Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Geico's Got My Attention

I giggle every time!


Hi Blogger Friends!
Grad school currently owns me...I'm crazily trying to figure out how I can change this.  Pray for my sanity :).
Hopefully I'll be back after this crazy week is over!
Thanks for understanding!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 32

Amy is a newlywed who managed to put together a great DIY wedding!  On her blog she shares great ideas for making things for a wedding and for decorating her first home.

I love this art work that she put together so inexpensively!

Check out the beautiful headboard that she made after following Centsational Girl's tutorial.

Check out the different apothecary jars she put together so effortlessly.

Head on over to Design-Aholic and let me know what you find!
Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bon Appetit: Breakfast Fun!

(Stephen named this post, isn't it the most creative post title you've ever heard?!  Good job, Stephen!)
I'll readily admit that I used to go to the gym and run while watching the Paula Deen show on the Food Network.  I was shameless and could care less what all the fit and trim people on the machines next to me were thinking - if I couldn't eat her food, the least I could do was watch her food and drool all over the machine that I was on!  My wonderful Aunt Shirley knows how much I love Paula Deen and so she picked up her latest Holiday Baking magazine for me when I was visiting her over Labor Day!  Because this magazine is so jam packed full of great recipes, I refused to take it from my Aunt (I've been working on copying all the recipes that I want...there are just so many!) and I insist that you go out and pick up your copy today!

Let me tell you, I know she likes her butters and creams and mayonnaise's and all the sorts of things that cause my thighs to shiver, but a lot of these recipes weren't that bad, especially if being prepared for a special occasion.  I'm going to share one with you that I thought was shockingly super easy, and came out looking as though it were really hard to prepare.  

Easy Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Bread
(Will make 2 loaves and can be frozen...perfect!)
Here's what you need:
* 1 pound ground Italian sausage
* 1/4 cup minced green onion
* 1 t rubbed sage
* 1/4 t crushed red pepper
*1 (3 pound) package frozen bread dough loves, thawed according to package directions (they used Bridgford Frozen White Ready-Dough, I used Rhodes Pizza Dough & Italian Bread)
* 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
(The parsley was for another recipe - I was obviously really excited about using it that I needed to take a picture of it!)

Here's what you do:
* Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn't have parchment paper so I didn't do this, I sprayed my pan instead)
* In a medium skillet, combine sausage, green onion, sage, and red pepper; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sausage is browned and crumbly.  Drain well.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

* On a lightly floured surface, roll out each bread dough loaf into an 18x6-inch rectangle.  Place sausage mixture evenly down center of each rectangle.  Sprinkle each evenly with cheese.  Fold long sides of rectangles over filling to completely enclose filling, pinching edges to seal.  Cut each in half crosswise to make 6 ropes, pinching ends to seal.  Form dough into 2 braids, place on prepared baking sheet, folding ends under.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, for 1.5-2 hours or until doubled in size.

*Preheat oven to 350
*Gently brush beaten egg over braided loaves.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

***I forgot to take a picture of my finished product, but it honestly did look a lot like this :)
I made one and froze the other and they both turned out fantastic!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 31

This magnificent blog is the creation of 2 sisters: Kristen and Jordan consisting of all different types of inspirations and things that they've created.

Do you know someone who loves tea?  This would be a great gift for them!

Look at how they used an old door for a piece of furniture.

And these would make a great house warming gift for any new homeowner.

Go check out KoJo Designs and let me know what you think!
Happy Blogging!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

'Ya Gotta Love the Monster!

