I Like

Because I have so many wonderful family members, friends, business acquaintances, etc., I get to share their talents with you.  Today is such a day!!

I have known about this little project for a while now and have been quietly waiting for their official launch, and that day has come!!  And to make it even sweeter, I know these gals pretty well:  2 of them are my step-sisters (Angela & Andrea) and the other is a friend and... well... I guess you could call her a step-sister-in-law-in-law.  Adrienne is married to my step-brother-in-law's-brother.  Remind me to show you a picture of our family tree sometime.  It's kinda wild.

Anyway, these girls are a big part of my life so I know first-hand that they are so crafty and talented and have a great eye for design, color, etc.  They are also all moms of younger children (the oldest is just starting kindergarten), so they are quite familiar with children's wear and accessories.  They combined their creative energies and talents and launched an online store for handmade, vintage inspired baby/children's clothing and other fun stuff.  The name of their Etsy store is Eloise & Rue.  Here's their profile in their words:

Eloise & Rue is the product of three creative mommies. We love to create whimsical, magical looks for little ones that will have people stop and ask you where in the world you got it. No detail is too small and by far our favorite details are the rare vintage finds that we incorporate into almost all of our products. This makes almost every item a limited edition. We hope you enjoy browsing around our little shop and will inquire about any custom requests you may have.

Let me show you some of their gorgeous products:

Lady Violet Onesie

This darling onesie is made from hand-dyed cotton and the fabric embellishment is cut from vintage cloth.  My favorite feature of this onesie is the little lace frills around the legs.

Long Neck

The boys haven't been left out at Eloise & Rue.  I just adore how the dinosaur tail wraps around to the back:

Long Neck Onesie

Isn't that so cute??  Again, it is made from hand-dyed, 100% cotton.

Henry Fonda Rose

This cheery accessory features a large rosette made from re-purposed fabric.  It is made to clip onto headbands, t-shirts or anything else you choose!  (And the cutie-model is my niece "Eloise".)

There are more adorable products so jump on over to Eloise & Rue and tell them Sister Carey sent you!
























I have always been a little fascinated with bonsai trees, maybe it's the farm-girl in me that just loves trees. But they are usually in the "asian" style, which is pretty, but not my style. So when I saw these California-Redwood-Esque bonsai trees I swooned. I did, I swooned. This would be so beautiful on a kitchen table or as a gift.

And if a more traditional bonsai is what you wish, they have those too: http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/bonsai-specimen-gardens

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Sometimes I feel like I'm late to the party.  You know when you discover something terrific like a new restaurant or chic clothing store and then you realize everyone else has known about it for a long time?  And you feel left out.

That's how I felt when I discovered  Tip Junkie.  In typical Carey-fashion, I was blog hopping one day and I got about 5 blogs deep when I discovered a great tutorial from Tip Junkie. So I went to the website and LOVED it and from that point forward I recognized how often articles from Tip Junkie are passed on by other sites that I read regularly.  You know like when you find a car you like and suddenly you see them everywhere?  Admit it, you know what I'm talking about.  I love Hummers.  Watch, now you're suddenly going to be abnormally aware of Hummers.  I bet tomorrow you see a Hummer and think of me.

Anyway... I was late to the Tip Junkie party but that's ok because I'm catching up!  Hardly a day goes by that my Google Reader isn't full of great tips and tutorials from Tip Junkie.  Here are a few examples:

Making Your Own Headboard

Fun With Shrinky Dinks (yes, it still exists!)

Tons of Holiday Crafts

Some posts are Tip Junkie originals, some are gleaned from other DIY/Craft sites and contributors but it is a ton of fun and a great resource if you are looking for a creative idea, especially for the holidays.  Visit them and let me know how you like it!

Oh my goodness, how cute are these?! See Jane Run is one of the websites I check into regularly. You see, in addition to being an Info-Nerd, I like to buy office supplies and organizational products... I'm a hopeless geek. Folders, binders, boxes, containers of all shapes, sizes, colors... I'm a complete sucker for 'em.

So this morning I was browsing See Jane Work for my "fix" and ran across these:

If you are like me, you have, oh... I don't know... a thousand cookbooks. And I curl up on the couch and read them like some people read those trashy romance novels in the check out aisle.   I digress.

