Cute little doo-dad

Cute little doo-dad

This was a nifty little picture I came across while surfing Pinterest one night a while back. It looked a little complicated, but I simplified it a little and it ended up being a lot of fun!
My husband drinks beer so securing the beer caps was the easiest part of this! I have lots of pictures of my children floating around the house so I decided to do a Valentine’s Day theme since I had some cute wallet size portraits left from Chiara’s first Valentine’s pictures.
Mod Podge is just a good thing to have around the house if you enjoy Pinterest. I’ve done several projects involving it so I started buying the big containers! I cut the pictures down to size so my kids faces fit inside the cap and then you put a thin layer down over the pictures. I kind of swirled it around my fingers to make sure it would stick good and proper and that it would be evenly covered. I always manage to forget how white this is when you first lay it down. It did take a while to dry, but as you can see by the finished picture, it turned out great.
The original picture of this project had the caps attached with little metal links and a ribbon tied with a bell at the bottom. Obviously I adjusted to use ribbon and I am very happy how it turned out. This is a quick and easy project and I’m already thinking about making a more Christmas appropriate one to hang on the Christmas tree!
Original picture for idea found here

Preserving apples

Preserving apples

My kids love apples. Most kids do. Arthur is perfectly content to eat the apple as they come, but Chiara likes them to be sliced with one of those happy slicers that cores and gives you 8 even slices. Then she eats the inside and leave me the skin. She’s a peach.
I like bringing apples on car trips because they’re healthy and a nice couter-point to the fast food we inevitably eat on the road. It’s no issue for Arthur to eat them straight out of the cooler, but if you pre-slice the apples, they always brown. Yeah they taste ok, but they look gross.
This pin was super simple to do and this is actually the second time I’ve done it. Step one: Go crazy slicing the apples up. Step two: Soak them in cold water for 3-5 minutes. Step three: Soak them in a lemon-lime soda, like Sprite or 7-up (I used Sprite) for 3-5 minutes. Drain and pack up. Easy peasy, my favorite kind of pin!
The only thing the original pinner forgot to mention is that apples float so I ended up pushing the apples down and rolling them over so the ones on top still soaked up the Sprite. They taste just like fresh-cut apples, unless you eat them straight out of the mixture. The last time I made these, they stayed fresh for a week, that’s when we had eaten them all, and they had just started to turn a very light tan color. I call this pin: SUCCESS
Check out the original pin here

Make your own sea glass

Make your own sea glass

I loved the way this pin looked so this has not been sitting long on my Pinterest boards. I was delayed a few days due to not having a paint brush, but I finally rectified that! I picked up some regular McCormick food coloring. I wasn’t sure how well the Wilton’s stuff I already have would work.
The directions on this one were pretty simple. You take Elmer’s Glue and mix it with the coloring of your choice. I chose red for the first one, even though sea-glass isn’t red (or pink as it turned out). I actually read through some of the comments to this pin prior to trying it and there was some concern about Elmer’s Glue being washable. So the pink one was done with Mod Podge and food coloring. The ripples on the lip of the first one made it a little difficult to paint, but I managed, missing some spots. What the heck, it was my first time!
I wasn’t overly thrilled with the first time so I used Elmer’s Glue on the second one. I’ve had this vase kicking around for a few years and rarely used it so I figured I would use it for these beautiful wood roses my mom got me. I think it looks fantastic. I wanted to post this tonight so I don’t have any sunlight pictures. I’ve heard they look great in the sunlight!
I used a foam brush for both of these, figuring the coverage would be better, but the bubbles made me a little twitchy. I had to go over multiple times to get rid of them all. I may get a regular craft paint brush before I try this again. All in all, I’m happy with how these turned out. I hope you all are willing to give these a try, because they sure are pretty!
Check out the original pin here

