Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Giveaway: Blanchard's Coffee Supply

***Update: This giveaway has ended, find the lucky winner at the bottom of the post. Stay tuned for future giveaways right here at 17 Apart! ***


If you follow along with us regularly you'll know we'd been without power for going on 4 days - it wasn't pretty. Not getting the regular morning doses of our favorite coffee was a total bummer, so we thought what better way to celebrate our power returning late last night than with a giveaway — a Blanchard's coffee giveaway to be exact!?

We love this coffee so much we're giving away three fresh 12 ounce bags of whole beans to one lucky reader - that's a nice supply to get you through the start of autumn, depending on how quickly you get hooked! Full details below the dotted line (if you want to skip ahead).


It's no secret we're fans of Blanchard's coffee. Blanchard's is a family owned, Richmond based, and community oriented company producing organic, fair trade, and sustainable beans. I'd say just in the past year was really the time we discovered this roaster local to Richmond, VA — quite literally down the street from us. We were introduced via our neighborhood farmer's market and realized quickly this small company was being carried in several Richmond groceries including Ellwood Thompson's, Whole Foods Market, and Martin's.

Admittedly being pretty hardcore Starbucks fans prior to finding Blanchard's (which we still love to visit our neighborhood store), we were thrilled to find a local whole bean variety we liked as well for home use.

We are especially partial to the Dark as Dark whole bean variety, described by Blanchard's as "strong as a donkey kick, and bold as love. A blend of coffees from around the world to bring balance back to the dark side." Other bags read, "This coffee is not for the uncommitted. Be a man (or woman) and cowboy up" - don't think we could have given a better picture if we tried.


Here at the 17 Apart "homestead" we have a quirky collection of mugs. We've never had a full matching set — we're the type that likes to keep it a little eclectic. I think we can all spot which of the two pictured mugs is mine (Go Pittsburgh! Who's ready for game-time tomorrow at 8pm ET?). One of Mary's favorite mugs is this vintage milk glass cup with a big M initial on it. She got it a while back on Etsy from vintage dealer, KupandSaucer. Check out similar initial mugs available on Etsy here.

...And since we're blabbing on about great coffee and local options, we'll leave you with a beautiful video profiling 5 neighborhood coffee shop concepts from around the world. *Mental note: Add "Property of..." coffee shop to must visit list when we make our way through Amsterdam.



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Now down to business:
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell us how you like your java? Any good friend knows how the other takes their coffee.

Each of the following will earn you an additional entry:
  • Follow this blog by clicking the "join this site" button in the top right sidebar and leave a new comment on this post letting us know.
  • "Like" 17 Apart on Facebook and leave a new comment on this post letting us know you've done so.
  • Follow 17 Apart on Twitter and leave a new comment on this post letting us know you've done so.
  • Share this post by clicking the Facebook Like button at the top of the post and leave a new comment on this post letting us know you've done so.
  • Tweet about the giveaway including the following: "@17Apart is giving away
    3 fresh bags of @drinkblanchards coffee: http://tinyurl.com/3zbv9qh" along with anything else you'd like to include - then leave a new comment on this post letting us know you've done so.
  • Sign up for our mailing list by clicking the button in our sidebar and leave a new comment on this post letting us know you've done so.
The giveaway will end Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST; the winner will be auto-generated using Random.org and updated in this post shortly thereafter. Be sure to come visit to find out the winner and good luck!

***Update: This giveaway has ended, the lucky winner is commenter #71, Debbie, who says she likes her coffee "with just a bit of cream." Thanks to all that participated and stay tuned for future giveaways right here at 17 Apart! ***

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lights Still Out

The good news is we managed safely through Hurricane Irene over Saturday night. As the wind and rain picked up with tropical storm velocity, we were most worried about the two tall trees in our yard uprooting onto the house, the basement flooding, and roof damage. Luckily, the worst that came our way was heavy debris and tree branches throughout the yard. Our surrounding neighbors weren't quite as lucky.

