I recently had the chance to spend some time with Chris Swenson, the brilliant chef at Steenbock's on Orchard. There's so much to say about Chris, but as usual, I only had a few hundred words for the latest Sip and Savor in Madison Magazine. I could have written several pages on him! Instead, here are some insanely delicious photos of his food.
Honestly, you need to give yourself some time for parking because it is a tiny bit intimidating if you're not used to parking right up to a restaurant. But I promise you, it's worth every step. I am not lying when I say I've had dreams about the sauteed calamari. DREAMS!! Anywyay, read about it in this month's Madison Magazine... drool in the meantime.
I recently visited a friend in Atlanta and she mentioned re-doing one of her tables with chalk paint. At the time she was considering taking a class on how to apply it ... and I remember thinking, "Why? it's just chalkboard paint!" But that's where I was wrong.
Chalk paint, I discovered, is something I've admired for quite some time but had no idea that it was the actual chalk paint I was admiring. And now, I have found a beautiful studio where I can be inspired to upcycle many of my older pieces.
Stoughton's Studio 184 occupies a light and airy space in downtown. Its owners, Cindy and Barry Gazso, will likely greet you as you walk in and even show you a few Annie Sloan painting techniques right on the spot. Annie Sloan is the leader in chalk paint and if you catch her videos, you'll probably be moved to paint that old dresser you've been wanting to change for years. If you're like me, you'll start down a bunny hole of video tutorials and wonder how you've missed out on the trend for so long.
RELATED: Watch an Annie Sloan tutorial
By the way, chalk paint remains so appealing because it's beautiful but it is also very easy to apply - there's no sanding or priming involved. Different techniques help produce different results, so it may be worth looking into a class. Since it's likely different from the way you've been painting all these years, a class is a good investment.
Owners Barry and Cindy have a background in professional design and live as true artists. They appear friendly and lovely and leave you wanting to come back for another lesson. Their mantra is upcycling and they're all about old school professional service. When I shopped there, I felt at ease. I will be back to take one of their workshops!
AND GET THIS - They have an event coming up in Madison this weekend for a GREAT cause. They will be at the grand opening of the Habitat for Humanity Restore shop in Monona! It's Saturday from 9 to 5 on Monona Drive. There will be Chalk Paint seminars at 11 and 3:30 plus lots of entertainment, food and music. I can't wait to stop by... maybe I'll see you!
Look at these awesome students celebrating Earth Day with Channel 3!
I love what so many schools are doing these days -- the kids at Edgerton Community School have built an outdoor garden as well as flower and butterfly gardens. They submitted this video to win a Time For Kids Earth Day contest!
Two other schools also won - Badger Ridge Middle School in Verona and Pineview Elementary in Reedsburg. Eric and Susan had the pleasure of planting a tree with those students this week as well!
Special thanks to The Bruce Company and Dean Clinic. They are incredible for putting it all together and working with us on these special projects!
First of all, I am not an Ebay seller. I had every intention of keeping what I bought but I ended up having buyer's remorse over a few houseware items. I am NOT someone who bought a bunch of stuff to later sell on ebay -- not that I'm judging anyone -- just trying to clarify.
Living in Wisconsin, Lilly doesn't have the same kind of impact it has on my friends in the South. So, when I waltzed into Target on Madison's East side, the store had fully stocked shelves well after 8 a.m. Sunday. I asked one (male) Target employee, "Where's the Lilly stuff?" He responded with, "What's that?" He clearly missed the red team memo.
Hours later, the shelves were still fairly full, though by that time, folks from Madison's west side had made the 25 minute trek to the Lilly oasis. I'm telling you this because I didn't feel bad buying two bags instead of one... or 3 pillows instead of two. I certainly didn't go nuts but I didn't feel like I was taking anything away from anyone.
I ended up buying two dresses, a scarf, hair ties, a headband, one small makeup bag, two totes, two blankets, wine charms and three pillows. However, when I got home, I realized I could do without a tote bag and possibly the pillows. I loved all the pink I bought because it will work really well when we Race For the Cure for Susan G. Komen this May. However, I filled up a bag with returns and my husband appreciated my practicality.
