Sunday, August 19, 2012

Strawberry Romaine Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

This is one of my favorite salads. It's pretty easy to make too. The recipe is from Wegmans. It's perfect if you have some strawberries laying around. The dressing is what makes it so delicious! 

You'll need 1 container of strawberries, hulled and sliced.

One 10oz package of chopped Romaine lettuce - or I like to use two Romaine hearts and chop them myself.

I use a serrated plastic knife which keeps the lettuce from rusting. Genius.

Dressing ingredients: plain yogurt, white vinegar, mayonnaise (I only use real Hellmann's. End of story), poppy seeds, red or white onion, and sugar (not pictured).

Whisk the sugar an vinegar until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.

If you're ready to eat, pour all of the dressing on and toss with the lettuce and strawberries. Or, you can make it ahead or to go, by pouring the dressing in to a jar for later (refrigerate) and layering the strawberries on the bottom of the bowl, until you're ready to toss and serve.

This salad is sooo good! And it makes a large potion - perfect for a gathering or family dinner.

1 Tbsp sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup minced white or red onion
1 tsp poppyseed
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or light mayo if you prefer)
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 pkg (10oz) chopped Romaine lettuce (or two Romaine hearts chopped)
1 pkg (16oz) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced

1. Whisk sugar and vinegar in large bowl, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in onion, poppy seeds, mayo and yogurt until well combined. 

2. Add dressing to romaine and strawberries and toss until evenly coated.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dolman T-Shirt Refashion

This one's for you Kimi. It's time for another one of my clothing refashion adventures. Pinterest strikes again! I saw a tutorial for turning an XL men's t-shirt into a dolman shirt that I could wear. I didn't even know what a "dolman" was, so I looked it up on wikipedia (the source of all "reliable" answers of course).

I got an XL plain gray t-shirt from Marshalls for $4.50. I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try. 

As you can see, it was far too large and not fitted at all. This was my project at our June craft night. 

I  followed Trash To Couture's tutorial, as seen here. She has great step-by-step instructions, photos and a video to follow. It didn't take me very long at all. Next time, I would allow a little more fabric for the width of my sleeves - I sewed them a little too tight! And it took me two tries to sew up the body of the shirt because I hate measuring. I tend to wing it. Then I have to re-do it. No patience I tell ya. 

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. Even if I wear it around the house, it's a comfy shirt. Leah was my stylist for this photo. I think she should take all my fashion photos from now on. Notice the beautiful white storage bench I'm leaning against - this was an amazing furniture transformation by Christy. You have to see the before photo. Read about Christy's dresser makeover here. And then leave lots of comments so she'll start blogging again!

I also made the leftover fabric from the t-shirt neck into the lovely visor that Leah is modeling. That girl can make anything look good! I may be on to something.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wegmans Organic Farm

Last month, I had the opportunity to tour (and work on) the Wegmans Organic Farm in Canandaigua, NY. It was a beautiful hot (very hot) summer day. I was excited to learn about organic farming and put my hands to work! 

We started our day with a tour of the barn, where harvested produce is sorted and packaged. It's quite an impressive facility. There's even a yoga studio on the upper level. 

Our first task of the day was harvesting cherry tomatoes in the hoop houses. You can learn more about hoop houses and the tomato harvest here. The aroma of the tomato plants and their leaves is intoxicating. There's just something about picking tomatoes right off the vine and popping one into your mouth. So fresh! 

Our mode of transportation and our tour guide, Paige. We also weeded a hoop house, which was quite challenging. Because no pesticides or weed killers are used, weeds are that much more invasive and difficult to keep out. Later on, we helped clean out an entire field of Swiss chard. We definitely got the full farming experience!

Up the hill, is the chicken coop house. These lucky chickens (and rooster) live a happy life, complete with fans inside where they lay their organic eggs.

I got to see eggplants on the vine. I never knew exactly how they grew. Love that dark purple color! 

The sunflower patch grows beautiful flowers and keeps the bees happy so they can make organic honey. 

The farm overlooks beautiful Canandaigua Lake - what a view!

