Saturday, April 30, 2011

Introducing... CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate sugar cookies!  Who knew?  I saw this recipe from Bake at 350* and I had to try it.  (She KNOWS her cookies!)  I left out the espresso powder, but these turned out awesome.  They remind me of cookies my mom used to make.  Kind of like a chocolate biscuit.  Mr. John tried one last night and gave it two thumbs up, but the most telling comment came this morning.  "I am craving those chocolate cookies."

They behave well and keep their shape.  I'm officially in love!

I'm sending over some of these cookies for a benefit on Sunday to help little 6 year old Justin Heilmann, who has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  If you're a San Luis Obispo local, it's going to be an amazing event and you can get tickets through the link above.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cute and Cuddly Easter Creatures

We have some very colorful creatures in our fridge
They're so cute I almost feel bad when I crack them open.  And that one with the orange mustache?  He's a favorite.
But this is Denver's favorite lunch

so we lost several for the cause.
My boys in their pink striped Easter shirts


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

It's that time again. Time to celebrate cheapskatery.

This week I was trying to decide what awesome deal to feature and I saw the sideboard in my dining room and realized every thing on it was either from a thrift store, dollar store, self-made, or an incredibly smokin' deal at Lowe's (the mirror). This is quite the menagerie of deal-finding goodness.  Everything is under $5.oo except for the mirror which was $15.oo  The bird's nest is real and I made the book page papier mache bird and the moss balls. 

Happy hunting!  I have a feeling there are going to be some great yard sales this weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April's Dessert of the Month

Here is the April edition of the dessert of the month gift that I gave my father-in-law.  Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting... and lots of pecans inside and out.  Mmmm...  I made two so I have some in my fridge.  I think I'm going to go have a piece of cold carrot cake.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

I don't know about you, but I love thrifting, garage-saling, deal-finding, and Craigslisting! I'm not a huge shopper, but the thrill of finding a great deal runs deep in my frugal blood. I decided to dedicate my Thursday posts to the wonderful world of all things thrifty.

When I look through a magazine and they list the ridiculous prices of a model's ensemble, it makes me laugh... or roll my eyes, or wonder, "WHO IN THE WORLD WOULD BUY THAT UGLY _________(shirt, dress, belt, etc.) FOR $$$$________.__?!"

So for those who celebrate their cheapskatery, join me for Thrifty Thursday!

This week I found this adorable floral wrap dress at the thrift store. A little pricey at $6.oo, but I think well worth the splurge. I didn't even try it on, I was that sure of its Easter Sunday-worthiness. I am going to debut this look on Sunday... well, maybe not the silly face, but the dress.

For someone who loves to take pictures, I am REALLY bad at being in them. I never know what to do with myself which usually ends up in some awful pictures.  I was debating just cropping my head out, but that was a little creepy looking.
So pay no attention to the lady in the dress, just the dress.  Cute, right?  Sort of a 50's feel to it.
I would love to hear about your deals or include them in the next Thrifty Thursday.  Share!  I love a good money-saving story with a happy ending.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just because...

... they are adorable!

Spring break is here!  2 weeks of beach-trekking, playdates, sleeping in, kid-crafting, movie-watching, popcorn-popping, park-playing good times! We've already been kayaking, sandboarding, visiting with cousins, BBQ with old friends, swimming, lots of video game playing and we're only on day 4 of spring break. 

Of course it's not going to be all fun and games as there are things that need to get done.  Unfortunately, Mr. John doesn't have 2 weeks off of work, but I have a feeling he'll be cutting out early a couple of days.  
Something we did just yesterday was Bailey got her first haircut at a salon.  She had an idea of what she wanted and I think it came out even better than she expected.  She loves it.  I also got quite a bit cut off and by the time she straightened my unruly locks, I looked like a different person!  I'll have to post some befores and afters :D  This was only the 4th time that I've had a salon cut so it was a fun experience for me as well. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let them eat cake!

