Thursday, February 27, 2014

spring bow ties: part 2

Hello friends!  It's been another busy week, but I am determined to share some more of the new spring bow ties with you here on the blog.  They have been in the shop for several weeks now and the leaders are already emerging.  This ombre mint tie has been super popular for spring weddings and I'm rather partial to it myself.  I consider the perfect bow tie fabric one that is subtle and almost-solid from far away, but has some sort of interesting pattern when you see it close up.  Mint was a huge wedding color last year and doesn't appear to be waning in popularity at all, so I was excited to add a new mint tie to my offerings.  

This aqua tie was one of the wild cards for the season.  I love the color and the print is supposed to look like a city street map.  Since my original world map tie is my best seller, I thought it would be fun to offer a different type of map as well.  

Seersucker is such a classic look for spring and summer and it also happens to be lovely to work with.  My goal is to offer ties in every color of seersucker that I can find, so I've been adding two or three new ones each season.  This navy and white makes me think of sailboats and beach vacations and the Fourth of July.  

I usually stick to pretty classic graphic patterns for my ties, but I couldn't resist this navy bird print.  I felt inspired by these shirts I saw in the Boden spring catalog.  Although I never buy anything, I love getting the Boden catalog every season because of the beautiful photography.  In fact, pretty much every catalog that I request is for reasons other than purchasing the items inside.  I dog-ear the pages and cut things out for my bulletin board- they are basically my analog Pinterest.  

If you can believe it, there are still more ties to share!  I'll try to finish up next week with the rest of the collection.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

last weekend, in pictures

Cannoli dessert

Too many cooks

Three's company... four's a crowd

Thank goodness for warm weather

Frozen yogurt stop

An early morning cuddle

It was the kind of week where words and time for blogging were scarce.  Hope yours was full of good things!

Friday, February 14, 2014

a love note

"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."                        -George Washington Burnap

Hello, friends- happy Valentine's day!  I am having a fantastic one, as I usually do.  Want to know my secret?  It's not receiving flowers or chocolate (although I do respond quite well to chocolate) or fancy dinners.  Every Valentine's day, I have a great day simply because I choose to.  Do you ever do that- just wake up in the morning and decide how you will feel?  I should probably try it more often than I do, but I've found that a big part of enjoying the day is just putting your mind to it.  

We started our day with  heart shaped pancakes and cranberry juice and then Arthur and I made a heart garland for the mantle.  He chose to wear his red fleece today, proving once again that he is a perfect fit for our family.  I thought about how lucky I am to have two Valentines this year- one who woos me by secretly doing all the breakfast dishes, the other who tells me he's proud of me for not throwing my food on the floor (as if anyone in this house ever throws food on the floor). 
I couldn't love anyone more.  

This afternoon we're braving the snowy streets to pick up groceries and thread (the two things we run out of when stuck at home for three days) and then heading back for a cozy night at home.  We're expecting our favorite friends for a visit this weekend- the perfect end to a fun week!  Hope you're feeling loved (and warm) today!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

snow day

It's been snowing for most of the day and I couldn't be more thrilled!  Arthur and I ran some early morning errands today before it started coming down, but were home and cozy by 10 am, ready to spend the day baking cornbread and watching train movies.  It's easy to love snow, living in the south, where it never sticks around long enough to be a bother.  

We're also gearing up for Valentine's day, which I love.  The back door is decorated with hearts and we filled the mantle with red and white.  Our plans include a romantic family dinner by the fireplace and I can't wait to see Arthur's face when he realizes we're eating in the family room.  It's the little things, right? 

There are days in mid-January that I think the month will never end, but February always seems to fly right by.  Case in point: I ordered another sewing machine at the beginning of the month and still haven't tried it out yet!  It's a backup for my main machine and will also be used for leather and waxed canvas and heavier stuff. I'm feeling productive today, so maybe I can get it set up and finish up a few projects!  

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

breakfast for dinner

It's cold here this week and I wish that the snow would come back.  I have always felt that the only two really good excuses for cold weather are Christmas and snow, and since Christmas is over, I only have snow to hope for.  In the spirit of winter wonders though, I just watched three deer run up the street.  We've only seen deer in our neighborhood two or three times since we moved here, so it is a real special occasion.  Not quite snow, but still fun.  

Last week we had breakfast for dinner and I tried out two new recipes that I never seem to find time to make in the morning for actual breakfast.  Arthur and I made these Pineapple Parfaits, which I normally would have made in pretty glasses, but instead we used plastic cups.  For the obvious reasons.  I have been getting these amazing $.99 pineapples at Aldi and, while it's not a fruit I usually eat with yogurt, the parfaits were great.  

We also made Baked Eggs with Spinach which was really fun to assemble.  You just layer all the ingredients in the ramekins, so we set up an assembly line.  Any meal that we can make together is a real winner.  Both dishes were tasty and filling and we rounded out the meal with apple scones.  In the interest of full disclosure, they were from a mix.  I mean I don't live in the kitchen, although sometimes it feels like I do.  

In other food news, I learned a new way to make shredded chicken this week and feel like it was a real life-changer, so of course I have to share.  I probably make 3-4 recipes each month that call for shredded chicken, and, although I like to eat it, I find making it such a pain.  Normally I try to bake the chicken while I'm working on something else, but it takes forever (or 40 minutes) and usually ends up tougher than I'd like for shredding purposes.  

My new method is this: heat some oil in a skillet and season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on one side.  Flip the chicken and add 3/4 cup water or broth to the skillet (I used broth).  Cover and let simmer over medium heat for 7-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked (mine took about 10-12 minutes).  I let it cool for a few minutes before shredding and the shredding was SO easy. Don't you love it when you find a new method that is both quicker and better than your old one?  Me too. 

Every time I get out the camera to take pictures of our food (which is not as often as I'd like anymore), my sidekick does the same.  It is both flattering and nerve wracking to have someone monitor and copy my every move.  I wonder if this is how celebrities feel.  

We're enjoying a quieter week than the last and have decorated for Valentine's day (more on that soon!). All of the new spring bow ties are in the shop now and I'll be blogging in more detail about those soon as well!


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