We've been without power since about 6:30pm ET Saturday. Isn't it amazing how much we take for granted until it's not there? Our recent evenings have consisted of some good conversation, candlelight, and good spirits.

Because we've been without internet, we'll keep today's post brief and hopefully be able to bring a more robust update later in the week. This morning, Tim bit the bullet and unpacked all of our freezers into coolers then headed into work while I've zipped over to Starbucks to work remotely throughout the day (checking in on the power status at Dominion Virginia Power). Looks like lots of other folks had the same idea as I'm in quite the lot of laptop company here this morning.

In other exciting news, Tim was recently interviewed by Stephen Robertson for Richmond.com's 5 Questions with a Foodie series and his interview published this morning, featured in the Entertainment section. We'd love for you to check it out and learn a little more about what makes Tim tick.

Keep well and we're hoping everyone affected by the weather this weekend has been able to stay safe.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Come on Irene: Or was it Come on Eileen?


Not really sure what is up with mother nature this week. First the earthquake, then last night's storm (pictured rolling into our neighborhood above), and now we're settling down and preparing for hurricane Irene. Who remembers the song Come on Irene...or was that Come on Eileen?

All the weather craziness aside, we plan on attending our local farmer's market in the morning and then settling in for what is looking like a long Saturday afternoon/evening/night.

This Friday we'll leave you with one thing we loved this week - a very interesting and thought-provoking video on eating meat. I believe the perspective here is right on, not to mention how much we loved learning more about and watching Border Collies at work.



We'd love to hear your favorite ways to stay entertained while your power is out - we may need some creative inspiration if the hurricane's path widens any further into our area. Wishing you all a safe weekend wherever this may find you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Separation Anxiety in Weimaraners & Basil's New Collar

Basil begged us to post pics as he proudly wears his new collar.

If you follow along with us on Facebook, you may already know that just over a week ago, we returned home to find Basil had wriggled out of his old collar and actually ate a good portion of it. Lucky for us, it appears he only ingested the fabric and webbing, chewed on the plastic parts and didn't mess with the tags. Even luckier for us he was OK - we knew better than to leave Basil much less any dog alone with a collar, definitely a careless mistake on our part.

What remained of Basil's first collar.

We loved his old collar so much - we had gotten it back in March from Etsy seller JuliaCuster. It was made from a recycled cotton feed sack which we thought was so up our alley. Julia even featured Basil in her item listings after he sent her a photo of himself sporting it. After contacting Julia the night Basil ate the collar for a new one, she let me know unfortunately they had been a limited edition.

So, the search for a new style was on! It didn't take much thinking to know we wanted to try out one of the famous dog collars from Hande of Silly Buddy & Etsy celebrity. We decided the olive green tartan collar would be the perfect new accessory for Basil.

Opening a package from Silly Buddy was an experience in itself in that every detail was beautifully and thoughtfully accounted for. We couldn't be more thrilled with our new Silly Buddy collar and Basil also approves. He went about a week without wearing one at all - and we think he actually missed it.

Basil was so excited when we tried the new collar on him - wagging his tail and then literally sprinting all over the house excitedly once it was on. He looks quite dapper if I don't say so myself.

Not long after ordering Basil's new collar, the ingested remains of the old one "passed," so to speak. TMI?

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The whole reason behind Basil eating his collar stems from separation anxiety. We studied up on Weimaraners long before actually looking at dogs and knew it was one of the tendencies of his breed, but I think Tim and I both underestimated the degree to which it was. We thought with consistent training we'd be able to help him be confident enough to leave him for up to a couple hours at a time alone.

Our goal in bringing a dog into our family was to spend the majority of our time together with him - while we are home, bringing him to the market, day & weekend trips, the river, and most everywhere where it's appropriate for dogs to come along. Since the beginning of our relationship, Tim has always wanted a dog but thought it would be unfair to get one with him being away at work all day - so when I moved in we thought my working from home situation would make for the perfect solution.


