Friday, January 31, 2014

Life Lately

1) Back to school = back to the books!
2) My new 'do made an appearance on Instagram
3) A snowy day at the dog park

I can't believe the first month of 2014 is almost over!!  This month, my classes started back up again.  I only have 8 weeks of class before I'm student teaching!  I'm so excited :)

But with these new commitments, I'm finding that I have less time to blog.  So, I've decided to cut back my blogging schedule to two weekday posts along with my Saturday Snapshot series.  Hopefully, this will give you higher quality content and give me a little extra time :)
1) Homemade snickerdoodles
2) Cookie and cocoa at Yum! Bakery
3) Cupcakes and chai at A Cupcake Social
4) Movie treats for a movie night in

Aside from the busier schedule, January was marked by lots of sweets and treats!  Also, I hit 100 likes on Facebook!  Some of you may remember my promise of a giveaway if I hit 100 likes, so stay tuned!  I'm going to put something together just for you :)

How did your first month of 2014 go?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY Faceted Stone Stud Earrings

I think I'm becoming a bit obsessed with gold, but these earrings are too cute to worry about that ;)

You will need:

  • Polymer clay (I used Sculpey)
  • Paring knife
  • Gold metallic spray paint
  • Earring findings
  • Super glue

First, you'll need to start with kneading your clay.  Once it is soft, form two balls that are a little larger than what you'd like your studs to be.

Either let the clay balls rest to firm up or put them in the freezer to speed along the process.

Next, use your paring knife to cut off a small, straight slice off each ball.  This will be the base that will attach to earring posts.

Then, continue to cut small slices off around the base.  This is mostly trial and error, but try to keep the two balls roughly the same size.  Don't worry about them matching or being perfect, though!

Once you're happy with how they look, bake the two balls according to the package directions.  I did mine for about 20 minutes at 275 degrees.

When they're done baking, let them cool.  Then, spray paint the earrings.

Let them dry, then use your super glue to attach the earring posts.

And you're done!

Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Gold Polka Dot Candle Holder

Polka dots are just about the cutest thing, and there's something about metallic polka dots that make them even better... So, that is why I decided to try out this idea for a candle holder.  I was really happy with how it turned out!

You will need:
  • Glass candle holder (check your dollar store for good options)
  • Circle stickers (I used smiley faces and other "teacher" stickers, haha)
  • Gold metallic spray paint

First, place your stickers onto your candle holder.  You can do these in a very symmetrical pattern, but I decided to concentrate my dots at the bottom and taper out toward the top.  Sort of a polka dotted ombre..

Next, on a protected surface, spray paint the candle holder.

Let it dry and then peel off your stickers.  So simple!

I love the pattern it makes on the table runner and wall, too!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Closet Flooring

I've got another home update to share with you all!  Recently, we had the carpet in our upstairs replaced.  It was green and ugly and more than a couple decades old.  Well, this same carpet was in a large storage closet upstairs as well.  Suffice it to say, we ripped that old junk out, but we have just gotten around to replacing the flooring with something a little more finished.

 What do you think?  I couldn't believe my luck when I bought the flooring- it was a custom order that someone changed their minds on, so it was 50% off!  And it matches the trim upstairs to boot.  :)  It was a pretty simple click-lock wood laminate that my lovely husband and dad put in.  I think it makes a huge difference!  Now I just have to organize all of the junk we keep in there....

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mini Banoffee Pies

When I studied abroad in Ireland, one of my favorite discoveries was banoffee pie.  Banoffee pie is essentially bananas, toffee, and a graham cracker crust.  It's delicious, and surprisingly easy to make.  I made up a batch of mini banoffee pies - here's how to make your own:

You will need:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (possibly 2 cans to fill all 12 mini crusts)
  • Bananas (about 3 for 12 mini pies, more or less depending on your tastes)
  • Cool whip or other whipped topping

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl.  Stir until well combined.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Using a 1/4 cup as a scoop (loosely underfill the 1/4 cup), press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a muffin tin with a pint glass.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Then, use a fork to gently pop the crusts out of the muffin tin so that they are loose when you top them.

Making the toffee is actually the easiest part.  Simply fill a pot with water, completely submerge the can of sweetened condensed milk, and boil for 2-2.5 hours.  Make sure the can stays completely covered by the water.  Once it is done, remove from the water and allow the can to cool.

When the can is cooled, open it up and spoon your toffee onto the graham cracker crusts.  

Use your fork to lift the mini pies gently out of the tin and onto your plate.  Top with sliced bananas, cool whip, and enjoy!

Totally doable, and totally delicious!

Monday, January 20, 2014

DIY Button Magnets

These magnets are totally doable and, because I can't resist the pun, cute as a button!

You will need:

  • Small, circular magnets
  • Buttons
  • Hot glue gun

Simply glue the button to the magnet.  Seriously, it's that easy.  If you want to make it harder on yourself, you can layer the buttons ;)

Ta da!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hair Accessories

Well, a week ago I showed your all my shorter hair cut.  Since then, I've been playing with some ways to wear it since ponytails are now out of the question :)  I've grabbed a few ideas from my blog, a few from some of my favorite blogs, and I came up with a brand new idea too!

Ombre bobby pins.  Make your own!
A floral crown that's a simple DIY
Since one of my new year's resolutions was to wear more scarves, I tied one of my grandma's old silk scarves into a headband.  Jaime at Chatterblossom as a lovely tutorial on tying vintage scarves, too.
A DIY rhinestone headband, so cute!  Erica at Sea of Blooming Dreams came up with this lovely idea!

Finally, a simple DIY from me to you.  You will need:

  • Buttons
  • Bobby pins
  • Glue gun

Slide your button onto the bobby pin (if it has a flat back, simply glue it on) and add a dab of hot glue to secure it to the end.

What do you think?  Are you going to give any of these a try?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DIY Relaxing Bath Salts

Is anything more relaxing than soaking in a hot bath with some soothing scents?  Nope.  Not a thing!  Okay, guys, this literally is the easiest thing in the world to make!  And as an added bonus, the supplies are super cheap.

You will need:

  • Sea salt
  • Epsom salt
  • Baking soda
  • Herbal tea - rose hips or hibiscus are especially pretty
  • Lavendar essential oil (or whatever aroma most relaxes you)
  • Air tight container

Then, simply combine all of your ingredients into your container, stir, and relax!

The basic ratio is: 6 tablespoons sea salt, 3 tablespoons epsom salt, 1 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon tea, 1-2 drops of essential oil.  Of course, use more or less oil to your personal taste.  I doubled the amount to fill my container. 

Add as much of the salts to your bath as you like - I like to use a heaping tablespoon.  Enjoy!
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