salmon with peach salsa


was walking around the grocery store the other day and had picked up some peaches because I was going to try grilling them, but then I walked by the fish section and I decided that salmon with peach salsa was a better idea (and probably more filling as a meal).  It's been a while since I sat down and actually made a meal, life has been shifting a bit these days and Dan and I are still finding our groove with our new schedules, so food has been a smash-and-grab free for all most of the time.

Salmon is one of the few things I feel really natural cooking.  You know, like the thing you feel comfortable just whipping up without a recipe, on the fly.  Sort of Emeril-"BAM!" style.  I've cooked it enough that it's one of my solid, go-to meals.  This past Christmas we had Dan's parents over for Christmas dinner and I made salmon instead of a roast or turkey, simply because I knew it would be great, whereas I'm definitely not as practiced at those more traditional holiday meals.  In my family, though, salmon was a more traditional holiday meal.  Sure, we had the thanksgiving turkey and sometimes a Christmas ham, but at least one of our holiday meals was either king crab or sockeye salmon.  When you're an Alaskan, celebrating with the bounty of the earth means lots of seafood.  


 

Ingredients for Peach Salsa
1 med tomato, diced
1 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 lbs peaches, diced
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Ingredients for Salmon
1-2 tbsp butter, in thin slices
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 large or 2 small salmon fillet(s)
1 tbsp lime juice
a few slice red onion rings


Preheat the oven to 325ºF for a small fillet or up to 375º for a larger fillet.

Combine the peach salsa ingredients and set aside in the fridge.

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.  Set the salmon fillet on the foil and put the thin slices of butter on the filet.  Sprinkle the brown sugar and squeeze the lime juice on the fillet.  Place onion slices on the fillet and pop it in the oven.  For a smaller fillet 20-30 minutes will do, but for a larger filet do 40+ minutes.  If you aren't sure if it's done, use a fork to flake apart the fillet at the thickest part to see if it's cooked through.

Once your salmon is done, plate it and pour on some salsa!  Dan loved the salsa so much I think his plate was 50% salmon, 50% salsa.  We didn't have chips on hand to eat with the leftover salsa, but I'm going to the store to get some because it's too delicious to go to waste!


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easy macrame pot holders


his is actually a DIY I did last summer, but never ended up posting!  I wanted to liven up my front porch, so I made these super easy hanging pot holders and planted some little marigolds.  All you need is some rope and pots!

During Christmas I put faux Poinsettias in the pots, but I noticed that the red dye in the faux flowers bled all over the pots and rope.  Luckily the dye washed away in the rain after a couple months, but if you live in a place that's rainy and want to put faux flowers in your pots outside, take note.  Real Poinsettias are too large for these pots so I'll have to figure something else out next winter.
This is a really quick project, depending on how many you're making.  I have six hanging from my front porch and it took me a couple afternoons, mostly because I ran out of rope and had to go buy more.  I'd say each one only took 10-15 minutes.


You'll need six lengths of rope (or yarn, I made some hanging candles in mason jars using this same tutorial using yarn.).  I'd recommend cutting the rope longer than you think you might need it, it's better to have extra than not enough.   I used white rope and a simple terra cotta pot which I panted white with exterior paint (since my pots would be outside in the rainy northwest weather).  The amount of rope you need will depend on how long you want your macrame holders to be.  Mine hang about 3 feet down and I believe I made the ropes about 5 feet each.
Tie the ropes in a knot leaving a bit of extra (you can always cut it off later).  Separate the three pairs of rope so they're easy to see.  Tie the adjacent pairs together with a square knot.  This will be the base of your pot holder, so where you tie them will depend on how big the base of your pot is.  Try to aim for tying this first knot at the length of the radius of the base, or a bit longer.  Go around and tie all three pairs.

  
Now that all three are tied together, separate the free ends.  Tie these new adjacent strings together for your "level 2" knots.  Make sure all your knots are the same distances, so each level is at the same point, otherwise it'll get lopsided. If you're not sure if your knots are in the right place to create the right size space for your pot, have your pot on hand and you can slip it in there while you're making it to see if your knots are going to fit the pot.  Knot each adjacent pair.
You can keep knotting as high as you like, but I found that three levels of knots works good for a small pot.  Slip your pot in there to see how it fits and if it looks good, you're done!  Knot the top of the strings so the pot hangs where you want and then screw a hook to the ceiling, or wherever you're hanging your pot from and hang it!



I was lazy with my pot holder and just let the ends fray, but if you wanted to make the ends cute you could leave them super long and put a wood bead on the end and knot it for a bit of embellishment.  Or you could singe the ends of the rope/string so that they didn't fray.


