23 December 2010

Christmas is around the corner!

Well, things have been busy in my home, to say the least. With birthdays, Christmas, and work projects, there hasn't been much time for posting on Do that! If you've been busy this month and still need a few small gifts, I have a few ideas for you. If you can hoof it, I've included where to buy them. I think you will love these items for yourself too, so you can order online anytime.

1) I love the Aubrey Organics Sensitive Skin Regimen (Vegecol Formula) listed on my "Products I Use" page. You can purchase the travel set with sample sizes to give it a whirl, but the best thing is that it comes in a pretty little gift bag. A great stocking stuffer! I purchased mine at Whole Foods for about $10. If you're looking for other skin types to try in the future, go to the Aubrey Organics site.

2) Speaking of travel size or sample size skin regimen...Give Kiss My Face a try. SuperTarget has the Kiss My Face Potent & Pure Facial Starter Kit in their organic/natural make-up section. In addition to the cleanser and moisturizer, the set comes with a great little face cloth, night cream and sunblock. Prices range from $8-14, depending on where you find it.

3) Alice.com has gift cards! This site is so wonderful, with its promise to ship for FREE with a minimum of SIX items. Just 6! You can buy 6 tiny things or 6 large things. Another great home shopping resource for moms that want to keep their products shipped on a schedule.

Don't Forget Delicious
4) Put together a meal. Purchase some fun colored pasta at World Market, add an Italian spice packet, and garnish with some goodies. Easy for you, easy for the cook! You can even include this recipe from "Don't Forget Delicious!"

Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!

09 December 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas: Online Finds

For the gardener in your family... 
They look like chocolate bon bons but they are made from compost and clay!
Daily Grommet says, "Seed balls presented as chocolate truffles. Available in Italian herb selection or assorted tea selection. Place Garden Bon Bons on top of soil, water and watch them grow."

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

For the typophile in your life...

A Helbotica t-shirt from Chop Shop that will melt a font-fanatic heart.

Comes in a rainbow of colors for men or women.

06 December 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas: Daily Grommet

Today's Daily Grommet looks like a winner for people like me. There are so many cables, chargers, and random things that go with my electronic devices. As a mom, I also like to have a few of those "just in case" items in the backpack. Here is a great new product to keep it all organized in your bag, drawer or suitcase. You can use the grid of elastic bands to choose a perfectly snug spot for your items. Love it!

Click on the photo to get to the Daily Grommet site page. The small Cocoon GRID-IT! starts at $14.99. There is a small, medium and large (medium size for $19.99 is shown).
Cocoon GRID-IT! Elastic Organization System for Electronics-Grid-It Medium

03 December 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas! Starting with 5 easy ones...

The concept is simple – I've compiled a short list of gifts based on two things...

I have it and can give you an honest review,
I want it, for a very good reason.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Roku XDS Streaming Player 1080p1. Roku Master 
Seriously, folks. This item has been the biggest star of our home this year! Instead of paying more for cable channels, we have opted for this handy dandy device that streams Netflix to our television. We pay a low low price for streaming Instant Play, giving us access to oodles of documentaries, foreign and independent films, children's shows, Discovery Channel series, etc. It's like having our own public television library to fulfill our nerdly needs. "Regular TV" has lost its luster in our eyes so the Roku has my pick for #1 gift idea. (By the way, there are other devices out there that do the same thing. We just happen to have the one that was specifically designed to stream Netflix and Hulu Plus).  

2. Everyday Minerals Make-up
This make-up has been the greatest thing for my skin. It doesn't take long to put it on and never feels heavy. LOVE LOVE LOVE this make-up. They have plenty of promos for free sample sizes with a purchase, plus they're always offering a great deal on a new color of blush, eye shadow or bronzer. Get a gift set for that special girl in your life and she can try it out. I guarantee you won't be disappointed in the prices.

3. Williams Sonoma Silicone Utensils
Williams Sonoma
I received my first WS spoonula about 5 or 6 years ago from my mom-in-law. GREATEST. SPOONULA. EVER. I am just now seeing signs of rough wear and tear so I've asked for more silicone utensils this year. They are heat resistant up to 800ºF, perfect to cook and bake with. As you can see, you can get them personalized too!

4. Pizza Please
As I've mentioned in previous posts, making pizza at home is fun, easy and pretty darn delicious. How about a pizza stone, pizza peel and all the starting ingredients for a great gift set? You'll reap the benefits.

