Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

 Just had to share a couple photos a recent customer sent to me. She bought Fairview Place felt peanuts to complete her son's elephant costume for Halloween. Aren't these just adorable? She is entering him in an Animal-themed Costume best of luck to her and little elephant!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Music Monday

A few spooky tunes for a Happy Halloween. Hooray for Monday!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kitsch Autumn Crap Swap

This weekend is the Quarterly Craft Swap at Kitsch. What does this mean? Well, all you crafters out there can bring your gently used supplies to the shop and swap out for new goodies. Even if you don't have anything you want to get rid of at the moment, donating is not necessary. It's a great way to gain some new materials without shelling out the cash.

Plus, for this Swap, Kitsch is also featuring a Handmade Halloween Costume contest - all ages are encouraged to participate (even our furry friends). The fun begins tomorrow at 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and again on Sunday. You definitely don't want to miss this event!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I'm excited to show off my newest creations, which have been handcrafted for a great cause! I was asked to donate some Fairview Place goodies for the Crystal Ball for a Cure silent auction. Since the event is always held at the Oceanfront (this year it's at the Contemporary Art Center in Virginia Beach), we decided to go with an ocean theme. We're putting together a baby basket with lotions, wash clothes and fish-shaped baby toys, along with my handmade ocean-themed quilt and "Ocean Pals" quiet book.

I could not be more honored and ecstatic to be apart of such a great event. I went a few years ago and it's so much fun, now they've given it a Halloween theme and encourage attendees to dress up. If you want to buy a ticket there is still time, check out the details here.

If you'd like to custom order a themed baby quilt or book, please shoot me a message. And don't forget to check out all the handmade goodies over at the shop.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Beer Tasting Night

My friend Susie and I decided to hold a little beer tasting night at my place last week. It turned out to be quite a success with more than 10 different beers, a dinner potluck and pumpkin carving to boot! I created this beer tasting list for our attendees to keep track of their favorites. If you click, you can download your own blank version.

Turns out the crowd loved the Ichabod Pumpkin Ale and the Dogfish Punkin. We were pleasantly surprised by the Woodchuck Pumpkin (mostly because it's a hard cider), and Richmond's Legend Oktoberfest was also very tasty.

At the last minute, we decided to carve the pumpkins inside. I keep forgetting that it's not staying light till 9 o'clock anymore! We spread out newspapers all over the floor and carved in the living room. I was pretty impressed with the quickness and talent of our group :)

It's a nice mid-week treat to have a potluck with friends, drink a few new brews and carve pumpkins. I think we'll make to make this a yearly tradition.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BSqaured Creations

A little while ago I received a package from my bestie with a pair of these amazing earrings inside (along with a super fun handmade card/booklet). Do you see what they are? That's right! Gift cards! They are an original design from Brittany Barkdull of BSqaured Creations. You wouldn't believe how many compliments I get every time I wear them and I should, because they are so darn unique!

Brittany just recently launched her very own Etsy store where you'll find an assortment of these love-at-first-site earrings and her (also very original) photo slide lamp shades, although these cuties will only be available for local pick-up.Those will be coming soon - I have to give you something to look forward to!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Travel Woes

I was flipping through pages of my most recent Travel+Leisure magazine and became a little discouraged when I saw the '101 Places Every Traveler Should Know' article. Granted, I knew about most of these places, but on the last page of the article there was a checklist to see how many you'd been to.

14. 14! Out of 101 places, I've only been to 14!

Honestly, I have no desire to go to Antarctica. And it's extremely difficult to get to the Galapagos Islands these days. But what about the other 85 places? How does anyone find the time (and money) to do all this traveling? I've decided I need to make more of an effort to do traveling. Obviously weekend trips to Dubai won't work out, but adventures to the in-country sights are definitely do-able. Now to decide what US city will be first on the travel list... How many can you cross off the list? Where would your next stop be?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

I stopped at the Stanley Adams going out of business sale at lunch today. And I'm so happy I did! I scored this sweet Kate Spade daily planner for only $5 (originally $95)! Plus some other cute notebooks, cards and envelopes for super cheap. Gotta love the lunchtime bargains!

New Pumpkin Dip

I've switched up my pumpkin dip recipe this year to be a bit more healthy. I know, old faithful is super delicious, but it sits heavy on your stomach with all that cream cheese. I tried out a new "skinny" version and and pretty pleased with the results!

What you need:
1 can pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 oz fat free Greek yogurt
8 oz fat free Cool Whip
graham crackers (or apples) for dipping

What you do:
1. Mix the pumpkin with sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
2. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Fold in Cool Whip and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekend in the Woods


Time for our annual camping weekend to the Shenandoah. This year we had a total of nine hikers, including my seester and her friend! 


We tried out a new cabin (and location), which I'm totally in love with. The cabin was originally built and used in the 1920s by conservationists who starting making all the trails. Do you see this view? It would never get old. And right on the Appalachian Trail!

We survived the more-than-10-mile hike (originally sold to us as a nine-mile hike) to see a waterfall, a cemetery, dilapidated cabins and a true rock scramble (never meant to doubt you, John).

