|beam mug from CB2|
January 30, 2011
January 29, 2011
Tess is going to a friends birthday party today.
We picked out a few nail polishes for part of the birthday present.
I knew those little polishes deserved a special bag to ride around in.
I threw this little zipper pouch together. The colors are so fun and vibrant.
When it came time to wrap up the whole present, I couldn't find any of my party bags.
AGHH. This is when organizing nips me in the butt. I don't remember where I put all of the thousands of bags we have saved so carefully.
So, I did what any sewer would do.
I sewed up a bag to hold the gifts. The big bag matches the little zipper pouch.
This pattern isn't rocket science, but I thought I would still share.
25 inches of ribbon
Two pieces of coordinating fabric that measure
14 x 28 inches
a sewing machine and thread
1. Cut your fabric keeping in mind the direction of your pattern. For my outside fabric I didn't care the way the pattern went. I folded the short sides together and sewed up the two sides. Easy peasy. I used a 3/8" seam.
2. Now because I wanted all my hula girls heads up, I had cut my fabric planning to fold it over and sew the bottom and one side.
Is this making any sense? I think the pictures explain better than my words.
3. Take your inside fabric and flip it right side out. Set it into the outside bag so right sides are facing together. Line up your side seams.
4. Cut your ribbon in half. Measure four inches in from your right side seam, and pin one end of your ribbon in place sandwiched between the two fabrics. Measure four inches in from the left side seam and pin the other end of you ribbon in place. Be sure to have the cut end of you ribbon flush with the unfinished end of fabric.
5. Start sewing your bag together a few inches from one of the side seams. Back stitch at the beginning, several times over the spots the ribbon is inserted, and at the end. Stop stitching about four or five inches before you hit your starting point. Use this hole to flip your bag right sides out.
6. Press your bag with a hot iron and top stitch closed.
Now fill the bag with some funny goodies.
Make a happy birthday tag and you are set.
I couldn't find any of my tissue paper either, so this bag went naked.
My tissue paper must be hiding with all the party bags!
January 28, 2011
~started any Valentine projects yet? I took some pictures of my cute nieces for their Mom's valentine project. The wheels have been turning in my head. I just need to ignore the cleaning and do some crafting.
~seen this cute heart pin on Twirling Betty? This is one of those things that got the wheels turning in my head. I'm thinking a giant heart necklace is in order for this Valentines day.
~you scrubbed your kids with a monster wash cloth lately? I am totally making one of these for each of my kids.
~tried making french macarons yet? After two failed attempts I was done...
January 27, 2011
Well, at least I think so.
I have waited for our Ikea to get these bowls in stock for a while now.
Now I am the proud owner of 12 six inch round Ikea bowls.
These bowls are the last thing I needed for my "fancy china" to be completed.
The bowls are resting quite nicely between the plates and cupcake stand.
Yeah for me.
January 26, 2011
January 24, 2011
Tess is so much more girlie than I have ever been.
In my efforts to be more girlie, for my daughters sake, I have started wearing nail polish.
Tess loves to paint her own nails. So, now we set up beauty shop on the bathroom floor and give ourselves manis and pedis together.
I recently cleaned out all my old nail polishes Tess had gotten goobery, and we have started buying these cute little polishes from Sally Beauty Supply.
These little bottles are the perfect size for little hands. Other pros include the cheap price of 99 cents and variety of colors.
This is the newest color added to our collection.
Our polishes fit perfectly into Tessie's caboodle case.
Do you play beauty salon?
January 23, 2011
Did you try any new recipes this week?
This week was all about substituting ingredients. For the most part, I don't think this made a difference.
1. Autumn Minestrone Soup from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I not sure why, but my soup didn't have a lot of broth. I did have a couple of ingredient substitutions because I wanted to use what I had on hand. Instead of chicken broth I used beef broth, and I only had bacon crumbles in the fridge so I used that in place of strips of bacon. The bacon crumbles didn't render a lot of fat, so I needed to add a little more olive oil in the beginning. This soup was tasty and made quite a bit. To me it had a bean and bacon feel with some vegetables. This could be because 6 oz of bacon crumbles is a lot. Overall a thumbs up.
