Saturday, November 14, 2015

Locket Watch


Well I got this idea from my favorite website...Pinterest!! I bought an old watch at little antique booth in Fredericksburg and then I ordered this teeny tiny little picture. I popped off the back of the watch, traced the circular piece onto the picture, cut out the picture, and put it inside the watch. I just love my new bracelet/locket/watch!!  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ironing Board/Chalk Board


My friend's mom gave me this awesome wooden ironing board! I painted it with a few layers of chalk paint and then started decorating!! Once my drawing was complete, I sprayed over the ironing board with hair spray. I read that hair spray helps stop the chalk from smearing, but that it will still wipe off with a wet rag. 





Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fall Wreath 2


This years fall wreath!! I LOVE it!! I had some friends over for a wine and wreath night. It was sssoo much fun...plus I had a pretty wreath at the end of the night!! I made a burlap wreath following the same directions from last year. Here's the link with directions from last year: Fall Wreath 2014

This year I did something a little different. Instead of hot gluing the items onto the wreath, I attached them using wire. Now I can reuse the wreath by removing the items and adding new items each season!! I'm thankful for the old lady at Walmart who taught me that trick!! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins



Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
15 oz pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the cheesecake filling:

12 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a mini-muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Fold in the pumpkin puree and set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and nutmeg.
  4. Combine the flour mixture with the pumpkin mixture. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, egg, and vanilla. Continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
  6. Scoop the cream cheese mixture into a quart size zip-lock bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal the bag, and cut off one of the bottom corners (don't cut to much though).
  7. Scoop the pumpkin mixture into a gallon size zip-lock bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal the bag, and cut off one of the bottom corners (don't cut to much though).
  8. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into the mini-muffin cups until each cup is 3/4 full.
  9. Pipe the cream cheese mixture on top of the pumpkin mixture until each cup is almost full. 
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container and refrigerate.


I got this recipe from The Lovely Little Kitchen


Friday, July 31, 2015

$9 Wreath


My new wreath!! It was definitely time for a change and I'm loving my new wreath!! I bought chevron burlap ($2 on sale at Walmart), white flowers ($2 at Walmart), black "L" ($2 sale at Hobby Lobby), and a natural grapevine wreath ($3 Hobby Lobby with coupon). 

I started by making my burlap bow. I cut a 5 inch by 2 inch rectangle piece of burlap.  I folded the piece into thirds and glued it together using my hot glue gun. I set this piece to the side, until I was ready to glue my bow together.

I then folded my remaining burlap to make the bow, see photo below:

Next I pinched the center together to form the bow. I did this several times until I found a length I liked. Once I found the size I wanted, I used the rectangle piece of burlap to glue the bow together. I wrapped it around the center and glued it together in the back. Here's my finished bow:

 Next I glued the bow into place, followed by the white flowers, and black "L". This project was super easy and it was fairly cheap!! 



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blueberry Cookies


I picked some blueberries yesterday and decided to try out some new recipes!! Elfie, from my parent's church, was nice enough to call us and give us this recipe!! It's so yummy, I already want to make more!!

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup flour
Instant Vanilla Pudding (Small Box)
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, instant vanilla pudding, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar and brown sugar. Cream together the sugar mixture and butter. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Slowly combine the flour mixture.
  5. Once everything is combined, fold in the walnuts and blueberries.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes at 375 or until golden brown. Original recipe calls for 1/3 cup of cookie dough for each cookie, but feel free to make them smaller.

Blueberry Delight


It's summer time, time for some Blueberry Delight!! This stuff is amazing and has a wonderful blueberry taste!! The only issue with this recipe is it calls for four cups of blueberries. Fresh blueberries are the best, but if you get them from the store they can get expensive. Luckily, I was visiting my family in Michigan where I could pick some fresh blueberries for cheap!! I picked about 6 pounds of blueberries for $8 at a U-Pick Blueberries Farm in Benton Harbor, Michigan (3209 E. Empire St). Here's a photo of the blueberries I picked:

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour

Filling Ingredients:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz Cool Whip

Topping Ingredients:

4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup sugar, divided
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Directions:


  1. Combine crust ingredients. Spread in a 9x13inch pan for 15 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled crust.
  3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water and 2 cups of the blueberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and translucent. Crush some of the blueberries as they cook. 
  4. Remove from heat and add remaining sugar and blueberries. Cool.
  5. Spread over cream cheese filling and chill.  


Monday, June 22, 2015

Hand Stamped Bracelet


I see all sorts of metal stamping crafts on Etsy and Pinterest...so I decided it was time I make an investment in a metal stamping kit!! So far I can say...it's a lot harder than it looks!! It's hard to get the letters straight and sometimes it's hard to get the letters to make a mark. Hopefully I get better with practice because I just love all of the ideas I see on pinterest!! 



