Monthly Archives: August 2011

Blonde to Brunette

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Being a blonde is hard. Aside from the insults to your intelligence, there’s the maintenance. It takes a lot of time and money to be blonde, and for someone who is naturally a brunette, those pesky roots start to show after a week! I finally decided, after four years of blondness to go back to my roots and go back to brunette.

I’ve been toying with the decision for a while now, and after we got engaged last year, decided I would stay blonde through the wedding. So, on our two month anniversary I called the salon to make an appointment for that afternoon. Here were some gorgeous brunette pins that helped me get excited.

Off to the salon I went. Wondering if I was making the right decision. I mean, I like being blonde! I love all the different shades that made up my golden locks. I just had to keep reminding myself of why I was going back. One last look at being blonde.

My stylist asked “Are you sure?”…<gulp!> “yes!”. And off she went to mix my color. I flipped through a magazine and came across this fitting photo and laughed that this was pretty much what my before and after was going to look like {minus the boobs of course}

Going from blonde to brunette is not an easy process. I even asked my stylist if I could just buy a box of dye and do it myself. She said “NO NO NO”, that you have to get your hair “filled”. This means they take straight pigment and rub it into your hair. This gives the dye something to grab onto in your stripped blonde hair. The pigment was orange, and turned me into a strawberry blonde!

This part has to dry completely in your hair. Then the dye is applied. The dye was like a light orangey brown color which made me a little worried. I relaxed myself by remembering that store hair dye is white when you start – then it turns to brown. So, as I sat there the dye slowly turned to a dark dark brown.

 

It pretty much looked like my hair was full of mud! After she finished applying the dye, I had to sit there for another 30 minutes to let it set. Then came the moment of truth. We rinsed out the dye and headed back to the chair to blow dry. I stole a quick peek in the mirror outside the sink room on the way back to my chair – it was amazing and dark and gorgeous! I was so excited to see it dry!

I suppose you can tell from my huge smile that I like it! The hubs is still trying to get used to it. He liked the blonde a lot, but he says this is growing on him. I’m just excited to save some time and money on beauty expenses!

 

Happy Pinning! Happy Hair!!

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

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Cupcakes are one of the best things in life. They actual were the other half of the inspiration for this blog. Pinterest is littered with cupcake recipes. My very first Pin There Done That post was about two cupcake recipes I found on Pinterest! A friend and I got together for our first ever cupcake-palooza. We did cupcake-palooza round 2 – this time with an excuse to have that many cupcakes laying around: My husband’s birthday party! We each picked a recipe this time. I went with a summery sounding Pink Lemonade recipe!

 I love love love lemon, so when I see a recipe that calls for fresh lemon zest, I get a little excited. This recipe is a modified box cake recipe – which isn’t something I normally do, but didn’t realize it til I was at the store with the printed recipe in hand to buy ingredients. It worked, but I think next time I would just add the pink lemonade drink mix and lemon zest to a homemade vanilla or white cake mix. The frosting was AMAZING. Tart, tangy, sweet, smooth, so good. This is one of the first recipes I’ve encountered that actually makes enough in a single batch to frost all your cupcakes like the above picture. I ran out of time before the party, so they just dollopped with a spatula!

Delicious!! These would be great for a girl baby shower, or a princess party, or just for next weekend if you need something sweet!!

Happy Pinning! Happy Baking!!

Mario Birthday Cake

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Yesterday was my husbands birthday, his golden birthday!! Today is his birthday party. And what does every birthday party need?  A cake of course!! In my house, we don’t do store-bought cake. We don’t even do box cake mix unless it’s a super last-minute cake emergency. Last year, I made a chocolate peanut butter cup cake. It was dense chocolate cake with chopped up recess in it, fudgey frosting, and chopped recess stuck all over the outside of it. My husband, bless his heart, told me “next year don’t go through all the trouble, I’d be happy with a store-bought cake” … after some discussion about why this would never happen, the truth came out. “I just want a fun cake with all the little plastic things on top of it”.

This year – thanks to Pinterest – I found the perfect compromise! A cake that I could bake myself, practice my fondant skills, and just throw some little plastic things on to appease him:

Remember the fondant I made a few weeks ago?  I knew this cake was going to be in the making then – so I made two shades of green, white, and blue. This weekend completely snuck up on me in that I did not leave enough time to really put the time into this that I wanted to. I did order my little Mario figures off Amazon. I baked a big three layer guiness chocolate cake, with THREE recipes worth of baileys butter cream. I used a Wilton ball pan to make the top of my mushroom. Here is how mine turned out.

