I have an Etsy shop called Afternoon at Andrea’s, and a couple weeks ago, I was contacted about possibly being featured in a blog promoting Michigan-based Etsy shops. I was more than thrilled to accept the exciting offer. This was a whole new, invigorating experience. MiEtsy is managed by Tonya, a very sweet person who contacted me out of the blue and truly made my day. Read More
Many changes have happened in my life in recent months. I moved from Marquette to Auburn Hills, quit my old job, started a new one, reconnected with old friends, and have made some serious changes to how I spend my free time. I’ve learned a few things along the way.
Enjoy your solitude.
I had a lot of time to myself in Marquette, and I loved it. I had more time to sew, bake and catch up on Buffy the Vampire Slayer than I think I will ever have again in this lifetime. Now, the reason I’ve moved to the Metro Detroit area is because this is where I am from. I have many friends and family in this area, and I so dearly missed them while I was in the UP. It is awesome to be able to go hang out with my nine-month-old niece any time I want, with my brother and his family living just ten minutes away, but there is something to be said for having only your significant other to visit with. You learn a lot about each other, and you get to grow together and as an individual. Read More
For those of you out there who have worked on commission, you know how this works. Salespeople work hard to sell you items, and if you purchase items through them, then they get a certain percentage of the sale. Commission is different in every industry, in every store, and in every situation. If you go to a store where the salespeople work on commission and someone helps you, it’s important to remember who helped you. When you leave, take their business card and make a note of their name. If that salesperson is good at what they do, they’ll take notes and remember you when you come back. Now, when you come back (and this is key), ask for that salesperson to help you again. That way, their time that they spent with you before isn’t a waste and any new salesperson who helps you can’t just steal the sale from them. This is how commissioned salespeople make their living, how they feed their families, and how they get through their workday without losing faith in humanity. Remember your salespeople and ask for them by name when you return to a store. Read More
I love my dog. A good dog can bring comfort after a long day, make you smile when your heart is broken, and make you say “aww” when you discover her curled up in your spot on the couch. My family has had a number of exceptional pets. In no particular order, there’s been Murphy, Molly, Smokey, Max, Winnie, Rufus, Ruby, Princess (we didn’t name her), Carmen, Max(ine), Petey, Cheerio, Pinky, Pogo, Bailey, Rusty, Calvin, and Hobbes. Extended family pets include Scout, Lele, Tiger, and Rocco. I’m sure there have been more, but those were the most memorable ones anyway. Among them, there were dogs, cats, countless fish, a turtle, a bird, and roughly 200 hamsters. A note to parents out there: It might not be the best idea to buy both a male and a female hamster and keep them in the same cage. Read More
Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!: A Puzzling Novel by C. Casey Gardiner can be found on Amazon and a slew of local bookstores in Metro Detroit. This first printingwas funded on Kickstarter with the help of friends, family, and strangers. I ought to admit that I am Casey’s little sister, so this book review is probably completely biased. That being said, I love Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!, and everyone should read it. Read More
My Etsy shop, Afternoon at Andrea’s, has introduced to me a new part of crafting that I haven’t explored much until the last few years: Making things to sell. Not making things as gifts for people, not making something for myself because I saw this great idea on Pinterest, but actually making things with nobody in particular in mind, for financial growth, and to share my crafts with strangers. I’ve been making things for my friends and family my whole life, and let me tell you, to get positive feedback from a stranger across the country is awesome. It’s like having your grandmother pinch your cheek your whole life and tell you what a pretty singing voice you have… When an unknown audience member compliments you after a concert, it’s a whole new ballgame. It’s like, “Ok, I believe you!” Read More
The patchwork was colorful and perfect. As a child, it kept me warm and safe, and served as the perfect picnic blanket on my bedroom floor with my toys. Each patch was a reflection of something else, a scrap of a bigger purpose. I studied that quilt with my eyes and my hands, so when I noticed that my Grandma’s pants or my Grampaw’s bathrobe shared the same fabrics, I knew that my Grandma had made those pants and that bathrobe, and that the colorful squares in my quilt were scraps from her other projects. The border and backing fabric matched my curtains, white with colorful polka dots. This quilt that was made for me by my Grandma with such love and care will stay with me forever, and it will be passed down through my family. That’s the thing about quilts; they stay with you.
Chris and I made a big batch of traditional Mexican Teloloapan Red Mole sauce (pronounced mo-lay) on Labor Day. The process took 5-1/2 hours. There are many different kinds of Mole, including Mole Poblano, and many different recipes to choose from. I tried Mole for the first time four years ago in Chicago. The cook was from Mexico, and her mole was amazing. Chris had tried mole before at Jalapeño’s in Pontiac, and he was amped. We decided then that we had to make it. Well, we did make it about a year ago, and it was awesome. Took us two days. This time around, it took us less time, and we seem to have it down to a science. And when I say science, I mean science. Homemade Mole is like one giant chemical equation, one giant scientific, kitchenific experiment. It is definitely a process, and that’s just to make the sauce, let alone use the sauce in dishes like tacos and enchiladas. Read More
Dia De Los Tacos is quickly becoming a favorite part of Marquette. Chris and I make our own tacos for dinner at least once a week. When we’re too lazy to cook for ourselves, we often chase down this awesome new taco truck. They just started within the last year, and every time I see the truck, it looks like business is booming. They must be doing something right. With all gluten-free menu items like tacos and pupusas, you’ll never go hungry. Types of tacos include pulled chicken, pulled pork, handmade chorizo, and black bean with poblano pepper, each topped with a variety of garnish and cheese. Read More
I love to bake. I always have, and always will. I learned a lot about baking from my mom and my grandmas, and I have a mean Irish Beer Bread recipe from my Grampaw, but I’ll save that for another day. For now, I decided to bake two kinds of zucchini bread. It all started when I got two zucchinis the size of my arm from my friend Shar. No joke. The first recipe, I got from Chris’ family, which includes an optional Streusel-Nut topping. I left the topping off this time, but it really is the icing on the cake. The second recipe, Chris found for me online and has less sugar and fat, but tastes just as awesome (I LOVE the cranberries). I can’t pick a favorite one. I guess it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. Try them both to figure it out. Everybody wins. This is an excellent way to use those freakishly large zucchinis that can be too tough for other cooking. Always trim the ends and peel the zucchini before shredding. Read More
I am an interior designer and crafter living in Marquette, Michigan. To view conceptual renderings, drawings and photographs of my work as an interior designer, please view my portfolio. Contact me if you’re interested in interior design services or custom crafts.