Call me crazy, but I made one more trip down to the LA Fabric District before heading back to Utah. Since I won't be back in California again till Christmas, I wanted to stock up as much as I could. Joann's just isn't going to cut it for me up here.
I wanted to show you a few great finds (all pics from my phone, sorry about the quality!), and tell you about a few new gem spots to hit up if you get a chance to head down there. I recapped my previous
trips to the district here and here, so check them out for some of the places I usually frequent.
This last trip, I just headed down by myself. Don't get me wrong, I love going with friends or my mom, but I made it a goal to maneuver around down there by myself, and now that I've done it, its a great feeling.
(crazy traffic, left-hand turns, one-way streets, and parking on the top of buildings terrify me)
I am a creature of habit, and park in the same place each time. That and it's the cheapest parking I've seen. If you are standing in front of Michael Levine, it is the parking structure to the very left of it, up the alley. It's usually around $5 to park, but gets cheaper the later in the day it gets.
So I usually start with the Michael Levine Loft right across the street (seen here) because it is the cheapest and that's where I get most of my fabric. That way I can haul it all back to my car first thing and don't have to bother with carrying it around.
Then I usually head right up that street about 7 or 8 blocks and work my way down, finishing with the Michael Levine main store (which has an amazing selection, but you can't bargain there like you can in the smaller stores).
One great find this trip was this store called Angel Textiles. It is on the Michael Levine side of the street, about 3 blocks up.
Walls and walls of gorgeous 60" bolts of the best apparel fabrics. I got a ton of stuff there and it was all $2 a yard!
see what I mean?
are you dying? I am dying.
My mom is redoing her living room, so I was on the lookout for some great home fabrics as well. Michael Levine has a fantastic home fabrics store, right next to The Loft. Here are a few pics I snapped:
love this ikat
how gorgeous is that peacock?
they had some gorgeous linen that would make amazing curtains
Last but not least, my little bit of advice is to try some of the food the vendors are selling on the street. Sure, it's greasy, but it's also amaaaaazing. And when you are prego, nothing beats a bacon-wrapped hot dog. . . did I just write that? I still don't think I've worked that sucker off. But it was worth it.
Last week we had a lot of family over, so I decided to make my favorite Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe. I got this out of one of my Cuisine at Home magazines. They have the best recipes, and I recommend getting a subscription to them for sure. I haven't been disappointed by any recipes I have tried....and I have tried a lot.
So this is your classic Chicken Cordon Bleu, complete with fontina cheese and prosciutto ham. But, there is a secret ingredient added to them that makes them amazing...
You can see my toothpicks holding the chicken together. I used colored ones so they would be easier to spot when removing them at the end.
The red grapes add the best flavor!
Here's the recipe:
(serves 4...I doubled it)
4 boneless chicken breasts (4-6 oz each)
2 thin slices prosciutto, halves crosswise
4 small slices fontina cheese
salt and pepper
1/4 C all purpose flour
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 C shallots, minced
Deglaze with; Add:
3/4 C dry white wine (I used white grape juice)
1.2 C chicken broth
1 T minced fresh thyme
3 T cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 C red grapes
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut a pocket into the wide end of the chicken breast. Wrap prosciutto around each piece of cheese and insert cheese packet into the pocket. Secure each pocket with a toothpick. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, then saute in butter in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Flip the chicken and transfer pan to the oven. Roast for 8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
Add shallots to the same pan and saute for 2 minutes over a medium-high heat.
De-glaze with wine, scraping up brown bits form the pan. Add broth and thyme, and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add butter, and swirl until melted. Return chicken to pan to heat through. Add grapes and stir to coat with sauce. Remove toothpicks from chicken and serve with sauce.
As a side note - we are back in Provo! It's good to be home. But dang it's hot here! We had a fantastic summer, and now it's back to reality!
I'm super excited to welcome a new sponsor! If you haven't already heard of Meggie's Love, you've gotta go check it out. This girl has some serious creative juices, and the watches in her shop are adorable!
My dream is to one day have my clothing manufactured and sold in stores. The thought of seeing a girl pass me on the streets wearing a piece that I designed would be amazing! (I would probably make a fool of myself and tackle her down telling her how much I think she is the bomb.com for wearing my clothes)
While I have a few things on the back-burner that would help me achieve this, I know that it might be a while before I have the time and resources to see this dream become a reality. So in the meantime, I am crossing my fingers that I might get a little taste of this with the help of Shabby Apple.
I know I'm waiting till the last minute to enter, but I am submitting the following 3 skirts and 1 dress to the Shabby Apple Dare to design competition:
(I read and reread their rules and regulations on the contest and it never said anywhere that you could only submit one design, so I think I'm good to go)
Navy Pinwheel skirt
The Pinwheel Skirt would also be available in this mustard color
The Gilded Skirt
The Lace for Days Skirt
The Lavender Love Dress
If one of my designs are chosen in their top 15, I would be so very grateful for your support (in the form of votes)! I'll keep you posted on how things go!
And just curious, if you could pick one of these 4 designs, which one would be your favorite?
Have you guys heard of Chia seeds? My SIL introduced me to them and they are pretty amazing. They are those same seeds that you would smear all over those clay heads that grew leaves to look like hair. Except you eat them, you don't grow them.
Here are just a few of the health benefits from these little suckers:
- They fill you up. When they come in contact with water, pudding, juice, yogurt etc. they grow to 9x their size and they slow down the absorption of carbs to control the appetite.
- They are great for workouts. Prior to a run or athletic event which you need to hydrate, Chia Seeds in a bottle of water will help you hydrate. They will also help with protein to do the event without cramping up. Chia is good for the digestive system because it is a hydrophillic colloid.
- They are good at lowering your cholesterol. Chia seed supplies fiber in 2 forms: insoluble (won't dissolve in water) from its outer coat and soluble fiber (will dissolve in water) from its inner shell. Soluble fiber has been found helpful in lowering cholesterol and diabetes. Also the omega 3 and 6 has been shown to help.
So I have just been throwing a handful of some seeds into my green smoothies each morning, since the seeds themselves are easily digested.
Another amazing way to use Chia is to create a gel from them by adding water.
2 Cups Water
1/3 Cup Chia
-Let stand at least 10 mins. Stores for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
This gel can be substituted for the oil in a recipe. My SIL made some brownies the other day and substituted the get for oil and they still tasted amazing. She also adds the gel to soups, pasta sauces, and anything else with that kind of consistency. I'm totally going to start doing this.
These are usually sold at most health food stores, like Good Earth. My SIL picked hers up from Utah. A big 5 lb bag cost her about $15