5. For the knitters in your life...
15 Sizes 8 inch Double Pointed (DP) Bamboo Knitting Needles (5 needles per size, 75 needles in total)...bamboo double pointed needles, organic sock yarn and a pattern. Trust me, knitters and crafters never feel like they have enough supplies! The queen of all gifts is the circular knitting needle set, but if they're just starting out the bamboo set is great.

I hope these suggestions help! Have a great time shopping and we'll see if I can't give you a few more tips soon...

24 November 2010

soup du jour

It's drizzling outside, a bit chilly, and overcast. Don't you just love a good soup day? A nice hot pot of soup always hits the spot! Below are a couple of soups I've made in the last 2 weeks that were very successful as comfort food goes.

Simple Potato Soup 
(serves 8. I cut recipe in half and served 8 in mugs)

My husband's Grandma Bobbie used to make potato soup so he always finds it quite comforting. Lucky for me it's SO easy to make! I used red potatoes since they are nice and creamy, but you can use whatever you've got. I also added fresh garlic and then grated parmesan over the bowl instead of cheddar. Here is the recipe straight from the compilation my mom-in-law gave us.

Peel about 5 lbs of potatoes and place in a large pot and cover with water. Add to this 2 chopped onions and a cube of butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Boil until tender and drain a little of the liquid off. Mash the potatoes and onions slightly. Add milk to desired consistency. Heat through again. May be served with shredded cheddar cheese.
* * * * *
One day last week I was looking for something to make for lunch. The following recipe is what I ended up putting together with what I had available in my kitchen. Lo and behold, my finicky 3 year old gobbled up an entire bowl full.

Homemade Chicken Soup 
(serves 4)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 carrots
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
1/4 red onion
1 lb. chicken meat (I used breast but it can get dry)
chicken stock
pasta (I used farfalle)
salt & pepper to taste
fresh parsley (optional)

patent and the pantry
Chop up the carrots, celery, garlic and onion then sauté in large soup pot or dutch oven on medium heat in olive oil. Season with salt and cook until tender and sweating, around 5-7 minutes. Cut the chicken into 2" pieces while your veggies cook. Turn up the heat a bit and add the chicken pieces, tossing every couple of minutes to brown all sides. Add chicken stock (and water if you don't want it too rich) to cover the ingredients and give your pasta a bit of room to swim. Bring to a boil then add a cup of pasta, cook until tender. Add spinach and cover for a couple of minutes. Serve with a sprig of fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

16 November 2010

Chihuly at night

One of the nice things about living in the Nashville area is the "small town, yet big city feel." We get to see musical talent and art exhibits without an overly crazy or impossible wait. Sometimes it's so easy to access world class cultural experiences, I can hardly tell I'm not living on either coast. Well, that might be a bit over the top...

A prime example of this Mid-South small town benefit was the installment of Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. Did I say easily accessible and not overly crazy? Well, that changed for us when we tried to have a dinner & art date night with some friends. The line of cars went down the block, around the bend and down another block...We had to try the following week, and a bit earlier in the evening. With better planning it was a success. Chihuly Nights at Cheekwood was so popular that the exhibit was extended a couple of weeks past its deadline!

The weather turned frigid on us but it was a surreal experience nonetheless. Not every piece or installation was cleverly lit, but each one was certainly unique and beautifully created. I did hear, however, that the exhibit was pretty spectacular during the daytime as well.

These photos were the best of the lot that I captured with my little digital doohickey. This post is so late because my doohickey decided to go all doodoo on me and not function properly. The last couple of posts have featured pictures taken with my phone (boo), and will continue as such until I save up moolah for another doodah (...doodah....).

I have been in awe of Chihuly since my first visit to the Bellagio Resort in Vegas. A-freakin-MAZING. There are also great documentary films of his installations that you can get at the library. It's mesmerizing, really.

07 November 2010

Sophia's Leg Warmers: Knitting In the Round

Now that Fall is in full swing and we've got freezing temperatures at night, it inspires me to knit and crochet for loved ones. Here is a great little project that is easy for an intermediate knitter (or even just slightly past beginner).

one complete leg warmer & one in the round
(I haven't done any blocking yet)
These leg warmers are for Baby Sophia, who was born in July. She is a precious baby, growing quickly just as she should. However, Auntie "Do that" is taking forever to knit her baby leg warmers! I started them in early July but kept putting it away... Hopefully she will not be too big to wear these by the time I ship them off to her parents. 

knitting in the round with 4 DPN
I put Sophia's pattern together by mixing a simple tube with my own little flair (you can find other patterns on knitting pattern central). I chose some organic cotton yarn in a natural "malted milk" color. Knit Picks has a wonderful selection of cotton, wool, cashmere and everything else, in terrific colors. Their prices are pretty good and they shipped promptly. Give them a try if you're looking for a place to buy organic yarn.

