Emergency Maple Vinaigrette


Salads are on the menu most days around here, especially in the summer when produce is fresh and crisp. We save time and escape firing up the oven on hot summer evenings by grilling up a bunch of lean protein at the beginning of the week, then whipping up a hearty salad each night for a healthy dinner that’s ready in less than 15 minutes.

The other day, we ran out of our favorite dressing (Trader Joe’s Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette), so it was time to whip up a quick vinaigrette with existing pantry items. I wanted something a little more interesting than just oil and vinegar, so I reached for the maple syrup and to my surprise, it was delicious! The result was a light and tangy dressing, with just a hint of maple sweetness. Even my fairly picky foodie husband gave it the thumbs up, so with that vote of confidence, I thought I’d share the recipe with you in case you have a salad dressing emergency of your own.

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I am not much for pattern or color, but I think if you have visited here more than once you could probably gather that information on your own.  What I do love is anything animal related, antique engravings, a cheeky sense of humor and entrepreneurs that are truly creative.  I do believe that Abnormals Anonymous encompasses all of these things.  Have you heard of them before?  I accidentally came upon them this weekend and immediately wished I lived somewhere I could use their wallpapers, perhaps in Elle’s future big girl room? Or my studio?  Oh, even better how about a Besotted shop?  I think you get the picture, I like their offerings, but I like their cheeky nature even more.  You just need to read their ‘about’ page and you will understand what I mean.  I hope that this year I can find many more companies and people that will inspire, companies that are doing something creative but not taking themselves too seriously.  My favorite quote from an editor on my own company described it as ‘elegance with a wink’,  I can’t tell you how much I loved that, I want to embody that with everything I do.  Well, being a new mom is not so elegant, I often have spit up on my person (usually in my hair) and we have already discussed that showering is a luxury, so there’s that.

Happy New Year everyone, I can’t wait to see how this year unfolds!  Do you have any big plans to make 2014 your best year ever? Any 365/52 week projects that you might be starting? If so let me know, I am ever curious and would love to know what you have planned!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


retro 3 screen tv Life magazine

I mentioned I haven’t been able to do anything lately for any length of time. A movie?  No way.  A shower?  Sometimes.  I have been watching some snippets of TV in the wee hours of the night and earliest morning hours and I thought I would share with you some of the shows I have really enjoyed.  My husband and I enjoy the Food Network very much, you?  Any food related show reels us in. I had mentioned to my friend Michelle a while back about a new (to me) show called Cut Throat Kitchen and she said that her and her husband were enjoying a show called Master Chef, we decided to check it out, we got hooked.  Better than Master Chef though was Master Chef Junior, if you are interested in the culinary arts this show should blow your mind, it’s all under 13 years of age chefs, some as young as seven and if you aren’t duly impressed, I am not sure what will impress you.  We watched these shows on On Demand, but I am sure you can look on line to see where you can see the shows.

My mom has been wanting me to watch Shark Tank for ages, I finally acquiesced and was so glad I did. This show has made me re-evaluate my entire business and how I go about running it–game changer.  I thought I knew how to run a business, but there are so many unanswered questions and missing pieces in my company that I need to address and yes, this epiphany was from a TV show, go figure?  It has become my resolution to tighten up my ship for 2014.  Shark Tank even has an audiobook that you can download for free right now! My mother-in-law is a television addict and we usually defer to her to introduce us to new shows, she turned us on to Luther a British detective show that we binged on.  It says a lot that my husband would watch it as he hates British television, so there’s that.  It’s very heavy and dark, so if you have a sensitive disposition, skip the show.

Portlandia, okay it’s not always funny, but it’s the majority folks.  Since you are reading this blog, I am going to suppose you know a little about blog culture and I feel like they nail the bloggy world so well.  You’d have to watch to see what the heck I am talking about even the location of the show is blog centric to me (the blog world has definitely made Portland seem like utopia).

The last show rec is The Walking Dead, yes it’s zombies but gosh is it seat of your pants suspenseful.  Everything about this show is impressive to me, the writing, the acting, the make-up, etc. It’s just a really great show.  I wouldn’t recommend watching by yourself in a dark house, but if you are snuggled up close to your loved one(s) than it’s a great show to share. I was actually sad when they broke for hiatus, I am still missing the show.

Have you seen any of these shows?  Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know if you have any recommendations, as you can see I am pretty varied in my tastes so I am open to hearing your thoughts and suggestions!

photo via Life magazine

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


hello gorgeous narwhals by besotted

I have been working like a mad person round the clock, I am trying to figure out when will be the best time to stop, but I am kind of hoping I can work up until the due date, do you think that is totally unrealistic? The only thing that I think will stop me is being able to bend, who knew I did so much bending in my line of work?  Packing parcels is labor intensive!  I have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to properly sit down and watch Jessica Hische’s class-Introduction to Lettering which just started (a class  I have been anxiously awaiting).  I ended up just playing the videos while I worked and listened to them, it’s definitely a motivating class, I am going to highly recommend it and can’t wait to actually sit down and be able to watch it.  It motivated me enough to break out my sketch book. I re-drew the narwhals above (well, one narwhal) from an antique engraving I had, but I was sorely disappointed with the result as it actually looks just like the original drawing so what was the point? Grrrrr.  I am going to keep practicing, I really would love to make them more naive which seems like it would be easier but not for me (I am currently loving this artist) . I just started learning how to draw a couple years ago, I love the Ames book series, they are made for children but I think they are a great for any age novice to have a modicum of drawing success.  I also like to recommend this book, it’s for more realistic drawing techniques but I don’t know of any books that help in developing your own drawing style, do you? I guess that just comes with more practice. And for the record I do believe anyone can learn to draw, yes, some people do have innate natural ability (I am not one of them) but it is a skill that can be learned!

