Monday, February 28, 2011

spring cleaning!

one of the newest branches of the 'offbeat' empire launches this week, offbeat home, and I'm super excited! one of the first articles I read was about cleaning your home. I wish I could say our condo was always clean, but sometimes we get lazy. or we are just plain tired. unfortunately when that happens, we start to leave things til it gets bad and then we waste an entire weekend day cleaning. not fun! this article basically talks about cleaning every day for 20 minutes. sounds easy to me! it links to an article on apartment therapy that gives you a list numbered 1-30 to get you started on your month of cleaning. other tips include washing dishes after every meal and doing some laundry every day or as needed so it doesn't pile up. the list gives you a cleaning task that shouldn't take more than 20 minutes. if you keep up every day, your home should be much easier to keep clean. I'm happy I found this right before a new month begins. I'm going to print out the list and keep it on my refrigerator and hopefully start a new cleaning routine!

what kind of routine do you have to keep your home clean?
happy spring cleaning!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what's in your bag?

here is mine!

this is my everyday bag. it's one of the crossbody bag styles I sell in the shop made with a black canvas. I love that it is big enough to hold a lot and I can wear it across my chest, so it's hands free! especially helpful when walking a crazy dog!

I have three buttons on my bag and I didn't make any of them! the wooden heart pin by spinalfusion has a really cute owl stamp in blue. I bought that at one of the handmade markets a few months ago. then there is a super cute blythe pin I got when I placed some dolly order. I don't even remember where it came from, but I love it! and last, but not least, I must advertise my fiance's music website, HEAVEmedia!

ok, now to what is in the bag.

- iphone 4. <3 can't say much else about it!
- keys - love my owl keychain!
- besu long wallet in coffee break of course!
- raspberry pie ala mode VEGAN lip balm by epically epic soap co
- shikai dry skin therapy hand cream. the only lotion I will use!
- trader joe's receipt and costco coupons
- gym membership card
- business cards
- 2 envirosax reusable shopping bags. I love that they roll up so small!
- tissue
- besu zip pouch that I keep my phone in!
- oh and I see my joann's shopping list in the photo below!

what's in your bag?

Monday, February 21, 2011

650 sales, oh my!

I was very, very excited to hit 650 etsy sales on thursday! my two year etsyversary will be on march 23rd. I can't really remember when I first listed an item, so I go by the date of my first sale. even though I am not a hugely successful etsy seller, I am still in awe of how many sales I have had in this short time. I hope to one day be able to contribute more to our household income, but for now, I am forever grateful to all of my wonderful etsy customers. you are definitely my inspiration. to celebrate this milestone, I'm having a sale through sunday! use coupon code YAY650 at checkout for 15% off all orders!

the 650th sale item!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


happy belated valentine's day! 

wes and I went out for brunch yesterday because he works later in the day and doesn't get home til 10:30 pm! boo! but yay for brunch! we went to my favorite veggie restaurant, the chicago diner ! we ordered a special appetizer, the potato skins. they were really yummy! I had a hard time deciding between brunch or a sandwich, but I finally went with buddha's karma burger. I had it before back when it was a special. it's made out of curried tofu and sweet potato and comes with a "mango-pineapple Karmic Realignment sauce." I like to order it with avocado because I am obsessed with it. I should get an avocado tattoo! I also had a chocolate strawberry soy shake. yummy!

wes is getting really good at shopping in my etsy faves and picked out this super cute button necklace from blockparty press for me. this is me wearing it!

I look like a dorkus. also, I love the instagram app!

I gave wes this really cool wallet made out of vintage deadstock vinyl that was used to upholster volkswagens in the 70s and 80s. super neat!

do you celebrate valentine's day? what did you do?

xo, beth

Monday, February 14, 2011

music monday + weekend recap

I hope you all had a great weekend. chicago got to enjoy some warmer weather and it should be up to 50 by the end of this week! awesome!

saturday was the february handmade market. I think the weather helped with traffic, but sales were still a little slow. I wonder if it's because I'm not vending every month? or is everyone sick of my product already? things to ponder!

