Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Pretzel Wreaths

Christmas is only eight days away and I'm sure everyone is feeling busy so I'll try and keep this DIY short and sweet. All you need is a bag of mini pretzels (I used unsalted, but salted is fine too), a bag of your favorite flavor chocolate chips, sprinkles/candies for topping, and wax paper.

1. Get your ingredients

2. Lay out the pretzels in the shape of a wreath so that the single-loop side is facing outward, and the two-loop sides are touching. For my larger wreaths I used about 9-10 pretzels and the smaller ones used 5-6. You will need the same number of pretzels for the second layer.

3. Place about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips into a heat safe bowl and place over boiling water. Turn the heat onto low and allow the steam to melt the chocolate. 

4. One at a time, dip the two-loop sided pretzel into the chocolate and return to the wreath ring. Continue until the entire first layer is dipped. 

5. Then start the second layer and place the pretzels so that they overlap. While the chocolate is still soft, decorate with your toppings and place in the fridge.

Just a tip, arrange the pretzels on top of wax paper placed on a plate so moving it into the fridge is easier! 
Let set in fridge for about 3 hours then package so they are not exposed to air and go stale! 
This is a great treat to give to others or just enjoy with your family!

Dark Chocolate mini wreath with Reese's Peanut Butter cups

Large wreath with Dark Chocolate and Sprinkles

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Puppy

We picked up our puppy yesterday and our family is so excited to have her here! Her name is Noelle and she is eleven weeks old. She is cozy and sweet with her new Christmas toy. I am so glad to be at home, too... done with another semester. Now, I will finally have time to do some crafting for Christmas presents! I hope to post some as soon as I finish so check back soon or watch my Pinterest board!

& Only 10 days 'til Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DIY Reindeer

DIY Christmas Reindeer Head
Happy Advent everyone! As we start the countdown to Christmas (along with my chocolate advent calendar, thanks mom!) I am getting more and more excited for December 25th everyday. I can not wait for exams to be over so I can focus all my energy on Christmas :).

Here's a great way to use those leftover shipping boxes to add a little festivity to your place. The template is from good housekeeping and you'll need an exacto knife for the project, and a little patience. The template prints perfectly onto standard printer paper so just cut out the shapes, trace onto cardboard with a pencil, then exacto knife those lines. Glue the pieces together following the directions from Good Housekeeping. I spray painted mine gold to give it a little extra sparkle.

Antho Inspired Mason Snowglobes

Anthropologie Snow Globes $28.00

DIY Anthro Inspired Mason Jar Snow Globes
Here's another anthro inspired christmas-crafting post. These little jars retail at anthropologie from $18-$40 and I made mine for about $4. The trees and snow are both from Wal-Mart and I bought the Mason Jars in a pack of 12. The anthro snow globes use a powder as snow, and I think I might get some to add on top of the snow fluff so when you shake it there is some snow in there! Hope you all love these whimsical holiday decorations because they are so easy to make and would make great little gifts!

Here's what you'll need:

A glass Jar
Fake Trees (or figurines)
Fake snow
Hot glue gun

Glue your trees of figurines to the inside of the lid. Use something as a base if you want them up a little higher. Glue a thin layer of fake snow on the lid to cover the base. Keep adding fake snow until its up as high as you like it. Throw in the powder (if you'd like) and then put on the lit with everything glued on. Seal the jar and enjoy your winder wonderland in a jar.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Anthro-Inspired Letter Ornaments

Letter Tags from Anthropologie $3 for one

Over Thanksgiving I went into Anthropologie and fell in love with their Christmas decorations. The prices... not so much! So I found a way to recreate some of them at home. The first post is an anthro-inspired letter clay ornament/gift tag.

My homemade clay letter ornaments

You'll need:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees F. Mix ingredients into small pot and heat over medium-high heat for about 5-10 minutes. The consistency will become thick, so keep stirring the mixture. 

2. After it is thick and smooth, remove from heat and place into a heat-safe bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow to cool. My mixture was extremely sticky so feel free to add more cornstarch if necessary.

3. After cooling for about 20 minutes roll out mixture (just like you would for cookie dough) and cut out desired shapes. I had to use even more cornstarch to keep everything from sticking.

