Monday, April 30, 2012

Bedroom Blitz

Well, the day finally came!  Tim let me paint our bedroom!!!!


Before I reveal the "after" shots, lets revisit our old chocolate brown bedroom that we've loved for the last three years:

I set out looking for a great charcoal gray that would play off the medium greige in the living room, and after weeks of staring at tiny paint swatches, we settled on Behr's Premium Plus paint in Antique Tin- it's low VOC!  We grabbed a gallon of the paint plus primer in one because we were painting over a dark brown and would need optimal coverage.

Thanks to my awesome friends Alex and Lindsey, we were able to paint the entire room in about a half an hour!

Here's how it looks with the nighttime light:
I lightened up the dresser accessories and added a frame I bought from Ikea and spray painted many moons ago.

See the sad, lonely full length mirror leaning up against the wall?  I've been busy building a jewel box that will be hung and concealed behind the mirror!  I can't wait to show you all!
I love seeing the Gentle Tide from the hallway set against the deep bedroom gray!

The best part of the new color is that it somehow looks even darker at night, yet brighter and lighter during the daylight.  The bedroom is pretty good to go as is, but we will eventually be added crown molding and be replacing the curtains with something that matches a little better, and will be adding a map above the bed.  Lastly, I may re-do the painted wallpaper on an accent wall, but that remains to be seen!

The paint covered so well that now we have most of a gallon left of Antique Tin!  Guess I better find some more things to paint!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Vintage Mercury Window

Remember when I made those faux mercury vases a few months back?  Well, I still had a half full can of Krylon's Looking Glass spray paint, and loose plans to use it in a vintage window.
I never got around to scouring the thrift stores for a cool window, but I realize that I had three of these frames sitting around in my pile of extra knick knacks.

I got these frames right after college when Tim and I lived up north a little way.  I loooove them, but they've been cast aside since we moved into our condo!

I decided to transform two of these frames into vintage-y looking windows to hang above our dresser once we paint our bedroom charcoal gray (which we totally did last weekend!).  So I took out all 18 of the little glass panes and used the same method from these vases to give them a faux mercury glass finish.

Then I took the frames and roughed them up a little bit with some 140 grit sandpaper to remove the shiny coat so that the paint will stick better.
Then I used Olympic's no-VOC paint and primer in one and a small roller to turn the frame white.
After the frames were nice and white, I used the same sandpaper to rough up the white paint, allowing the previous black color to show through along with some of the wood.

And voila!
Now I have two of these "windows" to prop up behind my dresser!  I haven't hung them yet, but as soon as I do, I will be sure to post pictures!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tortilla Soup

When Tim and I ran the St Patrick's Day 5K, we were rewarded with a delicious cup of tortilla soup from Qdoba, which happened to be vegan- score!  It was literally the most delicious thing I ate that day, and I wanted to try to recreate it at home!
Luckily, it was super easy to make and actually tastes just like the restaurants! 

Tortilla Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 zucchinis, chopped
  • minced jalapeno (optional)
  • tortilla chips, crumbled

Saute the onion and garlic with some oil over medium-low heat for about five minutes.
Add in the tomato paste, cumin, and chili powder, and stir to combine and "warm" the spices. 
Add the vegetable broth and stir well.  Simmer for about 15 minutes so the flavors can combine.
Add the black beans, zucchini, and jalapeno, if desired.  Simmer for another five minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips on top!
If you want to make it a real Mexican feast, serve this soup as an appetizer along with tacos and rice and beans!

For more plant based recipes, visit my recipe page!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Edamame Bean Dip

Sometimes, instead of a meal, I like to whip out nice dip and call it a day.  I'd like to pretend this was just a snack for me, but nope, I am just entirely too lazy to make a real meal sometimes.  

Hey, I make most of what I eat from scratch, I'm allowed to be lazy sometimes!

So here I go to my special friend The Vegan Stoner.  All the recipes on this blog are super simple, usually with only a couple ingredients.  Less complicated recipes equals more time to drink wine!
Edamame Bean Dip
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Spoonful of lemon juice
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder
Blend the edamame in a blender or food processor (a blender will make it more creamy, but many blender, like mine, won't blend easily without liquids).

Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to blend to your desired consistency.

This dip is going to be cold because of the frozen edamame, so throw it in the microwave for a few minutes if you prefer!
What's so great about this snack/meal?  It's incredibly healthy!  It's jam packed with healthy protein from the edamame and beans, which will keep you full for awhile, and it's also packing heart healthy fats from the avocado.  Paired with some vegetable sticks, you've got yourself a filling and nutrient-rich powerhouse!

