Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Dose of Encouragement

I have never considered myself a feminist.  It's just that I've had so many great men in my life, that I never felt the need to bash men or to say that I'm more capable of doing something than they are.  The first man in my life was my dad.  My dad is smart, bold, firm, funny, able to make or fix anything, a baker and cook, loving, so on and so on.  My husband is also incredible.  He's the most caring person I know and makes me feel so valued.  I had a lot of guy friends growing up and in college.  Most of my best friends were guys.  They never made me feel like I wasn't capable of doing certain things or that I was less.  I have been really blessed to have boys and men like that in my life.


I have been around guys that have made me feel quite the opposite.  I hate to say it, but it is so true that women that are determined and hard workers are often seen as pushy or mean, while men that have the same attributes are just seen for those attributes and are not put into some emotional category like women.  I am a hard worker.  I have ideas, and I like to accomplish goals.  The end.  There's nothing catty to read into that.

A few months ago I read Tina Fey's book Bossypants, and it was so refreshing to know that it's okay to be a dedicated and hard worker.  She and Amy Poehler decided to not let guys keep them from being funny and from being on TV.  Thank you!  Because I love both 30 Rock and Park and Recreation and am so glad they didn't give up!

I've been reading Mindy Kaling's blog recently and have also gotten some encouragement from it.  Not like in a Teenage Soup for the Soul kind of way, but in a Do What You Love No Matter Who Wants to Keep You From Doing It kind of way.  Plus I love The Office.  What is it with me loving NBC comedy gals?

Mindy posted a link to Beyonce's Year of 4 documentary.  Let me say that I think Beyonce says some weird stuff in the documentary.  Especially with the whole feeling baptized by the sea thing.  But anyhoo, I really liked the piece and felt motivated by it.

I say this to say: I have been having to remind myself lately that it's not about the critics or the doubters.  I need to do what I love.  As a female, I can bring unique things to the table.  If you feel discouraged by others, don't do what I've done for so long.  Don't let others stifle your passion and love and creativity.

I know that this post had lots of words and no pictures.  Thanks for staying with me and letting me rant a bit.  And please know that what I've said is not a self pity party.  It's just what's currently on my heart, and I hope that it helps one of you.

Love, Marla

A few other gals that inspire:
Zooey Deschanel & New Girl show
Leanne Marshall
**There's no way I could list them all.  These are just a few that are recently encouraging me through their art.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keep Calm And Bear On!

My husband and I met at the University of Central Arkansas, so we (of course) love the UCA Bears!  That's partly why my blog is designed in purples (the official color of UCA)!

To celebrate the UCA football team winning last Saturday in Tennessee and going on to play this coming Saturday in Montana, I made this:
To save: Click to enlarge then right click to save

Go Bears!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers

There's no food involved with these leftovers.  Just iPhone photos!
 ^decor at my house
^tomatoes had to be brought inside because of the cold weather...and they're growing like crazy!

 ^went to Walmart Thursday night for Black Friday, and it was sheer madness!  this doll made me laugh-- wets 'n wiggles!

 ^drove by all the stores to see the crazy lines

 ^went to see my parents this year (haven't been with them in a couple Thanksgivings) and dad grilled cajun chicken and mom made gluten free hash brown casserole!  oh, and there was plenty of sweet tea :)

 ^mom made a gluten free chocolate cake from scratch

^colin and i got back home sunday night and i started putting buttons on scarves (more info on that coming soon!)

I hope you all had a grand Thanksgiving!  I have so much to be thankful for-- including all of you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Small Business Saturday AND Free Etsy Shipping

Well, we all know that Black Friday is almost here.

But did you know that Saturday is Small Business Saturday?

So, after you hit all the big retail stores on Friday, be sure to visit locally owned stores in your area.

In celebration of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING in my etsy store!

When you make a purchase, enter coupon code FREESHIP to get just that-- free shipping!
You'll be saving $5 per purchase!  You can use the code through Monday, November 28.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Announcement: Facebook page!

Marla, Plain & Small is now on Facebook!

I would LOVE it if you would come on over and be my Facebook friend!

I promise not to bother you too much.  This will just be a way for you to stay up-to-date on the blog and etsy shop.

While it can be a bit embarrassing setting up your own fan page, I knew I finally had to take the leap.  Facebook is such a great way to keep in touch and to meet new people.

I hope you'll come on over and say hello!

<3 Marla

Click HERE to hop over to Facebook!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Facial!

I've never had a professional facial.
I've always had to live pretty frugally, so a professional facial is a luxury I have yet to experience.
That doesn't mean I can't do my own, though!

I saw this facial from Krazy Koupon Lady and decided to try it out.
What's even better is that this facial is all natural!
And it only uses 3 ingredients...which you probably already have in your pantry!

