Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fave Five: Gift Guide For Her

If you're at all like me, you only tackled about 10% of your holiday gift shopping this past weekend. I did shop a couple online sales, but I still have a lot left to do! I'm terribly indecisive when it comes to shopping for others. So, I've been scouring gift guides for ideas and thought I'd make my own as well. 

Above are five lovely gifts for your mom, your sister, your best friend, any lady in your life. Next week I'll tackle some gift ideas for guys! Below are the links to these fabulous items....

How about you, have you finished (or come close to finishing) your holiday shopping yet? If your answer is yes, do you mind explaining to me how you did that? :)


Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday thru Cyber Monday Sale (and an Etsy Sale Gift Guide)!

It's Black Friday! Instead of hitting the long lines at big retail stores, I like to curl up with a cup of coffee and my computer and shop the online sales. And I'm having one of my own! Now through Cyber Monday, every order will receive free shipping with the coupon code HOLIDAYFREESHIP. This is a once-a-year sale so go take advantage at my shop!

And while you're there, you may want to check out a few other sales from Etsy shops this weekend! Below is my guide to a few can't-miss shops to kick off your holiday gifting...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats & I'm Back (Again!)

Hello there! So sorry for the blogging hiatus once again... it's hard to have time to post when I'm so busy with my shop and work! (I'm gearing up for a big Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale in my shop... details tomorrow!!)

I've had a lot of recipes and projects I've wanted to share, so hopefully I'll get back on track and start posting regularly again. Today I have another easy dog treat recipe to share with you all -- do I spoil my pooches or what? Read below for the super easy recipe...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fave Five: Indie Artisans Collection

This month my button up neckwarmer is featured on Indie Artisans as part of their Thanksgiving inspired collection. There are so many amazing handmade products featured on their site this month! So for this edition of fave five, I'm sharing a few of my favorites from the collection. Check them out below...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Recipes: Butternut Squash Bisque & Pumpkin Seeds

I'd like to go on record and say that fall is my favorite season. It used to be winter, when I was a kid, because of Christmas and my birthday in December. Then it was summer (lazy days of no school and vacations? yes please) but now that I'm all grown up and stuff, it's definitely fall. The weather has been beautiful, the leaves are changing, and I have been cooking some delicious recipes...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Lovely Little Journals from Subtle Acts

A couple weeks ago I won Subtle Act's fall gift pack giveaway, and I was thrilled to receive these three beautiful journals! Organizing my life and business is a constant struggle for me (I am by nature messy and cluttered), and so these journals are helping me fight the battle :)

Read on for more about these lovely journals and where you can get your own...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Recipe: Dog Treats, Puppy Pumpkin Pies

Hello again! It's been almost two weeks since I last posted... between orders in my shop and extra hours at work, I just haven't had the time! I'm back today with a recipe for the canines in your life. This dog treat recipe is perfect for this time of year -- puppy pumpkin pies! These are yummy and healthy for your dog, as pumpkin helps to regulate digestion. Read on below for how easy these are to make...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fave Five: Wedding Trends

Even though I've been married over a year now, I still love looking at wedding inspiration. I blame Pinterest. I do have an excuse though -- both my sister and sister-in-law are getting married next summer, so my slight obsession with wedding decor, dresses, etc. can have an outlet. Above are five of my favorite current wedding trends...

1) Eclectic reception table centerpieces via Ruffled Blog

2) Vintage inspired wedding dresses via Ruche

3) Braided knot bridal hairstyles via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

4) Nature inspired invitations via Martha Stewart Weddings

5) Mismatched (yet coordinating) bridesmaid dresses via Love and Lavender

Ah, if I could do it again... I'd elope. Just kidding, I loved planning all the details of our wedding and reception (which was kickass by the way). But it was stressful, and I'd never do it again. 

Hope you're having a great week!

Friday, October 12, 2012

DIY: Mini Cards Tutorial

Today I'm sharing a quick and inexpensive way to make personalized mini cards. I love sending out a quick handwritten thank you note with all orders from my shop, and mini cards are great for this! Making them myself is an added personal touch, and as a bonus, can be really inexpensive. Read on for how I made the above cards...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Holiday Sneak Peek!

