Sushi: it’s easier than you think!

Posted on August 20, 2013 by

As one of our most favorite foods, this Japanese cuisine is much easier to prepare than we may think.  Majority of us often opt to go to a restaurant to splurge on this delicious cuisine however very little of us realize how easy it is to prepare at home.  This past weekend I decided to prepare America’s favorite Japanese indulgence in the comfort of my own kitchen and here is my step by step approach:

PicMonkey Collagesushir

For Rice:

2 ¼ cups rice

3 cups water

⅓ cups rice vinegar

¼ cups sugar

2 teaspoons salt

PicMonkey Collagesushi

 Sushi Contents:

A sushi roller (bamboo)

1 pack roasted seaweed sushinori

Thinly sliced avocado, cucumber, ect.

Thin long striped sashimi grade salmon, tuna, ect.


1. Boil in a large pot 3 cups of water, then once at a boil add the rice.  Cook sushi rice on low heat for 15-20 minutes without stirring or taking the lid off.

2.  Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and microwave for 15 seconds.  Remove from microwave and stir until dissolved.

3. After all the water is absorbed, using a WOODEN SPOON and scoop the rice into a glass bowl. After, fan the rice so that it cools for 30 seconds.  Then, add the dissolved combination of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.  Slice and pull rice to mix. DO NOT MASH RICE!

4.  Now it’s time to roll the sushi.  Make sure your sushi mat is in a gallon size zip lock bag so that the nori does not stick. Then, lay out a roasted seaweed nori strip on top of your sushi mat.  Coat the whole nori strip with a thin layer of rice and then place the contents on the end closest to you and then begin rolling and pressing down to keep the sushi compact.  Keep on rolling until sushi roll in one long cylinder like strip.

5.  Finally, cut sushi strip into halves and then halves again using a sharp serrated knife and ENJOY!

PicMonkey Collagesushirrrrnum

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House Industries: unique wrapping paper

Posted on July 18, 2013 by

Searching for the perfect multi-use wrapping paper can be a tedious and time consuming task, but not anymore.  As an alternative to mass market glossy foil wrapping paper, House Industries offers a unique spin on wrapping paper.  Working with a family owned French paper company, House Industries brings you paper gift wrap with nine total soft hues, with each of the sheets featuring one of House Industries iconic and signature alphabet blends.

PicMonkey Collage1

Depicted above are four unique shades of this elegant yet practical wrapping paper.  Perfect for any occasion!

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DIY : chalkboard herb pots

Posted on May 29, 2013 by

Take a basic terra cotta pot and transform it into an adorable and useful gift — with chalkboard paint! Make them for your own home or give as a gift; we made these for my daughter’s end of year teacher gifts.

Simply adding a few coats of chalkboard paint (we got ours from Shinn’s Paint) to any terra cotta pot and easily identify homegrown kitchen herbs or write a special note to the receiver. Regardless of the destination, in just a few steps you can easily create a useful gift that can be repurposed for years to come.

 We applied two coats. Make sure to allow an hour or two of drying time before adding the second coat.
Let dry overnight before writing on with chalk.

Get creative and personalize it with a message or keep it simple and label it. The possibilities are endless!

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DIY: jewelry display frame

Posted on February 21, 2013 by

We wear jewelry to add color and style to our look. So, why not display it like artwork? It solves the issue of pieces getting tangled together and lost in the shuffle. It sure makes things easier when picking out what jewelry to wear for the day.

A display frame serves as a great alternative to the traditional jewelry box or tree and is really quite simple to put together once you have the frame and sheet metal. You can find inexpensive frames at thrift stores like Goodwill. Only a few other supplies are necessary to complete this D.I.Y. jewelry display frame.


>  large wooden frame, 11″ x 14″ (or any size you wish)

>  acrylic paint

Martha Stewart antique-effect paint medium (optional)

>  paintbrush

perforated sheet metal (available at Home Depot in a variety of patterns & finishes)

>  scissors (sturdy enough to cut sheet metal)

>  cup hooks, 5/8″

>  drill & drill bit (for cup hooks)

>  strong bonding glue (GOOP works great)

Before, all my jewelry hung on a jewelry tree, which quickly got cluttered, leaving some pieces hidden & then forgotten about — out of sight, out of mind, right? Well, this DIY is the perfect solution. Now, I can display my jewelry in a variety of ways – and it doubles as wall art that is also functional.

(1) Start by removing the glass and backing from the frame

(2) Brush on a few coats of paint until you reach desired look — I used three coats

(3) Using strong scissors, cut the sheet metal down to size — use the frame insert as a guide to measure as you cut (or you can trace the proper size before cutting)

(4) If you want hooks to hang necklaces, it helps to use a drill to get the cup hooks in without splitting the wood

Depending on the frame, you may be able to use the fasteners on the frame to hold the sheet metal in place. In this case, the fasteners were part of the  frame backing, so I used glue to keep the sheet metal in place. You may also use tape, staples…whatever works, just as long as it’s not visible from the front.

(5) Apply GOOP adhesive along the back ledge of the frame. I used a toothpick to spread it into the corners because this glue is very thick

(6) Lay your cut sheet metal into place and with your fingers (with gloves on) lightly push the metal down along the back ledge to ensure it lays flat and the glue adheres to all edges – allow at least an hour to dry completely


This simple and easy project can be altered to suit just about anyone, of any age — and used for different purposes other than jewelry. With options of different paint colors and frame sizes, let your imagination run wild!

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Kid’s Artwork

Posted on July 5, 2012 by

When you have little ones, you know that between school & home, our budding little artists bring home endless finger paintings, drawings, and all sorts of wonderful artwork.

You can’t possibly keep it all, yet it’s heartbreaking to throw away (or even recycle). So, what do you do with your child’s ever-expanding collection of artwork? We display the best ones or save for their scrapbook, but what to do with all the rest?

kid's artwork

One easy and meaningful way to reuse their artwork – reuse them for wrapping gifts! Children’s artwork not only makes for great wrapping paper, but adds a nice personal touch to your gift.

Plus, your kids will learn a lesson in recycling, and friends & family will find just as much enjoyment opening their gift and admiring your children’s’ artwork!

gifts wrapped with artwork

kids artwork to wrap gifts

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  1. Heather -

    Beautiful wrapping! Did you read the survey about parents feeling guilty about throwing their kids’ drawings away? Here are some more ideas for storing, displaying and making keepsakes from kids’ art.

  2. Kristen U -

    I love this idea. I have four totes overflowing with artwork and my son is so young. Thanks for a clever idea!