Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Friday: Bento

Awhile back I got an adorable book called Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches. It has been sitting on my shelf for a few years, waiting for the day when I had some supplies to create cute food. Today I attempted to make a Hello Kitty boiled egg. Note to self, use larger eggs next time! Sadly my egg only had a cute Hello Kitty face, and was still egg shaped because it was too small. Still, it was really fun and it makes me want to buy a lot more egg molds for future egg making.
One of my favorite YouTube shows, Cooking With Dog, has a very good video about making bento: What about you? Have you tried making cute foods for bento boxes?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

In the garden

Gardeners are some of the best people on the planet. Not only are they very nice and helpful, but I think that they are unique in that they notice things other people overlook. When I am out in my garden I often see things that no one else would see. Little things, the kinds of things one only notices because of the proximity of being so close to the dirt.

One of my favorite hobbies is photography, and ever since the iPhone came into my life I have been in love with a neat little attachment called the OlloClip. It helps me capture those little things, and it does an amazing job of it too! Here are some recent favorites in the garden:

From top to bottom: details of an amaryllis leaf, ice, inside of a lily, and a sap droplet.

Do you garden? What little things have you noticed in your garden that you think other people probably overlook?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Woof Wednesday: Look into my eyes!

She knows she is cute, and she knows just the look to get exactly what she wants. Oh, and she is not afraid to use it either.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Photo Wednesday: Spring!

The snow has almost completely melted, the forecast is saying it will be 70F this weekend, and the trees all have buds on them. Spring has sprung!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March happenings

March is full of fun and celebrating in our house. We might not be Irish (though I am a fair skinned red head), but we celebrate St. Patrick's day anyway!

Spring seemed to be arriving early, with crocus and even our daffodils blooming already. Today they are covered under a blanket of snow! 3-4 inches fell in the night and we woke up to a winter wonderland.

The first day of spring is always cause to celebrate, and I have certainly been planning what I hope to do in our garden this year. I can't wait to share it all with you if it works out. Even if it doesn't, we can all enjoy a good fail.

What do you celebrate in March?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Painting tips from Ace Hardware

Spring is in the air, and that always puts us in the mood to freshen up our home! Painting is one of the easiest, and least expensive, ways to make a change in your house! On March 17th, and March 24th, you can even get a free pint of the new Clark+Kensington line of premuim paint when you visit Ace Hardware. I wish we had an Ace nearby, because it sounds like a great line of paints! Here are some tips they sent us to share with you! Will you be painting this spring?

Color Matters:

Finding the right color can often times be the most difficult part of the painting process. Manfredini recommends you select colors that you are drawn to and compare them at different times of the day, under different lighting conditions. This will allow homeowners to get a good feel for how each color will look in the home. Also, consider bringing home a paint sample to validate how it looks with the lighting and tones of the room.

The Art is in the Tools:

Invest in high-quality roller covers and brushes. Look for “woven” on the packaging, which provides very superior, smooth coverage. For professional grade paintbrushes Manfredini recommends synthetic brushes high in polyester, such as Ace Supreme or Wooster’s Ultra Pro, because they are durable and hold their shape better.

The Right Paint is Key:

For years, professional painters have advised homeowners to use a primer. Now, new premium paint technology means there are paint and primers in one that provide the same professional look, but in half the time. One of these new paints, Clark+Kensington™ is specially formulated to deliver more hiding power than ordinary paints, a smooth, professional finish and superior stain resistance. Available exclusively at Ace Hardware, this paint line offers homeowners a sophisticated color palette of 120 colors that perfectly harmonize to create a cohesive flow throughout the home.

Preparation is Everything:

Preparation is 90 percent of a successful paint job. Cover and protect furniture and floors with drop clothes, take some time to fill holes and cracks with spackle and then sand the area smooth. Make sure to spot prime the spackled areas with paint+primer in one and allow to dry. Next, wipe down all of the surfaces with a damp cloth and apply painter’s tape, such as Frog Tape, to prevent paint from bleeding on to windows, doors and trim.

Paint Like a Pro:

After prepping the space properly, you’re ready to paint. Start by giving your paint a good stir with a stirring stick until the paint is uniform in thickness and appearance. When using a paintbrush, start by holding the metal band around the brush securely. Dip the brush about a third into the paint. Next paint the wall with horizontal and vertical strokes. For a roller, fill a tray with about one-half inch of paint and dip the roller into the paint using short strokes to ensure all areas of the roller are covered. Then in three- to four-foot sections, apply the paint in a “W” pattern. Always finish with light vertical strokes.

These tips and tricks were sent to us from Ace Hardware, we thought they were worth sharing! If you want to learn more visit or stop by an Ace Hardware store.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Friday: Hello Kitty Cake Fail

For our ten year anniversary last month my husband gave me a Hello Kitty Cake Pan, complete with Hello Kitty food coloring to go with it! Of course I was super excited to bake a Hello Kitty cake, and could not wait to do it! Enter the cake mix (my favorite kind, Funfetti). Everything was going well until it was time to get the cake out of the pan.

Yes, I sprayed it with Pam. Yes, I let it cool properly. The cake mix just wasn't strong enough, the cake fell apart. This was just one part of the problem though, because the cake could be pieced back together, which we did, even though it looked pretty bad. Next time the cake will be from scratch for sure! The second problem was all that I had to decorate the cake with was a butter knife. At least it tasted great!

 Have you had any food fails recently?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Paper Coterie

Paper Coterie was one of the great sponsors at ALT Summit this year. In addition to the amazing journal they included in the gift box, they also included a gift card to be used at their shop. With so many fun options it was really hard to choose just one thing to buy! However, I thought it would be really fun to make a journal featuring our adorable pooch!

 They have pet themed items, so it made it very easy to put together. What you can't see in the photo is that the collar has a tag hanging down and her name is on the tag. I was so surprised to open my box and find an adorable necklace as a "thank you" for being a new customer.

Great service, fair prices, and going the extra mile? Paper Coterie wins on all three. If you are ever looking to make some personalized gifts, check them out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Frustrated DIYer

The list of things that we want, and need, to do to our home is much bigger than our bank account. I'm sure many of you can relate. One reason we DIY is because we actually really enjoy doing the work ourselves. The other reason is because it saves a lot of money.

However, there still needs to be SOME money involved, even if you do all the work yourself. This is why I am a very frustrated DIYer as of late. So many fun projects are in my head, ready to get done and to be shared here with you. Sadly, there just isn't much budget for things like that right now.

So, I am putting on my thinking cap, and hopefully will be able to share some fun, free to do projects with you all in the near future. Until then, let's all dream of having an amazing space like this one in our home (can you imagine having such a library?)!
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