Friday, March 29, 2013

Momentairly Obsessed With...

retro spring dress.  I'm absolutely dying for Spring over here. I'm over tights and scarves and the bitter cold mornings. I just want to slip on a sundress and get my bare legs under those warm rays. Until I can do that, this dress takes me to that place.

wraparound watch.  Yeah, I know, I already have a gold watch. But, let's be real, one just isn't enough. And I bet this would fit perfectly in one of those little plastic Easter eggs. I wouldn't even ask for multiple eggs, just one!

JT's 20/20 experience.  Mike was the most awesome boyfriend to surprise me with this CD earlier this month. Not gonna lie, it contains some baby-making music...but also some excellent Motown-style jams and I just can't get enough of!

illustrated coffee cups.  Aren't these cups killer? I am fantasizing about all the different designs I could create to cover to-go coffee cups...Wouldn't that be a super cute idea for cups at a wedding hot chocolate bar? Obviously I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. Also, check out this blog in general, great inspiration and beautiful design with every post!

cadbury mini eggs.  I have a love/hate relationship with these little sweets. I love them to death and hate that I can't stop after 3 (or 4, or 7). It's really the only Easter candy I can't live without (and does anyone find it a little disturbing to know that Cadbury is owned by Hersey?).

bling band.  I think there comes a time when you deserve to treat yourself to something very pretty and extra nice. And I think this ring could do the trick! Super cute and dainty, if there ever comes a day when I actually have a real wedding ring, it would stack nicely. Okay, so two eggs in the Easter basket, the watch and this :)

30 Days of Lists: Day 29

Day 29: I'm Grateful for:
Creative freedom
Supportive parents
My health
Non-picky tastes
College education
Roof over my head
Sense of travel

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

The tease of a photo my Mom texted me while in the store.

In a far away land called Amish Country (Berlin, Ohio), there's a place called Zinck's. It's a family-owned fabric and textile wholesale heaven, that I'm not sure I should even be sharing! My mom and I would travel the hour and half to this craft mecca to score some awesome deals. When I explained the Better Block project to my Mom, we both agreed I needed a Zinck's to help supply by pop-up.

Being the awesome Mom she is, her and my stepdad took a trip down to Amish Country one Saturday and perused the 17,000 sf warehouse for items for Fairview Place. From the photos she sent and pictures I saw on their website, it's definitely changed so much since the last time I was there. The duo spent an hour gathering up random items from my wanted: craft items list.

I was lucky enough to get a care package full of crafty goodness in the mail just a few days later! Everything from lace to buttons, pom poms to interfacing. I've already put most of the stuff to a good home in my Fairview Place pop-up pile....and what makes this so thrifty is that it was a "donation to the cause." Gotta love that :)

In a side note, I was explaining Amish Country to Mike - the buggys and homemade cheese, meats and awesome restaurants and shops. He's totally agreed to go with me the next time we're home, so I see a visit to Zinck's in my future! Woot woot!

30 Days of Lists: Day 28

Day 28: This week I choose to:
Work my butt off
Skip sleep
Overbook my time
(make time to) Workout

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 27

Day 27: Quotes getting me through the month:
Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you.
- Walt Witman

She runs the gamut of emotions, from A to Z.
- Dorothy B. Parker

All the things I love is what my business is all about.
- Martha Stewart

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
- Abraham Lincoln

Easy Pot Pie

I saw these Progresso Meal Starters on sale at the Teet last week, thinking they'd be great for easy dinners throughout the week. I put it to the test and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome...mostly surprised because Mike loved it was well! The whole process took about an hour, which isn't too terrible, since we had leftovers for lunches.

What you need:
2 pre-made pie crusts
1 can Progresso Meal Starters, creamy roasted garlic
3 red potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup corn (canned or frozen)
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup shredded cheese
salt, pepper, thyme

What you do:
1. Boil the potatoes and carrots for 20 minutes or until tender. While the veggies cook, boil the chicken until thoroughly cooked. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
2. Lightly grease an 8-inch pie dish. Spread the first pie crust out and bake a few minutes.
3. Once potatoes are cooked, drain water and add in garlic sauce, cheese, corn and chicken. Season with salt and pepper and pour into pie crust. Top with remaining pie crust and bake for 20 minutes or until dough is a flaky, golden brown.

*To make the recipe vegetarian, sub chicken with fake meat substitute or another 2 cups of vegetables. Note, the garlic sauce is made with chicken broth, so the recipe cannot be 100% vegetarian.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just What's Going On

M Studio has a great setup. Clean, easy, display makes it look like they have a lot of product...which is exactly what I need.

I realized that I have mentioned the Norfolk Arts District and the Better Block here on the blog, but I haven't really described my role in the projects. The Better Block is a revitalization project aimed at improving an area of a city that has a lot of potential. This area happens to be one block of Granby street, from Olney to Addison. 

Have lots of vintage ribbon and lace to sell, could use this format.
DIY display using tin trays, hot glue and candle sticks. Painted your desired color.

