Handmade Jewelry Review: Nectar Jewelry + Special Discount Code!

Nectar Jewelry logo

Given that the holiday season is upon us (ALREADY?!), I figured now would be a great time to share with you one of my favorite jewelry designers. Rachel Vanatta is the owner of Nectar Jewelry. I thought she would be a perfect fit for you, a Minnesota From Scratch reader. Rachel’s art is “influenced by re-occurring natural elements found in nature.” Rachel wants to communicate the beauty she finds in nature, through her jewelry. I LOVE THAT.

This is my new Branch necklace.


This specific necklace stood out to me because I absolutely love the fall in Minnesota and this bare branch immediately reminded me of just that. This necklace is a newer addition to Nectar Jewelry and includes a very feminine, single Swarovski crystal. To me, the crystal signifies new growth, continual change and hope. But I’m sure the significance of the twig and crystal varies from person to person.


Another beautiful detail of the Branch Necklace is the clasp.

Rachel states, “The bee is a perfect example of this magic in our world. It’s movement from one flower to another, collecting nectar, has represented throughout the ages the interconnections between all living things. Bees teach us to engage fully in our endeavors, work as a team, and are a symbol of accomplishing the impossible since, aerodynamically, their body is far too large for their wings to carry and should not be able to fly.”

The chain of the necklace is a waxed cotton so it is completely animal-friendly and repels water/sweat.

Here are a few of my other favorite pieces from Nectar Jewelry:

Nectar Jewelry - Coin Pearl Necklace

Coin Pearl and Cotton Necklace

Nectar Jewelry - Knotted Bracelet

The Knotted Bangle Bracelet

Nectar Jewelry - Bubble Bee Dangle Earrings

Bubble Bee Dangle Earrings

If you are looking for a beautiful gift for someone you love, any of these unique and timeless pieces are sure to become a prized possession.  To help you start your collection, Rachel from Nectar Jewelry has been so kind to offer a special discount for Minnesota From Scratch readers. Enter the coupon code: MINNESOTAFROMSCRATCH at checkout, now through December 31st, 2013 to receive 20% off ONE item $100 and under!

Thanks for reading!

French Onion Soup – Made from Scratch


It’s the time of year when the craving for a great bowl of French onion soup can only be satisfied by a great recipe.  Not only is it a perfect meal when suffering from the common cold, it’s also a crowd pleaser!  Simple and satisfying, it can’t be beat!


Ingredients: (I used organic ingredients and always recommend you do too)

  • 3 yellow onions – sliced very, very thin
  • ¼ C. butter
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour
  • 41 oz. beef broth
  • ½ C. red wine
  • 1 French baguette
  • 8 oz. sliced cheese (Gruyère or provolone)
The thinner the onions the better.  Definitely use your mandolin if you have one.

The thinner the onions the better. Definitely use your mandolin if you have one.

Soup Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a large heavy pot.  Stir in the sugar, add onions.

saute onions

Cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

browned onions

Stir in flour until well blended with the onions and pan juices.

add flour

Add broth and wine.  Heat to boiling and then reduce to low.

soup in pan

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Crouton Directions:

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes.

cut up bread

Spread evenly onto a baking sheet.


Bake in the oven at 350 until toasted – golden brown.

Put together the soup:

Ladle a generous serving of soup into an oven-safe bowl reserving room for croutons and cheese.  Add a handful of croutons and cover with a layer of your cheese of choice.

put together the bowl

Place in the oven until the cheese has melted.  Enjoy!

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