Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cabin Fever

It hasn't even been that bad out there has it? Or am I just riding high from the last two freaky 60 degree days? Either way I've felt cooped up. There's nowhere to run in this little place and somedays the walls are closing in. The other day we braved the drizzle and dirty snow to check out our old favorite playground for a bit. We ran around and climbed on things until it really started to pour.

So we retreated to the homestead where we built unstable block towers to swat to the ground like King Kong. When I'm feeling droopy about it, I just take a look at the little man, he doesn't seem to mind at all and finds endless pleasure in the little things like running on couch cushions. That's when I tell myself to get over it. How are you holding up through these winter days?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keeping Shop: Bolt & Spool

We had a lazy Saturday morning at our house. PJs until nap time, quiet music while we played with trains, and lots of hot coffee. It was lovely. But in the back of my mind I knew it was the day I finally got to check out Bolt & Spool in Little Italy!

This lovely little shop is located inside the old schoolhouse building and is owned by a lovely and enthusiastic woman named Nan. She really is so very nice and was willing to chat with me about  my projects and tips to help said projects go a little smoother. She's an excellent seamstress and says she learned by osmosis, she has a family of makers. 

Her gorgeous, giant cutting and sewing tables were locally made from reclaimed materials. The cutting table here has yard sticks inlaid into the table. How cool!

The fabric selection is well curated and high quality. I picked up some Liberty of London, Joel Dewberry, and the perfect black and white gingham. She also carries a very cool local designer, Clever Charlotte. And if I were to ever really venture further into sewing, I'd definitely get some Figgy's Patterns, they are so cute!

And you walk out with the sweetest wrapped up package and a yard stick! I just really love finding a new place that is not only unique but also owned by friendly and knowledgable people. That's what I look for in a small business for sure! When you go, say hi to Nan for me!

Friday, January 25, 2013


In preparation for the bridal show, I made some skinny men's neckties that I'm really loving! I've finally got all the photos edited and post in the shop

My husband has been a willing model and a patient observer as I learn to make new things. Thanks, babe. Have a happy Friday, friends! What do you have on tap this weekend? We have a night away from our little man and are really looking forward to a tasty dinner here. Maybe he'll wear a tie. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quick Paper Garland

If you have a sewing machine and some paper than you can make this super simple and fun garland in a flash!

Colorful or patterned paper
Sewing machine, thread

Using a straight edge draw faint lines on your paper to mark out the triangles and cut them out. I probably would use more colorful paper next time but this is what I had on hand. The machine was threaded with white and I didn't really want it to pop so it was perfect. Leave a four to five inch tail at the beginning of your first triangle. Then simply run the paper through, you can keep the shapes close like I did or spread them out a bit. Leave the same length tail at the end and you are done!

Thomas and Diesel totally approved so I hung it up on the mantle and was ready to party! I know I talk about garland a lot but it really makes for a festive look. What's your favorite party detail?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Little Love.

This joyful little love of ours is two years old today! It's hard to imagine that it has already been that many days since we first held him in the hospital. I'm not one for sugar coating, we've hard long hard days over these last two years but those days have become less and less and are far out shined by the days of pure joy and laughter. He's a gentle little soul with a hell of a sense of humor. He's an actor, a chef, and the most hilarious boy we've ever known. Three cheers to you, my son! And now a few details from the train party!

Thomas the Tank Engine is by far his favorite character these days and I've mentioned before his love of trains in general so the theme was simple. I got the glass milk jars from this etsy site and they were simple and cute. I printed out an image of a train that we liked and tied them on with baking twine. Paper straws are everywhere these days but we got ours in Denver last September. 

I have been a long time fan of Geronimo Balloons but it didn't seem reasonable to get an official one for a two year old so we just got them from the party store and added a little frill. These giant balloons seriously made my day when I found them! The day of I whipped up this very easy paper garland for the mantle (check back tomorrow for a DIY).

