this week's wants

Let's start the weekend off with a little inspiration and a lot of charm!

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I can't tell you how many times I've tried to write messages in spiral or circular form. Somehow, it never looks quite right. But in her Elaborate ring, Anne Kiel (of Anne Kiel Jewelry) got it just so. What a lovely Valentine's present this would be! And just so you don't have to stand on your head to read the inscription, here it is: "Go Ahead and Elaborate on Your Love for Me." Well, what are you waiting for?

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I'm obsessed with tunics right now and cannot get yellow out of my brain since I saw Slumdog Millionaire last week. This knee-length linen dress in mustard by Pamela Tang would satisfy both predilections. It also makes me anxious for warmer temperatures to come!

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As someone who works with polymer clay on a regular basis, I'm always on the lookout for artists that use the medium in different ways. This week, I found a shop on 1000Markets called Stonehouse Studio that is just filled with gorgeous polymer clay and silver jewelry. The Budding Branch Neckwire, above, is my favorite of the bunch.

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I love to cook and I'm a huge fan of cookbooks. The more photos, the better. That said, I've never seen a more adorable recipe than this! These French Toast Recipe Nesting Dolls by Trish Grantham actually show you how to make French toast. Whether you cook or not, I think you'll agree that these are adorable. Definitely check out this shop for more precious finds--Trish is running a sale this week!

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What a gorgeous and colorful way to organize one's baubles! The pomegranate bowl from Felt Gallery by Vaiva Nat is made from hand-felted wool. Functional as it is, wouldn't it just look swell atop your dresser or vanity? Once you've got that all decorated, don't forget a little something for yourself. Maybe one of these!

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It's been a hectic week and promises to be an even busier weekend. This soy pinecone candle Berd & Bee makes for a handsome reminder to take a few minutes to relax and wind down. I'm breathing deeper just looking at it!


On that note, here's wishing each of you a peaceful, happy weekend!
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alphabet soup {d}

What does the letter "d" conjure up for you? It makes me think of...

dresses


dandelions (and my dear dog, Lola)


dimples (and not just fruity ones)

dancing (how am I supposed to wait until summer for season 5?)


dark chocolate


devotion (and our first dance)


design (love these dark stained wood floors)


denim


diet & exercise (always more fun in new digs. i do love jogging skirts.)


and my dad (the dentist and hosta hybridzier extraordinaire).




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what's cooking: easy samosas

I live in a tiny town. A town with just a few (not very good) restaurants and very few shops. And even less variety. Imagine how happy we were when an Indian restaurant opened last year. Since then, we've treated ourselves somewhat regularly to a curried feast.

Unfortunately, our small town makes it pretty hard for businesses to survive (nevermind thrive). So we weren't surprised (though we were dismayed) to find that our little Indian restaurant was closed (for a while, they said) right when we were experiencing an intense craving for samosas.

Really, there was nothing else to do but take a stab at it ourselves. Of course, I wasn't really up for a lot of work, so we searched through a bunch of recipes, got a general feel for how these things are made, and took some shortcuts. And we LOVE how these turned out. Delicious! And easy. I just couldn't keep these to myself!



Easy Samosas [print]
1 large russet potato, baked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ cup green peas
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
2/3 teaspoon ground coriander
2/3 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup water
1 sheet refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Crumble the potato flesh (discard the skin) into a medium-sized skillet with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the peas, spices, salt, and water, and cook over medium heat until the ingredients are combined and heated through. Remove from heat and set aside.

On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust to about 1/8 inch thick. Slice the dough into 6 equal-sized wedges. Divide the filling into 6 equal portions as well. Place one portion of filling in the center of one wedge of dough and fold up the three flaps to form a pyramid, using a little water to allow the dough to stick at the seams. Place the finished pyramid on a greased cookie sheet. Once the remaining samosas are assembled, brush them with a light coat of vegetable oil. Cook at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Bon appétit!
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and the winner is...

Congrats to Elena, the winner of the January Contest!

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I'm thrilled to be sending something off to one of my favorite Etsians! Elena is the talent behind Tickled Pink Knits and Floralia, two shops that I frequent for inspiration! And more recently, she's opened a third--Atelier TPK, where you can find patterns to make your own lovely knits, should you have the necessary skills! If you haven't visited yet, you simply must!

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this week's wants

I'm quite proud of the collection of goodies this week, friends! Such talent highlighted here!

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Over the last year, my admiration of photography (and photographers) has grown by leaps and bounds. I think this may have something to do with the need to improve my own photographs, something I never focused on before opening an online shop. At any rate, I knew I found a gem when I happened on Daniel Sroka's shop on 1000markets. This print (Ascent, fallen leaf) just blows me away.

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Speaking of breathtaking, will you look at this Sea Daisies Ring? Such a gorgeous stone and a beautiful, unusual shape and setting. I find it mesmerizing! I'm almost reluctant to tell you where to get it, but that wouldn't be nice. So here goes: it's in this amazing little shop called Pearl Everlasting. Now, be quick!

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I love coffee. What's more, I love those languorous days when Andy and I have time to stay in, sit close on the sofa, sip a latte, and watch some old movie on the telly. Oh, and I also love the little brown pen, where you can find these (and more) amazing little romantic coffee love cards (in pdf form) that you can print out and send to your loved ones to your heart's content.

