Friday, October 29, 2010

I whip my hair back and forth

Since Amanda is my model for this accessory anyway, I figured I would dedicate this whole post to her by naming it after her favorite song :)  I was attempting some new flowers to put on my yarn wreath the other day, and when she saw one of them, she tried it in her hair and asked if I could make her one.  It looked seriously cute, plus I still owe her some birthday love, so I whipped this little number up.  I love this fall color, and I love how it looks in her dark hair!! 

{She was chatting on her phone :)}

I'll post the new wreaths with these flowers after I finish them! :)

{On a totally different subject, I'm going to my first NBA game tonight in Charlotte and I can't wait!!  That means I can mark one more thing off my 101 list! Yesss!! :)}

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Little Miss Momma

No, this is not my way of announcing that we have a wee one on the way :)  This is the title of the new blog crush that I found today, thanks to stalking Tatertots and Jello- one of my faves :)  Her name is Ashley and her blog is Little Miss Momma.  Here's the new project I'm now obsessed with:

How cool is this victorian cuff????
She gives a tutorial for how to make it, so I may have to give it a go :) If it doesn't work out though, she has them for sale in her etsy store- so at least I have that to fall back on!  Maybe Christmas gifts?  She has some other SUPER cute things in here store:

These pillows are some of my other favorites! They'd go with so many different colors and fabrics.

She has a ton of cute rings too- but this one is my favorite, and is sadly sold out.  Hopefully she'll have some more like this one! I love all her stuff!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bye Bye, Miss American Pie

OK, so I must admit that I never understood what this song was talking about.  It was too long for me to pay attention to all the lyrics... but the chorus is mighty catchy :)  I HAVE to share with everyone the most A-ma-zing apple pie recipe that we made during our Cooking activity last week at my work :)  I've never been a huge apple pie fan even- but October is apparently "apple month" (although I would argue that it's more "pumpkin month"), so we thought a homemade apple pie would be a great recipe.  I usually don't like all the cinnamon-y taste in apple pie, but this has zero cinnamon- and I love it!!

I've always been intimidated thinking about making fruit pies- and now I have no idea why!!  The only thing remotely difficult about this recipe was peeling the apples- and that was only because it's time consuming, not actually challenging.  Here's the recipe I got from  It's called Grandma Ople's Apple Pie.
{I always check the ratings on websites before I waste my time making something, and this one had a full 5 stars from over 3,000 voters.  Pretty impressive- and totally deserving!!  You can go here if you want to check it out for yourself.}

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
 1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored
*Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

*Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

*Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
That's it!!  My only pieces of advice would be:
a.) Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet, so it can catch all the gooey stuff that runs over the sides.
b.) It may be possible to make this just a regular pie crust topping, but I would recommend making it lattice.  The picture on the website had a lattice work top, so that's what we did.  And since you just drizzle all the deliciousness on top of the crust, it works best I'm sure if the gooey flavors can seep down through the cracks in the lattice strips.  {Here's a simple step-by-step with helpful pictures that we used for how to do the lattice- since we were inexperienced :)}
Here's a picture of our masterpiece!
I told my family I'm going to have to make this for them this week!  Grandma Ople, whoever you are, I'm so grateful that you shared this recipe with the world!! (I can now check #1 off my 101 list!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

floating flower vase

So I saw this first on a website and NEEDED to make my own :) 

It's time for me to branch out from all the wreath making, and this was another cute thing to take up some wall space.  Not to mention a super cheap project! {Except that I now may feel like I constantly need to buy flowers to put in it...}  Anyway, the only supplies I needed were:

*a small piece of wood (the guys at Lowe's seemed a little confused)
*some white paint and a paint brush
*some wire
*an empty glass jar (I used one that used to be home to some green olives- yum!)
*a drill

It's pretty self explanatory, but I just painted the wood, drilled 2 holes in the top and 2 next to the jar (Nick actually did this part- even though I was totally willing to do it), wrap some wire around the glass jar, wrap some wire at the top to hang it, and then add flowers!  Couldn't be easier!!  And I love walking in the front door to this! :)

I'm definitely jealous of the sweet peas and wish they were in season right now, but I love the purple and yellow together! :) Can't hardly wait for peonies and hydrangeas to be in season again- aaaahh!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Party like it's 1970!

