Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: New Aprons!

These are the latest samples that Deng Fen created (and Hannah designed, of course). The finished products may turn out a bit different, but I thought you would want to share in part of the design process!



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Migas!

Don't you love long weekends? My favorite part is waking up on Sunday and realizing that it is just as far away from Tuesday as Saturday is from Monday. Something about that thought makes me ambitious in the kitchen (or makes my husband ambitious).

My typical breakfast is no breakfast... well a Danactive yogurt drink holds me over until my prompt 11AM lunch. But, that wasn't always the case. My mother made me a fried egg sandwich every day in high school and, when I have time, that is what I turn to for real breakfast. Yes, sadly, I broke an yolk. I am not nearly as perfect as my mother. She's kind of like Mary Poppins - Practically Perfect in every way.

My husband, however, is currently obsessed with Migas! We happened to have cooked black beans last weekend, so he was in tremendous luck to hand craft is favorite breakfast on this Sunday that feels like Saturday morning. He based his recipe on one he found online, but he is like me and has trouble not putting his own spin on things.

The number one recommendation for this meal is to find the most amazing non stick pan ever. My in-laws gave us these two pans when they were last in town, and I must say that second to my Scarlet Threads apron this is my favorite kitchen equipment.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
Bacon
Red Bell Pepper (1/4 c.), Chopped
Tomato (1/4 c.), Chopped
Onion (1/4 c.), Chopped
Black Beans (1/2 c.), Cooked
Monterrey Jack Cheese (1/4 c.), Shredded
Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
Goya Aji Amarillo, to taste

The Aji Amarillo is his secret ingredient. It is yellow hot pepper paste, and it came from my friend my friend's kitchen. When she moved to Norway (tears), she gave me her entire spice cabinet and pantry. Six large grocery bags of food in which we discovered tons of new ingredients with which to experiment. Considering she and her husband are both "from out of town" there were plenty of things we couldn't pronounce and even more things that we couldn't even read (those Chinese characters are so Complicated!)

Back to the Migas.

Lightly beat the eggs and stir in the Aji Amarillo. I recommend starting with a dab, my husband says "go big, or go home." Take your pick, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Cook the bacon and then saute the vegetables in the left over grease. Add the beaten eggs. Cook thoroughly and add the black beans.

Plate and cover with cheese. Again, Louisiana to taste!

It is certainly not the prettiest dish (see my lovely simplicity?), but he absolutely swears by it!

Enjoy!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May Sale: 5 more days!

ST Community!

I have been neglectful of the blog recently, and I completely forgot to post about our Mother's May Sale. Everything will continue to be 25% off in our shop, including our new jewelry from Uganda when you use the code "mothersmay".

(A word to the wise, when you purchase jewelry make sure that you select jewelry as your method of shipment. I know it's a bit kludgy but it was the easiest way for us to create a lower cost shipping scheme for the smaller items.)



If you have had your eye on Tallulah, you better make your move! We are down to less than a handful. The same can be said for our pretty little Cocoa handbag. And, of course, many of our jewelry offerings are one of a kind!



We would be ever so grateful if you shared the code with your friends and family or on your own blog. We aren't an exclusive crowd over here at ST! In fact, send me an email (eileen@scarletthreads.org) with a link to your blog post or Facebook share and we will send you a special coupon code just for you... intrigued? Me too.

Finally, we are continuing to brainstorm ideas to boost sales (retail and wholesale), so if you have an idea of what we should be doing or who we should be contacting, please let us know either in Carrie's brainstorming post, this post, on the facebook page.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ST Sports Team?

If you've been following the twitter feed, you will know that at least one member of the Scarlet Threads staff is obsessed with Triathlon. It is true. My two great loves are ST and Triathlon. When Carrie asked for our ideas in her post on Monday, that was my opportunity to put my two great loves together.

Idea: I think we should create an ST Sports Team.

