Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Almond Joy Bars

So I was a little skeptical after tasting the "almond candy" portion of the bar. But the whole thing together? YUM. I think these taste great as a frozen treat, so I keep mine in the freezer. You can also keep them in the fridge or at room temperature. Your choice!

What you'll need:
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil, solid + 1 tsp
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Almonds, chopped or slivers

What you do:
1. Combine the coconut, 1/4 cup coconut oil and maple syrup in a food processor. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.
2. Line a 9"x5" baking dish with wax paper. I didn't do this and it was a serious pain in the butt to get them out!
3. Pour the coconut mixture in the pan and pat down with a rubber spatula.
4. Freeze for 20 minutes.
5. A few minutes before you take the bars out, heat the chocolate chips and 1 tsp of coconut oil in the microwave. To make sure you don't burn the chocolate, heat for 20 seconds, then stir. Repeat until completely melted.
6. Remove the bars from the freeze and cut into 1"-2" sized pieces. Dip one side of the bar into the chocolate and place (chocolate-side up) onto a plate. Repeat until all of the bars are coated and place back into the freezer for 5 minutes, or until the chocolate is hardened.
7. Place the remaining chocolate into a plastic baggie, cutting one of the corners to create a piping bag (or use a piping bag if you're fancy like that ;). Remove the bars and drizzle the chocolate on top. Sprinkle almonds on the melted chocolate and drizzle a little more chocolate.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Beet Hummus

Totally digging this new hummus recipe. And thinking I may need to grow my own beets next summer!

What you'll need:
1 small beet
2 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup olive oil
Pepper and salt, to taste

What you'll do:
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a glass baking dish with tin foil.
2. Wash beet and trim the leaves and stem. Place in the baking dish and cover with foil. I baked several beets at the same time and it took approximately 65 minutes. You'll know when the beets are cooked because a fork will easily slide through the center.
3. Remove the beets from oven and let cool 10 minutes.
4. Peel the skin from the beet and chop into chunks. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

July Goals

The first six months of 2017 have absolutely flown by. So much so, that I find it a little troubling. How can I let so much time slip by and have nothing to show for it, yet still feel so mentally drained? Before our vacation I felt so overwhelmed. I was working 12 hour days, to go home and change gears to my freelance work. I was so over being needed and pulled in so many directions, yet still felt like I was just running in circles.

Of course 19 days off will completely change that mentality. To the extent that I actually cried on the last night of our trip in the Canary Islands. Mainly because I was sad to leave my bestie and feared it might be another year before being with her in person. But also because this was the first time in a long time I was 100 percent in every moment and didn't have a care in the world. I wasn't making decisions (other than to drink wine or beer), I wasn't organizing, not a single person needed me to do anything (okay, maybe some chopping of vegetables here and there), I was carefree and happy and loving. All of the things I think I may have lost track of the last several months.

So, where does this leave me for July Goals. Well, in a few days I will put my last issue of Vow Bride to bed and my summer responsibilities will be completed. I'm going to sleep. A lot. Take naps and cuddle. I want to finish a couple books I started, get back in the kitchen and back to this blog. I'm also going to take a chill pill when it comes to work.

July, I'm loving you already.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Beet Latte

You really have to love beets to drink a whole glass of this. But I do. And I did. 

And it's definitely A LOT of work for a non-caffeinated beverage.

What you need:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp honey
1 medium beet, peeled
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

What you do:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beet in foil and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until easily pricked with a fork.
2. Blend together all ingredients.
3. Transfer to a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Using a mesh strainer, pour the mixture into a cup.
4. Sprinkle with foamed milk and/or cinnamon and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June Goals

Me trying snorkeling (with my mom), in the ocean, in a two-piece. Normally a total no for me.

Even though the first part of June is done and gone - and I've already dealt with some pretty tremendous events so far - I'm looking forward to accomplishing my goals this second half.

My best friend is getting married and the trip we've been talking about, planning for and literally obsessing about for the past 14 months has arrived. The goal for this trip? Besides not making fool of myself while giving a speech (at what time?!) to 120+ people? Completely let go.

Let go of the stress and anxiety. Let the planner, the worry wart, and the spaz take the back seat (or the trunk) for this ride. Enjoy every scene, every conversation, the drinks, dinners, desserts and embrace this wonderful gift of a vacation that has been hand to me - and my family. Also, try lots and lots of new things - meat included! It's not that I don't adhere to this mantra on all vacations, but I think it's important to remind yourself of this often before and during a trip.

