Monday, October 19, 2009
So, as it turns out, I had a wonderful weekend full of fun and productivity! I wasn't sure those two could go hand in hand, but somehow I made it work this weekend! Friday night I hunkered down with my websites - finishing up and finally publishing my main website (www.ladyfleurdesigns.com), and adding all of my new products & pictures to both my BigCartel and Etsy websites. I had to have an impromptu photo shoot to take some pictures of myself in the new shirts, since lots of people wanted to see how they fit. I kind of hate the idea of having pictures of myself all over my website (YIKES!), so those may not last long... I am thinking of cropping my head off and just using the shirt portion of the pictures! Haha.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I made a switch to BigCartel because lots of my clients were having trouble with the Etsy check out process. However, I decided that I was not ready to part with my Etsy website or the awesome community that comes with it, so I will be maintaining both for now! So feel free to order from whichever one you feel more comfortable with! :) I will be using my main website as a portal that will have all of the details about Lady Fleur Designs, my contact info, and links to my shops & blog. WHEW! Hope this isn't too confusing, but I sure feel more organized now and glad to finally have it all up and running!
Saturday I went to Hollydays, an awesome Christmas market held at the Baton Rouge River Center by Junior League of Baton Rouge. There were some pretty amazing vendors from all over the South. I found some great inspiration AND picked up lots of Christmas presents (as well as a few things for myself!), so I was really happy with my day there! Sunday we somehow woke up in time to make the 7:30am mass (I don't think I've EVER been to mass that early!), so we had the rest of the day to enjoy some BBQ, football, and family! Oh yeah, and the Saints won big time! What more could you ask for??
Thursday, October 15, 2009
A little late, but as promised, here is the recipe for Coconut Mango Sticky Rice. I got the original recipe from this video, but I have re-written it to make it easier to follow and print out for later! It is VERY sweet, so feel free to adjust the sugar and coconut milk to your liking if you want to tone it down a bit. This dish is to DIE for and you'll really have to hold yourself back from going for seconds... and possibly thirds! It is served as a Thai Dessert, but I still make it with dinner paired with something to offset the sweet taste. When I originally mentioned this dish, I had made it for dinner one night with Ground Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and they really went well together! This dish also has a beautiful presentation and is surprisingly easy to make, so I think it would be a great way to impress your guests!! Try it out and let me know what you think!
Coconut Mango Sticky Rice (Serves 2-4)
1 cup Sushi Rice (This was the easiest for me to find - I bought it at Whole Foods and it was very affordable. You can also use Thai Sweet Rice which can be found at most Asian food stores)
1 3/4 cup Water
1 Ripe Mango (substitute frozen mango when not in season, but fresh is definitely the best way to go!)
1 can Coconut Milk (I go for the Light, as Coconut Milk is very fattening!)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
Put Sushi Rice in a heavy saucepan and add 1 cup cold water. Let soak for 30 minutes to soften the rice - this is important, so don't skimp on this step!! While the rice is soaking, whisk together 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp of salt until sugar dissolves. You can also chop the mango at this point into small cubes.
After the rice is done soaking, add the other 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of coconut milk as well as 1 Tbs. of shredded coconut. Stir and bring to simmer over medium heat. You can then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 15 more minutes.
After the 15 minutes, your rice should be soft and sticky. Slowly stir in the coconut mixture you prepared earlier with a fork. It will look kind of soupy at this stage, but just let it sit covered for about 15 more minutes and it will thicken up. In the meantime, you can toast some shredded coconut in a pan in the oven until its a medium brown color. The crunchy sweet coconut over the rice is a really great addition - it's my favorite part actually!
Now you are ready to serve! Spoon the rice onto your plate and arrange the mango around it. Top with your toasted coconut, and voila! Sometimes I'll added Sesame Seeds as well for a little more presentation and crunch. You should now have an impressively beautiful and delicious dish!
Here's a sneak peak of my new designs that I am printing today. [Please excuse the awful photo - it was taken with my phone!] I got some great Bella shirts to print on, including a super-soft heather tee in a great lavender color & an awesome black burnout v-neck that I'm pretty sure everyone will love! I hope to have them ready to order on my site by Monday, so check back soon! :)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Well, unfortunately I have not found the success I was hoping for on Etsy. I love the community and the website as a whole, but my customers have expressed several issues with the long and confusing check out process, and I have to agree. It makes sense if you are familiar with the site, but otherwise it's just plain confusing! I haven't made ANY sales through Etsy, although several people have emailed to place orders with me directly, so I'm pretty certain the problem is with the check out process. I'm sad to leave, but I have been looking for another way to make my merchandise more readily available to my customers online, and I think I've found it! Big Cartel is a great e-commerce site geared towards artists that I think will offer what me and my customers are looking for! The new layout is easier to navigate, and checkout is a breeze! I have added my original Lady Fleur shirts and Stationery sets to the site already, and I have some new designs that will be up shortly as well, so I hope you'll check it out at ladyfleur.bigcartel.com, spread the word, and let me know what you think! Thanks! :)