Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vegetable Soup

Obviously I love having birthdays. You get all sorts of delicious desserts, dinners on friends and drinks galore. However, all the induldging left me feeling a little bulging. So made up a pot of vegetable soup for dinners this week and it was a hit. Getting the Boy to eat soup is easier said than done. I'm super happy with the way it came out and am actually looking forward to going home and eating leftovers!

What you need:
1 can vegetable broth
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 zucchini, sliced
4 carrots, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 small red potatoes, chopped
handful of fresh green beans
1 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
A hearty dash of Red Hot and Worcestershire sauce

What you do:
1. In a large pot boil the carrots, garlic and potatoes for about 15 minutes. I like my green beans to have a little crunch to them so I wait to put them in. However, if you like yours softer, add now.
2. Next pour in tomato sauce, seasonings, Red Hot, Worcestershire sauce and 3/4 cup water. Stir.
3. Add in the rest of the veggies and simmer for 10-15 minutes until your desired consistency.
4. Top with cheese, croutons, or serve as is!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Self Portrait: January & Thoughts About Turning 28

28 was always that age I specifically thought about when I was in high school. Then, 28 was old. By then I’d be married. Possibly have a baby (or one on the way) – oh and definitely a dog. Definitely. I knew I’d never stay in Ohio, so California was my destination of choice. By 28, I’d surely be a Design Editor at a cool alternative newspaper, excel at my photography hobby and maybe sell some of my handmade purses on the side. I’d hope my sister and my best friend would be my neighbors and we’d plan our Summer vacations together.

The only thing that came true of my ideal 28-year-old-self (at age 17) was that I turned 28. There is no husband, no kids, no pets. I’m now an East Coast girl, not West Coast. I’ve been out of newspapers longer than I was in them and haven’t made a purse in years. My best friends live around the world and I’m not sure I’ll ever have ‘summer vacations.’

But, I wouldn’t trade anything for one second of the life that 18-year-old me envisioned. The boy and I are perfectly content as a twosome (for now :) and I’m happy to call the Virginia my home. I’m finally settling into my new 'Creative Director' career and felt food and repurposed vintage goods have found their way into my free time. I’ll admit, it is a bummer that my besties live so far away, but it gives me great opportunities to travel. Not-to-mention I’ve made some tremendous friends in my own backyard.

 So, hello 28. You're not a glimmer of what I would have imagine you'd be, but yet so much more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Musebles

You couldn't begin to imagine what 2 inches of snow does to this area. I grew up in Ohio where 2 inches of snow is a daily occurance during the winter months, so I'm used to driving in snow. I actually took my drivers license test during a snow storm - and passed! However, only a select few here are.

The hour-and-a-half drive home from work (10.4 miles) on Friday made we realize we wouldn't be making our trip to Richmond as we had planned. Saturday morning I, and friends we were planning on visiting woke up sick. Needless-to-say, we postponed the entire trip for another time.

So another Norfolk weekend it was...In between laying on the couch and watching movies, losing power, getting groceries and working on a few projects we managed to get out of the house for some lunch and photos of the Freemason Freezing.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Momentarily Obsessed With

1.  I've been give the job of designing a dear friend's wedding invitations...which I'm SO SO VERY excited to do. Not only because he's a close friend and the bride-and-groom-to-be are such amazing people, but they are fun, down-to-earth, creative people who will have some excitement and twist when coming up with their invites. Wedding Paper Divas has already given me some great inspiration for the job at hand, and (hopefully) many more to come!

2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail  My sister Adrienne gave me this book for Christmas and said it was the one book I had to read this year (one book, because I really only read about one full book per year). When a book can make you sob like a baby from page 2, I'm pretty impressed. This memoir of a 26-year-old woman hiking the PCT stirs up so many emotions (in a good way) and I have loved every second of it...and second to come!

3. grey nail polish  Not silver, not sparkly, just matte grey nail polish. I loved the idea when I saw it on Pinterest. I loved it when I found a bottle for $1 at the Dollar Tree. And I love it on my nails.

4. mackelmore & ryan lewis  Their latest song is my anthem. You really have to give it a listen a few times to get all the lyrics, but it's hilarious - and so true. Adrienne and I decided we had to learn every word to this song so we could rap the entire time of our next thrift shop visit. I spent some time checking out their other music and it's pretty good as well. Not to mention, they're two cuties!

5. st. ives face moisturizer  Now that I'm approaching my Late 20s I finally made the decision to invest in some skin care. After a few attempts at crappy and expensive face moisturizers I found this one in my mother's bathroom cabinet, tried it and loved it (no wonder she looks so young!). Hopefully I'll keep this 27-year-old Ashley face forever!

