Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Treats Part 1: Dipping things in Chocolate

I went to my friend's legendary Memorial party this weekend. It's theme - Solo Cup. How awesome is the solo cup flag they made? I got together with a friend on Saturday and we made LOTS of treats for the party. Today we'll look at the first half of the desserts - Chocolate covered Strawberries, and pretzels!

First we melted white chocolate wafers. I think I've mentioned before if you don't have a double boiler, you can just use a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.

With the first few we dipped the strawberry in blue sprinkles, but that messed up the chocolate and made it a weird shape. When we began to spoon on the sprinkles they looked much better. 

We put our finished strawberries on some wax paper and then stored them in the fridge. I'd recommend keeping them there until they're ready to serve. I had mine out for a little while and the strawberry juice started to leak out and mix with the sprinkles - it was a bit of a mess. But oh-so-yummy! Also makes me really want a rocket popsicle. 

We also dipped pretzel rods in the chocolate - because, why not? Next we loaded them with patriotic sprinkles. I had also bought blue candy chips to melt down, but the colored melts are a totally different consistency and not very conducive to dipping. I even tried adding some oil, but nothing helped. Oh well, the white with sprinkles looks better anyways!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Christmas in.... May??

I got this in the mail last week. At first I was like - "It's WAAAAAY too early for Christmas!!!" Then I started thinking: "well, is it really??" I bought all of these ornament making kits three years ago, but by the time Christmas rolls around every year and I remember I have them, there's no time left. There's shopping and baking to do and ugly sweater parties to attend! Maybe this is the year where I'll start my Christmas crafts in August. ORNAMENTS WILL BE MADE!!

Wedding Fun!

This weekend was my friend Kim's wedding. It was FANTASTIC. Mary and I were co-maid-of-honors. It was a gorgeous wedding - the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was rocking. They had a photo-booth which I highly recommend. In fact, can I have a photo booth just follow me around in my daily life so I can hop in whenever I feel like it? Please?? They played all of my LMFAO songs AND the DJ was awesome enough to play Call Me Maybe!!! A lot of "hands-as-telephones" dance moves were going on. 

I had the tricky job of trying to drink enough to not be nervous during my speech, but not too much as to slur my speech. It's a fine line, but I think I walked it pretty well. 

Sadly there was no single men at this wedding, though I did catch the bouquet! One of the groomsman caught the garter. His girlfriend was standing close by so he put it a safe inch above my knee.

How cute is the garter? The Bride & Groom are big Caps fans.  She got it off Etsy. I feel like I need to make cute things and start my own Etsy shop. Summer project??

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Musings #18

This weekend is Wedding #3!! I'm heading home early to pack and then out to the Dulles area for the rehearsal. Still need to figure out what I'm going to wear. Procrastination FTW! Anyways, I'm really excited - the weather is supposed to be gorgeous. I have my nails did - its going to be a fantastic weekend. While I'm running around like a mad person this morning making sure I have everything done that needs to be, I will leave you with my new obsession.


 The first time I heard it I thought it was dumb, the lyrics make no sense. But it's do damn catchy and now I can't stop singing it. I need to use this pick up line on somebody before it's defunct.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Looking Ahead

When I started this blog I had a pretty decent backlog of crafts/fancy baking that I had done. But horror! I'm starting to run out. My crazy schedule doesn't leave a lot of time for baking and crafting. (Heck, I missed blogging ALL of last week!) So you may see less of things I've done and more of things I want to do coming up.

I am looking forward to Memorial Weekend. It'll be the first weekend in a long time that I'm not going anywhere. I plan on clearing out the DVR, maybe watching North and South, cleaning, doing yard work, hopefully knitting, and of course baking. I'm sure I can find something nice and patriotic to make. I could go crazy with red white and blue things. My friend always has a ridiculous Memorial Day party - I've never been able to go before so I'm looking forward to it this year. And I'm starting to think of all the fun things I can make to bring!!

Wednesday Review: A Knitting Wrapsody

Hahahaha. Get it?? A Knitting WRAPsody. This cleverly titled book by Kristin Omdahl has a lot of fun unique knits for scarves, wraps, shawls, and skirts.

What I Like:
·         Knitting looks like crochet! I'm not good at crocheting. I haven't put much time into it, so I really only know how to do one stitch, and I definitely don't know how to read crochet patterns. That's where this book comes in handy. You can have the crochet look by knowing how to read knitting patterns!
·         The book comes with a DVD that shows you how to do different knitting techniques. This is awesome. I think I may have mentioned in the past that I had to YouTube how to knit socks. No t that it's hard to look something up on YouTube, but here it's everything you need in one DVD.
·         Each pattern has a few different pictures to show you different angles and different ways you can wear the scarf/shawl/wrap.
·         Out of the 2 skirt patterns - one is a flamenco design (AWESOME) the other a Gypsy wrap skirt. I'm not really a fan of the gypsy skirt, but it can also be made into a wrap dress which looks pretty cool.

What I Don't Like:
·         Some of the designs are weird - maybe you'd see them in Williamsburg, NY, but that’s about the only place. Leather-laced Raglan cape?? Let's fight evil! There are a few other designs that are basically all holes. How is that supposed to keep you warm?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'm Up For Hire!

I had my VERY FIRST commission last week! My boss's daughter is obsessed with the Hunger Games (kid after my own heart!) so she asked if I'd make her a cake just like I did at my Hunger Games Party. I used a Wilton roll and cut mat to roll out the fondant this time. It didn't really work too well - the fondant stuck to the mat so when I finally pried it off it was a bit wrinkly. Next time - powdered sugar! I also didn't cover the edges too well - luckily thats nothing that can't be fixed with a crap ton of fondant leaves! I just put a lot more around the edge to cover up all the gaffes.