In other news, I have so many great finds that I thought you may be interested in so I decided to share and do a quick round up for you. Yes, they most definitely run the gamut so there should be something for everyone!

Round postage stamps?  What took them so long? I think this idea is so fresh, I hope we see more designs in the near future.

I have been planning our meals for the month, mostly doing it the old fashioned way (pen + paper) but I signed up for a free 30 day trial at this clever little company. It allows you to store all your recipes you find on-line in one place, create shopping lists based on the ingredients for said recipes and will also send the list to your phone so you don’t get to the market and cringe when you realize you forgot your list on the kitchen counter.

Speaking of meal planning if it’s not easy I am not making it, sheesh, I can barely stand without toppling over so easy meals like this lentil soup are a time + life saver! I make my own lentils, but the recipe uses canned ones, both ways are super easy!

I wrote about pie last week, Elizabeth Colling was generous to share her recipe I have added it to the post!

Anyone have a gel manicure lately? I haven’t since I became pregnant but I use to love how they looked (and how long they lasted).  This new product claims to be very gel like without the hassle of going to the salon and special UV lights, my interest is peaked.

Wow, this must be the month for new font releases, there are some lovely ones to consider-Chameleon is a unique font family where each font is different but made to go together, interesting concept (I especially like the capital ‘H’ and ‘L’ on the Chameleon basic), Aleka is currently on sale, it’s a modern calligraphic font that has a distinct handmade hand to it, I can see this becoming a popular font. I would love to see a talented designer use String in a project, it’s so delicate yet doesn’t take itself too seriously. Eduardo Recife of Misprinted type is just a super talent, his Mercy font is a true calligraphic font and would be perfect on invites and envelopes, it is just gorgeous.

Speaking of fonts have you heard of the Typism conference?  If you are interested in lettering you should stop by their site to view a few of the videos from their last get together, I especially liked the vid on brush lettering.

Because I will get a few dozen emails on this, the font I used above is my beloved Jacob Riley by Magpie Paper Works.

This is so random, but this company has created faux wishbones so everyone at your Thanksgiving feast (vegans included) can participate in making a wish. I think it’s a charming idea!

Winners!  For the Modern Calligraphy book Pamela P. (I thought it was sweet she wanted to get  copy to her daughter), and the wreath monogram giveaway last week-Lauryl, I loved all your answers but hers included a squirrel mention.

P.S. It’s Veteran’s day here in the states, thank you to all the individuals that make it possible for me to sit at home and write about such frivolity (as witnessed above), I don’t take it for granted and am highly appreciative of the sacrifice.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


don't worry be happy besotted blog

This week went a little too fast, is it already over?  I will be working through the weekend but I would prefer if time would slow down an eensy bit. I feel like hyperventilating as the due date for my baby with no name approaches, this time in my life is both thrilling and terrifying, much like a roller coaster ride. We had an amazing ultrasound yesterday wherein I could see that she looks exactly like…a sumo wrestler, a little old man sumo wrestler but a sumo wrestler for sure.  She has super chubby cheeks, a full head of hair and she smiled, yes a smile, we have proof, most definitely a smiling sumo.

Magpie Paperworks has released another font, does this woman sleep?  I don’t think so. I used it in the graphic above, it’s called Dasha and you need to see the samples on the Magpie site to really get a feel for the beauty of this font.  I see this being used for a bunch of holiday greetings, it’s a keeper. For you lovely reader Jess is giving you a discount of 25% off (promo code BESOTTED) it’s already a steal but steal it for even less (until Nov 14th)! As always Jess packs her fonts with so many extras-a full set of alternate caps? What? Swash features, who doesn’t love a good swash/swoosh? Seriously now.

Talking calligraphy has me all giddy, did you read Bailey’s interview?  If you are interested in modern calligraphy what are you waiting for?  Bailey really served up some serious great advice + resources for you on a silver platter.  Also, I am giving away another copy of Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe (a resource Bailey recommends) so go leave a comment on the post!

Being this pregnant has not been conducive to cooking anything too inspired but this recipe has been a life saver, once you have the basics down you can really get creative. This meal is so simple + easy and yes, it can even be adapted for vegetarians as well!  I have made this about six different ways since I first discovered it and my husband has declared he could eat it every single day.  At this point he may just have to, I am really not feeling the motivation to cook. If I were I would try some of these beauties.

I had high hopes for this hyper pigmentation product.  I am 2 weeks in and nothing, zilch, zero results. Is this a big ol’ goose egg of a product?  I will let you know soon enough, pinky promise.

I have started and stopped reading a variety of baby ‘how-to’ books, one on sleeping actually has put me to sleep multiple times (it works). I have to say I haven’t read anything for pure pleasure in forever, but I would like to any suggestions?  Amazon has started suggesting actual children’s books for me it looks like they think I would like Victorian inspired tales such as Lois Lowry’s  The Willoughby’s, and The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (it’s a series).

And with that I will leave you for the weekend remember ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ words of wisdom from Mr. McFerrin, btw Ferrin is a pretty good name, hmmm?…..

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