Flooding Susie’s Inbox

August 27, 2009

A boring post about lunch

Filed under: Boring, Food — sashyjane @ 2:21 pm

I stopped by Fresh Market today for lunch and got a turkey, apple and brie wrap (yum!) and the most delicious beverage! I’m considering ordering a lifetime supply.

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August 26, 2009

A pictureless but yummy supper and some invitations

Filed under: Food, Friends — sashyjane @ 11:43 am

Last night, my friend Rachel came over for rosemary pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas and blueberry cobbler.  Pork always kind of freaks me out.  I’m afraid it’s going to be undercooked so I overcook it and it gets dry. Womp womp.  So, to combat the slightly dry pork, I made homemade steak sauce.  How did I do that? I’m glad you asked! It’s ridiculously easy.

First, squirt some ketchup into a cup.  Then add some worchestershire sauce.  Now mix.  Taste it.  Do you like it? Add more ketchup or worchestershire as needed.  Now serve.  Your guest will never know you mixed it up in 4 seconds.

I wanted to take beautiful pictures of my meal for all of you to enjoy but alas, my camera batteries were dead. Why is it that the one time I remember to take pictures of something, the camera batteries are dead? Maybe I’ll pick up a fresh pack of batteries and take pictures of the leftovers. Wouldn’t that be beautiful? In the meantime, here’s a terrible quality cell phone picture of my table last night.

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In other terrible picture news, here’s a picture of the finished engagement party invitations.

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It’s eggplant linen paper topped with white linen paper that’s printed with eggplant ink and tied with a silver knot.  Tying the Knot. So clever, right? If only I’d been the first to think of it.

This picture really doesn’t do it justice.  It looks terrible here.  Here’s the original nautical looking one.

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and in lieu of ribbon, I tied hemp twine like this to make it look like rope.

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I’m working on some ideas for the bride for wedding invitations… let’s hope they turn out impressive!

August 25, 2009

Feeling Uninspired

Filed under: Food, VeryVera — sashyjane @ 3:15 pm

I’m not feeling terribly creative and I have so much work to do (both my legit job and private jobs) so I’m giving you a canned article I wrote for VeryVera.  Have I ever told you about that? I write articles quarterly for a mail order bakery/gourmet food company under six titles: Something New @ Vera’s, Gadgets & Gizmos, Season to Taste, Cookbook Corner, With Our Compliments and From the Editor’s Desk.  You should really check out the newly redesigned VeryVera website.  While you’re there, you should order a cake.  The Brandied Peach Pound Cake is tdf (to die for) PCH

and the Lemon Layer Cake is perfectly citrusy sweet. LL

If you’re not in the mood for sweets, VeryVera also makes casseroles, salads, sides and dips.  I could eat an entire pan of Vidalia Onion Dip by myself.   VID

It’s always fresh and delicious and all of the products can be shipped across the US straight to your door. So… without further ado, here’s this quarter’s Gadgets & Gizmos.

With gardens, farmers markets and roadside stands bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables, your summer recipes are guaranteed to be fresh and delcious. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. We’ve all been there: you gather up three baskets of plump, juicy tomatoes and by the time you get through half of them, the rest have gone bad. Why not use your produce to its fullest potential by cleaning, storing and even preserving some so the fresh, juicy flavors of summer last all year long?

Make your tomatoes last a little longer by pressing them in an Italian Tomato Press. The suction-activated bottom attaches easily to a counter or tabletop while you drop quartered fresh tomatoes in and crank the handle. The press seperates the pulp, seeds and skin leaving you with a smooth tomato base perfect for salsa, soup and sauces. Made of heavy duty acrylic and stainless steel, you never have to worry about broken mechanisms or difficult cleanup.

To enjoy the flavors of summer yearround, try canning your tomatoes, squash, zucchini and peas. Canning retains the fruits’ and vegetables’ nutrients and flavor giving you the most nutritious and healthiest meal ever. Try the Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner. Ergonomically designed, it features the stay-cool black plastic handles and strong-lock lid with pressure regulator, dial gauge, and overpressure plug. The heavy duty stainless steel body comes with a canning rack to protect jars during canning and an accompanying rack that fits down into the pot to keep jars off the bottom so that liquid can circulate underneath.

Of course, if you’re going to can, you’re going to need some Mason Jars to store your fruits and veggies. You can usually find food-grade cases at grocery stores, super stores and craft stores. Make them your own by tying some twine or cute ribbon around the tops and attaching a cute label with the name of the goody inside with the date you canned.

For a fresh glass of carrot, tomato, watermelon, peach, nectarine or berry juice, run your fresh fruits and veggies through the Breville Compact Juice Fountain . The powerful 700-watt, 14,000 rpm motor makes short work of your basket of produce and the 3″ circular feeding tube easily accommodates a variety of fruit and vegetable sizes without having to pre-cut, slice or peel. The Dual centered cutting system with stabilizing knife centers produce over the cutters and finely grinds it into minute particles for improved juice extraction while the Stainless-steel micromesh strainer filters juice from pulp with ease. And best of all? The dishwasher-safe parts make for easy cleaning.