Universal Studios Butterbeer

Universal Studios Butterbeer

The recipe exists! I mean, I know it exists, but I’m so excited about the recipe existing where I can have it! I’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter twice and I’m in love with the whole world they have built. The rides, the shops and the food. The Butterbeer is at the top of the food list! The cup in the picture is one of the souvenier mugs that you can get when you order them and of course I have a pair of them!
Directions: Combine 1 cup brown sugar and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often until the mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (I just waited till it boiled and taste tested this extremely hot mixture to make sure it tasted yummy). Immediately remove from the heat when it reaches 240 degrees to prevent burnt flavor. Stir in 6 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature. (I didn’t let it cool enough, still tasted amazing, but I reccomend letting it cool all the way!) Once it’s cooled stir in 1/2 tsp rum extract.
For the foamy head of the drink, combine 2 tbsp of the brown sugar mixture to 1/2 cup heavy cream. Use an electric mixture to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 glasses (about 1/4 cup per glass) add 1/4 cup cream soda to each glass then stir to combine. Fill each glass with additional cream soda, spoon whipped topping over each glass.
It feels like a lot of work when you are anxious for the taste of Butterbeer, but it is so completely worth it! I would suggest everyone, even non-Harry Potter fans (not that such a person could possibly exist), try this drink because it is amazing!

Original pin found here

Shorty bun-n-braid

Shorty bun-n-braid

So, at first I was thinking, blogging about doing my hair, really?! Then I thought, you know what, it’s an experience that came from Pinterest. So yeah, blogging about hair!
I loved the way this looked in the original pin and it says it’s for short hair, so I was all about trying it out. Sadly I don’t have anyone to experiment on other than myself. Chiara’s hair is a little too short for this style and she’s not quite patient enough to sit through me trying stuff out. I know I could find a friend to sit through this if I tried (Jenna, you may be a victim) but I wanted to try it out right then and there.
I tend to be impatient and skip some steps, just FYI. The original pin says you need to do some big wavy curls with a curling iron. The only curling iron I own is a teeny-tiny 1/2″ one, so that wouldn’t quite do the trick. My solution was to put my hair in french braided pig tails after a shower and let them dry. Then when I let them down, I had big waves.
The bun part of this was easy, other than having to locate my bobby pins, so step 2 was easy. The next and last step was a tricky one for me. I can french braid my own hair without much difficulty, but I like to do tight braids. It’s still a look, as seen in the picture, with tight braids, but it’s not quite the same look. If you check out the original pin you’ll see it’s really a hippy-bohemian look. I have a real issue with loose braids, on myself anyway. Maybe on some level I’m worried they’ll come out. . . . . Anyhow, love the look, will definitely do this again and I’m looking forward to trying this on someone else!

Texas Roadhouse Butter

Texas Roadhouse Butter

So, I love the butter from this place! I love it and make an absolute pig of myself whenever I go. I was really excited to find this pin, but for some reason it took me a little while to make the attempt. I think it was the sheer volume of this recipe that made me hesitant. I’m all about experimentation in the kitchen, but not at the expense of huge amounts of food.
I’m very sad to report that this recipe was a flop!
Directions were to take 2 sticks of butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup honey, 2 tsp cinnamon and whip them all together.
I’m braver than Tony when it comes to trying things, so I slathered it on a piece of bread and took a nice big bite.
BLECK!
Again, I hate to waste food, so I split it up into little bowls and tried adjusting and adding, but nothing I could do fixed it. Needless to say, I ended up dumping the whole mess in the trash. It was a shame to waste that much, but no one would it eat it. Now I have the added benefit of telling all of you to avoid at all costs!
I’ll be on the lookout for a better recipe for the Texas Roadhouse Butter, you can be sure of that!
Original pin if you’re interested

Hot Butterbeer Latte

Hot Butterbeer Latte

Can we say yummy?! I have been making this for a long time now! Pretty much since the month I pinned this. It’s super simple to make and a little too easy to keep drinking. It may not taste like the Butterbeer in Hogwarts, Universal Studios, but it is still delicious!
Directions are combine in a saucepan 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp brown sugar (for the record, this will make caramel), once they are combined you add 1 mug of milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon. Heat to a boil then pour in mug and consume.
Like I said, super yummy! I usually do 3 or 4 tbsp of the butter and brown sugar combo so I can make a travel mug full. I’m modeling my latte in my lovely Longaberger travel mug (shameless product plug) which you can purchase at http://www.longaberger.com/stephaniedesantis
These mugs are really cool and won’t spill if they are tipped over and will hardly spill if you turn them completely over.
Back to the Butterbeer latte! I just looked at the original pin and found out there is a cold butterbeer to try as well. I’ll definitely do this one in the summer. The latte is a great cold weather treat!