Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Breakfast Pizza

I've lost count at what number recipe this is. Oh well.

This recipe jumped out at me from Keeping Up With the Cyperts. Her blog is a fun little read and she has some yummy & easy recipes on it. This one jumped out at me because a) it was a fun twist on breakfast for dinner b) it only had 4 ingredients and c) I had all 4 ingredients. Perfect. (Her pictures are much better than mine)

Breakfast Pizza
1 Tube of Crescent Rolls
3 eggs
Sausage (we used chorizo)
Mozzarella Cheese

Take the crescent rolls out of the tube and arrange them into a half pizza shape on a cookie sheet. Curl up the edges to make the pizza crust.

Brown up your meat choice. Then whip up the eggs in a bowl.

Put the chorizo (or sausage or bacon) on the dough. Pour the eggs over the top then sprinkle with yummy cheese.

Bake in the oven at 375 for about 20-25 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is gooey.

How was it?

Yummy. The Mister and I both liked it and it was a fun and easy dinner. Did I mention it only had 4 ingredients?

Do you have any easy meals with just a few ingredients?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dare to DIY: Dare to Eat Cookies

Week 3 of the Dare to DIY blog party over at Newlywoodwards and it is a dare I am up for. She has dared us to eat cookies!

Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Monica is trying to determine the recipe of Phoebe's grandmother's famous chocolate chip cookies? She makes a ton of batches of cookies but can never get it right. Then Phoebe says that her grandmother got the recipe from an old French relative "Nessley Toolouse." Monica freaks out and says "Nestle Toll House?" Yeah. That's my chocolate chip cookie recipe too. I have tried others. Martha, Better Homes and Gardens, Joy of Cooking, even one from this blog, but nothing beats the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag.

As much as I love the Mister, he is a weird one. He once complained that his chocolate chip cookie had too many chocolate chips. Really? Too many? He said he wanted peanut butter chip cookies. Not peanut butter cookies, but the dough form chocolate chip cookies but peanut butter chips instead. When he said that, my mind went immediately to peanut butter cookies.

So what type of cookies do I make? I went with all three. Chocolate chip, peanut butter chip and classic peanut butter cookies. Whoa. That's a lot of cookies for two people. When I bake cookies, one of two things happen: we eat them all in two days and feel like big ol' piggies or we end up not eating all of them and they go stale. So, I decided to make the dough, refrigerate it, and then we have the ability to bake one or two cookies at a time. If I want one of each kind or all chocolate chip, I can do that. I love having the dough already made in the freezer or fridge so I can have a scoop of cookie dough whenever I want I can bake cookies whenever I want.

Since this is like a cookie exchange, I want to give you my cookies on a cute plate. I found this genius and simple idea. It really made me say, "how have I never thought of this?" I love cookie exchanges, and I also like giving out cookies as a thank you or for whatever. I hate handing them out on boring paper plates, but I don't always have a festive/cheap plate to give away. I've wrapped in printed cellophane before but look how easy this is!

Just take a paper plate, and with a hole puncher punch holes around the rim of the plate, about an inch or so apart. I used curling ribbon that I threaded around the plate, then curled the ends. Done! You could also use fabric ribbon, and then tie a bow. This is so simple, and you can easily change it up for the different holidays/seasons.

Here is the link to the Nestle Toll House recipe, if you don't have the bag of chocolate chips or if you buy them in bulk like I do. I made two batches of this to put away: one with the traditional chocolate chips and another batch with the peanut butter chips.

Here is my peanut butter cookie recipe:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Start by sifting the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Then cream the peanut butter and butter together using an electric mixer (or lots of arm muscle!) Add in the sugars and the egg. Then slowly add your dry ingredients to the bowl.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let it sit for at least an hour in the fridge.

When ready to bake, make 1 inch balls and flatten them with a fork. Bake for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

What is your favorite cookie recipe?

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Black Friday Tradition: Wreaths!

