Monday, January 26, 2015

Musical Monday: Mikky Ekko



If you fell in love with Rihanna's hit "Stay" you can thank a Nashville artist, Mikky Ekko. This guy is someone that a lot of folks in Nashville have been watching for a while. His voice has always been so perfectly haunting and clean. Mikky Ekko is so unique and I have loved seeing his career launch into a new world of listeners. His new album Time is out and it is a must hear for sure. Check out his 13 city tour that kicks off February 18th in NYC at the Rockwood Music Hall.

Happy listening this Monday!

-Alison


Friday, January 23, 2015

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Vintage Ski Fun




How nostalgic and beautiful are these old ski images? How about a roaring fire in a ski lodge looking out at the fresh snow? I think that would be so wonderfully cozy during this slow time of the year. 
-Laurie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Meet Virginia & Sue


  1. A few months ago, I had a breakthrough. For a while I had wanted to create a fun stationery line that had never been done before. I just couldnt think of anything that was an awesome concept behind the design. Sure, I could create a great design but why? I didnt want to create something without meaning, that much I knew. I loved creating custom designs for brides to fit their personality, so all I knew was that I wanted this stationery line to be custom. That was where I sat for a long time, nothing ever really coming to me. One day, as I was sitting at my desk, I glanced over at a framed photo of my bridesmaids on my wedding day. I realized how unique they each were, how they all had a heart for different things and made the world a better place. I started sketching and just let my mind wander while I thought of them. I started drawing each of them, and from there the sketches grew until I had a page of women who have shaped me and molded me into who I am today, which brings me to this:
  2. It is hard to be a woman most days. Yes, it is fun to dress up and wear makeup and be womanly, but its also kind of tough. Despite broader-minded thinking, there is still pressure to have a work life, a love life, a healthy life, balance your family, friends and passions. Women are expected to cook, clean, love, laugh, create, do, be, go and a myriad of other things while also looking good when you inhabit all of these pieces of the puzzle. It sounds easy and looks easy but sometimes all of those things just are not. We were created as complex creatures, possibly more so than men. Our strength is quieter, our resolve is perhaps a little bit stronger when fighting for something or someone we love. We feel deeper, express differently and can go through more emotions in a minute before our male counterparts can think about it. Its just how we are, right ladies? I want to encourage you from this small blog to invest in the lives of the ladies around you. These reasons and so many more are why a sisterhood of friendship and love where we uplift one another rather than tear down is so important. When you get a quiet moment, step back and take a look at those who have shaped you and be thankful for their sisterhood, whether its a mom or sister, a best friend or a favorite character from a movie. 
  3. I started the Virginia & Sue stationery line from the inspiration of those who make me want to live up to their love and admiration. The line itself is named after my two grandmothers-Inez Virginia Hawkins and Betty Sue Henry. Maybe you have a Virginia in your life, the sweetest grandmother there isor a Sue, a sassy grandmother with a fierce love. The women these hairstyle and lip colors are named after mean so much to me and Im guessing you probably have someone just like them in your life toomaybe its a Julie or a Holly or a Whitney.
  4. With this line you can completely customize your stationery-your hairstyle, hair color, lip color and stationery and envelope colors. Each element is named after someone special, right down to the colors named after favorite characters that not only I loved and learned something from, but who can teach all of us women a thing or two.
  5. You can buy your custom stationery on my new site, here!
  6. These women embody grace, love and class. Please meet them:
  7. -Laurie



Mane Models (hairstyles): named after partners in crime

Audrey

Alison

Holly

Julie

Kendra

Molly, Whitney, Melinda

Emily, Sarah

Paint Pout: named after distinguished ladies
Inez, Nita
Gloria
Cindy





Color Choices: named after favorite female characters
Samantha (Now & Then), Roberta (Now & Then),Chrissy (Now & Then), Teeny (Now & Then), Dorothy (Wizard of Oz), Glinda (Wizard of Oz), Luna (Harry Potter), Hermione (Harry Potter), Rory (Gilmore Girls), Lorelei (Gilmore Girls), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Belle (Beauty & The Beast), Lucy (I Love Lucy) ,Ethel (I Love Lucy)




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Winter Parfait



You guys are probably thinking...enough, enough! Enough with the cranberry, orange, rosemary desserts already! Well, suck it up. It's good and it's winter. So enjoy it before we are excited about peaches and summer berries.