2. We made Chicken and Dumplings using Jane's recipe on This Week For Dinner. My photo isn't that appetizing, but the family gobbled it up. I was all out of fresh onions, so I used dried minced onion instead. Mike loved that the recipe called for chicken thighs. He loves dark meat, and I only ever used boneless skinless chicken breasts. So my compromise is spending a little more money and buying the boneless skinless thighs. My kids loved the dumplings. Next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I will use a cookie scoop to portion my dumplings. That way they will be uniform in size, and there will be more or them. This dish got a double thumbs up from the entire family.
3. I love chinese food, and my kids love broccoli. Beef and broccoli seemed like a good recipe to add to our books. Like the other two recipes I tried this week, there was ingredient substituting. I thought I had oysters sauce, but it was actually hoisin sauce. So, I used hoisin sauce and some worcestershire. I also used apple juice instead of the sherry. This was not my favorite dish. I wouldn't use this recipe again. I'm not sure if it was because of my substitutions, but it just wasn't great enough to try again. Bummer.
On a side note - we made this recipe twice in 24 hours. Delicious.
Do you have any recipe suggestions for me?
January 22, 2011
The second day of my trip was completely different from my first day.
The sun was shinning and you never would have known it had poured rain the day before.
I started my day out with some challah bread french toast and bacon.
Then it was straight to the beach. I got set up with a lounge chair, side table and umbrella.
I didn't leave this spot for six hours. It was the best day ever. Between people watching, reading and a little cut the rope on the ipad, I was totally entertained.
Mike joined me for lunch on the beach and took this picture of a bird. Nice and simple.
The next day we flew home, so the trip was short and sweet. It was nice to come home relaxed and refreshed for my duties as mom.
I know it's probably not a good idea, but I am already counting down the days till our next vacation back to a beach.
January 21, 2011
~ driven a car with-out a key? Our rental car had a button to turn on the ignition. So cool. Confusing for us old school people, but cool.
~ heard that FOXES are the new "in" animal.
~ visited Cute Food For Kids? I could spend all day looking at her creative food creations. I'm totally going to cutesy up my food for the next homemade lunch.
~ started thinking about Valentine's Day? These little barrettes, on The Purl Bee, are singing to me. I must make some this weekend.
~ thought about your feet lately? Do they need a pick me up. Check out Happy Socks. Your feet with thank you for making them so stylish.
I love traveling with my husband. When I first met Mike, I thought he was so inexperienced when it came to travel. On one trip he didn't know what floor our hotel room was, but he knew it was room 412. "Well, duh!" I said in my oh so sassy attitude. It's the fourth floor. Anyone would know that.
Funny the way things turn out. Mike is now the world traveler and I'm the idiot that panics at the rush in the security line.
Our first day in Miami started a little gray, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from adventuring. While Mike was in meetings I set off to find the Vizcaya Museum. Somewhere along the road I missed my exit and ended up in the Art Deco District.
