Faux Driftwood Tutorial

August 20, 2015

One of the bookcases in our new home was lacking something. It wasn't quite tall enough to reach the ceiling so I had all this blank space from 3/4 of the way up the wall. I wanted the room had a bright beachy feel so I had the idea to put some white washed decorative driftwood on top. Only, I don't live near the beach, we already took a beach vacation this year and I didn't want to buy a bunch of sticks for $25+ on the internet.
So I ventured out into my backyard!


My Secret Glamping Must-Have!

August 11, 2015

Last weekend we took a mini glamping trip to the Delaware seashore. When you only have a minivan glamping is a delicate balance of needs and wants. One little thing I was sure to bring this time was my essential oil diffuser. In terms of "glamping" the size vs. payoff was huge! I just popped it in my beach bag right before we left. And how fancy was it to walk into my tent with the fresh scent of essential lavender oil imbuing the air?
If you have a tent site with electricity I highly recommend bringing yours. Want to learn more about Young Living essential oils check out my post about them here.

10 Unobvious Ways to Save on Your Energy Bill

August 5, 2015

After moving in to our new house I was a little bit shocked when opening our electric bill. We are living in a space that is nearly three times the size of our old house (if you include the finished basement) so I guess that really shouldn't be such a shock but I needed to figure out ways to save on our energy.
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There are the most obvious things to consider when trying to conserve on energy....leaving your lights on, leaving the TVs on in empty rooms, turning up/down the thermostat, leaving the garden hose running. But there are so many less obvious ways to save on your energy that you probably weren't aware of like.....

1. Ceiling fan motors should be reversed to blow air upward in winter. This causes the hot air that rises to your ceiling to be pushed back downwards where you reside. See that little switch. That will reverse the fan.

2. Use a freezer chest. A freezer chest uses less energy than it's upright equivalent. So if you're going to be storing a lot of stuff, a chest is the way to go. It might be a little more difficult to access the stuff on the bottom but you're going to end up using about 11-27% less energy than an upright freezer.


Never Have To Throw Away Another Lamp Again!

August 3, 2015

I realize that anything that deals with electricity will scare some people off. I get it. You immediately imagine burning down your house in the middle of the night! But some electrical projects are easier than others and replacing a light socket SHOULDN'T be one of those scary projects. It's actually a great way to learn some wiring basics.
I know someone out there has been confronted with having to replace a pair of lamps. It wouldn't be so bad but when one lamp breaks you end up having to buy two so that they match and that can get kind of expensive. I bought these glass gourd lamps at Lowes a few years ago. They were $30 a piece plus the shades for $15 a piece. So after taxes I had invested about $100 in them! When one of them started flickering I found myself thinking about replacing them. I took a trip to Home Goods and while I found a TON of gorgeous lamps ultimately I couldn't bring myself to spend another $100 on lamps on top of all the other expenses we've had lately. I decided to dig out my DIY belt and fix the one myself! If you don't want to spend another $100 on lamps either take a look at my easy tutorial! Only $6 total spent!

Let the DIYing begin!

July 31, 2015

I know it's been so long since I've last posted something original. My only excuse is that for the past five months we've been caught up in the midst of moving. You know how they say moving is one of the most stressful life events that you can experience? You might rolled your eyes and thought it ridiculous? Well, live in a house for 8 years. Fill up your garage, basement and attic with boxes and furniture and knick knacks so high that you can't walk through without having to demonstrate a little gymnastics. Have your mother sell her house, pack up all HER things and move in with you and THEN tell me that it's not as stressful as they say;-) And that's leaving out all the stress that went along with FINDING just the right house that fit EVERYONE'S needs. And everyone had needs....lots...of....needs....


Craft Night: Macarons!

July 1, 2015

We're now officially celebrating our FOURTH craft night!!!! So exciting. It's been so much fun getting together with friends, sipping wine and talking.

This month we decided to give a go at the infamous macaron. Known to be finicky, we had heard many a horror story about failure after failure when attempting this fickle cookie.
I'm happy to say that it was mostly a success! We learned somethings along the way. Like a standing mixer is best but a hand mixer will do as well. Over mixing the egg whites and the powdered ingredients can happen in literally a matter of seconds. Turning the oven to 350 like it says in the recipes will cause your bottoms to burn. And when piping on your filling DON'T hold your cookie from the top and bottom.
Get all my tips and see our progress below!
They didn't all turn out so pretty but I'd say we definitely avoided the dreaded "craft fail".
Start by tracing circles onto parchment paper. They don't have to be perfect. Just enough to tell you where not to go over the line. I've heard silpats are best. Some of them even have the circles drawn on for your already!
Start sifting your almond meal and confectioners sugar. Some of us used this nifty hand sifter bought at Home Goods.

Chiffon Cardigan Free Pattern in Spring Spree

June 23, 2015

I don't know about you but I'm more than ready for this winter to be over. Don't get me wrong I get excited at the prospect of an impending snow storm but what I really want is to go outside without a jacket. To wear breezy clothing and to smell the spring air.
When I saw this material at Hancock Fabric I immediately knew what it was destined for- this lovely, loose, delicate chiffon cardigan. Great for a dainty coverup and SO STINKIN' EASY TO MAKE. 
I'd say you could make this cardigan in just an hour if you're good at cutting chiffon. The hardest part of this cardigan is cutting the chiffon. Seriously. That's it. The whole pattern is just two pieces. The body and the sleeve. Just under one yard of fabric used. You could probably try this pattern out with some left over chiffon in your stash just to see if it works for you.
I love how this cardigan is long yet delicate. It helps to avoid the frumpy look that you can sometimes get with long cardigans. It's so breezy you could even wear this in the summer, especially in the evenings.
I added the bauble fringe to the edges. I think it helps define the shape of the cardigan. If you simply used chiffon it might look a little too invisible. I also love how this cardigan looks while you're standing in sunlight. So romantic. It's just a shame I could take some outdoor pictures so you could get a good look at how gorgeous it looks in the sun.
Here's the free pattern:
Copy Shop Free Pattern

Amazing Microwaved Desserts: Turkish Delight

June 16, 2015

Over the weekend Eloise and I did a little cooking together. Well, I don't know if you'd call it cooking since there was no stove involved but there were ingredients and we did have a sweet treat in the end.
I used to eat Turkish Delight as a small child when my mother took me out to the mall and she'd buy it from the candy kiosks. Most people have heard of Turkish Delight from the famous Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe book. In case you don't know what it is, it's a very sticky jelly like candy that's coated in confectioners sugar.

 
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