Now, lets move on shall we? This is so yummy! Especially with Jeni's Brown Butter Almond Toffee ice cream. It really sends this incredibly easy dessert over the edge of good to excellent. I suggest making this at least a few hours ahead of time so it can cool a bit. I kind of like the mixture a little warm so it melts my ice cream ever so slightly. It is winter after all. Another idea with this compote (from bon appetite) is to serve it with your favorite greek yogurt if you are working on that healthy New Years resolution. I love the added herbiness of the rosemary. Just remember to remove the sprig and any loose leaves before spooning that goodness over whatever creamy dairy product you would like. My hubs has to have non-dairy creaminess and that is good too!

Enjoy my hungry friends!

-Alison

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fanciful Ink Bridal Show & New Site



I am pleased to announce that I will be exhibiting at the 2015 Perfect Wedding Guide Winter Show on February 15! I am busy getting everything together for the booth right now, but I will be in the lobby which means I have an extra hour with brides away from the show floor. If you or someone you know is engaged and in the Nashville area this is a wonderful opportunity to check a lot off of your bridal to-do list! 
I also just launched my new website on January 1! I have a full showcase of all of my bridal suites as well as a brand new shop open featuring Virginia & Sue custom stationery (more to come on that)!

-Laurie

Friday, January 16, 2015

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Winter Pastels




One of my favorite things about winter is the softness of color. I think winter sunsets are beautiful. Sparkly white snow is soothing (though we get very little of that in the South) and dusky skies as the day winds down remind us that winter is time to relax, revive and refresh. I don't think it's a coincidence that the year begins with that reminder of softness. 
-Laurie & Alison

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Immune Boosting Chicken Soup

All credits to The Healthy Chef

We spent New Years with my family this year. Two weeks before our arrival my dad had the flu. During our stay my mom got sick with what may or may not have been the flu. Needless to say we were all paranoid and slightly scared.

Days before our trip the hubs and I were drinking echinacea tea and taking Emergen-C once a day. I was also pumping us full of fruit and veggies. (Not that we shouldn't be doing this every day...we try.) In my searching of healthy, preventive measures for being exposed to the cold and flu season I ran across some really helpful information from The Healthy Chef.

Tumeric. Do you know about it? I didn't. At all. As soon as I red about it I knew I needed to cook with it. And I've never cooked with fresh ginger either and wanted to do that. At the bottom of the article I read were some really yummy sounding recipes. The chicken soup was at the top of my soup list. I've never made anything like this before and I'm so glad I did! So, now I'm sharing it with you guys. Maybe it was all in my head...maybe this soup along with the other good things we were doing really worked. But thank the good Lord we have not gotten sick. Yet.

Serves 4  time it takes: 10 minutes 
10 cloves garlic, smashed 
(approx 1 whole bulb 
2 tablespoon finely grated ginger 
1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric (see notes) 
1 litre (35  1/4 fl oz)  chicken or vegetable stock 
1 litre (35  1/4 fl oz)  water 
500 g (17  1/2 oz) free range / organic chicken breast, cut into chunks ( see notes on using whole chicken) 
2 bunches coriander, chopped 
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 oz) mirin or rice wine (optional but delicious) 
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce 
Combine the garlic, turmeric, ginger, stock, water and chicken into a large pot.Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes over a low heat until chicken is cooked through and flavours have infused into the stock.Add mirin, tamari and coriander just before serving.Serve in large bowls and sip slowly. Enjoy. 
Notes:Vegetarians can use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock and use my lane kluski or organic silken tofu in place of the chicken to boost protein.For lane kluski (polish for egg noodles) beat 2 eggs and pour in a thin stream over the simmering stock for the best egg noodles you’ll ever eat.Fresh turmeric is available from your local grocer. if using dry then only use 1/4 teaspoon but fresh is best for it’s anti-viral properties.Other vegetables can be added if you like such as shiitake mushroom, spinach, kale.A little chilli or my XO Sauce can be added for a little heat.This soup only takes 10 minutes to make, which is why chicken breasts are used.Obviously you can make this soup using a whole chicken, using all of the stock and removing the tender meat from the chicken then stirring through the stock before serving. This will take approx 1  1/2 hours.

-Alison
 

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