I was really excited about this new wristlet I made. I couldn't believe I sold it on saturday! unfortunately this is the only photo I have of it. my blythe friends may be a little disappointed it won't be listed in my etsy shop, but I can always make more! I really love how it turned out!

ok, so who watched the grammys last night? to be honest, I haven't watched them probably since grade school. mainly because the music I listen to is never nominated. my fiance is a bit of a tv junkie, so we ended up watching most of the show last night. I was surprised and delighted to see that the arcade fire won! very cool! do you listen to them or have you never heard of the band?

here is one of my favorite songs by them performed by the band of chuck e cheese, or back in my day, showbiz pizza. enjoy!

xo, beth

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

wishful wednesday

a few things i've been crushing on:

raspberry sorbet blythe doll released this month. might get her for my birthday!

these shoes will be awesome for spring and summer!

some ridiculously cute rings!

this super awesome hemp and organic cotton fleece dress! I just want to snuggle in it!

hope you enjoyed my picks. what are some things you have been eyeing lately?

xo, beth

Thursday, February 3, 2011

blizzards and baking

so yesterday was a snow day. well, technically, I'm usually home all day anyway, but I used this as an excuse to be lazy! after the crazy tuesday night we had, I needed some rest!

first the hot water heater for the whole building went out. that was not good because our dishwasher is broken and I couldn't handwash the dishes. oh and we couldn't shower! yuck! wes finally got home from work at about 11pm and that is when the carbon monoxide detectors in the hall started to go off. I wasn't too concerned until the detector in our unit started beeping. we bundled up, grabbed panda and went down to the lobby. here is panda in her fleece and bundled in a blanket.

there were a few other tenants in the lobby. one of the girls called the fire department to see what was going on. apparently the snow blocked something with the hot water heater (which was broken, but still on!) and caused the carbon monoxide to build up. scary! so they shut it off and told us to leave the front and back doors to the building open for an hour to let it air out. we were also told to crack the windows in our apartments. that was amusing because the snow was covering most of the windows! so we sat in the lobby for an hour but the detectors were still going off. the girl called the fire department again, they returned and said their meter was showing zero for carbon monoxide. they then explained that there is a filter in the detector that needs to be aired out or it will continue to beep. so we had to reset all of the detectors. of course the unit across the hall from us is vacant and the detector just kept going. finally today someone came to shut it off. after all of that excitement we finally went to sleep at about 1am! that is way too late for this old lady! we slept in the next day and that is why I decided to be lazy!

I did lots of internetting and panda playing. then I was finally motivated to bake. I went grocery shopping on monday and I made sure to buy all the fixins for cookies and chili! I decided to make some good old chocolate chip cookies. vegan style of course! I used the recipe from Isa and Terry's AMAZING, "vegan cookies invade your cookie jar." this is THE BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe by far! even my non-vegan family members stole some for the road the last time I brought them to a party. I also like that they have normal ingredients. there is nothing crazy in these!

here's the recipe:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (i use my regular vanilla soymilk)
1 tablespoon tapioca flour (i use cornstarch because i can never find this!)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (i usually use whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips (sometimes i use less because i feel like they don't stick in the dough enough)

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. lightly grease two large baking sheets. (i don't do this.)

2. combine sugars, oil, milk, and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles smooth caramel. mix in the vanilla.

3. add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda, and salt. mix until well combined. mix in the rest of the flour. fold in the chocolate chips. or use your hands if they aren't sticking in there.

4. for two dozen 2-inch cookies, roll dough into walnut-size balls and flatten to about 1 1/2 inches. i use my trusy little kitchenaid scooper thing for this. the recipe says to bake for 6 minutes, but i usually leave them in there for 10. it might depend on your oven. let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack. enjoy!

oh, our hot water was finally back on at about noon today. thank goodness for warm showers!