Wednesday, November 28, 2012

God has called this beautiful soul to heaven.

Throughout the years I’ve written a lot of posts about my Grandma Barb.

Her recipes (slush, coleslaw , peach cobbler and scalloped potatoes), her recipe-box-inspired cookbook, the cute pig cookies, DIY cosmetic bags and scarves, naming my store after her and my feelings about her first getting sick.

My favorite by far, were the photos I took in her house a couple years back. The whole time she was skeptical of my intent to take these photographs, giving me a crooked eye and getting up once to follow me with her walker. I knew one day these photographs would mean more than most photos I take. Sadly, that day is today. Grandma Barb passed away a little after 2 p.m.

It's amusing how my normal daily activities have reminded me of funny and joyful memories of my Grandma the last couple days. Like the time I dyed her hair (I was about 8) and used her ears to turn her head, you know to make sure the dye was everywhere. Or when we played putt-putt and lied about our scores to my Grandfather - which he totally called us out on. How, for the longest time, she didn't believe I was her granddaughter because I didn't like chocolate! And when we spent days in her damp basement making baby doll clothes that I ended up using for my stuffed kitty cat. Moments I hadn't thought about in years, but make me smile and grateful for the thousands of memories I have just like those.

In the next several days we'll be planning to say good-bye to her in a way she'd appreciate. But, I have to keep reminding myself this isn't a time to be sad, it's a celebration of her amazing life. In her 85 years she managed to travel to 49 states (and has pictures to prove it)! She never had a bad word to say about anyone. Okay, well maybe one (but it would be so quiet and hush that you wouldn't be able to hear it...for some reason that's the way women in my family talk about others?). She was an avid reader, knitter, sweets connoisseur, great care-package-sender and all-around cheerful person. It goes without say, but we'll all miss her dearly. I feel comfort in knowing I have an amazing angel looking over me now.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Monday

Today's playlist inspired by the local With Lavender and Lace shop. Happy Monday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

New on Fairview Place

Throwback 70s Plaid Vest, $17

I remember when I first started Fairview Place it was all vintage and thrifted items. I had always planned to introduce clothing into the mix, but never wanted to commit all the time to searching, mending and measuring the items. However, the last week I've been preparing the clothes for their big debut on FP and cannot wait to show you these lovelies! Be sure to check the shop this week and support your local businesses!

 1960s Grey and Red Ruffled Dress, $23

 Gradient Pink Mesh Dress with Black Polkda Dots, $27

1980s Roffe White Ski Jacket, $45

Vintage Handmade Angora Womens Sweater, $22

Tan Showoffs Kitten Heels, $14 and Gold Seychelles Peep Toe Pumps, $25

1950s Blue Plaid Pancho, $26 and Red Wool Winter Coat by Jill Jr., which already sold!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thomas Time!

I hate to brag, but we've got the cutest nephew EVER! We got to spend some time with him and the rest of the family this weekend for an early Thanksgiving. Thomas and I spent a lot of time jamming with his musical toys and shaking his rattle blocks. 

Even Uncle Mike got to cuddle with him a bit, adorable, right?
Almost makes me want to have one of my own. Almost ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Monday

The Pagoda in Norfolk, Va.

Three-day work weeks make Mondays tolerable. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Table Seven

A new antiques and vintage shop, Table Seven, is making its grand entrance into the Ghent community today. I was lucky enough to receive a special invite to the Private Preview Party on Sunday and what a gem!

The shop, located by the Taphouse on 21st Street in Ghent, is a quaint little space with lots of character. The exposed brick and duct work, the concrete floors and the beautiful lighting give the store a great background for the loads of antique goodies arranged around.

You'll find something for every budget - and taste. And what a great place to buy a unique wedding or baby gift (be sure to check out the Nursery Rhyme Hieroglyphics). As the holiday shopping season approaches, I'd suggest you support the local scene and stop by Table Seven, it'll be worth it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sauteed Veggies & Couscous

I made a big batch of this couscous to take to work with me for lunch. It was super simple to make, filling and pretty versatile. Serve with hummus, cheese in a pita, in lettuce wraps or just by itself.

