Monday, March 24, 2014

Adventures in Moving: Part I

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 This weekend was quite an adventure. Actually, it was more of a misadventure. Friday morning, we woke up early and headed to the airport to fly to Richmond for a few days. We wanted to look for houses and explore the city a bit before we went all in and hauled our lot across the country. As we approached the airport on Hwy 71, my clutch went out in my car. What!?! Stranded within sight of our destination at seven in the morning!

Quick thinking. We only had an hour to figure this out and get on a plane. I called a cab, while he called a local mechanic to see if we could have it towed to their shop. They gave us a number of a towing company they use and told us we could pay for it when we returned. Awesome! Still waiting for a cab we were told would arrive in 20 minutes or less, I called back, and the was told they hadn't found anyone to pick us up! Aaahhhh!!! Told her FORGET IT!, and called someone else. We abandoned the car with a hidden key for the tow truck driver (and hopes that it would make its destination), and started walking to a nearby Quality Inn. We happened to walk up just as their shuttle was heading to the airport, and the driver was kind enough to have mercy and give us a ride! Saved!

Run into the airport, wind up in a line for security, and then have the issue of my maiden name being on my ticket instead of my married name. I came prepared with our marriage certificate, and an expired license to get us through this obstacle, but it took a minute to convince them and get through. We are on pins and needles! We can't miss this flight! We get through security and sprint through the airport, and get to our gate, which is already closed! The ticket checker calls the plane, and they said we could board if we did it quickly. Yessss!!! She unlocked the gate, and let us on huffing and puffing, with the entire flight staring at us as we took our seats. Made it by the skin of our teeth!

These are those moments where you look at every little thing, and say "Had this happened..." or "Had that not happened..." but things have a way of coming together just the way they need to.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Featured Etsy Shop: Butterfly Warriors

 

Katy Z is an Etsy shop owner who has an interesting story behind what drives her business. Diagnosed with Leukemia in 2009, at the age of five, her son Sammy was able to fight and beat the disease with treatment. These treatments are made available through research and study, which need funding. That is where her motivation comes in. Katy makes affordable jewelry for her shop Butterfly Warriors, to help raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and to help others fight these terrible diseases. She donates $2 of each sale to her son's fundraising team.

 "I began crafting handmade jewelry as a way of taking my mind off the struggles we faced as a family during my son's treatment. I fell in love with the process of designing and creating jewelry and pushed myself to learn new techniques. People kept asking me to make items for them and then a friend suggested I started selling on Etsy. That became the perfect way to add to my son's fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I found a way to combine my mission and my passion!"  -Katy Z.

You can read more about Katy, Sammy, and his story here.

Please pay a visit to Butterfly Warriors, and make a purchase to help Katy raise money for research. These make wonderful gifts, and are a great way shop for a cause! 

Here are just a few items from her shop.












Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes



Good morning! I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! I wanted to drop in and give you a recipe that you could make tonight to impress your coworkers tomorrow. 

For the last few years, I've been making these Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes for St.Patrick's Day. My friends absolutely love them! They are definitely a crowd pleaser. So, no matter what you are doing tomorrow, or who you are seeing, whip up a batch of these, and you'll be the crowd favorite.

There are a few ways you could make these. Most recipes you find will have you make a butter cream for these cupcakes. My husband and I find butter creams to be a little too sweet sometimes, so I usually substitute a whipped frosting. It's a little lighter. You can also skip the chocolate ganache altogether if you like. I promise no one will even notice. 

Here's what you need...

INGREDIENTS:

CUPCAKES

1 cup Guinness stout, or other dark beer
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream


GANACHE  

8 oz chocolate, chopped or chips (any kind you like is fine)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1-2 TBSP Irish Whiskey
 

FROSTING 

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 T Irish Cream


DIRECTIONS:

CUPCAKES
 
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 2 regular size cupcake trays with liners. 
(I chose to make mini cupcakes instead, which makes a ton. Do whichever you prefer.)

