What I’m Lovin’ in March

Maybe you realized {or you didn’t? #NoHurtFeelings} I’m behind on my What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts. So, as a treat (to both of us 😉 ) I’ve combined January, February, and March for a big batch of all of the things I’ve been enjoying that I hope you will too!

1. QuiltCon

I bet you know this by now! I had such an amazing time at QuiltCon in February! You can read all about my experience in this post and go on a virtual quilt tour with me here and here.

2. Thug Kitchen Cookbook

My mother-in-law got me this cookbook for Christmas and it has not disappointed! The pages are filled with hilariously written recipes and tips embellished with some very flavorful language {the kind I often use when cooking – because let’s be honest – cooking is not a talent of mine}.

My favorite recipe so far is for the To-Go Breakfast Bars [in progress in the photo below] – they are surprisingly easy to make and quite tasty! For the past few months they have been my “go-to” for sharing {I took a batch to QuiltCon to share with my guild and took a batch to work after my grandfather passed away to thank my colleagues for being so supportive – the bars were a hit with both groups!}

We also made the cauliflower “wings” and root vegetable fries which were also delicious.

For the past few years I’ve been making their Hoppin’ John recipe on New Year’s Day so it was no surprise the recipes in the cookbook have been packed with flavor! If you aren’t sure about the cookbook, browse the recipes on the website and try a few. You won’t turn back!

3. Colette’s post about organizing sewing patterns {here}

I found this post so helpful! My current system involves 3-ring binders & plastic page-protectors to house the pattern & instructions. This works great for PDF patterns whose instructions print on regular size paper (I tuck the folded freezer-paper-traced pattern pieces behind the instructions in the sleeve), but doesn’t hold vintage or printed indie patterns very well (too much space around them causes them to slide out too easily). The comic-book-storage sounds like a much better fit for those!

Once I find the perfect organization solution, I’ll share it with you 😉

4. Shoreline Boatneck

If I could just get away with wearing my Shoreline Boatneck every day, I’d consider it. I hoped to have another one sewn up by now, but I’ve been distracted…

5. Paper Tigers

Earlier this month, the Nickelodeon Theater hosted a free screening of Paper Tigers with a panel discussion that included the Superintendent of the district in which I work. The documentary was enlightening. It is definitely a must-see for anyone working in education, serving youth, raising/loving children, etc. {anyone & everyone}. It has started a really interesting dialogue locally that I hope continues and grows.

You can view the trailer below and find where to watch Paper Tigers here.

Paper Tigers Trailer – KPJR Films from KPJR FILMS LLC on Vimeo.

6. My paper-pieced Bunny

I finally dusted off my homework from QuiltCon {see how the bunny started in this post} and finished my Bunny block! I have big plans for him so stay tuned 😉

The bunny is from Violet Craft‘s Forest Abstractions quilt.

7. New beginnings with the New Moon

This week I went to a New Moon Circle hosted by a dear friend.

It was so refreshing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. We gathered, we meditated, we journaled, we shared, and we laughed. It was beautiful.

I have looked back at my journal from that night and boiled my intentions for the next month into 3 over-simplified mantras.

I have felt very scatterbrained lately. I’ve found myself jumping from project-to-project [at home and at work] – becoming very easily distracted by easier/quicker/shinier projects.

This month I want to SLOW DOWN {less multitasking}, FOCUS on one project at a time {giving whatever it may be all of the effort it deserves}, and BE PRESENT in the moment {less scrolling, less distraction}.

*If you’re local {or not! Penny shares great resources}, follow Earthstar Radiance on Facebook – Penny’s meditation classes are the 2nd Wednesday of every month & the New Moon Circle is around the time of the New Moon 😉

8. Our nephew is here!

L to R: on his birth day! > from his first full #SliceSisters day > that time my sister let me wear him > with the Hubs on the day he was born 🙂

To say I’m a doting aunt is probably an understatement. I won’t bore you with all the details and I’m trying to restrain myself from flooding Instagram with baby pics {now I understand why parents post so many pictures of their littles} but it sure is tough! He, my sister and her husband are all adjusting to being a family of 3 beautifully. I’m so thrilled to watch that and treasure the moments I get to be part of it.

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Gift Guide 2016: Local Makers

Whether you are short on time or your creative juices just aren’t flowing fast enough to DIY-all-the-gifts, this list is for you!

holiday-gift-guide-1

{Background image credit: Jocie Pots – ceramic goods made in Greenville, SC}

With the holidays fast approaching, I knew I wanted to share some gift ideas from handmade businesses I have discovered and love supporting. When my friend Shanika came to me with the idea I was all.in.! Shanika shares my passion for supporting fellow mover, makers, and shakers – she and I run Cola Indie Makers together. Keep an eye on her blog for more holiday gift ideas featuring handmade shops she loves!

As you may know by now, I feel very strongly about supporting local businesses {specifically handmade businesses} as often as possible. I could go on and on about this for days, but this quote really sums up what I’m getting at…

buy-handmade

When at all possible, buy local / buy handmade / buy from a friend …

In the spirit of staying organized {and hopefully saving you time if you reference this later}, I’ve split the list up by group and highlighted gifts for certain people on your list. I hope it helps!

