Neckwarmer Hoodie

The other day, I got together with a friend for a late afternoon walk, with our dogs and I gasped, as I saw her neckwarmer hoodie. I fell in love with it and asked her where she got it? To that, she replied, “I made it!” (Gasp!) “WHEN?” “The night before.” (Gasp again!) A few days later, she gave me one and it’s the prettiest – with a white trim and red stripes- my favorite color and it’s oh-so-warm. It’s been so cold here on the east coast that this gift put such a smile on my face.

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And I just love the pointy cap…

DSC05579The designer herself, sporting a pretty blue one…

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“What’s that in the distance?” Is it spring?

No…not yet…

It’s a special 10% off coming your way, when you use the coupon code BLISS HOUSE. You can use it in the whole shop, good until April 5, 2015. Check out Alison’s shop at www.oldearthtradingco.etsy.com

Pictured above is Alison, wearing an earthy, brown hued neckwarmer hoodie. ($40) All orders are custom made, which is great. Have a favorite color? Love that winter white, paired with some bright red lips? Fan of violet and gold together? Feeling like red riding hood? (I kinda did and loved it, lol.) Loving lime green, hot pink? Grab one now, for the rest of this winter, which apparently is going to be another six more weeks and squirrel one away for next winter…

You can request custom orders to: oldearthtradingco@gmail.com

Happy shopping! And happy weekend!

Addressing Envelopes

I sent out a few packages the other day, of fun Valentines day stuff; heart shaped bracelets, conversation hearts, red pom-poms, some chocolates…for my friends daughters…One of the best parts of being a kid was getting something in the mail. (I actually still love getting stuff in the mail, brings me back.) So when I was at the post office sending out the goodies, the woman at the counter looked at the writing and I said, “Oh no! Is it legible?” She said, “Yes! It’s fine, I was just admiring it!” It made my morning. So I thought why not blog about it? For sending out to kids, it’s fun to add “Little Miss or Mister” and use a thick permanent marker. For regular envelopes, all you need is a fine point pen. Both need a little extra time and practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked addressing everything this way, even the bills! ;)

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What’s beautiful is everyone has their own handwriting. So make the best of it! And using a good fine point pen does wonders. Vary between capital letters, cursive and print. What I’ve learned, the hard way is to ensure the street address is most legible. When I was sending out invitations, I made the mistake of shading the street number and adding curly q’s. (Not a good mix.)

DSC05467Next, embellish your handwriting, adding dots, hearts, curly q’s and shading. A little mix is always fun! Enjoy!

What Numerology Year Are You In?

“Be patient. Trust yourself. Spend time alone with no distractions. Minimize your activities. You need time for yourself. Listen to the questions you ask yourself, and hear the responses you give. Listen to how you argue with yourself when alternatives appear. Notice your resistance to change. Feel yourself fighting off your own changing reality and consequently, your potential for greater satisfaction. Be aware of this inner battle and you will also realize that everything starts from within.” – taken from January’s 6 monthly forecast.

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How positive, deep and thought provoking. But this is what www.creativenumerology.com is all about. There is not a month or week that goes by that doesn’t push you to think about your life and how to better it.

To figure out the year that you are in, add up your birth month, date, along with the current year that we are in…

For example to figure out today’s birthday, January 29, add up all the numbers until you get one digit…

1+2+9+2+0+1+5= 20, 2+0=2

With a little more snow forecast tonight…i.e. cabin fever could be in the air…will be in the air, lol, this is a great site to get lost on, while munching on some popcorn and sipping some hot cocoa.

Good Night!

Paper Straw Bow

Little P received a gift from his fairy Godmother and I loved the paper so much that I careful opened up the gift, in plans to use it again. I was pretty successful and saved it. Printed kraft paper is genius! With some slight wrinkles in it, I crumpled it up and made it look purposeful and re-used it to wrap a gift.

‘Tis the season!

I didn’t have a bow and the twine looked a little sad. It needed a pop of happiness and nothing makes me happier than polka dots. I dug into my kitchen drawer and found some paper straws. I used about 2 or so. Take each straw and cut into thirds. Wrapping a gift with twine in a traditional way, don’t finish off with a bow, instead tie in a straw. Alternate the direction of the second straw, tying it into the bow, continuing until you are satisfied with the grand finale, finishing with a small knot, cutting the excess. Happy wrapping!

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Pin It Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

This is one of the quickest ways to add a little fright into the house…a Hellraiser pumpkin! That movie scares me to this day, even though I can’t fully say I’ve seen it because my eyes were shut the whole time! Haha!

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Pins, pins and more pins are needed for this mini project…

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Leave a pumpkin indoors…to spook yourself…

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Or outdoors to give your trick-or-treaters a good scare…

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Have a happy Halloween and weekend!

Declutter

Clutter happens for me, innocently, or so I think…

It’s the mail I don’t want to look through, that piles on the counter, tucked away in the corner…

It’s those good intentioned gifts, that I don’t know what to do with yet..

It’s the laptop box that I need to save. What if breaks and I need to return it?

It’s the beach blankets that are still sitting neatly folded, next to the front door, that need to be put away. Somehow they comfort me, as the weather cools. (I do it every year until I see in fact there is no miraculous heat wave coming through for Thanksgiving.)

Then it’s those off-season purchases. How can I resist a feather ornament for the Christmas tree that’s out before Halloween? Do I really want to climb up and put it away with the rest of the Christmas decorations? I rationalize that Christmas is right around the corner…and so it sits, next to my mail, on the desk.

