10 November 2011

My time away

What happens when a burgeoning blogger gets busy before cementing a good writing habit?
-Two weeks without a blog.

So I offer, with a slight blush, some stuff that happened, along with some stuff I've learned:

Halloween costumes – WIN (at least for the boys, mine was not nearly as cool). I am know for always having tons of costume pieces at the ready, so I already had everything I needed to make these: a skein of yarn, sheets that fit no beds in my house, a flannel pillowcase, and a costume hat.

The Kid had some fun scaring some Trick-or-Treaters.

This is SPARTA!

Even Ichabod got in on the action. Our haas of a cat got to show off his muscles for the night.

I learned that the temperature of butter does actually make a difference in baking. Especially if you don't want you icing to melt. :( (Why do I have the feeling that icing will be the end of me?)

I actually managed to bake my special Stoplight Apple Pie. Thank you Christina Marsigliese for giving me the perfect pie crust. It was so yummy, getting a piece was more pivotal than a picture. Re: above- temperature is SO important in baking.

After 4 days without internet, a complete computer crash, and a week without any Office programs, I am not fully back up and running. Thank you OpenOffice for free programs!

I learned that when you upgrade your operating system, your computer just pastes it on top of the old stuff. It still saves all your old info on the hard-drive, sucking up valuable RAM. Who thought this was a good idea?

I saw the new commercial for a certain frozen pizza snack, the one where two kids are "dying" of hunger and can't even see the food right in front of them. Realizing that all teenagers are completely clueless and boys especially can't see what is right before their eyes, instills just a bit more patience. My goodness, he is not the only one! I am not alone.

When did Harry Potter 7.2 come out? I seriously missed the whole damn thing.

I got a new job. Yay! Front end of an alterations shop, complete with sewing lessons. I'm practically drooling at the thought of it, and it will bring on some major OCD (Obsessive Crafting Disorder). And oh goodness, next Halloween is going to be a-MAZ-ing.

I remembered that going from my normal night-owl habits to 6a.m. mornings is rough. Really, really rough. (All hail coffee!) However, I have discovered the splended new feeling of looking up and thinking "Damn, it's time to leave."
I've definitely had moments when I didn't want to stop what I was doing and leave. Now I have that moment almost every moment of every day.

Oh dear, I'm Mary-Fucking-Sunshine.

Now, I need to take my old, happy ass to bed. It's past my bed-time.

26 October 2011

And miles to go...

So I have been making pretty good progress on the oodles of projects on my plate this week.

Unfortunately, the universe decided I just wasn't having enough fun. Just after my jumpdrive decided it had had a full life and it was time to shuffle and take all my various important documents with it, our computer very enthusiasically "shit the bed".

At first, it was just that all my bookmarks were gone from our browser. No biggie, just restart. But then it couldn't start back up.

When I told Ricklet, he was relaxed as always. More tech-savvy than your average bear, he was convinced he only needed to "reset it to a previous picture of the hard-drive" or something like that. Except, all those pictures, or whatever, had been erased with everything other bit of memory. Oh... sigh.

Rick then begrudgingly erases all our Windows 7 goodness and loads up Vista. Oh, Vista.

So I've decided two things:

1. to take this as a sign that I should not be looking for houses to buy before we can actually buy them.
2. It is SOOOO time for a MAC.

I realize my life is not all that dire and horrid, but is there ever a point in time when it gets somewhere close to anything resembling easy?

23 October 2011

Getting it all together

So, I thought that life would get back to normal after the wedding.

Ha. "Normal" got a lot more busy than I remember.

There is so much to do, I can’t even map out my thoughts to tell you about it! But this is what I know:
        I have three costumes to finish by Saturday night (one of which requires a yarn wig made from a knit hat, which I’m making).
        I need to get 3 baby shower gifts together over the next three weeks. Setting the bar with baby diaper cupcakes was such a bad idea.
        There are two product parties coming, with stuff I really, really want and can’t have, unless I find a job.
        If I don’t deal with the large pile of linens I have left over from the wedding, the will “magically appear” outside on trash day.
        Thank you cards need to go out, like, yesterday.
        The kid and Ricklet have to have a lunch every morning, and the Kid has to be picked up 4 days a week from football.

