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Five True Things I Learned From Mom

13 May

No matter how old I get, I will always believe that my mom has an answer for any question/situation/problem I encounter. Like what temperature you cook baked potatoes at. Or how you even make a baked potato..yeah, never can seem to get that one right.

There are a million things my mom has taught me—but these are my top five.

  1. Relationships are a two-way street. The emotion and the effort to make it successful has to go both ways. No one person is ever totally right or totally wrong, and a lot of times the term “compromise” means suck it up and deal. You will have times when you want the street to go both ways but you can’t force it to. And when you find yourself on the one-way street of a toxic relationship, just take the next right turn out of it.
  2. If you’re asking yourself “is this too short?” the answer is YES. You have to trust yourself enough to follow your instincts. They won’t steer you wrong. You already know the answer to most of the questions you have in your mind, but you might not like what the answers are. Trust yourself. It’s the getting in front of the mirror and looking at the outfit from a few different angles that will help you see what you already know—that dress is too short.
  3. You will not be adored by every person you meet, and that is okay. Because you are not going to like everyone either. You can spend a lot of time and energy trying to make everyone like you, or you can spend that time and energy figuring out how to love the person you already are. It’s better to be an imperfect version of yourself than a perfect version of somebody else.
  4. If you’re trapped in an outfit, just cross your arms and pull the dress off from the bottom up. There’s a solution for every situation and every problem. You might not see it at first, as you’re hyperventilating and sweating and imagining having to buy the dress because you can’t get out of it. But once you take a deep breath and take a few minutes to calm down, you’ll see that the solution was there all along. Go back to what you know, where you’ve been, and how you’ve gotten through. You’ll get out of the dress…eventually.
  5. Don’t eat ice cream flavors that you don’t like. There is a reason my mom keeps five different flavors of Italian Ice in her freezer. Life is too short to do something that you are not totally energized and excited about. Find your passions, and go for them. If its not worth putting 100% of your heart into it, just take yourself out of it. I eat watermelon (duh, it’s pink). Find what your flavor is.

Happy Mother’s Day. Love you Mom. ❤

The Lasagna Recipe

7 May

So I’ve gotten a few angry comments requests in for my eggplant lasagna recipe, that I featured here. I, apparently, did not share.

And, I just saw on FB that the lovely, smart, beautiful (and she’s my Hokie bff) VCM made her own version. Which LITERALLY made my day. As in, I was clicking the “like” button and commenting like a pre-teen on a Justin Bieber post.

Which means I need to share the love. Here’s the recipe.

Bechamel Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 5/8 cups whole milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Whisk in the whole milk and increase heat to medium-high. Continue whisking until sauce has thickened, about 6-10 minutes. Add in nutmeg and remove from heat. When sauce has cooled slightly, use it to coat the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish.
Red Sauce:
  • 28 ounces San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dried basil
  • Fennel
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
In a large saute/saucepan, heat up the olive oil (about two turns of the pan) on medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and mix until the onion begins to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add in good-sized scoops of chopped garlic, and the seasonings/spices (start with about a teaspoon of each). If you crush the dried spices in your hand before adding to the pan, it will open up the flavor. Next, mix in two tablespoons of tomato paste and the San Marzano tomatoes. If the tomatoes aren’t chopped (which they probably aren’t, as San Marzano tomatoes come whole), chop the entire can of tomatoes in a blender first. Adjust seasonings and add salt & pepper to taste. When the sauce bubbles, remove from heat.
It should be noted that I am going out on a SERIOUS LIMB and risking getting ostracized from the Italian community by releasing my sauce recipe. But, I really, really, feel for the people who don’t have a good sauce recipe. So I’m sharing.
Lasagna:
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 9 pieces
  • 15 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 9 slices of good prosciutto
  • Whole-milk mozzarella, grated
  • Olive oil

On a rimmed cookie sheet, coat both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for 15 minutes at 450F until the eggplant has softened.