This would also go great in a pita with some veggies for lunch!

Want more plant-based recipes?  Click here!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ellen's Dance Dare!!

Everyone knows that Ellen is the queen of dancing- she can bust out a white hot move faster than you can say "dance dare!"  So when she began her dance dare challenges, it was only natural that Caty and I wanted to partake!  If any of you know me personally, you know that I love the bust into a crazy dance at any given moment.  So a challenge from Ellen herself to dance up behind people without their knowledge?  On it!

It all started with this video:
Andy Zenor, who works on Ellen's show, made a video of him dancing behind various members of the staff, including Ellen herself.  She loved it so much that she initiated a Dance Dare to everyone!    Here is one of the many videos that's been submitted:

You can check out a bunch more here.  It's totally worth it, I promise!

With all those videos in mind, and my upcoming trip to Portland last weekend, I wanted to make a video of my own!  And Caty at Modern Mommy was challenged to do her own Dance Dare as well, so we decided to team up and challenge all of you to make your own Dance Dare video!
Are you all ready for the challenge?

I went first and recorded some dances over the weekend:
DanceDare from Tim Gihring on Vimeo.

Did you like that?  It was sooo much fun to make!  

So now it's your turn!  If you're interested in joining up the dare, we've created a link-up for everyone!  Who knows, maybe one of us will end up on the Ellen show!  So grab our button and get dancin'!

And submit your link here: 

The challenge will end on Thursday, May 10th, when Caty and I will select our winner!  The prize? A $25 gift card to Target!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ocean Acidity

By now we're all aware of global warming and it's dangerous effects to our future.  
Historically, the earth continuously cycles through warmer and colder periods, but what makes our current crisis so scary is that the average temperature is blasting through the roof- literally!  With warming temperatures, we're putting the poor polar bears in danger of losing their ice cap habitats, our farm lands in danger of water shortages and temperatures too high to grow crops, and most of all, our oceans are in trouble!
The ocean absorbs carbon from the air, and with the skyrocketing rates of CO2 being released into the air, the ocean is absorbing more and more.  What's the problem with that?  Well, all the excess carbon absorption makes the water too acidic, and that means trouble for coral reefs.  70% of marine life lives in shallow waters such as coral reefs, swamplands, and tidal pools.  Without precious marine life, the delicate balance of the eco systems is in trouble.

***So how can you help?***

  • Use all natural cleaners to cut down on the pesticides and chemicals we're feeding straight into the ocean.
  • Even better, make your own cleaners.  Baking soda & Vinegar are amazing!  Check here for some good recipes. 
  • Check your sunscreen ingredients.  Sea turtles are growing tumors in Hawaii, and it's finally been determined that they're most likely being caused from human interaction and the chemicals in our sunscreen.   Sunscreen is also causing coral reefs to become bleached- scary!  Can you image a day when we can't see those gorgeous colors in the water anymore?
  • Throw away trash so it doesn't end up in the Pacific Garbage Patch.
Ocean acidification is only one of the many issues our future generations are facing.  The deep waters are so precious to our lives, so let's all try to preserve them!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I spent last weekend in Portland with Lindsey, Malena, Alex, and all our moms!  It was our first time meeting Alex's mom, who flew up from LA just for the occasion!

This weekend was filled with dancing as I joined up with Caty at Modern Mommy to take on Ellen's Dance Dare.  Look for that post coming soon!

We all made sure to stop by a couple Portland usuals, Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell's Bookstore.  The line was always ridiculously long for doughnuts, so we just spent a long time browsing the bookstore.  

"Look at that line!"
Then we had to hit up the Portland Beer and Wine festival!
Wicked was amazing, as usual!!  I'm so excited to see it again in five months when it comes up to Seattle :)

I got back to Seattle just in time to go to a BBQ with the gang from Tim's soccer team.  I've barely seen most of them for the last six months, so it was nice to spend a few hours over there!  A couple of us went to the Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville last night as well!  I'm looking forward to a night of relaxation tonight!

Playlist 4/9
  • Gym Class Heroes - Stereo Hearts
  • Girl Talk - Steady Talk
  • Weezer - Island in the Sun
  •  Jay-Z - What More Can I Say
  • P!nk - U + Ur Hand
  • K'naan - Waving Flag
  • Kid Cudi - I Poke Her Face
  • She & Him - Over it Over Again
  • Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song
  • Old 97s - Question
Edit:  Here's one more of all the mothers and daughters at dinner!