Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{ Steampunk Coloring Book }

What have I been doing? Oh just killing myself over my lil one's first birthday party (happening this saturday)! I can hardly believe, I mean, the Loon + I made it! one year down, only a life time to go! No but seriously! I can't wait for this to be our first of many birthday celebrations.

Right now I don't have too much to blog about, other than my to do list! but I was so excited I finished the Steampunk coloring books today, I had to share! Aren't they the cutest?!?! I can't wait to show you the rest, but if you ever need a cute coloring book for a party's gift bag, let me know!

Friday, May 25, 2012

{ Batman is Architecture Obsessed }

Batman: Death By Design is the first graphic novel from writer / designer, Chip Kidd and illustrator Dave Taylor. This sneak peek of the novel centers Batman around the concrete canyons of Gotham City, where suspicious building accidents place Batman at odds with both The Joker and a mystery man named Exacto. Exacto is new to the Batman scene and is VERY architecture-based... don't know if that makes sense, but this totally reminds me of a few super heros sketches I did of my classmates my first year in architecture school... Seems like I'll be stopping by my nearest comic shop May 30th. Click the link for more images...{via}

Thursday, May 24, 2012

{ Margaux's Mix: New Lana del Rey }

When I first heard Video Games, almost a year ago, it was an instant head over heels love. Then as more and more media hype started up, I become somewhat disillusioned with Lana. Not that I was the backlash necessarily, but I was a little judgemental for the lizzy grant to lana del rey transformation. But after the album dropped, I figured, what's the big deal? I mean, lots of artists transform themselves, and even if her songs (on the album) are redundant sounding at times, they are catchy tunes. Her coo-ing and purrs solidified her persona, the gangsta nancy sinatra, for me. Then there was the SNL debactal, which was hard to watch, and supposedly was the reason she postponed her tour... So I guess I figured I wouldn't be hearing too much from Lana in the near future.

That brings me to what I found yesterday, a leaked track, Never Let You Go.  And that brought back that love of her easy, lounge, 60's influenced hipster rock. Maybe it's the guitar track that reminds me of All the Young Dudes, or the easy soft strings, or maybe even the lyric, "I could be your Nancy, You could be my Sid" But I just can't get enough of this track! Enjoy!

* if you are the artist of this song and wish for it to be removed please contact me. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

{ Healthy Chinese Food Endeavor }

A series by: Erin Gray
I could eat any form of Asian cuisine from sushi to Pad Thai any day of the week.  Unfortunately, my favorite Chinese delight, General Tso's is loaded with calories. I have found a healthier home made alternative that was greatly enjoyed at my house.

Baked General Tso's Chicken:
2 lb chicken breast tenderloins, chunked
2 eggs & 4 T milk (egg wash)
1 c flour
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
6 T ground ginger
2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1/4 c water
4 T soy sauce
4 T rice vinegar
2 T sesame oil
3 T chili paste
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp corn starch
3 tsp minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375.  Blend flour, pepper, cayenne, 3 T ground ginger, & salt. Coat chicken in egg wash then dredge in flour blend. Bake in a sprayed glass pan on for 30 minutes.  Use all ingredients except 1/4 c water  and sugar to mix sauce base. In a sauce pan boil sugar and water over medium heat stirring constantly until it develops a caramel color. Add remainder of sauce ingredients and simmer about 5 minutes. Take off heat and allow to thicken. Toss baked chicken in sauce and serve with steamed rice. **I also pre cooked some steamed broccoli and added to the mixture which was delicious.

{ Adventures in Baking: Sweet Potato Cupcakes }

A series by: Erin Gray
I typically make cupcakes for special occasions. Recently a good friend graduated high school and upon asking what kind she wanted she said "sweet potato". I thought she was joking, and am typically not a fan of anything but sweet potato fries, but due to the serious request I did some research and was very successful. This opportunity also gave me a chance to test run with icing tips for the first time before an upcoming birthday event.  Here is the recipe as I modified it from Better Homes and Gardens originally. Also, the frosting is a combination of my usual cream cheese recipe and one I found on

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting.
2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. clove
1 c butter, softened
1/4 c milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1 15 oz can sliced yams, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. In mixing bowl blend sugar and butter until whipped. Add eggs one at a time followed by mashed yams, and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk all dry ingredients and add in flour mix and milk slowly mixing on medium until smooth.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full ( I use a heaping ice cream scoop of batter) and bake 20-30 minutes.

