Tuesday, November 30, 2010

an Etsy find that Heather sent me...

..one night, very late.  Because that is kinda how she rolls.

I instantly fell in love with Sarah Jane Studios.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/sarahjanestudios

December in my favorite sweater

This is a close-up of a print called "December in My Favorite Sweater".  So sweet!

Here's November:

December in my favorite sweater

I bought several things.  Her art just speaks to me.  I think if I could draw, or paint, perhaps this is what it would look like.
Both of the items shown above are prints, suitable for framing.  Sarah Jane is in Utah, and has had an Etsy shop since October of 2007.

I purchased cards, and labels.  And just now, as I was looking for more images to share with you, I ended up buying more things!

Look at these sweet cards:

Hello Bird Cardpack

Really, I could buy it all.  But I will save some for you!

Happy shopping!

(and if you go to her shop and these items are already gone, I am sorry for teasing you...when you find it on Etsy you have to BUY NOW or it may be gone....)

Monday, November 29, 2010

'Tis the Season...

..to buy handmade!

Since joining Etsy this fall, I have been completely overwhelmed by the amazing artists, from all over the world, who sell their creations through this marketplace.

Each day this season, I will be highlighting a different Etsy shop that I have found, and share their work with you. 

Needle Felted Santa Claus

These adorable hand felted creations are from Chimera, you can find her adorable things here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/chimera?ref=seller_info

She opened her shop in January 2008, and it is full of fun-both things already made or supplies to make your own goodies.  Here is a snippet from her profile:  "I've been playing with fiber and crafting my entire life. Wool is my favorite material because it is so versatile. With wool I can make a silky scarf, spin colorful yarn, sculpt a landscape or felt a durable rug. Adding to the fun is the ability to dye wool any colors I choose, and to add in other fibers to create something truly unique."

Needle Felted Rabbit

There are so many reasons to buy handmade: 

1.  You support the dreams and hard work of someone pursuing their passion.

2.  You get a unique gift you can't find in a shop.

3.  You can find a gift that will truly delight an individual, find something perfectly tailored to their interests, and they will know how much you care!

'Tis the season to buy handmade!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


The kitchen is quiet now.  The morning was spent with the sounds of chopping and dirty measuring cups being washed so they could be used again. The afternoon brought the aromas of roasting turkey and fresh sage in the dressing.  The evening was filled with the sounds of leftovers being put in the refrigerator, and Mike loading the dishwasher.  (hurray!)

Thanksgiving to me is all about memories.  As I sauteed the onions and celery for the stuffing, I had a vision of my mom doing the very same thing.  I would be home from college, and couldn't wait to taste her cooking.

 As I whipped potatoes and added the cream cheese, I thought of the time I met Susan Branch, whose recipe I use every single year.  When I put the lefse in foil to warm it in the oven, I thought of my grandma doing the same thing, for so many years.

As I cut into the pecan pie, I thought of being with my sister last year, and how we made my mom's pecan pie together.  And when I pulled the turkey out of the oven, I thought of the year my father-in-law was getting ready to carve the turkey and it slid onto the floor.

Thanksgiving is about being grateful, but it is also ripe with wonderful memories.  And that is just another reason it is one of my favorite holidays.

This year we made a new memory, hosting our friends Jed and Tracy and their sweet girls.  It was a true delight.

And after they had gone home to put tired girls to bed, we were able to Video Kinect with my family in Bemidji.  What a treat!  Memories were made, and a new tradition has begun.

Here's hoping you had a wonderful turkey day too!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

recipe box Wednesday

What perfect timing!  How many of you are cooking today in preparation for tomorrow?

My groceries are purchased and my flowers are arranged, all of the recipes I will be using have been printed out or copied (I am a very messy cook, and that way when I spill on them I just throw them away when I am done!)

Today is for baking pecan pie, and making mashed potatoes, cooking cranberry sauce, and putting together my sweet potato dish.

Do you use tried and true recipes for turkey day, or do you like to mix things up and try something new?

This year I am brining a giant turkey breast with a recipe I have used before (if you have never brined your bird TRY IT, it makes such a huge difference.  Unless, of course, you prefer dry turkey.)  I am making dressing from a recipe I found in a magazine a few years ago, Mike and Charlie are now big fans.  I picked up day old foccacia rolls and a day old baguette at Cafe Latte to use in it, along with turkey sausage for my vegetarian friend who is joining us for the meal.

My green bean dish is from Ellie Krieger, simple flavors of sauteed shallots and fresh mushrooms to go with the crunchy grreen beans.  If I was home, I would be looking forward to my mom's classic green bean casserole, but at my house I have decided we have enough caloric numbers in the meal already.

The fresh sweet potatoes will be roasted to bring out their natural goodness, then mashed with some freshly squeezed orange juice and a little maple syrup.  Again, if I was in Bemidji, we would enjoy the classic with marshmallows on top, but I like to have my own traditions when I am doing the cooking.

