A Look Back at 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 is nearly done. We've had hundreds of posts this year. Here are some highlights for you!

In January, I officially launched my new jewelry line and shared that news with you. I also blogged about The Happy Book, as part of an online book club I was a member of.

In February , I went on a search for Rochester's Best Cupcake (in this blogger's opinion). I declared Heather Saffer's cupcakes the best in Rochester. At the time, her business was The Cupcake Dreamery and her heavenly cupcakes were sold at the Rochester Public Market on Saturdays. In July, she opened her gourmet cupcakery called Dollop. Her cupcakes continue to be loved my my family and many others here in the area.

This "simple" blog challenge was not without controversy, though. Some locals said that the baker must be my friend since I voted hers the best and I even had an email from one of the bakery's owners with a mini temper tantrum to say she can't believe I didn't like hers the best. Of course, if that had been the case, I never even would've had the challenge. From the challenge, I was able to taste many great cupcakes, meet new people, and a few months later, have new friendships formed.

In March, I went to Brow Biz and shared my confessions of the tweezer happy.

April brought an Earth Day discussion of eco-friendly feminine products of all things!

May was full of posts as well, one of which was my review of Candles From the Keeping Room tarts.

In June, I gave you a recipe for my version of the pricey Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish as one of my DIY projects.

In July, I wrote about a local biz called Chocolate & Vines and I declared my love for Burt's Bees Beeswax Night Creme.

In August, my family and I went down to New York City, so I shared some favorite things about the trip. I also was first introduced to one of my favorite companies, Silk Naturals, by reader Lavanya.

September came and I shared my woes--the baby headed off to kindergarten. I also reviewed a ridiclously overpriced line of clothing.

In October, one highlight was telling you about Olga's, an unexpected strip mall treasure.

November brought a first for C & G--removing a blog post! Find out why I did this here.

Finally, this month has been busy, both blogging wise and family wise! My new blog, The Embrace Your Curves Project was just featured in Canadian Living and we've had out of state guests for the holidays.

Today my business is ONE! Not officially--but New Year's Eve was when I decided for sure to open my business and what to name it. What a wonderful year!

I am wishing all of you a wonderful night tonight! I am making some appetizers and desserts this afternoon and am excited about 2011!


I'll be back Monday!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am sorry to be away for so long, but I am just enjoying this break with my family. We've had company visiting from Colorado, celebrated our anniversary, and have been playing with lots of new toys from Santa this week.

When the boys return to school on Monday, Chic & Green will be back to blogging daily. Look for reviews of Shielo hair care, more talk about Silk Naturals, World of Good and so much more!

I'll also be talking about the first e-book from Chic & Green--it's almost finished. I have the ISBN number, have been writing away, and hope to have it published and available in the late winter or early spring. This will also be available for download to Nook and Sony Reader.

I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tom and I are celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary today. We've been together nearly 14 years already...but it's been 9 since that beautiful evening in Savannah. Happy Anniversary to my wonderful, kind hearted, generous husband...who is also a fabulous dad to our boys.

Being the control freak I am, I even did the bouquets and centerpieces myself...I was working until 11am on the men's boutonnieres...talk about last minute!

The rings...

Of course, I was first in line for the shrimp...we had a traditional, Southern style buffet...comfort food at its best! In lieu of a cake, I opted for a tower of chocolate truffles from the Savannah Candy Kitchen and individual pecan and key lime pies. Yum!

Nine years ago...Tom's sister was my maid of honor and his brother was our best man.

What a wonderful evening it was. We were married by at 5:30 on a mild winter's night in Savannah.

It's hard to believe all we have been through in life since then. Since that evening, we moved back to New York, had 2 children, moved from the Park Ave. area to Irondequoit, lost my dad, grandmother, and Tom's grandmother...seen Tom's brother go to war twice. We have endured many difficult times and so much joy as well. We've come through each obstacle stronger because of the strength and depth of our love. I married by best friend and we live well, laugh often and love much each day of our journey together.

My sweet and kind brother-in-law and his wife are visiting and they've offered to have the boys tonight--that'll be 4 boys between 3 and 7! I'm not sure what we're doing to celebrate, but I do enjoy date night.