As far as Black Friday goes, some years I shop and some years I don't.  Last year I shopped. My BFF and I had a game plan, hit up 5 or 6 stores and had a delicious breakfast when we were done. One of the places we hit up was Michael's. I had no idea about their doorbuster sales. Christmas ribbon for 70% off? Yes please! An extra 25% off coupon? Oh thank you! There was a wreath that I had seen in a Brides magazine made out of ribbon tied into bows around a wreath frame. So, I bought a bunch of 70% off ribbon and a small wreath frame. When I got home, it only took about an hour or so to make.
Black Friday Wreath 2010

To make this, I started by tying one bow. Then I untied it and used it as a guide to cut the rest of the ribbon. Then I cut all the ribbon a head of time. Then I just tied bow after bow after bow. When I was done I cut the ends at an angle. Fun :)

This year for black Friday, I wasn't feeling the big shopping trip, BUT I did want to pick up some more ribbon from Michael's. I have been seeing these ornament wreaths all over Pinterest, and I knew I had to have one. So I decided to make it a tradition and make another Black Friday Wreath.
A few years ago, I bought 4 boxes of cute peppermint striped ball ornaments at Target during an after Christmas sale. Usually I just fill up a dish with them as a centerpiece, but I thought that a wreath made out of those would be perfect. All of the tutorials I have found online for these wreaths say that it takes between 50-80 ornaments to make a full wreath, so I knew I had to make a special Black Friday stop at Dollar Tree. There I picked up a few boxes of small, red balls to add to my peppermint wreath.

Materials for this project:  lots of ball ornaments-I used about 65 (Choose a color combo or a theme. It also is helpful to have more than one size. They fit better that way.), hot glue gun, 1 wire hanger, ribbon, pliers, heavy duty wire cutters

Step 1: Pull up the little silver cap and put a ring of hot glue around it. Then push the silver cap back down. Repeat on all 65 or so ornaments.  This was the worst part of this wreath, and this is what took the longest.

Step 2: Untwist the top of the wire hanger. I had to use pliers to get it to untwist. Then, bend the hanger into a round shape.
Step 3: Start adding your ornaments to the hanger, one at a time. I didn't take any pictures of this step. I just went back and forth between the peppermint balls and the smaller, plain, red ones. Once your wreath is full, carefully retwist the hanger back together.

Step 4: Here is where I differed from the tutorials that I found. Well, the tutorials didn't really cover this part. I think they used the hook part of the hanger to hang the wreath with, but covered it with ribbon.
 I could not figure out how to do that. At all. I tried to to hang it above the mantle from the hook, but the wreath was too thick, and it just didn't work. So I went out to the garage, and cut the hook off just above the twisty part.
Step 5: Next I added a long ribbon for hanging. Then I tied a bow around that twisty part to cover it up. 
Black Friday Wreath 2011

I couldn't stop there with my decorating. Here is a preview of my Christmas mantle that I set up today.

Do you have any Black Friday traditions?
five days five ways christmas linky party </P>
<P>because every day is different

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for this year.

1. The Mister! He is so supportive of me and everything that I am doing. We have been married for 17 months now and I couldn't be happier! I can't wait to see what our future will hold together.
2. My job: I love my job. Some days are tough, but I love what I do. With budgets shrinking, I am so thankful that I was able to keep my job, in the building that I work in. So many teachers lost their jobs, or were reduced in hours or were forced to move schools, and I was able to stay in my building with the kids that I adore.

3. Health Insurance: This also goes for the above, but I know how many people don't have health insurance (and jobs). I have been to the dentist 5 times since August (boo for root canals!) but I am able to do that because of my insurance.

4. Our home: Sometimes I complain that our home isn't newer, or bigger and I get jealous in other people's fancy houses. But,  I am so grateful that we have this place that we can call our own.
 I am also really thankful that we had that giant tree cut down this summer. No tree=no raking.
5. Travel: We are so lucky that we are able to take vacations: either to the beach for the weekend, Hawaii this summer or our upcoming trip to Vegas. The Mister and I both have jobs, and we can take the time and money to take trips.
This is my all time favorite picture of the Mister. It's from a
luau in Hawaii this summer.
6. Our Furbabies: Allison Kitten and Gus Dog are fantastic. I love them.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dare to DIY... Dare to Entertain

There were about a million reasons why I was going to skip this week's Dare to DIY challenge. This week is Dare to Entertain, and the idea is to show off your table settings.

