Lying on the couch, half asleep this morning, with the six year old climbing and jumping all around the room like Spiderman, I opened pinterest and the first thing I saw was this delicious looking pin. Though not so impressed with the site it took me to, I knew what I wanted for breakfast and how to get Spiderman to stop jumping. A few minutes later I stumbled to the Mr. Coffee and realized my bananas were a day past perfect. So I grabbed the six year old and we prepared for Banana Pancake Muffins. (We said this using our ‘in a galaxy far far away’ voice.)
My favorite pancake mix (Prepared like usual. I had only 1 cup of pancake mix left which made about 20 mini muffins. Next time I’ll double that.)
Bananas (or use your fruit of choice. Peaches or blueberries would be delish too)
Preheated oven 350
(Next time I will use some brown sugar and butter to crumble with the walnuts on top.)
I generously sprayed my mini muffin tin and filled each to the top with the pancake mix. Ryan helped me add a nice sized slice of banana.
We added walnuts to the top and baked for 15 mins. I wanted the muffins to be browner on top and put them on another 3 mins. The sides browned nicely but not the top and they were slightly dry. I’ll stick to the 15 mins next time. I served them with maple syrup for dipping and 30 minutes later was stuffed and back in bed.
So simple! I hope you enjoy them too!
I get so angry when I hear people say this, but I’m going to say it anyways. IT’S FREAKING HOT OUTSIDE! But honestly, it is summer, what else does everyone expect?
Today has been one of those hot summer days that leaves you exhausted and without an appetite. So it’s the perfect day to eat and to blog about yummy salads. Maybe this will help motivate you to make something delicious even when it’s too hot to turn on the kitchen light (seriously no a/c here folks).
The key to this deliciousness that will bring even your meat and potatoes kinda guy reaching for the salad bowl is the perfect combo of sweet and salty. Think mandarin oranges and feta, blueberries and goat cheese with chopped walnuts, strawberries with avocados and slivered almonds (and sometimes bacon. I cannot resist bacon). The possibilities are endless! Add some grilled chicken. Or for those days when even standing over the grill is too much, grab a rotisserie chicken from the store and chop it up.
Blueberries, feta, and chopped Walnuts
Strawberries, avocados, red onion, and slivered almonds
I always start with a nice combo of spring mix and baby spinach and my current go to dressing has been Sweet and Sour Poppy Seed.
What are your favorite salad combos??
So its been almost two months since we’ve updated our blog. So for that we are sorry. You know it’s summer out there! Things to do! Its wedding season so I was crazed with a bit of a wedding “rush”. One of us had a trip to Vegas, the other a trip to the beach. Plus you know, you hit that wall in Pinterest where you keep seeing the same pins over and over and over again. So we decided to take a step back, enjoy some summertime and now we’re back and much to our happiness Pinterest has a new fresh crop of items we’ve been pinning to our boards to try. But all that in good time, my loves.
Today I’m just going to do a simple non-Pinterest post about Birchbox. Who out there gets a birchbox? I’ve been getting mine since about March. For those of you unfamiliar with it its basically a service you pay $10 bucks a month for. And each month they send you a box with anywhere from 4 - 6 beauty/lifestyle goodies in them. They’ve had Gossip Girl themed boxes, vacation themed boxes, etc. Every now an then you get a stinker where the items aren’t TO DIE for, but generally I always get at least one GREAT item. I definitely feel its worth the $10 a month price tag. We also subscribe to Birchbox for Men for hubby. When his next one comes I’ll have to do a blog up date to show what kind of items the dudes get. Their subscription is $20 a month but they get bigger items sometimes. Socks, shirts, a watch.
Inside comes a card that explains what the products are you have received. This month I got 6 products. The box was partnered with Glamour to do the 5 senses.
* Jouer Tinted Moisturizer (touch/sight)
* Oscar de la Renta perfume sample (smell)
* Alterna Bamboo UV Color Protion for your hair (touch)
* Stila lip glaze in the color “lights” (sight)
* Larabar (taste)
* Birchbox exclusive earbuds (hearing)
So basically between the larabar, the earbuds and the Stila lip glaze I definitely got over my money’s worth plus the other little extras. They send out multiple versions of each box so I’m excited to see what some of my friends get.
Another craft! Yay! And this one was super easy and turned out great.
Here’s the original pin. Its a DIY canvas print. Now just as a disclaimer, this could never take the place of a real canvas print from a legit photolab. But for some smaller pictures around the house with a more rustic look, this is a fantastic technique. It’s another project orginated at A Beautiful Mess.
- Canvases of your size choice
- Transfer medium
- Mod Podge
- Sponge brush
- Print outs of pictures
- Spray bottle of water
I changed things up a bit and did the entire tutorial in pictures. Enjoy :-)
(this one said to spray water all over the picture, its hard to read, my bad!)
