February 2015 ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Spicy Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing

A spicy spin on my Cornbread Stuffing that EVERYONE loves!

Sweet Potato Souffle for Thanksgiving

One of my most popular recipes EVER, and just in time for Thanksgiving!

DIY Painted Photo Backdrops

Super easy backdrops for your photo, plus a few tips!

Golden Sweet Corn Bread Mini Muffins

A sweet spin on traditional cornbread!

Easy Sweet Potato Pie (without a crust!)

The easiest (and healthiest) pumpkin pie recipe ever!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Grey Theory Mill feature, GIVEAWAY & promo!


This week, I have such a fun Shop Small Saturday Showcase feature for you!  Jonnie, the delightfully quirky girl behind Grey Theory Mill is sharing a bit about her work and life.  Actually, when I say a bit, I mean a lot!  I love how much thought and detail she gave in her interview, which reflects the same amount of attention she gives to each handmade creation.  Also, when I say quirky, I mean it!  Check out a couple of the funniest maker photos that I've ever featured below.  :)

Seriously, I am in love with just about everything in her store.  The jewelry is an awesome mix of geometric designs, fun colors, and sweetness, plus her notebooks are just as pretty!  Seriously, when I first saw her booth at Patchwork, I could not decide on just one design.  Well, luckily the winner of the giveaway won't have to make the same decision because she is giving away $45 to one lucky reader!  And for all of my readers, she is giving a promo to save 15% off at her store.

Stay tuned for that at the end of the interview, but first check out some amazingly creative handmade gems and hear more from Jonnie herself!


Grey Theory Mill feature & GIVEAWAY! at Shop Small Saturday Showcase on Diane's Vintage Zest!

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Tell me a little bit about yourself!

My name is Jonnie and I’m a doer-maker-creative-learning-reading-watcher sort of person (or whatever that means). My favorite pastimes include reading, tea-drinking, learning, listening, dancing, being, creating, sharing, cooking, baking, daydreaming, dreaming, pretending, writing, photo-taking, walking, exploring, shopping for supplies, hanging out with my other half/friends/family, and many other present progressives.

I’ve always been rather creative and have always enjoyed an established relationship between my mind and hands. As a very young child (so young this is my mother’s memory), my first masterpiece was a portrait of my mother’s face on the bathroom floor. I had gotten rid of the throw rug and collected every last bit of her makeup and went to town on my linoleum canvas. When she woke up, I was just finishing her piece and I excitedly squealed, “Look momma! It’s you!” She was bummed all her brand new make-up was now diminished, but she said it was really well done. I was also really good at drawing on the walls. So, with that said, I would say I’ve never been too nervous to try out new mediums. If an idea comes to me (whatever it may be) I just figure out how to do it until it can be done. If it can’t, I chalk it up as a learning experience and move on.

I did drama in high school, dabbled in garage bands, and wrote quite a bit. “Art” was something I did on my own time (which was usually collages for my school binder). It wasn’t until my sophomore year of colleg--as an English major--that it struck me I needed to major in art. So I left that college, went back home, completed all the undergrad art courses needed to transfer to a new school and then decided to change my major to Human Development. I started Grey Theory Mill sometime in between and would say that in starting a business, I created my own classroom where I have learned about myself, art, design, online marketing, etc. It wasn’t a clear cut training program, just a conglomeration of personal experience and existing.


Grey Theory Mill feature & GIVEAWAY! at Shop Small Saturday Showcase on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Where did the name of your store come from?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Woodworking Project #1: Wood Piece Basket


Last week, I was a little tricky and shared the Wood Scrap Vase as my first woodworking project ever...  But it was really made with the scraps of the project that I'm sharing with you today!

That was just a teaser, but here is the whole process of how I made this Wood Piece Basket!


Wooden Basket (1st woodworking project!) on Diane's Vintage Zest!


By the way, this is not a tutorial.  I just wanted to show off my new-found woodworking skills to you all.  Yay!

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I started with this huge piece of lumber taller than me, plus a couple other pieces you'll see later.