Felt Donuts

You probably wouldn't believe that with my huge sweet tooth, I'm actually not a fan of donuts! Definitely a bagel girl...but a felt bagel would be pretty boring which is why I went with the sweet breakfast alternative. I only ordered two of the donut containers, so this is just sort of a trial run. 

You can buy the whole set (6 donuts) with container over at the shop for only $15.50. I also make custom orders, so you pick your favorite six and I'll bake away!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Valentines!

'365 Ways to Say "I Love You"' was a little treasure I found a few years back at Beacon Books. I thought it was a little overpriced at $5, but I couldn't haggle with Tommy, the owner of the dilapidated book shop. The little hardback book is filled of ways to profess your love to your husband in the most outlandish ways you could imagine, in a 1960s setting.

"Sharpen the pencils on his home desk."

"Buy yourself a sweatshirt and Magic Marker his name on the front and back."

"Be late on purpose and leave notes saying you're hurrying home to him."

"Find out the answers to those little bitty "trivia" questions he's been bugged about."

It's almost ironic I even own this book, but the illustrations are killer. And to think, women probably bought this book and achieved all 365 ways. Anyway, I've carried this book around with no particular reason in mind, until a two weeks ago.Valentine's Day cards! So, now you can find your very own vintage Valentines at Kitsch. There are only 6 packs of cards (4 cards per pack) and run $7. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greek Quinoa

I find it a little strange I have never made (or tried) quinoa. It is and isn't, I suppose. Anyway, I recently made this creamy greek-ish concoction and became obsessed with it. The following makes a nice lunchtime portion and is only 354 calories.

What you need:
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbsp olives (your choice)
1 tbsp cream cheese
1/4 feta crumbles
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes

What you do:
1. Cook the quinoa as directed.
2. While the quinoa cooks, saute the onion, garlic and spinach. When the onion is soft, turn off the heat and add in the cream cheese and stir until melted.
3. Add in feta, olives and seasonings and mix well.
4. Lastly, stir in the quinoa. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Grandpa's Watch

I've been holding onto this watch for a couple of years now. Even though it's too big and doesn't tell time, I love it. And find myself wearing it quite often. I always wonder exactly what "Thursday the 15th" it stopped working. Was it 6:20 in the morning or evening (date and time of when I originally got it)? Did my Grandpa pick out this watch? Was it a gift? I suppose I could figure out what Thursday that was, but as for the other questions, I'll never know.

I recently decided I wanted it fixed and suggested to Mike that be my birthday present. Three links out and a new battery, how easy of a birthday present is that? I knew he was going yesterday to the watch store so you can imagine my excitement to come home yesterday and see my brand new working heirloom. Right? Wrong. Turns out the watch is broken and a new battery won't do the trick. There is some mechanical issue that'll cost - get this - about $250! I was a little surprised how sad I felt when I heard that, but am positive my Grandpa never would have paid that much for a working watch to begin with. So, it'll remain my non-working mens watch, but at least now it fits!

January Cure: Day 23

Today's task was a bathroom clean out. By looking at our medicine cabinet, you'd think we had a houseful of people (mainly women) living here. But it's just two. Not only do we have a lot of products, but a surplus of them... I decided to get rid of the stuff we never use (or what's expired) and  was able to purge a lot of items. I organized medical stuff, hair stuff, nail polishes and so-on into bins, zipper pouches and our travel bags.

I'm not sure you can see any difference from "before" and "after" but it actually feels better. And, I was able to make the medicine cabinet mainly mine, and the shelf mainly Mike's (along with underneath the sink :).

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musebles

This was one of those weekends that left me extremely exhausted, and I didn't even get a whole lot done. I can't complain though, the weekdays have been flying by so I know in no time it'll be Friday again. I've found it helps to make a list first thing Saturday morning and try to stick to it all weekend, which kinda happened.

I was in need of a haircut so's been more than six months! So I went on Saturday and left with a lot less hair. I asked for 2-3 inches off, but somehow she heard 4-5. I'm not gonna lie, I freaked out for a couple minutes at home. But it's only hair, so I'm over it.

Saturday night we had a girls night wit some delicious homemade Mexican food and daiquiris. We got to catch up on a lot of good gossip and made it out to one of our favorite bars for drinks. New tip I learned when making daiquiris...go half and half daiquiri mix and half pina colada mix - yum!

Kelly surprised me with my favorite cookies as my (early) birthday present. And I'll have to admit, I'm glad she didn't get them all the way finished before I got there because we got to bake together. She couldn't find the black raspberry jam my mom typically uses, so she substituted red raspberry. Perfection!

