Friday, May 31, 2013

Sunny Stripes

 I wore this to a job meeting yesterday. I just received this skirt from my dear friend, Gabby, and I love it! I was also playing with the tripod angles, so the pictures are funky on purpose! I'm also wearing a thrifted purple shirt, shell earrings that my aunt and uncle got me for my birthday a few years ago, and purple wedges that my grandma gave me.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cinnamon Bun Scones

 My favorite thing about being home alone (or the first one up) in the morning is making breakfast. When everyone is awake and home there isn't enough space in the kitchen for me to bake. So today I made Cinnamon Bun Scones for breakfast. They were so delicious! Recipe at the bottom, as always.

Cinnamon Bun Scones (found here)
2 C Flour
1 C Oatmeal
1/4 C + 2 T Sugar
1 T Baking Powder
1/4 t Salt
8 T (1 Stick) Butter
3/4 C Milk
1 Egg
1 t Vanilla
2 t Cinnamon

3/4 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 t Vanilla
3-4 t Milk (I used 4, but I like my glaze a little runny)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the flour, oatmeal (you can use quick or old fashioned), 3/4 C sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in room temperature butter. The easiest way to do this is with a pastry knife, but if you don't have one you can use two regular knives or a fork. In a small bowl combine the milk, egg, and vanilla. Mix it into the dry mixture until just wet. In another small bowl combine the extra 2 T sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the dough and swirl it in. Don't mix it in completely. Drop onto a cookie sheet in 3/4 cupfuls, or you could use an ice cream scoop. Bake at 425 for 11-13 minutes, or until brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes and drizzle with glaze. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Just Before the Rain

 I'm feeling pretty productive today :) I got my job applications turned in, my scholarship applications turned in, training finished, and paperwork finished for a training tomorrow! Therefore, I get to have fun and take pictures in the woods :) I'm wearing a new white dress that my friend Gabby (or rather, her mom) gave me. Gabby didn't want it and it just so happens that we're the same size. I'm also wearing a thrifted green jacket and thrifted orange buckle shoes. I finished taking pictures just in time for the rain to start.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Knock you Naked Brownies

First of all, I'd like to thank my friend, Lindsay, for introducing me to these brownies. They are incredible.
This is what they look like finished. Not beautiful, but incredibly delicious.
I made them for the Easter Vigil party. They are caramely, chocolatey, nutty goodness.
This is the first layer.
You have to melt the caramel candies in a double boiler until it's smooth like this.
Knock You Naked Brownies
1 Box German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 C Chopped Pecans
1/3 C Evaporated Milk
1/2 C Evaporated Milk (additional)
1/2 C Butter, melted
60 Caramel Candies
1/3 C Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Powdered Sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 pan. Mix together the cake mix (not prepared, just the powdery mix), pecans, 1/3 C evaporated milk, and butter. The mix will be very thick. Press half the mixture into the pan and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. While it's baking melt the caramels and 1/2 C evaporated milk in a double boiler until smooth. Pour it over the cake when it comes out. Make sure to pour it over a spatula or something because if you pour it directly onto the cake it will make a hole in your cake. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel. Press the remaining cake mix into a square slightly smaller than 9x9. Use a spatula to flip the cake mix onto the caramel covered cake. It's ok if you can't get it all at once, you can piece it together. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar once cool, if desired. Enjoy!
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Red, White, and Blue

 Isn't he adorable? My sister and I like to change his bandanna based on holidays, so today it's red, white, and blue. He's very excited because we're having our Memorial Day picnic today, which means he gets to play with kids all day!
 This is what I'm wearing to the picnic. I actually just recently wore this skirt as a dress, but I changed it up a little by wearing a blue shirt over it instead of a red scarf/vest.

I hope you all have a relaxing Memorial Day with your family!
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Sunshine

I got a compliment on almost every piece of this outfit, so I figure it must be worth a post :)
 I'm wearing my men's refashion skirt, a thrifted top, black tights, thrifted yellow shoes, black treble clef earrings (a gift from my friend, Lindsay), and a black and gray headband from Claires.

A little Les Mis-esque windy hair going on here... 
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Happy Birthday Momma!