I'm not sure if it helps or hurts that I work from home and am around the house all day with Basil. I take him on a mile walk each morning for exercise and when we know we will both be away for extended periods of time, we take him to a doggie daycare where he can play with other dogs and be around people all day. We've even been known to ask my dad to babysit him while we go out to dinner.

We do all of this because we've tried leaving him in his crate and when we are gone he panics to the point of escaping the crate, working himself up into an anxious frenzy, and injuring himself (or eating a collar). While we bring Basil along with us most everywhere we can, there are those times we need to be away from the house for between 1-3 hours at a time where we'd like to be able to leave him there alone without worrying that he is in a state of anxiety.

We've tried and considered many options for helping overcome the separation anxiety including training, thunder shirt, medication, and getting another dog. Right now, we are still focusing on trying to train but are thinking Basil might be the type of dog that needs a companion at all times. The funny part is, he really is such an amazing dog - he simply loves being around people. The only time there's ever any issue is when he isn't around people or other animals. We've been through beginner training courses which he loved and excelled at and now we are working with an advanced trainer in our home who specializes in separation anxiety.

We'll keep you posted as we hopefully find our magic answer - we realize every dog and every home is different. Have you experienced a dog with a pretty strong case of separation anxiety? We'd love to know what worked for you.

P.S. If anyone thinks his new collar looks a little tight in these pics - we did too! We've since loosened it up and he's still loving it the same.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Virginia's 5.8 Earthquake

By now we're sure you've gotten wind of the 5.8 earthquake that originated in Virginia yesterday. Our house is located in Richmond, approximately 40 miles away from Mineral, VA where the epicenter of the quake was.

I was actually out of town on business and standing in a stock room in the US post office in Norfolk, Virginia when the quake hit. Leaning up against a door jam talking with a customer - the shelves started to shake and belts that were hanging on the wall began to sway back and forth. The lady I was talking to stated, "I believe that was a tremor from an earthquake." It was a strange feeling to say the least. Being in a large industrial building and farther from the center I do not think I got the same feeling or effect that others had gotten. I then had an appointment in downtown Norfolk near the Naval Museum where you can see the crowds were still gathered outside:

My view from Norfolk of aftermath.

Mary was at the house working and once we were finally able to make a cell connection (it seemed like they were down forever) she let me know that Basil had sensed the quake coming before the violent shakes began. He basically began barking at the door and running around the house alerting her. She said the house shook pretty aggressively, causing our chandelier to sway and wall frames to slant - though no major damage arose that we know of. She eventually made her way outside and said all the neighbors were out there chatting about the quake and waiting cautiously for any aftershocks. Her online coworkers in Brooklyn had felt the shakes all the way up in NYC enough to evacuate the buildings up there.

Images we swiped showing outside of the Etsy offices during yesterday's evacuation.

It's been an eventful week so far with the dramatic arrival of our new niece, this earthquake, and what we hear may be a tumultuous weekend ahead as Hurricane Irene makes her way through the East Coast. We're happy everything has turned out in our favor so far and are getting prepped as we brace ourselves for the end of the week.

Did you feel yesterday's earthquake or have you ever been in one before? Also - how are you planning for Hurricane Irene this weekend if she's headed your way?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome Home Emily Sophia

Emily Sophia, born 3:13 am, 8/19/11, at 7 pounds.

I mentioned yesterday we welcomed our newest niece, Emily Sophia, into the world this weekend. My older and only sister, Teller, has two other little ones - Virginia Elizabeth, 2 1/2 and George Benjamin, 12 months. If you've done the math, yes that will make 3 under the age of 3 and Irish twins (2 within 1 year). She obviously doesn't waste any time, but if anyone has the energy to do it, it's her. We have one other niece on Tim's side from his younger and only brother.

