Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kitchen Revival // Magnetic Spice Storage

Magnetic Spice Kit (you choose 7 ORGANIC spices), Magnetic Jars Embossed with Spice Names

Storing spices has always seemed to be a challenge of mine. Too many little bottles that all get piled up on top of one another. I found these sweet little hexagon glass jars with magnetic lids that are also embossed with the spice name. So pretty.

You can purchase them from Gniess Spice as empty personalized jars or filled with amazing spices already. Wouldn't this make a great wedding or house warming gift?
Gourmet Salts Kit (3 magnetic jars--choose from 25 different gourmet salts)

Magnetic spice storage is not limited to the fridge. Check these ideas out!

Inside the cabinet
Love this magnetic spice rack
via bhg

Artfully displayed as wall decor
Magnetic spice "rack"... nifty!
via design sponge

Or on a silver tray painted your favorite color.
magnetic spice rack on a tray.
via salt and ginger

Monday, February 27, 2012

Garden Seeds // Wildflower Delight

I am thoroughly enjoying the wildflowers that are in full bloom.   They are everywhere!  During a recent hike on the Wind Cave Trail in Usery Park, I was privy to poppies in their most natural state.  There are wildflowers in my neighborhood, transforming entire front yards into a sea of yellow and orange.  A small sampling of wildflowers in a raised bed adds a splash of color to our school garden. Take a look at their beauty:

Wildflowers are typically grown from seed sown in the fall (mid-Sept thru mid-Nov).  Rake in the seeds to loose soil to a depth of about an inch.  The more rainfall, the more prolific the flowers.  If in a landscape, water regularly to establish the seeds.  The most common ones include Mexican gold poppy, purple owl's clover, lupine and African daisies.

*Be sure to save your seeds if you have these in your garden!  If you are admiring them from afar, ask permission of a neighbor or landowner to harvest seeds.  Once the plant dries out, pull it out, bend the stalk or cut to the ground.  Shake the mature stalks into a paper bag.  Label your seeds, share with friends and store for next year. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Handmade Brilliance { local } // Bitsy Bear

My talented friend, Chelise, is an amazing seamstress. She creates clothing for little girls that are to die for. Not to mention her daughter is such a darling model. Lucky for us she shares her original designs for sale through her successful business, Bitsy Bear.

Prepare yourselves. You are about to panic because of cuteness overload.

Tell us your story. What brought you to now?

I am a self-taught seamstress, designer, and business owner. I did not grow up using a sewing machine or even had a sewing machine in my house growing up I don't think. My husband bought me my first machine when we got married and I learned how to use it by making quilts. When my daughter Drew was born, I quit teaching first grade to be a stay-at-home mom. I loved staying at home with my baby and would not have had it any other way, but all the creative juices and motivation I used to use for my students needed somewhere to go. So I not only started sewing for her but knew I wanted to make a business out of it.

Golden Halter Swimsuit for toddler and girl- READY TO SHIP
Oh how Bitsy Bear has grown from the baby stage of onesies, burp cloths, and binky clips. As Drew grew, I became more daring with my sewing creations and made her my first dress. It was rough around the edges, but it was cute! I became more confident. Since I have never liked store bought patterns, I bought books from Amazon that taught me how to make my own patterns and create them in a range of sizes. I started selling my designs and am still doing so today! 

Pre-order- Easter Flowers Tuxedo Dress for baby, toddler, and girl
Many people tell me that they wish they could sew and I always say, "You can!" You will probably have to pull out stitches and replace broken needles along the way, but if you want to sew then sew!

Pre-order- Easter Plaid Tie Dress for baby, toddler, and girl

What does handmade mean to you?
Coral Pink Halter Swimsuit for toddler and girl- READY TO SHIPI have read many times about people who say that they started their own clothing line because they just couldn't find cute enough clothes while shopping in stores for their own children.  For me that is just not true. There are so many to-die-for kids clothing out there. I have also heard people say that they hand make to save money. Again for me, just not true. Fabric, buttons, thread, zippers, needles, etc. add up in my book to much more than a dress I could go pick up at Old Navy. 

Handmade, to me, is a connection to a person. When my daughter puts on a finished dress I made her, even at four years old she knows it is special. She says things like, "You made this for me? Thank you! I love it!" She knows I spent time on something just for her (well it's for me too, but don't tell her that). You can't get that kind of personal connection from that cute $10 Old Navy dress. I know my customers are not buying dresses from me to make a personal connection with me, but they know that what they are getting is something special.
Holiday Tuxedo Dress- READY TO SHIP Size 4T

Chelise also designs these adorable onesies that feature the lyrics to nursery rhymes.
Organic Cotton Rockin' Onesie- Itsy Bitsy by Bitsy Bear
I think it's clear that Chelise has endless talent and an eye for style. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Keep an eye out on her shop because she is always featuring seasonal dresses and new designs.

