Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trick or Treat

Fairy Shadow

What a sweet trick or treater!

Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the Halloween candy and don't forget to set your clocks back and change your smoke detector batteries.
See you Monday.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Laura Mercier Has You Covered...

...Your face that is!

I've been using Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for years so I was very skeptical of trying a mineral powder. When Laura launched a Mineral Makeup Collection I thought it was time to give minerals a try.

Laura's Tinted Moisturizer has won accolades from magazines, Allure and In Style. This Tinted Moisturizer is a sheer, lightweight moisturizer with SPF 20 and just enough color that it can be used in place of foundation for a natural look.
Mineral Power is composed of very finely milled natural elements, has an SPF of 15 and is available in loose and pressed form. The powder is mostly composed of ingredients found in liquid makeup but without the dyes, fragrances and preservatives used in the liquid form. Eliminating these irritants, those with sensitive skin are able to wear the powder without related problem. You may click here to read about mineral makeup on WebMD.

Prepare your skin by priming with the Foundation Primer. It helps to achieve a flawless application. Click here to read about it.

Having both Rosacea and oily skin, I'm thrilled with Mineral Powder for a flawless face. No more oily-shine.

Check out minerals for yourself!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New York State Of Mind

I just returned from a few days in New York City.

I'm originally an East Coast girl now transplanted in the mid west. Occasionally I need a New York "fix". I find it inspiring to simply walk and observe people, trends and shop windows.
Photo by me
Sunday morning at Balthazar

I had some great meals. As a "walk-in", getting the full menu at the bar was the way to go in normally "impossible to get a reservation" restaurants.

Jacques Torres is known as Mr. Chocolate. I visited his Hudson Street retail store for my holiday baking chocolate.

I'm energized and ready to get back to my studio and see if my inspiration can evolve into some new jewelry designs.

What is your inspiration?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun Read

This is what I'm reading now.

Probably the whole world has read this book or seen the movie. I admit I rarely attend movies but I would like to see this... most likely when I'm able to view it On Demand in my living room. I am glad that I'm reading the book before viewing the movie. It is a delightful read for anyone who cooks, likes to eat, knows who Julia is or writes a blog. Next I'll read, My Life in France, by Julia Child.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What path will you walk today?

photo by me

While on vacation in Lisbon, Portugal, I was totally enamoured by the mosaic sidewalks. ALL the walks were composed of the mosaic tile, for which Portugal is famous.
So civilized in comparison to the trash strewn, gum laden street of most American cities.

Hoping your Monday is the beginning of a lovely week.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Giveaway Winner


EGATER of Estonia!

Egater subscribes by email.

Thanks to all of you for subscribing and following Spiral Style.
I appreciate all your kind words and I will be checking out all your blogs, websites and Etsy shops. PLEASE mention this giveaway if you purchase any of the jewelry from my Etsy shop and I will give you free shipping thru the end of 2009.

Etsy Find: lemon+betsy

It is a very rainy day here in Michigan and I was sitting by my fireplace trying to be inspired about something to post in Spiral Style today. I jumped over to Etsy and voila' , I spotted lemon+betsy

Flower Power Coaster $16 click here
The shop features items for home, office and travel. Most items are felted wool.

Wool Felt Key Fob $4.25
I just ordered a red key fob.

Recognize your luggage with a special luggage tag.

How about a decorated mouse pad?

Check out lemon+betsy and mark the shop as a favorite. These stylish, useful items are great for stocking stuffers and thoughtful gifts.

Don't forget, giveaway ends at noon today. See Oct 19 post for details.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I LOVE Bacon

I LOVE Bacon!

It seems like everything is better with bacon. Add to a sandwich, salad, any egg dish. Bacon is the starting point for most chowders. What would spinach salad be without bacon. Vosges makes Mo's Chocolate Bar, which is a milk chocolate, applewood smoked bacon candy bar. I'm not quite sure that is appealing to me.

My favaorite bacon is Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked bacon. I buy it at Trader Joe's for $4.79/12oz. This bacon is full of flavor and when your food has lots of flavor you are satisfied with less food and the result (should be) that you eat less.

I used to hate to fry bacon, all that messy cleanup of pan and stove but I learned a "Good Thing" from Martha Stewart and now roast it in the oven. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Place bacon on foil and roast in 375 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes or until it is done. I usually forget about it and don't even turn the slices. The slices remain straight and do not curl up. Clean up is a cinch, just toss the foil.
A local guru of all things good to eat, Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman's Deli fame, wrote a book about bacon.
Last night I made this corn chowder, a Martha Stewart recipe. Click here for the recipe. You begin preparation with several slices of bacon. Be sure to use fresh thyme for great flavor.

I LOVE this recipe for potato salad with bacon and barbecue sauce. Click here for the Food & Wine Magazine recipe.