1) Tape the piece down to your bench block (big metal block available at craft store).


2) Write the words down to help guide you as your stamping. It provides a good outline!


3) Place your stamp in the proper place and make sure it's facing the right direction. Then give it a few hits with your ball peen hammer.



4) Use a sharpie to trace over the marks you've made.




5) Wipe off the excess sharpie using a lysol wipe.





6)Wrap the cord around.






7) Tighten the end caps.





8) You're done!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

DIY: Painted Tank Top


Made this tank top last week and I love it!! I bought a plain tank top at a thrift store for $2. I wanted something cheap in case I messed it up. I can honestly say this project is super easy, so don't worry about messing up a nice shirt.

Supplies Needed

Tank Top or T-shirt (nothing to stretchy)
Freezer Paper
X-acto Knife
Card board
Iron
Black Fabric Paint
Sponge Brush
Pen

Directions

  • Draw your design onto the mat side of the freezer paper. You can also try printing a design onto the freezer paper, again print to the mat side.
  • Cut out the design using the X-acto Knife. Be careful not to throw away any of the small pieces (inside of an "a" or inside of an "e", etc). You'll need these small pieces for the stencil!!
  • Lay your stencil over the shirt. Make sure it's centered and the wax side is down.
  • Iron on the large part of the stencil. I did the little pieces last (inside of an "a" or inside of "e", etc).
  • Place a piece of cardboard inside your shirt. Very important so your design doesn't bleed through.
  • Use the sponge brush to paint your design onto the shirt.
  • Remove the freezer paper. It might be hard to remove some of the smaller pieces, if so grab a pair of tweezers.

 Yes, I made another tank top!! It's just so easy to do!! I get a ton of compliments and no one can tell I've painted the shirts myself. It looks like I bought them!! Can't wait to make some more soon!! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Patrick's Pineapple Pie


Well this is the famous Patrick's Pineapple Pie Recipe!! My cousin started making this YEARS ago and it's still a family favorite!! 

Ingredients:
small box of instant vanilla pudding 
8 oz sour cream
8 oz crushed pineapple in own juice
graham cracker crust
cool whip

Directions: Mix the instant vanilla pudding packet, sour cream, and pineapple. Scoop into graham cracker crust and top with cool whip. BAM...refrigerate for a few hours and you're done!! 



Monday, May 4, 2015

Cabinets Refurbished into Picture Frames


Here's my latest project!! 


I went to Round Top Antiques a few weeks ago with one of my friends and these were my AWESOME finds!! I decided to take the old cabinets on the left and chalk paint them white. I'd never used DIY chalk paint, so I did a lot of reading beforehand. FYI...there are a ton of chalk paint recipes out there!! Here are the results of the first three recipes I tried:


Definitely not having luck with the DIY chalk paint. The whole purpose of chalk paint is it doesn't require any prep work and it doesn't require a lot of layers....so clearly my recipes were NOT working!! I eventually called a friend who gave me her recipe:

1 1/2 cups Paint
1/2 cup Hot Water
1/2 cup Plaster of Paris

Dissolve the Plaster of Paris with the hot water. Stir well and then add the paint.

My friends recipe still took me about 3 coats, but it was definitely better!! Next time I'll use this same recipe, but with quality paint. The paint I was using was pretty cheap, so maybe with better paint it'll work!! Also I tried the chalk paint at Walmart and it worked perfectly!! So if you're doing a small project, I would just use the cheap Walmart chalk paint.

Next, I glazed the cabinets using Rust-Oleum Transformations Decorative Glaze (Java Brown), I brushed the glaze on lightly using a foam brush and then wiped it immediately off with a damp rag.

Here's a comparison of a glazed cabinet (left) and freshly painted cabinet (right).


Once I was finished glazing, I brushed wax on top of the chalk paint. I decided to stick with the cheap Walmart products, so I used the Walmart clear wax. I couldn't find a wax brush at Walmart, so I bought one at Joann Fabrics. I brushed on a small amount of wax using the brush, and then buffed over it using a clean white cloth. Here's the product so far:

I added 5 x 7 photos onto the squares using photo tape. I'm absolutely LOVING the end results!! It's cute, rustic, unique, and perfectly fits the empty wall in my living room!! 


DIY Wall Scrabble Tiles


I found scrabble tile stencils at Joann Fabrics for about $4, which made this craft super easy!! The stencils were 6 x 6 inches so I bought a 6 in x 8 ft board at home depot. I asked them to cut the board into 6 x 6 inch pieces, which they did for free!! They didn't cut all of the pieces exactly, but it was close enough. 

