Friday, April 21, 2017

Workout Planner

Occasionally I do things other than cooking and felt flowers. And by occasionally, I mean every day I design things. Signage, brochures, invitations, flyers, marketing plans, billboards....and so on.

And while we're being honest here, I'm also a keep-it-on-the-down-low-Tone It Up-er. As cheesy as some of it may be, the workouts, change of pace and corniness of it all have kept me motivated the past seven months! The new spring challenge starts on Monday and instead of paying the $12 (plus S+H) for the branded workout journal, I made my own! Cue the graphic skills.

It can be yours too, for free! Here's the deal.
  1. Download the PDF. 
  2. Print one copy of page 1.
  3. Print eight copies of pages 2-5 .
  4. Cut all of the pages in half (hamburger style :).
  5. Lay your cover page (i.e. workout planner) face down.
  6. Then arrange as follows:
    • get busy
    • monday
    • tuesday
    • wednesday
    • thursday
    • friday
    • saturday
    • sunday
  7. Repeat until you have all the pages in order.
  8. Head to your local UPS Store (or similar business center) and ask the nice ladies (or men) to 'bind' it for you. My UPS store only charged me $2.20 (+tax). 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cabbage Slaw

What's great about this recipe is you use whatever you have available, and the outcome can be very different every time.

What you need:
1 head of cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
roasted red peppers (mine came from a jar), plus juice
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
pickled jalapeños, plus juice
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

What you do:
1. Prepare quinoa as instructed.
2. Mix together greek yogurt, taco seasoning and a couple teaspoons of the jalapeño and red pepper juice. Set aside.
3. Combine all other chopped vegetables in a bowl. Mix in greek yogurt dressing.
4. Serve slaw over a 1/4 cup quinoa and season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Traditionally, not traditional

I find myself gravitating toward the same felt colors over and over. It's not necessarily a bad thing because the cuties always end up in cherished hands. But! I've been trying to get out of my comfort zone a bit in #the100dayproject. I get to use that unwanted felt at the bottom of the pile, and make a reason to NEED blue {insert other random color I've never used EVER before} flowers in your life.

I've also enjoyed posting photos of the flower-making process. Some people may feel I'm giving away my secrets, but the truth is cutting perfectly rounded 1/8" pieces of felt isn't the easiest thing in the world! So I'm happy to share my techniques as it takes practice to hone in on your exact style.

At the end of (three days), I'm pretty happy with my very Springy Bouquets. I think what also seals the deal for me is the glass. The antique milk bottles came from a neighborhood garage sale a couple years back and I just adore them. I suppose now they can't be parted. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dill Chickpea Spread

This spread could be my new spring go-to lunch or snack! It combines a couple of my favorite things - chickpeas and pickles - into a refreshing and healthy meal. And yes, when you serve the spread up on wasa crackers, it does kind of look like rice krispy treats...if only!

What you need:
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup greek yogurt (more or less depending on your preference)
1 tsp dill
4-5 pickle chips (can also use relish)
salt and pepper

What you do:
1. In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas and pickles.
2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
3. Serve on toast, wasa crackers, cucumbers or eat it straight.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Goals

Because I don't already have enough to do and enough stresses to keep me awake at night, I'm going to participate in #the100dayproject. I've been contemplating this project for months and have been kinda scared to make a commitment, so I'm just taking one month at a time (not to mention I'll be traveling for two weeks toward the end of this challenge). The focusing will try to be more on the the making, rather than the end product ... but I'm not making any promises. 


Wish me luck, follow along and look up #100daysoffelt.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Meet the Maker

I can't believe March is over! The month lent itself as a very creative outlet for me through this Instagram challenge. Especially since it was my second year, and I really needed to flex my imagination for a few of the repeat daily challenges. Regardless, I found some amazing new talent, picked up some great ideas and gained a few followers. Just 200 more before the end of the year to reach my goal (yikes)!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wedding Trials

How many flowers does it take to make up five bridesmaid bouquets? Approximately 55!