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband. I love you so much.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Chic & Green. Have a beautiful holiday filled with love and joy. I'll be taking a few days off to spend time with family, but I shall return very soon.

I hope everyone has a magnificent holiday!


More Decadent Treats

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We have our annual neighborhood party tonight and I just made 2 more desserts: Oreo Bark and Red Velvet Cake Balls.

The first comes from the Bakerella blog. It's the Red Velvet Cake Ball recipe. Yum. These little things are addictive! 

Recipe (from Bakerella):

1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate)
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.

2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting.

3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet.

4. Chill for several hours. 

5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.

6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm.

The next comes from The Idea Room blog. I made the Oreo bark. I did two variations: one with melted white chocolate drizzled with dark chocolate and the other is melted dark chocolate drizzled with white chocolate.

My recipe is a bit different than the one from The Idea Room. I use one bag of Oreos, 1 bag (12 oz.) of Ghiradelli White Chips and 12 ounces of dark chocolate.


Put the oreos into a large ziploc bag and crush them until they are in small, bite-sized pieces.

Melt the 2 chocolates separately.

When chocolate is melted and smooth, carefully stir in Oreo pieces. I do half of the Oreos in the dark, half in the white.

Spread the mixture onto a wax paper covered cookie sheet, trying to keep the cookies in an even layer.

I reserve a bit of each chocolate so I can drizzle on the bark.

Let cool & harden.  Break into bite sized pieces.

So, here's one of my little dessert samplers for tonight:
The peppermint bark that is shown in the middle is the recipe I posted yesterday. Find it here. 


2 Ingredient Peppermint Bark

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I cannot think of an easier treat to make for the holidays. This is delicious and oh so simple! It takes two ingredients: a 12 ounce bag of white chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli) and 6 crushed candy canes. I make several different barks each Christmas and this one always goes quickly.

To make:

Simply melt the white chocolate. I do this in a mixing bowl sitting atop a pan of slowly boiling water to create a double boiler effect.  While it's melting, crush your candy canes. You can do it in a Ziploc bag with a hammer or do what I do and just break up bigger pieces and place in a mini chopper and chop quickly that way.

When the chocolate has melted, fold in the candy cane pieces.

Using a rubber spatula, spread onto a layer of waxed paper. Chill for an hour or so and then break apart. Voila!

Tuesday Morning Musings

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the boys. I finished the last bit of shopping this morning. I thought I was done. I was done....but then I decided to get them each one more little thing--a Rubik's Cube for Nick and the Fur Real baby chimp Ben has had his eye on. Plus, I was at the store already to buy Oreo's.

Back to those Oreo's....I found a recipe I just have to make this week. It comes from a blog called The Idea Room and it's for Oreo bark. I have done Oreo truffles each year, but the bark sounds easy and delicious. I'm making it for our neighborhood party Thursday night. I bought the ingredients today and will make it tomorrow. I also am making  some festive brownie pops, as seen on the Land O' Lakes website:

After school today, the boys and I are going to make some more cookies. The other day we made traditional shortbread and chocolate chip shortbread cookies. Those are about gone because I shared some with a friend, but we're doing cut out cookies and butter cookies with raspberry preserves in the center today.

I also have to share with you folks this morning a favorite read of mine. I bought this book in December 2001 at Tuesday Morning in Savannah, Georgia. I remember it well--it was a couple weeks before our wedding and my mom and I were doing some shopping. I saw this book and had to have it. I take it out every Christmas season and it is just so, so festive. It's called Christmas Joy and it's by Susan Branch. She is one of my favorites--I love her calendars and little books. I just bought her 2011 calendar and I have most of her books. This one is my favorite, though:

Christmas Joy : A Keepsake Book from the Heart of the Home

In other holiday thoughts, I do have to tell you that the Christmas Memories tarts from Candles from the Keeping Room are absolutely phenomenal. Carol describes these as "...top notes of orange peel and cranberry sauce; flowing nicely into middle notes of cinnamon sticks and freshly ground cloves; with base notes of evergreens and pinecones."  These are exactly as described and they fill the house with Christmas cheer. The whole house smells like Christmas. The last of this scent is for sale in Carol's shop and they are $4.95 for a bag of 6.

