Sunday, February 26, 2012


Vootbeer! (Vodka + Rootbeer) Yes please! I gave up caffeine for lent and knew how that would affect my mornings, but didn't think through how it would affect cocktail time. I'm typically a jack and coke girl... but coke has caffeine, so what what I to do? Hm... vodka and cranberry? WAIT! I flashed back to a pin from several months ago for vootbeer! Vodka (no caffeine) + Root Beer (also caffeine free) = Vootbeer. Surprisingly delicious and a fun word to say!

Gel Nails

I am someone who gets regular pedicures, but pretty much only gets a manicure for major events... weddings etc... what's the point? I typically chip them within a day or two and I'm not huge on color on the fingers anyway. I can appreciate it on others, but for me I'm transported back to 8th grade with lee press on nails.

Skip to next week... I had a big event and after going and going for months and really going and going that week I found myself with a spare hour before it was time to set up. Wanting a little pampering/relaxation I went for a manicure. I would have done a pedicure, but I was wearing boots, so eh... I'd heard of the gel nails and when the lady suggested it I figured this was good chance to try it out. I'm almost 5 days in and not the slightest hint of a chip! I went with a very light pink so it's just a clean neutral look. I'm a big fan.

Sock Bun Curls

I kept seeing sock buns and sock bun curls posted on pinterest, but I didn't really get the big deal. Sure, it's a neater bun than that knot I tend to throw my hair up in on most days, but I didn't get it when I saw pictures and moved on with my life. Then someone pinned a video about how to do a sock bun. I was bored, watched it (all 7 minutes... like I said, I was bored), huh, well that's pretty simple. Then I noticed that the girl who did the sock bun video had a sock bun curls video... sure I have another 7 minutes, what the heck. OMG, life changing! The video itself is a little long, but well worth watching if you don't know how to do a a sock bun. If you do, long story short, put a sock bun on the top of your head with slightly damp hair (not wet, just damp... 2-3 times through with a wet brush should do it) and sleep in it overnight. Wake up with amazing curls that practically make it look like you sat in hot rollers for a long time. Too much curl for you? Brush it out and get some great big waves. TIME SAVER!!! I highly recommend you give it a try. If you don't love it, try again, you did something wrong.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine's Day Apple

One of Andrew's favorite words (and fruits) is 'apple' these days so when I saw this pin for a healthy Valentine's Day treat I knew I wanted to do this for him. He LOVED it! He got so excited to see the big apple and immediately went to town! Great alternative to candy and cookies (not that we didn't have those too :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Desert

Pink Hot Chocolate!

So simple and so cute. Get white hot chocolate and add a few drops of red food coloring for a cold weather Valentine's Day treat! We'll be having this tonight after dinner :)

UPDATE: 3 bottles of wine later (see Valentine's Day Calzones post) we forgot about having hot chocolate. But I still thought it was a cute idea worth sharing so I made some a few days later to try. To be fair, I'm not a white chocolate fan to begin with, so I thought it was ok, but I'd rather just have regular hot chocolate.

That being said, the pink look was cute and very festive for Valentine's Day. Just one drop of food coloring for a light pink. 2-3 for hot pink. I'm thinking little girls especially would think this is a really neat treat.

Heart Shaped Calzones for Valentine's Day Dinner

Here's a quick sneak peak at what I'm planning to make for Valentine's Day dinner in case anyone needs an idea. I'll come back to edit this post after I've made it and let you know how it goes.

When I clicked on the pin the initial link says "Kids will have fun helping to make these cute calzone hearts for dinner." Perfect, sounds like they are something that matches my cooking skills nicely. What could go wrong?

UPDATE: What could go wrong is... I could make the mistake once again of not reading the directions all the way through before starting something. When will I learn?!?! I scanned it and read the part where you mix the dough but somehow skipped right over the part where you "let sit for 1-2 hours" before continuing. Oops! That's going to really mess up my plans to have dinner in a half hour "because it only takes 10-15 minutes to bake!"

Despite my husband's highly offensive suggestion that we order a pizza, I powered through and figured we'd just have a glass or two of wine while we waited and instead of a family Valentine's Day dinner we'd have a nice dinner for two after Andrew went to bed. So I mixed up the dough and set it aside to rise. It took about 5 minutes to mix up and we cracked open our first bottle of wine. The wine went down pretty smoothly, Andrew had dinner, a bath and was put to bed and we came out and opened a second bottle of wine, to go with dinner of course. Huh, it's only been an hour according to the clock... and I wouldn't say the dough has doubled in size so I guess we'll just wait a bit longer... it turns out that waiting for dough to rise is much like watching paint dry. It's a very slow process, especially when you're hungry and getting drunker by the minute. Finally two hours had passed, the dough seemed much larger and I was ready to go. I rolled out the dough, cut out a heart shape with a knife and filled in the center. The only thing I don't like about the original recipe is that it doesn't give you any measurements for cheese and sauce etc... I suppose that's so you can make it to your liking, but I'm a fan of guidelines when cooking since I do it so rarely. I added ricotta to the mix as well and put them in the oven. A mere two and a half hours after dinner was started it was done! Naturally we wanted to have some wine with dinner, so a third bottle of wine was opened and we dug in. These turned out so great! Super easy and they may be my favorite new thing to make! I was concerned that the three bottles of wine had something to do with why we loved them so much, but the next day I made a birthday lunch for my dad and made them again (this time making the dough in the morning) and once again they were delicious! Aside from the wait two hours part, these are super easy to make, super quick and really tasty! I highly recommend!