One more recipe, based on a Martha Stewart recipe for Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
4 oz smoked bacon
2 Tablespoon butter, divided
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon minced, fresh rosemary
cream or milk (optional)
2 oz Gruyere cheese, finely grated, plus more for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Bake sweet potatoes in 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool slightly
Roast bacon on foil lined pan in 375 degree oven for about 12 -15 minutes. Drain on paper towel to cool slightly and then roughly chop.

Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in small skillet and saute shallots about 2 minutes and then add rosemary and cook 1 minute more.

Slice potatoes lengthwise and scoop out flesh leaving about 1/4 inch border around potato halves. Set aside. Using electric mixer, beat potato with remaining 1 Tablespoon butter. When smooth, add reserved shallot mixture and Gruyere.

Fill potato shells with this potato mixture and bake in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with reserved bacon and rosemary and Gruyere garnish.

Enjoy and get your bacon fix!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Precious Video

This is such and adorable video, I couldn't resist posting it. Makes me smile and I needed something fun and light mid week. Lots to do today. Have a good day.

Forcing Bulbs For The Holidays

I don't like to rush the Christmas Season, especially before Halloween, but sometimes you just have to plan ahead for a good thing.
Forcing bulbs is a great way to decorate naturally and give thoughtful gifts. These are Paperwhite Narcissus, probably the most simple bulb to force. You can assemble "kits" or start bulbs and then present the them as gifts. The recipients will enjoy watching their bulbs sprout and grow. Click here for more thorough directions and information.
Paperwhite bulbs can be purchased loose or in kits at hardware stores and floral shops. Gather some pebbles or gravel and an interesting container without drainage holes. Place several inches of pebbles material in the container and place as many bulbs on top as will fit, point side up. Then top off the container with more pebbles just so that the top half of the bulb is exposed. Add water so that the level of the water reaches the bottom of the bulb and then maintain the water at this level. Place the container in a cool place. In a few days roots will develop and in about 2-3 weeks you'll have lovely, fragrant blooms.

This is an Amaryllis plant. They make a stunning statement and an amazing gift. You'll need to plan ahead at least 6 weeks for blooms.
These bulbs are large and are usually planted one per pot. Choose a pot just a bit larger than the bulb. I use an orchid growing medium which is like coarse wood chips. You can use soil but then you'll need a pot with a drainage hole.
Place a bit of potting medium in the bottom of the container, then add the bulb. Fill in the pot with more potting material and allow the top of the bulb to be exposed. Water well and place in a warm, sunny spot. Water sparingly at this point until little spouts of green appear, then keep potting medium just barely damp. Too much moisture will cause the bulb to rot. In about 4-6 weeks you have a gorgeous bloom.
Amaryllis can be found in a variety of colors and bloom varieties.

Give it a try!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spiral Style Giveaway

Announcing Subscribe to Blog Giveaway!

All you need to do is subscribe to this blog to win this Sterling Silver Cuff from my Etsy shop.
You may have seen Stat Counter to the right of my blog page. From the information they gather from this blog, I know I have had readers from all over the world. My goal is to get more followers and more comments for livelier and more dynamic posts.

Subscribe to Spiral Style through a reader or email. After you subscribe to this feed, comment that you have done so in this post. If you have already subscribed to Spiral Style, just leave a comment to that effect so you can be entered as well.
The contest closes at noon (est) on Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. The winner will be drawn randomly and announced by 3 pm, same day. Open to followers worldwide.

If you are unfamiliar with subscribing to blogs, here is what to do:
Subscribe by email. Enter your email address in the box to the left. Spiral Style posts will sent to you via email and yes, you may unsubscribe.
Subscribe to RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) Click on Subscribe in a Reader (also on the left) where you see this button to select a "Reader" such as Google or Yahoo where you will view Spiral Style posts. Click on Learn more about syndication and Feedburner to read more about it.

Now just leave a comment that you have subscribed and you will be entered in the contest for the Bubble Cuff.

Opportunity to gain an extra entry....If you would like to leave a link to this post and contest on another blog or site, then come back and give me that link, you'll get a second entry.

Good luck and thanks for following.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Black Pearl on Main St in Ann Arbor

Rich and I spent a very fun evening with great friends in Ann Arbor last night. Rich got us tickets for the Dan Tyminski band playing at The Ark. Dan Tyminski is know for the song "Man of Constant Sorrow" featured in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Even if you don't like Blue Grass, these guys are extremely talented and professional and the concert was tremendously entertaining.

The Ark is a non-profit venue for acoustic music located on Main Street in Ann Arbor. This street has recently been named one of the 10 great streets in America by The American Planning Association.

Before the show we had a delightful and delicious dinner at The Black Pearl.
The decor is sleek Asian, yet cozy. The ambience is very relaxing and welcoming with a low noise level.
Lucky us, the Thursday price Fix menu! Don't miss the fish tacos!! Everything on the menu looks great. Click here to take a look. And the signature dessert is amazing, chocolate "shell" with ice cream pearl inside on a bed of cookie crumb "sand".

