Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Question, Broken Camera, and Almond Roca Cookie Bars

I have a quick question.  Whenever I check my blog, 99.9% of the time I am on my laptop and the blog layout looks fine to me but last week I was on someone else's computer checking my blog and the layout was all over the place.  Everything on my sidebar was at the bottom of the page.  Is that how it looks to you?  If  so what web browser do you use?  I use Mozilla and I noticed the two other computers I was on use Internet Explorer.  I'm just curious if the type of web browser had anything to do with it.

 Another thing...I kind of feel like throwing a fit (is that allowed at 25?).  McKinley broke my camera!  I just bought it this summer.  It was my own fault for letting her play with it.  It was just a point and shoot camera, but it was a relatively nice point and shoot. Oh well, what's done is done.  I just don't feel like buying a third camera this year!

Onto the good stuff (with the terrible cell phone picture)....Almond Roca Cookie Bars!

My mom would make these around Christmas time and they were my favorite holiday treat.  The best part is they are easy to make!  I hope you like them.
Almond Roca Cookie Bars

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 beaten egg yolk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
chocolate chips
crushed almonds or walnuts

Cream together butter and sugars, mix everything else in but chocolate chips and nuts.  Press onto a greased cookie sheet (it will be a very thin layer and the dough consistency will be similar to play dough).  Bake at 350 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until golden.  Pull out of the oven and while it's still semi hot sprinkle on chocolate chips, it doesn't take that much (maybe 1/2 a bag).  As the chips melt spread them with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle on nuts.  Let cool and cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Since I am busy and camera-less I think I am going to have to say Merry Christmas already!  I hope it's a good one for you.  See you after the holiday!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Braided Rosette Tutorial

 I actually made this a few months ago but I decided it screamed Christmas to me and so I saved it for now.  So in case you were, I didn't make McKinley sit outside in capris and a t-shirt in the middle of December! ;0)

-knit fabric
-felt scraps
-3/8" ribbon
-alligator clip
-pearls or other embellishments (optional)
-hot glue gun

 1-Take 3 strips of knit fabric about 1/2" wide and however long you'd like the longer it is the bigger the rosette (I guess that's obvious).  For my fabric I used an XXXL shirt I got at Walmart on clearance for $1.00....score!  It's a great way to get fabric for cheap!
2-Stretch the fabric so the ends curl up.  Tie it in a knot at the end.
3-Braid it together and tie a knot on the end.
4-Cut off the unbraided ends close to the knot.  Take a small square of felt put a large dot of hot glue.  Quickly, coil up the braid and stick it right onto the hot glue.
 5-Keep winding the fabric around, gluing as you go.
6-When you near the end of your braid, trim the felt to right up against the rosette.
7-Hot glue the last bit of braid.
8-Glue the end to the back of your rosette.
 9-This pictures just shows that I obviously just took to many unessecary pictures for such a simple project!
10-If you want a "leaf" glue together the ends of a small piece of ribbon.
11-Glue to the back of your rosette.  Glue a small circle of felt on top of that to cover up your mess.
12-Attach to to a covered alligator clip (see my other tutorial HERE for tips) and you can be done if you'd like or...
 add some pearls!
Now all you need to do is attach it to a cute little lady!

If you want one but don't want to make one yourself, you can purchase one in my shop, just look to your right. I will be linking to a few of these places.  Check them out for more fun ideas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Did you notice?

Did you notice to my right?  I finally did it.  I finally opened a shop!  I need to support my crazy crafting habit somehow.  I thought I better hurry up and do it because I made Christmas pajamas to sell and I don't think anyone will want them if I had waited until after Christmas to do it! ;o)

So as a big thank you to everyone who visits my silly blog and leaves nice comments and everything I wanted to offer you a 15% discount on anything in the shop until December 15th, just enter the promo code POSIES.  Here's some of the things you will find...

and there will be lots more of these little things as well...
some candy cane striped ones...
and of course lots of flat out girly ones...
they're not your average pants...they have ruffles!  Everything is better with ruffles!

