Housewares Sale at Metropolitan Market, and a few of my favorites!

Metropolitan Market's annual Housewares sale (July 18‑21) is coming up very soon.  This means my wallet will be (happily) drained yet again, as I fill up my cart with new tools, serving pieces and probably a new cookbook or two.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Metropolitan Market.  I am a foodie and I love to entertain, so "Met Market" (or "M's" as my kids like to call it) is my go-to spot for fine ingredients and delicious culinary treats like gourmet cheeses, artisanal breads, the freshest produce and my favorite racy French wines.  Their housewares department is a great resource to find every kitchen tool you need to cook dinner party food in a weeknight time frame, every darling dish that the designer hostess desires, and a completely crave-able collection of cookbooks, linens, and kitchen accessories.  

I chose a few of my favorite summer entertaining items* from my local Proctor store to share with you.  

Le Crueset makes these sturdy juicers, perfect for crafting ice cold lemonade or patio cocktails that call for a squeeze of lime.  We've recently been on a kick crafting basil mojitos, so this juicer would certainly come in handy...

Last year some friends made salted caramel ice cream in this Cuisinart ice cream maker.  It was HEAVENLY.  We threw our manners out the window and sat around the kitchen island together with our spoons and devoured it right from the can.  This ice cream maker crafts perfectly smooth texture and amazing taste.  

If you want to actually serve your guests a few scoops, this ice cream scoop would be just what you need.  Perfectly weighted and just the right scoop size!

Spork Chops.  Need I say more?

Loved this sugar and creamer set.  I want this for when my Brooklyn friends come to town next to enjoy a proper cup of Northwest coffee.

This adorable etched measuring spoon set would make such a great hostess gift!  If it's someone else's turn to cook, maybe spice up their kitchen a bit with some fun and sweet beechwood measuring spoons.

I absolutely love these retro dishes and glasses!  Would look fabulous set at my vintage yellow formica table...

Tomorrow is the start of the Housewares Sale, so be sure to get to your local Metropolitan Market because that means all of these wonderful items are up to 70% off through July 21st!

*Just so you know, Metropolitan Market does not allow photography in their stores (ahem, or so I discovered) but the management at the Proctor location were gracious enough to let me take a few photos for this blog post after we discussed what was going on.  :)  Thanks Proctor Met Market!


new horizons

Friends, I've decided it's time to explore new horizons.  Deeds & Petunia has been a fun and rewarding experience, but it's time to move on and open myself up to new possibilities.  What exactly does this mean, you ask?

This website will remain for the time being, but I likely won't be adding any new content anytime soon.  Tutorials, DIY's, etc that I've written in the past will remain available for you to enjoy!

My Etsy shop will officially be closed.  It's been so incredible finding an outlet for my craftiness and creativity, but I've been moved in from making veils, fascinators and accessories for some time now.  I want to follow my heart to a place where I feel completely in love with what I do, where I don't have to compromise any part of my creative process.

I've got some new ideas in the works, but am currently spending time reconnecting with my artist-self.  If you'd like to see/read about it, I now have a personal blog at prettyyellowhouses.blogspot.com.  I've developed an interest in (or a severe addiction to) fine art photography, and have been experimenting with the camera, Lightroom and Photoshop (which feels scary/thrilling/rewarding).  That's mostly what I've been posting about recently, when I can put my camera down for long enough.

Thank you to all my readers, and to everyone who has shared comments, posts and links to this blog!  Thank you to all my beautiful and supportive customers!  You made me feel so proud and validated and loved.  I really enjoyed my time as Deeds & Petunia, creating and connecting with each of you.

Enjoy your summer and hope we meet again soon!


Reasons I love raising urban chickens

Raising chickens in the city in this day and age often raises eyebrows.  The responsibility, hassle, mess,  smell, noise, cost are all reasons we are questioned about over and over again by friends and neighbors.  Those are the same questions and fears we wrestled with before taking the plunge into urban farming.

If you've been considering opening your garden as well as your heart for some fine feathered friends, here's the good news - yes, they take some work, yes, they can poop everywhere and make a huge mess, but if you plan, prepare and decide to have fun with it, it's definitely worth it!  The rewards extend far beyond the most delicious eggs you'll ever taste.  Here are some of the benefits I've discovered.

Chickens teach my kids responsibility.  They look forward to checking for eggs and petting the chickens each day, so it's never an issue to get them out there to take care of a chicken chore (feeding, changing the water, egg gathering, putting them away in their coop).  They think it's fun!

Chickens are a conversation starter.  Since I've started chicken wrangling, I've met more neighbors.  Everyone seems interested in what we're doing and will stop to chat when they walk by.  They're supportive too, even though the girls do get a bit squawky and noisy around egg laying time.  We share  the spoils (everyone loves eggs) and have yet to hear a complaint.

Chickens can be like pets (or at least someone to greet you each day).  We've handled ours since they were freshly hatched so ours love to be petted and held.  They're unexpectedly soft, warm and fluffy.  Not exactly cuddly, but they get excited to see their humans and whatever treats you might have for them.  Hide your toes and bedazzled jeans though, unless you want to be chased out of the backyard by  the greedy little peckers.

Chickens help establish life's rhythm, routine.  Saturday morning, 7:23 AM.  When the sun had just barely risen, I clung to my covers in protest.  But the chickens needed out, so I got up.  As soon as I stepped outside into the clean, crisp morning air of a new day I felt more alive.  It was quiet, peaceful.  My coffee is just finishing brewing and while my family sleeps I plan to enjoy a little alone time on the porch.  I cherish this alone time.  Early morning is the only time I get it, and if it weren't for the chickens, it might never be.

