The Great Pumpkin

Monday, August 31, 2009

It has been hot in the Boston area lately and because our house is old (and I mean old, like 1800s old) there is no central air conditioning. I work from home and our bedroom and my office is on the third floor. For over a week the thermostat read 90 degrees on the third floor and not much cooler on the second floor, which is where our living room and kitchen are. I know, I've just confused everyone not used to the whole two-family house thing. If I try and explain the layout of our house I'll probably just confuse you more.

So, all of that rambling was just an introduction to the fact that it was too hot to cook for quite a while. I really like baking and now that we have our nice new kitchen I like it even more (someday I'll write about what our kitchen used to look like, including the picture of the carpeted floor and the stove with two knobs). A few weeks ago I got two new baking cookbooks that looked amazing and last night it was finally cool enough to bake in our kitchen without baking ourselves. I started with Baked, from the guys at the bakery of the same name in Brooklyn. I have been drooling over this book since I got it and last night I tried the Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip loaf you see pictured above. I have to admit, I only really started liking pumpkin recently and if you're a skeptic at all, this will make you a major fan. Very easy to make and absolutely delicious. If you want to try an entree, I highly recommend the pumpkin ravioli with Gorgonzola sauce from Cooking Light magazine (recipe at the link). The thought of making a layer cake frightens me for some reason but someday soon I'm going to tackle two of the cakes from Baked: Malted Cake and Sweet & Salty Cake. Bon App├ętit!

Posted by Jennifer at 4:53 PM 0 comments  

The Weiswomen Pets, Part II

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Moving on now to our current pet companion - Bunk. The Bunkster. The Bunkinator. Sir Bunkalicious. My husband and I were both raised with dogs and he's clearly a dog person. He grew to love my cat Pierre but he always wanted a dog. After Pierre was gone it was a while before we were ready for another pet. And then there was the kitchen renovation - who really wants to bring a new dog into the house when it looks like this?

So, we waited. Then the kitchen was done. Then we were headed to Michigan for a family event. Then there was a vacation. Then we started looking at local shelters and rescue organizations. Then I was traveling for work. We looked at a lot of dogs. My husband wanted a big dog. I wanted a small dog. I joked that we would get a medium dog and name it "compromise." Everyone said that we would know the right dog when we found it. And we did. There was a dog we liked at a rescue organization that ultimately got adopted by the foster family but the organization kept us in mind when "Jack" came in. They actually brought him to our house one night in March so we could meet him and we immediately fell in love with him. He stayed and we renamed him "Bunk," here he is the first night:

He's still a puppy and there have been some bumps along the road but we can't imagine life without him now. By the way, if you're in the Boston metro area we have some great dog-related recommendations. Looking for a veterinarian? Check out Highland Animal Hospital (they're great for all pets!). Need someone to walk your dog or take them to playgroup? Look no further that Wags 4 Walks, you can't imagine how excited Bunk gets when it's time to go to playgroup. Finally, if you need some help with training, Dan from Cavalletto Canine is amazing.

Posted by Jennifer at 2:18 PM 2 comments  

Ain't too proud to beg

Part II of the "Meet the Weiswomen Pets" series is coming soon - you know what that means, more cute dog pictures! Before that, a brief moment of shameless begging. See that little box right above this post? If you're on Facebook please consider becoming a fan of Weiswomen Creations. They're be special offers, announcements, and photos. Thanks!

Posted by Jennifer at 7:44 AM 0 comments  

The Weiswomen Pets, Part I

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pets are very important to the Weiswomen and I thought it might be fun to share a little bit about the furry creatures that have been so important to us. I'll start with the Massachusetts branch of the Weiswomen Creations family (a.k.a., Me!). I know I mentioned earlier that we have a new canine addition to our home. But before I get to him I feel that the original Weiswomen Creations pet should get some recognition even though he's no longer with us (consider that your spoiler alert if you don't like reading about illness and animals, this gets a little maudlin). He's the handsome creature pictured here: Pierre. And before you ask, I don't know why he's named Pierre, he came to me with that name.

To be honest, I've never been a cat person. Our family always had dogs and my father is violently allergic to cats (and I mean violently - when Pierre was still with us my father lasted about 5 minutes in our house and then had to leave). I basically accidentally adopted him when I lived in New York City. In 2000 (I actually think it was New Year's Day), a friend called looking for a temporary home for Pierre - someone was supposed to be adopting him but they were out of town. After warning my friend that I had no idea how to take care of cats, I suddenly had a cat in my apartment. More precisely, I had a cat under my bed. Eventually we lured him out with a straw (don't ask, that cat ignored most of the toys I bought for him but a plastic straw could make him ecstatic). One of my best friends came over and smugly said "you're totally keeping that cat." "No, I'm not," I replied, "This is just temporary." You all know where this is going...after a couple of weeks the intended adoptive cat-parent was still away, nobody knew when he coming back, and I was smitten.