It’s not terrible. Still really cute – and those coming to the party today will have not seen the before picture – ha. I didn’t have time to make more fondant, so the base of the mushroom was just butter cream. I also didn’t have enough white to do two cloud layers, or to make some orange for jump boxes in the landscape. But – hubby was happy with the plastic guys! {at least he knows I listen – sometimes}

Happy Pinning! Happy Cake Baking!!!

Dum Dum Topiaries

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As you know, my sister’s bridal shower was last weekend. I posted earlier this week about her shower favors. One of the very first things I posted to my Parties Board after I started thinking about her shower was this lovely, bright, fun, and delicious Dum Dum Topiary!

This pin leads back to a cute little blog called Meet the Dubiens where she has posted a wonderful little tutorial. Admittedly, I didn’t look at the tutorial before I started – I just went for it!

Unfortunately - I was not thinking about my blog, just thinking about getting them done – so I forgot to take pictures of them in progress!! I know, I suck!

I purchased five mini bright pink buckets from the dollar section at Target {gotta love the dollar section!}, and TWO GIANT bags

 of DumDums. At my own wedding, I had made paper flower pomoders with styrofoam balls. I figured I didn’t need 15 of them lying around anymore, so I de-flowered five balls for this new project. The balls I had originally purchased were very smooth harder styrofoam. Not the really grainy ones.

I had to use a skewer to poke holes in my ball before I could put in the dumdums. If you buy balls specifically for this process, I would recommend the grainy typical ones, as you could stick the dumdums right in. It was difficult guessing where the holes were ahead of time. My first topiary turned out sparce and a little sad – I had to go back through and create a bunch of new holes. In the end they all turned out pretty good! I gave them away as prizes at the shower too.

 

They went along great with my bright, colorful, candy theme! I like this idea because they can also double as actual party treats! I’m using the one I had left over at my husband’s birthday BBQ this weekend in fact!

 

Happy Pinning! Happy Parties!!

Ring Pop Bridal Shower Favors

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My darling baby sister is getting married!! It’s still a little hard to process for me. They got engaged 24 days before my wedding in June, and they will be tying the knot in September! It’s all going very fast, and I can’t believe we’ve already had her shower!!

I threw her a Bridal Shower Brunch this weekend at a yummy local restaurant, Preservation Kitchen. They have amazing food, amazing service, and a perfect private room for throwing parties! It’s actually the second shower I’ve been a part of planning at this location! If you’re in the Bothell, WA area – go see them! You’ll never want to eat anywhere else!

The shower theme was just bright and fun. There was lots of bright candy, paper umbrellas, and confetti. AND the buntings that I blogged about last week! I got a lot of {p}inspriation for the shower – including these adorable party favors!!

If you follow the pins – it eventually leads back to Miss Martha Stewart’s website with a post about a candy themed shower – but no DIY instructions! Since there are mountains of craft supplies piled around my house – I had to find a way to do this myself. Since I didn’t have clear plastic boxes, I couldn’t complete this exactly. But, the ring pops I thought were a cute favor idea, so I packaged them into chinese takeout boxes full of ribbon instead.

Then I folded up the boxes and attached some curly ribbon to the handle for the bright touch of color!

I made 30 of these and placed them on each place setting at the shower.

The whole shower went really well. Everyone had a great time, we had some great food, and my sister walked away with some amazing gifts! We had one of the nicest summer days so far this year, which was a wonderful surprise as well!!

I’m happy with how the Ring Pop boxes turned out, but I’m more excited to tell you about the Pinterest inspired decorations tomorrow…

 

Happy Pinning! Happy Decorating!!

Carpet Cleaning

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WOOHOO! I know you’re excited about this one! I mean, really, what is more excited than carpet cleaning?! Ok – seriously. It’s not that fun, but, it’s necessary. Especially when you have pets. Especially when you have pets that have gone through the potty training stage of their life in your house. Especially when your pet is a big smushy English Bulldog who like to slobber all over everything!!

This is a picture of my dearest love sound asleep, notice the huge floppy tongue and sloppy piles of jowells. One of her favorite treats is ice cubes. If she hears you open the freezer she jumps up and stands at alert – then if you pull out the ice drawer, she comes a runnin! Unfortunately eating ice creates big piles of slobber – as does chewing on treats or toys. Once the puddle is there it seems like all the dirt sticks to it .Then of course there are the additional spitups and other lovely pet things. So, parts of my carpet look like this:

See the lovely stain? I’s also the highest traffic area of our carpet in the house. The tile on the step up that you see in the top of the picture is our entry way, so people walk in the door and right onto this landing. I found this pin for cleaning carpet. She was cleaning an oil based salad dressing stain – but I figured it was worth a shot to try on my icky carpet.