I need more coffee in my life.

I have managed to get a project together to share.

Side Tables with Runners

If you’re anything like me, you have very little space and keep a lot of stuff next to your bed. The best fix I found was a 31” shelf-in-a-box on each side of the bed: perfect height and plenty of shelves. The problem is the either have loud doors (not good at 3a.m. when your significant other is sleeping) or they are open for all your crap to spill out on the floor, not to mention being an eye-sore.

They have pop-out fabric drawers that you can put in them. But I have two issues with those: 1. They look a little young and messy. 2. It is way too easy to turn that in to yet another junk drawer. So now we need a cover, and it needs to be a cover that is sleek, easy to get under, easy to clean, and (Ricklet’s special request) won’t slide around the top. So… Runners win.

Before I get in to the (very easy) “How To”, here is what I’m getting at:

Go from BEFORE                   to AFTER    

WARNING: This explanation is for those who don’t currently know how to sew.

For a 31” shelf you will need:

Fabric – at least 13”x44” (try craft fabric - about $2 at A.C. Moore)
Fabric pins
Sewing needle
Thread that matches your fabric
An iron
A pencil

Start by hemming the long sides. You will fold it over ½ an inch and pin it down every few inches. Iron it down. Repeat so it is now 3-ply for ½ inch on each side. Yes, iron twice! Stitch hem ¼ inch from edge.

Now, on one of the short sides follow the same steps, only instead of a ½ inch, go with ¼ inch or as small as you can. This part won’t show, so don’t fret too much. Just try to make it square.

Now, you are going to sew the pencil in to the other end to help weight it down and keep it from flapping around. Fold the fabric over once about ¼ inch, pin and iron. Roll the pencil in fabric once, and pin it like you did the hem. Slip out the pencil and iron. Sew the hem without the pencil in it, making sure not to sew the ends shut. You should be able to slip the pencil in and out easily for cleaning.

This is how it looks with the pencil inside.
Now fit it to your shelf by tacking the non-pencil end to the back, making sure it stays straight down the front. You can also use Velcro in the front to tighten the top, just be sure to stitch it to the fabric.

Yay, done!


I also managed to work out that baking bug a bit, too. Check it out:

Yummy Banana Pudding with a double layer of vanilla wafers (because that is totally the best part)
Excellent Ovaltine Chocolate Cupcakes dusted with powdered sugar, espresso powder, and Ovaltine. They just didn’t need frosting, especially since mine turned to butter.

P.S. Check out our new "About Us" page, posted on Thursday.

17 October 2011

The Baker's Bug

As the weather gets colder, and the trees turn colors, I dream of turning on my oven and getting to some baking. My husband and the Kid have no problem with this, of course. After the first batch of brownies, we were all hooked on my latest obsession.

I will admit to a few flights of fancy, a bit glancing obsession, or a slight lack of concentration. But baking is one that I always come back around to, usually around this time of year. It's just convenient that it's right before Thanksgiving, the mother of all epicurean holidays.

So I've been searching through websites and blogs and pouring through my cookbooks to find the perfect recipe to try next.

I found this one at Or Whatever You Do for Chocolate Cupcakes. It sounds so amazing, but I've done cupcakes so often it doesn't feel like a challenge. Plus, I don't keep half-and-half in the house.

My go-to for food, allrecipes.com supplied this base for banana pudding, which is the only way I eat bananas. Of course, I don't have condensed milk.

A new find, Form V Artisan, gave me an awesome recipe for Cinnamon Crème Brûlée, but, of course, I don't have ramekins.

