of you dear friends or readers see one you like, just let me know.

I'm off to paint some more and wait some more.


18 April 2012

{something handwritten} my favorites pens and quotes

I am so exited about this new feature: it's simple, it's short, and it's stylistic.

I love quotes. I collect them in all sorts of journals. My favorite projects are the projects that feature quotes, like my quote mugs and felt quote coasters. Today I am featuring a very "Charmed Earth" quote by one of my favorite writers, Chuck Palahniuk.

I also love to write. Designing and creating new styles of handwriting is one of my favorite ways to pass the time on a rainy day. I love the beauty of a handwritten note.

The first pen I want to feature is one I've been using since high school: the Pigma Micron 05. What I like about this pen is that the ink is archival. I also like the firm tip. I usually use black, but it comes in a variety of basic colors like green, orange, blue, and red. You can even find some specialty colors like maroon from time to time. I purchase my Pigma Micron pens at ArtMart here in St. Louis.

When writing with the Pigma Micron, I prefer to write slowly. The ink doesn't seem to saturate the paper as fluidly when writing quickly, especially when the pen isn't brand new anymore. When I'm writing block and san serif styles, this pen works wonderfully.

katie scarlett

17 April 2012

{something photography} short silhouette maternity shoot

My sister Lissa came in town over the weekend. The plan was to have her snap some 38-week photos of me with Jv. But it rained and rained and rained. So we just shot a few inside. And these are the ones I like.

I still want to try to set up the tripod next weekend and capture a few shots with Jv over at the park or something. Maybe I'll pack up a picnic lunch and make a date out of it. I think it would be really nice, unless Baby Jupiter decides she is ready to join us before next weekend.

Thanks, Lissa. These shots are great.