I can't be the only one in the ST Community addicted to Triathlon, or can I? Our team doesn't need to be triathletes! We must have gym enthusiasts, runners or cyclists or cross fit or Jiu-Jitsu artists or ... you get the picture. The point is, with the amount of time that I spend "training" during triathlon season, I could be reaching out to my community pointing them towards the great work at Scarlet Threads.

Problem. I am out of breath. I am by no means an exceptional athlete, so I can't talk and run or talk and cycle (the sheer mechanics of swimming make it impossible to talk and remain alive). I got to thinking, maybe I should wear one of our ST aprons during my "races" (read races as completion of and/or participation in official triathlon event)... that would get people talking. I nixed that idea as too dangerous (especially with long streaming waist ties getting caught in a bicycle chain or wheel, I'm sensing this could end badly).

Or, how about letting my shirt do the talking?
And maybe, just maybe, other members of our community might want to show their support for ST during their respective work out routines? It could be a sort of accountability group, you write in what your shirt was able to accomplish that week, share your health tips or your recipes for Tasty Tuesday.

So, what do you think? ST Atheletic Club? ST Accountability Squad? Fitness Junkies for Fair Trade?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brainstorming Session

I'm sorry to say, but I've been so very neglectful of Scarlet Threads this last year.  If it weren't for Eileen, Lexi, Tisha, Jenny and all of you faithful supporters, it would have just shriveled up and died.  That's just the honest truth.  I'm so thankful for people with a vision for what our fledgling little company is all about!  People who carried the vision even when I set it aside for a while.

It has been a crazy year!  (Two years really?)  In addition to becoming a mama for the first time, Jacob and I moved "home" to the USA from China, where we lived the last four years and where we started Scarlet Threads.  The two transitions at once - motherhood and repatriation - were a bit more than I could handle, and honestly for most of the time, I've been in a bit of a blur.

I pretty much sat Scarlet Threads on the back burner.  I had a newborn to attend and a new life to figure out.  And I don't think I could have done it any differently... but thankfully while I let it simmer in the background of my life, Eileen and the others picked up the slack and kept moving forward.  And suddenly we have 3,700+ facebook fans, our products in several retailers across the country, and a steady stream of retail customers.  (Seriously!  Three cheers for the rest of the ST team!  I know for a fact that Tisha and Eileen both got to deal with "the emotional roller coaster that was Carrie's life" a few times too many these last several months, and yet they've stuck around!)

So it isn't that I really think Scarlet Threads *needs* me more than it does anyone else - clearly the last 18+ months has shown that it does not - but I just want to publicly say that I'm back.  I still don't know how to "work" while tending a very busy toddler who likes to "help" me on the computer.  Like most everyone else on the planet, I still don't know how to fit everything I want to do into the day.  So this might seem like a haphazard start at times.  But I just want to say I'm so excited to get going again.  And I hope that since most of the other gals involved in ST either have "real" full-time jobs or more kiddos to tend than me, that I can really help ramp stuff up again.

So what's new?

Well I just finished working with Hannah, our new partner in China, to design and produce a whole buncha new aprons.  They'll be here in just a few weeks!  And I'm starting to brainstorm ways to expand our sales.  My heart has always been for the women we work with in China.  We could easily find more seamstresses to join our team - if we had the work to support them - but we need to sell more product to generate more work.  And we have some exciting partnerships brewing with an organization working in Uganda to do vocational sewing school with some ladies.  And, on the far out horizon, we might have some possibilities sprouting in Indonesia.  Empowering women to provide for their families has always and will always remain my motivation... and to do that, we gotta sell more products.

So if anyone is reading this blog, I'd love to hear your ideas for getting our fantastic products into more shops.  (That's my focus right now.)  Who knows, you might have an idea that we haven't yet considered!!  Maybe you have the next great idea that will take us to the next level and enable us to empower more women through employment.

And if you have any tips on how to work at home with a toddler's "help," I'm taking those too.  :)

Love,
Carrie