My ever impressive husband (and fellow birthday boy) made this amazing Thomas cake and loaded up the cargo cars with all sorts of treats! We welcomed the sugar rush with open arms...well kind of. O was so excited that he just stared at it for ten minutes to make sure nothing happened to it! And the grand finale was this awesome train set from Grandma and Grandpa. We are lucky to have so many wonderful friends willing to cram into this little apartment and let a gang of sugar crazed toddlers run amok. Yay for parties!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Brides! Brides! Brides!

And a few grooms too! The Boutique Bridal Bazaar on Sunday was a blast! There was a huge turnout of interested and interesting customers. So many brides had colors and designs in mind and it was really fun to chat with so many genuinely interested people! Thanks so much for coming out to see me! I happily shared a booth with Brian from Grey Cardigan and we had a blast stalking cakes samples and chatting the day away. Plus our work compliments each so well, don't you think?

Thank you very much to the ladies from Something White Bridal! They worked hard to put on a unique and fun event of like-minded creative people. Keep them in mind if you are looking for your perfect dress!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baked Apples

Hello and happy Monday! We are coming off a very busy but very fun weekend! Two birthdays and a wedding show. I'll share more about those later this week. In the meantime I wanted to share our latest cooking adventure. We went to Bon Bon a few weekends ago and my meal came with baked apple slices that were amazing and O really agreed. So the next morning he was really amped up to cook something and baked apples were the right choice. 

We sliced one apple and put it in a bowl with a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon and a sprinkle of lemon juice. He was having a hard time stirring it up so we dumped it all into a ziplock bag and shook  it up instead. He thought that was pretty fun. Then we laid the slices out on a baking sheet, and O decided to sample some at this point in the process. Into a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes. 

Viola! A very simple and delicious side dish. We enjoyed them for lunch and the house smelled delicious! Enjoy your day out there.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cleveland Weddings

Hey all you wedding people! This Sunday from 12-4 at the 78th Street Studios there will be a really amazing  Boutique Bridal Bazaar and tickets are still available here! Come out and see local wedding vendors to help you plan your perfect day! I'll be sharing a booth with my friend from Grey Cardigan and it's bound to be an amazing event. To make things even more fun, there will be a bridal fashion show at 2:00 and the ring bearers will be wearing my bow ties! Please come and say hello! Have a very Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Take the Rapid

Any type of train adventure is a good one! Last Saturday we went down to the rapid stop in Little Italy to take the train to the West Side Market. We figured that it would be (another) dream come true for little man and a fun family thing to do.

I mentioned on our walk down where we were going and he just couldn't stop talking about it. Of course when we got there a few trains passed by, ones that were not headed our way, and it was really a tough moment. He continued to yell "my choo choo train!" as they passed and teared up, looking up to us like we were liars. 

He's trying his best to be strong and patient waiting for our Westbound to arrive. This is our best family photo of the day. I thought it was pretty cute.

Finally it arrived and we whizzed down to the Market. The trip was really quick and O had so much fun he could barely contain himself. There were all sorts of dance moves and stomping in excitement. Of course no family fun day goes without flaw, we forgot my wallet with all the cash so we only bought kale then went to lunch, which was perfectly fine with us.

Here he is on our way out checking out the fare station. We practically had to drag him away. If you're up for some fun, I'd recommend the ride. I remember how special it felt as a child to ride downtown with my family and I'm pretty sure he felt the same way. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

For the Fellas

This Sunday is the Boutique Bridal Bazaar and I've been really busy getting things together for it. From my experience, wedding planning tends to overshadow the groom but that's no longer the case if you stop by and see me at the show! I'll have men's bow ties, neckties, and pocket squares in addition to the boys clip on bow ties! I'm really excited to release these new additions to the line! My darling husband was kind enough  to model for me! Isn't he handsome...

