Southwestern Tofu Scramble 

Saturday mornings mean one thing around my house—brunch! That usually meant going out for brunch but since having a baby this spring, well, let’s just say I’ve been making more brunches at home and trying to time the food with her morning nap so that Todd and I can actually eat at the same time for once. Anyways, I’ve always been curious about trying a tofu scramble and so I finally decided to make one this summer to see if it could be a new item in our breakfast rotation. I wasn’t exactly sure what flavor profile I wanted for the dish, but after adding a bit of this and a bit of that, I realized I had created a Southwestern-style scramble and it was soooo good. Here’s what I did:Southwestern Tofu Scramble, serves 4

half a green pepper, diced
half of a white onion, diced
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
5 oz grape tomatoes
12 oz extra firm tofu
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
chopped green onions
vegan cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a skillet (I like to use refined coconut oil) and warm over medium heat. Add your chopped onions and pepper into the warm skillet and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.While your peppers and onions cook, wash and chop your mushrooms, remove your tofu from the package, and slice your cherry tomatoes in half. Add your mushrooms to the peppers and onions and allow them to cook an additional 3-4 minutes.Crumble your firm tofu into the skillet and add your cumin, chili powder, and nutritional yeast on top. Stir to combine. Add in your grape tomatoes and cook until the tofu and tomatoes are warmed. Season your dish with salt and pepper to taste and stir in some cheddar cheese shreds. Turn off the heat and allow the cheese to melt slightly. Top with chopped green onions and serve! If you haven’t tried a tofu scramble before, let me tell you, it can be delicious! I’ve had one out at a restaurant since and I actually preferred this one I make at home more. As with most tofu dishes, it’s really about the seasoning and other flavors that are happening, so if you find your dish too bland, keep adding more of the seasonings until it’s just right. This scramble always hits the spot when it comes to brunching-in, so I hope it’s just what you’ve been looking for, too! xo. Laura

Note: This recipe is weekday approved as long as the vegan cheese you’re using doesn’t have any added sugar!

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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Make Your Own Jean Skirt!

Sooo, sometimes I have to research a bit or do some test runs of a DIY before I get it to work the way I want to. But when it comes to making a jean skirt from a pair of jeans, well, let’s just say I made my fair share of them in high school, so I can do this project with my eyes closed. It’s totally a great way to upcycle and reuse a pair of jeans that you’ve grown a bit tired of or a good method to customize a skirt if you can’t find one the right size/color/length you want in the stores. Supplies:
-pair of jeans*
seam ripper
– sewing machine
fabric scissors and straight pins

*I like to use thicker jeans that don’t have much (if any) stretch in them for skirts. I find they make the best frayed hems compared to thin jeans that have a lot of spandex in the material blend.
Start by cutting off your jeans into jean shorts several inches longer than you think you’ll want your skirt to be. Use your seam ripper to carefully rip apart your main seam on the inside of your jeans along the crotch line. Pull out any loose strings. Now use your seam ripper to rip up the front of the crotch line just to the point where the zipper begins. Do the same on the back to the same point.Pin your crotch area flat onto your skirt so that it swoops to one side instead of going straight down. That should leave you with an open “V” shape in the front of your skirt that you can either leave open (and just sew those seams down so they stay folded inward) or cut a triangle piece of jean from your excess leg material to pin in place behind the opening to close it up if you’d like.Pin the seam flat on the back of your skirt as well. Depending on the length of your skirt you want, you can either add another triangle of fabric at the bottom (like I mentioned you could do in the front), or if you’ll be cutting the final length above that “V” shape, you don’t have to fill that spot in. Sew your seams with a sewing machine about 1/2″ from the edge of the seams on the front and back.Turn your skirt inside out and cut out any extra fabric. Try your skirt on and mark how short you want your skirt to be with a pin. Take your skirt off and cut your skirt your desired length. I did a “stepped” hem, so it was a little longer in the back.Wash your skirt so that it frays on the edges and you’re ready to wear it! See? Not too hard, huh? I took this skirt out on the road to visit my musician husband on tour and I wore it a ton. Super comfy and I could dress it up a little more when I paired with boots (like these tan boots with gold heels and a matching sweatshirt) or other heels, but it also reads really casual with sandals and a T-shirt. If you feel like sewing is just not a talent that you’ll ever possess, you can always buy your own skirt, but this is a great introductory project to start with if you’ve always wanted to learn (and why not learn on a pink sewing machine, right?). Making jean skirts was one of my favorite things growing up, so it’s so fun to get to do it again, and it’s totally a trend that I don’t mind revisiting! xo. Laura

