Burlap Bag


If you've been around the blog awhile, you might have seen my post last year about my strapless burlap dress creation for the Joe Bean eco challenge. I didn't win last year but knew I wanted to try again this year! Instead of a rather uncomfortable to wear dress I decided to go with something that was actually usable.

I am SO excited for this purse. I will totally be rocking it after the competition is over. If you want to see it in person along with the other 40 artist's creations, head to Joe Bean Coffee Roasters on Sept 6th to see them all!! I'll be there to sign autographs... since I'm famous *coughcough*

Fingers crossed... although I'm sure there will be some stiff competition.

Want to make your own? Here's how. (totally realize I should have taken pictures... but really it's easy!)


  1. Cut a rectangular piece of burlap and a rectangle of an old t-shirt (for the lining) to the same size. 
  2. Fold materials in half to form a square (nice sides facing in).  Cut a nice curve into the top of both (this is where your handle goes). Sew up along both sides.
  3. Flip bag corners out and sew a line  through each corner to create a box bottom (video tutorial here, you don't need the tool they are selling, just use a ruler. It sounds more confusing than it really is)
  4. Flip burlap right side out and place lining inside. Use double fold bias tape to hold lining and burlap together and sew along curve.
  5. Do the same around the entire top opening of the bag. I added a piece of burlap bag edging into the center of the bias tape to give the top extra strength for when you hold the bag.

click to enlarge







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Virtual Baby Shower- Texas edition

And my post just deleted itself when I tried to add in the link list... sigh....

I'll have to rewrite it later since I'm dead tired and now rather cranky... ugg. Sorry :(

Gist of the post. CONGRATS to Amber of Bluebonnets & Brownies, here's to celebrating her virtual baby shower!! I made Fiesta Dip to celebrate, and a cute hat for her baby to be! I'll have to rewrite the pattern... awesome. I hate computers...



Sugarcrafter | Breakfast Tostadas
My Kitchen Addiction | Baby Texan Cookies
My Baking Addiction | Texas Sheet Cake
Simple Bites | Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa
Stetted | Queso Mac
Food for My Family | Texas Pepper Barbecue Sauce
Dessert For Two | Frito Chocolate Chip Cookies
Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Coconut Tres Leches Layer Cake
TidyMom | Pizza Bread Sticks
Miss in the Kitchen | Blackberry Milkshakes
Art of Gluten Free Baking | Peach-Pecan Pie, Gluten-Free
Bon Appetit Hon | Cheddar Ranch Crackers
Food Babbles | Southern Pecan Pie
Jelly Toast | Peach Iced Tea
Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle | Decorated Elephant Cookies
i am baker | Texas Brownie Cake
The Kitchen Trials | Coca-Cola Cake
Cookies & Cups | Sticky Toffee Pudding Cookies
A Farmgirl's Dabbles | Peanut Butter Bonbons the Size of Texas
Steph Chows | Fiesta Dip


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Birthday Jam

It was birthday earlier this week! Jeanne's too! So lets jam! I love apricot jam, and I equally love raspberry jam. For some reason I never thought to make a combo of the two... until this summer. I was at a local farm picking apricots when the farmer asked if I wanted to grab some raspberries while I was there. A big basket later and I was on my way home contemplating what to make.


Inspiration struck. Why not make a combo of the two!? 2 on the left are straight up raspberry, 2 on the right are apricot. Dead center is the 2 for 1 deal!

Apricot Raspberry Jam
recipe by steph chows
Makes 5, 1/2 pint jars 

3 cups pitted and quartered apricots (I don't skin mine, I'm a rebel)
2 cups mashed raspberries
3/4 cup + 1 Tbs water
2 Tbs Ball RealFruit Low or No Sugar Pectin (I bought the flex batch jug)
1 cup white sugar
  1. PREPARE waterbath canner, jars and lids according to manufacturer's instructions, if preserving. Prepare and measure ingredients for recipe.
  2. COMBINE prepared fruit with water in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in Ball RealFruit Pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. ADD sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat  and skim foam if necessary. 
  4. Process jars for 10 minutes. To learn more on how to do this head here.
Depending on the amount of fruit you pick and type you can always use this handy dandy calculator over at Ball. It's super easy to use!




