Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Don't eat too much candy or you might end up like this guy, heeeeheeeeeeee!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

It is almost here

It is like the countdown to Christmas or your birthday - the day to vote is around the corner, just a short 5 days away.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you will have a hassle free election day:

1. Verify your registration. Before going to the polls, confirm your voter registration.

2. Confirm your polling location. Even if you've voted in the same place for 30 years, polling places can change, so make sure you know where to go on Election Day.

3. Vote early. Record turnout is expected this year, so if your state offers early voting (before Election Day), take advantage of it to avoid long lines and alleviate the strain on local election officials.

4. Remember your ID. Every state identification law is different and many have changed recently, so make sure you know which forms of ID are accepted in your state before you get to the polls.

5. Don't give anyone an excuse to keep you out of the polls. In some states, wearing campaign paraphernalia into a polling place - shirts, a buttons, etc.- is against the law. Cover up your campaign materials to ensure a smooth voting experience.

6. Report all voting problems to Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE or the Our Vote web site.

7. Do not be intimidated by false rumors. Eligible registered voters cannot be denied the right to vote because their homes have been foreclosed upon, they are late on child support payments, they have outstanding parking tickets, or they are students at local universities.

8. If you have been convicted of a felony, know your rights. Many states allow people who have been convicted of a felony and completed their sentence to vote. Know your state laws and don't be intimidated by misinformation.

9. Avoid the crowds. Voting lines are shortest in the mid-morning or early afternoon.

10. Bring your family, friends and neighbors. Help elderly voters, disabled Americans, and people without transport get to the polls - no one should be left behind on Election Day!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Friday!

I don't actually have a whole lot to blog about today. I am trying very hard not to inundate my blog with posts about politics and of course, all I am consumed with is the upcoming election.

I know that my mind will be able to return to some sort of balance after November 4th. In the spirit of maintaining balance here is a tasty recipe that I plan on using for a side dish at one of the upcoming holiday meals I have to look forward to.

French Beans with Roasted Figs, Thyme and Rustic Croutons
Created by Govind Armstrong
Makes 10 servings

Croutons:
* 1 loaf (16 ounces) walnut-raisin bread , crust removed, torn into bite-size pieces
* 2 tablespoons walnut oil
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Beans:
* 3 pounds French green beans , ends trimmed
* 15 firm ripe figs , cut in half lengthwise
* 10 large sprigs fresh thyme
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley , stems removed

Vinaigrette:
* 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
* 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted walnuts
* 1 small shallot , minced
* 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1/4 cup walnut oil
* 1/4 cup olive oil

To make croutons:
Preheat oven to 375°. On a baking sheet with sides, toss pieces of bread with walnut oil, salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes, tossing once or twice, or until browned and crisp. Let cool. Leave oven on.

To make beans:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add green beans. Cook 4 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender; drain. Refresh under cold water; drain again and pat dry with paper towels.

In a medium bowl, gently toss figs with thyme sprigs, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet with sides, lay figs cut-side down and roast 10 minutes, or until lightly caramelized and cooked through. Cool on baking sheet.

To make vinaigrette:
In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, walnuts, shallot, chopped thyme, salt and pepper; gradually whisk in walnut and olive oils until blended.

In a large bowl, toss croutons, green beans and parsley leaves with vinaigrette. Arrange on plates, and top each with three roasted fig halves.


This recipe can be found here, courtesy of the always inspirational Oprah Winfrey.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On a Blogin Roll

I have desperately wanted to incorporate cabochons into my stock of beads in my shop, but have been a little reluctant until now.

As I use more and more cabochons in my own jewelry designs, I am gaining a working knowledge of all of the different cuts and shapes these neat gemstones come in. So, of course the first round of cabochons I will be offering will be a selection of gemstones that I love, but I absolutely want your feedback on what kinds of cabochons you love to work with too.