Then I went home with my stencils and taped them to the wall. It helped me determine the words and spacing that I wanted to use. 


I then sanded the wooden tiles just a bit. They don't need to be perfect, I just wanted them to look nice. Next, I stained the wood squares with Minwax Golden Pecan. Then I used the scrabble tile stencils with some black acrylic paint. I thought about painting a protective coat on the tiles, but I was feeling lazy. 

Last step...hanging the tiles.  I thought about using command strips, but I wanted something cheaper. So I drilled a small hole into the back of each tile (1 inch from the top). Don't forget to use your tape measure and level!! 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fat Ass Ranch Winery


I LOVE this winery!! We stopped here on our 290 Wine Shuttle Route and decided to give it a shot!! We thought the name was funny, not to mention they have an actual "ass" outside as their mascot...hahaha!! I enjoyed their Semi-Sweet White wine, Sweet Red, Peach, and Watermelon!! I came home with a bottle of their Peach and a bottle of their Watermelon!! My boyfriend isn't a huge sweet wine lover like myself, but he came home with a bottle too!! Seriously this place is a must see!! They have horse shoes, live music, a mascot, and yummy tasting wine!! 







Becker Vineyards



I've been to Becker Vineyards twice now and it's definitely one of my favorites!! I love the atmosphere and they have a nice selection of wines to sample. For $15 you can receive 6 wine samples and a souvenir wine glass.


Here are the wines I've tried (5 stars means amazing; 1 star means I won't be having it again):
  • Chenin Blanc **
  • White Wing *
  • Provencal** (maybe 3 depending on the day I visited)
  • Reserve Tempranillo **** (very good dry wine)
  • Fleur Sauvage ***
  • Muscat Canelli Amabile **
  • Clementine ***





Fredericksburg Day Trip


Alright, so Fredericksburg is one of my favorite places to go for a day trip!! I've taken a few day trips there to be honest!! There's a lot of good wineries in the area, pretty scenery, yummy food, and plenty of activities!!

Here are some of the wineries I've visited:

  • Becker Vineyards (nice atmosphere, good selection, definitely recommend)
  • Fat Ass Ranch Winery (fun atmosphere, amazing sweet wines, definitely recommend)
  • Fiesta Winery (decent atmosphere, sweet wines)
  • Four Point Cellars (decent atmosphere, decent wine, but no need to rush back)
  • Grape Creek Vineyards (nice atmosphere, decent wine, but no need to rush back)
  • Hye Meadow Winery (great atmosphere, great wine, definitely recommend)
  • Lewis Wines (great atmosphere, great wine, definitely recommend)
  • Mendelbaum Cellars (don't need to go back)
  • Messina Hof ( decent atmosphere, yummy wines, good selection)
  • Perdenales Cellars (nice atmosphere, yummy wines, definitely recommend)
  • Pontotoc Vineyard (nice atmosphere, good wines)
  • Ron Yates Winery (nice atmosphere, decent wines)
  • William Chris Winery (did not like the wine....at all)


Restaurants I've tried (5 star means unbelievably amazing!!):

  • Silver Creek *** (German)
  • Der Lindenbaum **** (German)
  • Auslander ***** (German)
  • Pasta Bella ***** (Italian--Best I've ever had)
  • Clear River Pecan Co ***** (cafe and icecream---yummy, yummy, yummy)





Monday, April 27, 2015

Mint Chocolate Brownies



Brownie Cake Layer

2 cups butter (melted)
3/4 cup cocoa
2 1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and eggs. Set aside. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Grease two 9 x 13 inch metal pans. Pour the batter into the pans and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the mint cream layer.

Mint Cream Layer

4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
2 tbsp water
2 tsp mint extract
6-8 drops of green food coloring

Beat until smooth.

Topping

12 Tbsp butter
2 cups Hershey's semi-sweet choc. chips.

Melt and pour on top of the mint cream layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

DIY Upholstered Headboard


Alright, so after doing a lot of reading I decided to make my own headboard!!  I read about 15 to 20 different websites to get helpful tips and to find a good procedure!! After all of my research, here are the supplies and procedure I decided on.