When I moved to Maryland to start a PhD program Pierre of course came with me. It was a bit of an adjustment for a city cat but once he got used to those strange things called trees outside my apartment window he was fine. Then I met the man who eventually became my husband and I eventually moved to Massachusetts to be with him. He was not a cat person but knew we were a package deal and that Pierre had been with me longer than he had. So, Pierre ventured up north for his third home. I curious how he would deal with our new house - he was used to one bedroom apartments and now we were in a house with lots of stairs. We arrived very late at night, after a long day of travel in his carrier. We let him out and he immediately began racing around the house. Apparently stairs were pretty cool and all the extra room was great for running around the house at top speed.

All was happy and good in our little world. My boyfriend and I got engaged and then married and Pierre made a special appearance in our Save the Date newsletter. My husband admitted that Pierre wasn't bad "for a cat." In February 2007 I was trying to finish my dissertation. First we had a pipe break in the house. Then the next week I took Pierre to the vet for a routine exam (he was now a "Senior Cat" at age 11) and they discovered a lump in his throat which was eventually revealed as a tumor. I'll spare the gory details and crying that ensued but February was a pretty horrible month. They said he had a few months to live. I then informed Pierre that he needed to live long enough for me to finish my PhD, there was no way I could deal with the last stages of my dissertation and grieving his loss at the same time. People scoffed but he was still going strong when I finally finished my PhD in May. Then I told him that he needed to hang on long enough for me to get a job. During my job search my mother and I started Weiswomen Creations. Our amazing vet said that clearly my directives were working since he had already lived past their predictions. In September, a week after I was offered a permanent job my husband and I could tell that the end was near. I know this is cheesy and overly sentimental and has possibly crossed the line into "crazy cat lady" territory. but I do believe that he hung on until he knew I would be ok. He came into my life just as I was applying to doctoral programs and stayed until it was all over.

So, that's the first Weiswomen pet. Hopefully I haven't bummed all of you out but I felt Pierre needed his moment in the sun before we fully introduced our dog. Pierre was a pretty big Diva so I'm sure he would agree with my decision.

Posted by Jennifer at 3:36 PM 0 comments  

We have a winner!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Congrats to Carolyn, who won the first ever Weiswomen Creations earrings. A lovely pair of Swarovski Channel Set Drop earrings will soon be hers! A random number generator from was used to select the winning comment number.

Carolyn chose the Smoked Topaz earrings you see here, but they will be created in a silver version.

Thanks to everyone who entered and checked out all of our pretty earrings.

Posted by Jennifer at 8:58 AM 0 comments  


Friday, August 7, 2009

Although he is mighty cute, I know I can't just post a photo of our dog and have you all forget that I abandoned the blog for over a year. I promised a giveaway and here it is...

See those pretty, sparkling earrings in the photo? They (or a similar pair) could be yours! I am a huge fan of these Swarovski drop earrings and I've actually blogged about them before. They come in a huge range of colors, are appropriate for day and evening, and are affordable.

This is our first giveaway so I'm making it easy - check out the Swarovski Channel Set Drop Earrings that we offer in our Etsy Shop and/or 1000 Markets Shop. Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite (don't worry, if you win and change your mind you can choose a different pair). If you're ok with waiting a few weeks, you can even get a custom pair with the color, finish, and size of your choosing!

Here are the details on the custom pairs:

They are available in two sizes, 4mm & 6mm, and two settings, rhodium plated & gold plated. So, you are able to design the perfect pair just for you!

Available in all sizes: Crystal, Light Rose, Rose, Fuchsia, Siam, Smoked Topaz, Topaz, Light Colorado Topaz, Jonquil, Peridot, Emerald, Blue Zircon, Aqua, Light Sapphire, Sapphire, Light Amethyst, Amethyst, Black Diamond, Jet

Available in 6mm only: Light Peach, Padparadscha, Crystal Golden Shadow, Chrysolite, Ernite, Tanzanite

Winner will be chosen at random from the comments next Friday, August 14th so make sure you comment by Midnight EST on Thursday, August 13th. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and then announced on the blog (when you comment there should be some way to contact you - via e-mail or website). Weiswomen Creations ships internationally so this giveaway is open to everyone.

Posted by Jennifer at 3:05 PM 7 comments  

Hey! I have a blog!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Well, this is awkward...seems I have totally abandoned our poor blog. I know, I know, excuses are lame but I do have a few. We renovated our kitchen. We were opening new shops on Artfire and 1000 Markets. Plus, you know, the whole work thing. Oh, and we got a dog. See? Picture of a cute dog. You forgive me now, right?

No, you need more? Well, fine, be like that. How about a giveaway? You'll have to wait just a little bit more but I promise (really) that it's coming. I want to do a little more housecleaning on the old blog. You know, clear out the cobwebs and such. In the meantime, check out the new shops or stare at the cute dog - he's irresistible isn't he? You can even follow me on twitter now, I'll be announcing the giveaway there too.

Posted by Jennifer at 8:56 AM 0 comments