Thursday, May 30, 2013

Momentarily Obsessed With...

1) salad spinner.  I have wanted one of these ever since I lived with Emily and she found one at P*Town Thrift for $3. Since my kitchen is a quarter of the size now it was then, a collapsible version is exactly what I need!

2) wall art calendar.  Do you know how many times I've set out to make myself a cute calendar, planner or journal? I've lost count. Next time around, I'm just ordering something adorable like this.

3) letter sparklers.  My sister and cousins probably went through 28 pounds of sparklers growing up. Every family event we were always lighting them (then anything else that would take a flame), but perhaps these would have kept us occupied longer. They would also be an adorable way to showcase an address of a new home...

4) pillow.  Maple and Belmont started making these pillows around the time of Better Block. I absolutely love the look and was just telling Mike we need some new pillows for our couch. What about an Alliance, Ohio version?? Yes, Please!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Spy...

Fairview Place cards at With Lavender & Lace...? That's right! The adorable vintage clothing (and local's favorite) shop is carrying Fairview Place greeting cards and tags. I stopped in to drop off some lace I received and saw my cards, they look like they're fitting well and liking their new home. Don't let them get too comfy though!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Recipe Cards Made into Gift Tags

I picked up a box of these 1970s recipe cards at an estate sale a month back. I sold a few of them as the plain recipe cards at Better Block, but knew that wasn't going to cut it going forward. The photos are great and the recipes themselves are hilarious, so I wanted to save as much of the card as I could. 

After many attempts I decided to add a little "to" and "from" tag, along with another contrasting tag for a little note (and of course my logo). They will be selling for $1 each and you'll find them online and at next month's Town Fair.

Gallery Invitations

Recent design work I did for the very talented Angela Douglas. She is hosting this event along with The Governor's School for the Arts. I am so bummed we'll be out of town for a wedding and will have to miss it. But, put it on your calendar now so you won't!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Before & After: Tea Cart

Would you believe I found this vintage tea cart at an estate sale for $6? It was originally $12, but Sundays are always half off - my lucky day! It doesn't look too bad here, but was actually rusted pretty bad, so it couldn't stay as is. 

I decided I wanted to do a really bright, loud color. My friend suggested coral, which I thought would be so pretty. However, the full can of green spray paint I bought several months ago to refinish jewelry boxes (like these) was sitting in my closet screaming to be used.

I unassembled the cart easily since it was missed three of the eight screws that held it together. With heavy grit sandpaper I gave all the parts a 15-minute sand job, then wiped clean with a towel. I taped up the white rollers on the feet and gave the entire cart two heavy coats of paint. 

Since it was a gorgeous day outside the whole thing was dry within an hour. I reassembled, added the glass back on top and voila! You might remember this below from Better Block. It was one of our centerpieces when you walked in the shop. I am so happy with the way it came out, it'll be perfect for serving drinks on the patio one day... or maybe a plant holder in the garden.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sneak Peak

I had the pleasure to be family photographer on Sunday for Thomas' Smash the Cake pictures. His first birthday is still three weeks away, so I'm not revealing all of them until then. However, I couldn't resist sharing these cuties with you right now!

To be honest I was a little nervous to do the photo shoot. I've never photographed a baby, and they don't exactly know how to pose just yet, haha. I'll admit Thomas is probably the best baby I've ever met (and I'm not biased at ALL), and the pictures came out way better than I had hoped for...stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Layered Veggie Bake

I can't wait to try this recipe I guess that means it was a success?

I would say almost. I forgot to cover the dish while baking for the first 30 minutes, so they roasted instead of baked. And I think I'd try feta or some sharp cheese next time for a little kick. Oh! Maybe even add some sliced jalapenos!