Follow her on facebook and get details when she is doing a give-away or having a sale.

And go get your daughter a unique Easter dress and show it off!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Organize Your Life // Make-Up

I recently returned to using fancy make-up. It's so worth the money to me. When I returned home to put away my newly purchased make-up I was horrified at how gross my old make-up and case was looking. There was no way I was going to subject my precious new make-up to that environment!

Makeup organizationn 3
via a beautiful mess
My new make-up needed a new home where it was easy to clean (which means no cloth!), portable (I hate moving my make-up to a new bag when I travel), and functional (compartments). My sis-in-law has kept her magenta, purple and teal caboodle from her youth and still uses it to this day. I have to admit that I was a little jealous that she held on to that gem. Why didn't I? Too late.

Don't stress. I happened to find Caboodles in two styles at Target (yes, they still make them!). Purple with sparkles with some sassy saying on the clasp or hot pink. I went with pink. And yes, I did feel like a 13 year old checking out with my hot pink caboodle. Why can't they make a line of these for adults? Too much to ask?

But my make-up and I are oh so happy.

Here are some ground rules for keeping your make-up happy too:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kitchen Revival // Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

How was everyone's Valentines Day? Mine was just lovely, thank you- now onto regular life!

Today I'll be sharing the best Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake recipe with a Home-made Graham Cracker Crust, AND you get a bonus Recipe printable for your recipe box!

I mixed and muddled this cheesecake recipe and added this graham cracker recipe to make the sweet crunchy crust- and if this isn't the most delicious lemon-cheesecake you've ever eaten, I'll eat my hat.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY Tutorials // Spring Sprouts

lentil sprout diy decor
Photo: Roberto Caruso

How adorable is?? Very. What a cute centerpiece it would make to welcome in Spring! I will be making one of these this week for sure.

I found it on Poppytalk and they say all you have to do is sprinkle a handful of lentils onto some cotton balls or paper towels keeping damp (but not wet), in a week or so you'll have some adorable delicate sprouts! This one was planted into a wooden box but any container would do.

Then just take a wooden skewer and glue on a flag. You can download a printable of the flag below here if you prefer. (Tip: when printing the flag, it will automatically "scale to page size".  Select "None" instead to get a true size when printed).

Monday, February 20, 2012

Garden Seeds // February Herbs

I am a novice on growing herbs in Arizona, so I am starting a "herb corner" this month in my backyard.   My motto is always start small when you are trying something new in the garden!  I suggest trying new plants in pots so you can move them around to find a location that works best. 

According to the Arizona Herb Association, here are some good herbs to sow directly outside in the month of February:
  • Alfalfa, bee balm, borage, calendula, German chamomile, garlic chives, cilantro/coriander, cumin, dill, Florence fennel, scented geraniums, hollyhocks, hyssop, lamb's quarters, majoram, nasturtium, parsley, chaparral sage, Mexican bush sage, summer savory, sesame, thyme and yarrows.
If buying an herb plant from a nursery, choose from one of these to plant in February:
  • Aloe, bee balm, borage, German chamomile, chives, garlic chives, creosote bush, lemon grass, Mormon tea, oregano, French sorrel, sweet Annie, thyme and wormwood.
Water as needed and water deeply to encourage good root development. 

Here is my herb corner with two newly planted herb pots.  This is a door I found in an alley, added a shelf, spray painted and mounted on the wall.  The stepping stone is my daughter's hand print at age 2 (she's now 10). 

The Arizona Herb Association is a wonderful resource for herb gardeners.  I often refer to their herb guide:  The Low Desert Herb Gardening Handbook.  The book is organized by month and states exactly what herbs to plant, prune and harvest as well as other helpful hints.   The Herb Association meets the first Thursday of each month at 7pm at the University of Arizona Maricopa County Extension Office at 4341 E. Broadway in Phoenix.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Color Your Fancy // Cobalt

When blue gets sassy, it's called ... 

coral + bright blue stripes
via zara
cobaltbright, blue & beautiful
bright blue walls.

Bright Blue
via bhg
bright blue + bike.
via pw on bluepoolroad 
Pinned Image
you are my fave
Painted cobalt table
bright blue wedding shoes!
via lauren hurt

I can't get enough of this color. It has always been a favorite of mine. Such a surprising shade of blue!

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