Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Items and I'd Like Your Feedback!

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It's official, Jennifer Paganelli's Happy Land is in the house! And for sale in my SoChick Fabric Shoppe on Etsy

I love Jennifer's use of color and am crazy about the Eloise print in Sky (The pretty floral print, above). I think you will find that the selection I chose from this new Free Spirit collection is versatile and, well... happy! 

Happy Land Fat Quarter Bundles are now available in the Shoppe as well.  Fat Quarters are perfect for small projects, and a great way to build your fabric stash, but they are also an awesome way to familiarize yourself with designers and collections without committing to several yards of fabric.  See something you love from the fat quarter bundle?  Simply order more yardage of it!

I have a few plans for these prints that I'm excited to share with you in the coming weeks, and I'd love to hear what you plan to use them for.

{Share Your Thoughts}

Visit the Handbags Shop Here.

Thank you for always being wonderful, I look forward to seeing how you'd like to shop SoChick and will tell you more about SoChick's path for the future later this week.

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, November 19, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Breakfast {A Pinterest Recipe Success}

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I've been doing my best to plan menus for the week to help keep the pressure off of me at meal-time, to help with budgeting (I only buy what I need and look for sales/deals.. I don't coupon, though), and of course to make sure my family has healthy yummy food in their belly!

This Baked Oatmeal Breakfast is something that I found on Pinterest while browsing around for  recipes using Steel Cut Oats. (Note: This recipe does not use Steel Cut Oats... I'll share that in another post.)
What caught my eye on this Baked Oatmeal Breakfast is that it is fairly quick to assemble, tastes great, and is a perfect make-ahead meal that can be eaten for the rest of the week!

Here we go:

{Baked Oatmeal Breakfast}

Bakes in 45-50 minutes

Makes 12 Servings

4 Cups Rolled Oats (I used Quaker Old Fashioned Oats)
1/2 c brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped walnuts
1 1/2c quartered/sliced strawberries
1/2 c milk chocolate chips (I mixed white chocolate chips and mini milk chocolate chips)
3 1/2 c milk
2 large eggs
4 tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large banana, peeled and sliced

Preheat Oven to 375°F.

Grease a large 9 x 13in casserole dish, I use Crisco Shortening, but you can choose to use non-stick cooking spray, just be sure to liberally coat the dish.

In a large bowl mix the oats and the next 7 ingredients, pour into the casserole and evenly spread the dry mixture.  In the same bowl, because I don't like to dirty more dishes than necessary, mix the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.  

Note: As you mix the melted butter into the cold, wet, ingredients you will notice that it's going to solidify into tiny little bits, this is totally okay and to be expected.

Pour the wet mixture evenly over the oats in the casserole dish.  Allow it to sit for a minute to give the mixture a chance to soak through the oats, you may need go tap/wiggle the dish to get it to soak in.

Place the banana slices evenly atop the oatmeal mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes in the 375°F oven.

Remove the casserole from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

To keep for the rest of the week, simply cover a cooled dish with plastic wrap, or lid, and store in the refrigerator. *You may choose to slice your casserole into equal portions for easy removal through the week.

Tips for heating through the week:
-Remove individual servigs from the casserole and bake, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until heated though.
- You can easily microwave individual servings, too!
- Try drizzling reheated servings with honey or maple syrup, yum!

Here is the Pinterest Pin that I modified my recipe from:

Disclaimer: I am not one of those chicks who tests Pinterest pins, but those chicks do exisit; if you look for them on Pinterest you will be impressed, amused and informed... for sure! I'm also not a food blogger so I haven't really mastered the "perfect foot shot" and I baked this at night while snapping pics and sharing on Instagram, so... yeah. Enjoy!

XxOo~ Melissa

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hiya Luv Holli Days

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I was so excited that Gina, from Hiya Luv, asked if I wanted to participate in her Holli Days Series.. of course I did!  Hop on over to Gina's blog today to see what I'm giving away! www.HiyaLuv.com

Hiya Luv Holli Days via HiyaLuv.com

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, November 16, 2012

Holiday Shopping with SoChick! {Last Chance Deals, Personalized Gift Sets}

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Final inventory for 2012 is now listed in the SoChick Handbags & Accessories Shop.  Now is a great time to get your hands on handmade gifts for the Holidays... Most Items in the Shop are *LAST CHANCE* and One-of-a-kind deals:
SoChick Sling and Pleated Pouch Set in Aqua Spring

Limestone Wallet with Genuine Leather Tab
 Also, you'll find some Personalized Sets which are perfect for Holiday Gifting:
Limited Edition Personalized Gift Set

Fun & Festive Personalized Handtowel Sets

Head on over to Shop SoChick! Handbags now, the last day to shop is December 14th, when the SoChick Handbags & Accessories shop closes for the rest of 2012!

** GIVEAWAY: I'm celebrating 500 fans on Facebook with a Giveaway of one Pink & Green Gift Set (pictured above)... to enter, visit the SoChick! Handbags Facebook page and Click on the Blue "Giveaway" tab!**

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, November 9, 2012

{SALE Announcement} SoChick Fabric Shoppe

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Happy Friday!  If you are signed up for the SoChick! Newsletter, you know that I need to make room in my studio for new fabric... to help with that I'm having a SALE in my Fabric Shoppe on Etsy!!