It's tradition to have a spaghetti dinner with garlic bread, however this year, John added tofu sausage to mix things up a bit. I took the Mama role by running the fire and dishing out dinner.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Packaging

I was out to find new packaging for my felt sushi and stumbled upon Plastic Container City. For those of you in the business of buying packaging for food (real or fake), you have to check it out. What's great about this web site for me, is I can buy as small or big of quantity as I want. I bought 20 sushi boxes, then found these and bought just two (for prototyping purposes, not the real thing).

This site turned out to be a magical place for me (yes, I really do get that excited about food containers). I found doughnut boxes, french fry cartons, takeout containers, chopsticks, bakery twine and more! Now you also have an idea of the new products we'll be making later this month. My shipment arrived in just a few days and I'm so excited to start the new sushi line - with my first order going out today!

Thrifty Thursday Part 2

I bought these 1960s clown invites more than a year ago from a garage sale back home. I tried to sell them on Etsy, but no luck. I decided to upgrade them a little with some new vibrant cardstock and making them double sided invites, instead of the opening-card-type.

Now this is really a ONE of a kind invitation. Now you just have to persuade your son or daughter to have a clown-themed party... You can find these cuties at Kitsch, for just $10 for a set of 8.

Thrifty Thursday Part 1

I remember playing Battleship with my dad when I was a kid. Although, this isn't the super retro version with the children in their V-neck sweater sets playing on the box, I did only spend 98 cents on it! Plus, I need a total of eight games for "Board Game Olympics" night I'm putting together for the Downtown 100 next month. Now, if I could only find Connect 4 and Jenga for the same price!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Grilled Cilantro Tuna

I jazzed up this recipe a bit by adding teriyaki sauce, extra garlic and green onions. I let the tuna steak marinade for about 20 minutes, then grilled it on my grill pan. A super easy recipe for a quick dinner on a school night :)

What you need:
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
4 cloves garlic
2 green onions
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp water
salt and pepper

Mix everything in the blender and coat the tuna (or chicken, which is what I made for the boy), let marinade for at least 15 minutes. Grill, fry or bake with all the juices and serve immediately! 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music Monday

I'm going on the annual Wineberry/Charlottesville camping trip this weekend. Unfortunately, we won't be staying in Wineberry, but trying out a new spot...Regardless, I'm super excited. And here's some music to get my legs and mind ready for hikin'.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween-inspired Goods

I'm actually ahead of the game this October... My costume is 60% done (post to come on that next week). Plans for camping, Winefest, W&M Homecoming and our Halloween party are in order. AND I have my Halloween items already at Kitsch!

I sent five packs of greeting cards made from an old 1960s Zombie book. The book was actually taken by my sister's high school boyfriend in 90s and never returned. It's traveled around with me for ages and when I looked through it last month I realized half of the pages had been torn or ripped out. So, why not continue the process and make some sweet Halloween greeting cards.

I found the stamps at Michaels and AC Moore for $1 each. Now I need to keep my eyes out for Christmas and Chanukah versions.

From my stash of Halloween material I made some orange and green memory games. I dropped two sets off at Kitsch and have one online... Get them while you can, these are the only ones for this year!

The memory game pieces are approximately 2.5" squares, there 11 pairs and come with a little drawstring bag for easy storage.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kitchen Update

All aboard the kitchen train, next stop counter tops, sinks and faucets.

I think all this kitchen stuff is getting to my head. Anyway, the next task is to decide on counter tops. Barney's counter top guy can get us a really nice laminated surface with beveled edges, cut for a sink, and installed for roughly $25 psf. Our landlord's friend's company deals specifically in granite and we're thinking he can get us a remnant piece for a good price. We're still out for a final estimate on that... However we have to have the company deliver and install, which could potentially set back the timeframe a little. Laminate is definitely the cheaper (and easier) route to take, but granite does look quite nice. Ultimately, the call is up to the landlady.

(left) front apron, (right) copper sink

As far as sinks go, I've ruled out the stainless steal. I really love the copper and apron front sinks, but that's just not an option for our kitchen. I picked out a few acrylic sinks I really like. We are going with a 23" sink, so the two basins might not really work for us, but hey, it's worth a shot!

Our last step is to pick out a faucet. Since we went with black matte hardware on the cabinets, I'm sticking with the same for the faucet. Of course, it really depends on the sink. Two of the options above wouldn't allow for a wide base. But, we'll for sure go with the pull down sprayer/faucet in one.

Acorn Squash Curry

This certainly does not look appetizing, but it really is, I promise!

I found a Martha Stewart recipe via Pinterest, but had less than half the ingredients it called for. However, I did have an acorn squash that needed to be used, so I made some substitutions and am pretty happy with my results. Plus, I have lunch for the entire week!

What you need:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
2 cups cauliflower (I used frozen)
1 lb acorn squash, cut into 1" cubes
1 cup corn (black beans, or the original recipe called for lentils)
2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
salt, pepper and a few hits of hot sauce

What you do:
1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
2. Add the curry powder and stir constantly for 1 minute.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
4. Serve with a sour cream, plain non-fat yogurt and/or feta cheese.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Music Monday

Happy Monday! Cheers to M83 and Sun Airway for rockin' the Norva last night.