To make the lasagna filling, mix together the ricotta, eggs, parmesan, and spinach. Top each slice of eggplant with a piece of prosciutto, then filling, and top with some grated mozz.

Roll up, and place in the bechamel-coated pan.

It looks a bit like this.

Top with the red sauce, and grated mozz. Cover with foil, and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Uncover, and bake for 10-15 minutes more.

The best part? You can make this recipe in advance/in pieces. Make the marinara the day (or week, months, etc) before. The sauce freezes well. The filling keeps, without separating, for about five hours, so you can prep the eggplant part a few hours before and throw in the fridge. Top with the sauce just before baking. Be sure to add 10-15 minutes to cook time if you’ve refrigerated the eggplant part.

A special bit of cakerypapery goes out to VCM. You’re more than just my Hokie bff—you were the one of the reasons I got up and out of the pitch-dark places after April 16, because you were there to help pull me up and out. I love you always.

Buckeye Brownie Cupcakes

3 May

Some days, I’m just too cool for frosting.

Don’t get me wrong—I love, love, love frosting. But some days, it’s nice to pull a cupcake out of the oven and not have to worry about piping bags and couplers and which size star tip I should use.

Which is why you always need a good frosting-less recipe. I prefer the ones that involve, you know, multiple bags of chocolate chips and peanut butter…

The other good thing about this recipe? It’s great for days when you are too lazy to haul out just don’t have the counter space for a KitchenAid mixer. If you find me a kitchen with room to store a KitchenAid mixer near a plug and out in the open ready for use, you’ve found the Moby Dick of kitchens. And quite possibly my next house…

So just pull out a good-sized microwave safe bowl and let’s get this party started. First, melt together butter and sugar in the lazy-girls’ stove, aka the microwave.

Then mix in some chocolate chips. They’ll melt into the hot butter-sugar mixture and become just…nice.

Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Then slowly stir these into the aforementioned chocolate mixture.

Let everything cool down for a few minutes, and then add in some more chocolate chips. Because, why not?

Get out a cookie scoop (have I raved about my Oxo large cookie scoop lately? AMAZESAUCE.) and portion out into lined muffin cups. Bake for 13-15 minutes at 350F.

If you have noticed that I never use an unlined muffin tin, you’re correct. IMHO, unlined muffin cups are just a mistake. Hard to get cupcakes out of and hard to clean. And we all know I hate cleaning.

When you pull the brownie cupcakes out, you need to let the centers fall as they cool. If this doesn’t happen, help them along by giving a couple taps with the back of a spoon.

When the brownie centers have all sunk in a bit, it’s time for peanut butter.

I am beyond brand loyal to Peter Pan. I highly suggest you try it.

Heat a couple scoops in the microwave for 30 seconds, and then spoon into each of the brownie cupcake tops.

Give the peanut butter a minute or two to cool, and then (surprise, surprise) top each with more chocolate chips. I like to use a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate for the topping.

If this was a cooking show, this would be the part where I show the buckeye brownie cupcakes with an ice-cold glass of milk.

Buckeye Brownie Cupcakes Recipe:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus 1/3 cup for topping
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, plus 1/3 cup for topping
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Combine butter, sugar, and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt together in microwave for 30-60 seconds. Stir until sugar is combined with butter. Mix in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips while butter is still warm. Chips will melt as mixture combines. Stir in egg and vanilla. Add flour and baking soda, mixing until just combined. Mix in 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and scoop into cupcake tin. Bake at 350F for 13-15 minutes. After brownie centers fall, melt peanut butter in microwave. Spoon onto top of cupcake brownies and garnish with remaining chips. Finish cooling in pan.

Delish-spo: Streusel Topped Blueberry Muffins

30 Apr

Living in the tundra that is Upstate NY (yes, it did snow last week), one of my favorite things about spring (besides that fact that it’s here) is that Wegmans starts to get in fresh fruits and vegetables and they aren’t ungodly expensive any more. Which means I get to bake delicious things. Like these muffins.