And so there it is, staring me in the face:clutter. The only solution that I have found for dealing with clutter is, when inspiration strikes to just deal with it, until poof it’s gone. But those moods are far and few in between. A more realistic approach is to do a little at a time and go for one area, at a time. Set the timer for fifteen minutes and go to town. If you have more time available, squeeze in a half an hour to an hour to get it under control and manageable. Today, I set the timer for an hour and I was able to go through some magazines and I felt so much better getting them bundled together for the recycling pile. Decluttering feels good for your home and your mind. Put on some good music and bop away, as you go through that mail pile, junk drawer or that corner of clutter. Happy decluttering!

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Nasturtium Leaf, Grilled Artichoke Heart & Herbed Goat Cheese Salad

It’s the last bits of summer and I have been lushiously and lazily enjoying it, hitting the beach any spare moment I have. (And I’ve been making those spare moments happen, even if only for a short moment.) Lately, even cooking seems like a chore, so many nights, it’s a salad for dinner. On nights that I’m feeling like making something extra special, I make what I call a “fancy-pants salad.” They are so fun and fancy and no need to go out when you can dine in on such a yummy salad. This one is with nasturtium leaves, grilled artichokes and herbed goat cheese. Make it a special date night with a nice bottle of wine and candles on the patio. Happy long weekend!

  • 4 oz. soft goat cheese, herbed or plain
  • some herbs that you have on hand, minced
  • handful of nasturtium leaves
  • 6-8 artichoke hearts
  • avocado oil
  • a good fruity balsamic vinegar
  • flaky sea salt

Heat up the grill to about 450-500 degrees. While your grill is heating up, take the flat end of the artichoke heart and place it on a board and gently flatten with your hand. (This step is optional, you could leave them whole, just gently squeeze the excess liquid out before grilling.) I’ve tried both ways, and the flattening method leaves them a little less mushy on the inside. Drizzle a little olive oil on your artichokes and place on the grill; watch them, as they can easily burn. A few minutes per each side is enough. Use a small spatula to flip them. Once lightly grilled or more to your liking, set them aside. While the grill is heating up, you can make your goat cheese. I used an herb and garlic goat cheese to begin with and added in a little dill and basil. Use the back of a spoon or fork to work the herbs in. Now it’s time to assemble the salad. Divide the artichokes among two plates. Using a mini ice cream scooper, make your goat cheese balls, and place them on your plates. (You can surely use a spoon also.) Surround with nasturtium leaves and garnish each plate with a nasturtium flower. Serve with the avocado oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt and top your salads as you wish. Serves 2. Enjoy!

DSC03407/ nasturtium, goat cheese and artichoke salad

Take What You Need…

We are back from our R&R which was more like running around trying to see everyone, in some cases, family that I have never met, which saddens me, as I wish it was so much sooner…

I ate homemade bread, cheese and butter; all so good. It’s amazing how such simplicity could be so delicious.

I milked a cow, which was more like an attempt but there was milk in the bucket, so I’m gonna say…I milked a cow.

I petted a barely day old born calf, with soft, curly hair and big pretty eyes and fell in love.

I ate the best potato pancakes I’ve ever had in my life along with attending one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. I’ve learned a good wedding ends at six in the morning.

I got to experience rose ice cream. I say experience because it is an experience; creamy and filled with crushed rose petals. I crave it daily, since coming home.

I saw the church my mom went to as a little girl, which was built without even one nail. It was breath taking and the air smelled like what I imagine heaven to smell like.

One one of our day trips, we walked around the city and this was taped up on the wall in one of the over ground tunnels. I just love it and plan to print it out and hang it up somewhere.

In the meantime, take what you need…

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Midsummer Gardening

In about the middle of July, I get a little panicky, as I see the gardening section dwindling down to make room for school supplies. Rows upon rows of pencils, pens and shiny notebooks will put me in a tailspin for an iced coffee, drinkable evidence that summer is still here. Right after that cool, refreshing, first sip, I go to the gardening center, where I am at first dismayed with the half price signage, another sign that summer is slowly slipping away. But as I walked further in between all the flowers, I felt comforted to see such tropical looking plants, that will stick around until the first frost. I reassured myself that summer is still here to stay and if not, it sure will look like it is.

This is my first year growing caladiums and I’m very excited to see how they will do. These are an annual which require full sun to partial shade. Happy gardening!

Red Flash                                                     Red Flash Caladium

Still Obsessed: Roast Chicken and Other Stories

Long gone are the Sunday afternoons of my childhood; the memory of watching Julia Child at three in the afternoon on public television in the summer heat. She was on channel thirteen and I watched the clock like a hawk, as it neared my favorite hour. Even though I was only about ten or so, my mother knew not to interrupt me as it was my favorite half an hour of my Sunday. The numbers are a blur but the memory stays vividly in my mind as I was in a trance as Julia would cook. Afterwards, I watched maybe another cooking show but it was more of an after thought. I usually would sit on the cool linoleum floor with the fan blowing on me and would peruse through some glossy food magazines, like Good Housekeeping. My father’s cousin would pass some magazines along to my mom and I just loved looking through the shiny pictures of food. And comparing the ingredients from the recipe to what we had in the refrigerator, in hopes that it was a successful match, which it usually wasn’t. My mom was pretty set in her cooking ways and she didn’t deviate. But what she made, she made really well and to get a recipe out of her, takes a very very long time. You have to earn it in some way and she has to be in a very very good mood. (I’m currently working on getting her meatloaf recipe, no luck so far.) Yesterday, I found that nostalgic heat in the afternoon which lead me to another fond pastime of mine, page hopping in one of my favorite books, Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham. It’s a gem of a cookbook; wittingly written, charmingly illustrated, so interesting and full of delicious recipes. It’s been handled so many times, that it’s food-stained. (If you ever want to know which cookbook is someones’ favorite, look for the food-stained one, with the pages practically falling out, held by tape.) This book is one of my favorites…