Working on a wedding for this fall. I think we're getting right with the types of how about those colors? 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mushroom Barley Soup

What you need
olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3/4 cup barley
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 ounces mushrooms, stems removed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper

What you do
1. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic, onions and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 8 minutes. 
2. Add the barley and stir, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the flour, stir so it coats the barley and vegetables, and cook for 2 minutes. 
4. Pour in the vegetable broth and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the barley is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

I only had 4 cups of veggie broth, so mine has the consistency of risotto. Add in up to six cups total of broth for a more soup-like consistency.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Charlotte's Bouquet

It's pretty fantastic what you can accomplish in a few text messages!

A dear friend was hosting a brunch for the arrival of her friend's third child (yes, third ;). She sent me the invite via text and asked what I could come up with to dress up the tables. Luckily for her I had some foliage in the mint and dark turquoise already crafted up. I also just received a rather large shipment of felt in all the pinks and blushes to match perfectly.

Within a few days, I finished up four bouquets and gathered these vintage vases (leftover from our wedding) for baby sprinkle/shower/brunch centerpieces. Mom is going to put them in the nursery and what a nice little welcome for baby Charlotte! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Self Portrait

I'm participating in the March Meet the Maker Instagram challenge this month. It's my second year and only at seven days in, and I'm already feeling so inspired! Even though several of the prompts are the same as last year, I have pushed myself to think outside the box - and even plan ahead on lots of the themes. I'm really enjoying seeing all the so-talented makers out there and finding tons of new wonderful handmade goods that I can give as gifts in the future.

So, my goal for March is to complete the challenge (follow me here)! And to also set up a few new outlets or creative collaborations for Fairview Place. Maybe a class? Maybe some new perks on the shop... Let's see what the rest of March has in store for me!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Black backdrop

I feel like these are a little reminiscent of the old school Rifle Paper Co. my how they've changed their offering! I had no idea. When I was in college I applied to be an intern and it was just stationary. Although that was about 10 years ago!

I'm practicing some new flowers with my adorable felted pom poms.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash

What you need

1 spaghetti squash, whole
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
4.5 oz can diced green chilies
cheese, greek yogurt, green onions and cilantro for topping

What you do
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Half the spaghetti squash, scoop out the insides and place cut-side down in a glass baking dish. Add a bit of water to the bottom and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
2. When the insides of the squash easily shred into pasta-like pieces, remove from the oven and put all the squash in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add peppers, onions, corn and garlic. Saute until just fragrant.
4. Stir in tomatoes, black beans and chilies. Coat with cumin, chili powder and salt. Let simmer another 10 minutes or until veggies are at your desired consistency. 
5. Place a cup of the spaghetti squash on a plate cover with a hearty helping of the black bean mixture and top with your favorite condiments.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

She wore flowers

In the bangs of her hair. Spring is just around the corner, which means flower headbands, flower crowns and lots of bright colors abound.

I'm totally digging these new succulent-like flowers I found last weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February Self Portrait

The short time I spent in Thailand has and will continue to shape my life. I learned so much not only about a whole other side of the world, but about myself.

I spent some time this week looking back at the photos from my trip and I think, "who was that girl?" Was I so different then and have I changed so much that the sense of adventure and carefree nature are just non-existent?

The answer is absolutely. My priorities have changed. I have changed. And for the most part, I'm okay with it. We have to grow, develop and accept change as a part of life. But one thing that shouldn't have changed is my desire for adventure. A impromptu wandering. The road less traveled. A random act of kindness. Whatever it may be, it is my goal for the month. Do one thing. See one thing. Experience one thing that challenges me, surprises me or surprises someone who knows me so well.

Now, the next question. What will it be?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Vegetarian Chili

In need of a quick, healthy and pretty easy chili recipe? I'll forward the thanks to my overseas chefs who always have the perfect recipe when I need it. This was also a huge hit for our Super Bowl party last weekend!