1. I am not cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I honestly don't know if I will ever cook Thanksgiving dinner. It's not that I don't want to, it's that the Mister has a HUGE extended family (his mom is one of 9 and his dad is one of 8) and we live fairly close to them. They have big coordinated dinners where people bring dishes, have cake walks, play BINGO etc. It's not weird for both sides of the family to have holiday dinners of over 50 people. (my family is much smaller: 10 is a huge gathering for us.)
2. We don't have any "nice" China- well, that's only kind of true. I inherited my great-grandmother's China when my grandma passed away. But, it's not a whole set, and its packed away until we get a hutch to display it in.
3. Our table sucks. It is small, and we only have two real chairs. There is a folding chair that we keep at the table too. If we have another couple over for dinner, we bring in a patio chair. I'm kind of embarrassed that I just typed that.

But here is the real reason I was going to skip this week:

Our table is a dumping ground for junk mail, bills, random papers and keys/jackets/my purse/my lunch box. As soon as both of us get home, stuff from our pockets/in our hands goes on the table. I go through it every month and a half or so, but I get frustrated/overwhelmed with it all.  So when I saw what this week's theme was, my immediate thought was, that's nice, but not for me.

Then I decided to use it as motivation. This challenge gave me a reason to find homes for previously homeless items. I went through papers, put a bunch in the shred pile and others could go straight to the recycling. And just like the spare room, it really didn't take that long. Then I got to the fun part.

Our dishes are Fiestaware, which I love. The place mats were actually a set of 3 gigantic cloth napkins (A gift from Crate and Barrel or Willams and Sonoma I think). A friend of ours cut them each in half, hemmed them and then viola, we had 6 place mats. The center piece is a basket of paper mache fruits and veggies. I am slightly obsessed with these bad boys.
Guacamole anyone?

How cute is that banana??

Here is the rest of the collection. Sometimes I switch out the
small baskets with different combos of fruits and veggies. Is that weird?
The Mister was very happy that the table was cleaned. I figured he would want me to put all the dishes away after my little photo shoot, but he said that we should leave it out for awhile. Then the fat cat jumped on the table, and after shooing her off, we cleared it.

Besides for the napkins turned placemats, there isn't any DIY involved in our table. Except the cleaning and organizing of the stuff that was on the table. That was enough DIY :)

So there you have it, our everyday table. Someday I wold like to have a holiday table scape, but it will probably be awhile.

Are you hosting any holiday dinners this year?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

#8 Go Vegan For a Week- A Recap

I am done with my week of eating vegan, so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on my little challenge.
First off, I am no expert. I did this for a week. That is nothing. If I were going to continue this, I would do a lot more research.
  1. There are tons of really yummy looking vegan recipes/blogs out there. Hungry Hungry Hippie, Vegan Stoner, and Oh, She Glows were three that I will turn to again for more recipes.
  2. I felt like I was eating a lot and not really getting full. I probably wasn't getting enough protein.
  3. I really didn't like eating different meals than the Mister. He would try my vegan food, and then make something for himself. I have always thought of dinner time as family time, and even though we don't have any littles right now, I don't want to be in a habit of everyone eating different things.
  4. It kind of put a small damper on social stuff. Food is social. Going out to dinner/coffee/happy hour is a social thing. I turned down a couple of social invites because I was unsure about what I would/could eat. I did end up going out twice in the week, and had to think really hard about what I would get before I went into the restaurant. Again, I only did this for a week. If this was a full life style change, this would get easier.
  5. I became really aware about what I was eating. I was surprised about all of the milk in foods.
  6. It completely cut down on my snacking, which is a good thing. AND the snacks I did end up eating were mostly fruits and veggies.
  7. For the most part, this is a really healthy lifestyle, but there are a couple things that have a hard time grasping. The first is that honey in my tea is a no go, but technically I can have all the high fructose corn syrup and Diet Coke I want. That seems weird. It also is weird that Oreos are vegan-- sort of. Google it and you decide.
Probably one of the most asked questions I get from my friends/co-workers is will I continue? Well, no. But, I will continue making some of the vegan recipes that I had this week, and I will also try more recipes from the blogs.