I have a lot more to add to the shop that is already made but I still need to take pictures and upload them.  I decided all those Etsy sellers earn every penny they get.  By the time you go pick out fabric, make the thing, take pictures, load it to Etsy and once it sells box it up and mail it off, I think I will have made more money per hour back in my babysitting days! Ha ha!  Just kidding...kind of. :o)  Even with all that said I am super excited!

Thanks for all your support!

Don't forget your 15% off code.  Go take a peek at the shop HERE.
Ok, it's wayyyyy past my bedtime!  Until next time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Doughnuts

 I got this recipe from our family cookbook from my Aunt Carol.  It's their family tradition to make doughnuts on the first snowfall every year.  I have been wanting to create some family traditions of my own, so I thought I would adopt theirs and try it out. My sister tried them and loved them and I am so glad I did too, because they are delicious! 

These have a wonderful texture and I am guessing it comes from the potato flakes they have in them.  I know... potato flakes in doughnuts?  Strange, but good. 

Homemade Doughnuts

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup instant potato flakes
2/3 cup instant powdered milk
2 1/2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp. Yeast
2 eggs, beaten
5 1/2-6 cups flour
cooking oil
In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, salt, potato flakes and powdered milk.  Pour in hot water.  Sprinkle in yeast over top and allow to get foamy.  Mix in beaten eggs.  Mix in flour (just enough to make a stiff dough).  Cover bowl with clean towel and let rise until doubled in size.  When it's double in size punch it down.  Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Roll out dough onto a well floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out with doughnut cutter or do like I did and find things to use as a doughnut cutter like these....

  an ice cream sundae cup and a baby bottle for the hole!  It worked perfect!
 Let dough rise again uncovered.
Heat cooking oil to about 375 degrees.  I happen to have an electric deep skillet and it tells me exactly what temperature it is, but you can just use a pan on the stove.  You can test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a small amount of dough.  It should float if it's ready and should brown in about 60 seconds. 
Only fry 2 doughnuts at a time.  Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides, turning once.  

I would suggest doing a test run with your first doughnut to make sure you are cooking them how you like them.  I didn't really do this at first and so the first few doughnuts weren't cooked to my liking as you can see below some of them were kind of burned!  If the oil is too hot they will be doughy on the inside, if the oil temperature is too low than they can be really greasy.

When the doughnut is golden on both sides, take it out with some tongs and allow the excess oil to drain back into the skillet.  Place on a plate with several layers of paper towels underneath to help soak up the extra oil. 
 Now for the fun part...icing the doughnuts.  You can frost them however you would like. We made a vanilla glaze, chocolate frosting, and also added some toasted coconut on some and sprinkles on the others...yummy!  The vanilla glaze recipe came from my Aunt and the chocolate frosting I think I found from  Both recipes couldn't be more simple.

Chocolate Satin Frosting

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
6 tbsp. buttter
1/2 tsp. vanilla.

I just put everything in a pyrex bowl (big enough to dunk the doughnuts in) and microwaved it in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it was smooth...easy, easy, easy!

Vanilla Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and pour over doughnuts.  Easy, easy, easy!

I'm all about making food look pretty if I can.  I know, I'm crazy and if you are crazy like me then make sure you just dunk your doughnuts into the chocolate frosting rather than using a knife to spread it on so you have that pretty smooth finish!  :)
 Once the chocolate cooled a bit I then dunked them into a pile of toasted coconut.  If you want sprinkles then add it while it's still warm so they'll stick.
 ooooh doughnuts....
 The vanilla glaze I just poured over top.  I am usually a chocolate girl but I think these were actually my favorite!  So simple but so good!
Aren't they pretty?  These would be fun to make them for the neighbors and take them over while they're still warm.  It's a good thing the first snowfall only happens once a year otherwise these things could be lethal.  I believe in all things in moderation....including doughnuts!

I'll be linking to some of these places.  Check them out for more fun ideas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wordle Subway Art

Have you discovered Wordle? It's a website where you can make subway art for free and you don't have to be all tech savvy or anything to use it?  I made this one in a couple minutes.  I'm not actually going to use this one for anything, but I just wanted to try it out.  

