Farm Fresh Ventures Box #2

Box #2 is here!

Cantaloupe, blackberries, peaches, yellow squash, green tomatoes, new potatoes, basil, and eggplant!  Looking forward to some yummy culinary creations this week!

Perusing Through Anthropologie

Recently I was able to peruse through Anthropologie.  I've heard so many things about this store and seen so many Anthropologie-inspired crafts on Pinterest and blogs, that I had to see what all the hype was about.

It was a rather neat store, in my opinion.  For me though, it truly would be the type of store to provide inspiration on colors and textures, but I wouldn't necessarily see myself buying clothes there.  If anything, it would be housewares.  I love shopping and looking for housewares.

So, in case you've never had the opportunity to visit this store, here's a glimpse of what I saw most recently.

Do you feel inspired?  I definitely do.  :-)

Creating Detachable Fabric Panels {Tutorial}


One Saturday my mom and I were driving downtown and I noticed two pieces of furniture at a yard sale.  On the way back home, the furniture was still there, like it was waiting for me.  The owners let me go home, measure my space and held the items until I called to confirm.  Then (get this), they brought it to my house and helped me unload it!  I tell you.  These are some of the perks of small city living.

Both pieces were meant for a kitchen, but the original owners created an entertainment unit for their teenage daughter.  That gave me an idea.  For the big hutch piece, I put it in my laundry room to use for storage.  For the cabinet piece, I decided to use it as a tv stand. 

I cut a small hole in the back of the top shelf to allow the cords from the dvd player and cable box to go to the back.

For now I have some of my oils on the shelves.  Definitely something I don't want to see on a regular.  I knew that I wanted to make some fabric panels to be seen through the glass.  I knew I wanted an ethnic print.

Thankfully, Art of Cloth announced the sale of remnant pieces and I was able to get this wax print for $7.  I even have a piece left that I will find a way to use in another project.

Ok, now on to the steps involved:

Materials:  fabric, scissors, heat bond, velcro
Iron fabric
Cut into two panels, wider than the measure of the glass.  Mine was the size of the door.
2 panels
Apply heat bond
Iron to adhere strips
Do the same for the top and bottom, but make sure the panels are the length you need before doing so.

Apply velcro strips to right side of fabric.  If you're lucky to have them on hand, the adhesive ones are great for this project. (TIP:  Don't sew on an adhesive one.  Get the ones made for sewing if you opt to sew.)
Attach panels to inside of glass.
A closer look.
I just really love this fabric!
Before & After
The good part is that the remotes still work well even through the fabric.  The bad part is now I need to purchase a clock for this space because I can't see the time on the cable box.  I'm fine with that though!

Hope you enjoyed this mini makeover project!

Happy Crafting, 

Swiss Chard {Recipe}

In my first produce box, I received a bunch of swiss chard.  Never had swiss chard before.  I'm not even sure if I pronounce it correctly.  I mean, does the "ch" say "sh" as in "Sherry" or is it a hard "ch" sound as in "Cheerios"?  That in itself tells you how much I'm familiar with this leafy green veggie.

I set out to find out more about this vegetable and find a suitable recipe.  In the end, I decided to try this simple recipe from the Martha Stewart website:  Sauteed Swiss Chard with Orange.  All I had to purchase was the orange.  In the end, I made a couple of modifications because I wasn't prepared for the slight bitterness of the swiss chard and the fact that I like my greens a little more done than most modern recipes say.

So this is what I did:

Removed stalks and sliced swiss chard in 1" strips.
Washed greens.
Heated olive oil in pan.  Added zest of orange and sauteed greens.
Added juice of orange, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a dash of sugar.  Covered.  Steamed until done.
My mom and I combined forces.  She experimented with two new recipes:  Broiled Hot Pepper Wings (Claire Robinson of 5 Ingredient Fix) and Sauteed Kale (Bobby Flay).  She also made brown rice.

Smaller portions.  This is on a luncheon-sized plate.  :-)

I really enjoyed this meal!

Benefits of Swiss Chard
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • regulates blood sugar levels
  • helps pancreatic cells regenerate
  • supports bone health
  • excellent source of Vitamins A, K, E, calcium, and magnesium

Farm Fresh Ventures Box #1


I tried to have a summer garden.  Twice.  I started seeds at school, and they flourished.  But those I gave to the kids to take home.  Feeling good about that seedling success, I decided to try my hand at starting from seed for my own garden.  This time I used peat pellets.  I did get seedlings, but not at the magnitude that I felt like they should have been growing.  Their growth seemed stunted.  I placed them in my mini greenhouse where they picked up and then died...all but two plants.  Determined not to be defeated, I started completely over outdoors in the greenhouse.  This time I used a seed starting mix instead of the pellets.  This time nothing happened.  Nothing.  And then that day came where all these storms hit my area and I forgot to push the bench against my mini greenhouse.  On that great day, my greenhouse toppled over, and all my seed trays spilled out on my deck.  That was the day I decided that I would not be gardening this summer.  That was the day I decided to join a coop.

So I convinced my mom to split my subscription to Farm Fresh Ventures, a local coop.  Each week they deliver a box of produce from the local farms.  On Fridays they tell you what will be in your Tuesday box.  I'll be sharing with you on Mondays what was in the previous week's box so that I can share some recipes using those items.

I may still grow my own herb garden from plants, but if you saw my Saturday post, it's been hectic lately so those kind of things were put on the back burner.

I managed to have one basil plant and two beefsteak tomato plants.  The sun has gotten to the tomato plants, but they are still alive.  I need to separate them and hope for the best.  :-)

Box #1.
When I go to pick up Box #2, I return Box #1.
Each box comes packed with a newsletter featuring recipes for the items in the box as well as local farm information.

Rainbow Swiss Chard
Sweet corn, patty pan squash, peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries
Stay tuned for some recipes featuring these items. 

Here's hoping to a healthier fresh start with fresh summer produce!

I'm Back!

{Image Source}
It surely has been a while since I've blogged.  Whew!  There have been so many life events crammed into this tiny space of time that I was just waiting to get the end of that chunk of it before showing my face, so to speak.

The long of the short:
  • the school year finally ended for the kids, and then about 3 weeks later (due to those snow days), it ended for me
  • I'm slated to teach math next year so I've got some prepping to do (I've taught 6th grade science for the past 3 years)
  • started a project called "de-clutter my home" and a diet (the diet part hasn't been working so well)
  • my brother and sister-in-law came in for a surprise visit (we hadn't seen them since daddy's funeral in April of last year)
  • had to get a molar (which previously had a root canal some years ago) pulled because the tooth cracked!
  • did a bridal shoot and two weddings within the last two weeks
and more!

Welcome to the First day of Summer....and  boy is it hot!

Happy Summer,