Teller's first two deliveries went completely by the book and they were excited to go in last Thursday night to deliver the third as her contractions alerted them it was time. Without getting into too many details (maybe a future post), there were a few unexpected complications once she was in full labor and my sister ended up delivering by emergency C-section, landing herself in the SICU and baby Sophia in the NICU.


After 4 very long and stressful days, we are more than elated to say both my sister and the baby have made full recoveries and were discharged from the hospital to come home last night.


Once we knew things were beginning the stabilize all around, the normal talk of who the baby looks like and commenting on her features ensued. We all decided the shape of her head and hairline came straight from her daddy though we were excited that we might finally have a little brunette amongst her two older blonde siblings, which came from her mommy's side. She's also got the most adorable little Mohawk where her hair comes together at the top. While Teller wasn't thrilled about have the C-section, we all laughed at what a difference it made it terms of that typical "cone shaped" head you saw at first in her other deliveries.

My sister and her husband with Sophia.

Teller has a long few weeks ahead of her, but both grandmothers are in town helping out along the way. I'm looking forward going over later tonight to snap some photos of Virginia and Benjamin with the new baby and keep them entertained for a while.

Because visitation through this point was limited to immediate family, Tim was home cooking up a huge chicken dinner from scratch with some homemade potato salad while I was over at the hospital throughout the weekend that I'll take with me tonight. With all the dishes pouring in, they should be fine on food for a few weeks - it's amazing.


Thanks to all for sharing our joy in both welcoming a new baby into our family and the swift recoveries Sophia and her mother both made throughout the whole experience. It's times like these we remember how precious life is and not to take the ones we love for granted.

Side note: If anyone is wondering, my mother's grandmother name is "Gran" and the kids' dad's mother is called "Nonnie." I'm always interested in what nicknames are chosen for different grandparents and why - it's so fascinating. In our case, my mother was able to choose her nickname. I remember as a child actually thinking my grandparents' real names were "Granny" and "Nanny." I also get so tickled hearing my niece call my own mother her "Gran" with such certainty. Tim used to call his mom's mom "Granny" and his dad's mom "Nagymama" - the latter is the Hungarian word for grandmother. Tim's Hungarian roots come from his dad's side while mine come from my mother's side.

We'd love to know what nicknames you have for grandparents in your family along with the stories behind them if you know them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Basics

1. The remnants of Basil's first collar from juliacuster on Etsy. We walked in the door from being away 2 hours one night last week to discover Basil had gotten his collar off and eaten a significant portion of it. I felt terrible for leaving it on him and am so glad he is OK - eaten portions have "passed." We're looking forward to getting our newly ordered collar from Silly Buddy on Etsy which should be arriving soon.

2. Biggest news of the weekend - we welcomed our newest niece into the word. Emily Sophia made her dramatic entrance at 3:13am, 8/19, weighing in at 7 pounds.

3. & 6. We played a round of mini golf at the Midlothian Putt-Putt. We actually went to photo document each of the holes on course #3 for a special project our talented friend, Mickey Duzjy, is scheming up. The funny part about it is, when Mickey asked us to help out with photos, we both have memories of playing Putt-Putt golf at this location as youngsters. My grandmother would take my sister and I there to play and Tim used to play in a JPA (Juniors Putting Association) in his early teens - most likely before I was even born. We joked at the possibility of our paths crossing way back then and how weird it would have been. Since Tim's children were in town this weekend it made it that much more fun of a project. More details to come as this undertaking materializes.

4. Tim made an incredible Sunday supper (no surprise there) with a whole leg of lamb we picked up at the farmer's market this weekend. Look out for the recipe on E.A.T. later this week.

5. Lots of coffee to help pull us through this hectic weekend. We are partial to the Dark as Dark whole bean variety of Blanchard's Coffee. The beans are actually roasted locally right down the road from where we live and Tim's had a tour of the full process. Love them.


We also had time to dine at The Roosevelt in Church Hill for the first time. Not only was the food phenomenal, the vibe reminded us of eating out in Brooklyn. My favorite was the "mac n' cheese" style gnocchi side. Good stuff, Richmond.

