Tuesday, September 28, 2010

wedding invitation giveaway!

The wedding invitation giveaway is back!

Getting married? I LOVE creating wedding invitations. It is an amazing creative challenge to help a couple bring their ideas for their wedding to life. Today, I am giving away a custom wedding invitation design package. I will work with you to create your dream wedding invitation. It will include designs for the invitation, the envelope, an rsvp card and envelope, directions and any other information that you would like included.

I will work with a printer (including letterpress, if you desire) to create the finished product. You will be responsible for the printing and paper costs (we will work with your budget to determine the best method of printing).

To enter, leave a comment telling me one sentence that sums up what your perfect wedding would be. One winner will be drawn at random this Friday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Sorry I've been away for a few days. As often happens, September has brought with it a much more hectic pace. I am under a huge deadline right now but I have lots of ideas cooking for the blog, including a complete makeover. 

In the meantime, have you seen this iPhone app?

It turns your iPhone into an instamatic camera for only $1.99. Now if I could only get my hands on an iPhone... I'm waiting for the rumored Verizon iPhone deal. : )

Thursday, September 16, 2010

easiest, yummiest, homemade wheat bread

I set out this weekend to make bread for the first time without my breadmaker. After finding this simple Honey Wheat Bread recipe, I gave it a try and couldn't believe how easy it was. The recipe made two loaves and was so easy and so delicious! Even my kids went crazy for it. 

The recipe is from the foodnetwork.com site but it was pretty vague. I made a couple of adjustments based on comments people had left on the site. So here is how I made the bread. Enjoy!

Honey Wheat Bread (adapted from this recipe)
Ingredients 2 1/2 cups warm water
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick softened butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
4 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Combine all ingredients including rest of water in Kitchenaid mixer bowl, knead for about seven minutes with bread hook or until dough is no longer wet but smooth. Remove mixer bowl from stand and place a dish towl or saran wrap over bowl. Let bread rise until doubled in size, punch down for about a minute on a floured surface and divide in half and shape into two loaves. Place each loaf in a greased (I used sunflower cooking spray) and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan. Let bread double in size again. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush top of loaves with an egg wash (whisk an egg with water). Sprinkle with extra rolled oats. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crusty and brown on top.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

a sweet little gift idea

I made my own pizza dough for the first time the other day. The recipe, from New Basics Cookbook, (my go-to cookbook) made two crusts. Half way through making it I decided it would be fun to give my mom one of the doughs to try. So I grabbed a cute gift bag and wrote out the tomato pizza sauce recipe from the cookbook on the bag. The dough will keep for a month in the freezer so she wouldn't have to feel pressure to make it right away. Could be a fun hostess gift or even something for the holidays...

Friday, September 10, 2010

stylish growth chart

How cool is this? A giant piece of art that doubles as a measuring stick to chart your child's growth. Made by Studio 1 A.M. in Chicago.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

lovely illustrations

I came across the work of children's book illustrator Renata Liwska while looking through Communication Arts Illustration Annual. Adorable!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

time out

{three dimensions of time
by rima bueno- neenah paper contest entry}

When hurricane Earl was barreling towards Cape Cod on Thursday, my husband and I made the tough decision to continue with our plans to fly to Chicago for one of my best friend's weddings. Thursday was a day of checking and rechecking the weather, over and over again, looking for a sign that Earl wasn't going to be that bad. I swear, I lost half a day's work trying to make a decision. You see, our house is right on the water and my parents' house is only a mile or so inland. I wasn't worried too much about the house because there wouldn't be anything we could do about it, but I was very conflicted about leaving my young children. Sure they would be with their grandparents, who they adore. But, I still felt weird about leaving them in a hurricane. We decided to batten down the hatches just in case and wait for the nightly news to make a decision. Our sailboat had to be moved and tied down, the porch furniture had to be put away, the umbrella came down, plants came inside, and our grill was now in our living room. By the time the six o'clock news came on, it finally became clear that more than likely, Earl would not pack as big a punch as feared. We rushed around packing for the wedding, and for the kids, and finally fell into bed. 

On Friday morning we left for the airport at 6:30 a.m. drained, and exhausted after the stress of the work week and the added stress of hurricane uncertainty and preparation. When we arrived in Chicago, instead of our planned sightseeing, we climbed into the queen size bed and promptly fell asleep for two hours. 

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend. From now on, I am going to try to face decisions head on. I have a tendency to hem and haw. To look at problems from all angles, even inventing some as I go along. I poll everyone I know, often calling my mom three or four times to go over the same issue. I am always so mentally drained after a big decision. If I had just decided to stick with the plan or to wait until the latest newscast possible before stressing out, I would have had a lot more energy to enjoy the wedding. 

Even though I have not been in school for years, September always feels like the beginning of a new year to me. What better time to work on reducing my stress, on making definitive choices and sticking with them, on trying not to second guess myself? I'm sure when the next dilemma pops up, I'll be back to my old ways, but I'm going to try to remember that things always work out, one way or another.

p.s. The clock image is from a cool contest that Neenah Paper is hosting. You can get a fun kit of parts from them to create your own clock using their paper. Check it out here.