Friday, October 22, 2010

Hogwarts Photos

I have been so so so busy for the past couple of weeks. I apologize for neglecting le blog, but unfortunately it will continue to be slightly neglected for the next week-ish while I finish some projects I'm working on. But I know I promised to post pictures of my trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so I'm going to deliver on that. I have many many many more that I'll share later, but here are a few favorites.







It was so much fun! I can't wait to go back. And can you believe the movie will be out in less than a month?!! I'm so incredibly excited :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

National Women's Business Week Giveaway

Today is the start of National Women's Business Week. As a women entrepreneur, I feel really lucky to be able to partner with the Tory Burch Foundation to spread the word about the resources available to women looking to start their own businesses.

The Tory Burch Foundation aims to help women entrepreneurs succeed through the use of microfinance loans, which are smaller loans for smaller businesses. The Tory Burch Foundation raises money for this cause through the sale of many promotional materials (shown below).

I'm so excited to be able to give away one of these items - a compilation CD. Tracks are listed below.
1) Michael Franti and Spearhead- Hello Bonjour
2) Willy Deville- Come a Little Bit Closer
3) Devendra Banhart- Baby
4) Laura Izibor- From my Heart to Yours
5) Melanie Fiona- Give it to Me Right
6) Lykke Li- Little Bit
7) Wyclef Jean- Knockin on Heavens Door
8) The Smiths- Bigmouth Strikes Again
9) Knaan- Take a Minute
10) Santigold- Your Voice
11) Miriam Makeba- Pata Pata
12) Matt White- Taking on Water
13) Kanye West, Mos Def and Al B Black - Good Night
14) Santana and Citizen Cope- Sideways
15) Asa- 360
16) The Neville Brothers- Rivers of Babylon


To enter, just leave a comment below. Share something about women or business, or whatever you want to share. Open to U.S. residents only. A winner will be chosen one week from today (October 25) so all entries must be in by noon on that day. Also, visit the Tory Burch Foundation to learn more about their cause, their partner organizations and what you can do to help.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Template Roundup

One of my favorite parts of fall is pumpkin carving. I always go through a lot of templates online to find the perfect one, so here are some of my favorites this year (not telling which one I chose just yet).

HGTV Pumpkin Templates
HGTV has posted a grouping of 15 gorgeous and simple designs ranging from this elegant chair to a Hansel and Gretel outline, to lantern and candle designs.


Better Homes and Gardens Stencils
This collection has a whole lot of classic designs, along with a few funny ones mixed in. I particularly like this "undercover pumpkin," but the vampires, Frankensteins, black cats, and other spooks are cute too.





Celebrating Halloween
This site has an even bigger variety of free templates, but my favorites are these girly/artsy designs, because I haven't seen anything like them on other sites. If you want something elegant, definitely consider this cameo style silhouette or flower patterns.




There are so many great ones available. I could browse for hours, but unfortunately I just don't have many hours to spare right now. Daily photo posts are on hold for awhile, and my blogging will be a lot more sporadic for now. I'll be back to normal in a couple of weeks, I promise. Miss you all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wanted: More Guest Bloggers

I'm back from vacation!! It was amazing - I'll definitely share some Hogwarts photos with you tomorrow. But for now, I'm getting ready to start a new job, and October is a really crazy freelance month for me as well, so I'm looking for a few more guest bloggers or regular contributors to help keep this blog company while I'm doing some other work. If interested, send me an email and we'll chat.

In other sad news, my shop will remain closed until November, because I won't have any time to make it to the post office. I was really excited to make some Halloween items, but I'll be working on some new holiday accessories for November and December when I'll be able to re-open.

For now, please stop by the blogs of my guest posters from last week. They are awesome, aren't they?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Seasoned Butter Recipe with A Pretty Plethora

Here's the second recipe of the day from Laura of A Pretty Plethora. This one is so simple and uses some really technical cooking jargon (i.e. smoosh) that will make you feel like a fancy executive chef. Enjoy!

***


Darlings! Did you know that I LOVE to cook? Yup, I do. Today I'm sharing with you the most delectable delicious-ness you have decided to devour! (booya alliteration!) We're making butter! Ok, technically we are adding seasonings to butter. But you know, whatevs. :)

Here's whatcha need:

  • 1/2 a stick of butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp Parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tbsp Garlic salt
(you can always add more of your favorite spice)




Got everything? Now, dump it all into a bowl, and smoosh (we're being real technical here) everything together with your fingers until its all combined.
Perfection.





The End!
Didn't you love how easy that was? This is the perfect thing to make a grilled cheese with, or toast...or adding to your mac and cheese!
Happy Butter 'Making'!
Love!

Creme Brulee Recipe with A Pretty Plethora


One thing I don't do enough on this blog is share recipes. I'm not a kitchen wiz or anything, but I do enjoy baking and a little tiny bit of cooking. Luckily, Laura from A Pretty Plethora has lots of recipes to share, so today she's been kind enough to share not one, but two recipes. First up: Creme Brulee.

***

Hi Friends, I was so excited to share with you a fun recipe I made today-a roasted potato salad-but sadly I left it in my locker at school. La-ame.