The week leading up to the event is used to clean up, paint, add art, make pop-up businesses and plan a weekend that shows the community what the district could be with help from the area businesses, landlords, tenants and general public. At the Better Block meeting earlier this month I was asked to help Kitsch and Glass Gardens in their retail pop-up for the weekend of April 12th. Our pop-up will be a mix of handmade retail, re-purposed terrariums, workshops and demos, a craft lounge and a locally-owned craft supplies store - i.e. Fairview Place.

Glass Ball Jars and bakeware to hold pencils, crayons, glue and markers.

Lots of paint brushes in old clay jars.

You can imagine I was elated for this news, and also a little apprehensive about how this whole project would come together. I have a decent amount of vintage and gently used craft supplies I've been hoarding over the years, but enough for a pop-up to show the community!? With the help of Pinterest and the estate sales I've been mentioning, my display actually is coming together very well.

Wire baskets full of fabric scraps. May do this, on a smaller scale.

Ribbon board, might be better for a "gift-wrapping station."

Tiered muffin or cupcake plates to display balls of yarn.

I plan on having a small sampling of a variety of crafty items. Thread, fabric, zippers, needles, embroidery floss, papers, ribbon, lace, yarn, needles, scissors and much more! The Better Block is still three weeks away, but there's no doubt in my mind it will be here before we know it. I'm looking forward to meeting with my fellow pop-up tenants this week to discuss more details of our Craft Lounge and start mapping out our plan of attack. Wish me luck!

30 Days of Lists: Day 26

Day 26: Last Year at this Time, I was...
Working for myself
Planning our NOLA trip
Making fabric books
Returning from Arizona

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Musebles

Art books full of how-to diagrams, $2.

I took Estate Shopping to a new level this weekend. I spent more than hour on Friday diagraming out my sale route, with driving directions and a map to boot. My friend Susie and I left around 8:30 and hit up about five or six sales.

Box of more than 120 spools of thread for $10. I needed that.

I managed to enter a family's house, that was not in fact an estate sale (in my defense, the signs were very confusing)...still not sure who was more surprised - me or the 8-year-old boy. I almost ran over a man who was stupidly close to a moving car and gave me the dirty look. We smelled odors on humans we should never (ever) smell. I discovered some super nice (and not so nice) neighborhoods to potentially consider for our eventual house hunt. But best of all, I got  great friend time adventuring around curious scenes for a morning.

Children's and Chanukah books, Boy Scout manuals, Esquire Bartending Guide, $4.

Oh, and we got some decent deals too! I also managed to get my name on two more Estate Sale Company's mailing list, so I'll be able to keep up my weekend sales attack :)

Box full of paint pallettes, clothes pins, tags, bags and cards, $2.50.

30 Days of Lists: Day 25

Day 25: When face with a tough decision, I...
I call my mom and ask her opinion
Make a pros and cons list
Stress out
Worry a lot
(Finally) Decide with confidence
Never look back

Sunday, March 24, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 24

Day 24: Pets (past and present)
Sneezie & Puddles (Guinea pigs)
Buckwheat (stray black cats)
Dart (newt)
Opium (mouse)
Luca and Boots (cats)
Greta & Tucker (parents dogs)
And a hamster, rabbit and guinea pig I can remember the names of...!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 23

Day 23: Past Injuries
Lucky for me, I haven't had any legit injuries! Although I have some illnesses and surgeries, so I guess I will count those....
Pink eye
Wisdom teeth out
Hip pain

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pack of Mini Cupcakes

I have been waiting for this moment for a long time (and you thought I was going to say I'm engaged...haha). My reveal of the felt mini cupcakes! I've been planning what these little lovelies were going to look like in my head since I bought the container several months ago. Finally, I got around to making the desserts come to life. 

There are 12 cupcakes in all in the following flavors:
German Chocolate
Carrot Cake
Pink Lemonade
Red Velvet
White Chocolate 
Dark Chocolate
Red Raspberry
Peanut Butter Chip

These cuties measure 2" tall and 2" at its widest point. The designs are all my own - even the pattern which took forever to get right! Set includes plastic carrying case and I can design to fit each individual party, taste or occasion.

30 Days of Lists: Day 22

Day 22: Roadtrip Playlist
Vogue - Madonna
Sherry - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
She's Crafty - Beastie Boys
Good Vibrations - Beach Boys
Cavalier Eternal - Against Me!
Call to Arms - Angels and Airwaves
Hello, goodbye - the Beatles
Annie Waits - Ben Folds Five
We Came to Dance - Gaslight Anthem
Cry Me a River - JT
Bartenders and Waitresses - the Fastermores
Blue Jeans - Ladytron
Heaven Aint Hard to Find - Tupac

Felt Onion Rings

Here's the thing, I love onion rings. Absolutely love them. But honestly, I can't remember the last time I ordered them at a restaurant. They seems like so much a bigger commitment than French fries and I usually can't convince someone to share an order with now I have my very own felt version, whenever I want :)

These will be sold individually from the sandwiches, and come with the paper cartoon, packaged in cellophane and normal tag. $8 for a set of 6.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

30 days of lists: Day 21

Day 21: Today's weather reminds me of...
Ball State
How I miss Summer

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 20

Day 20: I Do Not Regret
Speaking my mind
Standing up for others
Quitting life to travel
(occasionally) Putting my needs first
My only tattoo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cauliflower Alfredo

I love Alfredo sauce, but never make it much because it's not super healthy (or really healthy at all :). A recipe I found on Pinterest said to use cauliflower as your base, I was a little skeptical at first honestly. But, this is definitely a keeper. Mike suggested to add in some leftover shrimp and top with Parmesan cheese - delicious!

