Thursday, June 30, 2011

[Crafty Lady] Address Planter

As you might remember from the "Spray Paint Shit" portion of my Summer To Do List...  I was itching to make my own one of these....

Easy enough I thought I'd buy a large number stencil, spray some white glossy spray paint, and waaalaaa be done with it.... yeah, not so much.  

Apparently, the craft store doesn't sell large numerical stencils.  So I grabbed some poster board and made my own little number 10.  I cut it out, and taped it to my already filled doorstep planter.   I taped in down on the inside to hopefully avoid some drips, but it didn't matter.  The spray paint I bought had less than stellar application coming out all drippy (ruined my fresh tart deco manicure).  I didn't even bother taking a picture (mainly because my fingers were wet with spray paint).  So I then just took a wet paper towel and tried to "white wash" the rest of the plastic taupe planter.... this also looked like crud.

(not bad for free hand!)

I found my taupe (cappuccino) spray paint from this previous project, and recovered the planter setting it back close to it's original form, maybe a shade darker.  I then googled this gem (can always count on Martha!) and made a new stencil.

I picked a font style I liked at  And enlarged it to the size I wanted and printed it out.  I cut out the number, traced them to poster board, and then using a exacto knife cut out the insides. And round two started.

This time I used glossy white acrylic paint and a paint brush made for stippling.  Which is exactly what I did.  After I finished I painted the top portion white (since it had left over spray spots from the 'white washing' debacle) and then I used a white Sharpie paint pen to correct and smudges and errors on my 10.

The Husband commented on "how he likes the planter", which is a win in my book.  Now only if the gardenias in the right side rear would come back to life!

Next up on the To Do List, a new wreath and door mat...

Monday, June 27, 2011

[Product Review] Neutrogena Naturals

About 6 weeks ago, I picked up Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing and Make Up Remover face wash while at Target because I was running low on face wash at home and wanted to switch over to something greener without harsh sulfates.

Product Description:  Completely cleans skin and removes makeup in one step without stripping skin’s natural moisture. This Peruvian Tara seed bionutrient rich cleanser leaves skin soft and rinses clean. Developed for gentle eye area.
While Neutrogena Naturals products are made without harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, and phthalates (whatever they are), they are however not free of fragrance.  I actually like the smell, while it is a little strong, it's a nice clean smell.  I just was surprised for a product free of so many things that scent wasn't one of them.  If you are sensitive to fragrance, be forewarned.

Other than that I really like the product.  It removes my Bobbi Brown Gel Liner and mascara with ease and really gets my makeup off while leaving my face feeling fresh and clean.  I really only use this wash at night, and different one in the morning, but I thought I share my thoughts, since anything made without chemicals is a-okay in book.

Have you tried any of the Neutrogena Naturals products?  What were your thoughts, leave them in the comments below!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Veggie Patch

Man, my yellow thumb must finally be starting to green! Just wanted to share the progress so far.  All the plants are flowering and producing itty bitty tomatoes and peppers.  I'm pysched!

Taken on 6.10.11

Taken on 6.19.11

Taken on 6.25.11

I can't believe they grew that much in two weeks!  I also wanted to note how kick ass my digital point and shoot camera is... it's a Canon PowerShot SD970 IS digital elph (12.1mp).  We got it before our wedding almost 2 years ago, and the thing is just amazing, thought I'd share some of the macro shots.

That's all I got for now, off to enjoy this gorgeous day!  Happy Weekend :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

[Recipe Share] Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

I'm sort of a loss for a cohesive topic today... I'm working a bunch of projects simultaneously, but nothing is "completed" yet.  So I figured I'd post this icing recipe instead of saving it for Sunday.

On Monday night, I baked up some Pillsbury Dark Chocolate cupcakes (because I'm a box mix kind of girl).  However, I disregarding the package instructions of baking at 350degrees for 22min, and instead, heated the oven to 350, then when I placed the cupcakes in I turned the heat down to 325 and baked for 25 minutes.  I saw this tip on pinterest (natch).

I only got 17 cupcakes since I filled the cupcakes probably between 3/4 and 5/6 full, but I like a big cupcake.

Anyway, to please the Husband and fulfill his two favorite food groups - chocolate and peanut butter - I made a peanut butter butter cream icing.  I found two recipes, here and here, and kinda made my own in between.