The only thing I have everything for is my very famous (at least in my family) Stoplight Apple Pie. But it's too easy for me to even want to try.

If I keep going like this, the baking Bug will pass me by, without a single thing having come out of my oven. So my goal tomorrow is to go get everything I need to make all my new finds and get to work.

I may blow myself up trying. At least the shrapnel should taste good.

But I still have no idea where to start!


Am I the only one that gets the need to create yummy creations, just for the hell of it?

What would you make?

15 October 2011

I Heart Halloween

I realized this weekend that Halloween is just under two weeks away, and I can’t wait!

It may be strange of me, but my favorite holiday is Halloween. Yes, Christmas is beautiful and you get gifts. Yes, Thanksgiving is absolutely delicious. Yes, New Years in a total ball.

But you also have to deal with family – bickering, drama, and pretending to like the pink cat sweater your grandmother gave you.

Halloween, however, has everything I can ask for: crafting, make-believe, dressing up, and FRIENDS. So I love it more than all the others.

Now I must start scheming and planning for the night. The costume is crucial.
I’ve always wanted one like this (Especially since moving to Charleston. It so fits with the history!): 
But I have never been able to pull together the skill or cash.


And I would love to be able to use this mask in a costume, but I loathe random generic “fairy” or “nymph” or whatever costumes. Any girl can throw one together in 20 seconds without trying.


I’ve already done Tinkerbell, Holly Golightly, Red Riding Hood, and Dorothy Gale. I’ve also done a few generic ones I hate to admit: a marine, an angel, a nymph. :/

So what do I do this year? And the best part is that if I get it together fast enough I can make my husband wear a matching costume! (Evil I know, but I have to get him to do it before he figures out how to resist my puppy-dog eyes.)

Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit? Pirates? Maid Marian and Robin Hood?

It’s just a little bit difficult. I want to match, but so many couple’s costumes are a little bit vulgar. Cop and prisoner: um… ew. Everything else seems to be a little too cheesy.

What to do?!


What’s been your favorite costume?

Is getting him to match a little too cruel?

13 October 2011

And they all lived happily ever after...

So I started this blog for two main reasons: 1. I had a very limited wedding budget and did some really crazy and out of the box stuff to save money. Most of it worked, and the hubs sweetly reminded me of all the other cool and different stuff I’ve come up with. Basically, I thought I had info to share.         2. Hopefully, someday soon, I’ll be able to contribute to the health of our pocketbook again.

I always knew, realistically, #2 was gonna take a while, but I was still silently mapping out posts all through my wedding planning process.

Well the wedding was just under two weeks ago. My house is finally back in order. My brain is firing on all circuits once again. I finally have the time I didn’t have before the wedding to flush out all those nifty posts I thought up.

Only… I can’t stand to think about ANYTHING wedding ANYMORE!

Just the thought of even finishing up the last bits of the budget bores me to tears. Tips for you on how to pick a coordinator? Untold tedium! I don’t even want to return things that didn’t get used, no matter how much needed funds it will bring.

Even though I’ve never really been a froofie girl, I have to admit, I kinda loved the planning. It was one huge, intricate art project, and I dug it.

But now, I just want to be a girl again.

I want to read a book. Maybe bake brownies. Or take a long bubble bath. I could even catch up on the projects that got tossed aside in the arrangements sandstorm.

And that is just what I did today. All of it.

And man was it a weird day. 

It was like waking up from a three month coma.

I’m all “oh yea, I can do whatever the heck I want to… aside from the whole breaking vows I just affirmed thing. Cause that’s just wrong.”

And “What the hell? Since when am I living with two boys? And they smell funny! And can’t cook to keep themselves from starving.”

Oh yea, and “Why the hell do my feet look so old and crusty?! You’re 25, not 80, woman!”

Very weird day.

But at least it was way more entertaining than dealing with wedding crap.


So you may be wondering if I’m done now with the blog, out only 3 posts in. I hope you’re glad to know that the answer is no.

