Monthly Archives: December 2011

Fresh Find Friday

December 30, 2011

Here it is. The last post of 2011. Can you believe the year has come and gone? I’m just shocked. One of my resolutions for the new year is to become a more accomplished sewer. I mean, I can sew a pillowcase. But I’d like to be able to sew my clothes. We don’t have kids yet, but I can just see them suffering from my current skills behind a machine. Time. To. Change. 

photo by NBarrett Photography for Green Wedding Shoes

Ok. I am so in love with this wedding spotted on Green Wedding Shoes. The wedding takes place on New Year’s Eve. How adorable. And take a look at those giant flowers. I think I have a new project coming… :)

image by Typography Served via The Sweetest Occasion

This post is one of the most honest and moving a blogger can share. Cyd over @ The Sweetest Occasion reflects on her 2011 and how 2012 will be the best yet. Stop by and read and send a little love her way. :)

photo via Jesyka D’Itri Mares

You’ve seen them. They’re beautiful. And if you’re rich, purchase from Confetti System. If you’re not, here is a step by step process to make your own. If you start today, you can have one in time for your NYE partay!

photo by Melanie of You Are My Fave

I’m in need of some head decorations for our NYE party. I may just have to make these little beauties. One of my faves, Melanie has shared her secrets for making some super sweet hats and noisemakers!

There you have it. The year is almost over. I hope it was wonderful and that you made it a year to remember. Thank you for following! 

**See ya’ll in 2012**

Fave Reads of 2011

December 29, 2011

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite posts from the year. I’ve only been blogging for a few months, and in those few short months, these have been the most popular and the most fun. From the images below, you can tell I definitely enjoy throwing parties. If only I had an endless supply of funds to throw one weekly. :)

10. Glittered pumpkins for your mantle.

9. Simple instructions for dipping strawberries.

8. A roundup of favorite invitations from Paper Culture.

7. The recipe for my Cinnamon & Sugar Toasted Almonds.

6. My recipe for Pumpkin Buttermilk Doughnuts.

5. DIY Holiday Gift Wrap

4. My recipe for Hot Chocolate On A Stick.

3. You Are My Fave’s Project Holiday 2011.

2. A Baby Bird Themed Shower For A Friend

And the top read of the year? 

1. My Anthro Knock Off Garland

I absolutely love to entertain. It’s been difficult working two jobs and still trying to find time to do the things I love. You readers have inspired me and cheered me on through it all and I am grateful for you and your input more than anything!

This blog has been a fun and creative outlet that has helped me learn more about my style as well as become more involved with other bloggers. I’ve made some amazing friends and can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.:)

Here’s to the new year!

My newest addiction

December 28, 2011

Well, semi-new. Have you heard of craftgawker? It’s like Pinterest, but a little more low-key. And I can’t stop browsing. This site gets a huge stamp of approval.

I stumbled upon it a few months ago and I just love it. Don’t worry, I’m still a loyal Pinterest-girl, I just have two loves now. You can sign up. Or not. You can browse. You can submit your own projects or pictures. It’s just so fun. I love having so much inspiration floating around the web. It really makes waiting for car repairs fun. 

Just a few screenshots for your viewing pleasure. Please go look at it. And while you’re at it, check out foodgawker, dwellinggawker, and weddinggawker.

I’m happy it’s Wednesday! Are you happy it’s Wednesday?

Tut Tuesday: Freezer Paper Stencil. World’s Simplest Craft.

December 27, 2011

What’s that you said? You haven’t heard from me in a while? And Christmas has come and gone? You’re right. I’m sorry. I’ve been MIA and it’s unacceptable. I meant to line up these posts last week and then take off this week. But we had some bad weather. And I had some extra hours of working that, unfortunately, I had to be present for. Isn’t that a shame?

I will be heading to snowy Idaho for the rest of the week. But don’t you worry. I’ve got some posts set to play. Today’s tut is about freezer paper stenciling. Have you ever done it? If not, you should. It’s amazeballs. Super easy. And super customizable. 

I used a deer because I’m into that sort of thing. They’re stylish. I’m using a linen fabric for a throw pillow on our bed. Let’s get started, shall we?

You’ll need freezer paper, a design printed out on paper, fabric, acrylic paint, a foam paint brush, tape, and a pencil.

Lay some freezer paper over your design and trace it onto your freezer paper. 

Tape the outline onto a self-healing cutting mat or an old magazine. 

Using an X-ACTO knife, cut out the stencil. 

