Category Archives: How-To

Green is good

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Green is good

I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day, but to be honest, I don’t really care.  I have cute pictures of my kids and I intend on sharing them 🙂

I decorated the kids’ shirts this year.  I got all of the shirts on a clearance sale at Walmart for a dollar and I already had the supplies to decorate them at home… Super Score!!  Each child has a different shirt.  Sporty, Pork Chop and Bubba all had freezer stenciled shirts and Short Stack had an appliqued shirt.

For Pork Chop’s shirt I did a freezer stencil of the words “Lucky Girl” and then added some polka dots with a sponge brush.  After it was dry I added little hand painted hearts to the center of each polka dot.

I appliqued a shamrock onto Short Stack’s shirt and then painted some gold fabric paint over the top of it.  When she wore it, she had braids with bows tied in them from the same fabric.  This is her “new” smile…  She said she’s trying to look “dreamy”.

Sporty is getting to the age where he doesn’t really like all the bells and whistles on his clothes so I just did a simple freezer stencil of the phrase “Pinch Proof”.

Bubba had a freezer stencil shirt that said “IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY” with the word “lucky” done in gold fabric paint.  He’s wearing a pair of seersucker pants I sewed  him last week (so proud of myself) from a tutorial I found on MADE.  It’s such a great tutorial and easy to follow!

One more picture and then I’m done… My husband asked me to sew him a kilt for St. Patrick’s day.  That’s just the kind of guy he is.  I have never sewn a kilt before, nor did I have a pattern for it.  I burned the heck out of my arm ironing pleats.  PLEATS PLEATS PLEATS!!  I am tired of pleats that is for sure!  Anyway, I think it turned out pretty awesome and I made sure not to remind him that kilts are Scottish and St. Patrick’s Day is Irish.  Why ruin his fun?

 

Pinterest Win

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I’ve mention Pinterest in a previous post and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t checked it out, you are totally missing out!!  I’ve recently added a “follow me on Pinterest” button on my sidebar, so please feel free to click it and check out my pins.

I’m proud to say that I’ve actually tried out some of the things I’ve found on Pinterest including this recent success:

Donuts from biscuits  These insanely easy to make donuts were insanely delicious!  Just get packaged biscuit dough (any kind but flaky)  I found a pack of four for less than $2.  Cut out a hole in the middle (don’t forget to save the little pieces for donut holes!), fry in veggie oil (watch them carefully because they brown quickly) then dip in butter and cinnamon sugar, sprinkle on powder sugar, or even make a glaze (I made some odd approximation of a maple glaze) and go to town!  I didn’t really like how they tasted the next day (a little like stale cake donuts) but oh my gosh my family devoured a TON of them the day we made them!

The Pork Chop

Bubba

Short Stack

Sporty

As you can see, everyone enjoyed the donuts!  A Pinterest Win if I do say so myself 🙂

 

Not the neatest stitch in the hem

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Let me just start by saying that I am a lazy person when it comes to keeping a clean house.  I blamed it on my kids for a while, complaining that I was just so exhausted trying to keep up with their snail trail of clutter.  This was not a valid excuse however.  Ask my mother.  My childhood bedroom was a pit… a toxic waste dump… a black hole where my belongings went to die.  My roommates lucked out because I tended to keep my clutter to my bedroom.  My husband (Mr. Mild Case Of OCD) found out that my side of the bed was almost never clean and dishes seemed to stack up into little towers beside the sink.

It’s not that I’m a messy person.  I have the desire and the ability to be neat and tidy.  I just struggle with being lazy.  I can find a million excuses not to clean.  Unfortunately, living in a cluttered house causes me to be incredibly stressed.  I get frustrated and angry and I find no peace.  My bedroom is not a retreat for rest, my kitchen is not a pleasant place to cook meals for my family.  My living room is living it’s own life.