The "Kitchen Garden" was my favorite part. A picturesque garden with a beautiful gated entrance, trailing grape vines, herbs and flowers. I would love to have a place like this to sit and enjoy.

I had a lot of fun visiting and helping out. I definitely learned a lot while getting to experience organic farming. To learn more about the Wegmans Organic Farm, visit or visit their blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Elastic Empire Waist Skirt

I've been wanting to make an elastic empire waist skirt ever since I saw few examples on Pinterest. 

I was inspired by this dress made by Meg at Tripping Over Joy

Meg referenced this dress tutorial at Smashed Peas and Carrots

I've had this $7 dress sitting in my closet for a year or longer but I didn't like the top. It was too drape-y and wrapped at weird angles. I never wore it, but I liked the fabric and the teal color. I decided to cut the top of and make it into a skirt.

I bought thick black elastic, measured the length I wanted and sewed a seam connecting both ends.

I cut off the top of the dress and laid out the skirt fabric on the table.

Next, I gathered and pinned the skirt fabric to the elastic waist band, trying to make even pleats, all the way around.Then I sewed the fabric to the waist band (going around twice). It was fairly easy to do. The one thing I should have done was use elastic thread instead of regular thread, to allow it to stretch with the elastic. Next time. 

I decided not to attach a tank or shirt to the skirt, which makes it more versatile. I can wear it with a tank top or T-shirt. I can also add a fabric flower or dress it up with jewelry. Now I have a cute summer skirt that I re-purposed from a dress!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Susan & Chris Wedding Invitation

Happy wedding day to Susan and Chris! The adorable couple got married today, and I had the honor of designing their wedding invitation set. Susan is Christy and Kimi's sister and I just love their family. I was thrilled to incorporate their navy blue and yellow theme into an elegant invitation with a beautiful type style. It gave me a reason to invest in a new font I'd been drooling over, called "Adios Script" by Alejandro Paul. I fell in love with the selection of ornamental ascenders and descenders. I may be adding this invitation to my Etsy shop soon.

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs.! Aren't they beautiful/handsome? I'm so happy for them and blessed that I could play a small part in their special day. 

Thank you Christy, for posting this photo of the new couple on Facebook - I was stalking waiting all day to see the bride and groom!  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Grimes Glen

Part of our anniversary weekend excursion took us to Grimes Glen, a mile long creek walk with gorge walls and three waterfalls, located in Naples, NY. It was a hot sunny afternoon, which made the shallow water and shade of the trees welcome. 

We donned our water shoes (mine are the pink ones, in case you weren't sure) and headed down the stony creek. It was a lot of fun. I've always liked creeks/brooks/streams and the sound of the water. 

Portions of the glen were dirt trails with steep sides and the skinniest trees.

There were tons of stones and large rocks, and a few deceptively deep puddles. We were definitely glad we had water shoes. A few people we passed were attempting it barefoot - not the wisest idea.

The rock formations, weathered and smoothed over time were really beautiful. 

Here I am, climbing the side of the first waterfall, which was lightly trickling. The water flows more heavily at other times. 

 We continued until we reached the second waterfall with a large pool. 

Here, the water was definitely rushing and COLD. We walked all the way around the rocky perimeter and waded in the icy pool. There were a couple families and dogs enjoying the water too. 

I wanted this little cave to continue somewhere, but it didn't. Much to my disappointment. This was the end of the road for us. The third waterfall is located up above on a continued path, but the only way up there was via rope. We decided not to be that adventurous. 

I was amazed by this tree, overlooking the pool, seemingly growing on the edge of the cliff, roots exposed.

We headed back the way we came, and went a bit farther in the opposite direction, downstream. There were a few smaller "waterfalls" and open spots, in more residential areas.

Grimes Glen is a really beautiful spot to visit and walk. Perfect for a summer day when you're looking for a change of scenery and a little "adventure." Getting your feet wet is unavoidable, but the beauty and refreshment is worth it. Definitely a cool place to visit if you're ever nearby, or a fun date destination.