This wasn't a big deal. I wanted to go there sometime, but did I mention it was pouring rain? Let me emphasize POURING. I didn't have an umbrella, and didn't dare take any photos for fear my camera would get ruined. I walked along the strip of hotels for a few blocks and stopped to look inside one. The valet guy gave me a quick tour of the lobby. They had a really cool fish tank with moon jelly fish floating around inside. The light sconces on the wall were shaped like jelly fish with beaded tassels for the tentacles. I needed to eat and thought I would stop at one of the cafes on the street. It seemed that every hotel has a restaurant on the sidewalk. I stopped at an Italian place and sat down under an umbrella outside. Pretty low key, but the waiter suggested I come into the restaurant. Oh, I didn't know they had inside seating. Yeah, it was the bar, with a few tables on the side. I'm not kidding the humid, wet, stinky and stale cigarette smell was so overwhelming I almost got up to leave. My stomach reminded me of how hungry I was, so I stayed. I ordered some simple pasta and proceeded to text my sister because I had no one else to talk to. My pasta came out pretty quickly, but was so spicy my nose started to run, and then to bleed. Yes, I got a bloody nose from the pasta. It took ten minutes for someone to notice me, which is really weird because the bartender was just sitting there drinking his beer the whole time. I got some one's attention and decided I just wanted my check. I didn't want to substitute my pasta for something else. By this time I was really grossed out at this place, I really wanted to run out now. The waiter asked if I wanted a box and I politely declined, paid my bill and found my car.
Now I'm back on the road trying to figure out how I got lost the first time and find the museum. Even though I had no idea where I was, I loved looking at all the different houses and enjoying the green trees every where. I made it to the museum and took my time looking around because it was still pouring outside. No pictures were allowed in the museum. I will tell you there were a lot of really old tapestries, chairs, dishes and furniture. It was really cool, but you will just have to take my word for it. The rain let up as I was done looking around inside. I was so excited to get outside to take pictures of the gardens.
I was probably photographing for a half hour and the rain came back.
Bummer. The bigger bummer was that the red thread on my Canon camera strap bled on to my new cream lace blouse.
On my way back to the hotel, I drove through Coconut Grove. Super cute area.
My stomach again reminded my I was hungry. I was determined to find something to eat. As I was on the road Mike called to check in on me. I retold the days events and he was determined to find a good place for me to eat. Google maps showed a Carraba's just a few miles behind my. I turned around and explored more on Miami on my way to the restaurant. When I got there, after I paid for street parking of course, I saw that the restaurant didn't open until four. It was three thirty and I didn't want to wait around by myself. I texted Mike and he suggested I eat at the hotel. On the road back he texted my again to say that the hotel restaurant wasn't open either. Holy cow I just wanted a stinking burger at his point. I ended up the the gourmet market I saw just down the road from our hotel. Not bad.
Day one ended with an awesome Cuban dinner at the restaurant Versailles in Little Havana. Um delicious is all I have to say. We loved the food. I'm putting beans and rice on my list of to recipes to make.
Visit tomorrow to see how the rest of my adventure went.
January 20, 2011
January 19, 2011
January 18, 2011
This is the finished product from this post. Not bad, huh?
I went out on a limb and asked Mike to photograph me modeling the bag.
I call it the potato chip bag because of the different ways you can close it.
1. Fold the top out.
2. Fold the top in.
3. Fold the top over.
All different ways that I fold a potato chip bag.
Here is a little peak of the inside. I wanted the bag to be big enough to carry my slr camera and ipad for traveling, but also simple to dump a bunch of junk in for every day use.
And we can't forget the special cell phone pocket on the out side. The pocket is just the right size for the iphone, even though I don't have one (yet). The across the shoulder strap, no buttons or zipper features makes this a good bag for outings with the kids. Especially if you have a baby on your hip.
January 17, 2011
I have wanted happy tape for while now.
Since the 'not buying the kids any treats' thing is going so well, I thought I should reward myself with a little something.
There are so many colorful options on Happy Tape.
I decided to pick up a few rolls that were on sale to start my new obsession.
Oh, and I needed some polka dots too.
January 16, 2011
This week I had four recipes I wanted to try and I only ended up making two of them.
1. Pasta with tomato cream sauce from Pioneer Woman. There isn't much to say except it was absolutely delicious. I made a half recipe and it was tough not eating all of it. I really had to stop and use self control. Davis really liked this, and Tess ate it, but told her she didn't like it. Tess was just being difficult that night, so we will attribute her review to sauciness. Make this one for sure.