I used a table saw to rip it into six skinny pieces on the right.


Wooden Basket (1st woodworking project!) on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Using a chop saw or miter saw, each skinny piece was turned into lots of tiny pieces.

Wooden Basket (1st woodworking project!) on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Then, I sanded each piece down to give the edges a bit of a shape.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Homemade Kale Chips


Homemade Kale Chips on Diane's Vintage Zest! #recipe #easy #healthy #vegetarian


This week, I am sharing a new favorite recipe!  I have tried time and time again to make kale chips in the oven, which was so tricky to find the right balance.  Why are the centers always soggy?  How does the kale get nice and crispy without burning the edges?  So how did I make the perfect kale chip?  I used a dehydrator!

So why kale chips?  They are much healthier than your typical deep-fried potato chips, and are even crispier.  Seriously, they are pretty hard to stop eating once you start...  Yum!

Also, for those of you who don't have a dehydrator, it's a great purchase!  I love throwing in all kinds of fruit, veggies, and even meats to see what turns up. It's like a surprise every time.  :)

Now, let's get to the Kale Chips!


Homemade Kale Chips
From About.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

DIY Wall Decor Ideas & Do Tell Tuesday #62!


DIY Wall Decor Ideas on Do Tell Tuesday at Diane's Vintage Zest!



Welcome to Do Tell Tuesday!  Each week we will pick a set of features with a common theme.  This week Cassie chose the fabulous features, which you'll want to check out below.  Before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts...

Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:

Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus

Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of Cassie!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fleet Collection feature (& promo!)

*Update*  Fleet Collection is no longer, but keep up with Eileen's new venture at Apricity!


This week, I have a pretty Shop Small Saturday Showcase feature to share with you all!  Eileen and Lisa, the lovely ladies from Fleet Collection are sharing their gorgeous creations with us this week.  I just adore their classic style with retro details thrown in... dare I say, a bit of vintage zest?  You may remember that the first dress I ever sewed was an attempt at the style that the ladies so effortlessly exude.  Not only are they sharing insight into the creation of their fabulous frocks, they are treating my readers to 15% off their already wonderfully priced items!

Take a gander at the stunning offerings from Fleet Collection below and find out which are the girls'  favorite dresses... and with pockets too!


Fleet Collection feature on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!

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Tell me a little bit about yourself!

Fleet Collection is the creation of two long time friends, Eileen Chai and Lisa Hsieh. I'm Lisa, my background is in art and fashion design, and Eileen is experienced in the business side of things. We both love fashion and together we design our entire collection which is sewn by a small production team in Downtown Los Angeles.


Why did you start making goods for Fleet Collection?

We started Fleet Collection after Eileen and I noticed that there was a lack of beautifully made clothing at affordable prices. As women leading busy lives in our late twenties, we wanted to offer pieces that were classic, chic and modern without costing upwards of $100. We started off with just a handful of styles and now we operate a full-scale online shop showcasing our original designs.


Fleet Collection feature on Shop Small Saturday Showcase at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Where do you get the inspiration for your work?

Our inspiration comes from vintage fashion, art and everyday life. We understand that our customers are looking for clothing with a touch of vintage flair yet modernized so it's practical for the contemporary women today.


What is your favorite item?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Project #0: Wood Scrap Vase


After last week's Woodworking Tip, I promised to share a woodworking project with you...

Well, I kinda lied.  Or maybe I didn't!  I thought I would share this project that I made out of a bunch of scraps from my first project.  Thats why it's Project #0 and not number 1!

It's not the prettiest thing ever, but I'm happy that I made something semi-interesting while practicing using the tools.


Project #0: Wood Scrap Vase on Diane's Vintage Zest!


I attempted to make some type of spiral design and it ended up juuust a little wonky.  Also, I with I had four more pieces to make another layer on the bottom to match the top.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mediterranean Salmon


Mediterranean Salmon on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #recipe #quick #easy


I am just getting back into the swing of things after my trip to Australia & the Philippines (hopefully I get to post about it soon), so that means making sure I eat right after almost four weeks vacation from eating healthy!