Have fun with the pattern! You can substitute the needle size to whatever you have, as long as you have 2 sizes apart. If you're using worsted weight, cast on as many as you think will make a diameter of a wrist of a glove (with a single stitch rib).

Sophia's Leg Warmers
by Nicelle Priebe

Knit Picks 100% Organic Cotton (Sport Weight)
#2 double pointed needles (DPN)
#4 double pointed needles (DPN)
Cable needle

CO 60. Divide evenly onto three #2 DPN, mark beginning of round.
K1, P1 (standard single rib) for 8 rounds.
Switch to #4 DPN and knit stockinette (K all st) for 6 rounds.
*[K27, cable 3 in front, K3, transfer cable stitches back onto DPN then K to end. K 5 rounds] then repeat from * 5 times. K stockinette until the tube is desired length (around 8" is standard for babies). Switch to #2 DPN, K1 P1 rib for 8 rounds. Bind off.

Note: I actually knitted the end cuff with the #4 needles for a looser cuff. That way the ends can lay over shoes in a bit more relaxed cuff.  You can see this in the first photo above.

04 November 2010

Saved by Imperfection

Sometimes being a perfectionist pays off. Well, many times in my book. In this particular instance, I'm speaking of benefiting from the imperfection, as a result of perfectionism. (head…spinning…and we begin our dramatic sequence)

[Opening song]

For the last two years we've been canning our tart red plums and giving them to loved ones for Christmas as a sweet-tart preserve or jam. Earlier this summer I mentioned the sad news about our plum tree being bare this year.

[bassoon dips into a dirge]

The grief was bearable, just barely. Why? Because it meant no plum preserves on our winter breakfasts, and no sweet jars shipped off or as parting gifts for visitors during the holiday season. 

[the flute and oboe begin to create a beautiful melody]

After dinner the other night, lo and behold, my husband found something in the pantry to put on his ice cream. 

[drums roll in...building with the tubas and cellos]

The Last of the Mohicans. 
The Remnant. 
The imperfect that became perfection.

[big drums, full orchestra]

We had saved one jar of plum jam because the jar had an imperfect lid. It was too ugly to give away, so it was rejected… Rejected last year, only to be savored with sheer delight, THIS year. 

[…aaaand scene. Curtain falls]

01 November 2010

Food finds... a taco at a pizza joint?

I was pleasantly surprised by the Korean BBQ Tacos at CPK. This was my second order, in lieu of dessert.

Tangy, spicy, goodness! The beef was tasty, with just enough cabbage, cilantro and sumptuous sauce. I didn't even use the lime (that's almost against the law with a "fo real taco").

28 October 2010

Before and After with Eddie

Behind the Scenes of The Nest

One of the things I love about design blogs is the opportunity to see a "before and after" scenario. Here is a room done by Eddie Ross (eddieross.com) using flea market finds on a shoestring budget. What's new? Everyone has a tight budget when renovating an old room, but it certainly doesn't have to look cheap! Eddie is a master... Behind the Scenes of The Nest

22 October 2010

function as one with Clothes4Souls

Remember the online clothing company that I painted the table cover for? 

You know... We did the Tomato Arts Festival together?

Well, now function as one is partnering with Soles4Souls new clothing charity, Clothes4Souls.

Check out Soles4Souls blog about the great new charitable deal.

For every shirt that is purchased, one article of clothing will be provided to a child in need!

21 October 2010

What do you think?

The other day, my brother-in-law sent me a link to this photo of Munkiana Devil Rays moving in a massive group. It has had me thinking about how the earth changes and some animals just know what to do instinctively... The photographer said that even the pilot of this aerial expedition had never seen anything like it in 20 years of surveying this area. What do you think? Rare occurrence? Or just never recorded by humans? Either way, it's simply amazing.

CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2010

19 October 2010

Speaking of original art to buy...

If you're looking for a quality original 5"x7" painting, you can check out Paul Ferney's commission project. I follow his wife's blog, Oh Happy Day! and she posted about the project this morning. What a great idea... Send Paul a photo and $200, and he'll send you a painting by December 1, just in time to adjust those Christmas lists. Hurry though, the first 100 people get the deal. After that, the price goes back up to $350. I love this guy's style.

