Saturday, December 21, 2013

Caramel Fleur de Sel Mug Cake recipe

I've made this a few times, each time my 4yr old helped me out so it's safe to say that it's a pretty easy recipe to follow.
 


CARAMEL FLEUR DE SEL

 
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp caramel sauce
- 2 tbsps milk
- 6 tbsps self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp fleur de sel (or other sea salt)
-  caramel candies, preferably salted (optional)
 
 I like to use the 20oz Corningware mugs to make mine. In it I whisk together the butter and sugar with a fork. Stir in the egg, vanilla, caramel sauce, and milk. Add the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the fleur de sel. Beat the batter until smooth. Top each mug with a pinch of the remaining fleur de sel. Microwave separately for 1 minute. Place two caramel candies on the top of each partially cooked mug cake, then continue cooking 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more until risen and firm. Check the cake often (with a toothpick) because if you cook it too long it will be very dry. I like to drizzle mine with caramel sauce and top with berries and whip cream, or you can add a couple caramel candies on top in the last 30sec of cooking.
 


 
 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Randomness...

No rhyme or reason to this particular post, just me showing off what's been keeping me busy aka the reason behind the mass uploading of posts today :)

PS I promise to think about trying to perhaps be more diligent in posting in a timely manner. Maybe.


You can order your own kit here: http://glasssculpture.org/artglass/holiday/police-box.html and the lady who makes this was SUPER helpful


I made this one for James' first birthday....

 
 
..and was sooo much better at working with fondant when Johnny's birthday rolled around...


I reenlisted at a trampoline park..

 
I added to my ugly sweater....
 
 

 
Oh and it's that time of year again!! (Don't worry, the Elf only does these bad things when the boys are at daddy's house, otherwise he's pretty lame).


Monday, December 2, 2013

Bailey's Irish Cream & Traditional Fudge recipes

I made these two for a bake sale at work, both sold very well but take a wild guess which one sold out faster...


BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM FUDGE
(recipe makes 5lbs)

- 2 (12oz) pkgs milk chocolate chips
- 1 (12oz) pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 (7oz) jars marshmallow cream
- 2tsps vanilla extract
- 2/3 cups Bailey's Irish Cream
- 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
- 1 cup butter

In a very large (no kidding, VERY large) bowl combine all of the chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, Bailey's and nuts. Line a 10x15 pan with foil (spread lightly with butter to prevent sticking).

In a large saucepan combine the sugar, milk and butter, bringing it to a boil over medium heat. Continuously stir slowly for about 10mins.

Pour the milk mixture into the VERY large bowl with the chocolate mixture. Stir slowly by hand, NOT by mixer!!! to combine. Pour the fudge into a pan and chill until set.


TRADITIONAL FUDGE

- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
- 2 tbsps butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 (9oz) pkg semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Line an 8in square baking pan with foil (spread lightly with butter to prevent sticking). Combine the sugar, milk, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4-5mins. Remove from heat.

Stir in marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts, and vanilla. Stir vigorously until the marshmallows are melted. Pour into the baking pan and refrigerate until set.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chipotle-Cranberry Sauce recipe

Ever since I discovered how easy it is to make your own cranberry sauce, I've stopped buying the cans cold turkey and haven't looked back since. Last week the BF and I went to Tropical Smoothie and tried one of their wraps with a chipotle cranberry sauce and it was so good that I decided to recreate it for Thanksgiving.


- 1cup orange juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 bag fresh cranberries
- juice of 1/2 lime
- lemon zest

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine orange juice, sugar, cinnamon stick, ginger, salt, and chipotle, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring until thickened for about 8-10mins. Remove the pan from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the lime juice and lemon zest. Let cool (but it tastes just as good when it's slightly warm.

Pin It!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Upcycled Child's Work Bench


Johnny has been asking for a "real work bench like the one you have in the garage Mommy!!" for Christmas, so I decided to make him one out of an out nightstand I found at a Goodwill.




I started by sanding down and painting the nightstand to match my workbench, then the BF and I attached the wooden boards to the sides and as a frame to hold the pegboard (the boards on the front sides are merely for aesthetics) by drilling them with screws. We then attached the pegboard with a staple gun. The vise grip was attached with help from his metal cutter to make a holes with which to screw it onto the bench. The "after" photo isn't the final look though, I think it'll look better once I paint the trim around the drawer pull black but I think I'll leave the wooden boards as is What do you think of this project?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kitty Litter Cake recipe

I make this cake sometimes just because, and I made it today because it seemed appropriate for my Halloween party.

I left this one in the pan instead of transferring directly to the litter tray because I was feeling lazy



You will need:

1 pkg chocolate cake mix
                

2 (3.5oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix                                                  

 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Harley Quinn's Mallet

This Halloween I'll be going as Harley Quinn, so of course I'll be needing a ridiculously large mallet!
 

