Sunday, February 24, 2013

Grilled Cheese Croutons!

This one is for my brother, Tom.
And for all of you, of course.
But it's for Tom because I think I have finally outdone him
in the Great Grilled Cheese Cook Off.
Tom and I have had a (fairly) friendly competition over the years
trying to determine who makes the most perfect grilled cheese sandwiches.
If I were being completely honest, I would have to give him the slightest possible edge
due to his dedication to the craft and his scientific approach.
But that's all over now.
Because I have upped the ante and made GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS!
And they are good.

I don't like to do do actual tutorials here
because the pictures can be so ugly
and I don't like ugly
but here's how it's done.

Watch and learn, Tom.

First, make some grilled cheese.

I made three sandwiches for lunch with Mr. Grand.
One to cut up into croutons and one for each of us to devour.
You know how one grilled cheese sandwich is never quite enough?
This solves that little problem nicely.

Cut the crusts off of one grilled cheese sandwich.

Then cut it into croutons.


I tossed them into some Tomato Basil Bisque that I bought at Costco.
Do this right before serving so they stay crunchy.

As Tom would say,
Look at all that Cheesy Goodness!

Perfect lunch for a cold winter day.

Or any day.
What say you now, Tom?

Linking to:
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Monday Funday at Uncommon Designs
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Cowgirl Up Party at Cedar Hill Ranch
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Coro Coup!

While out exploring resale shops with my friend, Kim, from County Line Road,
I happened upon this vintage set of earrings and a pin (or brooch).
I was looking for more vintage clip-on earrings for the bracelets I've been making.
(See here and here)
I asked the sweet lady behind the counter if they had any clip-on earrings.
She said had she had a few, but they weren't priced yet.  I was welcome to look at them.

I spotted this set immediately.

It caught my eye because it's my favorite color.
(See here and here and here and here!)

The color reminds me of our trip to Italy last summer.

At first they seemed a bit fussy for my taste, but as I looked closer, I liked the details.

The seed pearls and the flowers and the aqua colored stones are so sweet 

and sparkly...

Still, the earrings were a bit too small and the pin was a bit too large to work together on a bracelet.
And they looked expensive.

I asked the price anyway and she said Three Dollars.  For the Set.
Kim flipped the pin over and said  BUY THEM.  

They are signed vintage Coro.
For three dollars.

I've grown quite attached to them 
and have decided I cannot split them up to make bracelets.

They're meant to be together.

I did convert the painful screw back earring parts into hook earrings 

and I wore them out on Saturday night. 
They are definitely Saturday Night earrings!

Aren't they Just Grand?

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage
Monday Funday at Uncommon Designs
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Cowgirl Up Link Party at Cedar Hill Ranch
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Soaps and Potions

What a treat!
I went to a class with some girlfriends last night 
on making soaps and lotions and scrubs 
at an enchanting shop in Chicago 

My sweet friend Jeanne organized the outing for us
to celebrate my birthday

and because we always have fun getting together.

We learned about making soaps and lotions and body oils and salt scrubs
from the shop Proprietor, Deb Kraemer, 
a Registered Aromatherapist 
and all around lotion/potion magician.

The shop is full of delightful sights and colors and most of all, fragrances,
all smelling fresh and natural and wonderful.

It's like a beautiful laboratory
with colorful bottles and artful displays everywhere.
The soap artisans here make all of their products in house,
using olive oil, homegrown herbs and botanicals and pure essential oils. 

Deb is very conscious of only using healthy, positive ingredients
in her products and for your skin.
She's a fountain of interesting information about all of the ingredients 
and their purposes and delights.

They offer classes on making soaps, lotions, body oils, balms, salt scrubs and more.
They also do custom orders with private labeling for gifts and promotions.
Their labels and wraps and ribbons and trims are very festive and fun,
making the products irresistable.
Think company gifts and Christmas presents....
I know I am.

Here are some of their wonderful soaps-
Like these citrus blends

 And the Earth Series

The Collection:

Beautifully presented gift boxes

Vintage looking labels on Rinses and Salves

And vibrant labels on "Juiced"- Jeanne's favorite.

Deb travels to local lavender farms for the fresh lavender for this collection:

Morning blend, a coffee scented soap.  
Wake up!

Soft and pretty Rose Buds

Shea Butter options for the lips

And Chicago soap with custom labels
I bought this for our guest bath.
So whimsical and fun!

We melted down shea butter and beeswax and added our own choices of essential oils for fragrance
and made a luscious balm for our chapped hands
and other winter weary body parts.

I chose Sweet Orange and it's wonderful!

Then we mixed our own bath salts
choosing from exotic salts from all over the world.
We added our own choices of fragrance and some flower petals and essential oils
and mixed them up by hand
and put them in wonderful containers to take home.

Again, Sweet Orange for me.  
The other fragrance options were many, including Pine and Ocean Breeze 
and Peppermint and Lavender and Bergamot and on and on and on.

Choosing our scents was the hardest part,
probably because Deb had everything else very organized and ready to go.

But the ingredients are luscious, simple and pure 
and anyone can do it.


Thanks, Jeanne!
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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hey Girl.

This is gonna be fun.
I'm writing this post so I can join a "Hey Girl" Link Party.
A Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl" Link Party.
If you don't know what that means, you are going to thank me for this!
Here is a link to Hey Girl on Pinterest.

Get it now?
You're welcome. 

I've loved Ryan Gosling since before I knew he was Ryan Gosling.  
He starred in one of my all time favorite movies, Lars and The Real Girl.
Click here to see the Official Trailer for the movie.
A sweet, beautiful story about love and grief and community.  
Watch it.
Again, you're welcome!

Here are a few of my favorite "Hey Girl" posters.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I have created my own "Hey Girl" Poster of Mr. Grand.
He will absolutely say DO NOT DO THIS, but secretly, I'm pretty sure
 all guys want to be featured in "Hey Girl" posters.

(This will absolutely never happen
but at least the sunset part is true!)

Linking to:
"Hey Girl" Link Party at Bliss Ranch

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