Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Recipes

Well since I've had my house decorated for Christmas 3 weeks ago, I figured this might be an appropriate time to blog about it. Pinterest has so many ideas for recipes and decor its ridiculous. I figured I would give some of them a try.  Let's start with the food. (The decor will come later this week, I'm finishing up a project!)

I figured now that I am married and am "put together" I had to bring things to family Thanksgivings that weren't store bought. I am a horrid cook, but these all turned out well and people actually liked them. Miracle or Pinterest? So if you want to impress the family even if you suck as a cook; these are your recipes for the holidays.

The first one is called "Crack Dip" for good reason. It is pretty addicting. It is also easy and can be paired with almost anything.
How to make:

16oz of  sour cream
3oz  bag of bacon bits
1 packet of ranch seasoning
1 cup of mild cheddar cheese

All you do is combine the ingredients and chill for 24 hours. (One batch only chilled for 5 hours and it was fine.)  You can serve it with crackers, vegetables, or chips. It is yummy!

Re-pinned from:   http://www.plainchicken.com/2008/07/chili-cheese-dip_22.html

Gingerbread Donuts:

Ok I forgot to take a picture, and I am kind glad because mine looked like wet balls of dough. They tasted good though.
Check out her website for directions on how to make these. I didn't have a mini donut pan, so I made them in cupcake tins. It made them a little more cakier but the point was reached. Also, it took me WAY more than 5 minutes. Getting all this together was about 30 minutes for me, but that still isn't so bad.

Re-pinned from:  http://pinchofyum.com/baked-gingerbread-mini-donuts


The last food item I made was bruschetta. I wanted something that would be good with wine but also be a great appetizer.  This one was also really really easy. The ingredients weren't too hard to find either.


They went off the plate pretty fast, so they were a great hit with the family.

Here's what you need:
1 loaf of baguette
1 garlic head
3 tsp of olive oil
1 tomato diced
1/4 c of basil
1/2 c of shredded Parmesan cheese 
4 oz of cream cheese

All you do is:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Cut off the top of the garlic clove (you don't have to peel it yet.) Drizzle with 1 ts of olive oil and wrap it in tin foil and place it in the oven for 1 hour. (add salt and pepper if you wish)
2. While that is cooking, combine the basil, diced tomato, olive oil, and salt and pepper in bowl.
3. When the garlic is done, peel off the skins and combine with the cream cheese and 1/4 Parmesan in another small bowl.
4.  Cut bread 1/2 inch thick. Place bread on baking sheet. Then spread the garlic cream cheese spread on each piece of bread.
5. Cook the bread in the 350 degree oven for 12 minutes until lightly brown.
6. Drop the tomato mixture on top and you are finished.

I had to make these and then travel, so the best bet is to cook them in the oven and bring the tomato mixture with you. Then when you arrive warm up the bread quickly in the oven, then put the tomato mixture on then.  It is really easy!


Re-pinned from:
http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/roasted-garlic-and-tomato-bruschetta-recipe/

 I must say I was called Betty Crocker several times from different family members, so if I can do it I promise you can! Do you have any easy recipes that are great for family get togethers? Let me know! My rules are, I have to have heard of the ingredients before and it can't take me longer than 30 minutes. Come back later this week for my easy diy Christmas decorations!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

I am always that type of person that is a sucker for deals, so goodwill is a great place to get those deals. Now, most furniture your going to get from goodwill is going to need some TLC. I was bored and stopped by Goodwill the other day because we needed some end tables. I figured I'd give it a shot. Well I left spending $60. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Good news is, with some painting, they were all great purchases. FYI the best Goodwills to look at are in ritzy cities. I browse at the Noblesville and Fishers Goodwills and usually find some good stuff.

Here is what I bought:

The mirror was $14.99, the shelves were $11.99, the table was $20.00 (maybe $29 there is still one left at the Noblesville Goodwill), and all of the picture frames were $5.00 together. (Add in the $13.00 for 3 cans of spray paint, I bought later)
The Table


This table was the easiest to fix up. It had great structure and style so I was going to paint it to make it look less outdated. When I got it home after a quick wash, it looked so good I didn't want to paint it. I looked on the inside and it was in perfect condition. So here is a pic of how we used it in our house. (Looks much better than our TV tray we had there.)



Great buy, it fit in with out decor and it looked great with little effort. Success.


The Shelf
The next piece of furniture is the book shelve. Again, it was only $14 and pretty gross.