My dad's 40th high school reunion was the first weekend in October (yay!!)  Dad was one of the committee members, and about 2 months ago when he was talking about it, I somehow offered to do the catering for the casual sock hop on Friday night and then to do the decorating for the formal night... and even worse, I also volunteered the services of my sweet friend, Maggie!!!! (Mags, I still want to apologize for getting you mixed up in the craziness!  I don't know what got into me!!  Maybe because, deep down, I want us to be able to start our own business and call it "Oops I craft my pants" and for people to be lining up down the block to buy whatever random craft we feel like making that day!  Whew- that was a long sentence!)  Well, I somehow thought it was going to be super simple- and boy, was I wrong!!!  I can't even say how many hours I actually spent on it- and the last 4 days before the actual event, I didn't have time for anything except work and then reunion planning. 

Part of me wanted to do it because Huntington East High shut down in 1996 and consolidated with its rival school, Huntington High the next school year.  So I got to go to HEHS for 1 year, my freshman year- the last year its doors were open.  I thought it was a great idea that the reunion committee wanted to have a sock hop in the school's gym, just like they did when they were in school.  The building is now used for the Board of Education, but the gym was in terrible condition just a few weeks ago.  I really didn't think they were going to get it cleaned up in time- but it worked out :)  There were still hundreds of boxes stacked up in the bleachers, but I couldn't even believe it was the same place that I had seen just 5 weeks before!

We didn't have much of a budget to work with ($700 total- for food and decorations), so we had to be a little creative.  It was also a little tricky since their colors were maroon and gold- not easy colors to find decorations in!  But we made it work.  Thankfully, our sweet friend, Courtney, let us borrow the cute lanterns that she used at her wedding as centerpieces on the tables- which saved us a ton of money!  So we just had to buy candles and then put a ribbon around each lantern for the formal dinner on Saturday.  One of my residents at Woodlands Retirement home had been a teacher at HEHS {and actually had both my mom and dad in class :)}, and she mentioned that she had a bunch of the old yearbooks.  So she let us borrow all the yearbooks that were the years my dad and his classmates were there for the memorabilia table.  {sidenote: one of the committee members always had some especially interesting comments and input.  He kept suggesting that we needed to put a chain through the middle of each of the yearbooks and bolt them down to the floor so they didn't get stolen. He also wore safety goggles to one of the committee meetings though.}  We tried to find some of the old uniforms to put on display {and the committee really wanted Mags and me to wear some if we could find any cheerleading or majorette uniforms haha :)}, but didn't have much luck.  They did find someone for Saturday night to play the bagpipes though- which I thought was so cool!! (Their mascot was a highlander.)  I think, all things considered, that it went really well and was a success!!  It was a fun experience, but I think it's a little too much on top of a full time job :) 

The menu had to stay casual, because they had just advertised it as refreshments, not a full dinner.  They requested that we have Stewart's Original Hot Dogs as one of the items, so that was easy enough!  Stewart's is a local old-fashioned hot dog stand where several of the people had worked in high school, and everyone in that generation loves Stewart's.  We just stuck with appetizers/finger food for the rest of the menu.

