June 27, 2013

A Fabulous Find - The Prettiest Vintage Dress

The other day I went to Value Village, because they were having their sale the next day. If you don't know about this, they have membership cards you can get, so you can shop the day before sale days. There are also various discount days throughout the year. I have one of those cards of course. I wasn't really expecting to find anything there, but I hadn't been there in a while so it was worth a try. 

Well guess what? I found some amazing things! A set of yellow Tupperware canisters, a Tupperware Lettuce Crisper, and two Pyrex Bowls. Pretty exciting! Usually I don't find so many awesome kitchen items all in one thrift store shop. If you know me, vintage kitchen things are my extreme weakness. If I see Pyrex, I have to have it. If I see anything turquoise, my obsession becomes even worse. As you know, the walls of my kitchen are bright turquoise, and just about everything in it is turquoise too. Well I had depleted the housewares area of their best vintage goodies, so I moved onto the clothing. 

I was really hoping for any pretty dress that I could wear this summer for my farmers market "uniform" of sorts. Everything I took to try on was absolutely terrible by the way. But they had a section for Grad dresses. Now we all know I am way past my years of graduation now, but I still had to have a peek to see if any treasures were hanging amongst those fancy dresses. I found this sweet little dress and instantly knew I had to have it. Yes it's a little gaudy and the satin is pretty wild. The bow at the back may have to go. But man, oh man does it look beautiful on. The structure in the top fits like it was made for me. I paid almost nothing for it, so I was totally up for bringing this pretty thing home to add to my closet/collection of clothes. It's not an everyday dress and I can't wear this to the market, but I thought if I need something really crazy and fun to wear (even just for a costume), this will be it. 
It's so easy to bring it up to date with a more modern belt. 
Who could say no to those soft pink and gold scallops? Not me. 
Have you come across any awesome vintage finds lately?

Before I say goodbye for the day, I just wanted to let you all know I will only be posting one to two times a week for now, instead of all week long. It may be temporary. I'm not sure yet. You may have noticed I haven't been doing blog posts as often. It's because I have been having some pretty serious health issues. Nothing to worry about, but it does make it hard for me to blog every day. I figure if I can commit to one or two days, I will have more time to give you some really great posts. Thanks for reading and all your support with my shop. We are having our family garage sale this weekend, and I'm hoping to do farmers markets this summer. There's so much work to do and not a lot of time! 

Have a great day and I'll see you back here soon!


Marissa xo

June 24, 2013

Confetti Party! DIY - How I Make My Handmade Confetti

So I'm sure you noticed that if you travel into my shop, it's like a confetti explosion. When photographing my artwork and jewellery, I knew I wanted my shop to be really fun and exciting. I wanted it to be a really bright, positive and joyful place. If I had a physical store, I would want it to be a place everyone would want to go to, just for it's upbeat personality and quirky kindness. Yes, my shop would be kind. I would host a tonne of events, because I am obsessed with themes, so you would expect loads of parties and awesome decorations. There's nothing I like more than making my own decorations. So I translated that into my online Etsy shop, by filling my photos with bursts of confetti and huge, colourful atomic shapes which I made myself. Everything is handmade, and that's how I like it. I wanted everything to be very homemade-looking, crafty and slightly off-kilter all the while remaining true to my overall theme of vintage love of course. 