Friday, August 19, 2011

8 Things We Loved This Week


1. Industrial gym lockers re-purposed as functional furniture storage. This and more industrial storage inspiration via French by Design.

2. Cork Grips - awesome blog, awesome dude. While Le Tour de France commenced last month, these stills from the short film, Vive Le Tour, already have me geared up for next year's race. One of these times, Mary and I are gonna stop talking about planning a trip to the french countryside to watch the tour and actually do it.

3. Interview and peek into the living space of photographer Austin Gros. Yes, that is a portrait of his dog decked out in royal garb hanging in the entrance of his home. Via Pennyweight.

4. Going on the must DIY list! Re-purposed french riddling wine rack into a vertical garden. Via re-nest.

5. Vintage enamel sel salt box. Via bellalulu on Etsy.

6. Handcrafted in Canada: Cedar Strip Beehive. Each is one of a kind and made from recycled cedar fencing material. Via Steidlewave on Etsy.

7. I could travel cross-country in one of these little silver bullets. Or maybe camp out for the Tour de France? The nostalgia of airstream trailers reminds Mary of her grandparents' own model - we'd both love to be able to take a walk through it now. Via Design*Sponge.

8. It's true, I believe in good people. Via bliss.

And we'll leave you with another series of beautiful videos to take in over the weekend - this go round from The Anthropologist. I could spend hours on this site browsing the images and watching the videos of this seemingly magical world...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cocktail Recipe: Blackberry, Rosemary & Prosecco

17 Apart is getting fancy up in here...

I've been dabbling with another summer cocktail for the H&H Happy Hour series and found a new way to use fresh blackberries and rosemary in a drink suited for both happy hour and the next morning's brunch. Mary approved.


This cocktail is a simple combination of homemade syrup and Prosecco or Champagne (your choosing). To make the syrup, simply combine 2 cups blackberries, 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan.

Simmer roughly 20 minutes (uncovered), stirring occasionally until blackberry mixture thickens and reduces.

Pour blackberry mixture into fine sieve over a glass jar or bowl, no need to press down on solids. After about 5 minutes, transfer syrup to fridge and let chill thoroughly.


Once chilled, the syrup can be used as a base for your cocktail (or drizzled over ice cream). Simply spoon it into your flutes, pour in the Prosecco and garnish with reserved whole blackberries and sprigs of rosemary. The flavors here truly are an incredible combination.

As with my honey thyme cocktail recipe, the most involved step includes creating the simple syrup, which as you can see isn't hard at all, but gives you those fancy points. Because the base of this drink recipe is the syrup, I'd think it would be pretty easy to swap in other fruit & herb combinations to come up with new flavors - then just add Prosecco and garnish.

Find this and other summer cocktail recipes on Hills and Heights, our neighborhood news blog where I have been guest posting a regular summer Happy Hour series and let us know if you try it out or a different version of your own.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homemade Peach Ice Cream Recipe & How to use a Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker

We were finally able to make homemade ice cream this past weekend! After finding our vintage hand-crank ice cream maker, then cleaning the rust out, and getting everything except the rock salt, we couldn't wait to get cranking.

Here's how it all went down...



We knew we wanted to try a simple recipe with super basic ingredients, so we went with a minimal peach mixture (since they are in season & available at our neighborhood farmer's market) and it didn't involve creating a custard. Custard versions include eggs and require a cooking stage, which from what I understand is fairly customary in making homemade ice cream, but as I mentioned, we just wanted to keep things simple and basic for the first go round - boy were we happy with the results.



The ingredients for the ice cream base included:
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pod vanilla bean, beans reserved
Honestly, this ice cream base could be used to make a simple vanilla ice cream alone or incorporated with a host of other natural ingredients to make whatever flavor you desire - it was so easy. We obviously went with peaches - you'll need about 3 cups (roughly 4 whole peaches) of peeled slices to match what we made if giving this recipe a go.