So here's what we served:
-fruit on a skewer
-veggies and dip
-guacamole salad
-ham and turkey spirals
-Stewart's hot dogs
-pumpkin brownie bites
-cinnamon bun popcorn

Here are a few pics!
{These first pictures are from the Friday informal night}

{The red cabbage wreath I made for the fruit skewers- thanks to Kim Wilson for this idea!}

{Love these letters!!  I hate how everything looks with all the boxes in the background, but we couldn't really do much about that :)}

{Somebody else put up the lights- but I loved them!}

{My favorite details- thanks to Mags!  She freestyle painted these. How cute are these??}

{Since we didn't have much money for decorations for the sock hop, we made a bunch of these baby pumpkins for the tables}

{Mags- hard at work. Drew- chowing down on popcorn :)  Nick even helped carve the pumpkins- but didn't want to be associated with crafting}

{We made tissue puff balls with ribbons and used Chinese lanterns to hang from the ceiling for the Saturday night dinner and dance}

{I'm sad I didn't take any close ups of the cute puff balls! But here's what the room basically looked like}

{This last one one is a bit weird looking, so I should probably explain :)  The tradition at East was that at the football games, girls would wear a big yellow mum with "HEHS" made out of pipe cleaners.  So the committee wanted us to recreate that.  I wish my crappy camera took better pictures and actually captured detail :/}

The great news is that Maggie and I thought this was just volunteering, but we ended up getting paid!!  What a good surprise! :) 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perfect Autumn Wreath

I finished my (187th) wreath!!!  I realize I've gone a bit overboard with wreaths lately, but this one was too perfect for fall to not make it.  Here are the 2 pictures I was going by:
I LOVE how both of these turned out- so I sort of mixed both of their methods to make my own.  Martha (or a Martha staffer, I should say) used real cornhusks, and "the nester" used wide raffia paper to create a similar effect.  I went with the raffia paper since it would be easier and may stay better in the long run.  I loved the business of Martha's- it had 5 or 6 rows, and the other had 3 rows.  So I cut my raffia in thinner strips, and did 5 rows around.  I used U-pins for some of it, and hot glue for some of it.  Both methods worked really well.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! :) 

{I couldn't find raffia at any of the THREE craft stores I went to- so I had to order it in bulk (look how huge this roll is!!) I think I have enough for make about 237 wreaths! :)}

{After unrolling the raffia rope, this is what it looks like. And then you cut it into thirds, so it goes from this...}

{To these!}

{All done!}

All I need now is a ribbon (I'm thinking sage green?) to hang it, and a perfect place on the wall! :)  I obviously haven't put it up yet, but I'll post a picture when I do!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Obsessed about reading

I have a tendency in life to overcommit to things and to underestimate how long something is actually going to take :)  {My husband would be happy to give about 2,000 examples of this I'm sure.}  And even though I'm maybe the world's slowest reader (and am fully aware of this fact), I still try to read several books at once, while still adding more and more books on my "Hope to Read Soon" list.  Sometimes I just wish I could call off of work (and all other activities for that matter) and just stay home and read all day!  At the moment the list of books I'm reading includes:

{This one is quite an undertaking in itself with
970 pages. Oh, and it has a sequel too.}

{I understand if you want to make fun of this last one. 
 I, too, was skeptical, but then had a friend, Marla, from
church (who I totally respect/am in awe of her love for
reading and ability to analyze books) who convinced me
 J.K. Rowlins' writing is worth reading.  Marla is so cute-
she reads all 7 books each year, starting on Halloween :) 
I'm only on book 3, but I'm loving them!!!}

Now for my "Future Readings" list (mostly so I don't forget these, and because I love making lists on post-it notes, but then I lose them):

{I've heard super cool things about this book and about
the preacher who wrote it.  He's the real deal.}

And I don't have an image of this last one, but there's a book called "The Branches" by an amazing first-time author, Joy W. Callaway that I CANNOT wait to read!!  I got a little sneak preview of it this weekend of the first 10-11 pages, and I can't wait until I get to read the whole thing!!  Keep your eye out for the novel, because I'm sure it's going to be on the shelf of all the book stores SOON!! :)
And I'm sure next time I walk through Border's, I'll find about 5 or 6 more to add to this list.  As you can see, I'm always open for new suggestions if anyone has any "must read" books!!