Billie Monster that is!  Do you remember my last week's Magnificent Blog Feature?  If you don't, let me refresh your memory: Billie Monster the amazing DIY-er and blogger that I've been stalking following since I found her blog a couple of months ago.  When I stumbled upon her blog I immediately started to follow and every time she posted a new project I swooned over it!  I also knew right then and there that I wanted to feature her on a Magnificent Monday post.  Funny thing is that the Friday before her feature she started to follow me and told me that she liked my blog...great minds must think alike, right?  As if that weren't enough, on Tuesday she decided to pass this along to me:
I am honored that I would get anything of the sorts and I am ESPECIALLY honored that it's come from her!  I love blogging and all the fun things that I get to do with my time right now as I am in a season of calm and rest in my life.  I know that this season will not always last so I am so thankful for each of you (including Billie!) that take the time and check out my efforts day after day!

Now to pass this award guys know how I feel about this - Blogland is FULL of amazing blogs with amazing ideas and thoughts and inspirations.  I really struggle with this, although it couldn't have come at a better time!  On Monday, I found myself over at Mel's Sweet Treats and this is a girl after my own heart!  Just a few of the amazing things that I found over there....

Honey Spice Cake...I mean, really this looks AMAZING!
{picture is linked to the post}

This ambitious DIY bride just recently got married and look at what she made as seating charts for her guests at the reception...uh-mazing!!!

And as if everything else I've showed you wasn't enough, check out these adorable cupcakes designed to be Cookie Monsters and Elmos...SO CUTE!
***When you head over to her blog, check out how her husband proposed to her...definitely one amazing story!!! :)

Mel's Sweet Treats is a blog that I definitely feel has a lot of substance to it...literally! :)  Mel, if you read this ever, please know how inspired I am to bake by going to your blog!  I'm so thankful that Bakerella introduced me to your blog! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's Shed Some Light On It

I scored this at the Salvation Army for $8.
After spending $3 for spray paint, $2 for a lamp finial to hold on the shade, and $3.50 for fabric I got a beautiful new lamp for my guest room!
I first used Alissa's tutorial to recover my lampshade:

(before adding the trim and spray painting the base)
I then spray painted the finial and the base as well as trimmed the shade...and VOILA!:

And just so you can see her in action (as well as shots of the room):

(There she is in all her glory to the left of the picture)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Has...Fallen???

It just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Spring has sprung!"...however, it doesn't need a cutesy way to introduce it because Fall happens to be my FAVORITE season!  How can I explain it to those of you who don't share this love?  Having lived for 8 years in a college town where if you drove past the University at the right time on a Friday you could hear the marching band practicing for the football game, and having hung out with high schoolers for 8 years and attending football games practically every Friday night, Fall to me is: hearing the marching band, attending the football game, going to the pumpkin patch and spending the afternoon with your friends creating a pumpkin masterpiece and enjoying time together, it's smelling a scent of hickory while bon fires are blazing or fire pits are glowing; it's the feeling of chill in the air but warmth on the inside as your surrounded by family and friends and you realize how blessed you truly are.  I dunno...maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but to me, Fall is the BEST time of year!  If you know me, you know that I get sweaty palms and a tingly feeling all over at the sites of autumn decorations at any store (my faves happen to be Target and the Lobster - {ahem, Hobby Lobby}).  I love fall so much that my apartment tends to look like fall year round - I can't help it!  My husband was curious as to how we would be able to decorate during the winter, spring and summer months because our apartment is the essence of fall (to me) - warm and cozy!  So, it was really easy for me to decorate for my favorite season with all my little knick knacks that I've collected over the years.  The only 3 things that I bought this year were 2 strings of garland and a houseplant.  Below is the result of my fall-ed out apartment :)
The little pumpkins I bought last year at Target AFTER Halloween so I think I paid a whoppin' $3 for all 6 of them.  The wreath was a splurge from Target about 6 years ago when I first moved into my house with my bff, Doni; we don't really have a door to hang it on so I used ornament hangers to attach it to the metal hanging.  The garlands I got from JoAnn's for 40% off - score!  The leaf frame is a little thing I made in March after being inspired by one of my favorite blogs :)  It is a regular decorating piece on my mantle, no matter the season.

