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.}

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What I’m Lovin’ in September

Despite the fact that 80+ degree, humid temperatures are still lingering here in South Carolina, it’s finally [officially] fall! My favorite season.

I’ve got some great things to share with you this month! Read on to hear what I’ve been lovin’ in September…

september

1. Craft Fair Season

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you are probably well aware that my sister and I love nothing more than hopping around to the local craft fairs and markets to stock up on handmade goods and discover new local artisans. Fall brings more of these shopping opportunities with the holidays nearing.

We kicked off the season with one of our favorites: Martha’s Market (last year was our first time and we loved it – evidence here).

marthas-market

My sister & I heading to Martha’s Market. {PS: I’m wearing my Magnolia Shorts & Katie is wearing the Date Night Dress I made and hand-me-down’d to her}

Unfortunately it looks like we’re going to miss several of our favorites this year (or have to go separately #AllTheTears 😦 ).

Upcoming local craft fairs we’re looking forward to:

2. My Magnolia Shorts

As evidence in the photo above {and in this photo from our weekend getaway to Charleston}, I have been wearing these shorts all around town! They are so comfortable and stylish. I may never take them off […until fall weather actually arrives].

style

My Magnolia Shorts styled here with a thrifted shirt and gemstone flops from Loft.

Can I make a confession about the photo above? I posted it as my “Signature Look” for the #SewPhotoHop. At the time of posting, I had never worn the outfit which made my husband laugh when I told him. As I confessed in the post, my true style is leggings and a t-shirt but that is so not Instagram-worthy! 😉

Due to guilt, I wore the exact outfit the following week to Martha’s Market! 😀

3. This rug:

rug

The Hubs and I bought a new house over the summer. There is not an inch of carpet anywhere which is great (because dogs), but my sewing room needs a floor with cushion. I spend a lot of time on the floor tracing patterns and cutting fabric (wish list: wall-mounted fold-down cutting table…). That being said, I was in desperate need of a rug for the room.

My friend Caroline shared with me that Hendley Rugs (a local no-frills shop…with no website) was having a retirement sale so I jumped on it. I got a serious deal on this rug (A TOTAL STEAL! So good that Scott Hendley himself said “you have to send me $1,000 in business to make my money back” – SO GO BUY A RUG from him please).

Isn’t it so gorgeous? I can’t get enough of it. Scott has these ahhh-mazing rug pads (they’re like an inch thick and they kind of velcro [almost] to the back of the rug and stick nicely to the floor so no sliding. A great investment if you’re the kind of person who straightens the crooked frames of pictures at your doctor’s office…).

Bottom line: If you’re local to the Columbia area (or driving distance), you should go visit Scott at Hendley Rugs to celebrate his retirement and stock up to make your cozy (the store is located at 1919 Taylor Street in downtown Columbia. Scott estimates he’ll be open for another 6 months).

4. Wallet from the Braiden Manor

braiden-manor-wallet

A friend in my sewing guild [who is ridiculously talented and teaches me new tricks at almost every sew-in] has an Etsy shop where she sells some of the amazing things she makes – like burp cloths, diaper clutches, and wallets.

I snagged this wristlet from her at Martha’s Market. It’s sewn up in the Rifle Paper Co. fabric and some pink sparkle fabric. The best part about the pink sparkle fabric is that it won’t leave you looking like a toddler who spilled the glitter in art class. Kristy tested the fabric before adorning the wallets to confirm that the sparkles won’t rub off all over your hands (yay!).

I immediately switched over all my essentials and have been carrying the wallet non-stop since the market and love it. You can browse all of Kristy’s beautiful wallets and wristlets HERE.

5. My New Seam Ripper & Stiletto

fave-tool

Another gem I found at Martha’s Market! I have been using the seam ripper that came with my machine so I was way past due for a new one. I didn’t realize how dull it had gotten until I got my hands on this one!

The best part about this little tool is that the seam ripper and stiletto tuck right into the ends so no accidental stabbings or losing of caps.

fave-tool-2

This spiffy tool is handmade by a guy named Chester whose shop is called Pens and Turnings (he specializes in pens). If you are local, you can find a list of upcoming events he will be selling at on his website. You can find several seam rippers on his website (here!) if you are interested in ordering online.

