Saturday, March 27, 2010

Custom Thank You's

Today, I had a really great experience at a job fair for a local school district.  To express my appreciation for the time that these principals and teachers took out of their Saturday morning, E and I made up some thank you cards.  I found this image of a wall decal and he whipped up a variation of it on one of his outrageously complicated design programs.  We then added my signature font of primary colors and printed it up on some blank cards.  


Pretty, right?  I have a lot to be thankful for. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little Miss Momma is having a GiVaWaY

I am a huge sucker for giveaways.  HUGE.  I've fallen in love with Little Miss Momma's blog and she is having an awesome giveaway.  Get this, if you win, you get to choose three items from some very cute bohemian items.  I really want those braided bracelets on the top!  Click on the photo to enjoy her original post.

While you're there getting the info on the giveaway be sure to check out her beautiful crafts and tutorials.  So pretty!

Stencil wall art

 Cork board picture frame with button and earring push pins.
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Oh the many reasons....

I need a sewing machine.  Seriously, NEED one.  There are so many adorable crafts out there lately that I've fallen in love with (like this scarf, or this rug, or this purse) but can't complete because I lack the most necessary component. 

I do have my mom's old singer from the early 80's... but, really?  It's older than I am.  It has no manual and I'm positive that it's never been tuned up or cleaned.  I'm scared to death of this thing.  It's sitting in front of me right now and it gives me the heeby jeebies just looking at it.  So many parts that I have no clue how to use!  I looked up manuals and they cost $15 from a site that I've never heard of and they don't have any photos of the manual.... maybe a rip off site?  It's just too nerve racking and I would just rather get a new, simple machine.  Sound crazy?  Here, take a look at the monster in my living room.....

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Patina on terracotta pots

I've been thinking for the past 24 hours about how to turn a plain terracotta pot into an aged masterpiece of patina.  You see, my dilemma first arose while looking around at Thompson & Hanson (see photo).  A beautifully aged yet tiny pot, I mean tiny pot, cost $10.25 and the very same pot, minus the patina, cost only 75 cents.  So that would be $9.50 for mold.  FOR MOLD!  So, I've been researching how to age a perfectly new terracotta pot and have found a very simple way to do it.  

Simply, brush plain yogurt onto a pot and let it sit outside in the shade until you get the desired amount of mold.  It may attract ants and other bugs, so set it in an unused part of your yard.  Seriously people, mold is not worth $9.50. Pin It Now!

Thompson & Hanson

Yesterday, my good friend, Ashley, and I spent the afternoon outside at a beautiful oasis in downtown Houston.  Thompson & Hanson is a lovely garden center which also hosts a very delicious cafe called Tiny Boxwoods.  Ashley told me that the cafe is always busy with the "Ladies That Lunch" and she wasn't exaggerating!  This cafe was incredibly busy but I can attest to the reasoning: the food was absolutely superb.  

We probably could have spent a few more hours going through the garden center, looking at all the pretty plants and ingenious designs.  Here's some of our favorites....

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake

Oh my.  My best friend from high school emailed me a link, Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, that I think will be the end of me.  Seriously.... this website is going to keep me in the vicious cycle of baking, blogging, eating, baking, blogging, eating.   I may never see the light of day except to run to the grocery store and buy ingredients.  Or maybe I could just call E on his way home.... hmmm.

I'm not joking people, just look at this beautiful creation.  It's a flippin' Cinnamon Roll CHEESECAKE!  Holy moley.  Click on photo to enjoy the original post (trust me, it's very funny).

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cinnamon Roll Batter:
2/3 cup white sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
½  cup whole milk
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cheesecake filling:
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP vanilla extract
2 TBSP flour
3 eggs
Cinnamon Filling:
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
3 TBSP cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
milk (if needed to thin frosting)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9-inch Springform pan.

Cinnamon Roll Batter:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer) cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add egg, milk,  and vanilla. Beat for another minute. Scrape down bowl.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the sifted and creamed ingredients together. Mix on low speed until throughly combined.
Spread half of the batter onto the bottom of the Springform pan. It will be sticky and thick so spray your hands with baking spray and press down. It will be a thin layer, but trust me it will rise up during baking.

For the Cheesecake Filling:
Using a stand mixer (and a clean bowl) fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla and flour and beat for another minute.
Pour all of the cheesecake batter on top of the cinnamon roll batter that is in the prepared pan.

Cinnamon Filling:
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Drop spoonfuls of the cinnamon filling over the entire top of the cheesecake.
Take the rest of the base batter and drop spoonfuls over the entire top of cheesecake. Once finished, take a knife to swirl the ingredients together. This is hard to do as the batter is pretty thick, just do what you can. 