But let's get on to the really good stuff here. after a while of just making confetti for photo props, I decided to venture out and make my own celebratory confetti sachets for a gift with purchase with my Graduation Earring Gift Sets (still available at the moment!) I loved them so much, I decided to make more! Here are some of them, not fully packaged and still in their beginning stages. 
I said this was a DIY, and it still is, my lovelies! I'm going to tell you how I make all this fancy confetti. You need a hole puncher (Preferably one that is not stiff, because you have to punch hundreds of holes. Your hand will be so tired!) and lots of different coloured, patterned and textured paper. Then I sort which colours go together the best, and hole-punch away! I keep a little bowl in my lap, so it all falls in there and stays clean. Once I put it in a container (You can use a little bottle, jar or plastic bag like I did,) I pour in a small amount of glitter to match and make it just that more magical. Do it slow, so it all doesn't dump out and you end up with more glitter than confetti! Yikes! I also hand cut little diamond in mine to correspond with my atomic theme, but any other shape can work. Little hearts are the cutest, and if you don't want to painstakingly cut all those by hand, you don't have to. You can buy paper punchers in all sorts of shapes including hearts at almost any craft store. I'll warn you now, it's not the easiest thing to do. You need a lot of patience, but handmade confetti is so worth the time and effort. It's so beautiful. You can really tell when it's made my hand and when it's manufactured. Totally not the same at all! Plus, you're recycling and reusing your old paper! I keep any packaging, papers, or anything else with a great pattern and hang onto it in a paper drawer until I find cool crafts to do. Sometimes the best things come from scraps you might've otherwise thrown away. 
 As I said before, these pretty little things are not fully packaged yet. You can expect severely adorable packaging. At the moment they are in production for farmers markets which I will announce later for this summer. I thought it would be a cute little extra for my customers to purchase that really sums up my shop as a whole. I am also thinking about adding them to the shop at the end of the summer. I will have them available to purchase as singles and also as custom orders in groupings of your choice. Pretty fancy, right? I love the pale-coloured confetti. It reminds me of a garden wedding. I think I'll have to make some in the future when my boyfriend and I decide to get married! So pretty. I do not mind making this confetti at all. It's fun!

I'm so happy to share my process with you all! 
Have a great day!

Marissa xo

June 22, 2013

Charming Trends - Matching Up 50s Dresses with CS Necklaces

Hi everyone! It's Saturday and I hope you're out at the beach, having a picnic or out having ice cream with your best buds! I'm inside today preparing for future farmers markets. Boy, is there a lot to do. I'll make sure I at least get out for a walk around the neighborhood. The trees are lovely and filled with blossoms. My lilacs are finally in full bloom, and since that's my favourite scent in the whole entire world, I'm pretty happy right now. I can't bare to miss out on that, being stuck inside. This time of year is perfect. I have a little something for you today. It's the sweetest match-up I ever did see. I found the prettiest 50s silhouette dresses on Etsy and I wanted to share them with you. To make things even more special, I paired them with the CharmingShop necklace I would style with each one. Take a look for yourself! It's a pretty magical pairing. Here you go - Charming Trends for 50s lovers!

Which pairing is your favourite?

Marissa xo

June 21, 2013


Hello everyone! I hope you're ready for a whole lot of words today. I'm going to run things a tad different today than I usually do. Today marks the first day of summer, and just as that is another transition of the season variety, we are constantly in transitions in our own lives. And by constantly, I mean every second of our lives. But you know that, because you're probably in a mess of things yourself at the moment, right?

I don't usually talk about "life" or the meaning of things, but I thought I might today, because I'm just in that kind of mood, and it really is a passion of mine. Well I guess it is for everyone, because it really translates how you're moving along in the world. I have a few things that I try to live by, one being that I always tell myself to be 100% who you are at all times. If you don't feel authentic, you won't come across as authentic to anyone else. Why wouldn't you stay true to who you are? When you're young you don't have that sense of needing to belong at all costs. Life is carefree and everything is make-believe. You create imaginary worlds and build anything you want to, because you can. When you are older you start needing and living to fit in, but you shouldn't!