1)  I found the parts to make it at a thrift store (metal trash can and wooden curtain rod), and I bought the wooden designed shelf liner at Wal-Mart.

2) The bf used a circle bit to drill out a hole for the curtain rod to fit through.

3) Drill a small hole on top...

4) ...to secure the curtain rod in place.

5) Cut out a thick piece of cardboard and tape to seal up the other end.

6) Saw down your handle (curtain rod) to size (since I'm pretty short I had to take a lot off)

 
 
I might amend this post later on to show how to do your lipstick to look like Harley's...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sugar Skull Halloween makeup

I've been wanting an excuse to try out Sugar Skull makeup and my friend's creepy photoshoot was it. Here's a quick before and after shots:



I went with a half face to make it more eerie, and mostly because the cheapo Halloween grease makeup makes my face break out. Instead of writing out step by step instructions, I took a series of photos so hopefully that's just as helpful. For all of the color (except for the white grease paint) I used chunky eyeliners in black and gray and lip liner in red. For my first run I used a white eyeliner but it was too shimmery so I had to use the white grease face paint and used a q-tip to fill in the teeth and go around the other drawings and not mess them up. Also, even though I did all of the drawing and filling in before adding the white, you'll want to go back over and redo your outlines just in case the colors get mixed up while adding the face paint.


 
 
Also, I didn't use them because this was just a trial run but fake eyelashes are a MUST! The fluffier, the better!!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Balloon Drop (UPDATE)

 
**POST HAS BEEN UPDATED W/ PHOTOS THAT SHOW THE PROPER WAY TO THREAD THE TWINE OR YARN**
 
For James' birthday, I wanted an alternative to a piƱata because I don't have a tree in my yard to hang it from, and there's no way I'm letting a bunch of little kids go crazy swinging a stick inside the house, so I decided to go with a balloon drop.
 
 
 
- plastic or paper table cloth, cut in half (paper works best)
- balloons and air pump
- hole punch
- painter's tape
- yarn or twine


 
Hole punch along the sides where you are going to thread the tablecloth together. Do this by aligning the holes on top of each other, not side by side like in the above photo; I just did that get through that step faster.


Thread your twine or yarn through, leave some hanging off of one end, and a loose knot at the other end.


Attach your tablecloth to the ceiling with the painters tape leaving some slack in the middle, blow up
your balloons (confetti too if you want) and toss them in there. At this point you can undo your loose knot, but you might want to pull that side of yarn out in case it gives way.

 


 
 
When the time comes for the balloon drop, pull on the longer string and watch the kiddos go nuts :) You can also toss confetti up there and use it for New Years.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wall Chalkboard and Frame


When Johnny and I talked about what he wanted in the new house, he said he wanted a chalkboard in his room. He already has a New York Yankees theme going on, but I was able to tie them in together.

Here's his wall at the new house:

 
 
I went to Home Depot and picked up some baseboard (they will cut them for you if you ask nicely) to use as a frame

I didn't have the ends cut at 45* angles because I wanted to add wooden baseball shapes to go with his Yankees theme.

Tape it off and start painting! I used the chalkboard paint in the can, not the spray on kind. It'll take awhile and a few coats, but I think it was worth it.

 
 
I found a lipped black shelf (to match the paint of course!) to hold the chalk and erasers and nailed it so that it lined up with the bottom corner. (It looks darker than the paint because I cured the chalkboard and forgot to wipe it off)
 

 
 
I picked up wooden baseball shapes at AC Moore for less than $1 to put over the corners, I ended up using two nails for each baseball, but it gives it a nicer 3D feel than plain 45* picture frame corners will (that, and Home Depot doesn't guarantee precision cutting so I didn't want to chance it).





And the finished product! I think little man likes it!
 

 
 
It took a day to make this (because of the drying time and the coats) and cost around $30, and the paint was the priciest part.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Home is Where the Military Sends You


Short post today, I've been super busy running around trying to get the new house ready without Johnny finding out (he thinks Mommy is still looking for a house, he doesn't know that Mommy actually bought one!!)
 
Being active duty Navy for 7 years, I've already been stationed in a few places... Because of the divorce and my buying a house before checking in to my next command, it just so happens that I've lived in a different house for every duty station, which works out nicely for this next project.
 
I bought a shadowbox at my local craft store for about $12, hot glued keys from everywhere I've lived while in the navy onto the piece of cardboard and labeled them with my calligraphy pen. I only wrote the name of the commands and where they're located. Imagine how awesome the shadowbox would look after 20 years worth of commands!
 
 
 

I'll probably make one of those "Home Is Where The Navy Sends You" signs above it later on, but for now it looks good hanging above my key hooks.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Capiz Shell Chandelier

The new house that I'll be moving into has those boring ceiling lights, you know the kind, just there, boring, sooo blah, and sooo not Solaris.. I'd love to replace them with a couple of these...

