Baking

spiced cookies

These little beauties are deceptively small. What they lack in size, they sure do make up in a punch of spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, oh my!

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Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.

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Store rolled dough in empty paper towel rolls to maintain their shape in the freezer, right next to your butter and creamsicles.

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Smaller nonpareils stick better than larger dragées.

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Stack them in half pint mason jars and tie with a bow=instant homemade gift!

Crafts & DIY

minnie & mickey ornaments

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Did I mention I like Disneyland?  I found these adorably minimalist ornaments at the parks, but couldn’t justify the price tag.

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They looked simple enough, so I put my DIY-ness to the test and gave them a whirl!

Supplies Needed:

  • Red glitter craft paint (I used Martha Stewart’s glitter paint in Garnet)
  • White craft paint (I used MS’s Mother of Pearl, leftovers from the Cinderella pumpkin)
  • 2 ball ornaments in black (I found mine at Michael’s in a chalkboard finish. Bonus–they’re plastic so there’s no potential accidents!)
  • Painter’s tapepaint ornament1

 

How To:

1: Tape horizontally all the way around each ornament (matching nail polish optional)

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2. Begin painting the bottom half of each ornament with the red glitter paint. This particular paint took several (3) coats. You can let it dry upside down inside a shot glass 🙂

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3. Once the paint is completely dry (at least overnight), carefully peel off the painter’s tape.

4. For the Mickey ornament, paint two small ovals using the white craft paint just below where the painter’s tape was.

5. For the Minnie ornament, paint a row of white dots all the way around the ornament, just below where the painter’s tape was. Paint a row below that, diagonally offset from the row above. Continue alternating each row until you reach the bottom of the ornament.

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6. Hang on your tree, turn on some Christmas music and bake cookies. ::insert Christmas tree emoji::

Crafts & DIY

cinderella pumpkin carriage

When life hands you a pumpkin, make a Cinderella carriage! All you’ll need to make this fairy tale dream come true is:

  • 1 medium sized pumpkin with a good 2″+ stem
  • Robin’s egg blue paint
  • Gold paint
  • Light pink paint
  • Dark pink paint
  • 12 gauge floral wire and wire cutters

The standard 2oz size bottles of acrylic craft paint of each color at any craft store is more than enough for your pumpkin. I happened to have these stored away from previous crafts, so all I needed to buy was a pumpkin!

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I started out by practicing sketching the “window” on the pumpkin on scratch paper a few times until I felt confident in my mediocre drawing skills. I used this movie still as reference.

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Next, paint the entire pumpkin (excluding the stem) in robin’s egg blue. It took me two coats to fully cover the orange. Let the paint dry in between coats. Paint the stem gold.

After letting the pumpkin dry for at least several hours, preferably overnight, start sketching the carriage window directly onto the pumpkin with a pencil with very light marks. You want them to be light enough so if you make a mistake, you will barely be able to see it, but dark enough so you can actually see it when you paint over it. If you try to erase, you risk peeling off some paint!

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There’s a great deal on raspberries and salmon this week.

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Now start painting! I found it easiest to start from the inside and work my way outward to the gold circle. Light pink goes inside the window, the curtains are dark pink, and the “C” and trim are gold.

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For the wheels, cut 2 pieces of floral wire, approximately 12″ each. Gently curl into a circular shape until you get the perfect curly q:

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Am I the only one who sees a face here?

Bend the outer end of the wire (about 1/2″ in) so you can stick the wheels into the pumpkin.

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Baking

cranberry pumpkin oatmeal cookies

According to the calendar, fall is upon us. According to Weather Puppy, it’s still a scorching summer.

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According to the decor in my humble abode, it’s most certainly the coziest season of the year, sans sweaters.

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In a desperate attempt to reclaim fall, I wanted to make something that just screams psl season. That something blends all the best flavors of the season in one festive little cookie.

