14 Nursery Decor Ideas

This past weekend was quite busy. I had the half marathon, we went to a polka dot-themed party, and…I found out one of my dearest friends is having a baby! (Sorry, did the title make you think I was having a baby? ‘Fraid not, folks.)

You might remember Megan from the post I did about her dressing room inspiration. Well, with a little one on the way, Megan (and her husband, Bill) are going to make the room over into a nursery instead.

As soon as I found out, I offered to design her a few inspiration boards of different nursery ideas, and Megan quickly accepted. Because they don’t know what they’re having yet, I made two boards — one for a girl and one for a boy. Either way, the walls will be the Robin’s Egg blue color they are now, so I worked around that for the rest of the look.

First up, a little girl’s room:

The overall look was largely inspired by the glam dressing room I had designed originally. Megan wanted something feminine, and hopefully this delivers! Let’s break it down, shall we?

1. Westmore Lighting 1-Light Chandelier. It doesn’t get much girlier than a crystal chandelier. This elegant pendant will add sophistication to the whole space.

2. Wall art. I’d love to see Megan hang some cute art prints above the crib or changing table. These options caught my eye on Etsy: Twinkle Twinkle print from Sugar House Ink, Gold Letter E Wall Art from Peddler’s Finds (This one has already sold, but I’m sure we could make something similar.), Somewhere Over the Rainbow Print from Sugar Fresh, and this I Love You Alphabet Print from Color Bee Love.

3. RENS sheepskin rug from IKEA. A plush, soft rug will be a perfect place for the baby to crawl around.

4. Babi Italia Eastside Island Single Crib from Babies-R-Us. Obviously the actual crib selection will be up to the new parents, but I love the look of a crisp white version against their cool blue walls.

5. Lift Top Storage Ottoman from Target. Also poached from the original board, this storage ottoman will be a stylish place to store toys, blankets, and anything else that needs to be tucked away.

6. Bowfront 3-Drawer Mirrored Chest from High Fashion Home. This would definitely fit in the splurge category, but I love when people turn gorgeous chests of drawers into changing tables. Another version I found is this Mirage Mirrored Cabinet. Plus, I see mirrored items at HomeGoods all the time, so I’m sure we could find other versions.

7. Mod Nod Swivel Glider from Land of Nod. Every good nursery needs a glider for rocking a baby to sleep. This upholstered version fits into Megan’s glamorous aesthetic perfectly. I’ve accessorized it with a Missoni Gray Pillow from ElemenO Pillows.

8. Organic Bunny Rabbit from Pingvini. What nursery is complete without a snuggly stuffed animal?

Next up, the male version! I went a bit funkier with this and used a bright, poppy orange as the accent color and a few quirky accessories. Let’s get to it!

1. Wall art. I love how these bright colors will pop off of the blue walls. Wood Letter E in Poppy Orange from Old is New Again, Keep Calm & Rock On print set from Tessyla Prints, Fox Family Painting from Lulu Froot, Oh the Places You’ll Go print from Field Trip.

2. Stockholm Rand Rug from IKEA. To warm up the wood floors, I’d add this stripe-y black and white rug.

3. Same Babi Italia Eastside Island Single Crib from Babies-R-Us used in the girl’s room.

4. Nursery shelves. Using white floating shelves, like these from Home Depot, Megan can create a wall “library” that function as storage AND art.

5. Lucca Glider from Land of Nod. How fun is that bold glider? I think it would look so cute tucked in the corner by a window. I’ve added the Perky Black & White Pillow from Sweet Brush Designs to tie it in with the graphic patterned rug.

6. Wesley the Fox from Sleepy King. I’m completely in love with this little guy. Hopefully the new baby would feel the same!

Hopefully that gives you a few ideas, Megan! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. (Not to mention how thrilled I am to meet your little one!)

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I know what you did last weekend

I’m just going to tell you right now that I didn’t get everything done that I said I was going to do. BUT. I got most of it done.

I DID organize half of the hall closet. (But I didn’t take a picture because I forgot to take a “before” photo. I know. #bloggerfail.)

I DIDN’T do anything to the office area. But, honestly, it doesn’t look that bad right now. Just a little cluttered.