What you need:
1 cup of couscous
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup corn
1/2 cup mushrooms (fresh or canned)
1/4 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

What you do:
1. Prepare the couscous according to the directons.
2. Saute the corn, mushrooms, onion, and garlic on medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until veggies are tender.
3. Add the cooked couscous, black beans, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of olive oil. Mix thoroughly and serve hot.

If you want to make some quick hummus, mix together a can of chickpeas, 2-4 tablespoons of the chickpea liquid, 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced and 3 oz low-fat cream cheese.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Reuben Dip

Have you heard of Closet Cooking? It's a blog dedicated to cooking delicious meals in a closet-sized kitchen. Just my kind of blog! However, even if you don't have a tiny kitchen, the recipes and concoctions Kevin, the author, comes up with a to die for. I recently tried his reuben dip, but made a few alterations for the veg-heads out there. It's so tasty and perfect for the Autumn weather we're having.

What you need:
1 cup sauerkraut
4 oz cream cheese (I used low-fat)
2 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a mix of sharp cheddar and pepper jack)
1/4 cup Russian dressing
pumpernickel bread

What you do
1. Combine everything in a oven-safe dish, reserving a few tablespoons of the shredded cheese.
2. Mix well and top with extra cheese.
3. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
4. Toast slices of the bread and serve hot.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday, Monday

These past two weeks have been crazy! We've had out-of-town visitors, traveled, partied, dined, dressed up (and down), played in a hurricane and finally started remodeling our kitchen.

As I'm sitting here for the first time in 12 days not worrying about entertaining I realized there's actually one more day to go before all the worrying can stop. Tomorrow is Election Day. A LOT of things could change. I'm not going to sit here and preach about who to vote for, because it's none of my business. Everyone has his or her reasons for voting the way they do and that's perfectly fine. That's what make America so great, right? So, do the right thing, get to the polls and vote (and if you live in Virginia Beach, vote for Light Rail :).

I've found The Virginian Pilot's online voter guide, so if you're still undecided, or just have no idea who to vote for Senate, check it out. It's worth a look.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Autumn Garland Class at Kitsch

This weekend I'll be teaching an Autumn-inspired class...we'll be making this cute leaf garland, either 3' for decorating your home or your head (for you hippies out there ;).

The class will be held at Kitsch on November 4 at 1 p.m. and only costs you $10....which includes all your materials. It'll be a nice way to spend the Fall afternoon and you even get your daily crafty kick! Be sure to sign up at Kitsch or call in your reservation.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Costume Breakdown

I finally got my wish. The dragon and knight costumes. I've been asking Mike to do this since we first met and finally (four years later) we transformed ourselves - and seven of our friends - into the most awesome medieval court I've ever seen. See what a little convincing can do?!

Mike's costume was actually handmade from his father's girlfriend quite a few years back. Talented lady, right? At the last minute we realized he didn't have a sword or shield so Shawn (who flew in from Portland for the occasion) and I whipped them up out of beer boxes and aluminum foil.

Shawn claimed the Jester costume early on in the process. She bought the dress from a thrift store and made all of her accessories! Can you believe that? I absolutely adore the shoes (which had bells at one point). And her mini Jester hat is actually made from a yogurt container - definitely my favorite part of the costume. We made her staff from a wrapping paper tube while watching The Addams Family (part II) and eating quesadillas. What a glorious evening.

As for my costume, it took a little more work. I bought the dress at Burlington Coat Factory for $15. I found a children's dragon cape costume at a thrift store ($7), but shortly realized I couldn't just wear that and call it a day. So I got wings from the Dollar Tree ($1) and added cereal boxes, coat hangers, pipe cleaners, green fleece ($2) and the cape material. I created the mask from a paper mache base I bought at Target ($2), and collaged it with crepe paper ($1) and the cape fabric using Modge Podge. The shoes are also from a thrift store ($1.50) and I spray painted them ($4) to match. Finally, I used the leftover cape material to make little hand covers (velcro and a pipe cleaner ring kept them on). So I was right around $35 for the entire costume. One of the more expensive costumes I made lately...but the dress is pretty kickass so I'll get some use of that.