Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Make Up Brush Holder

I’m in a organizing frame of mind lately.  I think it comes from the fact that I spent most of the month of October nursing a sick child back to health..and any Mom knows that you don’t get anything else done.  So, my house suffered and now it’s to the point that I might as well just do my “cleaning out” of drawers, cabinets, closets, etc. because it’s a mess anyway.  So, I am going through room by room, and coming up with some new storage ideas along the way.
When you live in a small home you have to come up with lots of storage and organization techniques, but the ones I love the most are the ideas that can be incorporated into my décor. This is what inspired me to come up with a way to store my make up brushes with out it looking like…well…that I was trying to store my make up brushes.  One thing I hate to do in the morning is root around in my make up case for “that one brush” that you need.  IT’s always the last one you find, and now you’ve just spent 3 minutes looking for something inconsequential, meanwhile “The Piddler” (that is the nickname I give my oldest son) is trying his best to not get ready for school.
He has important things to do, you see.
Things like: running on the treadmill, deciding now is the perfect time to finally put together that darn puzzle, building a Lego space shuttle…he’s a busy guy.
So, in order to keep my sanity and get to school on time, I need to be able to see all my brushes at once, grab one, and be done. 
…and now you know if my eye make up is lacking, it’s “The Piddler’s” fault.
My bathroom has light blue walls and is accented with black and white toile.  It also has slate tile, so I wanted to come up with something that blended in.
This is what I came up with…
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I took a Mason jelly jar and filled it with decorative pebbles that matched my slate, but you could use anything, marbles, sand, little seashells, kitty litter…just kidding…don’t use kitty litter, please.
I grabbed a ring that goes with the lid and hot glued the black and white ribbon on like so..
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Just make sure you have even sides of ribbon left..they need to be the same length for the bow.
Then I tied my bow and shoved in my brushes.
Easy Peezy.
I think it looks pretty good with my décor too..
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Now, I must go and get my witchy self ready…
I have some First Graders that need my attention for a Halloween Party.
Don’t worry, pictures will follow soon!
Have A Happy Halloween,
Val

Monday, October 29, 2012

Can I Bling A Pumpkin? ..Oh, Yes I Can. (Halloween Gift Idea)


Have a little faith.  You know if anyone can bling up a pumpkin, it would be me. 
It’s actually a great little gift idea if you know someone who would appreciate a little dazzle with their candy.
You’ll need a few things first..
A jam/jelly mason jar with the lid
A small pumpkin
black paint
metallic craft paint, I went with silver
spray glitter
self adhesive rhinestones
ribbon
a hot glue gun
your candy of choice
 
Directions:
Paint your pumpkin black and let dry.
Next, paint the little metallic dots and let dry again. 
Place a rhinestone in the middle of each dot and then spray the heck out of it with glitter. 
Try not to spray everything in your house with glitter..it’s tempting, I know.
Put the glitter down and step away.
Then,  grab your cordless hot glue gun. 
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What?..you don’t have a cordless hot glue gun?..well, I am sorry, but all the cool kids have one.
So I guess you’ll have to use your regular, old, hot glue gun…but you really need to break free of your limitations.
Fill the jar with candy and then place the lid on top.
Slather the hot glue on the lid of the mason jar and affix the pumpkin to the top.
Tie a pretty bow around the whole thing.
You now have a cute little gift idea for maybe..a teacher, coach, UPS man.
(Oh, like he wouldn’t be thrilled to get a blinged out jar of candy..come on.)
Here is a close look at the pumpkin so you can appreciate it’s beauty..
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Cute, huh?
Now, I have the rest of the bag of candy corn to eat, so I’ve gotta get busy.
Have A Great Evening!
love,
Val

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese


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This is the easiest Macaroni and Cheese you’ll ever make.  I promise.
I came across several versions of this recipe all over the internet, but of course, like I always do, I have adjusted it to my liking.
I like a lot of flavor with my macaroni and cheese because I think it can be quite bland otherwise.  I hope you like it!
 
Ingredients
2 1/2 Cups of Milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Tbsp. of butter, cubed
4 oz. of Velveeta, cubed
1   16oz box of Elbow Macaroni
 
In a crock pot, spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray, and then add in the first 10 ingredients and mix until well combined.  Add the box of macaroni and mix well.
Pop on the lid and cook for 3 to 4 hours on low.  The longer it cooks the crispier the edges will get, so if you like that, go for 4 hours. 
Do not cook any longer than 4 hours for two reasons:
-the macaroni will get dry
&
-the macaroni will eventually turn to mush.
If possible, you may give it a stir about half way.
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It’s pretty good mac & cheese if I do say so myself, but the best part is no mess except the crock pot.  That always makes me very happy.
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Have A Great Sunday!
love,
Val

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Emergency Cookies!!

