Fresh strawberry purée
Basil lemon simple syrup
Can you go wrong???
It’s official! I was convinced by these yahoos… to make a Facebook Fan Page. Check me out!
You might even see some ads on Do314′s website soon. If you are in Saint Louis, check out their site! If you are in Austin: Check out these guys. AND if you just generally like music… check out these guys. Sorry for the shameless promotion, but these are friends who have helped me out a lot, and I’ve knows since we were 5.
This needed to happen on this very gloomy Sunday. Not because its gloomy, it just needed to happen. I went a little overboard on the indulgences yesterday. After falling into the black hole of crafting, its time to shake off the dust and get serious. So I declared last week that it was time to shape up, mostly my diet, but still need to step up the workouts. I’ll probably be saying these same words my entire life, but its better than being complacent and letting it all go. Then I’d really be miserable… But doesn’t it always seem that as soon as you make such a declaration you are bombarded with obstacles and temptations?! Ayiyi!
Refrigerated produce is the best. Cut all the produce small enough to fit in the juicer shoot and start juicing. I have a Champion and just follow their directions for green juice. I rinse my greens in a big bowl of cold water and leave them in the water and add intermittently with the rest of the produce. I also re-juice the extracted pulp to get as much juice out as possible. The more fruit you use, the sweeter it will be, but will also have more sugar. Scrape off the foam that forms on the top. I find its impossible to get it all, but just get the big fluffy stuff. Best over ice, but I never have ice, so I suck it up.
This is a very flexible recipe, I usually add some fresh herbs like parsley and some add ginger. Anything that sounds good to you.
Let me know if you make some and how it went!
First of all, how beautiful is that booth??!! Check out her blog!
Having only two craft fairs under my belt, by no means am I an expert. However, its amazing how much you can learn from just one craft fair. So here are some key things I have learned so far, and hopefully it will help you plan a successful fair.
1. Make a check list. Here is my CraftFairChecklist, feel free to use it and alter it for your needs. This really kept us on track.
2. Have a plan, in general and a booth (floor) plan. This is not the time to wing it. Really know what you want your booth to look like and set it up at home to make sure it works. The space they give you is usually much smaller in person than in your mind. 5 feet seems like a lot, its not. Lucky for us, we have access to AutoCAD and can map things out. This was invaluable for us. If you don’t have access to a CAD-like program, go old school and use some graph paper or take some tape to your floor.
3. Make more product than you hope to sell. The first show was better than expected and I wished I had more product, the second was a bust and I went home with almost everything I came with. But you never know.
4. When displaying your product, leave a few gaps. It shows that people have bought your product. Its a retail trick. It works.
5. Don’t procrastinate. Leave a few days before the show to dedicate to packing and list checking. There is nothing worse than pulling an all-nighter and then having to be chipper and talk to people for 8 hours.
6. Have a system for customers when they check out. (In our first fair, this was a bit of a fiasco) Where will they stand to pay and for you to wrap up their items? For us (in the second fair) this was a 24 x 48 table with very little product on it, just a mirror, some flowers, business cards and a couple of small items. It gave us room, away from browsing customers, to make a transaction and wrap up their goods. Also, have all of your packaging and money in an accessible, yet secure, place. For us, this was a shelf behind us. I had my bags and stickers in a basket discreetly on that shelf. Or you can put them in drawers under the table. I kept my money, phone and card reader in a waste apron.
7. Go to a few craft fairs before your first and dont be afraid to ask a vendor with similar products what has worked for them. Don’t be pushy, no one wants to spill their secrets, but as far as set up, they should be pretty willing to give you advice.
8. Once you are at the show, make sure to talk to your neighbors. We spent and entire day thinking some of ours were staring us down. Not the case at all! Just be friendly and get the business cards of people you might be interested in contacting in the future. The other vendors love to talk shop and its a great place to get advice and to hear about other shows.
Every fair is different and has a unique demographic. Learning your customer is something we are still working on, but can make or break you. Good luck and wish us the same!!
One of the biggest reasons the blog has taken a back seat is because I fell into the Craft Fair Black Hole. I had no idea what I was getting into.
Luckily a girl at work, Liz of Love Liz, had done a recent fair and was looking to do another one so we decided to join forces and have a booth together. Just one fair to start and see where it went.
I had no idea how to prepare for a craft fair. I researched booth designs, check lists and procedures… I made myself sick over it. I don’t deal well with the unexpected and this was a big one.
I made as much product as I could and I harassed Liz more than necessary about what our plan was. Our booth design was born out of the fact that she already had bookcases for her lamps, so we stuck to black and our merchandise really popped. We were pretty proud of how our first booth turned out. My product is on the front table.
