Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pancake Art Reality

I love art. I love think-outside-of-the-box art. I'm not very good at making think-outside-of-the-box art, but I do love seeing it. I especially love eating it. Wait, what?

How many of you have seen this video going around on Pinterest and Facebook?

Best pancakes ever! I'm seeing a whole new trend in carnival caricatures, what about you?

So, if I'm understanding the video correctly the principle of the art looks simple. Lay out the areas of the picture pancake you want darkest first, and then build up to the lightest. Seems easy enough in theory, but as you can see below, the application is a little harder to grasp.

Kelleen did say that perhaps their art would have been more artsy had they used a squeeze bottle with a smaller tip so as to be able to get more details. They used a ketchup bottle they had on hand which gave better control than pouring the batter from a measuring cup, but not quite the control they wanted.

Another idea Kelleen sent over with her video was the idea of blending the batter to make sure it is completely smooth. They had issues with chunks clogging the tip of the bottle and the blasting out onto the pan making a mess of their Pancake Louvre Masterpieces.

So, these didn't turn out as epic as the Beatles Pancake Heads, but throw some peanut butter and maple syrup on top and I'm sure they tasted just as good. Mmmm.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Capsule Wardrobe, Kind Of...

Hello! For those of you just tuning in, this is extremely late! I had a midterm last night (my last midterm of my college career!) and I was bushed and my brain was fried. Here I am now, off of work, out of school, and writing a blog for you guys!
Yesterday I saw something on Instagram that caught my eye:
This picture is from Mama Mandolin's instagram/blog (which I love by the way) and I was curious! She said she had decided to try the capsule wardrobe project, and that's what drew me in. What on earth is a capsule wardrobe? Of course I turned to my trusty Pinterst and found hoards of pins! Hoards I tell you!
So I went onto this fun website, Un-fancy and read up about it. Basically the jist is that you have 4 separate wardrobes, one for each season. For each season you get 37 items for your wardrobe. These 37 pieces include shoes, pants, tops, sweaters, jackets, dresses etc.
Why limit yourself I asked??!! The blog goes on to explain that often times when you have too many choices you don't know what to do or where to go, so you go with your go to jeans and white-t and you're out the door and you still feel guilty for not wearing any of your cute stuff, and you don't like what your wearing. This plan helps eliminate that because you only get so many choices, you have to get creative with your pieces! I was in right then and there! She goes on to explain some more reasons and rules and what not which you can read here, but I was already committed. Let's try this out. If I hate it fine, I don't have to keep going, but maybe it could give me the wardrobe revamp I have been needing. Just thinking about it yesterday and today totally got me excited about my clothes again! So tonight, I made a fall capsule wardrobe!!
I made some adjustments for myself which I will explain and got myself semi-set-up(which I will also explain).
This was the original bloggers fall capsule wardrobe:
I felt WAY too restricted with color if I were to go this route. I really like her style, but I need more than oxblood to get my creative color juices flowing. She encourages people to play with the idea and figure out what works for them, so that's what I did!
Here is my fall capsule wardrobe journey!!
I decided in my last class today that I wanted to do this, and that I would try to do it with only items I already have seeing as the budget it tight around these parts. The original blogger budgeted herself $1000 to get her fall capsule up to speed. I would love to buy a few new things every season, but that isn't always going to be an option. I thought trying to make do with what I had was kind of fun though, you have to get creative and decide on what you really really love to wear.
(Like my bored at school doodles??)
Next I categorized everything to see what I had in mind and then I laid it all out to see if everything meshed well (for mix and match), and make sure I could actually find everything right now lol My room is a mess.
(Bathroom lighting is the best for pictures ;) )
Here is everything all laid out! First we have dress/skirts, sweaters/jackets, tops, shoes, and bottoms and my handy list to make sure I got everything I was looking for.
I tried to do fall-ish colors, mustard ,teal, olive, grey, navy, gold, browns, plums etc. I LOVE color and I love wild and crazy patterns. The original capsule calls for neutral neutral neutral so that everything goes with everything and then you can be crazy with a purse or something. That isn't quite my style, I live for pizazz so I did lots of fun bright colors and prints.
Next I hung everything on hangers, and put them in the rearranged closet!
It doesn't look like 40  37 pieces (shh don't tell I just couldn't part with three more), but it is!
Here are my special considerations for all this to make it work for me:
-I actually have 40 pieces. I have a few sweaters I wear on the regular and if I didn't wear them in fall they won't get worn and they are great pieces so I went ahead and snuck them in. It's my first time with all this capsule craziness so I will give me a break this time!
-I have 7 different colored undershirts in there too. I am a very modest person when it comes to dress, I prefer to be covered up so an undershirt is mandatory for me almost everyday. I don't wear these shirts just by themselves so I didn't feel like this was cheating.
-I go to lots of church functions and most functions require nice dress, so I didn't include all the skirts and dresses I will wear to those in my capsule. I have a few skirts and dresses in my capsule for work and school, but Sunday dress I am ok with being a little more lax on the capsule count otherwise I would be wearing the same three pieces 1-2 times a week for the next three months. Poop, not happening.
-Underwear, bras, workout clothes, bathing suits, and pajamas are not included in this count. They are not really wardrobe pieces.
-With that being said accessories are also not in the count, so my scarf collection along with my chest of jewelry, headbands and hats and what not are not included here. Thank heavens for that because I  would not be able to whittle down my jewelry list!
-I probably won't box up my out of season clothes( like the original blog) simply because I don't know where I would put them, so they will sit on the other side of the closet beckoning me to summer until I am ready to swap them out. The original blogger swaps clothes when the seasons change and sometimes uses some items for two seasons which I liked a lot.
- I have one pair of shoes missing, they are my late late late anniversary presents that I had yet to decide on ( I was promised the boots of my choice but hadn't made a decision till now, so I get them now! Yay!), they are these babies...I have to share them with you, I'm way to excited to not to...
I have never in my LIFE been an Ugg fan ( I always used to say Ugg stood for Uggly, original right??)...but alas I caved and fell in love. These babies will go just to the right of my black vans on the top shelf.
And just in case you think I have this whole capsule thing figured out and that I am on top of things I give you this... the rest of my closet right now haha
This was a fun project for me! I will update you all in about a month on how all this is going and if I have any trouble or have figured anything else out. I encourage you all to read the rest of the Un-fancy blog and read up on the capsule wardrobe. I really like this concept and I think it is just the update I need to feel good with my clothes again :) I feel like a new woman already!!
Happy Wednesday all!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Candy Corn Craziness in Cookies