2012 is my year though.  I started the 52 Week Challenge to and Organized Home which I found on Pinterest (which by the way, if you are not on Pinterest, you should be!!).  Week 1 was kitchen counters and sinks.  I followed the advice of the challenge and defined the purpose of my space.  I was using valuable counter space as a catch-all for the kids’ school work, the mail, and little odds and ends.  Once I put everything where it belonged, I noticed I had TONS of counter space!!  Week 2 just started and I’m working on my cupboards and pantries.  It’s great because someone has given me a defined task and a defined time frame.  I’ve found I can accomplish a lot in a small amount of time because I’m just focusing on one thing, not getting distracted by tons of other tasks.

I’m already less stressed which is WONDERFUL!  It’s nice too because now that it’s been really cleaned, it doesn’t take much to maintain the space.  Plus I’m being a good example to my kids (who I constantly hassle to keep their rooms clean and help pick up around the house).  I’m noticing I have the desire to do other small tasks too. Like today, instead of worrying about cleaning the whole bathroom, I just cleaned the toilets.  It was small, but it was an accomplishment.

Part of my desire for 2012 is to live a healthier lifestyle.  A clean house = less stress = less cortisol.  Cortisol is a basically a “stress hormone” which can really negatively affect your health and even contribute to increased abdominal fat.  INCREASED. ABDOMINAL. FAT.  That is definitely something to avoid!

So here’s so a year of less stress, a cleaner house, and maybe even a little less belly to jiggle come next Christmas.

Interested in joining the 52 Week Challenge?  It’s not too late!!  Either click on the link in the post (it will open in a separate window) or click the button below.

 

52 Week Organized Home Challenge

NFL Eyes – Packers vs. Browns Special Edition!

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Okay, last week I was sick, sick, sick and putting on makeup was not on my list of things to do.  To make up for it, I am doing TWO looks today!  The Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns are playing each other today, and I thought it was the perfect time to try out a couple of new looks.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
Cleveland Browns

First up is the Packers inspired look.  I really wanted to tone this look down a bit and make it wearable for everyday, so I chose to highlight the green more than the yellow.   For this look  I used Solar (a buttery, shimmery yellow), Clover (a brilliant emerald green), Celadon (a pale shimmery sage-y green) and Loreal’s HiP eye pencil in black.  First, apply Solar (or your favorite pale yellow or gold shadow) to your entire lid.  I applied it wet to intensify it some.  Then gently apply Clover (or your favorite dramatic green) to the outer corner of your eye, blending it carefully into your crease to about mid-eyelid.  Add a little Celadon (pale green) to the Clover, blending it.   This softens the look.  Finally, a dramatic black eyeliner on both top and lower lash lines gets a soft look by using a stiff flat brush to blend it gently.

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Now for the Cleveland Browns look I got to use my new shades Mangosteen (a pale peach) and Mandarin (a knock-out orange).  I also used Espresso (amazing bronzy brown) and little bit of Cinnamon (explosion of autumn-y brown sparkles).

Using the Mangosteen, cover your entire eyelid, concentrating the color on the inner corner of your eye.  Using a damp brush, tap on the Mandarin from the center of your eyelid, extending out toward the outer corner of your eye.  I did this a couple of times to build up the color.  Then using a big fluffy eye brush, blend the Mandarin in towards the inner corner of your eye.  Using a small domed brush, add some Espresso to the outer corner of your eye blending into the crease towards the center of your eyelid.  I uses Espresso again with a wet liner brush to line my upper and lower lids.  Finally I used the Cinnamon to add some dramatic sparkles to my eyelid (I wish this showed up in the photo better).

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Enjoy these new looks!  Do you have a favorite team you would like to see interpreted into a hot new eye look?  Leave a comment and you just may see it in an upcoming post!

All eyeshadows used for these looks are available at Orglamix on Etsy.

NFL Eyes – Baltimore Ravens

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The Baltimore Raven inspired this week’s NFL Eyes look.  Since moving to Maryland last year, my family has enjoyed following the Ravens and every Sunday we get our Ravens gear on and cheer our team.

