Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Finds: Studs

I am on the hunt for some stud earrings since apparently I only buy ginormous semi-flashy earrings. This makes it hard to wear a statement necklace and earrings - so usually I dont. Then I feel naked. Hence the search for some studs (haha...).

Here are a few of my favorites from Etsy.

Black Tie Studs $8 from Scarlet Begonia

Vermeil Starflower Studs $98 from Signe Njust

Silver and Gold Tear Drop Studs from Rio Rita
(i know they're sold out but i love them)

Vintage Button Studs $8 from PingVina

Vintage Studs $22 from Laura Lombardi Jewelry

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Baked Eggs for Dinner

(aren't these eggs pretty?? yes, they really are green, blue and brown!!)

Mister went out with the boys tonight so I was left to fend for myself. I usually love cooking big meals but tonight I just didnt feel like it. I decided I would do something simple, easy and delicious - which usually means I make some sort of egg dish. I love eggs. They are rich, easy and quick! A perfect main for busy nights. The eggs I used tonight come from my parents free range hens. They are so delicious and wonderful...yummm. Back to dinner - I ended up make a simple baked egg dish with toast sticks and a green salad. It sounds so sophisticated and French...until you have me try to say it in French "Oeufs Cocotte". The backwoods girl in me just cant get it right ;). My dinner inspiration came from She Wears Many Hats Basic Baked Eggs recipe.Baked Eggs (for one)
-2 free range eggs (recipe calls for one per person but that just doesn't cut it for me)-butter
-about 1 tbsp of heavy whipping cream
-pinch of salt
-pinch of pepper
-pinch of herbs de provence
-pinch of cayenne pepper
-2 slices sourdough bread cut into sticks
Preheat oven to 350F. Boil water. Grease small ramekin with butter, add two eggs cream and spices. Place ramekin in a baking dish and pour boiling water into the dish until it comes about halfway up the ramekin (make a water bath). Put in the oven and set timer for 15 min (my eggs came out slightly underdone which is how I like them for this dish). Toast bread. TA DA! That's it! Green Salad w/Dijon Mustard dressing
-1 small bunch green lettuce
-Olive oil, salt, pepper, organic dijon mustard, homemade apple cider vinegar (I do not have measurements for these because I totally eyeballed the dressing)

Clean lettuce and slice into 1 inch thick strips. Put about 2 tsp. vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, good squirt of mustard, dash of salt and pepper into a bowl or cup and whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Business Time

image from StartUp

Monday I took a day off from the day job to take a business class at the Small Business Administration office of San Francisco. The class was produced by SCORE (small business mentoring and training). It was great to be in a room full of entrepreneurs, there was so much energy and enthusiasm. I took How to Start and Manage a Small Business which covered writing business plans, accounting (umm this is what I need the most help with), legal structure, marketing and small business loans. Each topic was presented by a different current or past business ownerI got some great info from the class and was glad that I went. One thing I definitely know I need to do asap is find more classes on accounting/Quickbooks (oh how I dread Quickbooks). I do not feel comfortable with these topics at all so I am on the hunt for some classes.

If you are considering owning your own business I highly recommend checking out your local SBA and SCORE chapters for classes and mentoring - they have many low cost and free classes that are great resources for entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SOS: Save Our Soap

Love love love this post by Ruth Esteves of Sirona Springs (aren't her soaps lovely??). I am just as frugal with my soaps as Ruth is!! She was kind enough to let me re-post here. ;)

It always pays to be frugal, but when it comes to something as wonderful as handmade soap (yes, I’m biased; so shoot me) you can never be too neurotic about saving every last bit of that soapy goodness. I’ve collected some ideas on how to use up those tiny little bits of soap before they end up going down the drain or (gasp!) into the trashcan.

Stick it on a new bar

Once you find yourself with a soap sliver, start a new bar of soap, but keep that sliver handy. Once both are good and wet, score each one with little hatch marks. I use my fingernail, since pointy tools are hard to come by in the shower (well, in my shower, anyway). Then slap the little bit onto the new bar and leave them to get to know each other better. By the next day they should be as one. If not, just repeat the scoring and slapping and leave it to dry a bit longer. (Interestingly, this is also the method used by potters to attach pieces of wet clay together; another of my past hobbies!)

Make something new

When you find yourself with a collection of soap scraps, grate them up and make soap balls! Just use your regular box grater (or even your food processor, if you’re making a lot of these) to shred the soap. Then moisten lightly, just until the shreds start to stick together. Now just squeeze the shreds together to make a ball of soap whatever size you would like. Set the balls aside to dry for about a week so that they get good and hard. I love doing this with scraps from different bars and allowing the scents to mingle, creating something totally unique!

Get yourself a soap bag

Of course you can go out and get yourself a specially designed thingy for saving your soap bits. I sell such a sack at the Sirona Springs online store. I like it because it’s made of a natural fiber and exfoliates gently. Nothing could be easier; just toss in your slivers and lather away. There are also some that are made of a nylon mesh, or even terry cloth. And if you already own a bath mitt, you could certainly turn it into a soap saver by just tossing your slivers into that.