I like to throw in a green salad, just to balance out the heaviness of the other food.  I found one here that I am going to try, http://sdoeden.areavoices.com/2010/11/21/bright-and-light-festive-salad-for-the-puff-and-fluff-days-ahead/.  The flavors sound perfect (and I love the name) for the Thanksgiving meal.  I am also going to make my pecan pie from this website-this one sounds amazing http://sdoeden.areavoices.com/2010/11/14/a-secret-ingredient-and-a-generous-chunk-of-cream-cheese-boost-claibornes-pecan-pie-filling-right-over-the-top/ 

Fresh pecans -- an important ingredient in any pecan pie
(I am going to skip the cream cheese in the pie, and whip up some fresh cream for the top instead).  Sue Doeden lives in Bemidji and writes for the Pioneer, she is a food goddess up there and I have found many amazing recipes on her site.  Check it out and bookmark it if you haven't seen it before. (all pictures today are from her blog.)

Cranberries will be popping later today, I love the sound they make when they cook.  I use red wine for my liquid, it adds a nice layer of flavor, and a little freshly grated orange peel.  This year I am using clementines, as that is what is in the fridge.

I let Great Harvest make the rolls and bread, I need to run and pick them up this morning before the nasty weather hits.  And make a deposit and get change for ACES for the big weekend ahead. 

We are delighted to have friends for dinner tomorrow!  I usually go through all of that work for just the three of us, this year Tracy http://www.sellabitmum.com/ and her hubby and sweet little girls will be joining us!  I am looking forward to getting the leaf out for the dining room table and planning my place settings, it is so much more fun to cook for 8 than for 3.

While I am wistful that I won't be joining my family for Thanksgiving this year (remember the fun we had last year ?http://ohfercute.blogspot.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-scrapbook.html I am grateful that we won't have to travel on what sound to be hazardous roads today. And again on Sunday when we would have to come home.

Whatever your plans for the day, I wish you moist turkey, and perfect stuffing, and safe travels on your journeys!  I am so grateful to have amazing people who take the time to read about my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

are you ready?


Okay, I have to admit, I have wasted a lot of time watching all of these on You Tube-Target has their own channel.


Let me know if you don't get it, and I can help you out....

I am back!

Wow.  What an amazing November it has been!

I am grateful, and humbled by the amazing women I have met and worked with to pull this sale off.

On Friday night, luminary lined the path down to the lower level of Paula's house.  Inside, it was warm and sparkling and full of smiles.  Family and friends stopped by to visit and shop, and enjoy a glass of wine or a snack.  We shared our inspiration and ideas, and before we knew it, it was time to go home and rest up for Saturday!

It was a magical day.  I was thrilled to see not only friends I see regularly, but friends I have not seen in years.  Bracelets and pins were purchased and packaged  for giving,

unique ornaments went home with happy customers,

fun fur socks were snapped up to keep feet warm and toasty. 

Cashmere scarfs,  hats, and sweet little people clothing

beaded bracelets,

gorgeous handbags,

homemade caramels tucked into festive cones,

 wool animals,

word photography,

sweet paintings,

and adorable cards

were happily purchased and tucked into kraft bags, by the happy women who had gathered for a day of fun.

After we packed everything up on Saturday night, we went to North Coast in Wayzata to celebrate our success and talk about future plans to get together.

And now back to real life.  Time to stock my Etsy shop for holiday shopping, and thaw the turkey!  No more of this:  (for a while...)

Thanks to everyone who was able to stop by-I know it was a crazy busy weekend for everyone.  (and thank goodness we didn't have it on Sunday, during the ice storm!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

It Starts Today!

199 Lakeview Lane is all set and ready-you won't believe the fun stuff that awaits!

Hope to see you there!


Monday, November 15, 2010

before the snow...

When it was so nice last week, nearly seventy (in November!) I knew my chances to take photos in my yard were quickly dwindling. 

So I abandoned my buttons and such, just for a few minutes, and documented the late fall glory.

We got 6" of heavy, wet, heart attack snow on Saturday. 

When I pulled back the curtain early Saturday morning, every tree bough and surface was wearing a thick white coat.  I chose NOT to take pictures of it.  I'm not quite ready.

So I pulled up these photos this morning on my computer, and I share them with you today, and mourn the fact that we are already shoveling.  ugh.

And just a teeny tiny request going out to Mother Nature-PLEASE keep the snow away for our boutique this weekend!

(and on a side note, even though it seems as if I have not been blogging much lately, I discovered that this is my SEVEN HUNDREDTH post.  Who knew I had so much to say?)

Friday, November 12, 2010

taking a moment

The world is so full of a number of things,

I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

I have been going full tilt lately, and my personality is such that I WILL CONQUER the list of things I have to do today no matter what.  And at the end of the day, tired and exhausted, I realize that I have nothing left to give. 

POSH in Chicago is one of my favorite stores, and they occasionally send out an email.  I don't know who writes it for them, but it always seems to touch a nerve.  This month's email began with the quote above.  And then this is what they had to say:

As you prepare for this holiday season, please take a few moments to do something for yourself. This really is one of the most beautiful times of the year but all too often it is also the busiest. Pause for a moment to enjoy the brilliantly colored leaves of autumn. Breathe in the crisp, clean air. Relish in celebrations with family and friends. Savor these precious moments of comfort and joy. Remember that the hectic world around us is also full of a number of things that are quiet and small. Although easy to overlook, they can bring more happiness than all the riches of a king.

