Fiber Musings

Month: October, 2015

DIY Halloween Party Invites

DSC_3344I couldn’t resist sharing the simple DIY invites that I created for our little Halloween party this weekend. Baby E isn’t really old enough to appreciate trick or treating, however, we were dying for an excuse to dress him up so we decided to throw a get together.

See how these were made below!

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Feeling “Fall-ish”

Fell in love with this table setting featured on Sarah Sherman Samuel’s blog. For more fall decor ideas see my post Autumn Decor Inspiration.

Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast,
And toast that sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased.
Give praise to that All Gracious One by whom their steps were led,
And thanks unto the harvest’s Lord who sends our “daily bread.”

Excerpt from The First Thanksgiving Day
by Alice Williams Brotherton (1848-1930)

Monday Meal Highlight – Autumn Beef Stew

Yes, yes, I know- It is Tuesday… but sometimes that is just how the cookie crumbles. However, we aren’t talking cookies today, we are talking stew. Warm, cozy, delicious, beef stew that is. Okay, so I have to admit I haven’t tried this one yet, but I did all my grocery shopping yesterday and I am ready to get cranking on it as soon as I press publish on this post.

Here in Chicago we avoided the early fall snow that some of you got on the east coast, however, just seeing those flurries on the weather map has me in the mood for some hearty winter stews. I am very excited to try the Autumn Beef Stew recipe by Fabtastic Life.

Since this is my first time trying this recipe I will stick close to the directions, however, I am going to make one major modification and try to cook this in my Cuisinart multicooker in lieu of the dutch oven. I will be sure to post updates to let you all know how it goes! Until then, happy cooking!

Autumn Wedding – Reminiscing

tm617-1Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. The years have flown by and everyday I am thankful that I was blessed to marry a man who challenges me, supports me and constantly makes me smile. It is with a full and joyous heart that I flipped through some of our wedding photos this morning. I wanted to be married in the thick of Autumn, I love the joy that the season brings and liked the idea of having our family gathered together during the season of thanksgiving. We were married in a beautiful little church outside of Chicago and held our reception at the Hotel Baker in St Charles- both were beautiful historic venues. In honor of our anniversary I wanted to share some of our wedding photos. To respect the privacy of my friends and family I have chosen not to include many of my favorite portraits, however, let there be no doubt- strip this wedding of the flowers, the decor and the bubbly and it would have been just as special because of the people who were gathered there that day. I designed the wedding decor and graphics and most of it was made by hand with the help of friends and family. I have very sweet memories of times spent with those dear to me crafting, sewing and creating. I hope that the photos provide inspiration and ideas for those of you who may be planning a wedding in the future.

I have included a list of my vendors at the end of the post. I highly recommend all of them.

wedding collage Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Meal Highlight – Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

There is a serious bite in the air today, which means that it is time for me to share one of my all time favorite winter meals. This tangine recipe from Cooking Light has become a staple in my household. I make this again and again all winter long and we never tire of it. This stew is rich and tasty but still a quick fix that requires relatively few dishes- Score!

Not only is this one of my favorite meals to dish up at home, but this is also something that I love to make over the open fire while camping. (See below for my easy camping prep suggestions). We have dined on tangine while winter camping in Yosemite and during a torrential downpour in Big Sur which nearly washed away our tent. Whatever the occasion, when you really need a heart warming, cozy meal this is a must!

Please refer to the above link for the full recipe. I occasionally get lazy and buy pre-cut stew meat in lieu of purchasing a roast and cutting it myself. If you have the time buy the roast, as it will yield a better result. In addition to serving with cilantro I also like to add a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

Finally, when camping I make to following advance preparation which guarantees a good result in the great outdoors:

  1. Measure the first 6 ingredients (all of the spices), at home and mix them together in a zip lock baggie. This way you don’t need to be toting all of your spice jars and measuring spoons with you.
  2. Bring a large freezer bag and use it to toss the meat and spices.
  3. Occasionally, depending on camping conditions, I opt to chop my meat ahead of time. When doing very primitive camping I don’t like to mess with chopping the raw meat at the site as cleaning up and sanitizing a cutting board, knife, etc can be more challenging- (I can hear my husband correcting me now… “It’s fine, just stick the knife blade in the fire…”)
  4. Don’t forget your can opener or veggie peeler- (Again, I hear my husbands voice: “You don’t need a can opener… I have my axe”). None of us want to see a man open a can of tomatoes with an axe. Or do we?
Cooking at Yosemite

One of my best memories of our time living on the west coast was enjoying this tangine around the campfire with our dear friends.

