Thursday, April 30, 2009

Newman Improved Grand Opening on

It is finally time for the grand opening of Newman Improved! My store design is finalized, loaded, and ready for customers. I have a handful of products that I have created and will begin posting blogs about the story of each product.

I decided to start a store on because I like to create. The site promotes handmade products and has a lot of good finds. I have bought several birthday and Christmas gifts for family and friends. Each product has been made well and has made the recipient smile!

There are a lot of stores on, but my thought was to create a store with all recycled, reused, and vegetarian (vegan) products. Every product in my store started out as something else. Some of the materials were scraps from other products and others have been repurposed into something completely different. So far, the only new materials that I have used have been string and paint (even some of the string and yarn was left over from other projects).

As a consumer, I feel guilty for purchasing new products. I have tried to shop more at thrift and consignment shops, keeping in mind that gently used cloths are still worthy of wear. The more new we buy, the more that will end up in our over-crowded landfills. One way to combat this dilemma is to take used items and turn them into something else, something new.

There is not any reason that a repurposed item cannot be thought about as new! It is new because it has a new use. The materials in the product may have been reused, but the idea and the end product are fresh. It is exciting to think that you are using something that someone else once owned in another form.

My plan is to blog about each of my products. I want to tell the story behind the itemand the materials that were used/reused. I cannot promise that the stories are exciting. What I can promise is that a lot of thought, concern, care, and love have gone into each of the products that I create.

Please visit Newman Improved and view my products. Email me, convo me (on, or post a comment if you have any questions. I enjoy hearing from people who care about the environment, so do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for taking the time to read about my store and thank you for looking at my creations.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blog and Store Design!

It has been a long time coming, but I finally have a design for my store! The name of my store is Newman Improved and you can get to it by going to this link.

I have had products in my store for several months now, but have not had a store or blog design. With the help of my friend Diana, I have a design for my blog and store. Diana created many samples of banners for me incorporating cut out designs in colorful prints. They were all nicely done and it was difficult for me to decide what to choose. In the end, I decided to go with a black background with purse, pillow, and frame cut outs of several different paper designs.

Please visit my store to see my products. I have started slow, but hope to add more in the coming months. Please stay tuned to my blog to learn about the thoughts behind my store and the story behind the products that I have created.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bright Palace-Vegetarian Restaurant in Cary, NC

A family friend told me about a new vegetarian restaurant coming to the triangle. We have several vegetarian restaurants in the area and I always get excited when a new one pops up. The menu at Bright Palace has Cantonese, Japanese, and Chinese menu items. The menu is very extensive and was a little overwhelming to me when I first visited the restaurant. I am not used to having pages, upon pages of selections to choose from. I am lucky if I get two options on most menus.

(Diana enjoying seaweed salad)

The restaurant is completely vegetarian, but not completely vegan. They have many vegan menu items. They use vegan mayonnaise and meat analogs to make the entrees as close to the original dish as possible. Some of the ingredients that they use are organic. Everything I have tried is 100% delicious!

(Lise' enjoying imagination lettuce)

If you have never eaten a meat analog (such as a veggie dog, veggie chicken, veggie lunch meat, etc.), this is a great place to try it for the first time! I have never eaten duck in real life, but had veggie duck at the restaurant. It was surprisingly good!

(Me enjoying sushi)

My first trip to the restaurant was with Lise' and Diana. Although not vegetarian, they were brave enough to try the place with me. They both enjoy eating vegetarian food and were excited to try something new. We each ordered several dishes and shared. Below are the descriptions of the dishes we tried:
  • Pan Fried Dumplings-Mung bean noodles, veggie ham, mushrooms, cabbage, black pepper.
  • Crispy Tofu-Tofu, corn, shiitake mushrooms, potato, veggie ham, minced with bean curd skins.
  • Braised Layered Tofu- Layered tofu, cabbage, vegan mayonnaise.
  • Avocado Salad-House salad, pineapples, avocado, with chef's sauce.
  • Seaweed Salad- Seaweed on mixed green.
  • Imagination Lettuce-Sauteed taro, pine nut, sunflower seed, corn, veggie ham, carrot, green bean, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese celery, Romania lettuce.
  • Aso-san Roll-Mushrooms, layered tofu, asparagus. Top: veggie duck, avocado, black pepper sauce.
  • Matsumoto Roll- Mushrooms, king mushrooms, asparagus. Top: avocado, oyster sauce.
We all loved the dishes that we ordered. Since the first visit, I have been back several times. Diana and I are going again tonight. I cannot wait!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shout Out To Jason M.!

Things have been VERY busy lately with work travel, work, looking for a home, etc. I have not posted in a while even though I have a lot to post about. BUT........I wanted to make a quick post today to give a shout out to Jason M.! Thanks for reading my blog. I hope I have posted something exciting every once and while for you. :)

Every so often I hear from a friend, or family friend, that reads my blog and knows what is going on in my life (when I actually keep it up to date). I find it exciting because I never really know who is checking my blog. I also check a lot of blogs that I do not post on. I find it fun to get to look into someone's life and just be an observer. I have learned a lot about people. Blogging is one of my favorite pieces of new technology. It is new to me because I only heard about about a year ago. Yah- I am behind!

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog. If you have a blog that I do not know about, please send me or post the link so I can read about you.