I'm really excited to share a sneak peak of some new holiday knits with you... In a week or two, I hope to have these up and ready for sale in my shop! I'll be launching holiday ornaments including Santa hats, mittens, and stockings... as well as a couple other designs that I've got up my sleeve :)

I promise my Christmas tree isn't actually up yet... I just used the top third of it for picture taking purposes. It is now safely stowed away again until after Thanksgiving :)

 Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fave Five: Giveaways!

Image / Print via Little Natty

As I mentioned yesterday, this week I'm hosting giveaways here at 20 Best Twenty and as part of a fall giveaway pack here at Violet's Buds.  In keeping with this trend (and with the above statement... how awesome does it feel to win something beautiful and handmade for free?!) here are five of my favorite giveaways that are going on right now. Hurry up and enter because they are ending really soon! You better believe I've already entered all of these...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Free Knitting Pattern: Easy Chunky Knit Beanie Hat

Are temperatures cooling down where you are? Here in Missouri we have actually had a frost overnight for the past two days! It's definitely time to start bundling up in some cute and cozy accessories. Today I'm sharing a free knitting pattern for a basic beanie hat. Using chunky yarn, this hat knits up really quickly, and is sure to keep you or a friend cozy this fall and winter! I've included instructions for both a men's and women's beanie below...

Friday, October 5, 2012


Image via CMYBacon

If the above saying is true, then I usually do a pretty good job deciding how to allot my time. Today I wasted some time and cleaned though. I spent a lot of time today preparing for this weekend, so I decided the best word for today was pre-weekend. Or maybe preekend...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

DIY: Halloween Costume Ideas

I've always had a blast dressing up for Halloween! In the past I've been everything from a lion (above -- and yes, that is my hair, teased out and pinned around my face as a mane!) to Edward Scissorhands, to Woody Allen (partner costume, one of my bffs was Annie Hall), to a "walk-of-shame" (think messy hair, smeared mascara, high heels with a cute going out top... and boxer shorts!). The lion was the most fun, but it was a real pain -- literally -- un-lion-mane-ing my hair the next day :)

Anyway, Halloween is less than 4 weeks away, so it's time to start brainstorming costume ideas! Last year my husband and I didn't do anything for Halloween (the soccer team he coaches had a game that night) and this year I'm bound and determined that we hit the town in style.

Half the fun of a Halloween costume, in my opinion, is making it! So here is a round-up of awesome DIY Halloween costumes from around the web...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fave Five: Vintage Blues

Image via CountryDreaming

Lately I've been digging blue hues... I know autumn is all about warm colors, but there's also something about that bright blue sky as a backdrop to the yellows and oranges of autumn! (How stunningly gorgeous is the photo above, by the way?!) So below are five of my favorite blue vintage finds...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Business Cards

Washi tape business cards via mint design blog

So a couple weeks ago I bought a Groupon for Vistaprint -- $17 for $70 worth of products! -- with the goal in mind of stocking up on business cards...

Monday, October 1, 2012

DIY: Aromatic Fall Home / Happy October!

This is kind of ridiculously simple, so I'm not sure it qualifies as a DIY... but it's a quick and inexpensive tip to make your home smell like autumn amazing-ness. Since it's officially October, I think the timing is perfect for some fall aroma around the house.

I was at the grocery store the other day and came across packages of mulling spices and cinnamon sticks, which reminded me of this easy method of home aromatherapy. I learned this trick from one of my college roommates...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Recipe: White Bean Chicken Chili

I realize that the last 3 recipes I've shared have all been soups/chilis/stews: this is not a coincidence. When cooler weather arrives, I make a lot of these meals. Here is another that I just have to share with you: white chicken chili. My recipe is adapted from this version on Epicurious... and it is not health conscious, in case you were wondering. To my credit, I did reduce the amount of half-and-half and cheese that were called for in the original recipe :)

Let's face it, though: sometimes you have to treat yourself.  Tom Haverford and Donna say it best:

Sidenote: I couldn't be more excited for the season premiere of Parks and Recreation tonight. I've been watching marathons of past seasons all summer, and I need some new episodes. Update: Somehow I'd missed the fact that it premiered last week! So bonus, I got to watch two new episodes tonight instead of one!  Yes, I'm a TV nerd.

