- Unscented bath salts as well as scented bath salts (pick your fav scent, and check Marshalls or TJ Maxx for really great deals on giant jugs of this stuff- I mixed the two together as the scented ones were a bit overwhelming, so I toned them down with the unscented)
- Glass apothecary jars of various shapes and sizes from Hobby Lobby or Michaels
- Ribbon of your choice (here I used blue in honor of the soon-to-be-born baby boy)
- Plain round white stickers (found these at Office Depot, seriously think they're meant to be yard sale price tags!)
- Stamps of your choice
- Ink pad in color of your choice
So I just mixed the bath salts together to make a lovely smelling mixture, then I filled each of the glass jars with the salts. I finished off the cute favors by gluing a piece of ribbon around the jar (hot glue gun works best), placing a white sticker where the ribbon ends came together, and then stamping the sticker with something cute and fun. That's it! This is an easy way to make super cute favors- perfect for baby showers, wedding showers, birthdays, or any special occasion where you'd like the ladies to leave with something lovely! Have fun!
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1/2 of a jalepeno, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp Cumin powder
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 Tbsp salt, plus more for seasoning to taste
- 1/4 Tsp Cheyenne pepper
- 1 Tsp Chili powder
- 1 15 oz. can chicken broth
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 baking potato, peeled and diced
- 2 ears corn, shucked, and kernels cut off the cob
- 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese mix, plus more for garnish
- Tortilla strips for garnish
- Diced tomato for garnish
What to do:
Place the oil, chicken, jalepeno, garlic, onion, and all spices in a large soup pot; cook the ingredients until chicken has turned white and cooked almost all the way through. Stir in about a 1/4 cup of the chicken broth; then stir in the flour to form a paste; stir in the rest of the chicken broth and then the milk; stir very well and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; then reduce heat to low. Stir in the potato and corn; simmer for about 10 minutes, then stir in the cheese. Cover and leave to simmer on very low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and easily break with the poke of a fork. Stir frequently as to not allow the soup to burn on the bottom. Taste before serving- if it's too bland, add salt until it tastes delicious. Serve with tortilla strips, diced tomato, and shredded cheese on top. Enjoy!
My friend Cami got married a couple weeks ago and a while back we were talking about dress making and what not, and she said, "oh my gosh, why don't you make me a dress for me to wear out after our wedding?" Well of course I was just so flattered that anyone would want to wear one of my creations, so I jumped at the opportunity. We went fabric shopping immediately and we were so thrilled with what we found (this Prada fabric) that Cami insisted that this be her rehearsal dinner dress instead! So we talked through the design together, and this is what came out of it. I say that it has nothing to do with the purpose of this blog because it wasn't inexpensive or easy to make, but again, I'm just too proud to keep it to myself! Hopefully the producers of Project Runway are crawling the Internet and find this post!
I learned so much making this dress- I have no formal training in sewing, and I mean, this thing is fully lined, has interfacing, and boning! I had no idea how to do any of that before I made this dress so I'm so excited to have the experience under my belt now! (Big thanks to Muna, who helped out extraordinarily!!) My favorite part of the dress is the bustle I put into the back (in this picture, it looks a bit messy, but in real life it's so cute!) Whew, think it turned out pretty great! Oh, and I made the little matching bow tie for her husband, Wes, too- how cute is that? Hope you all like it! And congrats to the happy couple!!!
Ok, now down to business.....so, I made this dress recently and am just OBSESSED with the one-shouldered froof I attached to give it some glam! As I was making it, I was thinking to myself, "wait a sec, I could add one of these cool froof things to any old washed up boring strapless dress and make it like new again." For instance, I have this old JCrew strapless black dress- it's cute, but boring, and old, so it needs something fresh to bring it back to life, and a froof like the one seen here would do just the trick! Making the froof is easy, and easy to work onto any strapless dress.