Less of a disclaimer and more of a point of clarity: I have not been provided anything in exchange for featuring the shops below and I do not receive anything if you purchase the item(s) using the link(s) provided. Unless otherwise noted, all of the shops mentioned were discovered at local craft fairs or events (in the Southeast U.S.). Some I have purchased from and others I simply lusted after. I have seen and felt the quality of the goods in person and recommend them with confidence. 

Happy handmade shopping!

For the GENTLEMEN on your list

1. For the man who needs a leather belt in his grown-up wardrobe | buy it

maycomb belt

Photo credit: Maycomb Mercantile – click the image to shop the item shown.

In addition to the fact that this belt will surely last forever, you can add a personalized message to remind your main man how much he means to you.

2. For the man who needs decor in his Man Cave | buy it

true cotton salmon print

Photo credit: True Cotton – click the image to shop the item shown.

If your guy is more into camping, this print would be perfect.

Just head over to your local thrift store to look for a rustic wood frame.

3. For the man who likes a little heat on his meat | buy it

hot sauce 2

Photo credit: Red Clay Hot Sauce – click the image to shop the item shown.

I bought some of this hot sauce for my Hubs at Made South and he was a big fan!

“It is the only hot sauce born in southern bourbon barrels and cold-pressed to retain subtle and firm flavors.” – source.

4. For the man who likes to travel [or get ready at the gym] | buy it

sansmaps

Photo credit: Sans Map – click the image to shop the item shown.

This Dopp kit is made from repurposed Pendleton wool (so cool!).

You can hear more about our discovery of Sans Map in this post – my sister loved my Sans Map bag so much she ordered her own.

5. For your grandpa who may use this mug for whiskey rather than coffee | buy it

thrifted-sisters

Photo credit: Thrifted Sisters – click the image to shop the item shown.

Grandpas sure are hard to buy for. Thrifted Sisters just made your life oh-so-easy by making this vintage “Grandfather” mug available just in time for the holidays.

Pro tip: Follow Thrifted Sisters on Instagram for hot-off-the-thrift-store-floor items. They find the coolest stuff.

6. For Mr. Money Bags himself | buy it

miss-ashley

Photo credit: Miss Ashley Jewelry – click the image to shop the item shown.

Get him a personalized money clip from Miss Ashley Jewelry.

For the LADIES on your list

1. For your perfectly Southern Grandma | buy it

true cotton porches print

Photo credit: True Cotton – click the image to shop the item shown.

Grandmas are so hard to buy for – they have everything! Just pick up a lovely frame for the print and you’ll be all set.

2. To help your Grandma keep her purse trinkets organized | buy it

trishstitched

Photo credit: Trish Stitched – click the image to shop the item shown.

Fun fact: Her gift card holders perfectly fit 3 essential oil rollers or 2 essential oil bottles {see proof in this post}

Disclaimer: I did not discover Trish Stitched at a local market. However, I have been following her blog for quite a while and won a giveaway where I received 2 pouches she made – you can read more about those in this post. The quality is great – Trish is very talented!

3. For the gal who loves nothing more than breathing the mountain air | buy it

january-jewelry

Photo Credit: January Jewelry – click the image to shop the item shown.

Remind her of her favorite vacation spot with this lovely necklace from January Jewelry.

4. For the free spirited, stylish gal on your list | buy it

sebastian-harper

Photo credit: Sebastian Harper – click the image to shop the item shown.

The colors in this vest make my eyes melt into hearts! Shanika [of Sebastian Harper] uses all natural dyes – like indigo and madder root for this one – to make her knit and sewn goodies even more one-of-a-kind.

I mean…look how chic the vest looks in use!

sebastian-harper-2

(This isn’t the exact same vest [it’s actually this one], but I HAD to show you how sexy it looked on!)

PS: I have knit ear warmers from Shanika that I purchased a few years ago and wore all over England when we visited in December 2014 {documented herehere & here} which is proof 1) it was so warm and cozy and 2) well-made [after all the travel, the head band is still in perfect condition!].

For the LITTLE ONES on your list

1. Because a bonnet with ears is a necessity | buy it

owlette

Photo credit: Owlette – click the image to shop the item shown.

…and why not get a matching bib while you’re at it? You can mix-and-match/choose your own pair here.

2. Because babies can’t decorate their own rooms | buy it

little-red-flag

Photo credit: Little Red Flag – click the image to shop the item shown.

The best part about these safari prints is that you can print them yourself! So no one has to know that you forgot to buy the baby something 😉

I have 2 prints from Little Red Flag in my living room: a gold foil print of South Carolina (my home state) and one of Georgia (the Hubs’ home state).

3. Because some people only have FURRY little ones | buy it

sup-dog

Photo credit: Sup-Dog – click the image to shop the item shown.

Don’t forget to treat your fur babies too! Sup-Dog makes the best collars. It’s all my three pups wear (mostly because they don’t have a choice, but even if they did I’m sure they’d choose Sup-Dog collars!).

For EVERYONE ELSE on your list

1. For your Friends who just bought their first house | buy it

key fob 2

Photo credit: @maycombmercantile on Instagram

A pair of these custom key fobs from Maycomb Mercantile with “HOME” stamped on them would be perfect.

