About Me

My photo
Charlotte, North Carolina
I am starting out my social work career and my marriage. I write to relieve stress...mostly by sarcastically telling life stories.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crafty Thursdays

Now that I have finally posted a blog on my own spring wreath I figured it was time to feature other people's lovely work. Although I am still attempting my crafty budget cut for spring, pinterest still has some amazing ideas. I still love making wreaths and I have found tons of brightly colored and beautiful spring wreaths.

Top 5 Spring Wreaths

From: Tater Tots and Jello

From: Daul House Shop

From: Making It Fun

From: U-Create

From:Moda Bake Shop
They make me wish I hadn't made my wreath early so that I could recreate their ideas!

Happy Crafting,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Wreath

Now that it is finally Spring I figured I could display how I made my spring wreath. I was so over winter that I made it months ago but that is normal right? Plus, since I have placed myself on a "stop spending money at Michael's" budget cut it is good that I started this one early.

It is actually a pretty cheap project. What you need:

a wooden frame (mine is 8x10)
hydrangea paper punch
craft paper
glue gun

Start off by cutting out a lot of hydrangea flowers with your whole punch and then, basically, you just start glueing. It helps to fold up the paper in order to make it more three dimensional. Plus, you can fit more in and have less wood showing.

As normal, I didn't even paint the frame before I started gluing but you could paint it and not have to worry about the wood showing through. Plus I added a bow because I felt like it was missing something.  I still think other things could be added to it but I like to keep things simple.

Happy Spring!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games

It took me a long time to join the Harry Potter band wagon. Then I read the first book and I have been hooked ever since. I literally read the last book in one day-OK, it took me like 15 hours but I think that is pretty impressive. Ever since then I have always tried to give these popular "young adult" books a chance. I attempted to like Twilight in the same way but, nope I think it sucks. Hunger Games has successfully sucked me in though!

I have been thinking about reading the books for quite some time and this weekend my husband and I picked the first book up at Sam's Club for like $4. He read it in 3 days and I read the entire book yesterday so we can go see the movie tonight.

We never seem to have time for a date night so I am also pretty excited that we even have a dinner and movie night in general! Now I just have to read the next two books to prepare for the next movies!

If you haven't read the books yet give them a chance- it is a good story line.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Crafty Thursday

I have been trying to take a break from crafting. I need to save some money and I am SO close to paying off my car that I am paying big chunks. Plus, this week my focus is on something else- exercise! I figured I would just post some inspirational posters that have helped me this week. (Sometimes pinterest can give me more than cake ideas!)

Top 5 Motivational Signs:

I am still having trouble not identifying more with the "couch people"- but I guess that is another issue.

 Although, it doesn't take much to be closer- considering my lack of effort before!

One thing I have figured out is that I do much better if I force myself to work out in the morning. It starts your day off right and keeps me going.

 Oh boy, how that inner voice is destructive.


And because it makes me laugh and is what I really want:

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


So- I am pretty sure that I have said this before but I have been in a rut. I have a hard time thinking of blog posts. I have eaten my way through many fatty, sweet delicious food items. Now, I am having issues fitting into my pants and have been somewhat down in the dumps.

I kept looking for inspiration- motivation-anything to get started getting into shape. I always feel better when I am doing something and yet I couldn't get started.

I kept seeing this motivational sign on pinterest and now I think it is just stuck in my head on repeat. I have not had sweets or anything but water for over a week. This is exceptionally difficult because my office has a constantly resupplied candy dish, my husband even brought home krispy kream donuts. I have resisted the evils. One day I had a nectarine and raspberries and I sprinkled some sugar on top. Literally, like a teaspoon and I proceeded to realize I am like a crazy crack addict. It took me several more days to learn to resist sweets again. But, I have not had any cookies, cakes, donuts, etc since March 10th.

On Saturday I even joined the gym with one of my best friends. My goal is to go from Tuesday to Saturday every week. I am not talking about insane working out- trust me I walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes and I am pouring sweat. I find that kinda sad. I am only 25 and I need to be more in shape than this! So it is my new mission. I am sticking to the motivational sign. I will give it 12 weeks and, if it works at all, even more time.

Plus, if I am forced into a bathing suit this summer maybe I won't look like a beached whale. That sounds like a good goal!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crafty Thursdays

When I was a little girl my grandmother tried to teach me how to sew. While I picked up on some things she taught me- like cross stiching- I never learned the whole sewing thing. I didn't have a sewing machine at home and I didn't have endless piles of fabric- like at her house. She is quite talented- she even made my mom's wedding dress. Of course, now I wish I knew how to sew because of all the projects I have seen lately. I would love to make some summer dresses myself. I gues hind sight is 20/20!

DIY Dresses:

From: Sweet Verbena

From: Imperfectly Polished

From: What I Wore

From: What I Wore

From: Made it on Monday

Just think how pleased my grandmother would be if I came to see her in one of these creations! Well I don't know what she would think about maxi dresses- but I know I live in them in the summer!

Happy Crafting,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crafty Thursday

Due to my mom being in town I have not had the time to peruse the internet for my normal crafting inspiration. Instead, I am going to show the fun projects that my mom and I made this weekend.