Getting back from the airport, I came back to a completely empty refrigerator and just a couple of onions that thankfully lasted.  With just a few ingredients from the freezer and some fresh basil from my mom's garden that she gifted to me, I was able to make a pretty healthy and amazing dish!

I initially prepared two versions using salmon and swai, so that's why you will see swai fillets in the step-by-step pictures below.  So definitely try out this dish because it is super easy and flavorful PLUS you can use any fish you would like!  Enjoy my Mediterranean Salmon!


Mediterranean Salmon on Diane's Vintage Zest!  #recipe #quick #easy


Mediterranean Salmon
A Vintage Zest original

Monday, February 16, 2015

Amazing DIY Furniture Makeovers & Do Tell Tuesday #61!

Amazing DY Furniture Makeovers & Do Tell Tuesday on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome back to Do Tell Tuesday!  As you may remember from last week, one of the hosts will bring you a set of features each week with a common theme.  This week, Lisa is bringing you some amazing DIY furniture makeovers--it's amazing what a little bit of paint and some new upholstery can do to the overall look of a piece.

Before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts...


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:



Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus

Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of Lisa!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Squshies feature & GIVEAWAY!


Squshies feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest! #toy #unique #gift


Happy Valentine's Day people!

It's totally appropriate that today's Shop Small Saturday Showcase is brought to you by the adorable duo of Danielle and Jason Strong on this holiday!  Not only are they co-creators of the adorable Squshies, which marries their love of animals, cartoons, squares, and plushies, they are married to each other.  In fact, check out the photo below of their wedding... at the San Diego Zoo!

Not only is their story adorable, their creations are too!  From adorable sheep to hilarious narwhals and a few mythical creatures in the mix, their shop is so fun to scroll through, especially to find out the cute names they give to each Squshie.

Read on for my interview with the two of them and then make sure to tune in at the end of the post to win your very own Squshie.  Enjoy!


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Squshies feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest! #toy #unique #gift


Tell me a little bit about yourself!

Hi, I'm am Danielle, and with my husband Jason, we are the team behind the Squshies.

I've always been a huge animal lover, obsessed with cartoons and have had a desire to do something creative with my life. I studied graphic design and animation in school. Jason has also always been a big fan of cartoons and wants to make all the things. He also studied animation in school as well as a variety of art classes. We actually met through an animation school we both attended.

This is our first venture into the world of handmade and it has been super challenging but unbelievably fun and rewarding.


Where did the name of your store come from?

The Squshies started out very square in shape so it is a combination of the words square and plushies. We eventually moved away from everything being super square, although we try to square off things when it works for our design.



Squshies feature & GIVEAWAY! on Shop Small Saturday at Diane's Vintage Zest! #toy #unique #gift


Why did you start making goods for Squshies?

I started making felt animals as a fun hobby to pursue while I was searching for a new job after moving to California. I had toyed with the idea of working for myself and selling my work for years, but what that work might be always eluded me. When the job search never resulted in much luck I was encouraged to give working for myself a try and with the Squshies I finally had the idea I'd always been searching for. The Squshies have been growing ever since.


What is your favorite item?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Woodworking Tip: How to Make a Easy Drill Bit Guide!


Woodworking Tip: How to Make a Easy Drill Bit Guide! on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Remember how a year ago I started woodworking, and it was so fun and exciting, and I was making progress on some really fun projects?  And then nothing showed up on the blog?  Well, please forgive the slight delay, but over the the next few weeks I will actually share a few of the woodworking items I made!

This week, I wanted to share a quick tip that was super helpful while putting together my last project. It is useful for just about any time you need to use a drill, even if you are not working with wood.

Basically, this helps with the question, "what do you do when you have to drill a lot of holes at a very specific depth?"


Woodworking Tip: How to Make a Easy Drill Bit Guide! on Diane's Vintage Zest!