Today I am going to look for the things that are quiet and small.  And take a minute to just breathe.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

six years ago today...

...Mike and I were operating on about 2 hours of sleep.  We had spent the last ten days loading in simulators, hooking up simulators, pricing merchandise, training employees, arguing with the phone company and trying to resolve register issues and dealing with the fire marshall and asking ourselves what in the heck we had gotten into. 

And whether we were ready or not, ACES Flight Simulation at the Mall of America opened at 10 am on November 11th, 2004.

Local news stations were on hand to film Tuskegee airmen trying out the simulators. 

A Tom Cruise look-alike greeted our customers throughout the day.

And I was still knee deep trying to resolve POS issues with our registers and get Qwest to set up our phone lines properly.  Friends and family stopped in throughout the day to congratulate and greet us, and bring much needed sustenance and smiles.

It was exhausting and exhilerating at the same time.  I don't know how we did it, and I would never want to go through it again.

But six years and many happy flyers later-we are still here, and so grateful for our amazing crew, our wonderful customers, and everyone who has helped us make it through these last six years.  THANK YOU!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

recipe box Wednesday

Just kidding!  Unless I can get Mike to give you his recipe for the turkey burgers he cooked for us last night (hurray warm temperatures in November!)  I have nothing for you today....

I promise to get back on the recipe bandwagon in a couple of weeks : 0

in the meantime, meet more of the artists you will see at our boutique:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


All I want to do on Sunday night is curl up and watch "Masterpiece Mystery"  followed by "Doc Martin".

If you have never seen Doc Martin, here is what Wikipedia can tell you:

image from whatsontv.co.uk

"Doc Martin" is a British television comedy drama starring Martin Clunes. It was created by Dominic Minghella, and is filmed on location in and around the fishing village of Port Isaac, Cornwall, United Kingdom, with filming of most interior scenes and production carried out in a converted barn at a local farm. There have been four completed series of the show, and a feature-length special that first aired on Christmas Day, 2006.

Martin Clunes is adorable, gruff yet with a heart of gold, buried really far down....the town's headmistress is played by Caroline Catz (I first found her in "Murder in Suburbia", another excellent series) and their relationship is full of spark and frustration on the part of the viewer.

I started watching it last year, but will need to order the episodes I have missed from Netflix.  I love the scenery, the townspeople, it's a gem!  I really need to get to England one of these days....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Minute

In keeping with my ultra busy life, but my need to stay connected with everyone in the blogsphere, I introduce the "Monday Minute".

I will tell you everything I can in a minute, then post away-I can find a MINUTE every Monday, right?

And it will test my typing skills to see how much I can tell you...

Ready, set, go!

We picked up Kinect for Xbox on Thursday.  It is the best thing for video gaming ever invented!  More to come...

A have Manly Beef Stew in the Crockpot, it smells so good!

Book club last night was so fun- I LOVE talking about books

It is GORGEOUS here-we even got the yard cleaned up in shirt sleeves!

oops, times up!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

buttons buttons buttons!

Just to let you know why I haven't been posting much lately....I am completely focused on the big holiday boutique!

Well, not completely...I still have to clean my house and make dinner and do laundry, and payroll and accounting and buying for our store.

Which would be why blogging has gone way down on the bottom of the list...

I will post when I can-don't give up on me!

And if you live in the cities and can make it to Wayzata for the show, on Friday night or Saturday, I would love to see you.  There will be so many fun things to buy-I plan to get lots of holiday shopping done myself!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time Flies, trick or treating edition

As part of my Halloween decorating, I have old pictures up of Charlie when he was one, and dressed like a lamb.  When he was two, and had his hands full of pumpkin goo during carving time. And when he was three, and dressed like a construction worker. 

And this year he was Al Capone, toting his gun.


He spent Sunday afternoon creating his gun, patiently painting it in the sunny back yard.  He dusted off Mike's fedora, and requested a pocket square for his suit jacket.  I made him a cigar out of old sewing pattern tissue, and even burned the end for authenticity.

He was gone by 4 pm, joining his buddies for dinner and trick or treating together.  He came home with a huge bag full of candy, not at all ready to go to bed.  Of course he had to dump it all out and have fun sorting it, and deciding what he would share with his parents.
He claims this was his last year to go door to door.  He tells me the magic is gone.  He didn't even want to carve a pumpkin.

It just went too fast. 

Maybe from now on I can talk him into doing the holiday decorating and handing out the candy.

How was YOUR Halloween?

Monday, November 1, 2010

holiday boutique update

Sorry no posting, been crazy around here....

I just added some additional artists to the Holiday Boutique blog-go check it out!


In addition to my bracelets, I will also have necklaces and some other things as well.  The women who I will be sharing my day with are AMAZING.  Hope you can come and shop!


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