There was only one option, spray paint.  I bought mine from Sherwin WIlliams: Black, Silver, and White gloss. It drys in 15 minutes and it looks awesome. So I spray painted the wood (no sanding, no prepping other than wipe down). I dusted back over it after the first application.


So easy. It was actually from NY and made in Romania. I found a sticker on the back. It looked great. You could even add fabric to the middle. I decided not to, so here is mine final product at the top of the stairs.


I just grabbed random stuff from my house to put on the shelves. Nice picture frames? Thanks they are from Goodwill. Here are the originals again:

The Frames
The gold crappy frames are EVERYWHERE at Goodwill, I see them every time I go. Look for the ones with the most detail, those will really look good. So here they are, I sprayed them with spray paint and covered the ones with tape that I couldn't remove the glass.




Great vintage frames for $5.00!! I love the white one, it was only 99 cents. A little paint and some nice structure on the frames can really save you money. (The other frame I have to remove the picture from inside, but the frame looked good)

The Mirror
Lastly I had the mirror. It was a great piece and usually you can't get any nice mirror for 14.99!! Here it is. Check out the gold trim on the inside. Gold framing really isn't in, so people trash it to Goodwill. GOOD FOR US, now all we do is paint.



So with some black paint and a paintbrush, I painted the inside black. I thought about repainting the white, but I liked the vintage look.



There it is. I did this all today in like 2 hours. It's not like I'm busy watching the Colts game. :)  Hopefully this helps you start your own projects! I'm sure I will be redoing some more picture frames soon. It's just too easy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Slow Shutter Pictures

I have become obsessed with pictures lately. Pinterest has a lot of great pictures, but I never could figure out how people got the slow motion effect from their cameras.

Well I called my sister, who knows the answer to any question on earth. So here is how you do it:
I have a Cannon Rebel, but still most cameras will be similar.

  1. Change your settings to MS or Manual.
  2. Change your ISO to something around 200-400 (ISO is the small button, that says ISO)
  3. Change your FStop. This is located on your spinning wheel toward the front. You will see the numbers change. If you want a long exposure go to 15-20 seconds which will look like  20''.   Slower shutter would be 3''. Either way, it just depend on how much movement and time you want spent on the shot.
  4. Turn off the lights. Depending on what you want to show up, you'll have to remove the primary light source. So go to a dark room.
  5. Get some sort of candle, sparkler, glow stick etc.
  6. Have your subjects pose for the first shutter. Then move the glow sticks (or whatever) around in the design you want. NOTE: Your camera should be on a tripod for best results. You can also hold it really still, but movement will make it blur.
  7. The second shutter will stop at however many seconds you set it for.
Side note: However your faces/posture/ etc is set first the first initial shot will show up in the picture. The colors can be moved randomly without the subjects body blurring.


Here are some random pictures I took with the slow shutter:









 
Long story short, its easy to do with the right camera and lighting. Next adventure is sparklers so I can redo these photos from Pinterest:  
Credits go to:      http://www.100layercake.com/vendors/view/847/3/belle-and-beau 

Christmas Wreath

Ok so I'm one of those people who try to be crafty but get bored in the middle and leave my projects undone. Good news is that I repinned Ashley's pin of an ornament wreath. Usually for crafts to be in my forefront they need to be 2 things. 1. cheap and 2. easy. This wreath is both.

Here is a link to the original creator: Eddie Ross (He's awesome)
http://www.eddieross.com/eddie_ross/2009/12/ornament-wreath-winner.html


Cute huh? Ok well all you need is:

1. a wire hanger, about 70 ornament balls, glue, pliers, and a bow.



The Cost
Wire hanger-  free    (it's gotta be somewhere in your closet)
Ornaments-   $15-20  (Walmart has a set of 30 for $5.00)
Glue -    $3   (hot glue or regular glue, to ensure the fastenings stay on the bulb)

Time: 20 mins

How to

1. Strech out the wire hanger into a circular shape.

2. With pliers, un twist the metal from the hook, so that your circle is now open.

3. Now the actual hanger part is separated from the twisted metal piece. Flatten out the metal so that you can string the ornaments on the hanger.

4. Start stringing. arrange the bulbs so that they cover up all sides.

5. When your finished with your ornaments. Retwist the hanger back into original position.

6. Put a bow where your actual hanger is, and your done.


My Recreation:

Not that hard right? The hardest part for me was retwisting the metal to get the hanger back together.


Makes a great gift! Ashley Sieb was my first re-pinning gift recipient.

I still have glue and glitter on my hands.