This summer, I’ve been really busy working to expand our stationery lines to include new offerings that make more specialty options available to the average buyer. We do so many really beautiful custom items for the wedding world, why not bring some of those items to the average person who loves paper but maybe doesn’t have a special event to buy it for (i.e. people like me!)?

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So this week, get ready, because I’m introducing a whole bunch of fun new items all at once. First up, letterpress recipe cards. Sweet little cards in a neutral, more modern design. Letterpress on the front and back, printed on super heavy weight but easy to write on stock. All capped off with rounded corners because, as Kellie said, “that’s no surprise.” Love me some rounded corners ;-)

Check them out in our Etsy store here or maybe pop over to our main store at shopdodeline.com – we’ve been doing some renovating there as well. Stay tuned, new holiday cards + a few other special items will be unveiled this week too!

Special thanks to Seastar Arts for the fabulous photography. You’ll be seeing her a lot this week too ;-)

Saturday brought an end to January and the start to the much-anticipated month of February for us. Of course, the reasons for that anticipation were twofold: first, it’s the month we get to start our renovations, and secondly, we successfully completed our month of eating only at home. So as you can guess, we had a few delicious meals out this weekend ;-)

I hope to continue to be conscientious about not eating out too much and to keep being creative in the kitchen. Sheer boredom with the same-old-same-old definitely aided in the culinary experimentation this past month.

Like most women, I spend copious amounts of time on Pinterest, pinning recipes and thinking how easy and delicious they look. This month, I actually tried a fair amount of them, so I thought it was fitting to re-cap and see how it went. I never remember to go back and update my pins so we’ll just knock this out in one fell swoop!

smoothie

smoothie addiction.

In the last few months I started trying smoothies out as a way to add more veggies and nutrients to my diet, especially in the morning. Breakfast pastries are my favorite but they just don’t do much for you nutritionally. I liked this recipe from She Knows but truthfully I’ve tried all sorts of concoctions.

I think my favorite are strawberry banana versions, but that just makes such an awful color when you add spinach. The lovely bright green ones don’t bother me at all but I’m not into the brown color you get from red (strawberries) + green (spinach). I know that shouldn’t matter but it seems to!

chicken potpie empanadas

chickenpotpie

I really liked this recipe, mostly because I am a carb-a-holic though. It definitely was not as much of a meaty chicken pot pie – it was all about the crust. Not sure that the hubs liked that has much but I thought it was good, and it heated up excellently for lunch the next day. Definitely not low calorie though! Recipe from Real Simple.

frozen strawberry treat

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I already blogged this one and I really loved how it turned out. Low-cal dessert? Yes please!

quinoa + spinach patties

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These were a surprise win, and super healthy. I had never really made anything like it so I was surprised they were at all successful. I think they could have used some more spices or seasoning, but they weren’t bad at all. I ended up eating them on a hamburger bun with lettuce and a little low-fat mayo and they were really good. Something different than the usual deli meat, which is nice. The recipe came from Skinny Taste.

tomato + fried egg + garlic toast

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This recipe from Martha Stewart was a win in my book. I made it with wheat toast and no butter for the fried eggs (just a little non-stick cooking spray works) so it was an excellent low calorie lunch / dinner. Plus I just love tomatoes & garlic!

cinnamon quinoa bake

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This one was slightly less successful for me, mostly because I think I just didn’t have time to cook it as long as I maybe needed to. The recipe said 20 to 25 minutes, and even though it was definitely set in that long, it wasn’t really cooked all the way through. I cooked it 35 minutes and ran out of time (had to leave) so I thought maybe it would set up better when it cooled, but not quite. We’ll have to try this one again! It came from FitSugar.

Tried any new recipes lately? Do share!

photo credits: smoothie | pot pies | quinoa patties | cinnamon quinoa bake

It’s almost cheating to call it a recipe, more just like of a clever idea that I can’t claim as my own :-)

frozen-strawberry-treat

First, let me back up a bit. I came up with the idea last month to make January a no-eating out month. I love to eat out. I’m not a big shopper really – dining is where I spend my discretionary income. So since we just came off our big NYC trip, the holidays, and are about to head into a home renovation (more on that later), we thought it would be a good challenge to get creative with saving some money and cooking for ourselves.