I also know that I have lots of Nick & Nora fans here. A head's up--their flannel pjs are on sale this week for $17 at Target. They were on my Christmas list because there's nothing like a warm pair of fun pjs on a cold evening cuddled up with the kiddos having movie night. My favorites:

Finally, I'd like to mention a really cool website to those of you with children.  It's called Portable North Pole and you just need to type in some information and it will send your kiddos a personalized video email from Santa. It really is wonderful!

I am off to wrap some more presents. Have a beautiful day today.

Sharing Good News

Monday, December 20, 2010

I have some good news to share with you all tonight. As you may know, in October I began a second blog devoted to women with curves called The Embrace Your Curves Project. Within a couple weeks of its launch, I was contacted by a contributing writer for Canadian Living, one of Canada's most popular magazines. Canadian Living is 35 years old (like me) and has a monthly single issue reach of 3.8 million readers.

I was asked if I would be willing to be interviewed about women's body image and how to embrace the curves that we have. In a heartbeat, I said yes. Today, the article went live on their website and I wanted to share it with you.

Here is a link to the interview.

I just have to express how blessed I feel. This was completely unexpected and it's a subject matter that's of great importance to me. There's the old expression about lightning not striking twice. I was completely shocked to have a product featured in Martha Stewart Body + Soul in 2008 and this was a very nice surprise as well. Perhaps it does strike twice...and I am very grateful.

Local Fun: Holidays at The Garden Factory

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tom and I took the boys to a garden center about 10 miles away in Gates called The Garden Factory for the Holiday Family Fun Weekend. We hadn't been there before, as we typically go to other garden centers, but we wanted something new and different and this one had trains.

We were there for a couple of hours and there was lots to do. You could see a holiday lights and music show, pet donkeys at the petting zoo, visit with alpacas, ducks and pheasants, and more. There was a bounce house, mini ferris wheel, slide, a train and more for the little ones and a massive model train display for everyone to enjoy.

I particularly enjoyed shopping with the local food vendors today. A small local business called Holy Cow Cookies was there with her mammoth cookies. There is not website for this business, but she sells her cookies at the Public Market and the J & J Newsstand locations at The Mall at Greece Ridge Center and in the Sibley Building downtown.

The Thousand Islands Winery was also there today with a wine tasting. Located just across the way from the winery was Calabresella's NY Style Deli offering cheesecake samples along with their different cheesecakes to take home with you. Nick and I enjoyed our Oreo cheesecake samples and went around the corner to the table full of local cheese (we bought sharp provolone) and hot sauce. I am not normally much of a hot sauce fan, but the woman offered me a sample of this spicy dip and it was out of this world good. She made it with cream cheese and the Maggie's Famous Hot Sauce.

Maggie's Famous Hot Sauce  is another local business. This one is based in Lima, New York. The dip sample she gave me was so yummy that I knew I had to buy the sauce to make it myself. The sauce was available in both hot and not-so-hot. I opted for the latter because I didn't want the boys to feel like I was making something they couldn't eat.I bought a 12 ounce jar of the hot sauce for $5. It is delicious!

I wish we'd gone sooner because this was the last weekend in December that The Garden Factory will be doing this. If you have a train lover, though, I recommend the huge train display. It is still going on from Noon-7 Monday through Thursday.

Locals, be sure to check out the area businesses I mentioned. They really are wonderful.

NYX Glam Giveaway Winner!

Sean of Rochester, NY is the winner of the NYX Soho Glam Collection. CONGRATS to Sean!

~Stay tuned for details of the January giveaway after the holidays.

On Santa's Naughty List

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our dog, Cannon, may be on Santa's naughty list this year. Benjamin and I went out to lunch after I picked him up from morning kindergarten and then we went to Hallmark to get some more cards. While we were there, we picked up a card for the pooch:

We love the dog to pieces. Ever since we brought him home from Lollypop Farm (the local Humane Society) on August 18, 2007, he's been family. We love him and he loves us, especially the boys. Anyway, while we were buying him a "Good dog" card, he was making mischief.

It's not entirely his fault. I went to Wegmans this morning for more baking supplies. I put everything away except for the 5 pound bag of flour. I left the bag of flour up on the counter. We were going to use it after lunch, so I left it there. Had it been anything other than flour, I am sure I would've put it away because of the dog.