That's something I always regret - trying to change myself in hopes others would accept me more. As a young girl I was really heavily into antiques. It was my passion. I loved old things and I couldn't help it. My idea of a good time was looking through family members old jewellery boxes. I would hunt for the most intricate jewellery and stare at family heirloom pieces, hoping that one day I would own such beautiful items myself. I loved, loved, LOVED garage sales. Every weekend, that's what I wanted to do. No exceptions. I had to go. But you know what? I was totally embarrassed by that. I liked to spend my time alone looking through boxes of treasures on strangers lawns, and other girls my age got together on the weekend and played with dolls or went swimming at a public pool. I was kind of ashamed of how I spent my time and tried to keep it a secret. When I look back I think that's so sad, because collecting and hunting for cool things is a huge part of my life now, and I really embrace it. It's so funny how you really feel burdened by society to keep the things you love a secret. Now I will tell anyone and everyone what my hobbies are, because that's what makes me happy. I'm creating my own life and my own idea of how I should live, so it should be exactly to my taste.
But I don't just think this way as a human being. I take this to work with me every day as a business person. Running CharmingShop has been so amazing for me, because I get to put my whole heart into everything I do. When a customer of mine gets to take home something I made, they're getting all of my personality and quirkiness and lifestyle all rolled into their purchase. There is no reason why I shouldn't dive right into my work and participate in every aspect as fully as possible. This is my make-believe world that I created, and I love it.

All I have to say to everyone out there who is struggling to be their own person is this: You should never let perceived boundaries hold you back. We only have so much time allotted to us on this earth. Why would we hold ourselves back? Why shouldn't we push as far as we can through every idea of what things should be like? Why shouldn't we aim to break the mould? I always tell myself anything in the world you want, you can have. Never set tiny goals for yourself. Set huge ones. Your life can be absolutely anything you want it to be. Anything in your life can go how you want it to go. If you fail sometimes, you probably had to much worry or doubt in your heart, but you can learn from that. If you have a dream you should try to realize it and attack it. If the universe is willing, you will have it. Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting. But stay awake. Stay vibrant and positive in the meantime and let go of all expectations people put down on you. Setting those goals and putting them out there is what gets you somewhere. Secrets will get you nowhere. Shout your dreams out loud for everyone to hear and eventually good things will come your way.

I know that was a huge mouthful and you probably weren't expecting that, but if you read this and it helps you, that'll make me really happy. All I want is for everyone to be 100% true to themselves no matter what and to still play, even in adulthood. Everyone should live their own fantasy. Everyone should be happy. That's what I believe in my own life and what I believe for CharmingShop. Be yourself.

Marissa xo

Photo found here.

June 20, 2013

I Love... Retro Mid Century Planters!

Hey everyone, hope you're doing well on this fine day! Today I'd like to talk about planters. Yes, of course vintage planters! They were once so lovely, they didn't even need plants inside to treasure their atomic, architectural designs. These are a few I found that I would just love to find at a garage sale or in my favourite antique store to take home for my very own. Which one is your favourite?
This pastel pink beauty is so wonderful. I can't get over those swooping scallops. This is one I'd love to own for sure! Found here.
I have one very similar to this, but it's neither vintage nor pink. I think that I could make room for this long, narrow planter... Think of the things you could put in here! Not just plants, but anything really! I can see some lemons looking really cool hanging out in there. Found here.
The uneven, odd shape of this planter is what makes it so appealing. I love quirkiness and that's what this one is all about! It's pastel lime colour is pretty great too, don't you think?
Found here.
How great is the pattern on this baby?! So typical of the 50s and 60s - the time period I'm so fond of. Mid Century all the way! Amazing, right? I'm in love with this cutie. Found here.
The design and shape on this amazing green planter are very "atomic era." Imagine how fantastic it would look with a sweet little plant inside! Found here.
Okay, this one is definitely on my list of needs and wants. There is no better planter than the glorious bullet planter. Any shade. If I were to discover this beauty somewhere, it would have to be mine. No questions asked. Found here.
This one is wrapped up in candy-coloured goodness. I'm pretty obsessed with all the buttery pastel colours the 50s and 60s has to offer. I'm totally okay with baby soft colours of the atomic age, and adding this planter to my collection would make any retro-lover proud. 

