I’m not one to hawk products. But every once in a while, something comes along that makes sense to share. The Macy’s Heart of Haiti project is one of those. On the surface, it’s a collection of exotic housewares and jewelry available at Macy’s. But after learning about the program and the cause behind it, I realize there’s so much more.
You remember the 2010 earthquake that devestated Haiti? Sure, now that I mentioned it. But for the people of Haiti, they’re forced to remember every day. The Haitian economy was shattered nearly four years ago, and it hasn’t recovered. Garment factories have popped up in an effort to revive the economy, but workers there aren’t getting the wages they’re promised.
So Macy’s partnered up with Fairwinds Trading and more than 200 independent Haitian artists to bring the artists’ handcrafted goods directly to shoppers like you and me in the United States. In exchange, when you purchase a product from Heart of Haiti, Macy’s kicks back half of the wholesale price directly into the hands of the artisan who created it. You get something beautiful, and they get some of the help they need to bounce back.
Everywhere Society generously hooked me up with a beautiful palm leaf picture frame from the collection to style, shoot and share with you. That’a awesome for two reasons. First, I’m a southern girl, so you know I’m a sucker for all things palm. And second, I got to experience the stellar craftsmanship for myself first-hand. An attached tag tells me that the steel my frame is made of was salvaged from recycled barrels and cut and hammered by hand.
I’ll be going back to Macy’s for more from the Heart of Haiti line (luckily my local Lenox Mall is one of the participating locations, but the collection is also available online), particularly this gold-striped wooden tray. Happy shopping!
Certain things can’t be improved upon, but s’mores are definitely not one of them. Case in point: These toffee squares.
They combine everything we all know and love about s’mores—chocolate, graham cracker and the all-important marshmallow—but the whole thing is deconstructed out of sandwich form into bite-able squares that eliminate that whole oozing-out-the-back-when-you-take-a-bite part. And did I mention toffee? Yep. That too.
The graham cracker in this concoction is coated in delicious sweet-and-nutty toffee crunch before being topped with melty chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Hea-ven. Let me tell you. And they keep well in the fridge for a while, if they even last more than an hour. Better make two batches. The recipe’s below.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always stuck on what to get my boyfriend for a special day like our dating anniversary or Valentine’s day. Guys have it so easy: Buy flowers, sign a card, rinse and repeat.
But my guy hates cards. And I don’t think he appreciates P.D.F. (public display of flowers) quite the same way that I do. So when his birthday rolled around this year, I decided to scrap the bouquet and go for a broquet.
The bro-quet is like a bouquet’s manly, DIY counterpart. Just like a gorgeous floral arrangement, this crafty gift has major “Wow!”-factor when you leave it for him to find, or drop it off at his office. But instead of flowers and greens, he’ll get to enjoy eating and drinking his favorite candy, liquor and snacks. What more could a guy want?
The best part is that it’s easy to make.
- A vase or container for the base (I used a chinese take-out style box from a craft store)
- A block of floral foam that fits inside your container (“wet” floral foam is easier to cut)
- Pennies or weights (optional)
- Sticks, such as lollipop sticks, wooden skewers or popsicle sticks
- Hot glue & a hot glue gun
- Candy, snacks and other goodies to fill the bro-quet
- Ribbon, tissue, name tags or other decorations (optional)
- Cut down your your floral foam so that it fills your container. If your container is light (like mine was), you may need to weigh it down with pennies or another small, heavy item before filling it with the foam.
- Take your bro-quet goodies and attach a stick to the back of each one with hot glue. Try to vary the lengths of the sticks; bigger items like beef jerky should go in the back on longer sticks, smaller items like the liquor bottles are in front on shorter sticks.
- Once you’ve got everything attached to a stick, begin to push each stick down into the floral foam. This is where you put on your ameteur florist hat and try to arrange everything in a way that shows off each item and gives the bro-quet a nice round shape.
- Finish off the bro-quet with embellishments like wooden letters, tissue paper or ribbon (either wrapped around the bro-quet, or attached to another stick like I did here.
The bro-quet makes a great gift because you can completely customize it to your man’s tastes. Does he love beef jerky? Chocolate covered pretzels? Whiskey? Sour gummy worms? Snickers? And you don’t have to stop at the edible. Try adding golf balls, fishing lures, DVDs, gifts cards, video games, or anything else you know your guy is into.
Because I know it can be tough to shop for this sort of thing, here’s a run-down of all that went into my bro-quet:
- 2 mini-bottles of Jägermeister
- 1 mini-bottle of Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey
- 1 mini-bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey
- 2 5-Hour Energy Shots
- 3 Nerds Ropes
- 2 Mike and Ike fruit twists
- 3 Charleston Chews
- 2 sticks of rock candy
- 2 snack packs of Goldfish crackers
- 6 Airheads
- 3 bags of Pop Rocks
- 3 mini boxes of Mike and Ikes
- 1 pack of Big League Chew bubble gum
- 1 full-size bag of Peanut M&Ms
- 1 full-size bag of Pretzel M&Ms
- 2 packages of Oberto beef jerky
Happy snacking and happy crafting!
Feb 28 / Food
I recently took a weekend trip up to “The Triangle,” a.k.a. the triad cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Ok, that’s kind of a lie. I really only visited Durham and Chapel Hill. It was a quick trip. So this will be a quick post. If you do only two things in North Carolina, visit Rise and Sugarland.
Because food groups are important. But so are donuts. And biscuits. And cupcakes. And gelato.
Rise in Durham is the best spot ever for breakfast. Whether you want savory or sweet, they’ve got you covered. Because the serve two things: Biscuits and donuts. My recommendations: The Maple Bacon bar, Orange Curd donut (dusted with Pistachio Sugar), or literally anything on a biscuit. That’s a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit pictured above.
Sugarland in Chapel Hill calls itself a “bakery,” but it’s so much more. A rainbow of decadent gelato peaks (which you can get in a pretzel cone), crazy gorgeous cupcakes, …and, oh, you can get a frozen gelato martini. What’s not to love?
It’s that time of year again! No, not Valentine’s Day or Can-We-Put-The-Coats-Away-Yet? Day. It’s almost time for the Academy Awards. And of course, for the 2013 Fantasy Oscars Draft.
In case you missed it last year, I put together a little cut-and-play game for you to follow along with the award show and make it more competitive (a great idea, especially, if you’ve got some guys who think an Oscar party is their version of hell). It borrows elements from Fantasy Football, where you put together a dream roster of pro football players who earn points for your fantasy team; only this time, you’re choosing films, actors, actresses, performers, preseneters, producers and directors to fill out your 2013 Oscars Dream Team.
As if I didn’t have enough to do, I sometimes day dream about starting to learn caligraphy. I mean, I sort of have neat handwriting. When I try to, at least. And how great would it be to embellish homemade gifts with custom-lettered calligraphy, like, all the time? And if you’re planning a wedding or another huge bash, don’t even get me started. You could save tons of dough if you knew how to do calligraphy.
But I usually snap out of that day dream pretty quickly when I realize that calligraphy can be an expensive hobby. And it takes a lifetime of practice to become as good as gals like Melissa Esplin and Jessica Hische.
So for the rest of us, there’s fonts. I’ve spent some time collecting them on my laptop for my projects and crafts (like the Pumpkin Place Cards I made last Halloween, featuring the Some Weatz font), and I thought “Why not share these?”
So here you go. Put calligraphy on everything, no ink neccessary.
3. Centeria Script
6. Some Weatz
7. Dancing Script
8. Janda Stylish Script
9. Janda Elegant Handwriting