1 stick butter (unsalted)
2/3C Peanut Butter (I used good ol' JIF - natural peanut butters won't work well)
3/4C Powdered Sugar
a splash of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt (or to taste)
I love a good weekday treat!  Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

[Recipe Share Sunday] Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

Ok, I fully admit, I'm late to the quinoa bandwagon.   I've seen recipes online, seen it used on cooking shows, I've probably even ate it a few times dining out, yet I never picked some up for the house.  After reading how packed full of protein it is, I figured I needed to add it to our meatless diets.

I think I always skipped over it because I'm sort of a 10-minute boil in bag brown rice type of girl.  I despise the rice that takes forever to cook and I guess I thought quinoa would be the same.  I was wrong.

I picked up a box of red quinoa at our supermarket (Wegmans - the best store ever, any Tri State -NY,NJ, PA- east coaster will agree) and started hunting for a recipe.  When it dawned on me that my aunt had emailed me a recipe back January that I saved away.

1 tb vegetable oil
2 cups chopped white onion
1 cup chopped red pepper (I used green pepper)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups water  

1 - 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, dvidied
Crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Heat oil in medium saucepan.   Add onions and red pepper to saute until soft.

Stir in next 4 ingredients (quinoa, chili powder, cumin, and salt), add water and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer until quinoa is tender about 15 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro.  Cook until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about three minutes.....

Sprinkle with more cilantro and feta cheese.....

We actually just at bowls of this for a meal, but it'd be probably be better as a side dish. 

What's your favorite quinoa recipe?

Friday, June 17, 2011

[Obsession] I'm Flagged

Seriously, I think I already posted about how I was crazy about pennants and bunting back in the beginning of the year (and the one I made HERE), but if you follow me on Pinterest, you probably are getting sick of my overkill pins (I should probably add s'mores themed desserts to the list of overkill too - sorry!).

Anyway, if you don't follow me on pinterest - and good for you for avoiding the addiction - it's okay, because I'm here to post about all my freaking favorite little flags. All of them.  Prepare yourself for eye candy.

....If you think pennants and bunting are trendy, which they kind of are, feel free to skip this post.  I mean the little adorable flags don't want you to party with them anyway....

sooo cute for a whimsical office or child's play room

(this is from Urban and its currently sold out... I'm crushed!)

I love the colors, perfect for so many different parties

easy to DIY

if I was having a child this would have been in their nursery, instead I'm thinking guest bathroom-unexpected and fun!

cake topper - easy to make and reuse

 another idea to DIY if you can sew

photo booth for parties

I die


party invite, love the flag insert!

love the simple, soft, neutral colors

I HAVE to make this... and I WILL

another project for you those of you who are handy with a sewing machine - great gift for a new mom!

<3 <3 <3

bright fun decals

 DIY Art... love this idea

another must.. love homemade cards

 ***again, since all these are linked to my pinterest boards, the original sources can be found there!

Is there a design or decor element that you are currently obsessed with? chevron? bees? polka dots? pompoms? owls?... spill it!

Good Bye Grandma

Good bye Grandma. 

I'm sorry I can't make it to your service today in Los Angeles.  I will be thinking of you and I'll never forget your fabulous style and weakness for St.John and fur coats (though I don't agree with them), our trips to Disneyland (and later the trips to the Nordstrom at Westside Pavilion when I was older), how you always sent the family See's Candy and their freakin' awesome lollipops every Hanukkah, and of course, how you taught me to be a Gin Rummy champ!

(taken July 2009)

Grandma Sandy
<3 3/11/1920 - 6/13/2011 <3

Thursday, June 16, 2011

[Flowers of the Week] Deck Update

The first check can be made on my Summer To Do List!  Last Thursday, I decided to officially throw away my plans for homemade raised veggie bed on our deck.  Instead, I got some big honkin 18" containers from Lowes as well as a variety of veggies...

...tomatoes, red cherry tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatos, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and jalepano peppers...

I snapped these pics early in the morning last Friday, so it was pretty bright on the deck.  I hope to take some more tonight to show the growth of all the flowers and plants in the last week (the weekend rain was much appreciated)....

The little makeshift shelf I made over Memorial Day Wkd. I used a 96" board of cedar (cut in 'thirds' by the nice man who can't do math at Lowes - 33", 33", 30") and stained it to match the deck.  Two cinderblocks spray painted in Espresso, and 8 paver stones (4 on each side) for the top level, that I still need to spray paint Espresso so they aren't as noticable.

