Friday, January 29, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Thanks so much for the great response to my giveaway this week.
Spiral Style has added 20 new subscribers.
Thanks for all the great comments of what you'd like to see in this blog.
I appreciate your comments.  Some of you gave me great information that I will share in coming posts.  
I plan to introduce a new giveaway that will extend throughout the month of February so check back Monday for the details.
And the winner is.....5  
Amber said..
I follow you with google friend connect and I love your recipes and new item posts. I'd love to see more bracelets         in your shop.Thank you for the giveaway :)hurdler4eva(at)gmail(dot)com

Amber will receive these silver earrings.

Thanks everyone for your participation .
Have a great weekend and see you on Monday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Maps as Art

I was just looking at the Elle Decor website and spotted a slideshow entitled 
Maps as Inexpensive Wall Art.

photo by me
I really like the idea of large wall maps as art.  I used a large world map from Ikea to fill this wall in my loft.

I used antique map prints of the Bahamas and Caribbean in a bedroom at my Bahamas house.  We call it the map room!  A map could be a great way to remember a vacation or use a world map to track places you've visited. 

Idea from Elle Decor.  Wall map reinforced by globes.

A subway map is colorful, fun, modern art.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eliminate Unwanted Catalogs

Thanks so much for the great response to the giveaway.
If you leave a comment on this post you'll get another entry for the giveaway!
My goal is to get more comments for a more dynamic blog.
It is so helpful to get feedback from readers.

I just took a huge bag of unwanted catalogs to be recycled.
Luckily our library has a large dumpster-type container for a paper recycling fundraiser. But I hate to see paper wasted to make catalogs I don't want.

A good solution to ending the barrage of unwanted catalogs is Catalog Choice.
Click on the name Catalog Choice to be taken to the website.
Click on "Find Catalog' and record new mail preferences and click "Set Mail Preference" to provide the details. They'll contact the merchant for you. So, you may eliminate the catalog or specify that you wish to receive it only at holiday time etc.

I have noticed a decrease in the number of unwanted catalogs since I began using this free service about 6 months ago. I just entered another dozen catalogs to be eliminated. Hopefully my trips to the paper recycler will be reduced.

It's a Book Review AND a Recipe Post

I just loved all the great comments and suggestions on
Spiral Style yesterday.
Thanks so much.
I had lots of requests for recipes and books.

I thought I'd share a favorite cookbook and one of my favorite recipes from the book.
Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen was a birthday present from my sister and happens to be autographed by Tyler and he even wishes me a "Happy Birthday".  (swoon!!)
There are many really solid recipes.  I love the Sage-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Dried Plum Sauce and the Hong Kong Crab Cakes with Baby Bok Choy, for openers.
These are recipes that do not require elaborate equipment or technique but they do take some time and planning.

photos by me
Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish is my favorite recipe from the book and my favorite meatloaf recipe ever.

The secret is the Tomato Relish.  Bottled catsup is the base of the relish with lots of diced onion, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers and herbs incorporated.  A portion of this relish is added to the meatloaf mixture and another 1/2 cup tops the loaf for a very flavorful and moist meatloaf.
If you make the relish ahead of time, assembly of the meatloaf is minimal.

Tyler has made this recipe available on  You can view the recipe and check out the more than 500 comments calling this meatloaf THE ULTIMATE.  Click here for the recipe.
If there are any leftovers, you can have a killer sandwich the next day.
Amazing comfort food.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Jewelry Designs, New Giveaway

I just added some new designs to my 
Etsy Shop.

1  Cuff with a Heart  $48  2 Silver Bangle with Heart Charm  $20  Silver Multi-link earrings  $32

To celebrate the first new designs for 2010, 
I thought I'd host a giveaway.

I'm giving away a pair of these Silver multi-link earrings.
(I just sold a pair on Etsy while I'm writing this post!)

I have fun writing this blog and want to keep it interesting and inspiring.  But I really need your comments to do that.  And comments keep a blog dynamic. 
So to be eligible to win the Giveaway, leave a comment telling me what you want to see more of or what are your favorite posts.  (recipes, new products etc) and you must be a subscriber of Spiral Style through a reader or email. Tell me in the comment how you subscribe.  (if you do not know how to subscribe, see post dated 10/19/09)

The contest closes at noon (est) on Friday, Jan 29, 2010. The winner will be drawn randomly and announced by 3 pm, same day. Open to followers worldwide.
Thanks for your support.  

