Thursday, October 28, 2010

what i've been up to...

In the past few weeks I've been a little distracted. The CaitlynCosm has been on the back burner, because of this:
I've been working hard at revamping my business. I have had such a fun time doing personal chef work under The Ruffled Apron. I wanted to add some other services as well.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk to people. A lot. So, after a fun evening of coaching a friend through how to make a roast chicken dinner, I had an idea. I decided that I love to cook, and love to teach others to cook.

Now, in addition to personal chef services, The Ruffled Apron now offers two new services:
1. Private Cooking Instruction
2. Group Cooking Parties

Much like piano lessons or golf instruction, my cooking instruction will spend one on one time teaching you the basics of cooking. (Based on your existing skill level.) If you've read my blog for long, you understand that I have a definite food philosophy. I believe that people should be able to cook without the burden of recipes. This doesn't mean that I cook with an utter disregard for them. It simply means that I know how to read recipes and look for the techniques used, and can skim for ingredients. It means that I don't panic if I don't have all the ingredients for a dish. I learn what can and cannot be improvised. It's really a freeing way to cook.

I will work with students on a regular basis to teach them these basic skills. For each appointment, I will supply the groceries and give them a hands-on lesson. At the end of our time together. They will have a healthy and delicious dinner to share with their family and friends.

Much like the popular "paint parties" going on these days, a cooking party uses the same concept. Gather a group of friends (5-10) and I will bring all of the groceries, tools, recyclable storage containers, and even the aprons. Pour everyone a glass of wine and let's get cookin'! For around 3 hours we will gossip and sauté our way through two complete meals. I'll show you all my tricks and tips to create delicious food.

Then, the best part, at the end of the evening everyone goes home with two complete four serving meals created by them!

Consider hosting a cooking party for your annual holiday party this year. What better way to be productive, and have fun with your friends?

The other BIG thing I've been working on, is my website! The Ruffled Apron FINALLY has a website!!!

It includes a great listing of all The Ruffled Apron's services and prices. And, it also includes a new feature: seasonal menu selections. Now, personal chef clients can choose the meals they want prepared from this list. Then, I will prepare them to your specifications etc. This new feature allows The Ruffled Apron to serve my clients even more efficiently.

I am so excited for everything that's going on! So you'll all have to forgive me for my recent blogging absence. Thanks for all your support of The Ruffled Apron up to this point. I honestly couldn't have done this without you.

PS- You can now become a fan of The Ruffled Apron on Facebook too. Become a fan and keep up with news and special promotions from The Ruffled Apron.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

as cute as these two kids are...

... I'm actually pining away for that chair in the photo.

Last night, someone stole the chairs from our front porch.

Everyone has said since I moved in: "That set is so cute. I can't believe it hasn't been stolen yet."

Well, after a year of enjoying the chairs, they're gone. Just the chairs, the cowards left the table.

Let's talk about this: why did someone feel the need to steal the chairs? They have brought us so much joy over the past year. We had several meals out there. Long conversations with friends while sitting in the chairs. Our first grilled meal was eaten out there. Plenty of cigars smoked (by Brandon and the guys). Our first big party as a married couple (see above photo). And, now that the weather was cooler, we looked forward to many more occasions to use the table and chairs.

I don't understand most crime. But the theft of lawn furniture baffles me the most.

I know I'm not the first person to have lawn furniture stolen. I know it probably won't be the last time something like this happens. It just irritates me to no end. And I really wish it hadn't happened.

That is all.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

feelin' crafty

I feel like I should tell you what I've been up to. I promise, I didn't drop off the face of the earth following my birthday. But, I didn't really feel like posting very much. I have been very busy as of late, and a blogging hiatus was on the agenda.

For my birthday I got an iPhone. So, I've done a much better job of documenting my life these days. So, in the future, you will see many more photo posts. (I sometimes only check blogs for the pictures, I'm not going to lie.)

Lately, my creative juices have been flowing. I started thinking about Christmas. And that made me start thinking about how I want to be done with everything by the time the Nativity fast starts. That gives me exactly one and a half month from today. (The fast starts on November 15.)

As I normally do- I have started a running list of everyone who will receive presents. Followed by an idea of what I'd like to give them. This year, both out of necessity and for a personal challenge, I'm attempting to handmake most of the gifts I give.

I want to share them with you, but I won't be able to post photos of everything until after Christmas.

So, I sat down to my dusty sewing machine, and began to work!

And, I can't stop!

It all started with a pita pocket...

I had seen felt play food before, and always thought it was cute. So, I did some idea gathering and came up with this. I give you a whole-wheat pita pocket stuffed with turkey, cheese, spinach, tomatoes and pickles. With a bag of chips and a juice box.

I made this for our 2 year old goddaughter Lillian. I also plan to give a set to our (almost born) goddaughter, Luci when she arrives. These toys are quiet and give the kids something silent to play with during church services.

And please- check out that pickle. It makes me giggle each time I see it!

My next project was a gift for our goddaughter Cailyn's 11th birthday. She cooks with me on a weekly basis. And, she wears an apron with a matryoshka doll on it. So, for her birthday, I made her one to wear at home.

The apron was a simple style with a hand embroidered matryoshka doll that I attached.

For Cailyn's party, we went to Muddy's for some delicious goodness. I wanted something new to wear. So, I channeled Marissa from New Dress a Day and went to work with an old dress of mine. It didn't fit the same way it used to, and was a bit too clingy. So, I chopped it off at the hips. Then, I added these layered yellow flowers (fabric provided by a shirt I wasn't really loving). I did all of this in the time between getting off work and Brandon coming home from work last night! (Did I mention I made a pot of lentil stew in the process, I didn't? Well, you should know I have a domestic diva streak in me!)

PS- I've got a few other NDaD creations to share- but I need a better photo of each.

Close up of the flowers. They are layered fabric with a pearl in the center. I'm pretty proud of this one! Total cost= $0.

Then, after coming home from the party, I had some energy. (Maybe because Muddy's ran out of decaf coffee and I drank regular!) So, I sat down with some Ikea fabric at my trusty machine again. And started making a bag. I've been wanting to see if I could sew a messenger bag, for the longest time. So, I read a few tutorials, and set to work. I think it turned out cute. I think I might give it as a diaper bag to a friend. I'm thinking it's cute for someone having a girl. Seeing that it isn't all pink!

See friends? I haven't been ignoring you. I've just had some serious crafting going on. Now, If you'll excuse me, I have about a million strings and fabric scraps to vacuum!