2. For your Friend who loves to Travel | buy it

maycomb tags

Photo credit: Maycomb Mercantile – click the image to shop the item shown.

Get a tag he/she will love and truly appreciate in those moments of frantically searching the conveyor belt for a sign that this generic red bag is theirs {Been there. Literally. In London. Thankfully we found a lacrosse ball in the bag verifying our possession. #awkward}.

3. For your Friend who loves Essential Oils | buy it

essential oil case

Photo Credit: Cotton and Cursive – click the image to shop the item shown.

This essential oils case from Cotton and Cursive is perfect for travel or carrying essentials oils on-the-go.

4. For the hostess with the mostest

The Hippy Do-Da Creations shop on Etsy is closed until December 4th for local shows, but you can follow along on Instagram and Facebook until then.

I have a really fun stamped bracelet from Chris that says: “wake up. kick ass. sleep. repeat.” – I love it!

5. For your friend with sensitive skin | buy it

carolina-soap-works

Photo credit: Carolina Soap Works – click the image to shop the item shown.

Carolina Soap Works sells Authentic African Black Soap which is supposed to be amazing for sensitive skin. Shanika is a big fan of it. I also have a friend who bought it for her sister who has rosacea.

CSW also carries a wide variety of Goats Milk Soap which I love. My favorite scent: Rosemary Mint.

You can also find Carolina Soap Works on Amazon (and use your Prime account for 2-day shipping)!

6. For your friend who truly believes breakfast is the most important meal of the day | buy it

kyle-smith

Photo credit: Kyle Smith Pottery – click the image to shop the item shown.

These egg cookers from Kyle Smith Pottery are supposed to be all the rage. You can cook the perfect omelet in 1 minute – count me in!

I have several pieces from Kyle and love to gift them – they make great housewarming gifts. He also made my friend Caroline’s set of dishes for “everyday wear” for her wedding (see one of the bowls in this post).

More gift ideas

Here are a few recaps from markets I’ve attended that are packed full of handmade gift ideas and shops I discovered while there…

If you’re planning to DIY some holiday gifts, check out my Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas post from last year and my 2014 Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – find links to all of the blog posts from the 2014 “hop” in my recap here.

So remember this as you are shopping this holiday season…

small-biz

I hope this list has inspired you! I would love love love to hear who your favorite handmade shops are! Leave a link to their shop in the comments below – I love discovering new artists and shops to support.

Happy holidays ❤

 

What I’m Lovin’ in October

My very favorite month is coming to a close, but no hard feelings – we’re just closer to my favorite holiday: Christmas!

Keep reading for the short list of what I’ve been lovin’ this month…

october

1. This beautiful reminder…

october

What colors have you revealed this month?

2. Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream at Sweet Cream Company

Part of me didn’t want to share this in fear that they would run out of this delicious treat. My Mom, sister, both Hubses and I visited Sweet Cream after my birthday dinner {at my very favorite taco place, Cantina 76} to discover that they had Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream! It was the best thing I’ve tasted since the pumpkin spice cookies Kathy brought to our last sew-in.

ice-cream

L to R: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Coffee, and Black Sesame Ginger

Sweet Cream is a locally owned ice cream shop with the most interesting flavors imaginable. You can follow them on Instagram so you’re up-to-date on their latest flavors, but be warned: you will experience mouth-watering and serious cravings.

If you’re not local to Columbia, SC – they ship! But you should still experience the sweet shop in person so add the Sweet Cream Company to your “must try” list when you visit 😉

3. Progress on my <> Quilt

Our office was closed for a few days as Hurricane Matthew approached and I got a serious craving to start a quilt {it’s hard to predict when it’s going to hit! 😉 }

quilt-1

I dusted off my Handmade Style book {let’s be honest: there’s no dust on that book. It’s in constant rotation in my sewing room!} and picked out the <> Quilt. It’s made from big blocks which I thought would be a great idea so it would come together quickly {patience is not a virtue I have}.

I’m making it entirely from fabric I have on-hand so each set of “<>” will be different {you can peak at the pair for the middle row here}.

quilt

First set of <> down, 2 more to go!

4. Wrapping bird nest necklaces

It’s been a while since I’ve made a batch of the bird nest necklaces…I’d forgotten how soothing wire wrapping can be!

necklaces

I used to make the nests all the time {so often I sold my extras at the Soda City market for a while} until I started sewing heavily and got too exhausted from pedaling my handmade goods {shout-out to all my handmade hustlers out there: selling your goods is no.joke. – it’s far more stressful than most realize}.

A few weeks ago I got a request that energized me. An organization that is near and dear to my heart recently re-branded and their new logo is a nest. Thus, the bird nest necklaces were a great accessory for their team!

If you have mama birds on your holiday list and are in need of a necklace, let me know – I’d be happy to chat with you about a custom order.

5. Maker Style Podcast

I love listening to podcasts all.the.time – while I sew, while I cook, while I eat my lunch

I’ve shared a few of my favorites before, but the Maker Style podcast is my favorite as of late!

maker-style-podcast

{Click the image to read all the details about the podcast via The Wild Stich}

I discovered this podcast when Indie Sew posted about Allie’s interview on Instagram. I immediately found the Maker Style podcast in iTunes and started listening.