This pin links back to Lizzy Writes, a cute little blog where she writes about whatever she wants! I love it. She was able to get this stain completely out of her carpet! the after picture looks brand spankin new. The directions are simple:

1. Scrape up the liquid (I had already done this weeks ago).
2. Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on stain to let absorb for 10 minutes and then vacuum.
3. Mix one tablespoon clear dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon white vinegar with two cups of warm water.

4. Using a white cloth (I strongly believe in microfiber washcloths), sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution and blot until all the liquid is absorbed.
5. Sponge off with cold water and blot dry.

I very liberally started with the baking soda:

I did enough that you couldn’t even really make out where the stain was. Then I let it sit for 15 minutes {because I lost track of time}, and vacuumed up all the powder. Then I made my mixture of dish soap {I used blue because I didn’t have clear, and I didn’t notice any negative side effects} and white vinegar and warm water. I blotted and scrubbed a little, then grabbed a clean cloth and blotted and scrubbed with cold water. Leaving it looking like this

The thing that confuses me seeing this is what actually got pulled out by the cleaning mixture. The more obvious white spot is not the same shape or placement as the obvious stain from the beginning! But – clean carpet is clean carpet, so this cleaner spot was ok with me! I figured the high traffic area is kinda screwed anyway. I decided to pull out the carpet cleaner to try to work on the traffic are a little more. Final product was not too shabby

Not perfect – but definitely better. I’m happy to have this “recipe” of carpet cleaner in my knowledge base for if I do get an oil or food stain. I think this also motivated me to get better of using our carpet cleaner more regularly.

Happy Pinning! Happy Cleaning!!

Paper Pennant Bunting

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I would love nothing more that to be able to throw a pretty party every week. A party with a cute theme and coordinating everything. You may have guessed that about me if you’ve ever taken a gander at my “Parties” board on Pinterest. I think the most common non-food element of the party pins are buntings of some sort. None more classic than the paper pennant bunting!

I had a pile of leftover brightly colored scraps of paper that needed to be used! They were telling me how much they wanted to become a pretty pennant bunting! I couldn’t let them down…so I got to work. First I cut them all into little triangles.

 

{I apologize for the slight blur in the pictures, smudged lens!} Then I punched two holes in the top of each triangle. I cut strands of regular curling ribbon and threaded the pennants onto the ribbon. I made the “stitch” show across the front, but you could go either way!

Then I popped it up on the wall with a tiny bit of tape. They look so cute in my hallway, I didn’t want to take them down! But, I think I’ll have to wait to display them until there is a party!

This is a very quick and easy project and it makes great use of the piles of scraps you have lying around. What? You can actually part with your scraps when you finish a project? Oh, well, in that case, hang on to em’ next time…and you’ll have the perfect pieces for a bunting of your own! I’m thinking that my house might need several of these in December for a quick and easy, yet super impactful Christmas makeover!
Happy Pinning! Happy Crafting!!

Homemade Marshmallows!

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I have been wanting to try this again for a long time. The first time I made tried to make marshmallows it was a mess. A big sticky ooey gooey mess. I was literally stuck to my mixer. I’ve been nervous to try again ever since. But – the rustic look of homemade marshmallows that I see all over the internet, make my mouth water so much, I had to try again!

This pin leads back to Smitten Kitchen, a wonderful blog of recipes and inspiration! Reading her account of homemade marshmallows was like reading a page out of my diary. We both had similar first time experiences with the sticky treat – but both had to try again! It made me feel very comfortable attempting her recipe. This recipe calls to add stiff peaked egg whites at the end – which the first recipe I had tried did not.

I got everything ready ahead of time to avoid any last-minute sticky handed disasters! I heavily greased and heavily powder sugared my pan.

Then heated up the water, sugar and corn syrup. This step was challenging because you cannot stir it once it’s boiling, and it has to boil for like 15 minutes. I’m to A.D.D. to sit and stare that long without stirring. So I busied myself with hand beating egg whites into stiff peaks.

Once it reaches 240 – you pour the sugar syrup mix into your waiting mixer. The mixer bowl already has water and gelatin. Stir this in until the gelatin is dissolved {which is like no time since it’s 240 degrees}, then turn the mixer to HIGH for 6ish minutes.