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
3 T butter, softened
1 1/2 T shortening
1 7 oz jar of marshmallow cream
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon sugar blend

Blend all ingredients until smooth. scoop into icing bag and pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes. Icing will disperse and settle more like a glaze. * I also topped with clear sprinkles for a more fun effect.

{ DIY: bling bling }

So this weekend, I decided to try my hand at a Pinterest DIY. I needed to make a cake stand for my lil' one's birthday, I know, I can hardly believe it's been a year! But while shopping around for sweet DIY materials, I also thought I'd do pretty much the same thing to make a pretty jewelry / makeup with a cute candy dish I found.
So here's the run down incase you wanna make one of these cute stands....

you will need...
candlestick holder
glass plate *Mine had been divided out to 3's, like a candy dish, but I can't find it on the website... really any cheap plate would do.
super glue or any other strong as shit adhesive
and I happened to have the gold rustoleum on hand from another project... spray paint and I go way back
acrylic paint and gloss medium (for top color)

First glue the candlestick holder and plate together, and let sit over night. The next day I sprayed down that bad boy with the gold spray paint. Then I let that sit and dry til the evening. I loved it all gold, but I knew I wanted a good pop of color, so I took out the ol' acrylic paints and painted just the top a blue-ish green and sealed with a gloss medium I had on hand. Once all the paint was dry, Voila! I had a cute bathroom makeup / jewelry stand! and all over under $5. What do ya think?

Friday, May 4, 2012

{ Linxxx Luv }

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you all are glad this week is finally coming to close, I know I am! I couldn't be more excited for the weekend! (and apparently the use of ! - exclamation marks). It's been one hectic week around here, and tonight is no exception. I have a lingerie shower this evening for a good yet conservative friend so I'm looking forward to some awkward moments, and the Knoxville Farmers Market started back up this week. What are your plans?
I wanted to share with you some of the neat-o things I've found, and hope to start a reoccurring post theme for every friday. So be sure to check back often. Have a great weekend!
  • I fell in love with the above video of an origami rhino and had to share
  • Don't forget to check in every Friday with Modern Sentiment. Sara Martin's Friday posts not only inspire, but always get me thinking, and this week's isn't any different, More Than Personality. Pointing out 5 'habits' to form to really put yourself out there for success and making a connection others. {via}
  • Amanda Li is a background designer at Nickelodeon Studios but trained as an architect. Her sketches are incredible, and really an inspiration for anyone with an architecture degree making it in other fields. {via}
  • Speaking of being trained as an architect and doing other creative endeavors, Woodbury University hosted an event, "Architects Beyond Architecture" with a panel discussion of 6 and luckily for those of us who couldn't be there, Architects Newspaper did a great article on the event. I'm a big fan of creative endeavors outside of architecture, so much so my story was featured on the AIA website a while back. {via
  • And finally a shameless plug, but be sure to check out and Like my freelance companay, m+j design bureau on facebooks. We try to run regular specials, and it would just make me oh-so-thrilled to have lots of 'likes'.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

{ Handmade Love }

had to share this video I came across. Love the textures, and I think it goes without saying I'm always a fan of the handmade. Love this! Doesn't it remind you of the movie the Eames made, I believe it's called Goods?
We were asked to create a film about bespoke tailoring for the Handmade issue of Wallpaper*. They hooked us up with the famous italian tailors of Brioni. We came up with the idea that a hand would be the ultimate customer to prove the skills and craftmanship of a brand as Brioni. {via}

{ Eye Candy: Streetscapes on Cardboard }

I just had to share this little piece of eye candy! These Streetscapes are spray painted on cardboard! I can hardly believe how beautiful some are... I've included my faves, but the imposition of the cardboard text (most look like ikea boxes, tehehehe!). Done by German street artist... I think that's a fancy word for graffiti artist... Evol, uses stencils to display an uncanny attention to detail using light and shadow on mundane consumer packings. {via}

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