The wedding stuff may come, maybe in the form of another blog. For now however, I’ll try just a slight shift in focus. How about some crafting and saving of sanity, yes?

11 October 2011

Save yourself 30 bucks and two hours you'll never get back... or Why Hollywood Sucks

So my husband is in the Navy and is currently on rotating shifts. This means for at least two weeks out of the month, he works the night shifts and I see him almost not at all. So to save my sanity and our relationship, I thought a good date night would be cool, even if we brought along his brother, the Kid.

Then I take a look at the current Box Office listings and what’s coming soon. Well then, eff the date night to the movies! I’ve known for a while that Hollywood has been going downhill, but this is just getting ridiculous.

Would you like to see a poorly done, “not a remake” remake? You could go to Dream House, but didn’t Amityville Horror just come out again in 2005? Or Piranha 3DD, but isn’t that just Lake Placid with fish where the crocodile used to be? (btw, what the hell is up with the extra D?) At least the new makers Footloose and The Thing have waited 20 years before butchering epic movies like Community Theater doing Shakespeare.

If I wanted to see that movie again, I would rummage through my mother’s VHS collection, not pay $20 for movie tickets.

How about a sequel? Nothing like taking a nearly awesome movie and running its name through the mud with endless, prosaic sequels and prequels.

Paranormal Activity, Underworld, and Shrek (with Puss in Boots): They’ve all done it again. Even Mission Impossible. Yes, that’s right. Not a remake: A sequel, including Tom Cruise in his sad attempt to salvage his movie career by riding on the merits of the past.

Now we come to the ones that really make me bonkers: the movies created from works of literature or children’s games. I could leave it at “Are they figgin’ serious?!” but what fun would that be?

Anonymous- (The story of how Shakespeare was bribed and blackmailed into putting his name on others work.) I get it; Shakespeare may have been a fraud. But seriously? How can they create an entire plot from this small rumor and expect it to be half worth watching. Especially since you either have read enough Shakespeare to get the (hopefully plentiful) references to his work and therefore know it’s almost entirely improbable, or you hate Shakespeare and shudder at the thought of sitting through a movie all about him. Not to mention there’s not a single recognizable face in the entire line-up: that’s promising.

Real Steel- (Washed-up boxer makes a boxing Robot.) Is it my imagination that this is a Rock’em Sock’em Robots meets Rocky movie? So really, it’s just another “not a remake” with special effects. Hugh Jackman may be a hottie, but I think his taste in roles is starting to turn. At least the Transformers crowd will get a change of scenery.

The Three Musketeers- (The King of France’s personal guards fight to save the world.) ARE THEY FRIGGIN’ SERIOUS?! I take they expect the general populous to have no idea what the book is about, or have never even seen the 1993 version. 1. They are not saving the world and running into giant boobie traps like Indian Jones! They are the pawns in a pissing contest between the king and the cardinal. 2. Lady DeWinter claims she wants to be a musketeer?!?!?! She was such an evil demon of a woman (direct quote!) that they had her head chopped off! And are we forgetting she’s Athos’s wife and he’s ready to kill her at first sight, not fight at her side? It may make me a book snob to hate this so much, but what a horrific bastardization of classic literature.

Most of what remains are Emo slit-my-wrist dramas and political, preachy snob-dramas.

So my choices are: Moneyball – a baseball movie that I most likely won’t understand – or Lion King 3D – now just $15 a ticket to relive the good days of your 1980s childhood.

How can I choose?

Guess its Dexter DVDs and microwave popcorn at home for us. I’m holding Hollywood personally responsible if I am forced to spend date nights at home for eternity. It’s just boring.


Now, am I crazy? Am I missing something? Has Hollywood not lost its collective ever-loving mind? Or is this simply their way of going green? No need for fresh, great for all movies, just recycle what we know can work.

Any ideas on what we can do?