Have you ever tried a diet or big change in your eating habits? Do you have different eating habits than your hubby/significant other? How does that work in your household?

Friday, November 18, 2011

I Really Shouldn't Have...

I couldn't help myself.

I looked in a few brick and mortar stores and never found one. I tried to get it out of my mind, but I just couldn't let it go. So I went online and after a few quick keystrokes, I had it ordered. Yes, I am talking about a donut pan.

The truth is, I don't LOVE donuts. I mean don't get me wrong, if I can get to the grocery store bakery first thing in the morning when the donuts are just being put out, and they are still warm, I do usually get one. My nose won't let me NOT get one. Especially this time of year and the apple cider donuts. Yum.

One of the blogs I drool over read, is How Sweet It Is. Oh man, this lady can cook. I want to eat like 95% of her posts, and I really wish she was my neighbor. The name of her blog would lead someone to think it is full of sweet treats, which it does, but it also has tons of tasty treats. This was the first place I ever heard of a donut pan. Then I started looking up recipes

Take a look at what I am talking about:
Red Velvet Cake Donut (She also has a similar story about not wanting to buy a donut pan on this one)
Pumpkin Donut with Spiced Sugar
Chai Donuts

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Vegan Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce

Most of the vegan food I have been eating this week has been recipes from the Internet. Today's recipe is a little different. The sauce is a recipe that my friend's sister Christine sent me. Egg Spring rolls seemed like a yummy thing to dip in the sauce. I had never made egg spring rolls before, so I looked at a couple of recipes on the Internet and came up with this.

Vegan Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce
There is a bunch of stuff in this pic that I didn't end up using:
avocado and red bell pepper. I also forgot the sugar and the oil
for the picture. Oops.
For the Sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 clove garlic minced
1 t sugar
1/2 lime juiced ( I had a small lemon)
1/2 t hot chili oil
2 t soy sauce
2 T warm water
cilantro (I forgot to use it)

Egg rolls
package of coleslaw mix
some tofu
egg roll wrappers- they are also called rice paper wrappers
garlic, soy sauce, canola oil

To make the sauce, whisk everything together. Taste it. Add more of what you want. Done. Simple and yummy.

To make the egg rolls, first I cut up the tofu into small pieces. This is the second time I have ever made tofu and I have no idea what I am doing with it. Tofu is weird. I then sauteed it in about a tablespoon of oil with some garlic and soy sauce.

After I was done mixing it around the pan mindlessly it was cooked through, I added the package of coleslaw mix and cooked it until the veggies started to get soft. I also thought about putting the red pepper in the mix, but I was too lazy to pull a knife out I decided not to.

Lay the wrapper down in a diamond. Then start to fill the rice paper wrappers with the veggie/tofu mixture. Fold in the sides and then roll the wrapper up. If I wasn't eating vegan I would have used an egg wash to seal the seam. So I mixed up some cornstarch and water to keep them closed. Repeat until out of stuff. I made 12 rolls.

Pile of egg spring rolls

I pan fried the rolls in a small amount of canola oil.
Pile of cooked egg spring rolls
Serve with the peanut sauce.
How was it?
I really liked these. I will be making these again for sure. They are cheaper and healthier than the deep fried egg rolls from the Chinese places. I may use bay shrimp or a small amount of ground chicken instead of the tofu. The sauce was pretty good. I have made a really yummy peanut sauce before, and I really like that recipe.

