Improvised Life » celebrations If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:00:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Solar Lanterns Become Wondrous Bubbles Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:27:10 +0000

Photo by Paul Kozlowski

Sensual wave“, an art installation by French architects Marion Moustey and Alexandre Arcens, gave us ideas for late summer-fall gardens lit with Soji Solar Lantern. Susan Dworski first posted about the wondrous, inexpensive solar shoji lights she festooned her garden with.  “Sensual Wave” takes her idea a step further. (more…)

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Sea Shell Printed Cookies and Pie Crusts Fri, 25 Jul 2014 08:29:10 +0000

Catherine Gratwicke

While putting together our post on Sea Shell Salt Cellars the other day, we stumbled on this lovely idea: impressing cookie or pie dough with a small ridged scallop (or other) sea shell. Then we wondered what to we recommend that we KNOW will take the impression? H-m-m-m.

Eh voila! Our friends at Kitchen Repertoire’s Sand Dollar Sables look just perfect… (more…)

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Happy 4th of July!!!!! Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:45:20 +0000

As caregiver for our friend who had a big crisis recently, we’ve been trying to go with the flow of things NOT going as expected, and noticing the miracles in the midst. It may be the biggest lesson of an improvised life.

So we’re taking the holiday to hang out with our pal and DO NOTHING except be the laziest dogs possible.


See you next week.

Fireworks to color by Made by Joel

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Our Twelve Best 4th of July Recipes (Just in Time) Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:28:41 +0000

Manny Howard

The city is quiet already, as many people have blown down in preparation for their 4th of July celebrations. In case you need a few ideas while you do your shopping, here’s some of our favorite summer recipes. Most are easy to make; all are delish and perfect for a summer evening, from Mamma Lucia’s Insalata Di Pomodoro to Stout Ice Cream Floats  (one of our all-time most popular posts). (more…)

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Wine Wise Guy Anthony Giglio Answers Your Questions About Wine Thu, 12 Jun 2014 22:30:24 +0000

EVERYONE we know has questions about wine and the best person we know for answers is Anthony Giglio, aka The Wine Wise Guy, an Improvised Life contributor and of late, wine blogger for Details. Anthony is the guy who pioneered using wine-friendly frozen grapes to chill a glass of wine without diluting the flavor. We excerpted a key fast-chill method for a whole bottle, below. His weekly Details column answers such perplexing questions as Do Those Wine-Aerator Gadgets Really Work?(more…)

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How to Eat a Watermelon (Happy Memorial Day!) Mon, 26 May 2014 07:58:06 +0000

Maria Robledo

Our friend Holton Rower eats baby watermelons by slicing it in half and eating it with a soup spoon: a perfect and refreshing improvisation to start the summer season.

Happy Memorial Day from Improvised Life!

Thanks Holton!




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A Post-It with a Powerful Message for Mother’s + Grandmother’s Day Sun, 11 May 2014 08:08:15 +0000

I’ve always struggled with Mother’s Day. Too pink, too saccharine, too much forced happiness when the reality so often cloaks a good deal of ambivalence, sadness, and hidden anger. That all changed when I opened our Little Free Library on the front fence yesterday and discovered Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, Marjane Satrapi’s extraordinary graphic memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In bold black and white images she tells her story of her life from age six to fourteen during the tumultuous years that saw the overthrow of the Shah, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the horrors and destruction of families and culture during the war with Iraq. Her story, told through a child’s eyes, is packed with (more…)

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The Popcorn Improvisations + a Free 6 Recipe PDF Fri, 02 May 2014 08:49:14 +0000

Maria Robledo

When an ailing friend asked me to make him some grits, I went immediately to Anson Mills’ website to order some. Anson produces the best grits I’ve ever had, favored by chef’s across the country, and nearly impossible to buy other than directly from Anson Mills themselves, because they keep tight, obsessive, and justified control over their products. I bought three kinds of grits to make and to leave with my friend for future suppers. I also ordered a bag of their Appalachian Heirloom Sweet Flint Popping Corn, impelled by the sensuous description:

When was the last time you tasted popcorn that left impressions of sweet corn and honeysuckle rising from toasted corn, and a final palate statement of pure sweetness? When was the last time you experienced perfect light crackle and trace tenderness in a tiny white explosion?

I had to try it. And in doing so was reminded of my popcorn improvisations, when I went haywire experimenting with different flavorings. (more…)

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Happy May Day!!! Thu, 01 May 2014 08:01:00 +0000


There are many explanations for the symbolism of the maypole, around which people dance in celebration of May Day...Here are a few.]]> 0
Happy Easter, Passover, Spring 2014!!! Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:53:37 +0000

Yoshi Egg/ Furnace Trail

A SWELL Easter egg in the realm of graffiti…with Spring wishes from Improvised Life!

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Confetti Bomb Your Party or Table Top Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:00:24 +0000

Although regular confetti often has a slightly cheesy feel, Etsy seller Knot and Bow’s colorful fat tissue paper confetti dots would make a swell way to “dress” a tabletop or party space. How fun to do a planned  bombing before-hand, or a suprise on in the midst.  (more…)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!!!! Fri, 14 Feb 2014 19:32:18 +0000 2 A Heart-Shaped Boulder for Valentine’s Fri, 14 Feb 2014 18:00:10 +0000

Pamela Hovland

Graphic Designer Pamela Hovland sent us this image for Valentine’s, with this message: I always look at this big heart-shaped rock in the park where I run my dog. I finally decided to photograph it (pre-storm) in order to use it for an upcoming Valentine’s Day greeting. Thought you’d like it also…There’s a “broken heart” rock later on the trail that would be good to photograph but hopefully I don’t have to send that one to anyone anytime soon… This is JUST the kind of Valentine we love, hiding in plain sight. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!! Thanks Pamela!


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A Chocolate Valentine’s Cake as Easy as Making a Brownie Thu, 13 Feb 2014 21:00:39 +0000

Maria Robledo

With the difficult weather, you may find your self on-the-hook for a Valentine’s gift for tomorrow. If you’ve got the basic makings in your pantry for brownies, I recommend my tried-and-true Essential Chocolate Cake for Improvising recipe. It’s as easy to make as a brownie, with a good deal more bang for the buck, AND there are endless ways to improvise on its essential formula, adding in all sorts of unexpected flavorings to delight your beloved. Here’s a recent testimonial that says it all: (more…)

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