Through Thursday, November 15th, save 30% at checkout with coupon code ETSY30.  That means you can score Amy Butler prints for as low as $6.30/yard and cotton laminate for less than $12/yd!

It's a great time to grab up fabric and try any of these free projects that Amy shares on her website.  

You can make beautiful gifts for giving over the Holidays or save it for stitching on a cold winter day, nothing beats the winter blues quite like beautiful fabric!

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up, and More! {DIY, Food, Thankful, Sandy Relief and How you Can Help}

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I'm alive!  Of course if you are following me on {Facebook}, {Twitter} or {Instagram}, you knew this... if not, you should! *wink*

{Where I've Been...}

I took a much needed mental break.  You see, my brain works overtime coming up with awesome ideas, which I welcome... but unfortunately, along the way I sort of overwhelmed myself and had to step away to recharge.  We all need a little recharging every once in a while, right?

As you may or may not know, working from home and managing a business is a lot of work, never mind when one is also managing a family with active children and has a hardworking, yet supportive, spouse who is the main source of income for the household.   

During my re-grouping session (doesn't that sound professional?) I took a look at the big picture that is my life; I saw that I needed to re-prioritize my time to give my brain a break so that I can be present, physically and mentally, for my family, my business, this blog and for myself, too.

Here's some of what I've been up to, I'll fill you in on other goings on over the next week or so...

{DIY: My Master Bathroom Re-Do}
  It has been over a year since the fire in our home, and while most of the big work is finished, there is still kitchen back-splash to be hung, trim to be caulked and painted, and some other small painting projects.  I went through my list for the summer, and then accomplished very little... to get back into the swing I decided to take on a smaller DIY project of re-doing our master bathroom:

Un-Primed Builder Beige, blah!
Freshly Painted Grey
It was dark out when I took this photo, still the same grey!

I was excited to try homemade chalk paint for the first time with this DIY project.  I painted the shelves, which you can see were a dark cherry color in the Before picture, a light, almost-white, color called "Sweet Leaf". 

More about this re-do, including an actual After picture once it's complete, along with paint color info, the chalk paint recipe I used and my inspiration for it, coming soon.

I also lined the DIY Roman Shades from this post, and replaced the slats because our cat, Jack Bauer, jacked them all up... pun intended, ha!

The shade on the left is lined, right is unlined, see the difference?!

I'll update my DIY Roman Shade Post with How-To info along with Pros and Cons to the Mini-Blind Roman Shades!

{Good Eats: What I've been cooking}

I've been doing a great job of meal planning... well, for me anyway.  Since we are gone for gymnastics practice three evenings a week, I've been trying my best to make crock-pot and easy-to-cook meals.  But also, I've just been enjoying cooking for my family in general.  Here is some of what we've been eating.

Sunday Morning Breakfast: Thick-sliced italian bread French Toast, Baked Bacon, Mocha French Roast Coffee, Freshly Juiced Pineapple-Orange Juice.

Dinner: Country Ribs, Roasted Brussles Sprouts, Sauteed Sweet Potato w/Brown Sugar

This morning we had Steel Cut Oats- My little chicks loved this breakfast!- Inspired by this Pinterest Pin:

Follow Me on {Pinterest}

Want recipes? Let me know in the comments and I'll put a post up for ya!

{Thankful in November}

Everyone else is doing this, and it's a fabulous Idea, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon... I'll follow-up via Instagram & Twitter #ThankfulInNovember, but here are my first five:

1- I'm thankful for, this guy:  
I couldn't ask for a better friend, husband, and father to our girls, to spend forever with.

2- I'm thankful for, this chick: 

My first little chick-a-dee was born a preemie, at 5 1/2 weeks early, and weighed 4lbs 14oz. I couldn't be more proud of this girl, she cracks me up, loves school like it's cool, all while managing to excel in gymnastics and girl scouts. *tear*

3- I'm thankful for, this chick: 

My littlest chickie, does most everything on her terms... Miss Southern Diva, 'nuff said!

4- I'm thankful for, Coffee... because this is true:

5- I'm thankful for my Nan's Brother sewing machine, because, let's face it, it started it all!

{Hurricane / Superstorm Sandy Relief: How you can help}

I am thinking about everyone who has been affected by this storm.  Being that I am from NY, I am proud to say that if anyone knows how to pull together and get through tragedy, it's New Yorkers, but even they need a hand... here's what you can do to get involved and help everyone affected by this storm:

-Donate to the American Red Cross, here.  Or, you can text REDCROSS to 90999, which will donate $10 to disaster relief efforts from Superstorm Sandy.  It doesn't get any easier than that.

-Quilt Relief: Another way to help is to send your finished quilt tops to be quilted and donated to those in need.  So many people are still without power, and homes.  It's Novemvber and cold in the North East... a quilt can bring warmth and comfort.  Here's more info on how you can get involved: eQuilter Quilt Relief

Thank you to Lisa, @CrazyQuiltyGirl, for donating her time and tweeting about this project!

* * *
Sign up for the SoChick Newsletter, which will go out this week, for info on my Handbags Shop and Fabric Shoppe Sales for the Holidays!  (Sign up is in the right column.)

Whew!  I think that's enough for one day!  Leave me a comment if you have any questions,  would like a recipe, or just to say Hi!.  You're comments make my day, I love to know if you're reading!

XxOo~ Melissa
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