Cupcakes and Roses

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I have never had the urge to bake as bad as I did this week. The reason? I watched Cupcake Wars. Seriously.
I don’t usually watch food stuff cause it makes me hungry… I am more of a HGTV person. Ya know, House Hunters, Love it or List it, those kind of shows. But one day I found myself flipping channels and something caught my eye… SUGAR!!!

More importantly, CUPCAKES!!
Watching these people create and decorate cupcakes, seeing their passion and love for what they do, it’s impressive.

OUCH!
And the Baking Bug bit me!

Not just baking though, decorating too.

I pulled on the ol’ apron and baked!

I was super sure that I had a box of cake mix, but after tearing apart my pantry to find it, I turned to my cute lil’ cupcake book!
This cute thing was a gift from Cathy (my mother-in-law). They are decorations mostly, organized by color. They do have some recipes though for simple, everyday cupcakes to fun new cupcakes!!
The cool part, the recipes make 8-12 cupcakes! So much better than a whole 24-30 that lie around the house begging to be eaten!

I also learned a few things!
1. The difference between all purpose flour and self rising flour! The difference is the latter has baking powder and salt in it! The proportion is for every 1 cup all purpose flour, add 2 tsp baking powder. You can add a pinch of salt to!

2. Add powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) to your store bought frosting to make it stiffer. This will make it easier to decorate with.

3. How to make frosting roses! I went online and found it.

The short version is to start with the center bulb, then apply the 3-5-7 pattern. Use the tip that is large rounded at the bottom and pointed at the top. I can’t remember the number…

Start with your cupcake. 🙂
You can put this on a metal stand thing for decorating, then remove the rose by snipping it with scissors, or straight on the cupcake
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This is the center bulb.20140204-234438.jpg

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7 Petals 20140204-235714.jpg

Pretty Simple.
The first couple I tried I didn’t do so well…20140204-235819.jpg
I had to go back and rewatch the video again and the other ones turned out better 20140204-235918.jpg

Now to share the cupcake joy!!
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Pimp My Garland

I love the look of garland. I love it wrapped around posts and pillars, banisters and arches, doorways and people. OK maybe not people. And when I think of decorating with garland, I think of this:20131222-124804.jpg
I would love this kind of front entrance. As far as decorating goes. I have two problems though…one, I’m broke. And two, I live in Astoria and the wind is merciless out here at times. Anything I put out side needs to be able to stay put when gusts of wind of up to 40+ mph come through here. Seriously.

Much to my chagrin, my front entrance is not nearly as decorated as I would like to be. But I’m gonna be happy with what I have and keep my eyes open for sales after Christmas and during the summer.

Another thing with getting garland close to looking like that, is it costs about $50-$100 for garland that is pre-lit and pre-decorated and full like that. Like I said, I’m broke. Or close to it. I did happen to have a few bucks to pick up a strand of garland at Target when I was last in the valley. Cause there is no garland out here. At least not fake garland that is only a couple of bucks. Not even Dollar Tree.
(sigh)

Well I got it home and figured it would look about like this:20131222-125347.jpg Pretty skimpy and little. Yuck.

Fortunately I found this amazing site called Pinterest. You’ve probably never heard of it… (#hipster)
This fantastic woman and fellow blogger posted fab directions on how to pimp your garland. . She has much better picks and more steps and all these wonderful decorations she added to her garland. I kept mine pretty simple. I felt though that you all should see the original and be as inspired as I was to do my garland.

I started by wrapping lights around mine:20131222-125744.jpg

I then fluffed out the fake little branches and hung it over the arch way between the living room and the dining room.20131222-125950.jpg

It still looked a little….uh…scant… So now I took some of those extra clippings that I had from my tree and that I picked up from the tree lot that was just laying there.
Kelly (the original blogger) used 4 or 5 different fillers. A few different evergreen branches, some green bush clippings and holly. I noticed that there are holly bushes in the Safeway parking lot across the street and suggested to Brandon we come over when it got dark and clip some.
He told me that if I wanted to sneak over in the middle of the night and clip some branches I could do it on my own. And to make sure to do it on the far side of the parking lot so I wouldn’t be associated with our house and him. Or spotted sneaking with a bunch of pokey bush trimmings through the neighborhood.
I asked him where his sense of adventure was.
He rolled his eyes.
I didn’t get any…

That’s ok though.
Once I had it hung I used the tree clippings I did have and stuck them into the garland here and there to fill it out.20131222-130552.jpg
Can you see the difference? I can. Brandon thought it was a real strand of garland when he saw it. He couldn’t tell that it was originally fake with real sprigs stuck in. He actually tried to argue with me about it…seriously? Don’t argue with me. I know what I’m doing!
I feel like it could use some more….something. Some more pop probably. Brandon’s mom has some fantastic fake garland that is prelit and then she adds these really cute mini ball ornaments to it. I would love that. But Brandon said no. Maybe next year. I’m gonna keep my eyes peeled for more garland for next Christmas. Hopefully enough for all our railings and doorways…. and maybe one day like this lovely home….20131222-124804.jpg