To use every last sweet bite of that fresh corn, pick up the Kuhn-Rikon Corn Zipper. This tool quickly, safely strips an ear of corn: A pair of extra-sharp teeth slides between the kernals and cob to remove several rows of at a time. Simply grip the barrel handle, rake the corn from end to end and watch the kernels drop into a bowl.

Love sliced strawberries but hate wasting time and effort removing the tops and hulls? Never fear. The Strawberry Huller is here! The little stainless steel gripper makes removing the strawberry tops and hulls a cinch so you get more strawberry for your buck while you save time prepping that bucket of fresh-picked goodness for your famous strawberry pie with homemade ice cream.

If you’re anything like me, when you peel a peach, cucumber, potatoes, carrots or any other number of fresh produce, you’re standing over the sink with a knife and more of it ends up in the disposal than on your plate. I bet I could fix that problem with one simple solution: a vegetable peeler. The Trio Peeler from Williams-Sonoma features a rotating handle that allows you to switch from soft-skin, heavy-duty and julienne blades. Use the soft-skin to peel peaches, heavy-duty for carrots and potatoes and the julienne blade for shredding vegetables for salad or soups. The peeler’s tip is perfect for removing those pesky potato eyes. And the soft-grip handle means the peeler won’t slip.

August 24, 2009

In Print

Filed under: Uncategorized — sashyjane @ 4:54 pm

It’s always exciting to see something I’ve created being used, appreciated and on display.  While picking up my injured sewing machine last week from it’s visit to the hospital, I noticed a poster I created for the Women’s Community Event on display! While Jeff’s Sewing & Vacuum isn’t exactly Times Square, it’s still exciting to see my work in the community.

posterThere are soooo many things I would change about this poster if I could.  For example, there is entirely too much content on there for my liking.  However, when working for someone, you have to compromise for what the client wants… even if it means sacrificing some of the pretty.

I finished some engagement party invitations this weekend for a client and although I loved the general design and original concept, the finished product isn’t something I’m thrilled about.  I had sort of a nautical color scheme going (cream, navy and tan) but the client wanted to surprise the bride by having the invitation done in her wedding colors (eggplant, black and silver.) It didn’t work nearly as well with the overall concept of the invitation but I sort of had to die to self and produce the best product I could with the client’s specifications. Pictures of that later…

PS.  The logos at the bottom aren’t really in white boxes like that.  The poster is printed on cream paper but just to show you sort of how it looks, I put a cream background up.

PPS. Don’t you love that bird on the poster? Susie created it for me! I usually leave any sort of drawing up to her and she never fails!

August 21, 2009

Some people are so clever

Filed under: Weddings — sashyjane @ 9:58 am

These might be my most favorite wedding invitations ever!! I’m pretty conservative when it comes to wedding things.  I love a classic embossed invitation with beautiful calligraphy.  Like this…

wa102620_win07_istnry_lFrom Martha

But these clever folks came up with some cute invites that knocked me off my feet!! Now, it’s no secret that I love a good theme.  I love for everything to have meaning and all tie together and Holly & Sean hit the nail on the head with their travel-themed invitations. Check out a full report on their process here.

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I would have never gone to the trouble of hunting down vintage maps or stickers of the globe or vintage stamps.  I would have slapped a forever stamp on there and called it a day.  Maybe if I sat around and really thought about it, I could have come up with something this clever (I doubt it) but I think laziness would get the better of me and I would probably just go with the classic invites with the love stamp.

I’ve been asked to create invitations for a bride I don’t really know.  I’m pretty nervous about it because I think she’s expecting something fantastic like the above and I’m afraid I’ll deliver something like the below.

feedback_image.lassoFrom here.

Ha! Just kidding! I would never!

Have you seen any brilliant invitation ideas recently?

August 20, 2009

Gee, Mr. Hartounian!

Filed under: Uncategorized — sashyjane @ 2:47 pm

The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here!

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I ran to the grocery store and by my house at lunch and look what was waiting in my mailbox! Yippee!! My first issue of my $5 subscription to Real Simple!

It was all I could do not to call in sick for the rest of the day read it in the car on the way back to work.  Don’t be offended if I don’t answer phone calls or emails for the next couple days. :)

Doggies are a girl’s best friend

Filed under: Doggies!, Tater — sashyjane @ 1:09 pm

Who needs diamonds when you have a snuggly bunny who loves you like this?

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mommy and doggie

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bliss

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Don’t you love those images?! The one with the baby flanked by two dogs at the window makes me teary eyed every time I look at it! Leesia Teh kills me with her beautiful pictures… you can tell she really, truly loves animals and understands and appreciates their innocence, sweetness and their silly quirks.  She photographs pets (dogs, cats, even goats!) and donates her services to the Atlanta Pet Rescue.  You should really check out her blog.  Be forewarned, you’ll need a dog nearby to hug and kiss because you’ll be so overcome with how adorable the images are that your heart might just burst!

Photo credits: 1-6, Leesia Teh Photography, the rest are crappy cell phone pictures or ones Susie took of Tater.