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti Orphanage Update

Last week I posted a blog about Haiti and mentioned  an orphanage.

A reader notified me with an update on the children.  Here is a portion of the update.
You can click here to read more about the orphanage.

Global Rescue

With thanks to Dial Dunkin, medics from Global Rescue examined all of the children, the employees of the orphanage and some other neighbors.  They found everyone to be in fairly good condition and treated some abrasions and minor injuries.  They left Father Bien-aime with basic medical supplies.
...the children do have food and water, and most importantly, they have Father Bien-aime.
Happy to hear some good news from Haiti.  They'll be needing help for a long time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spiral Photo

I'm glad it is Friday

I've been busy making jewelry all week and hopefully I'll be able to post some photos and add some new pieces to my Etsy shop.

photo by me
This is a photo of the spiral staircase in the lighthouse on Elbow Cay.
I like the way it turned out, lighting and colors and of course, because it is a spiral.

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Perfect Roasted Potatoes from

I love the delightful blog, Chocolate & Zucchini, written by a young, Parisian woman named Clotilde, who write about her passion for all things food related.

photo by me
Her blog post of January 12, 2010 was titled Perfectly Roasted Potatoes.  Clotilde's description sounded so yummy I had to try them.
The potatoes are parboiled before roasting but the real trick is shaking the drained potatoes in the pot before adding to the HOT roasting pan and oil.
This leads to a crispy crust, moist interior and shorter cooking time.

photo by me
Hopefully you can see the nicely "crusted" potatoes.  I served them with grilled salmon and "mushy peas"

Try the potatoes and checkout the blog, Chocolate & Zucchini

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

In no specific order, these are some things that make me happy.

I scored big on the big blue chargers. Marked down from $26 to $5.99 at Williams-Sonoma!
I'd been watching the blue patterned plates at Pottery Barn just waiting for a big reduction in price. Got 6 for about $2.49/plate this past weekend.
Already owned the white plates.
I just love tabletop decor and blue is my favorite color.

I can't part with the outdoor lights by my front steps. It is so dismal here in Michigan and the little lights are cheery.

My "vintage" Kate Spade herringbone bag.
(can Kate Spade be vintage?)

A chocolate mask that smells delicious!

A rosemary topiary with an amazing aroma.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January Book Club Dinner and Discussion

Our couples book club convened Sunday night for dinner and discussion.

We read Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
In her memoir, Hirsi Ali recounts her transformation from what she terms, "the world
of faith to the world of reason". She describes her early childhood and family struggles with civil unrest, exile and injustice to reaching adulthood and her stand against her Islamic upbringing.

Our wonderful hosts prepared a northern African meal of couscous and chicken with vegetables.

Steamy and hot on a cold Michigan night.

Our hosts have a wonderful collection of blue plates, many of which were obtained on visits to family in England and Scotland.

Our next read is The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

Monday, January 18, 2010

Floral Fashion

It is certainly still winter in Michigan
but I am looking forward to the prospect of florals in my wardrobe.

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1 Garnet Hill $98 2 Marimekko $30 3 Anthropologie $178 4 Nordstrom $268
5 Etsy $175 6 Anthropologie $48 7 Ann Taylor $78 8 Etsy $12 9 Gap $44.50

And a floral fragrance in a bottle topped with a gorgeous bloom
Lola Marc Jacobs $45 - $85

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti Help

Dear Readers, I do not normally post on the weekend but Haiti is on all our minds.
I'm watching the news as I write this and I hear mostly sad stories but a few with hope also.

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One special reader of Spiral Style asked that I post a blog and mention a know Haitian organization.

(don't these sweet faces just break your heart, knowing they don't have a roof over their head tonight?)

Father Jean Bien-aime founded the House of the Children of the Lack in 1997 when women began to bring him their children because they were too poor to care for them themselves. Since then his orphanage has become home to twenty-three girls and four boys. He has done a truly remarkable job providing them with food, a loving and safe environment, and an education

The children survived the earthquake, but their building is gone.

The next few days and weeks will be an enormous struggle for Fr. Bien-aime to keep the children safe and alive. Wish for Haiti is ready to work to rebuild the orphanage and his vision.

There need was great before but desperate now.

Click here to see how to donate to the orphanage.

Other organizations (just a few of the many) can be accessed by clicking on the names below.