Hope that you all enjoy this recipe, whether from the comfort of your home or the warmth of your campfire!

via Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash – Best Recipes for Winter Vegetables and Fruits – Cooking Light.

Currently Obsessed with… Sole Society Mason Travel Satchel

Oh the things I could fill this bag with…. Suede flats, that merlot lipstick that looks great in the tube but that I never wear, 30+ diapers for Baby E… (Well, I suppose when you put it that way my weekend getaway sounds slightly less glamorous). But still, I am obsessed with this bag! I’m a big fan of the cognac faux leather but it comes in a range of other colors as well. With a $79.95 price tag this is a great gift option for the upcoming holiday season! Or, cough cough, a great anniversary gift- Kyle…
(But seriously my love, our anniversary is next weekend…hint hint)

Mason Bag Collage

via Cognac Travel Satchel | Mason.

Baby Varsity Sweater

As I sit with my husband and watch Sunday football I am inspired to share a knitting project that I completed last year for dear college friends of ours. We attended countless football games with Mr & Mrs G., so when we found out that they were expecting their first child, I decided that I absolutely needed to make their baby girl some University of Cincinnati fan gear! I found this varsity sweater pattern on Craftsy and thought it was a cute vintage look for a little baby girl. This project was absolutely worth the $6 price tag! The pattern is no longer listed for sale on Craftsy but I have linked to the creator NHP Designs pattern store, so if you are interested perhaps you can reach out directly and make a purchase.

Varsity Sweater Collage

The pattern itself was great- Read the rest of this entry »

Pumpkinned.

We came, we saw we “pumpkinned.”

DSC_3240Since we moved back to the midwest two years ago, we have made a point to go out to Michigan each fall and to see Gene the Pumpkin Man. He has the sweetest little place, complete with orange barns, tractors, vintage gas pumps…. you get the idea. Plus, unlike many businesses that assign a random endearing name to humanize their brand- (Grandma Betty’s Soul Food Diner… Farmer Jed’s Organic Tofu wafers….), Gene is real! The farm has been in his family since 1885 and he has been “the pumpkin man” since 1957. This year was extra special since it was Baby E’s first trip to the farm and we had a blast despite some chilly and slightly damp weather. We walked away with a wagon load of goodies: a selection of funny gourds, one big old statement pumpkin, a handful of sweet white pumpkins, two pie pumpkins, and the “kinda ugly pumpkin that we didn’t really want but we had to buy because our kid took a bite out of it.”

DSC_3233

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I am fleeing the city for a quiet fall weekend in Michigan. I will be basking in the simple joys of pumpkin farms and cider mills. My computer will not make the trip.

See you next week…15-10-02 Apples away

Boo! Inspiration for Pumpkin Decor

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Chalkboard Pumpkins via Rachael Ray Magazine

Happy October my friends! I feel the seasons changing and the brisk air warms my heart. Yesterday Baby E and I went on a nice long walk, we both bundled up enjoy the chill in the air and the blowing leaves. A few trees have started to turn here and my neighbors have begun string up spider webs and putting out their pumpkins. As we passed by the local elementary school the window are full of paper pumpkins. I have mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of Halloween decor, however, I do LOVE pumpkins. This weekend we will be heading out to Michigan to visit my parents and to do all of our favorite fall festivities. We will go to our favorite pumpkin patch and then stop by the cider mill for a hot drink and yummy donuts. Recently I’ve been makings plans for what kind of pumpkins I will be hunting for this year and seeking inspiration from around the web. I think that I will definitely be making some chalkboard pumpkins as shown above. (After all, these can quickly change from a Halloween pumpkin to a Thanksgiving pumpkin by switching out “Boo” with “Gather”). Instructions for the chalkboard pumpkins can be found here. See below for other great pumpkin ideas!

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Painted pumpkins via perfectly imperfect

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DIY Sequin Polka Dot Pumpkin via Sugar & Cloth

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