What you need:2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon spicy paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 can navy beans, rinsed and drained
cilantro, cheese, greek yogurt, taco chips and onions for toppings

What you do:
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until vegetables are softened but not browned. 
2. Add spicy pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Stir to blend. 
3. Add tomatoes and 1 cup water. Gently simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 45 minutes. 
4. Add beans and simmer an additional 30 minutes. 
5. Garnish with your desired toppings and serve.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hair Combs

The hair comb bang wagon has arrived. When are you jumping on?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Portobello Pizzas

Super easy lunch for this productive Monday off from work. The original recipe was vegan, but I couldn't pass up a handful of cheese. It was totally worth it.

What you need:
2 portobello mushroom caps
pizza sauce
veggies of your choice, I used red, yellow and green bell peppers and jalapeños
shredded cheese
olive oil
basil, crushed red paper, garlic salt

What you do:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the olive oil onto the top and bottom of the portobellos.
2. Place the mushrooms cap-side down on a baking sheet and season with herbs. Bake for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the caps and top with sauce, toppings and cheese.
4. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are your desired consistency.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Miniature Wreaths

Lots of snow makes way for new Fairview Place products! Introducing Miniature Wreaths.

These cuties measure approximately 18" long and the hoop, or actual wreath is 4" in diameter. Super cute in a nursery or gallery wall. Or hang on a door knob. I think these will make fun custom orders in the future as well!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January Self Portrait

I decided after a cleansing run late this afternoon to do my monthly self portraits a little different in 2017. Instead of posting at the end of the month and reflecting on the previous 30 days, I'm going to capture my goals for the month within the first few days. This seems only fitting I start January with a few resolutions not only for 2017, but January as well.

Personal  Stay Bright in 2017. Follow through with promises and obligations, keep in touch with friends and family, and commit to little acts every day (more on this coming soon).

Professional  There are a few skills I'd like to add to my repertoire. Maybe take a few classes and definitely focus in on my volunteer role I've put on the back burner these last few months.

Physical  Keep up my (almost) daily drive to workout - or be active, fuel my body with smart foods and do what feels right.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Easy Ramen Soup

I'm kinda obsessed with this easy ramen recipe I stumbled upon...and modified due to the lack of ingredients around the house.

What you need:
1 pound shrimp (I used pre-cooked and frozen - defrost in cold water)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Sriracha
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
3 cups veggie broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 packages ramen noodles
1/4 cup scallions

What you do:
1. Simmer the olive oil and Sriracha in a wok over medium heat.
2. Add the onion and cook until it becomes soft.
3. Add the carrots, garlic and seasonings and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the veggie broth and bring to a slight boil. Add in soy sauce and ramen noodles.
6. Cook until the noodles have softened. Add shrimp.
7. Pour into bowls and top with the scallions.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

December Self Portrait

While last month I gave a word that summed up my feels at the time, this month I am picking a word for all of 2017. I first heard about this project on this podcast. Ali Edwards began the tradition of choosing one little word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about and so on. And I love this idea. I love making lists, setting goals and seeing progress - in all aspects of my life. So, I see this endeavor as an on-going target that can move with me throughout the year.

The first word that came to me was Positive. It's been so easy getting caught up with all the bad news of the world, and I've noticed how all that bad energy has affected my mindset. In the past couple months, Mike has had to remind me to "think positive" on several occasions...which is very concerning. So naturally, positive was the front runner. But, that word was just too cheesy for me. I needed a word that sounded happy. The word needs to help me to focus on the positives of the everyday, but be flexible enough to lend itself to many avenues in 2017.


I still wasn't in love with any of them. Then, tonight, I decided to give another look at my words. And it came out of nowhere.


giving out or reflecting a lot of light; shining. giving an appearance of cheerful liveliness.

That sums it up perfectly. So, here's to a Bright 2017. Let's do this.