What you'll need to do is buy a big piece of fabric (preferably something sort of stiff and crunchy like the froof I made here, so that the ruffles will stand up on their own); fold it diagonally to make a triangle. The triangle, from tip to tip, needs to be at least twice as long as the distance from under one armpit, over the top of your other shoulder, and back around your back, ending at the same armpit. Then cut along the fold, cutting sort of a semi-circle shape so that the ends, which will attached under your one arm, are skinnier than the middle, which will sit on top of your other shoulder. Then sew up the open side, and then turn inside out. Then grab a needle and thread and loosely make stitches along the seem, so that once you get thread through the length of the seem, you'll pull it gently, bunching the fabric to make ruffles. Once you make the ruffles, make sure the froof is the right length to go from under one arm, up over your shoulder, around your back, and back to the first armpit. Then this next part is where your creative license comes in- just grab a needle and thread and start bunching the fabric together in random spots and making a stitch here and there and tying it off. This will make you one nice, long froof.
This is a super simple and cheap way to completely reinvent an old strapless dress- the one shouldered stuff is really in these days, and this simple froof addition really adds MAJOR GLAM to an otherwise boring old dress! Good luck!
Then, take your sewn-together hood piece and fold it in half inside out. Make a stitch along one of the sides coming off the fold to make the hood shape. Then take the remaining long side of the hood piece and tuck it into the 4th side of the bigger towel piece- tuck in the edges of the towel piece around the hood piece, and pin together- then sew up. And you're all finished! Now you have a designed-esq baby towel that didn't cost an arm and a leg!
So here's what you'll need to make the whole thing, start to finish:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 tbs fresh chopped rosemary and thyme
- 1 cup frozen mixed veggies (carrots, green beans, corn- all come in the bag together)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bag croutons
- Tuna steak with chopped jalapeno, soy sauce, chopped fresh ginger, garlic and snow peas;
- Any kind of white fish with julienne veggies (onions, carrots, celery)- maybe some rosemary and thyme sprinkled on top
- Mexican flare- chicken breast with sliced bell peppers and onions, chopped jalapeno, and sprinkle generously with garlic salt, chili powder, and cumin powder- top off with cilantro and sour cream when it's finished
Also consider some less traditional grill-able items, such as tomatoes cut in half- cover them in a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper- place the tomato on the grill for about 5 minutes, flipping once half way through. This will leave pretty grill marks, and a nice smokey flavor. Once the tomato is off the grill (or even better, during the last minute while it's still on the grill) top it with a slice of fresh mozzarella! YUM! Serve the tomato alongside your chicken or steak, and mushrooms! Delightful!
- Boxed cake mix (I used Pillsbury, extra moist- it has pudding in it to make it super moist!)
- Any icing; I love Paula Deen's cream cheese icing (click here for the recipe)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (you can use other flavored extracts too, such as coconut, or orange- if you use an extract, just use about a teaspoon though)
- Raspberry cake filling, or any other flavor of filling
- Decorative elements- for this cake I found colorful chocolate-covered sunflower seeds at Marshalls- I know it sounds random, but Marshalls always has really fun, unexpected candies that can be used for projects like this)
- A ribbon
So you just prepare the cake according to the instructions, adding the lemon juice into the final batter. Make sure to spray the inside of the pan, and then sprinkle with flour all around, and shake out the excess- this will ensure that after the cake is baked, it will come out of the pan easily. After it is baked, let it sit for at least 15 minutes to cool. Once it is cooled off, take whatever you're going to present the cake on (platter or cake stand), and turn it upside down on top of the cake pan, hold the presenting platter tightly to the cake pan, and flip so that the cake comes out in the middle of your platter. Take a serrated knife and carefully cut horizontally across the middle of the cake (if you're really crafty, you can make 2 cuts to give you a three-layer cake). Remove the top layer to a paper towel near by, careful not to break the layer. Then spread some of the raspberry filling on the bottom layer, leaving about 1/4 inch around the edges. Then replace the top layer. To ice the cake, take a nice icing spatula and spread the icing on all sides and the top. If you're getting little cake crumbles coming off the cake as you do this, just leave a thin layer, pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and then finish it up. Putting it in the fridge for a bit will help chill the icing and seal those crumbs in their place so that when you come back to finish the icing, the rest will go on really smoothly.
For the decorative elements, I literally threw the sunflower seeds at the side of this cake in order to make them stick into the icing on all sides (ugh, gravity), which worked really well. Instead of using some sort of candy, you can also just use other colors of icing and make a pattern of some sort. Finally, for the bow....for this cake I just crafted a small bow for the top (these are easy to make if you have a glue gun!). In order to get the ribbon on the cake, I just laid a piece in one direction, centered it on the cake, and then used my icing spatula to gently shove the very ends of each side under the iced cake. Then I repeated going the other direction to make the cross. Finally, I put a dab of glue gun glue on the ribbon where the pieces intersected, and the placed the pre-made bow on top- voila!