August 18, 2009

Hairapy

Filed under: Uncategorized — sashyjane @ 3:35 pm

Remember my pretty sister Susie and her long red hair?

5934_540827405892_51100314_32119099_6068885_nHeh, heh, heh… I just had to post that picture.

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Well, after a series of unneccessary, unfortunate and entirely preventable events, she needed some hairapy.  Say goodbye to her long hair…

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and say hello to her adorable, soft, silky, fashionable new hair!

0817091837She got a new boost of confidence and provided a cancer patient with a beautiful new head of fiery red hair! Just look at how adorable it is!

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She can pin it back when she’s in the studio…

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Or wear it Mulan style when she’s working out (sorry for posting this, Cubs.)

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How about you? Have you ever done something impetuous and spontaneous with your hair to symbolize and ‘out with the old, in with the new’ mentality?

On my wish list…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sashyjane @ 3:11 pm

I sure would love to have a subscription to this.

518CdlmGCQL._SS400_And this.

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But until I find a new roommate, the magazine reading I’ll be doing is when I’m sitting here.

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Or maybe even here (if I can resist the temptation to buy a coffee.)

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August 17, 2009

Babies and Showers

Filed under: Babies, Jesus, Weddings — sashyjane @ 4:55 pm

This weekend, Lenka and I did a little more than bridal shower planning.  We took on two boys (ages 2 and 4) for the weekend while their parents were out of town! (Newborn baby brother went with Mommy & Daddy)

6340_101027918154_570948154_2188942_4491872_nSorry for the low-quality picture… I stole it from Facebook.

Holy.Mother.of.Pearl.

I have a whole new respect for mothers and I’m seriously rethinking my desire for 3 kids.  They kept us busy and there was never a dull moment.  Friday night, we played outside, got them fed, wiped hinies, changed diapers, brushed teeth,  put on pjs, read stories, dried tears, stopped fights and tucked them in.  Saturday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn, wiped hinies, changed diapers, fed them pancakes (quite the ordeal!), played outside, stopped fights and jumped on the “champaleen.” Thankfully, at 10:00, a sweet teenaged girl from church came to relieve us so we could do a little shower planning.

After an all too quick reprieve, we were back to feed them supper, wipe hinies, change diapers, give baths, comb hair, brush teeth, put on pjs, read stories, tuck them in and wake up in the middle of the night to stop the crying.  Sunday morning met us all too early and we started breakfast, changed diapers, wiped hinies, brushed teeth, changed into church clothes, packed diapers and sippy cups, loaded into carseats and headed off to church.  (It bears mentioning that Lenka and I will never judge another mother for showing up to church sans shower and makeup with her hair pulled back into a ponytail… we may or may not have arrived at church in a similar state.) After church, we fixed lunch (a messy mix of Spaghetti Os and apple slices with peanut butter), washed hundreds several tiny shirts that were covered in lunch, took naps (all four of us!), changed the world’s worst diaper, wiped one more hiney, played games, rolled dice, fixed supper and waited impatiently for Mommy and Daddy to return.

While this weekend was in no way relaxing, it was a bit refreshing.  There’s nothing better than a child throwing his tiny arms around you and giving you a big hug or hearing his silly giggle when he’s having a good time with you. I also have a new found respect for parents who do all of this all day long without complaint and I am so thankful that we have a heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us and takes care of our every need without complaint. He loves us unconditionally despite our whining, begging and tantrums.  He wipes away our tears, he protects us and provides all that we stand in need of without needing to pass us off to another babysitter for a break.

One of the sweetest things this weekend was when the four year old would sing “Come Thou Fount of Every Bwessing” while we prepared their meals.  He knew almost all of the words and sang them very reverently and sweetly.  His tiny tw0 year old brother tried very hard to sing along but was having a bit of a problem with enunciation. :) When things would get overwhelming, (casserole was bubbling over, kids were fighting and whining, the piano was being banged on entirely too loudly and everybody was hungry) it was nice to be reminded of those lyrics of singing His grace with loudest praise:

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

On the shower front, we got a lot accomplished.

We printed and mailed the invitations.

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Complete with accompanying recipe card.

recipe cardAren’t those prints just adorable?! They were created by my fantastically talented seester, Susie.  You should read her blog.  She’s terribly funny and sickeningly talented.  Here’s the original:

susiehomemaker090We decided on the favors… I won’t post about them yet just in case some shower attendees are reading, I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun! We nailed down at least one activity, did a little shopping and decision making about plates, napkins, etc and we decided on a little bit of the menu.  We want everything to be pickupable.  It shouldn’t be too hard coming up with yummy things that fit that parameter.  The bride isn’t wild about cake (she is having a cinnamon roll tower at her wedding reception brunch in lieu of cake) so we decided to do cupcakes for the shower.  I ordered some of these lovelies this morning.

They’re so dadgum cute that I had an impossible time picking!

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I ended up choosing these in blue.

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I probably need to block this site on my computer.  Otherwise, I could end up spending a ton of money there.

All in all, it was a very productive weekend! What do you think of the shower stuff thus far? I’ll keep you posted as we continue to map out all the fabulous details.

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