So next time you have a treat yourself day, here's what you need for dinner...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY: Yarn Wrapped Storage Tin Tutorial

One of my long-term goals is to organize my "workspace" in our house. I use quotation marks for this name because I don't actually work in it... and there's no space. It is too messy for either working or for space. It's just an overflowing storage area. One of these days, when it's transformed, I'm going to do a before and after makeover post...

Monday, September 24, 2012


This first weekend of fall was amazing! It still looked like summer, but the weather was cool and the sun was shining. I love the month or so in the Midwest where there's no longer any danger of heat exhaustion but still no chance of snow :)

Before I get to details of my weekend, I'm guest posting on Julie Ann Art's blog today and sharing a recipe for my homemade peanut butter dog treats! Be sure to go check it out :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall Sale, This Weekend Only!

Start shopping at meganesass.etsy.com!

So, Saturday is the official start of the autumn season (for us Northern Hemisphere dwellers, anyway), and it's definitely my favorite. The weather cools down, and people no longer give me weird looks when I'm knitting, like they do during the hot summer months. Not to mention, autumn is full of beautiful leaves, pumpkins, delicious warm drinks and food... have I convinced you yet? Good!

To celebrate the start of fall, I'm having a major sale in my shop, now through Sunday at 12:00 AM CST! You'll save 25% off any order when you enter code ILOVEAUTUMN at checkout (while in your cart, just click "apply shop coupon code" on the right-hand side, and type the code in the box that appears).

As an added bonus, if you share this sale on Facebook (you can click the link and just share my status), you'll be entered to win $25 in shop credit! I'll announce the winner on Monday. 

To sum up, I really really really love fall, and I think we should all have some warm knits to celebrate :)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipe: Smoky Turkey Chili

This recipe was something I just threw together the other night, but it turned out so good that I had to share! It is super easy, delicious, and perfect for the cooler fall weather...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fave Five: For Knitters

Today's Fave Five is all about knitting! Above are five awesome products that any knitter would love. I already have a couple of these myself :) Links and descriptions for each of these items are below:

one: Ball of Wool and Knitting Needle Earrings from Max's World - how creative are these?!
two: Takumi Bamboo Circular Needles from Clover - you'll never want to knit with anything else again.
three: Need to Knit Embroidery Hoop from Moxiedoll - so cute, I love this!
four: Hand Dyed Yarn from phydeauxdesigns - this colorway is so gorgeous for fall.
five: Ceramic Yarn Bowl from blueroompottery - I love how this bowl has holes to hold your needles!

Whether you're a knitter or a friend of a knitter... you should check out these awesome items!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Show: Old Town Shawnee Craft Fair

This past weekend I had a booth at the Shawnee Old Town Craft Fair in Shawnee, KS. This was only the third craft show I've ever participated in -- and each time I've been in a show, I've completely changed my display! This was also my first outdoor show, and I loved it. The weather was perfect (about 70 degrees and partly cloudy most of the day) and the crowds were huge! I snapped some photos of my booth before the show started; take a look below to see some details of my display...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lovely Package Exchange

So a couple months ago I decided to participate in the Lovely Package Exchange over at Danni's blog: oh, hello friend. I just love giving (and of course getting) gifts, and I'm always looking for some packaging inspiration for personal gifts and for my shop. My partner Sara and I were a little late in getting paired up and exchanging our packages, so I just got hers yesterday and had to share! Opening it was like Christmas in September :) Find pictures of the packaging and gifts below...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY: Handmade Banner Tutorial

On Saturday I'll be selling my knits at this craft fair in Shawnee, Kansas, and so I've been doing a few last minute display preparations this week. The first one I'm sharing is this handmade banner with my shop name. You can use the steps below to make a similar banner for your shop at a craft show, or to make a banner for a birthday party or other event! Read on to see how easy (and inexpensive!) it is...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Travels: Nurnberg, Germany

My husband I went on our honeymoon last year to both Germany and Italy. Today I'm sharing one of my favorite German towns: Nurnberg, AKA Nuremberg (well, really it's a city, but everything in Germany is so picturesque that I think of it as a town). It's probably most known to Americans for the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, but as a place to visit it's beautiful, full of history, and overflowing with good food (and beer)...