1. Slice and peel 3 cups peaches:



2. Mix cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean in a bowl.
3. Roughly blend peach slices in a blender or food processor.
4. Incorporate into bowl with base ingredients.



At this point, it was time to start using the ice cream maker. Since I'd never used one before and Tim couldn't actually remember all the steps from the ones they used way back when (haha), we pretty much followed the steps word for word laid out on this Wayward Spark tutorial by Camille of Red Onion Woodworks on Etsy. Camille has a knack for doing things right, so we knew we'd be in good hands with her tutorial.

Once we had our ice cream mixture complete, we poured it into the main canister barrel that fits inside the ice cream maker making sure to leave room for the churned ice cream to expand. We then inserted the dasher into the barrel, secured the lid on, and affixed the hand-crank top in place. Next, we simply added layers of ice cubes in and around the metal barrel followed by layers of rock salt, careful not to cover the top of the barrel - we went with about 3 layers of each.



Side note: Did you spot that gray furry nose up there? For some reason Basil loves ice cubes. Whenever we open the freezer, he prances over to investigate in hopes of getting one. Tim always tosses out a chip or two on the kitchen floor to appease him. This time though we had to keep shooing him away from this ice since it was mixed with rock salt.

Speaking of rock salt - this was the most difficult part of the ice cream making process (finding it that is). I was unfamiliar with rock salt in general, so get a good look at what it looks like below if you're in my same boat. It's supposedly carried in major grocery stores and hardware stores year round and can be known to be re-branded in the summer as "ice cream salt." We had no luck finding rock salt locally so ended up purchasing a 5 pound bag online - this way we'd have more in reserve for future use.


Finally, it was time to crank! As you can see, we took this part very seriously. We cranked and cranked - then we cranked some more:


Almost immediately after starting, the ice began to slowly melt and slide down into the bottom of the bucket's wooden frame. We continued to add layers of ice and rock salt as needed.

After about 20 minutes (Tim was timing us on his Droid's timer app) we both wanted to take a peek at our progress. We'd heard all around the cranking process starts out pretty easy and gets gradually more difficult as time passes - meaning the ice cream is thickening. The cranking remained fairly easy for us throughout the full 20 minutes so we were definitely curious...



To our great amusement and surprise, the ice cream had thickened and firmed up nicely. We felt it was ready right away. Tim slowly removed the dasher, scraping the ice cream off and into the canister - at this point we both tried samples.


I have to tell you this was genuinely the best ice cream I've tasted - so light, creamy and basic. You just can't go wrong with whole, natural foods. As mentioned before, since ice cream has so few ingredients (if made right in our opinion), the quality of those components is key so we went with all natural organic variations.

After the churning process is complete, this is the stage to put the canister in your freezer to let it firm up properly for a couple hours, which Tim did, but not without my filling up a small bowl in it's current soft consistency. I actually liked it better a little softer and right out of the ice cream maker, though that hasn't stopped me from eating more now that it's been firmed up in our freezer for a few days.

All in all, we had a blast finally getting to make homemade ice cream. It was easier than we thought and hope to do it more often - especially when we have others over. My favorite ice cream flavors are mint chocolate chip and coffee, while Tim swears by straight up vanilla. It would be fun to try these flavors in the future - what are your favorites?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Views of the City

I was in New York last week working in the main Etsy offices and wanted to share some snapshots and favorite moments while in the city.

All images snapped with my FxCamera App

The Etsy offices are located in DUMBO, Brooklyn right on the park and water which lends itself for great views of the Manhattan bridge wherever you may be (rain or shine - which it did both of last week).

NYC Tip:
DUMBO stands for "down under the Manhattan bridge overpass" - what a name for a neighborhood, right?