I DID finish the gallery wall. My favorite new update is a print with a quote from one of my favorite authors. My brother actually included this quote in his “man of honor” speech at my wedding, so it reminds me of happy memories whenever I look at it.

I DID tidy all the common areas. The living room, bathroom, dining room, and kitchen were all pretty darn clean as of yesterday morning. (The dining room has since become “crafting central,” so it’s not as neat currently.)(But it’s for a good cause.)

I DIDN’T make the shadow boxes. But I did get quite a bit of other crafting accomplished.

I DIDN’T make it to a thrift store. I know. I have been promising to do this forever. I don’t know what my deal is. I also have two pairs of pants that need to go to the tailor that have been sitting in the back seat of my car for weeks.

Maybe next weekend.

So anyway, I feel reasonably accomplished.

You might be wondering about the crafting I hinted at. (Or you might not. I don’t know your life.) Well, all I can tell you right now is that it’s for a secret project. I will reveal more next month.

How bout y’all? Did you get anything accomplished this weekend that you had been putting off?

I can feel it, you guys. Next weekend is the weekend of the thrift store run. It’s happening.

How to: Plan a Bachelorette Party in Chicago

So along the lines of unsurprising confessions, you guys can probably tell (if you don’t know me personally) that I am a planner.

I plan everything. (And then I usually blog about those plans.) From outfits, to vacations, to haircuts, to how I’m going to spend my time off. It’s a sickness, but I have embraced it as a part of my life that isn’t going anywhere.

And in some cases, it’s even a blessing. Take, for example, the time my best friend was getting married and needed someone to plan a bachelorette party/bridal shower for about 25 of her closest girl friends from all over the country in a state about 1,000 miles away from me.

Challenge…accepted.

Honestly, I was thrilled to do it. Annie is one of my oldest, dearest friends, and I’m so excited to be in her wedding in September. Her sister is her maid-of-honor, but since she’s only 19 and swamped with school and choir and other responsibilities that come with being an active college student, I offered to take care of the party planning.

And let’s be honest, my life makes more sense when I know what is going on (in detail), and what better way to know what’s happening than to plan it yourself? (Spoken like a true control freak. sigh…)

Obviously, there were some initial roadblocks. For one, the party would take place in Chicago, and I live in New York. For another, we were talking a fairly substantial group of girls (it ended up being about 25 people total). Fortunately, Annie has another bridesmaid who lives in the area who was on-hand to help with recommendations.

Here’s where we stayed, what we did, and how it held up (and a lot of photos that I stole from Susan’s Facebook album…ha):

Where we stayed: The Wyndham Chicago Downtown Hotel

{me preparing to do Annie’s makeup…Lauren doing…something ha}

Seven girls stayed in the hotel, so we booked two rooms. The hotel was nice enough to give us adjoining rooms, so we just propped open the doors and turned it into a giant suite. No complaints about the hotel! It was nicely located, fairly priced, and it even had nice soaps and stuff.They also let you order pizza and have it delivered to your room at two in the morning. Which might be a common occurrence in hotels, but this was the first time I had done it and was pleased to find there weren’t any issues.

Final grade: A

Where we ate: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba

{JAB reunites for dinner!}
{oooh…cake!}

One of Annie’s favorite restaurants in Chicago, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba was a natural choice for dinner. Plus, it’s one of the few places in town that could accommodate our large group. We could have booked a private room, but we opted for a standard reservation (two tables) to save everyone money. Everyone ordered about two tapas each, and we got four pitchers of sangria for the table. The price ended up breaking down to be extremely reasonable (about $25 per person…we were really glad we hadn’t sprung for the private room), the service was great, and the food (and sangria) was delicious.

I also recommend a quality light-up sash for the bride at all times.

Final grade: A

How we traveled: Chicago Trolley & Double Decker

{the passersby were big fans of us}
{so much trolley excitement}
{craziness…this photo courtesy of Nick Miller :)}

OK, I just need to say this: If you’re planning a party for a group in Chicago, get a trolley. We had so much fun aboard this thing. Plus, we got to visit a few different bars without having to hoof it around town in heels. (Plus, you can bring drinks and whatever you like on the trolley. Need I say more?) Our driver, Erica, was super sweet and took great care of us. Highly recommend!