Monday, September 10, 2012


This past weekend was so much fun, since it has finally cooled down a little in the Midwest. My dogs celebrated the cooler temps by hanging out by the garden :)

It was so nice outside that I actually wore jeans on Saturday and leggings on Sunday. It felt amazing! A few highlights from my weekend...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Knitting Pattern: Little Fall Pumpkin

Today's knitting pattern is an adorable little pumpkin that is perfect for fall decor! I can think of endless uses for these tiny pumpkins: they'd be just right at an autumn wedding, a Halloween party, or in the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table.

This knit pattern is for sale ($5 USD). You can purchase the knitting pattern via the Paypal "Buy Now" button below, or you can purchase the finished product here in my Etsy shop.


Level: Intermediate/Advanced (stitches/skills used include kfb, k2tog, knitting in the round, and knitting an I-cord)
Materials Needed: worsted weight yarn, fiber stuffing, dpns, yarn needle
Format: PDF, sent via email to buyer's Paypal address

My email will be available in the pattern for anyone who has questions! If you have any questions about purchasing the pattern, just let me know in the comments below.

Happy (almost) Fall! And happy Friday :)


P.S. My giveaway on Julie Ann Art ends today! Go enter if you haven't yet :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recipes: Ropa Vieja, Slow Cooker Style

I made this awesome Cuban dish a couple days ago and had to share the recipe, which I adapted from the Taste of Home version. Ropa vieja in Spanish means "old clothes," but I assure you this dish tastes leaps and bounds better than any worn out socks you may have lying around. Ingredients and steps are below...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fave Five: Dog Days

My sister, her fiance, and their Australian Shepherd puppy are staying with us for a few days while their air conditioning gets fixed, so currently there are three dogs in our house. My morning has been all about filling water bowls, tossing toys around, and trying to get work done while a wriggling mass of playfully wrestling puppies tumbles around the living room. They are adorable though! So, in honor of the puppy party in my house, five of my favorite pet products are above... which is your favorite?


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sleepwalk With Me

So in addition to spending time with family and generally enjoying the Labor Day weekend, I've also spent the last few days being envious of anyone who lives in New York, California, Chicago... any of the places where Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me is already playing.

Unfortunately the film does not arrive in the Kansas City, Missouri area until September 21st. I already checked with my husband, and we are GOING. That's right, I planned a date night 3 weeks ahead of time.

Reasons I want to see this movie:
1) I'm a huge fan of Mike Birbiglia's comedy.
2) I haven't seen Lauren Ambrose in anything since the show Six Feet Under ended, and that's too long.
3) Judd Apatow said he could have watched the film for 10 hours. Enough said.

Also, the movie won an award at Sundance, was picked for SXSW, etc. and those are usually good signs. Have I convinced you to go see it too? You can check the official site of the movie here to find out when it's playing in your area... I am counting the days until September 21!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Giveaway at Julie Ann Art

I'm running a giveaway over at Julie Ann Art's blog today! Go check it out and enter to win a set of 3 of my Mason Jar Centerpieces... your choice of colors!

Happy Friday!

Hair Tutorial: Braided Headband

So the other day I was helping my mother-in-law take some pictures of new items for her vintage shop. While we were in  her basement she came across this book, Beautiful Braidsthat was my sis-in-law's. I had the exact. same. book! when I was younger! Read on to see a front cover full of some awesome 90s hairstyles...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free Pattern: Crochet Dog Bow Tie

Today's pattern is a crochet pattern, not a knit pattern -- although it's very easy to knit a dog bow tie as well! Doesn't my pup Roscoe look dashing in this bow tie? This is perfect for Halloween, Christmas, photo shoots, or anytime you want friends and family gushing over your dog more than usual. The pattern is below; non-crocheters can find the finished item to purchase here...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fave Five: Fall Fashion Textures

one: for the love of plaid dress from modcloth
two: herringbone shoe clips from the bow makers
three: honeycomb lace dress from anthropologie
four: mb vianca smoking flat from target
five: city mini in brilliant flame from jcrew

