Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY Felt Heart Bookmark

February and Valentine's day are just around the corner!  Here is a sweet little craft that you can make for yourself, your friends, or your book loving sweet heart :)

You will need:
  • Felt
  • Embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Needle
First, simply cut two hearts out of your felt.  You can start with a paper pattern first if you'd like.  The one thing you must do is use a corner for each point of the heart.

Then, simply stitch the two halves together!  I think a whip stitch looks cute, but you can use a running stitch or running back stitch if you want.  (Also, I only used three strands of the embroidery floss)  Leave the top open.

If you'd like, you can even add a pretty little embroidery to the heart- just make sure you do it before you sew the halves together!

The heart fits over the corner of the page to make an adorable book mark!  How cute would this be with a few pieces of candy inside and a "Will you be my Valentine?" note?

Monday, January 28, 2013

ACS Masquerade Ball

Over the weekend, John and I went to the American Cancer Society's black and white masquerade ball.  It was in a beautiful space and had amazing food.  It was a great fundraiser, and I wanted to share some pictures and how I made my mask with you!

To make your own mask, you will need:
  • A plain, paper mask
  • Pencil
  • Puffy paint
  • Spray paint (I used both a black glossy paint and a silver glitter paint)
Draw your design
Puffy paint over the design and allow to dry completely

Spray paint the mask on a protected surface and allow to dry
Then, I added layer after layer of glitter spray paint, creating an ombre effect toward the edges.  Finally, simply string on some elastic, and you're done!
Dress: Laundry by Design
Jewelry: Ann Taylor
John took a slightly different approach to the masquerade... :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Basement Makeover

Before John and I moved into this house, we had a lot of painting to do.  Every room was a different color, and we wanted a neutral palette.  Well, with all the work we did, we decided just to skip the basement.... Until now!

First, a look at the paint that needed doing:
The walls were this periwinkle color and a royal blue, with painter's tape that had been left on for who knows how long.  Pulling off the tape took some of the drywall with it!
Then, I spackled the portions of the wall that the tape destroyed...
And finally primed the whole room.
 Here are the shocking before and after pictures :)
Before: Clearly, this room was one we didn't enjoy spending time in.  It was ugly and an absolute mess!
After: Clean, crisp walls and a treadmill!  Talk about new motivation to use the room!
And I added a bulletin board for workouts and motivation :)
Before: This was also the room where arts and crafts went to die.  Don't judge ;)
After: A place to store our rock climbing gear!
It was a lot of work, but well worth it!  I love using the room now for my morning workouts. :)  Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Granny's Sugar Cookies

It's been a while since I last posted a Granny recipe!  This is a tasty little cookie, but I have to say it's not like a traditional sugar cookie.  It isn't the type that you roll out with flour and cut out shapes from, but it is delicious!

You will need:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup margarine, butter, or Crisco
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour, plus 4 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined.  Form into tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheets.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Russian Literature

I have an announcement: I'm going back to school!  In hopes of being accepted to a Master of Education program, I'm completing a prerequisite: Russian literature.  The prerequisite is technically any course that is non-American, non-British literature and I chose Russian literature.  I start tomorrow!  Here's a look at what I'll be reading:
Cancer Ward, by Solzhenitsyn.  I'm sad to say I know nothing about this, but rest assured that my lack of knowledge will be cured shortly!
Tolstoy's Short Fiction. I've just finished rereading Anna Karinena, and I'm excited to read some of Tolstoy's shorter works.
The Master and Margarita, by Bulgakov.  This is one I'm really looking forward to!
The Portable Chekhov, because some Chekhov is just too heavy to carry around with you.
Doctor Zhivago, by Pasternak.  This is another book that I feel like I should have read by now, but haven't.  I'm excited to finally start it!

Have you read any of these?  Any reviews? :) 

Friday, January 18, 2013

TrendSnag Bauble Necklace

A little while back, I was lucky enough to score a bauble necklace from TrendSnag in a giveaway hosted by The Urban Umbrella.  I got it in the mail and had to show it off to you :)

Bonus- it came with a great pair of earrings, too!

Thanks again to Bree at The Urban Umbrella and to TrendSnag for the loot!  If you haven't discovered The Urban Umbrella yet, I encourage you to hop by her page and check out her cute outfits (like how she styled her own bauble necklace).  I have serious closet envy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Hello!  I am on the road to recovery (yay!).  While I'm not 100%, I'm just happy to not be stuck on the couch all day.  With me out of commission, our house had begun to look a mess, so today is going to be a tidying and laundry-filled day :)

Today, I have a recipe that I got from a friend.  She gave me a small jar of these, and I ate them up in one day.  They're just too good not to share with you!

You will need:
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh (or dried) rosemary
  • 2 cups unsalted almonds
  • Salt
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Tamari soy sauce (depending on taste- if you like salty, go for 1/3 cup!)
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add almonds and salt to taste and stir until the almonds are shiny from the butter. 

Add in your rosemary and cook 1-2 minutes.

Pour in the tamari sauce and shake the pan vigorously.  Allow the excess tamari to boil almost entirely off, stirring occasionally.

Pour the almonds onto a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until nuts are toasted and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. 

Let cool before serving.  The almonds are little chewy when they first come out of the oven, but they become crisp after cooling.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Brulee


Hello!  I am as sick as a dog, readers, and frankly there isn't a whole lot that sounds particularly appealing to eat except popsicles and ice cream.  However, this pumpkin pie brulee recipe might just be enough to push me back into the world of the living.  In the meantime, I'll be parked on the couch with Inga watching too much Criminal Minds in between naps.

For my pumpkin pie brulee, you will need:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, plus an extra 8 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 can Libby's pumpkin
  • 1 can evaporated milk (you can use whole, reduced fat, or skim)
  • 1 7/8 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (ours is a family secret, do you have a special blend?)
Beat 3 eggs and add brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin, evaporated milk, and spices.  Stir until well blended and pour into standard sized ramekins.  There should be just enough for 8 servings.
(The other two are in another pan)
Place the ramekins into rimmed baking pans, add water to the pans, and place them into a 350 degree oven.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until a knife comes out clean.

If you want, you can serve while the ramekins are still warm.  Otherwise, you can refrigerate overnight.  When you are ready to serve, top each dish with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of white sugar.  Torch with a kitchen torch until the sugar begins to brown.  Use a gentle touch or you can quickly have a burnt top that isn't pretty or tasty.
If you look at the left hand corner, you can see an example of the not pretty, not tasty torching

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