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I took the oatmeal raisin cookie recipe in the lid of a canister of Quaker Oats and made some seasonal modifications: subbed dried cranberries for raisins, added pumpkin puree, and tossed in a few pumpkin-complementing spices for an extra kick.

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Crafts & DIY

summer wreath

An ugly foam wreath + hot glue getting stuck in my carpet = a pretty, minimalist wreath worthy of displaying all summer long.

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Since I can’t afford to leave near the ocean, I’m going to have to settle for a beachy and nautical-themed wreath on my front door. It’s almost as if I can hear the ocean waves crashing right outside my window…in between the incessant horn-honking and brake-screeching.

supplies

Supplies:

  • 1 hideous foam wreath (I got mine at Michael’s with one of their ever-present 40% off coupons)
  • approx 20 yards of jute rope (I had a bunch of this left over from a previous craft and used less than half of the roll.)
  • 1 starfish (definitely do not buy this without a coupon. A friendly stranger in line informed me that the Rose Bowl has these for a buck.)
  • 6″x2″ piece of burlap (ribbon-type works best, as the edges are finished)
  • 1″ wide ribbon (you pick the color! get snazzy!)

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How-To:

  1. Starting with a 1-yard long piece of jute rope, begin wrapping it around the wreath, hot gluing a straight line down the wreath to keep the rope securely in place. Continue all the way around with 1-yard long pieces until wreath is fully covered. I found that 1-yard was the golden length. Any shorter felt too time consuming cutting piece of rope, and any longer, it would get tangled while trying to work with it.
  2. Pick a spot on the jute-wrapped wreath to affix the starfish sea star. Try to find as many contact points along the star to get a secure bond onto the wreath. Once you’ve found the perfect spot (don’t forget it!) hot glue the contact points on the star and glue to the wreath.
  3. Hot glue a 6″ piece of ribbon to the middle of the 6″ piece of burlap for some pizzazz. Wrap this around the top of the wreath and secure with hot glue (duh. is there anything hot glue can’t do?!)
  4. Using a 2′ long piece of ribbon, tie a bow around your burlap “hook” and trim the length to your liking.
  5. Hang on your door and congratulate yourself. You just created your own piece of beachfront living right outside your own home.
Sweets

what’s red and white and covered in blue?

answer: homemade strawberry sorbet, sweet cream custard ice cream, covered in sugar sprinkles (!!!)

Nothing says summer quite like vibrant, sweet strawberries from the farmer’s market. So why not take this delicious and healthy fruit and turn it into a super sweet dessert?

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For food blog and pretty picture purposes, the scoops are separate here. However, to get the most out of this concoction, it’s best to lightly mix together both flavors in order to get the perfect strawberries and cream flavor combination.

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The “master ice cream recipe,” is an amazing base to a zillion potential flavors, but is absolutely tasty enough to stand on its own. (Protip: smush in some oreos in the custard base, and you’ll have the best darn cookies n cream ice cream)

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Crafts & DIY

felt flower holiday garland

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A few seasons ago, Anthropologie had these adorable felt gift wrap packets, which turns out are SUPER easy to DIY…into beautiful holiday garlands!

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What you’ll need for 4-8 ft garlands:
* 12 sheets of felt
* 40 feet of 1/4 inch wide ribbon
* A pair of good fabric scissors
* Some good background tv, because you’ll be cutting felt circles for a while

Cut out 6cm diamater circles of felt. You’ll need 120 in total; I had 30 of each color.

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Fold a felt circle in half and make two, 1cm cuts into the folded end, 1cm apart:

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To make a felt flower, weave five circles onto an 8-ft long ribbon:

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Push the felt circles to the end of the ribbon, and start scrunching them together from the center of each circle:

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Tie two knots at the base of each “flower” to secure them in place on the garland:

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Continue adding felt flowers ~8″ apart. Wrap around your tree (or hang around your home) for some DIY Christmas cheer!

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