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learning = sucking

've noticed a trend in the comments section of online publications and social media, including my own blog's comment section.  I see people say stuff like, "That's cool!  Too bad I suck at [XYZ], I wish I could do that!"  "Sounds good!  Too bad I'm a terrible cook!"  "I wish I was good at that!  I'd love to do it!"

Here's the thing, you guys.  You don't pop out of the womb knowing how to do stuff.  You don't know how to do anything, really, out of the womb.  Everything you know how to do, you've learned.  And you probably sucked at it for a while.  When we were kids, we sucked at a lot of things because we were constantly learning, but for some reason when you're a kid sucking at stuff doesn't bother you so much.  Maybe it's because we're surrounded by other kids who are also sucking at stuff because they're also learning.  But now that we're adults someone told us (or we got the message somehow) that it's not cool to suck at things anymore.  You have to be good at stuff or not do it at all because, apparently, not being good at stuff is embarrassing.  The problem is, if we are afraid of being bad at things, we'll never do anything new or learn a new skill.    I didn't know how to french braid until I was in my mid twenties.  I would just say, "Oh I can't french braid, I'm terrible at it" until one day I decided I wanted to do it.  And I sucked at it.  It was a sad sad little french braid, but it was one baby step in the direction towards being able to do it well.  I still am pretty bad at french braiding, but the only thing standing in my way to being great at it is lots and lots of practice.




Sure, there are people who are talented at certain things.  They pick them up quickly and are faster learners, but talent can only take you so far.  Talent can give you a jump start on something, but the truth is, talent is nothing without work.  You can be the most talented pianist in the world, but if you don't practice hard and practice often, you'll never be a concert pianist performing in Carnegie Hall.

What if we all stopped saying, "oh I can't do that" or "I'm bad at that", "I'm no good at it," as if we were blaming some force in the ether keeping us from doing stuff we want to do, and decided to start trying the things we want to do or be good at?  What if we stopped being afraid of looking dumb or being bad at stuff?  What are we so afraid of anyway?  Are we afraid of looking stupid in front of other people?  Because if someone is going to make you feel bad for trying something new and not being a pro at it your first 20 times, you probably shouldn't care about them anyway.  The only way to stop being bad at something is to do it until you're not bad at it anymore.  Terrible cook?  Stop eating out all the time and start cooking every day.  Look up youtube tutorials.  Buy cookbooks.  We live in an age when you can find tutorials for almost everything online.  It's crazy!  The people who do know how to do stuff are actively sharing how-to articles and videos with the world online so that other people can also learn how to do stuff.  It's kind of amazing.




Let's stop quitting before starting.  Let's stop self sabotaging our dreams and goals.  Allow yourself to be bad at things in the pursuit of getting better at them.  We often see people doing amazing things, forgetting all the hard work and ugliness that it took to get to that point.  You don't see the rehearsals, the practice, the failed projects, but they are what allowed that person to get to where they are today.  We never see the clothing designs that get discarded by fashion designers, we don't see the diy projects that ended up in the trash, we don't see home tours where the person didn't clean the house before photographing it.  So here's one.  Here's my house, in iPhone photos, on the fly, with no cleaning.    I actually went on a house cleaning spree the day before these photos were taken (unintentionally, I didn't clean because I planned on taking these photos, I just caught the bug.  You should've seen my office before I cleaned, I took a 3x3ft box of trash out of there, ugh).
Our bed is never made.  We have a comforter wadded up on the floor by the bed for Dusty because I keep saying I'm going to sew her a dog bed, but my office was too messy to try sewing anything in there and I'd broken my last sewing machine needle.  My cute rolling island in the kitchen has just become a catch-all for random crap.  The living room has piles of stuff everywhere.  Some piles are take-to-the-thrift-store piles, others are farmers market stuff I'm storing until the next week's market, and others are piles of Dan's work junk. I actually cleaned our closet the other day too, so it's looking okay, but I can't get over the godawful brown carpet in there and can't wait to rip it out and replace it with wood floors.  In the meantime I have rugs trying to hide it.  Sometimes my house does look like it does in my home decor posts, but not always.  Not the majority of the time.  I wish it did because it's so much more refreshing to come home to a house that is clean and looks nice, but that's just not the reality.
Don't let the fear of not being perfect keep you from trying the things you want to do.  I have to remind myself of this all the time.  Sometimes sucking at stuff can feel like a complete waste of time.  Like, dammit, I just spent 4 hours on that DIY I was going to post on the blog, now all that time is wasted!  Maybe so, but at least I know now that I did it wrong and the next time I try it might be a better technique. And even if it was a failed DIY, at least I was spending those hours creating and working with my hands, which, for me, feeds my soul.  
Some people are also just good at things naturally, but don't let that keep you from working for what you want.  Just because someone else has a natural talent for cooking doesn't mean you'll never be a great cook.  Just because someone is an amazing artist naturally doesn't mean you can never make a great craft project.  It might take longer.  It might not look amazing the first time.  That's okay.  Keep trying.  Keep working.  Keep sucking.  It'll come.




