Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Thousand Words : Photo 4

Photo four: One of the coolest restaurants I've ever seen.  Couldn't afford to eat here though. It's at the Aria in Las Vegas (where hubby and I spent the weekend!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Gift Project - Soap

I am not a soap maker.  This holiday gift project will not teach you to make real,  from scratch soap - I prefer to leave that to the soap professionals.  But regardless this was an easy project that pumped out lots of yummy smelling holiday gifts.

Soap Base: I used goat's milk base and got it at A.C. Moore
Soap Form: 2' piece of 2" PVC pipe with (2) caps

Build the molds.
The hardware store should sell two foot lengths of PVC pipe.  I used 2" pipe.  The hubby cut mine in half for me, it can be done with a hand saw.  If you don't have one, ask someone at the hardware store top cut it for you.  When putting the end caps on I "greased" the pipe with dish soap first, don't make them too snug or you'll never get them off.  Line the molds with parchment paper before adding the soap.
Place the molds upright in large vases or mugs.  

Make the soap: follow the melting directions for the soap base your purchased.  I microwaved mine in throw away microwave save containers.  For the PVC molds - I used 16 oz of soap base for each.  Add all of your mix ins after the soap is melted.
I made two different kinds:

Bar One:
Goat's Milk Soap Base
Chamomile Vanilla Tea (1/4 cup of the dry tea)
Essential Oil - per package instructions
1/2 cup of oatmeal

Bar Two:
Goat's Milk Soap Base
Vanilla Chair Tea (1/4 cup of dry tea)
Vanilla Extact (1tsp)
Essential Oil - half of package instructions

After you add your mix in - pour into the molds.  It needs to set overnight.  When I was done, this is what I got:
I packaged them in glassine bags I purchased on Etsy.  And stuck them with my favorite Paper-Source Stickers stamped with a fun craft stamp.  I think they'll go over well this Christmas.
 Are you gifting handmade items this year? Please feel free to link a tutorial to your holiday gifts!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Moday

Today is the last day to take advantage of the 20% off sale at Miss Meghan Elizabeth
Coupon Code: givethanks2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm Pinning: Thanksgiving!

This time next year I hope to be hosting Thanksgiving in my home! for the very first time.  (we haven't moved yet.)  This is some of my tablescape inspiration from Pinterest:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thousand Words - Photo 3

Photo 3: A Roasted Chicken (to get you in the mood for tomorrow, smell it already?)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recipe Review: Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

If you're a Food Network fanatic like me, you know it is your go-to source for everything Thanksgiving.  That, and your trusty Joy of Cooking bible.

I was going to list all of my Thanksgiving favorites, but instead of overwhelm you on an already overwhelming holiday for a home cook I'm going to focus on just one recipe you NEED to take the time to make this year.  You will not regret it.  I've noted in bold below the added instructions if you're going to make these ahead.  I made them ahead last year, you can bake them straight from frozen and they come out just as delicious.  Now you don't have any excuses!  Make them today and bake on Thursday.

recipe by Alex Guarnaschelli - Food Network


  • 1 1/4-ounce packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus softened butter for brushing
  • 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling


Bloom the yeast.
Measure out 1/2 cup warm water and check the temperature: It should be between 110 degrees F and 120 degrees F (comfortable bathwater temperature). Sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl, add the warm water and whisk in the sugar. Let sit 1 minute (it should bubble and froth slightly), then gently stir in 1 cup flour. Set aside near the stove while you prepare the dough.
Make the dough.
Mix the melted butter and milk in a mixer with the hook attachment on low speed. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Scrape in the yeast mixture and mix until incorporated. Add 6 1/2 cups flour and 1 tablespoon salt; mix until the dough forms a ball, 2 to 3 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour if the dough is too wet and sticky.
Let it rise.
Brush a large bowl with softened butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place, 2 hours to 2 hours, 30 minutes. The dough should double in volume.
Shape the dough.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a clean flat surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Flour your hands; gently press the dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (don't use a rolling pin).
Cut the dough.
With the short side in front of you, cut the dough in half lengthwise with a floured knife. Then slice crosswise into 12 strips.
Shape the dough.
One at a time, fold each strip of dough unevenly in half so the top part slightly overlaps the bottom half, then tuck the overhang underneath. Place the rolls seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet in 3 tightly packed rows. (If making in advance, wrap the baking sheet tightly in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 weeks.)

Bake the rolls.
Bake until the rolls are bursting at the seams and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. (If frozen, bake 25 minutes at 325 degrees F, then 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.) Remove from the oven and brush with softened butter. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

Photographs by Jim Franco via

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Thousand Words - Photo 2

Photo 2: a New Hampshire Hike and my first Instagram photo.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Favorites: Installment 1

Friday is now devoted to my favorite discovery of the week.  Without futher delay:

Friday Favorite Installment One:

I found from this:

You HAVE to go to this blog post to see the details of what this person created online. It's my dream to have my own cookbook and this will be my platform.  What I discovered through the Blurb website is that it is a tool to create not only cookbooks, but any bound book, and the prices are reasonable.  You can create a coffee table book with just photos, or a children's book about a favorite vacation.  You can create a book from your instagram account.   And wait for it: you can also turn them all into ebooks that you can sell! So thank you social media, pinterest and the blog world in particular, for introducing me to  We will soon become great friends.

What's your Friday Favorite? Don't forget to tweet it too! #FF

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pinterest, I did it! Project 2

I love food, yes I do! And I love all the amazing food ideas I've found on Pinterest, like this one:

And this week I tried it and it's delicious! What a great way to make salad ahead with dressing and avoid the soggyness.  I've been putting mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes in the bottom of mine - topped with lettuce and it's still super crisp at lunch time.