I recommend the double-ended and request a stiletto instead of the large ripper. I had no idea what a stiletto was until my friend Kristy told me after she bought her seam ripper and got the switch (so of course I had to go back and swap). Not sure what a stiletto is either? Here’s a video for ya.

6. Quilt Block Challenge

Last month, my quilt guild launched a monthly quilt block challenge. Each month we are given a quilt block pattern to construct and bring to the next month’s meeting in exchange for instructions for the next block. The blocks will be used to construct our guild charity quilts.

Our first block was the Churn Dash which I had ironically already been practicing (remember?)!

img_2549

My “modern” Churn Dash block for the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild‘s monthly block challenge.

We get special handwritten instructions (which alone should motivate you to join our guild), but you can find a tutorial for the churn dash quilt block here if you want to make your own.

I’m really excited to build my quilting skills and even more excited for the accountability. I plan to stick with these (because I’m very excited about the charity we picked this year!) so stay tuned and I’ll post my blocks each month.

There is a lot going on lately and I have loads to share with you as soon as I get the time to write the quality posts you deserve 😉 For now, you can follow the bread trail of my adventures on Instagram. I hope you’re all having the coziest of falls!

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

Flying Geese Pin Cushion

I’m really loving paper piecing! If you haven’t tried it out yet, you totally should. It’s much easier than you think (I was overthinking it until our quilt guild president de-mystified the process during a demo at a recent meeting. Here’s a tutorial with some great pictures).

After playing around with paper piecing with the basic diamond template Amber shared with us at the meeting, I started searching the internet for more templates to play with.

It didn’t take long to find a flying geese pattern that I loved! I followed these instructions and shrunk the pattern by 33% when I printed. It’s the perfect size for a pin cushion which is great because this month our quilt guild hosted a pin cushion swap!

pin cushion 2

My partner loves batik prints so it was a chance for me to work with a fabric that I don’t normally use. I found some fat quarters at JoAnn’s and used green for the geese and purple for the background pieces. I used a fun blue print for the bottom of the cushion.

I used some scrap batting to line against the goose block. Rather than quilt the geese (I really couldn’t figure out how to do that without ruining the design), I added a border and then stitched around the border with some fun blue thread I picked up at an estate sale.

I stitched the batting to the flying geese block then set it right-sides-facing on top of the bottom piece and then squared them up (cutting the edges) so they were the same size. Then I stitched all around the sandwich – leaving a few inches open at the bottom for flipping.

pin cushion 6

the underside of the pretty blue stitches against the batting

Then I clipped the corners so they would be pointy when flipped (watch out for your stitch line so you don’t accidentally cut into it!).

pin cushion 7

I flipped the cushion so that right sides were now facing out and hand stitched the closing using a blind stitch {here is a tutorial with great pictures}.

pin cushion 5

Some people hate sewing by hand, but I love the control it gives you. I certainly wouldn’t want to do an entire quilt by hand {I absolutely do not have that kind of patience}, but I will say that taking the time to blind stitch is totally worth it! It’s great for closing an infinity scarf or the interior of a bag and leads to a much cleaner finish.

pin cushion 4

I happen to have a giant bag of plain ol’ stuffing {I think I had visions of making throw pillows or maybe some fun softies/stuffed animals…} so I used that to fill the cushion. Lately I’ve noticed that my pins seem to be getting dull. Next time I may try stuffing a pin cushion with steel wool to keep my pins sharp {idea here}.

pin cushion 1

After some advice from my quilt guild buddies at our last sew-in, I pressed my seams to the side rather than open when I pieced the four little goose blocks together to make the full circle of geese. This really helped seal the center of the block and align the pieces perfectly {I’m quite proud of that center intersection!}. Here’s a good run-down of pressing your seams open vs. pressing them to the side if you’re interested 😉

pin cushion 2

I hope my partner likes her new pin cushion! 🙂

{PS: If you’re anywhere near Columbia, SC and enjoy sewing of any sort-and-kind, you should check out the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild! You can follow the page on Facebook to see when the next meeting will be. The guild hosts monthly sew-ins which are super fun – I love being able to pick the brains of fellow [far more experienced] sewists!}

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.}