Okay, I am posting another recipe..and yes, I realize that it is not Sunday, but this couldn’t wait. 

Seriously, it is of the utmost importance and must be shared immediately. I believe this recipe might have saved my life this afternoon.  ..or the lives of my family, however you want to look at it. 

I’ve watched this recipe flying around Pinterest for quite a while, and finally decided to try it myself. 

After I made the original,I adapted the recipe to my liking.

You’ll also notice I have acquired an assistant for this blog..and he didn’t mind one bit being the star of the show.

and now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

 

 

Individual Chocolate Chip Cookies

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my adapted recipe for this scrumptious cup of heaven:

1 Tbsp. of softened butter

1 1/2 tsp. of light brown sugar

1 tsp. of sugar

1 1/2 tsp. of egg, egg whites, or egg substitute

a drop of vanilla

1 1/2 Tbsp. of flour

a pinch of baking soda

a palm full of chocolate chips

 

In a white ramekin or mug stir together your butter and sugars until well combined.

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Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.

Add the flour and baking soda and..you guessed it, mix again.

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Throw in the chips and voila, instant mini chocolate chip cookie dough.

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If you can keep from eating it, then it’s time to bake.

Pop it in the microwave and nuke it for about 25 seconds.

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I like my cookies just a little on the gooey side, so you can cook them for up to 35 seconds.

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You should know that the longer you cook them, the “cakier” they will be.  ..and yes, I just made cake and adjective….as it always should have been, in my opinion.

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oh, yummy!  Even better..it’s almost instant yumminess..so that makes it even better!

Of course, the best part is..

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enjoying your creation.

..and I encourage you to get your kids involved in baking and cooking. 

It’s not only a great bonding experience, but helps with understanding fractions and measurements.

Have A Great Evening!

Love,

Val

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sometimes A Girl Just Needs A Cupcake

 

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That was what my best friend told me this morning while I was confessing to the world on Facebook that I was eating a cupcake for breakfast.  She’s a total enabler, but that’s why I love her. 

I had several people tell me that they looked good and wanted to know more info, so I decided to give out the recipe, in case there are any other boys or girls out there who just needed a cupcake…

The great part about these cupcakes is that there is a great balance between the sweetness of the cake and the icing.  You see, I have notorious icing scrapers at my house and it drives me insane.  I go to all the work of baking and decorating a beautiful cupcake and then one of my guys comes in, grabs a cupcake and proceeds to scrape all the icing off and just eat the cake part.  AAHhhhh!!  …that’s the sound I make when I witness this.  Even though I may need medication, I was on a quest to create a cupcake that balanced the sweetness of the cake and icing, so that had to eat the icing with it..hehe..I’m diabolical, I know. Now, they eat the whole cupcake…except Chris…who is 3 and only eats the icing..and I’m not sure what to do about that..oh well.

I think I have succeeded in the “balanced” department, at least where my family’s taste buds are concerned..so I hope you try them and enjoy them as much as we do. 

  Val’s Vanilla Cupcakes

The ingredients:

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Clockwise starting at the top:  2 1/2 Cups of sifted all purpose flour combined with 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

1 stick of butter

1/2 Cup of whole milk combined with 2 teaspoons of pure Vanilla extract (the REAL stuff only please!)

2 eggs whites and 1 whole egg

1 Cup of sugar

(all ingredients should be at room temperature and the butter shouldn’t be too soft)

 

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and then slowly add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

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Add the eggs and blend slowly until well combined and there are no lumps. Then, add half the flour mixture and blend on low until just combined.  Add the vanilla milk and mix until just combined and then add the last half of the flour and mix until just combined. 

*Do not over mix at this point or you will end up with chewy cupcakes! ..and yes that deserves an exclamation point..no one likes a chewy cupcake.

When you’re ready to disperse into cupcake tins, your batter should look like this..

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Pretty, huh?  Okay, evenly distribute into a lined cupcake pan and bake on 350 for 22 –25 minutes or until the top of the cupcakes just start to look dry.

 

While they are baking, you can make the icing..

beat 2 sticks of room temperature butter and 1/8 teaspoon of salt until creamy.

Slowly add in 3 Cups of Powdered Sugar.

Then add in 1 teaspoon of pure Vanilla Extract and 1 teaspoon of milk.

tip: If you’re baking these for something special, you can slice a vanilla bean in half and add the seeds to the icing.  It not only gives great vanilla flavor, but adds those neat little black flecks into the icing and it will look like Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream.

