Monday, January 25, 2010

And More Reading

So I'm finishing up my second book for the month, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg. I have to tell you, this is the best bread baking book (say that fast five times!) I've ever seen. The title is true to it's word.

I've always shied away from homebaked bread because of it's tedious and long process. But this book proved me wrong.

The idea is to mix a huge batch of dough on one day (quick & easy) and then you store it in your fridge for up to two weeks. Whenever you want a loaf of bread for dinner, take it out to rise for about 45 minutes and then just pop it in your oven for 30 minutes. What makes the process so easy is that you don't have to proof your dough, knead it, or any of that stuff. It's absolutely wonderful. I was also thinking this would work great for people that work outside the home - just make your dough over the weekend and then have fresh bread ready during the week.

The book suggests having a bread baking stone so your bottom crust will be crisp and crunchy. I just used a Pampered Chef stoneware dish and it turned out fine. You could even use a cookie sheet. I opted to brush some olive oil and salt on our bread as it was baking too. It was super yummy!

I'd include a picture but couldn't get one because that's how fast my family ate it up! But I have enough to make about four more loaves throughout this week. Anyone that truly knows me knows my childhood nickname was "starch queen". My family used to say I could live on potates and bread so I'm lovin' this!

Hope you give it a try too~

Monday, January 11, 2010


I love to read. I would so much rather read a good book than watch tv. And when I find a book I really like, I can't help but pass it on and share it with others.

One of my goals for 2010 is to read two books per month. This may not seem like a lot, but when you run your own business and stay at home with two children, reading seems to fall by the wayside too much. I've decided to make it more of a priority this year for so many reasons. It helps me to relax and rejuvenate. I love getting into the characters' minds (something you can't always do with a movie) and experiencing different places and experiences. And anything that helps improve my life management skills is a definite plus.

So, I've already finished my first book. It's titled, "29 Gifts, How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life" by Cami Walker. This is a non-fiction book and very easy read. I was done after three days!!

The book is about a woman in her early thirties that gets married. One month after their wedding day, she experiences some terrible symptoms and is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The book goes through her journey of diagnosis, then anger and self-pity to acceptance and growth.

Through it all, she decided to implement a healing process recommended by a friend. She had to give a gift away every day for 29 days. The premise is to get away from a self-centered world and focus your attention on what you have to offer others, how you can brighten others' days, and how rewarding it is to mindfully give a gift to another.

I got a lot of inspiration from this book. I didn't agree with all of her spiritual practices but still learned a lot. I highly recommend it if you're looking for something that makes you think differently, stretches you a little, and reminds you of what's most important in life.

The book costs about $13-19, depending on where you buy it. But I feel that the money is not wasted because it's the type of book that can be passed on repeatedly and read over again.

Happy Reading!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fun in the Snow

We had a snow day yesterday with 6+ inches of snow. So while Camille and I made dinner, Doug and Jonas shoveled and played outside. I'm not sure which one had more fun!

We checked on them out the window and found this:

A human snowman!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Get Me Outta Here!

This happens to me every year, seems more so this year. I'm usually fine with Winter until mid-January rolls around and then I've had enough. I reached that point a little early this year. I'm done. finished. the end.

We've had a house of sickies here for the past three weeks - first it was Jonas with a flu bug for 7 days over Christmas, then it hit Camille just in time for New Years. And it stayed with her, so we went to the doctor yesterday and it's now bronchitis. As if that's not enough, we've had two huge snow days during this time (one of them is today) and freaky cold temperatures (below zero). I am officially done with sickness, with snow, with winter (can you tell I'm in whining mode right now?).

Where's the sunshine?? I need some to warm my bones, lighten my mood, and fill me up. And what do you do with a 3yr old and 5yr old everyday for three weeks? Help!!!

So if you notice I'm a little stir crazy, please just chalk it up to my seclusion. I know this will pass but I did need to vent.

So thanks for listening (or reading). I know many of you out there know exactly where I'm coming from and have been experiencing the same thing. You can empathize. And for those of you in sunny, warm climates, it's not fair!!! :-)

I'm really officially done complaining now. I promise. Pinky swear.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Hope everyone is enjoying their New Year! I'm really excited about 2010 and what's in store for Camille Star Handbags. I have some new fabrics that I can't wait to create with. I'll have several new bags listed in my shop this weekend and more on the way. Here's a peek of the fabrics:

Cherry Wallflower from Amy Butler
This was one of my very first fabrics to use when starting my business. This fabric just started being reprinted and I was thrilled to get more. Kinda neat to see it come full circle.

Anna Griffin Darcy
I love the geometric design of this print and the contrast of the blue against white.

Anna Maria Horner Volumes in Rose
This fabric has been out for awhile but just caught my eye one day and inspiration hit.

And remember this one. This fabric stopped being printed awhile back and I was lucky enough to find some this past weekend. This is one of my very favorites.

Hope your 2010 is off to a great start!