Credits//Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Todd Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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Make your own Alcohol Ink Pumpkins

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It’s pumpkin time! While there are literally thousands of ways to decorate a pumpkin, these alcohol ink pumpkins might be one of my favorites. I recently began experimenting with alcohol inks, and while they are messy, they make the most unique and gorgeous patterns. Almost like a cross between marbling and paint dripping, but still so totally different. And you can’t beat their vibrant hues! So grab a few alcohol inks and a white faux pumpkins and let me show you how to make your own alcohol ink pumpkins!

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Make-Your-Own-Alcohol-Ink-Pumpkins-7Supplies:
white faux pumpkins
alcohol inks in watermelon, peach belini, raspberry, and pink sherbet
-squirt bottle with rubbing alcohol
-plastic sheeting and rubber or latex gloves
-gold paint (optional)

Make-Your-Own-Alcohol-Ink-Pumpkins-7Step One: Begin by laying out your plastic sheeting (alcohol inks are messy!) and putting on your gloves. Then spray down your pumpkin with the plain clear alcohol in your spray bottle.

Make-Your-Own-Alcohol-Ink-Pumpkins-7Step Two: Slowly drip your alcohol inks around the pumpkin in bands of color. I started at the top for a few and at the bottom for others and I found that if you start about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom and drip rings of color around the pumpkin slowly working your way up to the top, it created a nice layered look. But really you can’t go wrong with these as long as all your colors coordinate.

Step Three: The alcohol will flow wherever there is already alcohol, so if you get some blank spots, just spritz them with the clear rubbing alcohol and squeeze a little more color there. Keep spritzing the pumpkins with clear alcohol and layering on the colors until the entire pumpkin is coated.

Make-Your-Own-Alcohol-Ink-Pumpkins-7Step Four: Place the pumpkins on a clean piece of plastic sheeting and let dry. Once dry, use your gold paint to paint the stems and add a few gold splatters if desired.

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The alcohol inks come in a large variety of colors, so play around and find a combo that you like. I tried a few blue pumpkins, but I wasn’t thrilled with the results as I mixed in yellow and it turned them all an ugly shade of green. So my suggestion when making your own is to stick to shades of one color when making your pumpkins to avoid unpleasant color mixing.

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Make-Your-Own-Alcohol-Ink-Pumpkins-7I am so excited that they turned out even better than I had hoped! While you are in the middle of adding the alcohol inks, it can get a bit nerve wracking, but as long as you stick with that similar color palate, you really can’t go wrong. Once they dry, the colors blend and get absorbed into the pumpkin and create the most beautiful and vibrant marbled and dripped look. They really are a show stopper! xoxo. Kara

Credits // Author and Photography: Kara Whitten. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
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Nova’s Playroom Reveal

This past month and a half since we were matched with Nova have been so FULL of projects. I felt myself go into overdrive so quickly. There’s something so motivating (in the best possible way) about knowing everything is about to change! Our playroom was already more than half complete, but as soon as we found out we’ll be home soon with a kiddo, it had to be finished immediately!

A little back story on this room … we purchased a home with space for multiple kiddos, intending to stay here a long time and start our family here. After we set up Nova’s nursery, our social worker told us it might be better to limit the number of toys and distractions in her sleeping space. We had another bedroom next door set aside for our second child, so we decided to make it into a playroom. I’m so glad we did because it’s a delightful space and I absolutely hate the feeling of having “wasted” rooms that we aren’t using with piles of “stuff”.