The interviews are great! I really appreciate that Rachel posts all the details in the show notes. If you hear about a new pattern you haven’t heard of yet or want to learn more about the sewing genius she’s interviewing, you can find it all linked on the website.

6. Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast at Drip on Main

This post is turning out to be more like #ConfessionsOfAFatKid…

french-toast

It’s no secret that I love Drip. Last weekend the Hubs and I wandered in for a quiet Sunday brunch to discover that the Blueberry Mascarpone French Toast was still on the menu. DELISH! But hurry in because the menu is changing soon {although I have yet to be let down by any of their menu changes}

7. Palmetto MQG Quilt Block Challenge

We just wrapped up Month #2 of the block challenge for the Palmetto Modern Quilter’s Guild. This month we made Plus blocks.

plus-block

See last month’s block in this post.

8. It’s my birthday month!

Hurricane Matthew’s approach caused our district to be shut down for 3 days prior to my birthday. He totally rained on my parade/plan to take my birthday off (#sewcation)! But no worries – I spent those 3 HURRICAtion days soaking up all that is wonderful: I spent a full day with my sister and spent the other two catching up on the blog (did you notice the extra posts this month?!) and sewing!

birthday-seams

Big thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out to me on my birthday. It meant the world to me!

Hope you are all enjoying beautiful fall weather and soaking up time with family and friends. Until next month ❤ – Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

Made South

Disclaimer: I’m probably the.worst. at remembering to take photos/not being scared to death to photograph someone else’s creations. Many photos throughout this post have been borrowed from the maker’s website, shop or social media account. All photos that are not my own are linked to their original source. Please click around to see what the artisan has in store!

Made South

Late last month, my sister and I volunteered at Made South in Taylors, SC.

made south 1

No lie: We were kind of in it for the t-shirt!

It was so fun! The event was held at Taylors Mill with 100 (!) artisans!

made south 2

Of course I wanted to share the highlights including some new makers I discovered that I think you’ll love too.

1. True Cotton | websiteshop | Facebook

As event volunteers we got a kind of “sneak peek” at the vendor booths before the event started Saturday morning. We passed True Cotton on the way to our station and fell in love with pretty much the entire booth. She had some really lovely tea towels, watercolor prints, stationary and notepads. I picked up a gorgeous set of notecards that are perfect for any occasion:

hello card

{Image borrowed from True Cotton’s Facebook page – click the photo for source}

Arin has closed her shop for the summer to spend time with her little ones but you can still “favorite” her shop on Etsy and follow her on Instagram for creative eye candy.

2. Maycomb Mercantile | shop | Facebook

My sister and I were “stationed” right next to this booth and could not stop lusting over the leather goods. I couldn’t resist these beautiful stamped luggage tags:

maycomb tags

3. Doux South | shop | Facebook

I walked up to this booth while eating a pimento cheese sandwich I’d packed for lunch. He insisted that I let him put a piece of the Mean Green Tomatoes on my sandwich – as he said “it’ll cut the heaviness of the cheese for the perfect balance.” SOLD. He was so right.

In fact, I’ve already eaten the whole jar.

I also bought 2 jars of the Angry Cukes because they were so tasty! They sound spicy, but don’t be fooled: they’re pickled perfection. We cracked them open for Father’s Day and they were a huge hit!

doux south

The pickled goodness is hand packed in Decatur, Georgia which isn’t far so I’m hoping I’ll see them at more local events! If not, no worries: they ship or you can search the list of retailers on their site (The Gourmet Shop is on the list along with a few other places in Columbia).

4. Posey Beans | shop | Facebook

My sister picked up the sign shown here to hang in her house. The wood is over 80 years old – scraps from an old barn.

posey beans sign

5. The Kindred Companyshop | Facebook

I picked up a jar of the Lavender Face Wash as a treat for myself and the Beauty & Beard Face Wash for the Hubs (the difference is the scent: peppermint & wild orange for Beauty & Beard). I also snagged some of the deodorant to try (it smelled so good! And: no aluminum!).

kindred company

One of the coolest items was the eye shadow his wife makes with kale flakes! The colors were shimmery perfection (not your average handmade make-up!). If I would a) remember to put on eye shadow, b) remember not to rub my eyes, and c) care enough to wear anything other than powder and blush, I would’ve totally snagged a jar.

6. Red Clay’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Hot Sauce | shop | Facebook

I can’t give you a personal testament to how tasty the sauce is because I refused to try it (#wimp), but I trusted Geoff’s recommendation of the Original as an “everyday hot sauce” (vs. the Carolina Hot which was most popular for the day but packed a little more heat).

hot sauce

7. French Broad Chocolates | shop | Facebook

Jeremy’s friend Ben introduced us to French Broad during a visit to Asheville one summer. Their truffles are out of this world. I snagged some chocolate drops that I promptly made some vegan gluten free cookies with {recipe from the last issue of Vegetarian Times – but here‘s an easy favorite!}

chocolate

8. Quite Swanky | shop | Instagram

We could see Hannah’s booth from our “station” and we watched her paint several new signs throughout the day. She is mega-talented and we loved her handpainted goods!

quite swanky booth

Photo credit: Taylors Town Square on Facebook – linked.