I have felt like my home needed some art work for quite some time. Instead of buying someone else's work we decided to try making our own. So, armed with our 50% off coupons, we went to Michael's and each bought paint and a canvas.
Mid-way through the crafty chaos
I found my idea from pinterest- as normal- and it is quite simple to make. Surprise Surprise- it is also tedious. To be honest I just didn't take step-by-step pictures like I typically do. The original creator gives a good synopsis though. The blog page can be located here. She used blue colors but I changed to reds since my furniture is that color.

My creation!
My mom wanted to do an abstract piece. She brought a magazine with her  that had some abstract paintings for sale and used that as inspiration. Honestly, you just take a square brush and poke at the canvas until you like how it looks. She likes to pretend that she has been classically trained. It is kind of hard to demonstrate in pictures but here is her final product:
Mom's creation
We were both rather proud of ourselves by the end of our crafting time! Abstract pieces like my mom's are a quick project if you want to add something to your home.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mom's Birthday Fun

My mom has been in town since Saturday visiting us. We have accomplished many things- crafts, re-decorating my house, and finding furniture that I really didn't need but, just had to get, in some local consignment stores. More importantly today is her birthday! We exchanged our birthday bracelets- even though my birthday is not till April!
My bracelet- (Tangier 1969)

Mom's bracelet (Oxford 1901)

And even MORE importantly I made my first caramel cake for her birthday. If you are from the South you should know what a carmel cake is. Traditionally they are made with yellow cake and caramel icing amazingness. I still have memories of a caramel cake that a lady in Mississippi made- and I left Mississippi after 3rd grade!

I am not gonna lie this cake is a labor of love but it is so yummy and decadent that it is worth the time!

I found my recipes in my Joy of Cooking Cookbook- which I fully believe has every recipe in the world listed.

Four Egg Yellow Cake

2 2/3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs yolks
4 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70 F. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans or line the bottom with wax paper. 

  1. Whisk together thoroughly in a bowl- sifted cake four, baking powder, and salt.  
  2. Combine in another bowl or a liquid measuring cup- milk and vanilla.
  3. Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy. Gradually add 1 1/2 cup sugar and beat on high speed until light, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts, beating until smooth. 
  4. Using clean beaters, beat in a large bowl on medium speed your egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add in your last 1/4 cup sugar and beat on high speed until peaks are stiff but not dry. 
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the batter, then fold the remaining whites. Divide the batter among the pans and spread evenly. 
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Cool and remove from pans. Let cool completely before icing. 

Caramel Frosting

2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
*may need extra milk and confectioners sugar

Prepare yourself to have lots of time to create this. Sometimes the best stuff requires patience!
  1. Combine brown sugar and heavy cream in a medium heavy saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Cook about 3 minutes, washing down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Cook, without stirring, to 238 to 240 F (soft ball stage). The water trick really does work- have a bowl of cold water and drip some of the caramel into the water. If it sinks to the bottom and forms little balls it is ready. Also to note- it takes quite some time for the caramel to get that hot so just have some patience. 
  3. Remove from the heat, and float the butter on top. 
  4. Cool, without stirring, to 110 F. It takes about 45 minutes. Then add your vanilla. 
  5. Beat the icing until cool, thick, and creamy. If it becomes too thick add some milk. You will be beating the icing for what feels like FOREVER- thank goodness for my kitchenaid mixer! I ended up reading other people's recipes and I added a little milk and a little confectioners sugar to make it smooth. 
  6. Try to not eat the icing out of the bowl- instead spread it on your yummy cake immediately. 

Good luck,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Quick Project

My mom is in town visiting me. I frequently get all crazy when my parents come to visit me. I decided to do a quick project to entertain myself while I was waiting for her arrival on Saturday. It is just a simple wooden letter that I painted. 

 I started with a plain wooden R that I bought at Michaels. They are very cheap and just think of the possibilities. I probably should have sanded it but I am always lazy about stuff like that. 
I started by painting my letter completely white
Pinterest inspired me to use, the much talked about, chevron pattern. I found the pattern for a chevron print on some one's blog. I honestly can't remember the name of the blog- but google chevron pattern and a thousand pop up. I then used a pencil to trace the pattern onto my letter. 
It started out like this- but I felt like it was missing something. I then added smaller lines to make it more interesting. 

Ta-da! I don't know why I like it so much better with the added small lines but I did. Here it is hanging up in my kitchen:
This is also the only picture that kind of shows the colors correctly- baby blue and grey. Hope you like the idea! It is simple- but it is another of my wonderfully tedious projects. I am starting to create a tedious habit I think. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crafty Thursdays

I have one word for this week- chocolate. I have no reason for that word other than the fact that I am craving it. Plus, I think baking is this evil art that calls to me and therefor makes my pants not fit.

5 Chocolate Yummys:

From: Better Homes & Gardens
Super Duper Chocolate Kisses Recipe
From: Cooking Channel
Chocolate Truffle Cake Recipe
From: Tracey's Culinary Adventures
Chocolate Croissants
From: David Lebovitz
French Chocolate Macaroon Recipe
From: Joy the Baker
Chocolate Chocolate Donuts

Side note: Why is it that when you find yummy recipes or awesome crafts on pinterest people don't know how to link correctly. You link to the actual blog page about the topic- NOT the main page of the blog. Seriously, it is becoming a pet peeve of mine.
Happy Crafting,