Sunday, June 26, 2011

VOTE for me in the Deals Among Mom's Contest

Hi Everyone!

I don't generally do contests but for some reason I entered a contest with Deals Among Moms.  The contest is for $1000 in various advertising prizes. You can vote every 24 hour period up until June 30th.  They just ran the starts for the number of votes and I'm in 12th place.  So I need lots of help!

To Vote: Click on the link below, and vote for Collie Ollie Designs. You may have to click the view entries tab, look for Collie Ollie Designs and then vote if the link doesn't bring directly to my entry.

I hope you all can help me out! And remember vote everyday if you can!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Summer Standard: Watermelon

I remember when I was a kid we would spend a week visiting my mom’s family in Alabama.  It was always my favorite summer vacation.  There was always an abundance of food, lake time, food, card games, food, inner tubing, and oh wait, more food.  One of my favorite memories was going through my great uncle’s garden picking out tomatoes, okra, and watermelon.  I was taught that to find a good watermelon it needs to be symmetrical and firm.  But most importantly, one side needs a yellow spot.  The yellow spot means that it sat on the ground and had time to ripen.   Lastly, a watermelon is mostly water so the trick is to find a really heavy watermelon. 
Watermelon is such a great healthy food. It’s full of lycopene, vitamin A, B6, and C, and potassium!  It’s always important to get those vitamins but during the hot summer months when people can often get dehydrated and it’s even more vital we get those vitamins.
I made a great smoothie last week with strawberries and watermelon.  Smoothies are great because you just put in whatever you have on hand and they almost always turn out well.  I used strawberries, watermelon, fat-free vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and a tiny bit of milk.  It was great!
To go along with the standard summer fruit, I made a watermelon yoke dress for my daughter.  You can't get more summery than watermelon fabric.  This fabric is absolutely adorable.    I can order more fabric if anyone is interested in the perfect summer dress.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Baked Tilapia with Tomato

I recently had a dinner with some old friends and I made this great recipe which was somewhat of a spin off of two or three other recipes.  I really don't have any experience cooking fish but I think this recipe turned out great and I wanted to share it with you!  Since it is a hybrid recipe there is a lot of "or",  "pinch", "to taste", etc.

4 Tilapia fillets
4 or 5 plum tomatoes - diced
Handful of basil - chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic mashed or 1/2 tsp of garlic pwd.
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
2 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400.

In a 9 X 13 baking dish spray the bottom with cooking spray.  Line the baking dish with the diced tomatoes, sprinkle with the basil, garlic, and then drizzle with olive oil.

Place the Tilapia fillets on top of the tomatoes.

In a small bowl mix the mayo, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.  Take the mayo mixture and spread a small amount on top of the fish, just enough to cover the fish.  You may have more of the mayo mixture left in the bowl, I personally don't like too much of the mixture on the fish because you don't want to overpower the dish.  I would say if you have extra use at your discretion.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.  This fish should break apart easily with a fork when done.

And there you go, a great and EASY fish dish!  The rest of the meal consisted of a green salad, roasted potatoes, and some extra strong Sangria (the extra strong part was a bit of an accident).  Oh and for dessert, Panna Cotta with mixed berries.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Sewing Closet

Thank you to my new followers.  I'm sorry it has taken me so long to make a post, things have been extremely busy with family emergencies, orders, and school work.  Collie Ollie's just had it's one year anniversary on March 19!  I wanted to share with you all how I started and how I have grown since last spring.  

It all started when a dear friend of mine introduced me to Etsy.  After finding out about Etsy and the world of selling online I was excited to come up with new creations.  I had awesome ideas, great plans, and high hopes for Collie Ollie's.  The only problem was I didn't start getting sales until June and even then it felt like a sale here or there.  Starting late in the summer I really sat back to think about my niche, photo quality, and item descriptions.  I also invested money into buying nicer fabric and materials instead of trying to make items out of dated scraps I found at my mom's house (no offense mom).  After taking the time to do the research and creating a new plan I came up with some promising items for the fall and winter. 

That was just what I needed for my sales to pick up.  Sales have continued and now I'm always working on something.  However, I do know that I have a lot of work to do if I want to continue to have a successful shop.  My goals for this spring and summer are to:
  • Weed out my Etsy shop, as I have way too many items and I think having a smaller focus would be more beneficial to my shop. 
  • I would like to take better and more consistent photos.
  • Introduce 3 new items.
  • And of course get more organized!
Up until February I was sewing at my kitchen table or in the middle of the family room.  It was terrible, I was always in the way of my family and not to mention pins and scissors in the reach of a eight month old and a three year old is not the best parenting strategy.  I guess desperate situations call for desperate measures and I converted a small closet into my sewing room.  It took me some time to find the right size table, chair, and shelving to fit into my closet, but I made it work.  These are some pictures of the closet before I brought materials and fabric into the space so you can only imagine what it looks like now that I've been working out of it for two months.

    That's the back story to Collie Ollie.  Although a lot of my time goes toward Collie Ollie's, my top priority is my family.  I have two wonderful children who are the inspiration behind the ideas for Collie Ollie's.  I have an awesome husband who is the reason I have the flexibility to have a home business.  And I have a great mom with over 50 years of sewing experience who has been absolutely the best teacher. I have a website which is a work in progress but can be found by clicking HERE.  And my Etsy shop can be found HERE.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Welcome to Life Behind Collie Ollie's

Here it is, my blog, "Life Behind Collie Ollie's".  I really have no idea what I am doing but I've decided to try this "blog" thing out.  Who knows it might be fun!  I want to "blog" about my three passions in life -- my children, sewing, and cooking.  I hope you, my followers, write comments and engage in this blog with me, otherwise  "Life Behind Collie Ollie's" is going to get really boring really quick if it's just me talking!

I hope you all become followers of my blog.