February 12, 2014

DIY Valentines Day Party Favours

It's so close to Valentines Day and I haven't really talked about it at all yet! I thought I would share something I made a couple years ago, because it was fun to make and a real hit at our work cosmetic party. 
I decided I didn't just want to buy a tub of conversation hearts and plop them down on the table for people to take what they wanted out of it. Usually no one even takes any when they're sitting out like that. So I thought a cuter (and possibly more hygienic way) to give them out was to put them in personal bags! I divided the same amount and colours into each. Then I cut out a heart and used it as a template to make a bunch of heart tags from all types of pink and red paper. I wrote "Happy Valentines Day!" on each one, but of course you could just as easily do this on the computer with a cool font. 

Now to display them. I had a short cardboard box without a lid on hand, so I covered it with floral card stock paper; inside and out. Then for the very top I used a hot glue gun to attach as many pink sparkly beads I had on hand. It really does pay to have a good collection of every craft supply imaginable. For a finishing touch, I happened to have some puffy fabric hearts, so on they went too.

We put it out next to our usual Valentines cupcakes and pink punch. Everyone was so excited they got a little party favour to take home. 

You could make this for any type of party, and with any kind of candy. Even loose teas would be so amazing. Oooh, now I'm dreaming up new ideas!

Marissa xo

February 06, 2014

Homemade Papaya Seed Peppercorns

 I've been trying to come across interesting health tricks to help change my eating habits in small and big ways. This one was something that really stood out for me.

Did you know you can make your own form of pepper by drying out Papaya seeds? And they are crazy potent. It helps your digestive system by helping you break down undigested food and helps normalize your intestinal tract. They can aid by killing parasites and bacterial infections, and even help with liver detoxification or Cirrhosis of the liver. They have so many health benefits. In fact they're more like a drug in terms of their medicinal value. How cool is that? That being said, you should carefully research it to make sure it's right for you. It should only be used in smaller amounts and is not good for children and pregnant women. So weird to think, right? The fruit itself has amazing benefits as well, but the seeds are highly concentrated.

Have you ever eaten the seeds? It tastes a lot like eating pepper. They're coated with a jelly-like outer shell and inside they're hard, almost like a pomegranate seed. It's spicy and strange and a lot of people don't like eating straight Papaya seeds. I know I don't. I found many articles about drying out the seeds and grinding them down to use as pepper in your cooking, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Firstly you have to separate the seeds from the fruit. I scooped them out and placed them in a large strainer under the sink. I washed away the bits of fruit and separated large pieces with my hands. I noticed the seeds come away really easy. You barely have to do anything, which is nice considering prep work with other types of seeds that have a lot of fibrous meat to them. 

Once you have most of it off, pour your seeds into the middle of a dish towel. I did this part over top of a cookie sheet to make sure I didn't spill any. Gently rub them in the dishtowel to both dry them and also transfer off the rest of the fruit that's still hanging onto the seeds. This part was again, really easy and the seeds are very tough, so they didn't burst or break open in the process. 

I lined my cookie sheet with dry paper towel and spread the seeds out on top of it. 
Now it's time to wait! 

I have left my seeds for a week and a half now, checking on them periodically to see how they're coming along. They dried out so much faster that I originally imagined. Of course it will completely depend on your own home; It's temperature and how much moisture is in the air. I will probably leave mine until the two week mark. They should look matte and not have any shininess to them. 
Here are mine right now:
Big difference between before and after, huh? 
When they're dry you can put them in a pepper grinder and use them in any way you would use normal pepper. I can't wait to try it!

I hope you found this as interesting as I do! It's certainly a weird idea, but completely worth a try given the Papaya's track record. 

Marissa xo

February 05, 2014

Art Print BOGO Sale

Hello there!
I usually like offering little sales near holidays or special events, but I thought I would do something a little different this time. All my art prints are buy one get one free from now until Valentines Day! Buy one and get one of equal or lesser value for your free gift! It's completely your choice. (Sorry, coupon codes will not apply for this sale.) My prints are already $21 and under, so you're getting a good chance to fill your house with some art for a lot less. So cheap! That's never a bad thing!
For a lot of people art is more of an afterthought, but in reality it can change the look of a whole room along with all the rest of your decorating choices. For a new outlook, I hope this sale entices you to try a few pieces and maybe make your first art purchase! Or if you regularly buy art, well then you know how good this sale is! There are 12 different prints to choose from so head on over to CharmingShop right now to pick your faves while they're still available!

Marissa xo

February 04, 2014

Colourful Vintage Dresses from Etsy

I don't know about you, but I'm really starting to long for warmer weather. I put together a few vintage dresses from Etsy that I'm in love with right now. One of them is from my very own shop, but oh how I wish it were my size! These amazing colour combinations and retro prints are helping me forget how cold it is out there. See any favourites?

Click the links above to visit each listing. 
All of these dresses are vintage and all of them are certainly on my wish list! 

Have a great day everyone. See ya again soon!

Marissa xo

February 02, 2014

New Vintage Items at CharmingShopVintage

If you've been to my vintage shop lately, you've probably noticed I've been adding new things almost daily. I want to get everything I have in the shop before our Spring Chicago trip. I have so many things that I've left aside because I didn't think it was the right time to post. Even things I've wondered if I should keep it or not. I have also been going through a lot of our own things to minimize my personal collections. I certainly don't need everything and I try to keep that in mind.
Putting out as many items as I can right now is the best way to ensure the shop is fully stocked, so I'm not rushing around in the end. (I want to keep the shop open while I'm away, but I'll leave more details before then! It's still months away and not a huge deal right now.)

A big thank you to everyone that's been browsing the shop and purchasing. I've had some really lovely people purchasing lately, and I get so excited to ship all these items to their new homes. I always wonder where they'll be placed or how they'll be used in their new lives.
These are all items I've added to the shop in the last few days. The two purses and ring are actually from my own collection, and I've had them for quite a long time. I hope someone loves them as much as I have! I'm pretty in love with both those mushroom plaques and the cat wall hangings, but I'll pass them onto someone else of course!

Click here to be directed to the shop.

Have a great day, Lovelies!

Marissa xo