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natural perfume workshop!


ey guys!  If you're local to the Seattle area, I have a super fun event coming up!  On Monday, July 28th, I'll be hosting an essential oil perfume making class at Moorea Seal's flagship store in Seattle!  I've been making my own perfumes lately and It's so much fun seeing how the scents play off of one another, how they integrate into one another, and how they change with your personal body chemistry once you apply them.  I've never liked perfume, in fact I kind of hate most perfumes.  Normal perfume is so strong and unrelenting and it often will give me a headache.  I love perfumes made with essential oils because not only are they natural, they don't stay super strong for hours after you put them on.  They're stronger when you sniff them straight out of the bottle and right when you put it on, but they mellow out while you wear them and have a pleasant smell that doesn't intoxicate a room for minutes after you leave, like I've found many typical perfumes to do (I always feel like Spongebob running through the perfume department after someone walks by with strong perfume or cologne).  

I also have a really hard time finding scents that I love.  I enjoy maybe 1% of the perfumes I've smelled at a perfume counter.  I enjoy scents that are spicier and citrusy, or more woodsy, and a bit masculine.  Most perfumes I've encountered tend to be super heavy on the florals and have more of a chemical smell than anything I'd prefer.  The great thing about making your own perfume is that you get to choose your own scent profile when you make your own!  My favorite scents right now are woodsy ones, so I made a perfume with Cedarwood, Pine, and Sandalwood essential oils!  I just got some Balsam Fir essential oil and it might be my new favorite.  If I could smell like I'm walking through a forest at all times, that'd be great.  

The other awesome thing about using essential oils for your perfume?  You can craft your perfume to support your health!  Essential oils can be an amazing way to stay healthy, balance hormones, and regulate emotions, so you're doing the body good and smelling awesome too.



There are only a few spots available in the class, so if you'd like to sign up, head over to MooreaSeal.com!  You'll learn all about essential oils, their various uses, AND create your own vial of perfume to take home with you.  I'll have tons of different essential oil scents to choose from and teach you how to create a great scent profile for your signature perfume!  If you haven't been to Moorea's store in Seattle yet, that's reason alone to come, it's such and inspiring space and there are so many lovely things, I kind of want to buy everything.

Date:  Monday, July 28th.
Time:   7:00-8:30pm
Location:  The Moorea Seal store.  2523 3rd Ave. Seattle WA, 98121

What You Will Learn:
You will have the opportunity to play with layering different notes and scents to decide what essential oils blend best for you.  Students will also learn the other elements to creating perfume beyond the essential oils themselves.  Beyond perfume making, students will also learn how to integrate essential oils into other uses for home and health.

What You Will Take Away:
A 10mm vial of your custom essential oil perfume.

What to Bring:
Yourself!  With an excitement to learn a new skill and make a few new friends :)  All supplies, plus a glass of champagne and/or wine, will be provided for you.




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six years and a mega giveaway


his Saturday, July 19th, will mark 6 years since I sat in my parents' kitchen, opened up my laptop, signed up with blogger, and started delightfully-tacky.blogspot.com. I started with a point and shoot Canon Powershot that I'm pretty sure was a gift from my parents, balanced on the microwave in my college apartment.  I had no idea what fashion blogging really was, I'd just discovered blogs randomly one evening while browsing the internet and thought they seemed cool.  I wanted to be a part of a creative community, so I figured starting my own blog would be a good way to do that. While naming things is usually one of the hardest things for me when starting something, "Delightfully Tacky" came to me instantly and it felt perfect.  Months before starting the blog, I'd been doodling the 70's pattern of my couch while laying on the living room floor of my apartment and I scrawled, "Delightfully tacky, as always..." next to the pattern.  The image came to mind and the phrase became something I'd type thousands of times in the next six years.  

