Monday, October 29, 2012

hand-stamped, monogrammed jewelry!

I posted this to Scarlet Threads blog this morning, but wanted to share this with you all as well! With the holidays coming, perhaps you are already thinking about holiday gifts, and this hand-stamped jewelry is customized, and would be a lovely choice!

Today's Monday Montage is a lovely shop called The Rusted Chain. Beki, the owner and designer, began making custom jewelry in 2003, and has also been featured in several magazines! She is also a photographer and writer. She does speaking engagements, and in addition to this, she and her family coordinate the Kansas Barn Sale each year, which is a craft and antique festival - the first of its kind in the state! She's been featured on several tv shoes, including The Pioneer Woman! Whew!

Beki has a blog, she's on facebook, she tweets, and she's on pinterest! Most of all though, please look at these amazing pieces in her shop.

You can choose from necklaces, cuff bracelets, earrings, and other fun items. Everything can be customized to your liking, you can have your monogram, your childrens names, a quote, and more! I have a hard time not wanting everything....
Here are a few of my favorites:


My most favorite! I just need to find a few perfect words to use for this---


A few words, in their own words, about The Rusted Chain:

We are about simply inspiring jewelry.
We are about supporting local businesses.
We are about honoring God.
We are about living simply and sweet tea.
We are about fresh cut flowers.
We are about thrift stores, yard sales, and antiques.
We are about bare toes in green grass.
We are about big red barns and mason jars.
We are about savoring small moments in life.
We are about daisies, peonies and fields of sunflowers.
We are about supporting an underdog and giving to charities.
We are about friends, family and fun.


To me, this is perfect.

Just perfect.

Beki is so incredibly generous, and has offered our readers a discount for use in her shop. Use the code SCARLET20 for 20% off your purchase.

Go have a look at her products, I know you'll love them as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday: Pearls, Baubles, Knit

This is just gorgeous. I simply must re-create this look. 



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

too many books?

No way!!!

I walked to the library on Saturday (it's just a few blocks from my house!) and had about 20 books waiting for me.

I had returned several books just then, so I had a tote with me, but needed a second to carry them home. Luckily, there were a few extras that people had left behind, so I borrowed one, after this happened-

My tote bag tore!


Oh well.

I'm still not getting a kindle ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from iLexi

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stella & Dot party!

I held a Stella and Dot party over the weekend! I kept hearing about their jewelry all over twitter/facebook/blogs, and I decided that I wanted to see for myself what it was all about! I looked at the site, fell in love with almost everything on it, and promptly requested that a nearby stylist contact me, so that we could arrange a party!
When Kelly arrived, she had so many gorgeous pieces with her. I want about everything, really. Really! She set everything up and I arranged a few snacks. Nothing crazy- she said to keep it simple. I set out some cheese and crackers, and then I made the pumpkin dip that is all over pinterest. Also, Perrier in lemon and lime (Heidi is pregnant!), and then some wine.
Stella and Dot has some really lovely jewelry. Look at these charms!

Bracelet stacking! I've been so into bracelets lately, and had so much fun playing with them all. Here, I am wearing (from left to right), the Clover Double Wrap Leather bracelet, the Chimera bangle, the Renegade Cluster bracelet in gold, and then the Lindsay Bangle in turquoise.  I know that the Lindsay bangle doesn't really "go" with the others, but I just love that one so much, so added it for the photo!
That one also comes in white, though I didn't see that one.

This is my most favorite necklace, the Isadora Pearl Bib necklace.
I LOVE IT!!! It's just so gorgeous.

I also really want this bracelet, the Lakra Bangle. 

These are all self-taken, hence the odd angles on the photo! Ha!
The Medina Bib Necklace. So pretty.

The Indira Necklace. Not something I'd normally go for it, but I felt fierce wearing it  ;)

The Geneve Lace Pendant necklace. 

Close up of the pumpkin dip! So easy. Mix together a can of pumpkin pie filling, a block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, two cups of confectioners sugar. Mix well, sprinkle with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. I also added in a few swirls of caramel! I served mine with 'Nilla Wafers, which I love, but so rarely buy. They bring me back to childhood!
Everyone loved it. 

Stella and Dot has some really marvelous pieces. I wish I could buy it all...but of course, cannot just yet ;)  Maybe I should become a consultant, so that I can have one of each piece, and wear them whenever I want to?! That might be fun! Ha!
They have several new items for the holidays, along with items for breast cancer awareness month, where the proceeds go to research. Love that. If you're interested, and want to buy anything, feel free to shop my party- it's open for another week, and I'd love it!
Have you ever had a Stella and Dot party? What are your favorite pieces?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

on the debates, and the election in general...

Yes, this about sums it up for me...

(found on facebook, and cannot find the original link on the site! if you know it, please let me know so that I can give proper credit!)