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I wear scarves so much that my family is starting to ridicule me (just a little bit). I can't help it--they're just so handy. I mean, with a scarf, you can add a touch of color, keep warm, tame flyaway hairs, coverup the fact that you had too large a dinner, you name it. Can you blame me for loving them? So, imagine my delight when I spotted the necklush! I cannot think of a single woman who wouldn't look completely stunning in this necklush ultra (black with white print) by neck, lush. High on style, luxury, and utility!

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I have four favorite flowers: peonies, poppies, anemones, and amaryllises. And I've already mentioned my recent addiction to photography. So when I see an awesome photo of one of my favorite flowers, it definitely grabs me. This print (anemones no. 2041 by kari herer photography) has me giddy, as it also features pink and red--two of my favorite colors.

Well, there you have it! Now, get out there and give them some love, won't you?
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get it while you can!

I have some news to share, friends. Amy, of studio morphologie and aqua velvet, contacted me to let me know that she'll be closing her morphologie etsy shop as of 31 January. I just love her work, and I will be sad to see this shop close it's virtual doors, but Amy assures me this will allow her to concentrate her efforts on more fabulous things ahead (which I am anxious to see). The good news? For the next week, you can buy Amy's amazing pieces at a super discount.

A few of my personal favorites:
Threaded Midnight
Threaded Midnight earrings, $24

SALE - Moon Chandelier Lariat
Moon Chandelier Lariat, $93.75

SALE - Moon and Sky
Moon and Sky earrings $38.40

SALE - Sakura and Plum
Sakura and Plum earrings, $29.60

Run, don't walk! (and good luck to Amy!)
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winning trio

I'm such a proud "auntie"! My sister's three furbabies, Lily, Cameron, and Hailey, have just been named Official Friends of Fiona!


So cute, huh? These lucky ladies each won a collar from Lucky Fiona, my favorite etsy shop for adorable dog collars. Lola and Sita have been sporting them for almost a year and constantly receive admiration (not just from Andy and me!). Have a little furry one? Check out this shop!
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january contest

It's that time again! For January, I'm giving away a piece from my ribbons and bows collection on 1000 markets.

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Here are the specifics:
The prize: The winner's choice of earrings, bracelet, or necklace from the ribbons and bows collection in my 1000 markets shop.
How to enter: Leave a comment below. (Be sure to include your email, shop name, or blog link so I can reach you if you win!)
Deadline: 11:59 pm, Monday, 26 January.

The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday, 27 January.

Thanks, and good luck!
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warning: you will be tempted


Photo by Bakerella

I should start with an apology. I don't mean to tempt you. But I saw this recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough brownies the other day on bakerella's blog, and I keep thinking about it. I don't think it's fair to keep it to myself.

The problem? I could probably do significant damage to a pan of these on my own. But I'd surely regret it the next day (at least). So, I've decided that if I'm going to make these, I need to have plenty of people around so we can all fight over the squares. Sounds like it's time for a little party!

These treats look positively yummy if you ask me. But the best part? The recipe. Betty Crocker Mix.

Bon appétit!
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this week's wants

After a bit of a hiatus, the this week's wants feature is back. And I think it's been worth the wait, if I do say so myself!
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The recent holidays still have me feeling a bit large. To be honest, Paris is probably more to blame than the holidays--all those yummy macarons! These wide leg pants by treehouse 28 look like the perfect compromise of style and comfort. I think I might even look forward getting out of my pjs and if I had a pair of these to wear!

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To be honest, I'm no social butterfly. Actually, I'm much more of a homebody. But I do fantasize sometimes about having a more exciting social calendar. If I did, I would order up these beautiful letterpress calling cards by Invited Ink in a flash. So classy!

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Speaking of butterflies, this follow me II print by Lush Bella has had me mesmerized for weeks. I love how the stark white background is paired with these luscious and vibrant butterflies. And I just kinda wonder where they're headed!

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I'm kind of a sucker for Valentine's Day, especially since I met my husband. That said, I normally don't go for holiday-themed apparel or accesories. But this Besos Bangle XO by Kira Ferrer Jewelry Design is so delicate and sweet, I've changed my mind. This one is perfect for 2/14--or any other day of the year. Honey, are you reading?

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While I don't usually adorn myself with holiday-themed items, my house is another story altogether. You may have picked up earlier in this post that I have a fondness for pyjamas too. I just gush over the little "key to my heart" thing, too! The adorable Bring Only This print by Gumball Grenade.

Thanks for reading, all! I hope you'll pay a visit to these lovely artists!
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stroke of genius

For some time now, I have wanted a miniature version of the mechanical paint can shakers you find at hardware stores. Not for paint, mind you, but for natural peanut and nut butters. I get kinda annoyed having to stir the oil back in all the time. And if you're not good at it, the early servings from the jar are all oily and runny, while the last of them are hard as a rock.

Well, today, I had a stroke of genius. I don't need a shaker, because I already have a tumbler! Being a scientist, I had to do the experiment. :) Here are the results.

Some hazelnut butter before tumbling. Eww!

The experimental apparatus (my Chicago Electric Power Tools Rotary Tumbler).


Peanut butter after 5 minutes of tumbling.


Hazelnut butter after 10 minutes of tumbling.


Lola likes the smell of this peanut butter!

Conclusion? If you're too lazy to stir (like I am) and have a tumbler, give it a shot (excuse the pun, not shot needed for this application, actually!). The only hitch I've found is that my tumbler is too small to accommodate larger jars--such as my 365 almond butter. I may just have to transfer it to a smaller container!

Lunch, anyone?
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