Here is the cake I made for the birthday with my first cake below it for comparison.

The bird is positioned a little differently. I think I made him too big this time around - had to squeeze the letters around him. But luckily my boss didn't notice and she said her daughter loved it. Sorry there's no picture of the jungle I put around the edge. Next time. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cake and Papes.

My little brother turned 20 years old last week - its weird. My mom made him a tie-dye cake upon request. Isn't it puuuuurty? This past weekend I went to celebrate my friend's 30th birthday in NYC with 14 other people. It was a blast. We stayed at the Hilton in Times Square. The weather could not have been more perfect. I got to walk around Central Park and visit the Belvedere Castle.

Saturday night we went to a piano bar called Don't Tell Mama. It was awesome - I highly recommend it if you're in the city. Then we moved our party to another bar that was celebrity central.

Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs were having drinks there, a few tables down was Dan Fogler, and then about an hour after we got there, John Lithgow walked by. CRAZINESS. Sunday I went to go see Newsies.

SO GOOD. I had to refrain from standing up and singing at the top of my lungs. Sometimes I wish I were a boy for the sole purpose of being able to be a newsie. It was a fabulous production. SEIZE THE DAY!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Musings #17

It's Star Wars Day people! I wish I had had the time this week to get out my star wars cookie cutters and really celebrate today. Oh well there's always May 4th 2013!!

Basically this is a weekend full of NERDY things. Tomorrow is free comic book day. If you're into that sort of thing you should definitely check out your local comic book store. I went last year and got a few free comics, though where they are now is any one's guess. If you're a Whedon fan like me, I hear there are some free Buffy/Serenity comics!

That's right Schmidt, but there is one sequel that I am pretty pumped about. AVENGERS! 

Geekologie had an article on a bunch of different Avenger eye-makeups. Captain America is def my favorite. I'm going to go see it on Sunday and kinda wish I could rock this look.

It's also Cinco de Mayo this weekend. She Knows has this awesome recipe for Piñata cookies. I totally want to make these someday. I hope your weekends are full of margaritas, tacos, and superheroes!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Make Your Own Board Game!

I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I was working on another top secret project... and here it is!
I made a board game for my friends Sara & Scotty's wedding present. They are both big gamers so I knew I wanted to make them one, I just had to figure out the best way to go about it. In the end I decided to buy a game I grew up playing - Careers - and just alter it for my own purposes.

Careers is a great game to personalize. In the normal game you go through different career paths and depending which space you land on, you pick up fame, happiness, or money. I changed the career paths to locations my friends had been to/lived and then had fun deciding what to write on the spaces that earn fame, happiness, and money. I used rubber cement to glue everything onto the board which took me right back to high school and the hours I spent making science fair project boards. (Which thanks to my engineer father I totally won 1st place in my REGION.)

Here is the finished game! I'm glad I went with this and not Edmondopoly. Though - maybe that would make a good Christmas present??

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Review: New England Knits

I love the fashions of coastal towns. Anything nautical - fisherman knit sweaters especially. This probably stems from my love of small towns, Avonlea, lighthouses, and Scotland.  New England Knits by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa La Barre incorporates a lot of these looks into their designs.

What I like:
·         The book is filled with great pictures. Each pattern has multiple pictures so you can see the item from many angles. The pictures are taken in fun locations - the streets of New England towns, countrysides, and of course - the beach.
·         There is a good variety of projects - sweaters, skirts, satchels, cardigans, neckerchiefs, and hats!
·         One of the patterns is specifically designed to make two matching kerchiefs so you can knit with a friend! How cool is that??
·         I'm in love with pretty much every pattern. It is all so cute! One of the hat designs has little whales - WHALES. 
·         The type A person in me as always appreciates the glossary and pictorial instructions of different knitting techniques included in the back of the book.

What I don't like:
·         Each pattern has a place in its name - The Hampton Cardigan, the Chelsea Skirt, The Portland Mittens etc. (just to be clear - I like this part). I think it'd be nice to have a little background on the places the patterns are named after. I found myself wondering why a certain sweater was named after a certain town - is that a popular fashion there? Or is it just whimsical?

It's time to get knitting, and then I'm going to sail around the sea and fish for lobsters.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Blog: The Sparkler

My sister Chelsea (pictured above in an adorable red frock) launched her blog The Sparkler today!! The blog goes along side her small event-planning business. No surprise it is also about crafts. We each have our crafting strengths. While I'm the better knitter, she's an amazing seamstress - made a whole fashion line and hosted a fashion show in high school - and also made me and my brother our awesome costumes for Comic-con last year:

Never give up, never surrender!

While reading her blog you'll probably also note that she's a better writer. I got the math skillz where she got those literary ones.

Current-day pic of us in Rome. 

She is always an inspiration to me, both crafting and life in general. Definitely check out her blog - I'm excited for some big things to come out of it! 

Bachelorette Goody Bags

The Bachelorette weekend in Atlantic City was a blast! We all drank, danced, and ate a ton. It's always fun to don a lot of sparkle and hang out with some of your best girlfriends.

I made goody bags for all of the girls - 11 total.

Key items:

* Water and Advil for a quicker recovery after a night of shenanigans.
* Fun 80's style neon glasses and beads
* Breath mints - you can never have enough of those.
* Nail file to look your best
* Shot glass
* Bra and pantie cookies (this time with a ton of disco dust!)
* Bachelorette Party Pledge

Here's a close up of the cookies and pledge certificate. We also had some inappropriate drink stirrers and pink tiara's that we added to all the bags. Any time your group enters a bar in matching anything, you are guaranteed free drinks! And by the end of the night it's great to look around and see all these random people wearing the 80's sunglasses and pink tiaras your group brought in. It was such a fantastic weekend - and only 3 more weeks till the wedding!!