After making the cookies we got some playtime with Thomas. Mike and I talked the whole way home about how awesome it is to see him growing and learning. He was mimicking sounds and clapping and even shaking his head when he didn't want some food. He's a smart little guy - not that I would expect anything different :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Arrivals


I'm very excited to announce we've added a new artist to Fairview Place, my sister, Adrienne. For years she has been making adorable little bracelets for me and my friends and she's finally taking my advice and going to sell them. Her most recent handiwork has been named Cosmic Bracelets (the dark collection). I love that no two bracelets will ever be the same. She's collected these beads from all of her worldly travels, which make the final product even more unique. Get 'em while you can...she's leaving for another journey soon and we'll be out of stock until she gets back :)

Check out the set of three and set of two.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

"The Monster at the End of This Book" and "The Poky Little Puppy." Two of my childhood favorites! I managed to score these two, along with "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Red Hen" for 50 cents a piece. Looks like there will be some new greeting cards in the near future!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Musebles

Walk and coffee date with Susie at Stella Cafe.
Can I just live in that coffee shop? I love it there.
How is it Monday already?! How is it January 14th already? I suppose when you keep your weekends packed to the brim with happy hours, sporting events, card games, crafting and cleaning you don't have time to realize where the time is going. No complaints here though. Best part of the weekend? Staying in on a Friday night to play card games with friends :)
We had to Google the rules to this (drinking) game...
and it was so worth it!
Flower stop at Norfolk Wholesale Floral. 4 sunflowers for $4
Chinese food for dinner on Sunday. We decided only one is really a fortune.

Finished up the order of 6 pasta sets and a pizza set.
Even added green peppers to the pizza slice...yum!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

January Cure: Week 2

This week was a particularily productive week around the house, although most of the doing happened on the weekend. Midweek, we were tasked with picking some art to frame in our house. Our walls are pretty much covered, so another piece of art really isn't an option. I have wanted to print family pictures to have around the house for a long time, so I took that as my framing art chore. We had all the frames in storage, so I got them out and dusted them off. I spent $6 in printing the photos and an hour washing, positioning and staging.

A big thanks to him - he gave up most of his Sunday to
help me clean and purge the closet. Why?
"Whatever makes the Babes happy," he says :)

For the weekend, we were given the kitchen to clean. Since our kitchen is brand spanking new, we haven't had time to gather too much crud. However, the microwave needed a good scrub and I threw out some old food containers in the fridge and cleaned the oven. I went to buy flowers from my beloved Norfolk Wholesale Floral, but was too late to grab any fancy bouquets. Instead, I grabbed a few sunflowers (only $1 each) and added them to my existing flowers.

The biggest task of the week for us was to pick a room (or a big task off the list). We went with the office. I had brainstormed about moving the clothes rack and adding an extra shelving unit, but because of certain measurements we weren't sure if everything was going to fit. Sure enough, it did! We only spent $50 in the process and it feels like we have an entirely new room. My apologies - I know, I still have a huge mess on my desk, but I'm in the middle of a big order!! I still want to look for a new rug and organize my craft stuff a little better, but we're already so impressed with what $50 and a little idea can do.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Did you ever eat elephant ears as a kid? You remember that big paper plate overflowing with the layered cinnamon sugar bread? Oh yeah, between those and the funnel cakes we were in heaven at the local Days in the Park. I was pretty excited when I found a recipe for something similar to those elephant ears...cinnamon pull-apart bread. I tweaked mine to use store-bought crescent rolls instead of making my own dough, other than the look, the end result was awesome (mine didn't get super fluffy, you could try using pastry puff - or show me up and make your own dough).

What you need:
1 tube crescent rolls
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla
flour for dusting

 What you do:

1. Roll out your crescent dough and pinch the seams together.

2. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Melt the butter and vanilla together and brush onto dough. Generously sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture. 

 3. Cut the dough into squares, size or shape doesn't really matter.

 4. Stack the squares on top of one another, alternating positioning.

 5. Layer the dough in a pre-greased bread pan. Pour the remaining vanilla/butter mixture and top with extra cinnamon and sugar. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes (or until done). Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Color Therapy

I've decided I need to look at more pretty things, so I'm starting this monthly (maybe more) Color Therapy post. To kick the New Year off, I'm actually not going with a color and doing all things that sparkle. Why not, right? 

[1, 2, 3]

 [1, 2]

 [1, 2, 3]

[1, 2, 3, 4]

Feel better now, don't you? Here's to a bright and shiny New Year to each and every one of you :)