In our house we often mark the arrival of fall with a big bag of candy corn and melocreme pumpkins. We then promptly need to call our dentist. We love candy corn. One year we thought it would be a good idea to put out a candy bowl of candy corn and salted peanuts for anyone who came to our house. We forgot that we live in the middle of nowhere and don't get regular visitors. We also forgot that we love candy corn and can't stay out of it. So after we ate four bags on our own we decided we had to rein ourselves in. But we still love them. So much so that I'm thinking we need to try out these cookies before the candy corn disappears from the store:

The Original Pin

Those cookies look so good and like a sugar-coma all in one shot. But you only get Halloween once a year, right? Yeah. That's a good excuse. 

Lucky for me I have a guinea pig with these cookies as Abbi sent in her attempt at making these. 

The Pinstrosity

Not quite there. 

Before jumping into this project Abbi read all the directions (hooray!!), but didn't want to wait the 3 hour chill time for the dough, so she opted for her trusty non-chilled chocolate chip cookie dough recipe from her files. "Even though I didn't use her recipe, I still read through the whole thing to be aware of things to troubleshoot. She said to not let the candy corn touch the pan or they will melt, so I put the candy corn on after I put the cookie dough balls on the sheet. However, my effort was in vain because once the cookies rose, the candy corn slid off onto the sheet. The [above] picture is the BETTER of the two sheets. At least there were a few manageable pieces (not full cookies, but pieces) from this tray. The second tray however, not a single crumb could be saved. The ENTIRE tray was covered in melted candy corn."

At first I wondered if it was the non-chilled dough, but in reading through the comments on the original post I found that some had tried this with non-chilled dough and it came out just fine. So I turned back to the comments to see what I could find and I learned a few things. 

Abbi thankfully didn't do this, and I've never tried it, but someone put a layer of wax paper on the cookie sheets to try and make cleanup easier (especially if the candy corns melted all over). Don't bake on waxed paper! The ladies cookies stuck hardcore to the paper. Use parchment paper, not wax paper. 

One thing that Averie, the cookie creator, mentioned a few times in the post and the comments was rolling the cookie dough into balls with the candy corn already mixed in. This helps to hold the candy corn in place, rather than having it slide off the top. She did mention that you have to check the bottom of each ball before placing it on the cookie sheet to make sure the candy corns aren't poking through. What I would do is have a small bowl of cookie dough with no candy corns mixed in set aside so I could quickly and easily grab cornless dough chunks to reinforce the bottoms of the balls to make sure no candy corns were poking out.

I would also definitely do a test cookie before baking up a whole pan of these. If the dough consistency is a little off (which often it varies for those of us who don't bake with a scale), sometimes the cookies can spread a lot more than others. Need help knowing what to do to improve your cookie? Check back to our Cookie Diagnostics post for some great information!
How many of you think you'll give this a try? I think I will once Halloween gets a little closer! Mmmm!

P.S. Did the cookies look devilishly tempting? They should...this is our 666th live post. cue lighting flash and thunderclap. Too bad this didn't happen on Halloween, that would have been fun. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

(Late) Sunday Surprise: Shown n Tell, Target Clearance Edition

Wooohooo! Gettin' a post in for y'all under the wire. Nothing really epic has been happening around here lately, haven't been feeling good all weekend, so it's been a whole lot of time spent in bed at my house.