2. Beef stew from Savory Notes. While shopping for an eye round roast, I decided it was cheaper to buy the cut up stew meat from the butcher. It was a time savor and cheaper for me this time. I used an extra carrot and stalk of celery, and three garlic cloves. The garlic wasn't strong, so don't be afraid to use three. There were portobello and cremini mushrooms in our fridge so that's what I used. Very tasty stew that everyone enjoyed. Davis was asking for more broth, and I had to explain stew vs. soup. This is definitely a stew.
Not worth picturing was my second attempt at French macarons. They are getting better, but still not right. I did lots of reading this week, and even spoke to a Macy's saleslady from France. Yes, when I heard her accent I was stupid enough to strike up a conversation. It didn't help. I will keep trying and let you know when I am finally successful.
Check the sidebar to see what we are cooking this week.
January 14, 2011
|watercolor from lulabies|
~ been to the aquarium lately? Our local aquarium isn't anything to brag about, but still really cool. It's so fascinating to see the mysterious creatures of the ocean. No offense zoo animals, but I like the aquarium better. The sea horses are sooo cute, and we get to pet the stingrays.
~ checked out the Itso storage system at Target? I'm using the plastic system to reorganize my storage closet.
~ seen these cute felt macaroons from Fairy Fox? I might end up making them out of felt if my next go around doesn't work.
~ wondered about getting your baby into photography? If so, Little Sapling Toys has the perfect camera for you.
~ thought about redecorating your kid's room? I am totally loving April's art from Little Korboose. If I were decorating a nursery (this is not an announcement), I would love to use these robots, or this fish, or even this hot air balloon for my inspiration and decoration.
I hope you have an awesome weekend. Maybe you should head to the aquarium... just a thought.
January 13, 2011
Okay, so the post title is a little dramatic.
My sister had a birthday last month, and I knew exactly what I wanted to give her.
I found this camera charm on Etsy from the Morikaty Shop. I think I looked through seven pages of charms before I decided on this one. I tied the lace on, and add the bead to the chain to give the necklace a little something extra. The bead is a faceted amazonite stone I have been hoarding for several years. Isn't it cute?
You made be asking yourself, "Is that camera in the fridge?" Yes. Yes it is. Haven't you ever heard of keeping your film in the fridge? Plus, the lighting in the fridge is pretty good for taking pictures at night.
When I was in high school I took a couple of photography classes. My sister, Noelle, followed in my footsteps and we because camera junkies. As I was leaving high school and preparing for college I met with my academic advisor. I told her I wanted to study photography, and she told me to pick something else because there was no money in that. Upset at what this lady just said, I chose psychology instead. Big regret on my part. Not that I didn't enjoy all my psych classes, but why didn't I choose to do what I was interested in? Who cares if you can or cannot make a lot of money? Maybe she was speaking out of regret because she was a high school counselor (just a thought).
Fast forward thirteen years. I don't have a degree in psychology, rather a massage therapy certification, and my interests include photography, graphic design and artsy fartsy stuff. Sticking with your gut is probably a better way to go. You know as opposed to listening to some old lady whom I had no contact with up until that one interview.
Noelle has decided to go back to school to study photography and I am really excited for her. Slightly jealous, but super proud and excited. Learning never goes out of style. Perhaps when all the children are being babysat by the public education system, I will send myself back to learn what I want to learn!
January 12, 2011
Stand proud all you cupcakes!
Isn't is fun that there are so many cool ways to display cupcakes these days. I'm sure that has something to do with the cupcake cool factor lately.
Well, whatever the reason for all the new displays, I am the proud owner of this super simple and chic stand. I picked it up from Target for only ten bucks.
I invited some friends over for a winter time picnic lunch. My dining table was adorned with a summery table cloth for the mommies, and the kids snacked on a picnic blanket on the floor.
Like lots of picnics we ate sandwiches, but we gave them a wintery twist.
Hot panini sandwiches with yummy minestrone soup was the perfect winter picnic lunch.