American Red Cross

Doctors Without Borders

World Vision


Thank you and have a great weekend.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Maple Syrup, A Sweet Pleasure

I was given a thoughtfully, clever hostess gift - maple syrup
by two delightful guests.

I adore pancakes or waffles dripping with the lovely liquid but using it as a cooking ingredient is even more tantalizing.

Tonight I made this delicious recipe from the December 2009 issue of Food & Wine.

I love to use maple syrup in a vinaigrette with mustard, cider vinegar and olive or walnut oil.
Toss some dried cherries and toasted pecans or walnut into the salad.

Equal parts chili powder and maple syrup makes the most simple glaze for grilling pork tenderloins. Use about 1 1/2 tablespoons each.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Years Cards

I think I've adopted the French and Japanese traditions of sending New Years Cards
instead of "holiday" or Christmas cards.

The days leading up to Christmas are so busy that if I did get time to send cards, I didn't have time to write any significant message.
When I would pick up the mail, I gave just a quick perusal of the cards I received and waited until after the holidays to enjoy reading the cards thoroughly.

I used Smilebox for my ecards

This year I decided to send a New Years ecard and use a photo from our family holiday vacation. I'm so glad I did. It only took minutes to execute and send. No paper, stamps, or $$ involved. Literally within seconds of sending the ecards, I received responses.

It has been so much fun to hear from people who received the cards, much more interactive and almost immediate gratification.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Author I'm Reading Now: Harlan Coben

I love a great suspense, mystery, thriller.
If it is witty and well written, then I am hooked.
Harlan Coben is just such an author.

Deal Breaker is the first of the "Myron Bolitar" series. Bolitar, a college basketball star who suffered a career ending injury in his first pro game, turned sports' agent. In this book he has just landed his best prospect, rookie quarterback, Christian Steele. During the negations of his contract, Christian gets a phone call from his assumed-to-be-dead fiance and at the same time nude photos of her come to light suggesting an unsavory past. Throw in a mob contract on Myron's head, and you have an entertaining read.

The Final Detail opens with a heartbroken Myron, disappearing to a private island. His partner, Win, manages to find him and return Myron to New Jersey where his best friend and partner, Esperanza is in jail for the murder of one of Myron's clients. Esperanza is hiding information and Myron searches for clues to solve the murder mystery. Oh, and someone is trying to kill Myron too. This is a real page turner filled with very colorful characters, New Jersey style!

Matt made a mistake as a 20 year old and paid for it with 4 years in prison. His life is starting anew with a job, newly pregnant wife and the impending purchase of a home. Then he gets a couple of bizarre photos on his cell phone that seem to show his wife in a compromising position with a black-haired stranger. But before he can sort out who sent the anonymous pictures and why, he's running from the law--especially from the cop who was his best friend in grade school, and a sharp young detective who's stepped right into the middle of an FBI investigation spurred by the discovery that a dead nun who wasn't who she claimed to be is somehow mixed up in Matt and Olivia Hunter's life.

I love the colorful characters and wonderfully crafted, twisted plots, but it is Harlan Coben's witty dialogue and insightful descriptions that make this author a joy to read.

Tell me what YOU are reading. Leave a comment.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A first-of-its-kind law is hitting Washington, D.C., shoppers, who must pay 5 cents for every plastic or paper disposable bag they use when buying food or alcohol.

Most of the money raised from the new law, which passed the D.C. Council unanimously in June and took effect New Year's Day, will go toward cleaning up the city's Anacostia River. City research has found plastic bags are a major source of the river's trash. USA TODAY

It's official in DC.
As of Jan. 1, 2010, provide your own bag or you will be charged (fined) 5cents

Proposals have been introduced in the Legislatures of Maryland, Virginia and California as well.

I'm confident that my dear readers of Spiral Style are already transporting their newly purchased treasures in fabulous, eco-friendly, reusable bags. If not, here are some ideas to inspire a personal "green" initiative.

Stylish retro design $8.50 Envirosax

Conveniently folds into it's own carry pouch $8.99 The Container Store

Shop for a cause with the Breast Cancer Awareness bag $2.95 Century Novelty
Promote your cause and have bags printed. Give them out as favors, gift bags or sell as a fundraiser.

Zimbabwe bag 4 pack- $24.95 Green World Bags

Made of recycled juice boxes by women in the Philippines $45 Bazurashop
One of my very favorite bags is this HUGE bag from Ikea. Just 59 cents!
You can carry tons in this bag. I always keep one in my car.


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