The Baltimore Ravens Logo

The Baltimore Ravens Logo

For this look I used Orglamix eye shadow in Solar (a pale yellow gold), Bordeaux (a deep glamorous purple), Iris (a bright friendly purple) and Obsidian (deep black)  and some Great Lash Mascara in black.

These colors are available at www.orglamix.etsy.com

These colors are available at http://www.orglamix.etsy.com

Apply Solar (or your favorite gold colored eye shadow) from the inner corner to the middle lid of your eye using a small brush, making sure to pat on the color, not swipe it.  Take a medium size domed brush and add some Bordeaux (or whichever deep purple shadow you prefer) from the outer corner of your eye in towards the center of your lid.  Gently blend, blend blend the purple into the gold.  I wanted a little bit of depth in the purple so using a small domed brush I blended a little of the brighter purple (Iris) into the Bordeaux.  Using the same small domed brush, add a little purple and a little gold to your lower lash line, mirroring where you put the colors on your lid.   Using a small liner brush, line your eyes in Obsidian.  I used Obsidian wet this time because I wanted a more dramatic look.  You can also use your favorite gel or liquid liner.   Top with your favorite black mascara!

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I’d love to hear any suggestions for next week’s look.  Who’s your favorite team?

Mummy! I Want A Cupcake!!

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I decided today was a good day to bake, but I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to make.  First I thought a nice big cake- four layers, lots of frosted goodness.  The truth is, I didn’t want to mess around with a cake, so I decided to do something simple and cute in keeping with the month of October.  Mummy Cakes!  I can’t remember where I saw these, but I thought they were super cute and I’ve been dying for an opportunity to try them.  I picked butter pecan cake with a butter rum flavored frosting.  Very sweet, but a little spicy too.

Mummy Cakes

Mummy Cakes

The eyes were the tricky part.  I was going to use Peanut M&Ms but I didn’t have any in the house.  What I did have was a bag of  yellow molding chocolate.  I wanted to make the eyes round, but not too flat and I didn’t have a good mold.  I searched around the house and found that I had one of those bubble packages that cough drops sometimes come in.  I washed it well and used it as my candy mold.

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I filled the little compartments and put in my freezer to solidify them quickly

I purchased the molding chocolate at JoAnn Fabrics

I purchased the molding chocolate at JoAnn Fabrics

After I made enough chocolate eyes, I got everything ready to frost.  I chose Wilton Tip #47 because it allows you to pipe nice flat lines.  It is a double sided tip so make sure to check before you pipe otherwise you’ll get a more corrugated look.  I attached the chocolate eyes using a little bit of the frosting.

Wilton Tip #47

Wilton Tip #47

Attatch the chocolate eyes to the cupcake using a little frosting

Attatch the chocolate eyes to the cupcake using a little frosting

When applying the frosting I used long strokes.  Don’t try for any sort of pattern here, you want it to look like bandages wrapped around a mummy’s head.  Finally, I used a little dark mint molding chocolate to make little pupils for the eyes.  I had so much fun I even made a little cake!

Mummy and her little kids

Mummy and her little kids

I had so much fun making these, and I hope you try them out this month.  They would be a big hit at a Halloween party!

Stay Tuned…

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I feel like baking today, so stay tuned for pictures!  Plus, coming later this month:

  • How-To: Sewing quick and easy trick-or-treat bags
  • More NFL team-inspired eye makeup looks (if you have no idea what this means, read my post here.  Also, let me know what teams you would like to see translated into easy and fun eye looks!)
  • My son’s 8th birthday is this month and he requested a cake with “either a shark or a dinosaur chasing a guy or something” so I’ll be posting pictures of that late in the month
  • Halloween costume extravaganza – I’m turning my kids into a mummy, a pink sparkle fairy and a cowboy this year!
  • Posts on whatever else pops into my little head- Autumn iPod playlists, Family Fun, Pumpkins and other craziness

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