Do you have any recipes that you make instead of take out?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#8 Go Vegan For a Week: Day 2 &3

I have always considered myself a label reader. Before I buy a new food, I take a moment to look over the nutrition label to see what the fat, calories and nutrients are in the food. However, I don't usually look at the ingredient list. This little exercise is forcing me to look at the list and it is surprising to see what foods have hidden dairy products in them. My heart goes out the the lactose intolerant people out there (& mommas with lactose intolerant littles!) With that said here is the breakdown of my food for the last two days:

  • Breakfast: bagel with avocado (A+++++) I love avocado. The end.
  • Lunch: PB & AB sammy and apples
  • Dinner: Vegan Pad Thai (B)- I kind of combined this recipe with one that my friend's sister sent me. The sauce was delish, but I overcooked the rice noodles. This also was my first attempt with tofu. Tofu is weird. The Mister was unimpressed. He ate leftover chicken.
  • Snacks: lara bar, chips and salsa
best. salsa. ever.

Today I took a little trip to Trader Joe's for some veganaise and vegan cheese. While their I got distracted by pretty much everything else. The vegan mayo is actually pretty tasty.
  • Breakfast: Peach Rice Pudding: (A) Oh my word this was good. I used brown rice, because that's what I have, and I think white rice would have been more pudding like, the brown gave it a "bite" (does that sound like the crazy food network judges from Chopped?) so it was more like oatmeal. Probably next time I will also cut down a bit on the coconut milk so it isn't as soupy, but it had a really yummy flavor.
  • Lunch: Vegan Boca Burger and sweet potato fries- I like boca burgers so this wasn't bad at all. I LOVE sweet potato fries, and my usual dipping sauce is honey mustard, however I learned that honey isn't vegan. Boo. Instead I dipped them in catsup, which is not as good as honey mustard.
  • Dinner: Potato and Black Bean burrito with avocado, salsa and vegan cheese. To be honest, I couldn't really taste the vegan cheese with all of my delicious salsa and burrito fillings. I tried to eat just a piece of it by itself and I didn't really taste anything.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dare to DIY: Dare to be Thankful

Here is my first post for the Dare to DIY blog party  over at Newlywoodards. The theme this week is Dare to be Thankful. As I was thinking really hard about what I could do looking at Pinterest for inspiration, I came across this little set up:

The Mister and I got married on the farm his dad grew up on. His uncle and aunt still live there and the major crop is filbert nuts (hazelnuts if you are fancy), so when I saw this I just smiled. I put this together and I think it would be perfect as a centerpiece for Thanksgiving with his family.

 I absolutely love the different sized candle holders in the original picture. However, I was trying to use what I had on hand, which are vases from the dollar store.  I used the metal tray that held my candy corns during Halloween, and I bought 1/4 yard of brown leaf fabric to cover the base. To give some height to the display I took a small box and put it under the fabric and put the back candle holder on top.

And yes, that is my bouquet from our wedding a year and a half ago. I thought it looked nice next to the display :)

Did you Dare to DIY? Do you have any Thanksgiving decorations that you love? Is it weird that I still display my wedding flowers?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

#8: Go vegan for a week (day 1)

Day one down of my vegan experiment.  The hardest part was during dinner, for two reasons. First, the Mister decided to use his Traeger and grill today. This was good and bad. Bad, because I love when he grills chicken, but good because he made me a yummy baked potato and grilled zucchini. The other bad part was that I REALLY wanted a glass of milk. The Mister had a delicious-looking glass of milk sitting right next to me and I just wanted to drink it.

Today's Meals
  • Oatmeal with dried peaches, cinnamon, & brown sugar (B-) I made the oatmeal with water, and I think I cooked it too long so it was kind of pastey, but the stuff I added to it was tasty
  • Traeger Baked Potato: Potato covered with Cajun spice, margarine, and mustard-wrapped in foil and put on the Traeger for about an hour (A) Yummy! The Mister had one too and we will be making this one again.
  • Grilled Zucchini: yum (A++++) This is a Traeger staple in this house
  • Handful of peanuts
  • Vegan Snickerdoodles: (B+) These cookies were soft and chewy, just the way I like my snickerdoodles. Overall, they were a nice treat. The Mister said "I guess they're good, for the limitations." He's cute.
  • Raspberry-Pomegranate Tea

