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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Small Business Saturday & Cyber Monday…baking edition

For all who are unaware of the little sister of Black Friday, today is Small Business Saturday. It’s the counterpart to big box retail sales of Black Friday and it encourages shoppers to hit up brick and mortar stores that are small and local. The deals are just as good too! It’s a concept I can get behind because it keeps our hard earned dollars flowing in our local economies.

However, since this is a blog and is not brick and mortar in the slightest; I want to showcase some of my favorite Etsy shops that may or may not be having sales for Cyber Monday. I love Etsy because of it’s dedication to handmade goods. It’s the perfect platform for small startups to get their products to the mainstream. I could peruse Etsy for hours if I let myself, there are so many cute things on there! I wanted to share some of my favorite shops that feature a baking theme. Check them out and consider shopping small before heading out to big corporations when searching for that perfect, one-of-a-kind gift this holiday season!

I’ll start with my obsession for aprons….because everyone knows baked goods taste better when made wearing an apron.

Lover Dovers Clothing makes the most adorable aprons that look like Disney princess dresses. They come in kids’ sizes too! They also have various other retro style prints, but all of their aprons are handmade in a 50s style.

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Jassy Kitchen‘s aprons have tons of cupcake prints, and make “Mommy & Me” matching aprons for you and your little. Cute!
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4RetroSisters features retro style aprons with lots of gingham and polka dots.
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Boojiboo is doing a Cyber Monday discount of 10% off through Monday when you enter 2013HOLIDAY10 at checkout! Woop! I just can’t get enough of her vintage colored prints! Ahhhhh charming overload!

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Kitchen Glam does full and half style aprons, but the half styles are made out of terry cloth towel! How smart! they have aprons for kiddos too. They even have chef’s hats!
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That wraps up the apron portion of this post, but there are tons more!!

Arcadiagraphic has a bunch of delightful little posters, but this one in particular caught my eye:
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Livingthread does these kitschy little embroidered pieces. But these are not your grandma’s cross-stichings… they’re so badass!
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Designs By Nicolina does great posters and is doing a deal BLACK FRIDAY – CYBER MONDAY: 30% off Art Prints, 40% off Thank You Notes, and 50% off Recipe Cards.

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Punk Up Bettie‘s BLACK FRIDAY Sale runs from Nov. 27th until Dec. 2nd! Use discount code: BLKBETTIE20 for 20% off ENTIRE SHOP! They do darling little rockabilly hair combs and clips with cherries, sparrows and CUPCAKES!
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And last but not least, Tied in a knot bowtique makes delectable little hair bows with cupcakes on them, much like the one in my picture!
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Too precious! I love them all! Please share your favorite shops in a comment!

*all the photos featured in this blog post are the property of the shop owners*

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Minting it

I realize it’s been a hot minute since I posted anything. To risk sounding trite: school has monopolized my spare time. soorrrrrryy. Admittedly, this is a bit of a lazy post. It’s less baking and more preparation for baking. Deal with it.

So I’ve been attempting to establish my green thumb….I got some seeds and dirt and got planting!

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aww they’re so cute!!!

I had this super original idea of putting them in mason jars that were attached to a piece of reclaimed wood and hanging them ever-so-handily in my kitchen for gorgeous meal preparation (thanks Pinterest)….

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So great, right? No. After I moved them from their cardboard seed tray home into the mason jars they plateaued in their growth. Sad face. The pic above showcases about how big they got. I tried to get them growing! I watered them everyday, and bought herb food, and texted my mom who is an amazing gardener…. but they died 😦 womp womp. Apparently, herbs need more space than just a tiny mason jar. Ah, the trials and errors of wannabe gardeners. So down went my dreams of an adorable hanging herb garden, complete with chalkboard labels…and on to thrift store bought, mismatching pots on the only windowsill in my apartment that gets any sun.

I’m not so proud that I can’t admit my failures…but I was determined not to give up. So I bought some seedlings and I’m happy to say I have more herbs than I know what to do with! yay!

When I was herb shopping, I thought mint would be fun. I mean, who doesn’t love a fresh mojito in the summertime?! But little did I know mint grows like a weed. F’real. And as much a I love mojitos, I couldn’t keep up. So what to do with a boat-load of mint? Mint extract. woop.

Super easy:

  • 1 1/2 -2 cups of vodka
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves

1. Wash mint and pat dry. Now rough ’em up a little bit. Smash ’em, crush ’em, no need to massacre, but you get the idea.
2. Put mint in a jar and completely cover with vodka. *if you don’t completely cover the leaves, they’ll mold*
3. Place tightly sealed jar in a cool, dark place for 1-2 months.

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I’ll letchya know how it turns out in about a month. I plan on making copious amounts of homemade thin mints. 😀

What do you guys do with you herbs? I’d love to hear your ideas!

*original recipe from The Prairie Homestead
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/10/diy-mint-extract-recipe.html