Thursday
Apr122012

Adjusting Expectations

What was it I was saying about being behind the ball?

Oh yeah…

I’m perpetually stuck there.

Which is probably because I tend to bite off more than I can chew.

Sometimes the best thing to do is cut your losses and start fresh.

Example: my photo a day for a year project. 

I love it.  It’s finally got me taking pictures, and thinking about what makes a quality image.  However, trying to take a new and amazing picture every day can be overwhelming.  My standards for myself are high, and I have been unhappy with some of my pictures, because they were rushed or taken just for the sake of snapping a photo.  So, I’m adjusting my project to allow myself room to grow as a photographer, but not overwhelm myself.  

I’d like to change the format to be an image recap (either weekly or monthly, I'm not sure yet) that can be one photo or twenty.   Whatever will allow me to work on quality over quantity.

To kick things off here is a recap of March:

in like a lion…

in their own little worlds

outfit check

a cup of heaven (diet coke)

taking a moment to see the sunrise at the beach

nothing like puppy snuggles

video games always make church more tolerable

how does one drop their phone in their yogurt?

first day of sandals… in March!

against the odds

yum

it still amazes me I get paid to play games…

quintessential spring

sweet sunshine

Hopefully with time and a little practice I’ll be ready to tackle a picture a day again next year.

Tuesday
Apr102012

Cake Pop Tips and Tricks

Ever feel like you just can’t get ahead?

You have the best of intentions, and yet you’re just not making it happen.

That’s how I feel about my life right now. 

That’s how I feel about this blog right now.

I have so many ideas to share.  Project after project lined up.  And yet here my blog sits.

Last week I had every intention of catching up on photo a day and posting these cake pops.

Fail.

Better late than never I guess. 

In the spirit of Easter I whipped up slaved over made carrot cake cake pops. 
Cake pops are not a quick easy project, but with a little research I was finally able to make a successful set of cake pops that tasted as good as they looked (and with out the cursing, foot stomping, and frustration I have experienced in the past.)

Cake Pop Tips and Tricks
(to keep you from wanting to throw a full blown temper tantrum)

-If you use a moist cake, you don’t need much frosting.  About 1 to 2 tablespoons of frosting to an entire cake.  I don’t care what you say Bakerella… a whole can of frosting equals a soft, mushy, grainy cake ball.

-Invest in cake pop sticks.  It’s the only way to dip.  Everything else will end up messy and sloppy.

-Use the candy melts.  They make a smooth candy coating that makes dipping much easier. 

-Dip in a container that’s deep/narrow, because stirring your cake pop around won’t work.  Submerge and remove or you’ll be digging through candy coating with your fingers.  *Also, the more narrow the container the less candy coating you will waste.

-Keep your coating pretty warm or it’ll get too thick and your cake ball will fall off it’s stick.  Are you seeing a theme?

-Don’t shake your cake ball to remove excess coating.  Once you have dipped, hold the cake pop in one hand and with your other hand tap your arm.  The MOST effective way to remove the excess candy coating EVER. 

-Bakerella does know a lot about cake pops and this video really helped me!

I use to think what’s the point of torturing yourself with cake pops?  Now I think I have a new obsession on my hands… the flavor combos are endless.

Wednesday
Apr042012

Lunch Sack Easter Baskets

Um.  Hi.  Hello.

I know.  It’s been like 400 years.

Let’s just say I took a much-needed hiatus.  Which I did spend enjoying the unseasonably amazing weather, but also to give my life an overall deep clean.

Now that I have sorted, cleaned and organized my face off, I can finally think again…

And just in time for a few quick and chic Easter ideas.

It's always a challenge to find ways to make Easter a little more adult friendly.  All the pastels and cute little bunnies sometimes make Easter feel like it’s just for kids, but I want to eat jelly beans and Cadbury mini eggs too, damn it!

Hence I was smitten with the idea of a simple Easter basket from a regular old lunch sack.  After all, anything kraft-paper-esque is right up my alley.  With a few cuts and some glue and you get a great little basket for pennies.

The original idea comes from Martha Stewart, but I tweaked mine slightly.  Here's how:

Lunch Sack Easter Basket

Supplies:
paper lunch sack
scissors
glue

Directions:
1. Take your sack and pull the bottom of the bag and fold to the other side creating a new fold line.
2. Measure about 2 inches from the new fold line and cut off the top.
3. From the top of the leftover bag cut a long strip, and glue to the folded sides of the bag to create your handle.

Done.  You can stop here.  Just fill with Easter grass and your favorite candy.

Or you can embellish with ribbon, twine, or a fun paper bow.  I found this cute paper bow at Ellinee.  You can print one with a cute pattern, or retrace on to another lunch bag and attach.  Tutorial on how to make the bow included.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday
Mar202012

First Day of Spring

It’s the first day of spring… and it’s 85 degrees and sunny outside.

There will be no hanging out inside in front of the computer screen.  Or crafting.  Or baking. 

I’m off to enjoy this beautiful day.  Hope you all are too!

Thursday
Mar152012

I'm over the rainbow...

St. Patty’s Day is this Saturday. 

Ahhh the luck of the Irish…

(Be glad you couldn’t hear that terrible accent.)

While I’m not Irish, I can still get in to the spirit of green beer, clovers, and leprechauns.  

So this year I’ve made up a few magically delicious rainbows to share, complete with a pot of gold at the end. 

This is an incredibly simple project.  No special supplies required. 

All you need is a large bag of Skittles (you could sub m&ms if you prefer) to make your rainbow, and Rolos to make the gold.  Separate the Skittles by color, trying not to eat too many, and then all you have to do is pick your preferred packaging method.  A clean jar, a pretty glass or vase, a clear candy tube, or make up a sign and fashion a rainbow… the possibilities are endless.  Just don’t forget to put the pot of gold at the end!

Finish it all off with a little sign that says; “You’re the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow.”, or “I’m over the rainbow for you.”

Share the rainbow this St. Patty’s Day!

And PS please no pinching.  I hate pinching.