Did you see any you would love to own? Do you own any of these already or something similar?
I'm pretty in love with the quality and detail in items from eras of the past, and these planters do not fall short or disappoint. I'll be dreaming of putting plants into adorable retro planters all day, won't you?

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I'm off to work on my atomic era art collection! I hope you've checked out my post on those darling drawings from a couple days ago, or have visited my Instagram for further updates. I'm thinking you'll really love this new collection. If you adore the 50s and 60s as much as me, you'll be in heaven.

See ya later, my dears!

Marissa xo

June 18, 2013

Summer Sushi Salad with Wasabi Dressing Recipe

This is one of the easiest gourmet-style salad recipes that I make almost once a week, or at least some form of it depending on what ingredients I have laying around. Last night was just one of those busy nights where we needed a quick dinner with a lot of flavour to boost our mood and keep us going for the rest of the evening. My boyfriend's working so hard on his comic and I'm pricing garage sale items (There sure is a lot of stuff to go through. Yikes.) He said after a long day at work, that was exactly the kind of dinner he wanted to come home to. Seriously, you have to try this salad out for yourself. 
Here's how to make it!

Salad Ingredients:

(This is how I made it this time, but I always change it up depending on what I have in the fridge! 
Get creative with it!)

*bag of salad
(mine was a mix with iceberg, cabbage and carrots, but I like using romaine for this recipe.)
*1 orange
*4 strawberries
*1 avocado
*a handful of sliced almonds
*sprinkle of sesame seeds

Dressing Ingredients:

*1/2 cup oil
*2 tbsp wasabi powder 
*2 tsp lemon juice
*1 tsp sriracha
So as you can tell from the name, this salad has Asian influences, and has similar ingredients to Sushi, but for this recipe I added a lot more fruit than I usually do. Sometimes I just add dried cranberries to give it some sweetness. If you want more of an Asian flair, adding pieces of crab or pollock (fake crab) is really good in this salad too.)

First of all, preheat your oven at 350 degrees F. Then stick your salmon in a baking pan for around 30 minutes, but keep checking it to make sure you don't overcook it. I cooked mine from frozen. If yours isn't frozen, it won't take very long at all. Maybe 15 minutes or less, so keep your eye on it. Before I put my salmon in, I always sprinkle it with a bit of oil and lemon juice, but plain is just as good!

Now while that's going you can work on the salad. If you bought a bag of salad like me, just give it a wash and put it in your bowl. Cut up your orange, avocado and strawberries and add your almond slices and sesame seeds. You can crush up your nori or slice it with scissors. There. Your salad is all done! It's time to move on to the dressing. 

Now I never actually measure my dressing. I actually just go by taste, and keep adding to my liking. You may want to put less wasabi or sriracha, because it does give quite a kick. At my house we are in love with spicy food, but if you like yours a little more tame, just add less. I put my approximate measures of each ingredient above in the ingredient list, so start with that and add more or less depending on how you feel about spicy things. But let me tell you, this salad is nothing without the wasabi dressing, so you have to try it! Don't wimp out now! I can see you hesitating and wondering if you should substitute it for something else. Don't! If you like sushi, you'll like this.

Okay, let's get mixing now! First we have to mix the wasabi powder with a tiny bit of water. If you just bought the premade wasabi in the tube, lucky you. You can skip this step. Put your powder in a little bowl and add a tiny bit of water. It's better to have less than too much. You want to mix it and get a thick paste. If it's watery, you put too much! Now add the rest of your ingredients and give it a taste. 
Add more of whatever you like until it's exactly to your liking. If it's too thick of a dressing, add a bit more oil to thin it out. Is it spicy? Yeah! Good! That's what you want! Let's get that salmon out of the oven.
Assemble your summer sushi salad however you like, and enjoy!
This is by far one of our favourite meals to have. I could eat this every day and never get sick of it.
The best part is, it's very light and doesn't leave you feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. It's a perfect summer picnic recipe.