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Hungry - giveaway

Hungry: What eighty ravenous guys taught me about life, love & the power of good food, is a memoir written by Darlene Barnes and is about her time spent as a cook in a fraternity house and what she learned from the life experience. The premise had me intrigued, a small peek into a lifestyle I can honestly say I have no desire to ever be a part of.

I have to say my favorite aspect of the book were the fantastic recipes that ended each chapter. Tied together from memories within the chapter they were indeed a delightful treat to come upon after each chapter. I will for sure be trying my hand at a few. Interview pot roast anyone? I love that she brought food with her to her interview. Sounds like something I'd do :) I totally loved her for it.

Now my not so favorite part. The book had me interested from the start, but the author kept waxing on about how unfair her lot in life was. She was a stay at home mom, who decided to jump back into the workforce once her kids were grown. The thing is she somehow expected to jump to the top of any career she randomly picked out of a hat. She goes on about her meandering career path and how nothing really was fitting or working for her. It was hard for me to relate or feel sympathy for her, since I feel like you do need to work your way into a position, not just have it handed it to you. Not wanted to abandon the book, I read on, but still had this feeling of entitlement stabbing at me through the pages. Good news though, she learns a lesson and it doesn't take until the last pages for her to learn it.


All in all an interesting read, intrigued to read it yourself? I have one copy to give away to a lucky reader. Just leave a comment for your chance to win.

Want to read what other people are saying check out more of the tour here:
Monday, August 5th:  Life, Love & Books
Tuesday, August 6th:  Lit and Life
Wednesday, August 7th:  ::steph chows::
Thursday, August 8th:  Peppermint Ph.D.
Monday, August 12th:  A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Thursday, August 15th:  Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, August 19th:  Book Club Classics!
Wednesday, August 21st:  Guiltless Reading
Thursday, August 22nd:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, August 26th:  Bookchickdi
Wednesday, August 28th:  The Well Read Redhead
Tuesday, September 3rd:  Kahakai Kitchen
Thursday, September 5th:  BookNAround
Monday, September 9th:  girlichef
Saturday, September 14th:  Joyfully Retired

I was provided a copy of the book from TLC book tours and the publisher, all opinions are my own.




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Novica - Giveaway

GIVEAWAY CLOSED- WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED. Thanks for entering!

There is a huge movement to shop local, which I fully embrase and love, but sometimes it's fun to see what other cultures and far away places have to offer. I say lets start a shop one on one movement. That's what Novica is doing, making it possible to shop directly with wonderful small artisans from around the world. No mass production here, just small batch, hand crafted art.

Whether it be Women's Clothing from Central America or Balinese Dangle Earrings or Peruvian Silver 950 Jewelry.  Know that you will be receiving something hand made along with a note from the creator. I loved receiving my item in a little gift bag along with a hand written note (thankfully also written translated into english for me). You can't get more personal then that!

I decided to get this leather cuff by Hariyono who resides in Bali. I love it! It gives every outfit a little bit of something extra. It's not too bulky that it gets in the way, and I love how the edge changes width, creating a beautiful spiral on your wrist.



I bet you are wondering about the giveaway right? The people at Novica gave me two $50 promo codes, one for myself to get something (the awesome leather cuff!), and one for you my awesome readers!

Since Novica ships products just about everywhere, everyone is welcome to enter the giveaway! To enter click on one of the links above (don't worry I don't get click through bonuses or anything, these are just some areas Novica wants to highlight) take a look around at what Novica has to offer, then come back here and tell me what you might buy! That's it! One entry per person, random.org will select the winner. You have until 8-9-13 to enter.



Your email will never be displayed publicly, so don't be scared to comment! :) Oh and make sure you type in your blog link so I can click over to you! There is a spot you can type it in.

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