Chickens are sheer entertainment.  Throw them some kale or a piece of bread and it's suddenly Wild Kingdom.  They dust bathe.  They hide (roost) in the trees.  They leap and run and talk to each other in a strange warbling language.  The cats also love the coop.  They wait around outside of it for mice to make an appearance and occasionally venture inside when they're especially impatient.  More than once I've seen a cats furry behind be chased off by a bossy hen.

Pest control.  These girls are opportunist omnivores and will eat just about anything.  See above.

Chickens facilitate a connection to our past.  My husband and I walked over to the coffee shop today and on our way home we heard a wonderful song.  Not the song of birds in the trees, but of chickens, in backyard coops off of city alleys, announcing with alarm that an egg was about to be laid.  It made both of us smile.  We imagined Tacoma like it might have been in the early 20th century - working class families trying to make ends meet, raising eggs for food and thrift.  We no doubt romanticize that time in our town's history, but as chicken owners, it made us feel a little more connected to where we live and the roots laid down by those who came before us.

Raising chickens means we know where our food comes from.  The most obvious benefit of raising chickens is fresh eggs.  Home grown eggs taste a thousand times more delicious than store bought and we know what the chickens were fed, what conditions they were raised in.  It's important to keep the birds clean and cared for, but on a day to day basis, it's so much easier than I ever thought.

Chickens help fatten your wallet with recycling.  We throw the chickens our food scraps, which cuts down on our waste and our budget for feed.  We use their bedding in the compost heap and as fertilizer in the garden where we grow our veggies, so literally nothing goes to waste with these birds - and it doesn't stink because we keep their area clean and know exactly what we feed them.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  The benefits extend far beyond my original food-revolution aspirations and so far there are no real drawbacks for me.  In fact, we plan to get two more birds.  You will get attached, so be prepared.  We found a possum once in the coop when we forgot to shut the door at night - so diligence and care are crucial.  But it's a fairly relaxed kind of maintenance once you get the birds established.  A clean coop, fresh food and water, plenty of space to roam, basic care and your occasional love/devotion are all these creatures really ask.  More on that later...

Some of my favorite chicken sites:

www.backyardchickens.com - Coop plans, forums, gallery and breed/product reviews.
www.mypetchicken.com - Loads of great info here on breeds, supplies, getting started.
http://gardensphere.biz - Local gardening center that sells chickens and poultry supplies.  They provide lots of great info and friendly service, and hold an annual coop tour in the Tacoma area.  My go-to guys!


On childhood hunger in Tacoma: writing about the Backpack Program for Post Defiance

barrels full of food for Tacoma school children
Last weekend I was privileged to published my first article for Post Defiance, Tacoma's own online magazine dedicated to thoughtful content that reflects our community.  I felt lucky and scared (I'm certainly no journalist) and I poured my heart out for sure.  While it's always scary to create something for your community, it felt highly rewarding in the end.
shiny apples go into each backpack
The Backpack Program through St. Leo's Food Connection is a subject that's dear to my heart.  It became a passion project of mine to get a backpack program started at our own school this past year, and my hope was to share my wonderful experience so that others might feel inspired to get involved with the issue of childhood hunger in here Tacoma.
where backpacks are packed at St. Leo's
When I think about the sweet little faces I get to see every day when I drop my kids off at school, my heart melts.  Bright, smiling kids full of life and potential.  To think of even one of those babies going to bed without dinner or having a hungry tummy on a Saturday morning just kills me.  The backpack program is just one way to help stop this.  It's the way that fell in my path, and I'm happy to do what I can.
peanut butter - these jars were a bonus for the backpacks 
I hope you'll take a moment to read, and possibly feel inspired to help too.  Post Defiance is full of all kinds of amazing writing about this town we live in, so be sure to poke around some more when you're done.  It's part of what makes me proud to be part of this community.  Thanks Post Defiance!

Lastly, my husband took these photos, and I dare not take credit for them!  He is too talented.  :)


PIEOGRAPHY and Pie Making Contest!

Last year, I submitted savory pie this recipe and essay to a contest on the Where Women Cook blog, and was fortunate enough to have my submission chosen be included for publication in PIEOGRAPHY - 42 Fabulous Recipes Inspired by 39 Extraordinary Women.

I am pleased to announce, it's finally here!  A 176 page hardcover book in an 8x8 inch format full of gorgeous recipes, photos and musings - mouthwatering inspiration for pie lovers everywhere.

What a fun adventure it was to be included in this process.  I wasn't sure what to expect, as I'd never had anything published in an actual *book* before, just magazines.

It took a good amount of time, but the wait was worth it.  Jo Packham and her team really did a great job of putting this collection of recipes and stories together.  Opening the package carefully with my mail carrier (she's the best) was so exciting - I could hardly believe it when I saw my name and words on the glossy pages.

My husband took a photo of me, and I was so proud of him too because it looked great in the layout.  A truly rewarding experience for the both of us.  The recipe photo turned out fantastic as well - looks super yummy to say the least!

If you are in the Tacoma area, join me at King's Books on Thursday, March 14th at 7 PM for a Pi(e) Day Celebration and Pie Making Contest!  Bake and bring your best pie for our judges to sample - winner will receive a copy of PIEOGRAPHY and a big fat ribbon!

It's going to be so much fun!  I can't wait to see what you folks bake, so GET BAKING!!!

There will also be copies for sale at the event, or if you can't wait, you can find this book for sale at King's Books now, or online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Powell's.

Thanks for sharing in my excitement!