Ahh, the elusive fishtail braid. I see these are getting more and more popular. I’ve known how to do one since I was a kid, but its never been a go to style for me. I do love a good side braid though. So, I saw this on Pinterest:
It comes from the blog A Beautiful Mess which is actually one of my favorite blogs. I have quite a few things from their blog I want to try.
And the best part is all you need is some yarn!
I chose yellow, pink and blue. The blue did not show up so much because my hair is so dark, but I still like having a darker color thrown in the mix.
So the first thing I did was parted my hair all the way around and pinned the top up with a claw clip. I took small pieces of hair and tied yarn around that piece. Make sure the yarn is longer than your hair.
When I fishtail my hair I always secure it with a pony holder or else its just a mess. I take it off once I’m all done.
The next step is to just fishtail like normal. If you don’t know how to do a fishtail you can find tutorials all over the internet and youtube. A Beautiful Mess also shows you how.
When you get to the end tie it off like normal.
Now what I did was just cut all my loose ends of yarn and then chose one of my colors and cut a new piece. I wrapped that around to cover the hair tie and loose ends. Then I took of the hair tie at the top of the fishtail.
It wasn’t necessarily a quick hair style, but I really like the effect so I would definitely wear this.
Ok, we’ve joined the juicing craze! There was a juicer on Beyond the Rack a few weeks back for like $65 so we took the plunge. We made our first batch tonight and its currently chilling in the fridge for tomorrow.
So here’s what I did. I have a friend Jessie that also is big on juicing and smoothie-ing. She lost 11 pounds in her first week alone! Since then she’s dropped another 6 and she’s loving it. And I can’t be left out. You can check her blog out about juicing here and smoothie-ing here.
Her juicing recipe is a spin off of Dr Oz’s Green Drink. So I took Dr Oz’s and Jessie’s and made my own hybrid. I wanted to have the extra apples, orange and mango in it to sweeten it up a bit. Ease into it gradually. Ya feel me?
4 handfuls of spinach
2 celery stalks
1 lemon (peeled)
1 lime (peeled)
1 large navel orange (peeled)
4 granny smith apples (cored)
1 mango (peeled)
1/2 inch of ginger
1 bunch of parsley
So I prepped all my ingredients by peeling and coring and then fired up my juicer. A tip Jessie gave me was that you want to put some juicy items through first such as the cucumber, celery or fruit before you do the spinach or it may get clogged. So I followed that advice and I had no problems.
So here’s what it looked like:
As you can see there is ALOT of pulp in the chamber. So another tip from Jessie was to clean all that out and re-run it through to get some additional juice. So I scooped it all out into a bowl and did just that.
I then put all my juice into mason jars so tomorrow all I need to do is grab one and drink it up.
The plan is to have a juice for breakfast, a juice plus some kind of protein at lunch and then a healthy low-cal, low-carb dinner.
I had just a taste of it, and I have to say, smells like lawn in a jar, but it tasted quite nice. I don’t think I’ll have a problem with this juicing business.
At the very start of my Pinterest journey I saw this pin of a Dior bracelet that I absolutely adored.
The blog it came from was just a general “stuff I like” site, so I couldn’t find the actual bracelet and how much it cost, but being that it was Dior, I knew it was A LOT and out of my price range. I’m more of a Target jewelry girl.
Anyhow, I do buy Dior make-up from time to time and one time I was at the Dior counter at Lord and Taylor when they were having one of their big sales and the sales girl gave me a little “D” charm. I thought it was so cute so I’ve kept it tucked away for a few years not really knowing what to do with it. I guess the typical use would have been on your key chain but my car is one of those where as long as the keys are nearby it unlocks with a button and has a push start so I rarely take my keys out of my purse. So to put it on my key chain would have been such a waste. So, when I saw this bracelet I thought “Wow, I could recreate that”. But as I said in my Macrame Me a Necklace blog, I’m no jewelry maker so I was really skeptical that I would be able to pull it off. I also am not much of a gold or pink person, so I chose different colors. But nevertheless, I bit the bullet and gave it a shot. So here we go.
1 Dior style charm - you can buy a simple “D” charm at any craft store
Any other charms you want to add (pictured is a silver ring of diamonds but I ended up not using that and used a black flower instead)
2 strands of pre-beaded pearls in any color
1 small chain strand
1 jewelry clasp
crimping tools (although needlenose pliers work too)
1 spool of jewelry wire or fishing line (pictured I have the wire, but I ended up using fishing line instead)
First I cut my string of pearls and measured it for the length of my wrist. Each end was open ended.
I took a few pearls off, added my charm and my black flower and then restrung the pearls I took off.
I then added my small silver chain to one end of the strand. I measured my chain so that it would dangle a little. I didn’t want everything to be exactly the same length.