This past Sunday my mom and dad threw a little birthday party for my sister Andrea.  It's always so much fun to get together and eat great food with family.  The homemade dutch chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and cookies and cream ice cream didn't hurt the mood either.

 These two canvases were the gift I made for her.  And since I'm so handy with a needle and thread (is the extreme sarcasm coming through?) I decided to sew a flower for embellishing the tulle I used as wrap. 
The two canvases with the "wrapping" above

Now there are one million and five ways to make fabric flowers, but when I saw this tutorial from the amazing blog called wise craft that I happened upon, I knew I could blunder my way through without sticking myself with a needle too many times.

So I grabbed my handy-dandy scissors (not fabric scissors, shame shame!) and an ugly jacket that I loved the houndstooth fabric of and I got to work.  It was super quick and almost painless (I did end up very lightly poking myself with the needle.  I have never come out of a sewing adventure completely unharmed).  The funny thing is my sister could sew circles around me and has probably made enough fabric flowers to create bouquets.  I don't know what possessed me, but I think I have more flower-making in my future.

For the canvases it's pretty self explanatory.  Mod Podge a page from a book to the canvas then paint the sides of the canvas and the monogram.  For the letter I used this font that I adore from  I printed my H out the size I wanted it and you can use either carbon paper or the ghetto transfer method* to get an outline of the letter onto the canvas.  I then painted in the transferred outline with black paint, and then with glue and poured on black glitter.  

For the other canvas I got a picture of the San Diego temple where my sister was married, sized it for the 6" x 6" canvas, added some text with the pertinent information, printed it out on cardstock and mod podged away, finishing with a painted black edge.  I really wanted to do a third canvas with a picture of their family done the same way, but they don't have an updated family picture with their new little man.  I think something like this would make a fantastic wedding or anniversary present too.  

It wouldn't be my sister's birthday without this second dessert.  My mom is funny and always makes a cake to "hold the candles".  Below was the "real" birthday girl dessert that she made.  Any guesses as to what it was?

* the ghetto transfer method (I use this method 95% of the time) is as follows:  
-Turn over printed monogram to the blank side of the paper, go along the outline with a pencil rubbing lots of graphite.  
-Turn monogram back over, positioning it where you want it on the canvas.  Take a pen and outline the monogram again, but this time on the printed side with the graphite facing the canvas.  As you outline it will press the graphite onto the canvas leaving you a nice outlined monogram for painting or penning.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I think I have a case of Pinkititis!

Pinkalicious has come to San Luis Obispo and I'm seeing PINK!  Kelrik is putting on this adorable musical for the next several weekends.  I took the kids and some of their friends on Saturday and we had a blast!  Mr. John just happens to have a lead role as Mr. Pinkerton and he was hilarious, as was the entire cast.  The whole show was so colorful and fun with singing cupcakes, bubbles, a bicycle built for four, singing and dancing bees and ladybugs, loads of pink... it was everything a little girl could ask for!   

The play is based on a book of the same name by Victoria Kann and adorable illustrations by her sister,  Elizabeth Kann about a girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and develops a case of Pikititis!   
Sage and Erica are dressed to impress
Sage and her friend Erica had fun getting ready and got a quick fluorescent pink manicure 
before the show.  I didn't even know I had that color polish! 

Bailey and her friend Shilo are very mature 9 year olds who didn't want to wear pink 
fingernails or tutus, but loved every minute of the show.
Shilo and Bailey wore pink, but skipped the tutus
Denver was my date, but I didn't get a picture of us! Denver loved the show as well and his favorite part was when "Mr. Pinkerton" fainted when he discovered his daughter had turned pink.

This opening night occassion called for cookies, lots of pinkeriffic cookies!  I got to try out painting with food coloring again and it was really fun.  They came out pretty pinktastic if I do say so myself!  They all ended up selling out the first two shows!

packaged and pretty in pink
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