What you need:
1 pound pasta of your choice
1 large head cauliflower
6 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp onion, chopped
olive oil
1/4 cup cream
splash of hot sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
a pinch of nutmeg

What you do:
1. Chop the cauliflower and rinse well in a strainer. Boil the florets in the veggie broth for at least 20 minutes (15 minutes is fine if you're in a rush, but the longer you can wait, the better).
2. While the cauliflower is boiling, start cooking pasta as directed.
3. In a sauce pan, saute the minced garlic and onion for 5 minutes. When the cauliflower is cooked, drain, reserving about 2 cups of broth. Transfer veggies to a blender with 1 1/2 cup broth. Start blending, you may need to add more liquid if the mixture is too thick. Once you've reached your desired consistency, add in olive oil and spices and pulse a few more times.
4. Bring blended mix back to sauce pan, add cream and cook over low heat. Keep warm until pasta noodles are ready, combine both and serve immediately.

*The original recipe the sauce will tend to dry out when you go to reheat it. You can add a shot of water or a little (spray) butter to help make it creamy again.

30 Days of Lists: Days 18 & 19

Day 18: So Far this Year, I have...
Worked through pain (my old lady hip problems)
Taken on a lot of responsibility
Saved monday
Started the house process
Somewhat worked out
Started making travel plans

Day 19: In the Next Year, I will...
Get in Summer shape
Allow myself to say No!
Enjoy life
Continue saving money
Go on a vacation
Go to the doctors
Buy a house

Monday Musebles

Newest addition for the craft shop section at Better Block...Paper Parcels.
Packs of new, vintage papers including scrapbooking, doilies, envelopes, sheet music, flash
cards, stickers, button cards, graph paper and more.

Lately I feel like I've been running a race and I just can't keep up (i.e. this post coming to you today - instead of Monday)! My daily to-do list has been more like a novel and at the end of the day I'm struggling to cross anything off - and you know how bad that irritates me!

Left, display case/china cabinet for $70. Top right, hanging white shelf was only $14! Needed some work, but what a steal!
Bottom right, baby crib that hangs from the ceiling. I am dying to buy this for my mini bolts of fabric!

This past weekend I felt like I did a lot of nothing. A few projects got worked on, but none completely finished. I cleaned messes to make more, of a different variety. I went and saw some really lovely display pieces for the Better Block project, but didn't actually purchase anything. 

We're only naughty when it comes to running marathons ;)

But, by the time Sunday rolled around, I wasn't actually feeling too overwhelmed. A few of us girls went to cheer on a friend running the Shamrock Marathon.We didn't end up lasting too long...the weather was definitely not on our side. I'm still in awe about how someone could run for FIVE hours in those conditions. Or any conditions for that matter! Kudos to you Susie!

Fawn Street Studios. Loved this space...that spiral staircase with the skylights and disco ball?
Sounds like my kind of place to have a wedding!

Mike and I checked out the new Art Design Craft Norfolk show at the Fawn Street Studios. Then we headed over to Belmont for a beer and some BBQ (seriously delicious food here).

Passed on the green Bud Light for a new Third Shift. Pretty tasty.

No lies, I would drink this stuff if it were socially acceptable!

I spent the rest of the night with some Dexter (yeah, back on this train again) and measuring fabric for my mini bolts for the Better Block. As you can see, a lot of nonstop randomness going on around our house. I guess it's not a terrible thing...for now.

Left, mini bolts of fabric. Right, "spools" of lace for sale.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Music Monday

Happy Middle-of-the-Month Monday! Another great mix by my lovely sister, who is currently wandering the El Camino de Santiago. Kisses, Sis!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 17

Day 17: My Biography would include Tales Of....
Exotic lands
Fabulous Friends
Delectable Dishes
True Happiness

Saturday, March 16, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 16

Day 16: This Month's Soundtrack
Lots of Black Keys (the older stuff)
Ratatat - amazing work music
Mumford & Sons
Justin Timberlake (soon-to-be, after I buy his new album :)  

Friday, March 15, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 15

Day 15: Way I Save Money
$$ Giving up coffee
$$ Bringing my lunch to work
$$ Shopping the sale rack
$$ Buy generic brands
$$ Potluck dinners with my girlfriends
$$ Start with drinks in
$$ Automatic savings deposit
$$ Family cell phone plan (with my entire family :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

30 Days of Lists: Day 14

Day 14: My Role Models
1. My Grandmother
2. Free Thinkers
3. Betty Friedan
5. Creative Souls

Thrifty Thursday

Anyone interested in some water skiing patches? I seem to have a surplus of them these days....