 Bring the butter and beer to a simmer in a pot over medium heat. Let the foam settle when measuring the beer to get an accurate measure. Once the mixture begins to simmer, the head from the beer will become frothy. Add the cocoa powder, and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Then, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until there are no lumps. In another large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the eggs and sour cream, beating until blended.

Pour the (cooled) beer mixture into the eggs and sour cream. Beat to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the bowl, and mix on low speed just until just combined. Careful not to over mix.

Divide into the lined cupcake trays. Fill cups about 3/4 of the way. Tap the tray on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.

 Place one batch of cupcakes on the middle rack of the oven, reduce the temperature to 325 F, and bake for 12 minutes. Then, rotate the pan to ensure even baking, then bake for another 10-12 minutes. When they are done, stick a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it pulls out clean, they are finished.

Remove pan from oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes, before transferring cupcakes to a cooling rack.

Repeat with second pan.


GANACHE

Warm the cream over medium heat in a small pan until simmering. Pour over the chocolate and stir, starting from the middle and working out, until all of the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Stir in the butter, until melted. Finally, stir in whiskey, and set mixture aside.

Dip the tops of the cupcakes in mixture, giving each a little twist as you pull it out of the chocolate to keep them neat and pretty. Set cupcakes aside to let the ganache cool before frosting.


FROSTING

Whip heavy whipping cream on high until it begins to thicken and look like whipped cream. Then, mix in sugar and Baileys Irish Cream until just combined. You could add a few drops of green food coloring for a bit of a festive touch. I added green sprinkles, and some Gypsies Crafts & Treats cupcake toppers of course!

Place in a piping back and pipe onto cupcakes.
Decorate and enjoy!






Friday, March 14, 2014

Fashion Finds: Bohemian Rhapsody

As my business name might suggest, I am a bit of a gypsy. My husband and I spent about a year backpacking through Central America before we settled down and got married. Some of the best times of my life were living that nomadic lifestyle; living off of little money and what I could carry on my back. I learned more, and met the most interesting people, in that time than ever imagined. I love the laid back bohemian style, and keep my home modeled off of this style, decorated colorfully and comfortably. My guests are never afraid to make themselves perfectly at home and put their feet up. 

With that in mind, this week's fashion finds are bohemian inspired treasures. Support small business and gypsies everywhere by shopping diverse pages of the Etsy community.

For the full Bohemian Rhapsody collection, click here.


I love the bright and colorful pattern of this Clutch from Sassy Stitches by Lori.


No gypsy's outfit is complete without some Bohemian Earrings like these from Josephine's Cotillion.


This Maxi Dress from Bluseagal is the epitome of comfortable bohemian style.


You'll feel like a free spirited goddess in this Chain Headpiece from Shop KP.


Hit the beach looking sexy and carefree in this Negrita Linda Swimsuit from Aida Coronado.


When you're ready to ditch the waves and grab a bite, throw this Maxi Skirt from Shop Exile over your suit.


If you are anything like me, you love to pile on the accessories, and these Gypsy Bangles from Wrapped In Leather are just what the doctor ordered.


Pair your bangle with this gorgeous Cat Eye Stone Ring from Julie's Jewelry Store.


When a clutch just wont do, grab this fun Crossbody Bag from Barefoot Modiste to store your essentials.


When the temperatures drop at night, wrap yourself in this cozy Hand Woven Scarf from Sarah and the Moon.


***Make sure to check out the full Bohemian Rhapsody collection.***


*****Also, swing by the Gypsies Crafts & Treats shop to grab some party supplies for your next shindig! Use the coupon code BOHEMIANRHAPSODY today only to get free shipping on all domestic orders over $10!*****


Monday, March 10, 2014

Big Announcement for Gypsies Crafts & Treats


Happy Monday Everyone! We've got some big news over at Gypsies Crafts & Treats! It's official, in 5 weeks we will be relocating! The hubby got a wonderful job promotion that he's been working so hard for, and deserves more than anything! With the work change comes a change in location. Soon, these two Austinites will be uprooted and transplanted in Richmond, Virginia!

