Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Prostate Cancer Awareness Jewelry

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!  My dad is a survivor; thank goodness his cancer is currently in remission.  I wanted to create items for all those whose lives have been affected by this disease.  Alison and I just added two necklaces to increase prostate cancer awareness in our Cloud Nine Jewelry shop:

My Dad My Hero Necklace - Sterling Silver Chain, Stamped Disc Pendant, Awareness Ribbon Charm and Light Sapphire Crystal, $50

Dad Prostate Cancer Awareness Necklace - Sterling Silver Chain, Stamped Disc, Awareness Ribbon Charm, Light Sapphire Swarovski Crystal, $48

The necklaces feature a sterling silver chain adorned with a hand-stamped sterling silver disc, an awareness ribbon charm and a baby blue Swarovski pearl or crystal (baby blue is the Prostate Awareness color).  I love how they turned out!  I wear the "Dad" necklace pictured above.  As with all our Cancer Awareness items, 15% of the proceeds from Cancer Awareness items will go to the David Turner Lymphoma Foundation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I recently discovered new body and hand products from L'Occitane.  The only word to describe them is: heavenly!

Image from here
I had seen L'Occitane stores but had never shopped  there until a few weeks ago. I had some time to kill at the airport and needed new hand lotion (independently of having time to kill at the airport); I stopped in L'Occitane to see what it was all about.  The store was tastefully decorated, and the sales lady was very sweet without being overbearing.  She told me a bit about the company.  It is a French company, and I love anything French (L'Occitane just sounds so much prettier than Bath and Body Works, doesn't it?).  I also liked that L'Occitane fragrances are all natural (as are the rest of the ingredients).

I settled on these two products: Shea Butter Hand Cream (pictured above) and Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream.  The sales lady had a customer who came in looking for this very same hand cream.  He said that this cream is what guides at Mount Everest recommend hikers use when they hike the mountain, as it is the only cream that will keep their hands moist.  I don't have any trips scheduled to Mount Everest, but if I did, I wouldn't worry that my hands would dry out!  Seriously, the cream is incredible, and so is the body cream! I have found new favorites, and am looking forward to trying other L'Occitane products next time I want a treat!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am a Slacker

I usually make Husband's and my own lunch almost daily.  Ever since Husband got sick (pre-Labor Day weekend), I have been really bad about cooking in general. We've relied solely on takeout (thank goodness for the abundance of choices): Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, local diner, pizza, Mediterranean, regular American, Thai... I am probably missing a few cuisines.

I have been just as bad with lunch - last week I made lunch ONCE.

Don't get me wrong; I love takeout.  But after a while we both crave home cooked food. This week, I am back on track! I emergency-soaked some beans in hot water earlier today and am making our favorite Spicy White Turkey Chili as I type this. Tomorrow's lunch is in the fridge, ready to go, for both of us. The fridge is filled with ingredients for the week. Life is good.

Have you been slacking about anything?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn Harvest

Now is my favorite time to visit Union Square Green Market.  The fall season brings the most incredible vibrant colors. See for yourself!

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Obsession: Guy & Gallard!

We recently discovered a new fantastic place to eat: Guy & Gallard!  We've had breakfast there several times.  They have cute little herb bouquets at every table.

The food is good and reasonably priced.

But what makes us crazy about this place is their freshly squeezed orange juice!  Even if we don't eat there, we like to pick up a glass of delicious orange goodness to go now and then.  Why does my freshly squeezed orange juice never taste this good?!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Need your Ideas for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  In the past, I donated 10% of all October sales in my jewelry shop to Susan G. Komen foundation. 

Now I'd like to do something different and want to hear from you!  I was thinking of doing a giveaway for a pink piece of jewelry, but would like to know what you all think.  Should I do something else in addition to or instead of the giveaway?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on what to do to promote breast cancer awareness!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Wearables - Lampwork Lampwork Lampwork!

Happy Friday! I am thankful that we are not spending today at the hospital, which is precisely what we were doing last Friday.