This website would be perfect if you're into Subway art for seasonal decorating.  Wouldn't it be fun to make a Christmas themed one and put it in a frame? 

Make sure you check out the FAQ section before you do it.  It explains how to make one word larger than the other and how to save it.  It's super simple....SWEET!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Card

Here is a Christmas card I made last year.  It's almost embarrassing to post cards on here because I am not into scrapbooking at all, so mine are never anything too fancy compared to some of the one's you see out there.  I did however break down and buy a stamp and some glitter stuff (what's that stuff called, embossing?) for this one because I couldn't resist the thought of a sparkly snowflake!

I just can't get into scrapbooking.  If I scrapbooked, I think it would take me all day to make one page and I would spend a small fortune on each page so I just don't do it!

I'm hoping to make a few more cards this year to make up for my lack of handmade gifts.  I know, can you believe it? I have a craft blog and I am not going wild with making everybody something handmade.  Hopefully a few things will get done at least...we'll see.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

I love these things! I think they are surprisingly delicious.  I make them to take to parties and things around this time of year and I think everyone passes by them thinking they are plain old almonds but once they taste them they are always surprised and love them!  Without fail someone asks for the recipe. They remind me of the nuts they sell in the mall around Christmas time.  I buy my almonds in bulk at Costco because I know we will be making lots of these at this time of the year.  The best part about them is they are quick to make.  My oven takes ten minutes to preheat and in that amount of time I can have these ready for the oven from start to finish!  The original recipe came from but I made changes to just about everything it calls for and added more ingredients as well.  I hope you love them like I do!   

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

 Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Lightly beat egg white, add vanilla and beat until soft peaks form.  Add nuts and stir until well coated.  In a gallon size zip-lock bag shake together (you may want to seal the bag first :o) the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until well mixed.  Add almonds and seal bag again and shake up until the almonds are all coated.  Spread almonds evenly onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (I cover my pan in tin foil first and then grease it so there is no clean up!) .  Bake for one hour stirring every fifteen minutes or so.

These make great neighbor gifts because they're something a little different.  I used plastic icing bags and filled them up and tied them off with a ribbon and they're the perfect size.  Not too much and not so little that you look cheap!  Ha ha.  Tell me if you try them because I know you will love them!

I will be linking up to some of these places.  Check them out for more fun ideas! 

Origami Gift Box

This is a little gift box I made last year.  It just takes two, 12x12 sheets of paper and a little cardstock and some ribbon to finish it off!  It's the perfect size to to store homemade caramels or something yummy.  Go here for the tutorial!

I will be linking up to some of these places check them out for more fun ideas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Elf Stockings

Image Source

McKinley doesn't have a Christmas stocking and I want to make her one this year.  I found this tutorial for these elf stockings from Sew 4 Home and I think it would be perfect!  I want to make it shorter and fatter and add a jingle bell to the toe.  Sew 4 Home also just posted a tutorial for these stockings...

Image Source

I love the pom poms!  You can find the tutorial here.  Which do you like better?  Why is it that I feel like I have already ran out of time to start projects like this when we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet? 

Now, all I need is a mantle to hang them!  Maybe I will just have to build one like Mandi did (umm yeah, that's not going to happen, but it would be nice ;0).  Check it out here and while you are there check out her other amazing projects!  I love the wall of mirrors.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

I got this recipe from my sister, who I believe got it from our cousin, who got it from her piano teacher,  Did you follow that?  This was once one of those "secret" recipes that the teacher wouldn't give out but she would make it for you if you wanted some.  The secret's out now!  This syrup is very rich and has a caramel taste to it, so much so, that I think it should be called caramel syrup instead of buttermilk syrup.  

I will warn you though, I would save this recipe for special occasions, otherwise you are going to be making it every weekend and end up packing on some major pounds!  I made them to go with these pancakes and it was good, almost too good.  I could have licked my plate clean!

Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (see substitute below)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium sized saucepan (make sure it's not too small, the syrup expands when you add the baking soda) combine butter, sugar and buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, you can use a substitute by filling a measuring cup with a 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and fill to the 1/2 cup mark with regular milk).  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat and mix in vanilla, baking soda and salt.  For a thicker more caramel like syrup, before removing from heat, continue to boil until you get the desired consistency.  Serve and enjoy!
I will be linking to some of these places, go check them out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet Sally

She arrived on my doorstep a couple days ago and I can't wait to make her part of the family!  I had been borrowing my mom's serger to make all those pants, but I don't need to steal hers anymore!  I am super excited.  It's nothing fancy.  It's the Brother 1034D and they are really quite inexpensive as far as sergers go, but I'm still in love!

P.S. I will show you that kitchen makeover I promised, I just need to get some pictures first!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Living Room Makeover: Before and After

I just got back from visiting my family and I thought I would share my mom's living room overhaul she did a while back.  I couldn't find much of a before picture.  These two pictures were the best I could find.  You'll have to try hard to look past the adorable cowboy in the picture and just focus on the old style, matchy-matchy stuff in the room.

 This one was taken Christmas day after we opened presents and made a mess of the place!
 And here is the after...
 Ta da!!! Love it!

All the decor before was not at all her style and hadn't been for a long, long time but it's hard to get rid of something when it's still in perfect condition.  It just seems wasteful.  That's why I love KSL Classifieds (if only more people in Southern UT would use it) and Craigslist.  Your unwanted stuff is bound to be someone else's style no matter how old it is.  She sold eveything in the room on KSL and used that money to redecorate.  She only spent $500.00 out of pocket which isn't a lot when you look at all the furniture and accessories she got.  The only thing that isn't new in the room is the tree in the corner.
The leather chairs she found on KSL.  They were brand new. Overstock's warehouse is in Salt Lake and sometimes they sell some of their stuff on KSL and that's where she got the chairs and the coffee table.  She also saved on pillows by making many of them herself.
 She found the armoire from KSL as well. It was originally a plain oak and so she painted and scuffed it up a bit.  If you hadn't already noticed from the before picture, she has crazy high ceilings so to bring some coziness to the room she brought the ceiling down by adding some molding and filled it in with the same chocolate-y paint color used on the other walls.
 She got the couch for a really good deal and found the clock at Tai Pan on the damaged isle (my favorite isle in the whole store) for 75% because some of the paint chipped off.  She just added some paint on top and you would never be able to tell.  The little chest of drawers was cheap because it's laminate so she got out her trusty can of spray paint and gave it a more custom look.  My favorite part of the room has to be that awesome paint job on that wall.  She used a faux painting technique called Bellagio.  Here you can find out how to do it yourself.  It looks amazing and it's pretty easy!
 It gives a really cool texture to the room as well.
 Directly across the room is the front entrance where she hung a cool antique barn window (also found on KSL) and used it as a frame to hold pictures of all her grandkids.
I think she did an amazing job, don't you? Next I'll have to show you her kitchen makeover she just finished while I was there.  I will be linking up to some of these places check them out for more ideas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I can't wait...

I have been off playing at my mom's house and I have some fantastic things to show you, including my mom's kitchen and living room makeover!  I will post pictures next week.  I hope you have an awesome weekend!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Itty Bitty Mermaid, Kinley's Halloween Costume

McKinley was a little mermaid for Halloween.  Notice, I didn't say the little mermaid, that would require her to actually wear the red wig I got for her that for some reason she is completely terrified of.  If she even sees it, she cries.
Wouldn't this picture of her sitting on a rock be perfect if the rock was in the middle of the ocean and not in the middle of my backyard?  If only I had some good photoshop skills and wasn't lazy! I used this wonderful tutorial from Elegant Bloggery for her tail.  It was really fast to make.  The part that took the longest was adding the fray check.

I never did get a good shot of her standing up to show you the tail. This picture shows the front but was taken before I decided to cinch the tube top in the middle and add a little bling (not to draw attention to her cleavage or anything :0).  I also got some tan dye to color the onesie to make it look more like skin but I never got around to actually doing it!