Have you done anything you pinned this week? What about any great healthy food or snack ideas!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Thousand Words - Photo One

I'm not a photographer by any means. I've seen many 365 photography blog projects full of gorgeous images. I also look forward to the beauty fellow bloggers share on wordless Wednesday. I'm not sure if it will catch on but I'd love to share with you some of my favorite pictures on a weekly basis.

Photo One: Harold Parker State Park

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meg's Kitchen - Alfredo Sauce

One of my life goals is to write a cookbook. I decided this about two years ago. I absolutely love to cook. Before I became a wife, opened an Etsy shop, or thought the gym was important, I use to watch Food Network constantly. I often feel that Rachael Ray single handedly taught me how to cook. Now that I've learned basic skills and what tastes good together I cook all the time, sometimes with recipes and most of the time without. And when I first started this blog I thought it could also be an outlet to practice writing and sharing my recipes. So here goes:

Meg's Parmesan Alfredo Sauce

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk (I used skim, use cream or whole milk for a richer sauce)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Tools: small sauce pan, whisk, microplane or grater

The first part of this sauce is making a simple roux, a thickening agent. Did you know you can make a bunch of roux ahead of time? Save it in the fridge and add as needed later. This is especially useful for thanksgiving gravy. No matter how much you make it's always equal parts fat and flour.

Warm pan on medium low, melt butter and olive oil together. When it's all combined sprinkle in the flour, whisking constantly. After the flour is incorporated let it hang out for 3 minutes, it will make little bubbles all over. This is where you would stop and refrigerate your roux if you making a bunch.

Next pour in the milk slowly while constantly whisking. Keep whisking for about two minutes making sure the roux mixes into the milk and doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add your seasoning, a pinch of nutmeg, pepper to taste, I like enough to see it throughout the sauce, and a good pinch of salt. Keeping the pan on medium to medium low just let the sauce hang out. It shouldn't be bubbling, just simmering slightly. Let it do it's thing for 10-15 minutes.
Last add Parmesan cheese and whisk. If its not quite thick enough a little more time will do the trick. If its too thick add a little bit of cooking water from you pasta, or more milk. Taste before serving to check salt and enjoy!
So how did I do? Is this easy to follow? Maybe I should make videos? If you try it please come back and tell me what you think!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pinterest - I did it! Project 1

I finally did something I pinned!  I feel like this is a great accomplishment and  can justify that by all the blog posts I've been reading about the same thing.  We're pinning and pinning away and it's now become a challenge to take the great ideas we see and put them into action.

If you know me outside of the internet (which I'm not sure how any of my blog readers fit into this category) you know that I almost always have my hair in a braid.  It's either a pony tail with a braided tail, a french braid, or inside our french braid.  This hairstyle that I pinned I actually saw on Craft Gawker first (but who uses that now that we have Pinterest?!) But Craft Gawker did have a video - which I watched and then figured it out.
Source: via Miss on Pinterest

And here is my completed version.  My hair was still wet (the only way I can get a good tight braid in) so it's not as flowey as the Pinterest photo but I think I did a pretty good job.  At first the hubby didn't like it - but when it comes to my hair style I tend to stick to what I like :-)  I haven't done it again since - but maybe I'll try it again tomorrow!

Have you tried any hair styles or fashion ideas that you've pinned? I'm finding them easier than the crafts because they don't take much time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Shop Item!

Happy Wednesday!  I haven't posted much about my Etsy shop lately.  Which is probably good, I hope you've been more entertained with my chalkboard pumpkin and 30 day style challenge.

I've been working on a few goals, all are in progress, but I haven't 100% completed any of them yet.

  • Have 100 items in my shop (I'm, on my way with 58 items and lots of new plans)
  • Develop a Seasonal Winter Collection (this I'm proud to say is about 75% done)
  • Market my Vineyard Collection for wholesale (hasn't happened)
  • Develop marketing material for my Bridal Collection (I have some professional photos done)
  • Make mini version of my Craft Fair Displays (DONE!)

I wanted to share with you the one I actually finished!  Like most crafters I'm not a one trick pony.  I've dabbled in all kinds of crafts but settled into jewelry for my Etsy shop - mostly because I love beautiful things.  But I also developed woodworking skills when laboring on construction sites and have refined them to now offer jewelry displays.

After seeing a display at the Portland Saturday Market, long before I opened my Etsy shop, I knew I wanted to also make and sell jewelry.  This summer I did my first craft fair and built my display based on what I remembered.   My tutorial of this display has become my #3 most viewed blog post.

People LOVE my display!  And I also saw this as a fantastic branding opportunity for Miss Meghan Elizabeth.  The simplicity and white paint fit in very well with my brand.  I scaled the entire thing down to a 12" x 12" display.

These displays are handcrafted by me and are made of poplar and select pine.  I did get a little set up help with the chop saw and drill press (sound dangerous, huh?) from Dad and Hubby.  I hope you don't mind this little shameless promotion post - but I'm pretty proud of these.
Jewelry Organization - Painted White
Jewelry Organization - Stained Wood
Thanks for stopping by!  The wood ones I also hope to offer as a part of my wholesale package for the vineyard collection.  Vineyard wine shops always sell odd and end wine items and I have two that I'd love to get my jewelry featured in!  Maybe I'll make that goal due date the end of this month.  Wish me luck!
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