The lazy susans she makes are pretty amazing.

9. Roar Haus | shop | Facebook

know you’ve heard me talk about Amber and her many talents before! She’s become a dear friend of mine and she’s a bag-making-genius. The prints she picks are so fun, she uses super high quality hardware and she takes the time to be thoughtful in the design (pockets here, hooks there, adjustable strap – she’s thought of it all!).

roar haus

Roar Haus booth at Made South {Photo credit: @roarhaus on Instagram}

10. January Jewelry | shop | Facebook

Melissa is super talented – I love following her creative process on Instagram. She’s local to Columbia so I see her around quite often which I don’t hate one bit. 😉

january jewelry

January Jewelry’s booth at Made South {Photo credit: @januaryjewelry on Instagram}

11. Jocie Pots | shop | Facebook

We discovered Jocie Pots at a craft fair we stumbled upon on the way home from Greenville once. I purchased two beautiful ornaments from her for Christmas gifts.

jocie pots

{Image borrowed from Jocie Pots’ shop on Etsy – click the photo for source}

12. King of Pops

King of Pops are harder to find around Columbia {though I did spot them at Soda City last weekend & did a happy dance!}. Our local Whole Foods sells a few flavors, but you can’t beat the flavors you can find from the carts at local markets (like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough which they had at Made South! If the drive were shorter I would’ve tried to smuggle a few home in my lunch box).

13. R&B Printery | shop | Facebook

We stumble upon this couple at almost every craft show we go to. They have the most beautiful letterpress cards! Last year I bought a pack of their Christmas Carol cards to send to friends and family.

r&b printery

R&B Printery’s booth at Made South {Photo credit: @rbprintery on Instagram}

14. Whispering Willow | shop | Facebook

The soap, the lip balm – all of it! – it’s the best quality.

whispering willow

{Image borrowed from Whispering Willow’s Facebook page – click the photo for source}

My sister and I had a great time at Made South! There’s not much we love more than craft fairs and discovering new handmade shops.

What I’m Lovin’ in January

It’s finally gotten chilly in the south and feels like winter! (Confession: I love cold weather.) I hope you are all staying warm and toasty wherever you are. Snuggle up and share a few giggles with me as you read on through the short list of what I loved about January…
january

1. Cookies made with Chickpeas

Guys!! Before you go rolling your eyes and completely abandon this post, hear me out!

Or just oogle this mouth-watering photo of proof I’m not crazy…

chickpea cookie

{I borrowed this delightful picture from Texanerin Baking. If your mouth is watering (mine is!), click the picture to jump over to the recipe.}

I have a very serious sweet tooth. I am a firm believer that dessert is essential – not optional. I also try purdy hard to stay healthy. So…I seek out “healthy” treats. {Chocolate Covered Katie is one of my favorite resources}

And y’all – these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are a winner!

The recipe is super easy and fairly guilt-free. {Lazy Cook Tip: If you don’t have roasted peanuts on hand to make your own PB (see #2 below!), Trader Joe’s Creamy, Salted Peanut Butter works great – and the ingredient list is desirable with just peanuts and salt.}

Hubs loves them. And we even made these when my Mom came over for dinner and she was quite delighted and announced that they tasted just like peanut butter balls (which they kind of are, but I’ll let her have that connection!).

PS: If you also enjoy “healthy” [aka: less guilty] desserts, these flourless chocolate muffins are the perfect go-to if you need something easy to take to a party that your vegan and gluten-free friends can enjoy. I wouldn’t recommend the chickpea cookies for parties because 1) they are best served warm and 2) the first batch I made was a bit messy to eat.

2. Making my own Peanut Butter

As I said to my Mom earlier this month: “your generation would probably refer to my lifestyle as ‘crunchy granola’.” I’ll own it. I’m not offended (and yes, I once had a granola-supplier who recently went out of business and I teared up a bit…before ordering 5 bags as stock).

I was destined to be this way: I have a Public Health degree (aka: I was trained to be overly cautious about my health) and I’m a Researcher by trade.

Confession: The context of the statement above was when I was [being very Millennial and calling my Mom to debrief about my doctor’s appointment] after I explained that I told the doctor I had started making my own lip balm because I discovered what I had thought was just petroleum jelly in fact had dyes in it for reasons unknown (I’ve been having some lip issues [and I’ve already told you I’m a) a Public Health nerd and b) a Researcher] and was subsequently eliminating everything funky – including switching my toothpaste to Tom’s without fluoride – in an effort to eliminate triggers. Yep, crunchy granola).

Oh – and if you’re wondering: YES I’m going to share my lip balm recipe with you. I’m still perfecting it so stay tuned!

Anyways, back to the peanut butter!

When I discovered the chickpea cookies above, Texaserin recommended making your own peanut butter for the cookie recipe. She even has a recipe for the peanut butter, but I’ll spoil it for you: throw some [lightly] salted roasted peanuts in your food processor for 4 minutes. THAT’S IT! 

peanut butter

I know what you’re thinking: “but does it taste good?!” Yes, folks – it does! So delicious. I kept my batch in the fridge and it lasted about a day before I ate it all (while I seriously considered taking a spoon to the jar, I did not. I used most of it in the cookie recipe and the leftover was used in smoothies).