My mom's birthday is on Tuesday! Usually she's the cake baker. She makes beautiful cakes and often makes them for other people's birthdays. However, I didn't want her to make her own birthday cake, so I thought I'd take over. I had to make it almost a week early because she was out for the weekend with my dad and I wanted the cake to be a surprise. Also, if I had tried to make it while she was home she would have taken over :) So I made it this past Saturday while she was gone. I'm definitely not as much of a decorator as she is, so I tend to make simple, yet delicious, cakes. I was able to choose a recipe with buttermilk and heavy cream in it because we had them from making ice cream and something else, I'm not sure what. I love having random ingredients in the house! This cake is SUPER delicious. And it keeps for a really long time due to the oil in it; it's been in our fridge for a week and it still tastes super fresh!

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake (found here)
3 C Flour
2 1/2 C Sugar
1 T +1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
1 C Cocoa
1 1/3 C Canola Oil
1 1/2 C Buttermilk
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C Extra Strong Hot Coffee (you cannot taste this in the cake, it just brings out the chocolate flavor)
1 t Vanilla 
24 oz (3 C) Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa together. Add the canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs to the dry mixture. Add the coffee and vanilla. Pour batter into two greased 9" circle pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (mine stayed in 40 minutes). Let the cakes cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before dumping out. While the cakes are cooling heat 2" of water in the bottom of a double boiler. When the water is boiling, but the chocolate chips and whipping cream in the top of your double boiler. (If you don't have a double boiler, like me, you can boil the water in a saucepan and use a stove-top safe bowl that sets in the top of the pan without wiggling too much. Make sure the water in the saucepan doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl in the top.) Melt the chocolate and whipping cream until combined. Chill the icing until spreadable (about 10 minutes). Dump the first layer of cake onto a plate. If needed, level the top of the cake with a serrated knife, cake leveler, or dental floss. Ice the cake with the chilled icing. Place the second layer on top and ice it. Chill the cake for about 15 minutes and add another layer of icing. Repeat until you have as much icing as you'd like. Enjoy!
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

4 Ingredient Cookies? I'm In!

You know those posts you see on Pinterest where you just thing "that is NEVER going to work!"? Well that was my thought when I saw this recipe for peanut butter cookies that only uses 4 ingredients. Neither I, nor my mom, thought that these were going to work, but with only four ingredients you're not really wasting that much if they don't work. We (I) decided to try it.
 Literally this is all you need.
They turned out great! They were so easy to make. They had that crunch that peanut butter cookies are supposed to have, but they also melted a bit in your mouth. Delicious!

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C Peanut Butter
1 C Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 t Vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together and drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Use a fork to create the ridges on the top. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Chai Spiced Cookies

 Do those not look incredibly delicious? I thought so too. They also taste delicious, in case you were wondering! I had to make a dessert for the dinner we were going to tonight and the choice was between these and another incredible recipe that you can look forward to hearing about as soon as I (haha, my mom) restock the brown sugar. Needless to say, I made these because we didn't have any brown sugar. They're the perfect mix between crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle. They would be perfect with a cup of tea. You should definitely make them and let me know what you think!

Chai Spiced Cookies (recipe found here)

2 3/4 C Flour
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
1 3/4 C White Sugar
2 1/2 t Cinnamon
1 t Ginger
1 t Cardamom
1/2 t Allspice
1/4 t Pepper 
1 C Butter
1 Egg
1/2 t Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and spices together. Take out 1/4 C of the sugar and spice (see what I did there?) mixture to roll the cookies in. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Roll into small balls and roll in the sugar and spice mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy! 
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Men's Shirt Refashion