I just had to post this picture because I have a big case of momma pride.  I love this beautiful, blue-eyed girl and have a hard time resisting posting hundreds of pictures because in each one she's doing a slightly different smile or whatever (I know, I know she is totally my first and only child!). ;o)  Don't worry.  I don't want to turn into one of those people you pass by that pulls you in and takes out their wallet and forces you to sit through hours of looking through family photos.  I will try and resist and only post a few!  I hope you had a happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What I've been up to...

I've been making lots of these little things.  I will be opening up a shop soon to sell these sassy, little pants.

I'm also finishing up Kinley's Halloween costume.  She is going to be adorable!  I can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Knot" your average knot.

If you do any sewing at all, you will want to know how to do this knot.  It will change your life!  Ok, maybe that was a little (ok, very) dramatic, but it's a good knot to know!  It makes tying a knot so much easier/faster for me.  Click here for the quick tutorial from Heather Bailey.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I realize there is no shortage of recipes for these floating around out there but I want to put all my favorite recipes on this blog.  I got this recipe from my sister-in-law, I think this may even be my mother-in-laws recipe, I'm not sure.  This recipe makes a ton.  It made about 7 dozen cookies.  I made them on Saturday night and they are already all gone!  No, I did not eat them all. ;o)  You can always cut the recipe down or you can just make them all and share them like I did.

I have had the kind of pumpkin cookies that you make just by mixing a spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin and I like those too but I like these ones a little better so I've stuck with this recipe when I need a lot of cookies like I did this weekend.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 7 dozen

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 large (29 oz) can pumpkin

7 1/2 cups flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. baking soda
1 T. nutmeg
1 T. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
 1 bag chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin.  In a separate bowl mix together remaining dry ingredients (except chocolate chips).  Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Spoon batter onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Felt Flower Clips Tutorial

This is the tutorial I posted for the blog swap the other day but I also wanted to have it here.  So in case you missed it, here it is...

Need to add some sass to your little lady's hair?  A couple of these should do the trick...

Gather your supplies:
-2 small felt squares, one slightly bigger than the other (mine measured 2" squared and 1 3/4" squared)
-one piece of, 3/8" wide ribbon cut to 3 1/2'' long (grosgrain ribbon works well)
-some sort of "bling" for the middle of your flower (I used a rhinestone)
-double prong alligator clip (you can get these for pretty cheap at beauty supply stores, I found mine at Sally's I got 100 clips for about $5.00)
-hot glue gun
-hot glue
-non slip shelf liner, optional (I got mine at the dollar store)

1-Heat seal your ribbon (to prevent fraying) by running the ends through the flame of your candle.
2-Sandwich your ribbon between the prongs of your clip, right side facing down.
3-Run a string of hot glue on top of the prong where the ribbon is.
4-Quickly fold the ribbon up and over the top prong.  Pinch the ribbon together to smooth out the glue.  Be careful, the glue is hot!  Remove any excess glue.
5-Continue gluing on ribbon and smoothing it out as you go.  Do just a little bit at a time until you reach the end of your ribbon.

6-Round the corners of your felt, forming two circles.  It doesn't need to be perfect.
7-Cut a slit in the middle as shown in picture.
8-Cut a slit on the opossite side of your last one.  Do the same to the other side.  You will end up with 4 slits.
9-Round all the corners.  This forms your petals.
10-Glue it all together.  Make sure your smaller flower is on top.
11-Glue your flower onto the center of your clip and now you're done!....unless you want to add some "no slip grip" if you're making this for a little lady with fine hair.

12- cut a rectangle of your shelf liner slightly smaller than the base of your clip.
13-Glue on the shelf liner to the back of the top of your clip.
14-Now you are done!  It can now grip onto the finest of baby hair, even a single piece of thread.
15-Repeat steps 1-14 and attach to some cute pigtails.  I love those little whale spouts!

I also made a pair of these to match the "I Scream" onesie I made.

I will be linking to some of these parties.  Check them out for more crafty ideas!
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