Try it for dinner tonight!

Marissa xo

June 17, 2013

Atomic Era Figurals - New Artwork for Collectors of Mid Century Cuteness

What have I been up to lately? Oh, just starting a brand new art collection. I mentioned it the other day, but I couldn't post any pictures, because I was having technical problems. Well I'm back up and running now, so I have a few little goodies for you all!
Piece #1: Three Atomic Lamps!
Piece #2: 4 Retro Terrariums
Piece #3: Vintage Canister Set
Piece #4: Mid Century Planters and Vase
 I'm crazy about giving cute little faces to random objects, as you could probably tell by my Balloon Girls. It was an easy choice in animating my favourite retro items! It's a six piece collection that I will make available through prints. These are just the skeletons and outlines of each one so far. I'm just giving you the beginning stages, so the end result will be a big surprise. Expect lots of atomic era details and amazing retro brights. This is the most delightful little collection, and I'm so happy to be working on each little character. They look so pleasant, don't they? Got any questions, or want to make sure you get your hands on one? Let me know! I'll make prints according to demand, so if you're interested in one let me know! They will be available through my Etsy shop when they're ready. I'll let you fantastic people know when they're done and ready for the shop. Until then, I've got to get to work on the last two sketches and start fleshing out each piece. I'm pretty taken with the lamps, but in all honesty I kind of want to keep a print of each one. I feel like I have to name each little guy from each piece...Yeah, I'm already obsessed. 

I hope you like them!

Marissa xo

June 16, 2013

DIY Atomic Era Starburst Garland Decorations

Happy Father's Day everyone! I'm going to be spending the afternoon at my dad's place today. I'm so excited for him to open his presents! I haven't blogged the last two days, but I definitely have something to show you today. I've been thinking more and more about doing craft fairs, and if I'm going to open myself up to that idea, I think I should have the cutest decorations to accent my table. Here's what I made the other day:
I put it up on my window so you could see it a bit better. This is my homemade garland made up of tiny little atomic shapes that I hand cut and strung through a stretchy piece of clear plastic string. That'll give it more bend, so it's easier to stretch around places without breaking. And because the string is clear, it'll mostly go unnoticed, giving my pastel starburst shapes a floating-in-air look. I think these mini versions of my starbursts (The ones I use in the background of my photos,) will look so sweet on any craft table I do in the future. If you want to try this, but using another shape, I recommend cutting all your pieces out first and then stringing them all together at the same time. I mostly used an alternating pattern: starburst, diamond, diamond, diamond, starburst. I also stayed aware of my colour choices, trying not to get the same colour too close together. What do you think of my little decoration? Would you try making one of your own?

Have a great day, and don't forget to spend it with your dad!

Marissa xo

June 13, 2013

New Atomic Era Collection

Hello everyone! I'm working on a brand new art collection! I'm taking my inspiration straight from atomic era home decor pieces that I love. Of course, adding a little twist by giving them sweet little faces! I've just been posting updates through Instagram, so if you want to see, click on my Instagram link on the right side of my blog. I'm having some trouble loading pictures from my phone onto my computer today for some reason. I just wanted to let you know I'm trying to keep you updated, but things just aren't working today! So sad. I'll keep trying, but in the mean time, head on over to Instagram for some retro cuteness. Follow me if you feel so inclined! Okay it's time to get drawing now.

Lots of love from me and my vintage fantasy land called CharmingShop,

Marissa xo

Time's Running Out!

Hey ladies and gentlemen! 
Did you know time is running out to get our Limited Edition Grad Earring Sets?
June is graduating month! Go to www.etsy.com/shop/CharmingShopLove soon to get a limited Edition Graduation Earring Set. Six styles available. Graduating Friends, buy one for both of you to share! Moms and dads, get one for your daughter and her best friend! Give a pair as a memory of your special day for everyday use, or wear them to Grad with your gorgeous gown! It's up to you how you celebrate Grad with CharmingShop!