During my last project, I wanted to drill some holes not through the piece of wood, but only about 3/4 of the way through.  That meant lots of checking and rechecking while I was drilling to make sure I was going deep enough without breaking through to the other side.


Woodworking Tip: How to Make a Easy Drill Bit Guide! on Diane's Vintage Zest!


But here's the quick tip that made it so much easier...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Happy Anniversary to DD Perks!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dunkin’ Brands. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”


Happy Anniversary to DD Perks! #DDPerks, #sponsored #IC


Remember back in December when I posted about Dunkin Donuts’ DD Perks program, plus the $5 gift card they gave everyone who signed up?

I hope you enjoyed your present because we should all wish DD Perks a bit of congratulations.  It's their one year Anniversary!  Yes, one year ago on January 27th, they launched the program to reward their loyal customers just for buying their morning coffee and donuts!

Monday, February 9, 2015

16 Sweet Valentine Desserts & Do Tell Tuesday #60!


16 Sweet Valentine Desserts on Do Tell Tuesday at Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome back to Do Tell Tuesday!  As you may remember from last week, one of the hosts will bring you a set of features each week with a common theme.  This week, I was the lucky host to choose my features.  Yay!

Before we get to this week, let's meet the hosts...


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:



Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus

Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of yours truly!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

King Bag Company feature & promo!


Although most of the makers & shop owners that I speak to for Shop Small Saturday Showcase usually have some type of training or schooling in their craft of choice, sometimes you find a completely unique story.  Scott from King Bag Company has exactly that!  I don't want to spoil too much of the interview below, but when you find out which repurposed materials inspired the creation of his bags, you will be amazed!

I made my own upcycled tote bag once, but these creations are completely unique, well-made, and just plain gorgeous.  Peruse the pictures, visit the shop, and then take advantage of Scott's generous promo to my readers... 25% off any Etsy order!

Stay tuned for that at the end of the post, but first check out some serious eye candy!

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King Bag Company feature & promo at Shop Small Saturday Showcase on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Tell me a little bit about yourself!

I like to make lots of things...  When not making these bags, I may be working on garden sculptures, stone patios, jewelry from found objects, t-shirt designs, bags from alternative materials (old banners, leather and metal with obscure hardware) and basically anything involving a transformation.


Where did the name of your store come from?

For nearly 50 years, King Kovers, the King of Seat Kovers, operated an auto upholstery business on Oakland's historic auto row.  The owners, finally deciding to retire, had a going out of business sale.  I literally bought a truck full (actually three trips) of material to make into something....  In wanting to preserve the history of the business and the classis car culture, I kept the "King" name and crown.


King Bag Company feature & promo at Shop Small Saturday Showcase on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Why did you start making goods for King Bag Company?

The moment I first found and opened the boxes of vintage car seat covers, I knew then that the material should be made into bags.  I had never made handbags before, but the colors, the patterns, and the texture all made me picture "bowling ball style" purses and paper boy inspired messenger bags.  The material spoke to me...


What is your favorite item?

I must admit to having a few favorites along the way, and then I make a new batch and end up with another new favorite.  Of late, my favorites are those that include my own custom lining.  I created my own lining featuring a circular pattern of repeating crowns.  The inside of my bags are just as cool as the outside.


King Bag Company feature & promo at Shop Small Saturday Showcase on Diane's Vintage Zest!


What is your most popular item?

Monday, February 2, 2015

15 Printable Valentines & Do Tell Tuesday #59!


Do Tell Tuesday on Diane's Vintage Zest!


Welcome back to Do Tell Tuesday!  As you may remember from before, one of the hosts will bring you a set of features each week with a common theme.  This week, Tori was the lucky host to choose the features, and she chose 15 free printable Valentines, just in time for the holiday!

Before we get to this week's features & the link party, let's meet the hosts...


Do Tell Tuesday on Vintage Zest

Keep up with us at:



Mabey She Made It : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Vintage Zest : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus
Little Red Window : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus

Lil Mrs. Tori : Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram // Twitter // Google Plus


Now for the features courtesy of Tori!

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