On that same end I placed 1 small silver ball and then 1 crimp. I ran the fishing line through one end of the jewelry clasp I was using and then ran it back down through the crimp.
Pull that tight so it works its way down to where the pearls end and then using your jewelry tools or needlenose pliers, squeeze the crimp to hold the line in place. Then you can cut off any slack.
Repeat this on the other end as well.
This gives you a basic bracelet.
Then measure out your second strand of pearls. I used maroon (they kind of blend in with my black desk).
Again, make sure you have plenty of open ended slack on each end.
You will repeat the steps from above. Place a sliver ball on one end of the line followed by a crimp. Loop the end through the loop on the jewelry clasp and then back down through the crimp. Using whatever tool you chose, squeeze the crimp shut.
Repeat the same step on other end.
Now you have your second strand attached the the jewelry clasp as well. Trim off any loose ends.
Now you have a make-shift Dior bracelet in whatever colors suit you best.
I’m one of these moms that can not throw away anything of my sons. I truly believe this is how some episodes of Hoarders actually begin. First pair of shoes! 0-3 month clothes! First scribble! First handprint! The next thing you know you’ve got garbage bags of memories stacked around your bedroom set and a few hamsters are probably lost in the mix. I have drawers and boxes filled with his old works of art and I have often thought of what to do with them. Thank you Whitney at Squash Blossom Babies for an idea that I was actually motivated enough to try.
Please gather ahead of time:
Old scribbles (I looked through these for an hour and eventually closed my eyes and threw my hand in the pile and what I grabbed got cut.)
A canvas or 4
Mod Podge (I prefer matte over glossy.)
Big foam brush
Scissors or xacto knife
Creativity (sometimes its hard to find)
If you have minimal patience when it comes to arts and crafts like me, spray paint your canvases. Cut out a pattern for your shapes. These are your baby’s finest accomplishments to date, don’t ruin them by going all free hand! I used some old brown cardstock and cut out a simple tear drop (my son, who has no appreciate for my talents, thought it was an egg) and traced it over and over and over with no particular thought to what or where I was tracing. For the other two I just cut out a spiral then cut it in two.
No matter how many times I use Mod Podge I am still always convinced it is not going to dry clear, I am not going to get the paper or fabric to lie right, and I am certainly going to ruin whatever I am doing, so I cheated and glued the tear drops down with clear Elmer’s first. Then covered it all with Mod Podge. I got over that once I realized it was not going to be easy to glue down the spirals first and did those the normal way (Mod Podge, paper, Mod Podge again). Use your foam brush to spread it on as evenly as you can. It does dry very quickly.
Think of it as up-cycling, recycling, or just saving yourself from Hoarders’ Doom. If you try this, please send pictures of your results. I’d love to see them and maybe post a few more ideas for our readers.
A little jewelry project today.
Here’s the pin:
It is from www.psimadethis.com but this was really the extent of it. It wasn’t the best tutorial I’ve seen, so I’ll go into a little more detail because I had to kind of wing it at some places. Because I’m not a jewelry maker. If I want handmade jewelry I will buy from my friend Faith at FC Jewelry Design. She’s quality. Check her out.
Yarn/string of your choice (i used two colors on string, silver and gold)
a chain (or two, i got one and split it, but you can buy two shorter ones)
a jewelry clasp
So here’s what I did.
1. First create a loop with your string and loop it around your thumb.
2. Take your line of string and loop it behind your pointer, in front of your middle, behind your ring, and in front of your pinkie.
3. Loop behind your pinkie, in front of your ring, behind your middle and in front of your pointer. Basically going the opposite direction using the alternate over/under.
4. Now do Step 2 and Step 3 again so that you have two rows of string on each finger.
5.) Now take the bottom row of string and loop it up and off your finger leaving you with just one row left. Now pick back up and Step 2 going behind your pointer and back down your hand, and back up so you have two rows again. Keep repeating this pattern. It will create a fall of macrame string.
6. Once you do this until you reach the desired length, take all the loops off your fingers and place them all around your pointer finger to gather them together.
7. Take the line of string and grip it with your thumb. You are going to bring it up through the loops forming yet another loop.
8. Tie a knot at the bottom securing the loop you just made. You can then cut the line from the balls of yarn/string.
9. Tie another knot with the actual macrame part of the string making a big knot and then add your beads. The knot in the macrame ensures that the bead won’t slide down your necklace.
10. Now separate the chain you bought, or get the piece of chain if you got two smaller ones. You want to use jewelry tools to bend the link open, loop it through the loops of string hanging out above the beads and then using the jewelry tool, close it back up. Repeat this with both ends
11. Now take your jumping rings and using your jewelry tool open the jumping ring. Put your chain and one side of the jewelry clasp in each ring and close them back up.
Now you have your macrame necklace! You could follow the same instructions to make a bracelet as well.