I will often find a recipe that I want to remember for an upcoming event and I will sometimes mark them with a post-it note.  While effective, it's not very attractive to have a bunch of yellow notes poking out of your cookbooks.  But these are so cute and would be so fun and helpful since I could easily see on the note what type of entree' I had marked.

I read a LOT of blogs.  They are part of my morning routine:  a cup of coffee, check my email, then check my Google Reader and catch up on all of my favorite blogs.  By far ,the genre of blogs I read the most are food blogs.  I just love to read about food, see pictures of food, learn about new cooking techniques or equipment, etc.

Well, one of my favorites is Tasty Kitchen, managed by the lovely Ree from The Pioneer Woman.  One of the reasons I like it is the content is from just regular people like me.  The recipes remind me of food I would see at one of our own family gatherings and the recipes, in general, are simple and straightforward.  Users of the site rate the recipes they have tried so you can confidently pick a winner.

You won't get bombarded with ads or outside marketing on this site and it's organized really well.  You can even create your own "recipe box" to collect all the yummy recipes that you want to remember.

Scoot on over and take a look around.  I'm betting you will find something delicious for dinner tonight!

Recipe Card Maker | Skip To My Lou.

Need to make a recipe card but don't have time to handwrite it... or your handwriting looks like chickens dipped their little feet in ink and ran across the page? Skip To My Lou has a great feature on their website, free no less, that allows you to type in your recipe into a stylish premade template, click print and voila!






Holiday DIY: Rock Candy Cone Trees // Hostess with the Mostess®

I wish I had time this year to make these!!  Next year, next year...



I am seeing a lot of these felt pinecones this holiday season, I really like them.  A lot.  I'm just saying...  in case anyone is looking for that special gift...  for me.....

Ornaments |  Unexpected Holiday Decorations | Real Simple.

To buy: Cody Foster & Co. woolen winter pinecones, $45 for three


In case no one buys any for you, here they are again DIY at Family Circle.  I see a craft project in my future:


And here are some little acorns I found on Etsy, which are equally cute!

Vintage Record CD Sleeves/Labels - See Jane Work.

I am going CRAZY for these!!  I can think of so many people in my family that would enjoy these CD labels, especially my Brother-Eddie who is obsessed with his turntable.  I always give my dad a mixed-CD full of retro music for Christmas and I can't wait to see his face when he opens this one!

Order some for yourself at See Jane Work.


As mentioned recently by my Sister-Amy at her delicious blog  Amy's Kitchen, Nielsen Massey Vanilla is, well...in a word... divine.  Sent from heaven above to infuse our world with perfumed loveliness and goodness.  If you have ever watched Barefoot Contessa (the brilliant Ina Garten), no doubt you have heard her refer to the importance of using "good vanilla."  THIS is the "good vanilla" you may have noticed her using.

Why is this important?  Like most things in life, it comes down to quality.  I came across a fascinating article from Joy of Baking that explains it better than I could:

"When buying vanilla extract make sure it is labeled "pure".  The imitation vanilla extracts are made with synthetic vanilla (from glycoside found in the sapwood of certain conifers or from coal extracts) and leave a bitter after taste.  Products labeled Vanilla Flavoring are a combination of pure vanilla extract and imitation vanilla extract."

Many times when preparing baked goods and even sometimes savory foods, the recipe will call for the use of a whole vanilla bean.  It's like adding the ultimate  vanilla experience to whatever you are making and although they are pricey, it is worth it.

This can present a couple problems, however.  1) Whole vanilla beans do have an "expiration" in that, they will eventually dry out.  If it has become hard & severely shrivelled, it has past it's prime.  2) Although they are commonly found nowadays, it is possible that your neighborhood grocery doesn't carry them.  Now, if for whatever reason you cannot get your hands on whole vanilla bean pods, you can use good vanilla extract as a substitute and your dish will still taste yummy.  But......

Yesterday I became aware, thanks to this post by The Pioneer Woman, of another product by Nielsen Massey Vanilla :  Vanilla Bean Paste!

One tablespoon of this product equals one whole vanilla bean!  I'll be honest, the job of splitting the bean in half and then scraping out the teeny beans makes me nervous so this jar of vanilla luciousness is going to become a staple in the "magic cupboard."

Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/Vanilla.html#ixzz162Utup1Z