Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken Noodle Souper-Duper!

Making the perfect bowl of Chicken noodle soup is not something that can be mastered the first time you make it. Nope, it takes practice (and in my case a good teacher) but I officially make awesome soup, if i do say so myself! and in this post I'd like to share a few tips.

First, making the stock from scratch. So necessary and its a wonderful feeling to know that you have complete control of what your putting in your body, nothing processed or artificial. The stock is just bowling a large kettle of water with all your 'garbage' in it. When I say garbage I mean bones and some skin from your chicken, the ends of your carrots and celery, peelings, and other day old produce sitting in the fridge. for this batch my 'garbage' also included mushrooms, a jalapeno, some buk choy, and a few branches of herbs.  You are pulling all of nutrients and flavor out of your garbage and the result will be the tasty and healthiest stock you've ever had! Add salt to taste (don't under do it) and let this all simmer for a few hours. 

The stock before its strained
strain the garbage out of the stock so whats left in your pot is just liquid. 
put your liquid stock back on the stove top and add your ingredients. Keep in mind that each item takes a different amount of time to cook so first add the celery. Then carrots (tip: don't put too many carrots in, even though its hard not too. In this case you can have too much of a good thing and the carrots will add sweetness to the soup, too many and you've botched your batch) zucchini last and then the secrete ingredient - my chicken is one of those rotisserie chickens from the deli department at the supermarket.    

boil your egg noodles separate and let them go till they are just under cooked. Then at the very end, add them to your soup. Don't put too many noodles in! it will make the soup too starchy and completely  wreck all your hard work! (can you tell that's a mistake I've made before!) 

the second half of making this soup (the part after your stock is made) should only take about an hour. Then you are ready to enjoy! It keeps well for 5 days or so. YUM and ENJOY! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Working with Creative People

I have a new design office at Design Vertigo, its still in the store but now we have spread out to the back. Its so nice to have space to get creative! Sharing the space with me is my interior design intern, Rachael and photographer, Michael Howard from Blu Dot Photography. Blu Dot takes most of the photos for Design Vertigo's events and photo shoots. Its so nice to be able to share an environment with creative people!  Michael also shoots Portraits, Weddings, and Lifestyle photography. He is Specializing in engagement, weddings, senior portraits, children, families, fine art and editorial. His rates are crazy reasonable and hes just an all-around fun guy to work with!  Check out his facebook page often as its always being updated with fun photos and recent jobs. 

Design Vertigo's Summer Fashion Event!

Planning events is one of my favorite things to do. I love to brainstorm a theme and just run with it! You don't have to break the bank either, you just have to get creative! This summer, Design Vertigo hosted its first outdoor fashion show featuring a St. Paul fashion designer Jenny Carle. The theme of the show was 'Make everyday ordinary into everyday extraordinary'. This has been the underlying modo of Design Vertigo since conception... the knowledge that there are more ordinary days in life and why not make them special by wearing cute outfits and using fun products.  
With the decor for the show we took a sustainable approche, fitting in well with both Jenny Carle and Design Vertigo's position. Streamers were made from twine and cut up scraps of old fabric. 
VIP seating for the show was a random assortment of chairs, borrowed from La' Garage and Gallery, a secondhand shop down the street. 
Old paint cans were given a new life by hitting them with a quick spray of paint (in the partys coordinating colors of course) and  then planted sod in and grouped them going down the runway. Topping off the decor was the addition of a few balloons and thats it! 

For refreshments, we kept it simple with pink lemonade and paper cones of freshly popped popcorn.  Time spent preparing all of this was honestly a lot, but as far as dollars and cents my total bills came to about $40. Seriously can't beat that!! 

Amanda Wilde and Jenny Carle

 "Amanda Wilde, owner of Design Vertigo, and Jenny Carle share many of the same philosophies when approaching design, whether it is in Jenny’s fashion or Amanda’s interiors. The joining of these two young and creative businesswomen will make for an amazing fashion show that is sure to be lighthearted, sustainable and most definitely memorable. "
Blu Dot Photography 

Jenny Carle is an independent designer from St. Paul, MN launching her brand, Jenny Carle Designs, in 2008.  She designs are for the woman who enjoys feminine and vintage-inspired pieces, but with a modern and youthful twist. She wants women to feel comfortable and beautiful while wearing her garments, transitioning from a day at the lakes to drinks on the patio. She is committed to making her garments sustainable and chooses to incorporate found and reused textiles. Carle graduated from the College of St. Catherine’s with a B.A. in apparel design and art.

On August 12, 2011 Jenny Carle showcased her collection at a fashion show in North St. Paul, kicking off her four week long trunk show at Design Vertigo. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Searching for Inspiration...

Today I am aching for inspiration. I need to create, to discover, to feel the power and magic you can only experience when you transform nothing into something. But what? I feel like I've been trapped this summer. Trapped in this store, in this town, in this frame of mind that is just itching for a muse. What should I do, or where should I go? I need to find a place that will spark my mind and stimulate my spirit. Because right now, I feel like I'm standing still and its killing me.