August 29, 2010

Refinished Chairs = A Sore Back!!

This weekend was a very productive weekend or maybe I should say Saturday was productive! I spent all day yesterday working on refinishing three of our six dining room chairs! Unfortunately I did something horrible to my back and could not work on the other three today! But 3 out of 6 isn't bad for one day :) Here's a flashback of the dining room table we scored!!

Here's a picture of one of them, the ones I worked on don't have arms like this one but you get the idea! Check out that HIDEOUS seat cushion YUCK!!

Originally I had planned on sanding each one of these babies down but my Mom came up with the brilliant idea of only priming them. Which duh if they don't need to be sanded why not just prime them! I was really happy that these three chairs did not need to be sanded I went and bought some spray paint primer and started sprayin!

After an hour to dry I went out and painted them the AMAZING Espresso color

And TA DA, the new seat cushions! I was able to pick up some very plain brown fabric and some ribbon to match our curtains! I just used a staple gun to attach the fabric and I was super happy to be able to hot glue the ribbon and not have to sew it on! Saved me some time for sure!!

Finally the NEW AND IMPROVED chair!! I am so pleased with how the chairs turned out and the color scheme is just perfect! It's not too flashy but still incorporates the dining room colors!!

A shot of all three that I did on saturday! I couldn't be prouder of these. It took a lot of work but it's all worth it now!! 3 down 3 more to go! I am hoping to get the other 3 seat cushions covered this week and then next weeked I am hoping to get the other three chairs painted. But this time those three chairs will be done over 2 days instead of one day. My back is shot and my wrist was killing me last night!

Does anyone else like to refinish furniture? I just love it because I can control our color scheme more easily...I am very excited that all of our furniture downstairs to be the same exact color, well except the TV stand which we bought new! But it's pretty darn close!

Congratulations Alycia!!!

Last weekend I was very happy to attend the bridal shower of one of my girlfriends, Alycia! (Check out her blogs here: Driving Blind and The Wonder Wall) I of course had to make her a personalized card!! Awhile back I bought this super cute Mickey and Minnie sticker specifically for a card for her, so I thought what better time?

She is in LOVE with anything Disney and since this sticker was just too cute and lovey dovey I knew it was perfect!

Then I found this super cute quote to put in the card, in case you can't read it: "Marriage is Love Walking Hand in Hand together. It is the realization that there is no one else in this world that you'd rather be with than the one you're married to."
So once again Congratulations Alycia! I can't wait to celebrate your wedding in October!!

August 20, 2010

I Think I Have a Color Obsession!

The past few weeks I've been busting my booty working solely on my best friend JBug's pre wedding album! I wanted to scrapbook her two bridal showers, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner and send it on up to her by September. So I've been working diligently when I have time on her album, which is turning out beautiful and I'm not sure I really want to send it LOL. But because of this I've got quite a mess of a scrapbook room on my hands!

My table has looked like this for the past few weeks! It's been driving me bonkers! Well last weekend I decided to sit down and create something new: a picture frame for My Sister and her Boyfriend for their new home...needless to say it was a bit challenging beause I have everything bridal shower spread out all over my crafting area!

I was successful despite the mess and here is the lovely frame I made for them! I had to go pick up the picture I had developed but I was pretty proud of how it turned out. It was another item I really didn't want to give away LOL. I would have even kept the picture of them in it and put it up in my house. I think it has to do with my color obsession...yup pink and green! I just love the colors together and I had those awesome flowers lying around....

Well last night I sat down to create a card for my cousin Jodi. I had bought a few items for her at JoAnn's and didn't want to send them without a card! And what did I grab? Yup you got it...the same color scheme and flowers that I did the frame with. I only had two of the flowers left and the rest was easy to grab since I still had it out from the weekend before! Plus I really wanted to do something simple and easy so I could get back to scrapping my friends album, which I did 2 layouts last night for it as well as this card!