It may be well over 90 degrees this week in Kansas City, but that hasn't stopped me from daydreaming about fall fashion. I can't wait for layering, warm autumn hues, and all the fun textures coming my way. Which of these is your favorite?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recipes: Everything Pumpkin

Image via September Wren

Alright, so not really everything pumpkin. Just desserts. But let's face it, desserts are everything. And now that I've started to see pumpkin beer in the aisles of the grocery store (we all know this is the first true sign of fall) I have got pumpkin desserts on the brain...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Travels: Yellowstone, Wyoming

In the summer of 2010 my husband (then boyfriend) and I took a massive road trip out west -- we left from Kansas City, looped up north into Washington and BC, drove down the coast through California, and then came back east through Utah and Colorado. We hit as many national parks as possible and did a ton of camping. Today I'm sharing one of the places we visited: Yellowstone National Park. Don't let the bears scare you off: the park is enormous and stunningly beautiful. I wish we had had more time there; we were only there for a day before moving on to Montana. Here are some photos of our trip (again, all photos taken by me)...

Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY: Upcycled Packaging

One of the best feelings in life has got to be upcycling something that would otherwise end up in the trash or recycling pile. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it's budget friendly too! Today I'm sharing a recent packaging project -- I turned a shoe box into a lovely spa gift box for some lotion and bath salts. It's very quick and easy to do, so read on...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Travels: Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore, where we stayed. The view from our  balcony.

For my first travel post on this blog, I have to share some of the most stunning scenery I've ever witnessed: the views in Cinque Terre, Italy. For those unfamiliar, Cinque Terre is the name of five towns (and a national park) on the western coast of Italy. My husband and I stayed here for a few days during our honeymoon last summer. The entire area is completely picturesque, as evidenced by more of my photos below...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Free Knitting Pattern: Chunky Colorblock Headband / Earwarmer

Today I'd like to share my first free knitting pattern / tutorial! Temperatures have started to cool down here in the Midwest, and I'm looking forward to fall... I just love bundling up in scarves, hats, and all kinds of warm knits. This easy knit pattern adds a trendy colorblock twist to a basic headband. Instructions and step-by-step photos below...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fave Five: Kaleidoscope

Remember kaleidoscopes? I used to play with mine endlessly as a kid... it never seemed to make the same pattern twice. I've got kaleidoscopes on the brain lately with a lot of the fun geometric patterns I've been spotting. Without further ado, here are five of my favorite geometric/kaleidoscope-inspired designs (links to these awesome items are below the photo):

I just love all of these patterns! Which is your favorite?


Monday, August 20, 2012

Recipe: Chicken Artichoke Pizza with Tomato and Basil

This past weekend I made this delicious chicken and artichoke pizza, and so I thought I'd share the recipe. It was my first time making a pizza with white sauce, and it was super delicious. An added bonus was that I got to use tomatoes and basil, which are the only drought survivors in our garden this year...

Friday, August 17, 2012

DIY Word Cloud Tote Bag: How-To

Today's project is a tote bag that looks professionally designed but is super easy to make yourself! Honestly, this only took me about 30 minutes to make. Here's what you'll need...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Product Review: Mane Message Hair Ties

Today I wanted to share these amazing Hair Ties and Headbands I got from Mane Message last week. 

Aren't these beautiful? My life is complete: I'm now the proud owner of hair ties that look just as cute on my wrist as they do in my hair...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Salute to Shark Week: Fave Five

Did you know that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Discovery Channel's Shark Week? Have you been watching the past few days? As scary as these enormous, toothy beasts are in real life, a few amazing designers are able to make them funny and even downright cute. Today, here are five of my favorite shark designs from Etsy (find links to these brilliant products beneath the photo):

Aren't all of these products amazing and creative? Which is your favorite?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DIY Pom Bouquet: How-To

Welcome to my first blog post! To start things out, I'd love to share a fun DIY that will add some autumn color to your home. This yarn pom bouquet is easy and inexpensive to make. Here's what you'll need...