My time living in NYC introduced me to the classic food truck and more trendier gourmet modern versions popping up which use social media to determine their route. The latest food truck craze in DUMBO has been the Morris Grilled Cheese Truck. I'm naturally a sucker for grilled cheese sandwiches so had to give it a try, especially with their menu boasting artisanal combinations like Gouda & pork jowl with ramp butter and provolone dolce with pickled cabbage. What's great is the fact you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter to find out where they'll be located throughout the week and make requests for your area.

While my work trips are short, always busy and primarily contained to Brooklyn, I did have enough time this go round to squeeze in an early morning visit to some of my favorite jewelry supply warehouses located in the diamond district of the city. While I can mail-order some regular stock from their online shops, particular warehouses house complete dead-stock collections of vintage findings and oddities - right up my alley and always worth the trip in person since you never know what you might find hidden among those rows and rows of tiny plastic bins.

One tip I've learned the hard way while shopping dead-stock vintage collections as a jewelry maker: should you come across something you love and have that gut feeling about, definitely purchase the full lot on the spot if you're able to swing it. The bittersweet part about such amazing treasures is their rare quality and chances are the collection will be gone the next time you come back (plus what can beat that feeling of knowing you have the full lot of goods to get creative with and be able to knowingly speak to their limited nature).

It wouldn't be a good trip unless I had a little time to grab either lunch or after work drinks with my coworkers. Pictured above: Heather, Emily, Christina, Yours Truly, and Michelle. Good times.

Oh! A hilarious side note: In my rush out the door to catch the Monday red-eye flight, I actually forgot the bags I packed. When we got to the airport, Tim and I realized we both thought the other one had packed the bag. In a moment of panic and quick decision making, I decided since I had my laptop in my carry-on purse, I'd just fly up sans bags. As you can see, I had to make due without my contacts, makeup, and was lucky enough to score an off print Etsy t-shirt from the labs to wear during my stay. Luckily it was a quick 3 day trip so I was able to make due but you can bet I won't forget my bags ever again!

Finally - a short while ago, TechCrunch made it out to Brooklyn and filmed an episode of their TC Cribs series featuring the Etsy offices. The portions of the video between 5:19 and 5:24 show the corner of the office where I work with the Marketing team while in town. Hope you have a few laughs and enjoy:




Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Basics


1. We started out Saturday with a prepared platter to share inspired by the Kinfolk concept of small gatherings.

2. Mary got a chance to photograph new jewelry she's been working on over the past couple of weekends and talks of a shop update later this week.

3 & 4. We got to the neighborhood farmer's market super early this weekend before the major crowds hit which is rare in our household. We've actually been trying to work with Basil on his separation anxiety (which is a whole other topic) and were up due to lack of sleep this weekend. In any case, the market was still busy but we got a chance to chat with some of our favorite folks including Rona of Sullivan's Pond Farm where those fresh figs and eggs came from. We love being able to say we've actually met the chickens that lay the eggs we eat and the fact that on a small level, we've completely opted out of the mainstream "food system" - at least when it comes to eggs.

5. At long last, we finally got to make homemade ice cream from scratch using our vintage hand-crank ice cream maker. We can't wait to share the details later this week.

6. This summer pork & okra stew recipe I made yesterday was awesome (yes I said summer stew). I was not only able to use up all of the ripened okra pods from our garden, but have enough leftovers to feed us through a good portion of the week.

And finally - did you think we forgot to include a photo of Basil in a Weekend Basics post? Of course not. Oddly enough, while at the market this weekend we always run into other dog owners and end up chatting. While talking to the owners of a 1 year old chocolate lab, this guy pulls out one of the most basic yet clever contraptions I'd ever seen for dog. Forgive me if I'm behind the loop on this one, but have you ever heard of the bottle shaped water dispenser called the Gulpy? A flask for dogs is more like what I call it!

It's basically a water bottle with a tray attached to it that flips open and catches a trough of water squeezed from the bottle - the water stays contained, the dog can drink from it like a bowl, it's compact and can just be thrown in a tote bag. Basil had no trouble jumping right in there (he can be a little bit of a piggy around water). We literally went home and bought one online right away. Can't wait to get it.