We are 13 days into the challenge and it’s been a really great experiment so far. A few observations…

– One thing that I think is hard is that food is very social – it’s so nice to meet for coffee or grab a bite to eat, so it can be a bit limiting to cut that out of your life for awhile. I can’t help but chastise myself though because that has to be the very definition of a first world problem! But then, I’m also lucky to have really great friends like Jeni who eat lunch with me in the office and we had a grand time just the same.

– It takes a lot of planning. Planning what you need to buy at the grocery store so you have enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single night is not as easy. We are typically good about eating in on weeknights, but we kind of do whatever on the weekends because we’re often out all day. The last two weekends we actually packed lunch and brought it with us or coordinated our errands so we could come home.

– It makes you less wasteful. I think this is the first time in a long time that we are really eating all of everything we buy – produce, bread, milk, etc.

– It definitely means you get more creative with what you make, because if you’re the only one making it, no one else is going to serve you something gourmet if you don’t start getting fancy yourself.

Also, full disclosure, today I had promised a fellow BNI member that I would sub, so lunch is on that member even though I am eating out for lunch :-) (and much more appreciative than normal at not needing to pack my lunch!)

This yummy strawberry dessert pin has been on my “food to make” Pinterest board for awhile now and I decided to whip it up yesterday. It was too easy to call it a recipe, but here you go…

yummy strawberry dessert

You’ll Need
– Graham Crackers
– Cool Whip / Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or both)
– Strawberries (frozen or fresh)

Directions
– Throw the strawberries in the food processer and dice them up a bit. Just small enough so they are easy to mix into the Cool Whip.
– Mix the pieces up with the Cool Whip. I did about 1 cup of strawberries (before they were diced) with about 8tbsp of Cool Whip. You can try Greek Yogurt but I’m not as big a fan of that :-)
– Lay the graham crackers in a foil lined pan (I just used a Pyrex) and spread the mixture onto each cracker. Top with with another cracker to make a sandwich, lightly press down on them, and pop them in the freezer.

Such a yummy and low cal snack. I’m very glad I made four so I have another waiting for me this evening!

Happy Tuesday!

It makes me laugh at this time of year because it’s sort of like pumpkins are rockstars. They are in every recipe (pumpkin bread, anyone?), craft project, color palette, drink – you name it. Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of pumpkins and love a good Fall day at the pumpkin patch, but it’s just funny to watch the trends and see pumpkins as the main event on every blog I read.

So, without further ado, here is my pumpkin post.

pumpkin bread

Hehe.

Now onto real pumpkins. Over the weekend the grocery store had samples of pumpkin pie out and that little taste got the hankering started. It’s hard to get in the spirit around here because Fall doesn’t show up in a consistent way until December, and even then you’re liable to have days in the 70’s. We’ve had a few nice Fall days though so that + the taste of Fall in the form of pie got it started.

I picked up a can of pumpkin puree and decided to try something with it as I’ve never made a single thing with pumpkin before.

pumpkin bread

I love zucchini bread so much that pumpkin bread seemed like a great place to start, and I found a nice healthy recipe on 100 Days of Real Food. I am quite sure she would not approve of my canned pumpkin but you can’t win ’em all.

Here is the recipe, with a few notes / modifications I made…

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped tree nuts (if desired)

*I replaced the oil with Trader Joe’s applesauce, which research indicates is a cup for cup substitution. I also did not have cloves or ginger, which I’m sure make it even yummier, but it was still good without it. I did not have nuts either and opted out of those.

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (from the flour down to the salt).
3. Make a well in the center and throw in the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir together but don’t overmix.
4. Fold in the pumpkin puree and nuts if you are using them.
5. Grease a loaf pan or put muffin liners in a muffin tin and pour in the batter.
6. Bake a loaf approximately 30 to 40 minutes and for muffins bake approximately 18 – 22 minutes. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean. *Mine baked for 35 minutes and was ready to go.

It made a great breakfast component for the first part of the week, but I think with the applesauce and other organic ingredients it didn’t keep all that long. Or maybe I did a bad job covering it – also entirely possible :-) Check out the original recipe + all the great comments on 100 Days of Real Food.

Oh, and while we’re on blogs to read, you should definitely check out my friend and client Kate Neale Cooper’s blog Fits and Starts – she posted about an amazing Pay it Forward kind of movement taking place to honor a young girl who tragically died of epilepsy. It’s an inspiring read and an important subject.