Now I'm not much of a card maker but I thought this was pretty cute! I guess I should just practice more at making cards because they are fun and unlike some of my layouts that I do these only take around 30 minutes or less!!

Anyone else like to make cards? And for anyone who loves checking out cards other people have made you should check out my Mom's blog: Crafts & Critters... she makes some really adorable cards!

August 19, 2010

Next Stop Neverland?

Needless to say this past week has been a tough one for me! I've been dealing with relationship issues, car issues, work issues, and of course a dog to the vet! Almost all of those have been resolved now and everything should be wrapped up over the weekend.

But aside from that major point do you ever wish you could just take the next direct "flight" with Tinker Bell to Neverland?? Don't get me wrong I love being on my own and all the joys of being an adult. But somedays I long for when I was a tot and my parents handled all my business! When it wasn't a drive home but a few steps to wherever they might be in the house....

When I have weeks like this I can always rely on my parents and my sister to make things better, maybe not solve my problems but at least lift my spirits...this week was no exception. Between them and my two girlfriends JBug (no not her real name, just her nickname) and Alycia I've been able to continue to tread water! I WILL SURVIVE!!!

But on weeks like these I like to pull out a secret box that is hidden in our house...a box full of home made cards and notes that I kept from when I was younger! Notes my Mom put in my lunch box, homemade cards from my uncrafty Sister! I thought I'd share these awesome memento's with all of you!

These are a random collection of cards that range from birthday to valentine's day to just because!

Proof that my Uncrafty Sister is indeed crafty in her own way :)

A more close up of some cards my Mom made in the past! My Favorite is the bunny one because both my Mom and my Grammy used to have (could possibly still have somewhere) stuffed bunnies that look like the stamps she used!

And my all time favorites...these were little notes my Mom would put in my lunch box or in little places where I'd be sure to find them! I used to love getting these notes!! And I always felt cooler than my friends because their Mom's didn't make them cute notes like these!

I am actually really happy to have taken pictures of these because if for any reason something happens I want to make sure I have some tangible way of always having these! In fact I even moved the box they are in so it sits next to our Emergency Kit....I just want to make sure I take them in case of a fire, flood, or any other disaster that life might bring!

Does anyone have any go to's for when they are having a horrible week?

August 18, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!!

Remember back when I was talking about making a Tres Leches Cake for a coworker! Well I can finally tell you all about my experience doing that because his birthday has now passed! So let's just dive right in!!

This cake requires very little ingredients but some of those aren't ones you might have on hand. So before you start you must check that you have everything: Heavy Whipping Cream, Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Regular Milk, Butter, Baking Powder, Flour, Sugar, Eggs, Vanilla Extract, and a fruit (I used Strawberries).

First you cream the butter, sugar, and eggs!

Then mix together the flour and baking soda and add that mixture to the Creamy Mixture two tablespoons at a time. I have no idea how important that is but I followed the recipe strictly because I've never made Tres Leches!

Pour the mixture into a pre-greased 13 x 9 pan. And pop into the oven, which you will have preheated to 350 degrees!!

Once fully baked, which you must check with a toothpick, make several piercings in the cake with a fork! And I mean several, cover your entire cake with them! Then just let it cool for a few hours, you will want it to be completely cooled before the next step!

Once cooled go ahead and grab your "Tres leche" and mix together. Because the sweetened milk is thicker you want to make sure to blend them well. Then I poured all this into a glass measuring cup that had a little spout!

And pour this sweet mixture over your completely cooled cake! I let the first couple of pours soak in and then slowly poured the rest making sure to cover the entire cake!

Then let it soak for 2 hours! Next its time to get your Heavy Whipping Cream, Sugar, and Vanilla Extract!! And get to whipping my friends! Make sure you get a nice thick whipped cream and began spreading!!!!

Oh yum!! This looked amazing!

Then cut up some strawberries, sprinkle a little sugar and mix up in a bowl. Spread evenly over the frosting!

Then cut and enjoy!