However, in more pleasant news, Target put a bunch of their Back to School items on clearance. Oh the supreme joy of the orange clearance tags!! Seriously, I got a whole slew of awesome stuff for between $1 and $2. And since I feel that most of us are bargain shoppers at our cores, I wanted to show you what I found/see if you had creatively used any of these items yourself.

1. A mini white board - $1. I promptly put this on the fridge where the mister and I can leave each other important notes create artistic masterpieces.

This next purchase was a legitimate (and somewhat unintentional) Pin Spin. Have any of you seen this pin?

I found it a long, long time ago and then kind of forgot about it. I only remembered it when I saw  item #2 on the shelves at Target.

While I love the idea of a decorated fridge, I have two main obstacles standing between me and DIY fridge painting fiesta. First, we're renting, and second, I'm fickle (and would likely tire of the design on the fridge quickly). So, what is the solution, you ask?

2. Locker "Wall Paper": While it's not quite as snappy as the original pin, I am still super liking it right now. For a pack of 3 paper-sized magnets, it was $2.38. I bought 3 packs, I believe. I suppose if I had been really dedicated to the cause, I could have purchased more, but I didn't want to drive the mister out of his mind. For now, one side of the fridge is enough for me.

3. Locker Baskets - $1 each. And, you'd be surprised at the strength of the magnets on these. Now we can always find pens/notepads and extra spices/a small pack of coffee aren't taking up space on the counter.

I hadn't finished the chevron "papering" when I took this picture, whoops. 
And now, the real king of the bargains:

4. Locker Shelves. Repurposed as freezer shelves.

Our poor, barren freezer.
After our landlord graciously upgraded our appliances for free, we lost a ton of freezer space/a handy shelf that was in the old fridge. So, ever since, I've been on a mission for a shelf that could handle the current freezer dimensions. Not nearly as easy as I had anticipated.

Enter: $1.15 locker shelves from Target (skies open, music plays, angels harmonize). Perfect fit. Right height. Right price. Could I be any happier with them? Probably not.

 I haven't attempted to fit a bag of ice in here just yet, but...we shall see. That's the only hiccup I am anticipating.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with how our kitchen got a spiffy Back to School upgrade. Target had a bunch of different colors/items, hopefully you can get some cool goodies for yourself. Have you done anything crazy like this? What do you think?

Much love to you all! Hope your entries for Pumpkin-tober are going smashingly!

PS: What this pin didn't tell you about using dollar store baskets in the freezer is that the cold makes them brittle and easy to break. Eeek!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Monthly Pinstrosity Challenge: October 2014

It's here! The very first Monthly Pinstrosity Challenge! 

We mentioned this idea in our announcement post last week, and we've been excited to get this launched. As Emilee mentioned earlier in her post today, October ends up being Pumpkin Everything Month. Everywhere you go here in the US you see pumpkin in every food, new ways to carve pumpkins, and pumpkin crafts. We decided to just roll with that and make that the theme of this Monthly Pinstrosity Challenge (we've got to come up with a shorter more zippy name).


Now, what exactly are we asking you to do?

1. Browse through your Pinterest boards, and then your sister's Pinterest boards, and then your high school BFF's Pinterest boards, and then your cat's previous owner's Pinterest boards, and then even the Official Pinstrosity Challenge Pinterest Board (we'll be adding ideas to it all the time) and find pumpkin pins that inspire you. They can be food, decor, costumes, aprons, painting color schemes, etc.
2. Once you've found some pins on Pinterest that inspire you, build on that inspiration! Whip up that pumpkin fudge. Sew that pumpkin apron. Paint those pumpkin blocks. Carve that jack-o-lantern. You can follow the pin instructions to a T, or you can just work off your inspiration and go for a Pin Spin.
3. Take a picture of the outcome. We want to see the Pin Wins, Pin Spins, and Pinstrosities!
4. Email us your pictures, the link to the project you were inspired by, and any bit of the story you want to tell. You have until 8:00 AM (MST) on November 1st to send us your pumpkin project.
5. Saturday, November 1st we will do a Round Up post and show you the projects we were sent in. If we have too many for one post, we'll do multiple Show and Tell Saturday posts!
6. All projects submitted as part of the challenge need to have been completed in October 2014. No submitting projects you did last year as part of the challenge. The point of this challenge is to get you to actually use Pinterest to inspire your life!

As we see how this method works and learn first hand the logistics of this challenge project, we may have to tweak things (such as submission methods, or when we post up Show and Tell Saturday posts, or so forth), but for now we'll start with the above instructions and see how those work out! We hope you all join in and enjoy this with us.

Are the instructions clear as Pumpkin Pie? Good. Go Forth and Pumpkin!


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