Next time your grocery store runs nuts on sale, grab a container of roasted peanuts and give them a whirl in the food processor – just for shiggles!

3. Homemade Vegan Korean Barbecue

korean bbq

{Picture borrowed from Brewing Happiness because my food never turns out this pretty. Click the image to get the recipe!}

DELISH!

The flavor is ahhh-mazing. This is one of the Hubs’ favorite new dinners. {Confession: The first time I tried this recipe, I got so frustrated because I was burning the tofu that *somehow* I pulled our junk drawer off it’s hinges and the contents flew all over the kitchen… Thankfully the Hubs was home and willing to talk me off the ledge – and clean up the mess [I’m a lucky gal!]. As a tip: Pre-measure the ingredients that you can and when you start cooking the tofu: stir often/constantly if you can.}

Since I try to keep my time in the kitchen minimal for everyone’s safety, I can’t speak about the taste of the aioli {I hit my ingredients-to-buy/time-I-was-willing-to-spend-cooking limit with the homemade barbecue sauce}. If you try the aioli, let me know if it’s worth the effort!

PS: Another favorite recipe from Brewing Happiness: Baked Veggie Dogs {they were on my September list}.

4. Tea Time

I got a batch of Lady Grey Loose Leaf Tea for Christmas from my step-sister. I’m trying to balance my sweet tooth with hot tea {otherwise I’d probably eat an entire batch of the Chickpea Cookies in one day which would make them far less “guilt free”}.

tea

Loose leaf tea is gorgeous. And I kind of want to learn to make my own blends, but I’m not sure where to start – if you know any good recipes, let me know!

Also – along with the tea, my step-sister gave me the most adorable ManaTEA tea infuser!

manatea

I named her Minnie the Manatee

Minnie motivates me to drink more tea and eat less sweets. Like a boss.

PS: I found Minnie’s twin Manny [well, they call him “Fred”] on Amazon if you’re interested in your own ManaTEA.

5. Family Recipes

Some friends invited us over for chili a few weekends ago and I knew immediately that I wanted to dust off Jeremy’s grandfather’s cornbread recipe! It’s always a big hit and we’d just eaten some his PawPaw made at Thanksgiving which reminded me how delicious they are (and that we hadn’t made them in forever).

cornbread

I know you’re shocked: Yes, I own an apron. And yes, the reason it looks well-worn is not because of yours truly – it’s vintage 😛

I weaseled the recipe out of Jeremy’s grandpa several years ago. We used to make them all the time, but it’s been years since we’ve made a batch.

The recipe is more of a Mexican-style cornbread with jalapenos and cheddar cheese. I’m not authorized to spill the family secrets, but here’s a similar recipe you could try 🙂

6. Our new knit sweaters

Speaking of grandparents, the Hubs has the best! Last week we received two packages from England!

Since we’d just chatted with his grandma, we had an idea of what they were. She has been working on sweaters for both of us since we visited last Christmas. {In fact, she had my sweater nearly done, but when I arrived and she measured me she realized the bodice was going to be too small and unraveled the whole thing! She laughed at my reaction because I almost cried!}

It felt like we’d won the lottery! 😉

sweaters

We were overwhelmed with excitement [obviously], but I promise to attempt a better picture of the sweaters later…

And with the recent cold weather arriving in South Carolina, we’re both pretty grateful for these snuggly new garments!

Isn’t Jeremy’s grandmother SO talented?! She’s been knitting for…forever. This is my third sweater from her. I wear the other two quite frequently when it gets cold and I know this one will be well-loved too!

PS: Did you know that “knitting and crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol“?! You can read all about the health benefits of knitting and real stories about how knitting has helped people get through tough times {like having a baby in the NICU and quitting smoking} in this article from the NY Times. Fascinating research!

7. Snow

Speaking of cold weather, last weekend we got snow!

snow

If you look REALLY close you can see the light dusting on the roof {and a fur baby peaking out the front door}

Anyone not from the south is probably laughing hysterically at my claim of snow based on the above picture. I was starting to worry we wouldn’t get any snow this year so I’ll take what I can get!

I did watch some tiny flurries come down from the window in front of my sewing machine and it was lovely (even if they melted as soon as they hit the ground).

Now I’m not wishing bad weather on anyone, but I do wish we’d get a little more snow this winter!!

8. My new accessories for sewing

earrings

Because who doesn’t need to look glamorous while sewing?!

My sweet friend Caroline surprised me with these the day before our first quilt guild meeting this year {so I was accessorized quite festively for the meeting}.

love them! And I love my sweet friend for being so thoughtful. She’s the best.

PS: My new earrings coordinate perfectly with my new planner from Sugar and Type {it looks like the planners are all sold out which is a shame because it is so useful!}.

9. Paper Piecing

At our Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild meeting this month, our president did a paper-piecing demo.

I’ve been really wanting to try paper-piecing, but was too scared. Amber demystified the process and I went home and gave it a try with the simple diamond blocks she shared with us.

paper pieces

I’m hooked!