Until then!
DFTBA!
Becky

Something Broken, Something Left Over, Something Reused

Sometimes I feel like I am just one broken coffee cup away from being a hoarder.
I have only seen a few episodes of the show Hoarders, and it honestly just makes me upset. Seriously! I don’t understand how other people, their loved ones, can live in the chaos, and filth, and gross-ness of a hoarded house like they have on the show.

I guess saying that makes me feel better that I am not even close to being at that stage of hoarding.
However I do have tendency to look at things like broken dishes and toilet paper rolls and think “Hmm…what could I do with this…?”

I keep at as a personal rule, and to relieve my husbands concern at my ever growing pile of “junk”, as he puts it, that I will only keep an item for 2 months, and if by that time I have not done anything with it I will get rid of it. Sometimes I break that rule and throw it out early, or keep it for longer. (Hee-hee)

My loving husband donated to my crafty cause, a set of chimes from an old drum set.
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You see, I really love wind chimes. I love the sound they make. It brings back great memories of younger days spent at my grandparents. Summer afternoons, laying in the living room as afternoon sun streaked across my face through the windows. A cool breeze passes by the wind chimes out front and through the screen door tickling my skin and the chimes, my ear drums. (sigh)

It may be odd to say this, but I want that wind chime. My grandparents still have it and I WILL INHERIT IT ONE DAY!!! Or I’mm sneak onto their porch and steal it one night…hmmm.

Anyway. I now had some chimes to make my own wind chime or two and now all I needed was something to attach them to.

Then it finally hit me, as I lay in bed one evening, that I now have a brand new iPhone. And that my very cool handmade bamboo phone case for my smaller previous iPhone is no longer useful! So why not make it into a wind chime!

HA HA! Genius!
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I hot glued the two parts together, they were two parts. (Isn’t it a cute design!?)

Then I got out my power drill!!! OK my husbands power drill… and drilled a few small holes.
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And finally strung the chimes! (Or STRUCK the chimes! lol)
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I think I will spray it with my sealer spray before I put it outside, since it’s bamboo and will most likely rot in the wonderful Northwest Winter Weather.

I have more chimes left over, what other items that might be laying around a home would make a good wind chime?
I’d love to hear your ideas!

DFTBA
Becky!

P.S. Today I will leave you with a special note!

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Master Bedroom Makeover: DIY Headboard

I enjoy doing projects around the house! It’s fun to make up your home and personalize it.
I found this thing on Pinterest… All my sentences start that way now.

FYI: I freaking love Pinterest!

So this thing I found was a DIY headboard.
The poster, who blogged about her headboard, made it for super cheap. She got pretty much all her materials on sale. I had some sale items but not all the super cheapness she had.
Honestly this was a very simple project.

Materials:
Board for headboard. I used press board. It was like $9.00 ish
Fabric. Brandon picked it out, I let him lol. From goodwill about $5.00
Batting. Used a coupon from Joann’s so it came to about $10.00
Buttons. About $6.00

So my total cost was around $30.00. Comparatively that is a good price. I picked my color I wanted, or Brandon did, the style I wanted, plus good quality time spent making a project as a couple!! So $30 is a good price to pay, especially when a movie costs about that now. -_-

I’m just gonna post the pics as steps and give a few suggestions here and there. For the full step by step written directions check out her post. 🙂

DIY Headboard

1. Measure if you need to and cut to size. That’s what Brandon’s doing here.

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2. When putting the batting and the fabric on, make sure you floor is clear and you stretch it tight. And use a staple gun.

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3. Measure twice, mark once! She suggested doing staples where you want the buttons to go to create the indents.

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4.Brandon’s idea for hanging it was to use washers to protect the fabric and batting and screw it straight into the wall where I hot glued the buttons to cover the screws.

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Before/After

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Please excuse the mess. We have rearranged our room a bit. I will post more as we finish it up. I really love being able to personalize my home. Even if I won’t be here forever, I can make this place beautiful for the next people. 🙂

Burlap Wreath

Like I promised, Krafty Craft time!! I love to relax my brain by doing some crafts. Krafty Crafts. A really nice area to spread out a little, including a little natural light. And I added some plants to promote healthy breathing and brain function!