Sunday Update: 30 before 30

1. Vegas with my hubby!: planned for 12/17-12/20!
2. Finish another 1/2 Marathon: Holiday Half: 12/11 Yikes! My training is way off. I need to get my butt moving!
3. Sew something that I am not embarrassed of: This should help with that
4. Reupholster something: My office chair
5. Create a gallery wall
6. Frame & display wedding pictures
7. Lose some weight. (I hesitate to put a number on this. I want to be healthy and feel better about myself, and it has to be a realistic number. I'm thinking 15-20 lbs??): I met with my trainer, but I haven't done much else, including step on the scale. We'll see how this one ends up.
8. Go vegan for a week: Here is the start of the journey. I'm working on this one this week.
9. Cook a new recipe once a week: I've been pretty good at this one, however last week I kind of didn't do it. Bad me. But my vegan week will definetly make up for it.
10. Let people know about this little blog and get some followers: I am up to 7 official followers now, but I do know of other people who check up on this page frequently. Joining link ups and Blog parties have really upped my readership, and they just are fun to do!
11. Continue blogging 4-7 posts a week: Again, I have been doing pretty good at this.
12. Clean out the spare room (formally wedding room, now disaster room): Done! I have also been slowly transforming it into a sewing/crafting room. Another weird fact, one of the google search terms that someone used to find this blog was "how to clean out a spare room"
13. Paint the hall and bedroom
14. Get a make-over and buy some of those products
15. Send Christmas cards: I ordered some from Shutterfly! I can't wait to get them and mail them out!
16. No fast food for a month (Does Subway count? What about Dutch Bros/Starbucks??I will have to decide...): October was fast food/coffee free!
17. Take a necklace I inherited from my gramma in to have some links added
18. Do something from my pinterest boards: Oh lordy, done and done! And done again! (and those are just the one's I've posted!)
19. Get a massage- Why haven't I done this?
20. Do a version of Stephanie O'Dea's Daily 7- I have no excuse. Well I do, but you know what they say about excuses and buttholes: everyone has one and they all stink :) I even won her Totally Together book from a blog giveaway and I still haven't started this in our house.
21. Meal plan for three weeks straight and follow the plan!: I did this in October, and it worked well. The Mister isn't really too gung-ho about meal planning, so it does get difficult to do, but I love it.
22. Go see a movie by myself
23. Have my eyes checked.
24. Get a new work ID (with my married name)
25. Take a cooking class
26. Send birthday cards in the mail, even to people I see regularly: I got one sent to my niece, but then I missed two others. Oops. I have three birthdays coming up this month, and more in December.
27. Stay a week ahead at work: eh. Mostly so far.
28. Floss: eh. Pretty frequently.
29. Put 10% in savings from each paycheck: Yup. I've gotten paid twice since writing this list, and I've done it both times. One more month, then I can cross it off the list.
30. Roast a whole chicken

Friday, November 11, 2011

#4 Reupholster Something: What I learned

I used to watch a lot of Trading Spaces. Did you ever watch it? Two neighbors switch houses, get a fancy designer, a small budget and redo a room in their house without their neighbors say in it. Then after two days, there was a reveal and they got to see their newly designed living room/bedroom etc. I secretly always wanted them not to like it. I don't know why, it just made for better TV. I bet the producers also liked it when the women would cry or cuss about how bad it was. Usually though, they liked it. And usually the designers would take a piece of furniture they already had, and recover it with some fun fabric. They always made it look so simple. When they were done the furniture had new life and looked fabulous. Ever since watching that show, I have wanted to reupholster something.

Since writing my list I have been scouring thrift stores for a cute chair with good lines that was in need of a coat of paint and some new fabric. However each time I would look, nothing would jump out at me. And, realistically, I didn't know where I would put it in our house when I was done.