We are very excited to see a new part of the country, and experience the East Coast lifestyle. I'm sure this will bring some fun and interesting changes to my blog in the future. For now, you'll have to bear with me, as it will be hard to keep up with my post as much as I would like. It's amazing how much work goes into a cross-country move. Especially, on fairly short notice. 

If you're from the Richmond area, or just love the town, give us your insight on the area. Tell us your favorite restaurants, parks, and places to visit. I'm taking my first trip in a few weeks to get to know the city a bit, and look for a house. I'd love to have a list of places to see while we're there!


***Keep an eye on the Gypsies Crafts & Treats Etsy Shop as well. I'll be holding some sales over the next few weeks to help make our moving load a little lighter. Support your local Gypsies and help us move this caravan!***


*****Today only use the coupon code BIGNEWS at checkout and receive free shipping on all domestic orders over $10 from Gypsies Crafts & Treats!!!*****


Friday, March 7, 2014

Fashion Finds: Moroccan Mood

With Spring Break already here and Summer just around the corner, it's got me thinking about exiting vacations. Who wouldn't love to hop a plane to some exotic destination, like Morocco? Just tell me where to sign! In the spirit of tempting travels, I've pulled some gorgeous gems together to get you in the mood.

For the full list, click here.


This gorgeous Moroccan Pattern Clutch from CORIUMI is a must.


These Moroccan Style Earrings from Jacaranda Designs are dainty, but intricate and on trend.


This gorgeous Piper Morocco Skirt from 3rd Floor Studio Co is perfect for warm weather outings.


If it cools off at night, wrap yourself up in this Infinity Scarf from Lix Perle.


Hit the beach or pool in this Morocco Fringe Top from Love Bird Collective.


Throw this Purple Chiffon Tunic from Aboy Shop over your suit for lounging or eating lunch by the water.


Accessorize with these lovely Chandelier Earrings from The Stella Blue Gallery.


Show off your pedicure with these Moroccan Print Flip Flops from Iadori.



***Make sure you check out the full list of Moroccan inspired goodies I've rounded up!***

**Stop by My Shop and take a look around!**

*Support handmade and small business by purchasing from Etsy.*

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tropical Storm Cocktail



Happy Fat Tuesday everyone! Do any of you have big plans for today? Maybe you're in New Orleans doing it up proper, or heading to your local Cajun bar or restaurant for some fun and revelry? Or maybe you're cooking up a pot of gumbo and staying in tonight? If that is the case, you might want to grab a few things to make this cocktail and start the celebration off right!

I am a big fan of Cajun food, Mardi Gras, and a HUGE fan of New Orleans. I spent my birthday week there last year, and came back more than a few pounds heavier. I couldn't resist all of the rich and decadent foods you get everywhere! I did partake in a few adult beverages as well, but had to skip the classic Hurricane. It's just too sweet for my taste. So, in order to bring a little of the New Orleans flavor home with a little less sweetness, I made a few tweaks on the traditional Hurricane recipe and came up with this. Since it's not quite as heavy as a Hurricane but still packs some punch, I decided to call it a Tropical Storm. Give it a try and tell me what you think!

INGREDIENTS:

2 oz Spiced Rum
1/2 oz Blackberry Brandy
2 oz Orange Juice
1/2 cup of Fresh Pineapple Chunks (canned will work)
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
Angostura Bitters
Lime Flavored Sparkling Water


HOW TO MAKE IT:

Start with your pint glass or shaker, add pineapple and three dashes of bitters. Muddle until juices have been released from pineapple. Add lime and orange juices. Top it off with the rum and brandy, add a few cubes of ice, and stir or shake. Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice, and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with a lime wheel and pineapple chunk, throw a straw in it and enjoy!