What you need
1 medium eggplant
3 small zuchini
1 medium squash
1 small onion
1 large regular potato
1 small red potato
2 medium tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice
salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil

What you do
1. Oil the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and rub with 1 clove of mince garlic.
2. Slice all the veggies about 1/8" thick and set aside.
3. Return to your baking dish and start layering the veggies in short columns (image the pan as a short and wide rectangle, I probably got 6 or 7 columns). The order doesn't matter and you don't have to be particular about arranging by color since it will get smothered in cheese anyway :).
4. Once you have all the veggies stacked, drizzle with oil and fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. Take the dish out and remove the foil. Cover with the cheese and return to the over until it's browned and bubbly and the veggies are tender (another 20 minutes).
6. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Music Monday

She's back from her Spanish Trek and ready to go again.
Meet her at the Platform for Music Monday.

Monday Musebles

I kicked off the weekend with our Divaris Website Launch Party. Or, most commonly known to all the employees as jeans day and happy hour after work. I was pushing for the launch party, so this will have to do. We had our fair share of drinks and apps at Yardhouse to ring in the site - I promise you that!

The rest of the weekend was filled with rain (or threatening rain), crafts, art and large white tents. I hit up the Boissevain Bazaar on Saturday morning. What a great show! More than 10 local vendors showed up to display their goods in the parking lot behind With Lavender & Lace. I talked with Kelsie (owner of WL&L) and she is planning on doing more of these popup craft shows. Why not, right?

On my walk back I passed this tiny little house with a makeshift porch from old shutter doors. How cute is that? 

The second monthly Town Fair and Stockley Gardens proved to be.... meh.... just okay. The weather really wasn't on our side for the Town Fair. And the only thing I couldn't live without from Stockley was a bag of kettle corn.

Another dreary night from our friend's balcony at Shore Drive. I would really appreciate it if Mother Nature would give May a good talking to and bring on a proper Sunny Spring! Fingers crossed for next weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Weekend

Even if the weather disagrees, Spring has sprung. Know why? There are starting to be about 500 events each weekend that are are the "Must Do" list and inevitably, we'll have to pick and choose. I figured I'd start doing a weekend preview for as long as there are worthwhile events. We'll see how it goes.

Friday 9 p.m. \\ Heathers at The Naro
If only my sister were here to attend the costume porting of this evening! It was her favorite moving growing up and I only recently saw it. Here's your chance (probably one and only) to see it on the big screen!
for more info

Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Sunday Noon to 5 p.m. \\ Stockley Gardens Art Festival
If you don't know about this, better make some time to check it out!
for more info

Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Sunday Noon to 5 p.m. \\ Boissevain Craft (& Fun) Bazaar
For those of us crafty people who aren't able to participate in the Stockley Gardens, this is definitely the route to go! Vintage, soaps, crafts, awesomeness...what more could you want?
for more info

Saturday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. & Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. \\ Virginia Beer Festival
For as many years as I've lived here, I've never once been to this event. This year it's a two-day event with loads of craft beers and looks like beautiful weather!
for more info

Saturday 3 p.m. - 6p.m. \\ Town Fair at Town Center
Monthly handmade and fair trade merchant show at Town Center in Virginia Beach. This month there will be 30 vendors participating with everything from airplants to blown glass, upcycled skateboard jewelry and granite cheeseboards.
for more info

Saturday 7:30 p.m. \\ MetalMatisse by Electroland
Dedication ceremony for Downtown Norfolk's newest light-up sculpture at MacArthur Square.
for more info

Sunday \\ Smash the Cake Photos
Sorry, this is an invite only, haha. I'm taking Thomas' one-year birthday photos at the Yorktown Battlefields (which I've never been to). I'm soooo very looking forward to this!
here is our inspiration

Funky Cards for Everyone!

I have to admit, I'm kinda obsessed with these wedding and shower cards. Earlier in the Spring I was thinking how I wanted to do some really funky brides or "will you be my bridesmaid" cards, but wasn't sure where I was going to get my hands on the artwork. I bought a huge Butterick pattern book at an Estate Sale for $1 and lone behold, illustrations of funky brides! The paper and tatted flowers came from Michaels.