We lucked out and got a booth by the only entrance and exit of the gymnasium. This was a prime spot, usually reserved for the veterans. We did better than expected for a relatively quiet fair and found out that a much bigger fair, three weeks away, still had openings. We hopped on it and got a spot, actually two spots.
We revamped our design and made a bigger version of our Oakville booth. We were both thrilled how it turned out. It was honestly one of the best looking booths I’ve seen. However, a great looking booth doesn’t always mean great sales.
We figured if we did well at a poorly attended show, we will do GREAT at a much larger show!
Poor Liz got to see the cranky side of me after the first day of poor sales. I got it together for the second day, but overall, not great.
We learned that just like real estate, location is EVERYTHING. Since we signed up late, we got a sub par spot and we already know that for Spring 2013 we have a much better location in the main gym.
We are currently signed up for a few more of these traditional craft fairs but we are looking into some more boutique style shows.
This got long so I’ll be putting together my tips and tricks post for the future. I learned a lot and hope to help others who are looking into doing their first show.
I have been MIA and with good reason… kinda… you know what they say about excuses… I won’t go there. I’ve been busy crafting and selling which I’ll fill everyone in on in another post.
But along the way I got to go to Joy the Baker‘s book signing. I convinced my mom to go with me since the book store was just down the street from where she works and that meant we could have dinner together afterwards. (For the St. Louis folk, that was Dressel’s, and the muscles were AMAZING) I’ve been following her blog for about a year. I honestly have not made any of her recipes per se, but I find them very inspiring and have taken many flavor ideas from her recipes and I cannot wait to dive into her cookbook and make a few things out there. If you haven’t checked out her blog its really great. You kind of feel like she’s your friend, but I guess that’s kinda creepy. We also share a soft spot for orange tabbies with attitude. It was really fun to hear her answer SO many questions from everyone and she was so gracious. I felt like all the women (and men) in the room could have been friends. They were all down to earth, creative and friendly and I think that speaks volumes about what kind of person Joy is to be able to have that kind of following.
She answered questions about cooking, blogging, and even a few personal ones. She had some great advice for people starting up blogs and I hope to be able to work some of that into what I’m doing here. Even if its just a picture, I should be posting a bit more regularly… cough… cough…
She also wrote a cute message in my cookbook, something about being crazy cat ladies. I was surprised how nervous I was meeting her, maybe it was the excitement, or maybe it was my Jewish mother trying to sell all my products to her friends… (picture me swatting her away while she moves my hair to show them my earrings, OY!)
Oh, that nerd part… Well I totally gave her a headband. I hope she likes it.
Sorry for the blurry picture… it looked clear on my phone. I think you will live.
I swear I have been doing things other than eating over the past few months… But I do love to cook and share it with people so I hope you enjoy. As I’ve mentioned before, I am always on the quest to eat healthy and find balance. Although I have told myself I will start eating less processed foods, I can’t help myself. Some of them are just too good and way too easy to keep around.
This breakfast sandwich has been my morning go-to for the past few weeks. I have had it literally 5 days a week for two weeks… I’m keeping Jennie-O in business, not to mention Laughing Cow… Oh well for farm fresh bacon and raw cheese. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do, on a daily basis.
(I have calculated that this is 5 WW pts)
Egg White and Turkey Bacon Sandwich
Toast the bread and reserve.
Spray a medium-large non-stick skillet and heat over a medium high flame. Cook the bacon until desired crispness. Remove bacon and add egg whites to pan (you might need another spray of cooking spray). Cook until done, flipping half way through. I prefer them to have crispy edges so I leave the flame higher than I would with scrambled eggs. Crack pepper over the eggs while the first side is cooking.
Spread the laughing cow cheese evenly between the two slices and drizzle with maple syrup. Assemble your sandwich. Sprinkle chia seeds if desired.
I mentioned in my Sweet & Smokey Chili post that I was trying to cheat and use a boxed mix to make corn bread. I was undermined by some pesky summer invaders and found our rogue box of Jiffy to be unsuitable. So what did I do? I called my mom. I was hoping she had a box of Jiffy but alas, she’s been cutting back on mixes and packaged food but she did have cornmeal. I wasn’t feeling great (hence the desire to cheat a little bit) so I walked over and grabbed the cornmeal, that beat the alternative of putting on real clothes and going to the grocery store. By real clothes, that means a bra and switching from sweatpants to yoga pants…
I’ve baked a lot of things in my short life, but cornbread from scratch was not one of them. I can’t believe I’ve never done this, its SO easy. Almost as easy as the box mix. With the addition of bacon drippings, it has to be better!
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk dry ingredients, including sugar in a bowl. Combine milk and egg and whisk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
If using a cast iron skillet, heat bacon fat or butter on the stovetop until very hot. If using 8×8 pan, melt fat and add to pan. Add batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Adapted from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything