Chai Latte Guest Post

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I was a guest over at Sips, Etc a few weeks ago and here's what I shared:

I never liked chai until I started working at a coffee shop a few years ago. They made their own chai (as opposed to a syrup or powder) with real spices and it makes all the difference! It is a really flexible recipe- you can brew it as tea, steam (or froth) it with some milk for a latte, or brew it and chill it for an iced tea or latte. This recipe makes 1 serving, but you can easily make multiple batches. You can also adjust the spices to your preference.

1 tsp cloves + 1/2 tsp sugar + 1/4 tsp pepper (I know it sounds weird but it gives it a special kick) + 1/4 tsp ginger + 1/4 tsp cinnamon + a sprinkle of nutmeg

I used a Lipton black tea, but you can use any black tea (even loose leaf if you want to make your own bag). Cut off the sealed top and tag.

I mix the spices together in a small measuring cup with a spout to make it easier to pour.

Pour into either side of the open tea bag. I try to split it up pretty evenly.

I made my own pretty tag with two pieces of scrapbook paper glued together with a piece of cotton crochet thread in between.

I made a small loop at the end of the thread and tucked it into the tea bag (and, yes, spilled spices all over my machine). This ensures that the thread will catch. Using the zipper presser foot and a small stitch length (I set my machine to 2), I sewed the top of the tea bag closed.

All done! Boil some water, brew for 3-5 minutes, add some honey and/or milk, and enjoy! Or make a couple and wrap them up with a pretty mug for a gift for a friend!

Afternoon in Instagram

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The last few afternoons have been rainy and dreary and in need of some creative time. One of our friends from back home has a little boy who turns 3 this month and she just found out she is pregnant again so I had a few gifts to whip up.

in progress bday shirt
mama and son shirts
They are both big Star Wars fans (in fact, they announced the pregnancy with the Storm Trooper fetus graphic) so I thought I would play with that. Yoda was definitely the smallest, most detailed graphic I've done in a while.

And I thought while I was at it, I'd whip up a shirt for myself. 


I snacked on apples and caramel and got caught up on Pan Am (my new favorite show) while I worked. Pretty fun way to spend the afternoon. :)

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One of the best revelations here recently: boiling sweetened condensed milk turns it into the most DELICIOUS caramel sauce. It's so perfect! All you do is pop an unopened can or two into a pot of water and boil it for 2-2 1/2 hours (make sure it stays underwater the whole time) and then enjoy! An unopened can will last up to 5 months- but I can't resist opening them and eating them immediately! We have had apples + caramel, ice cream with caramel, and homemade salted caramel hot cocoas almost every day! I adapted the recipe from Beautiful Mess to include my new yummy caramel.

Makes 1 serving:

In a small pan, heat 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and a pinch or two of sea salt. Whisk until completely melted, then add another 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of your yummy homemade caramel (or store-bought caramel sauce). Continue heating and stirring until warmed thoroughly then pour into a mug. Top with whipped cream, drizzle with caramel sauce, and sprinkle a bit of sea salt on. 

So good!

Organizing, planning, daydreaming..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So today we found out that we will almost certainly be moving to Cincinnati after Brian graduates (which is in about 8 WEEKS! Seriously- how did that sneak up so quickly?) so that he can go to school for another ten years. Just kidding. Kind of. But what this really means is that A) I need to start taking this personal blog a little more seriously, and B) I get to decorate a whole new home for us. :) I've been feeling the spring cleaning urge (which will definitely be useful in weeks to come as we put our house on the market) but even more so, the decorating urge. When we bought our current home, we were still very much newlyweds and without kids. Being newlyweds, we weren't sure how to combine our decorating styles and ended up with quite the eclectic color palette. Brian has since completely handed over the reins to me (at least when it comes to decor), but even still, my style is pretty much all over the place. So the next few weeks, I'm going to be working to define what really inspires me so we can go into this new home with a game plan. Here's some of my favorites from Pinterest:

via Apartment Therapy

via Freshly Picked

Seriously, how cute is that laundry room? I think I'll probably start breaking down each individual room and doing some planning in later posts. I can't wait to see our next house/apartment/condo/whatever!

A Super Awesome Fundraiser That You Should Totally Support...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just in case one of my nine followers here doesn't follow my much more popular blog, you should totally check out this post and then the flickr pool and do some shopping for your kiddos. It's for a good cause I promise. :)

Here's a sneak peak:

Shabby Apple Dresses = Love.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Every once in a while, I check out with Shabby Apple's website and every time, I come away with some new favorites. I love their dresses so much- they're especially perfect for young moms (modest enough to chase kiddos around, but cute enough that you don't feel mom-ish). Here's my latest favorites:
I love black and white stripes right now. So classic.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

So, it turns out, I'm really bad at taking outfit photos. Combine that with being sick this past week...I'm just not feeling it. And I'm not going to scramble to re-photograph all of my last few outfits, mostly because they were kind of boring anyway. With Project Run&Play wrapping up, working on a REALLY big project to help raise some money for friends, and everything else in life- I'm backing out of my 30 for 30 pledge. (sorry to my new 6 or 7 followers who were just wanting to see some cute outfits. Maybe next time). With this being my second round of 30 for 30, I've learned a lot about remixing and how little I need to feel and look cute. That should come in handy this summer when we're (possibly) moving cross-country and only taking the essentials.