Supplies

  • Plywood (I bought MDF because it was sturdy and cheap, $20 at Home Depot)
  • 2 Full Size Foam Mattress Pads ($22 for both at Walmart)
  • 2 1/2 yards Quilt Batting ($6 on sale at Joann Fabric's)
  • 2 1/2 yards Fabric (I used suiting fabric, about $13 at Joann Fabric's)
  • 2 French Cleats ($20 at Home Depot)
  • Decorative Nailhead Trip ($11 with Joann Fabric Coupon) 
  • Spray Adhesive ($5 at Walmart)
  • Masking Tape
  • Staple Gun
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Hammer
  • Jig Saw
  • Sander

Procedure

  1. I started by choosing a shape. I googled some shapes and chose belgrave.
  2. I then used masking tape to tape a rough draft of my headboard on my wall. This helped me to determine the dimensions of my headboard (48 in by 62 in).
  3. Next, a trip to Home Depot for supplies. While I was there I asked them to cut my MDF wood to the dimensions I needed. They did it for free and it was super fast. Definitely saved me some time!! 
  4. When I got home I drew the curves on my MDF wood using a pen and a piece of yarn. 
  5. I finally got to use my new handy dandy jig saw!!! I got it for Christmas so I was super excited to finally use it!! 
  6. I ended up just cutting one side and using the extra piece of wood as a stencil for the other side. 
  7. I sanded the curves, but I wasn't to worried about them being perfect. It's going to be covered so no one will notice if it's a little off. Here's my finished piece of wood:
  8. It's time to start adding the layers!! I laid my foam mattress pads out for a night so the creases would flatten out. They weren't perfectly flat, but definitely better the next day.  I then placed the first mattress pad on the wood (flat part touching the wood) and cut off the excess. It's really easy to cut the foam; I just used a pair of kitchen scissors. I sprayed some Loctite Adhesive Spray onto the wood and pressed the foam mattress pad on top.  
  9. I placed the second foam mattress pad on top of the first mattress pad. I wanted the flat part facing up, so the two bumpy sides were touching. I then cut the second mattress pad to the same size. I sprayed the adhesive spray in between the two mattress pads and pressed down. The adhesive spray really didn't do a whole lot, but it helped a little when I flipped the board over. If you have a friend close by, I would just skip the adhesive spray and ask for some help when moving the board.
  10. Iron your fabric so it's nice and flat. I love the suit fabric because it's strong, semi-soft, and irons nicely. I only found one website that discussed types of fabrics for headboards and they also recommended suit fabric.  
  11. Lay the suit fabric flat on the ground. Lay the quilt batting flat on top of the suit fabric. Lay the headboard on top. If your fabric has a pattern or design make sure it's straight and well placed on the board.
  12. Time to use the staple gun!! I stapled the quilt batting on first. I made sure the quilt batting was tight before I made each staple. I started with just 3-4 staples on each side. I always started with the middle and worked my way out to the corners (wait until the end to do the corners though). I then went back around and placed a few more staples in the quilt batting. I saved the corners for last!! I started with the bottom corners because I figured those could be easily hidden in case I really messed up. Honestly, it's best to just play around with the fabric until you find something you like. For the curves I read a website that suggested making little slots in the fabric. It definitely helped!! 
  13. Next, staple the suit fabric on. I used the same technique as the quilt batting. Here's a photo of the slots I made in the fabric to help fit the curves:
  14. As you can see from the photo below I struggled getting the curves tight: 
  15. Next, it's time to try some upholstery work!! There's a first time for everything!! The secret is the nailhead trim found in the upholstery section at Joann Fabric's. 
  16. I measured 3 1/4 inches from the edges and made several small dots where I wanted the nailhead trim to be located. I had to push the foam down and hammer the nail into place. I bent several nails, but luckily I had extra nails in the package. Whenever I came to a corner or curve I had to bend the nailhead trim beforehand. I probably should've used a rubber mallet, but I didn't want to spend the $8 on something I might not use again. The hammer worked fine and it didn't make any marks on my trim. I was super excited to see the finished project!! The trim actually made my curves look better than before!! 
    1. I did a lot of reading on how I wanted to hang the headboard. I thought about making legs and attaching it to my bed frame, but it just seemed like to much work. I ended up using two metal french cleats, each can hold up to 100 lbs. The trick with french cleats is your level!!! This is the most important part...you don't want your headboard to tear down your wall or worse fall on your head in the middle of the night!! I started by attaching the french cleats to my wall.  I made sure one of the screws on each french cleat went into a stud. I also used two drywall anchors on each french cleat. Then I added two more screws to each french cleat. Yes, that's right 5 screws total for each french cleat!! Remember to use your level!! Don't want your headboard to be crooked!! 
    2. I measured the distance between the french cleats. This is the most important measurement, but you will need to make several before attaching the french cleats to your headboard. Here's a photo of the french cleats on the headboard. Again the level is your best friend!! 
    3. Last step...place the headboard on the wall!! Viola...you're done!!! I know my headboard isn't perfect, but I LOVE IT!!!!