The recipe for these is from Cook’s Illustrated, which is the magazine of America’s Test KitchenIf you’ve never had the amazing opportunity to catch an episode of ATK on PBS—run to your DVR and set it up to record.

Unlike ordinary cooking shows, ATK actually teaches you useful things, like “what exactly is emulsification” and how to avoid common kitchen problems like overcooked meats. The show also tests an insane amount of cookware products—everything from cutting boards to meat grinders. And ATK taste-tests products, so you know helpful things like which type of semi-sweet chocolate chips you should buy. Did I mention that ATK is recipe science? Each recipe gets tested with a mix of ingredients and cooked multiple ways, until it’s pretty much awesome sauce.

Like these muffins. Which come with instructions for using fresh or frozen blueberries, and four different toppings.

To start, you make a blueberry jam, which is what makes these extra great. Blueberries + sugar.

You might think adding more blueberries would be the trick to upping the awesome factor, but as ATK found out, this just makes the muffins heavy and the berries sink to the bottom. So make the jam. It’s worth it.

While the jam cools, whisk together the wet ingredients. Eggs and sugar first. Then buttermilk, vegetable oil, butter and maple syrup.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, and you’ll need one more cup blueberries.

Slowly fold the wet ingredients into the dry and then add in the blueberries. Be careful not to over mix the batter. It will be slightly lumpy.

Use a cookie scoop to divide evenly among muffin tins. My batch made 18 muffins.

Scoop a bit of the cooled jam on top of each muffin, and swirl with a toothpick to mix it up a bit.

Next is the really good part. Make a streusel topping and crumble this over the muffins.

Bake for 15-18 minutes and you’ll end up with these.

Thank you America’s Test Kitchen. I’ll just file these under delish-spo.

Recipe:

Jam:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp sugar

Muffins:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 1/8 cups (8 oz) sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup

Streusel topping:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (3.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

Make the jam by cooking blueberries and teaspoon of sugar over medium heat, mashing the blueberries. Cook until the mixture has thickened, about six minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well mixed. Add in the butter and oil, followed by the buttermilk and maple syrup, whisking until combined after each addition. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just moistened. Carefully fold in the remaining blueberries. Scoop into muffin tins and top each with a teaspoon of jam. Swirl the jam into the muffins with a toothpick. To make the streusel, mix the dry ingredients together. Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until sticky. Sprinkle the streusel over the muffins and bake for 15-18 minutes at 425F.

Friday Flavor: Kombucha

27 Apr

If you ever want to drink something that smells like straight vinegar, tastes like the early stages of moonshine, and has something floating in it called “the mother,” than Kombucha was made for you.

I first heard about Kombucha at a fascinating seminar about the small intestines and other various wonders of the human body. And since I just happened to find Kombucha at Wegmans…I figured I would give it a test drive.

Okay…so I didn’t just happen to find it at Wegmans. The description of Kombucha at digestion class (LOLLLLLL digestion class) was so intriguing I immediately careened to the Nature’s Marketplace at Pittsford Wegmans to purchase some.

So why the hell would I want to drink a berry-flavored vinegar water?

Well, for those of you not hippie-dippie enough to have heard of Kombucha before (like me), here’s the 411.

Kombucha is a fermented tea.

And before you get all excited thinking that I’ve discovered a new-age bootleg liquor, it’s not that kind of fermentation. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is full of probiotics.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “I’m down with probiotics. I get those daily when I have my go-gurt.” Yeah…about that…

Yogurt has extremely low-levels of probiotics. And if it’s not organic, then it’s probably made from conventional dairy, which is full of antibiotics. And what if you don’t like yogurt? But those are topics for another time and place.

Back to the Kombucha. It tasted sort of like…wine that wasn’t quite there yet? Juice that was a bit stale? It definitely didn’t taste bad, but it didn’t have that same yum flavor as a raspberry ginger ale. The BAO Kombucha didn’t have as much floaty-mother stuff as other brands, which was a huge plus. And, it was only 80 calories for the entire bottle.

The downside? Almost $4 for one bottle. And it smelled like vinegar. Which was not appetizing.

I don’t know if I’ll add these into my diet on a regular basis, but I might grab one every once in a while. It’s probably better for me than the saccharin-filled Diet Cokes and Vitamin Water Zeros that I usually grab.

If you want to try Kombucha for yourself, look for it in the natural food or organic section of your grocery store.

And don’t worry. I have no plans to stop shaving my armpits and go totally brown rice anytime soon.


The Most Delicious Lasagna. Ever.

22 Apr

Did I mention that it comes with from scratch red sauce? On a creamy bed of from scratch béchamel sauce? And that it also involves eggplant and ricotta and prosciutto? Like I said.

Most. Delicious. Lasagna. Ever.

Step 1 of most delicious lasagna ever is sauce. It’s also step 1 of a variety of other delicious Italian meals.

Start with a chopped onion and some olive oil.

Add in some garlic.

Then Italian seasoning (duh), basil, crushed red pepper and tomato paste.

Stir in the tomatoes and when the sauce bubbles, you’re done.

If at this point you’re saying something like “But I just don’t have time to make sauce” or “Sauce in the jar is just as good” I have two thoughts.

One, it doesn’t take that long to make sauce. You can even do things like make a double batch and then freeze it, ensuring that you’ll always have red sauce on hand, like every good Italian cook does.

Two is that jar sauce does not taste the same. It tastes like jar sauce. If you do have a good reason for buying jar sauce (although the only two I can think of are sudden loss of blood or death), make sure you check the ingredients–whole tomatoes should be listed first. And whatever you do, don’t ever buy sauce that costs less than a dollar for the entire jar, or has a name like ‘ragu,’ ‘prego,’ or ‘franscico rinaldi.’

Moving on from my jar-sauce-hating rant…

Once you’ve got the sauce going, start on the lasagna part. Slice an eggplant lengthwise and lightly brush each side of the slices with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and bake at 450 for 12 minutes. The eggplant goes in looking like this.

And comes out looking like this.

While the eggplant is cooking, start the bechamel sauce. Bechamel is just a fancy name for white cream sauce. You don’t need to make it for this recipe…but I think it’s really what tips this dish towards delicious.

Start by melting butter.

Whisk in some flour and then whole milk. Continue to whisk over medium heat until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Add in a pinch of nutmeg and you’re done. Use a generous layer to coat the bottom of your lasagna pan.

Next you need to make the filling. Ricotta, eggs, parmesan, and spinach. Just mix it all up together. No fancy technique needed.

The rest is easy. Layer a slice of prosciutto, some filling, and grated mozzarella on top of the eggplant slices.

Roll up each eggplant slice, and arrange in your bechamel-coated pan. Top with the red sauce, and more grated mozz.

One more thing. Do yourself a favor and not use mozzarella that comes in a plastic bag. Go to the cheese department, buy some good whole milk mozz, and grate it by hand. You’ll thank me for this later.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and let set for five minutes.

Then victoriously enjoy the most delicious lasagna ever.

I’d also highly recommend getting a sweet baking timer like this one.

Not only is it super cute and way sexier than using your microwave kitchen timer feature, it’s mobile. So you can do fun things like bring the timer outside and drink wine on the porch.

And yes, I did just describe my kitchen timer as sexy.

What is this, 1990?

19 Apr

Do you ever have those moments when someone says, “Yeah, it was like 10 years ago” and you think they mean the 90’s, when really they are referring to 2002?

THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES.

I received the following at my parents’ house last week.

At this point, you’re probably saying, “BFD. Someone mailed you a letter. You’re just soooooooo  popular.”

But this is not an ordinary letter. It is a gramatically incorrect, poorly punctuated, neatly typed, blast-from-the-past, super creepy LOVE LETTER.

Don’t believe me? I’ve gleefully accurately transcribed it below. Names have been changed to protect the…innocent.

RXXX,

Hey how are things going? I came across your address on something a little bit back and thought I’d write you and say hi. Well right after that I was out for a jog and was hit by a F150 Pick-up truck. Broke 10 ribs puntured lung few other things, Nothing really physically noticeable, incredibly lucky for getting struck at what the driver said he was going 50MPH and threw me into a tree. Going back to work today for a couple weeks then surgery on my ribs.

Anyways, how have things been? What are you doing these days? I’m still doing the police ting and own a few houses. Starting a new business I think soon. Think I’m going to build a house soon, Have a lot of plans for it just have to find the location I want it.

What is new with you? I think the last time I saw you was at Nathanial’s the summer you were working at red wings stadium. You still living in NYS. Sent this to your parents hoping they could forward it to you. How is your family? Lol I remember being over your house after class a couple times and your dad came home and I was all intimidated lol. We were young then eh?

Well Anyway If you want you should get a hold of me, still have the same #…585-XXX-XXX. Maybe we can meet up for a bit or something and catch up. Hope everything is well, and Happy Easter. : )

Okay, I know what you are all thinking. Give this guy a break, he’s just trying to be nice, etc etc.

But let’s be reasonable.

First, a letter to my parents’ house? A letter? What is this, 1990? And ten years later? There are MANY MANY ways to find my contact info…LIKE GOOGLE. Or LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter…the list goes on.

And the fact that he still has my address memorized is just…creepy.

Second, can we discuss the punctuation? And grammar? I work in communications for a living. Good grammar is like breakfast cereal to me. I’d just like to say, the capitals after the commas…SO CONFUSED. And no question mark after the question about living in NYS is just…wrong.

Third, the phrase “LOL” should never be used outside of text message. And the “eh?” I’m all for celebrating my Canadian heritage, but wtf. And he was hit by a pickup truck??? And owns a “few” houses? Are you sh*tting me life?

Don’t even get me started on the ones who say they plan to “start a new business.” UGH times TEN.

AND BEFORE YOU CALL ME JUDGY MCJUDGERSON…which I might be…I’D LIKE TO POINT OUT THE STAMP.

What grown man has a stash of “Love” stamps just hanging around the house? Flag stamps, Liberty Bell stamps, even leftover Christmas or a wedding stamp would have been better. But a “LOVE” stamp? I’m pretty sure this stamp was…intentional. And therefore creepy. VOMS.

Overall, the only redeeming facet of the letter is its choice of font. A sans serif. Thank goodness for the little things in life.

A for effort. And A+ for creep factor.

Make it Live for 32.

15 Apr

It’s been five years, and I wish I knew what to say. I want to say something deep and meaningful and poetic. But I’m not good at that, so I will just write something that is true.

Five years ago, 32 members of the Virginia Tech community were killed. And they are missed every day.

There are two phrases that everyone who was part of the VT community on April 16, 2007 has had their lives shaped by.

We will prevail.

Live for 32.

The first kept us going in the days that followed April 16. The second keeps our lives moving now.

Because what people often forget, what they don’t understand –it’s the living that is the hard part. The getting by, the getting through, the getting over things.

No one ever wants to know about the living. About what happened in the days and months and years after. I always get asked about the dying pieces. Where were you when it happened, was it nearby, did you know anyone, what was it like.

In class, next building over, yes, and it was the worst day of my entire life.

And even though it’s been five years, it hasn’t gone away. It’s there in the times I’m scared that I might miss something really memorable, so I try to do everything. I feel it when I know that I can’t do everything, and when I know that I’m going to miss something. It screams loudly at me when the realization that tomorrow is not guaranteed sets in. It’s there in the moments where I freak out. And it’s there when I find myself becoming angry at stop lights for taking too long to change, because life is short, and that red light is keeping me from the people who I love.

Like I said, sometimes it’s the living that is the hard part.

But live for 32 is not sadness, it is celebration. And it’s there when I cross things off my bucket list. It’s in the back of my mind when I play games with my niece. It cheers me on when I am in impossibly tough situations, and it is the finish line we all race towards. It has been there as I have fallen in love, out of love, and everything in between.