More illustrations from the pattern book made the sweet cards on the left and a book titled "The Wonderful Era of the Great Dance Bands" prompted a series of big band advertisement cards (the book is huge, so the series will be ever-lasting).

Lastly, I created mini cards. The paper bag and blue are my favorites (there are also white and purple :), it makes the artwork more prevalent. I was also able to use a lot of scraps I had already cut for these cards (I love when that happens). If you see something you like, better head over to the Town Fair tomorrow to pick them up!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thifty Thursday

I know Mother's Day was just last weekend, but when you're designing crafts to be sold for specific holidays you always have to be thinking a few months in advance. Last month at the Town Fair I was showcasing some cards and jewelry for Moms. This months Town Fair (on May 18), I'll be encouraging Father's Day cards.

I found these vintage automobile and train books at the thrift for $5 total. "The Lore of Trains." What a great name! I'm excited to get these more manly cards underway this weekend. Don't forget to mark your calendar's for the May 18th Town Fair at Town Center.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Town Fair

Saturday is this month's Town Fair at Town Center. This month will feature 30 local merchants with everything from fair trade to handmade, upcycled and home-baked goods (we were only at 15 vendors last month - what a great turnout for us!). The weather will definitely be warmer than last month's fair, we're just hoping the rain stays away. I'm also looking forward to this weekend's event because my Better Block partner John will be selling right next to me (just like the old days ;). The event begins at 3 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m., come out and support the local, handmade marketplace!

92 Days of Summer...

I can't believe it's really almost time for this list to start back up! I've had two girlfriends mention they might try the challenge...Are you up for it? Here's the deal, for the past two Summers, I've created a list with 92 things to do - ideally one for each day of the Summer. 

Year 1 *after

Year 2 *after

Some are free, some are easy, others (like making sidewalk chalk or going to the Eastern Shore) aren't so easy. So, what are some of your ideas? Want to participate and plan some ideas together? Post below or send me a message to

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Corn Chowder & Roasted Chickpeas

While my mom was here I was trying to use up some random ingredients I had laying around. Mike went to a concert, so I decided to try the roasted chickpea recipe that's been lingering on Pinterest for months. I really should have tried this sooner - delicious and so easy! Rinse a can of chickpeas, pour on oiled baking sheet and coat with your favorite seasonings (I used garlic, Old Bay, salt and pepper). Bake at 450 degrees until they are crunchy, about 40 minutes.

Once we had enough of those, I determined corn chowder would use a lot of various items, so I got to work. I'm not even sure if I can tell you exactly how much of everything I used, but go with this as a guideline, not the rule:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion
1 small can green chilies
2 cups of corn (I used frozen)
2 strips of bacon (fake)
2 sausage patties (fake)
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water
salt, pepper

1. Saute garlic with the onion in 1 tsp olive oil.
2. Cook the sausage and bacon in the microwave and chop finely. Add to the onion.
3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
4. Use a hand blender to mix to your desired consistency. I gave it about 5 good pulses for 20 seconds or so.
5. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Musebles

It was a weird weekend. Mostly for reasons I can't, and don't want to, talk about just yet. Mike took a trip to Richmond for a friend's Bachelor Party and I remained productive the rest of the time. I bought flowers for Deb from Clark's Nursery in Ghent - which is a must-stop. They have definitely expanded since last year, carrying herbs and citrus trees (how badly I want a lime tree), plus all your other garden necessities, at reasonable prices. 

For the first time, I went to the Town Center Art & Wine Festival and was pleasantly surprised. They had about 20 vendors and maybe 8 wineries (I didn't get to them all), live music and outdoor seating in the Fountain Plaza. It's much smaller than the Town Point Wine Festival we usually go to in Norfolk, but here you could actually taste the wine, and you didn't have to pay just to get in the door!

Kelly made coffee flan for dessert on Sunday.
The consistency and coffee aftertaste was just right!
I think coconut should be next on the list.