Now my fingers probably type "Delightfully Tacky" faster than they can type my real name!  I've been a blogger and college student, blogger and 40-hours-a-week worker, blogger and road-tripper, blogger and barista, blogger and designer, blogger and photographer.  I've traveled to New York Fashion Week, St. Louis Fashion week, Chictopia 10 Conferences, IFB Conferences, Texas Style Council conferences.   I've spoken at conferences, led workshops, created online e-courses.  I've driven from Alaska to Florida and back to Washington.  I've had black hair, brown hair, red hair, pink and teal hair, brown and black hair, brown hair, and red hair again.  I've had hair down to my butt, and hair just below my ears, bangs and no bangs.  I've lived in apartments, duplexes, rental houses, winnebagos, childhood homes, and become a homeowner.  I've dated guys, been single, and married.  It's a bit wild to look back on all the life that has been lived while I've kept this online journal of sorts.  Even if it's just an outfit post, I can almost always go to a blog post and remember what I was doing that day, or how I felt, or who I was hanging out with.  It's a little weird, a little crazy, and a lot awesome.  I've been able to meet people I would never have met in my limited local circle, people from New Zealand, to Austin, to NYC.  For all it's faults and all the times I roll my eyes and sigh, "oh, internet", it has touched my life in a profound way in the last 6 years.



 

dress/courtesy of modcloth :: shoes/courtesy of lulu's 
necklace(similar)/francesca's collection

One of my favorite things about blogging and personal style is that it's never locked in to one thing.  It can change from day to day and that's totally ok.  Magazines like Vogue or Nylon have a specific aesthetic they cater to and when you pick up a magazine, you know what you're getting when you flip it open.  Blogs don't have to be that way.  I don't feel the same way every day, so I don't dress the same way every day.  I've always been a bit of a rebel against dress codes and uniforms, so I really enjoy the freedom to wear whatever I want, regardless of whether or not it's my typical style, or if people expect me to wear it, or if it's considered "flattering" or not.  Nicki Minaj one day, Fleetwood Mac the next, Dita Von Teese the day after that.  Who cares!  Some days I don't even want to blog about what I'm wearing, so I get to write about a DIY project or recipe instead, or I could just word-vomit what I'm thinking about and post that.  Or, I could put on a pink wig and purple lipstick and go out in public with a tripod and camera and make weird faces.  Options!  Freedom!  Instead of eating a cupcake for my blog birthday, I thought I'd look like one.

 
 

I wanted to do something special to celebrate another blog-birthday, so I partnered up with some of the amazing shops and companies I've had the pleasure of being able to work with over the years to give away over $1000 worth in prizes to 16 lucky readers!  I've loved being able to work with companies I truly believe in, as well as supporting smaller businesses started by creative ladies.  I mentioned it on Facebook a bit ago, but I recently revamped my sidebar ad prices to be more simple and small biz/blogger friendly.  I lowered the ad prices a bunch and instead of having 1 and 2 month options I just have one monthly price per ad size.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for (stop babbling and get to the good stuff, right?).  Here are all the goodies I'm giving away!  One person will win each item.

I’m giving away…

$100 gift certificate to Lulus.com

$50 gift certificate to MooreaSeal.com
-The Moorea Seal store curates beautiful accessories and objects, highlighting handmade artists from the United States alongside carefully selected goods from across the globe. They seek to do good beyond the material, creating a community that empowers and supports others. 7% of all proceeds from our store benefit five non profit categories!

1 pair of shoes from Minnetonka Moccasin

3 pairs of socks from Emerging Thoughts (Butterflies, Cats, Lips. Worth $39)

$50 gift card to Ruche

1 UP24 band (worth $149) from AT&T
- a wristband and app that work together to help you understand how you sleep, move, eat and feel, and how those activities affect one another so you can makze choices to live better!

 $100 gift card to For Elyse

1 pair of shoes from BC Footwear

1 Necklace from Musana Jewelry

1 Month Featured Ad Space on Delightfully Tacky (worth $200)
-Advertise your blog, site, or shop with a featured ad, which includes a giveaway post!

$75 gift card to ModCloth

1 Signature Hoodie from Albion
Comfy, cute and classic! Its supple spandex blend material feels smooth on the outside and soft against your skin, while contrast-stitching, Albion's signature logo on the reverse side, and sporty thumb-sleeves bring darling detail to the design. 

1 pair of shoes from Minnetonka Moccasin

1 REFRESH Blog E-Course (worth $25)
- My blogging e-course for beginner and intermediate bloggers!  50 sessions in areas from Blogging 101, Photography, and Blog Design, to Monetizing and Social Media. You'll get videos, how-to tutorials, links to other resources, plus bonus content about organizing your wardrobe and other style blogging tips! 

1 pair of shoes from Blowfish Shoes

$50 credit to Nikolette Bags

There are a ton of ways to enter, just follow the directions below and start entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


P.S. the gif above was made using the new Party Party app from the A Beautiful Mess gals. It's super fun!

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