This turned out AMAZING! I am definitely breaking my arm by patting myself on the back but it really was that good!! I brought it to work as our test run and it was loved by my coworker Joseph. Sadly I had to throw most of it out because the Birthday Boy Derek was coming back on Tuesday...but I remade it the following sunday to celebrate this past monday and it turned out............BETTER!! I really didn't think it was possible but yes I successfully remade the cake and it was just LOVED by everyone! I couldn't be prouder and it couldn't have been easier. You must make this recipe: Tres Leches Cake.

The Clue Book

This month our book club is reading The Thief Taker by Janet Gleeson! I finished it early so another member could borrow my book and remember how I mentioned my last few books were duds and I was SUPER excited to start this one. Well my excitement was short lived!

I was pretty disappointed in this book, as I felt it lacked excitement and to be honest I just don't like the Era. This book takes place back in the Olden Days, you know the days where they had Horse Buggies, Petticoats, and tons of servants! Not my cup of tea but not a reason to not read. I gave it a shot because it seemed like it might be fun to try and figure out who was doing what...nope there wasn't much hope to figuring out who was doing what and even when it was revealed my reaction was less than I hoped...I was just "unmoved" by the big reveal! Being that its a short book I'd actually recommend the author beef it up a bit. Add some more dangerous situations, add a few more murders. I wish it had been a great read but unfortunately I was bored and felt nothing when it was over.
Im serious if the next book I read isn't a winner I may just have to give up reading and take up another hobby HAHA! Overall grade = definitely was average!

August 12, 2010

Bringing Boston to Cali!

One dessert that I love is Boston Cream Pie. And honestly I probably love it so much because I hardly ever have it. Chuck and I always end up debating about buying a Boston Cream Pie when we are in the store but it's just too much pie for just the 2 of us. So we never bring it home and I'm always left craving just a bite of Boston Cream Pie.

Well last Sunday I sat down to watch a DVR'd Cupcake Wars and started doing some searching on the internet. After making the Hostess Cupcakes I realized I wanted to give myself another challenge and try another new cupcake I did. I made myself Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes!!!!

These are super simple to make so grab your ingredients: Heavy Whipping Cream, Yellow Cake Mix, Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Pudding, Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips!
The first thing I did was make the fillng...mix together 2 cups vanilla pudding and some vanilla extract!
Make your Cupcakes and let them cool, sorry no picture of the cooled cupcakes. Then once those are cooled use the same technique as I did with the Hostess cupcakes. (take a wooden spoon and make a hole in the middle of the cupcake!) Then put as much of the vanilla pudding filling that you want inside the cupcake! Once you are done with this it's time to make the frosting!

This frosting is AMAZING and so easy. Heat up some Whipping Cream on the stove. You will want to bring to a scald :-)
Remove from heat and dump your chocolate chips in then whisk until you get a smooth texture. This really doesn't take much as the chocolate chips will melt from the cream being heated!

Now it says to dip the tops in the chocolate, but that method just does not work for me. So I took my trusty dining spoon and just spooned and smoothed the chocolate on top of the cupcakes!

Oh yum...look at this little beauty!

And all that filling...

I was in heaven! I only let myself have 1 that day and then I saved one for later but these were so good! It solved my craving and it gave me a new cupcake recipe YAY! A win-win situation!
The next thing I did was pack them and some of the hostess cupcakes up and brought them to work! Which they were gone within a few days. Chuck even brought a big platter to work! Not only did I get to enjoy cupcakes but I didn't have them lying around calling my name! Boston Cream Pie lovers you need to make this recipe! It's amazing!

August 8, 2010

Healthier Pigs in a Blanket

Today for lunch I decided I was going to make a Hungry Girl recipe because with all the damn sweets I've made this weekend it's time for something healthier! I whipped out my Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200 and went straight for the recipe I had been looking forward to: Smothered Pig in a Blanket!!!

