November 18, 2015

Healthy"ish" Banana Loaves

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow. Even more so, I can't believe that Emmett turns one a week from today. To celebrate, we'll be hosting a joint Birthday/Thanksgiving feast for my family and I'm pretty excited. In fact, I've been planning the menu for months. You'd think I would've nailed it down by now but I keep changing my mind, or thinking of new recipes.

My folks are flying in for the occasion and my younger brother, with his wife and two sons, will be joining us. The only folks missing are my big brother, his wife, and their five daughters but I hope we'll get to skype them in from Israel! Everyone will be showing up in the morning so I'm planning a birthday brunch for Emmett, and then we'll all hang until Thanksgiving dinner. I know it would be easier to combine the two but I want the kiddo to know he's special and that his birthday deserves it's own celebration. So, I'm working on menus for 2 meals for the day. Yay! 

For brunch, I'm thinking something super easy. A crustless quiche packed with veggies, banana bread with pumpkin butter, and some fresh fruit. Oh, and of course I'll bake a mini cake for Emmett and a cupcake for each of his cousins. This morning, I tested out a new banana bread recipe and I can't believe it, but it came out perfect on the first try. Absolutely perfect. I call it healthy"ish" because the ingredients all sound pretty healthy. But let's be honest, even fruit or "naturally sweetened baked goods are baked goods, with plenty of sugar & calories. Lucky for us, I believe in indulging as often as possible.
Healthy"ish" Banana Loaves
Makes 5 loaves, or 9 Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a mini loaf pan, or muffin tin, with non stick spray.

In a large bowl, beat together:
2 eggs
1 cup of mashed very ripe banana (about 1 1/2-2 bananas)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup milk or your favorite subsitute
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a separate bowl, sift together:
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup old fashion oats, plus a bit more for sprinkling on top

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix until combined. Divide evenly between the mini loaves or the muffin cups.  Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool a bit before popping out. Enjoy!

We ate some while they were still hot this morning, mine with a little slice of butter which melted and tasted like heaven. Sooooo goooood

Now that my family is fed, Robert is almost off to work, and Emmett is playing happily in his playroom, I can work on day 3 of 8 days of gifts! For day 3, I've picked the custom engraved nameplate necklaces since they're one of my favorite pieces and would make a pretty awesome gift.
You can get just about anything engraved on them. Your name, your favorite mantra, a monogram, or favorite race distance. Just click on the picture above to find the sale & use code DAY3 at checkout for 20% off! (not valid on previous purchases. today only). Now I have to think of 5 more discounts for 5 more days. What would you like to see included? Leave a comment below & let me know!

November 16, 2015

8 Days of Gifts!

Since Hanukkah is starting in 19 days (what?!?) and the Christmas countdown is well under way, I thought it would be fun to give 8 days of ESD gifts. Each day, I'll be offering a different piece on my website at a great gift giving price. So, let's get started, shall we?

October 23, 2015

Our First Flash Sale

Last week, had its first flash sale and it was a great success! For just a few hours, the custom wish tag and necklace were both 20% off and within seconds of announcing the sale, I received so much positive feedback. Here are just a few of my favorite custom wishes that were ordered. I can't wait to add them to my new inspiration gallery!
So, should I do this again? And if so, which items would want love to see as part of a flash sale?

October 13, 2015

Tis the Season for Custom Designs

I can always tells when race season is in full swing by the emails in my inbox. The requests for custom race designs come pouring in! It seems that every day I'm working on a new design for a different race. I think that's what's so cool about ESD- how personal and customized I can get. There are times when I wonder why on earth I don't try to focus on a few specific designs to grow my business and rake in the big bucks. But then I remember, that's not why I started my business and will never really be where my heart directs me. Instead, I get to work one on one with folks, designing with their specific goals and accomplishments in mind.

For example, take Fe's bracelet. Fe asked me to design a keepsake for her first marathon, the Wineglass Marathon that took place a couple of weeks ago. One of her friends from Brazil would also be running it as her first 26.2 and she wanted to get them matching bracelets incorporating 26.2 miles, 42 km (the measurement used in Brazil), Wineglass 2015 and hearts.
Front of the bracelet, engraved with Wineglass Marathon 2015 and an ESD Run charm hanging off. We chose a wine colored suede strap to complete the wineglass theme.
Photo courtesy of Fe. The back of the bracelet is engraved with 2 hearts wrapped in banners that show the 26.2 and 42km distances. 
And then there's the new MDI design I just shipped out today. I received a request from someone for a custom MDI Marathon charm and since I loved the race logo, I really really wanted to engrave it! For the record, I have never and would never engrave someone else's design without their permission. I contacted someone from the race and Gary Allen, the race's director, granted me permission to use it. How cool is that! Although I'm not surprised as Gary is a pretty stellar guy and a great member of the running community.
MDI Marathon Charm Design. The race logo on the front, race details and signature lobster design on the back.
Sometimes, I design custom ideas to support not only the race participants, but a philanthropic cause. This season, I'm proud to collaborate with the Free To Run Foundation on the Free To Run Columbus charm, just in time for this weekend's race. The foundation was formed in 2012 to unite runners, walkers and endurance athletes in the fight against modern day slavery and other injustices. 20% of the proceeds from the sale of this charm will be donated directly to the organization.
These three designs are just the tip of the iceberg! I love creating custom designs so if you've got a race approaching and would like to commemorate it, please don't hesitate to contact me for something special. 

October 2, 2015

A Bride's Gift to Her Moms

I often say that the best part of my job is the honor of helping you all celebrate life's best moments. Now that I'm a mom, time spent with my son is precious and I'm grateful when the time I spend away from him while working is meaningful.

Samantha recently honored me with the job of creating special gifts to give to her mother and mother-in-law to be in celebration of her wedding. Here is what she wrote on Facebook after giving them their custom engraved Baby Footprint necklaces:

"The details of our day really mattered to me, and I wanted the gifts to our moms to be something they could treasure forever and let them know how grateful we are to both of them. Erica Sara helped us deliver in a BIG way. She engraved our baby footprints from our birth certificates on one side, then added "You raised her to be my dream come true" for my mother and "You raised your son to be the man of my dreams" for my mother-in-law. They came out wonderfully, the moms cried immediately and they haven't taken them off since! 
Samantha & Dustin, congratulations on your marriage! Wishing you a long, happy and very healthy life together.
Photo Credit John Herr