So I will share with you another recipe:
Creme Brulee!
Excited? Me too.
(recipe from the Professional Baking, Wayne Gisslen)

Here's watcha need: 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 pints heavy cream, hot
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt

1. Spread the brown sugar on a pan; dry out in a low oven. Cool, crush and sift. (now, if you have no desire to do this, you can use regular sugar. It's up to you)
2. Mix together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until well combined.
3. Gradually stir in the hot cream. Add the vanilla and salt. Strain the mixture.
4. Set 12 (or however many you are making) shallow ramekins or gratin dishes, about 1 in deep on a towel in a sheet pan (this helps the custard to not burn) and divide the mixture equally among the ramekins. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come about 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F until the custard is just set, about 25 minutes.
6. Cool, then refrigerate.
7. To finish, first dab any moisture from the tops of the custards. Sprinkle with an even layer of brown sugar. Caramelize the sugar under the broiler; place the custards very close to the heat so the sugar caramelizes quickly before the custard warms up too quickly (alternatively use a blowtorch). When it cools, the caramelized sugar will form a thin, hard crust. Serve within an hour or 2. If the custards are held too long, the caramel tops will soften.
**NOTE** If you are doing the caramelizing in the broiler, you really do have to be quick. The first time I did this at school, I used a blowtorch.



It's a lot easier than the broiler. If you put it in the broiler, and the custard starts to jiggle, the custard is now too soft (it'll still taste delectable though!) You have 2 options then. You can eat it right then, when the top is hard, but the custard is soft. OR you can stick it back in the fridge, it'll re-thicken, but the top will get soft. It's up to you. :)



and, if you are wondering what to do with your leftover yolks, make more macarons! Giddy up!
Let me know if you try this! Have a great day, lovelies!
Laura

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Wishlist with Simply Samantha

It seems I'm not the only one with fall fever right now! Today's guest post is from Simply Samantha, who will share some of her very favorite fall essentials with you. See what she loves and then let us know what you love during this amazing season!

***

Out of all the seasons, fall is probably my favorite. The crisp air, leaves turning colors, cute clothes, fall festivals, and lots of sweet treats. However, here in the sunshine state, the crisp air doesn’t come into play until mid/late October. But that doesn’t stop me from loving the season of fall.

Here is my list of fall essentials.
Cute clothes! Gotta have them in the fall.  Here are some of my favorite articles of clothes for this fall season.

Wide collar shirts, Boyfriend cut jeans, Cute plain A-line skirt, simple flats, Sweaters and Carties,



Adorable beanies (you can find some cute ones at Wattlebirds esty shop), and shoulder bags.



Team Apparel – Fall means FOOTBALL time! If you’re a football fan don’t forget to support your favorite team and player.



Curling Iron – Become BFF with your curling iron this fall. Curls are a must in the colder seasons. If you ever need help, or wants to curling tips? Search Youtube. There are tons of lovely youtubers out there to help ;)


Sweet Treats – Some of my favorite fall treats include, candy corn, pumpkin whoopee pies, AND apple pie.
(these picture make you hungry don’t they??)


Music – I’m looking forward to this October because Miss.Taylor Swift is coming out with a new album that I can’t wait to buy. Also I love listening country music and contemporary songwriters during the fall.
Also don’t forget to do the Monster Mash at your Halloween party!

Movies- When I think of fall. I think of Charlie Brown.  When I was little, after we went trick or treating with our friends, we’d all come back, empty out our candy then kick back and watch good ole’ Charlie Brown. So “The Great Pumpkin Charlie brown” has always been a tradition to watch on Halloween in our house.


If you not into the cartoons, Give “October Sky” a chance. I love this movie and watch it every time it’s on t.v. Plus, the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal super cute doesn’t hurt the movie one bit! ;)


Into old movies like me?? Check out Arsenic and old lace staring the dashing Cary Grant. It’s Halloween drama/comedy. If you love Cary Grant, You’ll LOVE this movie!



Well, that’s my list of essentials for the fall. What’s on yours? Leave a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear what’s on your list for fall J

Samantha

Basket Liner Tutorial with June Vintage

This guest post is brought to you by the awesome Heather of June{vintage}. It's an adorable crafty tutorial using vintage materials, so I'm sure you'll all love it. Be sure to visit the June{vintage} blog and shop while you're working on your very own basket liner!

***

Hello! I'm Heather from June{vintage} and I'm excited to share with you an easy little whip-up that features two of my favorite things: vintage linens and a little sewing. Head to your favorite thrift store and pick up the necessities (you may need to swing by a craft or fabric store, too) and make this little cutie in the time it takes to watch a Law and Order re-run.

 

Step 1: gather items for project...
  • pillow case of your choosing
  • square basket {note: pick a basket that is about half the size- top to bottom- of the pillowcase}
  • package of 8 grommets {you will need a grommet tool-I use the cheaper, manual version}
  • ribbon {or use twine, rope or yarn-whatever fits your fancy!}
  • Note: you will need a sewing machine, scissors and something to use to measure-measuring tape, ruler, etc.

Step 2: measure the width of your basket across the bottom or, if you have measuring tape, measure the inside and add 1/2 inch to your measurement.{If you are using a truly square basket, the width will be the same from back to front and side to side}


Step 3: cut closed end off of pillow case...


Cut 4: Cut 2 strips of the pillowcase {working from the end that you cut the closed end off} that are the width your determined in step 2. You will now have two "loops" of fabric-open on the long sides but closed on the short sides.


Step 5: Locate the short side of the pillow case that is NOT sewn and cut this short side open.


Step 6: Fold right sides together, sew 3 open sides together {leaving a small hole open}, turn and top stitch.  {A top stitch is just a finishing run around the outside of the piece to make it look finished-it is not necessary...if you are short on time, just press the pieces with an iron and move on.}


Step 7: Place pieces in basket {criss-crossing them like a t}, lining up corners and mark where you want to put the grommets.


Step 8: Insert grommets as per the directions. {Typically, this is cutting out grommet hole, insert grommet, and hammer grommet back to secure.}


Step 9: Tie ribbon in grommet holes to secure.


Step 10: Load basket up with whatever needs keeping and enjoy!


Hopefully, each step was understandable and you are able to whip up a little basket liner for yourself! {Please send me a little note if you have any questions or if you make one of these yourself!} Find me over at my blog or email me at junevintage {at} gmail {dot} com.
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