Each retro 50s inspired set of earrings comes with packaging featuring atomic shapes and retro lettering accented in gold. It's your special day, so with each set I include a Grad gift from myself! An adorable handmade sachet of multicoloured confetti and gold glitter! Yay! Be proud of your loved ones and say it with a little gift from CharmingShop! Only $11.93 (Canadian) plus shipping! We offer our earrings at affordable prices, so you get the cutest pieces with the detail and care of all things handmade!

Need some help? Want to personalize your purchase further? Just give me a shout! I will do all I can to give your Grad the sweetest vintage-inspired present ever!
See you at CharmingShop!

Marissa xo

June 11, 2013

Delightful Dresses

Browsing Etsy for one of a kind items is one of my favourite things to do when I'm not busy working on my own Etsy shop. Lately I've been scouring the vintage clothing shops on the hunt for some really unique retro mod pieces that speak to me on all my favourite vintage levels. I really can't get enough of the colours and patterns and the amazing silhouettes in mid century dresses. Whether it's an elegant 50s party gown or a bright and psychedelic shift dress from the 60s. These dresses are always so feminine and lovely. They really don't make them like that anymore. Dresses these days don't have the same quality, detail or the cut. They try, but can never duplicate the magic that is a vintage dress. Check out these beauties that are for sale on Etsy right now.
I'm so in love with this dress. The floral pattern is out of this world. 
Fantastic colour and fantastic collar!
WOW! Found here.
Now this is the prettiest shift dress I've ever seen. The simple, delicate pattern is paired with the most gorgeous shades of aqua, marigold and periwinkle. The wrap collar is just darling too! I wish I had this in my closet! Found here.
What an adorable pale blue dress with nautical influences! 
So sweet! This dress would pair nicely with some red lipstick and some t-strap heels.
 Found here.
This dress is wild and crazy and I love it! The funky colours and florals mixed with stripes really make this piece a show-stopper. Just look at that collar and belt! Such a strong piece. 
Found here.
When I think of mod 60s shift dresses, this is exactly what I dream up in my head! 
I love the swirly, funky design mixed with  the bright and slightly fluorescent colour palette. 
Just fab. I'd like to wear this gorgeous number. 
Found here.
I love this dress. It's high collar and 60s, 70s colours remind me of a tiny handmade vintage dress my Barbies used to have! Yeah, that's right. I used to clothe my Barbies in mini vintage dresses! Even as a girl I was obsessed. Now I like the real deal. I would love to wear this dress out on the town with a nice pair of heels and and some pearl earrings!
Found here.

Are you loving these gorgeous dresses as much as I am?! Go to Etsy to find more amazing dresses. For dresses like these, I like to search under "retro mod dresses" or "vintage collar dresses." I always find some great pieces and I know you will too! And since you're in the neighbourhood, go check out my shop, www.etsy.com/shop/CharmingShopLove. You can wear a vintage dress, wear some vintage-inspired jewellery from CharmingShop and hang a piece of my retro-style artwork on your wall! See how much closer you are to living a vintage life in present time 2013? You're on your way to being a retro bombshell. Every girl's fantasy!

Have a great day everyone!

Marissa xo

June 10, 2013

Jadeite Gems

Now, I don't really collect Jadeite. Lots of people do. But when I opened up a present of two thick, milky green mugs and a bubbly-looking bowl, I was pretty obsessed with them. They are my first three Jadeite pieces I own, and my dad bought them for me. I know what you're thinking - "Good job, dad!"
Yeah, that's what I thought while trying to do some research on them. I have to admit, I didn't really know much about Jadeite until getting these pieces. While looking on the internet for my specific pieces, I stumbled upon some really amazing collections I thought I would share with you today! 
Look at this cabinet full of Jadeite! I love that the colour of the cabinet matches it's contents. The white pieces gives it such a clean balance, don't you think? 
Found here.
This room is filled with some of the sunniest colours I've ever seen! I adore how the Jadeite plates are placed to frame the white mirror. So lovely!
Found here.
This little setup is to die for. I am crazy about the composition of adding in the black telephones. 
It really is incredibly unique! Found here. Original source here.
This collection of Jadeite Restaurant ware is gorgeous. Take a look at that incredible font!
I'm a sucker for vintage fonts. Found here.
 This Jadeite set in use for pretty desserts. Just darling!
I wish I was invited to a party where this was being served!
Found here. Original source unknown.