Oh and yes, I was indeed a political science major in college....
filed in, so ready for November 7 to get here. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

charity quilting

The DC Modern Quilt Guild is hosting another charity drive, 100 Quilts for Kids, begun by Katie, who I am lucky enough to have in my DC group! We are donating them to the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, where my friend Sarah volunteers. I'm excited about bringing the quilts over to her, for the center- she is thrilled to have them!
Here are the basics, for 100 Quilts for Kids:
(taken from Katie's blog!)
  • Make a quilt or 2. Donate it to a child in need, locally if you can.
  • Spread the word to family and friends! Enjoy a blog hop with inspiration and mini prizes.
  • Join us in a 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along (announced July 15)
  • Link up HERE throughout the summer to share your quilts and win one of a few great prizes! Link up will be open October 15, so you can easily add a quilt as you finish and donate it.

This is the quilt that I made. I actually finished it several months ago, but hadn't donated it yet. I have another one that I am nearly finished with, so when it is done, I will post a photo of it! I was hoping to have a few made, but I am still slow at this. 

I hope it keeps someone warm and cozy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

new recipe, taco pasta bake

So! The other day, I posted about menu planning for the week, and so far, I am ahead of my game! I made the taco pasta bake, and it came out really well! I'm even posting it in the same week that I made it!
Steve really enjoyed it, and we had some leftovers for the next night, which was really nice. I will admit, I'm not always very good about eating leftovers...but, this time, we did!
I found the Taco Pasta Bake from a foodie blog called Iowa Girl Eats. She has some great recipes- this wasn't the first I tried, but the first I am sharing, I think. Kristin's photos are much nicer than mine are, and far more colorful, but mine still tastes quite good!
As always, I didn't follow the directions to the letter- I rarely do that when it comes to recipes. I like to mix them up a bit, to make them my own. Of course, there are sometimes items in some recipes that I don't like (example, mushrooms. blech!), so I omit things like that. Steve is also pretty picky, so I will remove things that I know that he won't like either, such as peppers. He's a bit weird  ;)
I didn't take step by step photos this time, but this is the finished dish.

Taco Pasta Bake

1lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 recipe homemade taco seasoning + 1/2 teaspoon salt
14.5oz can tomato sauce
14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
few dashes hot sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (frozen, fresh, or canned)
4oz can chopped green chilies
8oz macaroni shells, cooked and drained
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Toppings: chopped tomatoes, salsa, sliced olives, green onions, sour cream
1. Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain, then return to the skillet. Add water, homemade taco seasoning, salt, tomato sauce, petite diced tomatoes, and hot sauce then stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook macaroni shells in salted, boiling water until just under al dente, then drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Turn stove off then add 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese to the tomato mixture and stir until smooth. Add corn, chilies, and cooked shells, then stir to combine. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 8×8 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Top with crushed tortilla chips and remaining cheese then bake for 10 more minutes. Serve with toppings, if desired.

My notes/edits:

I did not use an onion. Another thing I dislike!

I used whole stewed tomatos in Mexican spices.

I didn't make my own taco seasoning, but used a package of pre-made. Someday, I will try making my own- I keep hearing how much better for you it is!

I didn't use the green chilies.

I baked in a 9x13 pan.

I forgot to buy sour cream, so didn't have that as a topping. So sad. I did buy salsa, but forgot to use it. Ooops. Next time, I'll try with both, along with black olives. YUM!

I did top with tortilla chips and cheese for the final ten minutes of baking. So good!

It tastes better than it looks, I promise!

We loved it! Such a great dinner.

What are you cooking up this week?  Anything amazing that I should try?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

<almost> Wordless Wednesday: Card Catalog Heaven

With Monday being Columbus Day, and a day off from work, Steve and I decided to take advantage of the Library of Congress holding an Open House- they opened the doors to the Main Reading Room and other parts of the building normally closed to the public.

Including this, card catalog heaven.

I really should be a librarian....

- Posted using BlogPress from iLexi

Monday, October 8, 2012

menu planning

With this many cookbooks, you'd think that I'd never run out of dinner ideas.....

 Though perhaps I have too many, and feel intimidated? Yes, that must be it. Of course, now with the development of pinterest, I find myself constantly pinning recipes to try, and I have tried a good number of them too, which is encouraging  ;)
I really need to be better about planning meals for the week. I admit, that I think about it, but then not much comes of it. Occasionally, I plan ahead, but most of the time, I wing it, and when I get home around 6:30 or 7pm, I look through the fridge and decide at that moment what to make.
This week, I am attempting to plan ahead for the week. I have three pins that I will attempt. By attempt, I mean that I will try to keep to my "schedule" and make them, rather than leave it to the last minute like most of the time! Wish me luck!


I'm just planning for three recipes for the Friday night we may go out, and with having Monday off, I will likely throw something in the crockpot in the morning (maybe a pork tenderloin?), and go from there! I'll have to report back next week on how they all turn out for me, and if I stick to these plans  :)
What about you? Do you plan your meals each week? Do you have any tips for me on how I can plan better and then stick to my plans?!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

a monogram for Majlinda!

Every little girl should know about monograms, right?

Of course!

So, it made sense to send something to Majlinda
the little girl I sponsor in Albania with World Vision!

I found a little wooden M (from Anthro, no less!) that was in the clearance bin for $4.99, and the chain was $2.99, I think. Perfect!

Hope she loves it!

Do you like to wear monograms?