4. Use a straw to poke holes for string. You can also use a stamp to create images on the uncooked clay. Place on wax paper in heated oven and bake each side for 30 minutes. If your shapes are thick, they will probably need an extra 10 minutes. 

5. Allow to cool and dust off any remaining cornstarch. Decorate with pens or sharpie. 

I made 18 small ornaments with the clay and had some left over. These will look great attached to my Christmas present gift tags and a great keepsake for the recipient. Hope you enjoy!

Here are some other ideas for home made clay ornaments that I love (and might just have to try on a second batch!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Using Glittered Paper for an Easy DIY Glitter Mug

Finally made a glitter mug!!! I first saw this tutorial on pinterest using a Starbucks cup but it was way too complicated (and expensive)! I found this mug on sale at Target  for $5 and it was actually made to put your own image  inside. Instead of dealing with glue and lots of glitter, I bought a sheet of already glittered paper from Michael's ($1 with coupon) and cut out the template  for the 16oz aladdin tumblr. They had tons of cute colors and even had polka dot glittered paper. So now I got my mug and saved time and money, yay! Check out this site for TONS of other glitter ideas... Click Here! I really want to try number 16 to make holiday candles.

DIY Minnie Mouse Costume

Happy (almost) Halloween everyone! I found my costume wandering around Marshall's the other weekend when I stumbled upon a silky red and white polka dot tank for $10. It just looked so Minnie Mouse I figured I could easily make it into a costume. I already had a black skirt and heels to go with it so the only other piece I needed was her ears. You can always just wear a red or black dress/skirt/top and put them with the ears for an instant costume! I got the headband from Target (2 for $1) and the felt and ribbon from Michael's craft stores ($4). 

I used a cup to trace the circles onto the back of the peel-and-stick felt. Connect the two circles with a rectangle, which will hold them onto your headband (the larger the headband, the bigger your rectangle will have to be). After you cut out the template, align the ears onto the headband, the rectangle sticking to your headband, and fold the ears over onto each other. It was hard to align them perfectly so I just did the best I could and it turned out fine :). If you have ribbon, tie a bow onto the center in between the ears and hot glue the ribbon so it won't come undone. (I found a tutorial on YouTube to learn how to tie the bow).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Decorating My Apartment Bedroom

Here are some pictures from my apartment. I nailed the pallet shelf above my desk and added my chevron mirrors to add a little pop. I replaced my closet door with the ruffle curtain to open up space. The overhead light is pretty harsh so I like to soften it up with the twinkly lights and my desk lamp. The wooden picture frame was made by my boyfriend and I painted it to match the color scheme. Hope you all enjoy! 

Pumpkins, Apples, and Markets.. Oh My!

I love all these pictures because they are so perfectly fall! The pumpkins the wood and all of the autumn goodies. I also got to go apple picking and I can't wait to try to bake my very first apple pie.

Now, the last matter of business is to carve a pumpkin. I love these two stencils and I hope I can find time to carve some pumpkins this weekend!

Owl pumpkin template from HGTV

Find cute kitty printable template here!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Happy First Day of Fall!

Fall is my absolute favorite season, so to celebrate I had to make some pumpkin goodness :) Found the recipe from Good Housekeeping and made some small adjustment! Hope you enjoy them and happy fall!!

1 cup light brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 mashed banana
1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (and some for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray pan with non-stick spray.

In large bowl, with wire whisk, combine brown sugar and egg whites. Add pumpkin, oil, yogurt, and vanilla extract and mashed banana; stir to combine.

In medium bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. 

Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir until just combined. Do not overmix.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake muffins 15 minutes (45 to 50 minutes for a bread loaf). Cool in pan 10 minutes.

I used cupcake liners, but they stuck to the muffins... so don't use them :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy and Fit French Toast

Tuesday was pouring down rain so I decided to cuddle up with a book before class. In that book, they made french toast and it reminded me how my mom used to make french toast forever ago, and I couldn't even remember the last time I ate it. I didn't even remember how to make it... so, obviously I had to change that!

I used Nature's Own whole grain bread slices (4 at 50 cal each)
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 egg white
2 teaspoons cinnamon

I topped mine with half of a banana, some powdered sugar, and light syrup. 