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Poached Pears

Poached Pears sounds like an elegant, fussy, dessert. Just the opposite. This dessert is quite simple and there are many variations and accompaniment.

These pears were poached in wine with a vanilla bean. After peeling the pears and removing the core, the pears were simmered in the liquid until soft but not mushy. The liquid was cooked and reduced until it reached a syrupy consistency. I served the pears with vanilla ice cream and some sliced almonds. Click here for the Alton Brown recipe.

Click here for a recipe that uses red wine, orange zest and spices.

Cranberry juice is a great poaching liquid as well. Mascarpone cheese, blue cheese and creme anglaise would all be great with the flavor enriched pears.
Treat yourself to this delicious fall treat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

House Beautiful 250 Gifts Under $25

Not even Halloween yet and the stores are well on the way to Christmas and as I write this, Santa Claus is on the Today Show. Being in the jewelry business, I'm working away to finish Christmas inventory.

I was perusing my new House Beautiful magazine and noticed a full page ad for their online
site with 250 ideas for Christmas gifts under $25. The collection of gifts varies from totally frivolous to quite useful. There are gifts for all ages and tastes. I'm sharing this with you now because some items may take additional time for monograms or other personalization. Have fun and maybe you'll make a wish list for yourself! Click here to be taken to the site.

250 Gifts Under $25!
Some examples of the 250 gift idea.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Plan for Spring and Plant Bulbs Now

Temps didn't make it out of the 40's today and it was dark too early this evening, but I'm looking ahead to Spring and planted bulbs in the garden today.

These are the narcissus bulbs I planted. I like a very casual look so I dug holes and planted about 5 -7 bulbs together. I did this throughout a large bed of shrubs.
These flowers are typical of the mix of narcissus I planted. Some may have orange cups rather than the pale yellow.
I also planted species tulips. Aren't they sweet? The bulbs are the size of a large clove of garlic. The plants are short and quite small and can fit in tight areas that cannot accommodate other bulbs.
Thinks Spring and plant now for gorgeous blooms. When you see bits of green poking through the ground you'll know winter is finally over. Click here for some information about choosing bulbs, planting and growing.

The Look for Less

I recently gave my bed a total makeover. I bought a new mattress, had a slipcover made for the headboard and chose coordinating fabrics for bed skirt, duvet cover and shams. To complete the new look I had to change the lamps.

I'd like to say I whipped up the bedding with a few dish towels and a sleeping bag or some noble claim to be green and save money but alas, I enlisted the professional services of Calico Corners. (they were having a sale!)
Jonsbo Ilsbo, Jonsbo asarp, Jonsbo Gryby (base) $19.99 $59.99 $39.99

I happen to live about 5 miles from an Ikea. I spotted these lamps a few weeks ago and thought they would be the perfect compliment to the new bedding.
The Ikea lamps remind me of Johathan Adler ceramics and lamps which are over $200 each at the very least when on sale.

I'd still like to incorporate a touch of red and some texture with an extra pillow or two on the bed. I think I'll add a window treatment as well since Calico Corners just announced another sale!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Giveaway Winner

Thanks so much for the great participation in the first ever Spiral Style Giveaway. Thanks for viewing my Etsy shop and for your comments.
To thank all of you, I'm offering free shipping for any purchase from my Etsy shop (US is free, $2 off international) Just mention the Giveaway in an Etsy Conversation prior to your purchase.
Check back in about two weeks and I'll have another Giveaway.

Drum roll please!
I put numbers in a hat...
...and pulled out #25
Liz is the winner of the first ever Spiral Style Giveaway.
Congratulations Liz!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Apples to Sauce: Autumn Pleasure

Apple picking, cider mills, candy apples, all say Fall. Biting into a crisp, juicy apple is a delicious treat! One way to preserve that fresh, just picked flavor is to make applesauce.
Applesauce is simple to make. My apple grower made a mix of sauce apples for me. Try Newton Pippin, McIntosh, Jonathan, and Gravenstein. I used a peck of apples, washed and quartered. I left skins on (red skin makes apples sauce pink!) and no need to remove seeds. Place apples in a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, simmering until apples are very mushy.
Transfer apples to food mill.
The mill presses out smooth sauce leaving skins and seeds behind. You now have pure applesauce. No need for sugar or cinnamon, just fresh sauce. Eat it now or freeze some for that fresh, yummy taste on a frigid winter day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Posted by Picasa
We are well into October and it is starting to look like fall here in Michigan

I took some photos of the autumnal changes and other signs of fall. The colors are not at peak but are delightful nonetheless. Today is extremely windy and it is a pleasure sitting next to my (gas) fireplace as I write this post. My t-shirts and tank tops have been replaced by cozy sweaters. Comfort food is back on the menu too. Tonight is a pork roast cooked with apple cider and fresh brussel sprouts on the side. With the shorter daylight hours I love to light a candle on my kitchen counter while I make dinner.

What are your autumn pleasures?


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