Your icing should be the consistency of ice cream at this point, which is just the way it should be..

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yummy!

Oh, I almost forgot! This is the wine you should be drinking while making your cupcakes…it’s a rule..

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It’s good stuff.

So, after your cupcakes are out of the oven and cooled, just slap that icing on them and enjoy.  Or, you can violently throw the icing in a plastic baggy and snip the end off and pipe it onto the cupcakes.  They will look like this…

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How neat of a job you do completely depends on how much wine you have drank, so beware.

They are pretty good, even Chris thinks so..

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..and we all know that 3 year olds know everything.

Enjoy your cupcakes!

love,

Val

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pictures

It’s Saturday night and you know what that means.

It means absolutely nothing. 


I worked this morning and then came home and took a 3 hour nap. Oh, yes I did.

It was awesome.

Ever since we came home from the hospital, I have been on a sleep pattern that is pretty much training me to withstand torture techniques.  I wake up every two hours and after about 4 or 5 in the morning, I can’t go back to sleep.  So, the nap has totally saved me today…and I hope tonight is a better sleep night. 

That being said, I haven’t done anything cute or crafty or even much cooking or baking, so I am going to share some pictures I took at our trip to the Pumpkin Patch a few weeks ago…

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My boys live for the apple cider in the special pumpkin jugs..it’s a tradition.

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This gives a new meaning to the term Kissing Cousins.  So sweet.  ..and when they are teenagers, it will be so fun to torture them with this picture.

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Playing on the slides..

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A quick pic I snapped of my baby..

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Gettin’ ready to take a hayride!…

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The most disgruntled hayride participant I have ever seen…

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That was the look on his face the whole time.  We couldn’t help it, we laughed the whole way.  I think he felt mislead and lied to.  They promised fun and in no way did he think this was fun. He may need therapy later, but it was hilarious!

I thought this was cool..

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Picking out our pumpkins..

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He found the perfect pumpkin..

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The wagon is waiting to take us back..

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We had a lot of fun!! 

 

I am having baking withdrawal so now I am off to bake some cupcakes! 

Good night!

love,

Val

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Birchbox October

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A little bright spot in my week… when I came home to see my Birchbox had arrived.  It’s like Christmas! …only a tiny, trial-size version..but you get my drift.

This month is all about GOOP.  Yeah, I didn’t get it either. 

Goop is a website, not something you put in your hair. Who would’ve thunk it.

If you would like to see what it is all about … www.goop.com

Supposedly it is a website for lifestyle inspiration.  Recipes, city guides, products, etc.  They put together an essential must-try pack for Birchbox and now I am going to share it with you..

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Oh, one more thing…I got smart..hehe…and took a picture of the little card that explains all the products so I don’t have to type it all out.  I know…genius. So, at the end of this post, if you want prices, extra info, or whatever, it will be on the little card. You’re welcome.

First up..

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A FULL SIZE bottle of Essie polish!!  I love Essie polish.  I truly believe it is the best polish for natural nails that is on the market.  Love, Love, Love it.  This color is called “Lady Like”, so obviously it was named after me.  It is a great neutral shade with a hint of pink.  I love neutral shades on hands because they go with everything and aren’t too conspicuous.

  I like to save the crazy stuff for my toes.

..polish, that is.

  Forget I said anything.

Next..

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More sunscreen…blah.  It’s supposed to do what the other 350 sunscreens that I have received are supposed to do.  Make me beautiful, youthful, and glowing.  I’m starting to feel like they are trying to tell me something here.  Maybe next time they should just send me a syringe of Botox and get it over with.

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I’ve used this stuff already and really like it.  My lips were super chapped from the dry hospital air after 5 days so I needed something pronto.  I smeared some of this on, and by the next morning, my lips were born again.  Cons:  No good smell or flavor.  But I guess since I’m not 10 years old anymore, I can live with it. 

I just realized that 10 years olds have it made.

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Eye cream..  see above paragraph about the sunscreen.  Geesh.

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Umm….  GROSS.  That’s all.  Just gross.

Gross with Lemon.

Lemon grossness.

Zesty mega gross.

1.69 Oz of nasty.

You get my drift.

And in case you didn’t get it…I don’t like it very much.

 

 

….and as promised..the info..

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I’m so smart, I’m dangerous.

 

I hope you have a great evening.

love,

Val

p.s. Luna Lemon Zest is 15 bars of gross  …just in case you didn’t get it the first time.