Whisk almond milk, cinnamon, and egg white into a 9x9 pan. Place 2 bread slices into liquid and dip both sides for about 10 seconds. Let excess liquid drip before placing it on a heated skillet. Skillet should be on medium-high heat and allow each side to cook for about 2 minutes. Repeat steps for last 2 slices, top with fruit or syrup (maybe even Greek yogurt?), and enjoy!

 I'm obsessed with anything green tea so Greenberry's green tea bubble tea is so perfect for me! I went last week and they were out of bubbles! Rude. Anyways, I went back this weekend and got my bubble tea and it was amazing...just thought I'd share my little study treat with you all :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Frozen S'mores Pie

Hey all! I've really missed posting to my blog and I'm SO happy to finally have some time to put up a post! Trying to move into my apartment and starting new classes I have been swamped. The days have been getting chillier and chillier and although I love autumn, I thought the perfect was to kiss summer good-bye is with a frozen S'mores pie.

Here's what you'll need:
-Graham crackers
-Mini marshmallows
-Chocolate chips
-Your favorite ice cream

Instead of making graham cracker crust, I just laid out whole graham cracker halves to cover the bottom of the pan (it would work great in a square pan!) Next sprinkle a layer of marshmallows and then a layer of chocolate chips and pop them in the oven or into the microwave until the marshmallows start to puff up or brown. 
While it's cooling, take your ice cream out of the freezer to let it thaw. Once it's soft enough, use a spatula and scoop a layer of ice cream over the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Cover with foil and let it set in the freezer for a few hours. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

I also thought I would include these adorable turtle cupcakes that a friend made for a meeting. She made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and sour watermelon slices, life savor gummies, Dots, and candy eyes she found in the baking aisle. Cute and delicious! Thanks Jessie!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

DIY Pallet Shelf

 Hey everyone! I'm super excited to post this because I've been working on this pallet shelf for quite some time now and it's finally complete! We started with a plain pallet board and turned it into two shelves and shelf for books.
It took alot of nail removal and sawing to get from this to this....
Stained pallets and Parker's finished pallet with hooks...
After the stain was put on, I realized I really didn't like the color. It was perfect for Parker but too guy-ish for my style. I played around with just leaving it or sanding it down but then I found a tutorial on how to distress painted wood here. I painted them white and distressed it using coarse sand paper and a little bit of steel wool.

Happy with the color and distressing, I went along and started to decorate the pallet. I bought four hooks to hang mason jar lights with at Lowe's for $1.18.

I used wire to hang the jars. They all weren't the same size but I liked how they looked more vintage!
Closer look at the distress/antiqued wood

Now all that's left to do is hang it in my apartment!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Apartment Ideas

I will be moving into my first apartment at the end of August and I'm super excited to finally put all my ideas into place (hopefully they will all come together). My walls are white and I don't plan on painting them to save myself of having to paint them back white when I move out. I need to find lots of ways to brighten up the small space with pops of color. 

I'd love you put some twinkly lights with some lanterns or tissue flowers

Due to the lack of space, I'm going to need lots of practical storage options. I have a bookshelf that will help open up some space storing books, etc. but I'm still looking for ideas on how to upgrade the plain light brown wood. These are some storage ideas for the walls and the shelves:

Now for the curtains... I have a fairly large closet but the closet door is massive. When the door is open, you can hardly walk in the room. So to fix this problem I'm taking down the door, storing it under the bed, and putting up curtains to hide the mess of clothes. Because this curtain is more textured I'm not sure what curtains I should do over the windows... hmm, any ideas?

These are the curtains I bought

This was my inspiration

I also don't have a headboard so to add some decoration above my bed, I'm going to hang (very securely!) a pallet shelf. I've already made it and painted it.. but that's going to be it's own post! On the bottom I'm going to hang mason jars and place candles in them for some light. I'm going to distress the painted pallet and maybe add some vintage-looking knobs to hang the lights from.

For the bathroom my roommate and I were considering a nautical theme. Here are some ideas were playing with (but in our own patterns and colors, of course!) 

And last but not least, some kitchen ideas. 

Polka dot plates!
which I will be monogramming, of course

Please comment with any ideas or suggestions for color schemes or storage options or just anything really! Hope you enjoyed some of my apartment ideas :)