Sunday morning I woke up at 7 a.m., started laundry, cleaned the house, ran to the grocery store and took out the trash all before 9! I realized this is the routine my mother (and most mothers) has been living for the past 40 years of her life. When I was taking a five-minute break at 10:15, I realized how lucky those of us with wonderful mothers really are...We spent the rest of the afternoon with Mike's momma, brother and sister-in-law - it was her first Mother's Day!! Thomas got her the nicest engraved bookmark, he told me he picked it out all by himself (the boy has good taste ;). 

Honestly, I'm ready for Thursday. I'm not sure I can deal with two more days like today...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Color Therapy: Peach & Coral

I'm trying to hard to believe in Spring. That it's here. That it's warm. But today certainly isn't helping. Maybe a Spring Hue will help? How about this warm peach and coral? Making you feel a little balmy? Then read on! 

I'm really digging contrasting pillow assortments. One day I'm going to cover that leather couch with random-print pillows...probably one day when Mike is out of town :)

Will definitely need some shades for those sunny days ahead.

Never thought I'd say this, but I absolutely love the peach Carnation and Airplant combination. I think I know a guy who could get me a great deal on the plants...and the flowers should be a breeze.

My apron is adorable, but I wouldn't mind something a little more protective and crisp.

This sweet accessory would certainly liven up my black-filled wardrobe.

A vintage dresser updo with coral and gold? That would help freshen and brighten any room.

Never realized I needed a new camera strap...until now...

You're never too old (too young, too girlie or too boyish) to have a Rifle Alphabet Print hanging on your wall.

What is cuter than fluffy sheep and turquoise trees? A wallet made of this pattern! 

Love this idea of mix-matched glasses, and using the peach drink and straws to tie it all together. Plus, I already have the teal table :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Muse

We made it to the Handsome biscuit and I promise it's well worth the 15-(or 30-) minute wait!

There's nothing like a weekend with my mom - especially when I have her all to myself. We shop, we talk, we cook together and laugh together, we journey to new stores and restaurants and veg out on the couch. She plays with my hair and in return I make her dinner and make her bed, haha. This weekend was no exception. We packed it full with food, drinks, activities and a first for both of us - a Color Me Rad 5k. 60 years old and she's still running and getting colored corn starch thrown in her face, can you say that about your Mom?

It's becoming a tradition to hit up Total Wine for a mix-and-match six pack. Shiner Boch has out it's Summertime "Ruby Redbird" and I think it's my new favorite!

My mom and I both tried the Hot Betty from the Handsome Biscuit. It was unique in that the greens tasted like they were sauteed in about 19 cloves of garlic and sesame oil. Hiding underneath the greens was a fried egg and loads of hot sauce, mashed between a sweet potato biscuit. My mouth is watering just thinking back on it. 

Next we ran out to EcoTrends in Virginia Beach for the grand re-opening. Lyman, the owner of EcoTrends is a merchant at the Town Fair (and all-around awesome gal), so we went to support the lovely shop. Plus, my mom got to meet John and see his Glass Gardens display.

Another first for (all of) us, Smartmouth Brewery! I've been talking about stopping here for weeks, and we finally made it. We each did a tasting, my favorite was the Double IPA. Hmmm, wouldn't it be cool to have this in your neighborhood?!

We could just stop at one brewery, so we headed over to O'Connor's on 25th Street. We weren't sure they would be open, but to our surprise we landed a picnic table spot right in front of the band. They have a great wide-open space with corn hole and lots of standing room, so we'll definitely be back this Summer.



Sunday morning came with a harsh wind and brisk temps, but Melissa, my mom and I made our way to Virginia Beach to play in a bunch of colored corn starch. I'm so proud of my mom, she rocked that race like no one's business! And isn't she the cutest? Melissa, I'm also proud of you for your training dedication, will are definitely doing this next year - in a toga :)

Another wonderful weekend with my Momma, maybe one day the weekends won't end and you can come over every weekend!