Friday, January 28, 2011

I finally finished!

I started knitting this scarf in early December to give my mom as a Christmas gift.  She'll finally get it tomorrow... January 29th!  We still have plenty of cold weather left, so I know she'll still get plenty of use this season.

And yes, that's my sock monkey (along with a sock turtle) modeling   ♥

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today I am a Steelers Fan

I can't believe I just typed that!  Growing up outside of Cleveland, I've always been a Browns fan and will continue to be one.  My hubby loves the Steelers.  And once in a while it's nice to cheer for a team that actually has a chance to win and make it to the Super Bowl.  So today I will cheer for the Steelers! 

My hubby always gets Steelers-themed gifts for Christmas or birthday..... lucky me to have an inflatable Steelers guy in my family room!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Be My Valentine

I can't believe all of the valentine items in stores already!  But I guess it's right around the corner.  Here are a few items in my shop, perfect for yourself or your special someone  ♥

Monday, January 17, 2011


I love the color of turquoise.  I think it goes great with a lot of other colors.  Any of these earrings would be great when you need a pop of color ~ especially during these long, gray winter days!

The pair in the middle is made with facetetd glass beads.  The other 2 earrings feature Howlite, a gem that looks very much like turquoise.

Pandora Charms ~ Customer Photo

I love when customers send me photos of my jewelry!  Below is a picture of a bracelet owned by one of my customers who purchased my 3-pearl charm (lower right hand corner).  What a gorgeous bracelet and set of charms she has collected!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Recipe ~ Stuffed Dates

I'll be honest - this takes a bit of time to prepare, but the results are worth it!  These little guys are so good!  They're always the talk of the party when I bring them somewhere.  The combination of the sweet dates, salty bacon and tart cheese is perfect!

Whole, pitted dates (I buy Dole dates in a bag)
1 small package of goat cheese 
Bacon, with each slice cut in thirds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of cheese, and place into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.
*dates can also be stuffed with blue cheese or an almond. 
* I always make these ahead of time and warm them up in the microwave.  I've also frozen them and they warm up nicely.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recipe ~ Rueben Dip in Bread Bowl

I'm already thinking about what to serve during the Super Bowl.  My husband is a big Steelers fan (boo) and is insisting that they will be in the big game.  My family has already hinted that they're coming over to watch the game. 

Here's a great recipe for game day or anytime you need some munchies.  You're probably wondering where the bread bowl is in my picture!  Well, I couldn't find one!  I went to the grocery store on 12/30 and it was packed.  Absolutely insane!  And the bread shelves were getting bare.  I was lucky to find this great Pepperidge Farm Rye & Pumpernickle swirl bread.  It was really good!  So I ended up baking the dip in a dish and serving it with cut up bread pieces, which worked out very well.

One other thing to note is that I used lite versions of the mayo, cream cheese and sour cream, and this still came out very good.  A real crowd pleaser and easy because it can be made ahead of time and warmed up in the microwave or oven.

1 round bread loaf, either rye or basic Italian
1 c. mayonnaise
8 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. sour cream
2 pkgs. Buddig corned beef, sliced thin (I couldn't find this, so used corned beef from deli)
6 oz. grated Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut out top of bread and hollow out to create a bowl. Reserve removed bread for serving.

Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to bread bowl and wrap bread in foil, leaving dip exposed.  Or, if spread dip in 8"square baking dish.  Bake for 1 hour; serve with bread pieces.

Friday, January 7, 2011

ETSY Finds ~ Soapalaya Soaps

I purchased quite a few ETSY items as gifts this holiday.  One of my favorite purchases was from Soapalya Soap.  I purchased a couple gifts for my husband and I.  You can visit Alex's shop here -- Soapalya Soap.

I purchased the basmati rice soap for myself, and it has a creamy and luscious lather ~ and the scent is so pretty.  I also got the matching talc and love to put a bit on before I go to bed :)  I'm looking forward to trying the other products with this scent.

My husband likes a good scrubby soap, so I bought him a bar of "Out to Sea" soap.  He loves the texture and fresh, clean scent.

I've already made a little wish list for my next purchase!  I'd love to try the coffee lover's gift set. 

And  Alex has the prettiest marabou feather powder dusters.  How pampering do this look?

And just in time for Mardi Gras ~ A King Cake soap!  How festive!

Beautiful shop, Alex!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Christmas Eve Photos

I wanted to get this post out earlier, but just didn't have time.  Our Christmas Eve dinner always features fish - following the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  We no longer have 7 types of fish, but have several dishes that have become our tradition:  fried perch, smelts, shrimp, and pasta aglio e olio.  I ended up using quite a few cloves of garlic for the pasta.  It's my husband's favorite, and we have it often throughout the year.  So simple with just olive oil and garlic.  I love that my husband makes wassail.  The cloves and cinnamon simmering make the kitchen smell so warm and cozy.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Blog Feature!

I'm so fortunate to be featured on another blog! I'm flattered to be their first pick of 2011!

Daily Handmade Picks: Daily Handmade Pick: 2011 Sterling Silver & Fresh...: "by SweetBirdy"

Make sure to swing by and become a follower to see their daily picks!