Final grade: A+

Where we partied: Howl at the Moon

{reaching up and pulling it down was Annie’s signature move}

We stopped at a few bars on the trolley (I remember one was called Cans, but another girl planned the stops and I can’t remember the name of the second bar), but afterwards we had a reservation at Howl, a dueling piano bar. It’s a popular spot for brides-to-be (I think we counted 17 bachelorettes total that night), so it’s of course a bit cheesy, but definitely a great time. Our reservation (which cost about $25 per person) allowed our group to cut the line, paid each person’s cover, got them one drink, and got the bride a stage call. Meaning the lovely Annie was serenaded (I believe she picked “Party in the USA.” Because she’s classy like that.) in front of everyone. We danced, we sang, and we completely lost our voices. Fun times for all.

Final grade: A

What I’m saying is, the night went perfectly. No one got lost, there was zero drama (despite being a group of about 25 girls…), and everyone had a great time. Definitely makes the four(ish) months of planning all worth the effort!

Sunday afternoon, we had a little shower for Annie at her friend Kelly’s apartment. (For food, I went with Panera bagels, a fruit salad I chopped up that morning, and cake pops made by another bridesmaid, Linda. It was all a hit.) Annie got a few presents, and we lounged around recounting our favorite moments of the night before. A pretty good Sunday by any standard.

I am just so relieved everything went so smoothly and everyone had a great time! Planning a party for that many people (from half way across the country) is a bit stressful, but Annie had a lot of fun, so it was completely worth it.

{the lovely bride and me}

Have any of you ever planned one of these? Any disaster stories to share?

Thanks for reading one of my blog’s most popular posts! Don’t miss my other DIYs and how-tos here. Welcome to Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One!

How to write the perfect thank-you note

If you’ve spent any amount of time with me, it probably will not surprise you that I’m a fan of etiquette.

I was not always this way. When I was little, and my grandma would send us fuzzy pajamas (the early years) or a check for new school clothes (when grandma realized teenagers are notoriously difficult to shop for), my mother would have to hassle me near to death to send the poor woman a thank-you note.

{source}

Because, trust me, I get it. Thank-you notes can be a hassle. You have to sum up gratitude in more words than, “Hey, thanks for this neat thing you got me here.” Because that is not enough words to fill up even the smallest stationery.

Fortunately for you, I have matured from my ungrateful youth and become somewhat of a connoisseur of thank-you notes. I have it down to a science, if you will. I have several friends that will consistently turn to me when writing their own thank-you notes. Yeah. I’m that good.

I should say that I actually truly believe in the thank-you note. I love receiving them, and I think it’s truly…disappointing that our society has more or less abandoned the practice in favor of a “thanks LOL” Facebook post. My 13-year-old niece sent me the cutest, sweetest thank-you note after I sent her a gift last week, and it totally made my day.

Which isn’t to say email thank-yous are rude. In the right setting, they can be more appropriate than the written version. And fortunately, what I’m about to share with you can work in both an online and a tangible setting.

BEHOLD! The patented Justine Thank-You Note Formula!

First, you have your intro. This will vary depending on how well you know the person. For job interview thank-yous, “Dear Mr. So-and-so” is just fine. For your friends, I like to use “My dearest, darlingest So-and-so.” Just to add a little flavor.

Next, you want to state outright what you’re thankful for.

I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how much I appreciated our conversation/you taking the time to interview me/that swell sweater you sent me/[insert what they did for you here] the other day.

This is your thesis statement. Your lede. This is what makes this a thank-you note. Next, you want a wax a bit about why exactly you are grateful.

I know you must be extremely busy (maybe add why you know they’re busy, relate to a personal experience, show you were paying attention, etc.), so it means a lot that you took the time to meet with me.

Or:

It was so thoughtful of you to remember our anniversary, and receiving your gift made our day.

Or whatever reasons you actually have for being grateful.

This next part is extremely important. You might say this is the part that separates your generic one-step-up-from-just-signing-a-Hallmark-card thank-you notes. You need to state something specific and personal to do with what this person did to show that this is a personal note to that person. For example, if you’re thanking someone for meeting with you for an informational interview, you might say:

I thought your opinions and advice on [insert relevant topic you discussed] were especially helpful.