One of the blogs I read, Better After features before and after posts about furniture/room redos. If you have never seen it, you MUST click the link and check it out. Have a tissue near by because a lot of the stuff is drool worthy. She has shown a couple of rolling desk chairs that got a make over, and I was inspired. I have a cheap-o rolling desk chair that is in less than perfect shape, and I want to recover something. So today, I grabbed the Mister's tool box, some pretty fabric and my staple gun and got to work.

As far as materials and costs go, I only had to buy one thing: 1/2 yard of fabric ($3.49). Everything else I already owned.

This is not entirely a "before" I forgot to grab my camera until
after I started to remove the hardware.

I started by removing the arms, legs and hardware that kept the chair together.

The bottom cushion had a rubber thing surrounding it that was stapled to it. That was annoying.

After all the hardware is off and the bottom and top cushions are free, lay the cushion on top of the fabric, and begin to staple around it, pulling it tight.

When you are done with both, put it back together!

Tada! Isn't she lovely?  It's not perfect, but for my first try at this, I think it turned out okay, and when I open the door and see her at my desk it makes me smile. This was easy/cheap enough that I might do my chair at work.

What I learned
  • Buy 1/4 yard more fabric than you think you need. I was this short on fabric. You can't really tell from the picture, but the bottom cushion has a small "patch" that I rigged up. I may actually go buy some more fabric and redo it later.
  • It is hard to take pictures of yourself doing a project for a blog. How do you other bloggers do it?
Do you have a desk chair that needs a make over? Have you ever reupholstered anything? Any tips for a novice like me?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A typical Day

#8 on my 30 before 30 list is "Eat vegan for a week." My plan is to start on Sunday, and go through Saturday, however the Mister's family is having a Harvest Party/get together and there is always really yummy food and cake, so I might put it off until Monday if we decide to go to it. Anywho, my friend K's sister has been eating vegan for quite awhile now and she sent me some recipes to try out. I am really excited to try Soba with Miso-Tahini Sauce, Mushroom & Squash Casserole with Green Confetti, and a bunch of yummy sounding desserts she sent me.  I also have been pinning things like crazy to prepare. Here are some of the yummys I am drooling over...
Quinoa and Black Beans

Avocado Pudding

Peach-Rice Pudding

Vegan Pad Thai
At first I thought eating vegan wouldn't be that huge of a change. I don't eat a ton of meat, in fact I haven't had red meat in 16 or 17 years, but I do eat chicken, fish and the occasional pork dish. But today, I really thought about what I was eating, and realized this vegan thing will change quite a bit. Let's take a look at today's meals:

Bagel, cream cheese, small glass of milk
Egg Nog Latte

Chicken Salad Sandwich(with feta, low fat mayo and dried cranberries), peach yogurt

Shrimp, baked potato (margarine, green onion, sour cream), salad (ranch on the side), Diet Coke

Cherry Cutie pie and a glass of milk.

I think if this was my vegan week I could eat the bread from the sammy and the salad without the dressing. Clearly, I heart dairy products. I will update the blog with my eating adventure next week and let you know what recipes I try out, and how they are!

Do you have any yummy vegan recipes that I must try? Would you give up dairy/meat for a week?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's here!

It's no surprise that I enjoy crafting and DIY projects. It might be a surprise that I don't have a sewing machine. Until now!

It's just a basic machine, and I think it will be fine for my needs. The Mister said if it is something I really like, I can upgrade later. It sounds like he is approving of my new hobby :)

I have sewn before. I took Home Ec. in 8th grade and made boxers. And scrunchies. Lots of scrunchies.

Since then, I have also made a set of place mats and super basic curtains for my first apartment.  I have wanted a sewing machine for quite a while now, and the other day I just decided to do it and order one off Amazon. So I got online, found a few basic models, read reviews, and ordered one. Two days later, it was on my front door! I have few projects in  mind, but I want to practice first. I also want to set up a table in the craft room as a sewing table. I am really excited that Friday is a day off work so I can get started!

Are you starting any new crafty projects? Did you decide to join the Dare to DIY challenge?