New Blog Series - Get Me to the Festival in 10 Weeks

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I taught myself a couple of big lessons while doing my very first jewelry party: (1) don't speed because you'll get a fresh, crisp ticket, and (2) plan in advance! It's a very simple concept that my parents taught me growing up when I had a book report due on Monday, and wanted to play with my Skip-It and Polly Pockets all weekend. If you ask anyone, I breathe to plan, but somehow the event just completely snuck up on me! I pulled a straight week of late nights trying to prep for this jewelry party, and the process was brutal. I swear, mom and dad, it will never happen again.

On October 6, the girl in plaid will be at the Crabapple Festival in Milton, GA, and I'm on it! Every week leading up to the festival, I'll share with you what I'm doing to get ready for the event. I'll be putting together all of the details over the next 10 weeks, including displays, print materials, and loads of inventory. Fingers crossed my course of action is smooth and involves as little stress as possible!

Other posts in this series:

DIY Diaper Wreath, Cute Baby Shower Gift!

One of our lovely co-workers is having a baby boy! Since there was going to be a little surprise baby shower at work, we decided to hit up the craft room, and make her something adorable, a diaper wreath! It was extremely easy to make, and only took about an hour to complete, so you can't go wrong for this cute baby shower gift.

  • Styrofoam wreath [from Michael's - don't forget their regular 40% off coupons]
  • Diapers [approximately 20]
  • Ribbon
  • Extra toys (optional)
Step 1: Open up your first diaper and place it around your styrofoam wreath. It really doesn't matter what your wreath looks like because the diapers will cover it completely. What you're looking for is really just the circular shape like a wreath.

Step 2: Securely tie your ribbon in a knot. We used regular craft ribbon and curled the edges. Our friend is a huge UGA fan, so we alternated the colors in red and black.

Step 3: Continue placing the diapers along the wreath until covered. We got a 60-pack of diapers from Babys R Us, but only used 18 diapers total. We wrapped the extras separately and gave them to her a la carte!

Step 4: Add any extra little decor, or toys. We picked up a little stuffed animal and attached him to the bottom of the wreath for a little something extra. You can even attach small toys all around the wreath if you want to.. get creative!

A Fresh Herb Garden

Sometimes all you need is paint to bring new life to an old object. I found this planter on its way to Goodwill and quickly snatched it from my mom's pile. I was in need of an herb garden and this was going to be a perfect fit. I actually really like the rustic look of the planter before, but I couldn't resist the opportunity for stenciling!

Since adding a "W" wasn't a part of the planned project, I needed to make due with a few household items. I recommend using contact paper for stenciling, but I had none. So I searched my kitchen and found some Glad Press n' seal. I drew my initial on the non-sticky side of the Press n' seal, cut out the letter with a straight edge, and placed the sticky side on the frame, careful to press out any air bubbles remaining. I sprayed the open space with my remaining beige paint, let the paint dry and removed the seal. Some green onions, basil and an aloe plant (that I am happy to report is coming back to life) made my herb garden complete.

Traditional Pad Thai Receipe | Pad Thai Wrapped in Omelette

This past spring, I made the long trek to the beautiful country of Thailand (check out the blog post). Of course, pad thai is one of the most popular dishes there, but I also was able to order my pad thai wrapped in an omelette. Each time I ordered it, it was brought to my table in the most perfect little pouch!

Traditional pad thai is not as greasy or heavily sauced. The best is very light and made with fresh ingredients. Here is a recipe for my version of a traditional pad thai, and I also have simple instructions on how to wrap it up if you're an egg fan like me!

Servings: 3-4
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • salt & pepper
  • 14-16 ounces Thai rice noodles
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce with garlic (I use Hokan brand)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 lb. Raw shrimp (can substitute for chicken)
  • 2 green onions or scallions (chopped)
  • sliced lime wedges
  • 3 eggs (optional, if you want to wrap in omelette)

Step 1: Set your stove top to medium heat. When warm, mix onions and garlic with your oil in a wok (if you do not have a wok, use a large pot or pan). Lightly season onions and garlic with salt and pepper.

Step 2:  When onions are soft, stir in rice noodles. For this recipe I used a 14.2 ounce package of all natural Kame Thai stir-fry rice noodles. It contains two packages, and I used both. 

Step 3: Combine fish sauce, chili sauce (for a little spice), white wine vinegar, and bean sprouts.

Easily wrap your pad thai in an omelette!
Step 4: Peel and lightly season your shrimp with salt and pepper. I wait to add in the shrimp because they do not take very long to cook. Stir in shrimp and cook until pink.