Or, if someone got you a gift card to Target for a graduation gift, you could say:

Your generous gift will be so helpful as I start buying everything I’ll need to survive in a dorm next year.

At this point, I like to throw in a joke or aside to give the note a little more life. Obviously, the definition of “joke” changes depending on whether this is a letting to a potential employer or your great-aunt Helen, so use discretion. For example, in the aforementioned informational interview example, you might say:

As someone who has gone through the at-times trying task of finding a job, I’m sure you can appreciate how helpful it is to get advice from someone who has been so successful.

(Oh, did I not mention that this is also the place to slip in some subtle flattery? Just don’t be obnoxious with it — always, always, always be as sincere as possible.)

For that graduation gift, you might say:

It will be a big change living on my own (I’ll miss mom’s cooking for sure!), but this will definitely help ease the transition.

You might add an additional sentence of you met with someone who offered to do you a favor, and you want to remind them without sounding like you’re just writing them because you want them to do the favor. You might say:

I’m especially grateful for your offer to pass my resume on to your HR department. Please let me know if I can provide any other information to you.

How are you doing? Following me so far? We’re almost done. You’re down to the last few words. All you have to do is find a way to end this note without using the phrase, “Thanks again!”

Ugh. There is nothing worse than having to tack that on. You’re basically saying, “Welp, I see I have about three centimeters of this card left to fill out, but I have nothing more to say, so…see above!”

You don’t want to do that. And you don’t have to. Instead, use this last sentence to nod at the future.

Looking forward to seeing you at Janie’s wedding in May!

Or:

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Then, before you can say, “Best, Justine,” you’re home-free.

As you probably noticed, this whole thing takes about five sentences. Which is good because there are really only so many ways to express gratitude without getting repetitive but bad because each of those sentences carries a lot of weight.

For those of you who are not a fan of reading (in which case, get OUT of here), here are the cliff notes:

1. Greeting
2. Thank-you statement
3. Why you’re grateful/what you’ll do with the gift
4. Joke/Sincere flattery
5. Remind them about a favor (optional)
6. Sign-off without saying “thanks again!”

See? Not so bad now that you know what each sentence is supposed to do, right?

You’re welcome.

How to: Upgraded Macaroni & Cheese

Now, I don’t want to brag, but I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to macaroni and cheese.

I mean, sure. What red-blooded American can’t say that they’ve had the “blue-box blues” since childhood (well…accept those lactose-intolerant children…sorry about that)? But for me, mac and cheese is more than just a childhood favorite.

I like to think I’ve elevated it to an art form.

The trick to really good mac and cheese is to think of the pasta and sauce itself as more of a vehicle — a catalyst, if you will — for more substantial ingredients. Sure, we all know that what you really want to eat are noodles slathered in creamy cheese sauce, but if it’s combined with lean proteins and vegetables, well, you’ve got yourself a health food right there.

I mix a lot of things into my macaroni. Tuna, asparagus, chicken apple sausage, peas, mini meatballs — nothing is really off-limits. But last week, I discovered my new favorite combo.

1. Non-fat Greek yogurt. My husband jokes that I will put this stuff on literally anything. Well…he’s not entirely wrong. But when you swap this baby in for the milk and butter in your mac & cheese recipe…something magical happens. It turns out rich, creamy, and slightly tangy (the savory trifecta in a sauce). You feel like you’re eating something positively decadent, when really it’s just high in protein, calcium, and skips any fat or cholesterol you might get with other mix-ins. Basically, it’s a food of the gods.

2. Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese. I would be entirely remiss if I didn’t include my favorite prepackaged noodles. A college roommate introduced me to Annie’s, and I’ve never looked back. I’m sure someday I’ll branch out with my own noodles and cheese, but you can’t beat the simplicity of this. Plus, it’s organic, so…you can feel smug about that.

3. Broccoli. But not just any broccoli. I recommend roasting it first. Chop the florets into bite-sized pieces, toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil and some freshly grated sea salt and bake at 375 degrees (F) for about 13 minutes. Trust me, the roasting makes all the difference.