This is a great crafty, foody project that anyone can do, and it's such a fun thing to have at a birthday party. Give it a whirl!
- Some baby onsies;
- Fabric with which to make your appliques;
- Double-sided iron-on adhesive
Iron on the adhesive to the wrong side of the fabric you'll use, cut into desired shape, and then iron on to the onsies. Taking a cue from Jane, I also stitched these in a couple places, if not all the way around, so that they'll hold up in the washer. Tie them up in a cute little bow, and you have yourself a perfect baby gift! Have fun!
So, I embellished the neckline to suit my own style!- Here's how I did it ...I found some old fabric that I had from a previous project and cut it in long strips, and sewed them together to make one very long strip- like 2.5 times the length around the neckline- then I gathered it to make a long ruffled piece (see the Missoni scarf post to see how I gather the fabric to make ruffles)- then I just pinned it on around the neckline and sewed it on! Throw a fun belt around your waist, and you've gone from BOOORRRING black dress, to a bit edgy, different, and definitely more fun!
Heat your grill on high heat for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, coat the top side of the cedar plank with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the cedar plank on the grill, and allow it to warm up in the grill for about 7 minutes. Then, place the lemons in a single layer, covering the plank, then place the rosemary sprigs on top (6 sprigs should be sufficient). Then, after seasoning the salmon with salt and pepper, place them on top of the lemon and rosemary-clad cedar plank. Close the grill lid and leave it closed for at least 12 minutes (opening it to check the fish frequently will only make it take longer to cook). After 12 minutes, check the fish- it will be flaky when it's finished- every piece of fish will be different in terms of size, and therefore the cooking time will be different too. Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the grill (have a bucket of cold water standing by for the cedar plank to be plunged into as it might be on fire at this point).
The cedar plank-smoked salmon is great to serve on top of Toasted Pine Nut Couscous (Near East brand)! And then, for the finishing touch, roast some jewel vegetables, such as zucchini, red onion, and grape tomatoes tossed in olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 350 for 20 minutes. This dish looks beautiful, it's healthy, so delicious, and it costs about $14! Enjoy!
- Cut the fabric (and lining if you're using) to the desired size
- Lay the fabric upside down on a counter or floor
- If you're using lining, lay the lining directly on top of the upside down fabric
- Place a strip of stitch-witchery along the edge between the fabric and lining
- Press on top of the lining with the iron on its highest temperature- press hard for a for a good amount of time (about 10 seconds) in each spot to make sure the bond takes hold
- Repeat on all four edges
- Then you'll place a strip of stitch-witchery along the edge on top of the lining, about an inch inside the edge; and fold the side up so that the stitch-witchery is covered, and press with the iron
- Repeat with the opposite edge
- Then to finish the final two sides, lay a strip of stitch-witchery along the edge, just like in the last step
- Before pressing, start with one corner by folding it in at at 45 degree angle so as to create a finished edge; press this corner
- Then move to the other corner and make the 45 degree-angle fold, and press- continue pressing the entire length of that edge between the two corners
- Repeat with the final edge
- A non-stick skillet
- Shredded parmesan cheese (tip: the longer the shreds, the better, and don't use Kirkland brand (from Costco) parmesan, it's the only kind I've tried that doesn't work; try Kraft or any other store-packaged shredded parm- should work great)
- A very thin spatula or cake-icing utensil
- A jar of spices or some other container you have around the kitchen
Heat the skillet to medium; sprinkle the parm shreds in a circle as big as you would like (it seems that 6-8 in diameter inches or so works well).
Finally, let that side brown for about 20 seconds or so....don't let it stay there long enough to start burning. Then, slip the parm onto the spatula again and place it over a spice jar or other container, depending on the shape you want it to take. Once you place it over the container, the sides of the parm will start to fall down to form an upside down basket. Leave the basket on the container for about 5 minutes at least, to let it harden.
Once it is hardened, use it in any way you like. I love to make risotto and present it in the parm basket- it's also great for Caesar salads. You can really make any shape you feel like and use it in so many different ways! Enjoy!