Lately my obsession with lampwork beads has returned.  Not that it every went away - it was on hiatus if you will.  I am in awe of these handmade masterpieces!  Check out these beauties. The beads are just too pretty for more complicated designs, aren't they?

Mysterious Planet Necklace - Sterling Silver Necklace with Blue Green Lampwork Bead Pendant - Limited Edition, $40
Lampwork bead pendant by Amy of

Autumn Spice Necklace - Sterling Silver Necklace with Brown, Orange and Beige Lampwork Bead Pendant - Limited Edition, $40
Lampwork bead pendant by Amy of

The Bluest Ocean Necklace - Sterling Silver Necklace with Blue and White Lampwork Bead Pendant - Limited Edition, $40 (this one isn't new but I sold one and put it up for sale again and wanted to share it with you)
Lampwork bead pendant by Kara of

I have three more sets of lampwork beads coming - one of them is red, and two are in gorgeous autumn tones.  Can't wait!

What are your plans this weekend? I am writing some Thank You cards (by one and only Pixelimpress of course) to everyone who was so good to us during Husband's hospital stay, cleaning the apartment (long overdue) and working on some jewelry!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

True Story

A nurse came to visit Papa last week to show him how to administer medicine. She took one look at me and said I am the most gorgeous cat she has ever seen! True story.

I am not being immodest.  Just telling you exactly like it happened.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Small Change of Plans

These are the views we were supposed to enjoy this week.
These are the views we got instead - from a 17th floor hospital room, where Husband (and I) spent a good part of this week.  After days of fever, chills, body aches and an excruciating headache, two trips to the ER and one spinal tap later, he was finally diagnosed with and treated for meningitis.

The good news is, he does not have meningococcal meningitis.  The doctors said that if he did, he'd be dead now. Husband said that "meningococcal" sounds like a dessert he'd like to try and cannot possibly be a name for a disease.  OK...

The bad news is, we canceled our Cancun vacation (the first REAL vacation we've planned since our honeymoon more than three years ago).  Not to worry, though.  There are benefits to this:

1.  I grew out of one bikini completely, and the second one barely fits.  By the time I discovered this, it was too late to shop for a new one.
2.  Ruby will enjoy having us home after a lonely week.  I didn't want to be away from her for a whole week anyway.

By the way, I was planning on closing my shop while we were going to be on vacation.  Now, the shop will remain open!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday Edibles - Thai Beef

Thai Beef Preparation
A few months ago we took a cooking class with Allison Fishman.  It was a blast! This is our favorite recipe. It is one of the most flavorful dishes I've ever had!

Serves 4

1 tablespoon neutral oil - for meat (I use olive oil)
1 tablespoon olive oil - for onions
1 pound skirt steak
2 large onions, halved and sliced into 1/4-thick half moons
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 to 4 Thai chilies, thinly sliced (depending on desired heat), or 1 to 2 teaspoons chili sauce
2 large garlic cloves
1 bunch Thai basil leaves (about 1 cup, lightly packed)*
1 cup cilantro leaves
Optional garnishes: scallion greens, chopped roasted peanuts, mung beans, lime wedges
White rice for serving

1.  In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon neutral or olive oil over medium high heat.  Season meat will with kosher salt, and sear meat to desired doneness.  Set aside and keep warm.

2.  In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and sweat over medium heat until soft and beginning to caramelize, 20-45 minutes.

3. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, chilies and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 7 minutes later.

4. Add Thai basil and cilantro.  Taste to ensure that the sauce is sweet, sour, salty and spicy.  Adjust seasonings as needed to ensure that each flavor is present.

5.  Cut steak into thin slices against the grain and toss with sauce.  Garnish with scallions, peanuts and munch beans as desired.  Serve with white rice and lime wedges.

*Thai Basil adds a lot of flavor to this recipe.  While regular basil works, I highly recommend Thai basil!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little Seahorses - Custom Order

I adore sea horses and was thrilled to get a request for a custom pair of earrings and matching anklet that feature these little charms! How cute are they?! The customer is a beach lover; this set is just what she was looking for! I hurried up and finished them just in time for her to enjoy them before the summer is really over.