4. Chopped clams. I know clams aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like them, you have never liked them so much as you will like them in this recipe. It might sound kind of weird, but I found it delicious. You can also sub in flaked tuna if you aren’t ready to dive into shell fish.

The point is, you can really mix almost anything you like into mac & cheese, making it not only delicious, but incredibly versatile.

Anyone else have a favorite version to share?

10 Tips for the Perfect Dressing Room

When my dear friend Megan told me she was making over her dressing room, I immediately wanted to help.

Well, after I put aside my overwhelming feelings of jealousy that she had room for a dressing room, I immediately wanted to help. 🙂

She had seen my post on my ideas for my own bedroom decor, so I guess she trusted me to pull together a mood board for her. You guys know I love this stuff, so I jumped on the chance.

First, I had Megan send me a few pictures of the space currently.

Totally adorable right? Megan told me she wanted to capture a sort of Old Hollywood glamour-vibe, and told me this was her dream dressing room:

All together now: Oooooh! Ahhhh!

So I set out to give Megan a glamorous, vintage-y, romantic space with a touch of modern accessories to keep the look fresh. Here’s what I came up with:

Now, let’s break it down, shalllll we?

First things first, I think Megan needs to add some built-in storage on the side walls like we see in her dream closet photo. IKEA has a pretty inexpensive line of closet storage shelves and racks, called the Antonius Storage System, that I think would be a great start, along with a Billy bookshelf for shoes and purses.

Ok, on to the pretty stuff! I worked off of the existing Robin’s Egg Blue walls with crisp white molding and the rich, mocha floors to create a robin’s egg, teal, white, gold, and grey palette for the room. Next, I suggested adding these items:

1. Home Linen Grommet Window Sheer from Target ($17.99). Though I love how the two windows in the room let in a ton of natural light, Megan was (rightfully) a little concerned about undressing in front of her entire neighborhood. A few dreamy linen curtains will give her the privacy she needs without taking away from the brightness of the room.

2. Brass Tiered Pendant Shade from Urban Outfitters ($64). I initially started out looking for a crystal-esque chandelier for the room, but when I saw this bold pendant shade, I knew it was a winner. The geometric styling is great for giving the room a glamorous, yet contemporary look.

3. Accessories! Here, I’ve assembled a collection of details to dress up the space. These Tissue Tassels in Seaside ($30) would be great draped over the windows or above the vanity. As for the prints, I asked Megan where her favorite place to travel is (California) and I know she loves Disney, so I picked out this California Love State Print in Teal ($15) and this Cinderella Print ($12) to hang on the wall by the dressing area or near Megan’s shoe storage. I also love this Colors 35 by Cocoa & Hearts ($95). It’s no longer available, but I think we could make something similar.

4. Wall Caddy Shelf from Urban Outfitters ($19). Personally, I hate clutter on tables and desks. Which is why I’m loving these romantic wire wall caddies. I’m thinking Megan can hang a couple of them near the vanity to hold toiletries and accessories. (Bonus: With the addition of a few hooks, you could even hang jewelry off of it!)

5. Vanity mirror and accessories. I lumped these two items together because the images I have above are more for inspiration. I’d love to find Megan an antique gold oval mirror to hang on the wall above the vanity like this Gold Mirror from Amazon ($125). I actually have a similar rectangular version I found at Goodwill for about $20, so something like that would be ideal. I would also like to find her a vintage gold tray (like this Gold Filigree Tray, $15) or jewelry holder, like this Vintage Sky Blue Ceramic Flower Bowl ($10) to set on the vanity as a catch-all for rings, earring, and other small accessories.

6. Vanity and stool. While this vanity from Target is no longer available, I did find this Leksvik desk from IKEA ($125). It’s solid wood, so we could sand, prime, and paint it white, or check out thrift stores for a similar option with feminine lines and a drawer or two. The Simply Shabby Chic Classic Vanity Stool is from Target ($35.99), and we could recover the seat in a rich grey velvet for a bit more glamour.

7. Gray Chevron Lumbar Pillow ($14). Another modern detail we could throw in would be this trendy grey pillow, set on top of…

8. …this Lift Top Storage Ottoman in Cream from Target ($112.09). I see this under the far window as you walk into the room. It’s the perfect place to sit when you’re putting on your shoes, and you can keep linens and other accessories in the storage cavity. (Don’t you love a piece that does double duty?)

9. Chevron Gold Metallic Drawer Liners from Hammocks & High Tea ($25). See how in Megan’s inspiration photo every surface is covered in a glossy metallic paper? This adds style to the space and keeps the whole look cohesive. For all of the drawers and shelves Megan will be adding in, I think she should definitely consider covering them with a glittery paper, like this chevron version. Giving all those surfaces a consistent cover will give the room a pulled-together look — plus it’s a nice surprise every time you open a drawer!

10. Rens Sheepskin Rug from IKEA ($29.99). Finally, Megan should throw down a small, cozy area rug to give the room softness and break up the dark floor.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to get ready in a place like this (and hopefully Megan agrees!).

Do you have a dressing area in your bedroom or closet? (Or an entire room like lucky Megan?) What decor have you added to the space?

Don’t forget! You have until Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. EST to enter the Estylo Cufflinks Giveaway! The prize is pretty amazing (and perfect for anyone getting hitched this year), so be sure to check it out and leave a comment to enter.

How to: Inside-Out Stuffed Shells

I love happy accidents. You know, when you were thinking something was going to happen, but something else does, and it ends up being even better than what you expected?

Not sure why I just defined “happy accident” for you. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

So the other day, I came across a recipe for stuffed shells. I’ve never made them before, but my mom has made them, and I know I like them. I also have a rather Italian husband who is a fan of just about any pasta dish.

Obviously, this was fate.

So after skimming the recipe, I headed to the grocery store to procure the ingredients. Well…most of the ingredients.

Turns out I’m not the best skimmer. Because I managed to come home short an onion and some fresh chorizo. (What’s chorizo? It’s sausage. I only know that because I just looked it up when I wrote this. I had been assuming it was some kind of vegetable similar to an onion. I actually did have sausage on hand. Also, I’m an idiot.) And guess what? I also managed to leave the store without purchasing the shells. For my stuffed shells recipe.

Sometimes I really wonder about my brain.

Not to be deterred (and really craving the taste of stuffed shells at this point), I opened my pantry to see what I could substitute. And lo and behold, I actually had half a box of conchiglie, or mini shell pasta.

We were back in business.

I still didn’t have an onion or chorizo (whatever that was), but I figured I could make due.

And when I was done making up my little recipe, it was pretty stinking good. (The hubs can verify.) And that is the story of how Inside-Out Stuffed Shells came to be.

Here’s the recipe breakdown with photos:

Ingredients:

1/2-3/4 box conchiglie
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt (plus additional for seasoning)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (plus additional for seasoning)
Olive oil cooking spray
1 package frozen spinach (thawed in microwave)
1 1/2 cups low-fat ricotta
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1 egg white

Step One: Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add tomatoes and sugar and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then set aside.

{sauce simmering and pasta boiling}

Step Two: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Step Three: Combine spinach, cheeses, egg white, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Then mix in the tomato sauce.

Side note: If your “steam it in the bag” spinach tells you to snip a vent hole in the bag of frozen spinach before you start microwaving, it’s really a good idea to not miss that step and simply start microwaving the sealed bag because, I don’t know, it might explode and get spinach shards all over the inside of your microwave. Hypothetically. Not that I know anything about that. See also: I’m an idiot, above.

{cheeses, combined}
{spinach, added}

Step Four: Coat a baking dish with cooking spray (mine was about 6-by-10 inches) and add drained pasta.

Step Five: Add tomato and cheese mixture. Combine thoroughly. Bake pasta for about 30 minutes. (Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving so the sauce can thicken up.)

{baked}

And that’s it! At first I called it “deconstructed stuffed shells,” but then Joey goes, “So basically it’s like inside-out shells?” And I thought that name was catchier. So here we are.

{nom}

If you wanted to add in the missing onion and chorizo/sausage, simply brown them in the large saucepan of oil before adding the tomatoes and sugar, easy-peasy.

(Recipe adapted from this version.)

Have you ever accidentally invented something because you didn’t have the right ingredients on hand? Doesn’t it make you feel like a wizard in the kitchen? Share your happy accident recipes in the comments!