Something about summer just makes me want to do, do DO! So much to do, and so little time. Admittedly, in the blazing heat that DC, and many other parts of the country, are currently experiencing it can be a challenge. The wonders of air conditioning and the beauty of summer overcomes in the end.

The result has been lovely mornings at the Dupont farmers market and a literal baking bonanza these past few weeks. More to come on the latter success.


Easier to eat healthy when everything looks so yummy 🙂

I also went to the last day of the Smithsonian Folklife festival which was HOT (weather-wise) but still very cool. There were some colorful murals on display that I thought worth sharing.


DIY…so many things on my list

I love diy blogs and am always inspired by the creative ideas of others. Of course, the list of things I want to try is always much, much long than my list of accomplishments. A few things that are on my list:

Make your own wooden table!

Some extra hanging space for clothes…

And this cute basket that I KNOW I’ve seen sold in stores.

Easy Quiche and Sweater Warmth

Been up to a few things these past weeks…

Crustless Quiche of shallots, ham, mozzarella, mushrooms, and spinach. In a bowl mixed up four eggs with salt, pepper, 1 cup of cream. Cook the shallots and mushrooms in a pan (I used a cast iron one that I could then put in the oven). Once they are cooked soft throw in the ham and spinach, then pour the egg/cream mixture over. Throw a cup of cheese over the top, then pop into the oven for 15 minutes at 425, then turn down to 350 to cook until golden brown on top. Enjoy!

And inspired from the delightful tutorial on A Beautiful Mess I turned this pretty but huge sweater into some cozy leg warmers and a hat. Turned out to be just in time for some seriously cold weather!

I’ve also been debating on what to do with this dress I bought in a grab bag from a vintage store…so far I’ve torn the sleeves out. I guess we’ll see what inspires me 🙂

Fudge Brownies and Mushroom Au Gratin

This week my work had an office holiday party potluck. I decided to bring some fudge brownies at my coworker’s request and a side dish of mushroom au gratin.

These brownies are my surprising fav – good ol’ betty crocker 🙂

There are two important parts to making these fudge brownies the best- substituting butter for the oil and cooking it at a low temperature of 325 degrees (usually around an hour). The result is a brownie that has a lovely darker fudge layer that is just yum!

The mushroom au gratin idea was the result of a trip to Prague last year. My friend and I were freezing our booties off from walking outside in the snow all day as tourists and decided to take a break in this lovely little cafe/restaurant. They had a mushroom au gratin on the menu, which I’d never heard of – only potatoes au gratin. Course since then I’ve learned the meaning of au gratin is basically just breadcrumbs and cheese on top – but at the time it seemed like a highly unusual idea. Turns out its an amazing dish if you like mushrooms, which I LOVE, and very simple to make. I personally think its even easier that the better known potatoes version, simply because there’s no worry that they won’t be cooked through.

Mushroom au Gratin Recipe
2 packages of mushrooms chopped (I prefer crimini)
4 shallots chopped
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs (Panko recommended)
3.5 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper or to taste

Cook the shallots in 1 tbsp of butter until just beginning to get soft, then set aside. Cook the mushrooms in the remaining butter until about half done. Then mix the mushrooms, shallots, cream, cheese, salt, and pepper together until incorporated. Pour into a dish, preferably shallow. Then top it with the breadcrumbs. Pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top turns brown. If you like a crunchier crust, once the top has browned add another layer of breadcrumbs and some more cheese, then place it under the broiler for a few minutes until golden and crispy.

I made a dish that could have served 4-5 people and two individual ramekins for me and my boyfriend.

We ate it with awesome home-grilled oysters!

8 bucks for the whole bag at the farmers market – we def had to try making them and boy did they come out tasty. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure (I hadn’t until a trip to New Orleans in August) this style of oysters is the trademark of Drago’s and is worth a stop if you’re ever in NOLA!

Things I Enjoy…

Hot chocolate and its complimentary chocolate muffin…(if you’re gonna go chocolate, go chocolate in a big way)

Hidden walkways that look like they are in Europe but are actually in the US…

THIS Nina Ricci Dress…*sigh*…

My goal is to one day make this dress! But it’s a more complicated project than I have time for right now. I first saw and fell in love with this dress in Vogue, when Marion Cotillard wore it.

Friday Beginnings

Hello to all who are reading this and welcome! The Proof of Life is an attempt to have a place to share some of the fun things I like to create in my spare time. I hope you find it enjoyable and please comment if you have something to share as well! This will probably be a place for a variety of things – cooking, sewing, drawing, pretty things, and whatever may strike my fancy =D

Anywho- enough with the intro! My recent activities have included a few projects – homemade granola and kitty shorts! In terms of the former, turns out homemade granola is ridiculously easy to make….never buying it from the store again! I’m one of those people who loves greek style yogurt (fage is my fav) and love it even more when it comes with granola. Below are the results:

Not to shabby eh? And it’s yummy to boot!


4 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup honey (or another sweetener)

Nuts (I used walnuts)

Raisins (any dried fruit works)

1/4 tsp salt

Mix the oats, nuts, and salt. Spread it all out on a tray, on top of parchment paper if you have it to cut down on cleaning. Then mix in the honey evenly. I sort of just dragged a spoon through the granola to distribute it evenly – you can also control how big of granola clumps you want while doing this. If you like lots of big clumps you may want to add more honey. Then just pop it all into the oven at 325 degrees. Let it bake for 20 minutes or so – check on it and when it looks golden brown and feels crunchy pull it out. Be careful not to burn it! Burnt granola…not so yummy.

And that’s it! Easy peasy.

My second project has been a pair of kitty pj shorts for my little sister. She’s getting a little old for cutsy (18 years old yikes) but she also really likes cats and I believe you’re never to old for fun pjs. The fabric was on sale for a dollar a yard at Joann’s too – was simply meant to be. I had a few probs with the sizing because 1) I had a limited amount of fabric and 2) I was making them off an old pair without a pattern. See here for instructions on how to do this. In the end I think they came out pretty cute however – hope she likes them for xmas!!

I just love the little cats…

Has anyone else been working on xmas presents/food?