Jordan Ferney | Oh Happy Day! 

If I had a studio, a nanny and a production assistant, I would love to dream up a venture to paint for people on demand. Hmmm, that's three strikes so I guess I'll have to keep living my own life.

18 October 2010

A Positively Crafty Fair Find

There are times when I want so badly to be positive. I try to look at the situation from many angles in order to come out with something good to say, even if a day turns out to be only 10% of what I hope for.

Well... I must say, Saturday was a tough one. My husband and I have been wanting to take a trek down to quaint little Bell Buckle (and I mean, "downtown" is all of one cute block) that touts an annual art show, sponsored by the local prep Webb School that has been there since 1870. In years past I have seen indications of a juried exhibition, but this year the town was proud to host "over 500 other booths...with something for everyone."

Silly me, I looked at the web site for the wrong year. Apparently, the Webb School Art & Craft Show used to be a bona fide show, even as recently as 2006, accepting juried applications for "high quality, hand crafted work in the traditional fine craft media." What happened in the 34th annual show? It turned into a giant festival, flea market, bizarre bazaar of knock-offs, cheap goods and manufactured holiday notions. The art show? It was hidden in the park, and didn't seem to attract a host of magnificent artisans.

Sorry, Webb School.
Sorry, Bell Buckle.
You need to rename the event, the "Bell Buckle 10% Art and 90% Craftlike Almost-Goods Fair."

My ounce of positive? We found a very friendly craftsman that made wooden spoons, just around the corner from the doggy hair bows. My lovely spoon and oven rack tool are handmade from South American hardwood.

my new oven rack tool & spoon
Score! A lovely gentleman (whose name I failed to acquire) also gave us directions to the few artisan booths that were really a part of the Webb School Art Show (you know, hidden in the park). We found a few interesting booths, some good pottery, but not anything we wanted to come home with.

Oh yes, and it was a positively GORGEOUS day spent with my family.

13 October 2010

Everyday Minerals: DEAL ALERT

Hey, I've been shouting about this make-up for months... If you aren't receiving their promotional emails then you'll just have to keep coming back to Do that for some inside info. This week they have a fantastic deal. Check out the cute NEW 100% hemp make-up bag, then fill it with the Autumn Love Triangle Kit. $18. Seriously!!!

11 October 2010

Travel Size

I've been on vacation for a week so things have been slow on the blog front. I thought about taking some photos and sharing some things but I traded that idea for a true vacation. I didn't check my email more than once, checked facebook maybe twice, and didn't bring a laptop with me (airport security is plenty of work with kids, without having to take out a computer).

One thing I can share from my trip is the great travel size toiletries that I found at Whole Foods last month. I wanted to test some products before buying so I gave Aubrey Organics a try. I liked it so much I've purchased the regular sized bottles! It worked out perfectly because they had a trial size gift set for sensitive skin, which I have typically found to be appropriate for my skin. I still had my mini bottles so I refilled them for my trip.

Giovanni Organic Styling Mist, L.A. Hold Hair Spritz, Packaing May Vary, 5.1 fl oz Bottle (Pack of 3)I also can add some hairspray to my "Products I Use" page. I found a nice little bottle of Giovanni Organic Styling Mist that didn't take up much space in my bag and worked great for styling in the humidity. Yes, San Diego felt like Hawaii when we landed!  

There were plenty of great highlights on this trip so I may share more this week. California weather is typically predictable, but this trip went from hot & humid to cold & rainy. Then after the rain, perfectly sunny in the 80s. What a great way to end the week!

30 September 2010

Here's my afternoon snack and the recipe from the experts.

Note the nearly empty cup of coffee (stovetop espresso...we'll talk about that later).
This means that I had already eaten a cookie or two! 
One of my favorite things about where I live has to be the local public television station. Seriously, folks. Most of my friends and acquaintances in the area will tell you the same thing... Their household's most watched local TV station is NPT

There is a great show on Saturdays called America's Test Kitchen that I get to catch once in a while. They have the most fabulous tips, delivered in a very technical manner, which I love! This last weekend they showed how to tweak the famous Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe. The adjustments were easy, although seemingly labor intensive. Trust me, don't be intimidated. I was tired on Sunday afternoon but making these cookies was a breeze. You can watch the show right here.