However, one of my friends had a brilliant idea -- she suggested I sell it for profit. I thought about it and decided... well, it would be interesting to see what would happen! I have only sold one thing on ebay before and that was more than two years ago. I didn't want to be too greedy, so I posted the $30 bag for $40 on ebay. The "buy it now price" was set at $70. Shipping estimated to be roughly $10.
Ironically, someone from North Carolina paid the $70. I was ecstatic. In fact, I shared the story with all my work friends because I felt shocked at how many people were willing to spend more than double its value. I wrapped up the straw tote ever so lovingly -- I didn't want to bend it because I thought it might ruin the bag. I even covered it in bubble wrap and a plastic bag and left a note that read, "I hope this goes to a good home!"
My excitement quickly changed when I went to the post office on my dinner break.
Shipping charges were $45!! WHY?! The answer was simple - in order to avoid ruining the straw tote, I had to send it in a big box.
I could save $15 if I shipped it at a slower speed. And the box itself was $5.99. Paypal and ebay charge their own fees... so if you're doing the math, it's too much work and not enough money. We're talking around $10.
If I bent the hell out of that bag, then I could've stuffed it into an envelope for less than $10 in shipping but I would have felt awful about it. I guess it's not about the money (like I had originally said) but I certainly don't think it was worth the hassle.
And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I returned from the post office, my darn pillow sold on ebay. I have to get to Target to follow through with a return before I go broke.
Attention future journalists! Join me in Chicago this weekend for an opportunity to learn about the business and meet people who are already working in news. I'm honored to be part of the panel and the job fair. We'll be at WLS in downtown and I can't wait to meet you!
This #WeWinTheyEat contest just got crazy. Thanks to our friends at WRAL for sending the most disgusting NC food ever. Duke may have won the basketball game but Wisconsin wins in food.
For goodwill, we sent our friends at WRAL some nice Wisconsin treats... you pick, who wins THE FOOD BATTLE?
I'm a little surprised we had such overwhelming positive feedback on this story. I am grateful and hoped for as much but in reality, I thought someone might complain about the idea of hunting your next meal.
WATCH: Could you kill what you eat?
I also loved how we were able to share some of your favorite places to buy local, organic or ethical foods. We felt strongly that we needed to create a list and a map for people because not everyone was going to go out and hunt after watching our story (though my husband said, "This story makes me want to take the class!")
READ: Where WISC viewers go to buy local foods, meats
Here are some web extras -- I learned how to shoot a 20 gauge. The kick did not feel as bad as I thought it would - I am actually afraid of opening a can of biscuits. That is not an exaggeration.
Special thanks to Hilary and the DNR for letting us tag along. We really learned a lot and there are a lot more free classes available!
Just wanted to send a quick shoutout to some lovely women in Madison. The women of Kappa Alpha Theta at the University of Madison just celebrated 125 years on campus. What a tremendous celebration!
Here is a pic from a recent Theta event. I'm glad I got to stop by the house, learn the history of the local chapter and meet Theta alumnae who now live in the Madison area.
These women put together some great community events and it's nice to put a face with a name. Congrats to the women of Kappa Alpha Theta!
I can't wait to share this story with our viewers!
We are on the hunt for better food -- could you kill the food you eat?
I am so thankful for Hilary -- she let me follow her through the whole process. She wanted to learn how to hunt and to see if she could do it.
News 3 photojournalist Brian Mesmer also gets major props - he came in on his days off to help make this happen.
And of course, special thanks to the folks at the DNR and the hunting mentors. Hope you'll watch at 10!
We are so thrilled to be headed into the championship game but we are very tired. We are now putting together another 1-hour special that will air Monday night before the game and still working for each newscast. I hope the team is getting lots of rest! We're averaging about 4 hours a night. In the meantime, let's all bring home a W!