Make sure you know what you need to cut. This is when I would talk about negative space. But I think you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down. Anything that is inside the stencil needs to be saved. You’ll iron those pieces onto your fabric. 

Iron the stencil onto your fabric, SHINY SIDE DOWN. The shiny side is the side that will stick to the fabric. You don’t need to use steam, just make sure your iron is REALLY hot. 

Now that the stencil is ready to go, dab some acrylic paint on. Go crazy with that paint!

Once covered, let it dry. Go get some lunch at McDonalds or watch some episodes of New Girl.

Slowly peel off. Bing. Bang. Boom. So prettay.

Now go stencil the crap out of your house. 

**Happy Tuesday**

Tut Tuesday: Brown Bag Upcycle… With Glitter!

December 20, 2011

                     

My all-time favorite gift to give neighbors and friends is homemade toffee. I’ve used the same recipe for years and I’m 100% positive that I’ve eaten more than I’ve gifted. Am I ashamed? Nope.

This year, I used brown lunch bags as my carrier. I embellished with some metallic markers and glittered clothespins. I only needed a few bags, but I made 30+ glittered clothespins. It’s like I was uncontrollable or something. 

To make your own, follow the steps below.

You will need: clothespins, foam paintbrush, Mod Podge, assorted glitters, and brown lunch bags (not pictured)

Using the foam brush, paint a layer of Mod Podge onto the top of your clothespins. 

Sprinkle with glitter.

In a variety of colors.

Like golds.

And greens.

How many pictures of glittered objects can I take? 

                                  

A lot.

Paint an extra layer of Mod Podge over the tops to seal the glitter. Won’t rub off. Try it.

Grab a brown paper bag and put your treats inside. I put a few squares of wax paper in the bottom to help give it some (unseen) body.

Clasp with your clothespins and deliver to your neighbs. I love them. What do you think?

So fun. Let’s go give ‘em away, shall we?

Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Cheesecakes

December 19, 2011

When I think about it, cheesecake is one of my most favorite desserts. A cheesecake was my birthday cake every year growing up. Delicious. And when it’s covered in chocolate. Oh my. I have no words.

I made these little babies for Logan’s birthday and they were a hit. So what if I ate most of them and stared down anyone that went towards them. I’m sure our friends were glad I protected them from such an addiction. You can use homemade cheesecake or store-bought. Either one is mighty fine.

Chocolate Dipped Cheesecakes

One whole cheesecake

Wilton candy melts in cocoa

Toothpicks

Melon baller

Cookie sheet lined with wax paper

Muffin liners

Using a melon baller, carve out little balls of cheesecake and drop them on the cookie sheet. Place in freezer and let set up for a few hours. In a large bowl, microwave candy melts at 30-second intervals until melted. When cheesecakes are frozen, stab each with toothpick and dip in chocolate. Tap wrist to let excess chocolate drip off. Place in muffin liners. Decorate with sprinkles if you desire!

**Click here to see the party these made an appearance at. 

Fresh Find Friday

December 16, 2011

photo by Smile And Wave via A Beautiful Mess

Alright. Somebody needs to dress up their doorstep and it should be Y-O-U. And me. Seriously? How cute is this doormat!

photo by Hey Look

I am huge fan of Moose. My Pinterest is covered in them at the moment. Are you having a Christmas dinner? Here are a few suggestions for place cards.

       photo by say YES! to hoboken

Here you will find a series of ornament DIY’s. I think the gold-painted ones are my fave. So pretty. Gold goes with everything. It does. 

photo by Joy The Baker

I am getting so excited for Christmas Eve. My family has a big dinner every year and I think we may have to eat this peppermint roll with chocolate ganache. I probably will slice skinnier portions for everyone else and save the rest for me. That’s just my way. 

In case you missed it:

DIY cake topper with pipe cleaner

hot chocolate on a stick

**Happy Weekend**

Silver & Gold: A 30th Birthday

December 15, 2011

Welp, the time has come to share a few photos with you. Logan’s birthday has come and gone. He’s now entered his fourth decade of life a little older… and a little wiser?

We had a few friends over and served the usual cake and ice cream, as well as a few other goodies. We played some Guitar Hero. I must say, watching my husband jam out and crush people with his air guitar skills was pretty hot. He’s just so skilled. I’ll post a video and you won’t deny.

Cheesecake dipped in chocolate. Don’t worry. I had eleven of these.

Homemade whipped cream, Andes mints, crushed peppermints, and marshmallows were served in separate bowls to customize your hot chocolate.