Do you have a Jadeite collection? I want to know all about it! 
Let's talk Jadeite guys!

Marissa xo

June 09, 2013

Salad Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce Recipe

Yesterday I got some time to sneak on here and tell you what I've been up to this fine weekend. Well it's Sunday and as I said yesterday, it's time for a yummy salad/summer roll recipe. The names are interchangeable really. Whatever you want to call them - salad roll or summer roll. It's up to you, my dears! I guess I'm just used to saying salad roll. You can make these amazing rolls with anything inside. There's no set rule, and I think creating your own personal version is cool, don't you? You could even put fruit, like mango in here and it would taste amazing! I used chicken, but you can stick some shrimp in there instead. If you're vegetarian, maybe add some tofu. The nicest part about this recipe (and probably why I love it so much) is that it's gluten free. All you lovely people out there, like me that can't have gluten, can enjoy these too. Just make sure you get gluten free soy sauce! Okay let's get on with the good stuff. I bet you're ready for some food photos! I have a fear I'm going to have a craving for these again after this post is done...
Ingredients for the Salad Rolls

(Prepping is so important for this recipe. It takes a while to get everything prepped and ready for making, so keep that in mind if you are making them for a party!)

*julienned carrots
*julienned cucumber
*baked chicken cut into small strips
*vermicelli (rice) noodles
*rice paper wraps
*fresh cilantro
*lettuce (I used a Mediterranean blend for more flavour.)

That's it!

Ingredients for the Peanut Dipping Sauce

*3/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy. I love the extra texture!)
*1/3 cup water
*2 tbsp lime juice
*4 1/2 tsp soy sauce
*1 tbsp sugar
*2 1/4 tsp Sriracha
*1 garlic clove, minced into tiny pieces
*1/2 tsp sesame oil

You can make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it. Just take it out a while before serving, because it should be at room temperature for eating. Yummy! The taste of that sauce is incredible!

Okay, we're ready to start making the rolls!
Let's start preparing those veggies and the chicken. Preheat your oven and get your chicken in there
to bake while you're slicing away at your carrots and cucumbers. I put about three carrots and three cucumber pieces in each roll. You can add more or less, but use this as your guideline for how many you need to cut. Julienne both the carrots and the cucumber. They should be cut lengthwise and thin! Don't cut your fingers if you're cutting them by hand! Go slow and take your time.
Start boiling a pot of water for the vermicelli noodles. They cook fast, so you need to keep an eye on them at all times while cooking! Once the water is boiling, stick in your vermicelli and reduce the heat a bit. They should be soft in just a few minutes. Drain and put into a bowl. Don't worry about them not being hot anymore if they sit out. This is meant to be a cold dish. Also, if you're worried about your noodles sticking together too much, you can add a tiny amount of oil to the vermicelli.
Wash and pick the leaves off your cilantro. Next prepare your lettuce.