I know what you're thinking... looks gross... don't have to say what it looks like...
...I know...I know...
I loved it!
My skin felt great afterwards!
I kept trying to convince Colin to do it, but he said it looked like...well, let's not go there.

I definitely recommend this facial.
I'll keep doing it!

Suggestion: I found that this recipe makes enough for two facials.  If you're going to do like I did and only need enough for one facial, cut the recipe in half.  Or have a friend over to use the rest!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Iron + Wine

Sunday night we got to see Marketa Irglova and Iron and Wine in concert!
And yes, I got a set list.  And I got to meet Sam Beam!
He was so nice and even remembered that he had signed a poster for us (a surprise that we didn't know about yet)!
It was their first time to play in Arkansas, so it was pretty neat to be a part of the experience :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dempsey Bakery (in iPhone photos)

Colin and I spent Saturday in Little Rock running errands.  I had a meeting with The Green Corner Store, and we decided to get some more things done while in town.
I was taking a picture of myself, and Colin unknowingly stepped into the mirror!

First stop: Dempsey Bakery
Dempsey Bakery is a new bakery that's entirely gluten free and soy free (two yay's for me!).
They also have dairy free items and vegan goods.
What I loved so much about the bakery is that they had samples out for you to try everything.
Everything!  So you didn't have to wonder if you would like it.
They had cookies, cakes, dessert rolls, breads, pizza crust, soup, chicken pot pie, more things than I can name!
They even had cake pops!  I don't have a picture to show you, because I ate it in about 2 seconds.  It was amazing!
I even love their packaging!
We got a pizza crust (which was so yummy!), rye bread (also delicious); Colin got a blueberry cake donut; I got a death by chocolate cake roll.
Everything was so good that I thought I was going to cry!  I haven't had cake since I found out about my allergies in July.  The last cake was my birthday cake, and I was too sick to even enjoy it.  The cake pop and cake roll made me so happy!  I've already told Colin that I want the death by chocolate for my next birthday cake!
If you're gluten free (or have various other food allergies), Dempsey Bakery is going to make your day!
If you don't have any food allergies, I still encourage you to visit them.  Everything tastes so good-- you won't care if it's missing the usual ingredients!
Thank you, Dempsey.

Now, how about opening a branch in Conway? ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Announcement: The Green Corner Store

I have a very exciting announcement:
You can now buy Marla, Plain & Small handmade items at The Green Corner Store!

If you live in Central Arkansas (or are traveling through), stop by The Green Corner Store to check out all of their neat handmade merchandise.  They're in downtown Little Rock near a lot of neat shops and restaurants, so you can make a day out of it!

I have lots of scarves there as well as some bags, other miscellaneous items, and the table runners you see below made out of antique feed sacks.
Be sure to go check out the store, and tell them that I sent you! :)


Monday, November 14, 2011

Tutorial: Frayed Scarf

I've had this material for awhile and knew I wanted to make a scarf.  This scarf is for those who like a bit of personality with their pieces.
Because the edges are frayed!
They fray a little more each time you wear it.
When the fraying gets a bit too long, you just trim it (making sure not to cut into the seam).
Here's how I made a frayed edges scarf:
Sew around all edges of the material with a straight stitch.  I left about 1/2 an inch all around.
Now you have a straight stitch.
Trim the excess fabric as close to the stitch as you can without cutting into the stitching.
Now let the fraying begin on its own!
This is made from a lightweight fabric, but it's long and thick, so it would be great for fall and light winter days!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cake in a Cup

There are a few bakeries in town that offer a treat called Cake in a Cup...or something similar to the name.  When bakeries make speciality cakes, they shave off the tops of cakes to make them flat for decorating and stacking.  Instead of throwing away the shavings, they've made a treat that's possibly more delicious than the decorated cake.

Here's my version of Cake in a Cup!

I baked a box of strawberry cake.  I baked it in a bundt pan, because it doesn't stick and it was easier for me to crumble.

Crumble up half of the cake with a spoon and put it in a dish.  I used a glass bowl so it would be pretty and show through!
I then mixed up a cup of powdered sugar with half a stick of margarine and a dash of vanilla.
Drizzle that mixture onto the crumbled cake.
Now crumble the other half of the cake and put it in the bowl.
I microwaved half a tub of cream cheese icing to make it easy to pour.
Drizzle the icing on top of the cake.
I then added white chocolate chips.
Pretty pink!
This cake is super moist and sweet!
I couldn't have any, because it wasn't gluten free :(.
You can either serve it on plates or people can put it in cups and eat it with a spoon!

Colin's birthday was Sunday, and we had quite the full day.  But I managed to bake him a yellow cake with chocolate icing (his favorite).  I usually go all out with the decorating, but because of time issues, he got white chocolate chip lettering!
Happy birthday, Colin! <3
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