Happy Thursday Friends!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

[Classifieds] Looking For

Looking for blog/website designer.  Seriously. 

Recommendations always welcome! (feelo free to leave them in the comments section)

Contact me @ EHayes1183 at gmail dot com

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

[Crafty Lady] Cute as a Cupcake!

This weekend I'm attending a baby shower for one of my close friends.  She's doing the cupcake theme in the baby's nursery and the shower invitations were also cupcake theme (I imagine the shower will also be).... I was debating for a while what to get her as a gift. 

You see, I'm a big fan of registries.  I'm very practical person and prefer practical gifts.  For my bridal shower, I was much happier to receive gifts that I registered for (because we needed them) instead of another margarita set (already owned one) or a pretty decorative bowl (that matches nothing in my home).... Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful for the gift givers generosity, but I've always played the practical side when it comes to gift giving instead of trying to guess or wing it.

At the same time, I always feel like my gifts are missing a personal touch if its just a big box item that the person has "requested".  So I usually try to find a way to make it personal. 

I once gave a friend her registered glassware for her bridal shower.  I boxed up all the drinking glasses, but made a margarita themed basket with the margarita glasses, adding in rock salt, Corona salt and pepper shakers, and of course something to fill those glasses with!

Last year, I got a girlfriend her Pyrex baking dishes from the registry and threw in some Barefoot Contessa Brownie mix (yum!) and a measuring cup.

Trying to do the same thing this time, I was having trouble picking out something to go with a Jumparoo or a Bumbo seat... so I decided instead to make a gift basket with all the little things that would probably be overlooked by others shopping the registry, but were still things my friend would have to purchase because they are necessities - binkies, teethers, sippy cups, wipes, q-tips, and safety outlet plugs.

I also picked up a Sleep Sheep at Pottery Barn Kids, because I've heard raves from other new moms. Of course, I had to add the cupcake themed boppy cover and a onesie from BabyGap that has a cute little Boston or Frenchie on it - my friend also has a Boston... I almost wanted to get one for myself to stockpile away for who knows when, it's just so cute!

I then took an attempt at some onesie cupcakes.   I saw this cute photo on pinterest a little while back and wanted to to try to recreate it.
I found the blog entry (here) and a youtube tutorial (here) and tried to make my own.  Instead of the coffee filter "cupcake liner" I used tissue paper.  I just accordion folded it to get the similar look.  I also used a 4 set of onesies (all cupcake themed) to make the cupcakes, instead of receiving blankets.  I don't think they came out as cute as the ones you can purchase online (mine are soo tall, LOL), but they are definitely a cute little personal touch amongst the daily baby care products.  And hey, when nestled in amongst the other goodies, you can't really see the abnormal base, hehe.

What kind of gifts do you like to give at showers?  Something thoughtful and unexpected?  Registry items?  Gift Cards??

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Currently Loving...

I always seem to fall into crazy patterns with (essie) nail polish..... Winter 2010 I wore Bahama Mama for months, then switched to All Lacquered for Spring (and most of summer)... In the fall, I over used Merino Cool, and after finally retiring that in March, I found my new go-to...  Tart Deco

This color came out last spring and I know a lot of bloggers didn't care for it or found it too orange.  For me I think it's this awesome light shade of coral... it's orangey, it's pinky, it's a little peach, and it's bright!  I've gotten a lot of compliments and I already know I'll be over using it all summer long!

NOT MY HAND! - but this was the best "true" life photo I could find on the web... most pics made it look more orange...

What's your current favorite nail polish??

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rabbit Rabbit

... anyone remember on Nickelodeon, oh 20 years or so ago, how they would do "Nick Days" and each day was a different theme?  Like Opposite Day or Eat Your Veggies Day? 

The 1st of every month was "Rabbit Rabbit" Day.  If you woke up and made your first words Rabbit Rabbit, you would have good luck for the rest of the month.  Awesomely (or totally pathetically), I've always remembered this and every month try to remember to say it for good luck (similar to how I still make wishes at 11:11)...

Want to learn the superstition behind it?? Check out wikipedia  :)

Happy Rabbit Rabbit Day everyone!   (Any one remember this, please tell me I'm not alone!.... ::crickets, crickets::)

.... also isn't it crazy that the early '90s were 20 years ago??