Okay now your chicken is cooked and sliced, and you're ready to start making your rolls!
This is the fun part! Open up your rice paper wrap package and have them out ready to go. Boil some water in a pan. Not too hot because you will need to gently cook the wraps and be able to get them out of the water without burning your fingers. What I do is let the water in the pan start to bubble, then I turn the element off and wait a couple minutes for the water to cool down enough that I can get "hands on" with my rice paper. If you're unsure about this step, you can also boil water in your kettle and then pour it into a pan. Just make sure you test the water! For this step you will need a fork and a plate to roll your salad rolls on. Now when you have your water at a good temperature, take a wrap and submerge it in the water. I like to hold a fork gently underneath one edge to help me lift it out. It will only take seconds for your rice wrap to become soft. If you've never done this before, it's okay. It's kind of like trial and error in the beginning. You'll find the balance right away. If it's too soft, the paper will break. If it's too hard, you won't be able to roll it up.
Okay, do you have your system down? Great! Now once you get your paper on the plate and you've spread it out a bit (Sometimes the edges like to stick together.) you can start putting on your ingredients. Near one edge (but not directly on) add your noodles, all your veggies and chicken. Now gently fold the edges in and start rolling back. Now you've got one roll. Wow, you're a pro. Are you sure you haven't done this before?
Keep repeating until you have your desired amount of salad rolls.
You may have to heat up your water in the pan again if the water cools down. I find it's easier to make a whole lot of these rather than just a couple. If you're done and you find you have left over ingredients, have a stir fry tomorrow! Or a salad!
Now for that yummy peanut sauce. It's super easy, mix all your ingredients in a bowl. It's easiest to use a spatula to whip it all up. It should be thick and creamy. Give it a taste. Awesome, right?! Yes! There you have it. Some party perfect salad rolls with peanut dipping sauce just in time for summer. Oh how I wish we could've eaten these outside in our backyard. I got the patio table and chairs out and washed them down. It was so hot out, and then suddenly the weather was awful. Oh well, at least we got to eat these! I hope you'll try these out and love them as much as we do. Be adventurous and add your own ingredients. Let me know how yours turned out!

Enjoy your Sunday, dolls!
I'm having my mom over for dinner, so I better go get ready!


Marissa xo

P.S. Have you seen the sneak peek at my new collection on Instagram? Go to @marissahowes to find me and take a look, say hi or follow me there!

June 08, 2013

Happy Weekend!

I can't believe it's the weekend already! Actually I can't believe we're already in June! When did that happen?! It's crazy, right? I hope you're all having a fabulous weekend and you're getting to spend some time outside in the sun. Last night I made amazing salad rolls with peanut sauce (recipes tomorrow) and lit some candles for a romantic dinner for two. We meant to have a little outdoor picnic in our backyard, but suddenly as I was making special preparations the weather turned from beautiful and warm, to windy with gloomy, dark clouds threatening to rain! So we opted for our living room instead. It was nice to have a bit of time together. Just us and our two cats watching Les Miserables and enjoying each others company.
 Today I've been working away at a brand new top secret print collection and framing a few new balloon girls that won my heart the second I saw them again. I keep them all in their own folder, and bring them out when I need a few more of those lovely ladies for the shop. Wait until you see them! 
That's all for today, my dears, just wanted to stop by and say hi. See you back here tomorrow for the tastiest spring roll recipe complete with a peanut dipping sauce that will blow your mind. Yay! Now go have an awesome Saturday night!


Marissa xo

June 06, 2013

Charming Earrings For Summer!

Hey ladies! Are you tired of buying mass produced earrings that everyone you know owns. You wear them on the same day as your best friends. It's embarrassing, right? You're out somewhere and people are pointing at your ears, "Yeah, I own those too!" How boring. You're much too creative and inspiring to be wearing boring earrings! Step out of the box and into a world where vintage inspired earrings sparkle and no matter what, you're going to stand out apart from the crowd, like the trendsetter you are.  
CharmingShop has super cute retro looking earrings inspired by bygone eras. You'll be feminine and sweet in your kitschy, one of a kind, CharmingShop Earrings. And the price point is incredible too. What a bonus! Go ahead and look for yourself, my dears. You won't be disappointed. 
Stop on by and say hello! I'm always here to help my fellow vintage-loving ladies.
Own some show-stopping CharmingShop jewellery just in time for summer! 

Marissa xo