What are some of your favorite paper pieced patterns? I’m looking to try more so I’d love it if you left me your favorite in the comments.

PS: If you’re local to Columbia, SC – follow the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild on Facebook and consider joining us! We meet every third Thursday of the month and have a sew-in once a month (so fun).

10. My Double Zip Wallet

doublezip2

I won’t bore you with all the details [because you can read those here], but I’m still lovin’ it.

I think my favorite part are the two zipper pouches. I love zippers because they make your goodies feel so secure {and help you to avoid embarrassing moments when change starts flying out of your clutch like a slot machine}.

This also reminds me that I need to finish that Veronika skirt the corduroy was intended for…

Since I haven’t blogged as much this month, I had a lot to share! Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom – you’re such a trooper!

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

 

Craft Party 2015 recap

Last Friday may have been the most lovely day I’ve had in quite a while. After taking my little pup, Twitch, for a visit to the vet (who officially deemed him a “senior” – as his mama bear that was tough to hear…especially because he’s the youngest of our 3 black dogs), the loveliness began!

My sister headed downtown to spend the afternoon with me. Where should a vegetarian and a recent adopter of the gluten free lifestyle eat? Good Life Cafe, of course. We walked around Main Street and ended up at the Sweet Cream Company. Like a pair of old bitties, we sat on a bench out front watching the traffic go by as we shared a cup of handcrafted salty peanut ice cream.

me & kt

Sister bliss.

And to top it off, we still had the #CraftParty!

#CraftParty table pic

{Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

Once a year, Etsy “hosts” their Craft Party – describe as “a global celebration of meeting and making” – and that it is!

Last year, I founded the Cola Indie Makers (formerly “Columbia’s Etsy Market Team“) with Emily of Butterfly Vintage in an effort to build awareness of and support for vintage and handmade businesses in Columbia.

me & em

The last picture of me & Emily before she moved to Michigan (ironically on the day of our party!).

We hosted our first Etsy Craft Party last year (read all about last year’s party here) which made this year’s planning seem a wee bit less intimidating.

With Emily en route to Michigan as we speak, it’s just me & Shanika (of Life is Pichey) holding down the Cola Indie Makers group in Columbia. So when it comes to planning events (like this year’s Craft Party), we pull in some of our favorite people like MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire to help out.

photobooth 1

Me & MaryAnn in the #CraftParty photobooth (props made by MaryAnn)

As soon as we saw that this year’s theme was paper crafting, we knew we wanted MaryAnn on board. As the owner of MASW Designs, she’s our local paper crafting guru – it’s amazing what she can do with a little cardstock and glue!

I have to give a BIG shout-out to MaryAnn – in addition to lending her knowledge and expertise, MaryAnn generously shared her crafting tools and donated loads of supplies for the event. She even sacrificed her valuable time to help us with planning, securing the venue, making samples for inspiration and easy-to-follow instructions for our attendees. I am so grateful for my friendship with MaryAnn – she keeps me inspired and helps support me when I’m in over my head (like with planning this party!).

sticker

Thank you Etsy for the stickers! {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

The party was loads of fun! The event was held at Grapes & Gallery – a local craft beer, wine bar and paint studio (the perfect location for a craft party!).

grapes & gallery

I can’t wait to return to Grapes & Gallery for some painting!

Grapes & Gallery is such a neat place. In addition to being a traditional paint and pour studio, they have a neat rustic, full service bar and a lounge area downstairs which includes a TV and very comfy couch (aka: a place to send your husband while you paint upstairs…).

G&G bar

The bar at Grapes and Gallery {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

Whether you’re interested in an evening of painting or a fun spot to stop by for a drink with friends, check out Grapes & Gallery – you won’t be disappointed!

Just look for the white storefront on Taylor Street (between Main and Assembly Streets) and you’ll know you’re in the right spot!

G&G

MaryAnn & I ready to welcome everyone to the party!

Keeping with our theme of paper crafting and making your own Happy Mail, we had 3 stations: upstairs we had mini-cards and full-size cards and downstairs we had envelope-making.

mini cards

Attendees embroidering mini-cards {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

I love the size of the mini-cards – they are the perfect size for lunchbox notes if you have little ones or gift tags.

envelopes

Attendees at the envelope-making station downstairs. I love how Taylor captured this moment of pure happiness at the party. This might be my favorite picture from the night! {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

For the envelope station, we upcycled cereal boxes (and maybe a few pizza boxes too 😉 ) to make durable templates that our attendees could trace. MaryAnn brought a stack of old National Geographic magazines and maps to use in addition to the scrapbook paper.

{For more handmade envelope inspiration, check out this post about how I upcycled last year’s calendar to make a lovely set of floral envelopes.}

I love this beautiful picture that Taylor captured of my amazing sister:

kt

I’m so thankful for her. {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

In addition to the FUN crafts, we also had 5 handmade vendors onsite – all of which are based in Columbia, SC:

We also hosted 3 giveaways during the party – resliced donated the last raffle prize of the night:

necklace

this brown bird nest necklace with genuine Amethyst stones

{You can view all the raffle items here}

Speaking of raffles – the Cola Indie Makers are hosting one last raffle on Facebook – enter for a chance to win a 2 inch pillar candle (fragrance of your choice) from J. Cottage Industries! Get all the details here.