Step 5: Lastly, incorporate your green onions. A dish is never complete with a fresh green herb! Serve with a lime wedge to give the dish an extra acidic tang.

Step 6 (optional): Wrapping your pad thai in an omelette is as simple as it sounds. Place a large pan over medium heat, and spray with non-stick cooking spray so the egg doesn't stick.  Scramble 3 eggs and pour into the pan once heated. Turn the pan if necessary to evenly coat the pan with your eggs. When cooked, remove the pan from the hot burner and plan a small portion of your pad thai in the center. Fold each side of the egg over your pad thai. Carefully place upside down on serving plate.    


Eight Days a Week I Love.. the Beatles | Personalized Jewelry

Like the rest of the world, I am a Beatles fan. I actually don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't like this most influential band in music history. Unlike the Backstreet Boys, the Beatles will never be out of style.

When I was little, my dad only used to play the oldies on the radio, and if we ever tried to change the station without asking permission, old time country music would be played as punishment. I'm thankful my dad exposed me to the music of his time, and I love jamming out to all of the classics today.

A few months ago, I started selling custom hand-stamped jewelry in my etsy store, the girl in plaid. Initial charms have become very popular, but I decided to start more jewelry projects that would incorporated other inspirational, or famous quotes. A lot of people request phrases that are more personal to them when ordering, but a lot of people order Beatles jewelry as-is. Here are some samples, and please recommend some new quotes to me. I'm always looking for new ideas!


DIY Burlap Projects

There's something about burlap. It's rustic, natural, and just reminds me of the perfect accessory that can either be dressed up or down. I initially purchased a roll of burlap to use as a background for photographing my jewelry, the girl in plaid. Because I have grown to love burlap so much, it is now my go-to fabric for lots of other DIY projects. Here are some other ideas that you could use the material for!

1. Burlap framed earring holder - Go shabby chic and display your earrings with framed burlap. Plum Tickled Boutique does a really great job with this idea. Upcycle an old frame, and check out my own DIY tutorial for a simple weekend afternoon project!

2. Burlap flowers - This is a creative, and adorable centerpiece for any occasion. You can even incorporate some burlap flowers into a bouquet for the bride-to-be! Jennifer Senethavy displays her burlap flowers in mason jars for a rustic wedding centerpiece.

3. Burlap dry erase board - turn an ordinary frame into a dry erase board. If you have any spare frames laying around, this is the easiest DIY project that can work with any piece of fabric or even scrapbook paper. Just cover the cardboard backing of your frame with burlap, and presto! Now you can get started on that to-do list.

4. Burlap wreath - Make yourself a burlap wreath to welcome all your visitors.. you're bound to get loads of compliments! My best friend handmade this wreath (pictured right), and adorned hers with a "B" for her family name. I expect one from her soon :)  

5. Burlap table runner - Add some warmth to your table with a burlap table runner. North Country Comforts creates table runner (and pillows!) from burlap that are hand painted to invite beautiful color into the room. It's a casual, but sophisticated piece!

6. Burlap curtains - A light neutral color to brighten up any room. Beautiful curtains pictured are handmade by Supplier of Dreams. These large panels are gorgeous and ready to hang! A good weekend project if you hit up the fabric store. Don't know how to sew? Hemming tape should do the trick.. add a strip of lace to help cover the tape if it shows through!

7. Burlap party favors - Instead of plastic baggies, wrap your favors or small gifts in little burlap bags. Just tie a piece of tweed or hemp around the top to secure. Rustic Hutch says thank you with bird seed favors - too cute!  

Garden to Bowl Vegetable Soup

My loot from the garden this morning was plentiful.  With this variety of vegetables, I will be making one of my favorite soups this Sunday afternoon. If it's too hot outside for soup, this recipe can be enjoyed chilled as well. I am always adding new ingredients to this recipe. Switch up the vegetables or add the newest herb from the garden for a new taste. You really can't go wrong.

Yields 4 hearty bowls of soup:

4 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes ( use fresh garden tomatoes if available)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 vidalia onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 zucchinis or squash, sliced
1 cup okra, sliced
3-4 cups chicken broth depending on desired thickness
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves 


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Slice the okra and strain the diced canned tomatoes, reserving the juices. Spread both the okra and tomatoes onto a baking sheet keeping them separate. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 - 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, fresh garlic and zucchini. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes and okra, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil. Remove bay leaf to puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.

This soup freezes very well so make extra for lunch or for nights when there is no time to cook. It will save you from that last minute pizza delivery you always regret :)