We returned from lunch and card shopping and came home to a guilty looking dog with flour on his nose:

For some reason, he took it upon himself to not just pull the bag off of the kitchen counter, but to drag it into the living room and open it on the area rug. He could've simply emptied it onto the wood floor, but opted for the rug instead:

The above is the rug after I got about half of the flour picked up. Now, several hours later, it is clean. What a mess!

Glam Up Your Holidays: NYX Giveaway!

I know that I had our final giveaway of the year, but the lovely folks over at NYX Cosmetics would like to give the gift of glam to one lucky Chic & Green reader! This is the perfect time of year to play with color and give yourself the royal treatment. Think of getting all dressed to the 9s for New Year's Eve with this fantabulous collection!

NYX has some wonderful new sets to provide you with everything you need to get your glam on.

TONIGHT at 10pm EST, I will draw the name of one lucky reader to win the SOHO GLAM COLLECTION. This includes 52 eyeshadows, 4 foundations, 4 blushes, 8 lipcolors, a lip liner, and 2 glosses. The total value of this collection is $116 (and is available for a special price of $30 right now).

To Win:

Enter to win NOW by leaving a comment (include an email address). 

All of my Facebook Fans are entered automatically--so if you're not a fan, become one! 

If you tweet about this on Twitter, let me know and you'll score an extra entry! Must be 18 to enter.

All blog followers are also entered automatically. 

US residents only, please. Family members of C & G are not eligible to win.

*A very special thank you to NYX for sponsoring this giveaway! *


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Benjamin, my sweet little 5 year old, recently started collecting nutcrackers. Every time we are out shopping, he spends his time looking at the different features and colors and he seems mesmerized. 

Here are some wonderful nutcracker themed items found on Etsy and around the net....and a picture of my Ben, taken yesterday. He and I used the fun photo editing site, Picnik, to add the Rudolph look to Ben and turn ratty old stuffed Gert into a reindeer pal.

From Pier 1

Pillow from Elsa Beta


Countdown calendar from nutcrackers.com

Stocking from The Country Porch

Ornament from FAO Schwarz
$2.79 (sale)

Card set from Christianbook.com

Shabby chic inspired nutcracker from A Forest Frolic

{crafty thoughts}

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I took the last of my jewelry packages to the post office after dinner tonight. I closed my shop to new orders at 5pm, and at 4:20, my last order of the year came into my online shop. I've been packing up earrings and necklaces as orders come in so I don't get a stack to do at the last minute. Everything has been shipped and on its way to their lovely new owners.
I've closed my shop until January 2 and am officially on vacation. I feel energized and am eager to make more things. It's a great feeling. In my spare time on and off the past few weeks, I've been working on new spring things already. Spring? It's not even officially winter....in the retail world, though, I need to be working on spring and summer designs for boutiques.

Beginning this weekend, LOUBIRD jewelry will be available at another new location: Southern Fried Studio & Shop in Virginia Beach, Virginia. April, the owner, has been feverishly working on the grand opening--installing wood floors, painting, decorating, you name it! I am excited to have my jewelry there.

In the meantime, I've been working on other projects. One thing I planned to bring out to sell early in the fall was some handmade/upcycled items for the home. Painted/stamped clothespins and more will be for sale when I return. I also have an affordable bottle cap necklace collection coming--these are super fun and affordable pieces.

I have been finding lots of beautiful old vintage glass jewels as well and have been making my favorite things to create and wear--dangle earrings.

I've even been venturing into other areas--I've been coming across some lovely vintage clutch bags and have been reclaiming them with vintage jewels and buttons into something new. Right now, these are for me and for gift-giving, but as I am pondering adding some to my shop in January. You'll also see more of my vintage button rings and a new collection of brooches, too. I have some many things I have not had a chance to photograph....and many more things to come! Lots of shabby chic meets Paris meets vintage glam.

I don't talk about my jewelry line much on the blog. I don't want it to be like a big ad for my biz--but every now and again I like to share that other part of me...the crafty side that really fuels me. I have been so, so happy ever since I closed the skin care line, took a break, and decided on New Year's Eve of 2009 that I wanted to start selling the items I was making for fun. It is hard to believe that LOUBIRD will be a year old soon....what a great year it has been!
© Chic and Green. Design by Fearne.