Because I am such a lover of sweets, there had to be a dessert. This was a great time to use my new cupcake stand. I kept the colors light to go with the feeling of summer. The yellow stripped cupcake papers are from Darlybird. Don't you love 'em!
January 11, 2011
I lie awake at night with a million thoughts running through my head. Some are really silly, like worrying about the ice slab on my porch. Other thoughts are very serious, like what I am going to wear on my date with my husband. Okay, so most of my thoughts are pretty silly.
I bought some vinyl a little while ago, and started thinking about making a new bag with it. I was awake an extra hour going through the design and what nots of the bag I wanted to make. A notebook next to my bed might help me get to sleep faster.
The bag if now finished and not too far off from what I started envisioning when I should have been sleeping. I will take pictures of it and share soon.
My creative bug is coming back!
January 10, 2011
Can you see the dirty diaper in the picture below?
It's been on top of my car for over a week. I haven't thrown it away because
1. I keep forgetting it's there.
2. It's on the passenger side of my car and when I pull into the garage I can't reach it.
3. It doesn't stink.
4. I'm just too lazy.
I had a bet with my friend in high school to see who could go the longest without brushing our hair. The other girl only lasted a couple of days. I made it almost two months. I kind of have the same thing in mind with this diaper. Just kidding. I will make an effort to toss it this week.
January 09, 2011
Let me start by reminding everyone that I love food. And sweets. Well, sweets are food, so let's just say food. I am becoming more adventurous in my cooking as well as my palate. When I was a kid the only vegetables I ate were mashed potatoes and olives. I'm not even sure an olive is a vegetable, but it always included in relish trays. It wasn't until I got married that I really started to explore vegetables like corn and zucchini. Now my family considers me a foodie.
I must go on record that I recently was helping my sister-in-law make some cinnabon popcorn. I burned three of the six bags of microwave popcorn. Not a proud moment. This weekend I tried sushi again. It will most likely be my last attempt at trying to be cool in a sushi world. I just wasn't cut out for it. I thought I handled myself pretty well, but Mike said my gagging was very obvious. The comment was made, "If you are dry heaving, it couldn't taste too good." So, I'm over it. No more sushi.
On my right side bar, I am sharing links to the recipes I am trying as part of my new years goal.
Each week I will share my experiences with the recipes and any tweaks I made to them. I would love for any of you great readers to try the recipes with me. We can compare notes at the end of the week. Is anybody in?
Last week I tried four new recipes.
1. Black Bean Soup from Created by Diane Mike and I loved the soup. It was a little too spicy for me. I think it was because the salsa I used was spicy. Next time I will use salsa that is totally mild, or less jalapeno. Overall, we loved it.
2. Fried Chicken I took bits and pieces of this recipe from Alton Brown and this recipe from Paula Deen. I've only attempted to fry something one other time and I ended up with a burn on my forearm. This go around was burn-less and very successful.
-I sliced boneless skinless chicken breast into strips. I'm not a fan of chicken skin.
-Soaked it in buttermilk for half an hour or so.
-Drained the buttermilk and sprinkled the chicken with a combo of all the suggested spices from the two recipes.
-Battered my chicken strips in flour and dropped them into a pot of hot canola oil.
Mike was shocked at my success. We will be making this again.
3. French Chocolate Macaroons by David Lebovitz. This was an utter failure. Not that David doesn't know his stuff, I usually like all of his recipes. My technique is not up to snuff. My meringue was off and my almond flour was too chunky. I am doing more research on macaroons and will try it again soon. Does anyone know if you have to leave your egg whites out, or can you use them on the fly?
4. Mushroom Risotto from Tyler Florence. My kids really surprised me and ate this up. The recipe is easy to follow and it was fun to make. Next time I cook risotto, I won't be so hasty to cook the broth out. I realized I'm not crazy about porcini mushrooms, and I think I would leave those out. Overall this was a good recipe and I am excited to try another risotto.