Make yourself a soap bag

But if you want to be really frugal, throw your soap bits into the leg of some old pantyhose: tie off the end and hang it in your shower or outside by the garden hose. Or make your own soap holder from a mesh onion bag like in this tutorial at! Not only are you saving your soap, you’re also repurposing something and saving it from a landfill.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Recap: Soap and the Sea

I had a great weekend. Saturday morning was filled with making some Peppermint Lime and Geranium Patchouli soap - the entire apartment smelled amazing. Then Mister and I left to meet a few of our friends for a one night mini break at Muir Beach. Six couples rented rooms at the Pelican Inn a fabulous little British Pub/Bed and Breakfast about 30-45 min north of San Francisco. We had a great time chatting at the beach (even though the weather was iffy), drinking a few beers, playing Apples to Apples and laughing it up around the fireplace. If you are ever in the area I highly suggest a visit - the Pelican has great beer and delicious food. It was really hard to leave yesterday!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Eco Tips

In an effort to get my blogging on track and to share some valuable info with you all I am starting a new weekly Eco Tips series. I will be sharing ideas to "green" your life and your business.

My first Eco Tip: Buy PCW (post-consumer waster) recycled paper.

PCW paper is made from previously used paper like newspaper and office paper. Recycled paper manufacturing uses less energy, water and chemicals than conventional paper. You will not only be saving trees but other valuable resources. It is easy and fairly inexpensive to find PCW recycled paper. This simple switch is a great way to help reduce your environmental impact.

One thing you might have to get used to with the PCW papers is that there are definitely color variations and its harder to find "pure white" paper. I say embrace the variations - it adds some interest and character.

All major office supply place (office depot, staples etc.) offer recycled paper options. You can also find some great products at these online retailers Treecycle (this is where I get PCW paper for my soap labels), Greenline and Echo Paper Store (free standard shipping on all orders).

Come back next week for another eco tip.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Udon Soup

Last week I had a serious craving for some warm comforting Udon noodle soup, especially since it was supposed to rain all weekend. I decided I would give it a try using some veggies from our CSA. I got all my inspiration from recipes found on TasteSpotting (Nourish Network and Not So Humble Pie specifically).

I really wanted to make my own Dashi (traditional Japanese soup base made with Kombu and Bonito Flakes - seaweed and dried smoked Bonito fish) but my local co-op doesnt carry any fish based products so I got a vegetarian Dashi base. You can find a simple recipe for Dashi here.

CSA Udon Soup
6 oz Cremini mushrooms sliced (Shitake would be delicious)
1 small bunch baby kale, collards and spinach sliced
2 carrots sliced in rounds
1 Diakon radish sliced in rounds
1 package organic fresh garlic udon noodles (Ohana brand)
3/4 cup vegetarian Dashi concentrate
3 3/4 cups water
1 tsp mellow white Miso (optional - but make sure to buy the high quality refrigerated kind - it tastes better and is better for you)
Dash of rice vinegar
Dash of soy sauce
1 green onion sliced

I started by sauteing the mushrooms in sesame oil until browned, then added the kale, collards and spinach, cooking for another 6 minutes. Once cooked, I removed the greens and mushrooms and placed them in a bowl. I put the Dashi concentrate, water, soy sauce and rice vinegar in a pot and waited for everything to come to a boil. Once everything was boiling, I added Diakon, carrots and the noodles (cooking according to package directions about 6 min). After the timer went off, I added the mushrooms and greens, then turned off the heat. I removed about 1/4 cup of the liquid and mixed this with the Miso, then added everything back into the pot mixing thoroughly. Ladled into bowls, added the green onion and done! Super simple, delicious and pretty darn healthy. Its a really good way to get veggies into a meal. I ate leftovers on Saturday and it tasted even better.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Finds - V-Day Edition

My limited edition Heart Soap

I am not a huge Valentine's Day nut - in fact I have been anti-V-day for many years (yes, I might still be bitter about the fact that the only V-Day carnations I got in high school came from friends) but I am starting to change my tune....slightly. Cute V-Day related items kinda help. Here are some of my picks for V-Day (I hope my Mister is reading this).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Etta + Billie Biz News

Some news I wanted to share for those who dont follow me on Twitter or Facebook - if you dont follow me you definitely should :O)

Paxton Gate
I got my very first wholesale account a few weeks ago. One of the most amazing parts about this is that Paxton Gate is one of the stores that I really wanted my products to be in when I first started making my business a reality. It's completely amazing that it has actually happened. I want to be the first one to announce that you can officially purchase Etta + Billie products at Paxton Gate in San Francisco as of today. Go check it out if you are in the city!

824 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Blog Love
In other news, my special Valentine's Day heart soaps have been featured in a few V-Day gift guides. Please check them both out!

Organic Living 101's - Organic Valentine’s Day Bath and Beauty Gifts Under $10 on Etsy

7x7's Glamwatch - Our Pick of the Litter: Etsy Local V-Day Gifts