August 28, 2012

Nailed it!

Have you seen those "nailed it" posts for project failures? With every project I go into I bring a lot of expectation. So, since I have successfully grown parsley in the past I thought this would be easy. I mean really how hard can it be?

Oh, my! A lot harder than I thought. I am determined to find my green thumb though. Next time I'll try to remember to water more and probably actually planting them would be better too. lol

Have you had a crazy project fail? Embrace the hilarity of it and tell us about it.

August 23, 2012

Cocoa Dusted Almonds

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine shared the link to this recipe on facebook. 
After trying them myself, I think they are the best.
Just sweet enough with a hint of chocolate to make you think you're eating something naughty.

Link to the original recipe.

My version of the recipe:

Cocoa Dusted Almonds

2 c. whole, raw almonds
1/4 c. honey
pinch of salt
1 1/2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 T. powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
In a small sauce pan heat honey and salt over medium heat until warm.
Add almonds to sauce pan and heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally.
Spread the almonds out in the prepared baking dish in a single layer.
Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes, stirring twice throughout that time to prevent burning.
Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Place cocoa and powdered sugar in a medium size bowl.
Add roasted almonds to cocoa mixture and stir to coat.
Dust off extra cocoa & enjoy!

*Next time I may try a little cinnamon in the cocoa mixture.

August 21, 2012

Last photo canvas workshop

The weekend before our vacation I hosted another photo canvas workshop.
Much smaller crowd than last time but still fun.


"Itty bitty" bags for guests, this time filled with Werther's caramel coffee candies.

To eat:
fruit bowl - strawberries, grapes, and cantaloupe
plum tarts with warm apricot jam
(the little bowl has extra caramel creme to go with the graham crackers)
Greek feta & black olive dip with pita chips

The breakdown of how we made our photo canvases.

a blank art canvas (you can find these at most craft shops)
foam brush
photo printed in the same size as your canvas

Apply a generous coat of varnish to the blank canvas.
Carefully lay your photo down on top of canvas. The varnish is going to act as an adhesive.
Let dry for a bit. Maybe 10 minutes or so.
Apply a coat of varnish to the top of your photo to add texture, if desired.
Make sure to smooth out the surface to avoid air bubbles and streaks.
Let dry for a while.
Apply a second coat of varnish.
 Let dry completely.
Display your new photo canvas.

It's seriously that easy.

What will you craft next?

The recipe for the feta & black olive dip. It's always a hit!

Greek Feta & Black Olive Dip

6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
2 to 2 1/2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 T. chopped black olives, drained

In a food processor, place feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. Pulse until smooth.
Transfer to a medium size bowl and mix in the olives with a spoon. Serve with pita chips. 

August 19, 2012


Our week of rest was marvelous. David took a week of vacation from work. Classes haven't started yet so, last week meant no work and no school. It was wonderful!
We decided not to do any traveling and just spend time together at home.
Reading, cleaning, singing songs ("itsy bitsy spider" is best when you sing it 20+ times a day), etc.
Also, I decided on a whim that I would stay off facebook this week as part of my self-reflecting and refocusing. The break was much needed. I am feeling mentally rested, which was the purpose of said break.

With all our spare time we.........

- made several trips to different parks after having early dinners together.

- washed and detailed our Mazda.....milk and juice stained carpets no more.

- had this yummy chicken fried rice.

- finished a sweet little gift

- took late afternoon naps

- cleaned rooms from top to bottom

- car rides around town just to listen to music and get out of our apartment

- went for a walk at one of our local walking trails (little boys just wanted to play in the woods)

- baked these chocolate chip cookies

- watched football games (you can't skip pre-season games) Ha!

- completed all the "itty bitty" bags for Blog Fete

- afternoon coffee and sewing

- watched a movie - "The Grey" (Liam Neeson is great in all the movies I have ever seen him in.)

We will be back to our normal busy starting tomorrow.
Savoring this last day and looking forward to another break in December.

Side note: can you believe August is almost over?!! This summer flew by.

August 7, 2012

Sweet little bunting cards

New products in stock!!!
In honor of kids and teachers going back to school, I wanted to make something unique for the occasion.

Personalized note cards..............

How cute are they??!!

Each card is stitched with pale blue and bright red thread to resemble lined notebook paper.
Bright patterned bunting and a Kraft paper pennant flag are frosting on the cake. : )

These sweet little cards would make a fantastic teacher's back to school gift, personalized with their name. Love.

Also, August 7th - August 11th you can enjoy 10% off every purchase from Simple October.
Just enter code: B2SCHOOL at checkout.

Happy Shopping!

p.s. Visit my facebook page for a chance to win a set of these cards for FREE. :o)

Hooray for back to school!

August 3, 2012

Knock-off faux zinc letters

Anthropologie has some of the cutest home decor stuff in my book. Their prices.....not so cute.
So, when I spotted their zinc letters, I fell in love. They're perfect.
At $18 a piece though, this purchase wasn't going to happen anytime soon.
Then I found some tutorials for how to make you own and decided to give it a try.
Because I already had the paint and foam brush I only had to purchase the letters. I waited till I found them on sale and bought all three for under $5. That's a major steal compared to the $54 I would have spent had I bought them from Antropoligie. They do look a bit different than the ones from the store but I'm pretty happy with them.

(Cutest helper ever!)

Tutorial for knock-off faux metal letters.

 -paper mache letters
-black acrylic paint
-shimmering silver metallic paint
-foam paint brush

1. Cover all sides, front and back, of each letter with black paint. Let dry completely.
2. Coat letters, all sides, with the metallic paint. Brush it on as light or heavy as you want.
(The letters I did have about a medium coat to them. Not too light but not heavy either.)
3. Let dry metallic paint dry. Decorate your home with your new letters.