Bake for about 50-55 minutes, cake will be puffy and lightly browned. Let chill for 20 minutes at room temperature and then cover and move to fridge for 4 hours. Remove cake and let it warm up to room temperature just a bit. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Using a stand mixer (and a clean bowl) with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat until desired consistency is reached. If too thick, thin out with milk.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hickory Hard Goods

Today, while reading through my Daily Reads list, I came across a fabulous guest blogger over at You Are My Fave named Liz.  Liz's blog, Say Yes to Hoboken, is such an adorable blog and I have a feeling that it will make it's way onto my Daily Reads list soon.  Needless to say, I've just spent the last half hour browsing through Liz's blog and I found this great company, Hickoree's Hard Goods.  Durable and classic items.

Perfect canvas tote for teaching, gardening, going to the beach, whatever!  $35.00

"Hoof Pick" belt.... I don't think I would be picking hooves, but this belt is gorgeous.  $60.00

 Another great bag!  $87

 Flippin' awesome print!  $425

"#44 of this editioned print now hangs in the Executive Office Building at 
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC."
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's all about comfort

I went to DSW today to check out the sale racks.... no luck.... but I did spy a pair of shoes that I will be keeping my eye on.  They are Tevas and if you've ever bought a pair of Tevas you know how unbelievably comfortable they are.  I own a couple of their flip flops and I could literally walk in them all day (I used to wear them all the time when I worked in a department store).  They mold to your feet and are so light.

Check out these newly designed wedges from Teva; they are comfortable, light, well made, and look really cute on.  A big upgrade from the flip flops.  Click on the photo to shop Zappos.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Out and About

Today was my first day of spring break and what a wonderful day it was!  It's about 75 degrees and sunny.  While enjoying the day at one of our outdoor malls, I found an amazing home store called Z Gallery.  I could have spent all day browsing around, looking at all the beautiful things.  Click on the photos below to shop along with me.

P.S. I don't know what's going with my font either and I'm now waving the white flag of defeat.... Blogspot you've outsmarted me again!
Caprise Pilla Holders $9.99 (Holy steal of a deal Batman!)

Cyperus Stems, 6 for $23.70 (Z Gallery has some amazing faux flowers)

Sassolino Pillar Holder $39.95

Twig Coat Rack $139 (I'm going to stalk this one for a sale)

Chloe Vases $29.95-49.95

Ceramic Parrot $39.95 (ridiculous and awesome and at the same time)

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Compliment Snaggers

I've been feeling icky lately and nothing seems to be cheering me up.  However, tomorrow I will be subbing for an elementary class and those little kiddos always seem to know just how to make me smile.  Nothing cheers up your whole day better being told that you're pretty, or how much they like your shirt, or your necklace, or your shoes.  Seriously, those cuties are chock full of compliments.  

This is a note that I received from a former student.  He always had a hard time writing, he could never find the right words and would usually never write much. 

This day, however, he found the right words to bring tears to my eyes.

I'm in a rambling mood tonight, apparently.  I really just wanted to show off some ideas for snagging more compliments.  Colorful items are always winners in elementary schools!  Click the photos to see how to make these for yourself.

Alisa Burke

Blue Cricket

Blue Cricket

No Plain Tees - Etsy
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hair from American Idol


Sorry Alex Lambert, I just can't get over it.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Baked Rigatoni

Here's an easy and tasty recipe to share.  Everything is store bought but when you put it all together and stick it in the oven it tastes very homemade.

Baked Rigatoni

1 box Rigatoni, boiled to "al dente"
2 jars Traditional Pasta Sauce
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella (approximate)
Sweet Italian Sausage, about 3 links, de-skinned

Heat oven to 350.  Boil pasta to "al dente" and drain.  Brown Italian sausage in skillet, breaking up into small pieces and drain excess fat.  Combine pasta, Italian sausage, both jars of pasta sauce, and most of the shredded mozzarella in large mixing bowl.  Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top.  Bake for 30 minutes or until all mozzarella is melted and filling is bubbling hot.

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Classic Cardigan

A classic cardigan is something that can be worn any time of the year and will go with just about anything in your closet.  I'm currently lacking in this department of my wardrobe and I'd better start looking before everyone starts cranking up their air conditioners here!  Layers are very important when the temps start to rise and businesses go overkill on the coldness.  Bonus: all of these cardigans are on sale!  Click on the photos to shop.


J. Crew 



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