I hate posting without a single picture, so if you're interested at all in children's fashion, you should totally check out PR&P and see lots of cute things like this:

(last week's winner- Katy's Chocolate Delivery)

Project Run and Play

Friday, February 4, 2011

Several new posts are up at PR&P- including one about this little number:
I have had some pretty mixed feelings about this competition- while I love the inspiration and challenge to my creativity, some of the administration aspect is...just...not fun. I do think I'll do it again, but maybe not for a while. Like 6 months to a year. We'll see.

Snow Days

Monday, January 31, 2011

So...our forecast for this week is 10-24 inches of snow. And ice. 24 inches?!? Not only have we stocked up on groceries, but I'm beginning to research some fun indoor activities for the kiddos and I. Here's some ideas for any of you who might be facing a snowpocalypse as well.

build a fort

sew some more winter clothes for the kiddos
make some pretty shoe clips
make a sweet dress up felt board

 Also on my list- finishing a lot of projects that I have been putting off.

Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

...and just in case my wonderful hubby (or anyone else who wants to send me a present) needs some ideas....

I love these.

creme bow-lee top
converse tote
cupcake love tee

flowers and bird necklace

you're the cream in my coffee necklace 

And yes, Brian, I know how much you object to cream in coffee- just pretend that's not the title of the necklace. :)

PR&P Week Three

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Week Three over at Project Run&Play is an Adult Inspired theme. The challenge for the designers is to create a children's outfit based on an outfit that was originally for adults. My inspiration folder for this challenge was bulging- and there's still several knock-offs I still want to make. I originally wanted to go with something runway-inspired, but couldn't resist this cute top from Anthropologie.

I loved the mix of prints and thought it would be a cute tunic top for my daughter. I'm currently trying to work through my fabric stash, so I didn't have the exact fabrics I wanted but I still think it turned out pretty cute. Once again she loves it and couldn't wait to wear it.
 She was being grumpy and not wanting to smile, but I got this little one out of her.

Restyled "Sweet Dress"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I combined projects this week- Project Restyle and Project Run and Play are both represented in this outfit for Eden.

I wish my pictures would have turned out better. Unfortunately, it's horribly cloudy around here and I have a super fussy two year old. I recycled this pile of tee's:
into this outfit by using the Sweet Dress pattern to create a base. I shortened the sleeves and made it tunic length, left the elastic out of the sleeves, and added an elastic waistband. Then I added rows or coordinating ruffles. Camo tunic + jeggings + belt + glitter oxfords= happy mama and happy Eden. That is so rare for us to both like an outfit.

And just to prove she can turn on the charm when she wants to:

Thug life

Sunday, January 16, 2011

he's got style.

Project Restyle- Kiddo's Room

I'm slowly working my way through decorating the kids room. Now that they share a room, pinks and yellows with butterflies and flowers isn't exactly cutting it. I wanted to do a Neverland theme- not creepy like Michael Jackson, and not cheesy with Disney posters. A little more Red Velvet Art inspired. I love their Neverland embroidery set, so that and one other painting from Elsie was the main inspiration for this makeover.

Wall 1:

This wall was a little plain, so I added clothespins to make a changeable art wall. I put up some I did, and plan on changing a couple of them out with Eden's artwork soon. My favorite is the star one. :)

Wall 2-
The alphabet banner hung in my room when I was a little girl, but it had some stains and Levi kept trying to pull it down, so I think I'll find somewhere else for it. I had seen some vinyl decals like the treasure map, but since it was so simple and I knew we would have to repaint the walls eventually anyway, I just painted it on with white paint. I love it. It's my favorite feature of the room right now. The flower painting was already in Eden's room, but I added the "think happy thoughts" banner for another Peter Pan reference. The Indian girl was inspired by RVA's Neverland embroidery pattern, but made to look a little more like Eden. The panda painting is very similar to one by Elsie Flannigan, but again, I made it more personal (hopefully Elsie's not offended by my knockoff- I probably should have just purchased a print, but I wanted this piece to be BIG). I painted the pajamas as some my son has, and a panda bear instead of a regular teddy. The panda on the dresser was my husband's and now Levi likes to play with it.

I still have half the room to go + lighting and a rug to figure out. Oh, and all of this was done (and will be done) with a $0 budget.

Winter Wonderland

Monday, January 10, 2011

This week's Project Run and Play theme is Winter Wonderland, and in addition to having the designers create something, and opening it up to readers, I've been challenging myself to make something each week too. When I think of winter, I think of clear blue skies and sparkly snow.

I used supersoft white knit material for the bodice, with a freezer-paper stencilled snowflake. The skirt is sparkly white knit material, with a layer of tulle over the top. I added a charcoal sequin waistband for extra shine. I used a scrap of the sparkly material to make a headband for Eden, but we'll see how long it stays in her hair. :)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

I've recently started the much more popular blog, Project Run and Play, and so far, it has taken all of my blogging time just getting it organized and started. But I'm hoping that will change now that the contest is underway and requiring less time from me and more from the fabulous ladies competing. My other project that has been inspiring me this year is Project ReStyle, by Elsie Flannigan and Rachel Denbow. I've already completed my first week's project. While visiting family last week, my mother-in-law and I undertook the challenge of making scrap quilts with cast-off clothes. My quilt isn't anywhere near done, but while sorting through clothes and cutting pieces, I found this dress of my mom-in-law's.
kinda 80's huh?

Sorry I forgot to rotate it, but you get the idea. Well, I have MAJORLY hacked it, and I think it resembles something much more like this from Modcloth:
 I can't wait to wear tomorrow and get some pictures of it.