Live for 32 is about living life as much as you can. Because there are 32 people with a view from heaven that don’t have that luxury any longer.

I know today is Monday. And no one likes Mondays. But if you do only one thing today, make it something amazing, memorable, and impactful. Make it Live for 32.

Wait, you made that? DIY Lace & Jersey Scarves

15 Apr

So a few days months ago, I pinned this cool jersey infinity scarf to my “DIY Wow List” pinboard. And like most things I pin (and by most things, I mean almost everything), the scarf pin just sort of…sat there.

Until one day I got motivated, went to Jo-Ann Fabrics, and purchased some jersey fabric. With a coupon, of course.

And then the fabric just sort of…sat there. It had the best intentions of becoming a scarf…but just had trouble getting started. (and by trouble, I mean the fabric sat inside its plastic force field of a shopping bag for a few months…)

Until I was having baker’s block. Which was good for the scarves (and my diet).

And that’s how I ended up with this super-cool lace and jersey infinity scarf.

Infinity scarves are meant to be looped around a few times–they are really just one big circle, but it sounds way cooler to call it an infinity scarf. When you wear it, it looks like this. Please withhold judgement on the photo. I would so fail at MySpace due to my inability to take cute mirror cell phone photo pics…

I also made a regular (non-infinity) scarf with a double layer of lace. Which looks like this.

Like I said, I was having baker’s block.

There are many benefits to sewing with jersey, but the main one for this project is that jersey does not need to be hemmed on all sides. Which makes sewing an infinity scarf easy.

If you can sew in a straight line, you can victoriously complete this project.

To make one scarf, you need approximately 1/4 yard of jersey fabric, and then a piece of lace. The length of the lace depends on how much of your scarf you want to be lace–for the infinity scarf above, the lace section is about 1/2 yard. Once you have the jersey, trim the edges to be neat, straight, and clean–and the jersey piece needs to be the same width as the height of the lace. Else, you will have either excess jersey or excess lace hanging off the edge. I didn’t trim the length of the jersey, just went with the standard fabric width.

The photo above shows what I mean by needing the width of the jersey to be the height of the lace. Make sense?

Then, you  just need to pin the lace to the jersey on one side, stitch, pin the other edges together, and stitch. Then, you’re done with the infinity scarf. Two seams, easy breezy!

Make sure you don’t turn your loop when you pin/sew the second seam, else you’ll end up with a Mobius scarf. Which, is also cool. If you don’t know what a Mobius is…you probably didn’t topology in college. 

The blue scarf was also easy–I stitched two pieces of 9 inch wide jersey together along the long edges, to give the scarf a bit more weight. Jersey fabric really doesn’t have a wrong side, but if it did, you want to sew your pieces wrong side together and then turn right side out.

Pin a layer of lace to one end and stitch across the top of the lace and down the edge. Pin a second layer over the first, and stitch down. Repeat for the other edge and you’re done.

Happy stitching!

Good Friday Finds

6 Apr

It’s Good Friday. And these finds are really good. Get it? These are good Friday finds…and it’s Good Friday. LOLLLLLL.

(I should probably file this in the “funnier in my head than out loud” folder…)

My latest share-worthy good find is Of a Kind: Know and Own.

So what exactly is Of a Kind? Each week, the site features a different designer and his or her work. There are photos and stories and interviews and how-tos and the like. Plus the site has a great blog with style ideas, cool places to check out in different cities, and other interesting things to think about.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…there’s more.

In addition to showcasing fabulous up-and-comers, the featured designer creates a limited-edition piece to be sold on the site. Like these bracelets. Thirty of a kind.

You don’t need a special invitation or anything like that to shop on Of a Kind. And the editions stay up until they are sold out, with a new edition released every few days. Did someone say New Edition?

If you love uniquely beautiful things, good finds, or just like owning pieces that are limited edition, you’ll really enjoy browsing the site. You can few current and past editions here.

Okay, I’m going to cool it now.