P.S. Our Food Inc. movie giveaway came to an end last night and the post has been updated with the two lucky winners - thanks to all who shared your favorite summer vegetables and stay tuned for future giveaways here on 17 Apart.

Friday, August 12, 2011

8 Things We Loved This Week


1. Enjoy eating? Thank a Beekeeper. We learned about a new documentary we can't wait to watch called Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? from this Etsy blog article. Already saved in the Netflix queue unless we can help conjure up a screening locally sooner. Pretty much anything Michael Pollan is contributing to, we're interested in learning more.

2. This antique Matador KBS bread/meat slicer I stumbled across on Etsy. Remember Kramer and his meat slicer?

3. Kinfolk Magazine.

4. Cavalier Essentials, via Simplesong. Classic, re-imagined, all around manly man concept.

5. Linus Bikes: The Market Bag. Via Swissmiss.

6. Falcon Enamelware. Not only do we love the classic design of this durable British brand, but the photos of these vessels in use on the Falcon Enamelware site are just great to look at.

7. Let's stick together. Loving this behind the scenes look into the studio and making of these twig shaped sticks of chalk Shauna and Stephen of Something's Hiding in Here conjured up for BHLDN.

8. Loving the idea of homemade fruit roll ups - definitely want to try making these as shopping in aisle 3 is not an option for something like this.

Here's hoping your weekend is full; we'll leave you with a short film from a 3 part series I found over at Elwood Thompson's.


EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

P.S. There is still time to enter our Food Inc. Movie giveaway ending this Sunday. Find details right here and good luck! Also, I loved finding my weekend's simple tomato sauce sauce recipe featured on Ellwood Thompson's, how about that!?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Basil


Today is Basil's 1st Birthday! My how the time flies - we found him at just about 4 months old and he's lived with us since. Tim and I used to talk years before getting him that we would one day have a dog and name him Basil; we'd laugh about all the things we'd blame on him and all the adventures we'd take him on.

Being completely honest, I’d never actually been much of a dog person (I grew up with cats), but ever since we brought him home I feel like I’ve been given the keys to a secret club I never knew about. Your own dog is like no other animal – it’s fascinating to me how quickly they literally become a member of the family and are able to communicate on such a unique level. It's also fascinating how much more dedicated work and effort it takes to take care of a dog - work that is worth the reward.

When we began seriously looking for our dog, we narrowed down our wishlist to a Weimaraner, a German Shorthair, or a Vizsla – all hunting breeds. I had my heart set on a Weim deep down and one week while I was in New York for work, I got a call from Tim telling me he thought he may have found Basil and to check out the photos on my phone. I clicked through his messages and saw the cutest little Weimaraner puppies – one with extraordinarily long ears. Tim told me it was those ears that stole his heart and he just knew this was our dog.

In the puppy photos below you can spot which one is Basil since his long ears give him away every time:

Photos of Basil with his brother when we first met him on the farm

That weekend we made a 2 hour trip to see the puppies and I actually had a hard time choosing just one. If it had been up to me we would have left that day with two – Basil and his brother, who we would have named Sage. I kept trying to convince myself if we just brought two home on the first go I would never know the difference in work/stress load, haha. Luckily Tim was able to show some restraint and we brought single Basil home with us.

Since that day, we can say we’ve learned more from this dog about ourselves and even our relationship than I could ever write in a post – as I am sure is the same with most every other dog owner.

Photos from the first moment we brought Basil home

We couldn’t be happier now that Basil is a member of our little family and we’re celebrating his big day with the biggest beef knuckle I’ve ever seen. I’m sure it will take Basil a couple hours to get through this thing and know he will enjoy it – even if he doesn’t really understand why we’re celebrating.

We’d love to know – do you keep up with your pets’ birthdays and if so what’s your favorite way to celebrate the big day?