 
Small Capiz Shell Chandelier
  
..but it's $149 at West Elm, and buying a house I'm trying to save as much money as I can.. so when I saw this on Buzzfeed DIY I thought "Hell I can do that in an afternoon!" Turns out I was partly correct**
 
Here are the materials you'll need:
 
 
 
- wire wreath frame
- white spray paint
- old t-shirt
- iron
- metal cutters
- circle cutter
- glue gun
- wax paper
- white thread and needle
- cutting board
 
For the supplies I didn't already own (wreath frame, spray paint and wax paper) I spent about $10.
 
 
 
 
I cut off the outer circle of the frame and then spray painted it white. Trust me, you'll want to do this first so it can dry while you cut out your circles...
 
all eleventy billion of them...

I set my circle cutter to 2 inches and went to town!! Oh yeah, did I mention that you're going to have to stack the circles in 3's...? Fun....


Take your 3-high stacks of circles, place an old t-shirt over them and use a warm iron to melt them together, that way they'll look a lot more like actual capiz shells than a single wax circle.
 
You're going to need to make 2 sets of strands for your chandelier (or 3, but hey, if you want to cut more circles, that's all you), one short, and one long. Decided however many circles you want in each strand set, line them up, and sew them together up through the middle... I have absolutely no room in my too small apartment for a sewing machine (I have to do it all by hand) so you can see why I on;y did 2 sets of strands instead of 3 or 4.... but the more strands the better!! Maybe one of these days I'll get really bored and add one in, but for now, 2 will do.
 
 
 
 
The more opaque circles are from an old lamp shade that I was throwing out, I used the paper to cut more circles (BONUS I didn't have to stack or melt them together).
 
 
Take your DRY wreath frame and lay it so the "lipped" side is up. Hot glue your shorter strands to the outside ring, and your longer strands to the inside ring.
 
 
 
I used 3x small hooks to hold the outer ring onto the ceiling.
 
 
 
 
You know, looking at it, I think I might just make that extra row of strands... what do y'all think?

**It took all day cutting out the damn circles and waiting for the wreath frame to be completely dry, but for $10?? Hell yeah, I'll take that!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Monogrammed Wreath

What's a quick easy way to let visitors know that they're at the right house? With a personalized wreath!

So first I have to apologize for not taking a "before" picture of all the supplies, so I'll just go ahead and list them all here (everything costs about $28 at my local craft store):

- straw wreath (leave the plastic on)
- 2x duct tape sheets
- decorative beads to personalize your wreath
- twine
- hot glue gun
- small wooden sign (I chose "family")
- wooden letter
Start by tying the twine and knotting it in the back of the wreath. Then continue wrapping the twine around until the wreath is completely covered.

 
 
 
When it's completely covered in twine, tie off a loop to hang up the wreath.
 


 
Take one sheet of duct tape paper and cut it in half, wrap it around the wreath. Cover your wooden letter with the other sheet and glue it onto the wreath.



Cover the half strip of duct tape with ribbon (you can just wrap it around and knot it in the back like you did with the twine).

 
 

Next, glue your beads or decorative items onto your sign; once dry you can glue the sign onto the wreath.

 
 
 
And just for kicks, I added a ribbon to that loop we made earlier.
 
 
 
Hang it up on your door and you're done!




Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nautical Birthday Prep: Sailboat Napkin Holder

I was looking online to get ideas for centerpieces and napkin holders for James' nautical themed birthday party, but I didn't really like I found. Then it hit me: combine a centerpiece with the napkin holder so there's more room on the table for food and CAKE!




First, gather up your supplies (ignore the hole puncher, I ended using a box cutter):

 
 
You'll need a cereal bar sized box, paint for your life preservers, painter's tape, scissors, regular scotch or packing tape, 2x straws, a glue gun, a china marker, and a box cutter.
 
 
First, draw out your sailboat shape (step A) on the bottom half of the box on both sides. Cut out your sailboat shape (step B), but leave the bottom and the back half of the box attached (you can cut out the top flaps). Fold over the back half of the box (step C) and tape to the other side (step D).
 
 
 
Don't throw out your leftover cardboard pieces! You'll need them to make the sides of your sailboat; tape the top on and then cut them down to fit. Make sure all of the edges are taped down when you're done.
 

 
Cover your sailboat in painter's tape horizontally, not vertically and cut the edges (don't wrap the pieces around). I went over the lines where the tape pieces meet with the china marker to make it look more like "wooden" planks. Draw on and paint your life preservers, hopefully you have better art skills than I do! Once the paint is dry, outline it with the china marker, it'll look a lot better!!
 
 
Mark where you want your straws to go and make small holes with a box cutter to insert them. Glue them onto the sailboat so that stay standing up straight under the weight of the napkins.
 


When the glue is dry you can add your napkins (bonus: you get to use your everyday white napkins instead of having to buy fancy themed ones). All together it takes about 25min and costs nothing to make using things I already had lying around.