Here’s to a productive + happy Monday!

4thofJulyCake

Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. We kept it kind of easy, spending some time at the pool, some time at home during the rain showers, ate some delicious barbeque and made our traditional American Flag cake.

This cake is so easy to make but still so delicious I thought I would share it. This idea came from Robert’s family and ever since we’ve been “on our own” we’ve made one for the 4th.

I hope you like it – enjoy!

American Flag Cake

Ingredients:
1 box of white cake mix
1 box of Strawberry jello
Blueberries
Strawberries
Cool Whip

Steps:
1. Make the white box cake. (How’s that for instructions lol?) Obviously to do it in the shape of the flag a rectangular cake pan works best.
2. Let it cool some, and then poke holes all through it while it’s still in the cake pan.
3. Make the Jello the “instant” way, so it’s basically a hot liquid, and then pour it over the top of the cake.
4. Stick it in the fridge overnight and let it set / cool.
5. When you’re ready, “ice” the cake with the Cool Whip.
6. Cut up the strawberries and blueberries, decorate, and enjoy!

I’ll have to go back and snap a photo of how the cake looks when you cut it with the pink running down through it. The girly-girl in me loves that part.

Do you have any 4th of July traditions?

A few weeks ago I finished up a project for a friend and fellow blogger Carly Totten. Through the magic of social media and blogging, I met Carly about a year and a half ago when she came down to visit Charleston, and we have remained friends ever since.

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Recently we created a new home-on-the-internet for her called “Carly is Inspired” and I had the honor of helping her design it and make it a reality. Definitely go visit her as she has a wonderful writing style and great content!

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By the way, total fluke that she had me on her blog when I took this snapshot. Did not do that on purpose ;-)

When we finished the project, Carly very kindly sent me a baking cookbook by Cooking Light. Since we were lucky enough to have a three day weekend this past weekend, I took the opportunity to crack that open and try out a recipe…

Double Apple Bran Muffins

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I just had one for breakfast this morning and they turned out so well. I really like the apple taste and they really are much better for you than muffins you get from other places. I am becoming one of those annoying people that would rather make everything from scratch so I know what’s in it ;-)

Check out the recipe here. I pretty much made it as written except that I used Whole Wheat Flour, oatmeal for oat bran (who has oat bran around?!), and Splenda brown sugar. They came out great though, so I will be enjoying my breakfast this week!

Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Back to the grind today though, hope it’s an easy day for you!

So, if you read my post from yesterday, you should know the deal here. I don’t cook and I am tired of fearing the kitchen (well, except the pantry, we’re on decent terms).

If you don’t have a blog, feel free to post an idea or a link in the comment. I’ll still consider it so you’ll be eligible for the free card!

It’s one week to the wedding day. It’s starting to feel very real! Also, if anyone would like to guest post during my honeymoon in November, drop me a note – I’d love to have you here! I’m probably going to pop in a couple times while I’m gone just because I can’t stand to be away from you :-) but it would be nice to have some posts in the meantime and meet some other bloggers!

That’s all for today. Happy weekend!

…is cook.

My poor husband-to-be does the cooking and I am miserable at it. I am an 80-hour a week workaholic, entrepreneur, designer, networker, traveler, and a lot of other things, but I am lost in the kitchen.

Is it just me, or do we as women still define a little bit of our self worth by how clean the house is and how well we can cook? It doesn’t matter all the other successes – I think women are still judged that way a lot of times. Do you agree?

So I had an inspired idea: announcing the “Sarah Can’t Cook” Link-Up Party!

I’m going to do the first post for it tomorrow because obviously no one could link up if they didn’t know about it with at least a day or two to spare. Link a recipe from your blog (doesn’t have to be a new one just for this) that you think someone kitchen-challenged such as myself could make.

Also, I will give you a fair warning, I don’t eat cheese (collective gasps, I know, I know).

Each week I’m going to pick a recipe and try to make it and share the results. Hoping it should be helpful & funny all at once :-) AND, if I pick your recipe, I’ll send you a free card of your choice!

Other than that, there’s just one rule – please post a link back to the “link party” from your blog. Also, visit a few other people’s blogs and see what they had to share! It’s nice to follow other people to generate some follows for yourself.

So, care to join in on my cooking experiment? The fiance would be so appreciative :-)

Happy Thursday!