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It's ALWAYS a kitchen party & EVERYONE's invited!
Welcome to Ladles & Linens Kitchen Shoppe!
Thanks for visiting! Just like our happy little stores, we take pride in making this page a place you leave happier than when you arrived! We have been in business for 22 years now, starting as a small kitchen shoppe in Lexington VA and now have expanded to 2 other locations in Roanoke VA and Richmond VA. We pride ourselves on staying ahead of cooking, baking, bar and food trends. Meeting our customers needs is always forefront, whether it's that impossible to find gadget, hostess gift, entertaining/bar items or just a good ole fashion high five! We are owned by Chef Sarah Nicholas and have a BEYOND FABULOUS team that knows it all when speaking "kitchen".
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Modern life is an anomaly. Technology is designed to simplify our lives, yet our world only seems to grow more hectic. And in the mad rush to cross things off our lists, we sometimes miss out on great moments. The other night I was so intent on getting my son to prepare for bed, that I didn't notice the ridiculous rap song he was making up. Not until I saw my husband laughing.
Many of us love the idea of being in the moment. After all, that's what made our childhoods slide by slowly. Life truly is more simple without the cycling thoughts. As a child, if I were eating an ice cream cone, I was all in. I wasn't going over a grocery list at the same time.
I'm tinkering with my work/life balance; it needs to improve. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or a tax attorney, below you will find ideas to help make work easier, and play more joyful.
1) But First, Coffee
The best way to tackle the day is to fuel up, so improve the quality of your life by improving your coffee. Skip staleness and enjoy the aroma of a freshly-ground bean. If you don't have a coffee grinder, it's time. If you're a purist like me, you may not want the flavor of your coffee tainted by filters, plastic and machinery. Opt for a French press. It's simple, doesn't need electricity and makes a nice, strong cup!
2) Cultivating the Cube
It's hard to unwind after a workday if you dread going back. You can do a few things to liven up your work space. Keep a stash of power bars and other snacks in a conversation piece, like this acacia wood jar. Ditch the dated styrofoam and drink out of a cheerful mug. Hang up a new piece of art, and light up a desk lamp to battle a modern day blight: fluorescent lighting.
3) Shaken, not Stirred
Whether you spent an afternoon with spit-up on your sweatshirt or with an Excel spreadsheet that wouldn't die, five o'clock couldn't come sooner. So grab a shaker, some ice, and start mixing things up! Ladles and Linens has an outstanding collection of bitters, shrubs and rim sugars; so kick your drinks up a notch - you deserve it. Especially if have spit-up on your sweatshirt.
4) Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes
Women wear so many things that defy gravity; stiletto heels, push-up bras - even hairspray. To be relaxed you have to feel relaxed. Give your battered feet some love in these cozy, graphic socks. Take a hot shower and use a luxurious French soap. Read a great book. It's guaranteed to take you out of your head and transport you.
5) The Best Medicine
That's right. Remember not to take yourself too seriously. Sometimes the weight of the world will melt away if you watch a ridiculously unrealistic romantic comedy. For me, Friends on Netflix is an instant mood booster. Lighten up your living space with hilarious hand-towels, cheeky (pun intended) magnets and rubber chicken bottle stoppers. Life is too short to have everything in your home be 100% beige.
We are a generation of cocktail enthusiasts. We started referring to bartenders as "mixologists," as they slowly morphed into 1920s-era dandies with waxed mustaches. We now expect cleverly-named signature cocktails from established bars and restaurants. Some trends fall flat, like gold flakes in your drink. It was a flavorless expense.
But a new cocktail trend has taken off, and it blew me away. At the speakeasy Grandstaff & Stein, I ordered a drink called The Briar Patch, and it was tart, tangy and sweet. That's when I learned about shrubs, the sweet drinking vinegar infused with fruit, and/or herbs.
Luckily, here in Virginia we have Mother Shrub, a business that specializes in small-batch shrubs, made locally. Owner Meredyth Archer remembers growing up in West Virginia drinking shrub with her grandmother, who was convinced it was the cure to everything. Archer stumbled upon a family cookbook from the 1800s, found a recipe for drinking vinegar, and never looked back.
You can find a great variety of Mother Shrub drinking vinegars at your local Ladles & Linens store. And below, we got a little intel from Mother Shrub herself!
Me: Favorite shrub?
Meredyth: Such a hard question! My favorites vary depending on the time of year and what I am in the mood to drink. Lately I've been drinking either the Salted Honey or Grapefruit shrub mixed with seltzer. So refreshing! For Cinco de Mayo I made a margarita hybrid with tequila, fresh lime juice, and grapefruit shrub topped with Modelo Especial.
Me: What are some other fun ways to enjoy shrub?
Meredyth: I have been making some honey-sweetened lemonades and adding a shot of Black Cherry, Cranberry or Ginger shrub to make a non-alcoholic drink, or spiking them with a shot of vodka or moonshine. A couple of combinations I love are AR's Hot Southern Honey-sweetened lemonade with ginger shrub and moonshine or a wildflower honey sweetened lemonade with Black Cherry shrub and vodka. I've also been playing around with some kombucha and shrub mocktails and cocktails.
Me: Can you share a recipe?
Meredyth: Basic favorite mocktail: 1 oz Grapefruit shrub, topped with 4-6 oz sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Punch it up by adding 1 1/2 oz grapefruit infused spirit like Belle Isle Ruby Red Moonshine or Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka.
Me: Favorite salad dressing or marinade recipe?
Meredyth: Mix 1.5 parts any flavor MOTHER shrub with 1 part olive oil. Season to taste. Add salt and pepper, fresh or dried herbs.
When it comes to Mother's Day, there's always brunch. By all means I'm a fan, but the restaurants will be packed with families. And didn't you do brunch last year? And the year before?
Why not enjoy the luxury of a good brunch without leaving the comfort of your home? Elevate your breakfast in bed with brunch in bed. What's the difference? Happy you asked!
This brunch should be next level, so while you're nibbling, have the family clean the house. Should you her any moans, beguile them with tales of childbirth to put them in their place. And while you're at it, prop open the iPad and binge watch Netflix. After all, a mother must learn to multitask!
Take things up a notch with these ideas:
- Peachy Keen: You've had coffee every other morning this week. The White Peach Green Tea Bellini is where brunch meets boozy tea party, and the green tea gives the same perk. The recipe is simple, just follow the link!
- Lips Like Sugar: This is a celebration after all, so line the rim of your glass with flavored sugar. You deserve it!
- If you're skipping the Bellinis, pour hot water over this exquisite flowering tea and watch the drama unfold. This elegant glass teapot provides a 360 degree view, and classes up the kitchen when parked on the stove.
- This isn't a morning for an old tee and sweatpants. Luxuriate in silk pajamas or a pretty slip. When you look good, you feel good.
- This is a holiday, so you should be served brunch on a silver platter, and by silver platter I mean bamboo tray.
- Do not tolerate paper plates or plastic cups. Your napkin should be cloth and your juice should be served in a proper glass carafe.
- Has your brunch turned into a marathon of Schitt's Creek on Netflix? Why not squeeze in some self-care? Lay back with a sheet mask or deep condition your hair. Paint your toes or use whitening strips on your teeth.
Most importantly, allow yourself to let go, and have others carry the load. You worked hard to get where you're at, and deserve this time. Happy Mother's Day.