I noted in the recipe below that I love the Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips. On the episode you'll see they do a chocolate chip taste test and they came to the same conclusion! See how big the chips are in my cookies? They are larger chips and such a great quality of chocolate. The taste does not leave a weird, chalky finish either. These cookies are buttery, chewy and chocolaty smooooth!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
From the episode: The Cookie Jar

Makes 16 cookies
Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. For our winning brand of chocolate chips, see related tasting.

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (the BEST are Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
  • 2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
  • 3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
  • 4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
  • 5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

23 September 2010

Still hot enough for gelato!

Banana Pudding over Black Chocolate
Yup, we are still hovering around 90ºF around here. Even though I am SO ready for Fall, I like the idea that the heat justifies a cold treat! Last week I visited a little shop in Cool Springs named Nucci's. I opted for two scoops of gelato in a waffle cone, but my sister (who apparently frequents this place enough to be recognized when we walked in) chose a Coppia, this delectable nugget you see pictured here below.

Coppia at Nucci's
Gelato... on top of Italian Ice... on top of more gelato.

My sister was in the middle of "mining" for the bottom layer of gelato when I snapped this shot. This is the method she uses in order to enjoy all 3 flavors together instead of waiting to finish the top layers to get to the bottom. Brilliant.

The Coppia was such a hit with my sis-in-law that she left the place grinning from ear to ear. Her words were, "I'm ruined. I will probably not find a place that compares to this where I live!"

Thank you, Nucci's for a great treat. My family had a wonderful time. Next time, it's a Coppia for me!

20 September 2010

Happy with my puffs!

One of the new signals that my 2nd child is using is a "grrrrowl." He is at the stage when creamy, mushy baby food is simply annoying, and a filler at best. When the blended vegetables and fruits start to get tiresome during a meal, he begins to growl and turn his face from the spoon. What does this signal mean, do you ask? Well, he wants something more difficult, more challenging to gnaw on. He has a lot of nerve, as he does NOT have teeth. Asking for something more "toothy" means Mom has to find something acceptable that he won't choke on.

HAPPYBABY Organic Puffs, Greens Puffs, 2.1-Ounce Containers (Pack of 6)So there's bread, rice, soy soaked kashi, potatoes, la la la... All great things, but nothing compares to the ultimate saving grace -- Happy Baby Organic Puffs! Seriously, folks. No joke. No endorsements. No pat on the back. I'm just happy to share my love of this wonderful baby snack that actually has vegetables in it! He can eat 'em up at every meal, in between mushy slushy bites of his regular baby food and remain happy. I've also dumped a few on his stroller tray to occupy him while I shop, and they are a great appetizer/distraction while we wait for our food in restaurants. I love these puffy things so much that I bought a carton of six on Amazon!

So far I've found them at Target, Whole Foods, and online. No puffery here, I swear.

18 September 2010

Nashville gems

Union Station
One of downtown Nashville's gems is Union Station, which is also the Wyndham Grand Hotel. It is located next door to the Frist Center, the Flying Saucer, and just blocks away from both the Gulch and Lower Broad. If you haven't made a visit to the Union Station lobby, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it is. It is fairly small so it is "cozy," as far as elaborately detailed train stations go. They have renovated the hotel and refreshed the paint so that it looks like a modern, yet still vintage hang. A great place to take visitors for a photo opp! I love the eclectic collection of chairs.

hotel lobby
What struck me today was the hotel's restaurant menu that was posted in the lobby. A $$$ restaurant, Prime 108, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Prime 108
"The signature menu is derived from the finest products available including organic vegetables, hormone free meats, and sustainable seafood."
Way to go, Wyndham. Maybe we'll hit that on a future date night!

15 September 2010

Locally grown goodness

Here is my farmers market stash from the other day. Really great peppers, perfect eggplant, crisp zucchini and shiny tomatoes. I thought things were winding down but this farmer had some great produce.

Not pictured... 10+ pounds of grass-fed beef from Dixon Family Meats and a loaf of honey whole wheat bread. In the corner... Great Harvest cherry muffin and blueberry scone (in the bag). SO delicious. I L-O-V-E Great Harvest. Thanks to the Baughn family, Great Harvest is available at the Rutherford County Farmers Market every week until the end of October!

08 September 2010

The love of letters

Call it...
font fever.
Or maybe I'm a...
wannabe Typophile member
Typography enthusiast? = Typothusiast?
Letter lover?
Type A-B-C personality?

Whatever it is, I am that. Here is my latest loved item found online. If you're a font lover/typophile/typothusiast, you'll understand!

veer merchandise