A few months ago when my parents came to visit for a long weekend (and this room was still in “piles of stuff” status), my mom insisted we set up the playroom right then. We drove around town looking for the perfect art table and talking about books and games and art projects. It was a really sweet bonding time with my mom and I’m so glad she pushed me to get this room started.

But first, a couple “before” photos!

Here are a few photos from the day we closed on the house. As you can see, it’s come a long way! The window seat was a high point for me. I remember noticing it when we toured the house for the first time. Since this bedroom (along with the one we used for our nursery) is closest to the master bedroom, we always assumed they’d make good kiddo bedrooms.

First things first, I knew we needed a space for art projects! Making art projects with my mom pretty much sums up 90% of my childhood memories and it’s something I can’t wait to share with Nova!

Collin built custom shelves for me. I ordered these clear plastic jars from Amazon to fill the shelves with. They are about the size of a large peanut butter jar. In the lower part of the shelf we added storage for paint brushes and markers.

I found the table at Target as well as the white chairs.

I reserved this wall for our kiddo art collection. I purchased some of these gold clips and I am planning to fill this wall up season by season.

The cactus mobile was a gift from my friend, Rosie. It’s SO CUTE and special.

The rainbow fiber art is by Mandi Smethells Hills on Etsy. The chalkboard easel (it has a dry erase board on the back) is from Ikea.

Currently, I am prepping some holiday craft ideas. Since we will (likely) be arriving home not long before the holidays, we may not be ready to travel to see family this year. It’s already weighing on me a bit. We won’t have to make that choice until we’re home and we can decide what’s best for Nova, but at the moment I am coping by preparing so many craft projects for her and I to do together. It warms my heart!

I have always loved to keep journals! Jeremy … not so much. We’ve had so many journals through the years where I wrote in them 10x more than him … haha! So when I found this cool giant journal (we bought it years back at a local shop when we were traveling), I thought it would be perfect for to me document memories with Nova (and hopefully more kiddos on the way). I would LOVE to have something like this from my childhood. It’s kind of a random little thing, but could be magical!

Over here is our reading sofa. The pink velvet sofa is from Article. The vintage rug is from Apple + Oak in Nashville.

When I was in the middle of working on this room, my friend Karla came over and she encouraged me to add a comfy sofa and a place to read. I loved this idea … books are definitely my favorite thing to collect for Nova so far!

These two plush are made by Kelsey Davis Design on Etsy. You have to see her sloth design—it’s so cute! The llamazebra, bear, bunnyunicorn, and swan are from Target.

The wallpaper is from Juju papers (same as my entryway—I actually had enough left over for just one wall, so I used it here!).

The shelves are full of thoughtful gifts and special toys we’ve collected over the past 16 months since we started the adoption process.

Toy sources: Wooden rainbow/Grimm’s, Watermelon stacking toy/Sunshine and Pine, Lip Phone/Amazon (in red and in pink), Xylophone toy/Amazon, Flora The Flamingo Book, Child’s vintage basket/Boheme Vintage, Plush Car/Oeuf, Eyelash Basket/Indego Africa, 8-inch disco ball/Amazon.

This print from Roxy Marj was something I purchased forever ago when becoming a mom was still a far off dream to me. I love this quote!

I have a huge weakness for all things dinosaur. I hope Nova loves them as much as I do! These are from Sun and Stars co.

I got the cutest light fixture and ceiling medallion for our space from Lucent Lightshop.

This macrame planter is from a fellow Elsie—Elsie Goodwin, who owns Reform Fibers.

I will share more about the custom bench cushion I made soon. It was super easy to make!

Thanks so much for reading! I feel so lucky to be so close to become a mom, to have the opportunity to make these beautiful rooms for our little gal and to have you to share them with! I really do not take any of this for granted. This is the happiest time in my life! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop Presets.

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