One last goal, Instagram the shit out of this vacation. It may be the best and biggest one for a while...

Monday, June 5, 2017

How do custom orders work?

It's hard for most people to understand flowers in terms of felt. I like to think that the possibilities are endless with felt flowers. You can mimic the shape of real flowers, or create your own. Design a wonderfully wild and whimsical bouquet or create a classic, perfectly symmetrical bunch of flowers.

I recently had a bride contact me about doing flowers for her wedding via Instagram. We briefly talked about her wedding date, colors and location, then decided to get coffee. At this meeting I showed her several hues of blues, grey and silver felt, a few size options of bouquets and we looked at her wedding Pinterest board.

After our initial meeting, I created an inspiration board that looked like this:

From here, the bride was able to narrow down what she liked (and didn't) as far as colors and flower types. She liked the idea of combining Option C and Option D - pretty and elegant! So onto the next steps: finding the foliage and crafting a few sample flowers. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Overnight Oats

I made the big, bad mistake of buying unflavored protein powder. I have been purchasing the vanilla flavor for months and I really enjoy it. So why the switch? A sale.

Damn sales.

Anyway, I've been trying to get through it. I decided I'd try to use it in some recipes, including overnight oats. But gauged on the overwhelming response that the recipe is amazing - the powder sucks.

Regardless, I powered through two batches and look forward to trying the recipe again - with flavored protein!

What you need:
2/3 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp peanut butter (I used PB2)
4 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop protein powder
1 banana, sliced

What you do:
1. Combine everything in a bowl.
2. Split mixture into two mason jars or tupperware containers.
3. Let sit in the fridge overnight.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

92 Days of Summer

Year Six. Good thing my best friend is having the wedding of a lifetime in the Canary Islands or my list would be seriously lame this year.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Collard Green Wraps

This is a Tone It Up recipe that I'm pretty please with. I really like how well the collards hold up as a wrap - and stay fresh in the fridge for weeks. I also really like the idea of the parsnip rice, but made some modifications to mine that (I think) made it taste sweet. The portions are also pretty large, so plan on having this all week for lunch or cut it in half!

What you need:
Parsnip Rice
2 parsnips, washed and peeled
1/2 cup cashews (original recipe called for pine nuts)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp apple cider videgar
3 tsp dill
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp salt / pepper

Wrap fillings - whatever you have in the fridge!
4-6 collard leaves
2 bell peppers (your choice of color)
1 carrot

What you do:
For the parsnip rice
1. Chop the parsnips in a food processor until it is rice consistency.
2. Add the cashews and pulse together.
3. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well combined.

For the wrap
1. Take one collard leaf and lay face down. Add 4-5 spoonfuls of the parsnip rice to the center of the leaf.
2. Add your preferred fillings on top of the rice - and any additional condiments (I added spicy mustard).
3. Roll like a burrito, then cut in half!

Friday, May 26, 2017

New product alert!

Recently a momma inquired about matching felt floral crowns for and her soon-to-be three-year-old. I couldn't resist this adorable opportunity. Via email we chatted about colors and styles of my already completed bouquets and brooches to come up with the color palette perfect for her idea.

I think the matching set came out so sweet, and can't wait to see momma and daughter adorned in felt flowers!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Fiesta!

I decided to "go easy" for Mother's Day and just do a taco bar for the family. Crock-pot shredded chicken, beans, tortillas, all the fixings...simple. Until I saw on Pinterest the cutest cactus cut-out cookies and decided I just needed to make them! And for those of you who know me, know I am not a baker. Nor a pastry decorator.

But on this day, I decided I would be. However, in my collection of 100 cookie cutters (I'm not exaggerating) I couldn't locate a cactus so I jumped in the car and headed to our local cookie cutter store (also known as Wine and Cake) to purchase said cactus and also scored a tipi!

Several hours, lots of curse words and phallic jokes later, the cookies were complete! Let's just say I reached my cut-out cookie quota for the year.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who have passed on their love of baking and pampering those they love?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wedding Flowers

Back in March I showed off the beginnings of these beauties, but now they're finished. The total amount of flowers? Too many to count! 

The final order included one bride bouquet, five bridesmaids bouquets, 11 boutonnières and five corsage/brooches. 

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 flowers...now 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. flowers....my 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!