One of my favorite things to do is to peruse Pinterest. And so many times now a days my sentences start with “I saw this on Pinterest…”

yeah…. so I tend to find these AMAZING projects and every now and then ACTUALLY do them. However…. I don’t always read the directions all the way… Lol… whoops…

But really….meh…
To quote Sweet Georgia Brown
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And seriously if you don’t know who this is all I can say is… “What a’ya been livin’ under a rock!?”

And moving on.
Here is the first of many projects I do and will do where I read very few directions, or in this case, none at all.
This is essentially what I was going for, a little more simple.

Burlap Wreath
I went by just looking at the picture but you may want to follow the directions.

And a little FYI for all you DIY-ers out there. I saw someone on Pinterest post that getting burlap at Home Depot is SOOO much cheaper than getting it at a craft store. If you do decide to go this route it is important to know 2 things.

1. Burlap is located in the Garden Center. (Cause apparently not every employee knows where burlap is located).
2. Have a large project in mind.

Seriously. It’s a huge amount of burlap they sell. Like 24 yards. So I went back to the craft store and bought 1 yard.

But before I left Home Depot I did get some pipe insulation!
After cutting and duck taping the ends together to create a wreath! Why did I go this route? Cause it was SUPER cheap!
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Next, wrap the burlap around the wreath. I found that cutting the burlap into about 5 inch strips to wrap around and secured with hot glue!!20131017-160618.jpg

And here it is wrapped.20131017-160721.jpg

And now comes the most difficult part….DECISIONS!!!

So 20 minutes later I finally just went for it. And aded a bow for good measure 🙂
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I hung it on our front door!
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Here are a few issuses I have come across:
1. Getting it centered on the door… For some reason ….I ….just…. cant… ARGH!
2. Because the tube is soft and malleable, and the decor adds some weight to one side, it is making it egg shape…. Not sure what I’m gonna do about this…possibly some wire backing…
3. My husband keeps remarking to me that it looks unfinished. Or that someone stole the rest of the wreath…

Sigh…well that’s ok. I will figure it out…. 🙂 Happy Holiday Wreathing!!

Make your own workout shirt

Ok so I totally stole this from Pinterest. I mean… I borrowed it? Inspired? Well anyway I copied it from Pinterest.

I woke up with the notion of “hey! I’m gonna work out!” And that’s when that other voice pipes up and says “Awww heeeeell no! I’m in bed!”

Fortunately the work out voice won. I dug out my workout things and remembered the one standard t shirt I own and how I hate it. But I was not to be deterred!! I remembered seeing a name your own workout shirt on Pinterest! So I pulled out my yucky, uncomfortable, t shirt and my fabric scissors.

This took me like 10 minutes. I am almost tempted to doing to every shirt I would potentially own… Cause I only had that one…

Lay out your shirt and cut off the bottom edge (save it), the sleeves, and the collar

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Flip the shirt over and cut a v shape down the back, it’s kind if hard to tell thus what I’ve done here but I did.

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Now take the bottom edge you cut off AND SAVED hopefully and twist it around the back straps where you cut the v’s.

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Fold it on its sides and cut the bottom of the shirt at an angle from the front to the back. You can cut it a lot or a little. I chose a little.

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And that’s it! All done. Now go out there and sweat it out!

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DIY ornament wreath

December 5th

One of my favorite memories from Christmas is Christmas eve. Our church would have a Christmas eve service. We would get all dressed up, usually in matching outfits… Something akin to this

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And we would go to church and sing songs and listen to the Christmas story. Then the lights would go out and the room would go dark. Then you see on the far side of the room a small light from one candle. Then another and another light up in the row. One by one the light is spread from one person to the next till the room is completely lit by candles. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Afterwards we would go home and unwrap our stockings change into our pjs, climb into the car and listen to Christmas music as our dad drove us around to see all the best Christmas lights in town.

I loved it. *smiles lost in Christmas memories*

Ok I’m back.

At Christmas every little detail counts. And I was missing a Christmas wreath. It was sad…
So I do what the modern day crafters do.
I went to pintrest.
I remembered pinning an easy DIY wreath using ornaments. All you need is a wire coat hanger and some ornaments.
I have a ton of wire coat hangers, a total Mommy Dearest nightmare, and then I bought some plastic ornaments from the Dollar Tree and a some ribbon.

The directions I found suggested glueing the ornament top to the ornament before using them. I didn’t and had to go back a few times and try to glue them on while adding the ornaments. It was difficult and I used super glue so I got a lot on my fingers. Not pretty…
But I digress. The directions are simple.

1. Stretch your hanger into a circle
2. Untwist the end and the hook to slide your ornaments on.
3. String on your ornaments. I used somewhere between 35-45 ornaments. And if you get them at the dollar tree it will cost you $7-$12, depending on the size and number of ornaments in a box.
4. Reclose the hanger and attach ribbon
5. Hang!!

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Its that easy!! Have fun!!