So I was browsing Pinterest (how many of my stories start with that phrase, I wonder...) and I came across a pin to refashion a men's dress shirt into a skirt. I knew I had to try it. Unfortunately, when I pinned it our sewing machine was in South Carolina. That didn't stop me from buying the materials, though! I got the men's shirt from a thrift store for (I think) about $2. 3 months later I actually made the skirt.
 This is what the shirt looked like when I bought it.
 This is my "do you think it will look good as a skirt?" face
Finished product!
I ended up having to pleat it in the back because when I added more fabric to make it big enough I made it too big...
 Side view: it goes up on the sides and is slightly longer in the back, giving it a slight high-low effect. 
So how did I do it? I followed these directions. Basically, cut off your sleeves with the seam on the sleeve side. Cut as far up as you are able to get the collar off, making sure you get the back yoke. Take a skirt that already fits you and measure the back against the back of the shirt. You should fold the shirt so all the buttons are on one side and the middle of the back is on the other. Fold your skirt so the middle of the back matches the middle of the back of the shirt. Cut around the skirt. For the front you just lay the front of the skirt against the front of the shirt (lain normally, not folded) and cut around it. Then, if you picked the right size men's shirt you can simply sew your front and back together and you're done. However, if you picked the wrong size shirt because you were guessing instead of measuring, you can cut up your sleeves and add more fabric to each side of the back. Then you sew your (newly larger) back to the front. You can make a waistband out of the other half of the sleeve and sew that to the top, making pleats as needed. Then you hem the bottom, sew the front together so your skirt doesn't flap open, add buttons to the waistband so your skirt doesn't fall down, and voila! You're done! I left the hem of the shirt as the hem for my skirt because I liked the look of the high-low, but you can straight hem around if you like that better. What do you think?
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

So today I thought I'd share with you a recipe I made for Easter this year. I was looking through my pictures and realized I hadn't posted these yet! They're actually pretty easy to make, it just takes quite a while. First  you make cookie dough. If you're worried about heath stuff you can use the recipe at the bottom of the post which has no eggs, but I think cookie dough with eggs tastes better so I'll probably make them that way next. After you've made your cookie dough roll it into balls that are pretty small and place them on a lined cookie sheet like so:
 I didn't realize how big they were going to end up once you added everything to them, so next time I make them I'll definitely start with smaller cookie dough balls! Put the pan in the freezer and let them harden for at least 30 minutes. While they're hardening bake brownies. Make sure you get the fudgey kind, otherwise they won't mold around the cookies. When the brownies come out let them cool for a little while or they'll burn your fingers (yes I learned that the hard way, I'm homeschooled ;)). Once they're cool enough to touch cut the brownies into 1" squares and mold them around the frozen cookie dough balls until they look like this:
 You don't want to wait too long otherwise they'll be harder to mold. Put the pan back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Before you take them out melt one package of chocolate bark (or chocolate chips, whichever you prefer) in a double boiler. Keep a CLOSE eye on this. Burning chocolate neither tastes nor smells delicious... Take your frozen brownie covered cookie dough balls out of the freezer and drop them one at a time into the chocolate. Thoroughly coat them in chocolate and put them back on the pan like this:

Freeze them for about another 30-45 minutes. Until they're hard enough to not melt when you eat them, but not so hard that you break any teeth. It's a pretty wide margin, and if you forget about them you can always heat them in the microwave. When they come out of the freezer for the last time they should look like this:
If they don't, hey, it's cookie dough, brownies, and chocolate, it's going to taste good anyway!
I had some left over peanut butter icing in my fridge from this project so I melted some of that and drizzled it on top of the bombs. They were pretty incredible, I have to say. :)

Eggless Cookie Dough (recipe found here)

3/4 C Butter, softened
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C White Sugar
2 T Milk
1 t Vanilla
2 C Flour
Pinch of Salt

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Scarf Tying

So I was browsing Pinterest (I know, surprise, right?) and came across a pin that I knew I had pinned before, but I had forgotten about it. I decided to try it. Several (hundred) tries later I was completely frustrated. Of course, my mom got it right the first time. Anyway, I give you...the bow scarf! You can find detailed instructions here, but I'll give you an overview. She tells you to start with one end of your scarf longer than the other, but I found it easier to do with the ends the same length. You then take one end and loop it to make a circle and pinch in the middle to make a bow. Then you want to take your other end and wrap it around the pinched middle. You will be coming up from the bottom with the end on the opposite side of the bow from your body. Wrap that end around it once, then when you bring it back to the top you tie it in a knot. This is the part that messed me up. I thought you were supposed to be knotting it with part of the bow end, but it turns out you knot it completely with the same end. I didn't realize how hard it is to explain in words. Go to her site, she shows you with pictures! If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them!

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