Monday, August 31, 2009

East Bar & Grill

East Bar & Grill

Remember when I said I liked to go out and order new dishes then try to recreate them? Well, here’s another one that I tried and had pretty good success on duplicating. I used to order this at a place in Charlotte NC.

Chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
White wine

Brown onion in olive oil.
Add chicken to brown, simmer until cooked through. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flower to help thicken the juices. Deglaze with white wine, toss in capers and artichokes to heat. In a separate skillet, give the garlic a quick sauté (keep a close eye on it so it does not burn) and then add that to the main pan. Plate this on top of your favorite pasta.

(You may also add some roasted red peppers for color)

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here's my bag

I’ve been looking at brocades for quite some time now. I love the way they feel and they look so beautiful and rich. Several weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to ride along with her to go to a fabric store. Which to me is much like asking a six year old to go for a ride to a candy store. It took me a while to finally make a choice and thankfully my friend’s Mother is a seamstress so when I started to hyperventilate she understood. I eventually was able to make a fabric selection despite having a million bolts to choose from. So here’s the new clutch purse I made.

It’s a fold over clutch with a magnetic snap closure.

It has a purple lining…

And it’s deep enough to carry all my stuff for a night out.

I think it will look great with a little black dress or even some jeans and a sweater.

Now back to this amazing candy…Aaa, I mean fabric store. My regular fabric store has a fair amount to select from and I can usually find what I need there. Now, this place is a super store. It has at least 4 times the fabric.

And that is just some of what they have.
I had to make another trip to feed my addiction and this is what I came home with the last time.

I can’t wait to see what the sewing fairies turn this into.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Grade

School started today. It is the first day of first grade.
My little girl is off to school again. I know I sent her off to Kindergarten last year and she has already taken the bus. But it still seems different. Maybe it was the apprehension of getting on the bus with a different driver from last year. Maybe it was that she didn’t want to get on the bus either. Maybe it’s the new “big girl” hair cut or the school uniform. Maybe the idea that she has to take lunch money this year or that the back pack no longer has fairies and princesses but now has a teen idol plastered on the front. What ever it is I think today will be a very long day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Too many green things

Zucchinis are nice and I can’t wait for them to start coming in but then you have to get creative fast.
Here is one of the ways I get the kiddos to eat these green things.

Cut the ends off. Using a potato peeler, I start peeling lengthwise in long thin strips of zucchini that look like fettuccini noodles. I keep going all the way down to the seeds. That part gets tossed out.

Then just heat it up quick in a large pot with some pasta sauce and you have a healthy carb free side dish.

Garnish with some grated cheese and chopped basil. Add a grilled chicken breast and you have a great summer meal.

If you want some more yummy ideas, check here and here.
What do you do with your zucchinis???

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

See what I've been doing...

I’ve been practicing my wire wrapping skills. What do you think of my new rings?

This red one is made using three 6 mm cut beads. I used two garnets (dark red) and one ruby (light red) but any color combination would look good. I think this would work nicely as a Mother’s ring. This one is a size 6.

This brown one I used a piece of sea glass I found in the Bahamas and then topped if off with a bi-cone bead in a smoky topaz. I think this would be a fun way to use your souvenir glass. This one is a size 6 ½.

For this blue ring I used a large Sodalite bead. I think this would look nice with some jeans and a white shirt. I love the veins in this stone. This one is a size 8.

This green ring makes a nice statement piece. The foil lining of the bead gives a unique shimmer to the ring. This one is a size 7.

This pink one was made using an oval pearl with bead caps on each end. I also put a small rose-colored 4 mm cut bead on either side. It fits my pinky finger but I think it looks cute on my daughter. This one is a size 5 ½.

Which one do you like best?

Friday, August 14, 2009

A trip to the ER

The Wall

The Hill

The Catapult

The Injury

While practicing her bike riding the other night my baby, not yet 6 years old, decided to go Evil Kenevil on us. She went over the berm of our driveway and down the hill towards the neighbor’s house, despite her Dad chanting, “Use your breaks…use your breaksUSE YOUR BREAKS!”

He put the baby down in the grass and sent my 4-year-old inside to get me and then scooped our princess up from the heap of bike and dirt. At first it looked fairly bad. Purple. Bloody. Swollen. Bad enough, that we pulled things together for a trip to the ER. I was sure x-rays would reveal a fracture. After several hours of reading the two books I sent with them, moving from one place to another in true hospital hurry up and wait manner, they came home. It’s just a bad abrasion. No fractures. Whew!!!!

BTW, that is not blood on the wall in my photo and that hill is a lot steeper than it appears. I guess we’re lucky that in almost 6 years and with three kids, this was our first run to the ER. Let’s hope it is the last.
Do you have any ER stories?

Friday, August 7, 2009

I need a change

It’s time for a change. I’m in a bit of a funk. I don’t know if I’m coming down off the cleaning/planning/preparing frenzy from the recent in-law visit or if it’s something else. The summer is almost over and I feel a little panicked. It seems that it was just yesterday that I was worried about having enough activities to keep the busy little people… busy. Now, I need to go get school clothes and supplies ready. I’m in a decorating dilemma. I’m not in love with the way things look in my house, but I’m not sure what direction I want to go, not to mention, that there is a VERY tight budget on any unnecessary spending. Then there are a few other incidental issues and stressors bouncing around in my head.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking of modifying my business some and with a little luck, I may just get some extra inspiration from those changes. As many of you know, I have my own jewelry website. I’ve used it for more than 3 years to showcase jewelry and purses that I custom make here at home. The website it’s self is very cumbersome for me to update and keep current. Because of that more than half of my new designs aren’t listed on the site. The biggest benefit to having the website is that I have a shopping cart and can accept credit card purchases. With that, comes an added expense that could be eliminated. Most of my customers e-mail me what they want and then use pay pal anyway. So, I’ve been considering using a blog to showcase items I have in stock and examples of what I can custom create. With a blog, customers could e-mail me and use pay pal to make a purchase, it would be easier for me to list new items and make regular updates, not to mention that it would save me a ton in hosting fees.

(Please feel free to chime in here and give me your ideas/feedback on the idea).

I have listed a few items on shop handmade. I get a few hits, but I’m not selling much there and it’s hard to get the more custom-made concepts across in a marketplace like this or esty. And they tend to be overwhelming with so many other artists listed. Who knows, maybe I’m just going about it wrong or maybe I like the control of having my own “store” minus the template.
In my research, I even came across this post from at home mom blog. It’s a great review of ways to sell goods online. If it’s something you’re considering, you should go check it out.

Since I’m initiating these changes, I’m also thinking of streamlining the name. I mean, come on,
Jewelry and Gifts by Rebecca (dot) com a mouthful.

I first thought it would be good to say what I do and easy for people to remember but it’s just long. However, I have no idea what to change to. I would like it to be short, catchy, available, concise, descriptive and easy to pair with a logo. (Picture me thinking, scratching head, going for the chocolate…) URG!

Here comes another stumbling block. Everything I look up is either taken or the name of a porn star.

I know it’s not like you don’t have anything else to do but I’m open to some suggestions. I’ll even toss in some incentive with this lovely bracelet. If you give me the most useful feedback on using a blog as a storefront and come up with a new name then you get my gratitude and a little bling.

Thanks !!!