The Boutique Bridal Bazaar, hosted by  Something Whiteis an atypical bridal show for brides seeking vendors and products that will help them pull off a unique and stylish wedding. Come ready to taste culinary confections, acquire accoutrements, feast your eyes on the latest wedding fashions and BE ALL-AROUND INSPIRED. If any of you out there are still looking for tickets I have two complimentary ones to give away, so let me know! They are also available here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tiny Chef

We have a new obsession here and it's cooking. Little Man got a kitchen for Christmas that he loves dearly and it's turned into him wanting to help me cook all the time. Even when I'm just making coffee he drags his chair into the kitchen to help. It's so cute, he says "cook-king, cook-king?" 

Sometimes it requires me to think on my feet and find a way for him to help, other times it's simple to have him help put toppings on the pizza and sneak a few pieces of shredded cheese.

This little dude is serious about his kitchen. Happy Monday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Citrus Avocado Salad

I'm going to take this opportunity to thank Bob the Builder for this post. I once was a fool and thought that letting him watch TV from time to time would melt his brain. Not true. Turns out it lets him take a breather and it lets me have a moment with my thoughts about dinner. The other night I threw together this delicious salad for me and the husband with all the goodies from the West Side Market. Here's what you need.

3 cups chopped kale
1/2 sliced avocado
1 deveined and chopped grapefruit
A few slices of red onion
Shaved hard goat cheese
Balsamic vinaigrette

Chop, chop, chop. Toss it together and serve! I hope you enjoy it, but most of all have a happy Friday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Camera Tricks

This is my amazing Christmas gift from my dear husband (taken with my iPhone of course). It was such a surprise and treat. I'm really excited to learn how to use it. So far I have only read the short manual to  but know that I am going to need to sit down and read the whole shebang to learn how to best use this baby. I've spent the better part of the last two years miming the use of a real camera just to prove to him that I'd use it. It had become our joke and now I have to hold up my end of the bargain. It shouldn't be a problem though. Add this to my list of things to conquer in 2013.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Challenger

This sweet boy is about to be two years old in a few weeks and I'll tell you quite honestly, you can tell. For the most part he's a good boy but there's a temper hiding in there. It's been showing it's impatient little head these days and I'll tell ya, it's not so pretty. I've done lots of reading and know that being a toddler can be confusing and difficult, as in "I'm perfectly fine here playing, why are you making me leave?" My agenda means nothing to him and I get that. But the yelling about "no want it" can get old quickly. We all have to take a breath and regroup sometimes. However, as I write this, I'm listening to him sing his favorite song in pretty perfect pitch in his room as he falls asleep and I'll take this time to enjoy it and prepare for another adventure tomorrow. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Year, A New Smoothie

The Vitamix Facebook page likes to share recipes from other bloggers and I have to say that this one from The Lunchbox Bunch is a fast new favorite!

We took a trip to the West Side Market on Saturday and picked up the ingredients for the Sweet Citrus Avocado Dreamboat (minus the parsley, we forgot). Even though we had a grumpy start to the morning we had a fun trip! And we were all really pleased with this smoothie! O even finished his which is something he hasn't really done in awhile.  

Let me know if you enjoy it too!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Calling the newly engaged! It's January and it's time for the second annual Boutique Bridal Bazaar hosted by Something White Bridal Boutique. I'm happy to say that I'll be participating in this year's event and I'll be sharing a table with Grey Cardigan. I've been hard at work making handmade bow ties and neckties for all the grooms and groomsmen (or father's of the bride/groom) out there plus the perfect clip on bow ties for the little men in your wedding party!

Now for the fun part! I have two tickets to raffle off for the show! Please leave a comment below (and your email) and tell me why you'd like to go! The winner will be picked at random this Friday! And if you just can't wait, tickets are available here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hiding Out

Happy 2013! A little late, I know. I've been hiding out with the family, recovering from what I guess was the flu, and prepping for an exciting event. But I'm back and I'm ready for action in 2013. Life can be crazy sometimes, and not so much other times. We are still in the apartment and hoping to get out of there soon. While the place is nice, it just isn't home and I'm starting to miss knowing where our things are. But most importantly, we are healthy, happy, and together. I hope that you can all say the same and I wish you a very prosperous year! Stay tuned for an exciting give away Monday!

Happy Friday!