These little beauties are everything that I love about gemstones! They are rich in color and sparkle for days like black diamonds. They are actually melanite garnets which are regular garnets that also contain titanium that cause their color to be black.

If I haven't bored you enough, and you love these cabochons as much as I do, you can purchase them here.

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Hope



Harvey Milk was the first openly-gay person to be elected to public office in the US in 1977. His most recognized speech, "You Cannot Live On Hope Alone," was given in 1978, shortly before he was assassinated. His words resonate particularly today as Californians debate a resolution to ban gay marriage.

If you live in California, please vote no on Prop 8. Let's continue to promote equality, diversity and love.

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Jewelry Party!

As the holidays come screeching towards us, I am sure that like me, you are probably freaking out about holiday shopping. Many families have decided to to make a concerted effort to reduce spending and some want to focus more on handmade gift giving.

If you live in the (North) San Diego area and would like to have the opportunity to view and purchase my jewelry in person - here is your chance! On Sunday, November 9th, a wonderful family friend will be hosting a jewelry party for my line and has generously extended an invitation to any and all that would like to attend. Please contact me via email for more details.

In the spirit of our current economic situation, there will be many beautiful jewelry designs crafted with sterling silver, Swarovski crystal and gemstone beads in several price ranges, with many designs below $20. Rest assured, regardless of your personal budget you can still purchase my jewelry designs to give as gifts or keep for yourself!

I love doing jewelry home parties. They are a great chance to get together with friends and family to informally view, try on and purchase handmade jewelry designs. My events are always low key and more times than not include great food and wine. Please contact me to find out about hosting your own party and get details on how you can receive free jewelry for yourself.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide

My friends at the California Crafters Club of Etsy have put together a holiday gift guide that my little jewelry shop is participating in.


I was taking a peak at it today and was pleasantly surprised to find a pair of my earrings on the home page.

Please take a few minutes to checkout the many talented artisans that California has to offer!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If you live in California

Please take a few minutes to become more informed about Prop 2.
The way in which people treat animals is important.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

New Friends

The BF and I went on a mini hike Sunday morning and made some cute critter friends along the way.

This little bee also had a mystery insect friend hanging out with him, but we didn't notice him until we saw him in the picture after uploading it to the computer.

This crow was making all kinds of funny noises while he was chilling out on his tree branch. If the weather had been more gloomy out, this would have been a perfect Halloween picture.

These red ants have been busy working since we went on a hike last week. Unfortunately we forgot to bring the camera last Sunday and missed out on getting pictures of these guys trying to take a small stick down the hole. There was an entire team of ants bringing it down and back up again. I'm not sure if they ever got the stick all the way down, but it didn't look like they were going to give up. We will have to see if they are still at it next weekend.

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Front Page Weekend

nansglam included my Black Spinel, Sterling Silver and Labradorite Teardrop Pendant Necklace in her beautifully curated Treasury that made it to the front page over the weekend.

As if that wasn't enough excitement, I woke up this morning to the same necklace on the front page again!!

What a way to start the week. Yipeee!!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gross

What is wrong with this woman?
"Real women hunt moose", I don't think so.

I know the world is made up of many different people, with vastly differing beliefs and opinions, but I think we can all agree that proudly gloating that you love to kills animals is nothing less than cruel and classless.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

A Little Levity

I have to admit that the state of the country and economy has got me a little down. Sometimes, you just need to laugh and The Office can always deliver a good laugh.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Hot Date

Stone Brewery not only brews and serves tasty beers. They are also home to the fabulous Stone Bistro and Gardens.


The BF and I recently had a date night at the Bistro and had an awesome time. (We always have a great time at Stone). The brewery, bistro and gardens are beyond beautiful and we are lucky enough to live close by so we get to visit often. Not only do they have really yummy food and beer, Stone Brewery's philosophy on food and drink is incredibly progressive. They strive to use organic, healthful and local ingredients whenever possible.


Did I also mention that you can take a free tour of the brewery?

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