One of my favorite foods is hot dogs! In fact my very favorite Birthday meal is a burnt hot dog and my Grammy's potato salad. Now hot dogs are not healthy by any means and even Turkey dogs aren't that much better for you. But leave it to Hungry Girl to keep me happy!

I of course had all the ingredients: Fat-Free (or nearly fat-free) hot dog, low-fat veggie chili, 1 serving (or in my case 2) Reduced-Fat Crescent Rolls, and 1/2 (or in my case 1) slice of fat free cheddar cheese (I used fat free American Cheese, since my cheddar cheese was already shredded).

Take your crescent roll and stretch/roll it out to make it a little larger. Place your 1/2 slice of cheese at the base of the crescent roll, then top it with your hot dog.

And then just roll it like you would a normal crescent roll. Pop them onto a greased baking sheet and then slide the sheet into the preheated 375 degree oven.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

And voila!! You've got yourselfs a couple pigs in the it's time to smother them....

some amazing veggie chili!!!!!!!!! Which you will have heated up on the stove or in the microwave. In my case the microwave cause I was being lazy!

Just slather that chili on top of your pig and enjoy!

And enjoy you will...I devoured them both! I usually only eat one hot dog but these babies were so delicious!
Hot dog lovers you must try Hungry Girl's Smothered Pig in a Blanket!

August 7, 2010

Hostess With the Mostess

Along with the Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Roll Wreath that I made on Friday night....I also made some Hostess Cupcakes! Oh yes you read that right....HOSTESS CUPCAKES!! Of course these are horrible for you whether you buy them from the store or make them yourself but I gotta tell you I enjoyed making them more than I would have had I bought some at the store!

These were so easy to create and so fun! Everyone who loves Hostess Cupcakes needs to make these at least once!

You will need: Chocolate Cake Mix, Vanilla Whipped Frosting, Chocolate Whipped Frosting, Eggs, Sugar, Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, Butter, Corn Syrup, and Marshmallow Creme!!

Make the cake mix as instructed on the box!

Pour the mix into 24 cupcake papers!

Pop the cupcakes into the oven and bake according to the instructions on the box. While those are baking mix together some Marshmallow Creme and Vanilla Frosting! YUM!

Once the cupcakes are baked let them cool for about 40 minutes or longer. You want to make sure they are completely cool. Then to remove the centers without destroying the cupcakes take the handle of a wooden spoon and gently push down in the center of the cupcake. Make sure not to go all the way through to the center. Then with the handle of a regular spoon gently remove the inside cupcake that you push down. It's way easier than I thought.

Put your Marshmallow Creme/Vanilla Frosting mixture into a decorating bag or a ziplock bag along with a round tip. Then place the tip in the center of each cupcake and fill just to the top with your middle filling.

Once the cupcakes are filled place some of the Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Frosting, and Corn Syrup in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave. Keep mixing until it's completely smooth. Do not heat too much but just until smooth.

The original recipe says to dip the tops of each cupcake into the bowl of frosting. This did not work for me. The first one I dipped the middle filling started to come out. So the best and easiest way I found was chocolate frosting. I took 1/2 a spoonful of frosting and dropped it on top of the cream part, then took the spoon and gently smoothed frosting out over the top of the cupcake. To be honest these looked amazing with just the chocolate frosting and I will definitely be using this technique from here forward with cupcakes!

Next take another decorating bag or small zip lock bag and a small rounded tip to create the swirls on top. Just use some Vanilla frosting for these! And Voila.....hello Hostess.

These looked so GOOD!! Granted I messed up the swirls on a few but overall I finally got the swirls down and whipped right through all 24 cupcakes!

Of course I ate one....even without having dinner because who can resist a chocolate cupcake???

Everyone must try these at least once because they are so worth it! The office will be happy with me tomorrow because I plan on bringing them into work so that these tempting little devils are out of my house!

Now I am off to bake a Tres Leches cake and then read my book club book. Happy Sunday Everyone!!!!!!!!

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