Thank you to EVERYONE who attended the Craft Party! We are already looking forward to next year 🙂

party

It was an amazing night of crafting with friends. {Photo credit: Taylor Kearns Media}

One last MEGA shout-out goes to this guy:

TK

Taylor of Taylor Kearns Media (and his beautiful bride, Caroline)

Not only was he smart enough to marry my best friend, but Taylor was generous enough to attend our Craft Party and take some amazing photographs to document the event. Taylor is a super talented videographer, photographer and one-man-interview-team (I’ll never forget the time he came to my office to interview my boss and I asked where his crew was and he responded “I’m a one-man-show” and proceeded to set up all of his equipment, proceed with ease through his interview, pack up all his gear, head back to his office, sliced/diced/edited the story and ran it that night on our local station…impressed might be an understatement, but he blew my socks off). Check out his website to hear all about his experience and book him for yourself! Speaking of his experience, browse all of his pictures from the Craft Party in our album on Facebook.

I must admit, it was GREAT weekend! The Craft Party was such a blast and I spent the rest of the weekend enjoying mine & the Hubs’ new routine…

Trail running on Saturday:

trail

Yes, that’s the Hubs running the trail with his lacrosse stick in hand practicing dodging with the trees.

And running the statehouse stairs on Sunday (then cancelling out the calorie burn with coffee & french toast at Drip on Main):

drip

So so so delicious.

Can’t lie: I’m diggin’ our new weekend routine.

Again, thanks to everyone who came out to the Craft Party! We appreciate your support and can’t wait to throw another bash next year! {Follow Cola Indie Makers on Facebook & Instagram so you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events!}

What I’m Lovin’ in December

I was so busy planning for the Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop that I skipped right over November’s What I’m Lovin’ Post! I hope you’ll forgive me 🙂

I hope November brought you ample time with family and opportunities for reflection.

There’s nothing I love more than gratitude – to give it and to feel it!

give thanks

{PS: This is a free printable from Jessica N Designs – click the image to be taken to her site to download.}

I just want to take this chance to say thank YOU – thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet, reading my blog and sharing time in your busy day with me. It truly means SO much to me!

🙂

I’m spending the latter half of the month (right this minute! so disregard any outdated statements because this was written in advance 🙂 ) in England with the Hubs! We’ve been dreaming about and saving like crazy for this trip and I can’t wait to tell you all about it next year (can you believe it’s almost 2015?!).

resliced by Jordan (1)

Without further ado, I present to you my list of What I’m Lovin’ in December:

1. Handmade holiday gifts

Giving or receiving – I love handmade gifts! You just can’t beat them.

By golly, I had so much fun hosting my very first {hopefully annual} Handmade for the Holidays Blog HopI had 5 super crafty ladies (read more about each of them here) join me to share their favorite handmade gift tutorials as well as some of their favorite handmade businesses (for the less-crafty 😉 ).

HH Blog Hop 1

For easy access next year, I gathered all the links from my Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop on my recap post – just click the “Pin It” button to add it to your favorite Gift Ideas board on Pinterest.

2. the Canny tunic from Addie K.

{Photo credit: Addie Martindale}

{Photo credit: Addie Martindale}

I hope you snagged a copy of Addie K‘s newest pattern the Canny tunic – you can read all about mine [& see my 2nd version!] here.

If you’re adding “sewing” to your list of New Year’s resolutions – start with this top! It’s a great beginner project that will leave you with a very functional, super comfortable garment!

3. A fancy haircut at Metropolis Salon & Dry Bar

Last month my bestie joined the team at Metropolis Salon & Dry Bar. As a loyal friend who trusts her trims to no one else on earth, I went to see her earlier this month in her new locale.

metropolis

{Photo credit: Metropolis Salon & Dry Bar website – click the image for source}

The best part about living in Columbia is that everybody knows everybody (even when you think you don’t, turns out that your sister’s best friend’s cousin is their neighbor. Thus, you are long lost friends). And on that note: Taylor (bestie) and I used to frequent a local sushi restaurant in high school to escape from our parents (we were such rebels). Greg, the owner of Metropolis, was our sushi waiter and we would plan our “escapes” strategically around his schedule so we could tie up his table for hours badgering him into being our additional bestie (one minute chatting with him and you’ll see why we love him so much!).

Not only has Greg done a stunning job decorating the salon, but he’s filled that beautiful space with Columbia’s most talented stylists! Fig Columbia even took note and featured them in their holiday edition – read it here and pick up a copy when you stop in to the salon.

A haircut at Metropolis is the best, most fancy way to spend your lunch break or any break {I even booked the Hubs a cut and he agreed – tres chic!}. Book your appointment today (ask for Taylor Creel & tell her Jordan sent you!) and get yo’self lookin’ fancy for the new year!

4. Sunflowers in Winter

sunflower pouch

You might remember this cute little change purse from my Handmade Gifts I’m Givin’ post. Now it’s trotting around England with me.

There’s nothing like digging through your purse while shivering to pull out your change purse that screams “remember that time it was so hot you wished it were this cold?!”

So…sunflowers in winter are just great.

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}