Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day Ideas for the Adult Mind!

The last big snowfall in our area, we offered ideas to entertain your children on a snow day. During the big snowfall let's think about ways to entertain the adults.

What to do...
1. Go through old photographs and tell stories about the good times of the past.
2. Pull out a cookbook and fix a dish that you have never cooked before.
3. Do a spa day. How about a facial or pedicure?
4. Go online and start researching your family tree. There are a lot of great websites to help you just do a search.
5. Put out birdseed and enjoy watching the birds from the comfort of your home.
6. Put food coloring and water in spray bottles and go outside with the children to paint the snow. Be careful about spraying your clothes. This idea makes a rainbow snowman.
7. Light you favorite fragrant candle and cuddle up with a book or someone you love!

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Cappuccino Truffle!

As many of you know we have started carrying Sweet Shop handmade truffles. We currently have Fudge Love, Double Chocolate and our new Cappuccino Truffles. Sweet Shop truffles are found in gourmet candy stores across the country, so we are excited to offer 3 favors of truffles, as well as, toffee bars, milk chocolate pecan brags and white chocolate pecan brags.
Reasons Why Chocolate Is Better Than Men:
No one's ever been jilted by a chocolate truffle.
After telling your chocolate truffle all your worries you can simply eat it.
You can share chocolate truffles with your best friend.
A chocolate truffle doesn't bore you by constantly talking about football.
Your mother will never disapprove of your choice of chocolate.
Personal Note: I know that I blogged a healthy recipe yesterday and encouraged you to eat chocolate today. Everything is wonderful in moderation! I am all about eating a truffle every now and then. Try working at the shops and looking at these all day. It builds will power!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ham and Potatoes - A Perfect Pair

As many of you know, I am working on a "healthy eating" as lifestyle rather than a diet. Trying to eat healthy is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I try to make healthy food that tastes good. In the kitchen, I have hits and misses, however the recipe below was a hit with myself as well as my 15 year old daughter, Mackenzie.

Creamy Potatoe and Ham Bake
1 (1 lb. 4 oz) Bag of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
1 Cup Frozen Peas, thawed
8 oz. diced ham (I added a little extra)
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10 oz.) Can Healthy Request or 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1/3 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
1/3 cup italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix potatoes, peas and ham. In a smaller bowl mix soup, parsley and pepper. Pour the soup mixture over the potatoes and mix well. Pour in an 8x8 square dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Mix cheddar cheese and italian bread crumb and add to the top. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.

Note: You could also add additional vegetables, such as sauted onion or green pepper. Also use your cooking creativity and change your meat to chicken or your soup to cream of mushroom. This is a great base recipe to create many other great dishes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Miche Bags Are Back In Stock!

We now have all bags and a lot of covers in stock at both shops. Be sure to stop by and see this new unique bag. You purchase a base bag and a cover to get you started (we offer $5.00 off your initial set). Then you can buy additional covers which can be changed. Each cover has magnets which attachs it to the purse. Right now I have 3 covers and I am loving my bag!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gathering of Friends Cookbook Has Arrived

Have you thought of inviting your friends to a celebration they will never forget? The Gathering of Friends Cookbook was written as a guide just for you. Celebrate with your friends and family with one of the 16 stunning gatherings highlighted by the authors. Each charter highlights a themed gathering with simple recipes, original tablescape ideas and a ready-to-use shopping list that will amaze everyone. This is a beautiful gift for a friend or new bride.

Here is a favorite recipe from the Gathering of Friends Cookbook. It can be made ahead of time and warmed in the microwave just before serving. It is perfect to take as an appetizer for any gathering.
Hot Clam Dip
8 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 small can chopped clams
1/4 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo. and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Blend until creamy with an electric mixer. Fold in drained clams and salt. Spread in a baking dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with crackers.

I Am Organizing My Closets!

Yes, the poor quality photo (taken by my phone) above is my actual closet! You may have noticed that I have a small ladder, so I can reach everything. The closet shelfing was in place when I moved in, so I am stuck with it at the moment. I am adding a small shelving unit (use to be a TV cabinet) on the left side of the closet for my sweaters and folded jeans. I wear 20% of my clothing, 80% of the time, so I am going to try to let go of some of my old favorites that I have not worn. This should help clear out my closet so I can find what I need in the mornings. Below are some of my favorite organization tips to use to get me started:

1. First, pull everything out of the closet and sort in piles based on 1 to 4- with 4 being keep because you wear it regularly and pile 2 is to keep for special events. Pile 3 is items to donate and pile number 4 is trash it.

2. If you have clothes in your closet that does not fit-pack them up and donate them! If you have not worn it in one year-donate it!

3. Use any wall space that is to small to storage items as a place to install a hook for hanging belts or scarves.

4. If you use shoe boxes or other plastic storage boxes to store items like bathing suits or tank top, then label each one with a post note taped on so you can update it regularly has you move items around through out the season changes.
Good Organizing,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just In! New Items by Artist, Kelly Rae Roberts

Just arrived at both Ivy Ridge locations! Kelly Rae Roberts wall art, plaques, magnets and necklaces. Each of Roberts' pieces delivers messages of empowerment and reflection, with a touch of whimey. Hang it on your wall for daily inspiration, or use it has a finishing touch to that new outfit!

Note from Angela: I have one large print, paired with two 6x6 prints on my hallway wall and I love them. Kelly Rae's work, honestly, make me smile each time I see them. They are truly uplifting in a world that can get you down.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Vera Bradley Has Arrived!

Stop by to see Sittin' in a Tree, Loves Me, Poppy Fields and Totally Turquoise-plus our new stationery and Microfiber Bags are here as well!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Atlanta Favorite Find for Summer!

Mackenzie and I found a ton of stuff that we loved! Here is a preview of one of our favorites to arrive in the shop in March!

It's an Azula! What is an Azula?
The Azula is a flexible, water resistant and fashionably-designed mat that women and girls place at the edge of the swimming pool to keep their bathing suits from snagging while sitting down.
Whether a woman spends $20 or $200 on a bathing suit, she knows it gets snagged when sitting at the edge of the pool. Snagging shortens the life of the suit and looks unattractive. Most women use towels to protect their suits from snagging on the rough cement, however towels get wet and heavy and are bulky. Now there’s the Azula! ($14.99 in some cool designs including zebra and a pink flip-flop one )

Monday, January 11, 2010

Here We Are In Atlanta Again!

Yes, it is that time of year to head to Atlanta to restock the shops after a great Christmas season! Mackenzie and I are about to freeze to death, but having a great time. Above is our find for the day!

The Gathering of Friends Cookbook, Volume 1, was created to introduce "food as a love language," enhancing traditions, fortifying relationships and celebrating life. Its unique style combines savory recipes and elegant designs in 16 stunning gatherings. Each chapter will leave readers prepared with simple recipes, original tablescape ideas, a ready-to-use shopping list, and inspiration to create their own "gathering of friends." Again a great gift for the person who has everything or the new bride!

We ordered some great serving dishes that will be great bridal gifts. We bought many shapes and several styles, including some great serving utensils, too.