There's the whole fireplace - including one of my favorite parts: the pumpkin basket with my house plant.  I bought the basket at Michaels about 2 years ago for a ridiculous price of like $5 (they have sales ALL the time on their baskets).  Last year I went back to Michaels and bought a ton of other baskets just like this to use in our fall wedding (10-10-09).
I bought the plant at Home Depot and it was my biggest splurge at $9.

and a few little touches here and there:

All this with my newly made reversible table runner and I'm one happy gal!
What about you - are you ready for fall???

I've entered this into the CSI Fall Challenge
And into the Fall Frenzy Party:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 30

With my newfound love for sewing, I've found myself oo-ing and ahhh-ing over Allison's projects and tutorials.

I'm sure you remember this lovely pillow that I made back in June?  Well I got the idea from here.

I haven't tried to tackle this project yet, but it looks as though it would be an easy gift to make for a baby shower.

With my love of fall AND pillows, this project screams "KARI!"

Go and see all the sewing possibilities that await you, then head back here and let me know what you loved about Cluck. Cluck. Sew!
Happy Blogging!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Drum Roll Please!

Yesterday, I left you in suspense with what I was going to do with my fun new fabric...well, check it out:

Here is my new, reversible, autumn table runner :).  If you're interested in making one yourself, you should TOTALLY do it because it was as easy as could possibly be!  All I did was measure my old table runner to see what my dimensions should be.  I then added 1 inch to those numbers to account for my 1/2" seams that I would be sewing.

What you need: 
2 fabrics (I bought 2.5 yards because I plan on making matching place mats) and thread to match both of your fabrics.  (If you'd like to make matching place mats also, go on ahead and buy interfacing to go in between the fabrics)

What you do: 
1. Cut your fabric so that you have 2 rectangles of the exact same size (I cut mine into 69"x40" rectangles)

2. Iron your fabric and then pin the 2 pieces together right sides facing each other.

3. Using a 1/2" set seam allowance, I sewed the 2 pieces together on all 4 sides leaving an approximate opening of about 3"along one side for turning.

4. I trimmed the seam allowances especially around the corners so that the fabrics would lay flatly on top of each other.

5. I then turned the cloth right side out and then carefully pressed all the seams nice and flat.

6. I pinned the opening close.

7. I made sure that my coordinating thread was the right color based on how I was going to sew my runner (I sewed with the ivory side on top so I made sure my ivory thread was on the top of my machine and my rust threaded bobbin was on the bottom).

8. I then topstitched approximately ¼" from finished edge around all four sides.  When I did this, it closed the opening that was left for turning.

9. I put my new runner on my table and admired it on both sides!  I couldn't be happier with this project - it was EASY!

If you are a visual learner and would like pictures, then I suggest you visit here because I made my runner exactly like I made these.

Are you wondering what I'm going to do with that green fabric from yesterday?  Well, you'll have to come back and see :).  I hope you guys have a fabulous weekend and get out there and get sewing!

I've entered this into the CSI Fall Challenge
And into the Fall Frenzy Party:

I've linked this up to the following:
Tools are for Women Too; The DIY Showoff; The Girl Creative; Making the World Cuter; Skip to My Lou; Sumo's Sweet Stuff; Cottage Instincts; Keeping It Simple; Support Blogs for Moms with Boys; Mad in Crafts; The House in the Roses; It's So Very Cheri; Sew Can Do; The Pumpkin Patch; C.R.A.F.T.; Fine Craft Guild; All Thingz Related; Silly Little Sparrow; Today's Creative Blog; My Frugal Family; Sugar Bee; Gypsy's Corner; New Nostalgia; Creative Itch; Lucky Star Lane; Someday Crafts ; We Are That Family; My Backyard Eden; It's So Very Cheri; It's a Very Cherry World; Nikki's Nifty Knacks

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fun Fabric!

Look at what came last week:

I ordered these at one of my favorite places to swoon over fabric; they were here 3 days after I placed the order and I got free shipping - score and score!
I can't wait to show you what I'm going to do with them :)