After it looks ready {like marshmallow fluff} you mix in the egg whites and vanilla until just incorporated. Then pour the mix into your prepared pan. Don’t try to scrape your bowl – it’s a big sticky mess. Although, I did help mine along a little with a spoon.

Then you dust the top with more powdered sugar and pop it in the fridge for a few hours. I happily licked my mixer whisk while I waited.

I couldn’t wait the 3 hours – overnight that was suggested. I had to get ready for bed and wanted finished pics of my mallows!! so I pulled them out of the fridge and cut a small square.

One square wasn’t enough – I mean, after all I needed a good pic of them in the bowl to share here with you all!

So so so tasty! Light and creamy and very vanilla-ey, these marshmallows are much better than store bought! It made me want to make some hot coco just to watch one melt on top! Mr. W doesn’t like marshmallows, not even in s’mores, and he loved these!! If you haven’t guessed, I’m someone who loves to bake. So, I happen to have a little container of left over ganache from another project. So, I dipped s few mallows in chocolate to share with my hunny.

Magnificent!! I’m really looking forward to experimenting with these…think pureed raspberries….lemon zest….salted caramel!! The possibilities are endless! I’ll keep you posted on what new flavors I try – since these turned out so well, we’ll be having homemade marshmallow s’mores at my sister’s wedding next month!

Happy Pinning! Happy Baking!!

My Finished Wall!

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Ten days ago I started on a project of painting an accent wall in our living room. The first day was a disaster. So I put it all away and tried again four days later. I spent two hours figuring it out and getting a trial swatch of it up on the wall. Then posted about it here on the 9th. The rest of last week was busy with Board Meetings*, Bridesmaid Dress shopping {finally found one}, Game Night, and a wedding!! Finally Sunday rolled around and I had all morning available to me!

I busted back out the ruler, template, level, pencil, paint and Glee and got back to work.

Hard at work painting over my stenciled lines

Mr. W was helping by taking pictures and then playing video games killing zombies.

Oh yeah – here is the original pin that I was working from!

It took a lot less time than I expected after I really had the hang of it. The small chunk of wall from my first post took me two hours. The rest of the wall only took about three hours.

And with the TV pushed back up against the wall:

Yes, I already told you I was watching Glee! I love the way the wall turned out. I’m glad I went for white on light grey. I think that dark grey with light lines would have been way to busy and dramatic. This is light enough that you don’t really notice it while watching TV. When the sunlight is shining on it, you can’t even really differentiate between the grey and white, so it’s subtle. I love it! and Mr. W finally came around to it as well.

Other great decorating news of the weekend…we finally picked up the hutch I found fell in love with from Craigs List. The sweet gal we picked it up from was very sad to see it go – but I assured her it was going to a long-term loving home.

I’m really looking forward to the whole room coming together and finally being done and HOME!

*Somehow I ended up as Vice President of our Homeowners Association.

Pizza Roll Ups

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I have to admit right off the bat that this next recipe did not come from Pinterest. However, my over all feeling of inspiration and creativity did! And, I will be pinning it to the Pin There Done That board! In my quest for quinoa ingredients earlier this week, I was too distracted at the grocery store to remember that the hubby needed some basics like bread and milk, and when I got home he was not keen on quinoa as a substitute. So, I was back at the store a day later picking up basics and trying to figure out what we were going to have for dinner.

I strolled through the new aisles at Fred Meyer trying to figure out where the cheese lives now, and wandered past the Pilsbury cold case – you know, where they have the break apart cookie dough, biscuits, and the most amazing creation of all time: Crescent Rolls! Immediately I thought “PIZZA ROLLS”. I cannot give credit to whoever originally put the idea in my head because I just don’t remember! It was almost fate – because a few feet down from the crescent rolls was the bag of grated mozzerella, and a few more feet after that, the bags of pepperoni.

Such a simple simple prep and process with AMAZING results.  First roll out your crescent dough. Sprinkle a small layer of cheese on the triangle. Then place three pepperonis down the triangle.


Carefully roll up the crescents, tucking in the pepperoni and cheese as you roll, and arrange evenly spaced on your pan.


Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, or until golden, on 375.


Put em on a plate and eat em!


I made these on a night Mr. W had his friend over to play video games {yes – sometimes it’s like being married to a 14 year old}. They were a huge hit with both boys!! I made them again a few nights later for friends that came over for game night! The first night I went heavy on the cheese thinking it would be good to have lots of layers of it. But, it tasted like all the cheese was in a big globby melty chunk in the middle. It was good – but a little heavy. The second time I went lighter on the cheese and had a much better outcome!

Happy Pinning! Happy Cooking!!