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is a favorite of Logan’s. I used this recipe. Now, the cake itself was delicious! The sour cream frosting was tasty, too, but I think I’ll just stick with a buttercream next time. This frosting was just too healthy for me! However, it’s great to eat on it’s own. It’s like pudding. For reals. 

Ah, yes. Hot chocolate on a stick. It’s also like fudge on a stick. Guests grabbed a cup, filled it with steamed milk, and stirred in these little drops of heaven. For the recipe, click here

The birthday boy. Reflecting on his new age. 

It’s amazing how 90% of our friends all have children. This picture does NOT include all of the kids that were in attendance. :)

My wingman, Will, helped me put the candles on the cake, as well as cut it. This kid…

         

Look at that mess… Yum!

Don’t you just love him? Or is it just me?

Menu: Yellow Cake with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting, Steamed Milk & Hot Chocolate On A Stick, Chocolate Dipped Cheesecakes, and Blue Bell Ice Cream in Cookie Dough and Cookies & Cream

Recipe: Hot Chocolate On A Stick

December 14, 2011

Alright. I know you’ve seen them floating around the internet. Hot chocolate bars. Hot chocolate on a stick. Bears falling onto trampolines…

I decided to make the first two happen for Logan’s birthday partay. I searched high and low around the webs to find recipes and ideas. I saw these chocolates over @ Ticket Kitchen, and they’re adorable. I would have just paid for some if I had enough time, but I didn’t. I needed to make my own and so I was looking for recipes and found this little gem. It looked easy enough. And it was pretty tasty. But I like sweet treats and this was still a little too bitter for me. So I just decided to add milk chocolate. All milk. All the time. Semi-sweet is fine, but milk is where it’s at. 

After three different recipes/batches, I finally found what I wanted. Enjoy.

Hot Chocolate Blocks

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

½ c. heavy cream

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

3 c. milk chocolate chips

1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate baking squares (finely chopped)

1 ½ tsp. vanilla

Heat cream and condensed milk over med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Don’t bring to a boil, but get nice and hot. In a separate bowl, combine all chocolate. Add to milk mixture and stir until just combined. Remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. Put back on med-low heat and whisk until smooth and shiny. Add vanilla or any other flavoring at this point. Once smooth, pour into an 8×8 dish lined with parchment paper. Spread as close to edges as you can get and let sit for at least 12 hours. Turn out onto counter and slice into 1 ½ – 2 inch blocks. I got about 20-25 blocks per pan.

Stab with sticks. Decorate with mints, nuts, marshmallows, pictures, etc. Enjoy!

I served these with steamed milk, but before everyone got to the party, I was eating these like fudge. Like fudge, I tell you! They’re delicious.

Go get ‘em, Tiger. 

photo by Yan for You Are My Fave

**To see my other contribution for You Are My Fave’s Project Holiday 2011, click here

Tut Tuesday: 1,001 Things To Do With Pipe Cleaner. Okay, actually just 2.

December 13, 2011

Logan’s actual birthday is tomorrow, but we celebrated on Sunday night. He’s going to be 30. He’s very emotional about it, so I better just move on. If he reads this, who knows what it could trigger?

As I was surfing the net the other day, I stumbled upon this post by The Sweetest Occasion. There were four tutorials for four easy garlands. I wanted something sparkly and silver for my husb’s party and the one made out of pipe cleaner fit the bill. And it was super cheap. And super easy. I made the garland but I couldn’t stop there. I had to make a “30” cake topper. And a crown for the birthday boy to wear. (He refused to wear it, but HOLY MOLY was it cute!) I was outta control. But once you start, you will be too.

TO MAKE THE CAKE TOPPER  

                                    

               

Start with some long pipe cleaners. Any color will do. I chose silver and gold.

Twist the two together to make a thicker strand.

Mold into the numbers needed. I wanted to place a “99” on the cake, but I felt that would be like pouring salt on an open wound.

Take two more pipe cleaners. Cut them in half and twist together to make a thicker strand.

                

Wrap around the bottom of your number. Make sure you wrap nice and tight so that it can stick up straight.

                               

Stick in the cake and BOOM! Every time I walked by these numbers, I almost cried from happiness. Am I crazy? I almost couldn’t cut the cake. ALMOST.

TO MAKE THE GARLAND

Cut those stems in half and then loop them together like so…

Wrap the two ends over each other to secure the loop.

I could go on for days. 

Hang around your house and admire…

                                       

These may just have to stay all year. 

**Happy Tuesday**