ONE MORE NOTE: About 2 minutes before these came out of the oven I brushed some olive oil across the top. YUM!


1 pkg yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cup white flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
Mozzarella cheese
Marinara sauce
Turkey pepperoni


Step 1: Combine yeast, sugar and warm water and let set for 5 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients and then add yeast mixture. Let dough rise, in a warm place, for about 1-2 hours, until double in size.

Step 2: Roll out a small portion of the dough at a time, cutting two equal-sized hearts. Fill middle with filling, thin layer marinara sauce, turkey pepperoni, cheese, and then crimp edges with a fork. Set on baking tray. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Test to make sure dough is done baking. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

52 Things I Love About You

This pretty much blows any Valentine's Day card out of the water. It's 52 Valentine's Day cards in one... deck of cards that is. I did this project for my hubby for V-day this year. I had a spare deck of cards and sharpie, and it only took about 30 minutes to write reasons I love him on each of the cards. One note, sharpies will smear if they're not completely dry so I suggest laying them out to dry as you're writing them, then stacking them all back together at the end.

The hardest part of this project was coming up with the list of 52 things I love. Don't get me wrong, I love him in so many ways and for so many reasons... but when you actually start to write them down... 52 things is a LOT!

I started a list a couple of days before Valentine's Day because I didn't want to accidentally have a repeat or forget something. I'm glad I did because at my first attempt I had a little over 30 things and then kind of hit writer's block... then over the next day or two a few million little things happened that I wanted to add to the list and that reminded me what had been forgotten. It was a fun way to do it and to really take the few days leading up to Valentine's Day to appreciate all of the little reasons I'm lucky to be married to the man I am.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Minnie Mouse Hairclips

My friend's little girl is OBSESSED with Mickey and Minnie, and obsessed is putting it mildly. So, when I saw this post for Minnie hair clips I immediately thought of her. I was at the fabric store getting supplies for another project (see here next week) and picked up some black burlap that was great for both projects. These were so easy to put together. I recommend following the post to the video about how to make the "flowers" that are glued together to make Minnie. I hadn't made them before and was thrilled to find out how easy it was. I used a thicker piece of fabric for the head and thinner fabric for the ears. Hot glued them all together and made a bow with extra fabric from my Valentine's Day Garland project to make a bow. Picked up the right type of clips at Sally beauty supply and they were done. I can't wait to give it to her and see how she reacts!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Are you ready for some football? (aka food and commercials)

Blue Moon Cupcakes

So tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday. I suppose in theory it's a day about football, but in reality it's a day about eating a ton of food, hanging out with friends and it's probably the only day of the year you don't fast forward through commercials. We go to a big party at a friend's house every year where everyone brings some food to share. When I saw this pin for beer cupcakes I knew I wanted to make these.

These were really easy to make and very tasty. They are different from most cupcakes in that they are not particular sweet. Much like Blue Moon beer the cake has that faint citrus and wheat taste, and the frosting is light and airy and barely there, just like the foam on top of a beer :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Valentine's Day heart garland

I saw this idea for a little simple Valentine's Day decor and thought it looked cute, easy and how long could it take? Turns out a fairly long time. I finished it all in just one evening and was very happy with how it turned out, so I'm still glad I did it, but there were several "what have I gotten myself into" moments along the way.

I started by making a heart template out of an index card and used that folded in half over felt folded in half and got into a pretty good rhythm of cutting out hearts... still, 150 hearts later and a blister on my finger from the scissors I was over it. At that point I had used up one sheet of each color (white, pink and red $.33 at JoAnne Fabric) so it was time to sew. I learned very quickly that it's critical to put the hearts into the sewing machine top first. I started point first and it didn't work at all! (If I'd read the details from the initial site that was pinned I could have saved myself that lesson.) Sewing all of the hearts together took about 5 minutes and turned out so cute!! I liked it so much when I draped it across the mantle that I wanted more for my bookshelves! I mean, that didn't take THAT long right??? Cut to two hours later and I'm once again thinking "what have I gotten myself into" and I'm surrounded by another 150 or so hearts. Ugh, such a whippin' but then I sewed them all together in about 5 more minutes and was in love once again.

So, if you can sucker someone else into cutting out the hearts I highly recommend this project and qualify it as quick and easy. If you're cutting your own it's still easy but not so quick.

What I do love about it is that because I used fabric instead of a paper chain or something like this it's a one and done kind of project. It's a fun little touch of Valentine's Day decor that looks great against the white wood of our mantle and build in booksheves, takes up no space in storage after the holiday and will be easy to pull out and put back up in minutes next year. Happy Valentine's Day everyone :)